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Publication numberUS3892935 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date1 Jul 1975
Filing date24 Jul 1974
Priority date24 Jul 1974
Publication numberUS 3892935 A, US 3892935A, US-A-3892935, US3892935 A, US3892935A
InventorsPatterson Joe G
Original AssigneePatterson Joe G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wall switch extension
US 3892935 A
Abstract
A switch operator for use by a small person such as a child to operate a wall mounted toggle type light switch or the like from a position remote from and below the switch. The structure includes a plate device supported in covering relation to a switch device in a connection box, said structure having guides for an elongate actuator member adjacent to and depending from the plate device. The actuator member has portions engaging a togle lever of the switch whereby movement of the actuator effects movement of the toggle lever to change the switch between on and off positions. A handle portion is positioned at the lower end of the actuator member to facilitate movement of the actuator. Stop means are positioned relative to the actuator member to limit the movement thereof during operation of the switch lever.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Patterson July 1, 1975 l l WALL SWITCH EXTENSION Primary ExaminerB. Dobeck [76] Inventor: Joe G. Patterson, 428 E Gay St., Ass'smm Exammerflwmlani Smith warrensburg MO. 64093 Attorney, Agent, or F|rmF1shburn, Gold & Lltman [22] Filed. July 24, 1974 ABSTRACT [2i] App! 49l287 A switch operator for use by a small person such as a child to operate a wall mounted toggle type light 1 200l331 switch or the like from a position remote from and [5|] Int. Cl. HOlh 3/02 below the witch, The structure includes a plate del l Field of Search 74/544 vice supported in covering relation to a switch device in a connection box, said structure having guides for References Cited an elongate actuator member adjacent to and depend- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing from the plate device. The actuator member has 2389220 11/1945 Tredeau 200/33, portions engaging a togle lever of the switch whereby 2582379 H1952 goldberghm movement of the actuator effects movement of the 2.66.8,456 2/1954 Meistrell 200 331 x ggl lever to c g h switch between on and Off 2,726,303 12/1955 Berndsen 200/33! positions. A handle portion is positioned at the lower 2,775,674 l2/1956 Meder i i i. 200/331 end of the actuator member to facilitate movement of 3304-1233 10/196 Mikolajeski r 200/331 the actuator. Stop means are positioned relative to the 3-I2L77B 2/1964 sa'lder et a1 200/331 actuator member to limit the movement thereof during operation of the switch lever.

3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures WALL SWITCH EXTENSION This invention relates to a switch operator for use by a small person such as a child for operating a wall mounted switch which is above their reach. Normally, wall switches are mounted at a position convenient for operation by an adult or average sized person but are mounted above and out of reach for convenient operation by a small child. If the switch were placed in a position for operation by a small child then the switch would be below a convenient operating position for the average size person. Presently, small children must ei ther obtain the help of someone to operate the switch or find and move a stepstool or chair to a position to stand thereon to operate the switch with the chances of falling or other injury to the child. The present invention provides a switch operator which will permit operation of the switch by both a small person and a normal size person without inconvenience to either.

The principal objects of the present invention are: to provide a switch operator adapted to be connected to a wall mounted switch so that a small person such as a child can operate the switch without help; to provide such a device with an actuator member depending from the switch so that the switch is operable from a position below the switch; to provide such a device with an operating member positioned adjacent to the switch so that same is also operable by an average sized person; to provide such a device with guides which movably mount the actuator member for operation and hold same in spaced relation from the wall to prevent the actuator from marring the wall; to provide such a device with an enlarged hand-engaging handle position at the lower end of the actuator to facilitate operation of the device; to provide such a device which can be mounted on various switches without modification to the switch and connection box; to provide such a device which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture requiring a minimum of parts and yet positive in operation; and to provide such a device which is well adapted for its intended use.

Other objects and advantages of the present inven' tion will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the switch operating device showing same in position relative to a wall mounted switch.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged section view of the device taken along the line 2-2, FIG. 1 showing the device connected to the wall mounted switch.

FIG. 3 is a transverse section through the switch operator taken on the line 33, FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a transverse section through the switch op erator taken on the line 44, FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an elevation view of the switch operating device showing the backside thereof.

Referring more in detail to the drawings.

As required, detailed embodiments of the present in' vention are disclosed herein, however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriate detailed structure.

The reference numeral 1 designates generally a switch operator adapted to be mounted relative to a wall mounted switch assembly 2 for operation of same from a position remote to the switch assembly 2. The device 1 includes a plate structure 4 having an elongate actuator 5 movably supported relative thereto and having one end positioned a substantial distance below the switch assembly 2. An operating portion 7 of the actuator 5 is operable to engage portions of the switch assembly 2 whereby movement of the actuator member effects operation of the switch assembly 2 between on and off positions. The switch assembly 2 is a conventional form having a housing 9 enclosing switch element 9, said housing being mounted in a conventional connection box 10 in a building wall 11. The illustrated switch assembly 2 is of the toggle type and has an operating toggle lever 12 extending outwardly from the wall 11 and operable to change the switch between on and off positions by movement thereof and preferably is of a conventional type wherein the switch lever 12 is retained in either the on position or the off position until a predetermined amount of force is applied thereto.

