The Cross House
When Cody posited his question I had not a clue what early 1890s light switches looked like.
A day later I knew a few things, and what I learned startled me:
- The Cross House retained, perhaps, a single original switch in situ!
- It is possible that there were no other switches in the whole house, as lighting fixtures of the period were normally controlled at the fixture rather than by a remote switch.
- The Cross House, likely, did not have a single electric outlet.
Golly. Who knew?
Then Meg and Cory asked if I could find out more about the one original switch in the telephone closet. Did it have a patent date?
I had no idea!
The telephone closet is the only place with an original switch in place. And, again, this may have been the only switch in the house in 1894.
The telephone closet is unique for several reasons, and I suspect these reasons are why this room had a switch:
- The closet is, by far, the smallest room in the house meant to be inhabited.
- The closet is the only inhabited room with an operable transom window (extant).
I would be surprised if the closet had a gas/electric sconce as the space is SO tiny. So, I assume a pendant fixture hanging from the ceiling. I am also assuming a gas/electric pendant, hence the transom window to keep a person from getting asphyxiated. (The ceiling is gone as is any evidence of What Was.)
But why a wall switch? Why not just reach up and flick the turn/key on the socket as with every other fixture in the house?
I do not know.