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Publication numberUS2737574 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 6, 1956
Filing dateApr 28, 1953
Priority dateApr 28, 1953
Publication numberUS 2737574 A, US 2737574A, US-A-2737574, US2737574 A, US2737574A
InventorsMuller George H
Original AssigneeMuller George H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keyholder and flashlight
US 2737574 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 6, 1956 L E 2,737,574-

KEYHOLDER AND FLASHLIGHT Filed April 28, 1953 United States Patent Q KEYHOLDER AND FLASHLIGHT George H. Muller, N orthville, Mich.

Application April 28, 1953, Serial No. 351,685

3 Claims. (Cl. 240-64) The present invention relates to a combination flashlight and keyholder. I

In using a key at night, it is frequently difficult to find the keyhole. Most persons do not habitually carry a flashlight. Moreover, the use of a flashlight and a key at the same time ordinarily requires two hands, one to hold the light and the other to insert and turn the key. If a person is carrying a package, the unlocking of a door at night is inconvenient and frequently time-consuming.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a combination flashlight and keyholder that is convenient to use, being so arranged that the light and key can easily be held in one hand with the light in position to illuminate the keyhole into which the key is to be inserted. Another object of the invention isto provide a combinationfiash light and keyholder which is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to assemble. A further object is to provide a' combination flashlight and keyholder with which keyscan easily be placed on, and removed from, the keyholder and the lamp and battery of the flashlight can be readily replaced. 7

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and appended claims in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which show, by way of example, preferred embodiments of the invention.

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a combination flashlight and accordance with the invention.

Fig. 2 is a front end view.

Fig. 3 is a longitudinal section.

Fig. 4 is a rear end view.

Figs. 5 and 6 are side elevations of two other embodiments.

Fig. 7 is a longitudinal section of a further embodiment of the invention. I

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in Figs. l to 4 comprises a tubular case 1 and a tubular cap 2. The forward end of the case 1 and the rear end of the cap 2 fit telescopically into one another. As shown in' the drawing, the cap fits over the forward end of the case and has a shoulder 21: adapted to engage the forward edge of the case to limit the distance the cap is slipped onto the case. The opening at the rear end of the case 1 is restricted by an in-tu'r'ned rim 1b. The opening of the forward end of the cap 2 is similarly restricted by an inturned rim 2]). 7

While, for convenience, the members 1 and 2 are referred to respectively as a case anda cap, it will be understood that thetwo members together constitute a casing or housing for the flashlight and that the relative lengths of the two members may be varied as desired. It has been found preferable, however, to make the rear portion 1 of the casing somewhat longer than" the forward portion 2. p p

In the forward portion of the casing, there is an electric lamp 3 having a bulb 3a and a base 3b comprising a peripheral'contact or shell 3c and a central-contact 3d keyholder in lamp.

at the rear end of the base. The lamp bulb is of a diameter larger than the restricted opening in the front end of the cap 2, so that the lamp is retained in the cap by the rim 2b. The bulb 3a of the lamp is preferably provided with a lens portion for focusing the light emitted by the P- In the rear portion of the casing, there is a dry cell or battery 4 which is slidable axially of the casing. At its front end, the battery 4 has a central contact or terminal 4a which preferably projects forwardly from the surrounding portion of the battery. The other terminal of the battery is provided by its tubular casing 4b or by its rear end 4c, or both.

A helical compression spring 5 is disposed between the lamp 3 and the battery 4. The forward end portion of the spring 5 engages the peripheral shell or contact 30 of the lamp base 3b, providing an electrical contact between the spring and the peripheral contact of the lamp base and, at the same time, helping to hold the lamp in proper position. Preferably, the lamp base is threaded with a coarse thread corresponding approximately to the pitch 0 fthe helical spring 5 so that the spring can be screwed onto the base of the lamp. The rear end of the spring 5 engages the front end of the battery 4 and preferably, although not necessarily, engages the casing 4b of the battery. The spring 5 is of sufficiently large diameter to surround, and be spaced from, the forward terminal 4a of the battery so as to avoid electrical contact therewith.

It will beseeri that the spring 5 tends to push the battery 4 andthe lamp 3 away from one another. However, the rim 2b of the cap; 2 and the rim 1b of the case 1 engage the lamp and the rear end of the battery, respectively, so as to limit the distance the lamp and battery can be pushed apart. The proportions of the parts are such that, in the normal positions of the battery and lamp as shown in Figs. 3, the terminal 4a of the battery is spaced sufliciently from the central contact 3d of the lamp to avoid accidental contact between them and also to allow for manufacturing tolerances in lamp and battery size. A spacing of approximately inch to inch has been found satisfactory.

