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Tom Scott Talks British Plug Superiority

Gareth Halfacree

Tom Scott, one of the most fascinating people to ever appear on YouTube, has posted a video best described as a love letter to the great British mains plug. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about good ol' British Standard 1363, you're almost guaranteed to learn something from his demonstrations - including how the standard was influenced by post-WW2 copper shortages and its ongoing impact on safety.

I get a little bit patriotic sometimes, and sometimes that's for comedy purposes and sometimes it's genuine, and this is genuine, because I really do believe that the British plug is one of the greatest designs that has ever hit the world, for loads of reasons.
You've got to remember that until 1992 the British government did not require that electrical appliances had plugs on them. If you bought a toaster or a washing machine you would get, almost always, a bare wire on the end, and you were expected to wire the plug yourself. So I got taught how to wire a plug at school, as that was still a required skill back then.
You can also remember that brown is live because that's the colour your trousers will go if you accidentally hit yourself with it.

The video forms part of Tom's Things You Might Not Know series, available on his YouTube channel, while his other work can be found on his website.

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