US 3861136 A
Clocks with electrical prongs secured in and extending out of the rear of the clock housing. The prongs are shown in the upper part of the clock housing for plugging the clock into the lower of a two-receptacle arrangement so as to clear the upper receptacle, and vice versa. Also shown is an embodiment wherein the clock has a rectangular housing of the length and width of the cover plate for the receptacles. In all embodiments the clock is supported by frictional engagement of the prongs and receptacle, and by pressure of the clock housing against the wall or cover plate. A further embodiment is shown with provision for screw fastening the clock housing to the receptacle center point.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
limited States Patent Blenkhorn RECEPTACLE MOUNTED ELECTRIC CLOCK Inventor: Charles W. Blenkhorn, 3199 Via Buena, Laguna Hills, Calif. 95653 Filed: May 10, 1974 Appl. No.: 469,027
US. Cl. 58/56, 339/147 P, 58/23 Int. Cl G041! 37/14, H011 3/00 Field of Search 58/23 R, 53, 56;
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary Examiner-George H. Miller, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmPerry E. Turner  ABSTRACT Clocks with electrical prongs secured in and extending out of the rear of the clock housing. The prongs are shown in the upper part of the clock housing for plugging the clock into the lower of a two-receptacle arrangement so as to clear the upper receptacle, and vice versa. Also shown is an embodiment wherein the clock has a rectangular housing of the length and width of the cover plate for the receptacles. In all embodiments the clock is supported by frictional engagement of the prongs and receptacle, and by pressure of the clock housing against the wall or cover plate. A further embodiment is shown with provision for screw fastening the clock housing to the receptacle center point.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 RECEPTACLE MOUNTED ELECTRICCLOCK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to electric clocks.
2. Description of the Prior Art As is well known, an electric clock has a cord to be plugged into a wall receptacle. As often as not, the clock is located approximately at the level of the receptacle, e.g., on a kitchen or bathroom counter wherein the receptacle is slightly above the counter, or on a low living room or bedroom table surface only a few inches above the receptacle. Also, such a receptacle is often still in plain view while the clock is plugged in, and the cord is easily damaged as it is moved about, e.g., by being tripped over, or yanked about when moving the clock accidentally or on purpose.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention embraces an electric clock in a housing in which prongs are secured, whereby the clock is supported by the wall receptacle into which the prongs are plugged. Further, this invention embraces such clocks employing prongs to be plugged into two-or three-hole receptacles, and wherein the prongs are secured in any desired position in the clock housing. Also, this invention embraces such clock housings adapted to be screw fastened in place at a wall receptacle.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front view of a clock of the invention directly plugged into a wall receptacle;
FIG. 2 is side elevation view of the clock of FIG. 1, showing the wall receptacle and cover plate in phantom and the prongs from the clock housing extending into the receptacle;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a clock of the invention having prongs located for plugging the clock into a receptacle having a grounded terminal;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a clock of the invention showing prongs extending from the center portion of the housing;
FIG. 5 is a front view as in FIG. 1, but showing a clock housing provided with a tab by which to secure the clock to the ground screw of the receptacle; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a clock of the invention shaped to span the cover plate.
DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a clock 10 in accordance with this invention has a housing 12 and a conventional front surface over which clock hands 14, 16 are movable behind a transparent face 18. Also, the clock mechanism (not shown) is conventional and mounted in the housing in normal fashion. The hands are adapted to be manually set in usual fashion, also, and to this end a manually operable knob 20 accessible from the back of the housing 12 is provided for rotating the control shaft for the hands.
However, the motor terminals are connected directly to prongs 22, 24 that are secured at one end in the housing 12, the prongs extending out of the back of the housing to be plugged into a wall receptacle. In this regard, FIGS. 1 and 2 show conventional dual receptacles 26, 28 and cover plate 30 secured to the receptacle frame by ground screw 32. The two pongs provided are those typical for a two-hole receptacle, and in this embodiment'are located near the top of the housing. With prongs thus positioned, the top-most part of the clock is clear of the upper receptacle when it is plugged in. Thus, the upper receptacle is available for use and the clock can remain plugged in while the cord of some applicance is plugged into the upper receptacle.
