US 2189676 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 6, 1940. J. PFOHL 2,0189676 ELVECTRIC OUTLET CONNECTION Filed June 8, 1938 Patented Feb. 6, 1940 l l uurs srras 18ans ytesteur ,clerics n This invention relates to electricaloutlet con.-
nections and more particularly to a convenience plug or connection adapted to be embedded. in a wall, floor or the like.
At the present time, the convenience plugs or outlets which are used for connecting electrical devices to the current supply are provided with a pair of slots for each pair of prongs carried by a connector and where the connector outlet is positioned in a wall it is a diicult matter at times to insert the prongs of the insertable connector in the outlet due to the fact that it is not possible at all times to see exactly where the prong slots are positioned or at what angle such slots are positioned This makes it necessary for the person inserting the connector to obtain light in some manner to clearly see the slotsv in which the prongs of the connector are to be inserted. It is not infrequent that such outlet connections are positioned behind articles offurniture or the like, and being thus hidden the outlet connection cannot be readily seen bythe person inserting the connector plug in the slots of the outlet.
It is therefore an object of thisv invention to -provide in combination with what is termed a convenience outlet means whereby the slots in which the prongs of the connector are inserted will be lighted up so that the insertion of the l prongs of the connector can be quickly and conveniently made without the necessity of providing outside lighting facilities for the outer face of the convenience outlet.
Another object of this invention is to provide a convenience outlet means formed as part of the outlet for illuminating the slots of the outlet from the interior of the outlet so that the light will shine through the slots.
A further object of this invention is to provide in an outlet of this type an illuminating means for the slots o the outlet which are manually controlled, being connected to a manually operable switch forming part of the outlet and which is adapted to be actuated in order to energize the illuminating means prior to the insertion of the. plug or connector in the outlet.
A further object of this invention is tc pro vide a convenience outlet of this type which is so constructed that it will readily pass the underwriters regulations as to the possibility of the illuminating means remaining illuminated, the device being so constructed that in the event connection.
insulation from the wires leading to the outlet A further object of this invention is to provide an outlet device of this kind which embodiesthe use of relatively few parts so that it can be readily connected to the circuit of a building and may take its place inthe present outlet box used for connections or outlets of this type.
To' the foregoing objects and to others which may hereinafter appear, the invention consists of the novel construction, combination and arrangement cf parts as will be more specically referred to and as illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein is disclosed embodiments of the invention, but it is to be understood that changes, variations and modifications may be resorted to which fall rwithin thescope of the ini Figure 2 is a longitudinal section, partly broken away, of the device, y
Figure 3 'is a `sectional View taken. on the line 3 3 of Figure 2, i
Figure 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4 5 of Figure 2, yand l Figure5 is a perspective View of a pair of contacts and the supporting means therefor used with this outlet device- Referring to the drawing, the numeral ill designates generally a box or outer housing which may be formed of metal and which is provided at its outer Open end l.with a pair of outstanding flanges Ii. The housing or box lll is adapted to be embedded in a wall or floor and a conduit I3 extends through one wall l2 thereof being clamped with an end thereof projecting into the housing ld by a clamping device I4. The clamping device I4 comprises a pair of arcuate clamping arms l5 which are connected together by means of a connecting bar it and a screw or bolt l'l engages through the connecting `bar i6, and is threaded into the inner end wall l 8 of the housing lil. The vconduit I3 is adapted to have a pair fil' of wiresor conductors i9 and G extend there-` An inner housing 2i is disposed within they outer housing IS and this inner housing 2l is preferably constructed of insulated material. Inv
practice, the inner housing 2l may be formed of complementary rsections 22 and 2S which are held together by an inner end wall 24. The complementary sections 22 and 23 are provided adjacent the inner end thereof with inwardly projecting bosses 25 and screws or bolts 26 are adapted to. extend through the inner wall 24 and into the bosses 25 so as to detachably secure the inner end wall 24 to the inner end of the housing 2|.
