US 2072703 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March f2, 1937. c. G. BE'ERsMAN ELECTRICAL OUTLET DEVICE l Filed Nov. 24, 1934 3 Sheets-Sheet l Manto?? EN NE Nm. wm
QlTv @E Marc 2, 1937. Q Q BEERSMAN 2,072,703
' ELECTRICAL OUTLET DEVICE Filed Nov.' 24, 1934 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 s sheets-sheet s c. G. BEERSMAN ELECTRICAL OUTLET DEVICE Filed'Nov. 24. 1954 IIL ` Marh 2, 1937.
l?? di@ Patented ATENT OFFICE ELECTRICAL OUTLET DEVICE Charles G. Beersman, Evanston, Ill. Application November 24, 1934, Serial No. 754,663
This invention relates to electrical outlet devices and particularly to the kind aiording a multiplicity of places whereat electrical appliances, lamps, tools or the like may be connected in an electric circuit.
The preferred form of electrical outlet devices of the. kind to which this invention appertains comprises an elongated metallic housing having an open side closed by a face plate of non-conductive material and the conductors of the device are positioned in the metallic housing below the face plate and are insulated from the housing. Such electrical outlet devices are commonly mounted in grooves in walls or the like and extend continuously along the walls and this makes it necessary to provide for variations in the length of the devices because of variations in the wall lengths, and the primary object of my invention is to provide a novel electrical outlet device which may be expeditiously assembled to aiord a continuous outlet of any desired length, and an ancillary object is to provide the device in standard sections of varied lengths so that selected lengths may be arranged in endwise alignmentto aiord an outlet device of the required length.
Another object is to assemble the outlet device in standard sections of varied lengths at the time of manufacture to thereby minimize the task of installation, and an ancillary object is to include the face plate in the standard sections but to so space the ends of the face plate from the ends of the sections that the' conductors in adjoining sections may be interconnected without removing the face plate, and a further object is to provide face plate sections of standard lengths that may be installed to bridge the gap between the ends of the face plates of adjoining sections.
Further objects of the invention are to uniformly space the plages whereat electrical appliances, lamps, tools or the like may be connected in the outlet device and to so size the devices affording interconnection between adjoining sections that the uniformity of the place spacing may be maintained when two or more sections are arranged in alignment to aiord an outlet device of a predetermined length.
Still further objects are to interconnect standard sections to provide an electrical outlet device of a predetermined length and to provide a part which may be used with the standard sections to afford an outlet device of a length not attainable by the joining together 0f a plurality of standard sections as, for example, where the shortest of the standard sections is one foot in length, to
provide a part which may be used to compensate for those lengths wherein a dimension of less than one foot is involved.
Still further objects are to provideterminal blocks at each end of the standard sections and to so' interconnect the terminal blocks with the conductors in the standard sections that the terminal blocks and conductors cooperate to prelic housings of sections arranged in endwise alignment to provide an outlet device of predetermined length; to provide an outlet device wherein the fittings, such as terminal boxes and corner members, may be mounted in a groove of the same size as that receiving the standard sections of the outlet device; and to provide an electrical outlet device of simple and economical construction and expeditious installation.
Other and further objects willappear in the following description wherein reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which Fig. 1 is a perspective elevational view showing a typical arrangement of my device for use along a wall and wherein the device is shown as leading away from the terminal box forming a part of my novel outlet strip;
Fig. 2 'is a continuation of Fig. 1 and showing 3 the manner in which the device is passed around l y outside corner;
Fig. 4 is a front elevationalview, drawn to an enlarged scale, of the portion of the device shown at the left hand end of Fig.' 1;
Fig. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially' on the line 5-5 on Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially on the line 6-6 on Fig-4; 1
Fig. 7 is a fragmentary rear elevation of the parts shown in Fig. 4;
Fig. 8 is a transverse sectional detail view taken substantially on the line 8--8 on Fig. 7;
Fig. 9 is an exploded perspective view illustrating a T-connection which may be used in the device;
Fig. 10 is an exploded perspective view of a corner arrangement which may be used in the device;
Fig. 11 is an exploded perspective view of a cross connection which may be used in the device;
Fig. 12 is a perspective detail view in which a part is broken away and showing a terminal block employed in the device;
Fig. I13 is a sectional detail view taken substantially on the line I3-I3 on Fig. 12;
Fig. 14 is a longitudinal sectional view through the interconnection of two standard sections of my outlet device;
Fig. 15 is a perspective detail view of a con ductor interconnector employed in the arrange-v ment shown in Fig. 14;
Fig. 16 is -a rear perspective detail view illustrating the manner in which adjoining sections of the metallic housing of my device are interconnected;
Fig. 17 is a perspective view showing a modied form of connector adaptable for use in the arrangement shown in Fig. 16;
Fig. 18 is a perspective detail view 'of a closure member for the metallic housing and showing this closure member in closing position;
Fig. 19 is an end view of a section of the device which may be arranged in the outlet device receiving groove whereat it .is not desired to` device.
My improved outlet device as illustrated in the accompanying drawings includes a metallic housing, generally indicated by 25, adapted to be mounted in a groove G formed in a suitable manner in a baseboard, molding, wall or the like and preferably the groove is formed by spacing the lower surface of 'the molding, usually provided at the top of a baseboard, from the top surface of the baseboard. The groove G is slightly wider than the Width of the metallic housing for a purpose to be explained hereinafter and the groove need only be deep. enough to receive my outlet device. However, if the groove is deepermy outlet device may nevertheless be properly mounted for it is located by the engagement of parts thereofrwith the face of the member in which the groove G is provided.
In the preferred form 'of the invention the metallic housing includes two parallel substantially U-shaped channels 26 and 21 which open through the front face of the housing and the juxtaposed limbs of these channels are interconnected by a web 28 that is spaced below the front face of the housing. A separating channel 29 is thus formed below the web and between the juxtaposed limbs of the U-shaped channels and this separating channel opens through the rear face of the housing.
