US 2626517 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 27, 1953 1.. 1'. WARD CIGARETTE LIGHTER 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. 1
Filed March 10, 1951 III IT II IN V EN TOR.
2 8 Lawrence T. Wu rd Y E N R o w A Jan. 27, 1953 T. WARD 2,626,517
CIGARETTE LIGHTER Filed March 10, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 58 3 5 K i 55 Q SW 6l' I l4 a i I u 31 INVENTOR.
Lowren e 1'. 0rd BY 2 Z l2 ATTORNEY Jan. 27, 1953 WARD 2,626,517
CIGARETTE LIGHTER Filed March 10, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Mu r y 1 A JNVENTOR.
1 4O 39 38 5 5 Y 4 \2 Lovvre ce T Word BY 44L. 9-- v M W17 H66 ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 27, 1953 UNITED STATESE- ATENT OFFICE CIGARETTE LIGHTER Lawrence T. Ward, East Orange, N. J. I
Application March 10, 1951, SerialNo. 214,950
3 Claims. E
This invention relates to a cigarette lighter, and more particularly, to a lighter of the type having a replaceable tank for containing the fuel in the form of an inflammable hydrocarbon gas under pressure.
Lighters of this type are usually provided with a valve on the tank adapted to be actuated so as to release the inflammable gas, the latter then being ignited by means of a spark-emitting mechanism so as to provide a flame. In the prior art these gas lighters comprised an actuating member adapted to be pressed by the hand of the operator so as to actuate the valve and release the fuel gas and also a separate means for actuating the spark-emitting mechanism, the latter usually being in the form of a conventional thumb wheel for rotating a flint wheel against a flint. It was thus necessary to resort to the manual manipulation of two separate members in order to produce a flame. More specifically, the forefinger of the operator first pressed a member to actuate the valve and releas the inflammable gas after which the thumb wa employed to rotate the flint wheel and thereby ignite the discharging gas.
This necessity for actuating two separate and independent members in order to produce a flame has numerous disadvantages. Since exhaustion of the inflammable gas within the tank requires that the latter be replaced with a new tank at considerable expense, it will be obvious that it is of the utmost im ortance to prolon the useful life of the tank as long as possible before replacement becomes necessary. Of course. most smokers who use a gas type lighter do not take great care to operate the valve actuatin member and the flint wheel simultaneously so that usually a time lag occurs between the instant the gas is emitted from the val e and the instant when this emitted gas is i nited by act ating the flint wheel. The gas emitted during this time lag inter al is wasted and the useful life of the tank is thereb considerably reduced.
A further disadvantage of providing a senarate means for actuating the valve independent of the means for emitting the s ark resides in the obvious inconvenience and difiiculty of operation of the lighter since it is somewhat awkward for the user to actuate the valve with one finger while rotating the flint wheel with another finger.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to eliminate the above-noted disadvantages of prior art gas lighters by means of a novel construction whereby the operation of a single actuating member causes the actuation of. the valve simultaneously with the actuationof the spark-emitting mechanism. That is, by means of the present invention, a flame is instantly produced by pressing merely a single actuating member, thereby providing not only increased ease of operation but also eliminating wastage of. gas which occurs in the prior art gas lighters wherein two independent actuating members must be manipulated to produce a flame.
Another. disadvantage of the prior art lighters resides in the large finger pressure that must be exerted in order to rotate the conventional thumb wheel to which the flint wheel is attached. This disadvantage is obviated in the present invention since the energy for rotating. the flintwheel is provided by and stored within a spring, the energy being released and the flint wheel rotated by a simple light pressure on the actuating memher. This energy is manually supplied to the spring with relatively little efiort by merely closing the lighter cover. Much less force is needed to close the lighter cover than is required to rotate a conventional thumb flint wheel since the cover has a torque arm many times larger than the radius of the usual thumb wheel.
A further advantage of the present invention resides in the lack of danger of accidental lighting should the lighter be dropped. This is due to the fact that release of the actuating member immediately extinguishes the flame, the latter continuing only so long as the actuating member is continually pressed, and it is highly improbable that the lighter could fall into a positionwhere the actuating member. might be continuously depressed.
