US 3407376 A
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ELECTRICAL OUTLET CONNECTION MEANS Filed Jan. 27, 1967 INVENTOR, HENRY W MARTIN United States Patent Oifice 3,407,376 Patented Oct. 22, 1968 3,407,376 ELECTRICAL OUTLET CONNECTION MEANS Henry W. Martin, 3407 Justine St., Memphis, Tenn. 38127 Filed Jan. 27, 1967, Ser. No. 612,158 4 Claims. (Cl. 339-41) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An electrical receptacle connected with power means adapted for the reception of a specialized appliance plug, which plug has out-turned contact legs and in which a receptacle device includes means for receiving the appliance plug and for the rotation of portions of the receptacle together with the appliance plug in order to make electrical connection between the appliance plug and the source of power and further with means for effectively retaining the appliance plug against accidental removal.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The primary invention relates to the combination between a utility plug with out-turned legs and a specialized receptacle therefor, enabling its insertion and releasable locking in position against accidental removal, and particularly is related to an electric outlet receptacle for receiving a connecting appliance plug, which means are provided with safety factors for insuring proper contact from the electrical leads into the electric receptacle with the contacts of the appliance plug inserted therein, as well as insuring the safety of guarding the electrical contacts against accidental engagement by persons in an undesired manner, and furthermore assuring that when the appliance plug has been inserted and adapted to the receptacle means and into contact with the electrical leads thereof the appliance plug is locked into position against accidental removal or separation from the electrical contact.
The prior art Insofar as the prior art is concerned the following patents were disclosed in the prior search:
There have been a number of attempts heretofore made for providing a device such as an appliance plug and an electrical outlet receptacle with cooperating means for locking or maintaining the appliance plug in contact position after insertion into and engagement with the receptacle. The prior means have been of only limited effectiveness and have failed to provide cooperating means of simple and effective operation coupled with the insurance of guarding against accidental contact with the electrical current of the receptacle, and also insurance against the unlocking or disconnecting of the appliance plug away from the electrical receptacle in an accidental or otherwise undesired manner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention basically comprises an electrical receptacle preferably having a plurality of outlets, into the contact position of which outlets suitable electrical leads are connected from a desired source of power. The receptacle is provided with a least one rotatable socket means which is spring-loaded so as to move the exterior of the socket means substantially into flush relationship with the exterior of the receptacle, the spring means being yieldable under pressure in order to permit the insertion thereinto of the cooperating and mating appliance plug means of the present invention and the socket means being rotatable in order that after insertion against the pressure of the spring means the appliance plug may be rotated so as to bring the electrical extending contacts of the appliance plug into electrical contact with the electrical leads into the receptacle outlet, and after such rotation into such contact and upon release of pressure upon the inserted plug the spring urging of the socket members now in rotated condition moves the same outwardly toward the exterior of the receptacle, insuring firm contact of the prongs of the appliance plug of this invention against the electrical leads of the receptacle, holding the same in position and place and preventing the accidental removal of the appliance plug from the receptacle until such time as the appliance plug is reversely rotated to return the same to its introduction position and thus to permit its removal.
OBJECTS The principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and novel combination of an electrical outlet receptacle having rotatable appliance plug contact receiving means, together with a cooperating appliance plug for insertion into such receiving means and rotation therewith into eletcrical contact with the electrical sources of the outlet receptacle, and the means for locking the same into position after such rotation has been effected and releasably so until the plug is counter-rotated to its initial insertion position for subsequent removal.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a device in which the electrical outlet receptacle includes a slotted plug-receiving means rotatably mounted in the receptacle and adapted to receive the prongs of an appliance plug inserted therein and for rotation conjointly therewith into electrical contact of the prongs of such plug with the electrical source of the receptacle.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a combination in which the plug is provided with extending prongs having laterally turned distal flanges which are disposed substantially perpendicularly to the extending length of the prongs and which flanges and prongs are adapted to fit into the slots formed in the rotatable portion of the receptacle.
A further object of the invention is generally to improve the design, construction and efficiency of electrical outlet receptacles and'appliance plugs cooperating therewith.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The means by which the foregoing and other objects of the present invention are accomplished and the manner of their accomplishment will be readily understood from the following specification upon reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the face plate of the device embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a partially exploded sectional view taken as on the line IIH of FIG. 1 illustrating details of the electrical outlet receptacle and showing a cover plate in position for mounting and a cooperating appliance plug in entrance position relative thereto.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken as on the line HIIII of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an inverted sectional plan view taken as on the line IVIV of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken as on the line V-V of FIG. 1, and illustrating the appliance plug inserted and moved into operating position in the uppermost portion of the device.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing the relationship of the parts after the rotation of the appliance plug and of the slotted plug-receiving means into electrically operating condition.
