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Publication numberUS3363094 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1968
Filing dateNov 8, 1965
Priority dateNov 8, 1965
Publication numberUS 3363094 A, US 3363094A, US-A-3363094, US3363094 A, US3363094A
InventorsMclaughlin Emmett J
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multiple wire connecting means
US 3363094 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


mwzw 52 AT TORNEY United States Patent ()fiice 3,353fi94 Patented Jan. 9, 1968 3,353,094 MULTIPLE WIRE CONNECTING MEANS Emmett J. McLaughlin, Fairfield, Conn., assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Nov. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 506,697 4 Claims. (Cl. 240-52) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A lampholder comprising an insulating housing having an open face portion and oppositely disposed lamp pin and connecting wire receiving end portions. The housing is adapted to receive and hold a resilient, mounting platform and integral cover means in a convenient snapin manner, the platform adapted to cover the connecting wire end portion of the housing, and the cover means adapted to cover a portion of the open face of the housing. This is accomplished by providing the resilient coverplatform means with integral corner and raised portions, and the housing with slotted portions for receiving the corner and raised portions of the cover-platform means. The raised portions of the cover-platform means include a raised portion disposed adjacent one edge of the platform extending in the general direction of the cover. The slotted portions in the housing include a depression in one edge of the connecting wire end portion thereof for receiving the raised portion disposed adjacent the one edge of the platform.

The present invention relates to wiring devices such as lampholders, and particularly to a simple and economical fluorescent tube lampholder housing and support structure that greatly facilitates both the ease of assembly in the manufacture thereof and ease of wiring by the user of the devices.

In fluorescent tube lampholders where quick wire attachment is provided by means of an arrangement having resilient wire engagement spring means, it is generally desirable that the wire engagement arrangement be economically organized to provide those functional features identified with user efiiciency. In the particular case where two or more spring means or resilient arms are provided on a single spring or terminal member for engaging respective wires inserted side-by-side, it is desirable that the overall structure assure wire separation so as to avoid confusion and unreliability associated with physical interference between adjacent wires at the point of attachment- Further, the nature of such lampholders should require components that are simple to assembly for high volume production and economical construction.

With these goals in mind, there is provided in accordance with the principles of the present invention a wiring device or lampholder comprising an insulating housing within which there is disposed at least one terminal means and at least two generally parallel resilient wire engagement arms preferably integral with the terminal means. A portion of a front face and one end of the housing is closed with an L or T -shaped molded cover plate provided with separate holes therein in alignment with the resilient engagement arms. The separate holes permit a plurality of wire leads to be simply inserted into the end of the device in the easily accessible holes in a line of sight manner that ensures neat, positive lead alignment negating confusion of the leads which often results in lead ends coming loose thereby interrupting service and creating hazardous conditions with exposed, dangling live wires. The insulating housing is further provided with a groove or slot on the lower side portions thereof that permits the housing to be easily slipped into a rectangular shaped slot or cutout provided in a light fixture structure. The insulating cover is further provided with a platform (part of the T-shape) having a hole therein designed to receive a screw or similar means for attaching the lampholder to a light fixture surface. Yet another feature of the present construction is the low cost means for securing the molded cover to the lampholder housing Without the use of screws or rivets. This is accomplished by providing molded notches or recesses in the housing and molded matching bumps or bosses on the cover so that the cover will snap into place when forced into position with the housing. This latter feature is further enhanced by using a thermoplastic cover that is more resilient for easy insertion and is less costly to mold and process than thermosetting materials required by underwriters for physically holding current conducting components; the present molded cover, of course, functions only as a cover in the novel combination of means disclosed herein.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an effective quick wiring device or lampholder with means for ensuring positive alignment of a plurality of Wire leads that is simple, inexpensive and efiicient.

Another object of the invention is to provide a unique quick Wiring device having a housing with separate, lineof-sight wiring holes that are easily accessible at one end of the housing.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a quick wiring device in which separate wiring holes are formed as an integral part of a low cost, resilient cover means that allows quick and efficient assembly of the device for high volume production.

A further object of the invention is to provide a quick wiring lampholder and cover structure that simplifies lampholder mounting on a light fixture with means for simultaneously ensuring a snug fit on the fixture.

These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description along with the attached drawing, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a lampholder constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a cover platform used in the lampholder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the lampholder housing with the cover and platform attached thereto, and with portions thereof shown in partial cross-section;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the lampholder shown in FIG. 1 with a part of the cover broken away; and 1 FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a quick wiring terminal means used in the lampholder shown in FIGS. 1 and 4.

