US 3524409 A
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United States Patent Inventor Paul H. Griffith Penn Valley, Norberth, Pennsylvania Appl. No. 814,507 Filed March 26, 1969 Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 709,854, filed Feb. 6, 1968 and Ser. No. 525,985, filed Feb 8, 1966, both now abandoned. Patented Aug. 18, 1970 Assignee Bristol Flare Corporation Bristol, Pennsylvania a Corp. of Delaware FUSEE FLARE KIT 7 Claims, 15 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl l02/37.4, 206/3l Int. Cl CObd 1/10, Field of Search 206/31;
Primary Examiner- Robert F. Stahl Atlarne v John F. A. Earley ABSTRACT: A fusee flare kit for motorists comprising a box having a drawer or tray and a sleeve adapted to slip on and off the tray, with a mounting hole formed in the bottom of the tray. The box contains three fusee flares, with each flare including a body member containing a flare material and having an ignition button at one end which is covered by a removable cap. A rigid scratch strip is provided that is separate from the fusee flares and is adapted for a wiping action with the ignition button to ignite the flare after the cap has been removed. The scratch strip is mounted on the box, or is a separate piece of elongated paperboard that is V-shaped or is curved in cross section. In one embodiment, the scratch strip is mounted on the tray and is exposed only when the box is open. In another embodiment the sleeve is provided with cutaway portions at one end for easier opening of the box and for locating the scratch strip visually when the box is closed.
Patented -Aug. 18, 1970 3,524,409
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I INVENTOR gai lll PAUL H. GRIFFITH v ATTORNEYS Patented Aug. 18, 1970 I 3,524,409
Sheet 2 of 3 mvamon FIG. IO- PAULv H. GRIFFITH ATTQRNE Patented Aug. 18, 1970 3,524,409
Sheet 3 013 I INVENTOR PAUL H. GRlFFlTH ATTORNEY FUSEE FLARE KIT CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This patent application is a continuation-in-part of my copending patent application Serial No. 709,854 filed February 6, 1968, and Serial No. 525,985, filed February 8, 1966, both now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to emergency signaling, and more particularly concerns a fusee flare kit for motorists and the like.
When an automobile or other vehicle breaks down at night on the highway, it is important to warn other motorists of the location of the disabled vehicle. One way of doing this is to pIace flares on the highway at a distance to the rear so as to signal oncoming traffic.
Conventional fusee flares include a body member containing a flare material, an ignition button at the top end of the body member, a removable cap covering the ignition button and body member top, and a scratch member positioned inside the cap. A paperboard or wire stand or other type of support may be provided to hold the flare upright on the highway when in use. A tape is positioned under the wrapping of the cap and extends therefrom. To ignite the flare, the tape is pulled up and over, tearing the wrapping and exposing the scratch surface on top of cap and by such tearing facilitating twist off and removal ofcap. Cap is then rubbed across the ignition button. This may be somewhat difficult in the dark and also under adverse weather conditions, especially if the user is inexperienced in igniting flares. The cap is small and may be dropped and be hard to find in the dark or in snow or it may get wet from rain and not work, or the user may not be aware of the existence of the scratch member and may throw the cap away, not realizing it is needed to ignite the flare.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The flares of this kit are especially adapted for use in an emergency on a highway to signal the presence of a disabled car, and are ignited and placed on the highway at a distance to the rear of the disabled vehicle in order to signal oncoming traffic.
It is an object of this invention to provide a fusee flare kit which is especially adapted for use as an emergency signal by a motorist to indicate the presence of a disabled vehicle.
It is another object to provide for easy and safe ignition of the fusee flare even in complete darkness by a person who has never ignited a fusee flare before.
It is another object to provide for easily opening the box. and for quickly locating the scratch strip visually when the box is closed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of this invention, including its simplicity and economy, will further become apparent hereinafter and in the drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a view in perspective of a fusee flare kit constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 through 4 illustrate the steps of removing a cap and igniting the flare;
FIG. 5 illustrates igniting the flare using another embodiment ofigniting means;
FIG. 6 shows the flare in burning position on a highway;
FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment ofigniting means;
FIG. 8 is a view in perspective of another embodiment of the fusee flare kit shown with the box closed;
FIG. 9 is a view in perspective of the kit of FIG. 8 with the box partly open;
FIG. I is a view illustrating the step ofigniting a fusee flare on the box ofFIG. 8;
FIG. II is a view in perspective of another embodiment of the fusee flare ki shown with the box closed;
FIG. 12 is a view in perspective of the box of FIG. I I with its tray pulled out of its sleeve;
FIG. 13 is a view, partly in section, of a flare such as is contained in the box of FIG. I I;
FIG. I4 is a view illustrating the step of opening the box of FIG. I l;and
FIG. 15 is a view illustrating the step of igniting the flare of FIG. I3 on the box ofFIG. I l.
