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Attachment for electrical wall switches

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Publication number
US3004128A
US3004128A US51428355A US3004128A US 3004128 A US3004128 A US 3004128A US 51428355 A US51428355 A US 51428355A US 3004128 A US3004128 A US 3004128A
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Prior art keywords
slide
switch
toggle
guide
plate
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Expired - Lifetime
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Benny J Mikolajeski
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Benny J Mikolajeski
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H23/00Tumbler or rocker switches, i.e. switches characterised by being operated by rocking an operating member in the form of a rocker button
    • H01H23/02Details
    • H01H23/12Movable parts; Contacts mounted thereon
    • H01H23/14Tumblers
    • H01H23/141Tumblers provided with extensions, e.g. for actuation by a child
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T74/00Machine element or mechanism
    • Y10T74/20Control lever and linkage systems
    • Y10T74/20396Hand operated
    • Y10T74/20468Sliding rod

Description

Oct. 10, 1961 B. J. MIKOLAJESKI 3,

ATTACHMENT FOR ELECTRICAL WALL SWITCHES Filed June 9, 1955 H624 BENNY diWKOLAJESKl IN VEN TOR.

BY U JLM RW ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 10, 1961 3,004,128 ATTACHMENT FOR ELECTRICAL WALL SWITCHES Benny J. Mikolajeski, Clarendon Hills, Ill. (419 N. Quincy St., Hinsdale, Ill.) Filed June 9, 1955, Ser. No. 514,283 5 Claims. (Cl. 200172) This invention relates to an accessory for use in the remote, manual operation of an electrical switch operated by a toggle or lever and installed on a vertical surface for controlling electrical circuits. It is more particularly concerned with an auxiliary means for assisting small children in the safe operation of wall-type electrical switches.

There are described in the prior art a number of devices for use in manually actuating wall switches from a point removed from the actual switch installation. In the main, these devices were designed for use by small children who could not reach and operate a wall switch installed at the standard height. Although push-button switches are employed for circuit control of domestic electrical systems, most modern electrical installations employ a switch operated by a lever or toggle. Switches of this nature, which are generally a single pole, single throw type, which may be either of the snap-type or so called mercury switch-type, have the lever or toggle pivotally mounted within the body of the switch to provide a handle for actuating the mechanism which controls the position of the electrical contacts. Because this handle element of the switch functions as a lever of the first class, the movement of the switch lever is facilitated by applying the moving force as close to the terminal extremity as possible. Switches of this nature are standard electrical items. To expedite a further discussion of this invention, this type of switch will be referred to as a tumbler switch.

Normally, in the manual operation of a tumbler switch the operating force exerted on the lever or toggle by a human operator is relatively small and no substantial effort is exerted. However, the operation of the switch by small children is not as facile because of their limited,

strength. Accordingly, switch actuators for facilitating the operation of tumbler switches used by small children have been designed to provide a reciprocating slide depending from the toggle or lever-operated mechanism. In order that the maximum leverage can be obtained, the slide operates in a slide-guide displaced from the plane of the switch plate covering the switch mechanism. When the slide operates the switch mechanism in this manner the slide engages the lever or toggle at its terminal extremity. This arrangement prevents one from readily grasping the switch lever to operate the switch locally. Devices of this nature are illustrated in US. Patent 2,493,581. In switch actuators not employing this expedient it is necessary to incorporate a lever element which actuates the reciprocating slide in order that the tumbler switch may be conveniently operated by a small child. This requires a more complicated and expensive arrangement, as seen by the device described in US. Patent 2,668,456.

It is therefore the primary object of this invention to provide a switch actuator which employs a reciprocating slide member to permit remote, manual control operation of a tumbler switch by a small child without requiring auxiliary levers for increasing the mechanical advantage of the switch actuator and without interfering with the local control of the lever or toggle element of the tumbler switch. This and other objects will be apparent from the following detailed description of the instant invention.

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of the switch actuator installed to operate a wall-installed, conventional tumbler switch which employs a pivotally mounted lever or toggle element to actuate the electrical contacts.

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional, side view of the switch actuator installation taken through line 2-2 of FIG- URE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a transverse, cross-sectional view of the switch actuator installation taken through line 3-3 in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 is an alternative embodiment of a slideguide element which is fabricated integral with the cover plate for the switch mechanism.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary transverse cross-section view of the alternate slide-guide taken through line 5--5 of FIGURE 4, illustrating the manner in which the slideguide rails are stamped from the face of the cover plate.

With reference to the attached drawings, it will be seen that the tumbler switch 10 is installed in a conventional conduit box 11, which is mounted in a vertical wall in the normal fashion. The lever or toggle 12 is pivotally mounted in switch body 10 and extends through an opening in normally provided cover plate 13, which is a conventional switch plate. The cover plate 13 as well as the slide-guide 14 are mounted to the switch mechanism by means of mounting screws 15a and 15b, which engage with a mounting bracket 16, which is affixed to the switch body 10 and used for the installation of the switch in the conduit box 11, as well as attachment of cover plate 13. Suitable mounting holes which register with the installation apertures in the cover plate 13 are provided in the slide-guide 14 for effecting this installation. It is to be noted that the slide-guide 14 is contiguous with the cover plate 13. The slide-guide 14 has re-entrant flanges 17 and 18, which form a channel and function as side rails for retaining slide 19 in the slideguide 14 in order that it may operate in a reciprocating manner. In the illustrated embodiment the slide'guide 14 extends to the bottom of cover plate 13. However, the length is not critical and it is only necessary that the slide-guide be long enough to adequately support the slide in its reciprocation. The slide is slidably mounted in the slide-guide and provided with an opening 20, which is used to facilitate the mounting of cover plate 13 and the switch actuator which is comprised of slide 19 mounted on slide-guide 14. Integral with the slide 19 is toggle enclosure 21, which is provided with a recess 22. which registers with toggle 12 to transmit a motivating force applied at handle 23 to the terminal extremity of toggle 12. The shank portion of the slide depends from the toggle to a position at which it may be conveniently operated by a young child without stretching or reaching. At this terminal extremity there is provided a means for conveniently manipulating the slide 19, such as handle 23, in order to impart thereto a reciprocating motion.

In the operation of the above-described switch actuator a young child may conveniently operate a wall-installed tumbler switch mounted beyond his reach by simply moving up or down the slide 19 to operate toggle 12, by means of handle 23 which is positioned so that it may be conveniently reached. The toggle enclosure 21 also provides a convenient means for the local operation of toggle 12.

While in the preferred embodiment the slide-guide has been shown as a separate element which is conveniently attached to a standard switch or cover plate by means of the standard mounting screws, it is also within the scope of this invention to provide a cover plate unit which has affixed integral therewith flanged elements which will function as a slide-guide means. An expedient illustrative of this embodiment is shown in FIGURE 4, where flanged cars 24, 25, 26 and 27, which are stamped from the surface of the cover plate 28, are used as a means for guiding slide 19 in its reciprocating motion. These flanged elements are shown in cross-section in FIGURE 5. This type of guide rail is only illustrative and other forms will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

In fabricating the switch actuator of this invention materials of construction conveniently used in light machining operations to produce parts of this nature are employed. As illustrative of the preferred materials a malle able substance, such as aluminum, brass, or the like, is preferred for manufacturing the slide-guide. The slide and toggle enclosure may also be fabricated from a metal. However, it is preferable to employ a plastic, such as melamine or phenol formaldehyde resins, polyethylene, styrene polymers and copolymers, polyvinyl chloride, and other types of plastics which have sufficient dimensional stability, shock resistance, and especially electrical insulator properties, to permit their use in these elements.

It is evident that other designs of the instant invention will be apparent to those skilled in the sat. Although it is shown in the accompanying drawings that the slide and toggle enclosure are combined as an integral unit, it is also possible to prepare this composite element of the actuator by joining to a separate slide member, which is provided with an appropriate opening to permit the toggle to pass therethrough, a separate toggle enclosure which may be joined to the slide in any conventional manner, such as cementing, welding, or the like. The exterior configuration of the toggle enclosure may also be modified and made having an arcuate, rectangular, isosceles trapezoidal, or other longitudinal cross-section. Also, the handle attached to the slide to permit a young child to operate it is also illustrative and may take the form of a ring or other device attached thereto in a manner which will permit a child to grasp the terminal extremity of the slide and readily move it up and down. Additional features which also may be incorporated in the design of the subject invention include the lining of the toggle enclosure recess with a sound-absorbing material, such as rubber, to avoid the click which results from the impact of the toggle on the wall of the recess. Also, the toggle enclosure as well as the slide handle may be provided with a luminescent material to permit it to be seen in the dark.

Obviously, the specific designs for each of the elements illustrated in the accompanying dravw'ngs are non-limiting, as other alternatives in addition to those discussed above will be obvious to those skilled in the prior art. Since such modifications can be made by those skilled in the prior art without departing from the purview of this invention, it is intended that the subject invention only be limited to the invention as set forth in the following claims.

I claim as my invention:

1. For the remote manual control of an electrical switch operated by a pivoted toggle, in cooperation with a cover plate enclosing said switch, said toggle extending thru said plate, a switch actuator which comprises a slide-guide longitudinally mounted on and in continuous, contiguous relationship with said plate, a manually operated slide reciprocatively mounted in said slide-guide and retained in position by the relative position of said toggle, said slide comprising a toggle enclosure depending laterally from said slide and adapted to receive said toggle, a shank portion, and a handle means adapted to manually operate said slide depending downwardly therefrom; said toggle enclosure containing a recess comprising a pair of side walls and two opposed cam walls, said cam walls spaced apart from the side walls of said toggle and each of said cam walls alternately abutting against the adjacent terminal extremity of said toggle when the switch is in the normally open, or normally closed position, and an outer shell integral with said walls surrounding said recess.

2, A switch actuator in accordance with claim 1 in which said slide-guide is a detachable element mounted on said cover plate and comprises a central slideway and reentrant flanges formed on the longitudinal edges thereof to provide a channeled guide wherein said slide may reciprocatively move.

3. A switch actuator in accordance with claim 2 in which said re-entrant flanges formed on the longitudinal edges of the slideway are co-extensive with the longitudinal length of the slide-guide.

4. A switch actuator in accordance with claim 1 in which said slide-guide is formed integrally with said cover plate and consists essentially of re-entrant flanges integral with and stamped from the face of said cover plate.

5. For the remote manual control of an electrical switch operated by a pivoted toggle, in cooperation with a cover plate enclosing said switch, said toggle extending thru said plate, a switch actuator which comprises a detach-able slide-guide adapted for mounting on said cover and comprising an intermediate web section and longitudinal re-entrant flanges forming guide means whereby a slide can be guided in a reciprocative, longitudinal movement, said slide-guide longitudinally mounted on and in continuous, contiguous relationship with said plate, a manually operated slide reciprocatively mounted in said slide-guide and retained in position by the relative position of said toggle, said slide comprising a toggle enclosure depending laterally from said slide and adapted to receive said toggle, a shank portion, and a handle means adapted to manually operate said slide depending downwardly therefrom; said toggle enclosure containing a trapezoidal recess comprising a pair of side walls and two opposed inwardly converging cam walls, said cam walls spaced apart from the side walls of said toggle and each of said cam walls alternately abutting against the adjacent terminal extremity of said toggle when the switch is in the normally open, or normally closed position, and an outer shell integral with said walls surrounding said recess.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,721,222 Karninsky July 16, 1924 2,389,220 Tredeau Nov. 20, 1945 2,775,674 Mcder Dec. 25, 1956

US3004128A 1955-06-09 1955-06-09 Attachment for electrical wall switches Expired - Lifetime US3004128A (en)

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Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3188439A (en) * 1960-09-20 1965-06-08 George H Fullerton Switchplate mounted extension operator for wall switch
US3590648A (en) * 1969-08-19 1971-07-06 De Witt Y Gorman Remote light-switching apparatus
DE1665092B1 (en) * 1966-11-30 1971-07-15 Merten Geb Electrical device, in particular Outlet
US3839615A (en) * 1973-02-03 1974-10-01 J Bradford Adaptor for electric-light wall switch for operation by small children
US3892935A (en) * 1974-07-24 1975-07-01 Joe G Patterson Wall switch extension
US4368370A (en) * 1981-02-12 1983-01-11 Rca Corporation Switch actuating apparatus for video disc player
US4419556A (en) * 1982-01-29 1983-12-06 Hare Patrick H Extension control device and tubing member for controlling switch actuation
US4454401A (en) * 1982-09-13 1984-06-12 Powis Jr George S Safety extension lever for wall switch
US4590345A (en) * 1984-02-29 1986-05-20 Marshell Edward L Light switch adapter for toddlers
US4705924A (en) * 1986-06-12 1987-11-10 Hevoyan Varoujan H Wall switch extension operator
US4870232A (en) * 1988-08-08 1989-09-26 Hoogland John A Extension control for a switch
US4999465A (en) * 1990-08-31 1991-03-12 Kuhlman Marvin G Light switch plate cover
US5055645A (en) * 1990-03-21 1991-10-08 Hull Harold L Light switch extension
US5374797A (en) * 1994-03-16 1994-12-20 Mcmillan; John Switch cover with extension
US5577602A (en) * 1995-10-25 1996-11-26 Glenn C. Conner Switch extender apparatus
US5875886A (en) * 1997-06-26 1999-03-02 Illumination S.L.E. Inc. Light switch extension
US5998747A (en) * 1998-05-05 1999-12-07 Kelso; Francis Fredrick Switch plate assembly
US6822177B1 (en) 2003-05-23 2004-11-23 Laplante Grant W. Switch actuator
US6953940B2 (en) 2000-05-17 2005-10-11 Spectronics Corporation Hand-held germicidal lamp with safety features
GB2443854A (en) * 2006-11-16 2008-05-21 Jeremy Jenkins Remote actuation device

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1721222A (en) * 1928-02-28 1929-07-16 Kaminsky Michael Switch-operating mechanism
US2389220A (en) * 1942-11-20 1945-11-20 Earl W Tredeau Switch actuator
US2775674A (en) * 1955-03-25 1956-12-25 William A Meder Wall switch extension

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1721222A (en) * 1928-02-28 1929-07-16 Kaminsky Michael Switch-operating mechanism
US2389220A (en) * 1942-11-20 1945-11-20 Earl W Tredeau Switch actuator
US2775674A (en) * 1955-03-25 1956-12-25 William A Meder Wall switch extension

Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3188439A (en) * 1960-09-20 1965-06-08 George H Fullerton Switchplate mounted extension operator for wall switch
DE1665092B1 (en) * 1966-11-30 1971-07-15 Merten Geb Electrical device, in particular Outlet
US3590648A (en) * 1969-08-19 1971-07-06 De Witt Y Gorman Remote light-switching apparatus
US3839615A (en) * 1973-02-03 1974-10-01 J Bradford Adaptor for electric-light wall switch for operation by small children
US3892935A (en) * 1974-07-24 1975-07-01 Joe G Patterson Wall switch extension
US4368370A (en) * 1981-02-12 1983-01-11 Rca Corporation Switch actuating apparatus for video disc player
US4419556A (en) * 1982-01-29 1983-12-06 Hare Patrick H Extension control device and tubing member for controlling switch actuation
US4454401A (en) * 1982-09-13 1984-06-12 Powis Jr George S Safety extension lever for wall switch
US4590345A (en) * 1984-02-29 1986-05-20 Marshell Edward L Light switch adapter for toddlers
US4705924A (en) * 1986-06-12 1987-11-10 Hevoyan Varoujan H Wall switch extension operator
US4870232A (en) * 1988-08-08 1989-09-26 Hoogland John A Extension control for a switch
US5055645A (en) * 1990-03-21 1991-10-08 Hull Harold L Light switch extension
US4999465A (en) * 1990-08-31 1991-03-12 Kuhlman Marvin G Light switch plate cover
US5374797A (en) * 1994-03-16 1994-12-20 Mcmillan; John Switch cover with extension
US5577602A (en) * 1995-10-25 1996-11-26 Glenn C. Conner Switch extender apparatus
US5875886A (en) * 1997-06-26 1999-03-02 Illumination S.L.E. Inc. Light switch extension
US5998747A (en) * 1998-05-05 1999-12-07 Kelso; Francis Fredrick Switch plate assembly
US6953940B2 (en) 2000-05-17 2005-10-11 Spectronics Corporation Hand-held germicidal lamp with safety features
US6822177B1 (en) 2003-05-23 2004-11-23 Laplante Grant W. Switch actuator
GB2443854A (en) * 2006-11-16 2008-05-21 Jeremy Jenkins Remote actuation device

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