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Publication numberUS3895195 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1975
Filing dateSep 4, 1973
Priority dateSep 4, 1973
Also published asDE2442063A1
Publication numberUS 3895195 A, US 3895195A, US-A-3895195, US3895195 A, US3895195A
InventorsMorrison Howard J, Nix Donald F
Original AssigneeMarvin Glass & Associates
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shock proof lightbulb socket
US 3895195 A
Abstract
A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket which generally includes a body, a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted on the body for electrical connection to an electrical power line, and a lightbulb receiver mounted within the body having an open top and a closed bottom for receiving the end of a lightbulb. The lightbulb receiver includes an internally threaded open ended electrically conductive shell adapted to contact the conductive sleeve of the lightbulb and the negative terminal, and a base contact at the bottom of the receiver which is adapted to contact the bottom contact of the lightbulb and the positive terminal. The shell and bottom contacts are normally spaced from the respective terminals when a lightbulb is not fully screwed into the receiver. In one embodiment the socket includes a circuit completion mechanism movably mounted between the receiver and the body of the socket for establishing a circuit only in response to the insertion of a lightbulb into the receiver to move the circuit completion mechanism. In another embodiment, the interior of the body and the outside of the receiver have mating threads formed thereon so that the receiver can be threadably reciprocably moved relative to the body. The circuit can be completed only by threadably moving the contacts of the receiver to contact the terminals by rotating the lightbulb. In still another embodiment, the base contact is secured to the body, and the lightbulb receiver is mounted for reciprocal movement within the body relative to the body and base. The lightbulb receiver has downwardly extending portions which are adapted to engage terminals mounted below the base contact. As the lightbulb is screwed into the receiver, the receiver is moved outwardly relative to the socket thereby causing completion of the circuit.
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United States Patent Morrison et a1.

BEST AVKILABLE COPY SHOCK PROOF LIGIITBULB SOCKET [75] Inventors: Howard J. Morrison, Deerfield;

Donald F. Nix, Hanover Park, both of I11.

[73] Assignee: Marvin Glass & Associates,

Chicago, Ill.

[22] Filed: Sept. 4, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 393,893

[52] US. Cl. 200/5109 [51] Int. Cl H0lr 33/30 [58] Fiel of Search 200/5107, 51.08, 51.09, 200/51.l4

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,176,102 3/1916 Scheonberg 200/51.l4 2,158,848 5/1939 Benander ZOO/51.09 2,158,851 5/1939 Leader ZOO/51.09 2,221,345 11/1940 Davis ZOO/51.09 2,439,385 4/1948 Goldberg.... ZOO/51.09 2,747,048 5/1956 Peters ZOO/51.09

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 518,486 2/1931 Germany ZOO/51.09 1,129,581 5/1962 Germany ZOO/51.09

Primary ExaminerDavid Smith, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Coffee & Sweeney 7 [57] ABSTRACT A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket which generally includes a body, a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted on the body' for electrical connection to an electrical power line, and a lightbulb receiver mounted within the body having an open top and a closed bottom for receiving the end of a lightbulb. The lightbulb receiver includes an internally threaded open ended electrically conductive shell adapted to contact the conductive sleeve of the lightbulb and the negative terminal, and a base contact at the bottom of the receiver which is adapted to contact the bottom contact of the lightbulb and the positive terminal. The shell and bottom contacts are normally spaced from the respective terminals when a lightbulb is not fully screwed into the receiver. In one embodiment the socket includes a circuit completion mechanism movably mounted between the receiver and the body of the socket for establishing a circuit only in response to the insertion of a lightbulb into the receiver to move the circuit completion mechanism. In another embodiment, the interior of the body and the outside of the receiver have 'mating threads formed thereon so that the receiver can be threadably reciprocably moved relative to the body. The circuit can be completed only by threadably moving the contacts of the receiver to contact the terminals by rotating the lightbulb. In still another embodiment, the base contact is secured to the body, and the lightbulb receiver is mounted for reciprocal movement within the body relative to the body and base. The lightbulb receiver has downwardly extending portions which are adapted to engage terminals mounted below the base contact. As

the lightbulb is screwed into the receiver, the receiver is moved outwardly relative to the socket thereby causing completion of the circuit.

