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Third Taxing District

2 Second Street
Norwalk, CT 06855

kevin kilowatt

Nobody really ever thinks about this, but why do electrical plugs have holes in them?

harvey hubbellBack in 1913, a scientist and inventor by the name of Harvey Hubbell patented the United States electrical plug socket. He was the original inventor of the two holes in US plugs people are so familiar with today. Those original two holes were designed to prevent the plug from falling out of the socket, which of course made sense – then.

Today, however, the sockets are a completely different design, relying on friction to prevent the plug from falling out – which renders those holes useless.

One idea out there – which is likely a myth – is that way back then (1930s) those two holes could allow someone to lock a plug with a plug lock, preventing someone from using a particular device or appliance. However, plug locks weren’t invented until the 1950s.

When plug holes were no longer needed, the reason as to why plugs still have those two holes in them today is quite simply because people expect them.

So today, holes in plugs don’t add any value or hold any purpose whatsoever. You might have never thought this before, but just know that if they were missing, the plug would still work perfectly fine.

P.S. Also, think of the metal that’s saved by not “filling in” the holes!