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Publication numberUS3310668 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1967
Filing dateOct 20, 1964
Priority dateOct 20, 1964
Publication numberUS 3310668 A, US 3310668A, US-A-3310668, US3310668 A, US3310668A
InventorsSidney Schwartz
Original AssigneeBantam Lite Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Miniature flashlight with key attachment
US 3310668 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Marchm, 1967 S CHW Z 3,310,668

MINIATURE FLASHLIGHT WITH KEY ATTACfiMENT Filed Oct. 20, 1964 INVENTOR. 610N157 SCI/M4972 United States Patent 3,310,668 MINIATURE FLASHLIGHT WITH KEY ATTACHMENT Sidney Schwartz, New York, N.Y., assignor to Bantam- Lite, Inc, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed 0st. 20, 1964, Ser. No. 405,119 Claims. (Cl. 240-6.4)

This invention relates to miniature flashlights and more particularly is directed to such illuminating devices combined with means for attachment to a key handle.

Among the objects of the invention is to provide an improved miniature flashlight construction of the character described having meansfor mounting the flashlight on the handle of a key to direct a light beam from its light bulb along the longitudinal axis of the key to illuminate the keyhole and having a finger pressure actuated switch for energizing the bulb located for convenient operation while simultaneously gripping the flashlight and key between thumb and forefinger for keyhole insertion, which flashlight shall comprise few and simple parts that are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and assemble in quantity production, which flashlight shall include a molded plastic case coacting in a novel manner with a spring metal switch plate and key anchor element, which flashlight shall be neat in appearance, rugged in construction, and convenient to mount on the key handle, and which shall be practical and eflicient to a high degree in use.

Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.

The invention accordingly consists of features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter'disclosed, the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims following.

In the accompanying drawing in which an illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown:

FIG. 1 is a bottom plan view of the flashlight constructed to embody the invention shown mounted on the handle of a key.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on line 22 in FIG. 1 showing details of the interior construction.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the flashlight and key as seen substantially on line 33 in FIG. 2, and

FIG. 4 is an exploded view showing the casing, cartridge and switch plate and key anchor element comprising the flashlight shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, inclusive.

Referring in detail to the drawing, denotes a key and miniature flashlight combination wherein key 11 mounts a miniature flashlight 12 on its handle 11a. Flashlight 12, constructed to embody the invention, is seen in FIG. 4 to comprise a casing 13, a switch plate and key anchor element 20 and cartridge unit 25. A

Casing 13 is here shown as an integral open top boxlike structure which may preferably be molded of any suitable plastic resinous material, as for example, polystyrene, and having similar opposite side walls 14, front wall 15, rear wall 16 and bottom wall 17. Front wall 15 has a centralized cutout 15a which may extend to the open top of casing 13. Rear wall 16 has a centralized cutout 16a spaced from the open top providing a crosspiece 16b. Bottom wall 17 has a relatively large opening 17a and carries a tab 18 which is attached along the rear thereof to bottom Wall 17 and extends forwardly in offset parallel relation to underlie opening 17a. Bottom wall 17 and rear wall 16 may also be integrally formed with a rearwardly projecting link 19 having a central opening 19a for attachment to a keychain or the like '(not shown). Cartridge unit 25 may be of any suitable construction having a light bulb 26 located in the front surface thereof "ice and a pressure actuated switch 27 located in the adjacent top surface. As here shown cartridge unit 25 is a battery-bulb-switch unit similar to those shown and described in my copending application Ser. No. 298,210 filed July 29, 1963, and entitled Miniaturized Flashlight With Replacement Cartridge Unit. Cartridge unit 25 is seen to comprise a holder 25a of any suitable electrically nonconductive resinous plastic having a cavity sized and shaped to accommodate and securely retain disc shaped miniature battery 28 oriented with its center terminal exposed for contact by switch 27. Light bulb 26 may be of the lens tipped type having a pair of pigtail leads, one of which is suitably electrically connected, as by spot welding, to the leaf spring which comprises switch 27, the other lead being likewise electrically connected to the bottom terminal of battery 28, as is clear from FIG. 4.

Switch plate and key anchor element 20, as seen in FIG. 4, may be made of a suitable leaf spring sheet metal having a corrosion resistant finish, such as brass, chrome or precious metal plating, and is stamped and formed into a substantially U-sha-ped configuration having a hollow sized for receiving cartridge 25 therein. Element 20 has two opposite walls or plates 21 and 22 interconnected by a substantially right angular intermediate section 23. Plate 21, serving as a top wall closure and depressible switch plate, is contoured to fit into the open top of casing 13 and has a rear end downwardly bent portion 21a terminating in a rearwardly projecting tongue 21!), the

latter being offset from the plane of plate 21 by bent portion 21a to extend into rear wall cutout 16a. Tongue 21b normally abuts crosspiece 16b to limit the upward movement of plate 21 to a rest position flush with the top of casing 13. The rear region of plate 21 engages and closes underlying switch 27 when flexed downwardly, that is, inwardly, from the rest position in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 3, tongue 21b being free to move away from crosspiece 16b into cutout 16a.