The inner housing 2| is provided at its outer end with a pair of disc-shaped plates or wall members 21 and 28 which at their marginal portions project outwardly of the housing 2| so as to provide arcuate flanges 29 and 30 respectively adjacent the opposite edges of the housing 2|. The two plates 2l and 28 are preferably constructed of complementary half sections as shown in Figure 1, and the confronting portions of the two disc or plate members 21 and 28 are connected together by an inwardly offset connecting wall 3|.
The housing 2| is supported from the outer or open end of the outer housing I by means of a supporting member 32. The supporting member 32 is constructed in the form of a loo-ped bar 33 which is adapted to engage about the housing 2| and beneath the ilanges 29 and 3D. The looped member 33 is provided at the opposite end portions thereof with outstanding lugs 34 which may be secured to the flanges or lugs by a bolt or screw 35, The two disc members or plates 2l and 28 are provided with a pair of slots 36 and 3T respectively which are spaced apart in parallel relation with one slot in each half portion of each disc or plate so that the prongs of a connector plug may be inserted through these slots 36 and 31 for engagement with contacts disposed within the inner housing 2|.
A pair of contact supporting bars 38 and 39 are disposed in spaced apart parallel relation within the housing 2|, the bar 38 being supported on a pair of bosses 40 provided in the end wall portions of the housing member 22 and the bar 39 is supported between a pair of bosses 4| provided in the housing member 23. The bar 38 is provided with a pair of resilient contacts or terminals 42 and 43 which are disposed inwardly of the slots 36 and 3? respectively. The bar 39 is provided with a pair of contacts or terminals 44 and 45 which are spaced inwardly from the slots 36 and 37 respectively and the contact 44 is disposed opposite from the contact 42 and the contact 45 is disposed opposite from the contact 43. The bars 38 and 39 are formed of metal or conducting material and the contacts secured thereto are fastened by rivets, welding or any other suitable means.
A light bulb 4B is disposed in the housing 2| adjacent the inner end or bottom thereof and the base portion 47 of the light bulb 46 engages in a socket 48 which is secured to an L-shaped bracket or supporting member 49. The bracket 49 has one leg thereof secured to the bottom or closure 2L. and this one leg or base member 56 is adapted to be connected to one of the contact supporting bars by means of a conductor or wire 5|. In the present instance, the wire 5| connects the socket 48 to the bar 38. The light bulb 4S has its central terminal 52 contacting with one leg 53 of an L-shaped terminal secured to the bottom or plate 24. The base leg 54 of this latter terminal is secured to the plate 24 in spaced relation to the L-shaped member i3-53. The terminal 53 has a wire or conductor 55 secured thereto and this wire 55 is connected at the opposite end to an L-shaped switch arm 56. The switch arm 56 has one leg thereof secured to a side wall of the housing member 22 and the opposite leg thereof projects inwardly and transversely across the housing as shown in Figure 3. The transversely projecting leg oi the switch member 53 is disposed slightly above the light bulb ri.
A resilient or movable switch member 57 which is substantially L-shaped in coniiguration has one leg thereof secured to the contact supporting bar 3S and the other leg is disposed in outwardly spaced relation to the transversely projecting leg of the stationary switch member 5G. The wire 2li is secured as by a bolt or screw 58 to the bar 39 and in the present instance the screw 39 may also serve as a securing means for the resilient switch member 5l.
