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Publication numberUS1717871 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1929
Filing dateDec 4, 1922
Priority dateDec 4, 1922
Publication numberUS 1717871 A, US 1717871A, US-A-1717871, US1717871 A, US1717871A
InventorsBoth Tonjes A
Original AssigneeConnecticut Electric Mfg Compa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sectional gang plate
US 1717871 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

@EWS w 2 Sheets-Sheet www ATTORNEYS.

,v7 h 5 lNvENToR T. A. BOTH SECTIONAL GANG PLATE I Filed Dec. 4. 1922 Jun 18, 1929.

June 18, 1 929. fr. A. BOTH SECTIONAL GANG PLATE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 4. 1922 ATTORNEYS.

Patented .lune 1S, 1929.

UNITED STATES 1,717,871 PATENT OFFICE.

TONJES A. BOTH, OF STRATFOBJD, CONNFC'IICUI, ASSIGNOR TO THE CONNECTICUT ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY, OF BR-IDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT, A COR- PORATION OF CONNECTICUT.

SECTIONAL GANG PLATE.

Application filed December 4, 1922. Serial No. 604,693.

This invention relates to tace plates tor electrical wall devices lsuch as switches and receptacles, and has for an object to provide an improved sectional gang plate, that is, a 'face plate Vfor a wall box in which are mount* ed a plurality of electrical devices such as dit ferent types ot switches and receptacles. It is also an object of the invention to provide a gang plate which may be built up from a number ot sections to any size desired with any desired arrangement of devices within the outlet box and withany type, with a minimum number ot different shapes of sections and with the requirement of a` minimum number ot di'li'erent dies for the manufacture thereof.

lith the foregoing and other objects in view I have devised the construction illustrated in the accompanying` drawings, in which- Fig. l is a trent view of a tace plate embodying my invention as applied to a wall box showing its application to a number ot' dilerent types olf electrical devices, and one of the sections being separated from the adjacent section to more clearly show the construction.

Fig. 2 is a rear View of the central section shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is an edge view ot the same looking from the right of Fig. 2, .showing the appli cation to the wall box and the electrical device behind the plate.

Fig. 4lis an edge view of a plate looking from the left oit Fig. 5.

Fig. 5 is a rear view ot the right hand end section ot Fig. 1.

Fig. 6 is a front view showing two sections of al plate of a slightly different construction.

Fig. 7 is asimilar view of a plate adapted to be connected with the right hand plate of Fig. G.

Fig. 8 is an edge view of this section look` ing from the le'lt of Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 is a bottom edge view of the plate shown in Fig. 6.

Fig. 10 is a bottom edge view of the plate shown in Fig. 7.

Fig. 11 is a transverse section through the joint between two sections taken substantially on line 11-11, Fig. 6.

Fig. 12 is a view similar to Fig. 6, showing the gang plate ot this type as made of drawn metal.

Fig. 13 is a similar view of the plate section adapted to be connected with the right hand section of Fig. 12.

Fig. 14 is an edge view thereoflooking from the left of Fig. 13.

Fig. 15 is a. bottom edge view ot the plate shown in Fig. 12.

Fig. 16 is a bottom edge view of the section shown in Fig. 13, and Fig. 17 is a transverse section through the Joint lor connecting two sections of the drawn metal plate taken substantially on line 17-17 et F ig. 12. Referring to the construction illustrated in Figs. 1 to 5 reference number 2O indicates a wall box of any suitable construction adapted to be mounted in a recess in a wall in the usual manner, and within which may be mounted a plurality of manuallyoperable electrical devices'such as switches, receptacles and the like suitably connected by the lead wires in the usual manner with the house wiring. This box may be oit' any length desired depending on the number of devices it is desired to mount within the same. In the present layout I have shown three, two switches and one receptacle, although it will be understood that my construction of face plate is adapted for use with any length of wall box and for any number of electrical devices. The electrical devices are mounted within the box in the usual manner as by a yoke 21, 22 and 23 for each device and secured to inwardly extending ears 24 of the outlet box by suitable screws 25. For the purpose of illustration and indicating the scope of my invention I have shown two types of switches and one type of receptacle although I wish it distinctly understood that these are merely illustrative and my device is not limited to use therewith. Referring to Fig. 1 it will be seen that I have illustrated a receptacle 26 in the center of the box and with two switches, one on either side thereof, of diderent types, the switch 27 at the left being a push button switch and the switch 28`at the rightis a toggle switch.