10 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Although specific terms are used in the following description for clarity, these terms are intended to refer only to the structure shown in the drawings and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the invention.
Turning now to the specific embodiments of the invention selected for illustration in the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1-7 a fusee flare kit 10 which comprises a box 12 that contains three fusee flares l4 and has a rigid scratch strip I6 mounted on the side of the box. Each flare is provided with an ignition button 18 at one end, and scratch strip 16 is adapted for a wiping action with ignition button 18 to thereby ignite the flare. Flares I4 include, besides ignition button 18, a body member 20 containing a flare material, wires 22 extending from body member 20 near its base and having free ends 24 which are adapted to be bent away from fusee body 20 to form a tripod with the base of body member 20, and a removable cap 26 which covers the ignition button 18. A tape 28 is positioned under cap 26 and has a free end which extends from the cap and is pulled to tear through the cap and assist in removing it from the flare.
Box I2 includes a tray 32 having a bottom panel 34, with side panels 36 and end panels 38 connected to bottom panel 34 by crease lines.
A sleeve 40 is adapted to slip on and off tray 32 and is provided with a top panel 42 and a bottom panel 44 joined together along crease lines by side panels 46. The ends of sleeve 40 are open. A mounting hole 48 is formed near the top end of tray bottom panel 34 and is adapted to receive a nail or the like for displaying kit 10, as on a pegboard in a store market. Kit 10 is adapted for display with the box 12 partly open so that the top portion of the flares 14 are in view to prospective customers. Accordingly, sleeve 40 fits sufficiently snugly around tray 32 so that frictional engagement between these two elements prevents the sleeve 40 from slipping off the tray 32 when kit I0 is hung by its mounting hole 48.
FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of the invention wherein a scratch strip 50 is provided which is made of paperboard and is folded along a crease line 52 so as to form a V in cross section. A scratch surface 54 covers the inside or facing surfaces of the V. The crease line 52 and the V cross section gives the necessary rigidity to scratch strip 50 so that button 18 may be wiped across scratch surface 54 without buckling the strip. In the ignition operation, button 18 may be wiped across surface 54, or, just the reverse, surface 54 may be wiped across button 18 while the flare is held steady.
FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of a scratch strip 56 which is made of paperboard and is curved to form the arc ofa circle and fit snugly around body member 20 of flare 14. The inside of strip 56 is provided with a scratch surface. The arc may form half a circle, or a little less, and this curved construction makes strip 56 sufficiently rigid to resist buckling when button I8 is wiped across its scratch surface during the ignition operation. If desired, a rubber band 58 may be used to secure strip 56 to the fusee flare during shipping and storage.
The operation of the invention in an emergency is as follows. If a motorist's vehicle should break down on the highway, the motorist is instructed to go well to the rear of his disabled vehicle carrying the fusee flare kit 10 with him. He slides open box 12, removes a flare l4, and closes the box. He bends the wires 22 down and away from the flare to form a tripod stand with the base of'body member 20. He pulls tape 28 in the manner shown in FIG. 2, twists off the cap 26 as shown in FIG. 3. and drops the cap. 'l'hen he holds box 12 and flare I4 at arms length. and wipes ignition button 18 across scratch strip 16 as shown in FIG. 4 to ignite the flare. Then he places the lighted flare on the highway where it burns in the manner shown in FIG. 6.
The operation is the same for the embodiment shown in FIG. 5. except that separate scratch strip 50 is used to ignite the button I8 instead of scratch strip I6 which is mounted directly on box I2. Separate scratch strip 50 may be provided separately. or it may be packed in box 12. If desired, it may be curved to conform with the body ofthe fusee flare.
Ignition button 18 resembles a flattened oval in cross section and may be contacted by one or both facing scratch sur faces 54 on separate scratch strip 50.