Outwardly extending flanges 30 and 3| are provided at the free edges of the outer limbs of the housing.
substantially U-shaped channels. The ange 30 extends outwardly substantially at a right angle to the outer limb of the channel 26 for but a short distance and is then bent to provide a substantially U-shaped portion, the limb 32 of which extends at an acute angle to the outer wall of the channel 26 and the limb 33 of which is inclinedoutwardly from parallel relation with the limb 32, and the rounded bight 34 between the limbs 32 and 33 is positioned below the face of the housing 25. The flange 3l wardly substantially at a right angle to the outer limb of the channel 21 for but a short distance and is then bent to provide a substantially U-shaped portion, the limb 35 of which extends at an acute angle to the outer -wall of the channel 21 and the limb 36 of which is'inclined outwardly from parallel relation with the limb 35 and the rounded bight 31 between the limbs 35 and 36 is positioned below the face of the housing 25 and in alignment with the bight The `perpendicular distance between the innermost parts of the bights 34 and 31 `and the outer surfaces of the bightsof the channels 26 and 21 is slightly less than the thickness of the thinnest of baseboards in use so that a clamp, to be described hereinafter, may be fitted over the bights of the channels 26 and 21 to be accommodated in the groove G. Thus, when the groove G is 'formed by spacing the molding from the top of the baseboard and if the baseboard is thicker than the thinnest of baseboards in use, the outer surfaces of the bights of the channels 26 and 21 will be spaced from the bottom of the groove for the bottom of the groove is only engaged when it is aiorded by a baseboard of a thickness equal to the thickness of the thinnest of baseboards in use and then only by the outer surface of the clamp interconnecting aligned sections of my But the housing 25 will always be properly positioned in the groove G for the reason that the bights 34 and 31' engage the face of the member in which the groove is provided to` of the limbs 33 and 36.` When the face plate is arranged over the housing, the inclinations of the V-shaped edges nearest to the limbs 33 and 36 ai'ord relief and avoid the necessity of excessively springing the limbs 33 and 36 to permit the edges of the face plate to engage therewith, for after the apices along the side edges of the face plate have been forced past the free 4edges of the limbs 33 and 36, these limbs spring into engagement with the outwardly disposed of the inclined side edges of the face plate, and since the inclinations are complementary, the face plate is tightly but releasably secured in position. It is only necessary to spring either or both of the limbs 33 and 36 away from an edge or both the edges of the face plate -to permit re;
moval of the face plate when desired.
It has been explained that the web 28 is positioned inwardly of the. face of the housing 25 and therefore the web is spaced from the face plate 38. The spacing between the face plate 38 and the web 28 is suicient to accommodate the extends out- I l 2,072,703 vhead of the screw passed through the web 28 and the separating channel 29 to secure the housing 25 in the groove G.
The conductors of my outlet device are mounted in the channels 26 and 21 and these conductors are generally Vindicated by C. Each of the conductors is similar in cross section and they are interchangeable from one channel to the other. Each .conductor C includes.a substantially circular base portion 39 which terminates in spaced webs 40 and 4| that extend substantially diametrically away from the circular portion and which are inclined toward each other. AThe inclination of the webs 46 and 4| is such that the webs do not meet, but at the point where they are in closest proximity they are ilared outwardly, as indicated at 42 and 43, respectively, and these iiared portions respectively terminate in reversely bent and rounded or rolled parts 44 and 45.
The conductors C are mounted in substantially U-shaped insulating strips S which are complementary to and which line the channels 26 and 21. The upper ends of the limbs of the strips S are curved inwardly toward each other, as indicated at 46 and 41, and the free ends of the parts 46 and 41 terminate in spaced relation with each other but overlie the outwardly flared portions 42 and 43 of the conductor strips C.
The spacing between the free edges of the parts 46 and 41 is sucient to permit the prong of an attachment plug to bepassed therebetween so that this prong may be fitted between the webs 4U and 4|. A rm non-arcing contact is eiected between the prong and the webs 40 and 4| due to the inclination of these webs for the prong passes between the webs at their point of closest proximity, and during the insertion of the prong and as it passes between the webs the Webs are forced outwardly, compressing the rolled portions afforded by the outwardly ared portions 42 and 43 and the reversely bent parts 44 and 45, and since the conductor strip C is made of resilient material these rolled portions are placed under tenr sion and they firmly hold the webs 4| and 42 in contact with the prong of the plug. `As the prong passes between the webs they move into substantially parallel relation with each other and into ilat surface engagement with the faces of the prong and in this way an efficient path for electric current is provided between the conductor strip C and the prong. When the prong is extracted'from between the webs, the rolled portions provided as above described spring the webs 40 and 4| back into their initial positions. Furthermore, these rolled portions do not dig into or otherwise damage the insulating strip in which they are mounted and which therefore effectively insulates the conductor strip from the metallic housing 25.
The parts 46 and 41 of the insulating strips S prevent the prong of an attachment plug passed therebetween from grounding on the metallic housing 25. Furthermore, if the conductor strips C are overloaded or become overheated for any other reason, the parts 46 and`41 merely expand toward the adjacent parts of the metallic housing 25 and in this way prevent the conductor strips C from grounding on the metallic housing.
Parallel prong locating groovesL and L' are provided in the faceplate 38. These grooves are spaced inwardly from the sides of the face plate and they are spaced from each other an amount corresponding to the spacing of the prongs of electrical attachment plugs. Openings v48 are provided in the groove L and extendl through the face plate and similar openings 49 are provided in the groove L' in alignment with the openings 48. When the face plate is fast on the housing 25 the grooves L and L' are aligned with the spaces between the webs 4D and 4| of the conductors C in the channels 26 and 21, respectively. The aligned openings 48 and 49 constitute pairs of openings through which the prongs of attachment plugs may be passed to be engaged with the conductors in the housing. The insertion of the prongs into the openings is facilitated by seating the prongs in the grooves L and L and sliding the prongs along the grooves until they reach a pair of openings in the grooves whereupon the prongs pass through the openings.
Y The face plate 38 is iirmly held in position in the manner previously described, and this face plate serves to hold the insulating strips S and the conductors C in the channels 26 and 21, and even if the webs 40 and 4| adhere to the prong of an attachment plug fitted therebetween and cling thereto during the extraction of the prong, the outward movement of the prong during extraction thereof will rst cause the parts 46 and 41 to engage the face plate, and since these parts overlie the flared portions 42 and' 43 on the conductor strip, movement of the insulating strip and conductor strip with the prong will be arrested whereupon the prong may be retracted from the device.
