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Publication numberUS2648762 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 11, 1953
Filing dateDec 16, 1950
Priority dateDec 16, 1950
Publication numberUS 2648762 A, US 2648762A, US-A-2648762, US2648762 A, US2648762A
InventorsDunkelberger Milton S
Original AssigneeDunkelberger Milton S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combined housing and flexible flashlight support
US 2648762 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M. S. DUNKELBERGER COMBINED HOUSING AND FL EXIBLE FLASHLIGHT SUPPORT Aug. 11, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 16, 1950 INSULATION IN V EN TOR. M/L TO/V 6 DIM/ EL 352665 Patented Aug. 11, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE COMBINED HOUSING AND FLEXIBLE FLASHLIGHT SUPPORT 4 Claims.

This invention relates to a portable flashlight and more particularly to a flashlight in which the light bulb and reflector are supported adjacent theend of a flexible conduit supported by the battery casing.

It is recognized that the use of adjustable means for supporting a light is broadly old, but the prior lights of this type have either been in theform of shop lights attached to a fixed source of power or have otherwise been impractical. My invention is especially designed for use by troops and others who wish a convenient source of localized light which is portable, easy to turn off and on, and which leaves ones hands free for other purposes.

One of the disadvantages of the average flashlight is that it is adapted to be held in the hand at a time when the user would like to have both of his hands free for other purposes. It is an object of this invention to provide a flashlight which is especially designed so as to be readily fastened to ones belt or placed in ones pocket and in which the light bulb and associated reflector are mounted on the end of a flexible cable or tube which is semi-rigid, so that the light can be directed in an desired direction merely by flexing the cable or tube.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved flashlight assembly which consists of a first unit which includes one or more batteries mounted within a suitable casing and a second unit which includes a light bulb, a reflector fastened to the casing by means of a flexible casing and in which the switch for controlling the light forms a part of the second unit.

Since these flashlights are intended to be manufactured on a large scale for use by members of the armed services and others, it is important that the device be adapted to low cost mass production. It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide a unit in which the parts may be made cheaply on a large scale and in which the parts may be assembled very quickly with a minimum labor charge.

Another object of this invention is to provide a reflector housing having a built-in spare bulb receptacle which not only serves to support a spare bulb but also serves other purposes, such as a convenient means for locating the relatively small switch button and for preventing the device from rolling when placed on a flat surface such as a night table.

Still another object of this invention is to provide an arrangement in which the light bulb and reflector are connected to the battery casing by means of a universal connection whereby the light may be directed to shine in any direction irrespective of the position of the battery housing.

It is still another object of this invention to provide alight which when mounted on ones belt or in a pocket may not only be used to direct light downwardly. onto ones path while walking or hiking, but which is also admirably suitable for use by messengers and others in reading messages, et cetera. Thus, a small light conveniently supported on ones belt furnishes ample li ht for use in reading books and the like.

Other objects and advantages reside in the construction of parts, the combination thereof and the mode of operation, as will become more apparent from the following description.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 is a side elevational view showing a preferred embodiment of my invention;

Figure 2 is a side elevational view taken substantially at right angles to Figure 1;

Figure 3 is an end elevational view showing the lamp bulb and its relationship to the reflector;

Figure 4 is an exploded view, with parts broken away, showing the constructionand arrangement of parts;

Figure 5 is a vertical sectional view showing the construction of the switch;

Figure 6 is a view similar to Figure 5 but showing the switch in a closed circuit position;

Figure. 7 is a sectional view taken substantially on line ll of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a perspective view showing the construction of the movable switch contact; and

Figure 9 is a perspective view showing the construction of the stationary switch contact.

Referring now to the drawings wherein I have shown a preferred embodiment of my invention,

reference numeral 2t designates a metallic battery casin which is-adapted to house one or more conventional battery type of dry cells 22 and reference numeral 24 designates a cap for the one end of the battery casing which may be held in place on the casing 253 by any suitable means,

such as the bayonet slot connection 25 as best shown in Figure 4 of the drawings.

