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Publication numberUS2506212 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 2, 1950
Filing dateJan 5, 1948
Priority dateJan 5, 1948
Publication numberUS 2506212 A, US 2506212A, US-A-2506212, US2506212 A, US2506212A
InventorsGrohsgal Alexis C
Original AssigneeCable Electric Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiunit electrical outlet construction
US 2506212 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 2, 1950 A. GROHSGAL MULTIUNIT ELECTRICAL OUTLET CONSTRUCTION 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 5, 1948 9 2 L w m 5% 3 agl 8- z 2 Li. W

fl. C. G/raksyaz INVENTOR A'I'I'ORNEYSQ May 2, 1950 A. c. GROHSGAL 2,506,212

rwumcmm ELECTRICAL ovum CONSTRUCTION 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 5, 1948 INVENTOR ATTORNEYS Patented May 2, 1950 MULTIUNIT ELECTRICAL OUTLET CONSTRUCTION Alexis C. Grohsgal,

New York, N. Y., assignor to Cable Electric Products, Inc, Brooklyn, N. Y.

Application January 5, 1948, Serial No. 519

6 Claims.

This invention relates to the construction of a multi-unit electrical outlet. More particularly, the invention relates to electrical wiring apparatus for houses and buildings wherein a plurality of wiring devices, such as switches, receptacles, indicating lamps, and the like, are arranged in the space usually alloted to a single device of such character, and wherein interchangeability of the devices provide for ready assembly of any desired combination thereof in a single outlet box.

Multi-unit apparatus of the general character described is not in and of itself a new development in the art. However, it is a matter of basic importance that the replacement of one type of wiring device by another be accomplished with the utmost ease and speed, so as to give full effect to the interchangeability features of apparatus of the character described. Often, it is necessary that the replacement be accomplished by inexperienced persons lacking in technical knowledge, and it is thus a worthy aim to so form the apparatus as to reduce the number of separable parts to an absolute minimum, and to permit easy assembly and disassembly thereof.

Closely related to the above aim is the desire of any manufacturer to reduce the number of assembly operations, and to permit such operations to be carried on with more facility and speed than has previously been the case. In this way, the cost of manufacture is capable of being materially reduced, thus benefitting both manufacturer and consumer.

It may, therefore, be stated as the main object of the present invention that it is intended to provide a novel construction, for multi-um't electrical apparatus that will permit easier and faster assembly and disassembly of the wiring devices, thus to give greater effect to the interchangeable features thereof; to reduce the number of separable parts; and to provide, in a device meeting these aims, apparatus which is inexpensive as to manufacturing cost, and yet of great strength and durability.

In its broadest aspects, the invention embodies a construction wherein a novelly formed clamp member is readily assembled with a wiring device such as a switch, receptacle, or pilot light, to state a few examples; wherein a bridge is novelly formed to permit the clamp member to be swiftly placed in exact registration therewith and wherein, further, the clamp member, after having been registered with the bridge, is supported to the bridge by a novel lug arrangement that permits speed of assembly and disassembly without detracting from the strength of the assembled parts. Continuing, the invention embodies additionally a blank of novel formation, to which a barrier can be readily secured, the blank being used to take up the space normally occupied by a wiring device, where such device is. not needed.

With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel details of construction and combinations of parts, hereinafter more fully described and pointed out in the claims, it being understood that changes may be made in the construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.

Referring to the drawings:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a multi-unit electrical outlet formed and assembled in accordance with the invention.

Figure 2 is a side elevational view, a wall plate to which the unit is attached being illustrated in longitudinal section.

Figure 3 is a transverse section through the blank, taken substantially on line 3-3 of Figure 2. t

Figure 4 is a perspective view of a wiring device assembled with its clamp member.

Figure 5 is a perspective view of the facing of said wiring device.

Figure 6 is a perspective view of the clamp member prior to being assembled with the wiring device.

Figure 7 is a perspective view of the housing of the wiring device.

Figure 8 is a perspective view of the blank.

