US 2408471 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ILLUMINATING APPARATUS Filed June 3, 1943 Fig.1.
lnvervtcv'. Geovge S. MerfiLL,
Patented Oct. 1, 1 946 OFFICE.
ILLUMINATING APPARATUS George S. Merrill, Cleveland, General Electric Company,
' New York 7 Ohio, assignor to a corporation of Application June 3, 1943, Serial No. 489,449
My invention relates to illumination, and its principal object is to provide an illuminating apparatus or system comprising a plurality of double-ended, rectilinear, electric light sources and a plurality of connector-supports for said sources. Another object of my invention is to provide a compact, easily assembled and disassembled connector-support for double-ended, tubular, electric lamps, which support is so constructed and arranged'that mounting and removing the lampis readily accomplished. Another object of my invention is to provide such a connector-support for suspending such lamps from a ceiling, or the like, and connecting such lamps in series. A further object of my invention is to provide a connector-support and a connecting rod which protects the user from accidental contact with the electrical connections. Further objects and advantages of the invention will appear from the following detailed description of species thereof and from the accompanying drawing in which Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of a species of my new illuminating system; Fig. 2' is a side elevational, partly sectional view of one of the connector-supports shown in Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is an end elevation-a1, partly sectional view of the connector support shown in Fig. 2; Fig. 4 is a perspective view of the suspension rods shown in Figs. 1 to 3 and one end of a tubular lamp in engagement with one of said rods; Fig. 5 is a side elevational, partly; sectional view of another species of connector-support embodyingmy invention; Fig-6 is an end elevational, partly sectional view of the species of my invention illustrated in Fig. 5; Fig. '7 is a top plan, partly sec-.
tional view of the species of my invention shown in Figs. 5 and 6; and Fig. 8 is a side elevational view of a modified form of suspension rod useful for supporting lamps in the sockets of my invention.. Like numbers denote like parts in all the figures.
Referring to Figs. 1 to 4 of the drawing, my new illuminating apparatus comprises a plurality'of double-ended, tubular lamps Ill, a plurality of aligned sockets H and connecting or suspension rods l2, two for each of said sockets, engaging with said sockets H and said lamps Hi. In Fig. l the sockets are shown secured to a ceiling of a room, or the like, with the lamps suspended therefrom by the rods |2. Each of said sockets accommodates a pair of rods I2 and supports two lamp ends. Each of said lamps I0 is supported by a pair of rods l2 andsockets As best illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3 of the drawing, the sockets comprise a slightly elongated 4 Claims. (01. 173-328) v screws or bolts ill and 2. hollow. body portion of electrically insulating material andmade up of a top plate portion l4 having apertures |5 and I8 for fastening the socket II to a ceiling or the like, two parallel side walls l9 and and two end walls 2| and 22. The end walls 2| and 22 converge or'slope toward each other from the plate I4 and, together with the side walls l9 and 20, form an opening 23 into the hollow interior of thesocket A guide 24, having slightly curved surfaces 25 and 26 which diverge in the direction of top plate I4, is secured to the inner'surface of the plate l4 and extends laterally across the said plate M with the ridge formed by the junction of the two surfaces 25 and 26 directly above the center of the opening 23. Each of the end walls 2| and 22 has secured thereto a spaced pair of slightly curved and tapered projections, or pins 21 and 28 extending in the general direction of the guide 24. An electrical contact 29 of spring bronze, for example, is disposed centrally above the space between each pair of said pins 21 and 28 (Fig. 3). The spring contacts 29 are joined together and supported by a strip 3|! of similar material held between the top plate l4 and the guide 24 and shaped so as to extend from the guide 24 toth'e end walls 2| and 22 and for a short distance along the walls 2| and 22. The contacts 29, which comprise a curved portion and a straight portion, extend from the parts of the strip 39 extending alongwalls 2| and 22 and terminate adjacent the most widely spaced portions of the surfaces 25 and 26 of guide 24 which consists of electrically insulating material. appreciable stiffness and elasticity for the purpose described below.
The rods l2, shown in detail in Fig. 4, consist of electrically insulating material. are rectangular in transverse section and comprise two straight portions making an oblique angle with each other. A wire 3| of electrically conducting material, such as copper, is embedded in each rod I2 and is joined to an exposed electrical contact 32 mounted on one end of the rod l2. The other end of the wire 3| is connected to a pair of resilient metal sleeves 33 and 34 recessed into spaced cavities in rod l2 and into which the spaced contact prongs 35 and 36 of the multipronged bases 31 secured to the envelope 38 of the lamp may be readily inserted and removed. The sleeves 33 and 34 make a frictional fit with the prongs 35 and 36 to make a good physical and electrical contact therewith. A pair of grooves 39 and 40 are provided in the portion of the member l2 adjacent I6 for accommodating The spring contacts 29 have I the end thereof bearing contact 32 for engagement with the support pins 21 and 28 of the socket I I.
