US 3756766 A
A plastic lighter having a metallic shroud to shield the plastic from the lighter flame is disclosed. The shroud is removable by the user to enable him to clean the burner valve. A safety mechanism is incorporated between the fingerpiece and the burner valve of the lighter which prevents the burner valve from opening. When the burner valve is closed, no ignition can occur and the plastic portion of the lighter is not exposed to the unshielded flame.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Green 1 1 Sept. 4, 1973 1 CIGARETTE LIGHTERS 3,161,034 12/1964 Meyers 431/254  Inventor: James Edward Green, Ashtead,
S E l d urrey ng an Primary ExaminerCarroll B. Dority, Jr.  Ass1gnee: Ronson Products, Ltd., AttorneyLewis H. Eslinger Surrey, England  Filed: July 12, I972  Foreign Application Priority Data A plastic lighter having a metallic shroud to shield the July 15, 1971 Great Britain 33,369/71 p ast m t e lighter flame is disclosed. The shroud is removable by the user to enable him to clean the  US. Cl. 431/254 b ner v lve. A afety mechanism is incorporated be-  Int. Cl. F23q 1/04 w n th fingerpiece and the burner valve of the ligh-  Field of Search 431/254, 276, 277, r which preven the burner valve from opening. 431/130, 131, 150 When the burner valve is closed, no ignition can occur and the plastic portion of the lighter is not exposed to  References Cited the unshielded flame.
UNITED STATES PATENTS l/l952 Florman 431/254 9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENTEustr'ams 3'756 786 sum 2 or 2 I CIGARETTE LIGHTERS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Cigarette lighters using a liquefied petroleum gas such as butane for fuel have been known for many years. These lighters have incorporated therein a burner valve, which is opened upon actuation of a tingerpiece, and the gas issuing therefrom is ignited by a shower of sparks, electrical or chemical means.
Lighters can be made from numerous materials ineluding plastic. As is well known, plastic has a low melt- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principal object of this invention to provide a safety mechanism which will prevent a cigarette lighter from being actuated when its metal shroud has been removed. I
The lighter utilizes a burner valve which is preferably of the forklift type in which a lever opens a burner valve to allow gas to flow upon actuation of a fingerpiece. A shroud which is preferably metal surrounds the burner valve so as to shield the plastic portions of the lighter from the flame. The shroud has portions thereon which contact a fulcrum and prevent the fulcrum from movement when the shroud is fixed to the lighter. When the shroud is removed from the lighter, however, the interconnection between the shroud and the fulcrum is removed and the fulcrum can pivot. The forklift lever requires a stationary fulcrum on which to pivot in order to open the burner valve. Thus, it can be seen that, removal of the shroud will permit movement of the fulcrum and the forklift is thereby ineffective to open the burner valve. The lighter cannot produce a flame when the burner valve is closed. A burner valve which is readily usable with this system is that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,571,435 which issued on Oct. 16, 1951 and is entitled Gas Fueled Cigar Lighter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram;
FIG. 2 is a detail showing fulcrum movement in full and phantom lines;
FIG. 3 is a detail view in perspective showing burner valve actuating mechanism;
FIG. 4 is a partially cut open detail in perspective showing the coaction between the shroud and fulcrum;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the shroud;
FIG. 6 is a perspective showing the shroud holding ears, and
FIG. 7 is a partial detail showing the coaction between the ears and the fulcrum.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In order to obtain a better understanding of the invention a simple diagram showing a forklift mechanism is depicted in FIG. 1. The diagram shows a lever l which is pivotable about a fulcrum 2' which can be any fixed object. The lever is pivotable about the fulcrum by an ignition actuator such as a fingerpiece on a cigarette lighter which applies a force in the direction of the arrow A. The opposite end of the lever 3' is forked or otherwise apertured and this end receives the shut-off stem 4 of a burner valve 5. The lever is operatively connected to the stem by means of a circlip 6 or any other known removable connector. The shut-off stem 4 is biased to a valve closed position where no gas can flow through the burner valve by a spring (not shown) within the valve housing. In actual operation, actuation of the ignition mechanism causes the end of the lever 1' to be moved in the direction of the arrow A causing the shut-off stem to be lifted away from the burner valve 5 against the bias of the spring within the valve to open the valve and thereby release gas to be ignited.
Referring to FIG. 2 there is shown a diagrammatic arrangement of the present invention. The fulcrum 2 for the forklift lever l is constituted by the end portion of an arm 10 have a slightly upturned portion thereon. The arm 10 is pivoted about the pin 11 and is normally held in the full line position by a part of the lighter shroud, when in position on the bodyof the lighter, en gaging the end 12 of the arm. If the shroud is removed, any attempt to pivot the lever 1 about the fulcrum 2 will cause the latter to collapse since the arm 10 is thence free to move about pivot point 11 as indicated in dashed lines. It is axiomatic that a movable object cannot function as afulcrum and the burner valve cannot be opened when the shroud is removed.
