US 2250513 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 29, 1941 G. H. voN GEI-1R 2,250,513
ELECTRICAL OUTLET Filed Dec. 4, 19355v 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 July 29, 1941. G, H VQN GEHR 2,250,513
ELECTR I CAL OUTLET Filed Dec. 4, l19253 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented July 29, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ELECTRIZIUTLET- I Application December 4, 1933, Serial No. 700,835 4 claims. (ci. 173 334.1)
This invention relates to electrical outlets and has for an. object the provision of a continuous electrical outlet.
'Ihe continuous electrical outlet 'of the invention is adapted to be provided in strips of desired lengths that, throughout their length, are complementary to a usual outlet plug, a plurality of which may be attached thereto by plugging in" for electrically connecting electrical apparatus to a source of electrical energy.
Such a novel outlet may be advantageously employed in domestic or household, automotive,
or other electrical distribution systems for providing convenient terminals for electrical apparatus to obviate long, unsightly, and awkward drop or extension cords and the dangers attending amateur wiring.
Other objects of the invention include the provision of a continuous electrical outlet, and associated connectors for adapting the outlet to various electrical arrangements and to irregularities in supporting surfaces; attaching means facilitating attachment to such surfaces; a construction readily conformable to various schemes of decoration; and other novel. constructions and arrangements of elements and combinations thereof as will appear from the following description which, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a fragmentary elevation of a room employing a continuous electrical outlet embodying the features of the invention; l
Fig. 2 is an enlarged perspective -view of a piece of the outlet shown in Fig. 1;
Figs. 3 and 4 are transverse sections through outlets of slightly different construction, but contemplated by the present invention, the outlet of Fig. 4 being illustrated with a usual or conventional outlet plug;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section similar to that shown in Fig. 4 and showing certain details of construction;
Figs. 6, 7 and 8 are perspective views of connectors for electrically connecting adjacent ends of successive, eo-axial or transversely extending outlets:
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary, longitudinal section of another'form of connector shown connecting adjacent ends of successive, co-axial outlets;
Fig. 10 is a front elevation, cover removed, of the connector shown in Fig. 9;
Fig. 11 is a cross section taken substantially along the lines II-Il of Fig. 9;
Fig. 12 is an end view of the connector shown in Fig. 10; and
Fig. 13 is a fragmentary section similar to Fig. 9, showing the arrangement of the connector for connecting the adjacent ends of successive, transversely extending outlets.
In many rooms only one conventional outlet I5 is employed for supplying electrical energy to electrical apparatus and appliances. At best only a few random outlets are employed and usually in inconvenient locations, so that the arrangement of the furniture and electrical appliances in such rooms is more or less fixed without much regard for the interior decoration or arrangement subsequently decided upon. The result of this dearth and random location of unskilled persons to adapt inconvenient and unsuited electrical supply conditions to frequently changing ideas of decoration and arrangement. These attempts are evidenced by dangerous, exposed wiring, unsightly and entangling extension or drop cords, and/or various other cru'de makeshifts for connecting the increasing number of electrical appliances that are becoming to be regarded as necessities.
According to the present invention, various electrical appliances, such as a radio I6 and a lamp l'l 'may be arranged at any desired location in a room irrespective oi' the location of the outlet I5 and may be supplied with electrical energy through cables or cords i8 having conventional plugs I9 by "plugging in a continuous outlet 2l secured to attaching surfaces -or walls 22. The continuous outlet 2l is energized from the house wiring system lby, for example, a cord 23 having a conventional plug 24 at each end thereof for plugging in the conventional outlet I5 and the continuous outlet 2|.
'I'he continuous outlet of the invention is useful and may be made for various arrangements, assemblies, and purposes. It is important, however, that a plurality of electrical conductors 25, substantially channel shaped as shown in Fig. 2, circular, as shown in Fig. 3, or hollow, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5, be made of, for example,
resilient material and arranged for removably` receiving prongs or contacting arms 26 of the conventional plugs in contacting relationship.
In the form shown in Fig; 2, two opposed channel shaped members are employed to provide a contact for each prong 26. channel shaped members 25 are embedded or otherwise secured in and of a strip 2l of insulating These extend longitudinally material such as wood,
Ait will be observed molded resins, such as Bakelitef rubber, rubber composition, etc. This assembly in the insulating material is illustrated in Fig. 2 in connection with wood molding having a pair of spaced parallel slots or recesses 2l extending longitudinally thereof and having at their inner ends oppositely lextending transverse slots 2l communicating with the slots 28. The slots 2l also communicate intermediate their ends with oppositely extending transverse slots Ii and I2.
