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Publication numberUS3233093 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 1, 1966
Filing dateSep 25, 1963
Priority dateSep 25, 1963
Publication numberUS 3233093 A, US 3233093A, US-A-3233093, US3233093 A, US3233093A
InventorsMatthew E Gerlat
Original AssigneeMatthew E Gerlat
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Processional candle
US 3233093 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 1, 1966 M. E. GERLAT PROCESSIONAL CANDLE 2. Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed Oct. 17, 1961 INVENTOR. MflTf/l'WE 65424191 ATTORNEY Feb. 1, 1966 M. E. GERLAT PROGESSIONAL CANDLE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Original Filed Oct. 1'7, 1961 liilllfllmzz fi llaw Qlllll VIII/111111 711,-


Marv/5W5 eecpr' 'A rroen/EY United States Patent 3,233,093 PROCESSIONAL CANDLE Matthew E. Gerlat, 1568 Water St.,

\ Stevens Point, Wis. Continuation of application Ser. No. 145,640, Oct. 17, 1961. This application Sept. 25, 1963, Ser. No. 313,406

4 Claims. (Cl. 240-1064) s This application is a continuation of application Serial No. 145,640, filed Oct. 17, 1961, now abandoned.

This invention relates to improvements in electric lamps simulating a candle and in which the supply of current to the bulb representing the candle flame, is varied recurrently to suggest the flickering of a candle flame.

The desire for retaining the decorative effect of candle lighting while avoiding the fire hazard of uncovered flames, has resulted in construction of electric lamps simulating candles. However, the light given by such simulated candles is constant and does not have variations in intensity such as are exhibited by a natural candle flame affected by air currents. Hence the use of such candlelamps gives an artificial appearance to processions and to decorations where the effect of candle lighting is desired. The present devices provide means whereby both portable and stationary electric candle-lamps give a light suggesting a' candle flame which is of varying intensity at different time intervals responsive to movement of the lamp candle 'while being carried or being subjected to air movement. The effect of varying light intensity resembles the flickering of a candle flame and greatly enhances the candlerlight effect of such lamp-candles.

The effect of flickering of a candle flame is produced by an uns table electric switch which connects and disconnects an electric current source through a path of low resistance to a lamp bulb as change in attitude or position of the device actuates the switch, the lamp being constantly connected to the current source by at least one path'of higher resistance than and parallel to the first path. Thu's carrying the present candle-lamp by a person orsubjecting it to intermittent air currents or other recurrent non-periodic forces, irregularly and unpredictably causes both paths of different resistance to be connected to the lamp so most current flows through lower resistance path, or opens the low resistance path so the lamp is'supplied only through the higher resistance path. Obviously anumber of additional parallel paths each with an unstable switch and including various values'of resistance, may be provided to secure other combinations of electric current values dependent upon which one of the switches is'closed.

' In the drawings:

FIG. 1: is a perspectiveview of an electric battery operatedlamp-candle of the type usually carried in processions by groups of people,

FIG; 2 is a longitudinal section through the lampcandle shown in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3- is a-view similar to a sub-assembly of FIG. 2 but with such sub-assembly turned 90,

FIG. 4 is a perspetcive of the sub-assembly frame shown in FIGS. 2 and 3,

".FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view of a switch controlling flow of electric current to the bulb of the lamp under certain conditions,

FIG. 6 is a diagram of electric circuit for the structure shown in FIGS. 1-5,

FIG; 7 is a view similar to the frame sub-assembly shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 butshowing a plurality of switches and high resistance conductors,

FIG. 8 is a diagram of the electric circuit for the construction shown in FIG. 7,

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an electric candle-lamp 3,233,093 Patented Feb. 1, 1966 ICC of a type intended to remain stationary and supplied from a source of alternating current,

FIG. 10 is a longitudinal section through the electric lamp-candle of FIG. 9,

FIG. 11 is a cross section on the line 11--11 of FIG. 10 to show an arrangement of supplementary decorative bulbs,

FIG. 12 is a cross section on line 1212 of FIG. 10 to show arrangement of a group of switches controlling the flow of current to said supplementary bulbs,

FIG. 13 is an electric circuit for controlling both the candle flame bulb and the supplementary bulbs,

FIG. 14 is a modified multiple switch construction combining all the switches for controlling the lamps, and

FIG. 15 is a cross section on line 1515 of FIG. 14.

Referring specifically to FIGS. 18 of the drawings, a metal tubular housing has an upper end closure 21 removably set into the housing to give the illusion o'f-a cavity about the base of a candle flame and has a removable bottom closure 22, the closures being both metallic for co-action with the housing in forming a part of an electric circuit. The upper closure 21 is mounted on an electrical insulating frame 23 as by leaf springs 24 soldered to the closure and by use of rivets 25 to attach the leaf springs to the frame. The frame 23 has a recess for receiving the lamp socket 28 which is threaded in electrically conductive relation. into an aperture in the closure 21 and which receives a lamp 29 intended to serve as the candle flame. The lamp 29 is preferably covered by a translucent plastic hood 30 to suggest the shape of a candle flame and to glow over-all from light transmitted thereto from the bulb 29. One electrical terminal of socket 28 is conductively connected with one terminal of a switch 31.

