How things Used to be and Ought to be made, in the USA

Antique lamp-splitter
Photo by (© 2014) me.
Now, this is how things used to be designed and built right here in the U.S.A!  This is an ancient (several decade old) split lamp-socket adapter I inherited from my grandparents.  The pull-switch went on the fritz last week and I was apt to chunk it, as I’m no longer really needing it anyway, until I noticed this screw in the center of the case!  I haven’t seen anything like that in years.

My curiosity then got the better of me, compelling me to unscrew it in an attempt to open it up to see what’s inside (and if there was any possibility of actually repairing it.  I removed the screw in the side and – nothing budged.  I then removed the butt-screw and again – nothing.  I eventually tried removing the bottom screw-in bulb part, which was, alas, bradded on.  This was accomplished by prying up the two bradded indentures, then unscrewing it from the base.  Finally, I had this thing open as shown in the photograph!  Sure enough, I was able to repair the pull-switch which had not jammed, but rather the contacts were worn down from use.  I was able to slightly bend one of the tiny contacts slightly upward, which registered positive results by my olm meter. Unfortunately it’s a four-position switch, of which two are used for ON and two for OFF, but I only succeeded in fixing one of the ON positions, resulting in it being now necessary to pull three times to go from OFF back to ON, but at least it now functions again!  I had no trouble getting it all back together. Something like this made today would be made cheaply in China, be unserviceable, and would likely never last anywhere near five-plus decades!


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