|Publication number||US3752637 A|
|Publication date||Aug 14, 1973|
|Filing date||Sep 13, 1971|
|Priority date||Sep 13, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3752637 A, US 3752637A, US-A-3752637, US3752637 A, US3752637A|
|Inventors||Norman D, Soane K|
|Original Assignee||Ronson Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (16), Classifications (6), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  Norman et a1.
[ 5]! Aug. 14, 1973 UNITARY FINGERPIECE AND IGNITION ACTUATOR I  Inventors: David Norman, Sutton; Keith Soane,
Mickleham, both of England  Assignee: Ronson Corporation, Woodbridge,
[22 Filed: Sept. 13,1971 211 App1.No.: 180,071
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 872,003, Oct. 29, 1969,
 US. Cl. 431/274, 431/344  Int. Cl..' F23q 1/02  Flcld ofsclrch 431/130,131, 150,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,943,471 7/1960 Newman 431/131 X 3,150,508 9/1964 Smith 431/130 Primary Examiner-Carroll B. Dority, Jr. Attorney-Lewis H. Eslinger s71 ABSTRACT A spark producing mechanism in which a hinge connects a fingerpiece and a sparkwheel actuator or it can connect a fingerpiece and a conventional snuffer cap such that an inexpensive, one piece action is formed to ignite fuel emanating from the burner valve of a cigarette lighter or the like.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Aug. 14, 1973 ATTORNEY UNITARY FINGERPIECE AND IGNITION ACTUATOR This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 872,003 filed Oct. 29, 1969 and which is now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improvement in ignition mechanisms particularly for use in cigarette lighters.
Prior art ignition mechanisms utilize a fingerpiece which is connected, by means of a gear segment to a carrier which straddles a flintwheel. The flintwheel is generally constructed with ratchet teeth molded integrally therein such that a clutch mechanism will engage a tooth and rotate the flintwheel in one direction, however, the clutch is made to slip in the opposite direction, thereby precluding rotation in the opposite direction. Thus, to actuate the prior art lighters, the fingerpiece is depressed and this rotates a carrier or a snuffer member. As the latter member is rotated, it carries with it a clutch which then serves to rotate the flintwheel. When the fingerpiece is released, it returns to its rest position, the carrier or snuffer member returns to its rest position, the clutch slips and the flintwheel remains stationary.
In the event that the gear segments on the fingerpiece and on the carrier member do not mate well, the fingerpiece will not rotate the carrier or snuffer member properly and the lighter will malfunction. Another problem with the prior art construction is that dust particles which are created when the flintwheel rubs the flint get in the crevices between the fingerpiece and the carrier or snufl'er member which tends to jam the mechanism causing it to malfunction. Special fixtures must be made in order to insure the proper mating of the fingerpiece and the carrier or snuffer member which adds to the cost of assembly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention the flintwheel carrier member and the fingerpiece are directly connected by a hinge which is preferably a plastic such as polypropylene, however, any flexible material will accomplish the purposes of this invention. The hinge may be suitably secured with the carrier member and fingerpiece by means of a suitable adhesive, but in a preferred form of the invention the fingerpiece and carrier are formed integral with the hinge. Thus, by using a hinged connection between the fingerpiece and the carrier, the gear segment connection has been eliminated. Concomitant therewith is the savings in cost, time and labor associated with the manufacture of the cigarette lighter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side view of the upper portion of a cigarette lighter partly in section, and
FIG. 2 is a side view of a cigarette lighter in the actuated position,
FIG. 3 is a sectional view showing a clutch and spark wheel.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1 there is shown a portion of a cigarette lighter having a housing which can be plastic or metal and can have a decorative sheath (not shown) snugly enclosing the housing 10. A well 11 is formed in a portion of the lighter in which there is received a burner valve 12. The burner valve can be any known burner valve commonly found in cigarette lighters using gaseous fuel such as butane, or the burner valve can be replaced by a wick in the case of a lighter using a hydrocarbon, such as lighter fluid, as the fuel. The fuel is supplied to the valve or wick by means of a fuel reservoir formed in the body of the cigarette lighter.
A conventional flint 13 and flint spring I4 are housed in a bore 15 which is normally closed by a removable cover (not shown) on the base of the lighter. A conventional flintwheel 17 is mounted on an axle 16. The axle 16 is joumalled in opposed ears 18 formed on the lighter housing 10. A clutch 19 which can be stamped from a sheet of metal has an offset tang 20 which engages ratchet teeth 17a on the flintwheel in the manner of a ratchet and pawl. The clutch is rotatably mounted on the axle I6 and has a flat portion 21 which is engaged by a carrier 22.
The carrier 22 is in the form of a U-shaped member which straddles the flintwheel l7 and the clutch 19. Thus, when the carrier 22 is rotated, it engages the flat portion 21 of the clutch and imparts rotation to it. The tang 20 on the clutch engages a tooth 17a on the flintwheel and thereby rotates the flintwheel 17. When the carrier 22 returns to its restposition shown in FIG. 1, the clutch clips on the inclined teeth 17a so no rotation is imparted to the flintwheel 17 in the reverse direction.
