US 2415602 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1947- cs. c. MONACO GUARD FOR FLUSH WALL OUTLETS Filed March 16, 1944 INVENTOR.
GEORGE C. IV/0W0 ,4 OQNE Y Patented Feb. 11, '1947 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2415.602 GUARD FOR FLUSH WALL OUTLETS George 0. Monaco, Douglaston Hills, N. Y. Application March 16, 1944, Serial No. 526,775
This invention relates to guard fixtures for fiush wall outlets.
It is the primary object of the invention to providean improved guard fixture for removably covering electric plugs in wall outlets and thus preventing children from tampering with the same.
More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a guard fixture of the character described which may, time and again, be easily removed for insertion or withdrawal of plugs, and then resecured without impairing the wall or the means which holds the guard in position.
Another object of the invention is to provide a. uard fixture of the character described which helps to hold electric plugs in wall outlets.
A further object of the invention is to provide a guard fixture of the character described which is particularly adapted to be detachably connected to fiush wall receptacles whose escutcheon plates are normally secured to the wall outlet with screws.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a guard fixture of the character described which comprises extremely few and simple parts, is inexpensive to manufacture, and is rugged and efiicient in use.
Other objects of this invention will in p rt be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.
The invention accordingly consists in the fea-'- tures of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter described, and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawing, in which are shown various possible embodiments of this invention,
Fig. 1 is a horizontal sectional view through a guard fixture embodying the invention attached to a flush wall outlet;
Fig. 2 is a side elevational view thereof in partial section;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view thereof;
Fig. 4 is an exploded view of the means for detatgiably securing the guard fixture to an outlet; an
Fig. 5 is a top plan view of said guard fixture attached to a wall outlet in accordance with a modified aspect of the invention.
Referring now to the drawing, and more particularly to Figs. 1-4, i denotes an electric outlet box which is secured by a strap l2 to adjacent studs (not shown). The forward portion of the box is embedded in the plaster surface of a wall H, the rim of the box being spaced slightly inwardly from the room surface of the wall. Said box is provided with a pair of ears it which receive screws I8 employed to hold the strap 20 of a duplex receptacle 22 oi. the flush wall type which is herein referred to as a flush wall outlet." Said receptacle includes a body of insulating material, like Bakelite, having twin bosses 24 projecting therefrom and extending beyond the room surface of the plaster wall It. Each of these bosses has a pair of slots for receiving the jack blades of an electric plug 28. Said slots communicate with contacts in the housing which are connected in conventional manner to a source of electric potential. The plugs are attached to the ends of twowire supply cords 28 which lead to electric current consuming appliances.
The hole in the plaster into which the outlet box is fitted, the straps 20, ears I6, and screws I8, and the .body of the flush wall outlet are all concealed by an escutcheon plate 30 which is secured to the body and is part of the fiush wall outlet. Said escutcheon plate, which may be made from any suitable form maintaining material, such as brass or Bakelite, comprises a plane portion 32 having angular rearwardly extending terminal edges 34 which rest on the surface of the plaster wall around the receptacle In. The plane portion 32 is in front of the receptacle body 22 and is spaced slightly away from the room surface of the plaster wall ll, although to all intents and purposes said escutcheon is flush with the wall and is considered as such in the trade. The escutcheon has two apertures 35 through which the twin bosses 24 extend. The escutcheon is also provided with a central aperture 38 which is in registry with a tapped bore 40 in the receptacle body 22. Before the guard fixture 42 embodying my invention is attached to the flush wall outlet, the escutcheon plate is secured to the body 22 by a screw (not shown) whose beveled head is fitted into a countersunk portion H surrounding the central aperture 38 and whose shank is threadedly received in the tapped bore 40.
The fiush wall outlet Just described is a conventional type and it will be appreciated, as the description proceeds, that other standard flush wall outlets may be employed in lieu thereof and that the only element necessarily present in a flush wall outlet to enable my novel guard fixture to be used therewith is a screw which holds the escutcheon plate in position or a tapped aperture which is accessible from the exterior of the outletwith or without removal of a screw. Such tapped aperture may be located anywhere on the external surface of the 3 flush wall outlet although I prefer. that the same be centrally disposed for simplicity and economy of manufacture.
Pursuant to my invention, I provide for use in conjunction with a flush wall outlet such as just described, a guard 46 which may be formed from any suitable material into any desired size and shape and preferably is molded from insulating material, such as Bakelite, into a hollow structure such as the box-like form shown, the same including a front wall 48, top wall 80, bottom wall 52, and side walls 54, It form a rearwardly directed skirt. The rear face of the box is open and is preferably of such outline that it rests against the escutcheon plate 10, in order not to mark the wall whenthe guard is repeatedly mounted on and dismounted from the wall outlet in a manner soon to be described. The
width of the walls 50-58 may be such, pursuant to ancillary feature of the invention, that the frontwall 48 will press against supply cords 2| where they emerge from the plugs 28. This aids in firmly holding the plugs in position, particularly when, due to improper handling or a long period of use, the contacts in the receptacle or the jack blades of the plugs have lost their resilieney or are improperly positioned.
