Electrical adapters: The key to world peace?

plugAs Adam and I prepare for a vacation to Italy, we’re busy packing the essentials — sunscreen, walking shoes, and, unfortunately, raincoats. But one of the weirdest things we’re trying to figure out is which technology adapters to bring.

Wouldn’t it be great to say that we’ll go tech-free on this trip — you know, when in Rome, live as the ancient Romans did? It would be nice, but we’d have no maps, no hotel confirmations, no ways to charge our camera, no ways to call my mom and tell her we’re still alive, and really, really wet hair. So, adapters it is.

The funny part is that we knew that each continent has its own plug style and need for a different adapter — but apparently Italy is not on the “Europe” adapter system, and even within Italy, we may need at least two different adapters.

I would just like to know how this came to be.

Did “electricity” come to the world at different times? Obviously electricity was discovered in a playground by the playful, kite-flying Benjamin Franklin (who still doesn’t have a musical written about him?); so was America the first place to get adapters? Woo hoo! Eureka! My fellow Americans, we now have electricity, so you can all finally charge your dead cell phones. Let’s give ourselves immediate access to electricity in every room of our house in the form of electrical sockets — but just for fun, when we’re building hotel rooms, let’s only give each room one electrical socket and we’ll put it behind the dresser, just to poke fun at tourists.

Then the other countries got jealous. Why does America have electricity and we don’t? Let’s get some of that powerful juice in our countries.

According to WorldStandards.eu, each type of plug around the world has a different name, and they go up alphabetically from A to O. (Unclear if AB+ and O- are still in the works.) Types A and B are for North America and Japan (naturally), Type C is for Europe, South America, and Asia; Type D is for India. Then you get to Type L, which is used in Italy and Chile.

Are these plugs in the order in which the countries received Ben Franklin’s magical spark? Do the countries that share a plug have an alliance? I know I’m definitely looking forward to all of the Chilean food that will be available in Italy.

It’s 2016 … are we getting close to a universal world adapter? I can think of no better way to bring together our very different countries around the world than letting everyone charge their cell phones together. May we all live to see the day when all electrical devices, no matter their country of origin or immigration status, can share an electrical wall of peace and harmony.


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