Invention Geek – Wire-Nuts?

Question from Phil D.:
I was replacing a light and my wife asked me who invented the “wire nuts” used to connect wires together. Do you know who invented them and when?

Thank you for the excellent question, Phil.

“Wire-Nut” is actually a registered trademark of Ideal Industries. Ideal Industries patented their plastic connector on January 22, 1963. They received patent 3,075,028 for a connector assembly. Their patent was for a cap connector made of a thermoplasitc. You can view the patent here.

Twist-on wire connectors were produced as early as the 1920’s. These original connectors were made of porcelain and did not contain an inner spring. In the 1930’s, Bakelite connectors began to appear. In the 1940’s inner springs were added. Over the years, many wire combinations have been introduced as well.

Today though, when one refers to a Wire-Nut, they are referring to the something similar to the product introduced by Ideal Industries in the 1960’s