Another obiect of the present invention is to provide a novel economical structure for the valve actuating mechanism which enables the tank to be quickly and easily inserted into or removed from the outer case. Furthermore, the flint assembly is so constructed as to provide a simple effective locking mechanism for retaining the tank in assembled posit on within the outer case.
The prior art gas lighters have another serious defect which is eliminated by the present invention. It will be obvious that as the inflammable fuel gas within the tank continues to be discharged, the gas pressure within the tank will be lowered in proportion to the amount of gas used up. Since the rate of discharge of the gas through the valve is proportionate to'the gas pressure within the tank, it will be seen that the flame produced by the lighter will continue to become smaller and weaker as the gas within the tank continues to be exhausted. In the present invention a novel means is provided for adjustably varying the velocity of the gas through the valve and hence the size and strength of the flame. That is, when the gas pressure within the tank gets low this novel means may be adjusted so as to produce a large strong flame notwithstanding the low gas pressure.
Other advantages of the invention are inherent in the structure as claimed and disclosed in the specification and in the drawings wherein:
Figure 1 is a vertical sectional view of a cigarette lighter embodying the present invention, the parts being shown in normal relation before actuation;
Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view of the upper portion of the lighter with the parts shown in the positions they assume after the lighter has been actuated and while the flame continues;
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 2 but showing the relative positions of the Parts as the tank is inserted into the case;
Figure 4 is a vert cal sectional view taken along line 44 of Figure 1;
Figure 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the line 55 of Figure 3;
Figure 6 is a vertical sectional iew through the valve assembly and taken substantially on the line 6-6 of Figure 1;
Figure '7 is a perspective view showing the manner of manually holding and manipulating the lighter so as to produce a flame, and
Figure 8 is a perspective view showing the manner of inserting or removing the tank with respect to the case.
Referring now to the drawing, the cigarette lighter comprises generally an outer case H, a gas tank I within the case M and provided with a valve assembly indicated generally at l3, an actuating member M for actuating the valve assembly |3 when depressed, a cover plate l5 ivoted to the top of the case and a sparkemittin mechanism comprising a flint wheel l6 and a flint 1.
In more detail. the tank 2 is preferably in the form of a casting having a pair of side walls I8, I9 and end walls 20, 2|, 22 integral with a top wall 23. The lower edges of the walls 20, 2| are provided with horizontal flanges 24. 25 around which extend the upturned edges 26, 2'! of a bottom plate 28.
The top wall 23 of the tank I2 is provided with a downwardly depending lug portion 28 which serves as a housing for the valve assembly lit. The lug portion 28 is provided with a vertically extending recess 30 of substantially cylindrical form within which a valve stem 3| is slidably mounted for vertical movement. As best seen in Figure 6, the lower end of the valve stem 3| has an enlarged head portion 32, the latter having a cylindrical exterior surface slidably engaging the interior wall surface of the recess 30. The lower end of the head portion 32 is provided with a recess 33 having mounted therein a valve seat member 34 formed of resilient material such as neoprene. The bottom of the recess 30 is provided with an upstanding projecting portion 35. A channel 36 of relatively small diameter extends vertically from the top surface of the projecting portion 35 down to the bottom wall 31 where it communicates with the interior of the tank I 2.
The lug portion I3 is further provided with a substantially semi-spherical concave recess 38 which extends across and communicates with the vertical channel 36. As shown in Figure 6, the right-hand end of the semi-spherical recess 38 extends slightly to the right of the right-hand wall of the channel 36. The left-hand end of the semi-spherical recess 38 leads into a cylindrical recess 39 of substantially equal diameter as the recess 38. The recess 39 in turn communicates with a somewhat larger cylindrical opening 40 which in turn communicates with an internally threaded aperture 4| leading to the exterior wall surface of the tank l2. A screw 42 is threadedly engaged within the threaded aperture 4| and is provided at its inner end with a reduced shank portion 43. A resilient sealing washer 44 is mounted within the annular space between the reduced shank portion 43 and the cylindrical recess 40.