Intermediate section 23 extends between the front of cartridge unit 25 and casing front wall 15 and has an opening 23a aligning with cutout 15a into which opening and cutout the lens tip of bulb 26 may project.

Plate 22, serving as an anchoring means for retaining the parts of flashlight 12 in assembly as well as for mounting the latter on a key handle 11a, may be narrower than plate 21, being shaped and sized to lie along the interior surface of casing bottom wall 17 and having a step 22a to position a rear portion 22b in bottom wall opening 17a spaced from and substantially parallel to tab 18. Plate rear portion 22b is formed with a depression 22c extending toward tab 18, depression 220 being provided with an opening 22d having a rim formed to engage the threads of screw 24 which extends through an aligned openinglSa in tab 18.

The initial assembly of flashlight 12 is readily accomplished by first sliding cartridge unit 25 into the open side of switch plate and keyholder element 20 so that switch 27 faces plate 21 and light bulb 26 is positioned to extend into opening 230.. Element 20 with cartridge 25 so positioned therein is then placed into the open top of casing 13 by first inserting tongue 21b into rear wall cutout 16a and then dropping intermediate section 23 into place behind casing front wall 15. Screw 24 is then inserted through tab opening 18a and threaded into opening 22d. Tightening of screw 24 anchors element 20 in position against casing bottom wall 17 retaining all the parts in assembly. Application of pressure to depress the rear region of plate 21 will be seen to also depress switch 27 to make electrical contact with the center terminal of battery 28 to energize bulb 26.

, To mount flashlight 12 on the handle 11a of key 11, screw 24 is first removed from opening 22d. The key handle 11a is then inserted in the slot between tab 18 s,s10,ses

a and plate rear portion 22b. Since element with cartridge is now loose in casing 13, depression 220 may be urged upwardly to clear the key handle 11a permitting the handle opening 11b to register with tab opening 18a and receive depression 220 therein. Replacement and tightening of screw 24 completes the assembly of the key and flashlight combination 10.

The improved miniature flashlight with key attachment herein disclosed is seen to achieve the several objects of the invention and to be well adapted to meet conditions of practical use. As various possible embodiments might be made in the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the disclosed construction, it is to be understood that all matters herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawing are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:

1. A miniature flashlight of the character described comprising a casing formed with an interior chamber and having an open top wall, a partially open opposite bottom wall and a front wall having an aperture communicating with said chamber and being located beneath said open top wall, a tab having an opening therein, said tab being attached to the casing adjacent the rear thereof to extend in spaced parallel relation to the bottom wall overlying said bottom wall partial opening, said bottom wall and tab forming a slot to receive a handle of a key therein with a key handle opening in registered alignment with said tab opening, a battery, electric light bulb and switch for closing a circuit from the battery to the bulb disposed in said interior chamber, the bulb being aligned with said front wall aperture to project a light beam along the length of a key positioned in said slot, said switch being located for finger pressure actuation through said open top wall, a spring closure for said top wall opening adapted to be inwardly deflected for engaging and closing said switch, a plate located within said interior chamber extending across said bottom wall partial opening and being formed with a female threaded portion aligning with said tab and key handle openings, and a removable screw extending through said tab and key handle openings and engaging said female threaded portion to secure said key handle in said slot.

2. A miniature flashlight of the character described comprising an integrally molded casing having an open top wall, a partially open opposite bottom wall, an apertured front wall and a rear wall having a centralized cutout spaced from the open top providing a crosspiece, a tab having an opening therein, said tab being integrally molded with the casing bottom wall adjacent the rear thereof and extending forwardly in spaced parallel relation to the bottom wall and substantially covering said bot-tom wall partial opening, said bottom wall and tab forming. a slot to receive a handle of a key therein with a key handle opening in registered alignment with said ta b opening, a battery, electric light bulb switch for closing a circuit from the battery to the bulb disposed within the casing, the bulb being aligned with said front wall aperture to project a light beam along the length of a key positioned in said slot, said switch being located for finger pressure actuation through said open top wall, a spring closure for said top wall opening having a rear end portion extending into said rear wall cutout to engage said crosspiece and limit outward movement of said spring closure to a normal predetermined position in said top wall opening, said spring closure being inwardly deflectiible by finger pressure for engaging and closing said switch, a plate extending across said bottom wall partial opening and being formed with a female threaded portion aligning with said tab and key handle openings, and a removable screw extending through said tab and key handle openings and engaging said female threaded portion to secure said key handle in said slot.

