Crabtree light switches

1950-1960 in Walsall
Crabtree light switches with  box photographed on a white background.

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Crabtree light switches with box photographed on a white background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Crabtree light switches, box. Brown cardboard box containing square brown toggle light switches.

Part of the Bob Gray collection of electrical objects.

From the Victorian "jelly mould" light switch to the minimalist designs of the 1990s, light switches have constantly changed to reflect advancing technology and changing tastes. They have also been shaped by other factors such as disability and safety legislation. These Crabtree toggle light switches date from the 1950s and are composed of brown bakelite-type plastic common in the fittings of the 1930s: but their shape reflects streamlined modern design styles popular in the 1950s. A few years after these switches were made advances in plastics meant that white became the most popular colour for domestic electrical fittings and brown phenolic plastic such as this fell rapidly out of fashion.


Electricity Supply
Object Number:
paper (fibre product) and plastic (unidentified)
67 mm x 185 mm, 258 mm, 1.1 kg
light switch
Mr Robert Gray