A fingerpiece 23 which can have a U-shaped cross section is connected to the carrier 22 by means of a hinge 24. The hinge can be integral with the carrier and fingerpiece whereby the latter elements can be molded in one piece or the hinge 24 can be glued or otherwise secured to the carrier and fingerpiece to form a unitary connection. The fingerpiece 23 has a lip 25 integrally formed at one end thereof. The lip extends into an opening 26 for pivotal movement therein. The lip 25 preferably does not extend fully into the opening and if desired the outer end of the opening 26 can be plugged so as to create a pleasing appearance. A spring 27 has one end 27a which bears on a shelf 28 on the lighter housing 10. The other end 27b of the spring 27 resiliently urges the fingerpiece 23 to its unactuated position as shown in FIG. 1.
In operation, the user depresses the fingerpiece 23 against the bias of the spring 27. Since the carrier 22 is connected to the fingerpiece it will be urged downwardly with the forward portion of the fingerpiece. The carrier 22, it should be noted, can cover the well 11 in the same manner that a snuffer on a conventional lighter does. The carrier 22 grips the flat portion 21 of the clutch 19 whilst the tang '20 on the clutch engages a tooth on the sparkwheel. The sparkwheel rotates and rubs against the flint 13 thereby causing a shower of sparks to ignite fuel issuing from the burner valve or wick 12. Any known mechanical linkage can be used between the fingerpiece or carrier and the valve 12 to actuate the latter and cause fuelto emanate from the burner. The lighter is shown in actuated position in FIG. 2.
I. In an ignition mechanism comprising a housing having a burner valve fixed thereto at one end and ignition means adjacent said burner valve for igniting fuel carried within said housing, a combined carrier and fingerpiece comprising a single moldedstructure being said opening for pivotal movement therein.
4. In an ignition mechanism as defined in claim 1 further characterized by spring means which biases the fingerpiece to an unactuated position.
5. In an ignition mechanism as defined in claim 1 in which the means for igniting fuel comprises a flintwheel which is actuated by said carrier and a flint against which the flintwheel rubs to create a spark which ignites fuel emanating from the burner.
6. In an ignition mechanism as defined in claim 5 further characterized by a clutch having a portion thereon which engages the carrier and a tang which engages means on the flintwheel to drive the flintwheel in one direction and to slip in the opposite direction.
7. In an ignition mechanism as defined in claim 1 in which the carrier extends to a point slightly beyond the ignition means and does not overlie the burner valve whereby the burner valve is exposed at all times.
* t 1V fi
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2943471 *||May 31, 1957||Jul 5, 1960||Schick Inc||Cigarette lighter|
|US3150508 *||Dec 24, 1962||Sep 29, 1964||Donald Smith James||Pyrophoric lighter actuating mechanism|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4099907 *||Oct 4, 1976||Jul 11, 1978||Scripto, Inc.||Ignition mechanism for a pyrophoric lighter|
|US4146358 *||Oct 21, 1976||Mar 27, 1979||Wilkinson Sword Limited||Pyrophoric lighter|
|US5002482 *||Sep 2, 1988||Mar 26, 1991||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter|
|US5092764 *||Jul 11, 1990||Mar 3, 1992||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter with locking valve cap|
|US5125829 *||Dec 22, 1989||Jun 30, 1992||Bic Corporation||Bidirectional selectively actuatable lighter|
|US5215458 *||Sep 25, 1991||Jun 1, 1993||Bic Corporation||Child-resistant lighter with spring-biased, rotatable safety release|
|US5456598 *||Jul 1, 1991||Oct 10, 1995||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter|
|US5483978 *||Jul 28, 1993||Jan 16, 1996||Bic Corporation||Lighter with guard|
|US5487657 *||Jun 3, 1993||Jan 30, 1996||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter|
|US5520197 *||Jun 17, 1994||May 28, 1996||Bic Corporation||Lighter with guard|
|US5584682 *||Feb 27, 1995||Dec 17, 1996||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter with anti-defeat latch|
|US5628627 *||Jun 6, 1995||May 13, 1997||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter|
|US5636979 *||May 22, 1995||Jun 10, 1997||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter|
|US5735294 *||Jul 26, 1994||Apr 7, 1998||Bic Corporation||Lighter with guard|
|US6077069 *||May 13, 1997||Jun 20, 2000||Bic Corporation||Selectively actuatable lighter|
|US6485291||Jan 11, 2001||Nov 26, 2002||Bic Corporation||Covered spark-generating device for a lighter with engageable manipulable member|
|U.S. Classification||431/274, 431/344|
|International Classification||F23Q2/00, F23Q2/08|
|Feb 12, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RONSON CORPORATION, NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:022248/0313
Effective date: 20090209
|Jul 15, 1985||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FOOTHILL CAPITAL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF CA, ILLIN
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RONSON CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004431/0132
Effective date: 19850614
|Jul 20, 1984||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LAZERE FINANCIAL CORPORATION 60 EAST 42ND STREET,
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RONSON CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004304/0018
Effective date: 19840516
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC., 228 EAST 45
|Jul 10, 1984||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NIHON SIBER HEGNER, K.K.
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:RONSON CORPORATION A CORP OF NJ;REEL/FRAME:004286/0886
Effective date: 19840314