US 3392265 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 9, 1968 i P. w. KING ET AL 3,392,265
ELECTRIC CIGARETTE LIGHTER Filed March 3, 1966 United States Patent 3,392,265 ELECTRIC CIGARETTE LIGHTER Phillip W. King, Cheshire, and Sidney W. Bailey, Trumbull, Conn., assignors, by mesne assignments, to Scovill Manufacturing Company, Waterbury, Coun., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Mar. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 531,387 1 Claim. (Cl. 219-267) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hand held cigarette lighter has a hollow enclosure housing an electric power source and mounting a pivotal block which can be moved into alignment with an access opening at the top of the enclosure. The block mounts a heater element and a flexible conductor connects the power source with one terminal of the element. The other terminal is connected to a strip on the block. A fixed contact is mounted in the housing and also connected to the power source. The various components are arranged so that when the block is pivoted to a position in which the element aligns with the access opening, the strip engages the contact, closing the circuit and activating the heater element. A handy thumb actuator below the access opening can be slid down causing the block to pivot.
This invention relates to electric cigarette lighters intended especially to be used with rechargeable batteries.
Prior electric lighters of this type have many disadvantages, and it is the object of this invention to overcome such dis-advantages while at the same time. achieving a combination of parts which can be economically manufactured and assembled.
Our improved lighter incorporates a heater element support which is pivotally mounted so that it can be moved away from the access opening. The element is thus protected when not in use by a solid portion of the casing or cap.
Another important advantage of moving the heater element away from the opening when not in use is that it prevents charred ashes or foreign matter from clogging the access opening. By the use of a light-weight mounting block for the element and a pivotal mounting, very little force is required to expose the heater element at the opening.
It has also been found that with electric lighters occasional cleaning of the element is necessary. With our novel arrangement of parts, the element is easily accessible when swung to its non-use position by removing the protective cap from the casing.
Another important object of the invention is to provide an arrangement of parts that will permit convenient and natural operation when the lighter is grasped either by the right or left hand; and to this end, the opening in the cap is directed forwardly and upwardly, and the trigger or thumb-piece for operating the element mounting block and switching means is arranged directly below and quite close to the access opening. This arrangement brings the heating element into the correct angular contact with a cigarette held in the users month more consistently and to a greater extent than other lighters. This results in a full light being achieved at the first attempt, not only proving more satisfactory to the user, but also requiring less drain on the battery unit.
Other objects and advantages will hereinafter more fully appear.
In the accompanying drawing, we have shown for purpose of illustration, one embodiment which the invention may assume in practice. In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of our improved electric cigarette lighter;
FIG. 2 is a central vertical section through the upper portion of the lighter showing the non-use position;
FIG. 3 is a similar view with the operating parts shown inside elevation and in position for lighting a cigarette;
FIG. 4 is a cross-section substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the element mounting block;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the top portion of the casing; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged detailed cross-section of the mounting block on line 77 of FIG. 3.
The casing for our lighter is inexpensively made from two molded plastic shell pieces 9 and 10 which can be secured together adhesively along the center line 11. This forms a hollow casing having the general shape of a vertically elongated prism of approximately rectangular cross-section having relatively narrow front and back walls and an open top end.
The back wall 12 is preferably somewhat curved or convex and the front wall 13 is slightly concave not only for the sake of appearance, but also to permit easier grasping in either the right or left hand.
A battery power unit is housed within this casing and in the present case, there are shown two batteries 14 and 15 which are arranged one with its polarity reversed relative to that of the other for easier circuit connections.
At the upper end of the casing is a shoulder 16 and extending upwardly from this shoulder is a flange, generally designated 17, but which is interrupted at several places. Slots 18 and 19 extend into this flange along either side to provide flexible lugs 20 and 21 having outwardly turned lips 22 and 23.
A cover cap completes the lighter enclosure and is generally designated 24 and preferably made of polished metal, is sized to fit around the flange 17 and abut against the shoulder 16 so as to be flush with the outer surface of the casing. The sidewalls of the cap have grooves 25 to snap over the lips 22 and 23. The front portion of this cap 24 may be described as a head 26 with an access opening 2'7 which is directly forwardly and upwardly at an angle of approximately 20 to the horizontal.
