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Publication numberUS2305100 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 15, 1942
Filing dateJan 11, 1941
Priority dateJan 11, 1941
Publication numberUS 2305100 A, US 2305100A, US-A-2305100, US2305100 A, US2305100A
InventorsO'brien Joseph F
Original AssigneePierce John B Foundation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connector unit for electric wiring systems
US 2305100 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

yDec. 15, 1942. F O'BRlEN 2,305,100

CONNECTOR UNIT FOR ELECTRIC WIRNG SYSTEMS Filed Jan. 11, 1941 2 sheets-sheen oseph .,Orien .zi/Q H ATTORNEY Dc. 15, 1942. J. F. o'BRiEN WNHECTOR UNIT FOR ELECTRIC hlRlNG SYSTEMS Filed Jan. 11. 1941 2 sheets-smet 2 F @Brien Ffa Hrs! {FORNI-:Y

INVENTOR Joeph l \wm w/V//////////////%/\Q mw Patented Dec. 15, 1942 CONNECTOR UNIT FOB ELECTRIC WIRING SYSTEMS Joseph F. OBrien, Jersey City, N. J., asslgnor to John B. Pierce Foundation. New York, N. VY.. a

corporation of New York Application January Il, 1941, Serial No. 374,059

4 Claims.

The present invention relates to electrical wiring devices.

In particular. the invention relates to a novel connector device for use with an electric wiring system in which conductor-containing units are arranged in seriatim electrical and mechanical interconnection and positioned, for example, at the base board of a room or the like.

The present invention has for an object, the provision of a universal angle connector for such conductor-carrying units, said connector unit comprising elements which may be molded from plastic materials and readily assembled by unskilled labor.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a connector unit having pivotaliy secured branches. each branch being adapted for connection with a conductor-containing unit, and providing means whereby the angular relationship of one of said conductor-containing units with respect to the other may be altered to provide for the continuous run of the unit about an angularly onset building wall, for example, regardless of the degree gf such angular wall offset.

It has previously been proposed to provide anguiar connectors for the, units of such a wiring system, but such angular connectors have been of iixed angular relationship, usually a right angle relationship. It will be apparent that in the run of a system of seriatim-interconnected conductor units around a room, two types of corner units will be required, to accommodate an "inside" corner at the junction of the principal walls of the room, and an "outside" comer to accommodate offsets or bays within the room. Additionally, all of the corners of a room may not be precisely at right angles. The xed-angle corner connectors, therefore, must be made in both inside" and outside" types. thus :adding to the amount of stock necessary for the contractor to have on hand. with attendant inventory difficulties and increased capital outlay.

In the present invention, means are provided whereby a single form of connector is adjustable for both "inside" and outside" angie service. Additionally. the angular relationship of the branches of my improved connector unit is readily adlusted, to conform to wall angle relationships which may not be rectangular.

Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.

In the drawings:

Fig. l is a perspective of a portion of a room. showing a typical installation of my invention:

Fig. 2 is a plan view of a form of the present invention, illustrating the variant angular relationships attainable therewith;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional elevation, taken on lines 3-3 of Fig. 2:

Fig. 4 is a plan section, taken on oi Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a sectional elevation. takes on lines 5-5 of Fig. 3:

Fig. 6 is a sectional elevation, 6-8 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 7 is a sectional elevation, taken on lines l--l of Fig. 3;

Fig. 8 is an exploded perspective of one of the branch elements of my invention;

Fig. 91s a perspective of the housing component of the unit of Fig. 8, showing an arrangement of internal supporting means;

Fig, l0 is an exploded perspective of the compiementary branch element; and

Fig, il is a perspective of one of the electricity conductors of the Fig. l0 component branch element.

Referring to Fig. l, so much of a room is shown as is required to illustrate an application of the present invention. In such room, an electricity conductor system is arranged on the top edge of a base board l0, and said electricity conductor system includes units il, ll, li, interconnected by the universal angle connector devices i2, l2, pursuant to the present invention. As appears. said connection devices l2, l2. may be arranged to form either an "outside or an inside" angle, according to the relationship of the walls of the room. and it is clearly apparent from Fig. 2 that any required angular relationship of the branches of said universal angle connector may be attained.

Desirably, the electricity conductor units li may be of the type described and claimed in the presently cci-pending application of Louis G. Morten and Joseph F. O'Brien. Serial No. 356,344, filed September i4, 1940, issued as Patent No. 2,239,652 on April 22, i941, a feature of such unit being that each end of such units has, respec tively. a male and female configuration whereby conductor units or connecting devices therefor may be assembled in a seriatim electrical and mechanical connection. with access to the internal conductors of the units precluded by the lnterfittlng of the male formation of one unit, with the female formation of the adjacent unit.