A face plate or escutcheon 59 which is provided with a pair of openings 6B and il engages the outer or open end of the housing I and the plates 2'l and 28 are received in and project slightly through the openings 59 and 6| respectively. The plate 59 is adapted to be secured to the looped bar 33 by means of a pair of screws 62. The plate 59 is of a size such that it will project beyond the end walls and the side walls of the louter housing l0 and is adapted to engage against the outer surface of a wall or licor within which the housing IU is embedded. A switch operating pin 63 has one end thereof projecting through an outwardly offset detent or boss 64 provided in substantially the central portion of the plate 59, and the pin 33 projects through the Web` or intermediate portion 3| of the outer wall of the housing 2 i. The inner end of the pin or switch operator 63 is adapted to engage against the free leg of the L-shaped member 5l so that inward movement of the pin or operator 63 will cause the switch member 5l to contact with the stationary switch member 55 and thus close the circuit to the light bulb 4G. The pin 53 is provided with. a rib 55 adjacent thc outer end thereof which engages against the inner side of the detent or boss 64 so as to limit the outward movement of the pin 53. A spring 66 engages about the pin 63, one end of the spring 55 bearing against the rib or bead 55 and the other end bearing against the web portion 3| In this manner the switch operator or button S3 will be resiliently maintained in inoperative position with a portion thereof projecting outwardly of the face plate 59.
In the use of this convenience outlet the box l is adapted to be embedded in a wall or to the support and the wires I9 and 2U are connected to the bars 38 and 39 as shown in Figure 3. When it is desired to insert a pronged connector in one portion of this outlet and as an example in the slots 36 the switch operator 63 may be pressed inwardly so as to close the circuit temporarily to the light bulb 45. The light bulb 46 will thereby be illuminated and the light from this bulb will illuminate the slots 363. The slots 36 being illuminated will facilitate the insertion of the connector prongs in such slots and when the connector has been inserted in the slots 35, the switch operator 53 may be released so that the circuit to the light bulb will be broken. It will be apparent from the foregoing that the insertion of a pronged connector in the slots of this outlet will be made easy in view of the fact that the slots in which the prongs are inserted will be lighted up from the interior of the outlet connection so that the person inserting the connector can determine at a glance the relative positions of the slots and in this manner to quickly insert the connector therethrough. The light bulb 46 may be of a relatively small power being only sufficiently strong to produce enoughy light to illuminate the openings 36 and 'Both pairs of openings will be illuminated when the light lbulb 456 is energized.
What I claim is: i
1. An electrical outlet device comprising in combination a housing provided with a pair of spacedapart slots in a'wall thereof for the passage of prongs into the housing, a pair of contact members supported in said housing inwardly of said slots engageable by the prongs passed through the slots for closing an output circuit, illuminating means in said housing for illumihating said slots, and a lighting circuit within the housing leading from said contacts to'said means and having interposed thereon va switch normally biased to an open position and controllable from the exterior ofthe housing. f
2. An electrical outlet device comprising in combination a housingprovided with a pair of spacedapart slots in a wall thereof for the passage of prongs into thehousing, a pair of spaced apart contacts within said housing for `engagement by the prongs passed through said slots to close an output circuit, independent supporting v means foreach of said contacts inwardly of said slots, a normally inactive electric lamp in said housing, a support for said lamp, a stationary terminal in said housing, a resilient terminal carried by one of said supporting means', means connecting said stationary terminal to one side `of said lamp, means connecting the other side of said lamp to thel other of said supporting` means, and a spring-pressed operator engageable with said resilient terminal to provide for v the latter coacting with the stationary terminal to make the lamp active for illuminating said slots. i
3. An electrical outlet device vcomprising inl combination an outer housing, 'an inner housing,
means secured to the outer housing and encomsaid inner housing adapted for interposition inv Y ran output circuit, means suspending said bars in said inner housing, a pair of contacts carried by each bar, said inner housing havingr slots in a wall thereof aligning with said contacts for the passage of prongs of a connecting plug toengage the contacts to close the output circuit, an illu. minating device in said inner housing, a lighting circuit leading from said bars to said device and having a switch interposed therein for controlling, the activity of said device whereby when the latter is active it will provide for. lighting up said slots from the interior of said inner housing to facilitate the insertion of the-prongs in said slots.
