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BAKELITE | Old Portuguese Stuff


These were found in an old shop in Porto, still ran by an old couple who does all the accounting and expenses with pen and paper. They’re not made anymore, and they don’t comply with EU electrical standards, so functionality is limited. But the designs are beautiful and still typical in hundreds of old houses who got electrified in the mid/early 20th C. The clicking sound they make is forever part of my childhood memories from our country house (which still has them).
The examples here were made by two companies: SIPE in the South and EMIR in the North. Not a lot of information is availabe online about these now obscure companies whose final stock has almost disappeared. There are outlets as well, and exterior switches. I have seen other models (such as a flat circular switch, which was installed at my grandparent’s) and similar (but functioning) designs can be bought from German and British companies, based on contemporary models. These to me retain the unpretentious softness which characterizes my favorite Portuguese designs.

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