US 2477803 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 2, 1949. c. A. HUBER ELECTRICAL OUTLET SAFETY DEVICE Filed June 25, 1946 Illlll atentcci Aug. 2, i549 UNETED STATES PATENT GFF-ICE ELECTRICAL CUTLET SAFETY DEVICE Clarence A. Huber, Chicago, Ill. Application June 25, 1946, Serial No. 679,077 (ci. 11s-33o) 2 Claims. 1
This invention relates to improvements in electrical connectors and, more particularly, to electrical outlet connectors, such as generally used in panels, walls, and like constructions and/or places, whereby quick electrical ,attachment and detachment may be made as between power supply wires and electrical apparatus or devices. A salient object of my invention is to provide an electrical outlet wherein the electrical contact devices thereof will be normally and effectually shielded or protected from engagement with foreign or improper objects such, for example, as metal constructed and other bodies so often forced thereinto by curious and playing children, as well as adults, with resultant damage to electrical wiring, etc., yand frequently, grave injury to the tampering person.
It is also an object of the invention to provide an electrical outlet of the indicated character, so constructed that the contact devices housed thereby will be safeguarded against the accumulation thereon or therein of foreign deposits, as for example, dirt, moisture and the like; hence, insuring their maintenance in operative condition over a prolonged period of time, and in consequence, their safe and satisfactory use.
A further object of the invention is to provide an electrical outlet device which is of durable and simple construction and which is capable of economical manufacturing production.
Yet another object of the invention resides in the provision of a device of the character stated, so designed and constructed that it can be installed land used in substantially the same manners as conventional standard types of electrical outlets heretofore prevalent in the art.
The foregoing, as well as other objects, advantages and meritorious teachings of my invention, will be in part obvious and in part pointed out in the following detailed disclosure thereof, when taken in conjunction -with the accompanying drawings, it being understood that the form of the invention presented herein is precise and what is now considered to be the best mode of embodying its principles, but that modifications and changes may be made in specific embodiments without departing from its essential features.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is atop plan view of my improved electrical outlet with a. portion of the same broken away and shown in section.
Figure 2 is a transverse section taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1, looking in the direction in ,which the arrows point, wherein one of the outlet guard plates is shown in its closed position.
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 2, but wherein the guard plate is shown with its ways aligned with the contact receiving Vand retaining ways in vthe outlet housing body whereby to admit the blades of an electrical connector therein, the latter being shown in dotted lines.
Figure 4 is a longitudinal section taken on the line 4--4 of Figure 1, looking in the direction in which the arrows point.
Figure 5 is a bottom plan view of the outlet housing body cover plate or cap, and
Figure 6 is a side elevation'of the outlet housing body covering plate or cap, with portions of the same broken away and shown in section.
Referring in detail to the accompanying drawings, the improved device, generally, comprises a housing body I made of plastic or other suitable and electrical insulating material; a, cover plate or cap 2 of similar material, and an attaching bracket 3 made of metal or other satisfactory material.
The design or type of attaching bracket herein shown, it will be understood, may be modified or varied, as desired or required, without in any way, whatsoever, affecting the scope or spirit of the described and claimed invention, as may the housing body l, its electrical contact device (hereinafter described) and its cover plate 2.y
The housing body l is of generally rectangular formation, having somewhat enlarged and opposed end portions 4 and a narrower intermediate portion 5. Relatively transversely arranged, spaced and paired ways 6 are formed in and through the enlarged end portions 4 of the housing body, opening onto its inner and outer faces, as shown in Figures 2, 3, and 4 of the drawings. Said ways receive therein the angularly disposed and formed spring contact fingers 1 of devices or electrical conductor strips I arranged longitudinally of and connected, through screws 9, to the lower portions of the opposite sides of the housing body I,- one of which is shown in dotted lines in Figure 4. Obviously, the screws 9 serve, in addition to connecting their particular conductor strips 8 to the housing body l, as terminals to which electrical supply conductors (not shown) can be xedly connected.
The formation and positioning of the contact fingers 'l in theirespective Ways 6 is such that when the blades or legs lll of-the usual type of plug connector Il are slidably engaged in the latter and with the former, Va positive frictional contact is eiected between said ngers and blades.
Thus, eectual electrical connection therebetween is assured.
