Harvey Hubbell

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Harvey Hubbell II
Harvey Hubbell.jpg
Harvey Hubbell II
BornDec 20 1858
Brooklyn, Kings County, New York
DiedDecember 17, 1927(1927-12-17) (aged 70)
ResidenceUnited States
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical engineering
InstitutionsHarvey Hubbell, Incorporated

Harvey Hubbell II (December 20 1858 - December 17, 1927), was an American inventor, entrepreneur and industrialist. His best-known inventions are the U.S. electrical plug[1] and the pull-chain light socket.[2]

In 1888, at the age of thirty-one, Hubbell quit his job as a manager of a manufacturing company and founded Hubbell Incorporated in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a company which is still in business today, still headquartered near Bridgeport. Hubbell began manufacturing consumer products and, by necessity, inventing manufacturing equipment for his factory. Some of the equipment he designed included automatic tapping machines and progressive dies for blanking and stamping. One of his most important industrial inventions, still in use today, is the thread rolling machine. He quickly began selling his newly devised manufacturing equipment alongside his commercial products.

Hubbell received at least 45 patents,[3] most of which were for electric products. The pull-chain electrical light socket was patented in 1896, and his most famous invention, the U.S. electrical power plug, in 1904. It brought the convenience of portable electrical devices, already enjoyed in Great Britain since the early 1880s, to the U.S.[4] Hubbell was also granted a patent in 1916 for a three-bladed power plug, which Australian regulators and electrical accessory manufacturers adopted as the standard for that country in the 1930s. It was also adopted in New Zealand, Argentina and, with a minor variation, China.[5]


  1. ^ U.S. Patent #774,250, Separable Attachment Plug
  2. ^ U.S. Patent #565,541, Socket for Incandescent Lamps
  3. ^ "Hubbell Sockets". Antique Light Sockets. Retrieved 2010-07-10. Between 1896 and 1909 he was granted 45 patents on a wide variety of electrical products.
  4. ^ John Mellanby, "The History of Electric Wiring" (1957), p165, London: Macdonald.
  5. ^ "Power plug & outlet Type I". World Standards. Retrieved 2017-10-10.

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