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Wooden Knob and tube "conduit", and a gas light.

Knob and tube was most definitely used for 32 volt DC in homes.....but only because it was "standard" at that time. The old Delco Light brochures show a picture of the "kit" that came with the generator and batteries. It consisted of five light fixtures, insulating knobs, tubes, wire and switches. Pretty good deal for $249!! I've never seen wall plugs though.......probably because you used a screw in adapter in a light fixture.

I don't believe "Romex" was invented until the mid twenties and even then it took many years for it to be used in all houses.

David Gregg

Last Subscription Date
Worked in a house probably 30 years ago that had knob and tube wiring in parts of it yet. A number of lines in the basement. They also had a shower stall in the basement. I noticed one day that they were using the wire as a clothesline to hang their towels on after a shower, doing this while standing on the wet floor next to the shower. The wires where live and in use.
The young home owners had no idea. They stopped the practice after I told them what they were doing.

John Kendrick

Last Subscription Date
Last summer I added to the knob and tube wiring in a 1906 cabin we refurbished. It had used a 32v. Wincharger and batteries. I went with led lights and a 12v. battery, with a solar panel, for occasional use.
Old Cowman


One Millionth Post
Last Subscription Date
In the attic of my grand parents old house there is still the porcelain tube and nob insulators. The wiring is all bare wire strung above the ceiling rafters. It doesn't look as if the wires were ever insulated, these were installed when rural electric first came in the late 30s. These were in use till recently when a relative currently in charge let the structure fall into disuse and neglect. Never had a issue with the system that I ever heard tell of. Don't recall any mention of a Delco system there, was one at the other farm that they used, the tower and parts of the generator were still about when we were small. This was retired when the folks married and built a new house in the mid 40s after pop returned from the Army.


The wiring in my Grandma's house was never insulated.

I imagine there were some pretty surprised rats at times - my grandma hated cats (she was a bird lover and insisted that cats killed off her precious "birdies") and the old dog she had was nearly blind and slow (when I met him - and he'd been that way for years). I think they did have rat problems fairly regularly. The wiring was such that a rat could easily bridge the wires by accident. (A fire hazard)

John C. Neagley

In Memory Of
Last Subscription Date
Our home, built 1854, still has active knob and tube wiring in parts of it. It is still approved wiring as long as in good shape as ours is. Up in the attic exists the old unused slatedisconnect from 1909 Pilliod Electric Co's wiring using electric generated at the Pilliod Mill across the Maumee River using a 48inch Trump turbine with water furnished by the Miami and Erie Canal which is still in existence.[See "Isaac Ludwig Mill" on YouTube]
Also the gas light piping for the 3 burner combination gas electric parlor ceiling lamp is all in good working condition and used especially in winter for light and heat. perfectly safe to use as long as the user is not an idiot!