For suitable seratim connection with such male and female end portions of a unit il or equivalent. one branch member of the conn :ctor unit I2 may be formed with a male end portion lines 6.-!

taken on lines I4, and the other branch member with a female socket portion I5, as later more fully described. For convenience in designation. the respective branches will be hereinafter referred to as the male branch I6 and the female branch I1, respectively. It is preferable to form these branch members of suitable moldable plastic materials.

Referring to Figures 4 and B, the female branch Il includes a central conductor carrier I8, electricity conductor elements I9, i9. arranged to be supported thereon, and a housing within which the carrier I8 and its therewith associated conductors I9. I 9, may be inserted and suitably flxedly secured as by the illustrated rivets 2I. An end portion of said housing cooperates with the central body member to form the socket I5, as shown in Fig. 3.

The electricity conductors I9, I 9, see Fig. 8, are desirably formed from relatively heavy sheet brass or the like. and have a body 22 and a head 23, joined by a relatively short neck 24. Extending lugs of the body portion 22 may curve about a tubular conductor 25, and be rigidly secured thereto in electricity conductive relationship by soldering or brazing. Suitable apertures 26, 26, and 21 are provided in the body portion 22 'and the disc-like head 23, respectively.

The conductor carrier I8 has a rounded head 28 of substantial depth. projecting forwardly of and at one side at least, offset with respect to an integral body portion 29. Centrally of said head 29, and on each of the principal faces thereof. is formed a suitable depression, each characterized by a. step 30 and an annular rim 3i. The base of each such depression is in a plane common to the corresponding face of said body portion 29, the ends of such body portion faces being defined by upstanding wall formations 32. 32, and a side thereof. by a wall 33. Annular wall formations 34. 3l, are molded on each of said body member faces. From the foregoing. it will be understood that the configuration of the conductor carrier i8 is identical on each of its principal faces. The apertures of said annular formations 9i, 3l. 34 extend completely through the conductor carrier I9.

The conductors I9 fit within the conductor carrier I8, the diameter of the head portion 23 ot the conductor being equal to the minimum diameter of the depressed head portion. and the diameter of the aperture 2l of said conductor head being equal to the outside diameter of the annular portion 3i. Likewise, the length of the body portion 22 of the conductor is preferably equal to the distance between the end walls 32, 32 of the body member 29 and the apertures 26 and the diameters thereof are in registry with and equal to the diameters of the annular elcments 34 0i said body. The thickness of the body 22 and head 23 of the conductors I9 is preferably equal, respectively. to the height of the walls 32 and the distance from the base of the head depression to the step 30 thereof. Thus, the conductors i9 fit snugly within the conductor carrier IB. Suitable accommodation is made for those portions of the conductor body 22 which curve about the tubular condutor 25, and said tubular condutor 25 of each of the conductors I9 rests within a cradle formation 35 in the end wail 32 of the conductor carrier I9.

Referring now to the housing member 2U one end is formed with walls 36 establishing the filmai SOCKS?, portion oi female branch Il. The length of the body 29 of the conductor rari .r-r I8, measured rearwardly from the offset Ill oi .lic

head 29 is equal to the distance from the face 38 of the housing 29 to the offset 39 which defines the limit of the wall 36. The thickness of said body 29 measured at the walls 32 thereof is equa1 to the width of the slot 40 of the housing member 20. The total height of the wall 33 of said conductor carrier Ill is equal t0 the height of the opening 20a of the body member 20, seo Fig. 5. and the length of such wall 33 is equal to the distance from the inner surface of face 35 to the offsets 3S of the housing 2D. Additional supporting devices within the body 20 are provided by the upstanding wall formations 4|, 42.

The maximum width of the head portion 26 is equal to the maximum width 0f the body 20. It will be seen. therefore, that when the conductor carrier i9 and its positioned conductors I9 are siidably Inserted into the housing 20. the sidc wall 33 completes the side closure of the housing 20 and the rearmost wall 82 cooperates with the upper and lower wall 42 of the housing to complete the rear wall formation of the female socket. The head 28 projects forwardly from the housing, and forms an extending tongue for hinge-like connection with the male branch I6 of the complete unit I2. as presently described. The conductor carrier I9 is secured by the rivets 2i, aforesaid. and the respective wall members 4I, I2, of said housing 26 lie in contact with the surfaces of the conductors i9 and hold such conductors against displacement.

