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Publication numberUS2843652 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1958
Filing dateNov 7, 1955
Priority dateNov 7, 1955
Publication numberUS 2843652 A, US 2843652A, US-A-2843652, US2843652 A, US2843652A
InventorsCarmen Manzella
Original AssigneeWalter S Paterson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination electrical outlet
US 2843652 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 15, 1958 c, MANZELLA 2,843,652

COMBINATION ELECTRICAL OUTLET Filed Nov. '7, 1955 p 11v 1111 |l.|


United States Patent COMBINATION ELECTRICAL OUTLET Carmen Manzella, New Brunswick, N. 1., assignor of one-half to Walter S. Paterson, East Orange, N. J.

. Application November 7., 1955, Serial No. 545,284

1 Claim. (Cl. 174-58) This invention relates to combination electrical outlets or switches, and more especially to those of the flush type.

An object of this invention is to provide a combination electrical switch of the flush type which is easy and safe to install and replace, whether the current is turned on or not.

A further object is to provide combination outlets of the type described which are simple in construction, eificient in operation and which are adapted to be used with conventional electrical equipment and in accordance with standard electrical procedures.

Other objects of this invention will become apparent from the following description.

The replacement of defective electrical switches has long been recognized as being in an unsatisfactory state of development. For one thing, there is danger of broken leadin wires resulting from the necessary handling involved in repairing or replacing conventional switches and other electrical outlets. Additionally, there is considerable inconvenience entailed in turning the current off during such operations. It is only infrequently that a complete circuit diagram is available for the premises and the person replacing a switch has the choice of either turning off all of the electrical power or of removing the fuse applicable to the switch circuit by a trial and error process.

Replacement of conventional switches while the current is still on is merely an invitation to trouble and should be avoided.

The situation is becoming increasingly more important, by reason of the tremendous increase in the use of electricity in the average home, particularly in the United States of America. Such increased use is of course accompanied by the need for more outlets. Accompanying such increased use is the fact that switch failures are often liable to happen during the day, as a result of the use of appliances such as electric washing and drying machines for clothes and dishes, ironing machines, etc. At such times the chances are that there is no one available for the quick and safe replacement of the switch.

This problem has been recognized by others and suggestions have been made to improve the situation. The suggestions which appear to have greatest merit involve the use of easily-removable switches in receptacles without the need to touch the terminal wires from the power source. While this approach appears to have much merit, theoretically, as a practical matter suggestions based on this approach have not been successful, either because of the need for special units too far removed from conventional ones, or because of the complexities inherent in the so-called solutions, or because the suggested solutions were not effective, or for other reasons.

By my present invention I have succeeded in accom-- plishing the foregoing objects, as well as others, by providing an electrical outlet which is adapted to be mounted in a wall or other suitable place. The outlet has a re ceptacle and a switch insert.

The receptacle is box-like, having an open front and ice top, bottom, side and rear walls. On the interior of the receptacle, along the top and bottom walls, are projections. Along the interior of the side walls are laterally-yieldable electrical contact members.

The removable switch is of such size and shape as to be telescopically-receivable by the receptacle so as to beheld firmly in place without screws or other securing means, while allowing for electrical contact between the switch and the receptacle, the latter being electrically joined to the conventional lead-in wires. This simultaneous accomplishment of firm receptacle-switch telescopic relation and electrical contact is accomplished in a simple, effective and novel manner as hereinafter shown. The switch insert has recesses along the top and bottom walls which are of such size, shape and in such position as to engage slidably with the aforementioned projections on the interior of the receptacle. The recesses :have stop members near the front of the switch which abut with the front edges of the aforesaid projections when the switch and receptacle are in telescoped flush-fit relation.

The switch insert also is provided with recesses along each side of such size, shape and location as to slidably and frictionally engage the aforesaid latterally-yieldable electrical contact members of the receptacle. Flush with the surfaces of the recesses in the switch are electrical contacts which engage the laterally-yieldable members. of the receptacle to provide electrical contact.

With the foregoing in mind, my invention consists of certain novel features of construction and combinations and arrangements of parts which will be more fully herei-na'fter described, and which will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which like characters represent like parts throughout and which form a part hereof.

In the drawings:

Fig. l is an exploded side elevational view of a preferred embodiment of my novel electrical outlet, including an escutcheon or cover plate, and showing the receptacle secured to a wall, shown in section;

Fig. .2 is a front elevational view of the receptacle of Fig. 1., this view being in the direction shown by the arrow X of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a section taken along 'the line 33 of Fig. 2, looking in the direction shown by the arrows of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a rear elevational view of my novel switch insert of Fig. 1, looking in the direction indicated by the arrow Y. of Fig. 1;

Fig. 5 is a plan view of the switch insert of Fig. 1; and

Fig. 6 is an assembled view of the parts shown in Fig. l, the receptacle and cover plate being shown in central vertical transverse section.

Referring to the drawings, my novel electrical outlet comprises a box-like receptacle 10, a switch insert 12, and, if desired, a cover or escutcheon plate 14. These parts may be made from any suitable material, such as phenol-formaldehyde molding material, e. g., Bakelite, hard rubber, porcelain, etc.

The receptacle 10 has top 16, bottom 18, side 20 and rear walls 22 and contains a chamber 24 to receive the switch insert 12. The front 26 of the receptacle 10 has upper and lower portions 28 adapted to be placed in contact with the wall 30 and by means of screws 32 passed through holes 35 secured thereto.

