US 3045111 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 17, 1962 s. J. HOENIG BALLPOINT PEN-LIGHT Filed March 13, 1958 INVENTOR, fofvsy J MDE/W6 @Trae/Vey.
BY d/ t United States arent4 3,045,111 Y Patented Julyl?, 1962 This invention relates to a pen construction and parlticularly to a ball-point pen construction, having selfcontained electrical illuminating means, and means whereby, when the tip of the ball-point pen is extended into writing position, beams of light are directed onto a writing surface and concentrated in an area around the tip of the pen onto the writing surface so that the user may write with -this pen in the dark without disturbing persons who may be in an area adjacent to the user of the pen.
On occasion, it is found necessary to write or take notes when suiiicient light is not available to see the paper and the writing thereon. In some occupations, writing in the dark is necessary in connection with the work. In connection ywith demonstrations or lectures by means of slides or motion pictures, such as in particular, medical lectures, the room is completely darkened, and if it isdesired that the hearer take notes, there would bea great-advantage in having a pen which would light up rthe immediate area around the pen but .not throw a beam of light which would disturb other persons during the showing of the slides or lilms. There are many other occasions when it would be helpful to have available such a pen containing Ias an integral part thereof, illuminating means. On such occasions, the use of a separate flashlight is cumbersome. I am aware that in the past various eiforts have been made to provide illuminated writing instrum-ents, but due to their complicated construction and diiculty in use, they have not become commercially successful.
'Ihe general object of this invention is to provide a compact and simple pen construction having a minimum of parts which can be used in the same manner as an ordinary ball-point pen and wherein the writing end is illuminated in order to yfacilitate writing in the dark by directing the light rays onto the paper in an area concentrated around the writing endof the pen.
A further object of this invention is to provide a pen including a light-transmitting tip member having disposed therethrough the ball-point writing cartridge, and means whereby said writing cartridge may be retained in retracted non-writing position or extended to remain in writing position and at the same time, .making electrical contact to actuate the light source.
- It is a further object of the invention to provide a ball- 0 point pen including a hollow.tubular casing having an illuminating source therein, -a light-transmitting tip member and a light-transmitting bulb lens receiving connector disposed between the light source and the tip member,
, tridge tip from the casing by manually depressing a button and to provide means tor minimizing the spread of 65 rays of light laterally of the casing but directing light parallel to the center line of the casing to illuminate the region immediately surrounding the ball-point tip to facilitate writing in darkness.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a pen wherein an electric light is arranged internally thereof so Vthat on extension of the ball-point tip the pen can be used in the dark, the pen being serviceable to persons who are required to write in darkness, the extension of the ball-point tip and the closing of the light circuit being accomplished by depressing a manually controlled buttonon the rear of the pen.
Another object of this invention is the provision of pen of this character which is small in size, simple in construction, thoroughly reliable and eicient in operation, strong, durable and inexpensive to manufacture,
10 and which uses a standard small size battery, a standard miniature bulb, and in which the writing cartridge is replaceab'le. Y
In the accompanying drawings, I have illustrated by way of example, but not by way of limitation, a specific l5 embodiment of my invention.
