Wall Plate Identification
July 16, 2008 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Identify this wall plate.

This wall plate is in my mother-in-law's old house, built late 1950's/early 1960's. No one knows what it's connected to or what its function is. It's in the baseboard molding along the floor in the living room, if that helps.
posted by mr_crash_davis to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Looks a lot like an old style Bell phone jack.
posted by tinkertown at 9:42 AM on July 16, 2008

mounting screws for a little square telephone extension terminal box.
posted by quonsar at 9:43 AM on July 16, 2008

I doubt Bell phone jack. They had 4 holes for the plug, and not square. This looks like the 4 holes in a square shape are just screws to mount, with the business end being the 2 dark holes in the middle.

I am reminded of a European AC outlet, but I'm assuming this is USA.
I'm also reminded of the kind of connection for a roof-mounted TV antenna.

Take off the 4 screws, remove the plate, and see what type of wire lurks there.
posted by MtDewd at 10:44 AM on July 16, 2008

Check out this earlier thread?
posted by perpetualstroll at 10:45 AM on July 16, 2008

Looks like 300 ohm twinlead antenna socket. (You know, the flat brown antenna wire. )
posted by FauxScot at 11:51 AM on July 16, 2008

What's the distance between the holes?
posted by Neiltupper at 2:40 PM on July 16, 2008

there were numerous types of phone terminals, the one i was thinking of was two pieces. the base mounted on the wall with 4 screws, and contained a terminal block with 4 screws, usually marked R(ed), G(reen), B(lack), Y(ellow). feedline came in through the bottom (back) and was affixed to the terminal screws via spade lug under a small washer. the telephone device was hard-wired to the terminal screws, sometimes with spade lugs, sometimes the solid copper was shaped into a hook and fastened between the washer and the screw head. the top piece snapped or screwed on with a center screw.

they still used this internal terminal block arrangement even after the advent of the ubiquitous RJ11 jack. in those setups the RJ11 generally was mounted in the top piece and hard-wired to the terminal block. i would guess this was so that the RJ11 could be replaced without replacing the entire thing.

in any event, what crash has pictured above is almost certainly a wall mount and not a jack of any sort. the old phone stuff was high quality. nothing attached directly to a wall, it attached to a wall plate, and thus whatever was mounted could tear loose and bear the brunt of abuse while preserving your wall and mount.
posted by quonsar at 3:48 PM on July 16, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. I haven't actually seen this in person; that picture was sent to me by my son from his phone. When I am over there next I will pull the plate and see what (if any) wiring is behind it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:10 AM on July 17, 2008

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