Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3103398 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 10, 1963
Filing dateAug 16, 1960
Publication numberUS 3103398 A, US 3103398A, US-A-3103398, US3103398 A, US3103398A
InventorsMalcolm T. Phelps
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Door hinge for electrical connection
US 3103398 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 10,- 1963 M. T. PHELPS 3,103,398

DooR HINGE Fon ELECTRICAL CONNECTION Filed Aug. 16, 1960 E 2 sheets-sheet 1 INVENT OR BY @Am/M7 ATTORNEY Sept 10, 1963 M. T. PHELPs DooR HINGE ECR ELECTRICAL CONNECTION Filed Aug. 16, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheetl 2 f3' q INVENTOR /rI/c'a/m 7.,'/9/76//6' I w BY y//ff/V ATTORNEY United sat-@S Pat-em o 3,103,398 DOR HINGE FOR ELECTRICAL CONNECTION Malcolm T. Phelps,-.la1nestown, N.Y., assigner to Weber- Knapp Company, Jamestown, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Aug. 16, 1960, Ser. No. 49,869 3 Claims. (Cl.v 339-4) This invention relates to improvements in hinges for mounting doors on cabinets and more specifically-is vdirected to hinges that are particularly :adapted yfor use to support cab-inet doors wherein electrical connection must be established tand maintained between one or more devices within thecabinet and door-mounted units. In this reference, the invention is well suited for use in mounting the doors of a cabinet in which :certain units of a high iidelity stereophonic reproducing device `are located.

In the past, stereophonic reproducing devices have Vconsisted of -a combined record player or other reprodncer with an `amplifier unit `and a pair of separate and independently movable speakers. These speakers Vwere required to be spaced apart .and in such angular arrangement with respect to each other that sound emanating therefrom would have a point of intersection. It is at this point that stereophonic sound may best' be heard; but, of course, by changing the angular relationship of the speakers, the point of sound intersection may-be a variable distance from the speakers. Y l

As stereophonic reproducing devices became of greater interest to the'purchasing public, manufacturers ofsuch equipment endeavored to make them more attractive and compact. 1One vvay of accomplishing this was to honse the recording or reproducing unit in one cabinet `and attach the speakers to .the bi-parting doors of another cabinet. These doors were of hollow design and the c-ontained speakers were so positioned that sound therefrom came from the inside face of the doors. Ot course, the doors were so mounted or hinged that they could be opened upwards 'of 180, thus permitting directing the sound from the speakers to intersectclose to or at a suitable distance from the cabinet. An ampliiier connected with the reproducing devicewas located vin the cabinet and electrical connections were provided between it and the door-contained speakers.

Keeping in mind that the speakers can only properly function when the doors are both open to an extent greater than 90, it is evident that wires leading from the ampliiier lto each of the speakers would `generally be visible at .all times the speakers were in use. Even though only a relatively short amount lof slack wire may be necessary -to enable swinging the doors into Ifullyopenedvposition, it appears that repeated movement of the doors subjects the wire to Wear and deterioration by flexing and that in time the wires usefulness to cleanly transmit electrical impulses is impaired. Furthermore, it would seem that the open doors of a cabinet of this naturev invitewire abuse or damage by small inquisitive children.

It is a general purpose land `object of the invention to provide hinges for cabinet doors that enable establishing electrical connections-between units carried by the doors and a cabinet contained amplifier unit.

Another object of the invention is to provide means ktor substantially concealing :all wiring connections between a door mounted unit and a cabinet contained -unit thro-ugh the assistance of a pair of hinge leaves having positive electrical connection.