'I'he housing 25 is preferably provided in sections of standard lengths. For example, the housing 25 may be provided in lengths of one, two and ve feet and if, for example, vit is desired to install my continuous outlet device in a wall thirteen feet long, two housing sections iive feet in length will be selected as well as a housingsection two feet in length and one section one foot in length, and these sections will be arrangedin endwise alignment to provide a ,continuous outlet device thirteen feet in length. When sections of the housing are so arranged t0 provide a vcontinuous device of predetermined length it is desirable to rmly interconnect the sections mechanically as well as to electrically bond the sections so as to afford a continuous ground and to this end I provide an interconnecting clamp 50.
The interconnecting clamp 50 is formed of sheet metal bent into substantially U-shape formation to include spaced substantially parallel limbs 5| and an interconnecting web 52. When the' clamp is installed vin vposition one of the webs 5| overlies the outer limbs of the channels 26 of abutting sections and the other of the limbs overlies the outer limbs of the channels 21 Y of the abutting sections with the web 52 extending across the bights of the aligned channels 26 and 21. The clamp is made of resilient material and it tightly clamps onto the limbs of the channels. The clamp extends on opposite sides of the abutment of the sections for a distance suicient to resist rocking of the sections. An interconnecting clamp of the kind thus far described is illustrated in Fig. 17 but in order to' lock the clamp in position it may be formed, for example, in the manner illustrated in Figs. 5 and 16, that is to say, short outwardly extending flanges 53 are provided at the upper ends of the limbs 5|, and these anges terminate in reversely inclined sections 54. The inclination of the sections 54 is similar to the inclination of the limbs 32 and 35. Furthermore, the extent of the flanges 75 53 is such that when the clamp is installed in position these flanges 53 will underlie the vflanges 36 and 3l with the reversely bent portions 154 underlying the limbs 32 and 35. It is preferable that the reversely bent portions 54 forcibly engage the limbs 32 and 35 so that the pressure incident to the engagement of these reversely bent portions with these limbs will force the limbs 5i into tight engagement with the outwardly disl posed limbs of the channels 26 and 21.
I prefer to equip the standard sections of the housing 25 with insulating and conductor strips and face plates at the time of manufacture to insure against incorrect or faulty installation. Moreover, when two sections of the housing 25 are arranged in endwise alignment it is necessary to interconnect the conductor strips in the aligned housings. jects can best be attained by providing interconnecting means at each end of each standard length of the housing and as the interconnecting means I employ terminal blocks having a phenolic condensate or other non-conductive material body. Prongs fast in this body extend therefrom to be clamped between the webs 46 yand 4I of the conductor strips.
A block of this kind is illustrated in detail in Figs. 12 and 13 and is generally indicated by 55. The block 55 includes a body 56, the side walls of which'are spaced apart to fit between the outwardly disposed 4limbs of the channels 26 and 21.
I cut away the web 28 and the juxtaposed limbs of the channels 26 and 21 as well as the inner halves of the bights of these channels at the end portions of the standard length sections o'f the housing 25 whereat the blocks 55 are to be mounted. A rib 51 is provided on the bottom of the block 55-and this rib iits between the remaining portions of the bights of the channels 26 :and 21 and serves to vanchor the block 55. Spaced grooves 58 and 59 are provided in the top surfaces of the block 55 and have bosses 66 and 6I at the inner ends and at the bottoms thereof and the grooves are enlarged above these bosses. The bosses 60 and 6I are located near one end4 of the body 56 and slots 62 and 63 extend from the enlarged parts of the grooves above these bosses tions of the housing 25 and the insulating strips.
68 and aretightened therein this tightening tends' to -further roll the strips with the result that the screws are rmly secured in the tapped openings.
`The bosses 66 and 6I are recessed in their upper surfaces, as best shown in Fig. .12. When the prongs 64 and 65 are respectively passed through the slots 62 and 63, the rolled portions of these `prongs seat in the recesses in the bosses and preferably the center portions oi the recesses of the bosses are drilled out to receive the lower ends of the screws 68 and 69.
An assembled terminal block of this kind is provided at each end of the standard length sec- S extend \continuously between the blocks` at opposite ends of the section as do the conductor strips C mounted in the insulating strips. The prongs 64 and 65 of the terminal blocks 55 at opposite ends of the section are fitted between the adjacent parts of the webs 46 and 4l of the con- I have found that these ob.
blocks and these prongs 64 and 65 are then soldered to the webs. This soldered connection prevents outward movement of the connector blocks and therefore the insulating strips S andthe conductor strips C abutting the respective connector, y
ductor strips C are held in the channels 26 and 21 against endwise movement and, when the face -plate is secured on the section, the insulating strips, conductor strips and the terminal blocks are held against outward movement in the channels and therefore the entire assembly is united.
When two standard lengths of the device are arranged in endwise alignment, the grooves 58 and 59 of the terminal blocks at abutting ends of the aligned sections open into each other and therefore a connector, such as that generally illustrated by 16 and shown in Fig. 15, may be installed in these aligned slots. Each connector 16 has slots 1I and 12 at opposite ends thereof and is bowed medially as indicated at 13. Thus after sections of the housing 25 have been aligned and abutted and an-interconnecting clamp 56 has been installed in position, the screws 68 and 69 may be loosened and connectors 16 may be arranged in the aligned grooves 58 and 59 in the abutted terminal blocks with the slots 1l andL 12 aligned with the screws at opposite ends of the grooves. Then pressure is applied to the-bow 13 in each connector and the connectors are attened whereupon the slots 1I and 12move intol embracing relation with the screws which are device. Furthermore, those portions of the device whereat the terminal blocks 55 are mounted and those portions of the webs 46 and 4I into which the prongs 64 and 65 project do not aiord places whereat openings 48 and 49 may be provided for the prongs of attachment plugscannot be connected to the conductor strips at these places. I therefore size the terminal blocks 55 including the extent of the prongs 64 and 65 so that the overall length of abutted terminal blocks including the prongs 64 and 65 will be less than the spacing between the pairs of openings 46 and 49. For example, if the pairs of openings 48 and "49 are arranged `at six-inch intervals in the standard sections then the distance from the ends of the prongs 64 and 65 of one terminal. block to the ends of the prongs 64 and 65'of a terminal block abutted with the rst terminal block should not be more than ve inches. Then ifv4 openings 48 and 49. are provided at a point three inches Y in from the end of the housing section it is apparent that when two housing sections are abutted the first pairs of openings away from the abutment of the two housing sections will be spaced six inches, and since the total overall length of the terminal blocks and prongs is not more thanfive inches they may be conveniently accommodated in the space between the pairs of openings so spaced. Itis, of course, to be understood that if the spacing of the pairs oi.' openings 48 and 49 weregreater or less than six inches variations couldbe made in the overall lengths of the terminal blocks 55 and the prongs 64 and 65. The' connectors 16. are installed from the front o f the device and after installation it is desirable to cover these connectors with a face plate like the face plate 38. Furthermore, it has been explained that the first pair of openings away from the end of a standard length section is located in a standard position inwardly of the end of the section and the'terminal block therein. 'Iherefore, instead of running the face plate 38 in the standard sections all the way to the end f the sections I end the face plate substantially in alignment with the inner ends of the prongs 64 and 65 and such termination of the face plate will be standard in each-section. I may therefore provide short face plate sections of standard length so that when two sections of the device are aligned and interconnected and the conductors therein are interconnected in the manner.