In such drawings,
FIG. l is an enlarged -longitudinal sectional View with the writing cartridge in retracted or non-writing position, with the central electrode of the -battery and the center contact of the bulb out of engagement;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view with the writing cartridge in extended or writing position, ready for use and the center electrode of the battery and the center contact of the bulb in contact so vthat illumination is provided;
PIG. 3 is a substantially enlarged Ifragmentary view partly in cross-section along the direction of the arrows in FIG. 2, showing a portion of the hollow tubular casing, a portion of the lamp, particularly the lens portion, and the light-transmitting connector member between 30 the lamp and the writing cartridge; and
FIG. 4 is a greatly enlarged sectional proiile of the lighttransmittingtip `o-f the pen, showing the circular grooves. Referring more particularly to the drawings, in which v similar reference characters identify similar parts in the D several views, Vthe pen comprises a hollow tubular casing` 5, which is open at both ends. The casing 5 is formed of suitable materials, such a-s aluminum or other metals, or plastic. I have found that the casing 5 maybe made of a size which maybe conveniently carried in the pocket, lits comfortably in the hand for use as a writing instrument sand which will take a standard size small battery. Thus, I may form .the casing lof aluminum, for example, with a length of 3% and an outside diameter of 7/16. Using a casing 5 of the'size described, the casingmay take a D standard #912 Eveready battery, which is 57s in diameter, and 1%"` in length. vThe casing 5 has internalv threads 6 formed in the top section thereof to receive a cap `or closure, generally designated as 7. The casing 5 has internal -threads 8 formed in the lower section thereof to receive a light-.transmittingfrusto-conical rtip member, generally designated as 9. It will be seen that the casing 5, cap, 7 and tip member 9 together form Ia barrel. light-transmitting tip member 9 may be constructed of any transparent or translucent light-transmitting material. I lprefer to use a .transparent plastic, such as ,Lucite.but
any Iother suitable light-transmitting material may 'be used. l
The upper portion of the light-transmitting tip member 9 is provided with external threads 10y in a `reduced portion of lthe `upper section thereof. The light-transmitting tip member 9 isthreadedly connected to the casing 5 by means of its threads 10 engaging the threads 8 of the casing 5 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 yand 2. The tip member 9 has an .axial bore 1-1 through which .the ball-point writing cartridge 1l2 may be extended (or withdrawn through the tip member 9. The tip member 9 is counterbored to form an upper cylindrical recess 13 within the tip member 9 to receive the writing cartridge 12 and the 70 coil spring 14, the coil :spring 14 being a conventional part of a ball-point pen assembly.
rAn axial bore 15of reduced size is provided in the front The Jv section of the light-transmitting tip member 9 to receive the cylindrical shaft 10 containing the ball-point tip of the writing cartridge 12. Annular grooves 17 are formed or cut into the light-transmitting tip member 9 as will be explained below, to direct the rays of the light source downwardly onto the writing surface. A ferrule 18 is disposed between the casing 5 and the shoulder 19 formed by the reduced section inthe upper portion of the lighttransmitting tip member 9. For ornamental purposes, the ferrule 18 may be provided with threads, as shown.
The ball-point writing cartridge, generally designated as 12, is slidable axially within the axial bore 11 of the light-transmitting tip member 9. The writing cartridge is of conventional construction and includes a tip portion 16 containing the ball-point. The cylindrical shaft 16 of the tip portion `of the writing cartridge 12 has `an annular flange 20 which limits the outward movement of the writing cartridge 12 from the tip member 9 by contact of the annular ilange 20 with the shoulder 21 at the bottom portion of the axial bore 11. The ball-point cartridge 12 has the conventional crimp 22 formed therein.
The conventional coil spring 14, part of a conventional ball-point assembly, is positioned between the crimp 22 of the writing cartridge 12, the lower portion of the spring 14 resting within the upper cylindrical recess 13 of the tip member 9. As shown most clearly in FIG. 3, the ballpoint writing cartridge `12 has an upper tubular opening 23 adapted to receive the downwardly depending tip portion 24 of the light-transmitting connector member 25. The light-transmitting connector member, generally designated as 25, may be constructed of transparent or translucent light-transmitting material, such as for example, a xtransparent plastic, such as Lucite or other suitable lighttransmitting material.
The downwardly depending -tip member 24 of the connector member 25 is adapted to slidably t into the opening 23 in the writing cartridge 12. Thus, the connector member 25 may be removed when the writing cartridge l2 has had its ink supply exhausted and a new writing cartridge 12 may be inserted into the pen assembly and the connector member 25 inserted into the opening 23 of the new writing cartridge 12. The connector member '25 has a cup-shaped recess 26 adapted to receive the lens portion or tip 27 of the lamp bulb 28.
Annular grooves 29 are formed or cut into the light-` transmitting connector 25 to direct the rays of the light source downwardly towards ,the writing surface. When the lamp 28 is illuminated, rays from the bulb 28 will be directed through the circular grooves 29 in the connector member 25 and also through the circular grooves 17 in the light-transmitting tip member 9 `to the surface of the paper. The lamp bulb 28 positioned within the casing 5 may be a standard #112 size General Electric miniature bulb `or any standard small bulb of suitable size. As noted above, the front lens portion 27 of the bulb 2S is adapted to t into the cup-shaped depression 26 of the light-transmitting connector member 25. Thus, the lamp 28 is detachably engageable within the cup 26 of connector 25, which connector 25 in turn is removably attached to the writing cartridge 12.