4. An electrical outlet device comprising inv combination an outer housing, an inner housing,
means. supporting saidinner housing in said ,Y said stationary terminal to close a circuit to said illuminating means, and` an operator engageable with said resilient terminal to move said latter' terminal 'into' engagement' with said stationary terminal.
5. An. electrical outlet device comprising a housing pro-vided with a pair of slots in a wall thereof for the passage'into the housing of the prongs of a connector plug, a pair of spaced contactsv in said housing inwardly of said slots adapted to be engaged by said prongs for closing an output circuit, an electric lamp in said housing,- means securingA said lamp in said-housing, a ,stationaryl terminal, means connecting said terminal to said lamp, means for connecting said lamp to one of said contacts,'a resilient terminal secured to the other one oisaid pair of contacts and opposing and normally spaced from the stationary terminal, and a spring-controlledA pin carried by and extending into said housing engageable with said resilient terminal to provide for the latter coacting with the stationary contact to provide the activity of said lamp to light up the slots from the interior of the housing.
6. An electrical outlet device comprising an outer housing open at rone end, an inner insu-r lated housing in said outer housing, said inner housing having spaced apart. pairs of pro-ng receiving slots in an outer wall thereof, a closure plate secured to the inner end of said inner housing, pairs of bosses carried by said inner housing, a pair of spaced apart parallel bars carried by said bosses, a pair'of contacts carried by each bar inwardly of said slots, an apertured plate engaging about the outerend of said inner housing, outwardly projecting lugs carried by said apertured plate, means securing said lugs to said outer housing to support said Ainner ho-using in said outer housing, a light bulb in said inner housing inwardly of said contacts, a socket for said bulb, an L-shaped bracket secured to said socketpmeans securing said bracket to said closure plate, an L-shaped contact fixed to said Closure plate and engaging said light bulb, an L-shaped terminal having one'leg thereof fixed to a wall of said inner housing and the other leg extending transverselyv of said inner housing, means connecting terminal with said L-shaped contact, a second L-shaped terminal, means securing said one leg of said second terminal to one of said bars, said second terminal having the other leg disposed in spaced parallel relation to said other leg of said first terminal', a bar slidably carried by said inner housing engaging said vother leg oisaid second terminal, a face plate secured to said second plate having an opening through which said bar projects, a rib carried by said bar inwardly of said face plate,
and a spring about said barbetween said rib and the outer wall of said inner housing.
7. An electrical outlet device comprising in combination, a housing provided with a pair kof slots inone of its Walls for the passage of the prongs of a connector plug, a pair of spaced bars of conducting material within the housing adapted bel interposed in a normally open output circuit, means within the housing for suspending said bars, contacts carried by said bars and enageable by the prongs passed through the slots for closing said circuit, a normally inactive illuminating means. in said housing, a stationary terminal within the housing and conductively connected to said illuminating means, a conductor connecting said means to one or said bars, a resilient terminal carried by the other one of the bars opposing and normally spaced from the stationary terminal, and a shiftable operator carried `by and* extending into the housing and engagable with the resilient contact to provide for the latter coacting with the stationary contact for making active the illuminating means for lighting up said slots.
8. An electrical outlet device comprising in combination, a housing provided with a pair of spaced slots in a wall thereof for the passage into the housing of the prongs of a connector plug, a pair of spaced contact means interposed in a normally open output circuit, said contact means being suspended within the housing and adapted to be engaged by said prongs when these latter are passed through the slots for closing said circuit, a normally inactive i1- luminatng element, a stationary terminal Within the housing connected to said element, a resilient terminal Within the housing, connected to one of said contact means and opposing and normally spaced from said stationary contact, a conducting connection between the other one of said contact means and said element, and shiftable spring controlled means carried by and extended into the housing for shifting the resilient terminal in a direction and to an extent to provide for the latter coacting with the stationary terminal to make active said element for lighting up said slots.
LESTER J. PFOHL.