In mounting a lamp I6 between a pair of sockets I I, a rod I2 is disposed on each end of the lamp with the sleeves 33 and 34 frictionally engaging the prongs 35 and 36. The contact hearing portions of the rods I2 are then inserted vertically upward into the sockets I I until the contacts 32 engage one of the sides 25 or 26 of the guide 24 and slide along said surface to bring the grooves 39 and 40 into engagement with a pair of said support pins 2'! and 28. The contact 32 engages with and slides along the straight portion of one of the contacts 29 as the grooves 3 9 and 40 slide along the supports 2? and 28 and finally engages the curved portion of the con tact 29 when in the position shown in Fig. -2. The supports 2? and 28 and the contacts 29 are so spaced with respect to the distance between the grooves 39 and itand the contact '32 on the rod 12 that, as the grooves 39 and 39 slide along the supports 2'! and the free end 'of contact 29 is first moved into engagement with the strip 38 and then contact 29 is subjected to a clamping action exerted between the top plate I iand the contact 32. As a result of the clamping action, the contact 29 is flexed more and more as the contact slides along the straight portion of the contact 29. When the contact 32 passes over and beyond the junction between the straight portion and the curved portion of the contact 28, the said contact flexes in the opposite direction and exerts force of sL'iifi'cient'magnitude and in a direction such as to overcome the torque "produced by the force of gravity cnlamp l9. Thus, the lamp i is supported in the sockets H by the pins 27 and 28 on the end walls 2! and'ZE opposing vertical movement and the contact 2'9 opposing the turning moment on rod l2. 'The'force exerted by the contact 29 may be overcome 'to release the lamp H3 by manually inovinglamp it so as to exert a turning moment on rod I2 with the free end of wall ZI or 22 acting. as a fulcrum for rod I2. The lamp ill and the rodsIZ may then be easily moved from the sockets II.
After one lamp ID has been mounted in a pair of sockets H, as described above, the other lamps are similarly mounted in the adjacent pairs-of sockets H, each of said pairs having one socket a;
in common. As is apparent from Fig. 4 of the drawing, the longitudinal axes of the tubular lamps in each of the sockets II are offset from each other, but the space between the luminous parts of adjacent lamps is minimized because the contact prongs 35 and 36 of thebasestloverlap. The lamps it of the apparatus are connected in series by the rods i2 and the-electrically conducting members Ziiydllof the'sockets 'H.
The end sockets of the apparatus areprovided with a conventional current leading-in wire extending therein as indicated at the left in Fig. l. The leading-in wire is connected to the electrical conductor 29, 39 in the socket ii for-connecting the apparatus across the terminals of a suitabie source of electric power in the conventionalm'anher. The sockets ii and the rods I2 may bemade of material, such as porcelain cran organic plastic, having suitable electrical insulating and phys ical properties. The pinsiZl-andZS on'the end walls 2i and 22 of the sockets l i ma be replaced by similarly shaped and disposedridges or tong'ues on the inner surface of the side walls 19 and Z'Q Which maybe separated a distance only slightly 4 greater than the width of the rods I2 to limit lateral movement of the rods I2 in sockets II.
The embodiment of my invention illustrated in Figs. 5 to 7 of the drawing is useful for supporting tubular lamps with their longitudinal axes in the same straight line. The sockets II of this embodiment are the same as those illustrated in Figs. 1 to 4 except that the pins '2! and 28 on end wall 2| are offset such distance with respect to those on-end wall 22 that the sides of smaller area of the. rods I2 are contiguous, as shown in Fig. 6. The guide M has a downwardly facing,
concave surface 42 to direct the grooves 39 and "4B of rods I2 onto the pins 2'! and 28. The conductor'for connecting the two supported lamps in series comprises a central portion 43 clamped between the guide-4I and the top plate 14, connecting and extending transversely to the contacts 4 5 and 45 which overlap for part of their length and are offset from each other as shown in Fig. 7. Rods I2 in this embodiment extend below the lamps IE3 and are perforated as shown at 46 to accommodate a pin, or the like, (not shown) which positively locks the rods I2 together. In this embodiment also the'con-tacts M and 45 are so shaped and of suificient stiffness to oppose the torque on rods 52 exerted by the force of gravity acting on the lamps H3. Spring clips of metal or plastic material may be used in both embodiments to lock rods I2 together and contacts 44 and 45 as well as contact 29 may be used in either embodiment.
