US 3439994 A
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' April 22, 1969 M. CASSAN 3, 39 9 mumou sYs'rEM FORQAS LIGHTERS Filed Dec. es. 1966 April 22, 1969 M. CASSAN IGNITION SYSTEM FOR GAS LIIGHTERS Sheet Filed Dec. 6, 1966 H H===== n p 9 M. CASSAN 3,439,994
IGNITION SYSTEM FOR GAS LIGHTERS Filed Dec. 6. 1966 Sheet 4 or 5 April 22, 1969 Filed Dec. 6. 1966 M- CASSAN 3,439,994
IGNITION SYSTEM FOR GAS LIGHTERS Sheet 5 o: s
fzgfll United States Patent 3,439,994 IGNITION SYSTEM FOR GAS LIGHTERS Michel Cassan, Chatenay-Malabry, France, assignor to Societe Auonyme Dupont, Paris, France, a corporation of France Filed Dec. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 599,431 Claims priority, application France, Dec. 6, 1965,
41,092; July 6, 1966, 68,470
Int. Cl. F2311 1/04, 7/12 U.S. Cl. 431-254 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A gas cigarette lighter provided with a manually opera-ble friction wheel to generate igniting sparks, a vertically slidable burner nozzle adapted to assume a closed, lower position and an open, upper position, a lever pivotable in a vertical plane and engaging said burner nozzle with one end and adapted to be depressed by the users thumb at the other end upon operation of the friction wheel. From said lever there extend integral spring blades which engage the lighter body and urge the lever against said burner nozzle maintaining the latter in said closed, lower position, but when manually depressed, allowing said burner nozzle to assume its open, upper position.
The closing of the channel connecting the gas container with the pressure reducer is generally obtained in gas lighters by means of a flap carried for instance at the lower end of the burner nozzle and adapted to slide in the pressure reducer, while elastic means urge said flap onto its seat.
Generally, the opening of the outlet of the gas is controlled by a lever engaging a shoulder on the outer section of the burner nozzle and adapted to raise and lower said burner nozzle against and with the action of the elastic means urging the flap against its seat at the actual moment of the ignition according to the direction of operation seselected for said flap.
The present invention has for its object a simplified embodiment wherein the elastic flap-returning means and the lever are made in one piece thus simplifying both the manufacture and assembly of the parts.
To this end, the present invention covers an ignition system for gas lighters wherein the flint is housed in a flint-carrying tube and is urged by a spring against a rotary knurled wheel adapted to be controlled by the users finger, said lighter being of the type including a lever pivotally secured to the lighter body, so as to be capable of rocking transversely with reference to the axis of said knurled Wheel, said lever controlling through one end of the flap releasing the outlet of the gas against the action of elastic returning means, while the opposite end of the lever is connected with a control member inserted in the path of the users finger at the end of the movement of said finger driving the knurled wheel into rotation.
Now, according to the invention, the lever constituted by a member of elastically deformable material is provided with at least one elongated projection of reduced thickness forming the elastic returning means, extending transversely with reference to the axis of the knurled wheel and designed so as to engage, along a fraction of its length, a part of the lighter body.
The invention will be readily understood from a reading of the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawings wherein FIGS. 1 and 2. illustrate respectively in its closed and ignited positions a lighter-igniting mechanism, the upper section of the lighter being illustrated alone and one of the sides of the carrier strap and the means driving the knurled wheel being removed.
FIG. 3 illustrates the same mechanism seen from the left-hand side of FIG. 1, the body of the lighter not being illustrated.
FIGS. 4 and 5 are an elevational view and a plan view of the lever-forming spring controlling the closing of the gas outlet.
FIGS. 6 and 7 are partly elevational sectional views of the upper part of a lighter incorporating the second embodiment of the invention, shown respectively in its extinguished position and in its ignited position.
FIG. 8 is a plan view of the same lighter as in FIGS. 6 and 7.
FIG. 9 is a partial view seen from the left-hand side of a part of the lighter illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 8.
FIG. 10 is a sectional view through its plane of symmetry of the lever-forming spring before its incorporation with the lighter illustrated in FIGS. 6 to 9.
FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 6 of a third embodiment.
FIG. 12 is a plan view of a part of the lighter illustrated in FIG. 11 after removal of the knurled wheel.
FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 6 of a fourth embodiment.
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the lever-forming spring shown in FIG. 13.
Turning to FIGS. 1 to 5, the lighter illustrated includes a body 23 carrying at its upper end a strap 13 and a burner nozzle 4 adapted to slide in a pressure reducer provided in the gas outlet and which is not illustrated, so as to control said outlet when in its lower position in accordance with a known arrangement. Between the two upstanding sides of the strap 13 is fitted a spindle 18 registering vertically with the flint-carrying tube 24 and carrying a knurled wheel 22 rigid with the actuating members 20 which are also knurled. At the level of the lower section of said actuating members 20, the body 23 of the lighter has an area 21 adapted to be engaged at the end of the operation by the users finger when acting on the knurled wheel.
