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Publication numberUS3395272 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 30, 1968
Filing dateAug 15, 1966
Priority dateAug 15, 1966
Publication numberUS 3395272 A, US 3395272A, US-A-3395272, US3395272 A, US3395272A
InventorsThomas H Nicholl
Original AssigneeThomas H. Nieholl
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for controlling light rays
US 3395272 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 30, 1968 r. H. NICHOLL 3,395,272

APPARATUS FOR CONTROLLING LIGHT RAYS Filed Aug. 15, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. THOMAS H. NICHOLL ATTORNE Y8 y 30. 1968 T. H. NICHOLL 3,395,272

APPARATUS FOR CONTROLLING LIGHT RAYS Filed Aug. 15, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN VENTOR. THOMAS H. NICHOLL ATTORNEKS ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A parabolic light reflecting apparatus consisting of a primary reflector having a parabolic reflecting surface, a second reflector concentric inwardly of the primary reflector, and a third reflector having a parabolic reflecting surface concentric inwardly of the second reflector, with each of the reflectors having focal points that are coincident, the second and third reflectors being such that they reflect light rays and direct same in the same directionally controlled beam as is provided by the primary reflector whereby the effective light "of the beam is substantially increased over that possible with a reflector of the size of the primary reflector, the reflector apparatus being relatively shallow with the peripheral portion of the primary reflector substantially in a plane passing through the focal point and substantially in the p ane of the edge of the second reflector that defines the aperture thereof. The reflector preferably has a lens over and coextensive with the primary reflector and the second and third reflectors are mounted on the lens and retain a position thereby.

This invention relates to the art of illumination and more particularly, to an apparatus for directionally controlling light rays emanating from a light source and said apparatus being particularly suited for flashlights, spotlights, headlights, lanterns and the like.

The principal objects of this invention are: to provide a new and improved apparatus for the directional control of light rays emanating from a light source comprised of a reflector lens structure suitable for flashlights, lanterns, spotlights or headlights for boats and automobiles or the like designed to provide a better concentration of light in the form of a ligth beam; to provide such an apparatus which projects a beam of light having a desired intensity throughout the cross-sectional area of said beam thereby avoiding the central area of low intensity light normally attendant apparatus of this type wherein the mounting of the light source shadows a portion of the main reflector normally at its center, thereby preventing the reflection of light rays from this area and forming a darkened core; to provide such an apparatus employing a primary or main reflector with a pair of reflectors located concentrically within and forwardly of said main reflector, each of said reflectors defining a parabolic reflecting surface and having their foci coincident with a light source located at said coincident foci, thereby providing a beam of light having an intensity equal to a beam of light from a primary reflector having a depth many times the depth of the primary reflector of this invention and having a diameter considerably greater than the diameter of the primary reflector of this invention thereby conserving space; to provide such an apparatus having a primary, second and third reflector which operates to provide a maximum concentration of available light from a light source into a beam of controlled light rays with a minimum enlargement of the light source pattern; to provide such an apparatus having a lens structure with said second and third reflectors operatively connected to said lens structure and said lens structure defining a lens means located concentrically within the parabolic plane of the second and third reflecting surfaces and forwardly of said light source to effectively con- States Patent 9 3,395,272 Patented July 30, 1968 trol the direction of light rays emitted directly from the light source, in a forward manner, by refraction; to provide such a lens structure having a flat outer annular ring portion forward of said primary reflector with an outwardly directed circumferentially extending flange connected to the inner edge of said outer annular portion, a second flat annular portion concentric with said first annular portion and located forwardly thereof and connected to the forward edge of said flange, said second annular portion being located forwardly of said second reflector and positioned to receive therethrough reflected rays of light from said second reflector, a third annular portion located concentrically with said first and second annular portions and outwardly in a forward manner from said second annular portion and connected thereto by a circumferentially extending flange, said third annular portion being forward of and adapted to receive therethrough the reflected rays of the third reflector, said third annular portion having a lens means located concentrically within said third annular portion to directionally control light rays emitted directly from the light source to prevent the formation of a hollow darkened core within the light beam; to provide such a lens structure whereby variously colored light filters may be releasably retained in overlying relation to the various annular portions of the lens structure to thereby provide a signaling or decorative means; to provide such a lens structure having light transmitting areas normal to the direction of the reflected rays of light diminishing the effect of refraction in underwater utilization; to provide such a new and improved apparatus whereby a beam of high light intensity may be projected from a relatively small reflector lens structure whereby practically all of the light emanating from the light source is controlled and confined within said beam.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this invention.

FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view through a flashlight or lantern structure of a conventional battery operated type employing a reflector lens structure embodying the features of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional View taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating the concentrically located reflectors and light source.

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view through a modified form of the reflector lens structure wherein the lens structure is formed of a plurality of concentric annular portions with each of said annular portions being operatively associated with a particular reflector such that the reflected rays from each of said reflectors pass through a respective annular ring portion of said lens structure.

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view through the reflector lens structure illustrated in FIG. 3 showing a plurality of light filters operatively associated with the lens structure whereby various light combinations may be provided by the various areas of reflected light.

Referring to the drawings in more detail:

The reference numeral 1 broadly designates a lantern or flashlight structure where is mounted a new and novel reflector lens structure 2 embodying the features of this invention. The lantern structure 1 is exemplary only as it is illustrative of a type of housing structure in which the novel reflector lens combination may be retained and employed to produce a high intensity light beam. The reflector lens structure 2 may be housed in other and different light projecting means and employed for a variety of utilizations.

The reflector lens structure 2 is broadly comprised of a plurality of parabolic reflectors located along a major axis in a concentric fashion and having their focal point coincidentally located on said axis with the filament of a light source or means operatively located at said coincidental focal points to provide incident rays to the various reflectors. As illustrated, the reflector lens structure 2 includes a main, primary or inner reflector 4 defining a parabolic reflecting surface 6 and a centrally located through aperture 8. As is conventional practice, a light source or means 10 has a mounting member 12 extending through the central aperture 8 of the main reflector 4 thereby providing means for retaining the light means 10 in a desired position within the parabolic plane of the main reflecting surface 8 with the filament 14 of the lighting means located at the focal point of the parabolic reflecting surface 6.

The second or middle reflector 16 is located forwardly of the main reflector 4 in a concentrically inward manner. The second reflector 16 has a focal point coincidental with the focal point of the main reflector 4 and located at the position of the light filament 14. As illustrated, the second reflector 16 defines a parabolic reflecting surface 18 and a through aperture 20 centrally located of said parabolic reflector 16 thereby providing a reflector 16 in the form of an annular portion of a parabolic plane. The aperture defining edge 22 of the parabolic reflector 16 is disposed on a plane passing through the coincidental focal points of the reflectors and, as illustrated, through the circumferential outer edge 24 of the main reflector 4. In this manner, the rearward edge 22 of the second reflector 16 is positioned on a plane through the filament 14 of the lighting source 10 to provide a reflecting surface 18 for incident rays of light emanating forwardly of the plane from the light filament 14, these being rays which would not strike the primary reflector 4.

A third or outer reflector 26 is located concentrically inwardly of the second reflector 16 and has its focal point coincidental with the focal points of the reflectors 4 and 16 at the filament 14 of the lighting means 10. The reflector 26 defines a parabolic reflecting surface 28 and a through aperture 30, said aperture 30 being defined by the circumferentially extending rearward edge 32 of the reflector 26 thereby forming a reflector similar in shape to reflector 16 as an annular portion of a parabolic plane. The rearward edge 32 of the reflector 26 is suitably positioned relative to the reflector 16 such that certain incident rays from the lighting source 10 directed forwardly from the filament 14 at an angle less than the angle from the filament 14 to the forward edge 34 of the second reflector 16 are received by the reflecting surface 28 for reflection forwardly in aligned relation with the reflected rays from the primary reflector 4 and the second re- I flector 16.