Figure 9 is a bottom plan view of said blank.

Referring to the drawings in detail, I0 designates a bridge which is readily formed from av flat metal stamping. In the present instance, the bridge Ill is rectangular in outer conformation, and in most cases, this would be its shape, although as will be obvious, this particular con-- figuration is not critical to the invention.

Formed in the bridge I t near its ends are openings II, adapted to receive screws, not shown, by means of which the entire unit can be mounted in an outlet zbox, also not shown. The bridge I!) is also formed with a single large central opening I2, through which the upper portions of the various wiring devices extend. The longitudinal edges of this opening are turned upwardly so as to define side flanges I 3.

Also formed in the ends of the bridge are threaded openings l4, receiving screws I5, where- .3 by the assembled unit is connected to a wall plate 16.

Extended longitudinally of bridge l adjacent the opposed side flanges I3 are small spaced projections l1, [8. These projections are on the under side of the bridge, and are readily formed by punching at the time the bridge is stamped out. The purpose of these projections, as will be described in more detail hereinafter, is to permit swift and accurate positioning of the wiring devices in their proper positions with respect to the bridge to which they are to be supported.

In apparatus of this type, a plurality-of wiring devices are assembled removably and interchangeably in a unit capable of being mounted in a single outlet box. As an. example, I have illustrated in Figure 1 a switch and a receptacle, separated in the present instance by a blank member. These are so illustrated purelyfor the sake of example, and any combination of suitable wiring devices can be used.

The'reierence numeral [9 designates a wiring device housing. Longitudinal shoulders 28 extend from end to end of each side wall-of the housing. The housing also has indented corners 'I2I the indentations terminating just short of the top edge of the housing, so as to define corner abutments 22.

A wiring device facing 23 is of suitable type, and has tongues 25 extending from either end thereof. When facing 23 is assembled with housing I9, tongues 26 engage the inner surfaces of the end walls 25 of the housing, at the top of said end walls.

A'clamp member (Figure 6) is stamped to shape, and has downturned side flanges 25 con nected by cross members 2'1, these defining an opening receiving facing 23. The facing is inserted diagonally through said opening, so that tongues 24 underlie cross members 21, while the sides of the facing overlie the flanges 25.

Integral with the cross members 27 are'upturned lug Strips 23. The side flanges 26 are extended beyond the cross members so as to provide ears 29 at each corner of the clamp member. The clamp member is completed by formation of openings 30 in the cross members 27, at bothends of the clamp member.

As indicated above, the facing 23 is readilyassembled with the clamp member simply by diagonal insertion through the large central opening of. said member. Then, the assembled parts are assembled with the housing it as illustrated-in Figure l. This is accomplished simply by-positioning these assembled parts upon the housing. The various parts are swiftly registered by tongues 2 engaging end walls-25, and by the-side flanges 26 engaging shoulders 22. The operation is completed by turning ears 29 inwardly into the indentations 2i, whereupon the abutments '22 will prevent disassembly of the parts.

A wiring device so constructed is suported to bridge Ill simply by placing-it againstthe-bridge, and pressing the ends of lug strips 28 inwardly as illustrated in'Figure 1. Prior to connecting the wiring device to the bridge in this manner, the wiring device is swiftly and accurately positioned in its proper location by projections ll or it entering openings 30 of the clamp member.

No special tools are required to connect the parts, or for that matter, to disassemble them. Thus, the assembly of a unit of the type stated is readily accomplished swiftly and accurately by inexperienced persons.


vention that a single bridge i0 is adapted to support either a two-unit or a three-unit type of interchangeable outlet apparatus. In the illustrated example, a three-unit type is shown (it being understood that the blank member in the center could be removed in favor of a wiring device). In this case, the projections I! are used. However, an identically formed bridge could be used for supporting a two-unit type, by employment of the projections l8. This would be a contributing factor toward the reduction of manufacturing costs, since all bridges can be identically formed for twoand three-unit devices.

