US 3076891 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 5, 1963 FIG.|
A. H. MOORE NEW PLASTIC FLASHLIGHT HEAD Fi 1ed Ma.y 51, 1960 INVENTOR ARTHUR H. MOORE BY 371%! d hm d 2% ATTORNE S United States Patent @iiicc 3,676,891 NEW PLASTlC FLASHLTGHT HEAD Arthur H. Moore, Fairiield, Conn, assignor to The Bridgeport Metal Goods Mfg. Co., Bridgeport, onn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed May 31, 19nd, Ser. No. 32,861 3 Claims. (Cl. Mil-40.66)
This invention relates generally to improvements in ashlights and more specifically to a flashlight head wherein novel means are provided for mounting the flashlight bulb and its associated lens.
According to one aspect of the invention, a flashlight headis provided comprising a reflector body and a tubular bulb receiving enclosure extending rearwardly therefrom. The tubular enclosure has an internal shoulder adjacent the reflector body which accommodates, seating of the base flange of the bulb While permitting the filament portions thereof to be located within the reflector body. The wall of the tubular enclosure has a longitudinal slit or opening through which the end of a switch contact member may extend, The contact member is movable axially by a switch button against the metal sh nk of the bulb and its base flange to complete an electrical circuitthrough the bulb filament. Additionally, the pressure exerted by the contact member locks the bulb ange against the shoulder whenever the switch button has been placed in the switch on position.
Advantageously, the switch button and contact member are mounted in the flashlight head. The latter is separable from the casing to permit removal and replacement of the bulb when necessary. Before separating the flashlight head from the casing, the bulb may be locked in place by the switch button to prevent inadvertent removal of the bulb as the separate units come apart. The bulb may be released by moving the switch button to its alternate position.
As a further aspect of the invention, a spring is pro vided between the battery and the contact button of the bulb. It has been found that this is a more secure method of protecting the bulb against shock than arrangements wherein the top battery in the flashlight casing i placed directly against the base of the bulb. In the arrangement provided by the present invention, no spring is required between the bottom battery and the base of the flashlight casing. Moreover, the tubular bulb enclosure which extends rearwardly from the reflector body permits the base of the bulb to be recessed therein. Thus, during an extremely severe shock, even if the batteries were to compress the interposing spring, they would still be prevented from making direct contact with the base of the bulb.
Advantageously, the flashlight head will be formed of resilient plastic material and the tubular bulb enclosure made an integral part thereof. The reflector portion of the head will be coated to form a reflecting surface and immediately adjacent the outside edge of the surface, a shoulder will be provided for mounting the flashlight lens. The head will have a protective rim which will include at least two opposed ribs. The ribs permit the lens to be pressed against the shoulder, whereupon they snap over the outer surface of the lens to hold it securely in place.
These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent upon a more detailed examination of the following description and of the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a flashlight partially in cross-section showing specific details of the bulb mounting, the switch being in the switch oflf position;
FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1, the switch mechanism having been illustrated in the switch on position, and
FIG. 3 is a view taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the figures, reference numeral i esignates a flashlight including a casing ii and a flashlight head 12. Casing Ill, which may be constructed of sheet metal, serves to hold a pair of batteries 13, i l in end to end relationship. The casing 131 is cylindrical having a flat base 16 adapted to contact the lower battery 34 and having an opening at its upper end which has been provided with threads 17. Thus, the casing it presents a sheer-Walled container for the batteries without the conventional base cap or switch button normally provided in flashlights of standard design. The flashlight head has an internally threaded open end 3.3 in order to secure the head and casing together in the position shown.