The male branch I6. see Figures 3 and 10, may include a central member 63 and cover members 6I, 64. Within each of said cover members 64 is secured, as during the molding stage of said members 64, an electricity conductor element 65. The central member 83 and the cover members 64, 84, are arranged to be integrated into a unitary structure by such means as the rivets 66. Fig. 4.

Referring now to Figs. 10 and 1l, the conductor-s are preferably embedded within the elements 64. 64 during the molding stage thereof. Each conductor Includes a preferably tubular element 6l. suitably secured to a wall formation 66 which may be integral with a circular head 69. As shown in Fig. i0, the head 69 is embedded in. and surrounded by a rim lil of the insulation materiel of which element 64 is formed, and a central annular wall ll is in contact with the internal edge of such head 69.

The opposite end of each member 94 is formed with a wedge-like proiectlon 'I2 for ultimate c0- operation with the female socket portion of a conductor unit II. as suggested by the broken line of Fig. 3.

'Ihe central member 99 is provided with suitable grooves on each of its principal faces to ac commodate such portions of the tubular conductor 65 and the wall 59 as extend upwardly from the surface of the respective members 64, 6d. As Fig. 8 shows. the member 63 has a wedgeiike terminus 13; the length of such member 63 up to the commencement of said wedge I3 is equal to the length of the corresponding portions or the elements 64. When the elements 64 and the central member 63 are assembled. there remains a mouth extending forwardly of the front wall ld of member 69, the maximum opening of which is equal to the thickness of the head 28 of the female branch Il. It will be noted, however, that there is a circular plateau on the surface of each of the body members 64. caused by the head 69 of the conductor l5 and the annular shoulder lil surrounding such head 89. The outer diameter of said plateau is equal to the maximum diameter of the depression in the head 28, and the depth of said plateau is equal to the depth to the offset shoulder 30 in said head 28. Accordingly, the surface of the annular rim i0 rests upon the offset 30 of said head 28, and it will be seen that the head 28 must be positioned between the body elements 64, 64, before said body elements are secured, as by the rivets Si, to complete the assembly with the central body member 63. Such interfitting relation of the head 28 and the body elements 6I, 6I, tends to maintain the hinge relationship of said respective members, and such hinge relationship is secured by a suitable pin or rivetl 16, see Fig. 3. The annular rim lll and its position within the depression of head Z8 provides insulating walls which preclude ingress of water or the penetration of a knife blade or the like which might otherwise contact the conductor portions 69 and/or 23 from without.

As Figure 5 indicates, the annular shoulders Il of the female branch unit I'i adequately insulate the rivets 2| from the conductors i9, i9; desirably, in both the male and femalebranches suitable countersinks are provided so that the rivet heads may be flush with `the outer surfaces of such branches.

The securement of the respective branches i6 and i1 by the rivet 16 is accomplished in such member that it holds the surfaces of the conductor portions 23 and B9 in tight contact. It is not the purpose of the present invention that the branches i6 and ii be freely swingable; to the contrary, itis desirable that positive muscular effort be required to alter such angular relationship.

It is a feature of the male and female interconnection oi the conductor units or the interconnection of a connector unit I2 with a conductor unit that the joint between the conductors of such interconnected conductor and connector units is completely enclosed within a wall of insulation material. To this end, the base of each male projection of each connector unit is provided with a foot which is adapted to close the three-sided female socket. In the instant invention, such foot is provided by a wall l5 formed preferably as an integral part of the central element 63 of the male branch Ill.

After the respective male and female branches of the unit I2 are assembled as aforesaid, and are pivotally secured by the rivet 1B, it is seen from Figure 3 that the respectlve'head portions of the conductors I9 and 65 are in surface contact over a substantial area. Such surface contact remains throughout any angular relationship of one branch with the other and accordingly. continuity of electric circuit is maintained regardless of such angular relationship.

As appears in Figures 4, 5, and 7, the tubular members of each conductor I9 and each conductor Il are in a common plane; it will be understood that the plane of such tubular conductors is the same as the plane of the conductors in the various conductor units Il. Electrical interconnection of the conductors of a 'conductor unit il and the universal angle connector i2 may be accomplished by the insertion, into said tubular conductors, of an electrically conductive pin, preferably suitably tapered to make a close fit with the inner walls of said tubular conductors.

Aa indicated in Figure 4, a passage Ti is provided through the wall of the housing 2li at its socketed portion i5, and a similar passage is provided through thc male projection I4 of the male branch i6. The passage in the female socket l5 of the unit i2 is positioned for registry with a similar passage in the male projection of a cor.- ductor unit. ii, so that when such male projection is inserted into the female socket i5, a continuous passage is provided through which a screw or the like may be passed to secure the units to the wall of a building. Similarly, the passage 1l through the male projection i4 of the unit i2 is positioned for registry with a passage provided through the female socket portion of a. conductor unit i I, so that when said male portion is positioned within the female socket portion of a conductor unit, a continuous passage is provided through which a screw or other fastening device may be passed.

