Why aren't there universal sockets in every country?

While the Americans developed the power delivery systems and the modern electric plug, other countries didn’t find the American standards [60 Hz, 110V and their plug system] as efficient.

Thus, each country started improving on their own what they thought was an inefficient way to deliver electricity. Germans liked the 50Hz [nicely fit with metric system] and 220 V [more efficient power transmission] much better. Englishmen improved upon on the American plug with a much safer [and bulky] plug.

Unfortunately for the Indians and Pakistanis their innovation in plug came after they left India in 1947, leaving the subcontinent in the older English standards and the English in newer plug standard. England and Europe don’t talk very much [let’s not get into Brexit now] and thus Europe didn’t adopt the English standard either.

Before that the world wars came in and pushed back all talks of standardization. Oh you want to use the plug system of the Germans? No way.

Then there was the unique ways in which electricity was delivered and charged. Italy for a long time had different systems for delivery electricity for bulbs vs non-illumination use. They just developed their own plug system to work with that requirement. Thus, each system of plugs had their own advantages suitable for their system and countries didn’t accept one system to be better than another.

Once you have picked one system of electric plugs, it is not easy to switch [no pun intended] to an another. You need to rip apart all the wall sockets in every home, office and factory, and also change stuff in your electrical appliance production. You need to do it all at once to prevent accidents and that will be very painful & expensive. That shock [no pun intended] and pain is not usually worth it. Most countries found that the travelers who wanted to carry their electrical equipments are not really that many [why would you take you microwave oven or TV during your travel?] while there are easier work arounds for charging electronic equipments through USB standards. Thus, there is not really a push to accept the global standards [the Type N plug].

In summary, every country evolved their own system in parallel to replace what they thought was an inefficient American system and by the time they talked to each other there were 2 world wars [pushing out all talks of standardization]. By the end of the World War 2, electricity was ubiquitous and it was a very painful to switch to a common standard & there was very little demand for such a switch.

This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever wondered why sockets are not universal? Do you think we should come to the one and only standard?

#History #Society #Quora


What are your thoughts on this subject?
Ashley Mallion
At last U.K. world beaters!
Jun 4, 2019 4:33PM
Joy Desreaux
Very interesting
Jun 1, 2019 5:46PM
Jennifer Dyster
240 volt in Australia. I have a collection of adapter plugs US, UK, India etc
May 19, 2019 6:41AM
Darlene Davidson
Very good.
May 12, 2019 5:33PM
Ian Swindale
But at least there is an adapter that can be used to fit all plugs - that's right isn't it?
Feb 16, 2019 11:11AM
You left Australia which ha complydifferent plug Japan has same US plug but only 100 volts so everything is slower to operate
Feb 14, 2019 4:48PM
WOW! I did not know that. I travel a lot but never need these plugs. Thank you for an informative and learning trivia.
Dec 27, 2018 6:53PM
Jacky Pierce Friedman
Very informative and interesting I must say. Love these types of posts/articles.
Sep 29, 2018 11:01PM
It’s crazy. I almost caused. Major fire in an old hotel in Scotland. Tried to use my wife’s hairdryer with a converter plug, whoops!.
Sep 27, 2018 4:49PM
Interesting, would have been better with a few photos tho
Sep 14, 2018 6:48PM
Gery Tillmanns
Every country worldwide has different electrical grids offering voltage ranging from 200v to 600v
Aug 31, 2018 7:55PM
Luis Perez
Thanks for bringing back memories of the difficulties I had traveling to these countries, and trying to use the hotel sockets. Always had to ask for help.
Aug 5, 2018 8:49PM
Michael Hamilton
Like it. I’ve lived extensively in Germany, UK and the USA and have to use adapters quite a lot.
Aug 4, 2018 6:41PM
John Puza
I think the sockets should be standardized!!!
Jul 29, 2018 7:58AM
Dave Woodward
Paul Backus, Yes they do Paul. The entire British Isles including the Channel islands have the same power and plugs
Jul 27, 2018 4:59PM

People also liked

Interesting Facts

You never knew these 8 facts were actually true! 8/7/2021

Get ready for a set of big surprises, as you definitely never expected these 8 facts to be true...

Read more

#Science #Society #Nature

Zen Buddhist wisdom that will bring peace to your soul 8/3/2021

Here are pieces of Buddhist philosophy that will help you to look inside and discover the truth about yourself.

Read more

#Society #spiritual #inspiration

7 images that depict life from a different point of view 8/11/2021

In today’s post, we would be sharing these seven photos that show life from another perspective.

Read more

#Culture #History #Society #Nature

9 things that should be used to make our lives easier 8/15/2021

With these nine images, we would be showing things that should be used worldwide to make our lives better!

Read more

#Culture #Society

7 things people never expected to see 8/8/2021

These pictures of unusual objects people stumbled upon and had a chance to take a picture of will absolutely blow your mind!

Read more

#Society #photography