The inner end of the reduced shank portion 43 is provided with a recessed conical shape as at 45 so as to receive and abut against a, spherical ball 46 extending within the semi-spherical recess 38. A sheet of mesh material, such as a metal or fiber cloth or screen 4'! is compressed against the surface of the concave recess 38 by the ball 46.
It will be seen that the lower portion 36' of the channel 36 communicates at its lower end with the interior end of the tank l2 and at its upper end with the space between the ball 46 and the surface of the concave recess 38, the ball 46 being held spaced from said surface of the recess 38 by the mesh screen 41. The upper portion 36" of the channel 36 communicates at its lower end with said space between the ball 36 and surface of the recess 38 and at its upper end with the interior of the recess 30. It will thus be seen that as the gas is discharged from the interior of the tank |2 it flows upwardly through channel portion 36', through the space between the ball 46 and the surface of recess 38 and then upwardly through the channel portion 36 into the reces 30.
The relatively narrow space between the ball 46 and the surface of recess 38 acts as a constriction throttling the flow of discharging gas. The rate of discharge of the gas may be varied by changing the size of this constriction; that is, by varying the space between the ball 46 and the surface of recess 38. This space may be varied by rotating the pressure djusting screw 42 so as to exert more or less pressure on the ball 46 tending to move the latter toward or away from the surface of the recess 38.
The upper end of the recess 38 is enlarged at 48 so as to receive a washer 49 which is secured therein. The lower portion of the valve stem 3| is provided with one or more washers 5a which have outer peripheries in slidable sealing engagement with the interior wall surface of recess 38. A coil spring 5| extends around the valve stem 3|, the upper end of the spring 5| abutting against washer 49 and its lower end abutting against washer 50. The spring 5| is under compression and tends to urge the valve stem 3| downwardly so as to maintain the valve seat member 34 in abutment with the top of the projection 35, thereby sealing oil the upper end of the channel 36 as shown in Figure 1.
The valve stem 3| is provided with an axial longitudinally-extending channel 52 communicating with the atmosphere at its upper discharge end. The lower end of the channel 52 communicates with an angularly extending channel 53 which in turn communicates with the interior of the recess 33. It will thus be seen that when the valve stem 3| is in the raised position shown in adapted to ccact with the lever 56.
Figure 6, gas may flow upwardly through the channel 36, into'the recess as, through the channel 53, and then upwardly through the channel 52 of valve stem 39 Referring now to Figure l, the actuating member M is in the form of a lever having a lower end pivotally mounted to the case H at 53. A spring biases the actuating member is about the pivot point in a clockwise direction as viewed in Figure 1, thereby normally maintaining the actuating member i i in the position shown in Figure 1. The upper end of the actuating member 14 has secured thereto a pin 55 to which a valve lifting lever 55 is slidably and pivotally mounted. The lever -3 is preferably formed of a single intgeral member having a horizontal portion 51 with a downwardly turned portion bl at one end, the opposite end being bent so as to'form a longitudinal slot 53 receiving the pin 55 and a projecting portion The down-turned end portion 5? of the lever 58 engages the-top of the tank 52, as at Gil, so as to form a fulcrum contact therewith. That is, the lever 55 may pivot upwardly or counter-clockwise about the contact point 58. The upper end of the valve stem has affixed thereto an enlarged annular cap 5! providing a shoulder portion 6! The latter is provided with an opening Bil (see Figure 5) somewhat larger than the diameter or the cap :5 i. In the assembled position shown in Figure l, the lower shoulder surface ti of the cap 6! abuts against the lever 55 adjacent the marginal edge of the opening 52. Referring now to Figure 2, it will be seen that when the connecting member ill is depressed to the left or pivoted counterwlockwise, the lever lit'will be fulcrumed upwardly or counter-clockwise about the fulcrum point 8% on the tank l2, thereby causing the lever at to push upwardly against the shoulder portion 52 of the cap 6| and thereby move the valve stem 3! upwardly with respect to the tank [2 so as to cause the valve assembly it to assume the open position shown in Figure 6.