My improved tace plate for the box is made up of a plurality of sections, one section for each device so that in the present layout there are three sections 29, 30 and 31, the two end sections covering the switches and the central section the receptacle. Each section is .preferably secured to the wall box over the electrical devices by means equiva lent to that now generally employed for the single plates, that is by means of screws passing through the plates and threaded into the yokes 2l, 22 and 23 to which the electrical devices are secured. These screws are indicated at 32, but inthe present instance areof special construction for a purpose presently to be described, although the ordinary metal screw may be employed if desired.

In the layout illustrated the push butt-on switch is mounted in an insulating block 33, and the section 29 of the face plate is provided with openings 34 for passage of the switch operating push buttons 35, these openings being preferably countersunk, as shown at 36. In the form of face plates shown in Figs. l to 5 the plate sections are molded of an insulating material preferably a phenolic condensation product, although the principle of the sectional face plate is of course adapted for any material. As the sections, however, in these figures are made of this molded insulating material the plate to give satisfactory results should be made somewhat thicker than the ordinary metal plates, and, therefore, in order to bring the surface of the plate to the same relative position with respect to the yoke 2l the section is provided with recesses 37 in the back thereof to receive the ends of the yoke.

To the rear of the center section 30 of the face plate I have shown the insulating block 38 of the receptacle 26 having the usual circular boss 39 extending into an opening 40 inthe face plate section 30 to bring the surface of this boss substantially flush with the surface of the plate, and the receptacle is provided with any suitable arrangement or form of openings or slots 4l adapted for insertion of the projecting contact blades of a suitable cap to engage the contacts within the receptacle in the usual manner. This central section 30 is also provided with recesses 42 in the back thereof for the ends of the yoke and the body of the receptacle so that the surface of the boss may be properly positioned with respect to the surface of the plate, the same as in a metal plate.

To the rear of the right hand section 3l I have shown a toggle switch, theinsulating block of which is shown at128 and the vertical movable lever 44 projects through a rectangular opening 45, preferably counter-1 with the sections, may be easily connected andv disconnected, and is reversible. This conneeting means comprises a rib or flange 49 of a thickness substantially equal to one half that of the plate and extending from one end of the section substantially throughout one half of the length thereof and provides a groove 50. Extending throughout the other half of the edge of the section and in alignnient with this rib or flange is a groove or recess 5l which is of a depth from the edge of the section substantially equal to the height of the rib or flange 49 from this edge of the section. In fact it is of practically the same dimensions as the rib or flange, and it is adapted 'to receive a corresponding rib or flange on the edge of an adjacent section shown for instance at 52. It will be noted that these grooves or recesses extend substantially throughout one half of the length of the plate section and are reversed and are on op posite sides of the transverse center line of the section, and thus provide with the ribs or flanges a lap joint throughout the section. In order to secure the edges of the adjacent sections together I provide the rib or flange with a tapered lug or projection 53 which is adapted to scat in a corresponding recess 54 leading from the groove 5l, the lug being wider at its outer edge as shown giving a dovetail connection.

The central section 30 of the plate is connected as shown in Fig. l, at each side to another plate section. In this instance sections 29 and 3l, but there may of course be inserted between these sections and either end section other similar sections depending upon the number of electrical devices mounted in the box and consequent length of the box. These intermediate sections are, therefore, provided with connectingV means on both of the side edges, the arrangement of the ribs or flanges 49 and 52, and the grooves 5l being reversed on the opposite sides so that the flange 49 on one edge leads from one end as the upper as shown in Fig. l, and the flange 52 on the other lateral edge of the section leads from the opposite end that is the lower, as shown in Fig. l. It will thus be apparent that the opposite edges of the intermediate sections are reversed and so are adapted to interlock with the reversed edges of adjacent sections whether they be end or intermediate sections. It will also be apparent that either end section may be con- -neeted with either side of the intermediate section by merely reversing either section. In interlocking the edges of two sections together it'is merelynecessary to place the corresponding flanges 49 and 50 over the grooves 5l. of the adjacent section and with the lugs 53 over the recesses 54. Then by turning the two plates relatively to each other, the flanges 49 and 52 are seated in t-he grooves 51 and the lugs 53 are seated llt) in recesses 54, securely locking the edges to gether with the surfaces of the sectionsin the same plane.k To unlock the sections it is merely necessary to give them a reverse rotary movement to remove the lugs 53 from the recesses 54.

