US 2740873 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 3, 1956 K P, CRONK 2,740,873
HOUSEHOLD SWITCH MECHNISM Filed July 17, 1952 United States Patent O HUSEHOLD SWITCH MECHAN ISM Kenneth P. Erotik, Downey, Calif., assignor to "Pouch- Plate Mfg. Corp., Paramount, Calif., a corporation Appiication July 17, 1952, Serial No. 299,511
2 Claims. (Cl. 200-168) My invention relates to the iield of electrical devices, and more particularly to a household electrical switch assembly which embodies a novel face plate structure and design.
Although the use of electrical switches of the type that may be conveniently positioned on a wall for the control of electrical illumination is relatively old, the ornamentality of such switch face plates in the past has been impaired by the visible screw heads of the supporting screws on the exterior surface thereof.
The primary purpose in devising my present invention is to provide a household switch mechanism embodying a smooth-surfaced face plate of attractive design, and one that may be removably held in place on the body of the switch by means invisible from the exterior thereof.
A major object of my invention is to supply an electrical switch mechanism having integral holding means formed on the rearward surface of the face plate thereof which removably engage the backing plate of the switch to maintain the face plate in position thereon.
Another object of my invention is to provide a face plate for an electrical switch mechanism that is inexpensive to manufacture, and may be fabricated as an integral unit from suitable plastic material in any desired color.
A still further object of my invention is to furnish an electrical switch mechanism embodying a face plate of pleasing ornamental appearance that is durable and easily cleaned, incorrodable, unatiected by atmospheric conditions, and retains its original luster and finish indenitely.
Yet another object of my invention is to provide an electrical switch face plate assembly in which no electrical conducting materials are employed whereby it is impossible for electrical shocks to be transmitted.
A further object of my invention is to furnish a face plate that may be easily positioned on the backing plate of an electrical switch without the use of hand tools of any type.
Another object of my invention is to provide a face plate for a household electrical switch mechanism, the surface of which cannot be marred or damaged as no tools are employed in mounting it on the backing plate.
These and other objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof and form the drawing illustrating that form in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of the front surface of my face plate for an electrical switch mechanism, with the switch actuating button projecting through an opening formed therein;
Figure 2 is a perspective view of the rear of the switch housing and the backing plate on which same is mounted;
Figure 3 is a perspective view of the rearward surface of my face plate, showing the reinforcing ribs thereof and the projecting members which removably hold the plate in position on the backing plate of an electrical switch; and
Figure 4 is a perspective View of the backing plate and 2,740,873 Patented Apr'. 3, 1956 switch actutaing button shown projecting forwardly therethrough.
Referring now to the drawings for the general arrangement of my invention, it will be seen that it embodies a housing H supported on the rearward face of a backing plate P, with a button B projecting through an opening formed in the plate. When button B is moved, it actuates an electrical switch mechanism (not shown) disposed within the contines of housing H. A face plate F, best seen in Figures 1 and 3, is provided which is removably held in position on backing plate P by means that will hereinafter be explained.
Housing H (Figure 2) is of a generally rectangular configuration, and may be fabricated from any one of the various commercially available plastic materials suitable for this purpose. The housing H comprises a rearwardly disposed wall 1Q from which two side walls 11 and end walls 12 extend forwardly to define an opening which abuts against the rearward surface of the backing plate P to enclose the electrical switch mechanism. Each end wall 12 is preferably formed with a projecting lug 13 that has a tapped bore (not shown) extending rearwardly therethrough. Screws 14 are provided which extend through bores formed in backing plate P for engagement with the tapped bores in lugs 13 and to removably support the housing H on the plate (see Figures 2 and 4). By loosening screws 14, the housing H may be readily separated from the backing plate P.
Backing plate P is preferably of a generally rectangular shape, as shown in Figures 2 and 4, and formed of any suitable commercially available rigid sheet material 15. Two vertically spaced transversely disposed slots 16 are formed in the backing plate through which screws (not shown) may extend for holding the plate at the desired location on a wall structure. Plate P has a substantially rectangular opening 17 cut in the central portion thereof through which the actuating button B may extend. Two cylindrically shaped members 18 having annular tapered interiors are provided, which are rigidly disposed in bores formed in the upper and lower portions of the backing plate P.