At the rear-end of the case 1, there is a pusher or plunger 6 which has an out-turned flange portion 6a held between the bottom of the battery and the in-turned rim 1b of the case and a central portion 6b which projects rearwardly through the restricted opening in the rear endof the case 1. By pressing inwardly on the plunger 6, the user of the flashlight can slide the battery 4 forwardly against the action of the spring 5 so as to bring the terminal 4a of the battery into engagement with the central contact 3d of the lam thereby lighting the In addition to pushing the battery forwardly, the plunger 6 may also provide electrical contact between the bottom 40 of the battery and the case 1. While, for clarity, the spring 5 has been shown slightly separated from the casing, it actually engages either the casing of the flashlight or the tubular case 41) of the battery or both, so as to provide electrical contact between the battery andthe peripheralshell 3c of the lamp base 3d 1 I The parts described above are held in assembled relation by means or" a spring bail or keyholder 7 having in-turned end portions 7 a which project into aligned diametrically opposite holes in the telescopically interfitting portions of the case 1 and cap 2. The engagement of the in-turned portions 7a in these holes serves not only' to attach the bail pivotally to the casing of the flashlight but also holds the case 1 and cap 2 securely together and prevents their being separated by the pressure of the spring 5. By holding the two parts of the casing together, the bail 7 also holds the plunger 6, battery 4',- spring' 5 and lainp 3 in assembled position in the casing.

The bail portion 7 has opposite leg portions 7b of sufficient length to permit the bail to swing over the front end of the cap 2 and preferably also has a crossed Ioop portion 70, so that the overall configuration of the bail is approximately figure 8-shaped. The leg portions 7b of the bail are preferably shaped so as to lie closely alongside the casing 1, 2, thereby keeping the overall dimensions of the bail to a minimum. The loop portion 7c of the bail is preferably of a diameter which does not exceed the space between the two leg portions 712. The bail is preferably formed of suitable spring wire. At the point 7d where the two portions of the wire cross to form the loop 70, the crossing portions of the wire are substantially in contact with one another.

One or more keys K may be retained in the loop 70 of the bail 7. Preferably, however, the keys are held on a split key ring 8 which in turn is held in the loop portion 7a of the bail.

The case 1 and cap 2 are preferably formed of tubular metal stock and the plunger 6 is preferably a sheet metal stamping. Alternatively, the case 1, cap 2 and plunger 6 may be formed of other suitable material, such as plastic. If they are formed of electrically non-conducting material, care should be taken to see that the rear end of the spring 5 engages the case 411 of the battery 4 so as to provide electrical contact.

The parts of the combination flashlight and keyholder described above are easily assembled. With parts disassembled, the keys K or key ring 8 are slipped over one end of the bail 7 and snapped into the loop portion of the bail, the crossing portions 7d being sprung apart sufliciently to permit the key or key ring to pass. The plunger 6 and battery 4 are placed in position in the case 1. The spring 5 is screwed onto the base of the lamp 3 and the two are placed in the cap 2. The case 1 and cap 2 are then slipped telescopically together until the front end of the case engages the shoulder 2a of the cap and the holes in the case and cap are aligned. The in-turned ends 7a of the bail 7 are then snapped into place in the aligned holes provided in the telescopically interfitting portions of the case and cap, thereby locking the parts securely together.

Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Fig. 5 where corresponding parts are designated by the same reference characters as in Figs. 1 to 4 with the addition of 10. It will be seen that, in this embodiment, the casing is shaped to simulate a bottle which may be either circular or flattened in cross-section. If the casing is of flattened or oval cross-section, a correspondingly flat battery 14 is used. The plunger 16 is shown projecting inwardly instead of outwardly, the casing being of sufficiently large cross-section to permit the users finger to be inserted through the bottom opening to press on the plunger.

A further embodiment of the invention is shown in Fig. 6 where corresponding parts are designated by the same reference characters as in Figs. 1 to 4 with the addition of 20. In this embodiment, the casing, comprising a lower casing portion 21 and an upper casing portion 22, is in the shape of a flask which may be either round, flat or oval in cross-section. It will be understood that the shapes illustrated in the drawings are merely by way of example and that many different shapes may be used since the construction lends itself to simulating various objects.

In Fig. 7, there is shown another embodiment of the invention, corresponding parts being designated by the same reference numerals as in Figs. 1 to 4 with the addition of 30. It will be seen that the construction is similar to that shown in Figs. 1 to 4 except that the plunger 6 is omitted and the aligned holes in the telescopically interfitting parts of the case 31 and cap 32 are elongated in a direction lengthwise of the casing so that the case 31 and cap 32 can slide axially relative to one another. The elongation of the holes may be in either the cap or the case, or both. In the normal position of the case and cap, as shown in Fig. 7, the central terminal 34a of the battery is spaced from, and hence out of engagement with, the central contact 33d of the lamp. By pressing the case 31 forwardly relative to the cap 32, the battery is pressed toward the lamp to bring the terminal 34a into engagement with the central contact 33d of the lamp base. The bottom end of the battery seats on the rear end of the case 31 which may either have a restricted opening, as illustrated in Fig. 3, or may be closed, as shown at 31c in Fig. 7.