Very satisfactory results have been obtained where the composition of the various flare elements is as follows. The flare material in body member 20 comprises a mixture of strontium nitrate, perchlorate of potash. sulphur, sawdust, and shellac. The ignition button 18 comprises a mixture of chlorate of potash. burnt umber. strontium carbonate, char coal. and shellac, and an ignition flll connects button 18 to the flare mixture and comprises a mix ofchlorate of potash. strontium nitrate, burnt umber. charcoal, and shellac. Scratch strip 16 and scratch surface 54 comprise phosphorus. antimony, ground glass. manganese dioxide, and emery in a binder in cluding a lacquer and a thinner.
Turning now to the embodiment ofthe invention of FIGS. 8 to 10, there is shown a fusee flare kit 60 for motorists and the like comprising a box 62 that includes a tray 64 with a bottom panel 66 having a pair of side panels 68 and a pair of end panels 70 extending therefrom and connected together. Box 62 also includes a sleeve 72 having a top panel 74 connected to a bottom panel 76 by side panels 78.
A scratch strip 80 is mounted near the end of one sleeve side panel 78, and another scratch strip 82 is mounted near the end ofside panel 68 ofthe tray 64.
Scratch strip 82 is mounted on tray 64 so that when box 62 is closed, scratch strip 82 is protected from abrasion and from rain. and yet scratch strip 82 is easily accessible when the box is open.
Scratch strip 82 is mounted near the end of side panel 68 so as to be far removed from the ignition button of any flares remaining in box 62 while another flare is being ignited.
In operation, the flare 20 is removed from box 62 and the cap 26 is removed. Then the still open box is held as shown in FIG. l in one hand. while the other hand moves the ignition button I8 across the scratch surfaces 80 and 82. Scratch surface 80 is positioned at the end ofsleeve side panel 78 so as to form a continuous scratch strip with scratch surface 82 mounted on the end of the tray side panel 68, and thereby give a longer scratch surface.
However, it is not necessary to use scratch surface 80 in ig niting the flare 20. since the flare can be ignited by passing the ignition button 18 across the scratch surface 82 only. Accordingly, even if scratch surface 80 has become useless and inoperable for igniting a flare. because of the dampness from the rain or because of being damaged from abrasion. the flare may be ignited very easily by using the undamaged and dry scratch surface 82 which has been protected by sleeve 72 when the box 62 is closed.
Turning now to the embodiment ofthe invention illustrated in FIGS. lll5. there is shown a fusee flare kit 84 for motorists and the like comprising a box 86 containing three flares 88. Box 86 includes a tray 90 with a bottom panel 92 having a pair of side panels 94, 96 and a pair ofend panels 98. I00 extending upwardly therefrom and connected together to define an open tray top. Box 86 also includes a sleeve I02 having a top panel 104 connected to a bottom panel I06 by side panels 108.
Sleeve side panels I08 include a cutaway portion I at one end so that one hand 2 may grasp sleeve I02 and the other hand I I4 may grasp the tray side panels 94 and 96 between its thumb and middle finger through the sleeve cutaway portions 110. as is illustrated in FIG. 14. to easily slide the tray from sleeve I02 and open the box 86.
A scratch strip I16 is mounted near one end of sleeve side panel I08 so that a cut-away portion Ill) is positioned to expose a portion. approximately one-quarter, of the scratch strip when the box 86 is closed to thereby locate the scratch strip 116 quickly on visual inspection of the box by the user. Approximately three-quarters of scratch strip 116 remains covered by side panel I08 of sleeve 102 to thereby protect the scratch strip from weather or other damage which might be caused by abrasion.
Fusee flares 88 include a body member 118 containing a flare material, an ignition button 120. and a cap 122 which is made of paperboard and is cup-shaped with the cup having side walls 124 and a convex top 126 that forms a cushion above ignition button 120. A paper cover I28 is glued to cap 122 and body member 118 to fix the cap 122 in place. The side walls of cap 122 frictionally engage a ring 130 which protrudes outwardly from the top of the body member I18 of the fusee flare.
