Skip to content

Not sure how to describe it… almost looks like a miniature pull-cord coming out of my ceiling on a chain. House is an old miner’s cottage dating back to at least the 1940s. Any idea?

More info: It’s about 2-3 inches wide and protrudes about 3 inches. Not entirely sure what it’s made from, only that it seems hollow when I tap it. I know my house used to be 2 houses and my bedroom is next to the bathroom if that’s any relevance. I’ve asked a few people and nobody has a clue. One person suggested it was something to do with a tv aerial but I highly doubt that.

No photo description available.

Some of the answers:

  1. Looks like a ceiling light switch – missing the pull cord.
  2. Yes. Bed used to be underneath it.
  3. This seems plausible, given that the bathroom is next door and also has a pull cord. And I know my house used to be 2 houses so my room could have maybe been a bathroom?
  4. In older homes pull cords were also put over the beds so you could switch on/off the light without getting out of the bed.
  5. This switch over the bed and the other switch by the door would be wired for two-way switching, so you could switch on or off from either place.Judging by its shape, the dome and pattress would be made of porcelain, and probably date from the 1940s or earlier. Having replaced and dismantled many of these over the years, I wouldn’t expect to find any asbestos in its structure, but I can’t answer for the Artex (vile stuff!).
  6. Why did we ever get rid of those? How convenient!
  7. They probably lost popularity when it became feasible to have multiple lamps in a room.Pull cord switches are convenient but also relatively fragile.

    We also have The Clapper now, lol.

  8. Still very popular in Irish bathrooms. No chance of getting electrocuted
  9. The UK too, part of the raft of electrical standards that emerged from the post-war rebuilding committees that were set up circa 1940. Same thing that gave us the three-pin plug, the standardised bayonet cap and the ring main.
    Presumably post-Emergency Ireland adopted similar standards on the ground that if somebody else had already done the hard work and was making the parts it would be rude not to benefit.
  10. Why are these no longer a thing?!
  11. Went out of fashion I guess. There are still some suppliers that have them in their catalog, but have not seen one used in this way in any recent home.
  12. Because they cost extra money to install, which impacts the CEO’s bonus.
  13. Posher houses might also have had a second pull cord attached (via a complex cable system) to a bell in the kitchen for summoning a maid.
  14. It’s a pull cord for a switch that has the cord gone now
  15. I love that ceiling.
  16. Pull cord for a light switch. Be careful with that, a lot of those old fittings used asbestos as an insulator.
  17. Also the artex on it and around it has small amounts of asbestos in it.
  18. It’s a pull-cord switch.It’s normal that they have a fixed portion of the cord (your chain) then a connector to which you attach the cord that you will actually pull. This means that when the cord gets damaged/dirty then it can be removed and replaced. The screw fitting you can see there at the end of the chain was quite a common connector.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment!

Read More: What are these glass things attached to the cieling? They’re all over the house by the windows. House was built between 2010-2015.

In the quaint setting of an old miner’s cottage, nestled in the embrace of history dating back to the 1940s, residents sometimes stumble upon peculiar artifacts that seem to defy explanation. One such mystery that has piqued curiosity and sparked conversations is the enigmatic miniature pull-cord dangling from the ceiling, reminiscent of a bygone era.

For those uninitiated, encountering such an oddity might lead to a flurry of questions and a search for answers. What purpose could this diminutive contraption serve? Is it a remnant of the past, silently narrating tales of bygone days?

At first glance, it may seem like an ordinary fixture, easily overlooked amidst the rustic charm of the cottage. However, upon closer inspection, its uniqueness becomes apparent. Suspended from the ceiling by a slender chain, it exudes an aura of antiquity, hinting at a time when functionality trumped aesthetics in home design.

Intriguingly, the origin and intended use of this mysterious apparatus remain shrouded in ambiguity. Its resemblance to a pull-cord ignites speculation, prompting imaginations to wander through the corridors of history in search of clues.

Could it be a relic from a bygone era when manual mechanisms governed everyday tasks? In the context of a miner’s cottage, one can’t help but speculate about its potential connection to the mining industry. Perhaps it served as a rudimentary signaling device, allowing miners to communicate or operate machinery with simplicity and efficiency.

Alternatively, it may have fulfilled a more mundane yet indispensable role in household operations. Was it part of an archaic lighting system, enabling residents to illuminate their abode with a simple tug? Such conjectures, while speculative, evoke a sense of nostalgia for a time when ingenuity thrived amidst simplicity.

Delving into the annals of history, one discovers that the 1940s marked a period of transition, where innovation intersected with tradition. In the context of a miner’s cottage, this dichotomy becomes even more pronounced, as residents grappled with the dual challenges of industry and domesticity.

As inhabitants of the modern age, we are often captivated by relics of the past, eager to unravel their secrets and glean insights into bygone lifestyles. The miniature pull-cord in the old miner’s cottage serves as a tangible reminder of this enduring fascination, prompting contemplation and speculation among those who encounter it.

In a world dominated by sleek gadgets and automated conveniences, the simplicity of yesteryears holds a certain allure. The miniature pull-cord, with its unassuming presence and timeless charm, invites us to pause and reflect on the passage of time, reminding us that amidst the march of progress, traces of the past linger on, waiting to be discovered and cherished.

So, the next time you find yourself in the company of antiquity, be it in an old miner’s cottage or elsewhere, take a moment to appreciate the mysteries that abound. For in the quiet corners of history, amidst the dust of ages, lie stories waiting to be told and secrets longing to be unveiled.


Facebook Comments Box