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Publication numberUS3752637 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1973
Filing dateSep 13, 1971
Priority dateSep 13, 1971
Publication numberUS 3752637 A, US 3752637A, US-A-3752637, US3752637 A, US3752637A
InventorsNorman D, Soane K
Original AssigneeRonson Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Unitary fingerpiece and ignition actuator
US 3752637 A
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.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [19] Norman et a1.

[ 5]! Aug. 14, 1973 UNITARY FINGERPIECE AND IGNITION ACTUATOR I [75] Inventors: David Norman, Sutton; Keith Soane,

Mickleham, both of England [73] Assignee: Ronson Corporation, Woodbridge,

[22 Filed: Sept. 13,1971 211 App1.No.: 180,071

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation of Ser. No. 872,003, Oct. 29, 1969,


[52] US. Cl. 431/274, 431/344 [51] Int. Cl..' F23q 1/02 [58] Flcld ofsclrch 431/130,131, 150,

[56] 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.

We claim:

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

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2943471 *May 31, 1957Jul 5, 1960Schick IncCigarette lighter
US3150508 *Dec 24, 1962Sep 29, 1964Donald Smith JamesPyrophoric lighter actuating mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4099907 *Oct 4, 1976Jul 11, 1978Scripto, Inc.Ignition mechanism for a pyrophoric lighter
US4146358 *Oct 21, 1976Mar 27, 1979Wilkinson Sword LimitedPyrophoric lighter
US5002482 *Sep 2, 1988Mar 26, 1991Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter
US5092764 *Jul 11, 1990Mar 3, 1992Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter with locking valve cap
US5125829 *Dec 22, 1989Jun 30, 1992Bic CorporationBidirectional selectively actuatable lighter
US5215458 *Sep 25, 1991Jun 1, 1993Bic CorporationChild-resistant lighter with spring-biased, rotatable safety release
US5456598 *Jul 1, 1991Oct 10, 1995Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter
US5483978 *Jul 28, 1993Jan 16, 1996Bic CorporationLighter with guard
US5487657 *Jun 3, 1993Jan 30, 1996Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter
US5520197 *Jun 17, 1994May 28, 1996Bic CorporationLighter with guard
US5584682 *Feb 27, 1995Dec 17, 1996Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter with anti-defeat latch
US5628627 *Jun 6, 1995May 13, 1997Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter
US5636979 *May 22, 1995Jun 10, 1997Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter
US5735294 *Jul 26, 1994Apr 7, 1998Bic CorporationLighter with guard
US6077069 *May 13, 1997Jun 20, 2000Bic CorporationSelectively actuatable lighter
US6485291Jan 11, 2001Nov 26, 2002Bic CorporationCovered spark-generating device for a lighter with engageable manipulable member
U.S. Classification431/274, 431/344
International ClassificationF23Q2/00, F23Q2/08
Cooperative ClassificationF23Q2/08
European ClassificationF23Q2/08
Legal Events
Feb 12, 2009ASAssignment
Effective date: 20090209
Jul 15, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850614
Jul 20, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840516
Jul 10, 1984ASAssignment
Effective date: 19840314