What is that outlet on this old-fashioned rolling cart for?

I was at an elderly relative’s house and in the kitchen was a 30 year old white enameled 3-shelf rolling cart. There was an outlet thing on it, to plug appliances into, I would guess. But what was it used for, where did you plug in the cart itself? Did it originally come with an electrical cord of its own?

You plugged a warming tray, coffee pot, etc. into the cart, then plugged the cart into a long extension cord. The reason you didn’t plug the appliances directly into a long cord was that if someone kicked the cord, it wouldn’t knock the cart over as easily.

Just like the AV club used in high school.

My mother had a Cosco kitchen cart exactly like this one. For years a toaster sat on it, when I bought her a microwave it went on it. The microwave required a 3 hole outlet so I removed the factory power strip and installed a modern version. After my mom passed, it took the cart and used it for many years. I sold it at a garage sale and for all I know, it’s still in use.

thanks for the answers, I don’t know why I was wondering about such a simple thing, of course the cart would have to have its’ own electrical cord to be plugged into a wall outlet!

Oh wow, that ugly thing brought back memories. I think we had that exact thing in my kitchen when I was a kid. We moved when I was 5, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t take it with us.

Hadn’t thought about it until just now.

We had one by at least the mid-50s. 3 shelves, white, two-wheels and two knob-ends. A handle on the knobbed side to lift and move around on the wheels.

There were two outlets on the edge of the top shelf. The one thing that fascinated me about them is the outlets had rotating covers. Stick the plug into the cover holes, turn and then finish sliding in.

It had stopped pretty much being used for service after just a few years and just sat in the garage as a tool storage thing.

I still today am given these things to set up presentations at various educational institutions throughout Southern California.

In general, there weren’t as many things to plug in in the past, so houses and schools didn’t have so many power outlets built into the walls. Carts of this kind would more and more become useful.

Compare to now, where there’s a power outlet under every waiting room seat in the airport, to charge digital devices.

we have industrial carts at work which have integrated power strips w/captive cords, but these things are big and heavy and it would take a lot to tip one over. snagging the cable ain’t gonna do it.

Our whole house (built in 1954) had those outlets. They were 2-prong, not grounded. Called tamper-resistant or child-safe outlets. (Still available today, with updated rotating or slide designs. Cost about 4 times the regular outlet price.)

They were supposed to prevent toddlers from sticking forks, etc. into outlets & getting electrocuted. But my parents said that the fact that they rotated, and had a little spring inside to snap them back to the safe position, just made them more attractive to me & my sister than the regular plain outlets. So they got us a big bag of wooden popsicle sticks to use rather than metal silverware on them. We soon found it was more fun to build things from popsicle sticks than play with the outlets.