The lower or inner flanges of the channel shaped members are secured in the slots 2O and the webs of each pair of the channels converge from these lower or inner ilanges, outwardly to the outer flanges which extendinto the slots 3l and 32. The outer flanges are secured in the slots 3i, but are movable in the slots l2 in order that each pair of opposed channel shaped members 25 may be spread apart by a contact arm 26 of a conventional plug. Suitable mounting means 33 are provided for securing the outlet to the attaching surfaces. In such an outlet a plug electrically connected to any desired electrical appliance, or a plurality of such plugs may be plugged in anywhere along the entire length of the molding or outlet, the resilient members 25 providing good electrical contactors yieldably engaging opposite sides of each arm of the plug.
In Figs. 3, 4 and 5, the molding strip 21 is illustrated as being made of rubber, a composition thereof, or of some insulating material other than wood. In the case of rubber. the contacting pressure exerted by the members 25 on the contact arms 26 of the plug or plugs may be supplied by the elasticity of the rubber as illustrated in Fig. 3 or partially by the elasticity of the rubber and partially by the resiliency of the members 25 themselves, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5.
With more particular reference now to Fig. 3.
that the spaced plug arm reeach provided with a pair In other words, a conductor 25 is embedded in each side wall of each slot 2B so that each plug arm 2i can be forced between a pair of the conductors, the elasticity of the rubber permitting the conductors to spread suiiiciently to receive the arms and holding the contacting parts in good electrical contact.
In Figs. 4 and 5, each conductor 25 takes substantially the form of a figure'. with oppositely extending flanges 3l embedded in the molding 21 and with a yieldable outer opening 3l and a yieidable inner opening 3B. The prongs or plug arms 26 may be inserted into contact with the members 25 through the openings 3l and It, spreading the members apart at each opening as the plug arms are forced therethrough. Ii desired, as shown in Fig. 5, an enamel or nonconducting coating 31 may be formed on the members 25 at opposite sides of the outer opening 35 whereby the current carrying members 25 are more completely isolated from the plug side of the molding.
The continuous outlet already described is adapted to be provided in strips of any desired length and a pluralityof such strips may be electrically connected together end to end, in coaxial relationship, or angulariy rotated to suit the particular' configuration of the surface to which the electrified molding or continuous outlet is attached. 'Various forms of connectors suitable for this purpose are shown in Figs. 6 to 13. Since these connectors are provided in pairs, each being ceiving slots 28 are of the conductors 25.
, site sides thereof. This connector may be identical with the other in the pair, only one of each is illustrated and will bedescribed.
Each connector of the type shown in l'lg. 8 is provided with obposltely extending, wedgeshaped members lt having stop lugs Il at oppomployed to connect the adjacent ends of two succeeding molding strips 2| together by inserting amember Il into eachoi theslots latanend and axially thereof, between the channel shaped` conductors in -Fig. 2, between the oonductors in Fig. 3, orinto the openings Il and It in Fig. 4. up tothe lugs 3l. The adjacent and of the strip to be connected is then positioned so that the opposite members ll are aligned with the slots 2l in the latter strip. This strip is forced axially thereof into abutting D with the lugs 39. In this position each oonnector electrically connects the corresponding conductor 25 in two co-axial molding strips or outlets.
0n the other hand, where desired, the connectors, Aof the 4type shown in Fig. 6, may be lnsertedy into the slots 28 at an angle to the outlet strip and another strip connected to the opposite ends of the connectors, as described above, to connect the strips together at an angle to one another.
A hollow tube 4I having a slit I2 longitudinally thereof to permit contracting the -tube Il to a diameter slightly less than the hollow lower portion of the figure l conductor shown in Fig. d may be employed to connect the corresponding conductors of this type in two strips or outlets. Each such tube, while being held in the contracted position slides into the lower portion of the oorresponding conductors of the type shown in Fig. 4 and upon being released, expands and resiliently contacts the conductors embracing it.
Fig. 8 shows a connector that is solid and has arms 43 tapering at .their ends Il to permit sliding the arms into the conductors shown in Fig. 4. A iiange l5 intermediate the ends of this oonnector serves as a limiting stop for the connector.