The lamp bulb` 28 has a conventional base 30 adapted to be contacted by the coil spring 31. The bulb 28 has an upwardly presented center electrical terminal Contact 32. The coil spring 31 within the casing 5 is positioned between the battery 33 and the bulb 28 and bears against the battery 33, normally urging the battery 33 upwards, the spring 31 being in electrical contact with the downwardly presented cylindrical pole 34 of the battery 33. Thus, I may have my casing 5 be of plastic, rather than a conducting material such as metal. It is understood, of course, that I could complete the circuit from the cylindrical pole 34 of the battery 32 to the lamp base 30 in other ways rather than having the spring 31 contact the cylindrical pole 34 of the battery 32.
The battery 33 which is mounted in the casing 5, is
a standard type miniature dry cell providing an electrical source of current for the bulb 28. I have found that I may use a standard #912 Eveready battery which is 3%3 in diameter and 1% in length. Such a standard battery is also manufactured by other dry cell battery manufacturers under different numbers and trade names. The battery 33 has a downwardly presented center electrical contact or electrode 35 which constitutes a pole adapted for electrical connection with the conventional central contact 32 carried by the lamp 28. As noted above, the second electrical contact for the battery is the cylindrical contact or electrode 34. The battery 33 has a rear face 36 adapted to be contacted by the button 37, which button 3'7 is slidably positioned within the cap 7.
The cap l7 has external threads 38 formed on the lower portion thereof, which threads 38 are adapted to threadedly engage the internal threads 6 at the top of the tubular casing 5. The cap 7 is provided with an axial bore 39 which is adapted to slidably receive the button 37. The cap 7 is provided with an internal annular shoulder portion 40 which is adapted to retain the button 37 in fixed position when the button 37 is manually depressed and moved laterally. The button 37 is provided with an annular groove 41 which is adapted to t into the shoulder 4i) of the cap 7 when the button 37 is depressed manually and moved over slightly in a lateral direction by the ringer until the groove 41 fits into the shoulder 40, as shown in FIG. 2, locking the button 37 in the downward position.
The button 37 is provided with a transverse portion or ange 42 which is adapted to contact the rear face 36 of the battery 33. It will be apparent that under the action of the ball-point coil spring 14 moving normally to urge the connector member 25 upwardly by its action against the crimp 22 and the action of the coil spring 31 acting against the battery 33, that, as shown in FIG. l, the button 37 is normally in the position shown in FIG. l, the ball-point tip 16 is in retracted non-writing position and the center contact 32 of the bulb 28 is out of electrical connection with the center contact 35 of the battery 33. Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, the ball-point is retracted and the light is not on. However, as shown in FIG. 2, when the button 37 is depressed, the ball-point tip 16 is extended and contact is made between the center electrical contact 32 of the bulb 28 and the center electrical contact of the battery 33, lighting the bulb 28.
A clip 43 is provided so the pen may be carried in the pocket. The clip 43 includes a circular band 44 adapted to tit over a reduced section of the cap 7 and above the upper extremity of the hollow tubular casing 5. There are other constructions which may be used in providing the pen with a clip for carrying the pen in the pocket without departing from the spirit of my invention.
Although, if desired, I may provide that the light source may .be energized by a suitable switch (not shown), as for example, in the case of a non-retractable ball-point pen, a particular feature of the embodiment of my invention illustrated resides in the provision of circuit closing means operable automatically upon extension of the ball-point writing cartridge 12. To accomplish this, the battery 33 is slidably mounted within the casing S so that it is carried into circuit closing position with respect to the bulb 28 by the downward motion of the button 37 by the action of the transverse ange 42 acting against the rear face 36 of the battery 33 when the button 37 is manually depressed to extend the4 writing cartridge 12. The outward movement of the writing cartridge 12 is limited by the contact of the annular flange 20 of the tip member 16 of the writing cartridge 12 which engages the shoulder 21 in the axial bore 11 of the tip member 9. The base 30 of the bulb 28 is slidably positioned within the casing 5` and contacts one end of the coil spring 31, the coil spring 31 being interposed between the bulb 28 and the front face of the battery 33, thus normally spacing the contacts 32 and 35 of the bulb and the battery respectively out of electricalcontact. As shown in FIG. 2, these contacts 32 and 35 are closed upon downward movement of the button 37 and the bulb 28 is lit.
