US 3916134 A
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United States Patent [1 1 Hansen Oct. 28, 1975 EXTENSION CONTROL FOR A WALL MOUNTED TOGGLE SWITCH  Inventor: Clarence K. Hansen, 5906 Sunset Blvd., Racine, Wis. 53406 221 Filed: Nov. 20, 1974 211 Appl. No.: 525,342
 US. Cl. 200/331; 200/153 G; 200/338  Int. Cl. I-IOIH 3/04  Field of Search 174/53, 55, 56; 200/153 G,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,493,581 1/1950 Hood 200/331 3,339,051 8/1967 De Vall 200/331 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 521,777 11/1939 United Kingdom 200/331 Primary ExaminerGerald P. Tolin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Arthur J. Hansmann  ABSTRACT An extension control for a wall-mounted toggle switch, consisting of only two parts which are a member made of wire with a loop at each end with one loop being disposed on the switch lever and the other loop forming a handle below the switch. The other of the two parts is a guide which confines the loop surrounding the switch, and the guide is releasably attached to the switch through the screw holding the usual, switch face plate.
8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 28, 1975 3,916,134
1 2 EXTENSION CONTROL FOR A WALL MOUNTED mounted on the switch, is of only a minimum detrac- TOGGLE SWITCH tion from the existing switch face plate and surrounding This invention relates to an extension control for a wall mounted toggle switch, and, more particularly, it relates to a control which permits a child to have access to the wall mounted switch, by means of a control member hanging from the switch to be within the reach of the child.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Extension control for wall mounted switches are already known in the prior art, and they have been disclosed in various configurations. Generally speaking, the prior art switches include a device for flipping the switch toggle, and with the device hanging belowthe switch toggle so that a child can reach the device for the switching action mentioned. Of course these extension devices utilize some kind of guides or mountings which movably secure the guide relative to the toggle switch for completing the assembly. Examples of these prior art devices are found in US Pat. Nos. 2,389,220 and 3,004,128 and 3,121,778 and 3,339,051 and 2,724,032. Of these five said patents, the first two and the fourth one require slide type guides which have slots for either sliding relative to the switch or for a tongue-and-groove type of guiding of another slideable member. The other two patents also require a constrained sliding relationship and they require a device having at least several parts.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a simplified and lightweight and inexpensive and easily installed extension control for a wall switch, and, one which is generally an improvement upon those already known in the prior art, including those mentioned above. I
A more specific object of this invention is to provide an extension control for a wall switch wherein the control is made of only two pieces of material, one of which serves as a handle member and the other of which serves as a guide for moving the handle in the actuation of the switch. Still further, in accomplishing these objectives, the extension control of this invention is one which can be readily and easily attached to the conventional and existing wall switch and which, specifically, is attached thereto by simply removing and then resecuring only one of the conventional face plate screws of the wall switch. Still further, in accomplishing this objective, the device of this invention provides an extension control which is attractive and which is unobtrusive and which does not interfere with the actuation of the switch toggle lever even though the device is attached to the toggle lever and is ready for use. That is, the device of this invention provides an extension for a wall switch, so that a child can actuate the switch, but it also permits the actuation of the toggle switch by direct contact with the toggle switch and the pivotal movement thereof, without interference from or requiring removal of the extension control of this invention. In accomplishing all of the aforementioned objectives, the extension control of this invention can be made of only two pieces of material to be completely provided, and neither piece has any moving parts therein, and each piece is of a rigid construction, and, further, the two pieces can be made of a length of bent wire. Therefore, the resulting extension control of this invention is safe to use, is readily manufactured and wall, is easy to manipulate for actuation of the switch. and is reliable in the actuation of the switch.
Other objects and advantages have become apparent upon reading the following description in light of the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a conventional wall switch with the extension control of this invention mounted thereon.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the showing in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the guide piece shown in .FIG. 1, but being on a slightly larger scale.
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of a fragment of one piece shown in FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION The drawings show the extension control of this invention to consist of only two parts, namely, the member generally designated 10, and the guide generally designated 11. Further, these two parts 10 and 11 are rigid pieces and do not have any joints or other pieces or parts attached thereto, and they are shown to be made of a wire material which is bent to establish the configuration of each part 10 and 11.