Specifically, there is shown in FIG. 1 a wiring device or a lampholder 10 of the fluorescent tube type comprising an insulating housing 12 and an insulating cover 14 molded with a platform or lateral extensions 15 designed to facilitate mounting of the lampholder 10 to a lighting fixture (not shown). Lampholder 10 is generally provided with a geometry within industry dimensional standards such that a pair of lampholders it can be used to support a fluorescent lamp (not shown) in a standard or other fluorescent light fixture.

As is generally well known, a fluorescent lamp may be secured between two holders 10 by guiding its terminal pins in line through opening 30 in housing 12, and twisting the lamp so that the two terminal pins engage spring contacts 32 and finally seat in the indents 34 provided in contacts 32 adjacent housing bosses 36. The lamp is energized through wire leads inserted to quick wiring terminal ends 38 which are an integral part of spring contacts 32 as best shown in FIG. 5.

Lampholder housing 12 and cover plates 14 and 15 are held together by a unique combination of notches and matching projections provided thereon in such a manner that the cover and housing will snap into place when placed together with a slight force. In FIGS. 1 and 3, housing 12 is shown to be provided with a notch 21 provided in the back side thereof that seats a raised portion or projection 19 provided on the top surface of cover plate 14 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. When a resilient cover plate 14 is forced against housing 12, projection 19 snaps over the bottom edge of housing 12 into a notch or depression 21 thereby securing the two structures together.

Inside of housing 12 near the bottom thereof is a raised portion 25 designed to support quick wiring terminals 38, and with the wall structures of housing 12 parallel thereto forms two channels 20 (FIG. 1) designed to receive two block shaped portions 18 provided on cover plates 14 and 15. Channels 20 and block portions 18 guide and center components 12 and 14 when they are placed together. On the inside corners formed by block portions 18 with cover plate wall 14 (FIG. 2) are second, smaller block shaped portions 22 that seat into corresponding notches 24 (FIG. 1) provided in raised portion 25 of housing 12. Notches 24 and block portions or projections 22 prevent the separation of cover 14 and housing 12 in a direction along the longitudinal axis of housing 12 when the two components (12 and 14) are placed together.

To engage cover plates 14 and 15 with housing 12, the corners 14' (shown in phantom in FIG. 4) of the upper edge of cover wall 14 are first inserted into slotted or cutout portions 27 (FIG. 1) provided immediately inside the front face of housing 12 thereby retaining wall 14 in a covering position over quick wiring terminals 38 and the lower half of spring contact arms 32. The platform portion 15 of the cover is next guided along the bottom edge of housing 12 until projection portion 19 snaps into place in bottom slot 21 provided in the back of housing 12 described earlier. Cover plate portions 14 and 15 are made of a resilient material such as a thermoplastic material, so that it is easily bent to engage corners 14 and platform portion 15 with housing 12. Thus, lampholder 10 is simple and easy to assemble and manufacture. Wall 14 of the cover plate rests on ledges 28 (FIG. 1) and raised portion 25 after lampholder 10 is assembled.

In FIGS. 3 and 4, housing 12 and cover plate portions 14 and 15 are shown assembled to form the lampholder wiring device 10. The bottom end of device 10 is thus provided with separate wiring holes 16, as best shown in FIG. 1, with a hole 16 disposed substantially directly beneath a corresponding edge 37 (FIG. of quick wiring terminal 38. One hole is provided for each terminal arm 38 so that the lead wires 40 (FIG. 5) are maintained in individual, line-of-sight alignment for ease of manipulation in inserting and removing the wires. By line-of-sight, it is meant that the lead wire holes are provided in the end of wiring device which is generally the direction from which the user of the device would View device 10 when working with it. Holes 16 are thus easily accessible (in line) to the user of device 10.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the upper surface of platform is provided with two raised portions 13 adjacent block portions 18. Raised portions 13 simply ensure a snug fit between lampholder 1t and the metal bracket support structure that forms a part of a light fixture, not shown. In FIG. 4 a portion of the bracket structure is shown in cross section and labeled with numeral 45. Bracket 45 is forced against the bottom surface of side flanges 29 (on housing 12) by raised portions 13 whenrlampholder 10 is placed into a cutout area provided in the edge of the bracket structure. By such means lampholder 10 is held secure in the light fixture edge while in the assembly process. The flanges 29, provided on the sides of the housing 12, form slotted side portions 26 adjacent the connecting wire end of the housing as best seen in FIG. 1. These slotted portions receive the edges of the bracket structure 45 as shown in FIG. 4.