It is to be understood that the respective y branches of the connector unit I2 are not to be limited to any standardized length. It is prefer- .lil

able, however, to have the overall depth and width of the branches of the connector unit i2 equal to the depth and width of the conductor units il, so that the interconnection therewith may be without offset or visible break in surface contour.

Whereas I have described my invention by reierence to specific forms thereof, it will be under stood that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

l. An adjustable angle connector unit for a wiring system, comprising a pair of hingediy joined branches, each branch being adapted for electrical and mechanical connection with a unit of said wiring system, one branch comprising a conductor member having a body and a head extending forwardly thereof, an electricity conductor positioned on each side of said body and having an arcuate contact portion disposed on each side of said head, and a substantially' rectangular hollow housing; for said body, said llous ing having an open side and an open end and a slot-*eri end wall 2o 1x2 .uit ik... body to be inserted into said housing through the open side thereof. with the head extending forwardly of the housing and the open side of said housing closed by a side wall of the body; a second branch in hinged connection with said first branch and having electricity conductors in siidablc Contact with the corresponding conductors of said ilrst branch; and means for pivotally securing said branches.

An adjustable angie unit according to claim l, further characterized by the said housing being of greater depth than the said body, and said housing having transverse walls arranged internally thereof to bear against the electricity conductors of said body and secure the same in xed position thereon.

3. An electricity conductor as recited in claim 1, further characterized by the housing member having a greater length than the body member, whereby on positi-...izng the body member within the housing, the end wall of said body member and the three side walls of the housing form a socket of xcd depth.

4. An electricity conductor as recited in claim l, wherein the second branch includes bod",y memn bers of insulation material overlying the head member of said first-named branch.

JCSEPH F. O'BRIEN.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2447026 *Aug 16, 1944Aug 17, 1948Pierce John B FoundationConnector unit for electric conduits
US4096349 *Apr 4, 1977Jun 20, 1978Lightolier IncorporatedFlexible connector for track lighting systems
US4241965 *Aug 8, 1979Dec 30, 1980Haworth Mfg., Inc.Electrical connector for power panel system
US4370008 *Apr 23, 1980Jan 25, 1983Haworth Mfg., Inc.Wall panel with prewired power system
US5013252 *May 18, 1990May 7, 1991Herman Miller, Inc.Electrified wall panel system
US5112240 *Jan 7, 1991May 12, 1992Herman Miller, Inc.Electrified wall panel system
US5212907 *Oct 13, 1992May 25, 1993Ed Van SandtDoor including electrical device and pivotable conductor therefor
US5214889 *Mar 6, 1992Jun 1, 1993Herman Miller, Inc.Electrified wall panel system
US5249970 *Nov 3, 1992Oct 5, 1993Jennings Michael PMultiple position electrical swivel plug apparatus
US5336097 *Oct 29, 1993Aug 9, 1994Rhc/Spacemaster CorporationModular power distribution system
US5562469 *Jul 31, 1995Oct 8, 1996Herman Miller Inc.Electrified wall panel system
US7566223Apr 20, 2007Jul 28, 2009Belkin International, Inc.Electrical connector and method of manufacturing same
US7614896Jul 1, 2005Nov 10, 2009Haworth, Inc.Solid wire modular electrical system for office areas
US7850458Jun 24, 2009Dec 14, 2010Belkin International, Inc.Electrical connector and method of manufacturing same
US7946852Dec 22, 2008May 24, 2011Belkin Intenational, Inc.Electrical connector and method of manufacturing same
US8002554Nov 19, 2010Aug 23, 2011Belkin International, Inc.Electrical connector and method of manufacturing same
US8197260Aug 6, 2009Jun 12, 2012Belkin International, Inc.Electrical connector and method of manufacturing same
US8469730Aug 6, 2010Jun 25, 2013Belkin International, Inc.Electrical connector and method of manufacturing same
USRE31733 *May 30, 1979Nov 13, 1984Haworth Mfg., Inc.Wall panel with prewired power system
EP0532881A2 *Aug 5, 1992Mar 24, 1993Klöckner-Moeller GmbHDevice for the electrical connection of parallel arranged conductor rails
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/31, 174/86, 174/492
International ClassificationH01R25/16, H01R25/00, H01R35/00, H01R35/04
Cooperative ClassificationH01R35/04, H01R25/162
European ClassificationH01R25/16D2, H01R35/04