The outer case It is substantially in the form of a rectangular container open at both the top and bottom. As best seen in Figure 4, a pin t3 is mounted at its opposite ends in the spaced parallel side walls 5d, 55 of the case ll and extends thcrebotween. A cylindrical sleeve 56 is rota' ably mounted on the pin 63 and is provided with an enlarged cylindrical portion 51 abutting against the interior surface of the side wall 65. A flint wheel 58 is rotatably mounted on the sleeve 65.
The cover, indicated generally at E5 is of substantially U -shape in cross section and has a horizontal section 38 formed integral with vertical sections Ell, l i. The latter are suitably apertured so as to receive the enlarged portion 1%? and the sleeve 65 respectively. As shown in Figure l, the pin 63, sleeve 58 and flint wheel Eli are mounted at the upper left-hand end of the case it and the cover l5, when in a horizontal position, extends across the open upper end of the case I i so as to close said end. When the cover it": is pivoted upwardly or counter-clockwise about the axis of the pin #63 the upper end of the case H will be exposed so as allow the flame from the valve assembly to project upwardly therefrom.
A spring 72 is coiled about the sleeve 56 and has one end (not shown) abutting against the case i l and the opposite end l3 abutting against the under surface of the horizontal section 59 of the cover it; so as to bias the latter about the axis of the pin %3 in an upward or counter-clockwise direction as viewed in Figure 1. The spring also abuts against the inner surface of the vertical section ii and the right-hand face of the flint wheel so as to hold the flint wheel 68 against lateral sliding movement on the sleeve 66. The left-hand face-of the flint wheel 58 is provided withconventional ratchet teeth adapted to be engaged by a conventional ratchet pawl Washer 74.
As shown in Figure 1, the right-hand end of the cover I5 has secured thereto a locking means in the form of a downwardly-depending detent or hook T5. The upper end of the actuating member 14 is provided with a locking means in the form of a detent l6 engageable with the detent 15 so as to maintain the cover I5 in the normal horizontal closed position shown in Figure 1. When the actuating member I4 is depressed or pushed inwardly so as to pivot counterclockwise about the pivot point 53, the locking detent 15 will be disengaged from the detent 15, thereby allowing the spring 73 to pivot the cover to upwardly to the position shown in Figure 2. The upward or counter-clockwise movement of the cover I5 is stopped when a shoulder portion l5 of the latter abuts against the portion ll of the case I l.
Durin this upward movement of the cover I5 the ratchet pawl washer H5 will be rotated counter-clockwise since the Washer 14 i non-rotatably engaged with the undersurface of the horizontal section of the cover l5. During this counter-clockwise movement of the washer 14, it will drivingly engage the ratchet teeth of the flint wheel 68 so as to rotate the latter about the sleeve 66 thereby causing sparks to be emitted from the flint ll toward the fuel gas being ejected from the upper discharge end of the axial channel 52 of the valve stem ill. After the cigarette has been lit and the actuating member [4 has been released so as to extinguish the flame, the cover I5 is then manually moved by the forefinger back to the horizontal position at which point the locking detents l5, '56 will be mutually engaged so as to maintain the cover I 5 in the closed position. During this closing movement of the cover 15 the ratchet pawl washer M will be rotated in a clockwise direction along with the cover 15 but the flint Wheel 58 will not be rotated since the washer M in this direction of rotation will merely ratchet past the ratchet teeth on the wheel 68. The frictional efiect of the spring 72 abutting against the right-hand face of the flint wheel 68 also serves to hold the latter against rotation during the closing movement of the cover I5.
The flint I! is resilient pressed against the flint wheel It by means of a conventional flint spring device 77 mounted within a vertical channel 13 formed in the case II. The lower end of the channel 13 is threaded as at 79 to receive the flint screw 89 which abuts against the lower end of the flint spring ll, As heretofore described this flint mounting arrangement is conventional.
