Author Topic: Did antique lamps have cloth cords?  (Read 664 times)
Cole D.
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Did antique lamps have cloth cords? « on: November 14, 2022, 09:34:12 PM » Author: Cole D.
I was just wondering on this as I’ve yet to come across one that didn’t have the typical rubber zip type cord, basically what we use now.

I know I’ve seen old fans, and many heat producing appliances had them as well.

Maybe I just haven’t come across a lamp with one yet, or maybe most have been rewired.
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Medved
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Re: Did antique lamps have cloth cords? « Reply #1 on: November 15, 2022, 12:40:52 AM » Author: Medved
Cloth wires were common mainly in the pre WW2 era, just because there were no suitable plastic materials available yet.
Often it was a combination of rubber insulation an the outer cloth protection of the quite fragile rubber, but often even the insulation was really just cloth soaked in some tar like material.
Usually these cables had were very prone to failures, so had quite a short lifetime, so on many devices from that era had it replaced by some more modern, plastic based, cord.

Now the cloth protection remained only on appliances where their use poses risk of damaging the cord mainly by heat, e.g. irons or so. But the construction consist of rather ordinary (although higher temperature rated) then covered by a cloth sleeve to protect it against mainly the direct contact with the hot iron surface.
Today you may find "reproduction" of those old cloth cords, but the design had changed to rather ordinary plastic insulation, just with the added cloth decoration sleeve.
Be aware, there is a big difference between these decorative cloth cable reproduction vs the cords intended for the irons or so, mainly in the material of the cloth - its heat resistance vs how well it maintains its appearance. The decorative reproductions do not offer that contact heat protection, while the "iron cables" are not offered in that variety of color tones and are easier to stain...
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rjluna2
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Re: Did antique lamps have cloth cords? « Reply #2 on: November 15, 2022, 07:33:46 AM » Author: rjluna2
Perhaps we can find more information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring#Early_wiring_methods ???
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