In Figs. 9 .to 13, a housing or casing stantially the same construction and appearance as the molding or insulating strip 21 is provided with a dished portion and a cover portion l1 secured together and attachable to a mounting surface or wall by screws or other suitable attaching means It. The housing or casing thus formed is provided at one end with spaced slots l! in the dished member It of the casing and at its other end with spaced slots Il in the end wall of the dished member 4l and spaced slots 52 in the end of the cover member l1 communieating with the slots il. A pair of spaced, parallel grooves 53 in the cover member 41 simulate the slots 28 in the molding or continuous outlet.
A pair of conducting buses or strips Il are secured on internal shoulders or ledges Il at opposite sides of a central, longitudinal depression Il inside of the casing by transverse, insulating straps 51 held in place by a washer Il and n'uts ll on each screw I8. Each strip or bus Il is provided at each end with an outstanding pro- .jection or lug ti which is turned or formed outwardly as at 62 to providea contacting arm 03 extending through a slot l! at one end and a slot 5| at the other end of the strip or bus. These arms 83 are adapted to slide between the conductors shown in Figs. 2 and 3 either longitudinally or angularly thereof, or into the openof subings 35 and 3B of Fig. 4, longitudinally or angularly of the conductors therein illustrated.
In order to provide for a corner connection, each bus or strip may be turned or folded outwardly, as illustrated in Fig. 13,v to a position where the contacting arms project through the slots 52 in the vcover member 4'! of the casing. In this position the outstanding projections are folded back outwardly of the straps 51 to provide a thrust bearing for the contact arms.
By the term "mechanically separate" as employed in the claims is meant that the conductors are mechanically independent except insofar as they are supported in operative relationship by the insulating material. In other words, the vconductors are not integrally connected in such a manner as to exert any substantial individual plug gripping tension except that due to the resiliency of theinsulating strip.
While the invention has beenW described for use in connection with housewiring systems, it will be understood that the continuous outlet'may be employed in various `other electrical systems where attaching surfaces are provided and where it is desirable to distribute electrical energy to a plurality of electrical appliances.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to secure by United States Letters Patent is:
l. 'A continuous electrical outlet adapted to receive throughout lits length one or more outlet plugs in operative electrical contact, comprising a yieldable strip of insulating material having av pair of slots extending longitudinally thereof and adapted to receive the contact arms of an outlet plug, a pair of mechanically separate electrical conductors in each of said slots each conductor of each said pair of conductors being yieldably supported by a wall of said slot whereby'said strip and said conductors are yieldable transv versely of the outlet at plug inserting pressures plugs in operative electrical contact. comprising a yieldable strip of insulating material having a pair of slots extending longitudinally thereof and adapted to receive the contact arms of an outlet plug, a pair of mechanically separate electrical conductors in each of said slots and yieldably mounted upon said strip whereby said strip and said conductors are yieldable transversely of the outlet at plug inserting pressures so as to urge the conductors toward the arms of the plug, said conductors being of such shape as to permit ready bending of the outlet whereby the outlet is substantially conformable to irregular wall surfaces.
3. vA continuous electrical outlet adapted to receive throughout its length one or more outlet plugs in operative electrical contact, comprising a yieldable strip of insulating material having a pair of slots defined by elastically yieldable opposed walls extending longitudinally thereof and adapted to receive the contact arms oi an outlet plug, a pair of mechanically separate electrical conductors in each of said slots and yieldably mounted upon said strip whereby said strip and said conductors are yieldable transversely of the outlet at plug inserting pressures so as to urge the conductors toward the arms of the plug, said conductors comprising wires extending longitudinally of the strip and mounted upon the yieldable wallsof the slot whereby plug contacting pressures are exerted by the yieldability of the strip.
4. A continuous electrical outlet adapted to re- I ceive throughout its length one or more outlet so as to urge the conductors toward the arms of the plug.
2. A continuous electrical outlet adapted to receive throughout its length one or more outlet plugs in operative electrical contact, comprising a yieldable strip of insulating material having a pai? of slots extending longitudinally thereof and adapted to receive the contact arms of an outlet plug, a pair of mechanically separate electrical conductors in each of said slots and mounted in opposed relationship upon opposite walls of each slot, whereby said strip and said conductors are yieldable transversely of the outlet at plug inserting pressures so as to urge the conductors toward the arms of the plug.
GEORGE H. voN ciEHR.