A tank lock member 85 is rotatably mounted on the flint screw 89 and is provided with radially extending projections 82, 83. A lug 84 is secured to the exterior surface of the wall 20 of tank l2. When the tank i2 is in proper assembled relation within the case H and the lock member 85 is manually rotated to a locking position, the lug 85 will be immediately above and in abutting engagement with one of the projections 82, 83 on the lock member 8! thereby holding the tank l2 within the case I! and prevent- 7 ing accidental removal thereof. When it is necessary to remove the tank I2 for replacing, the lock member 8| is merely rotated to the unlocking position whereby neither of the projections 82, 83 will be in engagement with the lug 84 so as to allow the tank I2 to be quickly and easily withdrawn from the bottom of the case I I in the manner shown in Figure 8.
The insertion of the tank I2 into the case II is accomplished with equal facility. As shown in Figure 3 before the tank I2 is placed within the case II the lever 55 hangs downwardly from the pin 55 in a position whereby the tapered exterior surface of the valve stem cap (it will initially engage the left-hand marginal edge 62' of the recess 62 as the tank I2 is moved upwardly toward the assembled position. Continued upward movement of the tank i2 causes the cap 6| to slide or ratchet past the edge 62' until when the assembled position is reached the valve stem 3I will project upwardly through the opening 62 with the shoulder portion 6| of the cap GI abutting against the lever 55 adjacent the right-hand marginal edge of the openin 62, as shown in Figure l. The down-turned end portion 5! of the lever 55 will then be in engagement with the top of the tank I2 at the fulcrum point 60. The tank lock member BI is then rotated so as to bring either of the projections 82, 83 in engagement with the lower surface of the lug 84 on the tank wall 25, thereby rendering the tank I2 locked in assembled relation within the case II.
The operation of the lighter will now be briefly summarized. Referring to Figure '7, the lighter I is preferably grasped by the hand in the manner shown with the thumb resting against the actuating member I4. The thumb then depresses actuating member I4 inwardly so as to pivot it about the pivot point 53, thereby causing lever 55 to pivot upwardly about the fulcrum point 58 on the tank I 2. As shown in Figure 2, this causes the lever 56 to press upwardly against the shoulder portion SI of the valve stem cap 6|, thereby moving the valve stem 3| upwardly and causing the valve seat member 2-4 to uncover the upper discharge end of the channel 36. This allows the fuel gas within the tank I2, preferably a hydrocarbon such as butane, to flow upwardly through channel 36, into the recess 35, through the axial opening 52 of the valve stem 3|, and into the atmosphere at the upper discharge end of the valve stem 3| While the valve assembly I3 has been actuated in the manner described above, the depression of the actuating member I4 by the thumb has also served to disengage locking detent I6 from the locking detent 15 on the cover I5, thereby allowing spring 12 to pivot the cover I5 upwardly about the axis of the pin 63. During this upward pivotal movement of the cover I5 the ratchet pawl washer I4 will be rotated therewith so as to rotate the flint wheel 68 across the top surface of the flint II, thereby directing a shower of sparks toward the fuel gas being emitted from the upper discharge end of the valve stem 3|.
The emitted gas is thus ignited so as to produce a, flame projecting upwardly from the upper open end of the case II, as shown in Figure 7. When the cigarette has been ignited and the flame is no longer desired, the operator merely releases the thumb pressure on the actuating member I4, thereby allowing the spring 54 to pivot the actuating member I4 back to the initial position shown in Figure 1, at which position the 8 valve assembly I3 will be closed as a result of the coil spring 5| moving the valve stem 3I downwardly so as to seal off the upper end of the channel 36. The forefinger of the operator may then be employed to pivot the cover I5 downwardly back to the closed position.
It will be noted that it requires little force to pivot the cover I5 back to the closed position in view of the relatively long torque arm provided by the length of the cover. In other words, the energy stored in the spring I2 for actuating the flint wheel 68 is supplied by exerting a relatively small force through a large distance, rather than exerting a relatively large force through a small distance as is the case with conventional thumb wheel arrangements for rotating the flint wheel.
The proper timing of the spark emission with respect to the fuel gas emission is automatically assured by the mechanism of the present invention and human error is no longer a factor producing waste of fuel gas due to improper timing. It will also be obvious that the use of the single actuating member I4 for simultaneously effecting both the spark emission and the fuel gas emission renders the operation of the lighter more convenient and simple than is the case with conventional gas lighters which require the user to press a gas discharge member with one finger and a thumb flint wheel with another finger.
