Real Antique Pull Light switch

I am looking for something like this. A true antique would be first price. I can import an imposter fro France, but I would love the real McCoy…

Its for my office at home…

Good luck pulling that into Home Assistant ::

Actually if you use something like the Sonoff MiniR2 or newer it is very easy to pull those in. The wall switch act as a trigger for them, which is why you can switch them from either side of the hallway switch. I am sure some of the other brands would also have something similar.

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Pulling strings around here he is… :laughing:


Jaco if you don’t find an antique switch you can always get something like this if you dont want to order from France.

Or this one I just found


This may help, lookie here: or look for creative-cables as well.


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Those days of pull switches was also the days of power only for lighting. So the only power outlet was dangling from the ceiling. The smart occupants would plug their electric irons etc. into these. I saw a setup like this in a London museum and there were warnings not to try this when you got home!

I was still in boarding school in the bustling metropolis of Phillipolis in die Vrystaat. Richard’s part about lights only power triggered a memory. Was in standard 4 at the time. My dad used to have a General Electric shop selling and servicing household appliances and radios, mostly radiograms in those days.

He used to have some of those bakelite light fittings and the Y adapters for them, presumably to add a second light bulb to a single fitting. Now the room I shared with another bloke was small and in a short side passage and the only thing it had was a light, no socket outlets, but so to were all them other rooms, they were just bigger and had nice windows, this one lacked that.

So I had to have a radio, got that, had to have power, did not have that. Asked me dad and he duly handed me a Y adapter and some cable and a plug that fitted the radio, have at it. In passing he asked if I knew how to wire this and then told me what to do.

Off to the boarding house I went, quite chuffed. Immediately after getting in my room, got all the stuff out and stared wiring the bayonet plug that must go too the light fitting, then switched the light off, see I knew to do that for safety, then proceeded to plug in the Y fitting and the cable with wires dangling down.

The room was very dark already as this happened late on a Sunday around dusk. No side cutters, just an old screwdriver and a pair of scissors so I proceeded to bite on the flex wire ends after cutting off the excess to strip off the insulation to wire the radio end.

It was at this point my buddy walked into the room and switched the lights on. Huge flash and lots of shouting as the whole wing was plunged in darkness, so no hiding from that now. This ended with a cracked tooth, and lots of smoke covered green and black and some copper coloured burns around my mouth and on the outside.

Luckily nothing too serious but for a few light marks after I managed to wash most of it from my face. My mouth hurt for a few days thereafter.


Now that triggers a memory of my own. I was in grade 8. Also boarding school. Using grid power was against the rules. Radios and cassette players had to have their own batteries, and those were usually flat by the end of the first week.

We all engaged, during that time, in the honoured tradition of finding ways “om krag te tap”, to tap into power somehow. This usually involved burrowing behind the plaster with a coat hanger, and putting in some thin wires that would not be noticed (the horror, right!?), and relaying that to a hidden spot in your cupboard. Each one of us had a lockable built-in cupboard, see.

During a random exploration, on a Sunday afternoon, we figured out that three rooms shared a breaker. Each room had two separate lights, and of course the supply for the next room was looped off the room preceding it. At this point, we rewired it so the two lights of the room was on one switch, and the second switch would instead switch off the lights of the downstream rooms.

The guys across the hall were so impressed with this, that they asked us to modify theirs as well.

This was funny for all of 3 hours, when someone in the downstream rooms laid a complaint with the boarding house head.

I think that was the one time I got the maximum amount (6) of lashes, and my parents called, before being told to go back and fix it.

(That was the funny part. Despite the punishment, we were trusted enough to fix it :slight_smile: ).

Some years later, my roommate did the ultimate hidden install. He found an old telephone plug that had really small connectors. And we were in the room right at the end, which had a neutral passing through the box. He carefully installed two wires, took them to two small round connectors that were knocked into a piece of wood (they looked like small nails), into which the old telephone plug would fit.

That worked so well, we ran a computer and occasionally even a kettle from it.

Eventually, the powers that be realised that we are far more likely to burn the place down than to use excessive amounts of expensive power… and they allowed us to use grid power.

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