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Ceramic light switch, c 1900.

Ceramic light switch, c 1900.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm


Switch shown in the 'on' position. The metal components of this early electrical switch are encased in a ceramic body. Two metal arms are sprung so they flick from one position to another. When the spring is turned on, the arms slot into U-shaped springy contacts, so completing the electrical circuit. This must happen fast, and the contacts must be good, or the electricity could spark acros any gaps and cause damage.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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