Museum of Plugs and Sockets logo, small 5- and 4-plug outlets
1930s U.S. models
navigation icon navigation icon navigation icon

 

Classic U.S. 5-plug (left) and 4-plug (right) outlets have been donated to the museum, see Acknowledgment.
They came with their original cartons, which are shown below.

 

empty image   5-Plug Outlet
General Electric 4-plug outlet
  4-Plug Outlet
       ↓               ↓  
Carton of Monolite Quintet receptacle
Carton of General Electric 4-plug outlet, front
Carton of General Electric 4-plug outlet, back
left Monolite Quintet socket. U.S.
Patent no. 2,106,588 has been granted on January 25, 1938. The patent application mentions that: "My invention relates to an electric receptacle. More particularly it relates to a form of receptacle especially adapted for use as a wall convenience outlet for receiving as many as five plugs simultaneously, which plugs may be attached to electric irons, fans, lights, vacuum cleaners and the like."   {BN}
right General Electric 4-plug outlet.
The carton mentions U.S. patent no. 2,705,785 and other patent pending. Patent no. 2705785 has been granted on April 5, 1955 for a Wiring Device Terminal Connecting Means. The patent application stated: “The object of the invention is to provide an improved connector structure for such wiring devices in which the conducting wires are electrically connected to the wiring device and thereby automatically locked in place, by simply inserting the bared end of the wire through an opening in the housing of the device …” When a patent has been granted for the 4-plug outlet itself - including the improved connector structure - is unknown, but it seems likely that the design of the outlet dates back to the mid 1950s.
   {BN}

 


Navigation icon D i g i t a l   M u s e u m   o f Navigation icon P l u g s   a n d   S o c k e t s Navigation icon