described this short section of face plate may be fitted in position to cover the open faces at the 2o ends of the abutted sections. In the example heretofore given these short sections of face plate will be ve inches in length. One such standard short section of the face plate is indicated by I5 in Fig. 9.
The groove G is slightly wider than the distance between the outer faces of the outer limbs of the channels 26 .and 27 so that when an interconnecting clamp 5B is secured in position this clamp will t in the groove G. The anges 3B and 3l overlie the edges of Ythe groove G when my continuousoiitlet device is mounted therein and therefore even if the groove is slightly wider than my device. there is no unsightly appearance along the edges, and this is true even if the edges of the groove G be ragged as might be occasioned if the groove G is routed in a baseboard, molding or the like. Moreover, by making the grooves slightly Wider, as stated, I am enabled to install junction boxes in the grooves so that conductors Vmay be connected to my outlet device and also so that corner. members or other ttings may be installed, as will be explained in detail.
In order to connect my outlet device in an y electric circuit I provide a junction box into which the circuit wires may be led so that these wires may be connected to the conductors of my outlet device. Such a junction box, indicated byl 7B, is shown at the left hand end of Fig. 1 and is adapted to it in the groove G in endwise alignment with standard sections of my device. The junction box is made of sheet metal bent to provide a channel including limbs'l and 18, spaced from each other similar to the spacing of the outer limbs of the channels 26 and 27, and a web 'I9 which interconnects the limbs'l'l and 18. The upper free edges'of the limbs l1 and 'I8 have flanges like the flanges 30 and 3| and substantially U-shaped portions including limbs like the limbs 32 and 33 and 35 'and 36 as well as bights Vlike the bights 34 and 37.
The junction box is open at its ends aud-is aligned with one end of a standard section of my device, after which an interconnecting clamp 50 is installed to` secure the junction box and the standard sectionl together. Then since the outer edges of the limbs 'I1 and I8 correspond to the outer edges of the housing 25 the face plate may be extended directly across the junction box.V
When the outlet device is to be used with a conduit system of wiring, a coupling 80 is fast in the web A19 midway-betweenthe endsof the junction box and in lthe present form of the invention a neck onthe coupling 80 is passed through an opening in the web 19 and the free end of the neck is rolled over to thereby clamp the coupling 8U to the junction box. When the outlet device is to be used in connection with some other system of wiring I then substitute for the coupling standard sections and the parts abutting the ends of the standard sections as, for example, the junction box. Usually the junction box is so positioned that standard sections of my outlet device extend in both directions therefrom. Therefore, the junction box is of such a length that when two short standard face plate sections 'i5 are abutted medially of the junction box these sections cover the exposed face of the junction box and the exposed faces of the standard sections at the ends thereof Whereat the face plate is omitted in the manufacture of the device. However, if it is desired to avoid the abutment of two sections on the face of the junction box,
a special face plate section twice the length of the face plate sectionfl5 may be provided and such a section like two sections 'l5 will cover the junction boxand the exposed ends of the standard sections or the like abutting opposite ends of the junction box. When standard sections of my outlet device lead from but one end of the junotion box andthe other end is closed in a manner to be explained, then a face plate section 15 and a special short face plate section aiord the face plate for the box and the exposed end of the standard section abutted therewith, and such a special short section may be -obtained by cutting a face plate section l5 or the like.
As best illustrated in Fig. 4, the circuit wires W are led into the junction box through the coupling 80 and these wires are respectively connected to screws 68 and 69 in the terminal block n 55 at the end of the standard section abutting the junction box and thus wires extend through the junction box for a short distance. Ihe regulations of re underwriting agencies and the like require that metal through which wires are to be passed be of a certain thickness. However, I am enabled to form my housing of a material thinner than that usually specified and if I made the junction box, through which wires are to be passed, of a thickness equal to that required for metal through which wires are to be passed, the limbs 33 and 3B on the junction box would be thicker than the corresponding flanges on the housing 25. Thus in order to provide the required thickness of metal I provide a liner 83 in the junction box and this liner is positioned on the inside of the limbs 11 and 18 and the web 19 and is retained in position by being spotwelded to the box 16 or portions may be provided on the box to lock this liner in position. However, since the junction box is rather short it is permissible to make the junction box o f metal equal to the thickness of the metal used for the housing 25 and no liner need be provided therein, and hence unless the regulations are quite rigid the liner 83f may be omitted from the junction box'IS.
The face plate 38 is 4rmly held in position by the limbs 33 and 36 and while these limbs are resilient the face plate may be damaged when limbs and the U-shaped portion thereon to provide a notch, such as 84, into which a suitable implement maybe inserted to be located below the face plate 38 and thereby facilitate removal of the face plate. Preferably such a notch is provided in a limb on the junction box 16 whereat no insulating and conductor -strip are present for so to do avoids the likelihood of grounding a conductor through the inserted implement.
' When my outlet device is installed in a room or the like it is usual to extend the device along all walls of the room and this entails passing the device around the corners of the room. Furthermore, there may be projections or recesses in the wall of a room and the passage of my outlet device across such projections or recesses entails passing the device around corners, and it will be necessary to pass my device around both interior and exterior corners. bers suitable for use at both interior and exterior corners. In Fig.A 2, 85 designates a corner member for an interior corner and in Fig. 3, 86 designates a corner memberv for an exterior corner.
