US 3243586 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 29. 1966 FIQRAVANT 3,243,586
KEY CASE CONSTRUCTION WITH LIGHT SOURCE Filed Oct. 1, 1965 INVENTOR DONALD G. FIORAVANTI BY 6 12% Q QML Manna; S
United States Patent 3,243,586 KEY CASE CONSTRUCTION WITH LIGHT SOURCE Donald Gene Fioravanti, Ludlow, Mass., assignor to Buxton, Incorporated, Agawam, Mass., a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Oct. 1, 1963, Ser. No. 312,912 8 Claims. (Cl. 240-6.4)
This invention relates to key cases, and more particularly to light containing key cases.
The object of the invention is to provide an improved flashlight-key case combination, whereby a light may be inexpensively combined with a hard shell key case. Moreover, the construction is such as to enable the light to be used independently either in or out of the case.
The type of key case embodying the invention comprises a pair of covered, rigid flanged shells of rectangular configuration. The shells are hingedly connected with their flanges abutting when they are in a closed position. The upper portions of the shell flanges are relieved to define an elongated slot across the top of the key case and a key hanger bar is secured to one of the shells adjacent the slot so that any key support loop carried on the hanger may project through the slot when the case is closed. In accordance with this invention, a light source or flashlight is removably mounted in the case with its axis extending through the key slot whereby the light beam and key may simultaneously project through the same slot.
The above and other related objects and features of the invention will be apparent from a reading of the description found in the accompanying drawing and the novelty thereof pointed out in the appended claims.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a key case embodying the present invention with the key case being closed;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but with the key case open;
FIG. 3 is a section on an enlarged scale taken on line IIIIII in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of the showing of FIG. 2 with'certain parts removed and others in section; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a light carrier employed herein.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a key case 8 comprises two shells 10 and 12 which are generally of rectangular outline and have matching peripheral flanges which abut in their closed position, as will be apparent from FIGS. 1 and 3. As shown, the sheet metal trays 14 and 16 are covered as at 18 and 20 with a suitable decorative material such as leather which may be lasted over the peripheral flanges of the trays and adhesively secured to the inner surfaces of these flanges. Padding 21 may be provided between the coverings 18 and 20 and the central portions of the trays 14 and 16. Preferably, the inner surface of the trays is covered by liner 22.
The shells 10 and 12 are connected by a hinge 24 having its leaf portions secured to adjacent vertical flanges of the shells 10 and 12. A spring 25 is provided urging the shells to open position and a catch 26 to secure them in a closed position.
Keys are suspended in the key case from a hanger assembly 28 comprising key loops 30. The upper portions of the flanges of shells 10 and 12 are relieved to define an elongated slot 32 across the top of the key case. Any of the loops may be positioned so as to extend through this slot with the case closed for using a particular key.
A metal guard or bead 34 may be secured to the relieved portion of the upper flange of shell 10 to prevent wear ICC on this flange due to the projection of loops through the slot 32.
In accordance with the present invention, a flashlight or light source 36 is releasably mounted within the key case. The light source comprises a cylindrical casing 38 which may contain a pen-light type of battery. A light bulb 40 is removably mounted on the casing 38 by an end cap 42 threadably secured thereto. Means are provided for connecting and disconnecting the bulb 40 from the battery to turn the light source off and on. These means include a switch actuator 44 which is slida-bly mounted on the casing 38 longitudinally thereof.