Extending upwardly from the flange 17 at the forward portion of the casing are the vertical ears 28 and 29 and between these cars there is pivotally mounted the element support block, generally designated 30. The support block swings about the pin or axle 31 fixed in the cars 28 and 29, and its movement in the counter-clockwise direction, as seen in FIG. 2, is limited by suitable stop pins 32 projecting inwardly from the ears 28 and 29. The support block is normally held in this position against the stops by suitable spring means. For this purpose, there is indicated a coil spring 33 (see FIG. 4) wound around the hub 34 of the mounting block 30 and having one end lodged in a recess 35 in the mounting block and its other end 36 taut around the vertical car 28.
As best seen in FIG. 5, the block 30 has a top recess 37 in which is arranged the resistance heating element 38. The ends or terminals of this element are connected to hollow posts 39 and 40. The post 39 is flexibly connected to one side of the battery power unit by the wire 41 and the'post 40 has electrical connection with a movable contact 42 extending downwardly from the block 30. When the block 30 is swung to operating position as seen in FIG. 3, the movable contact 42 engages the stationary contact 43 having electrical connection through the wire 41a with the other side of the battery power unit.
The block 30 also incorponates at its forward end a shutter 44 extending downwardly in front of the movable contact 42, and in the open switch position seen in FIG. 3, it will be observed that the access opening 27 is blocked by the shutter portion 44; and at the same time, the heating element 38 swings well away from the access opening where it is amply protected by the cap 24.
The switch actuating means which is also the means for operating the block to move the heating element and shutter, involves a thumb-piece or trigger 45 having a roughened front surface 46 arranged directly under and in vertical alignment with the access opening 27. This thumb-piece has side ribs 47 sliding in internal grooves 48 molded in the casing parts 9 and so as to permit free up and down movement. The upper end of this thumb-piece 46 is connected by a link 49 which has a right angle bend 50 to extend the link around to the side of the mounting block 30 to which it is connected by the inturned end 51 loosely fitting in a small recess in the block. It is normally retained from accidental displacement from the block 30 by an extension 52 of the ear 29.
With our improved construction and arrangment of parts, it will be readily observed that the user will find his thumb in position on the trigger 45 when the lighter is grasped naturally by either hand, and that the angle of presentation of the access opening is such that it comes into the correct angular contact with a cigarette held in the most natural positionin the users mouth.
Downward sliding action of the trigger 45 by either thumb, simultaneously swings the shutter 44 away and brings the heating element 28 before the access opening 27 while at the same time, the switch means closes to energize the heating element. The parts are light in weight and the action requires very little force. As soon as the trigger 45 is released, the spring 33 will automatically snap the shutter to closed position, move the element away from harm, insure opening of the switch and removal of any charred ashes or foreign matter from the access opening.
What we claim is:
1. A hand-held electric cigarette lighter comprising:
4 (a) a hollow enclosure having an access opening at one end; (b) an electric power source arranged in said enclosure; r
(c) a support block pivotally mounted in said enclosure adjacent the opening and having a shutter portion normally closing the opening;
(d) a heater element attached to said support block adjacent the shutter and having two terminals; the heater alignable with the opening as the block pivots;
(e) a flexible connection between said power source and one of said terminals;
(f) a movable contact secured to said support block and connected to the other of said terminals;
(g) a fixed contact in communication with said power source and mounted in the enclosure, said fixed contact being arranged in the path of said movable contact and engaged by the movable contact to activate the heater when the heater'is aligned with the opens; M
-(h) a thumb actuator mountedon the enclosure 'on the same side as the opening and slidable toward and away from said opening; and
(i) means linking the thumb actuator and block for pivoting movement of the block as the thumb actuator is moved to and fro.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,676,237 4/1954 Tooker 219268 X 2,689,902 9/1954 Burtman 219--268 X 3,277,271 10/1966 Hunt 219-268 FOREIGN PATENTS 254,621 5/ 1948' Switzerland. 256,630 8/l948 Switzerlandl 538,563 6/1955 Belgium. 915,037 7/1946 France.
BERNARD A. GILHEANY, Primary Examiner. VOLODYMYR Y. MAYEWSKY, Examiner.