Corner members are made of sheet metal of a thickness corresponding to the thickness of the metal.of the housing 25 and the metal may be bent to provide a cross section for corner members like the cross section of the junction box 16 or like the cross section of the housing 25. The illustrated corner members 85 and 86 have a cross section like the junction box 16 and, like the junction box, may have liners provided therein for I interconnect standard sections abutting the corner members by passing wires J through the corner members and opposite ends of the wires are connected to the screws in the terminal blocks at the ends of the standard sections of my device abutting opposite ends of the corner members.
The standard sections are connected to the ends of .40 the corner members by interconnecting clamps 58 just as the junction box 16 is connected to the standard sections.
The corner members are not furnished with face plates when made but when installed the V'45 corner members are closed by standardshort length face plate sections such as 15 and therefore the extent of the corner members along the faces thereof in each direction away from the angle therein is equal to the distance between the .50 end of the face plate 38 on a standard section and the end of such section. Thus, when face plate sections 15 are applied over the corner members, the ends of the face plate sections abut at the angle of the corner member, and'sin'ce this abut- 55 ment is on the face of the corner'members the face-plate sections aord a continuous cover for my outlet device even when passed around corners. It has been explained that the junction box 'I6 is fastened in the groove G by wood screws 82 :60 and the standard sections and corner members are also secured in the groove by wood screws or the like, and I prefer to provide the screw openings at the ends of the sections so that it will not be necessary to remove the face plate in 65 order to secure the outlet device in the groove, that is to say, I provide the screw openings at those placeswhereat the face plate is omitted until installation. Thus in the standard sections the attachment screw openings are provided in 7o the web 28 at positions slightly spaced from the inner ends of the terminal blocks 55 and this positioning of the screw openings is uniform in the standard sections. The screw openings in the interior corner members 85 and junction boxes ,75 18 are spaced from the ends of the corner mem- I therefore provide corner members and junction boxes the same distance as that in which the screw openings in the standard sections are spaced from the en'ds of these sections. Such location of the screw openings is within the area embraced by the interconnecting clamps 50. Thus, screw openings 81 are provided near each end of the clamps 50 and these openings are elongated longitudinally to facilitate alignment there-l of with the screw openings in the standard sec- 'tions and boxes, corner members and the like.
However, if the screw openings are correspondingly located in the exterior corner members 86 screws passed therethrough will meet in the wall or the like in which the groove G is provided.. Hence, in the exterior corner members I provide the screw openings near the ends-of the corner members and because of this it is necessary to provide a pair of openings 88 in the interconnecting clamps 50, and these openings 88 are equidistantly spaced on opposite sides of the centers of the clamps. Then when an interconnecting clamp 50 is used with an exterior corner member, as shown at the right hand end of Fig. 3, one fastening screw is passed through the screw opening at the end ofthe standard sectionv abutting the corner member, and this screw passes through the opening 81 at this` end of the interconnecting clamp. However, the other screw passes through the opening 88 nearest the opening 81 at the opposite end of the interconnecting clamp and the other opening 88is not utilized nor is the open.-
ing 81 at said opposite end of the interconnecting clamp. The reason that two openings 88 are provided is to make the interconnecting clamp 50 reversible end for end when used with exterior corner members "for by providing two openings 88 one will always be properly located.v The openings 88, like vthe openings 81, are elongated longitudinally to facilitate alignment with the openings in the parts of the device embraced by the clamps.
When my device is installed -in the walls of a yroom interruptions occur therein as where my device runs up to a doorway. Furthermore, in shop installations. my outlet device may merely be mounted on a wall. In such instances and others it is advantageous to close Athe ends of my outlet device. To this end I provide an end closure cap such as that illustrated in Fig. 18 wherein I show an end closure cap 89 mounted on a junction box 16. The end closure cap 89 includes a part 98 of la cross sectional configuration like that of the interconnecting clamp 50 and a length equal to about one-half of the length of a clamp 50. A plate 8| is provided at one end of the part `98 and the outline of the plate 9| corresponds to the outline of the junction box and the housing A 25 and other similar parts of my device. Thus the part 90 may be clamped over the limbs .11 and 18 of a junction box or the outwardly disposed limbs of the channels 2G and 21 or over any other part of my outlet device andthe plate 8l effectively closes the end of my outlet device. When the end closuremembe'r 89 is mounted at the end of a standard section, the plate 9| abuts the outer end of the terminal block and the live conductors are therefore spaced from the metallic end closure cap. The end closure cap has a screw opening therein similar to and 1ocated similar to the screw openings 81 in the interconnecting clamps 50.
Heretofore I have described my outlet device as being mounted in a groove in a baseboard or the like and I have explained how my outlet device may be passed around the corners of a room or the like. However, it may be desirable to extend my outlet device along a wall and to branch out from the outlet device in parallel relation with the wall thus forming what I call face angles, and I have provided suitable fittings to afford such face angles. Thus in Fig. 9 there is shown a fitting, generally 'indicated by 92, which will afford a face T-connection and this fitting comprises a part 93 which may be arranged in the extent of my outlet device in `a manner similar to the junction box 16, and this part 93 preferably has a cross sectional configuration like the junction box 16 although a cross sectional configuration like that of the housing 25 may be provided. One wall o'f the part 93 is cut away intermediate the ends thereof and a part 94 of a cross section like that of the part 93 is connected to the part 93 at the cut-out and the parts 93 and 94 may be joined in any suitable manner as by soldering, welding or the like. The ends of the part 93 will usually abut the ends of standard sections and Y likewise the free end vof the part 94 will abut a standard section and wires will interconnect the terminal blocks of the standard sections abutting the opposite ends of the part 93 and the free end of the part 99. A special short face plate section 95 is provided for the part 93. This section 95 is of a length sufiicient to cover the part'93 and also the open ends of standard sections abutting opposite ends of the part 93, and a recess 96 is provided in the section 95 to be aligned with the part 9d when the section 95 is in position. The length of the part 94 is such that when a standard section of my device is abutted with the free end thereof a standard short face plate section 15 may be arranged in position to close the exposed end of the standard section and the part 90 and to extend'into and fit against the inner edge of the recess 96. This inner edge of the recess 96 is positioned in the prong locating groove L and therefore the joint between the standard face plate section 15 and the face plate section 95 is concealed in the groove L'. InasmuchI as wires `are to be passed through the fitting 92 it may be desirable or necessary to provide a liner therein for the purpose explained in connection with the junction box 16 although, like the junction box 16, the fitting 92 may be made with or without a liner. Openings are provided near the ends of the part 93 and the free end of the part 94 and, when interconnecting clamps 50 are installed tc connect these ends of the fitting 92 to the adjacent standard sections or the like, screws may be passed through theseopenings and selected of the openings 88 in the interconnecting clamps to thereby secure the fitting 92 in position.
