US 3225982 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 28, 1965 c. M. MELTON ADJUSTABLE AND PORTABLE FLASHLIGHT Filed March 11, 1964 INVENTOR. CA I? L. M, ME LTD/U H 'ITOR/UE YS' United States Patent 3,225,?82 ADJUSTABLE AND PGRTABLE FLASHLIGHT Carl M. Melton, 3183 Deisa Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah Filed Mar. 11, 1964, Ser. No. 351,036 7 Claims. (Cl. 224-) This invention relates generally to portable lamps and more particularly to a portable flashlight which is adapted to be carried by a person in a way which leaves the hands free.
Portable lamps, flashlights and the like have been in general use in hospitals, garages and other places where a light and particularly a battery operated light is needed. For example, a nurse making room calls at night to check upon the patients ordinarily carries a flashlight in one hand and often finds it necessary to perform other duties with the remaining hand. In an attempt to free both hands, she may try to hold the flashlight under her chin or arm or support it upon or between other objects so as to direct the light upon the area in which she is working. At best, this mode of operation is unsatisfactory because the light is not securely held and is difflcult to control the direction of the light while supporting it beneath ones chin or upon a night table. Mechanics and other workmen have the same problems when they are trying to work with their hands while supporting a light under their arm or in some other manner.
It is an object, therefore, of the present invention to provide a portable lamp or flashlight which is of such construction that it may be supported upon the person of the user in a manner which completely frees the hands for other purposes.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a flashlight with means whereby the flashlight may be adjustably supported about the neck of the user.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a portable flashlight with a neckstrap and universal adjusting means whereby the light may be selectively directed in any one of a multitude of directions.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a combination flashlight and neckstrap mounting means for the flashlight whereby the flashlight may be suspended from the neck of the user and further to provide adjustable and removable mounting means whereby the direction of the light may be precisely adjusted and the light, when desired, removed from the supporting neckstrap.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable and adjustable flashlight characterized by its structural simplicity, the ease and assembly of its parts, its strong and sturdy nature and its low manufacturing cost. Other features of this invention reside in the arrangement and design of the parts for carrying out their appropriate functions. Further, objects of the present invention and certain practical advantages will be referred to in or will be evident from the following descriptions of two embodiments of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view showing the present device suspended about the neck of a nurse in an operational position which permits the nurse to use both hands while the light is directed upon the working area.
FIGURE 2 is a front elevational View showing the flashlight and neckstrap.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary side view of the present device showing the flashlight secured to the neckstrap by adjustable means.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the plane of line 44 of FIGURE 2 showing the structural details of the present device;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary view taken from the rear of the support member.
FIGURE 6 is an exploded view of the parts comprising the support member shown in FIGURES 2, 4 and 5.
FIGURE 7 is another embodiment of the present invention showing alternate means for securing the flashlight to the neckstrap; and
FIGURE 8 is still another embodiment of the present invention showing an alternate means for securing the flashlight to the neckstrap.
Before describing in detail the herein disclosed embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the structural details or the particular arrangement of parts herein shown, as devices embodying the present invention may take other forms. It also is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology herein used are for purposes of description and not of limitation, as the scope of the present invention is denoted by the appended claims.
Referring now to the drawings, in FIGURE 2 is shown a flashlight 10 secured to a neckstrap 11 suitable adjustable means hereinafter described. The neckstrap is seen to comprise two arm portions which are somewhat rigid, namely, 12 and 13. These arms 12 and 13 are provided at their distal ends with suitable cooperating securing means such as snap fasteners 12a and 13a which receive and secure the ends of a flexible neckstrap member 15. The other extremities of the members 12 and 13 are seen to join in an enlarged support member 16 which has suflicient bearing surface to support the weight of the flashlight by distributing it over a larger area and thereby avoid a concentrated spot pressure upon the chest of the wearer.
Means are provided to adjustably secure the flashlight 10 to the enlarged support member 16. As seen in FIG- URE 4 the novel adjustable means take the form of a ball and socket arrangement. A ball 17 is secured to the bearing plate member 16 by any suitable means such as screw 18. A socket 119 is secured to the flashlight in a like manner by means of screw 20. Preferably, the ball 17 is magnetized so that the socket 19 may be moved to any desired position and held in said selected position by magnetic force.
It will be further understood that while the end of the flashlight is shown secured to the socket, this is merely for illustration purposes and alternatively it may be secured through its side wall or any other desired portion. However, it has been found that it is easier to adapt the average flashlight to the present construction by merely removing the end cap and drilling the required aperture to receive the screw 20. It is somewhat more diflicult to secure the screw in the side wall of the flashlight in view of the limited space within a flashlight. It will be further understood that the ball 17 could be attached to the flashlight and the socket 19 secured to the neckstrap.
Preferably, but not necessarily, the ball 17 and socket 19 of the embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4 are provided with extension portions 17a and 1% which add additional spacing between the end of the flashlight and the plate 16 to permit freer movement of the ball and socket thereby allowing greater adjustment of the flashlight 10. As seen in FIGURE 3 the flashlight is capable of a high degree of adjustment in view of the universal connection provided by the magnetized ball and socket joint.
