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Publication numberUS3280321 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 18, 1966
Filing dateOct 14, 1964
Priority dateOct 14, 1964
Publication numberUS 3280321 A, US 3280321A, US-A-3280321, US3280321 A, US3280321A
InventorsOveresch Joseph E
Original AssigneeOveresch Joseph E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Door handle light for automobiles
US 3280321 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 18, 1966 J. E. OVERESCH 3,280,321

DOOR HANDLE LIGHT FOR AUTOMOBILES Filed Oct' 14, 1964 l N ENTO IQ do SEPH E. 01 456656 BY fi m, l'rg api-m United States Patent 3,280,321 DOOR HANDLE LIGHT FOR AUTOMOBILES Joseph E. Overesch, 1391 Dunning St., Menasha, Wis. Filed Oct. 14, 1964, Ser. No. 403,804 10 Claims. (Cl. 2402.13)

This application relates to a door handle light for automobiles.

The invention consists of a light adapted for mounting in an automobile door handle of conventional shape. The purpose of the light is to illuminate the keyhole of the automobile and the light switch is incorporated in the push button latch front in most standard automobiles today.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side view of a car door bearing the handle light of my invention.

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view on line 22 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view on line 33 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view on line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuit.

As shown in the drawings, a car door having a lock 60 and key 61 is provided with a "handle -11 of conventional shape having a downwardly extending portion 12 which is generally above lock 60. The downwardly extending portion 12 is provided with a recess 13 having opposed shoulders 14 at the lower margin (FIG. 4). The recess 13 opens downwardly between shoulders 14 and a lens and lamp housing 15 is clipped into the opening. Housing 15 is provided with a frame portion 16 and opposed S-shaped spring fingers 17 to grip the opposed shoulders 14. The housing 15- is also provided with a metal lamp support strip 18 terminating a split-cylinder lamp holding clip 19 which may be notched at 20 to receive the opposed lugs generally provided on the lamp base 21 of lamp 22. Lens 23 may consist of a thin sheet of transparent plastic inserted behind the frame 16 and secured by opposed spring fingers 17 and lamp support strip 18, and by engagement with the side 24 of recess 13. Because of the resilient engagement of spring fingers 17 with shoulders 14, the bulb holding unit 15 holds the bulb 22 and lens 23 firmly in a fixed position. However, the unit may readily be snapped out of engagement with projection 12 of handle 11 by placing an instrument in recess 25 at the edge of frame 16 and prying outwardly again-st the frame, which has a shoulder at that point due to the S-shaped curve of spring fingers 17. Thus the entire unit 15 may readily be removed for replacement of the bulb or the lens.

Electrical contact and switching are provided by means which will now be described. An insulating plate is received in a peripheral slot 31 which surrounds the upper end of recess 13. Plate 30 is provided with an L- shaped contact member 32 having an arm 33 which extends across that portion of the plate 30 contacted by contact button 34 of base 21 of the lamp bulb 22. Contact member 32 also has an arm 35 extending upwardly from the generally horizontal insulating plate 30 to serve as a switch contact.

The door latch (shown only in material part) includes a latch button 40, which reciprocates in a passage 41 in handle 11. Attached to push button is shaft 42 which conventionally engages latching mechanism inside the car door, the exact nature of which is not material to this invention. In a conventional latch, the push button 40 is biased by a spring to its outermost position. Pressing knob 40 and shaft 42 inwardly engages shaft 42 with the latch mechanism in such a manner as to release the door and permit it to be opened. In the present invention the conventional spring around shaft 42 is replaced by a pair of springs 43 and 44, which support an insulating plate 45 between them (FIG. 2). Insulating plate 45 is pierced at 46 to slidably receive shaft 42 of the latch mechanism, and springs 43 and 44 bear on its respective surfaces to position it a short distance from contact arm 35, as best shown in FIGURE 3. Insulating plate 45 is also provided with a pair of contacts 47 and 48, which are electrically connected by a wire 49. Wire 49 extends around shaft 42 at a distance sufficiently great to prevent accidental contact, and is protected from electrical contact with spring 43 by a Washer '50 of insulating material upon which the spring bears.

