BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to oil lamps, and particularly to wick holders for oil lamps.
2. Description of the Related Art
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Oil lamps typically include a reservoir for holding a liquid paraffin-based fuel, and a wick holder for holding a fiber wick. The wick holder positions a lower portion of the wick is in the fuel and an upper portion of the wick extending out of the reservoir. The wick holder may be received within an opening in the reservoir. In prior designs, the wick holder limited the exchange of air between an exterior and an interior of the reservoir. Use of the oil lamp produces a temperature differential between the interior and exterior of the reservoir. The temperature differential leads to a pressure differential between the interior and exterior of the reservoir. Resultant capillary action causes the paraffin-based fuel to flow from the wick onto, and along, the inner surfaces of the reservoir. The fuel eventually leaks between the reservoir and the wick holder. The leaking fuel is unsightly and causes people using the oil lamp to get the paraffin-based fuel on their hands and/or clothes.
In one aspect, an oil lamp includes an oil reservoir having an opening providing access from an exterior of the oil reservoir to an interior, and a wick holder having a head and a neck extending from the head, the neck size to be received in the opening of the oil reservoir, at least a portion of the wick holder sized to engage a portion of the oil reservoir to support the wick holder with respect to the oil reservoir, the wick holder forming a wick passage extending through the head and neck, sized to receive a wick, the wick holder also forming at least one vent extending through the wick holder to provide air flow between the interior and the exterior of the oil reservoir when the neck of the wick holder is positioned in the opening of the oil reservoir.
In another aspect, a wick holder for use with an oil lamp includes a body having a first end and a second end opposed to the first end, a wick passage extending through the body between the first and second ends, the body having a convexed outer surface proximate the second end surrounding an opening form therein by the wick passage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In a further aspect, a wick holder for use with an oil lamp includes a body having a first end and a second end opposed to the first end, a wick passage extending through the body between the first and second ends, the body having a concave inner surface proximate the second end, the concave inner surface forming a portion of the wick passage. In yet another aspect, a wick holder for use with an oil lamp includes a body having a radially extending peripheral shoulder, a longitudinally extending wick passage, and an oil capture channel formed in a surface of the peripheral shoulder radially spaced about the wick passage.
In the drawings, identical reference numbers identify similar elements or acts. The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements as drawn, are not intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of the particular elements, and have been selected solely for ease of recognition in the drawings.
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an oil lamp including an oil reservoir, a wick holder and a wick.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the wick holder of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the wick holder of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a bottom plan view of the wick holder of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along section line 5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view of the wick holder of FIG. 1 engaging a portion of the oil reservoir and a portion of a wick.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the wick holder.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a second alternative embodiment of a wick holder.
In the following description, certain and specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the invention. However, one skilled in the art will understand that the invention may be practiced without these details. In other instances, well-known structures associated with oil lamps, oil lamp reservoirs, and wicks have not been described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the descriptions of the embodiments of the invention.
Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word “comprise” and variations thereof, such as “comprises” and “comprising” are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense, that is as “including but not limited to.”
FIG. 1 shows an oil lamp 10 including a reservoir 12 and wick holder 14. A wall 16 of the reservoir 12 defines an interior space for holding a liquid fuel, such as a paraffin-based fuel. The wall 16 may consist of a variety of materials, for example, glass, ceramics, and/or metals such as brass, stainless steel, copper. The reservoir 12 includes an opening 18 for providing access to the interior of the reservoir 12 from an exterior for filling the reservoir with fuel.
The wick holder 14 can be made of some flame-retardant or flame-resistant material, for example, a metal such as brass. The wick holder 14 may be formed as a body of revolution, although any other shape may also be suitable. The wick holder 14 includes a body 20 including a head 22 and neck 24 extending from the head 22. A longitudinal wick passage 26, best seen in FIG. 5, extends through the head 20 and neck 24 and is sized to supportingly receive a wick 28. The head 20 can include a shoulder 30 formed as a radially extending peripheral member. Where the wick holder is formed as a body of revolution, the shoulder 30 can take the form of a peripherally extending disc. An oilcapture channel 32 may be formed in a top surface 34 of the shoulder 30, radially spaced from, and surrounding the wick passage 26. One or more vents 36 may extend through the body of the wick holder 14, radially spaced from the wick passage 26. The vents 36 allow pressure between the interior and exterior of the reservoir 12 to equalize, possibly eliminating or reducing capillary action. In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 2 through 6, the vents 36 open into the oil capture channel 32, to ensure the capture of any fuel which may incidentally bubble through the vent 36. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-6, the vents 36 extend through the shoulder 30.
The neck 24 includes a terminus 38 spaced from the head 20. An outer surface 40 of the neck 24 forms a convexity 42 proximate the terminus 38. An inner surface 44 of the neck 24, which defines the wick passage 26, forms a concavity 46 proximate the terminus 38. The convexity 42 and concavity 46 separately, and in conjunction with each other, form a barrier to capillary transport of fuel from the wick 28, hindering the flow of fuel from the wick 28 up the neck 24 towards the shoulder 30.
FIGS. 7 and 8 show alternative embodiments of the wick holder 14. These alternative embodiments, and those alternative embodiments and other alternatives described herein, are substantially similar to previously described embodiments. Thus, common acts and structures are identified by the same reference numbers. Only significant differences in operation and structure are described below.
In the embodiment of FIG. 7, the vents 36 extend through the head 20 of the wick holder 14, spaced radially inward from the oil capture channel 32. In the embodiment of FIG. 8, a single vent 36 is spaced radially inward from the oil capture channel 32, and extends through the head 20 and at least a portion of the neck 24. In contrast to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-6, in these alternative embodiments the vent 36 does not extend through the shoulder 30.
Thus, the wick holder 14 combines numerous structures that may eliminate and/or reduce the seepage of fuel from the reservoir 12.
Although specific embodiments, and examples for, the invention are described herein for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as will be recognized by those skilled in the relevant art. The teachings provided herein of the invention can be applied to other liquid fuel-based illumination devices, not necessarily the oil lamp described above. The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. These and other changes can be made to the invention in light of the above detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification, but should be construed to include all liquid fuel-based illumination systems that operate in accordance with the claims. Accordingly, the invention is not limited by the disclosure, but instead its scope is to be determined entirely by the following claims.
From the foregoing it will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the invention is not limited except as by the appended claims.