Referring now to FIGURES 2, 4, 5 and 6 it will be seen that the support member 16 is preferably constructed of two cooperating sections namely 22 and 23. Each section has a circumferential extent somewhat less than The two members have recessed center portions 22a and 23a respectively as seen in FIGURE 6 which are adapted to overlie each other and are pivotally secured together by means of screw 18. Each portion 22 and Z3 is provided with additional recess portions 22b and 23b respectively which extends radially outwardly from the recessed portions 22a and 23a and these portions 22b and 23b are also adapted to overlie each other when the device is in the open position shown in FIGUREZ. Suitable cooperating snap members 24 and 25 are provided in the recess portions 221) and 2312 respectively to lock the members 22 and 23 in the position shown in full lines in FIGURE 2 which is the neck engaging position. For storage and transportation purposes the snap fasteners 24 and 25 may be opened and the members 22 and 23 pivoted about the axis of the screw 28 into the position wherein the edges 26 and 27 abut each other as seen in the dotted line position 01 FIGURE 2 wherein the strap members 12 and 13 are disposed closely adjacent to one another and therefore may be more readily carried or stored.
In FIGURE 7 there is shown another embodiment of the present invention wherein a threaded member 39 is secured to the support members 16 by screw 18 or other suitable means. A socket 32 is provided which is adapted to engage the threaded portion 30 at one end and at the other end thereof end portions converge to define a chamber therein which is adapted to receive a ball 34- Which is connected to a light 10 by any suitable means. The forward end of the threaded member 30 may be provided with a concave recess to receive a portion of the ball 34. With this structure it will be seen that by tightening the socket portion 32 upon threaded member 30 additional friction can be brought to bear upon the outer surface of the ball 34 and thereby retain the light in any position of adjustment.
In FIGURE 8, I have shown another embodiment of the present invention wherein I have provided a U-shaped clamp which is secured by means of a screw 42 to the ball and socket 44 which is secured by any suitable means to the support member 16. The U-shape clamp 21 may be constructed of any suitable flexible material which will frictionally engage a flashlight and retain it. In this embodiment of the invention the ball and socket 44 is preferably of the friction type since the flashlight may be removed from the clamp member 40, whereas in the embodiment of the invention disclosed in FIGURE 4, the ball and socket are preferably magnetized to permit the flashlight 10 and the socket 19 to be readily removed from the ball 17.
In view of the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, it is believed that a clear understanding of the construction, operation and advantages of the device will be quite apparent to those skilled in this art.
While I have described and claimed the preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that I reserve the right to all changes within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable light comprising in combination a neckstrap, an enlarged bearing member having a flat platelike surface connected to said ncckstrap and adapted to rest against the chest of the user, adjustable ball and socket means connected to said bearing member, a flashlight unit, said ball and socket means connected to said flashlight unit and connecting said flashlight unit to said bearing member whereby said flashlight may be supported about the neck of the user and the weight of said flashlight transmitted to said bearing member and distributed across the flat plate-like surface of said bearing member to avoid undue pressure upon the chest of the user, said bearing plate being constructed of two parts, means pivotally connecting said two parts together, said neckstrap having one end thereof connected to the first bearing plate part and the other to the second bearing plate part whereby upon pivoting said two parts of said bearing plate said neckstrap portions may be disposed in a close together position for easy transportation and in a spaced apart position for placement about the neck of the user.
2. The combination of claim 1 including adjustable means associated with said ball and socket members to increase or decrease the frictional engagement between said ball and socket members whereby said flashlight may be supported about the neck of the user and said flashlight adjusted to any position during use and said position maintained without further aid of the user and thereby freeing the hands of the user for other purposes.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein said adjustable means comprise a member adjustable within said socket and bearing against said ball whereby increased pressure may be brought against said ball and thereby increasing the frictional contact between said ball and socket.
4. The combination of claim 2 wherein said member is threaded within said socket for adjustment therein relative to said ball.
5. The combination of claim 1 wherein said neckstrap comprises three portions, the distal ends of said portions being provided with a cooperating securing means for fastening said neckstrap about the neck of a user.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein said ball and socket means are magnetized and held together by magnetic attraction thereby permitting said members to be readily separated to remove said flashlight from said neckstrap.
7. The combination of claim 1 wherein a U-shape clamp is secured to said adjustable ball and socket means and frictionally engaging said flashlight, whereby said flashlight may be detached from said neckstrap.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,318,850 10/1919 De Yong 22425 1,575,182 3/1926 Shiba 24-3 1,641,880 9/1927 Cohen 2111.2 2,487,339 11/1949 Kindlund et al. 243 2,506,685 5/1950 Sadloski et al. 224-5 2,510,634 6/1950 Hull 2111.2 2,624,051 1/ 1953 Motley 224-5 2,710,338 6/1955 Svalgaard 24059 2,997,918 8/1961 Spear 248-206 3,002,663 10/1961 Fernelius 22425 GERALD M. FORLENZA, Primary Examiner.
HUGO O. SCHULZ, Examiner.
J. E. OLDS, Assistant Examiner.