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Submitted by DonHester on Thu, 04/16/2015 - 09:25.
When Men were Men and Sparkies played by the Sparks. Wenatchee Home Inspections
As a home inspector I get to see a lot oddities out there. Some are just very interesting. I also am a bit of a geek and history buff so that has lead me to collecting old code books ,especially the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Old fuse panel
From the National Electrical Manufacturers Association- NEMA - Here is a little history of electrical codes-
“National Bureau of Standards Circular No. 49—1914
“The 1st Edition of Bureau of Standards Circular No. 49—Safety Rules to be Observed in the Operation and Maintenance of Electrical Equipment and Lines was issued after a year of examination of appropriate requirements for electrical workers and electrical employees. This edition only covered work rules; it did not address clearances, grounding, or the strength of supporting line structures. It was issued primarily for discussion and was apparently not adopted by any states at the time, although it did result in changes in the work rules of some utilities.”
NEC Code Books 1959 to 1947
National Bureau of Standards Circular No. 49, 2nd Edition—1915
“The 2nd Edition of National Bureau of Standards Circular No. 49 carried the same title as the first edition (Safety Rules to be Observed in the Operation and Maintenance of Electrical Equipment and Lines) with the addition of Being Part 4 of the Proposed National Electrical Safety Code (2nd Edition). By then it was clear that work rules alone would not solve all the issues. Not only did additional issues of grounding, clearances, and strengths of structures and wires need to be addressed, but addressing those issues would best be done by grouping the discussions by categories in a new proposed national code. Work rules would be addressed in Part 4 of that code. “
NEC Code Books 1999 to 2011
Well my collection does not go back quite this far but I have all the NEC code cycles from 1947 forward and electronic version of the 1920, 1933, 1935,1937, 1940 ELectrical codes.
NEC books 1962 - 1996
Then there were guidebooks published by authors other than National Bureau of Fire Underwriters (NBFU)/NFPA
The following is an excerpt from The American Electricians Handbook of 1942. “A Reference Book for Practical Electrical Workers”.
“Electricians often test circuits for the presence of voltage touching the conductors with the fingers. This method is safe where the voltage does not exceed 250 and is often very convenient for locating a blown-out fuse or for ascertaining whether or not a circuit is alive. Some men can endure the electric shock that results without discomfort whereas others cannot. Therefore, the method is not feasible in some cases. Which are the outside wires and which is the neutral wire of a 115/230 volt three wire system can be determined in this way by noting the intensity of the shock that results by touching different pairs of wires with the fingers. Use the method with caution and be certain that the voltage of the circuit does not exceed 250 before touching the conductors.“
Now thats what I call manly but it gets better.
For all the Einstein's
The following paragraphs was taken from the “American Electricians Handbook” of 1914
“91. The presence of low voltages can be determined by “tasting.” The method is feasible only where the pressure is but a few volts and hence is used only in bell and signal work. Where the voltages is very low, the bared ends of the conductors constituting the two sides of the circuit are held a short distance apart in the tongue. If voltage is present a peculiar mild burning sensation results which will never be forgotten after one has experienced it. The ‘taste” is due to the electrolytic decomposition of the liquids on the tongue which produces a salt having a taste. With relatively high voltages, possibly 4 or 5 volts, due to as many cells of battery, it is best to first test for the presence of voltage by holding one of the bared conductors in the hand and touching the other to the tongue. Where a terminal of a battery is grounded, often a taste can be detected by standing on moist ground and touching a conductor from the other battery terminal to the tongue. Care should be exercised to prevent the two conductors ends from touching each other at the tongue, for if they do a spark can result that may burn.”
Well...now the next time a sparky comes to your home you tell them how a real test should be performed.
“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
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