As shown in Figures l and 3, face plate F is of a rectangular shape with a dat central surface configuration 20 from which four elongate connecting marginal areas 21 extend to define the boundary of the plate. The areas 21 terminate on the outer edges in somewhat shallow rearwardly extending side walls 2, with each side wall having an interiorly positioned vertical face 23. Face plate F is of such overall size that the edges 24 of backing plate P are disposed within the contines of side walls 22 adjacent to the faces 23 thereof. In Figure 1 is shown the manner in which the marginal areas 21 blend to present a pleasing eiiect, the adjoining ends of which are defined by diagonal junction lines 21a.
The face plate area 2G has a centrally disposed opening 24 formed therein through which the actuating button B projects. Two pins 25 having tapered end portions 25a are integrally formed as a part of face plate F and extend outwardly from the rearward face 26 thereof. Pins 25 are so spaced on plate F as to be removably inserted in the tapered portions of members 18. The lit of pins 25 in members 18 is suiiiciently snug that face plate F firmly and removably abuts and is held in position on backing plate P.
To compensate for any unusual pressure exerted on the exterior surface of face plate F if it is carelessly mounted on backing plate P, two longitudinally extending reinforcing ribs 27 are inwardly disposed from the elongate edges of the rearward surface 26 of the plate. Two pairs of transversely extending ribs 28 are also disposed inwardly from the top and bottom edges of the rearward surface of the plate which preferably intersect the rib 27.
Reinforcement of face plate F by the above described rib structure is augmented by a third rib 29 which extends continuously around opening 24 on the interior face 26 of the plate.
Itis preferable that faceplate F,.pins 25, and reinforcing ribs 27, 28 and 29 be formed as an integral unit from a suitable synthetic plasticr material as by molding. It will, be, apparent that actuating button B and face plate F may be fabricated of materials having the same or contrastingV color, depending on the decor of the room in which my invention is to be employed.
The. use and operation` of my invention is very simple. The'y backing plate P is mounted at the desired location and secured to the wall structure by fastening means that pass through slots 16. Electrical wiring (not shown) may be connected to the switch mechanism in housing H, and thusv control electrical illumination by actuation of buttonB. Faceplate F may be mounted on backing plate P without the necessity of tools by simply slidably inserting the pins within the contines of members 18. Face pIate F is then rmly but removably held in position on backing; plate P with the actuating button B projecting through opening 24. As no hand tools are utilized in mounting face plate F on backing plate P, it will be apparent that the possibility of marring or scarring the plate. surface due to slippage of a screw driver, or the like,.is completely avoided.
Although the electrical switch assembly herein shown and described is fully capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore mentioned, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiment of my invention and that I do not mean to limit myself to the details of construction herein shown other than as, defined by the appended claims.
1. In an electrical switch mechanism, the combination of: a substantially rectangular backing plate; a switch 4 mechanism containing housing mounted on the rearward surface of said backing plate; an actuating button for said switch mechanism extending forwardly from said housing through an opening formed in said backing plate; a plurality of vertically spaced, cylindrical, pin-receiving members disposed on said backing plate; a substantially rectangular molded plastic member having a forwardly disposed face embodying a flat central portion in which a button-receiving opening is formed, and elongate marginal areas extending outwardly from said central portion which taper rearwardly; a continuous side wall integrally formed with said member extending rearwardly from the outer edges of said marginal areas to envelope the edges of said backing plate when said member is positioned thereon; and a plurality of vertically spaced, smooth, tapered pins integrally formed with said member on the rearward surface thereof, with said pins when slidably inserted into the confines of said cylindrical pin-receiving openings holding said member in position on said backing plate, and said side walls and ribs cooperating to4 References Cited in the rile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 998,119y Peterson July 18, 1911 1,612,035 Lorenzo Dec. 28, 1926 1,771,498 Petersen July 29, 1930 2,580,056 Wheeler Dec. 25, 1951