As may perhaps be seen best from Figs. 2, 3 and 6, there are projections 34 of rectangular cross-section located along the interior of the top 16 and bottom 18 wallls. These projections 34, indeed, are desirably integral with the top and bottom walls and may be formed therewith, as by molding an insulating plastic, to form the receptacle 10. The projections 34 terminate at a point 36 short of the front 26 of the receptacle 10.

The rear wall 22 of the receptacle has openings 38 for the electrical contact members 40. These are similar to bus bars in appearance and are secured to the back of the rear wall 22 of the receptacle 10 by screws 42. Terminal lead-in wires 44, connected to the current source, are also secured in place by the screws 42, thereby making for secure electrical contact between the lead-in wires 44 and the contact members. 40.

The switch insert 12 has a housing 46 which contains the mechanism (not shown) of conventional switches, the one shown being a toggle switch. The housing 46, like the receptacle 10, is made of electrically-insulating material, in this case, a suitable phenol-formaldehyde molding material. The lever 48 is used to turn the switch 12 on and off in the conventional manner.

Located along the top 50 and bottom 52 walls of the switch insert 12 are recesses 54 of such size, shape and location as slidably and frictionally to engage the projections 34 when the switch is inserted as far as it will go in the chamber 24. Stop members 56 are provided near the front of the recesses 54. These stop members 56 abut with the front edges 36 of the projections 34 so as to prevent further penetration when the insert 12 is in place in the chamber 24. These stop members 56 are located so that when the switch insert 12 is in flush-fit relation to the receptacle 10 (as shown in Fig. 6) the switch insert 12 is not in contact with the rear wall 22 of the receptacle 10. While desirable, this latter feature is not necessary.

In the embodiment shown, the stop members 56 are extensions of a front plate 58 secured to the forward face of the switch insert 12. However, if desired, the switch insert 12 may be molded so that the recesses 54 terminate anteriorly with edges which would have the same function as the stop members 56.

Located along the side walls 60 of the switch insert 12 are other recesses 62 of such size, shape and location as slidably and frictionally to engage the laterally-movable contact members 40. Substantially flush with the surfaces 64 of recesses 62 are electrical contacts 66 for the switch mechanism. The contacts 66 shown have an opening 68 therein which engages with the grommet-like portion 70 of the electrical contacts 40 of the receptacle 10 when the switch insert 12 is in flush-fit relation to the receptacle 10. If desired, the entire surfaces may be of electrically conducting material.

The operation and assembly of my novel electrical outlet combination is believed to be clear from the foregoing.

The lead-in wires 44 connected to a current supply source are secured to electrical contact members 40 by the screws 42. The receptacle 10 is then secured to the wall 30 by screws 32 passing through the openings 35.

The switch insert 12 is then placed in the chamber 24 ,4 so that a flush-fit relation is obtained. Even without the cover plate 14 the switch insert 12 is adequately secured to the receptacle 10 by reason of the snug fit resulting from the engagement between the contact members 40 and recesses 62 as well as by the engagement of the projections 34 and recesses 54. Movement of the lever 48 controls the turning on or off of current to the fixture, appliance, or the like in the circuit.

If desired, the cover plate 14 may be used, being secured to the outlet by means of the screws 72.

In the event of switch failure it is a simple matter to remove the insert 12 and replace it with another. No wires need be touched. The replacement can be made safely with the current on. There is no need to interfere with the current being supplied to any electrical devices such as lights, appliances, or the like.

While I have described my invention in detail in its preferred embodiment, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art, after understanding my invention, that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. I aim in the appended claim to cover all such modifications and changes.

I claim:

An electrical outlet, which comprises, in combination, an insulated box-like receptacle having side, top, bottom and rear walls, and being open in front, projections on the interior of said top and bottom walls extending from the interior of said rear wall and terminating short of said opening, laterally-yieldable electrical contact members adapted for connection to a source of electric current and positioned adjacent the interior of said side walls, a removable switch comprising recessed means on the top and bottom walls slidably engaging said projections whereby said switch and said receptacle are in flush, telescoping relation to each other, said recessed means terminating anteriorly in stop members adapted for abutment with said projections, recesses in each side wall of said switch having vertical surfaces and electrical contact members therein, flush with said vertical surfaces, whereby when said receptacle and said switch are in flush-fit relation electrical contact is made between their respective electrical contact members and said receptacle and, said switch are held together in operating relationship.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,170,190 Ravlin Feb. 1, 1911 2,531,350 Chrastina Nov. 21, 1950 2,626,335 Landin Jan. 20, 1953 2,734,115 Dupre Feb. 7, 1956

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1170190 *Apr 3, 1911Feb 1, 1916Frederick J RavlinElectric switch.
US2531350 *Jun 27, 1947Nov 21, 1950Clifford C PoarchReceptacle for a switch
US2626335 *Oct 18, 1950Jan 20, 1953Hart Mfg CoElectric switch
US2734115 *May 12, 1953Feb 7, 1956 dupre
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3140425 *Feb 9, 1962Jul 7, 1964Electronics Corp AmericaElectrical connector apparatus
US3980197 *Mar 17, 1975Sep 14, 1976Ware Fuse CorporationElectrical outlet box
US4103125 *Apr 15, 1977Jul 25, 1978Louis MarreroModular electrical switch/outlet assembly
US4752239 *Feb 26, 1987Jun 21, 1988Heinemann Electric CompanyCircuit breaker support and connection modifying device
US4780088 *Aug 17, 1987Oct 25, 1988Means Eugene EConnecting plug for electrical switches and receptacles
U.S. Classification174/58, 439/538, 439/536
International ClassificationH02B1/044, H02B1/015
Cooperative ClassificationH02B1/044
European ClassificationH02B1/044