Wylex 60 Amp switches. Box of 6, 4 present. Flat brown cardboard box with red printing containing brown bakelite switch.
Part of the Bob Gray collection of electrical objects.
During the 1950s, as electricity use in the home grew and people bought more appliances, they needed to upgrade old wiring installations. The best way to do this was a full re-wire of the house. Many people did not want to do this as it was too expensive. Instead, they would fit additional fuse boxes to supply new circuits. These were sometimes attached to double pole isolators such as this 60 amp Wylex unit. Double pole switches are used when isolation or repair is done on electrical circuits so there an absolute guarantee of full isolation even if live and neutral have accidentally been reversed. A switch like this would not have been switched on and off every day like a light switch. It was used only when isolation was required. These switches were first invented in the era when 'fuse boxes' and isolators were separate pieces of hardware. The two functions were brought together to create one-piece 'consumer units' in the 1960s.