Turning now to FIGS. 3 to 7 it will be seen that the lighter 14 has a pair of upstanding ears 15 which can be integral with the lighter or removable therefrom. A burner valve 16, which can be of the type disclosed in U.S..Pat. No. 2,571,435, can have screw threads.
thereon enabling it to be threaded into the body of the lighter. The burner valve 16 is located between the ears 15 on the top wall of the lighter 14. The ignition mechanism comprises a unitary actuating segment, having ridges thereon to facilitate actuation by a user, and a cap-shaped flint wheel carrier 17.
A spring clip 18 (FIG. 6) is located on the body of the lighter 14 by means of a pair of upstanding arms 19 which engage in grooves 20 (FIG. 3) formed in the ears 15. The spring clip 18 is secured in position by the flint tube (not shown) which passes through an aperture 21 in the base of the clip below the flint wheel (not shown). The arms 19 of the clip have curved ends 22 which releasably engage a metal shroud 23. The shroud or flame shield has a pair of depending sides 24 which overlie part of the inner face of-the ears 15 adjacent the burner valve 16. The ears 24 have apertures 25 formed therein in which the curved ends 22 of the arms 19 snap fit therein when the shroud is properly positioned over the arms 19. The armsl9 should be resilient so that they will be urged outwardly against the shroud.
A fulcrum plate 26, which can be a stamped part islocated on the top wall of the lighter and surrounds the burner valve 16. The fulcrum plate has a pair of arms 27 which extend on either side of the burner valve 16 and is secured in position by a pair of outwardly extending lugs 28 which extend into opposed openings 29 formed in the arms l9 of the spring clip 18. The fulcrum plate 26 is pivotally mounted in the openings 29. The ends 30 of the arms 27 are turned inwardlyto provide a pair of fulcrums for a forklift lever 31. The shroud 23 is provided with a pair of intumed tabs 32 which, when the shroud is in position, overlie and engage the end of the fulcrum plate 26 so as to preclude pivotal movement of the plate about the lugs 28 when pressure is applied to the fulcrum 30 by the action of the cam surfaces 33 of the carrier 17 on the forklift lever 31. The forklift lever has one end which is removably secured to the shut off stem 4 burner valve 16 and the opposite portion is formed by a pair of arms which are dimensional and spaced so as to underlie the cam surfaces 33 on the carrier.
Upon removal of the shroud 23, operation of the carrier 17 by depressing it in a known manner will cause the fulcrum plate 26 to pivot about the lugs 28 with the result that the forklift lever 31 will be unable to open the burner valve to allow gas to escape.
The forklift lever 31 is provided with a small platelike extension 34 (see FIG. 1) which functions to direct the shower of sparks produced by the flint and flint wheel more accurately towards the gas stream issuing from the burner valve 16. It has been discovered that such an extension 34 enables a much more reliable ignition to be obtained than with prior systems.
1. In a cigarette lighter comprising,
a. a housing having a fuel reservoir therein,
b. ignition actuating means secured to said housing,
c. a burner valve having a reciprocable shut off stem thereon to initiate and shut off fuel flow from said reservoir,
d. a forklift lever secured to said shut off stem and extending between said burner valve and said ignition actuating means,
e. means on said forklift lever adapted to pivot said forklift upon actuation of said ignition actuating means, and
f. a movable fulcrum member upon which said forklift lever can pivot when said fulcrum is held in a fixed position, and a lighter element holding said fulcrum member in fixed position, means pivotally mounting said fulcrum member which serves to preclude pivotal movement of said forklift lever about said fulcrum member when said lighter element is removed.
2. In a cigarette lighter as defined inclaim l in which said ignition actuating means comprises a flint wheel carrier adapted to be actuated by a user and a flint wheel held by said flint carrier.
3. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 1 in which said forklift lever has an extension laterally offset therefrom which lies in the path of sparks produced by said lighter and serves to direct the sparks towards said burner valve.
4. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 1 further comprising a shroud surrounding said burner valve to shield the lighter housing from the flame and removably secured to said housing, and said lighter element includes means on said shroud engaging said fulcrum to prevent movement of said fulcrum when said shroud is positioned on said lighter housing.
5. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 1 in which the means for pivotally mounting said movable fulcrum includes a pair of lugs extending outwardly thereof, and a pair of opposed upstanding ears straddling said fulcrum, said opposed ears having openings therein into which said lugs extend and serve as pivot points for said fulcrum.
6. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 5 in which said upstanding ears are resilient.
7. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 6 further comprising a shroud surrounding said burner valve and said shroud having means thereon coacting with said upstanding ears so as to be removably held on said lighter housing.
8. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 7 in which said lighter element includes at least one tab on said shroud which engages said fulcrum and precludes movement of said fulcrum when said shroud is mounted on said lighter housing and permits pivotal movement of said fulcrum when said shroud is removed from said lighter housing.
9. In a cigarette lighter as defined in claim 4 in which said means on said shroud comprises at least one tab which lies in the path of pivotal movement of said fulcrum so as to preclude pivotal movement thereof when said shroud is mounted on said lighter housing.