10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures o tf f du K a SHOCK PRoor LIGHTBULB SOCKET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to an electric lightbulb socket and particularly to shock proof electric lightbulb sockets.

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art Lightbulb sockets, especially those which are used in 1 -120 volt lines have found an increasing amount of popularity in general. In addition to the increasing demand generated for lightbulb sockets, there is also an increasing demand for use of sockets in the field of toys and games that children are likely to play.

In the past, ordinary lightbulb sockets have been employed for this purpose. The ordinary lightbulb socket generally includes a body forming the outside of the socket which is made of electrical insulation material, a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted in the body electrically connected to an electrical power line, an internally threaded open ended electrically conductive shell adapted to contact the conductive sleeve on the end of the lightbulb and a negative terminal. and a base contact in the bottom of the socket which is adapted to contact the bottom end contact of a lightbulb and the positive terminal.

Most conventional lightbulb socket designs of this nature have terminals and contacts which are in constant contact with each other. Thus, at any point in time, if the socket is plugged in, there is always electric ity flowing to the socket and a circuit is completed when anything electrically conductive, such as ones fingers, is placed between the base contact and the shell.

Naturally, there is no problem when a lightbulb is inserted in the socket because the lightbulb serves the purpose of completing the circuit and blocks access to the contacts. However, there is a real danger of shock to a person who places his finger or hand into an empty socket. Because of lack ofjudgment, this danger is increased a great deal when the person manipulating an empty socket is a child.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a principal object of the invention to provide a shock proof electrical lightbulb socket that positively spaces the contacts from the terminals when the socket has no lightbulb inserted therein thereby preventing short circuits between the contacts and reducing to a minimum the possibility of a person receiving an electric shock from the socket. The contacts can be brought together only by means of the insertion of a lightbulb into the socket.

These and other objects of the invention are accomplished by one form of the invention currently contemplated which provides for a body forming the outside of the socket made of electrical insulation material, positive terminal means and negative terminal means mounted on the interior of the body connected to an electrical power line, and a lightbulb receiver mounted within the body and having an open top and a closed bottom to receive the end of a lightbulb. The lightbulb receiver includes an internally threaded open ended electrically conductive shell contact adapted to contact the conductive sleeve on the end of the lightbulb and the negative terminal means, and a base plate forming the bottom of said receiver having a base contact which is adapted to contact the bottom contact of the lightbulb and the positive terminal means. The shell and base contacts are normally spaced from their respective terminal means. Radially movable circuit completion means are provided between the receiver and the body for lateral movement to electrically connect the shell and the base contacts in response to the insertion of a lightbulb into the receiver.

Another embodiment of the present invention generally includes a body formed on the outside of the socket made of electrical insulation material including a generally cylindrical threaded interior surface, a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted on the body connected to an electrical power line, and generally cylindrical lightbulb receiving means mounted within the body and having an open top and closed bottom for receiving the end ofa lightbulb therein. The lightbulb receiving means includes threads formed on the outside surface thereof for engaging the mating threads formed on the interior of the body. The receiving means also includes an internally threaded open ended electrically conductive shell adapted to contact the side of the end of a lightbulb and the negative terminal, and a base contact in the bottom of the receiving means which is adapted to contact the bottom contact of a lightbulb and the positive terminal. The receiving means is reciprocally movable relative to the body in response to relative rotation therebetween for movement between a non-contacting position wherein the shell and base contacts do not touch their respective terminals and a contacting position wherein the shell and base contacts do touch their respective terminals thereby completing the electrical circuit. Thus, the receiving means is moved between said positions by rotatingly inserting or withdrawing a lightbulb into or out of the receiving means.

In still another embodiment the socket generally includes a body formed on the outside of the socket made of electrical insulation material, a base plate secured within the interior of the body, a negative terminal mounted in the interior of the body beneath the base plate and connected to an electrical power line, a positive terminal mounted in the interior of the body he neath the base plate and connected to a power line, and lightbulb receiving means mounted over the base plate for reciprocal movement within the interior of the body and having an open top and open bottom for receiving the end of a lightbulb therein.

