Wednesday, 8 August 2007

put a plug in it

If you've ever traveled with electrical equipment, be it a hair dryer etc. you are aware of the differences in power socket shape and voltage from country to country. It is a bit maddening.

Here are a couple of other 'fascinating' tidbits:

- In Australia power sockets are accompanied by an on/off switch (as pictured below). When I first moved to Canada I freaked out the first time I used an electrical appliance as I couldn't fathom that pulling the plug out of the wall 'live' was a safe thing to do. I continue to have a habit of turning off and on light switches near electrical outputs as part of my ingrained auto-pilot.

- Household electricity was originally used mostly for lighting. Many electricity companies operated a system where the cost of electricity for lighting was lower than that for other purposes. This led to low-power appliances (such as vacuum cleaners and hair driers) being connected to the light fitting such as 1909 electric toaster with a light bulb socket pictured below.

Electrifying stuff!

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