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Publication numberUS3003057 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1961
Filing dateDec 31, 1958
Priority dateJan 2, 1958
Publication numberUS 3003057 A, US 3003057A, US-A-3003057, US3003057 A, US3003057A
InventorsWing G Cheng
Original AssigneeWing G Cheng
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable electric lanterns or torches and switching devices therefor
US 3003057 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 3, 1961 WING G. CHENG 3,003,057

PORTABLE ELECTRIC LANTERNS 0R TORCHES AND v SWITCHING DEVICES THEREFOR Filed Dec. 51, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 No a 00 on Ms Oct. 3, 1961 WING G. CHENG PORTABLE ELECTRIC LANTERNS OR TORCHES AND SWITCHING DEVICES THEREFOR Filed Dec. 31, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Oct. 3, 1961 wmc; G. CHENG PORTABLE ELECTRIC LANTERNS OR TORCHES AND SWITCHING DEVICES THEREFOR Filed Dec. 31, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 mmvI mo No v0 Oct. 3, 1961 WING G. CHENG 3,003,057

PQRTABLE ELECTRIC LANTERNS QR TORCHES AND SWITCHING DEVICES THEREFOR 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Dec. 31, 1958 Claims priority, application Great Britain Jan. 2, 1958 Claims. (Cl. 240--10.63)

This invention relates to portable electric lanterns and to switching devices therefor.

One object of the invention is to provide a portable electric lantern or torch of compact construction comprising a battery casing and at least two lamp bulbs supplied from a common battery and independently operated switch means for separately controlling the circuits of the lamp bulbs in which one of said lamp bulbs can be moved within a wide are relatively to the battery casing,

Another object of the invention is to provide a simple circuit arrangement for supplying the two lamp bulbs.

With the foregoing objects in view a portable electric lantern made in accordance with the present invention comprises a main casing to receive a supply battery, a bracket mounted on and externally of the casing, a main lamp bulb fitted in a lamp casing and arranged to be supplied from said battery, a carrying handle fixed to and extending along the top of said casing, switch means for controlling the current supply from said battery to said main lamp bulb, said switch means being mounted on said handle, a support for an auxiliary lamp bulb pivotally mounted on said casing and arranged to be supplied from said battery, and switch means for controlling the current supply to said auxiliary lamp bulb, said switch means for controlling the supply to said auxiliary lamp bulb being carried on said pivotally mounted support and operated independently of said switch means for controlling the current supply to said main lamp bulb.

In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation, partly in section, and FIG. 2 is a plan view, of one form of portable electric lantern made in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 is another plan view showing the cover open;

FIG. 4 is a section on the line IV--IV, FIG. 3, looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 5 is a section on line V-V, FIG. 3;

FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9 are detail views illustrating the mounting of the push button of the main switch;

FIG. 10 is an end view, and FIG. 11 a side view of a plastic mounting for an auxiliary lamp bulb;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of, and FIG. 13 a section taken on line XI'I'IX*III (FIG. 12) through, the movable switch arm associated with the auxiliary lamp bulb;

FIG. 14 is a partial view of the auxiliary switch, and

FIG. 15 is a section through the carrying handle incorporating a diagram of the electric circuits of the two lamp bulbs.

The electric lantern illustrated in the drawings comprises a rectangular metal casing consisting of a body portion 10 and a flanged lid 10' hingedly connected at 9 to the body portion. The casing houses an electric battery 11 and the lid 10' is fitted with a carrying handle 12 of inverted U-shape extending along the top of the lid 10'. A forked bracket 13 is fixed externally to so as to project from one end of the battery casing 10 and a lamp casing 14 containing an electric lamp bulb 15 is pivotally mounted between the sides of the forked bracket 13. Inside the lamp. casing is a metal parabolic reflector. 16 formed at itsapex with a socket 17 to receive the metal shell 18 of the lamp bulb 15, which is saws-=91 in th ee -a by t bula p a ti amp holder "nited States Patet Patented Oct. 3, 1961 v 2 19 screwed into the reflector socket 17. A lens or cover glass 20 is fitted in the lamp casing in front of the reflector 16. r

A plastic insulating contact carrier 21 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) is screwed to the inside end wall of the battery casing adjacent the lamp bracket 13 and has fixed thereto two contact members 22, 23, 22 being in the form .of a disc and 23 in the form of a ring surrounding the disc 22 and concentric therewith. The disc contact 22 is connected via a metal spring 24 to the positive terminal of the battery 11 (which is of unitary construction) and the ring contact 23 is connected via a second metal spring 25 to the negative terminal of the battery. The centre terminal of the lamp bulb 15 bears against a contact 15' fixed in the base of the plastic lamp holder 19 and which bears in turn against a contact strip26 fixed on an insulating disc 27 riveted to the lamp casing 14 and connected by a flexible conductor 28 (see FIG. 2) to a metal rivet 28'. fixed to the negative ring contact 23, and consequently to the negative terminal of the battery.

