US 2852633 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 16, 1958 E. J. GARLAND 'FLASHLIGHT CONSTRUCTION Filed July 5, 1955 INVENTOR ldwardJGa/rland ATTOIOJEYS United States Patent'O FLASHLIGHT CONSTRUCTION Edward J. Garland, Shrewsbury, Mass., assignor, by mesne assignments, to The Electric Storage Battery JCompany, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of New ersey Application July 5, 1955, Serial No. 519,809
3 Claims. (Cl. 200-60) This invention relates to a novel electrical switching mechanism, and particularly to a novel electrical switching mechanism adapted for use with a tubular flashlight casing.
Flashlights now commonly in use are customarily provided with a push-button type of switch. In the most common type of switch, it is usually necessary to depress a small button in order to complete the electrical circuit. A slide may then be advanced generally toward the front end of the flashlight to lock the circuit of the'flashlight in a closed position and to provide a beam of light continuously. A major disadvantage of switches of this type resides in the difficulty of locating and maneuvering the switch, particularly in emergency situations.
A principal object of this invention is to provide a novel type of flashlight switching mechanism which will be very easy to locate and operate in the darkness and under other disadvantageous conditions.
Another object of this invention is to provide a switch for a flashlight which is a major feature in the silhouette or contour of the flashlight, readily discernible to the vision as well as to the touch.
A further object of this invention is to provide a ring switch for a tubular flashlight casing which is operated by rotation of the ring, and which is so constructed as to lock in either the on or the off position.
These and other objects of the invention, which will become more readily apparent from the following description, are achieved by providing a tubular flashlight casing with a rotatable ring adjacent the head of the flashlight casing. In the wall of the casing directly under the rotatable ring, there is provided an aperture in the tubular casing which exposes an electrical contact strip. The electrical contact strip is in electrical connection with the bulb filament, and through the filament, with one terminal of a dry cell in the flashlight. Also positioned under the rotatable ring, and secured to the tubular flashlight casing, is a metal contact spring, which is in electrical contact with the opposite terminal of the dry cell in the flashlight casing, and which has a free end disposed in normally spaced relation over the metal contact strip. The metal contact spring is biased outwardly into contact with the undersurface of the rotatable ring, which functions as a cam. As the ring is rotated, the metal contact spring acts as a follower. By providing an arrangement of alternating shallow and deep recesses in the undersurface of the ring, the metal contact spring may be moved into and out of electrical connection with the metal contact strip which is exposed through the aperture in the flashlight casing. The flashlight may thus be actuated merely by rotation of the ring.
An added advantage of the switch is that the engagement of the metal contact spring with the recesses in the ring deters accidental or unintentional rotation of the ring. In effect, there is provided a locking mechanism which locks the flashlight in the on and the off position.
1 2,852,633 Patented Sept. 16, 1958 These and other details in the construction and operation of the ring switch of this invention may be best understood by referring to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a side elevation in partial section of a flashlight having a switch mechanism according to the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken on line 2-2 of Fig. 1 showing the switch in the on position;
Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 11 on Fig. 2, showing the switch in off position.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, a flashlight casing 1 contains the conventional bottom contact spring 2, a pair of dry cells Saand 3b, a contact base 4, and a reflector bowl assembly 5. Positioned within the reflector bowl assembly 5 is a flashlight bulb having one filament terminal in electrical contact with the carbon pencil electrode of the front dry cell 3a in the flashlight casing, and having the other filament terminal in electrical connection with a copper coating on the undersurface of the reflector bowl 5. Electrical connection between the copper coating on the undersurface of the reflector bowl 5 and the switching mechanism of the invention is provided by an electrical connector member .6, which is permanently positioned in electrical contact with the reflector bowl undersurface,.and which extends rearwardly into the casing and is secured within the casing by a pair of rivets 7a and 7b. Electrical contact between the connector member 6 and the flashlight casing 1 is prevented by an interposed fiber insulating strip 8 which .is secured to the electrical connector member 6 by a pair of grommets 9. The same fiber insulating strip desirably extends rearwardly into the casing and is interposed between the connector member 6 and the casing adjacent the front rivet 7a, from which the connector member 6 is thus spaced and insulated. The connector member 6 is insulated from the front rivet 7:1 by the presence of an aperture in the connector member through which the rivet is inserted. Electrical contact between the connector member 6 and the front dry cell 7a is prevented by the provision of a second fiber insulating strip 10 on the undersurface of the connector member 6, which is also secured thereto by the grommets 9. The second insulating strip 10 desirably extends into the casing beyond the end of the connector member 6, and is secured to the casing by the rear rivet 7b.