The plate structure 4 movably supports the actuator 5 and is secured relative to the switch assembly 2 preferably projecting outwardly from the wall 11 and positioned in overlying relation to the box 10. Suitable means are provided for securing the plate structure 4 relative to the switch assembly 2 and as shown, the plate structure 4 includes a mounting member 14 having a pair of spaced apart through apertures 15 which are alignable with threaded openings 16 wherein fasteners 17 extend through the apertures 15, and preferably are countersunk, for threaded engagement with the threaded openings 16 to secure the mounting member 14 to the switch assembly 2. Means are provided on the mounting member 14 for movably mounting the actuator member 5 thereon and in the illustrated structure a suitable guide means 19 is provided. As shown, the mounting member 14 is hollow and formed by a front wall 20 and a peripheral side wall 20'. The guide means 19 includes spaced apart protuberances 21 extending from a back surface 21' of the wall 20 and have a respective aperture 15 therethrough. The mounting member 14 has opposite end walls 22 and 23 with openings 24 therethrough for a purpose to be later described. An elongate opening 25 extends through the front wall 20 and is also for a purpose later described. The mounting member 14 can be made of a suitable material such as a plastic material and manufactured by a molding process.

In the illustrated structure the actuator member 5 has an elongate shank 27 depending from the mounting member 14 and extending through the lower opening 24 with the actuator 5 being suitably movably mounted in the mounting member 14. As shown, the operating portion 7 of the actuator member 5 has an enlarged operator end portion 28 forming a slide which cooperates with the guide means 19 and is reciprocably movable in a linear path. Cooperative means are provided on the plate structure 4 and actuator 5 to limit movement of the actuator to actuation of the switch lever 12 between on and off positions to prevent damage to the switch assembly 2. Preferably, elongate slots 29 are through the end portion 28 and receive the protuberances 2| therethrough with the slots 29 acting as guides to guide movement of the actuator 5 in a linear path and the ends of the slots acting as stops to limit reciprocal movement of the actuator 5.

Means are provided on the end portion 28 to engage the switch lever 12 for moving same in response to movement of the actuator 5. As shown, a recess 30 is formed in the end portion 28 and has spaced surfaces 31 partially defining same and forming shoulders for engagement with the switch lever 12 to effect the movement thereof. Preferably, the recess 30 is within a lug or protuberance 32 which extends through the opening 25 and outwardly of the front surface 26 for hand engagement for operation of the switch 9'. The lower disposed end 33 of the actuator 5 has an enlarged hand hold or handle 34 thereon to facilitate grasping of the actuator member 5 for operation of the switch 9 from a remote position. As shown, the handle 34 is spaced a substantial distance below the switch 9' so that same can be easily reached by a small child. Preferably the shank 27, end portion 28, handle 34 and protuberance 32 are integral and manufactured from a plastic material by a molding process.

A plate member 37 can be positioned between the enlarged end 28 and the switch 9' so as to space the actuator member 5 from the wall 11. As such, the plate would have a pair of spaced apart openings 38 there through having the fasteners 38' extending therethrough and has an opening 39 through which the switch lever 12 extends. It is to be noted that the actuator 5 can be inclined away from the wall 11 so that the handle 34 is spaced a sufficient distance from the wall ll to prevent interference with the operation of the device to facilitate grasping of the handle 34. The plate 37 also provides a smooth bearing surface against which the end portion 28 can slide.

The present invention is more fully understood by a description of the operation thereof. The switch assembly 2 is minus the conventional coverplate and the plate 37 is positioned to overlie the connection box with the switch lever 12 extending through the opening 39 with the fasteners 38 securing same to the connection box 10. The mounting member 14 with the actuator member 5 movably mounted therein is placed over the plate 37 and the fasteners 17 are inserted through the apertures and are threaded into the threaded openings 16 for securing the mounting member 14 and actuator 5 to the switch assembly 2. The switch lever 12 extends into the recess 30 whereby movement of the actuator 5 effects movement and operation of the switch lever 12 to change the switch 9' between its on and off position. It is to be noted that the actuator 5 can be moved by grasping either the handle 34 for operation from a position below the switch 9' or by grasping and moving the protuberance 32 for operation of the switch 9' from a position adjacent thereto. it can be seen that the device 1 is then operable by either a small person or an average size person without inconvenience to either.

It is to be understood that while I have illustrated and described certain forms of my invention, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent 1. An attachment for an electric light wall switch having a fixed part with screw aperture means and a movable switch lever and adapted to be located about standard height on a wall above a floor of a room comprising:

a. a mounting member having a front wall and depending side and upper and lower end walls, said front wall having spaced holes adapted to receive screws for connecting the mounting member to a switch fixed part in place of a cover plate, said front wall being spaced from the switch by engagement of said side and end walls with a wall in which the switch is mounted. said mounting member having a guide opening in the lower end wall and guide means depending from said front wall at said spaced holes with said holes extending therethrough, said front wall having an elongate opening between said holes for the switch lever;

b. a spacer plate fixed to said switch fixed part in overlying relation thereto and having openings aligned with the holes in said front wall and an elongate central opening through which the switch lever extends said central opening permitting movement of said lever to on and off positions;

c. an elongate switch actuator having a generally rectangular portion slidably mounted between the mounting member front wall and the spacer plate with an extension of the actuator extending through said guide opening in said lower end wall with said extension adapted to extend downwardly and terminating in a hand hold within reach of a small child operating the switch from the floor, said rectangular portion having elongate openings slidably receiving said depending guide means for guided sliding movement, said rectangular portion having an aperture for movable reception of the switch lever for operation of said switch between on and off positions by sliding movement of said actuator;

d. cooperative means on the mounting member and the rectangular portion of the actuator for stop engagement for limiting movement of the actuator in the mounting member to actuation of the switch lever between on and off positions.

2. An attachment as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

a. said mounting member has aligned centrally located guide openings in each of the upper and lower end walls thereof;

b. said actuator has opposed extensions from the rectangular portion with an extension extending through a respective guide opening in said upper and lower end walls for guided engagement therewith.

3. An attachment as set forth in claim 2 and includa. a hollow lug on the rectangular portion of said actuator surrounding the switch lever, said hollow lug extending through said elongate opening in said front wall and adapted to be grasped for moving the actuator and switch lever from a position at said switch.

b. said cooperative means being, said rectangular portion and elongate opening therein having lengths and positions for cooperative stop engagement with said end walls and said guide means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2389220 *20 Nov 194220 Nov 1945Tredeau Earl WSwitch actuator
US2582379 *26 Mar 194915 Jan 1952Morris GoldbergToggle switch operating device
US2668456 *7 May 19519 Feb 1954Meistrell John VSwitch operator for children
US2726303 *6 Apr 19536 Dec 1955Berndsen William EAttachment control for toggle switch
US2775674 *25 Mar 195525 Dec 1956Meder William AWall switch extension
US3004128 *9 Jun 195510 Oct 1961Mikolajeski Benny JAttachment for electrical wall switches
US3121778 *15 Feb 196118 Feb 1964Jerry DanzigerSwitch extension attachment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4234774 *19 Mar 197918 Nov 1980American Publishing CorporationImitation wall switch
US4419556 *29 Jan 19826 Dec 1983Hare Patrick HExtension control device and tubing member for controlling switch actuation
US4454401 *13 Sep 198212 Jun 1984Powis Jr George SSafety extension lever for wall switch
US4590345 *24 Aug 198420 May 1986Marshell Edward LLight switch adapter for toddlers
US4731511 *1 Oct 198615 Mar 1988Budd SteinhilberDecorative wall plates and slider caps for toggle-type electrical switches
US4760227 *30 Oct 198626 Jul 1988Interior Techniques, Ltd.Sliding switch cover
US4870232 *8 Aug 198826 Sep 1989Hoogland John AExtension control for a switch
US5212347 *3 Jun 199118 May 1993Switch Stix Inc.Electrical apparatus cover plate
US5374797 *16 Mar 199420 Dec 1994Mcmillan; JohnSwitch cover with extension
US5577602 *25 Oct 199526 Nov 1996Glenn C. ConnerSwitch extender apparatus
US5871086 *23 Jul 199716 Feb 1999Bp Holdings, Llc.Miniature momentary contact sliding switch
US5875886 *2 Dec 19972 Mar 1999Illumination S.L.E. Inc.Light switch extension
US5998747 *5 May 19987 Dec 1999Kelso; Francis FredrickSwitch plate assembly
US6028277 *14 Aug 199822 Feb 2000Bp Holdings, LlcDual-gang switch plate with voice recorder
US6036330 *21 Jan 199814 Mar 2000Sanguedolce; MichaelLight switch extender
US668043816 Jan 200320 Jan 2004Robert W. CampbellDecorative electrical outlet and switch plate cover
US68221774 Sep 200323 Nov 2004Laplante Grant W.Switch actuator
US20080149468 *22 Dec 200626 Jun 2008Rodney SmithReach a lite
US20080236860 *2 Apr 20072 Oct 2008Prevention Products, Inc.Electrical switch cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/331
International ClassificationH01H23/14, H01H23/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/141
European ClassificationH01H23/14B