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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Coin operated electricty in the 1930's-40's era

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My father was telling me that back in the day you had to have a device placed in your home for, I believe he said electricity.  I could be mistaken, it may have been for heat.  My dad was born in 1941 and said he was very young but he remembers this mechanism but just can't think of the name of it or what it looked like.  Is this true, and if so do you have some sort of a photo of this utility device?  Thank you!

Answer
Then...
Then...  

...and now!
...and now!  
Hi again Lisa-
I have found out a couple interesting things about the coin operated electric meter.
They are still in use in Ireland, and many of the world's largest cities. Landlords use them for multi-tenant shared spaces. Brilliant!
Here are some photos to share with you!
Now these meters did not control your entire households electricity. Each meter operated a few appliances or switches. You would unplug, say, your radio and plug in your vacuum,  pop the coins in, and there you have it!

Have a fantastic weekend-
Brandi

American Artifacts: the antique experts
New Philadelphia, Ohio

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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