US 3044035 A
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July 10, 1962 T. c. ADAMS, JR 3,044,035
Filed Feb. 10, 1958 FIG. 3
FIG. 6 FIG 5 INVENTOR. 104 THOMAS c. ADAMS Jr.
FIG. 7 J4 044.49. AGENT y 0, 1962 T. c. ADAMS, JR 3,044,035
CONTINUOUS ELECTRICAL CONNECTION Filed Feb. 10, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. THOMAS C. ADAMSJI:
J A. M 9,.
AGENT United States Patent 3,044,035 CONTINUOUS ELECTRICAL CONNECTION Thomas C. Adams, In, 2416 Santa Cruz, Dallas 27, Tex. Filed Feb. 10, 1958, Ser. No. 714,202 3 Claims. (Cl. 339-21) This invention relates generally to electrical connecting means and more particularly to that type of construction equipment employed to provide outlets in a home, otfice or shop to accommodate electrically operated appliances and equipment.
A primary object of this invention is to provide a unique continuous electrical connection, the socket of which is suitable for installation throughout the length of a wall or base-board and which will accommodate an electrical plug at any desired location throughout its length.
Another object is to provide a continuous strip socket into which the prongs of an electrical plug may be inserted at any selected location and in a forceably retained and nontwistable relationship.
A further object is to provide an electrical plug having special dished out expansible prongs which are adapted to grip the circular conductor and reduce the possibility of accidental disengagement of the plug from the socket.
And yet another object is to provide an electrical plug which latches into a retained position at its engagement with the mating socket by cooperation with the electrical Wiring itself.
Anadditional object is to provide an electrical socket member which includes a continuous open cavity in align ment with the internally located conductor, and a plug having prongs to engage the conductor and complete an electrical circuit and which plug includes a guide to align with the cavity simultaneously with the prong engagement.
And another object is to provide a continuous strip electric socket member which includes a continuous and integrally molded electrical conductor.
And a further object is to provide a joining means for a pair of integrally molded electric conductors in the socket of this invention.
And still another object of this invention is to provide a socket arrangement which is suitable for instantaneous use to deliver either the conventional 110 volt alternating current or the larger capacity 220 volts alternating current selectively depending only on the type of plug employed.
In another embodiment of this invention it is an object to provide a continuous or virtually continuous electrical socket member which is completely integral with the functional base board or molding in a room so as to provide an essential but normally unattractive electrical socket in a manner to be hidden from notice, and yet if noticed to be attractive in appearance.
And in yet another embodiment of this invention it is an object to provide a continuous electrical socket and mating plug which may be used in combination to provide for selectively installed and easily relocated ceiling drop-s.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from an examination of the following specification and drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the plug of this invention detached from the socket.
FIGURE 2 is a side view partly in cross section showing the plug of FIG. 1 in a position preparatory to being engaged in the socket of this invention.
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the devices shown in FIG. 2.
FIGURE 4 is a cross sectional view showing the means employed in joining two socket members for additional length.
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the joint sleeve employed in FIG. 4.
FIGURE 6 is an end view of the sleeve of FIGURE 5.
FIGURE 7 is a side view similar to FIG. 2 but disclosing a three wire electrical socket and plug in lieu of the two wire members shown in the previous figure.
FIGURE 8 is a top plan view partly in fragmentary cross section showing the corner unit employed with the socket members of this invention.
FIGURE 9 is a front elevational view of a modified embodiment of the socket member shown in FIG. 7.
FIGURE 10 is a cross sectional view taken along the lines 10-10 of FIG. 9.
FIGURE 11 is an outline elevational view of the interior of a room employing the ceiling type socket member and locking plug as shown in FIG. 12.
FIGURE 12 is a sectional view taken along the lines 12-12 of FIG. 11. I
FIGURE 13 is a modified section of the socket member shown in FIG. 2.
FIGURE 14 is a cross sectional view taken along the lines 14-14 of FIG. 13.
In both home and o-fiice construction the problem of installing electrical outlets in adequate numbers and at convenient locations usually presents itself in the planning stage, during actual construction, and even after the building is completed and in use. By employing the method and devices of this invention, however, t his problem is largely and in many cases completely overcome together. with the problem of knowing whether to install a two wire or a three wire circuit. This socket member will permit a two wire or a three wire outlet connection to be made virtually anywhere around the perimeter of a room.
Another and equally important advantage of the continuous strip socket shown herein is the elimination of the danger of fire due to frayed insulation on the wires where ever this socket member is employed.
Referring now more particularly to the characters of reference in the drawing it will be observed that the complete electrical connection identified generally at 2 in FIG. 2 consists basically of a continuous strip socket 3 and a unique plug 4 adapted for cooperative engagement therewith. The socket 3 includes a body 5 made of a heat resistant, non-conducting material such as an electric component type plastic or ceramic. The body 5 includes a pair of parallel and continuous groove-type cavities 6 which project into the body 5 beyond but in intersecting relation to the electric conductors or wires 7 which are integrally molded in the body 5 at the time of construction such that the wire forms an internal ridge along the groove wall. The wires 7 project into the cavity 6 for a distance equal to their radius or less to provide for a firm,
and latching contact with the prongs 8 and prong protectors or alignors 9 which are both constructed of conducting material so that a complete circuit may be obtained from the wires 7 thru the prongs 8 and alignors 9 and thru lead 10 to whatever particular appliance or equipment is operated therefrom. Adjacent each alignor. 9 and integral with the plug body 11, there has been in- 6 when the curved dip 14 of the prong 8 has engagedthei adjacent circumference of its mating conductor 7.
'In'FIG. 4 the construction of the joining means between either two lengths'of a straight section of body' or of one straight section and a cornersection (identified at 5A) as shown maybe examined. Each body section adjacent the joint line includes a recess 15 into which one-half of the joint sleeve 16 is adapted to be inserted While in surrounding relation to the solid wire 7. The joint sleeve 16 is seen in FIG. 5 to include a pair of slits 17 and 18 at right angles to each other and intersecting the end of the sleeve at their outboard ends. At their inboard ends the slits 17 and 18 overlap so that the sleeve 16 is flexible throughout its entire length and can expand slightly to give a snug fit to the wires 7 and 7A. The recesses 15 are slightly larger than the outside diametenof the sleeves 16 so as not to prevent their ex-.
pansion when receiving the ends of the conductor wires. When the socket bodyS is initially formed, or subsequently cut to length the ends of'the wires7 are flush with the end of the body 5 so that a 'ilush connection will be obtained when the bodies 5 and SA are engaged. However since'the sleeves 16 are made of conducting material theelectrical circuit will always be completed even if a gap were to exist between the wire ends.
In FIG. 7 the plug 104 having three prongs 1&8 extending from body 111 and surrounded by alignors 1%) is seen to be ready to engage the socket body 3&5 having three cavities 106 and three conductor wires ltl'iQ In this embodiment it will be seen that a three wire 220 volt circuit may be transmitted by the connection 162, and since 'a 110 volt current may be obtained froma 220 volt circuit by tapping across two of the leads; the plug 4 of FIG. 2 may be plugged .into the top two cavities 1% of FIG. 7 to obtain the desired 110 volt current from this 220 volt socket.
In FIGS. 9 and 10 the cavities 206 are shown to be integral with and actually contributeto the appearanceof a base-board 200 installedlat the juncture oiwall W and floor F. Wires 207 are included in the bodyZtiS as In FIGS. 11 and 12 the embodiment of an electrical previously described. I
connection identified at 302r may be seen. This embodiment is identical internally with either 2 or 192, but externally the socket body 305 includes a continuous external ridge 3Z0 alongeach lower edge and the plug Mid-includes a spring clip 321 having a locking lip 322 at its upper end to engage the ridge 320 and prevent unplugging the connection Sillunlessthetabs 323 are intentionally depressed. By using the connection 302 it will be obvious from FIG. 11 that a multiplicity of drop cordlamps 32s may be selectively located anywherealong the body strip 3%. in a room. This will permit the most desirable location A body section 5 faced away from the flush walls W and W Body member 5A of course includes no cavities.
of the light source and it will permit relocation to be accomplisheclwith thesame ease. that the room furnitureis relocated. The cooperating interaction between; the internal clamping means associated with the prongs 8 and theexternal clamping means associated with the body of the. plug 4 may be seen bytheir dimensional relationship in FIGURE-P12. Neither. clampingmeansfmay be en-n gagedor disengaged without the intentional or disengagement of the other. a
The body strips 405 of FIGS. 13 and 14 include a series of spaced reinforcement sections 425 for socket members engagement where very long or very small center lips 426-are present When a long continuous strip such as body 5 in FIG. 8 is installed in a room, it may be made an=integralpart of the building electrical system'by allowing-the corner member 5A to turn toward and lie flush against the wall W as indicated by the broken line. The'free extension of the wire 7A would then pass through the wall W3 and connect integrally into the wiring of the building'without requiring a connector. 1 For purposes of this illustration the cavitiesG would be considered as facing away from the flush wall W whereas in the illustration described, heretofore with reference to FIG- 8, the cavities 6 in the Other means will be obvious from this disclosure to connect the wire 7 to the house circuit, such as making bodies 5 and 5A in one piece, with the takeotf wire 7A near one end, or'centrally located and allowing the wire 7 to extend both Ways beyond its now integral takeoff wire.
From the foregoing description it will be readily seen that there has been produced a device which substantially fulfills the objects of the invention as set forth herein. The invention is not limited to the exemplary constructions herein shown and described, but'may be made in many ways within the scope of the appended claims.
\Yhat is claimed is:
1. An electrical connector assembly comprising:
(a) a continuous socket member including a plurality of cavities extending longitudinally in said member,
(12) a ridge forming conductor wire embedded in a wall of each of said cavities and extending throughout the length of said cavities in parallel relation thereto,
(c) a plug member having at least two prongs aligned that is applied upon said plug member relative to said socket member that would normally be assumed by said prongs. 2. An electrical socket assembly, comprising in combination:
' (a) a longitudinally extending socket body of a nonconductingmaterial,
(b) a plurality of longitudinal cavities in said body and opening to one face thereof, (0) solid conductor wires embedded in said-body in such a manner as to form longitudinal ridges in said cavities and extending continuously through saidbody in parallel relation to said cavities,
(d) a plug member having at least two conductive flexible prongs therein in cooperative relation to said cavities,
(e) said wires extendinginto said cavities a distance substantially equal to the respective radii thereof for the purpose of cooperating with curved portions of similar radii on said prongs,
(f) a rigid non-conducting guide integral with said plug for engaging one of said cavities, (g) a rigid conducting alignor member rigidly attached to'said plug and outlining each flexible prong in such a manner as to prevent any twist and mechanical pressure applied to said plug relative to said socket 7 body from reaching said flexible prongs in combina- V ftion with said rigid guides.
3. (a) a continuous parallel groove socket,
V (b) ridge forming electrical conductors bedded in each groove wall,
(c) a plug having a set of flexible electrical conducting prongs, I
(d) and a set of rigid non-conducting guides adapted to engage in corresponding parallel grooves to prevent excessive twisting of said plug in said socket;
(e) said plug including a rigid conducting alignor member surrounding each flexible prong to receive any twisting force intended to reach the flexible por- 7 tion of said prongs,
(1) each prong including-a dip adapted to clamp over and lock onto a corresponding'portion of said ridge forming conductor,
(g) sa'id'co'ntinuous socket including a continuous external ridge,
An electrical connection comprising in combination:
partially em- 5 (h) said plug including an external locking spring clip adapted to engage said external ridge at any position along its length when said prong dip has engaged said ridge forming conductor.
5 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,348,434 Marshick Aug. 3, 1920 1,769,967 Saurman et al July 8, 1930 10 1,835,251 Wetstein Dec. 8, 1931 1,871,839 Carter Aug. 16', 1932 1,899,360 Roudebush et a1 Feb. 28, 1933 2,108,031 Acufl? Feb. 15, 1938 2,192,899 Edmonson Mar. 12,1940 5 6 Clayton Oct. 8, 1940 Von Rarrel Mar. 11, 1941 Frank Apr. 29, 1941 Morten Jan. 13, 1942 OBrien Mar. 16, 1943 Walk Apr. 30, 1946 Muller Oct. 29, 1946 Harrison et a1 Sept. 30, 1947 Uline Aug. 7, 1951 Stieglitz Oct. 11, 1955' Born et a1 Nov. 29, 1955 Schmier June 11, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS Switzerland Nov. 30, 1946
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