As the third reflector 26 is capable of reflecting incident rays from the light source 10 only between certain angles projecting forwardly from the filament 14 of the light source 10 without extending the reflector 26 forwardly an unreasonable distance, a lens means 31 has been employed in a bulls-eye fashion forwardly of the light source 10 and concentrically with the various reflectors 4, 16 and 26 to effectively control the light rays from the light source 10 not reflected from the various reflecting surfaces 6, 1S and 28, said rays being those directed forwardly at an angle from the filament 14 less than an angle of engagement of the incident rays with the reflecting surface 28 of the third reflector 26. The lens means 31 illustrated as a convex lens could be of various contours to provide the concentration of light in a beam at the center of the beam formed by the various reflecting surfaces. In the illustrated embodiment, the lens means is formed integrally with the lens structure 35 which is coextensive with the primary reflecting surface 6 and mounted in a conventional manner relative to said reflectors 4, 16 and 26.

In conventional flashlight or lantern structures, the beam produced by the reflecting means contained therein is in a cylindrical form having a hollow core area of lesser light intensity caused by the shading of the reflector means by the mounting means or bulb base for the light source. This shaded area is indicated in FIG. 3 by the dotted lines extending from the filament 14 of the light source 10 in a conical plane, said lines being designated by the reference numeral 34. As a parabolic reflecting surface, such as the'surface 6 will reflect incident rays, emanating from a light source at the focal point ofsaid surface, parallel to the axis of the paraboloid in a generally horizontal plane with the disposition of the reflector as shown in FIG. 3, it is readily apparent that reflected rays will pass from the reflecting surface 6 only between cylindrical planes indicated by the lines 36 and 37 shown in FIG. 3, thereby producing a cylindrical beam of light as in the conventional flashlight and lantern. The light rays directed at an angle forwardly of the outer edge 24 of the reflecting surface 6 are generally lost or dispersed in an uncontrolled manner. In this invention, this portion of the light is accurately controlled in order to produce a beam having a desired light intensity throughout its cross-sectional area having a central portion, the portion normally uncontrolled due to the shadow cast by the mounting member of the lighting means and the lack of directional control of forwardly emitted light rays literally filled with controlled light rays with said control being obtained by both reflection and refraction.

A portion of the incident rays emanated from the light source 10 in the directions defined between the lines 38 of FIG. 3 and the circumferential edge 24 of the main reflector 4 are reflected by the second reflector 16 along a generally horizontal path in parallel relation with the reflected rays from the reflecting surface 6 of the main reflector 4 or parallel to the axis of the paraboloid which generates the surface 18. The second portion of the incident rays emanating from the light source 10 at the angles between the dash lines 38 and the dash lines 40 of FIG. 3 each defining conical planes are reflected by the third reflector 26 again in a generally horizontal manner in parallel relation with the reflected rays from the reflecting surfaces 18 and 6 of the reflectors 16 and 4 respectively or parallel to the axis of the paraboloid defining the surface 28. In this manner, therefore, by the employment of strategically located reflectors, particularly reflectors 4, 16 and 26 having their focal points coincidental, all of the incident light rays emanating from the filament 14 of the lighting means 10 between the dash lines 34 and 40, as illustrated in FIG. 3, are reflected in a controlled manner in a forward generally horizontal disposition or parallel to the axis of the paraboloid defining the reflecting surfaces 6, 18 and 28 to form a beam of controlled directional reflected light rays.