Referring for the time being to Figures 2 and 3, the connector member 6 is exposed through an aperture 11 in the wall of the flashlight casing 1. The end portion of the connector member 6 thus exposed is referred to hereinafter for convenience, as a contact strip 6a. Closely adjacent the aperture 11 there is secured, preferably to the interior of the flashlight casing, a metallic contact spring 12 which is biased outwardly in normally spaced relation with respect to the contact strip 6a.
The metal contact spring 12 is in electrical contact with the container electrode with the rear dry cell 3b in the flashlight, preferably through electrical contact with the metallic flashlight casing 1 and the bottom contact spring 2. However, it should be understood that where the flashlight casing is made from a nonconductive material, such as a synthetic plastic, the metallic contact spring 12 may be electrically connected to the bottom terminal of the rearmost cell through any desired connecting means. The rotatable cam ring 14 is provided with a plurality of alternating shallow recesses 15 and deep recesses 16. As shown in Fig. 2, when the metallic contact spring 12 is seated within a shallow recess 15, the free end of the contact spring is forced into engagement and electrical contact, with the contact strip 16, and the flashlight circuit is in the on position. When the metal contact spring 12 is seated Within one of the deep recesses 16, as shown in Fig. 3, the free end of the metal contact spring is out of contact with the metal contact strip 16, and the circuit is open so that the flashlight would be in the ofl? position. Control over the operation of the flashlight can thus be obtained by rotation of the cam ring 15. The engagement between the metal contact spring 12 and the recesses in the "cam ring deters unintentional or accidental movement of the cam ring, while permitting intentional rotation thereof with but slight effort.
Referring again to Fig. l, longitudinal movement of the cam ring with respect to the flashlight casing is prevented by the abutment of a pair of lateral flanges 20 on the cam ring against a stop or projection 21 on the exterior surface of the flashlight casing and a shoulder 22 on the reflector bowl 5. Rotational movement of the cam ring is freely allowed by a fairly loose engagement between the cam ring and the underlying surface of the flashlight casing 1. Preferably, :there is a slight central recess 17 in the cam ring between the alternating shallow recesses and deep recesses 16, so that the metallic contact spring remains in engagement with the cam ring at all times.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention described above, there have been described many conventional structural flashlight components. It should be understood that certain modifications in this preferred embodiment of the invention may be made in the substitution of equivalent components for those which have been described. For example, while it is preferred that the flashlight casing and the cam ring be fabricated of metal, each of these structural components of the flashlight may be manufactured from a synthetic plastic material. from a non-conductive synthetic plastic material, it would be necessary to provide a special electrical connection between the metallic contact spring 2 in the rear assembly of the flashlight, and the container electrode of the rear dry cell in the flashlight, as has previously been pointed out. In a similar manner, other modifications may be made in the flashlight structure described which are within the scope of this invention. 3 t
I claim: 7
1. In an electrical flashlight having a tubular casing In the case where the flashlight casing is made adapted to house at least one energizing battery and provided with a head portion within which is disposed a reflector bowl and lamp bulb, said casing being in conductive contact with one battery terminal and said lamp bulb being in conductive contact with said reflector bowl and with another battery terminal of opposite polarity, the improvement which comprises at least one port on the side of said casing, at least one contact strip, one end of which is in conductive contact with said reflector bowl, the opposite end of which is disposed opposite said port, said con-tact strip being wholly within said casing and insulated therefrom, a circumferentially mounted ring mounted on and over said casing, over said port and in conductive contact with said casing, said ring having a plurality of spaced, recessed grooves on its inner surface, said casing having mounted on its interior at least One spring contact member normally biased away from said contact strip and toward said grooves in said ring, the free end of each spring contact member being shaped to seat in and conform to said grooves, at least one of said grooves on said ring being of such size and depth as to seat and lock said free end of said spring contact member in open circuit position, said ring being stopped to prevent longitudinal reciproeating movement thereof but being rotatable in either direction entirely around the circumference of said casing.
2. The improvement of claim 1 in which the ungrooved inner surface of said ring and other grooves on its surface are so shaped as to bias said spring contact member into contact with said conductive contact in closed circuit position.
3. The improvement in claim 2 in which both the free end of the spring contact member and the inner surface of each recessed groove in the ring is rounded to present a cam surface and cam follower respectively.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 7 2,020,352 Bolduc Nov. 12, 1935 2,049,762 Dar-ling et al. Aug. 4, 1936 2,225,936 Williams Dec. 24, 1940 2,226,353 Wood Dec. 24, 1940 2,439,496 Szantay Apr. 13, 1948 2,503,287 Moore Apr. 11, 1950