The switch 31 comprises a metal housing 32 with a planar surface 32a supporting a globule of electrically conductive liquid 33 such as mercury, and with an electric terminal 34 extending over the surface 32a and set in insulated relation into and closing the switch housing 32. The switch housing has a conductive stem 36 extending through the insulation frame 23 and having its lower end attached to a leaf spring contact 37. Surface 32a has a major part extending substantially at a right angle to stem 36 so that the globule of mercury can rest on such surface when it is horizontal and can move toward one end or the other of such surface as it is tilted. The usual dry cell storage batteries 39 are placed in series in the housing and engage the contact 37 and the end closure 22 for completing a circuit to the bulb 29.

The switch terminal 34 is connected by a lower resistance conductor 40 with one terminal of the bulb socket 28 while the other terminal of the switch is connected with the means for supplying current. A high resistance conductor 41 is also connected between the other termir nal of the bulb socket 28 and the source of electric cur- M globule 33 bridges between the housing 32 and the terminal 34. When the switch 31 is open (the end of surface 32abeing lower and the globule 33 now being moved away from terminal 34 as shown in FIG. 5) only so much current passes through the bulb 29 as can flow through the higher resistance conductor 41. Accordingly the bulb 29 receives a maximum of current when the switch 31 is closed and receives only a fraction of such current when the switch is open so that the brightness of the bulb is correspondingly reduced. Changes in lamp brightness give the illusion of flickering of the candle flame due to the usual persistence of vision tending to carry on a prior appearance after the appearance has changed.

Obviously switch 3ll36 may also be of the known reed type or of other known types which are unstable and are actuated responsive to small changes in attitude or position as when a person is carrying the present device in a generally vertical position. It is difficult to carry the present device in such exact vertical position that the switch is not tilted by a persons body movements or even by tremors of the hand only. Obviously any minor variation from horizontal position of the present switch will produce rolling of a globulc of mercury over the planar switch surface. The mercury rolling results from the users involuntary actions so that the switch opens and closes irregularly but recurrently as often as the movements change. When plural switches are used, their respective surfaces 32a are positioned to take advantage of tilt in different directions to which the device is subject.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, the frame 23 supports a number of switches 42, 43, 44 and 45 which are identical with the switch 31 (see FIG. excepting that the stems of superposed switches are respectively conductively attached to the housing of the next lower switch. The switch 42 may connect the low resistance conductor between the bulb 29 and the electric current supply means 39 while switches 43, 44 and 45 respectively connect conductors 48, 49 and 50 of dilferent resistance between the bulb and the current supply as such switches are closed. The switches 42-45 are arranged to close as the electric candle is tipped into dilferent positions relative to a horizontal plane so that one circuit is closed at a time and the bulb 29 glows at varying brightness dependent on the switch and the conductor then in circuit.

Referring now to FlGS. 9-15, the electric candle herein shown is adapted to be of large size and hence to remain relatively stationary and to be supplied with alternating current. In the present instance the housing is preferably made with a central transparent or translucent length and accordingly comprises the lengths 6d, 61 and 62 with the translucent length 61 joined with the opaque lengths in any suitable manner. The upper length has a shoulder 63 on which is mounted a disk 64 held in place by spacers 65 and 66 under the pressure of a plastic member 67 suggesting a candle flame, a washer 68 and an end ring 69, the candle flame 67 being made of one of the known plastics having the property of transmitting light in several directions. A reflector 74 is supported between the spacers 65 and 66 and holds a lamp socket 75 and a bulb 76. The bulb 76 is connected to the switch 77 and a low resistance conductor 78 and through higher resistance conductor 79 with the means for supplying electric current shown as the conductors S0. The switch 77 is similar in construction and in operation to the switch shown in FIG. 5 but is now mounted as a pendulum to amplify switch movements as the housing 60-62 moves, the switch mounting including an elongated stem 84 with a ball 85 movably mounted in a socket 86 in the disk 64. Movement of the candle results from supporting of the housing 6062 on a very flexible helical compression spring 89 which attaches the housing to a base 90 so that air currents are likely to sway the upper candle portion and produce the same variations in light intensity of the bulb 76 as previously described.