A further strap 16 including two flanges 16a and an incurved blade 15 therebetween encloses partly the wheelactuating members 20 in the vicinity of the area 21 through its lower section 15a while the upper section 15b of the blade 15 covers the knurled wheel 22 over a fraction of its periphery and forms thus a hood concealing said knurled wheel. Said strap 16 is adapted to rock and to e shifted transversally with reference to the spindle 18 carrying the knurled wheel, as provided by two elongated slots 17 formed in the corresponding flanges 16a of the strap and engaging said spindle. The elongated slots 17 are directed in a manner such that their major axis is alined with a point of the lighter body 23 lying between the axis of the flint-carrying tube 24 and the axis of the burner 4. The hood section 15a of the incurved blade 15 encloses the upper section of the knurled wheel 22 along a line extending slightly underneath the level of the wheel-actuating members 20. When the mechanism is in its inoperative position as illustrated in FIG. 1, said hood projects laterally beyond said members downward of a point 29 lying on a radial line starting from the axis of the wheel, which is substantially at 45 with reference to the point of said members which is the most remote from the flint-carrying tube.
A spring 1 forming the operative lever, e.g., of sheet metal, engages at one end an area 14 of the body 23 of the lighter, while its other end rests on a shoulder 5 formed on the burner nozzle 4 which is adapted to slide and includes the gas-closing flap as well known in the art. Said lever is elastically urged against said bearing area and shoulder by a spindle 12 fitted between the two sides of the strap 13, in parallelism with the spindle 18 of the knurled wheel and located between the burner nozzle 4 and a plane defined by the major axes of the elongated slots 17. Said lever 1 includes at its end engaging the shoulder on the burner 4 a half-annular section 2 clearly shown in FIG. 5, the center of which registers substantially for its operative position with the burner axis. The half-annular section 2 surrounds the burner 4 on the side facing outwardly of the lighter and rests on the shoulder 5 along its transverse ridge 6 lying in a diametrical plane 7 of the latter. To either side of the plane of symmetry of the igniting mechanism, the half-annular section 2 extends into two elongated projections or blades 3 (FIG. 5), the spacing between said blades being slightly larger than the diameter of the shoulder 5 of the burner nozzle. The free end 11 of each blade 3 adapted to engage the area 14 is slightly bent upward. In the vicinity of the halfannular section 2, each of the two longitudinal edges of the lever 1 forms an upstanding flange 8 parallel with the knurled wheel 22 and provided along its its lower edge with a notch 9 (FIG. 4) opening into a lateral clearance 10. Said notches 9 are fitted over the spindle 12, as clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
The flanges 16a of the strap 16 and the flanges 8 of the lever-forming spring are designed in a manner such that the lower edge 19 of each flange 16a of the strap 16 engages the upper edge of the upstanding flange 8 corresponding thereto.
The operation of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5 is as follows:
The igniting mechanism being in its inoperative position (FIG. 1), the lever-forming spring 1 has a tendency to assume an elongated flat position in which it engages elastically through its ridge 6 the shoulder 5 of the burner. The latter is thus held in its lower position in which it closes the gas outlet. At the same time, said lever-forming spring urges its flanges 8 clockwise round the spindle 12 as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 2. Said flanges 8 hold the strap 16 in its upper position in which the slots 17 engage the spindle 18 of the knurled wheel through their lower ends nearer the body of the lighter.
When the user operates the igniting mechanism, he places a finger on the upper surface of the members actuating the knurled wheel after which he shifts his finger onto the side of the lighter body which is opposed to the burner, so as to impart to said actuating members 20 a rotary movement.
During said operation, the users finger engages the hood b concealing the knurled wheel in the vicinity of its bend 29 and the pressure of said finger depresses the section 15a of the blade 15 incorporating the hood between the actuating members as illustrated in FIG. 2. Lastly, the users finger at the end of its movement engages the thumb rest constituted by the area 21 on the lighter body and holds the lower end of the strap 16 depressed in a position shown in FIG. 2. It is thus seen that the strap executes during said operation a transversal movement along the major axes of the slots 17 together with a slight rotation round the spindle 18. These two movements are transmitted through the lower edges 19 of the flanges 16a of the strap 16 to the flanges 8 of the lever which rock round their spindle 12 thereby bending the spring 1 the outer section 2 of which is thus caused to rise. As a result, the nozzle is no longer held in position by the ridge 6 of the lever and rises into an open position under the pressure of the gas, allowing a flow thereof through said burner. The burner nozzle is held in said open position illustrated in FIG. 2 as long as the users finger engaging the thumb rest 21 remains in contact with the lower section of the blade forming a protecting hood for the knurled wheel. Since the gas flow begins as soon as the users finger passes over the bent point 29 of the blade 15, that is, practically at the very instant the first of a series of sparks is generated, the gas is exposed to the entire series of sparks. Thus, a reliable ignition is ensured.