The major part of the flashlight head 12 may be conveniently molded out of plastic to include a reflector body 19 having a generally concave reflecting surface 1%. A tubular enclosure 2% molded integrally therewith is adapted to receive a flashlight bulb 21 when inserted therein. As is conventional, the bulb has an incandescent portion Zia, a metal shank or body 215 and an intermediate base flange 22. The base flange 22 of the bulb will be seated against a shoulder 23 formed in the tubular wall of the enclosure 2E thereby permitting the incandescent portion Zia of the bulb to protrude forwardly beyond the enclosure 29 to a position where light energy therefrom will be reflected from the surface 19'. The bulb 22 is pressed resiliently against the shoulder 23 by a spring 24 which lies intermediate a metal cup 25, the spring and cup serving to provide an electrical connection between the batteries l3, l4 and the base terminal or button 25 of the bulb. The cup 26 is provided with a series of radial protrusions or bumps 26a which grip the outer surface of the tubular walled enclosure 2? A switch button 27 is mounted for slidable axial movement in the flashlight head 12. A switch contact member 29 is secured to the button 27 by a rivet 28 for movement therewith. Member 29 may be conveniently stamped from flat sprin material and makes contact at with the forward end of the metal flashlight casing ll, The contact member 29 has a rounded portion 31 and a radially inwardly removed contact end 33, the latter being permitted passage through the tubular wall of the enclosure 2% by means of a longitudinal slit or opening 2G therein. When the switch button 27 is pushed upward, as will be seen by reference to FIG. 2, the rounded portion 31 of the contact member 93 is forced against an inclined cam surface 32 formed in the flashlight head 12. By reaction against the surface 3-2, the radially inwardly removed contact end 33 of the member 2Q will be brought against the metal shank of the bulb 2i and the base flange thereof, thus completing an electrical circuit from the batteries 13, through the button 25' and the bulb filament to the metal casing 11. While in the on position the contact end 33 will also assist the spring in holding the bulb 2i securely in place and will lock the bulb against the annular shoulder 23. This has the two-fold advantage of retaining the bulb more positively when the flashlight has been switched on, thus tending to eliminate undesirable flickering which play between the contacts might otherwise permit. Also, when the flashlight head 1?. is removed from the casing ii, if the button is first moved to the switch on position, the bulb will be prevented from inadvertently being released from its position in the reflector head. Release of the bulb may then be obtained by moving the switch button 2'7 to the switch off position thereby removing the pressure by the contact mern er against the bulb. As a further aspect of the invention, the reflector head is provided with a lens 35 which may be easily snapped into place within a protective rim 37 or which may be removed easily if the need should arise. Accordingly, the interior of the protective rim 37 has been provided with several integraily molded piastic ribs 38 (a minimum of two are requfed) wl b. are diametrically opposed and have an inside dimension between opposed ribs slightly srnailer than the dis. actor of the lens 36. The head 12 has also been formed with an annular shoulder 3' against which the lens 36 may be seated when sufficient inward pressure has been exerted to force the lens past the ribs When the lens has been pressed firmly against the shoulder 39, the inner edges of the ribs 38 will snap over the outer surface of the lens, thus retaining it securely in position. Removal of the lens is accomplished by pushing outward from within the reflector body against the reflector body against the lens inner surface.
it desired, the flashlight head may be equipped with a lens snap-in arrangement comprising an annular undercut lip defining a shoulder against which the lens may seat when snapped beneath the lip. Of course, the generaily rectangular appearance of the head in end-view is purely arbitrary.
it will be understood that the foregoing description pertains to a preferred embodiment and is merely representative. Various changes may be made therefrom without departing from the teaching of the invention. Accordingly, to more fully appreciate the spirit and scope of the invention, reference shouid be made to the ap- L ended claims, in which I claim:
1. A fiasnli' ht head adapted for use with and for sop arable attachment to a casing containing at least one battery and for use with a flasliligl'it bulb having an upper incandescent portion, a metal body, base terminal and an annular flange connected to said body intermediate the incandescent and body portions, said flange and body comprising a second terminal; said flashlight head comprising a generally concave reflector body, a hollow tubular member extending rearwardly from said reflector body, said tubular member defining an internal rearward shoulder to receive the flange of said bulb when the latter is inserted Within said tubuiar member, said reflector body defining an opening permitting the incandescent portion of the bulb to extend forwardly eyond said tubular member such that light from the bulb may be reflected from said body, resilient means bearing against the base terminal of said bulb and against a first terminal of said battery to urge said bulb flange against said shoulder, said resilient means establishing electrical contact between the base terminal and said first terminal of said battery, said casing establishing electrical contact with a second terminal of said battery of opposite polarity to said first terminal, switch means carried by said flashlight head and separable therewith from said casing, said switch means including a movable resilient contact member making electrical contact with said casing and said second battery terminal, said contact member including an intermediate portion and an end contact portion, said tubular member having a radial opening therein for the reception of said end portion, said reflector body defining cam surface means adiacent to said intermediate portion and cooperatively engaging said intermediate portion upon axial movement of the contact member, said movement of the intermediate portion of said contact member against said cam surface means effecting generally radial movement of the end portion of the contact member against the body of the bulb to establish an electrical connection therethrough and to lock said bulb flange against the shoulder Within the tubular member.
2A flashlight head according to claim 1 in which the tubular member extends rearwardiy beyond the base terminal of the bulb for a distance to prevent direct contact between the base of the bulb and the first terminal of the flashlight battery.
3. A flashlight head according to claim 2 in which the reflector body and tubular member are all constructed of non-conducting molded plastic, the surface portions of the reflector body being coated with a reflecting surface, said reflector body having an annular shoulder formed about the outer edge of said reflector body to receive and seat a lens, at least two spaced radially inward projections formed into the wall of said reflector body immediately above said shoulder, said protrusions being inclined inwardly and downwardly toward said shoulder and being resiliently deformable to permit the snapping of said lens under said. protrusions and against said shoulder,
- whereupon said protrusions extend above said lens to retain said lens against said shoulder.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Canada Sept. 11, 1956