Posted 15 days ago
Here's a small group of vintage LEVOLIER branded light switch items (plus one LEVITON branded, for comparison) from my 'old lamp parts' collection. ;-) :-) The LEVOLIER switch mechanism, patented by the McGill Electric Co. about 1939 (I think?) was/is a very clever, rather highly engineered 'pull-chain' switch which, unlike most other typical designs, worked equally well when pulled from literally any direction or angle whatsoever, due to its unique external 'rocker' lever (which I've tried to show the function of in pic#4) which only needs to be tilted away from the switch body itself (in any direction) to actuate, instead of a short bit of bead-chain needing to actually be pulled out from within the switch body. (which can tend to 'catch' when pulled sideways from the switch body without a well designed ferrule or fixture to help guide the chain)
The LEVITON switch (made by the LEVITON Company, a different firm) is a conventionally designed pull-chain switch of similar vintage to the brass LEVOLIERS, and is the one with both a small length of wire and string remaining on it in the pics.
The LEVOLIERS include two brass-cased switches of different sizes, two identical brown bakelite cased switches, and one built into a brass cased light bulb socket. All the brass ones likely date from the 1940's-50's, the bakelite ones are probably somewhat newer.