A conventional wall mounted switch 12 is shown affixed to the wall designated 13 which has its face or front surface 14 disposed in the vertical plane, as shown in FIG. 2. The conventional switch 12 has the usual electric connections and contact points disclosed within what is shown to be the switch box in FIG. 2,.and it also has the usual face plate 16 which extends along the wall face 14 and which connects with the switch through the screws 17 and 18, as shown in FIG. 2, and this is all of a conventional construction and arrangement such as that which is normally found in the arrangement of a wall switch in present day buildings. Of course the screws 17 and 18 are removable from the front of the face plate 16, in the usual manner. The switch 12 also includes the toggle lever 19 which is conventional and which moves up and down in a vertical plane for off and on actuation of the switch 12, in the usual arrangement. Also in the usual arrangement, the face plate 16 has the usual opening 21 through which the switch lever 19 projects, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and thus the user can finger the lever 19 to pivot it up and down in the actuation of the switch, in the wellknown and usual manner.
The extension control parts 10 and 11 are then applied to the conventional switch 12, and here it will be seen that the part 10 is an elongated piece having a central portion 22 and having an upper loop portion 23 and a lower loop handle portion 24. Thus it will be seen that the part 10 can be made of one length of wire which is bent to form the upper loop 23 and which extends through the portion 22 in a straight length and then into the curved handle portion 24.
The loop 23 defines an opening 26, and the loop 23 and opening 26 are shown to be rectangular in shape. The loop 23 is draped over or suspended on the switch lever 19, and the remainder of the part 10 hangs vertically and downwardly at least substantially parallel to the wall 14 to its lower handle 24 which is thus within the reach of a small child who can then actuate the switch 12 by sliding the part up and down along the wall 14. Therefore, the loop 23 has an upper portion 27 which engages the switch lever upper surface 28, and it has a lower portion 29 which engages the switch lever lower surface 31, both in the respective down and up movement of the switch lever 19. Therefore, the loop 23 surrounds the switch lever 19, but it is not physically attached thereto, though it does have close positioning on the switch lever 19, and, also, the side portions 32 and 33 of the loop 23 extend laterally outside of the side limits of the face plate opening 21 so that the loop 23 is wider than the face plate opening 21 and thus overlaps the opening 21 for assuring that the loop 23 cannot pass through the opening 21 and will not jam relative to the opening 21.
The guide 11 serves to restrain the part 10 and assure that it remains on the switch lever 19. Thus the guide 11 is shown to be made of a single piece of wire material which is forrned into substantially a U-shape, and it has two leg portions 34 and the center intermediate loop portion 36. The portion 36 is shown to be arcuate in shape, and it snugly nests with the shank of the screw 18 such that the screw 18 can be removed from its assembled position and the guide 1 1 can be placed on the face plate 16 and the screw 18 can then be replaced, and thus the assembly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is accomplished.
Further, the guide 11 has its leg portions 34 spaced from the face plate 16, and the leg portions 34 are spaced together closer than the spacing of the loop portions 32 and 33, and thus the loop 23 cannot be moved out of the confines of the guide 11, that would be forwardly of the guide 11 or away from the wall 14. Still further, the leg portions 34 terminate in angulated feet portions 37 which extend into contact with the surface of the face plate 16, as seen in FIG. 2.
With the arrangement described, the guide 11 defines an opening 38 between the leg portions 34 and the lower portion 36 and the feet 37, and the portion 22 of the part 10 extends through the opening 38, in the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Further, the feet 37 are in the upper path of movement of the loop 23, and thus they limit the movement of the part 10 upwardly and the guide 11 has the lower portions 39 which are also in the path of movement of the loop 23 when the latter is moved downwardly, and thus the guide 11 also limits the downward movement of the part 10. However, in normal actuation of the switch lever 19 in its up and down movement, the lever 19 itself will limit the up and down movement of the part 10, and, with the guide 11 limiting movement of the loop 23 away from the face plate 16, the guide legs 34 assure that the part 10 will remain on the lever 19 even with usual manipulation of the part 10 by a child. That is, when the part 10 is moved upwardly from the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and recognizing that the lever 19 is already in its maximum upward position, the lower portion 29 of the loop 23 will abut the lever undersurface 31, in the manner confined by the guide legs 34, and thus the lever 19 will limit and determine the upper movement of the part 10, and the loop portion 27 will not engage the guide feet 37. Conversely, when the part 10 is pulled downwardly to pivot the switch lever 19 to its downward position, then the lever 19 limits the downward movement of the part 10 through the engagement of the loop portion 27 with the lever upper surface 28,
and therefore the loop portion 29 will not engage the guide portions 39, in the normal use of the extension control of this invention.
Therefore, there is only a two-part control, namely, the parts 10 and l 1, and they are both of rigid construction as shown and described. Additionally, where the parts are made of the wire material shown, they occupy only a minimum of area and do not conceal the decor of the face plate 16 and the wall 14, and they are of only minimum weight and material. Still further, the guide 1 1 is easily mounted on the switch 12 through the use of only one of the face plate screws, as shown, and the guide is available for limiting movement of the part 10 off the toggle lever 19, and it is also available for limiting both upward and downward movement of the part 10, by means of the guide portions 37 and 39, respectively, depending upon the height of the loop 23 and depending upon the degree of pivotal movement of the switch lever 19 and also depending upon any unusual manipulation of the part 10. The loop 23 of the part 10 is therefore disposed to one side of the guide 11, and the portion 22 of the part 10 extends to the other side of the guide 11 as it passes through the opening 38. Also, the guide 11 has the arcuate portion 36 as an attachment portion which is disposed, along with the head of the screw 18, to provide a rest or abutment for the portion 22 passing thereby. Further, it will be seen that the handle portion 24 is angulated, as shown in FIG. 2, and therefore it is spaced further from the wall 14 for convenience of fingering by the user. Thus, the guide opening 38 extends through the guide portion 39 and therefore it extends in the vertical plane of the loop 23 and therefore the part 10 can be suspended in the substantially vertical position shown in FIG. 2.
FIGS. 3 and 4 show at least some of the parts 10 and 11 as they are disposed in FIG. 1, and it will be seen that the guide 11 has its arcuic or attachment portion 36 in the form of a circle or loop, and the guide 11 can be formed of one piece of material, just as the part 10 is formed, but the guide 11 is simply arranged to provide an opening surrounding the switch lever 19, namely the opening 38 as seen in FIG. 1, and the lever 19 projects through the opening 38 and beyond the guide 11 to be available for direct fingering by a user who might not want to use the part 10 in the actuation of the switch. Further, the guide 11 can be arranged so that it provides the opening 38 and limits the sidewise and up and down movement of the part 10, as well as movement of the part 10 away from the face plate 16 and off the lever 19.
What is claimed is:
1. In an extension control for a wall-mounted toggle switch of the type having a face plate extending along the wall and having an up and down pivotal switch lever extending through said face plate, the improvement comprising a control consisting of only two parts which are: an elongated member of one rigid piece of material and having an opening therein at one end thereof through which said switch lever extends, said member including a handle spaced from said opening and located at the other end of said member and disposed below the elevation of said switch lever, said member having vertically spaced apart portions respectively defining the upper and lower edges of said opening for respective abutment of said lever from above and below said lever, said member being rigid for up and down movement of said portions in the up and down movement of said handle for the consequent pivotal action of said lever in the actuation of said switch, and a single guide disposed adjacent said member portions and having vertically spaced apart surfaces disposed in the up and down path of movement of said member portions for engaging and thereby limiting up and down movement of said member. said surfaces acting as stop means for said member portions, said guide having an opening through which said switch lever extends, and said member portions being confined on one side of said guide and with said handle being disposed on the other side of said guide, and said guide having an attachment portion releasably attached to said face plate.
2. The extension control as claimed in claim 1, wherein said member consists of a single length of wire with a loop at each of its opposite ends to respectively embody said handle portion and said spaced apart portions.
3. The extension control as claimed in claim 2, wherein said face plate is attached to said wall by a screw, and wherein said guide consists of a single length of wire in a U-shape, and with the intermediate portion of said U-shape having a loop receiving said screw to thereby effect the releasable attachemnt of said guide to said face plate.
4. The extension control as claimed in claim 2, wherein said face plate is attached to said wall by a screw, and wherein said guide has a screw opening receiving said screw to thereby effect the releasable attachment of said guide to said face plate.
5. The extension control as claimed in claim 1, wherein said material of said member is wire with a loop in one end thereof for defining said opening and completely surrounding said lever and to suspend said member from said lever, and said guide opening being narrower than the width of said loop for securing said loop on said lever.
6. The extension control as claimed in claim 5, wherein said guide opening extends in the vertical plane directly beneath said loop, for vertical suspension of said wire member from said lever and through said opening.
7. The extension control as claimed in claim 5, wherein said member completely consists of only one piece of said wire, and said guide completely consists of only one piece of material, to thereby completely provide the said two parts from only the said two pieces.
8. The extension as claimed in claim 7, wherein said guide material is a piece of wire also, shaped into a U- shape having two leg portions overlying said member loop for securing said loop on said lever.
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