The means for restricting the flow of the gas fuel through the channels 36 comprising the ball 45, mesh screen 4'! and adjusting screw 42, in addition to providing the function of increasing the strength and height of the flame as the gas pressure within the tank I2 is lowered due to discharge of the gas, also serves to vary the flow of gas through the channel 36 so as to accommodate varying gas pressures within the tank I2 due to temperature variations of climate or geography. Furthermore, by adjusting the screw 42, the size of the flame may be varied as desired to suit the needs of the individual smoker. For example, pipe smokers would normally require a larger size flame than those who intend to use the lighter for cigarettes.
It is to be understood that the specific embodiment shown in the drawings and described above is merely illustrative of one of the many forms which the invention may take in practice, many variations and modifications thereof being readily apparent to those skilled in the art. The scope of the invention is delineated in the appended claims.
1. A cigarette lighter comprising a casing having longitudinal and transverse side walls, a top plate pivoted at one end and adapted to co-act with igniting means, said top plate being further adapted to close the top of said casing, an inner rectangular fuel tank detachably held within said casing and containing gaseous fuel under pressure, a burner valve disposed in the top of the tank and having a bored plunger valve stem, 9. burner head on said valve, a finger depressible element disposed in a side wall and having means to engage the top plate in closed position, a lever pivotal y secured to the finger element and fulcrumed at its opposite end on said tank, said le er element having a centrally disposed aperture therein for engaging said burner head.
2. A cigarette lighter comprising a casing having longitudinal and transverse side walls, a top closure plate pivoted at one end and adapted to co-act with igniting means including a flint, said top plate being further adapted to close the ton or said casing, an inner fuel tank having an interiorly disposed plug having a bore hole therein, said tank being detachably held within said casing and containing gaseous fuel under pressure, a burner valve, including a burner head, disposed in said plug and having a bore stem terminating in an enlarged base, said plug having a passage communicating between said bore and the interior of the tank, a finger depressable element having closure means to engage the top plate in closed position, a lever pivotally secured to the finger element at one end and fulcrumed to said tank at the opposite end, said lever element having a central aperture therein for engaging said burner head, a flint wheel disposed adjacent said burner valve and adapted to engage said flint upon rotation of the closure plate, an axle for said flint wheel journaled into opposed longitudinal walls of the casing, a spring disposed about said axle and adapted to rotatably urge the top plate upward, and closure means on said top cover plate for engaging the closure means of said finger depressible element.
3. A cigarette lighter comprising a casing having longitudinal and transverse side walls, a top closure plate pivoted at one endand adapted to co-act with igniting means including a flint, said top plate being further adapted to close the top of said casing, an inner fuel tank having an interiorly disposed plug having a bore hole therein, said tank being detachably held within said cas ing and containing gaseous fuel under pressure. a burner valve, including a burner head, disposed in said plug and having a bore'stem terminating in an enlarged base, said plughaving a passage communicating between said bore and the inte- 10 rior of the tank, a finger depressible element having closure means to engage the top plate in closed position, a lever pivotally secured to the finger element at one end and fulcrumed to said tank at the opposite end, said lever element having a central aperture therein for engaging said burner head, a flint wheel disposed adjacent said burner valve and adapted to engage said flint upon rotation of the closure plate, an axle for said flint wheel journaled into opposed longitudinal walls of the casing, a spring disposed about said axle and adapted to rotatably urge the top plate upward, closure means on said top cover plate for engaging the closure means of said finger depressible element, and a ratchet-washer disposed on said axle and adapted to engage the flint wheel to eifect counter-clockwise rotation when the top closure plate is raised by the action of the spring disposed about the axle.
LAWRENCE T. WARD.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,667,141 Crowley Apr. 24, 1928 2,153,432 Reich Apr. 4, 1939 2,197,995 Crowley Apr. 23, 1940 2,276,911 Alward Mar. 17, 1942 2,571,435 F'lamm Oct. 16, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 923,219 France Feb. 17, 1947