The lower housing length 62 is also formed with a shoulder 91 on which a disk 92 is pressed by an end ring 93 threaded into the housing. The disk supports a stem 94 on which is mounted a disk 95 adjacent to the end of the transparent length 61 of the housing. The

disk 95 supports a plurality of sockets 99 and bulbs '100, 101 and 102 of different colors and switches..103, .104 and serving to control the connection of the differently colored bulbs to the current supply line 80. The switches are similar to that shown in FIG. 5 and open and close as their positions change, as was previously described. As the candle housing 60-62 rocks on the spring 89 one or the other of the switches 103405 closes and completes a circuit to its particular bulb. Thus the color of the housing length 61 changes as the differently colored bulbs are energized, the light intensity here being always at a maximum as no light variation is desired at this point. Obviously the two electric candles will each give a flickering appearance of the flame as the vertical position of the candle is changed relative to its longitudinal axis, while only the stationary candle has the color changing above desired.

FIGS. 14 and 15 show a modified form switch in which switches 42-45 of FIG. 8 (or switches 103, 104, 105) may be combined into a single structure which includes a disk-like housing 46 and a single globule of mercury 47. The housing 46 forms a common terminal for each of the other terminals 47-45 so that the mercury can close any one of the circuits of FIG. 8. Thus switch 42' being on the longitudinal axis of the candle closing the circuit to bulb 23 when the candle is vertical while one of the other switches 43-45' will close such circuits dependent on the position of the candle longitudinal axis relative to the vertical. When the single switch is used in place of switches 103, 104 and 105 only the peripherally placed switches are used and one or another of such switches are in circuit as previously described. If the central switch (42') were used in place of the switch 77 of FIGS. 9-13, the bulb 76 would be in circuit only when the candle is vertical and would not give the flickering'eliect intended.

It will be seen that each of the above embodiments provides a circuit with plural parallel paths by which some current is always supplied to the bulb serving as the source of light for the candle flame. A high resistance conductor is always in circuit and a low resistance conductor is put into circuit when a switch is closed dependent on tilting of the candle out of a substantially vertical position with the bulb uppermost. A number of conductors of different resistance may be provided for several connections thereof by switches as the candle is tilted and may thus provide for flow of currents intermediate the said low and high resistance values so that the bulb exhibits a number of different degrees of brightness resembling the flickering of a candle flame. The switch may be any one of several known types for opening and closing dependent on the attitude of the switch relative to a given direction. As illustrated herein the switch has a surface extending transversely of the longitudinal axis of the candle, in which a globule of mercury rolls as the surface is tilted by even involuntary tremors of the hand of a person carrying the lamp-candle. The mercury therefore opens and closes a circuit unpredictably as the tilting movements are intermittent and non-periodic which is the action of a natural candle flame. For candles of considerable size such as shown in FIGS. 9-15, the length of the candle is preferably interrupted by a translucent section internally illuminated by diflerent colored lights to which a supply of current is severally controlled by switches also closed dependent on the vertical position of the candle. The switches controlling the energization of the differently colored bulbs, are open at all times except when the switch housing is inclined in a particular direction so that each switch acts to close only when its own circuit is to be energized.

It is claimed:

1. An electric lamp simulating a candle in producing an intermittently and unpredictably varying illumination upon movement thereof and comprising a housing to be used in substantially vertical axial position and an electric light extending from the upper end of said housing, a source of electricity for said light, an electric circuit connecting said light and said source, said circuit including at least a pair of parallel circuit paths severally conducting electricity between said light and said source, a switch having a parallel surface extending transversely of the housing axis and supporting a globule of mercury for opening and closing one of said parallel paths upon tilting of said housing out of a substantially vertical position, and a resistance in another of said parallel paths, said resistance being of a value to operate said light at substantially less than full intensity when said resistance is the only circuit path connecting said source and said light.

2. The device of claim 1 in which said switch comprises a container, at least one contact extending into the container, and a body of mercury, the container having an electrically conductive surface of substantial horizontal extent in at least one dimension and upon which the mercury moves, said contact being so located and proportioned that said mercury may enclose and may be free from said contact while on said horizontal surface, whereby said switch is unstable and will open and close in response to minute variations in its attitude.

3. The device of claim 1 in which one of said parallel circuit paths includes only a resistance, said resistance passing current to operate said light at substantially less than full intensity whenever said resistance is the only closed circuit path between said source and said light.

4. The device of claim 1 in which said parallel circuit paths comprise a plurality of paths each including a switch, and a plurality of said resistances of different values, all but one of said switches being severally in series connection with said resistances.

References Gited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 783,612 2/1905 Clark 33-206 X 1,796,919 3/1931 Brogger 340244 2,355,013 8/1944 Rochestie 98.3 2,704,322 3/ 1955 Strayline 240l0.64

FOREIGN PATENTS 208,114 12/ 1955 Australia.

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

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U.S. Classification362/205, 362/190, 362/810, 200/61.47
International ClassificationF21S10/04, F21V23/04, F21S4/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21S10/04, F21V23/0407, Y10S362/81, F21S6/001
European ClassificationF21S6/00C, F21V23/04F, F21S10/04