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Патент USA US2113218

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April 5, 1938.
Filed Aug. 3, 1956
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
Patented Apr. 5, 1938
'Karl K. Nielsen, Chicago, Ill., assìgnor to Alcor
Manufacturing Company, Chicago, lli., a cor
poration of Illinois
-Application August 3 , 1936, Serial No. 93,950
3 Claims. (C1. 173-347)
The invention relates to improvements in elec
trical switches, and more particularly to an im
proved electrical switch having a series of switch~
ing contacts adapted to be opened and closed in
5 succession with snap action.
The primary object of the invention is to
provide an improved switch of the above general
arranged for reversible
whereby the series of switch contacts may be
10 operated in either forward or backward pro
Another object is to provide an improved re
versibly operable multiple contact switch of ex
tremely compact form which can` be readily in
15 corporated in standard electrical ñxtures or ap
pliances, which is adapted to operate efficiently
and reliably over a long period of use, and which
by reason of the simple construction and ad
vantageous arrangement of the Various parts,
20 may be manufactured at a relatively low cost.
Other objects and advantages cf the invention
will become apparent from the following detailed
description of the preferred embodiment illus
trated in the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a phantom perspective view of the
improved switch incorporated in an electric light
Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the switch
and socket shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a sectional View taken along the line
3_3 of Fig. 2.
Figs. 4, 5, 6 and 7 are elevational views of the
switching contacts with the contact operating
member shown in its four different positions.
Fig. 8 is a perspective view of the switch mech
35 anism with a portion broken away to show the
manner in which the various parts cooperate.
Fig. 9 is a perspective detail view of the switch
mechanism showing the parts disassembled.
'I‘he improved switch is particularly adapted for
use in electric lighting ñxtures of the multiple
circuit type, although it will be appreciated that
it may be employed in other electrical devices
and appliances having a plurality of electrical cir
cuits to be opened and closed in succession. By
way of illustration the invention is shown incor
porated in an electric lamp socket of the type
commonly employed for multiple iilament lamps
and provides for energizing the filaments inde
50 pendently or together as desired.
The socket in which the improved switch is
incorporated in the present instance is of the
usual two piece construction including a generally
cup shaped lower member I0, (Figs. l, 2 and 3) of
-55 porcelain or the like, and an upper member II
removably secured thereto, adjacent faces of the
members being recessed to provide a suitable
compartment I2 for switch mechanism general
ly designated by reference character I3. Dis
50 posed within the member Ill is a cylindrical metal
shell I4 having the walls corrugated in the usual
manner i'or engagement with the threaded base
of an electric light bulb. The shell I4 consti
tutes a common terminal for the filaments of the
bulb and is electrically connected by means of a
screw I5 with a terminal IB to which one of the
feed conductors of the electrical supply circuit
may be connected. As herein shown, the upper
end of the shell is formed with a transverse slot
Il to provide space for the other contact mem
bers of the socket. The screw I5 operates to hold
the shell I4 and the members Iii and li together.
In the standard double filament lamp, one {dla
ment is connected to a disk shaped contact ele
ment located substantially centrally on the end
the hase cf the
ylî‘he other iîlament is
connected to an annular contact element encir
cling the first mentioned contact element and in
sulated therefrom. The socket illustrated is ac
ccrdingiy provided with a pair of complementary 520
contact members for engaging the contact ele'
ments on the base of the bulb. One contact
member comprises a leaf spring I8 secured at one
end to a terminal post I9 anchored in the inem
ber |10. The other end of the spring I8 is posi
tioned to engage the center contact ci the lamp
and is yieldably held
contacting position by a
compression spring 2li. The other Contact mem
ber is in the form of a flat spring 2i having an
annular end portion 22 positioned to engage the 30
annular contact element on the base of the
lamp. The spring 2| is supported by a ter
minal post 23.
The switch mechanism I3 is arranged for con
necting the contact members I8 and 22 selective
ly with the other feed conductor of the supply ‘
line. As will be seen by reference to Figs. 2, 8
and 9, the switch mechanism comprises a shait
2li extending transversely of the socket and into
the compartment I2. The shaft is rotatably
supported at its inner end by a bearing 25
clamped between the members it and ii and at
its other end by bearing 26 carried by a yoke 2l
rigidly mounted in the compartment I2. Loosely
mounted on the shaft 24 is a generally cup shaped
rotor 28 of “Bakelite” or other suitable insulating
material carrying on its closed end a switch op
erating member preferably in the form of a metal
contacter 2S. The contacter is disposed in a slot
formed in the rotor so as to be rigid therewith and .
is insulated from the shaft 24 and bearing 25 by
an` insulating washer 25a.
As will be seen by reference to Fig.
the con
tactor 29 comprises an arcuate plate having three
similar contact arms 29a, 29b and 29C extending
radially from the axis of the shaft 24 and rotor
28. The contact arms are preferably spaced 90
degrees apart so that between the contacts 29a
and 29c there is a vacant space ofr 180 degrees.
Arranged around the periphery of the rotor
for engagement with the ends of the contact
arms are a series of resilient switch contacts 39,
3| and 32. These switch contacts are spaced
apart similarly to the spacing of the contact arms
and are stationarily mounted in the switch com
partment I2. In the present instance the switch
contact 30 is supported on a terminal post 33 con
necting with a terminal lug 34 to which the other
feed conductor of the supply line is connected.
10 The switch contact 3| is electrically connected
with the spring contact |8 by the terminal screw
I9, and the switch contact 32 is connected with the
spring: contact 2I' by the terminal screw 23.
Thus, by rotating the contactor 29 to various
positions, the switch contact 30 may be elec
trically connected with the switch contacts 3| and
32 independently or with both of the latter switch
contacts simultaneously.
In the embodiment illustrated, the contactor
29 is adapted to be set in four diiferent positions.
Fig. 4 shows the contactor in its iirst or open
circuit position. In this position the switch con
tact 30, to which the feed conductor is connected,
is disengaged from the contactor, hence no cur
and by reason of its disposition between the ends
of the spring, tends to move the spring in the
direction of the rotation of the shaft. The spring
tends to carry the rotor along in the same direc
tion due to the engagement of the end of the
spring with the shoulder 40. It will be apparent
that when the rotor is held against movement,
the spring 31 is tensioned in response to the
rotation of the shaft 24. The tensioning is such
that the rotor is quickly advanced in the direction y
in which the shaft was rotated as soon as the
holding means is disabled.
Suitable latch means is provided for holding
the rotor against movement in the initial rota
tion of the shaft. As herein shown, the latch
means comprises a latch member 4| and a latch
engaging plate 42 both loosely mounted on the
shaft 24. The latch member 4| is prevented from
rotating by means of upstanding lugs 43 engag
ing in slots 44 formed in the legs of the yoke 21 en
which, as pointed out above, is rigidly supported
in the compartment l2. The slots 44 are of
suñicient length to permit movement of the latch
member longitudinally of the shaft between
rent is supplied to either of the Contact members. _ latching and unlatching positions. A compresRotation of the contactor through a quarter rev
sion spring 45 encircling the shaft and interposed
olution in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed between the end of the yoke 21 and the latch
in this figure, advances it to its second position member 4| operates to urge the latch member
shown in Fig. 5. In this position contact arms into latching position. As will be seen by ref
30 29a and 29c engage the switch contacts 30 and 32
erence to Figs. 8 and 9, the latch member 4|
respectively, so that current is supplied to the is provided with four radially projecting lugs 46
annular contact spring 22. Another quarter rev
constituting latch elements which, in the present
olution advances the contactor to the third posi
tion shown in Fig. 6 wherein the contact arms
29a and 29lo engage the switch contacts 3| and 30
respectively to supply current to the contact
member I8. Further quarter revolution of the
contactor brings the three contact arms into en
gagement with the three switch contacts as shown
40 in Fig. '7, so that current is supplied to the contact members I8 and 2| simultaneously. Rota
tion of the contactor in the opposite direction
connects the switch contacts in reverse order.
Thus by rotating the contactor through its var
ious positions the switch contacts may be op
erated, that is, opened and closed successively in
either forward or backward progression.
Rotation of the contactor is effected through
the medium of actuating mechanism interposed
between the shaft 24 and the rotor 28. To pre
vent excessive sparking at the contacts, the actu
ating mechanism is arranged to effect each ad
vancing step of the rotor with a snap action.
This is accomplished through the medium of a
latch device operating in conjunction with a
yieldable driving connection between the shaft
and the rotor.
The latch device also serves to
locate the contacter properly with respect to the
switch contacts in the various positions of the
60 switch.
Referring more particularly to Figs 2, 8 and 9,
the yieldable driving connection between the
shaft 24 and the rotor 28 includes a coiled spring
31 encircling the shaft 24 and having its end
portions extending outwardly for a substantial
distance. Straddling the spring 31 is a clevis 38
having rectangular apertures 39 in the opposite
legs for receiving the shaft 24, the sides of the
shaft being flattened to prevent rotation of the
clevis relative thereto. The spring 31 and clevis
38 are disposed within the hollow rotor 28 with
the projecting ends of the spring lying on oppo
site sides of the clevis and a shoulder 4U formed
on the interior Wall of the rotor. Thus when the
shaft 24 is rotated, the clevis is likewise rotated
instance, are spaced 90 degrees apart.
The latch engaging plate 42 which cooperates
with the latch member 4| is non-rotatably se 35
cured to the rotor 28 by means of radially pro- .
jecting lugs 41 engaging in slots 48 formed in the
walls of the rotor. The plate 42 is provided with
a pair of oppositely facing latch engaging lugs
49 and 49a spaced on opposite sides of the axis
of the plate. The arrangement is such that the
latch engaging lugs coact with diametrically op
posite latch elements 46 when the member 4|
is in latching position to hold the rotor against
movement in either direction in the initial rota
tion of the shaft,
For disengaging the latch member 4| and the
latch plate 42, latch releasing means arranged
to become effective after the shaft is rotated
through a predetermined angle is provided. In
its preferred form, the latch releasing means
includes a lifter 50 interposed between the latch
member 4| and the latch plate 42. The latch
plate is provided with a pair of outwardly pro
jecting cam surfaces 5| disposed adjacent the
latch engaging lugs 49, and the lifter 5G is
formed with a cam follower 52 adapted to co
operate with the respective cam surfaces when
the lifter is rotated in one direction or the other.
The lifter is arranged to rotate with the shaft
24 and to this end is formed with a rectangular
aperture 53 for receiving the shaft, the flattened
sides of the shaft preventing rotation of the lifter
relative thereto. When the shaft is rotated
through approximately a quarter of a revolution,
the cam follower 52 rides up on one or the other
of the cams 5|, thereby moving the lifter 50 out
wardly from the plate 42 and shifting the latch
member 4| to latch releasing position against
ie action of the spring 45. During this rota
tion of the shaft the spring 31 is tensioned as 70
hereinbefore explained so that, upon the release
of the latch mechanism, the spring becomes ef~
fective to quickly advance the rotor inthe direc
tion in which the shaft was rotated. As the 75
rotor and latch plate catch up with the shaft, the
cam follower 52 leaves the cam- surface 5I, there
by permitting the spring 45 to return the latch
member 4I to latching position so that movement
of the rotor is interrupted at the point at which
the contactor operatively engages` the switch con
By reason of the two cam surfaces and two
latch engaging lugs provided in the present in
10 stance, the latch mechanism may be released up
on rotation of the shaft 24 in either direction.
In each instance the rotor is advanced in a quick
step in the direction in which the shaft was ro
tated responsive to the release of the latch mech
anism. Thus, the contactor engages and di.,
engages the switch contacts with a snap action
so that sparking of the contacts is substantially
reduced or prevented, and the life of the mecha
nism is thereby materially increased.
Any suitable means may be employed for ro
tating the shaft 24. As herein shown, this means
is in the form of a manual gripping member 54,
non-rotatably secured to the shaft and is held
in place thereon by a suitable screw 55 threading
25 into the end of the shaft.
The operation of the switch mechanism, briefly
is as follows:
Assuming that the switch is in open circuit po
sition, as shown in Fig. 4, current may be supplied
to either contact member I8 or 22 by turning the
shaft 24 in one direction or the other. Thus, if
the shaft is turned in a clockwise direction as
viewed in Fig. 8, spring 31 is tensioned and the
contactor is moved to the position shown in Fig.
35 5 when the latch mechanism releases the rotor to
the action of the spring. This release is effected
by the lifter 50 whose cam follower 52 engages the
cam surface 5I and moves the latch member 4I to
unlatching position. The contactor may be re
40 turned to open circuit position at any time by
rotating the shaft in the opposite direction, the
reversible operation making it unnecessary to
pass through the other switch positions. This
reduces wear of the parts and is also advanta
geous in reducing the current consumption of the
lamp or other device controlled by the switch
The same cycle of operations ls repeated in the
movement of the switch from each position to
the next, the latch mechanism delaying move
ment of the rotor until the spring 31 is tensioned
and thereupon permitting the spring to advance
the rotor with snap action to the succeeding posi
It will be apparent from the foregoing that the
invention provides an improved multi-circuit
switch, adapted to open and close: a series of
circuits with snap action in either forward or
backward progression. The switch is compact in
form and may be readily incorporated in stand
for the socket, and a switch mechanism disposed
in said compartment operative to close electrical
circuits for said contact members successively in
either forward or backward progression, said
mechanism comprising a shaft having one end
projecting from said compartment, a bearing el
ement rigidly clamped between said upper and
lower shell members for rotatably supporting said
shaft, a contactor loosely mounted on said shaft
and operative to open and close the circuits for 10
said contact members, spring means yieldably
connecting said contactor with the shaft whereby
rotational movement of the shaft in either direc
tion tends to rotate said contactor in the same
direction, latch means operatively associated 15
with the contactor cooperating with a latch ele
ment stationarily supported by said shell mem
bers to prevent rotation of said contactor, and
means rendered operative by the rotation of said
shaft through a predetermined angle for disen 20
gaging said latch means from said latch element,
said spring means acting thereupon to rotate
said contactor into or out of circuit closing posi
tion with a snap action.
2. A socket for a double filament electric lamp 25
having, in combination, a lower shell member
formed with a recess in one end adapted to re
ceive the base of an electric lampi, a pair of con
tact members in said recess positioned for en
gagement with the respective filament contacts 30
of the lamp, a second recess in the opposite end of
said member adapted to receive an electric switch
including a first switch contact adapted to be
connected to a current supply conductor and sec
ond and third switch contacts connected to said ‘
contact members respectively, said switch mem
bers all being supported on said lower shell mem
ber and disposed adjacent said second recess, a
movable contactor having an open circuit posi
tion and a plurality of circuit closing positions in 4.0
which connections are established successively
between said first switch contact and said second
switch contact, between the first switch contact
and said third switch contact, and between said
first switch contact and the second and third 45
switch contacts simultaneously, said contactor
being movable from one position to either adja
cent position with a snap action, and an upper
shell member adapted to be removably secured to
said lower shell member above said second recess 50
to enclose said electric switch and to hold said
switch in place in the socket.
3. A. socket for a double filament electric lamp
having, in combination, a shell adapted to re
ceive the base of a lamp, a first switch contact
adapted to be connected to a current supply con
ductor, second and third switch contacts for sup
plying current to the respective lamp filaments,
said switch contacts being stationarily mounted
1. A socket for double filament electric lamps
comprising, in combination, a lower shell member
on said shell, a contactor rotatably mounted 60
within the shell having an open circuit position
and a plurality of circuit closing positions in
which connections are established successively
between said first contact and said second con
tact, between said first contact and said third> 65
contact and between said first contact and the`
second and third contacts simultaneously, a man
having a recess in one end adapted to receive the
base of an electric lamp, a pair of contact mem
rotating said contactor from one position to
ard electrical fixtures or appliances.
It is erli
cient and reliable in operation and the parts are
of simple construction so that it may be manu
factured at a relatively low cost.
I claim as my invention:
70 bers in said recess positioned for engagement by
the respective filament contacts of the lamp, an
upper shell member removably secured to the
upper end of said first member, complementary
recesses* formed in adjacent ends of said mem
75 bers to provide an enclosed switch compartment
ual operator disposed externally of said shell for
either adjacent position, and a double acting 70
latch mechanism cooperating with said contactor
for causing the rotative movements of the con
tactor to be executed with a snap action.
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