The recess 41 in door handle 11 which receives push button 40 is closed at the face which engages the car door 10 by an insulating plate 51 which is pierced at 52 to permit reciprocation of shaft 42 therethrough. Plate 51 is provided with contact 53 which is secured electrically to Wire 54 extending to the underground terminal of the battery of the vehicle.

Plate 51 is secured to the body of handle 11 by means of screws 56, or the like. The contact 53 is electrically isolated from the metal car door 10, as by locating it so close to shaft 42 that the hole in door 10 for the shaft also clears contact 53 and wire 54. This is the preferred method, but others are available, such as placing a piece of insulating tape over the head of the contact, recessing insulating plate 51 with respect to the face of the handle 11 which contacts the car door 10, placing an insulating washer over the protruding head of the contact, or by securing contact 53 to insulating plate 51 in such fashion that there is no protruding head.

When push button 40 is depressed (FIG. 5), contacts 47 and 48 make an electrical connection from battery 55 to wire 54, contact 53, contact 47, wire 49, contact 48, portion 35 of contact member 32, portion 33 of contact member 32, and contact 34 of lamp 22. The ground circuit is from base 21 of lamp 22 to socket 19, support strip 18, spring fingers 17, door handle 11, car door 10,

and the ground terminal of battery 55. Thus, when latch button 40 is depressed, circuit is made from battery 55 through lamp 22, illuminating the lock 60 and key 61 through lens 23. In the event of a burned out bulb, it is necessary only to apply pressure in depression 25 against lamp housing clip 15 to release clip 15 from handle 11 for replacement of the bulb.

It will be observed that because of the use of springs 43 and 44, the push button 40 is urged outwardly in the same manner as a standard push button, but switch support plate 45 is held in position to contact the terminal connected to the battery and the terminal connected to the lamp. The plate 45 always remains at right angles to shaft 42 and has no tendency to cock or jam. An additional advantage of this design is that it enables the battery terminal to be brought extremely close to the latch rod 42. As a direct consequence, it is not necessary to provide any new holes in the car door 10. The hole normally provided to receive push rod 42 will also receive wire 54 without contact between the wire and the edge of the hole. Thus the door handle of my invention may be app-lied to an existing auto-mobile without any modification other than connecting wire 54 to the battery. In the case of an automobilewhich has current consuming device's within the door, such as electric winis maintained firmly in the correct position at all times. These plate could be made of a .single piece, if desired. Also, if desired, a contact similar tocontact 35 may be used on plate 51 to replace terminal 53, in which case the connection with wire 54 would be made by soldering the wire to a contact finger protruding parallel with shaft 42, and protected with an insulating sleeve. Other modifications may be made within the scope of the claims.

I claim:

1. A car door handle provided with a downwardly extending projection, a cavity in said projection provided with an opening at the lower margin of said projection, opposed shoulders on said opening, a clip within said cavity, said clip being provided with opposed spring fingers having curved portions adapted to releasably engage said opposed shoulders, a lamp bulb socket supported on said clip, a lamp bulb in said bulb socket, latch operating means mounted in said handle, switch means resiliently mounted on said latch engaging means for yieldable movement therewith, and a source of electric current connected to said lamp socket through said switch means to furnish current to said lamp socket through said switch means in one position of said switch means.

2. The device of claim 1 in which said clip includes a lens frame, and a lens supported on said frame, said lens and said frame being adapted to close the opening in said cavity.

3. The device of claim 1 in which said switch means comprises a momentary contact bridging switch.

4. The device of claim 1 in which said switch means comprises an insulating plate provided with a central hole, said latch operating means comprising an axially reciprocable rod extending freely through said central hole, a pair of helical springs coaxial with said rod, one said spring exerting biasing pressure on one end of said rod and on one side of said plate, and the other said spring abutting a part fixedly secured to said handle and exerting biasing pressure on the other side of said plate, whereby said plate is yieldably supported normal to said rod for reciprocation with the said latch operating means, said plate further being capable of coming to rest while allowing further reciprocation of said latch operating means, said rod being biased to an inactive position regardless of the position of said plate.