The carrying handle 12 is moulded from synthetic plastic material, the two depending ends 12, 12 being hollow and each containing an electric contact pin 29 or 30. The contact pin 29 referred to hereafter as the positive contact pin is electrically connected by a contact strip 87 (see :FIG. 3) and a flexible conductor 31 to a metal rivet 22' fixed to the positive contact disc 22, connected to the positive pole of the battery, and the pin 30 referred to hereafter as the negative contact pin is connected by means hereafter described to the negative pole of the battery. A metal strip 32 extends along a shallow groove in the top of the handle 12 and is fixed directly thereto at the end adjacent to the lamp casing 14 while at the other end (see FIG. 15) it is connected to the handle by a metal channel strip 33 secured to the metal strip 32 by a rivet 34. The lower side of the channel strip 33 is provided with a tapped aperture to receive the upper screwed end of,

the negative contact pin 30 which is thereby in electrical contact with the channel strip 33 and therefore electri- 1 cally connected with the metal strip 32. The lower end of the negative contact pin 30 is fixed to, so as to be in electrical contact with, the top of the battery casing 10 and via the battery casing, forked bracket 13, lamp casing 14, lamp reflector 16, lamp shell 18, filament and central terminal of the lamp 15 contacts 15' and 26, flexible conductor 28, negative n'ng contact 22 to the negative pole of the battery.

The switch device controlling the lamp bulb 15 is operatively connected between the upper ends of the positive and negative contact pins 29, 30. The device oomprises a movable contact strip 35 slidably mounted in a fixed switch casing 36 secured to the'metal strip 32 on the top of the handle 12 and fixedly connected to a push button 37 slidably mounted on the outside of the casing 36 and arranged to cooperate with a fixed contact strip 38 secured to the lower side of the metal strip 32 and between the said strip and the handle. One end of this fixed contact strip 38 makes contact with a conducting plate 39 mounted, as by screwing on to, the top end of the positive contact pin 29.

The two sides of the push button are each formed with a depending tag 37' the two tags penetrating respectively each into a slot 36' or 36 (FIG. 9) provided therefor in the switch casing 36 and being turned inwards under the sides of the movable contact strip 35 thereby to lock the latter to the push button 37. A bow spring 40 (see FIG. 15) having a central projection 40' is located in slots 36', 36 on the push button, with three transverse 3 depressions 41, 42, 43 (see FIG. 7) which can be selectively engaged by the central projection 40' on the bow spring 49 fitted in the push button.

The fixed contact strip 38 is formed with three upwardly projecting tags 44, 45, 46 (see FIG. 6) spaced along its length which tags project through three correspondingly spaced slots 32, 32 32 in the metal strip 32 on the top of the handle and are turned over soas to extend over the outer surface of the metal strip, thus serving to secure the fixed contact strip thereto. The turned over ends of the two outer tags 44, 46 also provide contact areas arranged to co-operate respectively each with one of two contact areas 47, 48 at opposite ends of the movable contact strip 35, thus providing the two pairs of complementary contacts 47, 44 and 48, 46. The fixed contact strip 38 and tags 44, 45, 46 are insulated from the metal strip 32 by a strip 56 of insulating material disposed between the lower surface of the metal strip 32 and the contact strip 38 and also provided with three L-shaped tags which project with the tags 44, 45, 46 on the contact strip 38 through the slots in the metal strip 32 and thus also insulate the metal tags 44, 45, 46 from the said metal strip.

The push button 37 can be moved into either one of two alternative on positions or into an off position by sliding it along the switch casing 36. A spring pressed press button 51 is mounted in an aperture 52 in the switch casing 36 so as, on being depressed, and when the push button is in either one of the two alternative on positions, to bear on the movable switch contact area 47 and move it into contact with its complementary fixed contact 44.

The three positions in which the push button 37 can be moved are determined by the three transverse depressions 41, 42, 43 on the top of the switch casing 36, which depressions can be selectively engaged by the projection 40' on the bow spring 40 fitted on the push button 37 by moving the latter into the required position.

In position I, which is that shown in FIG. 15, the pro jection 40' on the bow spring 4t) engages the depression 43 in the switch casing. In this position the switch is 011 and the movable contact strip cannot be pressed into contact with either of the contacts 44, 46 on the fixed contact strip 38. The lamp circuit of the lamp 15 is thus open and the lamp cannot be illuminated.