To control the ingress (insertion) or the blades I of the plug connector II into the open outer ends of the paired ways 6, in either of the enresponding in shape, size and arrangement to the cross-sectional area and arrangement of the adjacent portion 4 provided ways 6. When the guard plates I2 are positioned on their particular enlarged portions 4 so that the openings I3 therein longitudinally register or align with adjacent ways 8 in the housing body I (see Figure 2), sliding introduction of the blades I0 of the plug connector II through said guard plates into frictional engagement with the housing body retained spring contact lingers 1 can be made. If, however, the guard plates I2 are relatively positioned so that their paired openings I3 are disaligned from the adjacent and companionate ways 6 in the portions 4 of the housing I, as shown in Figure 3, entrance and sliding engagement of the -plug connector blades into said body provided ways 6 from the ways I3, will be prevented. Under these latter conditions, it is obvious that the free ends of said blades will only abuttingly engage adjacent face portions of the body laterally of the outwardly opening ends of the ways 6.
To prevent unwanted lateral or sliding movement of the guard plates I2 over the adjacent portions of their enlarged portions 4 of the housing body I, when said plates are in positions such as indicated in Figure 2 of the drawings, and so, effect unwanted registration of their paired openings I2 with companionate ways 6 in the housing body I, adjacent portions of the face sides of said enlarged portions 4 are formed with rather shallow pockets I0', the inner sides of each of which slopingly approach the open inner ends of the respective or adjacent ways B. Consequently, when said guard plates I2 are in the disaligned positions shown in Figure 2 of the drawings, and the blades I0 of the plug connector II are inserted into the openings I3, their free and inner ends will engage in the bottoms of the adjacent pockets Ill. Thus, unwanted lateral movement of the same and the engaged guard plates I2 will be prevented until side pressure or thrust is deliberately imparted thereto.
In order that the opening provided guard plates I2 shall be slidably retained in assembled relationship with the aforesaid plane outer faces of the enlarged portions 4 of thel housing body I, I preferably employ a form of cover plate such as shown in Figures 5 and 6 of the accompanying drawings, hereinbefore generally indicated by the reference numeral 2. This plate 2 is of a shape and size conforming to the outline 0f the housing body I, and of course, is made of a material similar thereto, i. e., it is formed or otherwise provided with enlarged end portions I4 and a narrower intermediate portion I5. Its normally outer face or side is plane, as will be noted on reference to Figures 2, 4 and 6 of the drawings. Thus, when engaged with and over the outer side of the housing body I, matching and symmetrical arrangement and relationing between the two members will be attained, as well shown in Figures land 4.
lThe plane side of the cover plate, particularly,
the normally inner laces of its enlarged end portions I4, have rectangularly shaped and transversely disposed chambers I6 therein. The shape or said chambers generally conforms with the shapes of the guard plates I2, though as will be observed upon reference to Figures 1 and 5 of the drawings, their lengths are somewhat greater than the lengths of the guard plates, whereby to permit of sufficient though limited sliding movement of such guard plates therein.
It is preferable, though not necessary, that the opposite sides of the enlarged portions I4 of the cover plate 2, shall be curved to correspond to the curved adjacent sides of the enlarged portions 4 of the housing body I; moreover, that the opposite ends of the guard plates I2 shall be similarly curved, for obvious reasons.
Openings or windows 22, rectangular in shape, are formed in intermediate portions of the enlarged portions 4 of the housing body I communicating with the chambers I6 therein and, obviously, afford access to the slidable guard plate I2 and the spaced Ways I3 therein. It will 'or noted that the size of the openings 22 is less than that of the chambers I6 in order that outward displacement of said guard plates with relation to the cover plate 2 will be prevented, and at the same time, that transverse sliding movement of such guard plates will be permitted.
Inwardly extending right angularly disposed flanges I'I are formed on the opposite curved sides of the enlarged portions I4 and, as shown in Figures 2 and 3, are adapted to be engaged or received in rabbeted portions I8 in the adjacent sides of the housing body enlarged portions 4. Thus, when the cover plate 2 is positioned on and over the plane normally inner side of the housing body I, capping engagement between these members will be effected, with the result that relative lateral shifting movement therebetween will be prevented and satisfactory assembly eifected.
A portion `of the normally inner side of the cover plate 2 is longitudinally chambered or recessed, as at I9, and receives therein a leaf spring 2U, whose length is such that its opposite ends extend longitudinally from said chamber into loose engagement with pockets 2l formed in adjacent side portions of each of the slidable guard plates I2. Since the intermediate portion of the leaf spring 20 has bearing on one side wall of its chamber I9, as shown in Figure 5 of the drawings, it will be understood that the slidable guard plates I2 will be normally retained in those positions shown in said Figure 5 and that when sliding movement, in one direction, is imparted to either or both said guard plates I2, resistance will be offered by the engaged ends of the leaf spring 20. Therefore, when either or both said guard plates are laterally pressure freed, they will be immediatelyreturned to their normal positions in their respective chambers I6 under urge of the leaf spring 20, and in such positions, the windows I3 thereof will be disaligned from their respective or adjacent open inner ends of the -housing body provided ways 6. Displacement of the leaf spring 20 from its chamber I8, obviously, will be prevented when the cover plate 2 is cappingly engaged with and over the plane normally inner side of the housing body I.
