Monday, October 26, 2015

The electric chair switch.

I have a pretty good eye for cool stuff and it's pretty astonishing as to what I have snagged over the years.

One of the things I'll have to dig out is this HUGE knife switch I scored somewhere along the line. It's MASSIVE and old and neat and just plain cool. It was about a foot long!

It looks like it came out of a Frankenstein movie or maybe was the turner-oner of 'Old Sparky', the electric chair in an old James Cagney movie.

Anyway I had it bolted to a wall and hooked up for a while. All ti did was turn on an end lamp with a 40 watt bulb in it. Stil, it was inspiring to turn on a light with such a switch.

Of course, someone just had to play with it and got themselves a nice 110 snap and I figured that in this day and age I had to take it down.

It galled me. I figure we ought to change the rules and remove all the safety stickers off of things and let the problem of stupidity simply fix itself. However, that's not the way it is.

It's a shame, though. It would be fun to read about idiots that tied the safety device and lifted a running lawn mower up to trim hedges with or some other dopey thing.

Eventually a woman visiting my wife asked me about it and I reached into the Piccolo bag of B.S.

"It's from the old Oklahoma electric chair that they fried my great-uncle Dave in back in '34."

"Really? What did he do?"

"It was when the banks were foreclosing on all sorts of farms during the dust bowl years. He robbed a bank and besides the money he went into the back room and took a bunch of deeds and gave them to the farmers, saving their farms.  He was quite a local hero for a while."

"They executed him for that?" she asked.

"No. Someone eventually ratted him out and he was excecuted for his unruly conduct during the heated and rather loud discussion that followed."

"They executed him for that?" she asked.

"The discussion was conducted with Tommy guns and afterwards they buried three FBI agents. It led to the FBI intensifying their firearm training."

I watched her figure it out.

"Oh," she said, turning a little red.

"Anyway after Oklahoma went from the electric chair to lethal enjection they removed the chair. I wrote the warden explaining that the chair executed my great-uncle Dave and asked if I could have a part of it as a family heirloom and he sent that switch to me."

"Really?" she asked again.

"There's the switch," I replied. "A genuine electric chair switch."

Of course she ran her mouth and it didn't take long before the neighbors started asking me about it. Most of them knew it was likely a tall tale and were amused when I fed them the details.

Which reminds me. I ought to dig the switch out out sometime. Maybe hang it somewhere but I'm not going to hook it up again.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY


  1. Hook up a 12 VDC power supply to something and let the switch control it. The switch could control a a relay enabling you to run an AC device(s). An alarm, a strobe light and a rotating red gumball would be interesting

  2. Good thinking!

    Maybe get some oak and make a replica of Old Sparky.

    Imagine sitting down in front of the TV in an electric chair!