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Use of floor outlet in the dining room

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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby Don M on Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:32 pm

My guess was for a toaster or perhaps table lights. My grandmother had a bell button at her end of the table to call the cook when a course was finished. Don
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby badgergrrl on Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:21 pm

When I was a teenager, I babysat at what was a gorgeous "mansion", at one time - at least in our small town. They had a servant's bell that still worked, hidden under the carpeting in the dining room. Their dog used to sleep on the table, and it scared the crap out of me every time he would lay down on top of it...
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby Nancy W on Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:50 am

Being very isolated in a rural area, my old house was not electrified until the early 1950's, I think. Only small parts of the county had electric service in the 40's. Anyway, when elctrified, one room, used as a library, got an electric plug in the middle of the floor as well as a couple more traditionaly placed on walls. I have always thought this was a hold over from when an oil lamp was placed on the table in the middle of the room for general illumination. Although my grandfather bought the farm and the house after electification, when I was a child, there was always a table with an electric lamp in the middle of the table over that plug. No carpet on the floor, although there were a couple scatter rugs.

When I had the electric redone and the termite eaten floor replaced in that section of the house, the floor plug was eliminated.
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby Mrs._d on Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:09 pm

The function of having a plug-in under the dining room table works for me.

I do a lot of serging and sewing at the dining room table, and have to lay down a long extension cord across the walking path to the sewing machines. Having a floor plug-in under the table would be a plus. Also we have to run an extension cord when we use the stationary lighted magnifying glass to review old photographs, cleaning collectibles, re-wiring fixtures, etc.

Our 1893 Queen Anne has a two ft. thick granite foundation, and no opportunities to have wall outlets on exterior walls. I would love to have a floor outlet one foot from the wall--just clearing the foundation--making it possible to have a nice table and lamp here and there.

Now, will someone convince DH Jon it is a good idea?

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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby catperson on Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:52 am

I'm bringing up this old topic again because I have a round hole in the floor under my dining room table. I was told that originally it held a button to summon the servants. Does anyone know where I can find an antique or reproduction one, just to fill the hole? Obviously I don't have any servants!
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby Don M on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:10 am

My grandmother had such a button under her table at their summer home on Lake Onterio. She did have a cook she could summon with that button. I think it was rather like a door bell button but I couldn't see it as the oriental rug covered it.
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby 1880 Stick Victorian on Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:50 am

catperson wrote:I'm bringing up this old topic again because I have a round hole in the floor under my dining room table. I was told that originally it held a button to summon the servants. Does anyone know where I can find an antique or reproduction one, just to fill the hole? Obviously I don't have any servants!


if you find one, let me know...previous owner took our call button on the floor when she placed the house on the market... :(
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby lupinfarm on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:01 pm

I agree with cadrad....In the beginings of electricity in homes people loved to show off their techi toys just like we do today.
Imagine how liberating electric light must have been after centuries of being in the dark using only gaslight or candlelight.
Also early lamps hand very short power cords and were relatively expensive so moving your lamp from one room to another made sense. You would probably also want an outlet near the table so you could illuminate your meal, dazzle your guests and
not have to suffer the smokey sooty gaslight.
putting the 18 back in my 1872 Victorian farmhouse.
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby oldhouseluvr on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:18 pm

I was curious about your floor outlet, so I googled to see what I could find. Check out this link to Building Age, Vol. 44 and Electrical Equipment of the Modern Cottage. If you look at the Dining Room options, you'll see the Special Service floor outlet for table appliances.

http://books.google.com/books?id=eF3lAA ... et&f=false
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Re: Use of floor outlet in the dining room

Postby triguy128 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:37 pm

Funny I ran into this thread. My 1925 house also had an outlet box near the center of the dining room. It seems it had been taken out of service some time ago. All that was left was a peculiar porcelain fuse holder. But it might have just been a terminal block. I wire nutted the exposed wires and put a metal cover over the box. I suspect there was a raised outlet It might be interesting to put it back in service someday.
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