Cover platform 15 is further provided with a hole 17 designed to receive a screw or similar means so that lampholder 10 may be easily attached to a light fixture surface such as that formed by bracket 45 shown in partial cross section in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 shows in perspective the quick wiring means employed in the unique lampholder 10. Two current carrying leads are shown with bared ends inserted into two wire engagement arms 38. The end edges of arms 38 have V-shaped indented ends 37 for seating the bared wires. Indented ends 37 cooperate with an inside ledge opposite thereto of housing 12 to form a wire bracing surface 39 (FIG. 1) which positively secure lead wires 40 in housing 12. Arms 38 are further separated by a slit 42 extending the substantial length of the arms. Slit 42 ensures arm flexibility and firm, individual securing of the separate wires held thereby.

It should now be apparent from the foregoing description that a novel wiring device or lampholder has been disclosed that is particularly easy and inexpensive to manufacture yet provides a very reliable wiringstructure that ensures retention of wire leads. This is accomplished by providing separate holes on one end of the device so that the holes are clearly in view of and easily accessible by the user. Thus, a hole is provided for each head so that the identity of the leads is maintained at the point of attachment, and each lead can be inserted and secured in a quick-wiring-terminal with certainty of its retention by the terminal. The unique device disclosed herein further includes a low cost flexible cover that contains the separate holes as well as a hole for receiving a means to secure the device to a light fixture; no other securing means is necessary. Neither are separate means necessary for securing the cover to the housing. By'a series of notches and matching bosses and projections, the cover is simply and quickly snapped onto the housing thus facilitating assembly of the device for high volume production.

Though the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example only and that changes in details, combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

7 What is claimed is:

1. A lampholder device comprising an insulating housing having oppositely disposed lamp pin and connecting wire receiving end portions, and at least one open face portion, mounting platform and integral cover means made from a resilient plastic material, the cover-platform means adapted to cover respectively the open face and the connecting wire end portions of the housing,

the cover and platform disposed in planes substantially perpendicular to each other,

the cover-platform means being'provided further with integral corner and raised portions for engaging the housing, the raised portions including a raised portion disposed adjacent one edge of the platform and extending in the direction of the cover,

slotted portions provided in the housing for receiving the raised and corner portions including a slotted depression provided in one edge of the connecting the slotted depression provided in the one edge of the housing.

2. The lampholder device described in claim 1 wherein the platform is provided with a hole for receiving a means to fasten the lampholder device to a light fixture,

the platform further having a plurality of separated apertures adapted to be in substantial respective alignment with end edge portions of wire engagement means disposed within the housing when the cover-platform means is disposed in snap-in engagement with the housing.

3. The lampholder device described in claim 1 wherein the cover-platform means is molded from a thermoplastic material.

4. The lampholder device of claim 1 wherein the insulating housing is provided with slots in the sides thereof adjacent the connecting wire end thereof, and

the platform is provided with raised portions on the side thereof facing the slots provided in the housing when the cover-platform means is disposed in snap-in engagement with the housing.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Marshaus 2405 1.11 X

De Reamer 339-53 Pistey 33953 Golko 240S1.11 Baran et al. 33995 X Dazley et al. 240-51.11 X Nieder-Westermann 2405 1.11

5 NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

DAVID L. JACOBSON, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2137174 *Mar 25, 1938Nov 15, 1938Gen ElectricTubular lamp base and socket
US2247117 *Mar 7, 1939Jun 24, 1941Gen ElectricLamp holder
US3060400 *Jun 27, 1960Oct 23, 1962Gen ElectricFluorescent lampholder with quickconnect terminals
US3080476 *Feb 25, 1960Mar 5, 1963John C Virden CompanyFluorescent lighting fixture
US3135822 *Oct 30, 1961Jun 2, 1964Advance Transformer CoBallast with push-in terminal block
US3138418 *Dec 5, 1961Jun 23, 1964Gen ElectricFastening means for securing a fluorescent lampholder to a panel
US3209141 *May 10, 1963Sep 28, 1965Westinghouse Electric CorpLighting fixture
Referenced by
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US3502864 *Jan 11, 1968Mar 24, 1970Gen ElectricRim-referencing lamp-holder and projection lamp with reflector
US7597575Sep 12, 2006Oct 6, 2009Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Fluorescent lampholder
US7862357Sep 28, 2009Jan 4, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Fluorescent lampholder
US8038458Sep 8, 2010Oct 18, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Fluorescent lampholder
US20070066112 *Sep 12, 2006Mar 22, 2007Anthony TufanoFluorescent lampholder
US20100015832 *Sep 28, 2009Jan 21, 2010Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Fluorescent lampholder
WO2007033241A2 *Sep 13, 2006Mar 22, 2007Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Fluorescent lampholder
U.S. Classification439/241
International ClassificationH01R33/05, H01R33/08
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/0881
European ClassificationH01R33/08P