Y A further object of the invention lies in the provision of a pintle that so connects `a pair of hinge leaves yas to assure positive electrical connection in lal-l rotatable positions of said leaves.

vforming part of the invention).


tribute to smooth relative rota-tion of the leaves but also' create :a positive electrical connection therebetween `at `all times and Iin all relative positions.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be more fully understood and appreciated `from a consideration `of the lfoltlowing speciiication, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings; which,

=FIG. 1 is a :generally lfront view of a cabinet having speaker carrying doors shown in wide-open position, the doors being mounted by hinges embodying one rform of the invention;

IFIG. 2 is an enlarged transverse vertical sectional view of the structure shown inFIG. 1, being taken substantially on the line 2 2 of this tigure;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal sectional View taken substantially on the line 3--3 of FIG. 2, partsr being broken away to disclose the elements;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of the structure appearing in the circle in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is `an enlarged side elevational view of the hinge Referring more particularly to the drawings, the reference numeral' 10 is employed to generally designate a cabinet in which one form of the invention is embodied. The cabinet may be of any desired artistic form and, for present purposes, is merely shown as a box-like struc-v ture having a top 11, upper rail 12, lower apron 13, and side portions M, all of which define a front opening in the cabinet. As the present invention relates to cabinets Afor use with stereophonic reproducing devices, two amplifiers 1S and `16 are shown lto be located on the cabinet base or iloor 17. These arnpliiiers have suitable connection -with a reproducing device (not shown or The cabinet opening is inten-ded to be closable by a pair of identical reversely disposed bi-parting doors 18. As is apparentin FIGS. 2 and 3, each door 13 is of hollow construction and includes anouter `Solid panel 19 from lwhich marginal panels 21 extend at right anglesl in a rearward direction. A rear panel 22 is provided and centrally thereof is an opening 23'. It is evident from the drawings that the hollow doors 1S are each intended to mount 'and conceal speakers '2S and, inv consequence, the marginal panels Z1 are of appropriate depth for this purpose; Also, since speakers offdiierent diameter 'are contemplated as being used in this manner,

the opening 235A in each door will preferably be of a diameter sufficiently less than the diameter of the speakdesignated at 24, and which constitute the ressence of the invention. One leaf of each hinge is attached to apron 13 or upper rail 12, the other leaf being attached to the top and/ or bottom of the door 1'8.

As will have been understood from the above introf duction to the invention, it is necessary to provide posiloc-ation of one of the lower hinge tive 'and what may be termed clean electrical contact between the amplier units 15 and 16 and their respective speakers 25, despite the yfact that the speakers are contained in the doors 1'8 and that these doors of necessity must be movable into a predetermined angular relationship if true stereophonic sound is to be obtained. Obviously, it is a simple matter to run leads 2-6 and 27 from each of the amplifiers upwardly and downwardly in concealed condition within -a hollow rear panel 28.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 7 and 8, and considering only one ampli'lier unit and speaker, it will be noted that the lead 26 extends beneath the cabinet base 17 to the inside face of the apron 13 where there is a recess 29. As clearly shown in FIG. 8, this recess exposes the pointed end of one of the screws 31 that secure one of the hinge leaves to `the cabinet apron. The other lead 27 passes upwardly through the rear wall 28 and continues along a groove 32 to a recess 33 which, being similarto the recess 29, exposes the pointed end of one of the screws 34 that secure the upper leaf of one of the hinges .to the rail 12 of the cabinet opening. Similarly, Iwith reference to the leaves attached to the door 18, the ends of certain of the screws securing such leaves are exposed by providing recesses such as 29a and 33a;

From the foregoing, it is evident that whatever electrical impulses are available at the amplifiers 15 and 16, such impulses are now carried through leads 26 and 27 to the bottom leaf of the hinge for one door and the top leaf of the hinge `for the same door. The problem, of course, is to provide for positive transmission of impulses from the amplier to the other leaves of the hinges in order that connection may be had with the speaker contained in the door.

Attention is now particularly directed to FIGS. and 6 of the drawings. Herein the hinge is shown to consist of two leaves. IFor purposes of explanation, leaf 36 is considered the `top leaf and leaf 37 the bottom leaf of each hinge. However, this position would be reversed when referring to the lower hinges. As is common in hinges where it is desired that cabinet doors be capable of swinging into approxi-mately 180 open position, the pin or pintle end of the hinge is offset, as suggested by the angularly disposed portions 38 and 39 of the leaves 36 and 37, respectively. The body portion 41 of leaf 36 is provided with three countersunk openings 42. At the' end of the portion 38 0f this leaf is a circular opening 43. Still in the portion 38 isa small opening 44 which is perhaps slightly closer to the opening 43 than the nearest screw opening 42. At the end of the portion 39 is an opening 45. This opening is deliberately made with multiple angular side walls such, for example, as a rectangle, star, etc. However, the innermost, opposite surfaces of any two sides of this opening are equal to the diameter of the opening 43 in portion 38. Leaf 37 has countersunk screw openings 46 through |which screws 47 may project to secure the adjacent leaves to the top and bottom edges of the door 18. In the drawings, the countersinking appears in this leaf but not in leaf 36 inasmuch as it is secured by screws that extend upwardly from beneath the leaf.

