US 2642519 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 16, 1953 w c us ET AL 2,642,519
' LUMINIFEROUS CANE Filed June 27, 1949 lllllliiilllllliiiil. 1 A I u l/IIIIIIIIII INVENTORS: Wz'llz'arw Caustzm By Carl J Gastafsom 77mm Irror/ ey aik m l 'atent ed June 16, 1953 IJLlll1117 1211) PATEN T OFF 1 CE TLUMINIFEROUS CANE William Gaustim San-Jose, and'Car-l J. 'Gustafson, Los :Gatos, Galifl; .ssaid Carl J. Gustafson as- :signor, by decree of distribution, tc-Olive Rye Application llune27, 1949, Serial No. 101,658 Q This invention relates to luminiferous canes,
walking-sticks, or t-he like and more particularly -to'an improved construction for such devices so as to make them distinguishable in darkness as '-well as in daylight.
aware" of the characten'o'f *their affliction the moment the cane is seen.
Heretofore, blind people could, during day-lightand*with'the use of the "White cane, walk in congested areas and over street --crosswal-ks with reasonable assurance that others would-give dne consideration to thembecause-of their afflic'tion. However; at night the same "consideration 'couldnot b-e expected because the whiteness-of the 'caneisn'ot distinguishable.
The present-invention -has as its obi ect the-provision 'oiacane whereby blind persons cango out at night with assurance that motorists and drivers of similar vehicles-will'be 'abletosee and-recognize'their afiiict-ion =in-dark-ness as well as the light.
"With'the foregoing iii-mind it is an object of this invention to provide a white cane of non- :brea'kab'le luniin-iferous material.
Another object is to provide a cane shaft of light-bearing material having a sourceof-l-ight at one'end thereof and a reflector at the opposite end thereof 'so as to obtain the maximum intensityof .light within such shaft throughout its length.
Another object is to provide a cane shaft of light-bearing material coated or covered with a iight-difiusing substance which appears white whether illuminated or not.
,Another object is to provide a cane shaft having a light-bearing quality with a coating ..-of light-diftusing material of-a color combination which will .render the same visible and distinguishable asa ,blind persons cane in the dark as well as the Flight.
These and other objects will appear more .fully in the following specification and.-.o: 1a=imswhen read in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a side view of a cane embodying the present invention.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged detail of the cane shown in Fig. l with parts thereof in section and other parts in elevation.
Fig. 3 is a cross section of the shank of the cane shown in Figs. 1 and 2 and taken substantially along line 33 in Fig. 2.
Referring-to Figs. 1 and -2 of the drawing, a
came I is shown comprising the usual shank E2 having a -handle 3 atitsupper-end-and a tip 4 at its opposite end. 'It should here be understood that/the cane I "is merely illustrative and may have a handleoi" any desired torm without de parting from the spirit of thisinvention.
Between the shank and handle is a tubularsection It: providing-achamber -I l adapted to receive dry cells I2 and 13 of any common and well known form. The upper-end of thesection -l-'0 is movement into-and out of circuit making and/or break ing relation-to the dry cell *-l-3. "The opposite end of the tubular section 10 isthreadedly secured to 'theupper end of the shank 2 as at I 6. The end face of the slhankis recessed substantially to receive the knobend of an electric lamp 1-8 the base I 9 of which is threadedly secured to a reflector plate The plate 2-0 fits snugly tubular section H] and the contact end *2! of the lamp base I9 engages the terminal 2 2-of the dry cell 1-2.
From-the foregoing it will be apparent that the button 2- 3 of the'switch li is so disposed as to be easily accessible -to the fingers of the hand by which the cane handle is held and controlled. Consequently, inthe case of a blind person using the came, it wil-lbea simple matter :for him to'feel the switch to -ascertain Whetherornot it is in-circuit making or breaking position.
'The im-portant featuresof the present invention are embodied in the shank of the cane: -More especially they are embodied the light-refractive and l-ight diifusing qualities of the "elements now to be explained and their relationshipone with another for thepurpose of attaining a uniform overall illumination of the cane shank.
The main portion 25 of the'cane shank consists of a bar of light carry'ing substance such as polymethyl methacrylate, commonly known as Luciteff it is-the end face "I"! of this main portion 25 that engages the lampfll so as'to receive light therefrom. Moreover, the reflector plate 20 carrying theiamp -intens'-i-fiesthe light emanating from the lamp so as to assure a full ray of light within the body of the main portion 25 of the shank.