A clip 28 is secured to the cap 24 and serves as a convenient means for supporting the battery casing 20 from ones belt or within ones pocket. For purposes of illustration, the clip 28 has been shown fastened to the cap 24 by means of a pair of screws 30, whereas any suitable fastening means could be used for securing the clip to the cap. The upper end of the clip has purposely been secured to the cap rather than to the upper end of the casing, so that when it is desired to bend the clip so as to increase the clip pressure, this may be done very asily by removing the cap and the clip from the casing and merely bending the clip in the direction towards the casing. By virtue of this construction, the problem normally encountered in conventional clip constructions, when attempting to increase the clip pressure 3 when the clip is directly up against a rigid surface at all times, has been overcome.

It will be noted that the lower end of the clip is provided with a hook-like safety element 32 which is pivotally secured to the fre end of the clip by means of a pivot pin 33 as shown and which serves to more effectively hold the flashlight in place on ones belt or in ones pocket. The cam or tongue-like projection 34, which forms a part of the safety element, makes it easy to slide the clip down over ones belt or over any other surface, such as the hem of a pocket, but tends to prevent accidental removal of the clip. The bottom side of the projection 34 is roughened as shown, so as to more effectively engage any surface which it may contact. Th dotted line position illustrates how the safety element will swing about its pivot so as to increase the effective spring pressure while it digs into the material to which it is attached. The element 32 is provided with integral stop means 35 which limit the pivotal movement thereof.

Rather than mounting the light bulb reflector 38 directly at the end of the battery casing, the light bulb 36 and the reflector 38 are disposed within a plastic housing 40 which in turn is mounted on the end of a flexible cable 42. The reflector 38 is press fitted into the plastic housing 49. The flexible cable 42 consists of an outer metallic cable element 44 and an inner conductor 46 which is insulated from the element 44 by means of the insulation 48 surrounding the conductor 46.

As best illustrated in Figure 4, the lower end of the conductor 46 is soldered or otherwise secured to a contact element 50 which is adapted to engage the contact 52 of the top battery 22. An insulating disc 54 has been provided as shown and serves to insulate the contact element 50 from the cable element 44.

A spring element 56, which has its lower end secured to the lower end of the cable element 44 and which has its upper end abutting against the inner surface of the cap 24, serves to firmly press the contact element 50 into engagement with the battery, so as to insure a good electrical connection.

A bushing 58 has been provided as shown and serves to protect the cable as it rotates relative to the battery casing. The bottom end of the bushing 58 is provided with a flange 6d which limits outward movement of the bushing and the top end of the bushing is flared, as at 62, so as to hold the bushing in place and so as to provide a smooth rounded surface for contacting the cable 42.

Since the battery casing is especially designed for mounting in ones pocket or on ones belt and is therefore relatively inaccessible, the flashlight energizing switch button is pivotally mounted in a sleeve element 12 located between the reflector housing 40 and the upper end of the cable 42. The flashlight switch comprises an insulating support 14 which is mounted directly within the sleeve element 12. The insulating support 14 is provided with a shoulder which is adapted to be engaged by means of an inwardly directed locking tongue or finger 11 formed as an integral part of the outer sleeve 12, so that once the insulating member 14 is pushed into the sleeve 12, it will remain in assembled relationship with out the need for any extra fastening means. However, if it becomes necessary to repair or replace the switch mechanism, the support 14 may be removed merely by forcing the finger ll radially outwardly enough to clear the shoulder 15.