Between the end portions `38 and 391` of the leaves is a spacing washer 48. This washer serves no other purpose than to properly space the leaves and, of course, may be iiormed from a material such as nylon to promote: smooth relative pivotal movement of the leaves. Above the portion 38 is a further wlasher 49, preferably formed trom the same material las washer 48. A pivot pin 51 is provide and includes a rounded head 52, the under surface of which is fiat and conventionally perpendicular to the axis of the body of the pin. As lsuggested in the exploded view ot FIG. 6, the hinge leaves fare joined by merely projecting the pin through washer 49, opening 43, washer 48 and opening 45. The length of the pin is such thlat it will project slightly beneath the portion 39 of the lower leaf 37 and this projecting portion, during the process of peening it over to prevent withdrawal, is expanded to completely iill the multiple sided opening 45. In this manner, the pin 51 is not only secured against dispiacement or any possible sepanationf'from the leaves, but is also virtually integrally locked to the lower leaf 37 in order that any movement of said leaf relative to leaf 36 will require movement of the pin.

When the leaves of a given hinge have been joined, as above stated, a cap 53 is applied to the head 52 `of the pin. This cap consists of la securing tab 54 connected to a cup portion 56 by an oifset spring-like portion 57. The tab 54 has 'an opening `58 which, when made to register with the opening 44, is held in place by a rivet 59. As clearly suggested in FIG. 5, the cap 53, when mounted, completely encloses the head 52 of the pivot pin and has pressure contact with said top to lthe extent of the strength of the offset portion 57.

From the foregoing description of the hinge elements and their assembly, it will be evident that any relative pivoting movement of the hinge leaves causes a rotating, wiping, frictional contact between the head 52 and the cup portion 56 of the cap `53. These parts 'are 'accurately matched and, since the cap entirely encloses the head 52, there is no opportunity for any foreign matter whatsoever to come Ibetween these contacting surfaces. Furthermore, due to the pressure exerted by the cap 53, the contacting surfaces are maintained in a clean, bright and highly satisfactory electrical conducting condition at 'all times. It makes no difference which of the two leaves moves during a door opening and closing operation, inasmuch as the head'52 of the pin and the cup portion 56 are carried by different leaves and wiping rotation 4will always occur.

At the time of mounting the speakers 25 in their respec tive doors 18, the top and bottom hinges, the leaves of each of which having previously been joined, lare secured =by screws 47 identified as those -used to secure a bottom leaf 37 of the upper hinge and a top leaf 36 of the lower hinge. As pointed out, the end of one screw for each of these leaves is exposed in yrecesses 29a and 33a. It becomes a simple matter to connect leads 61 land 62 trom the speaker with these screws. Thus, through the pin and `cap arrangement, the ycomplementary leaf or each hinge has electrical connection with the speaker. When the-other leaf of each hinge is Secured to the rail 12 and apron 13 ort the cabinet, one screw of each leaf-namely, 31 and 34-projects into recesses 29 and 33, respectively. Leads'26 and 27, from each of the lampliiiers having lalready been secured as above described, may now be joined to the exposed ends orf the screws. In this manner all wiring is concealedland thereby protected lagainst wear or ydamage and positive electrical connection is established las between each speaker and its respective amplifier.

Although applicant has shown and described ionly one manner of establishing wired connection as between leaves of door hinges and amplifiers, it will be understood that this arrangement may be varied without in any way changing the scope of the invention las set out in the annexed claims.

