US 3525919 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 25, i
R. A. WISE 3,525,919
1- PEG. 1
WITNESSES Filed June 13, 1968 FiG.3
I CD 28 FIGA 25 a 4 r I In INVENTOR Robert A. Wise AGENT- United States Patent O 3,525,919 TERMINAL STRUCTURE FOR A BATTERY- POWERED APPLIANCE Robert A. Wise, Edison, N.J., assignor to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed June 13, 1968, Ser. No. 736,842 Int. Cl. H01m 45/04 U.S. Cl. 320-4 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A battery-powered appliance, for example, a toothbrush, having casing structure with an open end for insertion of working components therein, and a closure structure for the open end. The closure structure includes a caphaving resilient upstanding fingers which cooperate with battery charging contacts within the casing to effect retention thereof. The fingers frictionally engage end port-ions of the charging contacts which extend transversely through opposed wall portions of the casing structure to thereby position and retain the closure member and the working components in the casing structure.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates, in general, to battery-powered appliances and, more particularly, to terminal structure therefor.
Certain prior art appliances, for example, battery-powered toothbrushes, have elongated casing structures with an opening in one end for insertion of the components making up the appliance. The components include a pair of oppositely disposed conductor straps having enlarged terminal portions disposed adjacent the open end of the casing structure. The enlarged portions are provided with tapered bores for receiving screws serving to secure an end cap or closure member over the open end of the casing structure. A pair of electrically conductive elements are mounted externally of the casing structure by the above-mentioned screws and serve to establish an electrical circuit between a battery recharging unit and the battery.
It is well known that the small appliance industry is highly competitive; consequently, it is quite important to minimize the total number of parts required and also'the number of operations required to assemble a completed product. It is also important that the product lend itself to being readily disassembled in the event of parts failure. It will be appreciated that this latter requisite, to a large degree, relates to the number of parts needed to be removed for that purpose. It should be noted that the requirement of being readily disassembled can be omitted without substantially subtracting from the usefulness of the construction, particularly where the reliability of the product is very good.
Accordingly, the general object of this invention is to provide a new and improved portable appliance, for example, a battery-powered toothbrush or the like.
It is a more particular object of this invention to provide terminal structure for a batteryapowered appliance, which structure serves to position components with a casing structure and to also retain an end cap.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above-cited objects are accomplished by providind in one embodiment of the invention, casing structure having an open end for receiving, among other things, a pair of elongated conductor straps provided with terminal portions in the form of stud-shaped members having head portions which extend through opposed sidewalls "ice of the casing structure for positioning the internal mechanism and for providing a current flow path from a charger unit to a battery within the casing structure. The shank portion of the stud-like members are received in bifurcated members carried by a cover member or end cap for closing the open end of the casing structure. The bifurcated members comprise resilient arms or fingers which frictionally engage the shank portions of the stud-shaped members.
In another embodiment of the invention the elongated electrically conducting straps are provided with cupshaped terminal portions which are engaged by cams carried by finger-like members carried by an end cap.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent when considered in view of the following detailed description and drawings forming a part hereof.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, of a battery-powered toothbrush incorporating the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the lower end of the device illustrated in FIG. 1, which is more specifically directed to one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line III- III of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of an end cap forming a part of the invention; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the lower end of the device such as that shown in FIG. 1, but with a modified embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 24.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF T HE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION Referring now tothe drawings, especially FIG. 1, reference character 1 designates generally a power handle or casing structure for a toothbrush. The power handle or casing structure 1, made from any suit-able material, for example, plastic, houses a plurality of components such as an electrical motor 2, a rechargeable battery 3, a frame 4 having a post 5 protruding from its end, onto which a detachable toothbrush 6 (indicated in outline) may be secured.
At the bottom of the post 5, a groove 8 formed therein accommodates a flexible apron 9, which constitutes a barrier to prevent the entrance of fluids or moist matter, such as toothpaste, into the interior of the casing structure 1.