3 DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in which the various parts are indicated by numerals, the receptacle outlet arrangement which forms a primary and basic part of the present invention is generally indicated at 11, and this arrangement is adapted to cooperate with an appliance plug 13, the prongs of which are bent laterally outwardly. Receptacle 11 is primarily adapted to be mounted within a suitable junction box housing for insertion into a desired area. This housing and the desired area are not here shown.
Receptacle 11 comprises a main block 15, which includes oppositely extending cars 17 for the attachment of the block and of the receptacle either to a suitable box housing or to some other supporting structure. Block 15 intermediate cars 17 includes a face portion 19 which is apertured and recessed to provide chambers 21 which are outwardly open and adapted to receive suitable socket elements which may be inserted thereinto, for reciprocation and/ or rotation relative thereto. Block 15 rearward of the face portion includes a mounting which provides for the reception and connection of lead mounting members from the receptacle to make the leads available to appliance plug 13. Rearward of chambers 21, main block 15 is additionally recessed on a reduced diameter, as at 23, to provide for the reception and passage of additional elements of the assembly.
Main block 15 is provided with a substantially centrally disposed screw-threaded bore 24 to receive an attachment screw 25 by which a cover plate 27 may be attached to the assembly when it has been installed. This attachment is substantially centrally disposed relative to main block 15, and reawardly of bore 24 for screw 25 is an additional rearwardly open threaded bore for the reception of a screw 29 by which a rear block 31 may be attached to main block 15. Additional screws 29 may be provided substantially at the corners of rear block 31 and threadedly engage into main block 15 for more securely attaching the rear portion of the device to the main portion thereof.
It will be observed that reduced recesses 23 provide peripheral shoulders 33 which serve as stop abutments and limiting means for the devices involved herein.
Reciprocably and rotatably mounted in each chamber 21 is a disc 35, each disc 35 being provided with a pair of forwardly opening plug-prong receiving slots 37. To each of discs 35 is connected a stem 39 which extends rearwardly from the disc through base 47. Each of discs 35 is of less thickness than the depth of the respective chambers 21, but is of substantially equal diameter with each of the chambers for rotational and reciprocable relation thereto.
Rear block 31 is provided with a central hub portion 41 which is formed to mate with and fit over a rearwardly extending portion of the central part of main block 15 to accomodate the reception of central rear screw 29 for the purpose of attaching the rear block to the main block. Radially outwardly from central hub 41, rear block 31 is provided with a pair of chambers 43 which are in substantial alinement and register with chambers 21 in the main block.
Mounted within each rear chamber 43 is a knob-like member 45 having a disc-like base portion 47 of circular conformation and adapted to rotatably and reciprocably fit within chamber 43, knobs 45 including a collar portion 49 rigidly connected with base portions 47. Collars 49 are adapted to rotatably fit within the reduced rearward recesses 23 of main block 15, and collars 49 are slotted as at 51 for the additional reception of plug prong end members. Slots 51 are disposed in register with slots 37 and the collars and forward discs 35 are adapted for conjoint rotational movement therewith under a common urging from a member inserted into said slots.
Stems 39 extend rearwardly from discs 35 into chambers 43 and through collars 49 and base portion 47 of members 45 for connection of discs 35 with members 45.
Preferably stems 39 are grooved to receive a snap ring 53 which may be seated in a suitable recess formed in the rearward part of base portion 47. Bearing against snap ring 53 is a compression spring 55 which oppositely seats against the rear wall 57 of rear block 31 and of chambers 43 formed in the rear block. Spring 55 bearing against snap ring 53 which is engaged with stem 39 constantly urges disc 35 outwardly toward forward condition relative to the main block. Surrounding compression spring 55 is a larger compression spring 59 which is seated between base portion 47 and rear wall 57 and constantly urges members 45 away from the rear wall and forwardly toward the face of this unit and into abutment with shoulders 33.
Laterally from rear block hub 41, the block is chambered as at 61 to receive and house electrical leads supplying electrical power to the respective electrical sockets formed in the unit. Into each of chambers 61 an electrical connection post such as the connection posts 63, 65 is inserted as from the exterior of rear block 31. The posts 63, 65 respectively connect to elongated leads 67, 69, which respectively extend around the rear face of block 15 and between rear block 31 and main block 15, each of leads 67, 69 being preferably mounted in suitable grooves formed in block 15 so as to present the exposed contact surface substantially flush with block 15. The respective leads 67, 69 extend into and partially across reduced recesses 23 adjacent to shoulders 33 so as to make provision for electrical connection with appliance plug prongs when inserted into the appliance sockets and rotated into engaging position. For additional safety against undesired contact, the distal tips 67, 69, are insulated as at 70, the contact surface beyond this insulation being available for engagement by the plug prongs. Electrical connection posts 63, 65 extend externally of the device and are connected as by suitable leads 71 to a suitable source of power, not shown.