Lastly, when the user removes his finger from the thumb rest 21 the strap 16 is no longer held in its operative position, so that the lever 1 returns elastically into a position which is substantially a flat position as described, while the blades 3 at the end of the lever slide over the bearing surface 14 in a direction facing away from the burner. Said sliding movement is furthered by the incurvation of the ends 11 of said blades 3. The upstanding flanges 8 of the lever pivot round the spindle 12 in a counter-clockwise direction and while the outer section 2 of the lever drives the burner nozzle downwardly to ctt off the gas outlet, said flanges 8 urges the strap 16 upwardly. The mechanism has consequently returned into its original inoperative position illustrated in FIG. 1.
A second embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 6-10. Here the lighter body 201 has at its upper end extensions 202 holding the spindle 204 which carry, in turn, the knurled wheel 205 conventionally keyed to the members 206 actuating it.
The burner nozzle 208 is adapted to slide within a housing formed at the upper end of the system including the burner nozzle and the pressure reducer. Said burner nozzle carries at its lower end a fluid tight packing which is not illustrated and which cooperates with the corresponding seat so as to form a closing fiap for the gas outlet. The burner nozzle is in its closed position when it is in a depressed location in its housing. The upper end of the burner nozzle is provided with an annular groove 217 adapted to cooperate with the lever 210 controlling the closing of the gas outlet. The lever 210 is made of resilient sheet metal and is provided with two stiffening flaps 211 folded downwardly at right angles and through which the spindle 207 passes, round which the lever 210 is adapted to rock freely, said spindle being held fast in two bores 213 formed in the lower ends of the extensions 202 of the lighter body.
The lever 210 is provided with a broad central opening 212 through which the lower end of the knurled wheel can pass. The rear and front terminal sections of the lever lying to either side of said opening form respectively a control blade 214 and a fork 215 controlling the gas outlet through its two convergent strips 216 projecting into the groove 217 of the burner nozzle.
Lastly, the lever is provided inside its opening 212 with two blade-shaped extensions 218 integral with the remainder of the lever, said blades 218 being incurved at their root ends 219 so as to extend to either side of the upper section 220 of the flint-carrying tube, while the free ends of the said blades engage with some elastic deformation the upper section 222 of the lighter body.
FIG. 10 shows the lever incorporating the springs 218 constituted by said blade-shaped extensions, the lever being illustrated before its assembly with the different parts of the lighter.
The lighter body is furthermore provided at a location underneath the control blade 214, with a thumb rest 232 adapted to limit the downward movement of the lever, said thumb rest having two grooves 233 adapted to receive the depending flanges 211 of the lever, so that the thumb may, when igniting the lighter, rest not only on the control blade, but also throughout the surface of the said thumb rest.
The user of the lighter when he wishes to ignite it, rotates the knurled wheel in the usual manner, generally with his thumb which at the end of its movement engages the control blade 214 extending transversely of the path of the thumb. The lever pivots then round the spindle 207 against the elastic pressure produced by the bladeshaped extensions until said control blade 214 engages the thumb rest. For said position illustrated in FIG. 7, the forked front terminal section 215 of the lever raises the burner nozzle so that the gas may now escape and be ignited by the sparks produced at the same moment by the rotation of the knurled wheel.
When the user wishes to extinguish the flame, he has merely to move his thumb away from the control blade 214.
The lever subjected to the action of its blade-shaped extensions 218 returns then into its starting position where it holds again the burner nozzle depressed inside the recess and thus closes the gas outlet.
The advantage of such an arrangement resides more particularly in the structure of the spring-lever. It forms a unit which is easy to manufacture, for instance by cut ting or stamping out of a single blank. Its dual function (lever and spring) simplifies both the manufacturing and the assembly of the parts in the lighter.
According to a third embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, the lever-forming spring 240 no longer revolves round a spindle; it is given a general shape similar to that described with "reference to FIGS. 6 to 10. However, the blade-shaped extensions 241 formed on the lever are provided at their free ends with flat sections 242 terminating with inner lateral extensions. Said extensions or tips face each other to form clamping members 242 adapted to mate accurately with the outer surface of the flint-carrying tube 244. On the other hand, a ring 245 is fitted over the flint-carrying tube by means of gluing or force fitting so as to hold said flat sections 242 of the lever in intimate contacting relationship with the upper section 246 of the lighter body.