The portion of light rays directed forwardly from the filament 14 of the light means 10 interiorly of the conical plane defined by the dash lines 40 is controlled by refraction rather than reflection through a lens means 31 positioned such that the circumferential edge 42 of the lens means 31 coincides with a line extending from the filament 14 to the outer edge 44 of the third reflector 26 preventing the escape of light rays along a direct path between the end edge 44 of the third reflector 26 and the circumferential edge 42 of the lens means 31. The lens means 30 may be of various contours specifically adapted to concentrate the light striking said lens 31 into a beam of light rays, for instance, a beam of rays directed horizontally from the lens 31 of the illustrated embodiments in parallel relation to the reflected rays from the reflectors 4, 16 and 26. It should be noted that through this new and novel lens reflector system, the light emanated from the light source 10 is efficiently controlled into a beam of high light intensity with relatively little loss or scatter of light and producing a beam of desired intensity throughout its cross section without the disadvantages of the hollow or dark area beams formed by conventional light controlling apparatus and the enlargement of the lightsource common with short focal length reflectors. H

The lens structure 35 may take various forms, for instance, the modificationillustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and designated by the reference numeral 50. The lens structure 50 which is coextensive withthe primary re flector 4 includes a circumferentially extending annular mounting portion 52 which is disposed about the outer edge 24 of the primary reflector4and, as illustrated, in contacting relation thereto with a flat annular light transmitting portion 54 extending inwardly therefrom and disposed at right angles to the direction of travel of the reflected light rays from the reflecting surface 6 of the main reflector 4. As illustrated, the light transmitting annular ring portion 54 is coextensive with the annular ring of reflected rays bouncing off the reflecting surface 6 between the cylindrical plane-designated by the dash line 36 and the outer circumferential edge 24 of the reflecting surface 6. The lens structure 50 has an outwardly directed flange portion 56 extending circumferentially about the inner edge 58 of the first annular portion 54 to a position generally coincidental'with the forward edge 33 of the second reflector 16.

A second annular ring portion concentrically located inwardly of thefirst annular portion 54 and designated by the reference numeral 60 is located forwardly of the reflecting surface 18 of the second reflector 16 in a plane normal to the direction of the light rays reflected from surface 18 of the reflector'16. In the illustrated embodiment, the second annular portion is connected to forward edge 61 of the circumferential flange portion 56. The second annular ring portion 60 has an outwardly extending flange portion-'62 extending on a plane normal to the plane of the annular ring portions 60 and 54 and terminating in a forward spaced position at a forward edge 64 where a third annular ring portion 66 is located, disposed in a plane normal to the pathof travel of the reflected'rays from the-reflection surface 28 of the third reflector 26 and positioned forwardly of said third reflector 26 to receive the reflected rays therefrom for passage forwardly in a straight horizontal controlled manner.

The annular ring portion 66 of 'the'lens structure 50 has an inwardly directed circumferentially extending flange 68 forming an inwardly bore at the 'center portion of the lens structure 50 and having mounted at its innermost edge of the convex lens 31 for controlling the center portion of the emanated light rays from the filament 14 of the lightfmeans 10. As illustrated, the convex lens 30 is integral with the lens structure '50 and forms the center bulls-eye portion of lens structure'50.

Referring to FIG. 4, a plurality of annular light filters have been disposed in a releasably retained manner in forward contacting relation to the various annular ring portions of the lens 50 such that variously colored light rays may be emitted through the various annular portions 54, 60 and 66 of the lens structure 50. The first annular light filter 72 is disposed forwardly of the first annular portion 54 having a circumferentially extending flange member 73 in contacting relation with the circumferentially extending flange portion 56 of the lens structure 50. The flange portion 73 may be designed of such a dimension as to snugly fit over the circumferentially extending flange 56 thereby retaining the annular light filter 72 in a releasable manner in relation to the lens structure 50.

A second annular light filter 74 is disposed forwardly of the annular second portion 60 of the lens structure 50 and having a circumferentially extending flange portion 76 in snugly fitting engagement with the circumferentially extending flange portion 56 of the lens structure.

A third light filter 78 is disposed in a forward relation to the third annular portion 66 of the lens structure 50 and having an inwardly directed circumferentially extending flange 80 disposed in the central bore of the lens structure 50 in a snugly fitting engagement with the inwardly directed circumferential flange 68 to retain the third annular light filter 78 in the desired relation relative to the lens structure 50. These light filters may be employed for producing variously colored rays for decorative and signal purposes. The light filters 72, 74 and 78 could also be integrally formed in a unitary light filter structure similar in nature to the structure disclosed herein.

