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Plugging In

November 13, 2014

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Profile America — Thursday, November 13th. Even the most mundane items we take for granted have to be invented by someone. This month 110 years ago, that someone was Connecticut inventor Harvey Hubbell. In November 1904, he received a patent for the world's first detachable electric plug: the two-, now sometimes three-prong plug familiar to us today. Remarkable as it sounds, at the time electric terminals would extend out from a wall, and any electrical device had to be hardwired to them. A time consuming process with a chance of electrocution. Hubbell was no one-hit wonder, as in the 1890s he created an electric switch and patented the pull-chain electric light socket. Electrical supplies for builders and homeowners are available at nearly 29,000 locations in the U.S., including 6,500 home centers and 12,500 hardware stores. Profile America is in its 18th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sources:
Worlds First Detachable Electric Plug
Hubbell Investor
Electrical supplies/NAICS 4441


Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: October 23, 2014