5. The device of claim 4, said switch means further comprising a pair of contacts on said insulating plate which are electrically connected to each other, and 27second pair of contacts lying in the path of movement o f said first pair of contacts, said second pair of contacts respec- 4 tively connected to a current source and to said lamp s0cket.-

6. A door handle provided with latch operating means movable from an inactive to an active position and biased toward an inactive position, a switch comprising a first switch member resiliently mounted on said latch operating means whereby said switch member is adapted to move with said latch operating means and to come to rest independently of said latch operating means, said switch further comprising a second switch member having a resilient part extending into the path of said first switch member, said door handle being provided with a cavity having an opening, a lamp socket 'clip removably supported within said cavity, a lamp socket supported on said clip, a lens supported on said clip, said lens being disposed to substantially close the opening of said cavity, a said switch member having an electrically conductive part adapted to touch a lamp in said socket and supply electricity thereto, said switch being adapted to'close when said latch operating means moves toward its active position and open when said latch operating means moves to its inactive position.

7. The device of claim 6 in which said clip comprises a lens frame supporting said lens, re-curved spring fingers extending from said lens frame, said spring fingers having resilient engagement with the walls of said cavity, and a socket supporting strip extending from said lens frame to said socket.

8. The device of claim 7 in which said clip is unitarily constructed from a single piece of conductive material. 9. The device of claim 7 in which said cavity is pro vided with a shoulder adapted to be embraced by the re curved portion of a said spring finger.

10. The device of claim 6 in which said second switch member comprises an insulating plate mounted in said cavity adjacent said lamp socket, said electrically conductive part adapted to touch a lamp in said socket comprising an L-shaped metal strip having one arm adapted to contact a lamp in said socket, the other arm comprising said resilient part extending into the path of said first switch member.

References Cited by the Examiner UNTTED STATES PATENTS Boyd 240 2.13

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2256670 *Nov 18, 1939Sep 23, 1941Greenlees Edward EIlluminating attachment for vehicle door locks
US2273570 *Sep 11, 1940Feb 17, 1942Greenlees Edward EIlluminating attachment for vehicle door locks
US2628304 *Jul 11, 1949Feb 10, 1953Boyd Burdett RIlluminating means for car door locks
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3388244 *Aug 31, 1965Jun 11, 1968John H. CastoeKeyhole area illumination means
US3590234 *Mar 6, 1970Jun 29, 1971Alfred M BartickKeyhole-illuminating device with time delay
US3908149 *Oct 16, 1974Sep 23, 1975Gen Motors CorpPush button type door handle assembly for energizing an auxiliary lighting circuit of a vehicle
US4788630 *Jul 10, 1987Nov 29, 1988Irvin Industries, Inc.Illumination for vehicle accessories
US5398175 *Feb 15, 1994Mar 14, 1995Pea; Todd D.Illuminated door knob lock
US6616312Nov 20, 2001Sep 9, 2003Gentex CorporationConvenience lighting for interior and exterior vehicle applications
US7607809 *Oct 31, 2005Oct 27, 2009Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.Illuminated vehicle exterior handle configuration
US8523412 *Mar 29, 2010Sep 3, 2013Alpha CorporationVehicle door handle apparatus
US20060104075 *Oct 31, 2005May 18, 2006Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.Illuminated vehicle exterior handle configuration
US20110170305 *Mar 29, 2010Jul 14, 2011Alpha CorporationVehicle door handle apparatus
US20130170241 *Jul 22, 2011Jul 4, 2013Valeo S.P.A.Handle of an opening element of a vehicle, comprising a grip part
U.S. Classification362/100
International ClassificationE05B17/00, E05B17/10
Cooperative ClassificationE05B17/10
European ClassificationE05B17/10