Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small South Africa (part 1)
1900-1920 material & Bayonet types
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The three-pin wooden plugs and sockets shown below were installed in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, served by the "Cape Peninsula Lighting Company", established in 1900 - taking over the first public lighting undertaking established in 1893. CPLC used alternating current from the start, unlike the central city which provided DC supply right up to the 1920s.
The earliest date for those wooden plugs is 1900, they would have been most common before the first World War, and the latest date they may have been installed was 1920,
In the 1920s British standards (BS 73 → BS 372 → BS 546) for plugs was mandated for the whole of South Africa. See next page for BS 372 Part I (2-pin) and Part II (3-pin) and BS 546 material.


Classic 2-pin 'Standard' 5A socket and plug Classic 2-pin 'Standard' 5A socket
Classic 2-pin 'Standard' 5A plug
Classic 2-pin 'Standard' 5A plug

Classic 2-pin 'Standard' 5A plug


Wooden 'Union' socket and plug.
The Union type was rated at 10A, but could handle 15A.
It was the precursor of 15A BS 73:1915.
The porcelain body of the socket
carries number 966, but
does not show the name of the manufacturer.

Pin dimensions are: length: 20 mm;
diameter: 6.0 mm.
Pin spacing: 19.2 mm.


Classic, wooden 3-pin 5A socket and plug Classic, wooden 3-pin 5A socket
Classic, wooden 3-pin 5A socket
Classic, wooden 3-pin 5A plug

6 - 9
Wooden, 3-pin socket and plug. The porcelain socket body is British made, shows an Ensign label (see also image 15), and has the numbers 1257 / 1248.
Dimensions: power pins are 19 mm long and have a diameter of 5.6 mm;  earth pin is 22 mm long and has a diameter of 7.0 mm.
Power pin spacing and earth pin offset are given in image no. 8.
Pin configuration resembles to 5A BS 546, but critical differences are a ca. 6 mm smaller earth pin offset, and a 0.5 mm larger power pin diameter.   {PC}


Classic, wooden 3-pin 2A socket and plug Classic, wooden 3-pin 2A socket
Classic, wooden 3-pin 2A socket
Classic, wooden 3-pin 2A plug

Classic, wooden 3-pin 2A plug
Ensign logo

10 - 15
Wooden / vitreous (porcelain) 3-pin plug and socket. British manufacture by General Accessories Co Ltd, Bristol (see image no. 15 with GAC logo).
Power pin lengths: 15.5 mm; diameter: 3.6 mm.
Earth pin: length: 16.5 mm; diameter: 5.0 mm.
Pin dimensions indicate that plug and socket are 2 or 3 Amp. models.
The plug closely resembles BS 546 2A plugs, but a small difference in power pin spacing is responsible for incompatibility with 2A BS 546 sockets.


Bayonet sockets are still the most common type of lamp fitting in South Africa, but manufacturers are promoting a change to E26 Edison screw lamp sockets. In former days, rooms in more simple accommodations had only one BC (Bayonet Cap) light socket. Electrical appliances had to be connected to the BC socket by means of a bayonet plug.
Find more examples of bayonet cap material on the BS 52 page.


Wooden B22d-2 plug Wooden B22d-2 plug
Wooden B22d-2 plug

16 - 18 Wooden plug that can be connected to a BC or B22d-2 lamp socket. B = bayonet; 22d = diameter in mm; 2 = 2-pin.
The plug has been used in South Africa. Rating, age and name of manufacturer are unknown.


Litemaster B22d-2 connector and plug Litemaster B22d-2 connector and plug
Litemaster B22d-2 adapter

19 - 21 South African made, Litemaster B22d-2 lamp fitting and plug; attached (no. 19) and separate (no. 20). Image no 21 shows a Litemaster bayonet two way adapter that allows simultaneous use of a lamp and electrical appliance.   {PC}


Goltone B22d-2 connector and plug Goltone B22d-2 connector and plug

22, 23 A British made, by Goltone, B22d-2 plug that consists of two components: a 2-pin connector and matching plug. The connector complies with BS 52 (bayonet end) and BS 372 (outlet end). The plug complies with BS 372 Part I (5A).   {PC}


SB15d-2 connector and plug SB15d-2 plug

24, 25 SBC15d-2 lamp socket and matching plug. SBC15d is a smaller version of BC22d (15 mm versus 22 mm). Images 19-20 and 24-25 have the same rate of magnification. The lamp socket carries no. 1241, but no rating or brand name.   {PC}


Each of the items on this page have been donated by Peter Coates {PC}.


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