It is to be understood that while I have illustrated and described one form of my invention, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown except insofar as such limitations are included in the claims.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. An apparatus for the control of light comprising:

(a) a primary reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface,

(b) a second reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface and a central aperture therethrough, said second reflector being concentric inwardly of said primary reflector and having a focal point coincident with the focal point of said primary reflector,

(c) a third reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface and a central aperture therethrough, said third reflector being concentric inwardly of said second reflector and having its focal point coincident with the focal points of said primary and second reflectors,

((1) means located concentrically inwardly of said third reflector and forward of said focal points for refracting light rays in a controlled predetermined manner,

(e) a lens over and cotextensive with the said primary, second and third reflectors and connected to said centrally located lens means,

(f) said lens structure including a plurality of annular portions each disposed forwardly of a reflector and normal to the light rays reflected from said reflector with means for interconnecting annular portions to form a lens structure,

(g) said lens structure including an outer annular portion having an inner edge, an outwardly directed flange portion circumerentially extending about the inner edge of said outer annular portion and a central portion connecting the outer edge of said centrifugal flange, said central portion including a pair of annular portions forwardly of the second and third reflectors with said second and third reflectors being generally housed within the space defined by said flange and said central portion,

(h) means for emitting light rays operatively associated with said reflectors and said refracting means and located at the coincident focal points of the primary, second and third reflectors.

2. An apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said annular portions forward of said primary, second and third reflectors each have a color filter operatively connected thereto whereby said light rays reflected from said primary, second and third reflectors respectively pass through said filters.

3. An apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the outer annular portion is connected to a middle annular portion by a circumferentially extending outwardly directed flange member interconnecting an inner edge of said outer annular portion with an outer edge of said middle annular portion.

4. An apparatus as recited in claim 3 wherein said first annular portion has an annular light filter disposed generally coextensive therewith in the path of the reflected rays passing through said annular portion with a circumferentially outwardly directed flange member on the inner edge of said annular light filter adapter to releasably engage the flange member interconnecting said inner and middle annular portions of said lens structure in a snug engagement to retain said light filter on said lens structure.

5. An apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein the central portion includes middle and inner annular portions forwardly of the second and third reflectors respectively, a circumferential flange member connecting said middle and inner portions and a circumferential flange member connecting said inner portion to said light refracting means.

6. An apparatus as recited in claim 5 wherein each of the middle and inner annular portions of the lens structure has annular light filters forward thereof in the path of the respective reflected. rays, each of said light filters having circumferential flange members in releasable engagement with circumferential flange members interconnecting said middle and inner annular portions and said inner portion and said refracting means respectively.

7. An apparatus for the control of light comprising:

(a) a primary reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface,

(b) a second reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface and a central aperture therethrough, said second reflector being concentric inwardly of said primary reflector and having a focal point coincident with the focal point of said primary reflector, said second reflector having an edge defining the aperture thereof with said edge lying in a plane perpendicular to the reflector axis and passing generally through the focal point of the primary reflector,

(c) a third reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface and a central aperture therethrough, said third reflector being concentric inwardly of said second reflector and having its focal point coincident with the focal points of said primary and second reflectors,

(d) means located concentrically inwardly of said third reflector and forward of said focal points for refracting light rays in a controlled predetermined manner,

(e) means for emitting light rays operatively associated with said reflectors and said refracting means and located at the coincident focal points of the primary, second and third reflectors.

8. An apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein the depth of the primary reflector is generally equivalent to the distance from the focal point of said reflector to a point at the center on an axis of a paraboloid defined by the reflecting surface of said primary reflector, said primary reflector having a peripheral portion defining the outer edge thereof, said outer edge of the primary reflector lying substantially in the plane of the edge defining the aperture of the second reflector.