Mounting of the light source is provided for by carrier or bracket in the form of a spring clip 46 which comprises a plate portion 48 secured to the hinge flange portion of the shell 12. More specifically, a pair of tabs or tongues 50, one of which is seen in detail in FIG. 3, are struck from the adjacent flanged portion of the tray 14. The tabs 50 pass through the leaf of hinge 24, through the liner 22 and through openings 52 in the plate portion 48 of clip 46. The tabs 50 are reversely folded against the plate portion 48 to securely hold the carrier 46 in place. The tabs 50 also assist in securing the hinge 24 to the shell 12. The clip 46 further comprises a main portion 54 folded from the plate portion 48, and generally lying against the inner surface of shell 12. A pair of spring fingers 58, 60 are folded upwardly from the main portion 54 to embrace the cylindrical casing 38. Their outer ends more specifically bear against the cylinder 38 to releasably grip it against the plate portion 48 and main portion 54 of the clip. It will further be noted that means is provided to angularly position the flashlight casing 38 relative to the clip 46 and thus relative to the shells 10 and 12. The means comprises a detent in the form of an elongated groove or depression 59 formed in the casing 38 and a cooperating projection 62 formed on the finger 58. The purpose of the detent means is to register a flashlight actuator 44 with a slot 64 provided in the shell 12. The lower end of the casing 38 is positioned relative to the spring clip 46 by a tab 61, extending outwardly from the main portion 54 thereof.
The slot 64 provides access to the actuator 44 when the shells 10 and 12 are closed, so that the light source may be conveniently turned on and off. In this way, the case serves as a pocket holder for the flashlight without requiring the case to be opened. The slot 64 is defined by a grommet 66 having flanges which grip the covering 20 and liner 22 against the tray 16 in the area of the slot 64.
Referring again to the hinge 24, one leaf thereof is secured to the shell 12 by further tongues 63 struck from the tray 14 and reversely bent thereagainst. The plate portion 48 of the spring clip has a clearance opening 65 permitting it to lie flat against the hinge leaf. A notch 67 provides clearance for the end of the spring 25.
In the users pocket, the key case would normally be closed, as shown in FIG. 1; the light could be operated by its actuator 44 with the case closed. In addition, a key could be disposed to extend through the slot 32; at the same time the light could be turned on to assist in using the key in the dark. Another advantage of this invention is that the case can be opened or closed, as desired, while the light is being used. In this connection it will be noted that the light is located contiguous with the hinge of the key case so that light remains relatively stationary despite angular movement of the cover members when the case is opened or closed. Furthermore, the light may be turned on when the case is open, as shown in FIG. 2, to assist in the visual selection of a particular key. It will further be evident that the spring metal carrier 46 permits ready removal of the light source 36.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as novel and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A flashlight-key case combination comprising a pair of covered, rigid flanged metal shells, said shells being hingedly connected with their flanges abutting when the case is closed, a flashlight support bracket adjacent the hinge interconnection of the shells, a flashlight releasably gripped by said bracket, a switch actuator for operating said flashlight extending radially from the flashlight, one of said shells being provided with a slot therethrough disposed to receive said actuator when the case is closed, the height of said actuator being sufiicient for manipulation through the slot when the case is closed; the upper end of said key case having an elongated slot therethrough disposed generally across the key case, a key hanger assembly secured to one of the shells adjacent the elongated slot and including a plurality of key support loops which may be selectively projected through said slot, said hanger terminating a substantial distance from the hinged edge of the shells to provide an aperture for said flashlight to project a beam of light therethrough.
2. A flashlight-key case combination comprising a covered, rigid flanged base shell of rectangular outline, and a cover shell of similar configuration, said shells being hingedly connected with their flanges abutting when they are closed, a flashlight support bracket secured to said base shell adjacent the hinge, a flashlight comprising a casing releasably gripped by said bracket, a switch actuator for operating the light mounted on the flashlight casing, said cover shell having a slot for receiving said actuator, the actuator projecting into said slot a distance suflicient to be accessible so that the light source may be turned on or off when the shells are closed, the upper portions of both flanges being relieved to define an elongated slot along the top of the key case, a hanger assembly secured to one of the shells beneath said slot and including a plurality of key support loops which may be selectively projected through said slot, said hanger terminating a substantial distance from the hinged edge of the shells to provide an aperture for said flashlight to project a beam of light therethrough.