In position II the projection 40 on the bow spring 40 engages the intermediate depression 42 on the switch casing 36. The movable switch contact strip 35 has been moved forward with the push button so that the contact area 47 is now over, but spaced from, the fixed contact 44. In this position in order to close the circuit of the lamp 15 and illuminate the lamp, the press button 51 is depressed and thereby presses the movable contact area 47 into engagement with the fixed contact 44. In this position of the push button 37 the lamp circuit is illuminated when the press button 51 is depressed, and it can be used as a flashlamp by repeatedly and alternately depressing and relieving the pressure on the press button 51.

In position III the corresponding forward movement of the push button 37 results in the projection on the bow spring 40 engaging the depression 41 on the switch casing 36. The movable contact strip 35 has now been moved into a position in which the contact area 48 is pressed into contact with the fixed contact area 46, and closes the circuit of the lamp 15 to provide a steady light beam. The lamp 15 is now continuously illuminated until such time as the push button is returned to one or other of the positions I or II above described. In position HI the contact 47 can still be pressed into contact with the fixed contact strip but this is immaterial since the lamp circuit is already closed through the other pair of complementary contact surfaces.

When the lamp 15 is illuminated the lamp circuit (shown diagrammatically in FIG. 15) is completed as follows: positive pole of the batteryspring 24-positive contact disc 22rivet 22flexib1e conductor 31-contact strip 87- positive contact pin 29plate'39fixed contact strip 38movable contact strip 35switch casing 36-metal strip 32channel strip 33negative contact pin 30-battery casing lite-forked bracket 13lamp casing 14lamp refiectOr'IG- lamrp shell 18filament and centre terminal of lamp 15'-flexible conductor 28- rivet 28'negative contact ring 23-negative pole of the battery. V

A second lamp bulb 55 (see FIG. 1) referred to hereafter as an auxiliary lamp bulb, is also supplied from the battery 11, the auxiliary lamp circuit being controlled by an independent switch. This auxiliary lamp bulb is carried at one end of a swinging arm comprising two side members 56, 57 (see FIG. 2) disposed and extending respectively along the top of the hinged lid 10' on opposite sides of the carrying handle 12. At one end of the swinging arm the ends of the two side arms 56, 57 are each fitted or formed with a bearing sleeve 58 or 59 rotatably mounted on a hinge pin 60 fitted in a sleeve 60 fixed to and extending transversely of the end of the lid adjacent to the lamp casing 14. The other end of the swinging arm is closed by a plate 61 (see FIG. 1) made integrally with and depending below the swinging arm, parallel with the adjacent end of the casing 10 and forming a mounting plate for the signal lamp bulb 55 and parts associated therewith.

These parts comprise inter alia a shallow metal cup 62 on the inner closed side of which is fitted a fibre disc 63 and a plastic flanged cup 64 shown in detail in FIGS. 10 and 11. The closed side of the metal cup 62, the fibre disc 63, the flange of the plastic cup 64 and the mounting plate 61, each being provided with five apertures such as 65', 65 65 65 65 (FIG. 10) which, when the parts referred to are fitted together, are aligned and receive rivets by means of which the three parts are secured to the mounting plate 61. The flange of the plastic cup 64 has a raised part 64 providing a recess 66 and the side wall of the metal cup 62 is provided with an arcuate slot 67 which, when the parts are assembled, is aligned with the recess 66. The part of the cup 64 projecting from the flange is formed with three equiangularly spaced slots 68 and is centrally apertured as shown at 69. The raised part 64' of the flange has two spaced apertures 70, 71.

A metal rivet 72 is fitted in the central aperture 69 in the cup and a movable switch arm 73 pivotally mounted at one end on this rivet 72 extends radially outwards from the recess 66 and projects from the arcuate slot 67. The switch arm 73 (see FIGS. 12 and 13) comprises an arm made of synthetic plastic and is formed with a relatively large aperture 74 and with two smaller circular apertures 75, 76 and carries a metal contact strip 77 shaped as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 and formed with two circular apertures, similar respectively to the two apertures 75, 76, and at one end with a contact pip or indent 78. The arrangement is such that the contact strip 77 is placed against one side of the switch arm 73 and secured thereto by a rivet passing through the aperture 75 and the corresponding aperture in the contact strip 77 which aperture is aligned with the aperture 75, the end of the strip 77 formed with the pip 78 passing through the aperture 74 so as to project on the opposite side of the switch arm 73. The switch arm 73 is pivotally mounted on the rivet 72 by means of the aperture 76 and the corresponding aperture in the contact strip 77. In the on position of the switch the pip 78 on the contact strip makes electrical contact with a hollow metal rivet 79 fitted in the aperture 70 in the raised part 64' of the flange of the plastic cup 64. A second hollow metal rivet 79' similar to the rivet 79 is fitted in the aperture 71- in the part 64 of the plastic cup 64. As will be obvious from FIG. 10 the two rivets 79, 79' are in side by side relationship, but for the sake of clarity in FIG. 1 the two rivets are shown oppositely disposed.