While several embodiments of the invention have been shown by way of example in the drawings and specifically described above, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to these embodiments.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent 1. A combination flashlight and key holder comprising a tubular case open at both ends, a tubular cap open at both ends, the front end of the case and the rear end of the cap being telescopically interfitting with one another with said tubular cap acting as the female fittting and the openings at the front end of the cap and the rear end of the case being restricted, a battery in the case with a central terminal at its forward end and a second terminal, a lamp received in the cap and having a base portion with a central contact and with a peripheral contact, the diameters of the lamp and the battery being greater than the restricted openings in the cap and case respectively, a helical compression spring between the lamp and the battery and pressing on the front end of the battery to hold the central contact of the lamp normally out of contact with the central terminal of the battery, means for pressing the battery and lamp toward one another against the action of said spring to bring said central contact and terminal into engagement with one another, means providing an electrical connection between said second terminal of the battery and the peripheral contact of the lamp base, the telescopically interfitting ends of the case and cap having matching, diametrically opposite holes, and a key holder comprising a spring bail with in-turned ends which extend into said holes to attach the bail pivotally to the case and cap and to secure the case and cap releasably together against the action of said spring, said bail being swingable forwardly to a position in front of said lamp so that a key held by said key holder can be inserted in a keyhole while illuminated by said lamp.

2. A combination flashlight and key holder comprising a tubular case open at both ends, a tubular cap open atboth ends, the front end of the case and the rear end of the cap fitting telescopically one into the other with said tubular cap acting as the female fitting and the openings at the rear end of the case and the front end of the cap being restricted, a battery in the case with a terminal at its forward end and a second terminal, a lamp disposed in the cap and having a rearwardly extending base portion with a peripheral contact and a central contact at its rear end, a helical compression spring between the lamp and the battery, the peripheral contact of the lamp base being held by the forward portion of the spring and the end of the spring pressing on the front end of the battery to hold the central contact of the lamp normally out of engagement with the said terminal of the battery, a pusher in the opening at the rear end of the case for pressing the battery forwardly to bring said terminal into engagement with the central contact ofthe lamp base, means comprising said spring providing an electrical connection between said second terminal of the battery and said peripheral contact of the lamp base, the telescopically interfitting ends of the case and cap having matching, diametrically opposite holes, and .a key holder comprising a spring bail having inturned ends whichproject into said holes to attach the bail pivotally to the base and cap and to secure the case and cap releasably together against the action of the spring, said bail being swingable forwardly to a position in front of said lamp so that a key held by said key holder can be inserted in a keyhole while illuminated by said lamp.

3. A combination flashlight and key holder comprising a tubular case open at one end, a tubular cap open at both ends, the front end of the case and the rear end of the cap fitting telescopically one into the other and the opening at the front end of the cap being restricted, a battery in the case with a terminal at its forward end and a second terminal, a lamp disposed in the cap and having a rearwardly extending base portion with a helically threaded peripheral contact and a central contact at it rear end, a helical compression spring screwed onto the helical contact of the lamp and engaging the forward end of the battery to hold said terminal of the battery normally out of contact with the central contact of the lamp, the batterybeing slidable lengthwise in the case to bring said terminal into contact with said central contact, means comprising said spring providing an electrical connection between said second terminal of the battery and said peripheral contact of the lamp base, the telescopically interfitting ends of the case and cap having matching diametrically opposite holes said holes being elongated in one of said telescopically interfitting ends in a direction lengthwise of said case so that said case and said cap can slide axially relative to one another in order that pressing of said case forwardly relative to said cap brings said lamp into engagement with said battery to turn on said flashlight, and a key holder comprising a spring bail having inturned ends which project into said holes to attach the bail pivotally to the base and cap and to secure the case and cap releasably together, said bail being swingable forwardly to a position in front of said lamp so that a key held by said key holder can be inserted in a keyhole While illuminated by said lamp.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,198,734 Ludescher Sept. 19, 1916 2,114,266 Bodor Apr. 12, 1938 2,136,199 Swanson Nov. 8, 1938 2,164,148 Swanson June 27, 1939 2,171,304 Gelardin Aug. 29, 1939 2,258,074 Swanson Oct. 7, 1941

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1198734 *Mar 22, 1916Sep 19, 1916Engelbert LudescherElectric lantern.
US2114266 *Jul 13, 1937Apr 12, 1938Louis BodorCombined flashlight and key ring
US2136199 *Jul 20, 1936Nov 8, 1938Swanson Nels HFlashlight combination construction
US2164148 *Mar 31, 1937Jun 27, 1939Swanson Nels HCombined pocket flashlight and key case
US2171304 *Oct 29, 1936Aug 29, 1939Gelardin AlbertFlashlight
US2258074 *Jun 12, 1939Oct 7, 1941Nels H SwansonFlashlight
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2797308 *Jan 16, 1956Jun 25, 1957Best Morton PThermometer case with built-in light unit
US3805050 *Jul 25, 1973Apr 16, 1974Nasta Ind IncFlashlight device
US4449474 *Aug 13, 1982May 22, 1984Suzi Stone Enterprises, Inc.Personal security device
US4864474 *Apr 29, 1988Sep 5, 1989Mag Instrument, Inc.Single cell flashlight
US6601967 *Aug 18, 2000Aug 5, 2003Noel E. ZellerFlashlight with keyholder
US6908209 *Jan 13, 2003Jun 21, 2005Mocap, Inc.Miniature flashlight and keyholder
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/116
International ClassificationA44B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA44B15/005
European ClassificationA44B15/00C