The lamps I B'may comprise a solid 'or a gaseous material capable of translating electrical energy into electromagnet radiations. For example, a tungsten filament extending along the lamp envelope 38 may be used for this purpose, or an attenuated, luminosity producing, ionizable gaseous atmosphere and discharge sustaining electrodes may be disposed therein. My invention is particularly useful in connection with discharge lamps of the high. voltage type having co-operating electrodes disposed adjacent the ends of the tubular envelope 33, a gaseous filling, su'oh'as neon, or argon, at 'a pressure of approximately 1 to 10 mm.,-a quantity of vaporizable metal, such as mercury, the vapor of which is at a pressure of theorder of 10 microns and is luminosity producing when excited by thepassage of an electric discharge therethrough and a layer of fiuorescentpowder adherent to the inner surface of said envelope I9, which powder emits light under excitationby radiation fromthegasecus discharge. The electrodes of such lamps are electricallyconnected to one or both of the prongs 5 and 3fi of the ba-se 3 Suchlamps are operated on high voltage without starting switches, in which-case the prongs 35- and 3% may be shortcircuited by the conductor 3i. Ifdesired, a one prong base may be used with the rods I2 instead of the two prong bases illustrated. Where one pronged bases are used, the rods I2 maybe providedwith only a single contact sleeve.
in Fig. 8 of the drawing :1 have illustrated a feature which'may be used in conjunction with either species of suspension rod Shown-11143116 drawing. Thislfeature is a cup-shaped member l'l' of electrically insulating material secured to the rod I2, as by being made integral-therewith, and so disposed thereon that 'it covers 'thebase 3lof the lamp I8 when 'theprongs 35andtb are inserted in the sleeve accommodating cavities of the rod T2. The inner diameter of the cup isslightly larger than the outer diameter. of the envelope '38'an'dthe depth of "the c'up'is so related to the width of the base 31 and the length of the prongs 35 and 36 that accidental contact between the base 31 and the person handling the lamp II] when the prongs 35 and 36 are electrically engaged with the sleeves 33 and 34 is prevented. The peripheral portion of the cup 4'! overlapping th lamp envelope 33 may consist or comprise a light transmitting organic plastic and be divided into a plurality of spring fingers for gripping the envelope 38.
In order to minimize the number of parts of my new apparatus, I prefer to make the sleeve accommodating cavities in the rods l2 by first formwalls diverging upwardly from an opening in the ing apertures through the rods and then plugging one end of the aperture with an electrically insulating material. Thus, only a single die is needed to make the rods I2 of any one of the species disclosed above, since either end of the apertures may be plugged. Further, the number of items stocked may be minimized by making the sleeves 33 and 3!; in such manner, such as a hollow cylinder open at each end and slightly constricted at its mid-portion, that the prongs 35 and 36 of the base 31 may be inserted therein from either direction. The manufacturer may then plug both ends of the apertures with insulating material and the user may remove the plugs from the aperture ends through which the prongs 35 and 3B are to be inserted.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A lamp holder for supporting one end of a walls diverging upwardly from an opening in the bottom thereof, a pair of detachable angular connector members having vertical portions projecting downwardly from said socket opening in side-by-side relation and angularly offset portions each engaging one of said opposed chamber walls, the vertical portions of said connector members each being provided with engagement means to hold an end of a lamp, and clamping means in said chamber adapted to grip the angularly offset portions of said connector members and hold them against said opposed chamber Walls.
2. A lamp holder for supporting one'end of a pair of electric lamps extending in opposite directions therefrom, comprising the combination of a socket having a chamber therein with opposed bottom thereof, a pair of detachable angular connector members disposed in a common plane and having vertical portions projecting downwardly from said socket opening in abutting side-by-side relation and angularly offset portions each engaging one of said opposed chamber walls, the vertical portions of said connector members each being provided with engagement means to hold an end of a lamp, and clamping means in said chamber adapted to grip the angularly offset portions of said connector members and hold them against said opposed chamber Walls.
3. A lamp holder for supporting one end of a pair of electric lamps extending in opposite directions therefrom, comprising the combination of a socket having a chamber therein with opposed walls diverging upwardly from an opening in the bottom thereof, a pair of detachable angular connector members disposed in offset parallel planes and having vertical portions projecting downwardly from said socket opening in side-by-siderelation and angularly offset portions each engag ing one of said opposed chamber walls,,the vertical portions of said connector members each being provided With aligned engagement means to hold an end of a lamp with the lamps axially aligned, and clamping means in said chamber adapted to grip the angularly ofiset portions of said connector members and hold them against said opposed chamber walls.
4. The combination of a pair of connector members for supporting each of a pair of electric lamps extending in opposite directions therefrom, said connector members comprising parallel portions disposed side-by-side and each being provided With engagement means to hold an end of a lamp, said connector members further comprising angularly offset portions making obtuse angles with the said parallel portions so that the assembled connector members form a Y and a socket having a chamber therein with opposed Walls diverging upwardly from an opening in the bottom thereof and clamping means in said chamber adapted to grip the angularly offset portions of said connector members and releasabl hold them against said opposed chamber walls with the parallel portions projecting downwardly from the socket opening.
GEORGE S. MERRILL.