A metal lamp socket 80 for the signal lamp bulb 55 issecured by means of three depending metal tags to the plastic cup 64, the tags being respectively inserted in the three slots 68 and turned over. The arrangement is such that the centre terminal of the lamp bulb 55 bears against, so as ,to be in electrical contact with, the central rivet 72. A contactstrip 81 is secured to the flange of the plastic cup 6 by the hollow metal rivet 79', this contact ,strip 81 being in electrical contact at one end with the metal lamp socket 80 and at the other end with the rivet 79'.

The rivet 79 is connected by a flexible conductor 82 (see FIGS. 3 and 15) to a terminal screw 84 screwed into the contact strip 87 and consequently through the connections above described to the positive pole of the battery. The rivet 79' is connected by a flexible conductor 83 to a terminal screw 85 which is connected by a flexible conductor 86 to the rivet 28 on the negative ring contact 23.

The two terminal screws 84, 85 are screwed into a plastic terminal box 90 secured to the inside of the lid by the positive contact pin 29. The box is made in two parts, namely a body part and a cover therefor, each of said parts being moulded from a synthetic plastic.

When the switch arm 73 is in the on position, the

contact pip 78 is in electrical contact with the hollow rivet 79 and the circuit of the auxiliary lamp 55 is as follows: positive pole of the battery-spring 24-positive contact disc 22-rivet 22'conductor 31terminal screw 84- conductor 82rivet 79-the switch arm-centre rivet '72-lamp 55-lainp shell 80-contact strip 81rivet 79' conductor 83-terrninal screw 85conductor 86 negative contact 23springnegative pole of the battery.

When the switch arm is moved to the o position the pip 78 is in electrical contact with the second metal rivet 79' fitted in the aperture 71 and the lamp socket 80 and the centre terminal of the lamp are then both connected to the positive pole of the battery, and consequently no current flows.

An advantage of the arrangement described is that in both the on and on positions of the switch arm the pip 78 penetrates the end of one or other of the two hollow rivets 79, 79' and is thereby resiliently locked in position in a readily releasable manner.

As shown in the drawings, the lamp bulb 55 is enclosed in a red coloured transparent shade 90 which is screwed on to the rim of the metal cup '62. This shade can be omitted if desired, in which case the lamp bulb may be coloured, for example red or green.

It will be evident that in use the swinging arm 56, 57 carrying the signal lamp 55 can be swung around its pivotal connection with the lid 10 past the carrying handle 12 into any desired angular position within an arc approximating to 180, and that in any such angular position it will not obstruct the hand gripping the carrying handle.

Means are provided for facilitating the fitting of the single unit battery into and withdrawing it from the battery casing. These means comprise i(see FIGS. 3 and 5 a movable front plate or wall 90 fitted inside the casing at the end thereof opposite to the end to which the lamp bracket 13 is attached, and pivotally connected by side links to a back plate 91 riveted to the inside of the end wall of the casing 10, the front plate being thus spaced forwardly from the back plate. The pivotal connection comprises two pairs of side links comprising top and bottom links 92 (FIG. 5) on one side, 92' and two similar links 93 on the other side, only one of the links 93 being shown in FIG. 3. The links of each pair are pivotally connected to top and bottom lugs 94, 94' and 95, 95' (FIG. 5) at the sides of the front and rear plates, the lugs 94, 94' on the front plate 90 extending rearwardly and the lugs 95, 95 on the back plate 91 extending forwardly. The pivotal connections between the two top links 92, 93 of each pair are out of centre. The front plate 90 projects above the top of the rear plate and the projecting part is cut away at the sides to form a tongue 96, the upper part 96' of which is bent over so as to ex- 6 tend rearwardly and form a convenient finger grip for moving the front wall.

The arrangement permits the front plate to be lifited and at the same time swung backwards into the position shown in dotted lines when the battery 11 is to be placed in the casingand afiter the battery has been inserted, the plate 90 isswung downwards and inwards into the full line position so as to come to bear on the end of the battery andholdi it firmly in position in the casing iii.