It will be apparent from the foregoing description that the face plate may be made of any length desired and that the different types of electrical devices may be given any relative arrangement desired with the same plate sections, and it is, therefore, necessary to carry in stock only intermediate and end sections for each type of electrical device it is intended to use, and from these sections any length and arrangement of face plate may be constructed to correspond with any length of box Aand any arrangement of the electrical devices. This does away with thenecessity of making different expensive dies as is required with gang plates of different sizes, or different arrangements of openings therein for the various electrical devices, required with the single one piece plates now generally employed, thus greatly reducing the cost of manufacture. It is also not necessary to carry in stock, as with the one piece plates, different sizes and combinations of gangs. With my form of plate the dierent sizes and combinations as desired may be built up, and it is merely necessary to keep the different sections in stock. It will be apparent this greatly reduces the storage space required as well as t-he number of platesrequired to be kept in stock. By making the plate sections of molded insulating material we get a dead front plate or one in which there is no possibility of danger to the user of the installation should there he a short circuit or a lead disconnected in the layout. rlllie surface of the plate may he easily cleaned with the use of soap and water without injuring the finish thereof.

The screws 3Q. may be the ordinary metal screws, but I prefer to make them electrically non-conducting by either forming them of insulating material or forming them with metal stems set into a head of insulating material. The use of this type of screws provides a further safety to the user and there is no opportunity for the operator to receive a shock in using the various devices.

In Figs. G to 11 I have shown a slightly different joint for connecting the adjacent sections of the plate together. The sections shown in these figures are also preferably molded from insulating material but the intermediate sections 5' are provided at one edge with a rib 56 proj ecting forwardly from the surface of the section, while the other edge is provided with a forwardly projecting rib 57 having the groove 58 on the rear s lde thereof adapted to receive a rib 56 carried by an adjacent section to thus securely fasten two adjacent sections together. One of the end sections as 59 is provided on its inner edge with a rib 57 and the other end section 60 is provided with a rib 56 and as these ribs are symmetrical with respect to the transverse center of the section, the sections may be reversed and assembled as in the first form. The sections' are Apreferably provided at the opposite ends of the ribs 56 with recesses 61 to receive the plane inclined ends of the outer ribs 57 so that it is not necessary to run the groove 58 out the ends'of the ribs 57 thus giving a better finish. The sections in this construction are also made for different types of electrical devices as in the first form. In the drawing the left hand end section 59 is provided with openings 62 for passage of the push buttons of a push button switch. The central section with an opening 63 for a receptacle and the right hand section with an opening 64 for the lever of a toggle switch. These arrangements are, however, merely illustrative. The sections in this construction are secured to the outlet box by the same means as are the sections in the first form shown in Figs. 1 to 5, that is by screws passing through the holes G5, and preferably electrically non-conducting, as screws 32.

In Figures 12 to 17 inclusive I have shown one way in which the principle of my sectional face plate may be applied to a drawn metal plate. In these figures I have shown for purposes of illustration the plate made in three sections with the left end section/66 provided with holes G7 for the buttons of a push button switch, intermediate section 68 with an opening 69 for a receptacle, and right hand section 70 with a rectangular opening 71 for a toggle switch lever the same as in the first two forms described, but as in these first two forms this is merely illustrative and the sections may be made to accommodate different types of devices as desired. These sections also have the openings 72 for passage of screws for securing the sections to the wall box.

As will be seen from an inspection of these figures'the sections are made of drawn sheet metal as is the ordinary sheet metal single plate, with the edge walls inclined, as shown at 7 3, to give an appearance of thickness to the plate and space the front surface thereof the usual distance from the wall. The intermediate section 68, however, has formed at one edge thereof a U-shaped rib 74 and at the other edge a similar U-shaped rib 75, but smaller than the rib 74 and adapted to seat within a corresponding rib 7 4t on the endl section 66, as shown in Figs. 15 and 17. The right hand end section 17 is provided with a similar smaller rib 75 to seat within the rib 711 of the intermediate section. Thus it will be seen that this joint for connecting the sections of the metal plate is substantially that for the plates shownin Figs. 6 to 11, and the plates are reversible in the same manner. At

the ends of the sections the ends of the rib 75 are inclined, as shown at 76, and are set back from their ends from the edge of the section, as shown at 77, so that the Whole rib may be enclosed by the rib 711i and give a neat and attractive appearance to the joint. It Will be apparent that this metal construction of gang plate may be built of any length desired or used With any combination of different electrical devices, the same as the insulating plates of the first tivo forms described.

