The 1st Edition of the Wiring Regulations was one page long and had 21 rules – The latest edition has 463 pages and 1274 regulations.
The 1st Edition was actually called 'Rules and Regulations for the Prevention of Fire Risks arising from Electric Lighting' (catchy!) Since then there has been a further five name changes.
There were only 10 books issued from 1882-1939 a period of 57 years.
We might be coming up to the 18th Edition, but if you include all the amendments and various associated books there have actually been 46 in total.
The 7th Edition (1916) made reference to electric table cloths which were the height of fashion at the time. These were table cloths with an electric current running through them which lit up in the dark – we dread to think what might have happened if a drink was spilled.
The first mention of specific cable sizes did not appear until the 3rd Edition (1897).
The recent addition of non-combustible consumer units (Amendment 3, 17th Edition) was postponed for six months to allow manufacturers time to develop metal units.
With the publication of the 15th Edition it was decided that in future reprints of the same edition (amendments) would be contained in one of five different coloured covers red, green, yellow, blue and brown, a new edition would be published when the brown covered reprint required updating.
The 14th Edition had a reprint in 1970 to take into account the conversion to a metric system.