3. In a miniature flashlight of the character described,

an integrally molded casing having an open top wall, a partially open opposite bottom wall, and an apertured front wall, a tab having an opening therein, said tab being integrally molded with the casing bottom wall adjacent the rear thereof and extending forwardly in spaced parallel relation to the bottom wall and substantially covering said bottom wall partial opening, said bottom wall and tab forming a slot to receive a handle of a key therein with a key handle opening in registered alignment with said tab opening, a switch plate and key anchor element formed of sheet spring material bent into a substantially U-shaped configuration providing a top wall closure plate interconnected by a substantially right angular intermediate section to an opposite key anchoring plate, said top wall closure plate extending across said top wall opening and being inwardly deflectible by finger pressure to actuate an underlying switch, said key anchoring plate extending across said bot-tom wall partial opening and being formed with a female threaded portion aligning with said tab and key handle openings, and a removable screw extending through said tab and key handle openings and engaging said female threaded portion to simultaneously secure said key handle in said slot and retain said switch plate and key anchor element in position in said casing.

4. In a miniature flashlight of the character described, an integrally molded casing having an open top wall, a partially open opposite bottom wall, an apertured front wall and a rear wall having a centralized cutout spaced from the open top providing a crosspiece, a tab having an opening therein, said tab being integrally molded with the casing bottom wall adjacent the rear thereof and extending forwardly in spaced parallel relation to the bottom wall and substantially covering said bottom wall partial opening, said bottom wall and tab forming a slot to receive a handle of a key therein with a key handle opening in registered alignment with said tab opening, a switch plate and key anchor element formed of sheet spring material bent into a substantially U-shaped configuration providing a top wall closure plate interconnected by a substantially right angular intermediate section to an opposite key anchoring plate, said top wall closure plate extending across said top wall opening and having a rear end portion extending into said rear wall cutout to engage said crosspiece and limit outward movement of said closure plate to a normal predetermined position in said top wall opening, said key anchoring plate extending across said bottom wall partial opening and being formed with a female threaded portion aligning with said tab and key handle openings, and a removable screw extending through said tab and key handle openings and engaging said female threaded portion to secure said key handle in said slot and retain said switch plate and key anchor element in position in said casing.

5. A miniature flashlight of the character described comprising an integrally molded casing having an open top wall, a partially open opposite bottom wall, and an apertured front wall, a tab having an opening therein, said tab being integrally molded with the casing bottom wall adjacent the rear thereof and extending forwardly in spaced parallel relation to the bottom wall and sub stantially covering said bottom wall partial opening, said bottom wall and tab forming a slot to receive a handle of a key therein with a key handle opening in registered alignment with said tab opening, a battery-light bulbswitch unit having the light bulb positioned in a front wall and a dep-ressible switch located in a top surface thereof, a switch plate and key anchor element formed of sheet spring material bent into a substantially U-shaped configuration providing a top wall closure plate interconnected by a substantially right angular intermediate section to an opposite key anchor plate, said element being positioned in said casing with said top wall closure plate extending across said top wall opening and being resiliently inwardly depressibie, said intermediate section facing said casing front wall and having an opening in register with said aperture, said unit being positioned between sad closure plate and key anchor plate with the front wall thereof facing said intermediate section to project a light beam from said bulb through said aperture and intermediate section opening and along the length of the key, said depressible switch being located for actuation by said inWa-rd depression of said top wall closure plate to close the switch and light the bulb, said key anchoring plate extending across said bottom wall partial opening and being formed with a female threaded portion aligning 10 with said tab and key handle openings, and a removable screw extending through said tab and key handle openings and engaging said female threaded portion to simultaneously secure said key handle in said slot and retain said switch plate and key anchor element and said unit in position in said casing.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,972,879 9/1934 Flintermann 2406.4 2,738,668 3/1956 Rock 240-6.4 3,119,564 1/1964 Zalman 2406 4 NORTON ANSI-IER, Primary Examiner.

C. C. LOGAN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US3119564 *Aug 6, 1962Jan 28, 1964Flex Electric Products IncCombination key holder and illuminating means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4085315 *Feb 12, 1976Apr 18, 1978Heinz WolterLight connectable with a key
US4276582 *Dec 26, 1978Jun 30, 1981Lock Light CorporationKey with light
US4303966 *Jun 22, 1979Dec 1, 1981Heinz WolterLight connectable with a key
US4521833 *Aug 17, 1984Jun 4, 1985Heinz WolterLight
US4562712 *Feb 6, 1984Jan 7, 1986Heinz WolterKey
US4787016 *Feb 12, 1987Nov 22, 1988Song Chang JLight attachable to a key
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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/116, D26/38
International ClassificationE05B17/00, E05B17/10
Cooperative ClassificationE05B17/103
European ClassificationE05B17/10B