In operation. fusee flares 88 are removed from box 86 in the manner shown in FIG. 14 by grasping sleeve 102 with the left hand and grasping tray 90 with the right thumb and middle finger at cutaway portions 110. Then the tray is slid relative to the sleeve to open the box and also expose the hidden portion of scratch strip 116. A fusee flare 88 is removed from box 86. cap 122 is twisted to break the seal formed by cover 128. and the cap is removed to expose ignition button 120. Then ignition button is rubbed against scratch strip 116 to ignite the fusee flare, and the flare is then placed in the roadway. Fusee flares 88 may be provided with support devices such as wires 22 shown in the embodiment of FIGS. l7.
The fusee flare kit 84 is easier to open because ofthe provision of the cutaway portions I10 in sleeve 102. and the cu taway portion I10 also serves to locate the position of the scratch strip. Further, the elimination of the scratch strip from the conventional fusee cap serves to reduce the cost of the fusee flares.
The operation of igniting the fusee is simple and may be done in the dark in complete safety.
The fusee flares help prevent rear end collisions when a vehicle is disabled on the road. or when a motorist is changing a tire. They are always ready for instant use, and emit a brilliant red warning light in snow. rain. or fog. and do so night or day. The fusee flares are easy. fast. and safe to use. and the kit is easy to store in the glove compartment or in the trunk ofthe car. The fusee flare kit and its scratch strips are entirely new in the art. The invention provides improved safety in emergency highway signaling because it is much safer to ignite the flare by using the scratch strips as compared to conventional ignition methods.
While the scratch kits have been described in relation to highway use. it may also be used in other fields such as in marine and railroad emergency signaling.
I. A fusee flare kit for motorists and the like. comprising a box. at least one fusee flare contained within the box. each flare having an ignition button at one end and including a body member containing a flare material and a removable cap which covers the ignition button, and a rigid scratch strip separate from the fusee flare and adapted for wiping action with said ignition button to ignite the flare after the cap has been removed, said scratch strip being made of a piece of elongated paperboard folded along a crease line to form a V in cross section. with the scratch surface covering the facing surfaces ofthe V.
2. A fusee flare kit for motorists and the like. comprising a box. at least one fusee flare contained within the box. each flare having an ignition button at one end and including a body member containing a flare material and a removable cap which covers the ignition button. and a rigid scratch strip separate from the fusee flare and adapted for wiping action with said ignition button to ignite the flare after the cap has been removed. said scratch strip bcing made of paperboard curved to fit snugly around the flare during storage.
3. A fusee flare kit for motorists and the like, comprising a box, at least one fusee flare contained within the box, each flare having an ignition button at one end and including a body member containing a flare material and a removable cap which covers the ignition button, and a first and second rigid scratch strip separate from the fusee flare and adapted for wiping action with said ignition button to ignite the flare after the cap has been removed, said box having a sleeve and a tray slidable therein with a bottom panel having a pair of side and end panels extending therefrom and connected together to define an open tray, said first scratch strip being mounted on the tray so that when the box is closed the first scratch strip is protected from abrasion and rain, and when the box is open the first scratch strip extends away from the sleeve, the flares are accessible for withdrawal, and the first scratch strip is exposed for igniting the flares, said second scratch strip being mounted on the sleeve so that when the tray is opened the scratch strips align themselves and form a continuous abrasive surface.
4. The flare kit of Claim 3, wherein the first scratch strip is mounted near the end of a side panel of the tray at the other end of the box away from the ignition button of said flares.
5. A fusee flare kit for motorists and the like, comprising a box, at least one fusee flare contained within the box, each flare having an ignition button at one end and including a body member containing a flare material and a removable cap which covers the ignition button, and a rigid scratch strip separate from the fusee flare and adapted for wiping action with said ignition button to ignite the flare after the cap has been removed, said box having a sleeve with top, bottom and side panels and a tray slidable therein with a bottom panel having a pair of side and end panels extending therefrom and connected together to deflne an open tray top, said scratch strip being mounted on one of the tray side panels, said sleeve side panels having a cutaway portion at one end so that one hand may grasp the sleeve and the other hand may grasp the tray side panels through said sleeve cutaway portions to easily slide the tray from the sleeve and open the box, one of said cutaway portions being positioned so as to expose a portion of the scratch strip when the box is closed to thereby locate the strip quickly on visual inspection of the box by the user.
6. The fusee flare kit of Claim 5, wherein said cap comprises a paperboard cup.
7. The fusee flare kit of Claim 6, wherein the cup has a convex top that forms a cushion.