It will be noted that collar portion 49 is of less diameter than recess 23 so as to provide for a clearance to permit the extended legs of the porngs to engage with leads 67, 69 as hereafter described.
In conjunction with the receptacle an appliance plug 73 is provided, which includes a pair of projecting contact plug prongs 75. Each of the prongs 75 is provided with a distal laterally projecting flange 77. The lateral extent of flanges 77, which are disposed substantially perpendicularly to prongs 75, is adapted to fit within slots 37 and 51 and to extend through said slots into engagement with base portion 47. Upon engagement of the flanges with base portion 47, further pressure on plug 73 will effect a reciprocation or depression of the base portion member 45 against the action of the compression springs. Further the engagement of the plug body against disc 35 intermediate the slots effects a depression of the disc against the action of spring 53, thus moving base 47 away from shoulders 33, opening a space between base portion 47 and the exposed contact parts of leads 67, 69.
When plug 73 and its attached prongs 75 and flanges 77 have been moved to the extent of their inward travel, compressing springs 55 and 59 substantially to the fullest extent permitted by the limits of their housing, plug flanges 77 are disposed rearwardly of the exposed contact portions of the ribbon leads 67, 69, and thereafter plug 73 may be rotated degrees moving the flanges into contact position with leads 67, 69, the flanges extending over tip insulation 70, and establishing the basis for electrical communication from the external source of power through the receptacle into the plug and through the leads from the plug to the such appliance as may be desired.
After plug 73 has thus been rotated approximately 90 degrees from its insertion position, the pressure thereon may be released whereupon compression spring 59, under the influence of its urging, forces base portion 47 into firm contact with the rearward portion of flanges 77 and forces the flanges solidly into electrical contact repectively with leads 67, 69, thus completing and insuring the desired electrical circuit through the plugs to the desired appliances. At the same time, upon the release of pressure the innermost spring 55 is also released to act against snap ring 53, thus urging stem 39 and disc 35 to which the stem is attached outwardly so as to urge the same into contact with plug 73, additionally urging the plug outwardly so as better to insure electrical contact between the plug carried flanges 77 and the electrical leads 67, 69.
Thus it will be seen that the present device insures a firm and complete electrical contact between the plug prong flanges and the electrical contact leads so as to transmit the energy from the electrical contact leads into and through the plug and thence to such appliance as is desired and in addition that in view of the rotation of plug 73 relative to the receptacle body, flanges 77 when moved as described above into contact with electrical leads 67, 69 are moved rearwardly of shoulder 33 and abut thereagainst, the shoulder thus serving as a limit means against undesired outward movement of the flanges and the plug to which the flanges are connected and insuring thereby the maintenance of the established electrical contact against the chance of accidental interruption thereof.
1. Detachable electrical connection means comprising an electrical outlet receptacle and a communicating pronged plug engaged with said receptacle, in which (A) said receptacle includes at least one plug receiving socket chamber, said socket chamber housing (1) a disc having slots rotatably and reciprocably t mounted therein,
(2) a knob-like member having a main portion rotatably and reciprocably mounted in said receptacle,
(3) spring means in said receptacle urging said disc toward the outward surface of said receptacle, said disc being reciprocable independently of said knob-like member,
(4) additional spring means urging said knob-like member toward said means on said knob-like member extending toward said disc and being slotted in register with the slots of said disc for conjoint engagement and rotation of said disc and said knob-like member,
(B) said pronged plug having prongs each having a distal flange perpendicularly projecting from the respective prongs, said slots receiving said flanges,
(C) elongated leads mounted in said receptacle and extending toward said disc between said disc and the main portion of said knob-like member, insertion of said plug into said socket depressing said disc and said knob-like member to and expose said leads for engagement by said flanges,
(D) said plug in use position being rotated with said flanges moved into contact with said leads, the first said spring means urging said disc into contact with said plug intermediate said prongs, the latter said spring means urging said knob-like member against said flanges into solid contact of said flanges with said leads, said plug being locked into said receptacle against accidental removal upon said rotation into use position.
2. Means in accordance with claim 1, in which said plug is removably engaged with said receptacle, and may be removed after rotation away from said use position.
3. Means in accordance with claim 1, in which the distal tips of said elongated leads are insulated and the ro. tation of said plug to use position moves said flanges into electrical contact with said leads by extending beyond said insulated tips.
4. Means in accordance with claim 1, in which said knob-like member is a double-tiered member having an enlarged tier portion remote from said slotted disc and a reduced tier portion extending toward said disc, said enlarged portion providing a peripheral shoulder adapted as a stop means for means inserted into said receptacle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,137,634 4/1915 Kelting 339-41 1,615,726 1/1927 Row 339-41 1,634,905 7/1927 Jones 339-41 2,731,615 1/1956 Hazen 339-l89 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner.
J. R. MOSES, Assistant Examiner.