The switch comprises a first contact element 76 which is made in the form of a simple metallic stamping, as best shown in Figure 9. The one portion 18 of the stationary contact is arranged so as to engage the center of contact 80 of the flashlight bulb 3'5. The movable contact is likewise made in the form of a stamping 82 which has its one end 8! arranged directly above one portion of the stationary contact "it, so that upon rotation of the switch operating button it upon the pivot or pin 84, the projecting end of the movable contact 82 will be forced into sliding engagement with the stationary contact E6. The insulating member 14 is provided with a slot in which the member 16 is seated, as clearly shown in Figure '7. Member 32 is positioned in like manner in the opposite end of the insulating member 14. By virtue of this sliding engagement between the contact elements, the contacting surfaces will not become corroded or pitted. The switch operating button it is held in place by means of a pin 8? carried by the insulating member 14 in such a manner that when the insulating member i4 is inserted into the sleeve 12, the pin 84 will be held in place by the sleeve 12. The shape of the button '50 and the contact $32, as shown in Figures 5, 6 and 8, is such that the resiliency of the contact 82 holds the switch button in either the on or the off position.

The fixed end of the contact 82 is arranged to directly engage the contact element 36 which is soldered or otherwise secured to the upper end of the conductor 48. An insulating washer 88 has been provided as shown for insulating the contact 88 from the upper end of the cable element 44. A spring element 90, which has its one end secured to the upper end of the cable element 44 and which has its other end abutting against an internal shoulder within the sleeve l2, as best shown in Figure 4, serves not only to press the contact 86 into firm engagement with the contact 32 but also serves to make a good electrical connection between the cable as and the sleeve 12. The sleeve 82 in turn makes electrical con-- tact with the reflector unit 33, as the reflector unit 38 is directly attached to the sleeve l2. For purposes of illustration, the reflector has been shown held in place by means of a bayonet connection consisting of a bayonet slot 94 and a pin 25 which engages within the bayonet slot 9 whereas the reflector could be held in place by any suitable means such as a screw threaded connection.

For purposes of illustration, a prefocused bulb of the flange type has been shown, whereas insofar as certain aspects of the invention are concerned, a screw type of bulb could be used. The projecting portion 95 of the switch support l t holds the bulb in place. The portion as may be made as an integral part of the support 114 or may be a separate piece bonded to the support M.

For practical purposes the switch operator it has been made very small and consequently it is not the easiest to find in the dark. A. switch handle locating projection lfiil is formed as an integral part of the reflector casing 49. This switch locating projection IE3 is utilized as a storage chamber for a spare bulb. As best shown in Figure 4, an internal shoulder 32 has been provided for engaging the flange of a flange type bulb, so as to prevent the tip of the bulb from striking the end of the storage chamber. A cover element I64 is used for holding the spare bulb in place. For purpose of illustration, the cover element H34 has been shown as having a screw threaded connection, whereas it could be held in place by any suitable means.

By virtue of the construction shown and described, all of the parts are inexpensive, yet very durable and easy to assemble. Furthermore, worn out or damaged parts are easy to replace or repair.

Although the preferred embodiment of the device has been described, it will be understood that within the purview of this invention various changes may be made in the form, details, proportion and arrangement of parts, the combination thereof and mode of operation, which generally stated consist in a device capable of carrying out the objects set forth, as disclosed and defined in the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. In a flashlight,abattery casing,means carried by said casing for attaching the battery casing to ones apparel, battery means disposed within said casing, a flexible cable having an outer conductor and an inner conductor insulated therefrom, means including a swivel connection for connecting the inner conductor to one terminal of said battery means and for connecting the outer conductor to said casing, a sleeve supported on the free end of said cable, a switch assembly telescopically mounted within said sleeve, said sleeve having a slot in its one wall, said switch assembly including a pivotally mounted switch operating button projecting through said slot, said switch assembly including a movable contact element having a terminal portion arranged to engage the inner conductor and a stationary contact element having a terminal portion projecting at one end of said switch assembly, a lamp socket, means for removably attaching said lamp socket to said sleeve, a light bulb, said lamp socket having means for supporting said light bulb with the one terminal of the light bulb arranged in contact with said projecting terminal portion, and a plastic housing secured to and surrounding said lamp socket.