In the latter embodiment, the base plate includes a base contact mounted thereon which has an upper portion that is adapted to contact the bottom contact of a lightbulb and a lower portion extending below the base plate. The positive terminal is flexible and is biased into contact with the lower portion of the base contact. The lightbulb receiving means includes an internally threaded open ended electrically conductive shell adapted to contact the side of the contact sleeve of a lightbulb. The shell has a contact portion extending downwardly from the bottom thereof through and beneath the base plate and is adapted to contact the negative terminal. The shell contact portion is normally spaced away from and below the negative terminal. The receiving means also includes a non-eonducting spacer portion extending downwardly from the bottom of the receiving means through and beneath the base plate so that it abuts against the positive terminal.

When the spacer portion abuts the positive terminal, the positive terminal is normally spaced away from the base contact. The receiving means is movable between a non-contacting position wherein the shell contact portion is belowthe negative terminal and the spacer portion pushes the positive terminal away from the base contact and a contacting position wherein the receiving means is higher than it was in the noncontacting position so that the shell contact portion contacts the negative terminal and the spacer portion allows the positive terminal to bias against the lower portion of the base contact thereby completing the electrical circuit. Biasing means also is provided to bias the receiving means toward the non-contacting position. The strength of the bias is sufficiently small that when a lightbulb is screwed into the receiving means it will move from its non-contacting position upwardly to its contacting position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a lightbulb mounted within a lightbulb socket;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view through one embodiment of a shock proof socket of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken generally along line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the shock proof socket shown in FIGS. 2 and 3;

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view of another embodiment of a shock proof socket of the present invention shown in a contacting position;

FIG. 6 is a perspective sectional view of the socket of FIG. 5 in a noncontacting position;

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view of a third embodiment of a shock proof socket made according to the invention; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective partially cut-away sectional view of the socket shown in FIG. 7, on a reduced scale.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to FIG. 1 in greater detail, a socket, generally designated 10, having a lightbulb 12 inserted therein is illustrated. The exterior design of the socket as shown in FIG. 1 can be used in any of the embodiments hereinafter described.

Turning now to FIGS. 24, one embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The socket is seen to generally include a body 14 made of electrical insulation material forming the outside of the socket, a base plate 16 and a shell contact 18. The body 14 has a generally cylindrical interior surface 20 and an overhanging annular lip or flange 22 defining a generally circular opening 24 into the interior of the body 14.

The base plate 16 is generally circular and is secured at its periphery to the interior surface 20 of the body 14. The base plate has four radially spaced openings 26, 28, and 32 formed therein. A base contact 34 is mounted within a central opening (not numbered) of the base plate 16.

The shell contact 18 is open ended and is secured at its bottom to the base plate 16 around the base contact 34. The shell contact is engaged at its top to the periphery of the lip 22. Thus, as best seen in FIG. 2, the opening 24 in the body 14 is the entrance to a lightbulb receiving means which comprises the shell contact 18 and a portion of the base plate 16. The lightbulb 12 when inserted into the lightbulb receiving means will have the shell contact 18 contacting the side of the end contact sleeve of the lightbulb while the base contact 34 contacts the bottom contact at the end of the lightbulb in the conventional manner.

Mounted on the interior surface 20 of body 14 are four terminal clips 36, 38, 40 and 42. Terminal 36 is connected to the positive side of an electrical power line. Terminal 38 is connected to base contact 34. Terminal 40 is connected to the negative side of an electrical power line. Terminal 42 is connected to the shell contact 18 (see FIG. 4).

As can be appreciated, no electricity is present within the lightbulb receiving means unless or until terminal 36 is electrically connected to terminal 38 and terminal 40 is electrically connected to terminal 38 and terminal 40 is electrically connected to terminal 42. To this end there is provided circuit completion means in the form of two electrically conductive flexible U-shaped members, generally designated 44 and 46. U-shaped member 44 has two upstanding leg portions 48 and 50 and U-shaped member 46 has two upstanding leg portions 52 and 54. Formed at the end of each leg portion 48, 50, 52, 54 is an insulated protrusion 56 extending inwardly therefrom.

U-shaped members 44 and 46 are mounted beneath the base plate 16 (FIG. 2) and separated by insulation material 57 at the bottom thereof so that the leg portions thereof extend upwardly between the shell contact 18 and the interior surface 20 of the body. Specifically, each protrusion 56 protrudes through one of four apertures 58 formed in the shell contact 18 and opposes a terminal.

The U-shaped members 44 and 46 as shown in FIGS. 2-4 are in a non-contacting position wherein each protrusion 56 extends through its respective aperture 58. When a lightbulb 12 is inserted into the socket 10, the bulb bears against the protrusions 58 causing the leg portions 48, 50, 52, 54 to be pushed outwardly of the shell contact 18. The leg portions 48, 50, 52 and 54 are pushed into contact with the terminals 36, 38, 40 and 42, respectively, thus defining a contacting position. When the U-shaped members 44 and 46 are in a contacting position, terminal 40 will be electrically connected to terminal 42 and terminal 36 will be electrically connected to terminal 38 thereby completing the circuit. When a lightbulb is removed the U-shaped members 44 and 46 will return back to their original non-contacting position.

In order for a child to receive a shock from the socket shown in FIGS. 24, he would have to press back the four protrusions 56 while at the same time placing a finger on base contact 34. This is very difficult to accomplish even assuming the child could figure out how to complete the circuit.

Another embodiment of the socket of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 and is seen to generally include a body 64 forming the outside of the socket made of electrical insulation material and a sleeve-like generally cylindrical lightbulb receiving means, generally designated 66, mounted within the body and having an open top and a closed bottom for receiving the end of a lightbulb therein. The body 64 has a generally cylindrical interior surface 68 having screw threads 70 formed over a substantial portion thereof. An annular lip or flange 72 is formed on top of the body 64. The interior of the body 64 also includes a generally flat floor 74 forming the bottom of the body.

An annular negative terminal 76 is mounted on the floor 74 and is connected to the negative side of an electrical power line. Also mounted on the floor 74 is a centrally located positive terminal 78 which is electrically connected to the positive side of an electrical power line.

The lightbulb receiving means 66 is made from electrical insulation material and has a generally cylindrical outside surface having screw threads 80 formed thereon which match the threads 70 formed on the interior 68 of the body 64. The lightbulb receiving means 66 also includes an internally threaded, open ended electrically conductive shell 82 adapted to contact the side of the conductive end sleeve of a lightbulb.

The shell 82 forms the lateral interior of the lightbulb receiving means 66 and abuts a base plate portion 84 of the receiving meansv Base plate portion 84 has a centrally located base contact 86 mounted therein having an upper portion which is adapted to contact the bottom end contact of the lightbulb and a lower portion extending downwardly below the base plate portion 84 for contact with the positive terminal 78. Shell 82 includes two shell contact portions 88 (FIG. 5) and are adapted to contact the negative terminal 76.

The lightbulb receiving means 66 is captured within the interior of body 64 and is axially reciprocally movable with respect thereto by means of threaded rotation relative thereto. Thus, when lightbulb receiving means 66 is rotated in the direction shown by arrow A (clockwise) in FIG. 6, it will move downwardly in the interior of body 64. When the lightbulb receiving means 66 is moved in a direction opposite that of arrow A (counterclockwise) then it will move upwardly with respect to body 64.

FIG. 5 shows the lightbulb receiving means 66 in a contacting position with a lightbulb inserted therein. In the contacting position, the lightbulb receiving means is in its most downward position relative to the body wherein the contacts 86 and 88 are touching the terminals 76, 78.

FIG. 6 shows the lightbulb receiving means in a noncontacting position when there is no lightbulb in the socket. In the non-contacting position, the lightbulb receiving means 66 is higher than it is shown in FIG. 5 so that contacts 86 and 88 are spaced from terminals 76 and 78.

When a lightbulb is inserted in shell 82 it is somewhat wedged therein. In addition, the mechanical advantage of the rotation of the lightbulb receiving means 66 relative to the body 64 is greater due to the thread size than the rotation of a lightbulb within the shell 82. The result is that whenever a lightbulb is either fully or partially inserted into the shell 82 and is rotated, the lightbulb receiving means 66 will rotate with respect to the body 64 but the lightbulb will not rotate with respect to the lightbulb receiving means.

It is preferable that a lightbulb be fully inserted within shell 82 before the lightbulb receiving means 66 is rotated downwardly into a contacting position. If this were not so, then someone could partially insert a lightbulb and rotate it thereby bringing the lightbulb receiving means into a contacting position.

In order to insure substantially full insertion of the lightbulb before the contacting position is reached, wedge means are provided in the form of a leaf spring clip, generally designated 90, mounted beneath lip 72 and a boss 92 formed on top of the lightbulb receiving means 66. As a lightbulb is being removed from shell 82, the lightbulb receiving means 66 is being moved upwardly since it is being rotated in a direction opposite that of arrow A in FIG. 6. When the top of the lightbulb receiving means reaches the underside of lip 72, boss 92 will engage a sloping portion a of clip 90 and snap over to the other side thereof. Immediately thereafter, the lightbulb receiving means 66 will not be able to be rotated any higher because oflip 72 and, therefore, any further rotation of the lightbulb will unscrew the lightbulb from the shell 82.

After a lightbulb has been removed and the receiving means is in the position above described, the insertion of a new lightbulb will cause the lightbulb receiving means to rotate downwardly. The reason for this is that boss 92 will abut against clip 90 creating a resistance and preventing this rotation. As a result, the lightbulb will be screwed in entirely before the lightbulb receiv ing means 66 is rotated at all. Once the lightbulb is completely screwed into the shell 82, and the lightbulb is further rotated, there will be generated a sufficient force to overcome resiliency of clip 90 so that boss 92 will snap over clip 90 to the right as viewed in FIG. 6. As soon as this occurs, any further downward rotation of the lightbulb will rotate the lightbulb receiving means 66 until it is in its contacting position as shown in FIG. 5.

Once the lightbulb receiving means 66 is in a contacting position and it is desired to remove the lightbulb, it is desirable that the lightbulb receiving means be rotated upwardly to a non-contacting position before any rotation of the lightbulb occurs. If this does not occur. then a person would be able to remove the lightbulb while the lightbulb receiving means is still in a contacting position. Ordinarily when a lightbulb is rotated counterclockwise, the lightbulb receiving means will move first, which is desirable. However, should the lightbulb receiving means 66 become wedged at the bottom of the body 74, the desirable initial rotation thereof may not result. To insure that the lightbulb receiving means 66 will not wedge in a contacting position, anti-wedge means are provided in the form a boss 94 formed on the bottom of the lightbulb receiving means 66 and another boss 96 formed on the bottom floor 74 of the body 64. As the lightbulb receiving means 66 is moved into a contacting position bosses 94 and 96 will abut as shown in FIG. 5. This prevents further rotation of a lightbulb receiving means while the base plate portion 84 is spaced from floor 74 thus preventing any wedging. Upon upward rotation the bosses 94 and 96 will clear and permit continued rotation of sleeve 66.

Still another embodiment of the socket of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 and is seen to generally comprise a body 104, a base-plate 106 secured within the interior of the body, and lightbulb receiving means, generally designated 108, mounted over the base plate 106 for reciprocal movement within the interior of the body 104. The body 104 has an opening 110 formed in the top thereof through which a lightbulb can be received.

The body 104 has a generally cylindrical interior surface 112 and an annular lip or flange 114 at the top of the body defining the periphery of opening 110. Formed beneathlip 114' is an annular recess 116 for reasons which will be described hereinafter.

Base plate 106 has a generally circular configuration and is fixedly secured to the interior surface 112 of body 104 and is 'made of electrical insulation material. Mounted in the center of base plate 106 is a base contact 118' which has a portion thereof extending above the base plate and a portion thereof extending below the base plate. The upper portion of base contact 118 is adapted to contact the bottom contact of a lightbulb. Also formed in base plate 106 are two openings 120 and 122.

An L-shaped negative terminal 124 is mounted on the interior surface 112 of the body 104 immediately below the base plate near opening 120. The negative terminal 124 is connected to the negative side of an electrical power line. A generally L-shaped positive terminal 126 also is mounted on the interior surface 112 of body 104 beneath opening 122 in the base plate 106. The positive terminal 126 is connected to the positive side of an electrical power line. A cantilevered leg 128 of the positive terminal 126 is biased toward the portion of base contact 118 which extends below base contact 118 which extends below base plate 106. Thus, in the absence of no other forces by the receiving means leg 128 will contact base contact 118.

The lightbulb receiving means 108 is seen to generally include a hollow open ended cylinder 130 made of electrical insulation material mounted over base plate 106 for reciprocal movement within the interior of body 104 between lip 114 and base plate 106. The cylinder 130 has an annular recess 132 formed in the top thereof opposing annular recess 116 on the underside of lip 114. Cylinder 130 also includes a depending shaft-likev spacer portion 134 extending downwardly therefrom through opening 122 so that it abuts against leg 128 of the positive terminal 126.

An internally threaded, open ended electrically conductive shell 136 is mounted within the interior of the cylinder 130 and is adapted to contact the side of the sleeve contact of a lightbulb. The shell 136 has a contact portion 138 extending downwardly from the bottom thereof through opening 120 beneath the base plate 106 which is adapted to contact negative terminal 124. The shell contact portion 138 is such that it is immediately below negative terminal 124.

FIG. 7 shows the lightbulb receiving means 108 in a non-contacting position. When in a non-contacting position, spacer portion 134 pushes leg 128 away from base contact 118 while shell contact portion 138 is spaced away from the negative terminal 124. The lightbulb receiving means 108 is kept in this position by means of biasing means in the form ofa coil spring 140 which is mounted between the two annular recesses 116 and 132. Spring 140 exerts a downward force against lightbulb receiving means 108 sufficient to overcomethe resiliency of terminal 126 so that the device will be in a non-contacting position as shown in FIG. 7 whenever a lightbulb is absent from the shell 136.

When a lightbulb is inserted through the opening 110 in the socket and is rotated in a clockwise direction, it is moved downwardly in shell 136 until the end of the lightbulb contacts the base contact 118. After this occurs, further rotation of the lightbulb causes the lightbulb receiving means 108 to act as a nut and to move upwardly in the direction of arrow B FIG. 7). When a lightbulb is fully inserted within the shell 136, the lightbulb receiving means 108 will move sufficiently upward relative to body 104 so as to assume a contacting position wherein leg 128 touches the base contact 118 and shell contact portion 138 is moved into contact with terminal 124. When removing the bulb, the lightbulb receiving means 108 moves downwardly because of the force of spring 140 and the loosening of the bulb and returns to its non-contacting position as shown in FIG. 7.

In order to defeat the safety feature of the lightbulb socket shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, one would have to exert a force that would move the lightbulb receiving means 108 upwardly. Although the force which would be required to do this may not be large in quantity the means of applying such a force by hand is very difficult even if one would realize that upward motion was required, which makes the probability of bringing the lightbulb receiving means into a contacting position rather unlikely.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom as some modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

We claim:

1. A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket comprising:

a body forming the outside of the socket and made of electrical insulation material, and being threaded on the interior thereof;

a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted on said body and connected to an electrical power line;

generally cylindrical lightbulb receiving means mounted within the body and having an open top and a generally closed bottom for receiving the base of a lightbulb therein, said lightbulb receiving means including threads formed on the outside surface thereof for engaging mating threads formed on the interior of said body, an internally threaded open-ended electrically conductive shell contact adapted to contact the side of the base of a lightbulb and the negative terminal, and a base contact in the bottom of the receiving means which is adapted to contact the bottom of the lightbulb base and the positive terminal, said receiving means being reciprocally movable relative to the body when rotated between a non-contacting position wherein said shell and base contacts do not touch their respective terminals and a contacting position wherein said shell and base contacts do touch their respective terminals thereby completing the electrical circuit, whereby said receiving means is moved between said positions by rotatingly inserting or withdrawing a lightbulb into or out of said receiving means; and

means to prevent the receiving means from wedging against the interior of the body when in a contacting position so that the receiving means will rotate before the lightbulb from the contacting position to its non-contacting position when the-lightbulb is rotated in an effort to remove the bulb.

2. The socket of claim 1 including means for holding said receiving means in a non-contacting position until the lightbulb has been substantially rotatably inserted therein.

3. The socket of claim 1 wherein said terminals are formed on the bottom of the body and wherein the shell and base contacts have portions extending through the receiving means touching the terminals when said receiving means is in a contacting position.

4. The socket of claim 1 wherein said body includes a top having a circular opening therein, said top capturing the receiving means within the body.

5. A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket comprising:

a body forming the outside of the socket and made of electrical insulation material, said body being threaded on the interior thereof and having a bottom and a top with a circular opening therein;

a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted on the bottom of the body electrically connected .to an electrical power line;

generally cylindrical lightbulb receiving means mounted and captured within the interior of the body and having an open top and a generally closed bottom for receiving the base of a lightbulb therein, said lightbulb receiving means including threads formed on the outside surface thereof for matingly engaging the threads formed on the interior of the body, an internally threaded open-ended electrically conductive shell contact adapted to contact the side of the lightbulb and having a portion extending downwardly through the bottom of the receiving means adapted to contact the negative terminal beneath the receiving means, and a base contact in the bottom of the receiving means which is adapted to contact the bottom of the lightbulb base and having a portion thereof extending down wardly through the bottom of the receiving means for contacting the positive terminal beneath the receiving means, said receiving means being reciprocally movable relative to said body when twisted between a normally non-contacting position wherein said shell and base contacts do not touch their respective terminals and a contacting position wherein said shell and base contacts touch their respective terminals thereby completing the electrical circuit, whereby said receiving means is moved between said positions by twistingly inserting or withdrawing a lightbulb into or out of said receiving means;

means for holding said receiving means in a noncontacting position until the lightbulb has been substantially inserted therein; and

means for preventing the receiving means from locking within the interior of the body when it is in a contacting position so that the receiving means will rotate first when an inserted lightbulb is twisted in an effort to remove the bulb thereby moving the receiving means from the contacting position to its non-contacting position.

6. The socket of claim 5 wherein said last named means includes a downwardly extending protrusion formed on the receiving means and an upwardly extending protrusion formed on the interior bottom of the body adapted to abut each other when said receiving means is in a contacting position but preventing the touching of the bottom of the receiving means with the bottom of the body.

7. A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket comprising:

a body forming the outside of the socket and made of electrical insulation material, and including an interior;

a base plate secured within the interior of said body, said base plate including a base contact mounted thereon having an upper portion that is adapted to contact the bottom of a lightbulb base and a lower portion extending below said plate;

a negative terminal mounted in the interior of said body beneath said base plate and being electrically connected to an electrical power line;

a flexible positive terminal mounted in the inteior of said body beneath said base plate and being electrically connected to an electrical power line and biased toward contact with the lower portion of the base contact;

lightbulb receiving means mounted above the base plate for reciprocal movement within the interior of the body and having an open top and generally closed bottom for receiving the base of a lightbulb, said lightbulb receiving means including an internally threaded, open ended electrically conductive shell adapted to contact the side of a lightbulb base, said shell having a contact portion extending downwardly from the bottom thereof through and beneath the base plate and adapted to contact the negative terminal, said shell contact portion being normally spaced away from and below said nega' tive terminal, said receiving means also including a non-conducting spacer portion extending downwardly from the bottom of the receiving means through and beneath the base plate to abut against said positive terminal and normally space said positive terminal away from said base contact, said receiving means being movable between a normal non-contacting position, wherein said shell contact portion is below said negative terminal and said spacer portion pushes the positive terminal away from the base contact, and an outer contacting position, wherein said shell contact portion contacts the negative terminal and the spacer portion allows the positive terminal to bias against the lower portion of the base contact thereby completing the electrical circuit; and

biasing means to bias the receiving means toward its non-contacting position, the strength of the bias being sufficiently large to overcome the flexibility of said positive terminal but small enough so that when a lightbulb is screwed into the receiving means said receiving means will move from its noncontacting position upwardly to its contacting position.

8. The socket of claim 7 wherein said biasing means includes a coil spring mounted and captured within the interior of said body above said receiving means so as to exert a downward inward force against said receiving means.

9. A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket, comprismg:

a body forming the outside of the socket made of electrical insulation material;

positive terminal means and negative te minal means mounted on said body and connected to an electrical power line, said positive terminal means including a first terminal connected to said electrical power line and a second terminal spaced away from said first terminal, said negative terminal means including a first terminal connected to said electrical power line and a second terminal spaced away from said first terminal;

lightbulb receiving means mounted within said body and having an open top and a generally closed bottom for receiving the base of a lightbulb therein,

said lightbulb receiving means including an internally threaded, open ended, electrically conductive shell contact adapted to contact the side of the base of a lightbulb and the second negative terminal, said shell having four apertures formed therein, one aperture being spaced from and opposing each of the four terminals, and a base contact in the bottom of the receiving means which is adapted to contact the bottom of the lightbulb and the second positive terminal, said shell and said base contacts being normally spaced from their respective terminal means; and

movable circuit completion means mounted between said receiving means and said body for movement to electrically connect said shell and base contacts in response to the insertion of the lightbulb into said receiving means, said circuit completion means including two electrically conductive, flexible U-shaped members each having two upstanding leg portions, each leg portion of each member being mounted between the receiving means and the body and disposed between each of the apertures and its opposing terminal and normally biased away from said terminal, each leg portion of each member including a portion protruding therefrom through its respective aperture into the interior of said receiving means, each leg portion being movable between a non-contacting position spaced from its respective terminal with said protruding portion thereof extending through its respective aperture and a contacting position wherein the leg portion is biased by the lightbulb base away from the receiving means into contact with its respective terminal whenever a lightbulb is inserted into the receiving means.

10. A shock proof electrical lightbulb socket comprising:

a body forming the outside of the socket and made of electrical insulation material, said body being threaded on the interior thereof and having a bottom and a top with a circular opening in the top;

a positive terminal and a negative terminal mounted on the bottom of the body electrically connected to an electrical power line;

generally cylindrical lightbulb receiving means mounted and captured Within the interior of the body and having an open top and a generally closed bottom for receiving the base ofa lightbulb therein, said lightbulb receiving means including threads formed on the outside surface thereof for matingly engaging the threads formed on the interior of the body, an internally threaded open-ended electrically conductive shell contact adapted to contact the side of the lightbulb and having a portion extending downwardly through the bottom of the receiving means adapted to contact the negative terminal beneath the receiving means, and a base contact in the bottom of the receiving means which is adapted to contact the bottom of the lightbulb base and having a portion thereof extending downwardly through the bottom of the receivingv means for contacting the positive terminal beneath the receiving means, said receiving means being reciprocally movable relative to said body when twisted between a normally non-contacting position wherein said shell and base contacts do not touch their respective terminals and a contacting position wherein said shell and base contacts touch their respective terminals thereby completing the electrical circuit, whereby said receiving means is moved between said positions by twistingly inserting or withdrawing a lightbulb into or out of said receiving means;

wedge means mounted on the interior of the top of the body and an upstanding protrusion formed on top of said receiving means adapted to abut said wedge means when said receiving means is in a non-contacting position so that the receiving means cannot rotate downwardly until a lightbulb is inserted therein whereupon further rotation of an inserted lightbulb will generate a sufficient force to overcome the biasing of the wedge means; and

means for preventing the receiving means from locking within the interior of the body when it is in a contacting position so that the receiving means will rotate first when an inserted lightbulb is twisted in an effort to remove the bulb thereby moving the receiving means from the contacting position to its non-contacting position.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4456857 *Sep 29, 1982Jun 26, 1984General Electric CompanySocket with automatic high voltage cut-off
US4473776 *Jun 11, 1982Sep 25, 1984General Electric CompanyDisconnect means for capacitor ballast incandescent lamp
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US5030124 *May 24, 1989Jul 9, 1991El-Akta System AbBulb socket
US5069632 *Nov 29, 1989Dec 3, 1991Hagen Oshrat Ltd.Electrical supply safety socket
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US6652305 *Dec 30, 2002Nov 25, 2003Difusco FrankSocket to accommodate standard screw based light bulb
US7413456Nov 14, 2006Aug 19, 2008Difusco FrankQuick connect light bulb socket
US7618288Mar 1, 2007Nov 17, 2009Difusco FrankQuick connect spring-clamp light bulb socket
US8668504Jul 2, 2012Mar 11, 2014Dave Smith Chevrolet Oldsmobile Pontiac Cadillac, Inc.Threadless light bulb socket
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Classifications
U.S. Classification200/51.9
International ClassificationH01R33/975, H01R33/00, H01R33/96
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/962
European ClassificationH01R33/96B