vintage-switch-plateBirgitta writes: “I am wondering if this was a common feature in the 1950’s?  It turns on/off nine lights and there is another one in the back of the house.”

Well, this a new one to me. I have never seen this feature in person, or in a magazine. What do you think, retro renovators?

  1. Kingola says:

    Birgitta, yours is a low voltage system made by Sierra Electric originally.

    They went out of business, but were bought by Pass and Seymour who still make the switches and, I believe, the straps needed to install them.

    The shape of the switches is called “Despard”.

    In the master bedroom at our place, we have a switch with the rotary just like you have, its very cool.

    As the relays have gone south, they have been replaced by GE RR7s, which do the job just fine.

    One place to seek wall plates and switches would be here:

    If you were to find an online Pass and Seymour catalog, simply type “despard” in the search and the proper section will come up.

    They are still making the switches in a variety of colors, too…



  2. pam kueber says:

    Thanks, Kingola, for these tips and for sharing your experience. However I do want to add to Birgitta and others: Consult with licensed professionals when dealing with environmental and safety issues in your homes — and I would put electrical issues squarely in this category.

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