In the construction illustrated, the circuit is closed when the center electrode 35 touches the center electrical contact 32 of the bulb 28. If desired, I may use a metal casing 5, which is conductive, and the circuit may thus include the button 37 bearing against the rear face 36 of the battery 33 thus contacting the cylindrical electrode 34 and the cap 7 which contacts the casing 5, with the spring 31 also contacting the casing 5. Thus, in such construction, when contacts 32 of the bulb 28 and contact 35 of the Ibattery 33 are brought into contact the circuit is closed through the spring 31 to the casing 5 and through the casing to the button 37 and through the transverse flange 42 `of the button 37 to the second pole 34 of the battery 33. There are other constructions which may be used to provide a circuit for lighting the illuminating means without departing from the spirit of my invention.
The length and strength of the springs 14 and 31 are so selected that ltogether they will operate in the manner described herein. /The spring 31 serves several purposes. In the non-writing, retracted position, as shown in FIG. l, the spring 31 normally separates the center electrical contact 32 of the bulb 28 from the center electrode 35 of the battery 33` by normally urging the battery 33 upwardly and at the same time the spring 31 provides contact between the vbase 30 of the bulb 28 and the tubular 37, under tension from the springs 14 and 31 remains l the up position normally, as shown in FIG. 1.
When the button 317 is manually depressed and the downwards, the crimp 22 bearing against the spring coil 14 and compressing the spring coil 14, the tip 16 of the writing cartridge 12 being extended through the tip member 9 into writing position, as shown in FIG. 2.. The spring 14, thus being under compression, acts to maintain the center Contact 32 of the bulb: 28 and the center electrode 35 of the battery 33- in electrical connection overcoming the opposite tension of the spring 31.
'When the button 37, which has been moved to the locking position, is moved slightly sideways or laterally towards its center position, the groove 41 is disengaged from the annular shoulder of the cap 7 and the parts assume the position shown in FIG. l, underl action of the springs 14 and 31, the circuit becomes broken and the light goes out.
I have discovered that a ball-point pen constructed in accordance with my invention will throw a beam of light which is concentrated in the area around the point of contact of the peu with the writing surface and does not disturb other persons seated in an area adjacent to the user within a completely dark room. The annular grooves 29 in the connector member 25 present a series of lens faces which accept the light source and in the manner of a lens action direct the rays of light in a an area adjacent to the tip member 16 of the writing cartridge 12. A mild diffused light (consisting of nondirected beams) passes through the side Walls of the tip member 9, which light is not of sucient intensity to disturb other persons in a darkened room. The angle of the lens faces of the annular grooves 29 and 17, respec-v tively, may be varied relative to the center line of the pen in order to expand or contract the area in which the beam of. light is concentrated. I prefer, however, to have the annular grooves 29 in the connector member 25 to be substantially L-shaped and thus present a series of lens faces substantially perpendicular to the center line of the pen. I also prefer that the annular grooves 17 of the tip member 9 have faces which are at a small angle away from the perpendicular to the centerline, as shown in FIG. 4 so that the rays of light take the direction indicated by the arrows in such ligure.
As is well known in the art, the writing cartridge 12 is provided with an airvent (not shown) to enable the ink to feed to the ball of the ball-point. I may provide air means (not shown) leading to the writing cartridge 12 by providing a suitable air passage, or groove, in the tip 24 of connector member 25.
While I have disclosed a particular construction for the extension and retraction of the writing cartridge 12 consisting of a button mechanism, it is apparent that other means for extending or withdrawing the writing cartridge 12 may be used without departing from the spirit of my invention.
A pen constructed in accordance with my invention is easy to manufacture and assemble, simple to operate, `efticient and particularly compact and convenient for use. The bulb 28 and the battery 33 are of standard sizes and may be readily replaced if worn out. If the ball-point cartridge 12 becomes dry it is easy to replace the cartridge 12 by merely removing the same and replacing it with a new cartridge 12, i.e., the connector member 25 is slid out from the opening 23 of the used up cartridge 12 and reinserted into the new cartridge and replaced within the pen assembly.
