Weird wall outlet

Does anyone know what this outlet is and what function it serves? There are four of them in my living room.

It’s a very old 300 ohm unshielded antenna outlet. If the antenna is in the attic, it will probably still work, but that connector is at least 30 years old, so it it’s on the roof, it will not work. Anyway, there is too much interference these days to use unshielded cable any more.

Are you in an apartment/duplex?
It says TV, if I had to guess, it might have cable hooked up to the back of it and if you want cable TV, you’d contact the landlord who would rent you an adapter for it. Either that or it attached to an antenna.

You could just pop the other screw off and see what’s on the other side of the plate. That might provide a hint.

ETA it’s one of my pet peeves when people don’t take wall plates off before they paint. It only takes a few minutes and it looks so much better. Compared to how much extra time it takes to try and paint around them, it’s not worth it to not do it.

It says TV on it. My guess is that an antenna would plug into that. It looks more like one of the variations of a telephone jack. I know I’ve seen a three-pronged plug like that before and it wasn’t connected to my TV.

Here’s a pic of another one. It’s “vintage”–put it on ebay!

Thanks. Antenna is what I was thinking myself but it just struck me as odd how many of them there are and I’ve never seen a plug quite like it before.

Four of them in one room does seem excessive. Maybe they rearranged the furniture frequently.

It’s definitely not cable. No cable or Master Antenna system I’ve ever encountered was distributed as 300 ohm. The third prong is for a shield. If you take the cover off, you’ll find 300 ohm twinlead with an outer metal foil shield and a drain wire. This is a cable so obscure that Google Image search doesn’t find any photographs of it.

if they are on each wall then you could place a set anywhere without a cable to trip over.

similar jacks were used for AM and FM radio antennas.

You mean something like this? There was one similar at the back of an alcove in the early-1930s house I grew up in, though I remember the angled slot being more in line with the straight one. Worked wonderfully with a crystal set I built when I was a wee Ottlet (I was told that the aerial ran the entire length of the house, right at the peak).

I understand they fell out of favor in the 1940s when it was decided that having power and radio connections in the same box wasn’t the brightest idea ever concocted. In any case, the more modern radios didn’t need a dedicated ground connection.

Only for a while, I have my Internet running “Through” my house wiring, I have thought of taking one of the boxes over to the neighbors houses just to see how far away it will work.

It’s a plug for an antenna. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, before we could get cable tv, we had 3 of them in our house. They all were attached to an antenna on the roof, and they were absolutely identical to the OP’s pic.

I’m not sure if I’m remembering this right, but I think some antennas with rotators had a 3 wire setup that would have made an outlet like this handy.

But regardless of antenna connection type, that’s a lot of plates for one room.

rotors/rotators would have more than three wires.

flat twin lead is somewhat fragile and you don’t want long runs of it through traffic areas. also tv sets back then were consoles and couldn’t always be placed anywhere in the room. having a antenna jack on each wall was deluxe but not without good reason.

That IS weird. I remember growing up having 300 ohm TV antenna cables coming out of wall plates, but they were always 2-wire affairs carried in a narrow ribbon cable. Usually the wall plate had just one (half-inch) hole in it through which the ribbon cable ran.

It’s for a 3 prong antenna plug: