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Boxes and a century gone by


No doubt about it. In addition to the tools of the trade, the installer is sure to have the famous, humble and necessary plastic shunt boxes. And if the customer asks for an extra one during system installation, its cost is such that we can afford to leave it out of the final tally. Yet we should remember that, although shunt boxes may be a "poor" product, nowadays their characteristics are of primary importance.

Just look at the Scame catalogue.


The Scame enclosures

The Domino series offers bases and covers of various shape and size. Additional wall-mounted units can be found in the Scabox and Cubik series, both fitted with cable gland knockouts according to the cable used and both available in different sizes .



We also find the series of round, square and rectangular flush-mounting boxes called Wbox, that can also be used for telephone systems. The series also offers dividers used to divide the space inside the box according to one's needs.

The Wbox has a degree of protection of IP40, with operating temperatures between



-25°C and +60°C. The material is a technical polymer with resistance IK04-IK07 (the Wbox cover satisfies the requirements of standard EN 60670-1 Enclosures for fixed electric installations for domestic and similar uses. Part 1: General requirements and resistance to saline solutions, diluted bases, mineral oils and UV rays.


Metal too

Moreover, for those who prefer metal, we have junction boxes in aluminium alloy, same material as in the Alubox series of junction boxes, which satisfy the requirements of Standard EN 60670-22 Enclosures for equipment for fixed electric installations for domestic or similar use. Part 22: particular requirements for protection boxes and enclosures. These boxes feature high resistance to chemical agents: saline solutions as well as diluted acids and bases, mineral oils and UV rays



In the Wado series, you can find boxes that hold equipment well suited to the trunkings available in the same series.

As you can see, there is something for everyone: you are only spoilt for choice, and the price is truly irrelevant compared to the total cost of the installation.


A century ago

But how were things done a century ago?

We can find a few basic principles of industrial archaeology in texts dating back to such a period.

A document from 1901 even shows the prices.

One cble union and shunt box with 1 conductor, air insulation 770 x 520 mm for six pairs of 3 cables with 1 conductor, for three-wire system including valves, clamps, etc. ..........Lira 500.

Once circular box for concentric cables diameter 600 mm. For 5 or 6 cables, oil insulation ......Lira 440.

From the size (and the period), the list above certainly refers to industrial installation, but if we could ask someone living at that time, they would be able to give us an idea of the value of 500 or 440 liras, which was a lot more than they are worth today.

Below is a passage taken from a book written at the same time (1901).

A number of boxes with different shapes, equipped with accessories, can be used for the necessary shunting, connections, distributions and interruptions, etc. etc. [...] These boxes contain safety valves, switches, etc.. [..] In Italy , there is widespread use of wooden boxes or lists, with slots to hold insulated wires. They can be screwed into wooden wedges fitted into walls or on ceilings, and are covered up with smooth or shaped covers. [...] Safety regulations prohibit this installation system, as it provides poor results when the wooden laths are used in humid environments or with poorly insulated wires. [...] Porcelain washers are also used, arranging them between the wooden laths and the walls to keep them apart, although they are not very attractive...

It is also interesting to see an estimate from that same year, for boxes made by the Bergmann company:


12 different boxes......................Lira 9.60

12 covers for said boxes................Lira 3.20


That was 111 years ago but, as you can see, apart from the same issues associated with cost, functionality, safety and appearance (today we would say design), things have changed quite a bit.



Learn more
- Products: SCABOX Series
- Products: CUBIK Series
- Products: WBOX Series
- Products: ALUBOX Series




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