While I have described a particular embodiment of my inventive structure, it is obvious that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. A combination flashlight and ball-point pen comprising a barrel having a pen vand ink cartridge, an electric lamp and Ia dry cell battery positioned in tandem therein, said cartridge having a ball-point terminating one end thereof, the lower portion of the barrel having light transmitting properties and an end opening in which said ballpoint is retractably mounted, a first compression spring acting between a lower portion of said barrel andsaid cartridge to urge the latter into a normal ball-point retracted position, a second compression springacting between said eleotric lamp and dry cell battery to m-aintain a normally open circuit, said first and second springs maintaining said cartridge sand electric lamp in engagement in said tandem relation for axial movement in unison within said barrel, and means within an upper portion of said barrel for moving said battery, electric lamp and cartridge downwardly toward said open end to eject said ball-point Vto a writing position and to close said circuit.
2. A combination llashlight and ball-'point pen, `cornprising fa barrel having a pen land ink cartridge, an electric lamp and a dry :cell battery positioned in tan-dem therein, said cartridge having `a ball-point terminating one end thereof, the lower end of the barrel having light trans- ,k
mitting properties :and an end opening in which said ballpoint is retractably mounted, a light-transmitting connector member interconnecting said cartridge and said lamp, a rst compression spring acting between a lower portion of said barrel and said cartridge to urge the latter into a normal ball point retracted position, a second compres` sion spring acting between said electric lamp and dry cell battery to maintain a normally open circuit, said first `and second springs maintaining said cartridge and electric lamp in engagement in said tandem relation for axial movement in unison within said bar-rel, and `means within an upper portion of said barrel for moving said battery, electric lamp and cartridge downwardly toward said open end to eject said ball-point to a writing position and to close said circuit.
3. A combination ashlight `and ball-point pen in accordance with claim 2, said lower end of the barrel and said connector member each having an outer surface formed with a plurality of annular grooves adapted to direct light rays from said electric lamp, and to concentrate said light rays in an area adjacent said lower end opening of ysaid barrel.
4. A combination ashlight and ball-point pen, cornprising a barrel having `a pen and ink cartridge, an electric lamp :and a dry cell battery positioned in tandem therein, said cartridge having a ball-point terminating one endthereof and a tubular opening at the other end thereof, the lower end of the barrel having light transmitting properties `and an end opening in which said ballpoint is retractably mounted, a light-transmitting connector member having an upper cup-shaped recess receiving a portion of said electric lamp and a lower tip portion inserted in said tubular opening, a first compression spring acting between a lower portion of said barrel and said cartridge to urge the latter into a normal ballpoint retracted position, a second compression spring acting between said electric lamp and dry cell battery t0 maintain ya normally-open circuit, said iirst :and second springs maintaining said cartridge and electric lamp in engagement in said tandem relation for axial movement in unison within said barrel, and means within `an upper portion of said barrel for moving said battery, electric lamp and cartridge downwardly toward said open end to eject said ball-point to a writing position and to close said circuit.
5. A combination ashlight and ball-point pen comprising a barrel having a pen and ink cartridge, an electric lamp and a dry cell battery positioned in tandem therein, said cartridge having a ball-point terminating one end thereof, said barrel Iat its lower end having a frusto-coni cal light-transmitting tip member, said tip member providing `an axial bore and a counterbore at the upper end of said axial bore, said cartridge being slidable in said bore and counterbore and having yan upper portion formed with a crimp, a first compression spring having one end positioned in said counterbore and an opposite end acting against said crimp to urge said cartridge into a normal ball-point retracted position, a second compression spring acting between said electric lamp and dry cell battery to maintain a normally open circuit, said rst and second springs maintaining said cartridge and electric lamp in engagement in said tandem relation for axial movement in unison within said barrel, `and means within an upper portion of said barrel for moving said battery, electric lamp and cartridge downwardly toward said open end to eject said ball-point to a writing position and to close said circuit.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,919,024 Abbotts July 18, 1933 2,273,360 Kidder Feb. 17, 1942 2,783,711 Vance Mar. 5, 1957 2,811,632 Bartlett Oct. 29, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,040,172 France May 20, 1953