Fixed connection of the cover plate 2 to the housing I is eilected by a headed and internally screw-threaded sleeve 23 engaged through an appropriate opening in the narrow intermediate body portion I4 and extending into a corresponding opening in the housing body I, as shown in Figure 4.. To complete such connection, a rectangular covering panel 24 is engaged over the normally under or outer side of the housingbody longitudinally thereof, whereupon, the substantially U-shaped attaching bracket 3 is engaged thereover with its opposite ends received in suitable recesses in the adjacent ends of the housing body and its lateral and apertured extremities 3 extended therefrom. A screw 25 is then engaged through registering openings in the bracket 3 and panel r24 and turned into securing engagement with the sleeve 23. Thus, the housing body I, its cover plate 2, the working parts .housed by and between the same, the covering panel 24 and the attaching bracketv 3, will be eiectually retained and secured in assembled relationship. The apertured laterally extending ends 3 of the bracket 3 permits anchoring or securing of the outlet assembly in or to a receiving means.
Assuming that an electrical outlet constructed in accordance with my invention has been installed for use, it will be seen that the spring pressed guard plates I2 are normally retained in positions where their spaced and paired openings I3 are disaligned from the spring contact nger receiving body ways 6. Consequently, unwanted engagement and/or passage of articles or devices into contact with the electrical spring contact fingers will'be prevented. When, however, the blades .III of a plug connector II are entered through the openings 22 of the cover plate 2 into the openings I3 of either of the slidable guard plates I2, and are then moved laterally in a direction to slide the engaged guard plate against the tension of the leaf spring 2D, the openings I3 thereof will be registered with their companionate ways 6 in the housing body I, whereupon, the plug blades I may be moved inwardly thereinto and home to electrical contact with their respective spring contact ngers 'I. Of course, when the plug blades I0 are disengaged from the outlet through the paired openings I3 of either of the slidable guard plates I2, said plates will be immediately moved, under urge from the leaf spring 20, to their normal disaligned positions, as above described.
Unintentional or unwanted sliding of 'the guard I plates I2 to opening registering positions, as above, will be prevented to'a material extent through the provision of the hereinbefore described pockets I0', into which articles or objects such as may be passed through their openings I3, will be abuttingly engaged and prevented from engagement in the contact linger receiving ways 6 until such time as a deliberate side through is imparted to the guard plate or guard plates for registering relation, as explained. Hence, my improved outlet is particularly advantageous and en'ective for use in places where small children may have access thereto and may, in the per therewith.
spirit ol' curiosity or play, tam- In addition to the foregoing, it will be also understood and appreciated that an electrical outlet constructed in accordance with -my invention will serve to prevent the entrance of dirt or similar foreign matter to its interior and working parts, and so, will retain the same in an effectual operative condition for prolonged periods of time.
1. A cover plate for electrical outlets having relatively spaced openings therein, guard plates, one of each of said guard plates being slidably received by the cover plate adjacent and over one of each of said openings in the cover plate, each of said guard plates having spaced openings therein exposed through the openings in the cover plate, and a leaf spring retained in a portion of the cover plate between the openings in the cover plate disposed longitudinally vof said cover plate and having its opposite extremities engaged with the adjacent guard plates for normally retaining said guard plates in predetermined positions with relation to the cover plate.
2. A cover plate for electrical outlets, comprising a body engageable over one side of an electrical outlet, the inner side of said body having relatively spaced and inwardly opening chambers formed in and across the same' and windows formed therein communicating with said chambers, said side of the body having a pocket formed therein between said chambers and opening into and communicating with the chambers at its respective opposite ends, guard plates having spaced openings in each thereof slidably reand over their ceived in each of said chambers respective windows, and a spring arm -received and retained in said pocket having its opposite ends extended from the open opposite ends of the pocket into the adjacent chambers and en gaged with the guard plates slidably received therein fornormally retaining said guard plates in predetermined positions with relation to the cover plate.
CLARENCE A. HUBER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are ofrecord in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS