US 2521181 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 5, 1950 c. P. MORSE CIGARETTE LIGHTER Filed July 21, 1947 INVENTOR. G m/e455 HMO/e55 BY W ATTORNEX Patented Sept. 5,
CIGARETTE LIGHTER Charles P. Morse, Bridgeport, Conn.
Application July 21, 1947, Serial No. 762,233
This invention relates to pyrophoric cigarette lighters for igniting cigarettes, cigars, pipes and the like in which a liquid fuel is utilized, and relates more particularly to a novel improvement in such lighters in which an indication is given as to the fuel supply therein.
In pyrophoric lighters, it is often difficult to ascertain the amount of fuel supply stored therein. This is particularly the case when the fuel is retained in its container by being held within the capillaries of cotton or other suitable absorbent material. In such lighters the absorbent material is generally almost completely enclosed in an outer container, and, even if it were visible, it would be diflicult to ascertain whether or not fuel were present therein. This is a disadvantage of such lighters as often the fuel supply becomes exhausted when the user of the lighter is away from a supply of fuel and thus the lighter becomes useless until refilled.
The present invention aims to overcome the difiiculties and disadvantages of prior devices by providing a lighter in which a visible indication of the fuel supply is available at all times.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved pyrophoric lighter which is economical to manufacture, rugged in construction and effective in operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide means to visibly indicate the presence of a liquid.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved pyrophoric lighter in which a visible indication of the fuel supply is available in which the construction involves no moving parts.
In accordance with the invention this is accomplished by providing in the fuel retainer of a pyrophoric lighter a viewing opening for observation of the absorbent material for the fuel which normally prevents the passage of sufiicient light thereto so that its color may be observed, yet, when dampened becomes sufficiently transparent so that the color may be observed. Such a viewing opening or window may be of a transparent material which is etched or ground on its interior surface so that it is translucent or opaque when dry. The cotton or other absorbent material to hold the fuel supply is of a color which is not bright enough to show through the translucent or opaque window when the surface of the window is dry, but which is easily visible when the surface is moistened by the fuel carried by the absorbent material.
The invention is advantageous not only in indicating the presence of fuel, but also in indicating the proportionate amount of fuel present inasmuch as when the fuel becomes low a gradual indication thereof is given by the appearance of white spots on the translucent or opaque window. Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and from the accompanying drawing which shows, by way of example, an embodiment of the invention.
Fig. 1 is an elevational view of a pyrophoric lighter in accordance with the invention.
Fig. 2 is an end view of the lighter.
Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the lighter in a partially opened position taken along the line 33 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional View of the lighter taken along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1.
Referring to the drawing there is shown a pyrophoric lighter l in accordance with the invention. The lighter comprises generally a casing 2 having a hinged cover 3 providing an enclosure for the operating mechanism which includes an absorbent material 4, a pyrophoric material or element 5, a spark wheel 6 for the pyrophoric material 5, a wick l and a wind guard 9. The case 2 is further provided with a portion of transparent material or window ill for viewing an indication of the fuel supply.
The casing 2 may be made of any suitable material to enclose the operating mechanism of the lighter. The cover 3 is attached to the casing 2 by a hinge l l. A kicker member l2 coacts with a spring l4 attached to one side of the wind guard 9 to retain the cover 3 in either the closed or open position.
The operating mechanism of the lighter is supported within the case 2 by a housing I5. The housing is formed to fit within the case 2 and has a closed top it and an open bottom ll. The wick 1 extends through an aperture [9 in the top 16 of the housing l5. A tube 20 for the pyrophoric element 5 also extends through the top of the housing at one side thereof. Within the tube 20 is a spring 2| adapted to urge the pyrophoric material 5 upwardly against the spark wheel 6. The bottom of the spring abuts against a screw plug 22 threaded into the lower end of the tube 20.
The wind guard 9 is a U-shaped member having its side walls perforated as indicated at 23 and attached to the top 56 of housing 55 by soldering or the like. Ends 24 of the wind guard 9 are perforated to receive a shaft 25 on which is mounted the spark wheel 6. The shaft 25 may be held in position by riveting over the ends thereof or by other suitable means.
,tened by the presence of liquid fuel.
The spark wheel 6 is formed with a serrated edge 26 adapted to frictionally contact the pyrophoric member and thereby produce sparks which are thrown against the end of the wick 7 to ignite the fuel.
The absorbent material 4 may be cotton or other suitable material of a color as hereinafter described and is packed into the open bottom of the housing [5 with the wick I embedded therein. 'Ihe absorbent material 4 is adapted to hold liquid fuel such as the usual lighter fluid within its capillaries and thus supply the wick with the fuel.
In accordance with the invention visible means for indicating the fuel supply is provided. This means includes a window or viewing opening formed of a materialwhich, when dry, prevents the passage of sufficient lightfr'om the front thereof through to the absorbentmaterial so that the color of the absorbent material may be 'observed. However, the material of which the window is formed is such that, when dampened, sufi'icient light may pass therethrough and be reflected back from the surface of the absorbent material so that its color may be observed. In -the embodiment illustrated in the drawing, a windo w material 21 is mounted in an opening 29 in the sidewall of the housing I5. The window is made of a transparent material 21 which has been etched or ground on its inner surface to give a frosted effect and to :provide a light diffusing surface normally transperforations in 'the'edge of the sidewall 'of the housing 15 adjacent the opening '29. Preferably the edges of the sidewall of the housing I5 are recessed at 'theedges of the-opening as indicatedat ;3I to provide a'smooth outer surface for "the housing.
In'order that the indication of th fuelsup- :ply'operatesat greatest effectiveness, it-is preferable that the absorbent material "4 be of a color,,or tinted by a color-fast dye, such that the color is not bright enough to show through the etched or ground. glass surface when the surface is dry, but sufficientlybright to give an indication when theabsorbent material is mois- The color is determined by experiment'and is dependent upon the'amount of etching or the degree of 1 diffusion of light-by the etched 'or-ground surface.
One of the characteristics of a colored material -is that it appears darker when wet, this characteristic being ,=particularly :noticeable "in 'an absorbent colored material.
sorbent material will be almost dried out by reason of the absence of liquid fuel.
Thus an indication is given indicating that the fuel supply is exhausted and making it impossible for the lighter to run out of fuel without a warning having been given.
While the invention has been described and illustrated with reference to a specific embodiment thereof, it will be understood that other embodiments may be resorted to without departing from the invention and modifications may be made in thestructure involved. For instance, the outer casing 2 may be made entirely of transparent material, with the sidewalls of the housing 15 formed entirely of the etched transparent material 21, or in other constructions, the casing -2 may directly form the retaining means for the absorbent material 4 in which event the etched transparent material -2-1 would form part of, or the entire -side wall of the casing. Therefore, the form of the invention 'set-out-above should be considered as illustrative and not as limiting the scope of the following claims.
1. In a pyrophoric lighter, a housing, colored absorbent material in the housing, -a wick, -a
pyrophoric element, a sparkwheel for frictionally engaging the pyrophoric element, a transparent material forming at least a portion of the sidewall'of the housing, anda sheet of absorbent paper between-said transparent material and said absorbed material.
*2. In -'a pyrophoric lighter, a housing, absorbent material in the housing, a -wick, a pyrophoric element, a spark wheel for frictionally engaging the pyrophoric element, a transparent material forming'at least-a portion of the side wallof the'housinga thin backing to the transparent material, of translucent absorbent -ma terial which changes appearance'when wet.
CHARLES P. MORSE.
REFERENCES orr'i z'l) The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,989,351 ,Crowell "Jan. 29, 1935 2,244,563 Mansfield June 3, 194 1 2,454,872 Harris Nov. 30, 1948 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country 'Date 48,569 ,Austria June 26, 1911 853,002 France Nov. 28, 1939