In accordance with my invention, I provide highly improved means for detachably holding the guard 48 in position on the flush wall outlet. Said means comprises a post 58, at one end of which is a screw rod 60 of reduced diameter and at the other-end a tapped aperture 62 having the same thread diameter as the rod 60. The end of the post 58 adjacent said rod the beveled as indicated at 64 to provide an inclined shoulder conforming to the taper 44 surrounding the central aperture 38 in the escutcheon plate 30. It is also desirable to provide suitable means to facilitate turning of the post 40 with a tool, such as a screwdriver or wrench; and to this end a slot 68 may be formed at the end of the post 58 remote from the threaded rod 60, said slot being designed to receive the tip of a screwdriver blade. The means for holding the guard also includes a thumb screw 68, having 9, threadedshank 10, which is designed to be threadedly received in the tapped aperture 62, and an enlarged head 12 which may be of ornamental appearance.
It may be mentioned that the rod 60 and shank 10 have screw threads of the same diameter and pitch, the reason for which will shortly be explained; however, it is also within the scope of the invention for the screw threads on the shank 10 and tapped aperture 82 to be designed for threaded engagement but to have a thread diameter or pitch different from the rod 80.
The shank 10 of the bolt 88 passes through a central hole 14 in the front wall IQ of the guard 46 and, if desired, a portion 18 of the guard immediately surrounding said aperture may be countersunk, as indicated in Fig. 1, and seated on a conical surface I8 flaring from the outer end of the tapped aperture 62. This construction enables the guard to better engage the post It and supplies a firm support for the central part ofthe front wall 48.
One or more of the lateral walls, e. g. the bottom wall 52 of the guard 48 has a plurality of slots 80 extending from the rear edge of said guard. These slots frictionally receive split grommets 82 of resilient material, such as rubber, the slots being suillciently long to allow the grommets to be forced in far enough to clear the escutcheon plate 38. This lensth ot is respectively, such means comprising a boss iii useful where. as here. the guard is designed to engage the escutcheon plate and the plugssinoe ate prevents the' supply cords from being severely It will be noted that the supply cords will not shift easily or accidentally since the grommets II are tightly squeezed in said slots.
To use the guard ll, I first attach the grommets 02 on supply cords near the plugs, the grommete thereafter remaining on the cords ready for use at any time in conjunction with the guard. Next, the plugs from the appliances to be connected have their jack blades thrust into the slots of the flush wall outlet from which power is to be derived. Now or earlierthe screw which secures the escutcheon plate It to the outlet body ,22 is undone and the red ll of the post 58 screwed into the tapped bore 41in place thereof, the rod being made up tight, as with a screwdriver, to firmly hold the escutcheon plate in proper position. The guard I! is then placed over the escutcheon plate with the central aperture It in registry with the tapped aperture 61. At the same time the grommets 82 which have been slid along the cords to a position close to the plugs 26 are forced to the end of the slots 80. Finally, the threaded shank 10 of the thumb screw it is threaded into the tapped aperture 82 and manually tightened to hold the guard in place with itsrear edge resting on the escutcheon plate. when a plugis to be removed, it is only necessary to undo the thumb screw ll, remove the guard and slip the associated grommet out of theguard before pulling out the plug. The post It is allowed to remain as long as the guard is'to be used Means may be provided to facilitate registration of the apertures H, I! in the guard and post integrally formed on the inner surface of the front wall 18 and having a bore 02 therein in which the free end of the post 68 is adapted to be freely received. The mouth 94 of the bore, which faces the escutcheon plate, is flared to guide the free end of the post into said bore.
If desired, I may reduce the number of parts made and sold with the guard fixture and make it even more difiicult for small children to pull out the plugs, by forming the screw rod in and tapped aperture 62 with threads of the same pitch and diameter, as indicated earlier, and omitting the thumb screw 6!. In such case the screw-96 (Fig. 5), formerly employed to hold the escutcheon plate to the receptable body. is used to secure the guard to the post I! as shown in Fig. 5.
It will thus be seen that there is provided a device in which the several objects of this invention are achieved, and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiments above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings" is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention. I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. For-use with an electric fiush wall outlet having an escutcheon plate with an aperture over and in registry with a tapped bore in a member comprising part of the outlet: a guard fixture including a post having a screw red at one end,
which is adapted to be screwed into said bore. means'on said post to press against said escutcheon plate and secure the same to the outlet when said rod is screwed into said bore, a detachable coupling means, one-half of which is carried by said post, said half being spaced along said post from said screw rod, a guard comprising a hollow boxlike structure with an apertured front wall, a rearwardly directed skirt and an open rear face, the aperture in said front wall being registered With said half of the detachable coupling means, a member separate from said post and carrying the other half of said detachable coupling means, said coupling means having a portion passing through said aperture in the guard and said coupling means being so constructed and arranged that relative rotation of th two halves thereof, during coupling, will cause said other half to approach close to said post to bear against the external surface of the front wall of the guard and press said front wall against the post.
2. A guard fixture as set forth in claim 1. wherein the half of the coupling means carried by the post comprises a tapped aperture in the post at the end thereof remote from the screw rod and wherein the half of the detachable coupling means carried by the member separate from the post comprises a screw, said screw being the portion of the coupling means which passes through the aperture in the guard plate.
3. The combination with a guard fixture, such 6 as set forth in claim 1, of an escutcheon plate whose periphery is large enough to contain the open rear face of the guard.
4. The combination with a guard fixture, as set forth in claim 1, of a .plug having jack blades which are adapted to be inserted in an outlet, said plug having a supply cord, the front wall of said guard being spaced a distance from the open rear face of the guard such that when the plug is inserted in an outlet said front wall will press against the supply cord of the plug where it emerges from the plug.
- GEORGE C. MONACO.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS