US 3895225 A
An illuminated electrical receptacle having a body, cover, grounding strap, and a lens snappable into place through an aperture in the cover for removably holding the cover and strap in assembled relation. An illuminating device is used to illuminate the lens. The receptacle also can be provided with safety slides for the plug receiving apertures therein.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Prior ILLUMINATED RECEPTACLE WITH REMOVABLE LENS James C. Prior, Gardena, Calif.
Sola Basic Industries, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis.
Filed: Mar. 29, 1974 Appl. No.: 456,160
US. Cl. 240/2 SP; 240/152 Int. Cl. F2lv 33/00 Field of Search 240/2 R, 2 S, 2 SP, 151, 240/152, 153; 174/53; 200/310, 313, 317; 339/14 R, 122 R, 133 R References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1947 Linton 240/2 SP BEST AVAILABLE cm 1 1 July 15, 1975 2,428,167 9/1947 Linton 240/2 SP 2,959,668 11/1960 Andrews 240/152 3,169,239 2/1965 Lacey 200/317 X 3,588,489 6/1971 Gaines 240/2 SP X Primary Examiner-Fred L. Braun Attorney, Agent, or FirmSmythe & Moore  ABSTRACT An illuminated electrical receptacle having a body, cover, grounding strap, and a lens snappable into place through an aperture in the cover for removably holding the cover and strap in assembled relation. An illuminating device is used to illuminate the lens. The receptacle also can be provided with safety slides for the plug receiving apertures therein.
5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SHEET PATENTED JUL 1 5 I925 ILLUMINATED RECEPTACLE WITH REMOVABLE. LENS This invention relates to electrical receptacles with an illuminated cover therein. 1
Illuminated electrical receptacles are known in the art such as found in US. Pat. Nos. 3,056,897; 3,061,716; 3,307,030 and 3,588,489. It is desirable in mass production of the receptacles involved to be able to assemble the various parts thereof in an efficacious manner. Also, it is desirable to be able to disassemble the parts when replacements may be needed such as of the illuminating means.
One of the objects of the invention is to provide a receptacle construction which will facilitate assembly.
In one aspect of the invention, a receptacle for receiving electrical connection devices has a nonconductive body and cover with a grounding strap therebetween. The cover is provided with an aperture or opening for receiving a lens which can be illuminated by light or illuminating means within the assembled structure. The lens has a gripping means for holding the lens in the cover and also holding the grounding strap in assembled relation. The lens accomplishes the gripping action by depending lugs which are flexible so as to snap over the edges of the strap.
Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the accompanying description and drawings, which are merely exemplary.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a top view of an assembled receptacle;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the cover with the strap indicated in dotted lines and the lens indicated in dotted lines and the lens in place;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken in the direction 33 of FIG. 2 with the outside of the lens facing up wardly;
FIG. 4 is a view looking in the direction 44 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view looking along the line 66 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view of a portion of FIG. 2 showing the receptacle with a grounding plug or blade therein; and
FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the various parts before assembly.
The invention will be described in conjunction with a safety slide receptacle, but the lens and assembly means can be used without the safety slide.
Nonconductive body 10 can have conventional various plug blade receiving contact elements (not shown) for receiving receptacle blades in a known manner for one or more receptacles. Terminals 11 are provided for making connections from the service wires to the various blade receiving contact elements. In the form shown, metal or conductive grounding strap 12 is provided with a terminal 13 for a connection to ground as it is known in the art.
Nonconductive cover 14 has blade receiving apertures 15 therein which can have depending walls 16 extending through mating apertures in the grounding strap 12 so as to insulate contact blades extending therethrough from the strap.
The cover 14 has an open area 17 for receiving lens 18. The grounding strap 12 has an aperture 19 therethrough to permit light from an electric lamp or illuminating means 20 to illuminate the lens. The lamp is connected across buses 21 and 22 so as to be energized by the source of power. Terminals 11 are connected to the bus straps 21 and 22. The lamp can be of any suitable type.
Lens 18 may be of a suitable plastic having the necessary resilience and also light transmitting quality as needed. It canbe made of various color plastics and can haveimprinted thereon any desired legend.
Lens 18 is generally rectangular and has depending legs 23, 24 with inturned lips 25, 26 for engaging the bottomof strap 12. Lens l8also has overhanging strips or ledges 27, 28 (FIG. 3) for contacting the top surface of the cover plate when in assembled relation.
The grounding strap 12 has cutaway portions 29, 30 (FIG. 7) through which legs 23, 24 can pass.
In assemblng the structure, cover plate 14 has grounding strap 12 placed thereon as seen in FIG. 3 with the apertures properly aligned in respect thereto. The lens 18 then is inserted from the top and pressed downwardly. Legs 24 will pass through cuts 29, 30 and spring outwardly so that the ledges or legs 25, 26 will pass downwardly and snap into place under the grounding strap 12 and hold the cover and grounding plate in assembled relation. Similarly if desired, the lens can be snapped out of assembled relation.
The assembled cover, lens and ground plate then can be assembled to body 10 in the usual manner such as can be seen from the exploded view of FIG. 7.
An insulating strip or bushing 38 having grooves can be resiliently inserted at the edge of the opening 31 (FIG. 7) in the grounding strap 12 so as to protect wires 32 from the metal strap.
In the embodiment shown, grounding plug apertures 33 in the strap 12 may have contact means 34 depending therefrom to receive the grounding plug of a fitting to be connected.
In the form shown, safety shields or shutters 35 (FIGS. 2, 6) may be urged by springs 36 to the right (FIG. 2) so that end 37 thereof will cover one of the adjacent apertures 15 so as to prevent use of a connector without a grounding plug.
When a connector with a grounding plug is inserted into the receptacle, the grounding plug will enter grounding plug hole 33 and cam the safety shield to the left, as seen in FIG. 6, so as to open the contiguous aperture 15, springs 36 being compressed by such an action.
The safety shutters and springs can be assembled in the cam slots in the cover, the grounding strap placed thereon and then the lens snapped into place.
The lens assembly arrangement can be used with or without the grounding plug arrangement.
It should be apparent that details of construction can be varied without departing from the spirit of the inventionexcept as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In an illuminated electrical receptacle device, the combination including a nonconductive body means having electrical receptor means, a nonconductive cover means having apertures corresponding to said receptor means and through which connector blade means canbe removably inserted, said cover means having an open area for receiving lens means, grounding strap means insertable between said body means and cover means, said grounding strap means having apertures corresponding to the apertures in said cover means and said open area, illuminating means locatable under said cover means, and lens means insertable in said open area of said cover means, said lens means having gripping means for engaging said cover means and grounding strap means for removably holding said cover means, grounding strap and lens means in assembledi relation.
' wherein said legs have inturned lips.
4. In a receptacle device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said cover means has grounding plug apertures in addition to the apertures corresponding to said receptor means in the cover and safety shutter means normally covering said apertures but being openable by a connector with a grounding plug.
5. In a receptacle device as claimed in claim 1 and including removable nonconductive means in the aperture in said grounding strap means adjacent to said illuminating means.