2. In a flashlight, a battery casing, means carried by said casing for attaching the battery casing to ones apparel, battery means disposed within said casing, a flexible cable having an outer conductor and an inner conductor insulated therefrom, means including a swivel connection for connecting the inner conductor to one terminal of said battery means and for connecting the outer conductor to said casing, a sleeve supported on the free end of said cable, a switch assembly telescopically mounted within said sleeve, said sleeve having a slot in its one wall, said switch assembly including a pivotally mounted switch operating button projecting through said slot, said switch assembly including a movable contact element having a terminal portion arranged to engage the inner conductor and a stationary contact element having a terminal portion projecting at one end of said switch assembly, a lamp socket, means for removably attaching said lamp socket to said sleeve, a light bulb, said lamp socket having means for supporting said light bulb with the one terminal of the light bulb arranged in contact with said projecting terminal portion, a plastic housing secured to and surrounding said lamp socket, and spring means disposed within said sleeve for biasing said inner conductor into engagement with the terminal portion provided on the movable switch contact.

3. In a flashlight, a battery casing adapted to contain battery means, means carried by said casing for attaching the battery casing to ones apparel, a flexible cable having an outer conductor and an inner conductor insulated therefrom, means including a swivel connection for connecting the inner conductor to one terminal of said battery means and for connecting the outer conductor to said casing, a sleeve supported on the free end of said cable, a switch assembly telescopically mounted within said sleeve, said sleeve having a slot in its one wall, said switch assembly including a pivotally mounted switch operating button projecting through said slot, said switch assembly including a movable contact element having a terminal portion arranged to engage the inner conductor and a stationary contact element having a terminal portion projecting at one end of said switch assembly, a lamp socket, means for removably attaching said lamp socket to said sleeve, a light bulb, said lamp socket having means for supporting said light bulb with the one terminal of the light bulb arranged in contact with said projectin terminal portion, and a plastic housing secured to and surrounding said lamp socket, said plastic housing having a projecting portion on its one side arranged in fixed relationship to said switch operating handle.

4. In a flashlight, a battery casing adapted to contain battery means, means carried by said casing for attaching the battery casing to ones apparel, a flexible cable having an outer conductor and an inner conductor insulated therefrom, means for connecting one of said conductors to one terminal of said battery means and for connecting the other conductor to said casing, a sleeve supported on the one end of said cable, a switch assembly telescopically mounted within said sleeve, said sleeve having a slot in its one wall, said switch assembly including a pivotally mounted switch operating button projecting through said slot, said switch assembly including a movable contact element having a terminal portion arranged to engage the inner conductor and a stationary contact element having a terminal portion projecting at one end of said switch assembly, a lamp socket, means for removably attaching said lamp socket to said sleeve, a light bulb, said lamp socket having means for supporting said light bulb with the one terminal of the light bulb arranged in contact with said projecting terminal portion, and a plastic housing secured to said lamp socket, said plastic housing having a projecting portion on its one side arranged in fixed relationship to said switch operating handle, said projecting portion having a recess formed therein for storing a light bulb, said recess having an internal shoulder for positioning the light bulb within said recess, and a removable cap for closing said recess.

MILTON S. DU'NKELBERGER.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,232,824 Mayhew July 10, 1917 1,369,892 Hawthorne Mar. 1, 1921 1,374,515 Nathan Apr. 12, 1921 1,421,657 Allen July 4, 1922 1,550,453 Pickens Aug. 18,, 1925 1,553,877 Ring Sept. 15, 1925 1,932,352 Moran Oct. 24, 1933 2,029,861 Dabgin Feb. 4, 1936 2,071,557 Miyaoka Feb. 23, 1937 2,366,202 Lippincott Jan. 2, 1945 2,467,954 Becker Apr. 19, 1949

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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/198, 200/60, 24/11.00M
International ClassificationF21L4/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21L15/06
European ClassificationF21L15/06