US 2201743 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 21, 1940. c. M. PETERSEN CIRCUIT CONNECTION COMBINATIDN Filed July 24. 1937 HHHHN] 717 i P IEVENTOR.
ATTORNEYg M BY 4 g E2 a gm Patented May 21, 1940 UNITED STATES P'i'E'i FFIE Leviton Manufacturing Company, Brooklyn,
N. Y., a corporation of New York Application July 24, 1937, Serial No. 155,387
This invention relates to circuit connection devices of the class including switches, convenience outlets and similar electrical fittings, more especially a combination of circuit connection units, more particularly a combination of units which by mutual interengagement are self supporting.
In attaining this objective, marked simplicity in manufacturing, assembling and demounting have also been achieved.
One illustrative embodiment of the invention will be hereinafter described and illustrated in the accompanying drawing. Other and equivalent embodiments will however be included within the claims which are intended to define the scope and principles of the advance in the art represented by said invention.
Fig. l is a top plan view of the combination looking at it in the position it occupies when inserted into a standard outlet box.
Fig. 2 is a side elevation.
Fig. 3 is a bottom plan view of the same combination.
Fig. 4 is a sectional elevational view taken on the line l4 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 5 is an end elevational View.
Fig. 6 is an elevational view taken on the line BB of Fig. 1 showing the interlocking element or septum in its relation to a wall of one of the interchangeable units.
Fig. 7 shows a form of interlocking element or septum.
Fig. 8 is a sectional view taken on line 8-8 of Fig. 6.
Fig. 9 is a diagrammatic view to illustrate a principle employed in the invention.
Fig. 10 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the same principle.
The interchangeable circuit connection housing unit forming a part of the combination is illustrated in Fig. 6. This housing 3 may be made of synthetic plastic molded material and may contain a switch as shown or other circuit connection means, e. g, a pair of prongs or sockets adapted to engage a plug. It comprises a body portion and a cover 4, the latter being attached to the body portion by a flange 5. Prongs l on the ends of each flange (see Figs. 2 and 4 for example) engage slots in the ends of the body portion. The side wall of the unit shown in Fig. 6 will be regarded as including a portion of the cover 4.
Recessed portions 9 may be formed in the wall thus forming a panel ill raised in relief on the wall, this panel ill being partly defined by the adjacent edges of the recessed portions between which the panel it is located.
When a group, e. g., two or three circuit connection housings are placed side by side in a row with a wall 3 of each housing placed opposite to and in juxtaposed relation to a similar wall of another housing, a panel it will be opposite to and in juxtaposed relation to a similar panel on an adjacent housing. Then by placing a suitable interlocking element or septum H between the said walls to engage with each panel iii, and by clamping the housings 3 together in the direction of an axis at right angles to said walls, the housings become locked together in an effective and simple manner. Moreover, by releasing the clamp, the housings are very easily separated. The use of screws and other conventional securing means is thus eliminated.
One illustrative interlocking means is shown in Fig. 7 per se, and in combination in Figs. 3, i, 6 and 8. The principle on which it works is shown in Fig. 9. As shown in Fig. 7, the septum i4 is formed from a flat piece of material which may be metal. A hole is stamped therein having a configuration adapted to receive each of two opposite panels i9. Instead of a hole extending all the way through two depressed portions or spaces on each side to receive respective panels Ill on adjacent housings (as diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 9) would be adequate. As a 3 manufacturing convenience it is easier to stamp a hole all the way through than to make two separate depressions. The thickness of the sep tum i4 is at least equal to the sum of the thicknesses of the two juxtaposed panels with which the septum cooperates.
Figs. 1 to 4 illustrate how the housings are clamped and interlocked.
The clamp has jaw portions l6 and a bottom strap portion iii. Three housings may be placed side by side in a row with an interlocking memher or septum M between each pair of housings engaging oppositely juxtaposed panels it. The jaws it are sprung apart as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 2, the group of three housings is inserted between said jaws it, the latter are permitted to close and the housings are thus pressed together into an operative unit, the jaws engaging the diametrically opposite end walls of the group of housings.
A slot it! may be provided in each of said vertical jaw members as shown in Fig. 5, to receive a panel it on each of the end walls of the combination of housings. Each of these slots may have recessed portions 20 to engage shoulders of housing.
the tongue 2| on the flange. The lower or strap portion l8 of the clamp may be in engagement with the bottom of each housing which may be provided with a shallow groove or recess 22 (see Fig. 3) to receive said strap. Lateral extensions 24 of the jaws may be provided thus forming flanges to permit the combination to be attached to suitable supports, e. g., by means of holes 26. A cover or panel may be attached to the combination by means of holes 28.
It will be understood that two or more circuit connection housings may be included in the combination of the present invention. Three is a convenient number.
In the specific form shown in Fig. '7, the interlocking element or septum 14 has lugs 30 and a flange 32 and as shown in Figs. 4 and 8 these parts engage slots 34 in the vertical walls of adjacent housings. These slots may conveniently be formed in the cover of the housing just above and adjacent to the horizontal flange 5 which secures said cover to the body portion.