The clock is retained in the wall receptacle by the frictional fit of the prongs with the conductive elements in the receptacle holes. Additionally, although the clock may be an extremely light unit embodying miniature mechanisms in a plastic housing, the back of the clock bears against the cover plate 30 to provide pressure points which aid in keeping the clock in place.
Various advantages are obtained with the clock thus directly plugged in. It is snugly retained against the wall (via the cover plate) on which it is mounted. It therefore cannot readily be inadvertently struck and thereby be dislodged and damaged. It cannot be tripped over. It does not take up wall space as is required of conventional wall clocks. Still, it can readily be viewed and is of sufficient size to permit one to readily ascertain the time.
FIG. 3 shows a clock housing 40 wherein the prongs to be plugged into a wall outlet are located adjacent the bottom portion of the housing. In this example, prongs 42, 44, 46 are shown as for a conventional three-prong plug, and in such case the third prong 46 grounds the clock through the electrical system of the house or building while the clock is plugged in. It will also be noted that the embodiment of FIG. 3 is adapted to be plugged into the upper receptacle 26 of FIG. 1 so as to clear the lower receptacle 28 and permit its use for other matters. Alternatively, of course, clocks as above described can be plugged into both the receptacles 26, 28, e.g., as where it is desired to have two clocks on different times standard and daylight savings, eastern and pacific, etc. In the FIG. 3 embodiment, of course, the set knob 48 for the clock hands is located above the prongs, eg. as near the upper portion of the housing.
In FIG. 4, a clock is shown having a housing 50 wherein prongs 52, 54 extend from the mid-portion of the back wall. In such case, the set knob 56 may be located above or below the prongs. The embodiment of FIG. 4 can be plugged into either of dual receptacles. If the housing is of a size as represented by the clock of FIG. 1, it will prevent use of the other of the dual receptacles.
FIG. 5 illustrates a clock in accordance with the invention which uses mechanical fastening means to hold the clock in place. The clock 60 shown in FIG. 5 is plugged into the lower receptacle as with the clock shown in FIG. 1. However, the clock 60 has a tab 62 extending from its housing, such tab having an eyelet wherein the opening is aligned with the ground screw 32 when the clock is plugged in. Thus, the ground screw is removed before plugging in, and replaced after plugging in to fasten the tab to the cover plate 30. Such a feature may be provided, for example, to prevent ready removal of the clock as by theft. As will now be apparent, such a clock as in FIG. 3 may be provided with a tab projecting from its lower-most portion, whereby to permit it to be secured by the ground screw when plugging the clock into the upper receptacle.
FIG. 6 illustrates a clock of the invention which obscures the receptacles altogether. The clock housing in this embodiment is rectangular, and one of the same dimensions as the cover plate 30. The prongs are not shown in this embodiment, but may be positioned for plugging the clock into either the'upper or lower receptacles. If the prongs are to be plugged into the lower receptacle, they are located in the lower half of the housing to insure the edges of the housing register with those of the cover plate. Similarly, locating prongs in the upper half of the housing permits the clock housing to be registered with the edges of the cover plate when plugged into the upper receptacle.
I claim: 1. In combination: a housing for a clock mechanism,
said housing having a front wall over which the clock hands are movable, said housing having a back wall through which to apply power to the terminals of the clock motor within the housing; a and conductive prongs secured at one end in said housing and connected to the motor terminals, said prongs extending out of said back wall and adapted to be inserted in receptacle holes of conventional wall receptacles, said prongs when inserted in receptacle holes being in frictional engagement withconductive elements in the receptacle .holes so as to maintain the clock in position against the receptacle.
2. The combination of claim 1, wherein said prongs are positioned so that when plugged into one of a pair of adjacent receptacles, said housing is clear of the other receptacle to permit its use for other purposes.
3. The combination of claim 1, wherein said housing has a tab extension providing an eyelet,
said eyelet being adapted to be secured to. the cover plate of a conventional dual receptacle wall outlet via the ground screw thereof.
4. The combination of claim 1, wherein said housing is rectangular,
said prongs being adapted to be plugged into a receptacle having a cover plate, said housing being of the same dimensions in length and width as said cover plate, and said prongs being positioned so that when plugged into the receptacle the sides of said housing are substantially coplanar with the edges of said cover plate. 5. The combination of claim 1, wherein said prongs are adapted for connection to twoor three-hold receptacles.