Lastly, the blades 241 are initially incurved in a manner such that for the position illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 11, the front section 243 of the lever engaging the burner nozzle adapted to slide vertically so as to form a flap closing the gas outlet at 248 may hold said nozzle in contacting fluid tight relationship as described for the preceding embodiment.
The operation of said third embodiment is practically the same as that of the preceding embodiment except for the fact that when the users thumb engages the control blade 249 on the lever, the latter rocks as a consequence of the incurvation given to the medial parts 250 of the blade-shaped extensions 241, so that the whole arrangement assumes then the position illustrated in dot-anddash lines in FIG. 11.
The advantage of the last-described embodiment resides in the omission of the spindle carrying the lever. Since said spindle is usually made of steel, it is a comparatively expensive part.
The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 is a slight modification of the third embodiment. It differs from the latter in that the blade-shaped extensions 260 formed as a unit with the lever 265 are bent in a direc tion substantially perpendicular to the body of said lever and extend into a vertical well 261 formed in the upper section of the lighter body. The lower ends of blades 260 are clamped between a wedge 262 and a shoulder 264 so as to position the lever in such a manner that in a released condition it maintains the burner nozzle depressed.
The vertical well 261 is sufliciently broad at its upper end to allow a transverse shifting of the blade-shaped extensions 260 when they are caused to bend, so as to assume the position illustrated in dot-and-dash lines upon pressure by the users thumb on the control blade 263.
What I claim is:
1. In a gas lighter of the type having a body including a tube open at its upper end, a flint carried inside said upper end, a knurled wheel revolvably carried by said body above said upper end, a spring urging a flint into engagement with said wheel, a burner supplied with gas and including a nozzle adapted to be shifted vertically between an operative position permitting a gas flow through said nozzle and an inoperative position shutting olf the outlet of gas towards said nozzle, the improvement comprising a control mechanism formed of a pivotable lever, one end of which being connected to said nozzle, and at least one elongated spring blade integral with said lever and extending transversely of the axis of said wheel, said spring blade engaging with its free end said lighter body and urging said nozzle through said lever into said inoperative position and control means adapted to be actuated by an operators thumb upon operation by the latter of said wheel to rock said lever against the force of said spring blade and displacing thereby said burner nozzle into said operative position.
2. A mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control means are constituted by an extension of said lever adapted to be engaged by the users thumb and lying at a level underneath said wheel and extending outwardly of the latter in a direction opposed to said burner, said lever having a central aperture to provide a passage for said wheel, said blades extend from said lever within the outline of said aperture at either side of said upper end and engage said lighter body adjacent said tube.
3. A mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein each said blade is incurved for causing its free end to engage the cooperating surface of said lighter body under elastically deformed conditions sufficient for said blade to urge said burner nozzle into said inoperative position.
4. A mechanism as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control means are constituted by an extension of said lever adapted to be engaged by the users thumb and lying at a level underneath said wheel and extending outwardly of the latter in a direction opposed to said burner, said mechanism including means locking the ends of said spring blades in position with respect to said lighter body.
5. A mechanism as claimed in claim 4, wherein said spring blades extend into a well formed in said lighter body between said tube and said burner, the end of said blades is fixedly held in the base of said Well, said well is so dimensioned as to permit displacement of said blades towards said tube when said extension is depressed by the user.
6. A mechanism as claimed in claim 4, wherein each said spring blade includes a flat section adjacent its free end and complemental with the cooperating side of said upper end, said mechanism including means engaging the outside of said flint-carrying tube and clamping said flat sections against a cooperating surface of the lighter body.
7. A mechanism as claimed in claim 2, wherein said lever is made of resilient sheet of metal, said blades include flat sections engaging a cooperating upper surface of said lighter body on the corresponding sides of said flint-carrying tube, said blades being bent so as to urge said lever into a position for which said burner nozzle closes the gas outlet, said mechanism includes means holding the free ends of said blades fast in position on said lighter body.
8. A mechanism as claimed in claim 2, wherein said lever is made of resilient sheet metal, said blades are bent downwardly in a plane substantially normal to said lever and wherein the upper surface of said lighter body is provided with a vertical well parallel with said axis and receiving with a clearance, a substantial portion of said bent blades, said mechanism including a wedge holding the end of said blades fast in the base of said well.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,698,534 1/ 1955 Kuhnl. 3,063,276 11/1962 Cassan. 3,174,309 3/ 1965 Kobayashi. 3,263,456 8/ 1966 Dexter. 3,280,600 10/1966 Meyers.
EDWARD J. MICHAEL, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 431-276.