9. An apparatus as set forth in claim 8 and including,

(a) a lens over and coextensive with the primary reflector and having a peripheral portion,

(b) means securing the peripheral portion of said lens relative to the peripheral portion of the primary reflector, (c) said second and third reflectors being mounted on said lens and positioned between said lens and the 5 primary reflector.

10. An apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said second and third reflectors have outer edge portions and the mounting of said reflectors is by said edge portions being fixed to the lens.

11. An apparatus for the control of light comprising:

(a) a primary reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface,

(b) a second reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface and a central aperture therethrough, said second reflector being concentric inwardly of said primary reflector and having a focal point coincident with the focal point of said primary reflector,

(c) a third reflector defining a parabolic reflecting surface and a central aperture therethrough, said third reflector being concentric inwardly of said second reflector and having its focal point coincident with the focal points of said primary and second reflectors,

((1) means located concentrically inwardly of said third reflector and forward of said focal points for refracting light rays in a controlled predetermined manner.

(e) a lens over and coextensive with said primary, second and third reflectors and connected to said centrally located light refracting means, said lens having a plurality of annular portions each disposed forwardly of a reflector and normal to the light rays reflected from said reflector with means for interconnecting said annular portions to form the lens structure,

(f) said second and third reflectors being mounted on said lens and said lens having a peripheral portion secured relative to the primary reflector,

(g) means for emitting light rays operatively as sociated with said reflectors and said refracting means and located at the coincident focal points of the primary, second and third reflectors.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS 7/1927 Great Britain.

NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.

W. A. SIVERTSON, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1888995 *Nov 14, 1929Nov 29, 1932Matter Albert JohnHeadlight
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3473013 *Oct 2, 1967Oct 14, 1969Polaroid CorpPolarized light projecting assembly
US3539798 *Jul 18, 1967Nov 10, 1970Donald M PerryShadowless projection systems
US4135231 *May 10, 1977Jan 16, 1979American Sterilizer CompanySurgical light assembly
US4635170 *Dec 18, 1985Jan 6, 1987Rayovac CorporationReflector for electric light
US4635171 *Nov 18, 1985Jan 6, 1987Rayovac CorporationCompact electric light
US7021806 *May 24, 2004Apr 4, 2006General Motors CorporationIlluminated displays
US8529102Apr 6, 2009Sep 10, 2013Cree, Inc.Reflector system for lighting device
US8680556Mar 8, 2012Mar 25, 2014Cree, Inc.Composite high reflectivity layer
US8686429Jun 24, 2011Apr 1, 2014Cree, Inc.LED structure with enhanced mirror reflectivity
US8710536Oct 7, 2013Apr 29, 2014Cree, Inc.Composite high reflectivity layer
US8764224Aug 12, 2010Jul 1, 2014Cree, Inc.Luminaire with distributed LED sources
US20110096548 *Oct 27, 2009Apr 28, 2011Paul Kenneth PickardHybrid reflector system for lighting device
WO2009087264A1 *Jan 7, 2009Jul 16, 2009Keijo HurtigLighting element
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/305, 362/290
International ClassificationF21V7/00, F21V13/04, F21V17/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21S48/155, F21V13/04, F21V7/00, F21S48/1305
European ClassificationF21V7/00, F21V13/04, F21S48/15A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 23, 1984AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: NICHOLL BROTHERS, INC., 1204 W. 27TH ST., KANSAS C
Effective date: 19830831
Owner name: NICHOLL, THOMAS H.
Jan 23, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: BRINKMANN CORPORATION, THE, 4215 MCEWEN RD., DALLA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NICHOLL BROTHERS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004223/0433
Effective date: 19830902
Owner name: NICHOLL BROTHERS, INC., 1204 W. 27TH ST., KANSAS C
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:NICHOLL, THOMAS H.;REEL/FRAME:004223/0436
Effective date: 19830831