In Figures 8 and 9, there is illustrated a blank member 3! used for a purpose previously stated. This is preferably molded integrally, for plastic material or the like. As readily seen it includes a'fa'cing disposed above a base 32 adapted to underlie bridge 10, with the facing projecting, of course, through the central opening I2 of the bridge. Base 32 has recesses32' disposedvin-its upper surface at opposite ends thereof, these being adapted to receive either projections H or was thecase may be.

Integral with base 32 are depending end portions 33. Longitudinally aligned bottom slots are formed inthe end portions, and'end slots 35 are also formed in said portions. At 36 is illustrated abarrier in oneend of which is formed a large indentation 37 that defines side legs -38. Thus, legs 38 are readily pressed into slots 35, while the bottom edge of the indentation-3l is received in-slots or grooves 34.

- The blank-member 3! is also formed with ears 39 'at its respective corners, disposed just above the base 32. Referring. to Figure 1, it may be noted thata blank member can be-readily interposed between two wiringdevices by simply positioning ears 39 above the-ends of the cross members 21 of the clamps of said devices. 'In this way, the blank member 3| is supportedby the devices at its opposite sides and thus held assembled with the bridge.

What is claimed is:

1. In a-multi-unit single-gangoutlet construction,a bridge having an opening, wiring devices disposed within the opening, clamp members on said devices, extensions integral with the opposite ends of each clampmember upturned-to embrace between them the opposite sides of the. bridge, and lugs extending from the sides of said extensions and inbent over opposed side edges of the bridge.

2. In a multi-unitsingle-gang outlet construction, a bridge-having .an opening, wirin -devices disposed within. the opening, clampmembers'on said devices, extensions integral withfthe opposite ends of each clamp member upturned to embracebetween them the opposite sides of the bridge, lugs extending from the sides of the extensions and inbent over. opposed side edges of the bridge, and means for-registering the devices with the bridge in selected locations within the opening, said means comprising spaced down wardly extended. projections formed on the under surfaceof the bridge, each clamp memberunderlying the bridge and havingprojection receiving recesses.

-3.-In a multi-unit single-gang outlet construction, a bridge having an opening, wiring" devices disposed within the opening, clamp members on said devices, T'GXtEflSlOl'ls integral with the op'posite ends of each clamp mem'ber upturned to embrace between them th opposite sides of the' bridge, lugs extending from the sides of the extensions and inbent over opposed side edges of the bridge, and means for registering the devices with the bridge in selected locations within the opening, said means comprising spaced downwardly extended projections formed on the under surface of the bridge, each clamp member underlying the bridge and having projections receiving recesses, adjacent projections being spaced apart a distance equal to half the width of a wiring device, and said recesses being disposed medially of the sides of a wiring device, thus to permit centering to a bridge of both even and odd numbers of devices,

4. In a construction for a bridge-supported wiring device, a housing having an open front and corner projections, a clamp member overlying the front of the housing, ears integral with the clamp member at the corners thereof and deformable under the corner projections, a facing closing the front of the housing and including end tongues engaged under the ends of the clamp member, and upturned end extensions on the clamp member adapted to embrace opposed side edges of a bridge.

5. Means for supporting a wiring device to a bridge comprising a clamp member in the form of an integral stamping, said stamping including upturned extensions at opposite ends thereof, a pair of wing-like lugs extending from the sides of each extension and adapted to be inturned over a bridge, down turned side flanges on the clamp member and ears on the opposite ends of each side flange adapted for gripping a wiring device housing.