The device shown in FIG. 1 is operated by the pushing of the slide, indicated in outline, upwardly, so that a contact ar-m 11 engages a contact 12 carried by an elongated conductor strap 13 attached to an insulating member 14, which is, in turn, secured to the motor 2. The contact arm 11 is connected to one pole of the motor 2 which pole is located on the reverse side of the motor as viewed in FIG. 1. A second conductor strap 15 is electrically connected to the other pole of the motor as is indicated at 16 by means of a lead 17. The battery 3 is connected to straps 13 and 15, by leads 18 and 19. The motor 2, frame 4 and straps 13 and 15 constitute a unitary assembly.
A pair of stud-shaped charging contacts 21 are staked, in any suitable manner, to the straps 1'3 and 15 adjacent the lower ends thereof. Each of the contacts 21 has a head portion 22 and a shank portion 23. Each of the head portions is received in one of two opposed apertures 24 in the casing structure '1. Since the cont-acts '21 are rigidly secured to the straps 13 and 15, they serve to properly position the straps and other components within the casing structure 1.
The shank portions 23, as shown in FIG. 3, are received between the resilient fingers 25 and 26 forming identical bifurcated members 27, which members are molded integrally in an end cap or closure member 28, made from a suitable material, for example, plastic. The fingers 25 and 26 serve to releasably engage the shank portions 23 so that the friction therein between retains the end cap 28 in registry with an opening 29 in the easing structure 1, through which the components such as the motor 2, battery 3, frame for straps 13 and 15 are inserted.
Another embodiment of the invention, as shown in FIG. 5, comprises a casing structure 31 having opposed apertures 32 and 32. A pair of conductor straps 33 and 33' similar to the straps 13 and 15 with the exception of the charging contact portions 34 and 34 which in this embodiment comprise cup-shaped elements formed in the straps 3.3 and 33 by a suitable manufacturing technique, such as drawing.
An end cap member 35, molded from any suitable ma terial, for example, plastic, comprises a base portion 36 in registry with an opening 37 in the casing structure 81 and a pair of resilient fingers 38 and '38 having cam surfaces 39 and 39' thereon. The cam surfaces 39 and 39 are received in the cup-shaped contacts '34 and 34' to effect securement of the end cap '35.
Since numerous changes may be made in the above apparatus and different embodiments may be made without departing from the spirit thereof, it is intended that all matter contained in the foregoing description or shown in the accompanying drawings, shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
1. In a battery-powered appliance, in combination,
a motor and rechargeable battery therefor, said motor and battery being insertable into said casing structure through an opening in one end of said casing,
charging contacts supported within said casing and having one end extending through the side of said casing and terminating externally thereof, the other end of said terminals operatively connected to said battery,
means for closing said opening,
said means including a base portion having resilient means extending therefrom for frictionally engaging said one end of said terminals to retain said base portion in registry within said opening.
'2. Structure as specified in claim 1 wherein,
said one end of said contacts comprises a stud-shaped member, the larger portion of which extends through the wall of the casing structure and the smaller portion of which extends into the casing structure,
and said resilient means carried by said base comprises a pair of bifurcated elements for frictionally engaging said smaller portion therebetween.
3. Structure as specified in claim 1 wherein,
said one end of said terminals comprises a cup-shaped member protruding through wall portions of said casing structure,
and said resilient means carried by said base portion comprises a pair of upstanding flexible fingers having cam surfaces thereon, said cam surfaces being received in said cup-shaped terminal structures and serving to retain said terminal structures in said apertures and prevent inadvertent removal of said closure means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,628,339 6/1969 Werner.
2,876,410 3/ 1959 Fry 320--2 3,028,536 4/1962 Bilsky 3202 3,145,404 8/1964 Fiedler 320-2 3,196,299 7/1965 Kott 310-68 MILTON O. HIRSH-FIELD, Primary Examiner R. SKUDY, Assistant Examiner U.C. Cl. X.R. 310-50, 66, 71