Oct. 21, PREISS ELECTRIC ATTACHMENT PLUG Filed April 17, 1967 INVENTOR.
74}. 1 WILLIAM A. mass ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,474,376 ELECTRIC ATTACHMENT PLUG William A. Preiss, 4423 N. 86th St., Scottsdale, Ariz. 85251 Filed Apr. 17, 1967, Ser. N 631,426 Int. Cl. H0lr 35/00, 39/00, 33/04 US. Cl. 339- 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Background of the invention This invention relates to electrical apparatus.
More particularly the invention concerns electrical connectors.
In a further aspect, the invention concerns an electric attachment plug of the prong type for use with electric outlet sockets, especially the wall type.
In a still further aspect the invention concerns an electric attachment plug of the above type having pivotally mounted connector prongs.
Electricity is normally supplied to electrical apparatus through the expediency of a length of wire containing insulated electrical conductors. The conductors are secured at one end to the appropriate terminals within the electrical appliance while the other end is fitted with an attachment plug. The attachment plug is designed to mate with an electric convenience outlet. Convenience outlets especially the type employed in individual homes and apartments are installed in the' walls and are substantially flush with the surface thereof.
Conventional electric attachment plugs while being functionally adequate as a union between the electrical conductors and the wall outlet have inherent undesirable characteristics. Basically, an electrical attachment plug must have some physical dimension which protrudes from the convenience outlet. In addition to being susceptible to damage or disengagement by a moving object, the protruding plug imposes limitations on the placement of furniture and other items in close proximity to the wall. Therefore it is a common practice to employ miniature attachment plugs which encourage deleterious and dangerous act of removing the plug by pulling upon the wire. An alternate plug, designed for the safety and convenience of the user, incorporates a special gripping portion but is sufiicient in size to ignore the initial problem.
It would be highly advantageous, therefore, to provide an electrical attachment plug which would protrude a minimal distance from the convenience outlet and concurrently accommodate the convenience of the user.
Summary of the invention In accordance with the foregoing, it is a principal object of the present invention to provide an electric attachment plug which will seat flush against the base of an electric outlet to provide minimal protrusion therefrom.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of an electric attachment plug having a convenient gripping portion to facilitate manipulation of the plug to avoid the deleterious and dangerous usual tendency to remove the plug by pulling upon the conductor cord.
Yet another object is to provide a plug of the above type which is conveniently installed to expediently replace the existing plug.
Yet still another object of the present invention is to provide an attachment plug of simple design, inexpensive to manufacture, and efiicient and durable in use.
To achieve the desired objectives in my present invention, I first provide a relatively thin base constructed of a non-conductor material. A curvilinear depression traversing the undersurface of the base and a concavity in the uppersurface thereof accommodate, respectively, the side of the index finger and the ball of the thumb for manipulative support. A cylindrical recess is laterally disposed within the base proximate the front thereof. A pair of parallel slits spaced to correspond to the normal spacing between the prongs of prong-type connectors radiate from the recess forwardly and downwardly through the base. A conduit extending through the rear of the base branches into a pair of passages each communicating with either respective end of the cylindrical recess.
A cylinder similarly constructed of non'conductor material is journaled Within the recess in the forward portion of the plug. A pair of electrical connector prongs, each extending through one of the slits, are carried by the cylinder and may extend forwardly in the plane of the plug or rotated downwardly substantially perpendicular to the plug. Associated with each prong is an electrical contact surface, one disposed on either end of the cylinder. A spring tempered conductor strip is disposed within each of the passages. The forward end of each conductor strip abuts one end of the cylinder and continuously communicates with the respective contact surface, while the other end of each contact strip is provided with conventional means for securing one of each of a pair of electrical conductors carried by a wire entering through the conduit.
Brief description of the drawings Further and more specific objects and advantages, in addition to those previously stated of the present invention, will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the device chosen for the purpose of illustrating the elements of an electrical attachment plug constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is plan view partly in section showing the assembled operative relationship of the elements of the device of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the device of the present invention as it would normally be grasped between the thumb and index finger during manipulation and;
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the present electrical attachment plug during primary and terminal positions when mated with a wall-type convenience outlet.
Description of the preferred embodiment Turning now to the drawings, in which the same reference numerals indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, attention is first directed to FIG. 1 which shows the body generally indicated by the reference numeral 7, preferably molded from a non-conductor such as polymer, Bakelite or hard rubber. For obvious assembly purposes, the body 7 is constructed of a base 8 and a cover 9. A cylindrical recess 10 is disposed laterally within the front of the base 8. A pair of slits 11 radiate from the recess 10 through the front and lower portions of the base 8. A conduit 12 extends through the rear of the base 8 and communicates with either end of the recess 10 by means of right and left hand passages 13 and 14. A curvilinear depression 17 traverses the undersurface of the base.
A Teflon, nylon or other acceptable non-conductor cylinder 18 is diametrically mated with the recess 10 to be pivotally journaled therein. A pair of electrical connector prongs 19 carried by the cylinder 18 are spaced to protrude through the slits 11 when assembled. In this view the prongs 19 are positioned to extend forwardly in the plane of the base 8. During rotation of the cylinder 18 within the recess 10, the prongs may extend downwardly as indicated by the alternate position 19a. An electrical contact surface 20 is disposed on either end of the cylinder 18 and, as will hereafter be shown in detail, each of the contact surfaces are contiguous with one of the prongs 19.
A pair of spring tempered electrical conductor strips 21 and 22 correspond respectively to the passages 13 and 14 and when disposed therein, are urged in constant contact with the contact surfaces 20. In accordance with conventional practice, as will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, an electric wire 23 carrying conductors 24 and 27 enters the body 7 through the conduit 12 and one of the conductors is secured to either of the strips 21 and 22.
Notches 11a carried by the forward edge of the cover 9 register with the slits 11 to accommodate the prongs 19 while in the forward extended position. Accordingly, a shallow semi-circular recess may be provided on the underside of the cover to accommodate a relatively minor portion of the cylinder 18. A concavity 28, either plain or knurled, is provided in the upper surface of the cover 9.
Turning now to FIG. 2, the assembled components as described in FIG. 1 are particularly noted. Solder deposits 29 secure the conductors 24 and 27 to the contact strips 22 and 21 respectively. Especially illustrated in this view is the enlarged portion 30 of the prong 19 embedded within the cylinder 18 and extending outwardly therefrom to form the contact surface 20.
FIG. 3 illustrates the manner of grasping the body 7 during manipulation of the plug. The ball of the thumb 31 rests in the recess 28 while the index finger 32 rests in the recess 17.
Turning now to FIG. 4, the operation of the electrical attachment plug of the present invention is specifically illustrated. The body is held as illustrated in FIG. 3 and the prongs 19 inserted into a conventional wall convenience outlet 33. After partial insertion as shown by the broken line view A, the index finger is removed while thumb pressure is retained to pivot the body downwardly and inwardly to complete insertion of the prongs and seat the plug flush against the face of the electric outlet. During removal, the forefinger contacts the depression 17 and with an upward motion returns the plug to the position illustrated as A where upon withdrawal is completed. Particularly noted herein is the ease of manipulation, the absence of stress upon the cord, and the minimal protrusion of the plug from the convenience outlet.
In the foregoing detailed description of the present invention, means for attachment of the cover to the base has not been specified. It is obvious that the two elements may be bonded with a suitable glue or with heat or employ a screw extending through one element and threadedly engaging the other in accordance with conventional practice. Similarly, the conductors may be secured to the contact strips with small screws or by crimping or by any of the other standard practices of the art. Various other changes in the device herein chosen for purposes of illustration will readily occur to persons skilled in the art. Such modifications and variations while not explicitly noted in the foregoing detailed specifications do not deviate from the teachings of the present invention and are intended to be included in the spirit and scope thereof, which is limited only by a fair interpretation of the following claims.
Having fully described and disclosed the invention and what I conceive to be the presently preferred embodiment thereof in such a manner as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same.
1. An electric attachment plug having pivotally afiixed prongs and adapted for said plug to be rotated and depend from said prongs to seat flush against the face of an electric outlet to provide minimal protrusion therefrom, said plug comprising:
(a) a relatively thin body generally proportioned and shaped in the form of a conventional male attachment plug, constructed of a nonconductor material and having a conduit in the rear edge thereof;
(b) a pair of spaced parallel electrical connector prongs pivotally carried proximate the front of said base, said prongs normally extending forward of said base along the plane thereof, and capable of rotating downward substantially perpendicular to said base;
(c) a pair of conductor wires entering said body through said conduit; and
(d) means for maintaining continuous electrical contact between each of said prongs and one of said wires.
2. An electric attachment plug having pivotally affixed prongs and adapted for said plug to be rotated and depend from said prongs to seat flush against the face of an electric outlet to provide minimal protrusion therefrom, said plug comprising:
(a) a base constructed of a nonconductor material, said base having a substantially cylindrical recess laterally disposed proximate the front thereof, a pair of spaced parallel slits radiating forwardly and downwardly from said recess through said base, and a passage communicating with either respective end of said recess and a conduit in the rear of said base;
(b) a cylinder of nonconductor material journaled within said recess;
(c) a pair of electrical connector prongs, each extending through one of said slits, and carried by said cylinder;
((1) an electrical contact surface disposed on either end of said cylinder, each said surface contiguous with one of said prongs;
(e) an electrical contact disposed in either of said passages, each said contact having one end in continuous communication with one of said contact surfaces and adapted at the other end for attachment to a wire;
(f) a cover member to register with said base; and
(g) means for securing said cover to said base.
3. The electric attachment plug of claim 2, including:
(a) means defining a curvilinear depression traversing the undersurface of said base; and
(b) means defining a concavity in the upper surface of said cover, said curvilinear depression and said concavity adapted respectively to accommodate the side of the index finger and the ball of the thumb for manipulative support of said plug.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,981,854 11/1934 Comiskey 3397 2,543,951 3/1951 Aime 339195 3,032,740 5/1962 Von Hoorn 339195 3,039,075 6/1962 Stollman 339l X 3,061,716 10/1962 Benander 339-159 X RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 339-110,