In Fig. 6 the flange has a tongue portion 2| and grooves 36. The tongue 2| is slightly wider than the panel It), thus forming two shoulders 38 which engage recesses 40 in the interlocking member. The presence of these tongues 2i on the end walls of the combination cause them to engage recesses 20 in the jaws 16 as above explalned (and illustrated in Fig. 5).
Thus, the interlocking member or septum l4 has a space 42 to receive projections or panels I!) on each of two adjacent housings and conversely, the housings themselves may (and in the specific form shown do) have spaces or slots 34 to receive projections on the interlocking members or septums.
Moreover, each interlocking member may have, as shown, a depending leg 44 carrying a lug 46 for insertion through a slot 48 in the strap I 8. By twisting the lug 46 through an angle of about 45 degrees until it strikes the stops 5O struck up out of the strap, the interlocking member l4 may be held down to said strap if desired.
One of the principles applied to the present invention may be simply illustrated by reference to Figs, 9 and 10 of the accompanying drawing. Each of the surfaces of Fig. 9 has a panel raised in relief thereon. A septum or interlocking element l is interposed between the surfaces and has depressions or spaces into which the panels fit. If the surfaces are now clamped together, the surfaces are pressed into locking engagement. In Fig. 10, the relationship of the parts is the reverse of that shown in Fig. 9. As will be apparent in both cases, the interlocking element I has portions which are complementary in corresponding portions in the adjacent surfaces.
It will be clear to one skilled in the art that the invention in its broadest aspect is not limited to the specific details of construction shown. Thus, for example, the interlocking element 14 instead of having a space 42 to receive a projection on the wall 3 of the housing, could have a projection to be received by a corresponding depression on the surface of the wall of the The principle of this construction is illustrated in Fig. 10.
The interlocking principle involved is illustrated by the fact that the interlocking element has parts which are complementary to other parts on the wall of the housing so that when the housings are clamped together the interengagement of these complementary parts knits the separate structures into a unitary whole.
In some cases however it is not necessary for the vertical portions of element M to engage complementary portions on the adjacent walls and in those cases it is sufficient for the lugs 30 to engage corresponding shoulders or depressions in the adjacent housings. When the lug 4B is secured to the strap IS the housings are thereby held together and to the strap IS, without the necessity for complementary portions embodying the principles shown in Figs, 9 and 10.
The principles of the invention have been set forth and certain embodiments have been described to illustrate said principles. No limitations are intended except as ultimately set forth in the claims properly interpreted.
1. A group of interchangeable circuit connection housings arranged side by side in a row, each housing having a wall juxtaposed and parallel to a similar wall of an adjacent housing; means to clamp said housings together along an axis at right angles to said juxtaposed walls; and means, including an interlocking element interposed between each pair of juxtaposed walls, and having portions engaging complementary portions on each of said juxtaposed walls, to prevent movement of said housings between themselves when they are pressed together; the said clamping means having jaws engaging said opposite end walls and also having flanges extending from said jaws which flanges are adapted to secure said group of housings to a support.
2. A combination comprising at least two circuit connection housings; a surface of one housing opposite to and in juxtaposed relation to a surface on another housing; a panel on each of said surfaces raised in relief thereon and opposite and in juxtaposed relation to a similar panel 'on the other of said surfaces; a septum interposed between said surfaces and having a space fitted to receive each of said panels, said septum thereby preventing substantial movement of said housings in a direction parallel to said surfaces when they are pressed together; and clamp means to press said housings in looking engagement with said septum whereby substantial relative movement of said housings in respect of each other in any direction is prevented.
3. A group of interchangeable circuit connection housings arranged side by side with their adjacent walls in contact, clamping means contacting with the end walls of the group and pressing said adjacent walls together along an axis at right angles to said walls, and means interlocking said housings to prevent movement Y of said housings as between themselves in any direction in planes at right angles, to said axis comprising complementary portions on the adjacent walls of the housings which enter into interlocking engagement when said housings are pressed together.
4. A group of interchangeable circuit connection housings arranged side by side with their adjacent walls in contact, clamping means contacting with the end walls of the group and pressing said adjacent walls together along an axis at right angles to said walls and interlocking means between and engaging each set of adjacent walls to prevent movement of said housings as between themselves in any direction in planes at right angles to said axis.
5. A group of interchangeable circuit connection housings arranged side by side with their adjacent walls in contact, a clamping means contacting with the end walls of the group and adapted to press said adjacent walls together along an axis at right angles to said walls, said clamping means having a lower strap portion engaging the bottom surface of each housing, and vertical clamping members extending up wardly from said strap portion and contacting with the end walls of the group and pressing said adjacent walls together, and means interlocking said housings to prevent movement of said housings as between themselves in planes at right angles to said axis comprising complementary portions on the adjacent walls of the housings which enter into interlocking engagement when said housings are pressed together.
6. A group of interchangeable circuit connection housings arranged side by side with their adjacent walls in contact, a clamping means contacting with the end walls of the group and adapted to press said adjacent walls together along an axis at right angles to said walls, said clamping means having a lower strap portion engaging the bottom surface of each housing, vertical clamping members extending upwardly from said strap portion and contacting with the end walls of the group and pressing said adjacent walls together, and interlocking means between and engaging each set of adjacent walls to prevent movement of said housings between themselves in planes at right angles to said axis, said interlocking means being connected to said lower strap portion of said clamping means.
CARL M, PETERSEN.