6. In a multi-unit single-gang outlet construction, a bridge having one aperture for a plurality of wiring devices, wiring devices having their facings extended through the aperture, each wiring device including a clamp member underlying the bridge and engaging portions of the wiring device against separation, downwardly extended projections struck from the bridge, said clamp members having openings receiving said projections for registering the wiring devices in the aperture, and end extensions integrally formed on each clamp member upturned to embrace between them the opposite side edges of the bridge, each end extension including wing-like lugs deformable inwardly to extend over the upper surface of the bridge to support the wiring devices thereto.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,875,224 Despard Aug. 20, 1932 1,998,353 Bennett Apr. 16, 1935 2,160,713 Bentley May 30, 1939

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US1998353 *Feb 4, 1933Apr 16, 1935Bryant Electric CoElectric wiring device
US2160713 *Oct 7, 1937May 30, 1939Arrow Hart & Hegeman ElectricMeans for mounting interchangeable electric devices
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2778869 *Nov 5, 1953Jan 22, 1957Arrow Hart & Hegeman ElectricMounting for electric wiring devices
US2807683 *Oct 7, 1954Sep 24, 1957John I Paulding IncFlush switch and casing therefor
US2907855 *Nov 7, 1955Oct 6, 1959Evelyn JewellElectric line switch
US2969418 *Mar 3, 1958Jan 24, 1961Gen ElectricInterchangeable wiring devices
US3167372 *May 2, 1962Jan 26, 1965Gen ElectricInterchangeable wiring devices
US3170744 *Jun 27, 1960Feb 23, 1965Ite Circuit Breaker LtdRemovable grounding receptacle for panelboards
US3236989 *Aug 9, 1963Feb 22, 1966Killark Electric Mfg CompanyExplosion-proof electrical accessory assembly
US3371149 *Oct 18, 1965Feb 27, 1968Sierra Electric CorpBarrier protection of electrical power and television antenna lead receptacles
US3562468 *Oct 30, 1968Feb 9, 1971Gen ElectricSwitch mounting means
US3622840 *Feb 24, 1970Nov 23, 1971Fedtro IncMultiple outlet structure
US3733451 *Mar 23, 1972May 15, 1973Square D CoElectric switch assembly for control stations having rectilinearly or rotatably movable switch operators located at different centers
US5965844 *Sep 30, 1997Oct 12, 1999Lippa; Jerome M.Mounting plate and cover for two electrical boxes in the same horizontal plane and method for installation
US6051785 *Jun 9, 1998Apr 18, 2000Jackson Deerfiled Manufacturing CorporationElectrical wiring switch and receptacle leveling/protector plate
US6218613 *Aug 19, 1998Apr 17, 2001Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Divided standard device inch box
US6313403 *Aug 6, 1999Nov 6, 2001Pass & Seymour, Inc.Wiring device with integral axially oriented ground plate
US7618284Aug 30, 2007Nov 17, 2009Hubbell IncorporatedElectrical assembly having an outlet with both power and communications connectors
US7806736Jul 1, 2008Oct 5, 2010Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring device terminal and related method of termination
US7909664Mar 1, 2010Mar 22, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination apparatus and method
US7963812May 29, 2009Jun 21, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination apparatus and method
US8047883May 29, 2009Nov 1, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination mechanisms and methods of use
US8137145May 29, 2009Mar 20, 2012Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring termination mechanisms and use thereof
US8944859Jun 1, 2010Feb 3, 2015Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Wire clamp for a wiring device
DE1092983B *Oct 30, 1957Nov 17, 1960Busch Jaeger Duerener MetallKombination von drei unabhaengig voneinander betaetigbaren, fuer sich allein nicht als Geraete verwendbaren elektrischen Geraetesystemen
DE1097513B *Nov 2, 1957Jan 19, 1961Busch Jaeger Duerener MetallKombination von drei unabhaengig voneinander betaetigbaren, fuer sich allein nicht als Geraete verwendbaren gleichartigen elektrischen Schaltgeraetesystemen
DE1206052B *Jul 27, 1961Dec 2, 1965Berker GebMehrfachkombination elektrischer Installationsgeraete
DE3536213A1 *Oct 10, 1985Apr 16, 1987Siemens AgProtection load interruptor circuit breaker
U.S. Classification174/53, 220/3.2, 220/242, 248/27.1, 220/3.94, 439/135, 361/628
International ClassificationH01R25/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R25/006
European ClassificationH01R25/00D