3. A flashlight-key case combination comprising a pair of covered, rigid flanged shells of rectangular outline, said shells being hingedly conected with their flanges abutting when they are closed, a flashlight carrier in the form of a spring clip secured to one of the shells adjacent the hinge connection, a light source comprising a cylindrical casing disposed parallel to the axis of the axis of the hinge connecion and adjacent thereto, said casing being releasably gripped by said clip, a switch actuator for operating the light source, said actuator being slidably mounted longitudinally of and on said casing, the opposite shell overlying said case being slotted to receive said actuator, the actuator projecting into said slot a distance sufficient to be accessible for manual operation so that the light source may be turned on and ofl when the shells are closed as well as open, the upper portions of the flanges being relieved to define an elongated slot along the top of the key case, a hanger assembly secured to one of the shells beneath said slot and including key bearing loops which may be selectively projected through said slot, said clip having a tab portion positioning the lower end of the casing with the end of the bulb contiguous with the elongated slot to project a beam of light therethrough adjacent the hinged end thereof, said clip and casing having cooperating detent means angularly positioning the casing in fixed relation relative to said one shell with the switch actuator positioned in registration with the slot in the opposite shell.
4. A key case construction as in claim 3 wherein the shells each comprise a flanged metal tray, an outer padded cover lasted over the flange of the tray and secured to the inner surface of the flange, and a liner covering the inner surfaces of the trays and further wherein the opening in said opposite shell is defined by a grommet which grips the liner and outer cover against the metal tray.
5. A key case construction as in claim 4 wherein the hinge flange portion of said one shell has a pair of tabs extending from the metal tray and the spring clip has a plate portion with openings receiving said tabs which are reversely bent to hold the clip in place, said clip further comprising a main portion generally lying against the inner surface of said one shell, a pair of spring fingers bent outwardly from said main portion and releasably gripping the light source casing against said plate and main portions, and a portion extending outwardly of the main portion to provide a stop for positioning said casing with the light bulb disposed in the key slot.
6. A flashlight-key case combination comprising a pair of covered rigid flanged shells of rectangular outline, said shells being hingedly connected with their flanges abutting when closed, a flashlight carrier in the form of a clip secured to one of the shells adjacent and parallel to the hinge connection, said clip having a generally planar portion mounted against the inner surface of one of said shells adjacent the hinge of the case and at least one finger portion extending upwardly and inwardly for embracing the casing tube of a light source in said bracket, said tube being removably mounted in said bracket and disposed parallel to the hinge connection of the shells and being releasably gripped by said finger, a switch actuator extending from said tube, the opposite shell of said case, overlying the light tube having a slot adjacent the hinge connection of the shells, the actuator of the light source projecting into said slot a sufficient distance to be accessible for manual operation when the case is closed the upper portions of the flanges of said shells being relieved to define, when the case is closed, an elongated slot through the top of the case, a key hanger assembly secured to the shell to which said clip is secured, and including a plurality of key holding loops which may be selectively projected through said elongated slot, said hanger assembly terminating a substantial distance from the hinge of said case to provide an aperture for said light source.
7. Key case construction as set forth in claim 6 wherein each of the shells is a flanged metal tray covered in the inner and outer surfaces, having a grommet disposed about the slot provided in the shell for receiving said actuator, said trays having tabs struck therefrom and bent to retain the clip in place in said case.
8. Key case construction as set forth in claim 6 wherein said clip is formed of spring metal and includes a tab disposed at the lower end thereof to engage the case of said light source tube to hold the opposite end contiguous to said elongated aperture.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,397,610 11/1921 Appell 240-6.4 1,494,242. 5/1924 Hill 2406 4 2,625,645 1/1953 Crane 2406 4 3,163,364 11/1964 Ritter et a1. 2406 45 FOREIGN PATENTS 846,605 8/1960 Great Britain.
NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.
C. C. LOG N, Assistant Examiner.