Having thus set for-th my invention, what I claim las new and for which I desire protection by Letters Hattent 1s:

1. A hinge adapted to provide .a positive electrical connection between the leaves thereof, said hinge comprising a tinst leaf having an opening through one end, la second leart having ia multi-sided :opening through lan end corresponding to the one end of said rst leaf, a pivot pin projecting through the openings in the leaves, one end of said pin -being expanded to lill said multi-sided opening land prevent relative rotation of said pin and said second leaf, a rounded head on said pin, ra spring stnap secured to said first leaf, and a cupped portion on said stnap enclising said head and having total frictional contact there w1 2. A hinge ladapted to provide Ia clean electrical conneotion between the leaves thereof, said hinge ycomprising ya rst leaf having an opening through `one end, ya second leaf having an opening through an end corresponding to the one end of said rs't leaf, said second leaf Opening being out-ofaound, a pin projecting mbrough sxad leaf openings, one end of said pin being expanded to ll said out-of-ronnd opening whereby to prevent pin notation with respect to said second leaf, means earried by said pin and serving to space one lea'f lirom the other, a rounded heard on the other end of said pin, and means enclosing said head and having total rictional Contact therewith.

3. A hinge adapted to provide positive electrical oonnectioin between the leaves thereof comprising a first leaif having a circular Iopening in one end thereof, a second leaf having an opening at one end thereof formed by multiple side Walls, la pivot pin pnojecting through the openings in said leaves, a head on said pin having a fiat under `surface and a rounded top, a washer interposed between said head land said first leaf, and a further washer located between and serving to space one leaf from the other, the free end of said pin 4being expanded to ll the opening in said second leaf whereby to prevent relative rotation, a strap secured to said first leaf, a cupped portion on said 6 strap enclosing the top of said pin, and having total frictionall Contact therewith, relative pivotal movement of eaild leaves eausing the top to have `a continuous wiping contaet with said portion whereby to establish and maintain a elean electrical connection between said fnst and said second leaf.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,691,805 Haulton Nov. 13, 1928 1,916,489 Reichrnlann ITuly 4, 1933 2,060,700 Thomson Nov. 10, 1936 2,171,021 Atwood Aug. 29, 1939 2,836,688 Florschutz May 27, 1958 2,895,033 Favre July 14, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,132,635 France Nov. 5, 1956 OTHER REFERENCES

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1691805 *Dec 19, 1927Nov 13, 1928Penn Machine CompanyTrolley harp and wheel assembly
US1916489 *Oct 10, 1930Jul 4, 1933Albert Abraham SoesmanLink chain for electric illumination
US2060700 *Aug 28, 1935Nov 10, 1936Thomson Gilbert ASpectacles
US2171021 *Apr 19, 1937Aug 29, 1939Atwood Seth BHinge
US2836688 *Feb 10, 1956May 27, 1958Westinghouse Electric CorpElectric device
US2895033 *Jun 17, 1955Jul 14, 1959Gen ElectricCurrent-carrying hinge construction
FR1132635A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3467938 *Sep 11, 1967Sep 16, 1969Franklin Mfg CoRefrigerator door grounding arrangement
US4525746 *Jan 18, 1983Jun 25, 1985Grundig E.M.V.Television set
US4528597 *Nov 4, 1982Jul 9, 1985Grundig E.M.V.Television set
US5586895 *Oct 23, 1995Dec 24, 1996Zehrung; Raymond E.Power transfer hinge
US5687453 *Apr 17, 1995Nov 18, 1997Chrysler CorporationGrounding washer and arrangements for conductive hinge joints
US5727960 *Mar 28, 1996Mar 17, 1998Zehrung; Raymond E.Hinge for passing power
US7752713 *Jul 3, 2001Jul 13, 2010Whirlpool CorporationDevice for electrically powering electrical members positioned on a refrigerator door
US20020002758 *Jul 3, 2001Jan 10, 2002Marco SturaDevice for electrically powering electrical members positioned on a refrigerator door
U.S. Classification439/31, 16/223
International ClassificationH01R35/00, H01R35/04, H04R1/02
Cooperative ClassificationH04R1/02, H01R35/04
European ClassificationH01R35/04, H04R1/02