Having thus set forth the nature of my invention, what I claim is: Y

l. A face plate for manually operable electrical devices comprising a plurality of separable sections, one of said sections being provided Witli a rib and a groove extending along one edge thereof and the adjacent section being provided With a complementary rib and groove adapted to coact with those of the other section to provide a lapped joint, one of said sections being provided with a dovetailed recess leading from its groove and the other section with a dove-tailed lug leading from its rib adapted to sea-t in said recess and secure the sections together.

2. A face plate for manually operable electrical devices comprising a plurality of separable sections, said .sections being provided With longitudinally extending complementary ribs and grooves to provide a lapped joint, the arrangement of the ribs and grooves on opposite sides of the transverse center lines of the sections being reversed, and said sections being provided with interlocking lugs and re. cesses associated with said ribs and grooves to prevent separation of the sections in the plane of the plate and assembled by relative turning movement of the sections about an axis extending transversely of the plate.

A face plate for manually operable electrical devices comprising a plurality of separable sections, said sections being provided with complementary grooves and ribs extending along one edge thereof from the opposite ends of the sections and for a portion only of the length thereof, said ribs and grooves adapted t form lapped joints, said sections also being provided `with dove-tailed recesses leading from the grooves and dove-tailed porjections leading from the ribs adapted to seat in said recesses, the arrangement of the ribs, grooves, lugs and recesses being reversed on opposite sides of the transverse center line of the sections.

et. A face plate for manually operable electrical devices comprising a plurality of separable sections, said sections being provided with `longitudinally extending complementary ribsand grooves to provide a lapped joint, the arrangement of the ribs and grooves on opposite sides of the transverse center lines of the sections being reversed, and means for securing the sections against separation in the plane of the plate comprising complementary and inter-engaging projections and recesses carried by said sections and assembled by turning the sections relative to each other about an axis extending transversely ofthe plate.

5. A face plate for manually operable electrical devices comprising a plurality of separable sect-ions, said sections being provided with longitudinally extending complementary ribs and grooves to provide a lapped joint, and means for securing the sections against separations in the plane of the plate comprising complementary and interengaging projections and recesses carried by said sections and assembled by relative turning movement of the sections about an axis extending transversely of the plate.

G. A face plate for manually operable electrical devices comprising a plurality of separable sections, said sections being provided with coacting complementary projections and recesses to prevent separation of the sections y in the plane of the plate, the recesses opening in a direction transverse to the plane of the plate and engageable with the projections to secure the sections in assembled relation by a relative rotary movement of the sections about an axis extending transversely of the sections.

In testimony whereof I aiiix my signature.

ToNJns A. Born.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4972045 *Mar 29, 1989Nov 20, 1990Groupe Sodepro Inc.Electrical switch plate cover
US5696350 *Jan 18, 1995Dec 9, 1997Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Interchangeable sectional wallplates
US5700978 *Jan 25, 1996Dec 23, 1997Pass & Seymour, Inc.Snap-together wall plates for ganged electrical device installations
US5981875 *Feb 28, 1997Nov 9, 1999Hubbell IncorporatedElectrical device waterproof cover with snap-in modular plates
US6005189 *Dec 8, 1997Dec 21, 1999Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Interchangeable sectional wallplates
US6570091Sep 27, 1999May 27, 2003Hubbell IncorporatedElectrical device waterproof cover with snap-in modular plates
US7211727 *Dec 22, 2005May 1, 2007James Pearse, legal representativeModular strap assembly for mounting wiring modules
US7939756Sep 4, 2008May 10, 2011Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.Modular electrical wall cover system
US8420956 *Apr 27, 2010Apr 16, 2013Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Electrical device mounting adapter
US20110259634 *Apr 27, 2010Oct 27, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Electrical device mounting adapter
US20110259635 *Apr 27, 2010Oct 27, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Electrical device alignment system
CN100459341CJun 4, 2003Feb 4, 2009马兰特克传动及控制技术股份有限两合公司Operating unit
DE749655C *Dec 25, 1937Dec 9, 1944 Verteilungstafel, die aus mehreren Plattenelementen baukastenartig zusammengesetzt sind
WO2004068667A1 *Jun 4, 2003Aug 12, 2004Marantec Antrieb SteuerungOperating unit
WO2006074004A2 *Dec 29, 2005Jul 13, 2006Leviton Manufacturing CoModular strap assembly for mounting wiring modules
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/241
International ClassificationH02B1/015, H02G3/14, H02B1/06
Cooperative ClassificationH02B1/06, H02G3/14
European ClassificationH02B1/06, H02G3/14