The fitting 92 provides for a face angle extending in but one direction from the normal extent of my outlet device and in those instances where it is desired to branch ofi in bothvdirections a fitting like that indicated by 91. in Fig. 11 may be used. This fitting includes a part 9B similar to the `part 93 of the fitting 92 and instead of one wall of this part being cut away as the part 93 is cut away to permit attachment of the part 94 the walls of the part 98 are cut away on opposite sides so .that the parts 99 and |00 may be connected thereto, theparts 99 and |00 corresponding to the part 94 of the fitting 92. A short face plate section similar to the face plate section 95 is provided and this face plate section is recessed at |02 and |03 similar to the manner in which the face plate section 95 is recessed at 96 and for the same purpose. The fitting-91 has openings near the purpose and located similarly to the openings near the ends of the parts 93 and 94.
ends of the parts 98 and 99 and |00 for the same When it is desired to go around a corner in a face arrangement, a fitting like that indicated by |04 in Fig. 10 is employed, this fitting having parts and |06 extending at right angles to each other. The parts |05 and |06 as well as the parts 98, 99 and |00 may, like the parts 93 and 94, have across sectional configuration like that cross sectional configuration like that of the hous-v ing 25. Furthermore, since wires are passed through both the fittings 91 and |04 these fittings, like the fitting 92, may have liners provided therein although, like the junction box 16, the liners may be omitted therefrom. Special face plate sections |01 and |08 are provided for the parts |05 and |06, respectively, and these sections are mitered at the ends thereof which meet at the angle of the fitting |04, and these face plate sections are long enough to not only cover the parts l |05 and |06 but also to cover the exposed ends of standard sections of my device abutting the parts |05 and |06. The parts |05 and |06 have openings therein located inwardly of the ends of these parts in an amount similar to the location orthe screw openings at the ends of the standard sections, junction boxes and interior corner members so that when itjis desired to secure the fitlimbs of the channels 26 and 21, as shown and described in my co-pending application, Serial No. 720,751, 4filed April 16, 1934, or other suitable means may be provided on the outer limbs of Vthe channels and 21 to retain the insulating and conductor strips in position, as shown and described in my Patent No. 1,955.168,.patented April 17, 1934.' Still another way of retaining the insulating strips S and conductor strips C against vertical movement, as during the extraction of the prongs of an attachment plug from engagement with the webs 40 and 4| of the conductors C, is shown in Fig. 28 wherein the cross section of a housing is shown, and this housing includes channels 26 and 21' which have at the upper ends of the outer limbs thereof flanges and substantially U-shaped portions like those provided on the outer limbs of the channels 26 and 21. The web 28 of the housing 25 is arranged belowthe face of the housing just as the web 28 is arranged below the face of the-housing 25. However, ribs |09 and ||0 are formed at the juncture of the web 28' with the inner limbs of the channels 26 and 21', the rib |09 overlying the channel 26 and thefrib ||0 overlying the channel 21'. Thus, when insulating strips S and conductor strips C are mounted in the channels 26' and 21', the fiared part 41 of the `insulating strip in the channel 2S' will underlie the rib |09 and the flared part 46 on the insulating strip S in the 'channel 21' will underlie the rib H0, and the engagement of these fiared parts with the ribs effectively prevents outward movement of the insulating and conductor strips in the channels 26'1and 21'.
'10 of the junction box 16 or-these parts may have a In the form of the invention shown in Fig. 1, the centers of the channels 26 and 21 are spaced apart sufciently to permit the screws 68 and 69 in the terminal block 55 to be mounted in side by side relation. However, the center. lines of these channels can be brought into closer proximity and still permit the prongsof attachment plugs to be passed between the webs 4|)4 and 4I of conductor strips C in channels so spaced. However, when the center lines of the channels 26 and 21 are moved closer together it is necessary to reduce the width of the terminal blocks 55 and such reduction in width does not aiord sumcient space to permit the attaching screwsv in the terminal block to be mounted in sidev by side relation. I therefore provide a terminal block, such as that generally indicated by 55' in Fig. 21, which includes a body 56' having a rib 51' at the lower end thereof similar to the rib 51 on the body 56 of the block 55. Grooves 58' and 59' are provided' in the upper surface of the body 56' but the groove 58' is shorter than the groove 59'.' Bosses are provided in these grooves like the bosses 60 andv6| in the grooves 58 and 59 and the bosses in the grooves 58 and `59 are arranged to receive screws 68' and 69 and rolled portionsl at the inner ends Aof the prongs 64' and 65', these prongs extending through slots 62' and 63' similar t0 the slots 62 and 63, and in this instance the slot 62' is longer than the slot 63'. Likewise the prong 64'v is longer than the prong 65 An arrangement such as the foregoing enables the grooves 58' and 59' to -be arranged in close proximity and these grooves need' not be aligned with the centers of the channels 26 and 21, and when the grooves 58 and-59 are not aligned with the centers.l of
the ychannels 26 and 21 offsets, such as the offsets III and l I2 in the prongs 64' and 65', respectively, are provided so that the free ends of the prongs 64' and 65 will be aligned with the center lines of the channels 26 and 21 so that the free ends of the prongs will fit between the webs 40 and 4| of' conductor strips C mounted in these it would be necessary1 to extend another wiring channels in the manner described.
