Plugs and cords

The early BBC Control Rooms were based on telephone exchanges and used pluggable cables with jack-plugs: the one in the photo looks complicated enough but is actually a much simplified one used for training at the BBC's Engineering Training Department at Wood Norton, near Evesham: I took the photo when I was there in the Spring of 1962.

The main problem, as it was explained to us, with plug-and-cord Control Rooms is that it's all right as long as one man can handle it all: but as soon as you need two men, each has to spend half his time explaining to the other what he's doing, so then you need three men, and each has to spend two-thirds of his time.... and so on.

Plugs and cords were replaced by uniselectors at the end of the 1950s - in fact when I joined in 1961 (in Bush House Control Room) the plug and cord Control Room in Broadcasting House was still in operation, and you couldn't see the bays containing the sockets for the cables - and later by electronic switching.

Click here to see a large version of the photo.

Posted: Sun - November 18, 2007 at 08:24 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM