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Патент USA US3095775

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July 2, 1963 ‘
s. A. WOODWARD
3,095,756
MULTIPLE PUSH-BUTTON SWITCH
Filed Dec. 30. 1960
[27/617 6'02"
Stewart/4. Waodwaraj
Attorney
United States Patent 0
3,095,755
Patented July 2, 1963
1
2
3,095,756
to and additionally enhance the efficiency of operation of l
Stewart A. Woodward, Stratford, Conn, assignor to Gen
Further aspects of my invention will become apparent
hereinafter, and the speci?cation concludes with claims
particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the sub
MULTIPLE PUSH-BUTTON SWITCH
eral Electric Company, a corporation of New York
Filed Dec. 30, 1960, Ser. No. 79,807
8 Claims. (6i. 74-503)
the switch.
_
ject matter which I regard as my invention. The inven
tion, ‘as to organization and method of operation, together
with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be
This invention relates to an improved multiple push
button switch and particularly to a multiple push~button
understood by reference to the following description
type switch having a plurality of actuating members, 10 when taken in conjunction with the accompanying draw
such as push buttons, arranged in closely spaced side-by
side relationship.
Push~button type switches have found widespread ap
ing in’ which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of an improved multiple push
button switch embodying my invention, with the switch
plication as appliance switches for electric ranges, wash
arranged alongside of a wall of a control panel or
ing machines, and room air conditioners, etc. In many 15 escutc'heon;
of these applications, it is desirable to operate such a
FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the switch of FIG. 1;
switch ‘by the manual depression of push buttons, which
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3—3
are arranged in variegated con?gurations within a con
of FIG. 2;
trol panel ‘of the appliance, and have adjacent vertical
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one of the push but
walls in close proximity. During the life of the switch,
tons of the switch of FIG. 1; and
such buttons as those often become unbalanced or rub
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a push button embody
together, making it more di?icult to e?icieutly manipu
ing my invention in alternate form thereof.
late them. In such applications, therefore, it has been
Referring in detail to the drawing, and in particular
found advantageous to e?iciently control the movement
to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a multiple push-button
of these buttons, and to maintain them in substantially 25 switch 1 with which my invention has been advantageous
uniform positions at all times. This, of course, helps in
ly employed. Switch '1, as illustrated in FIG. 2, includes
crease the life of the switch and the ease of operation
three pushroids 3 which are disposed in side-by-side paral
thereof.
lel relationship and extend outwardly through appropri
An important object of ‘this invention is to provide
ate apertures (not shown) formed in top wall 5 of hol~
a multiple push-button switch with a novel and el?cient 30 low casing 7. Each of these pushrods 3‘ has its inner end
means for controlling the movement and positioning of
arranged within the casing 7 to operate a pair of con
the reciprocating actuating members thereof.
tacts (not shown) connected to certain terminals 9 when
Another object of this invention is to provide an im
the pushrod is depressed. As is well known in the art,
proved multiple push-button switch which includes a plu
a means is provided within the switch casing 7 for re
rality of reciprocating actuating members having adjacent
turning any previously depressed pushrod to its outer
vertical walls, and a means for maintaining these walls
most position, and preventing the simultaneous operation
in substantially uniform spaced relationship.
of any other pushrod when one pushrod is depressed.
An additional object of this invention is to provide,
To close the hollow casing 7 and cooperate therewith
in a multiple push~button switch having closely spaced
to form a switch housing, plate 11 is fastened to the bot
reciprocating actuating members, an integral means for
tom of casing 7 in some suitable manner, such as by stak
positioning these members uniformly with relation to
ing the terminals to the casing 7 and to the insulating
each other for various reciprocating positions thereof.
plate 11.
In carrying out my invention, in one form thereof, I
According to my invention, the switch 1 is operated
apply ‘it to a multiple push-button type switch having a
by the digital manipulation of push buttons 13, 15, and
45
housing and a plurality of contacts arranged therein. A
.17 which are attached to the outer ends of the pushrods
plurality of parallel pushrods are extended through an
3. The illustrated push buttons 13, 15, and 17 are of
outer wall of the housing and disposed in side-by-side re
molded plastic construction, have a rectangular box
lation for operating the contacts. A push button is fas
shaped appearance, and may be made of a translucent
tened to the outer end of each of these pushrods. The
plastic material commonly known as tenite propionate,
push buttons are arranged so that adjacent side walls of
which is obtainable in variegated colors. More speci?
push buttons next to ‘each other are in close proximity
cally, push buttons 13, 115, and 17 include transverse ver
and parallel to each other. By my invention, a pro
tical side walls 13a, 13-h, 15a, 15b, 17a, 17b, respectively,
tuberance is extended outwardly from the outer surface
and longitudinal and vertical end walls 13c, 13d, 15c,
of each of the adjacent side walls toward the outer sur_ 55 15d, 17c, 17d, respectively. The side and end walls of
each of the push buttons are perpendicular to smooth
face of the other. The protuberance of each push button
outer actuating surfaces 13c, 15c, and :17e; The bottoms
is spaced laterally from the protuberance of the other
of the push buttons 13, 15, and 17 are suitably recessed
push button ‘and rides along the adjacent side wall of the
to receive, engage, and become conveniently attached to
other push button. These protuberances maintain the
the outer ends of the pushrods 3. As shown in FIG. 3,
adjacent push buttons in substantially uniform spaced re
the illustrated push buttons have a central hub 19' with
lationships, and thereby enhance the efficiency of opera
slot 21 formed therein. The push buttons .13, 15, and 17
tion of the switch. Also a means may be provided in
are securely attached to the pushrods by pressing slots
my switch for effectively controlling the movement and
21 of the push button into engagement with the outer
positioning of the push buttons when end walls thereof
ends of the associated pushrods.
are positioned in close proximity to a parallel wall of a
To reduce the quantity of material necessary to form
control panel. In such an application, a plurality of
each of the push buttons 13, 15, and 17 and thereby pro
protuberanoes are extended outwardly from the outer sur
vide push buttons which are low in cost, each push but
face of the end wall of the push buttons alongside of the
ton is essentially hollow, as shown in FIG. 3, with cross
panel. These end wall protuberances ride along the ad
ribs
extending between the hub .19‘ and the inner walls
jacent side wall of the control panel to maintain the push 70 to el?ciently stiffen and strengthen the structure of each
buttons in substantially uniform spaced proximity there
push button.
3,095,756
3
assume various other con?gurations within the purview of
my invention, and that certain aspects of my invention
may be incorporated ef?ciently and bene?cially in other
numerous and various push-button switch applications.
While in accordance with the patent statutes I have de
Turning now to an important aspect of the present in
vention, whereby a novel and ef?cient means is provided
for accurately controlling and positioning the push but
tons of a multiple push-button switch attention is directed
to FIG. 1. As shown'therein, push buttons 13, 15, and 17
scribed what at present are considered to be the preferred
are positioned alongside of each other and arranged
embodiments of my invention, it will be obvious to those
linearly, with adjacent pairs of side Walls 13b, 15a, and
skilled in the art that various changes and modi?cations
15b, 17a being disposed in close proximity. On each of
may be made therein without departing from my inven
the inner side walls 13b, 15a, 15b, and 17a, a pair of
protuberance 23 is formed. The protuberances 23 extend 10 tion, and I, therefore, aim in the following claims to cover
all such equivalent variations as fall within the true spirit
from vertically curved upper ends 25 (FIGS. 2. and 4)
and scope of this invention.
which are approximately midway between the top and
bottom of the button, to the bottom of the associated wall.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters
By forming the protuberances on the side walls 13b, 15a,
Patent of the :United States is:
1. In a multiple push-button switch, at least two side-by
15
15b, and 17a in this manner, an attractive overall ap
pearance at the outer surfaces of the push buttons is there
by realized. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, it will also
be seen that protuberances 23 have the con?guration of
cylindrical segments and are rib-like, extending vertically
and outwardly along each of the side walls 13b, 15a,
15b, 17a. The outermost extremities of the protuberances
side reciprocating actuating members for controlling said
switch by the selective reciprocation thereof along parallel
spaced apart axes, each of said members having a vertical
wall in close proximity to an associated vertical wall
of the other of said members, and at least one protuber
ance formed on each said wall, the protuberance of each
are contiguous to the ?at surfaces of oppositely located
side walls for each pair of adjacent side walls. This spaces
the adjacent walls apart longitudinally with relation to
each other by an accurate predetermined gap 27 equal to
the depth of the protuberances. More particularly, as
shown in FIG. 1, the protuberances 23 of each of the side
walls 13b, 15a, 15b, and 170: serve as accurate spacing ribs
which ride along the flat surface of the wall is next to it,
and thereby control the movement of the push buttons, 30
of the walls being positioned to ride along the other wall
thereby to maintain the members in substantially uniform
keeping them substantially level and properly spaced.
other of said members, and a plurality of laterally spaced
protuberances formed on each said wall, said protuber
ances having the con?guration of cylindrical segments ex
tending in a direction parallel to the axis of reciprocation
of said members, the protuberances of each of the walls
being positioned to ride along the other Wall thereby to
maintain the members in substantially uniform spaced
As illustrated in FIG. 2, when one of the push buttons,
such as, for example, push button 17, is depressed to its in
ner position, the protuberances of the depressed push but
ton move downwardly and away from the side wall of the
adjacent push button. But, because there are two protuber
ances 0n the side wall next to the depressed push button,
it will be seen that gap 27 between the two push buttons
spaced relationship thereto during and after reciprocating
movement of said actuating members of said switch.
2. In ‘a multiple push~button switch, at least two rc
ciprocating members for controlling said switch by the se
lective reciprocation thereof, each of said members hav
ing a generally planar vertical wall in close proximity
to an associated generally planar vertical wall of the
relationship during and after the reciprocating movement
is still accurately maintained by engagement of these two
protuberances wtih the side wall of the depressed push
of said members.
3. The switch of claim 1 wherein said members have
button. The curvature at upper end 25 of the protuber
ances assures smooth upward movement of depressed push
parallel coplanar vertical walls in close proximity to the
button 17 despite possible misalignment due to manu
vertical wall of an associated panel, and a plurality of pro
tuberances formed on each of said coplanar walls, the
facturing inaccuracies.
protuberances of the coplanar walls being positioned to
Turning now to another important aspect of my in 45 ride along the vertical wall of the panel thereby to main
tain the members in substantially uniform spaced relation
vention, as shown in FIG. 1, end walls 13d, 15d, and 17d
of the push buttons 13, 15, and 17 are disposed in co
ship thereto during and after the reciprocation of said
planar fashion in spaced proximity to a vertical wall 29
members.
of a control panel escutcheon 31. For such an arrange
4. In a multiple push-button switch, at least two recipro
ment, two protuberances 33 are formed on each of the 50 cating members for controlling said switch by the selec
end walls 13d, 15d, and 17d. Protuberances 33 have the
tive reciprocation thereof, each of said members having
same con?guration as protuberances 23, and they ride
a generally planar vertical wall in close proximity to an
along the wall 29 of the escutcheon to control and main
associated generally planar vertical wall of the other
tain the gap 35 therebetween. It :will be understood by
of said members, and a plurality of laterally spaced pro
those skilled in the art that protuberances 33 could also
tuberances formed on each said wall, the protuberances of
'be formed on outer ends 130, 15c, and 170 as Well as
each of the walls being positioned to ride along the other
on side end walls 13a and 17b of the push buttons to fur
wall thereby to maintain the members in substantially uni
ther control the positioning of the push buttons by en
form spaced relationship during and after the reciprocat
gagement with other suitably con?gured escutcheon walls.
ing movement of said members.
FIG. 5 illustrates a modi?ed form of my invention 60
5. In a multiple push~button switch, at least two
wherein push button 37 has the same con?guration as
reciprocating members for controlling said switch by the
push button 13. Instead of forming the protuberances 23
selective reciprocation thereof, each of said members hav
with their cylindrical segments on the ‘walls 37b and 37d
ing a generally planar vertical wall in close proximity to
of push button 37, I have provided hemispherically
an associated generally planar vertical wall of the other
shaped bosses 39. Two bosses 39 are thus projected out 65 of said members, and a plurality of laterally spaced
wardly from each of the walls 37b and 37d, near the bot
protuberances formed on each said wall, said protuber
tom of button. Push buttons, such as push button 37,
ances having the con?guration of spherically con?gured
having hemispherically shaped bosses may also be used for
the control and positioning of pushrods 3 of switch 1.
It will be understood from the foregoing that my new
and improved multiple bush-button switch, such as here
bosses ‘facing outwardly, the protuberances of each of the
walls being positioned to ride along the other wall there
‘by to maintain the members in ‘substantially uniform
spaced relationship during and after the reciprocating
in illustrated, provides a simple and ef?cient means for
movement of said members.
economically providing accurate control of the move
6. In a multiple push-button switch, at ‘least two
ment and positioning of the push buttons. It should be
reciprocating pushrods for controlling said switch by the
75
realized that such push buttons as I have disclosed may
selective reciprocation thereof, a push button attached
3,095,756
to the outer end of each of said pushrods, each ‘of the
push buttons having a generally planar vertical wall in
close proximity and parallel to an associated generally
planar vertical wall of the other of said push buttons, and
a plurality of laterally spaced protuberances vformed on
each said Wall, said protuberances having the con?gura
tion of cylindrical segments extending in a direction paral
lel to the axis of reciprocation of said push buttons, the
protwberances of each of the walls being positioned to ride
along the other wall thereby to maintain the members 10
in substantially uniform spaced relationship during and
after the reciprocating movement of said members.
7. The switch of claim 6 wherein the top of each of
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,438,935
Denyes _____________ .. Dec. 12, 1922
' 1,743,506
Watson et a1. _________ __ Jan. 14, 1930
1,947,536
2,242,055
Shakespeare ___________ __ Feb. 20, 1934
Cramer ______________ __ May 13, 1941
2,318,572
2,330,833
2,382,966
2,451,150
2,645,972
Cramer _______________ _ May 4,
Marholz et al ___________ __ Oct. 5,
Arens _______________ __ Aug. 21,
Brian ________________ __ Oct. 12,
Aitcheson ____________ __ July 21,
1943
1943
1945
‘1948
1953
2,646,333
Abrahaatnson et a1. _____ __ July 21, 1953
the protuber-ances is spaced vertically downwardly \from
2,647,166
Lens ________________ __ July 28, 1953
the top of the push button thereby to enhance the ap- 15
2,680,397
Saunders-Singer _______ __ June 8, 1954
159,473
Great Britain _________ __ May 111, 1922
pearance of the switch.
8. The switch of claim 6 wherein the push buttons have
a rectangular box-shaped con?guration.
FOREIGN PATENTS
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