It will be noticed that by reason of the eccentric disposition of the pivotal connections between the two top links 92, 93 of each pair the front-plate 96 will exert a wedging action on the end of the battery.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. An electric lantern comprising a main casing to receive a supply battery, a main lamp bulb mounted on said main casing and arranged to be supplied from said battery, a carrying handle fixed to and extending along the top of said casing, switch means for controlling the current supply from said battery to said main lamp bulb, said switch means being mounted on said handle, a support for an auxiliary lamp bulb, one end of said support being pivotally mounted on said main casing so as to extend along the top thereof and to swing about an axis transverse to the longitudinal axis of said main casing, an auxiliary lamp bulb mounted on the free end of said support and arranged to be supplied from said battery, and switch means for controlling the current supply to said auxiliary lamp bulb, said switch means for controlling the supply to said auxiliary lamp bulb being carried on said pivotally mounted support and operated independently of said switch means for controlling the current supply to said main lamp bulb.

2. An electric lantern according to claim 1 in which said handle is of inverted U-shape and said support for said auxiliary lamp bulb comprises two side members, and further comprising a pivot pin fixed to and across the top and at one end of said casing, said side members being pivotally mounted at one end on said pivot pin and extending respectively on opposite sides of said carrying handle, a plate extending across and connected tosaid side members at the other end thereof, said plate extending substantially parallel with the end of said battery casing and constituting a mounting plate for the auxiliary lamp bulb.

3. An electric lantern according to claim 1 wherein the switch means for controlling the current supply from said battery to said main lamp bulb comprises a switch casing, movable and fixed contact strips, a push button slidable on the switch easing into any one of three positions comprising an off position and two on positions defined respectively by three transverse depressions on said switch casing, a resilient member fitted in said push button, said resilient member having a projection which can be selectively sprung into and out of engagement with one or other of said depressions, and a press button mounted in an aperture in the switch casing above said movable contact strip, the arrangement being such that in the off position of the push button the press button is not aligned with the movable contact strip, while in a first on position the press button can be depressed to bring the movable contact strip into contact with the fixed contact strip and thereby close the circuit of the main lamp bulb, and in a second on position the push button closes the circuit to provide a steady light beam.

4. An electric lantern according toclaim 1 for use with a supply battery of unitary construction having both poles at one end further comprising means for locating and holding said battery in position in said casing, said means comprising a pivotally mounted frame secured to the end of the casing so as to bear on the end of the battery remote from the polar end thereof, said frame comprising front and back plates, a pair of top and bottom links on each side of said front and back plates and pivotal connections between said links and said front and back plates, the pivotal connections between the two top links and the front plate being eccentrically disposed relatively to the pivotal connections between the two top links and the back plate whereby the front plate can be swung outwardly to permit the battery to be fitted in said main casing and subsequently swung inwardly to exert a wedging action on said battery when the latter is fitted in said main casing.

5. An electric lantern according to claim 1 in which the switch means for controlling the current supply to said auxiliary lamp bulb comprises a movable switch member and two fixed contacts co-operating with said movable switch member, and further comprising means for permanently connecting said two fixed switch contacts to the positive and negative poles of said supply battery, said means comprising a plastic terminal box, two terminals fixed in said box, flexible conductor means connecting one of said terminals to one of said fixed switch contacts and to the positive pole of the battery, and flexible conductor means connecting the other of said terminals to the other of said fixed switch contacts and to the negative pole of the battery.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3441730 *Jun 28, 1967Apr 29, 1969Union Carbide CorpPortable rechargeable lighting device
US5671999 *Aug 8, 1996Sep 30, 1997Tbi Concepts, L.L.C.Flashing identification light adaptor system for flashlight
US5909952 *Apr 17, 1997Jun 8, 1999Tbi Concepts, L.L.C.Flashing indentification light adaptor system for flashlight
US7059744 *Nov 7, 2003Jun 13, 2006Streamlight, Inc.Flashlight having back light elements
US7481551Jun 12, 2006Jan 27, 2009Streamlight, Inc.Flashlight having back light elements
US7549770Sep 26, 2006Jun 23, 2009Koehler-Bright Star, Inc.Module for a flashlight or lantern
US7819546 *Mar 24, 2008Oct 26, 2010Karen KazmerowskiAdjustable flashlight and associated method
WO1998006974A1 *May 29, 1997Feb 19, 1998Tbi Concepts L L CFlashing identification light adaptor system for flashlight
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/184, D26/50
International ClassificationF21L4/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V23/0414, F21L4/00
European ClassificationF21L4/00, F21V23/04L