The tip 4 at the opposite end of the shank 2 comprises a cap of rubber material which obstructs passage of light rays from the end of the cane shank. A light-reflecting body 26, disposed in the tip or cap 4, may be a highly polished metal plate or a small piece of mirrored glass. This seam body 26 abuts the free end of the main portion 25 so as to reflect the light rays emanating from the lamp I8 back toward the latter. In this manner the main portion 25 will be properly illuminated in a uniform manner throughout its entire length. This will render the entire shank 2 an illuminated bar which is distinguishable at night as a signal to motorists.
In order to make the shank 2 more readily distinguishable both night and day, it is contemplated that the outer surface thereof be treated or coated in such a manner as to appear white by day and to diffuse the light throughout the outer coated surface by night.-
The best mode of accomplishing the foregoing is illustrated in the drawing, Figs. 1, 2 and 3, in the form of an outer layer of light-diffusing material 35, preferably of the cellulose acetate class and of the butyrate variety. This material can be applied either as a coating while in a plastic or fluid state or may constitute sheet form or a tubular section expanded and shrunk onto the main portion 25 of the shank 2.
In this manner, the major length of the shank is covered with a layer 36 of light-diffusing material that is white in color and which in daylight appears in the true color of the white cane designating a blind user. By the same token the lower section of the shank ,is covered with a layer 31 of cloudy red light-diffusing material which in daylight clearly designates the user of the cane as a blind person.
The cane, covered with the two colored layers 36 and 31 in the foregoing manner, when illuminated as hereinbefore described, will show up in darkness as a pure white shaft with a vivid red lower section. Consequently, when a person using this cane attempts crossing a highway or street in darkness, the attention of motorists is immediately and perceptibly attracted by the illuminated shank, particularly if it is in motion as when a blind person feels his way with it along the pavement.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that We have provided a walking cane or stick which will enable blind people to venture walking at night time with probably greater assurance for their safety than is likely during daylight/ The same instrument is equally usefu1 to blind persons in daylight and will withstand chipping and discoloration more than painted canes that are now in use.
While the present invention has been described in specific detail herein, it will be apparent that the same is susceptible to variations, modifications and alterations without departing from the spirit of our invention. We therefore desire to avail ourselves of all variations, modifications and alterations fairly coming within the scope of the appended claims.
What we claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is: 7
1. In a luminiferous cane of the type having a light source adjacent its handle end and means for manually controlling said light source; a first planiform reflector on one side of said light 4 source, a shank portion for said cane of relatively rigid, non-breakable, transparent substance capable of carrying light axially thereof, said shank portion of substantially uniform diameter throughout a major portion of its length, said shank having one end thereof disposed to receive light rays .fromsaid light source, and from said first reflector, a second substantially planiform reflector mounted adjacent the opposite end of said shank portion from said light source for promoting uniformity of the intensity of said light rays throughout the entire length of said shank portion, and a translucent layer of lightdiflusing material of cloudy white color applied to the outer surface of said shank portion for illumination by both the direct and reflected light 1 thereby to produce a substantially uniform white glow throughout the length of the shank of the cane during darkness.
2. A luminiferous cane comprising a metallic tubular member of substantial strength, said tubular member being of a size to receive electric battery means of a predetermined size therein, a switch on said tubular member, a hand grip element having an end thereof firmly attached in relatively interfitted relation to an end portion of said tubular member, a first reflector inserted in the end of said tubular member opposite to that to which said hand grip portion is attached, a light bulb mounted in said reflector to have electrical contact with said reflector, said metallic tubular member, and with said battery means for control by said switch, a shank of light transmitting material firmly attached in relatively interfitted relation to the reflector end of said tubular member to have supporting engagement with said light bulb and toreceive light rays from said bulb and from said first reflector, aid metallic tubular member comprising an intermediate structural portion of the cane, a second reflector mounted on the opposite end of said shank from said light bulb to reflect back into said shank light rays reaching said second reflector from said light bulb and from said first reflector, and a coating of translucent light diffusing material over substantially the entire exposed surface of said shank for illumination by light rays from said light bulb and both of said reflectors.
WILLIAM CAUSTIN. CARL J. GUSTAFSON.
References Cited in the file or this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,245,349 Lombardi June 10, 1941 2,335,852 Frank Dec. 7, 1943 2,340,530 Hefner Feb. 1, 1944 2,362,131 Haggart Nov. '7, 1944 2,435,650 'Greene Feb. 10, 1948 Fritts Aug. 16, 1949 7 OTHER REFERENCES Article in Popular Mechanics, published October 1940, Pa e 524.. Y r