The regulations of re underwriters and the like permit only a limited number of outlets for a given area of oor space. Moreover, my outlet device may extend away from ajunction box for an appreciable distance and may aiord so many places at which electrical appliances,
lamps, tools or the like may be connected that' the conductor strips C of the device might be overloaded. It may not be convenient to provide a number of junction boxes in the extent of my outlet device to avoid such an overloaded condition but if a number of junction boxes were to be provided along the extent of the outlet device system parallel with my outlet device. Thus to take care of the foregoing conditions and to avoid cated by H3, which includes spaced limbs H4 and H5 having an interconnecting web H6 therebetween and these limbs and the web provide a channel. The free edges of the limbs H4 and |I5 are equipped with flanges and substantially` U-shaped portions corresponding to those at the free edges of the outer limbsof the channels 26 and 21 of the housing 25. The limbs H4 and H5 of the housing H3 are spaced apart sumciently to receive. a member which may be conveniently made from a single piece of sheet metal by bending it to provide channels 26" and 21" with a separating channel 29 therebetween and also to provide a relatively Wide channel H1. The outer limb of the channel 26" lines the limb H4 of the housing H3 and ends in alignment with the outer face of the iiange at the free edge of the limb H4. The outer limb of the channel 21" ends in alignment with the outer limb of the channel 26" and lies in engagement with the inner limb of the channel H1, and the outer limb of the channel Ill lines the limb I I5 and terminates like the outer .limb of the channel 26". Conductor strips C and insulating strips S like those previously described are mounted in channels 26'f and 21".
A face plate 38 is provided which is materially Wider than the face plate 38 but which is retained in position vby the limbs 33 and 36 on the limbs H4 and H5. This Vface plate has prong locating grooves L" and L" near the uper edge thereof which correspond to the prong locating grooves L and L', and the grooves L" and Lf are respectively aligned with the webs of the conductor strips C mounted in the channels 26" and 21" so that when openings like the openings 48 and 49 are provided in the prong locating grooves L and L" the prongs of attachment plugs may be passed through these openings tobe engaged with the webs of the conductor strips. Then because of the relatively wide Width of the face plate 38 and since the grooves L" and L" are located along one edge of the face plate 38', I nd that the appearance of the faceplate 38' may be enhanced by providing still another shallow groove L"" therein and the three grooves in the face of the plate 3B are uniformly spaced one from the other. y
The housing H3 provides a continuous outlet device similar to that which I have described heretofore and it also provides a channel, indicated by lH1, through which wires may be led and the wires led through the channel H1 may be used for any desired purpose as to provide a number of circuits in my continuous outlet device or these wires can be led out of the channel H1 through suitable wiring devices to be used for any desired purpose. f
A typical installation of my outlet device is illustrated in cross section in Fig. 20 wherein the molding M usually provided at the top of a baseboard Bis spaced from the top of the baseboard in an amount suillcient to provide a groove G and the length of the groove G will, of course, correspond to the length of the Wall along which the baseboard extends. Thus in order to make up an outlet device corresponding in length to the length of the groove, a combination of standard length sections is arranged in alignment. In computing the length to be provided by the standard sections the length of the junction box must be taken shorter than the dimension of the shortest of the standard sections. To take care of these short dimensions, places whereat it is not desired to afford electrical connection and similar circumstances, I provide what I call a raceway.
The raceway merely. consists of a section of a cross section like that of the housing 25 and has a face plate thereon extending through the length thereof. The face plate provided on the raceway does not have openings like the openings 48 and 49 but is provided with. grooves like the grooves L and L' so as to correspond in appearance with the face plate on the' standard sections. This raceway and the face plate thereon may be cut into any desired lengths and the raceway will be furnished in standard lengths as, for example,
ve foot lengths. I have stated that the raceway may have a cross sectional coniguration like that of the housing 25 and the two channels thus provided will accommodate wires which will be passed therethrough to interconnect the portions of my outlet device at opposite ends of the section of the raceway used but since the raceway is merely a channel through which wires are passed it may have a cross sectional coniguraf tion like that of the junction box 16 and may be furnished with or without a liner.
,Heretoforel'l have referred to providing a liner in the portions :ofy outlet device through which wires are to be passed to afford suillcient thickness to comply with regulations covering the thiclmess of wires in metal conduits. `However, it is to be understood that instead of providing a liner in the parts a shell might be provided thereabout but I prefer to use a liner since a shell about the parts might interfere with the installation of the interconnecting' clamp 5U although, oi course, the shell could be c`ut away at places whereat itV was desired to install the interconnecting clamp since the interconnecting clamp sufficiently increases the thickness of the metal to comply with the requirements.
I have explained that a raceway may be used at the places whereat it is not desired to connect electrical appliances, lamps, tools and the like in a circuit. However, if my outlet device is provided along one wall of a room it is desirable that it be continued along all walls of the room to impart uniformity in appearance. But, there may be alcoves or other places where there will be no need for my outlet device and it may be desirable to install my outlet device only on a single wall. Therefore, in order to preserve uniformity in appearance I provide a member having an appearancelike that of my outlet device but this member in reality merely provides a face plate. Thus I maytake a sheet of metal andv shape it in the manner illustrated in Fig. 19 so that it will include a face portion ||8. This face portion ||8 has grooves formed therein like thev prong locating grooves L and L and atthe side edges of the face plate rearwardly extending4 flanges ||9 and |20 areprovided which incline similarly to the limbs 33 and 36, and unitary with `be used conveniently at places whereat it is not at the present time desiredto install my outlet device but where it may be desirable to do so later and it may also be used for those circumstances which I have described heretofore and for others of a kindred nature.
I have described the face plate and the sections thereof as including grooves, such as the prong locating grooves L and L', but it is to be understood that while these grooves tend to enhance the appearance of the device and facilitate insertion of the prongs of attachment plugs into the pairs of-openings provided in the grooves, these grooves may nevertheless be omitted from the face plate and only the pairs of openings need be provided.
In the foregoing description I have set forth preferred embodiments of my invention and also I have described what I have found to be desirable ways of carrying my invention into eilect.
For example, I have described wood screws as being usedl to fasten the outlet device in the groove but it is to be understood that toggle bolts, such as illustrated in Fig. 20, may be used in place of wood screws. Likewise lengths of wire may be used in place ofthe connectors 1U and other changes may be made such as in size and shape and in the materials used. Hence, it is to be understood that I have described selected embodiments and that these are capable of variation and modification and I therefore do not wish to be limited to the precise details set forth but desire to avail myself of such changes and alterations as fall within the scope of the following claims: Y
l. An assembled electrical outlet unit comp ing a housing, a conductor in said housing, said housing including means providing for electrical connection with said conductor, a block of insulating Amaterial disposed at one end of said housing, said block and housing being constructed and Varranged to lock said block against longitudinal movement in one direction, a terminal carried by said block and adapted to receive and make electrical connection between the conductor in said housing and the conductor of an adjacent unit.
2. An assembled electrical outlet unit comprising a housing having a notch therein at opposite ends thereof, a conductor in said housing, said housing including means providing for electrical connection with said conductor, a block of insulating material at each end of said housing, eachl of said blocks having a rib thereon seated in the notch at the adjacent en d of said vhousing, and a terminal in each of said blocks, each of terminals being adapted to receive and make electrical connection between the conductor in said housing and the conductor of an adjacent unit, the connection of the conductor in said housing with said terminals in said blocks and the seating of the ribs in the notches preventing endwise movement of` said blocks andthe conductor in said housing.
3. An assembled electrical outlet unit comprising a housing, a` conductor in said housing, said housing including means providing for electrical connections with said conductor, a block of insulating material `secured at one end of said housi/n and a terminal in said block including a prong c nnected to said conductor aiIording electrical co nection between the terminal and the conducto and mechanical connection between the block a d the conductor.
4. assembled'electrical outlet unit comprising a housing, a conductor insaid housing, said housing including means providing for electrical connection with said conductor, a block of insulating material secured at each end of said housing, and a terminal in each ofsaid blocks including a prong connected to the adjacent end of said conductor, the connections of the prongs with said conductor retainingsaid conductor and blocks in assembled relationcinff` said housing.
5. An assembled electrical outlet unit comprising a housing having a notch therein at opposite endsthereof, a conductor in said housing, said housing including means providing for electrical [connection with said conductor, a block of insulating material at each end of s'aid housing, each of said blocks having a rib thereon seated in the notch at the adjacent end of said housing, and a terminal in each of said blocks including a prong connected to the adjacent end of said conductor, the connections of the prongs with said conductor vand the seating of the ribs in the notches preventing endwise movement of said blocks and the conductor in said housing.
6. A continuous electrical outlet device com- V prising a plurality of preassembled units arranged in endwise alignment and in abutting relation, each of said units comprising a. housing, a conductor in each of said housings, each of said housings including means providing for electrical connection with the conductor therein, a block of insulating material secured at each end of each of said housings, a terminal in each of said blocks and connected with the adjacent end of the conductor in the housing in which the blockis mounted, and means interconnecting the terminals in the blocks at adjacent ends of abutted blocks and connected with the adjacent end of the conductor in the housing in which. the block is mounted, -means interconnecting the terminals in the blocks at adjacent ends'of abutted units to electrically interconnect the conductors in said abutted units, and means embracing thehousings of abutted units and overlapping the. abut-I ment of said units'to mechanically interconnect said units.`
8. A continuous electrical outlet device comprising a plurality of preassembled units arranged in endwise alignment and in abutting relation, each of said units comprising a housing, a conductor in each of said housings, each of. said housings including means providing for electrical connection with the conductor therein, a block of insulatingmaterial secured at each end of each A of said housings, a terminal on corresponding units, means insertable through the openings of uniform extent and connected to the terminals in blocks' at the adjacent ends of abutted units to electrically interconnect the conductors of adjacent units, and pre-formed means of an extent equal to the extent of the openings of uniform extent and detachably secured to the housings to close said openings of uniform extent.
9; An assembled electrical outlet unit comprisingV a housing having a channel therein,l a block of. insulating material secured in said housing -at each end of said channel, an-insulating member in said channel extending between said blocks, a conductor mounted in said insulating member, a face plate of insulating material secured to said housing to'close the open side of the channel and having an opening therein through which electrical connection may be made with said conductor, and a terminal in each of saidvblocks connected to the adjacent end of said conductor, the
connection of the terminals with said conductorv a housing, a conductor in said housing, said housing including means providing for electrical connection with said conductor, a block of insulating material at each end of said. housing, and a terminal in each of said blocks connected to the adjacent end of said conductor, said device also comprising a fitting arranged in endwise alignment land in abutting relation with the preassembled unit and adapted to have a wire passed therethrough whereby the wire may be connected to the terminal in the block at the end of. the unit abutted with said fitting, and means embracing the housing and the fitting on opposite sides of the abutment of the unit and thel fitting and mechanically interconnecting said unit and t- 11. A continuous electrical outlet device cornprising at least one preassembled unit including a housing, a' conductor in said housing, said housing including means providing for electrical connection with said conductor, a block of insulating material secured at each end of said housing, and a terminal on corresponding faces of said blocks and connected to the adjacent end of the conductor, said housing having an opening at each end and om one side thereof. disclosing said terminals, said device also comprising a tting arranged in endwise alignment and in abutting relation with said unit, said tting comprising a housing-having a' channel therein and flanges on theside edges thereof adapted to engage the side edges of a face `platefor closing said channel, and a lining in the housing of said tting increasing the wall thickness thereofto properly enclose a wire passed through said tting-and connected to the terminal in the block at the end of said unit abutted with said tting, and means embracing the housing of the unit and the housing of the tting on oppositesides of the abutment of. the unit and the tting and rue--y chanically interconnecting said unit and tting, the face plate on said fitting being extended over the opening in the housing of said unit whereby said face plate closes the channel in the housing of said tting and the opening in the housing of said unit.
12. A tting adapted for use in a continuous electrical outlet device and comprising a housing having a channel therein and anses thereon along the side edges thereof adapted to embrace the side edges of a tace plate tor closing the open side of said channel, and a lining in said fitting increasing the wall thickness thereof to properly enclose a wire passed through said tting, said lining terminating in spaced relation with said anges whereby said face platel passes over the upper edges thereof.
13. An electrical outlet unit comprising a hous- 'ing having a pair of channels therein extending in parallel relation, a web interconnecting adjacent sides of said channels. an insulating member in each channel, a conductor in each insu- )ating member, a face plate secured to said housing to close the open sides of said channels and having openings therein through which electrical connection can be made with said conductors. and means on said housing adjacent said web and extending into said channels and engageable with the insulating members to limit movement of said insulating members toward said tace plate.
CHARLES G. BEERSMAN.