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Publication numberUS3800134 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 26, 1974
Filing dateDec 20, 1971
Priority dateDec 20, 1971
Publication numberUS 3800134 A, US 3800134A, US-A-3800134, US3800134 A, US3800134A
InventorsCastaldo S
Original AssigneeCastaldo S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated handbag apparatus having walk along light
US 3800134 A
Abstract
A handbag apparatus whose interior is provided with an illumination means, involving the use of a small lamp or bulb unit connected by an elongate flexible conductor to a switch unit that is in turn connected to a battery unit or source. The switch unit may function to turn on the lamp or bulb automatically when the handbag is opened, and then to turn the lamp off when the handbag is closed. The lamp or bulb may be regarded as part of an illumination means involving a light assembly or bulb unit that can be detachably connected to the inside of the handbag, from which location it can be easily removed and re-attached to the exterior of the handbag for serving as a light source, such as for guiding a lady's footsteps after dark. The switch unit may be provided with a manually-operated switch used alone or in series with the automatically operated switch, that makes it conveniently possible to disable the automatically-operating illumination arrangement, so that battery energy can be conserved during daylight hours, and when the handbag is to remain open for a protracted length of time.
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United States Patent [191 Castaldo ILLUMINATED HANDBAG APPARATUS HAVING WALK ALONG LIGHT Stanley C. Castaldo, 224 Second St., Apopka, Fla. 32703 [22] Filed: Dec. 20, 1971 [21] Appl. N0.: 209,676

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 74,955, Sept. 24,

1970, abandoned.

[76] Inventor:

Primary ExaminerSamuel S. Matthews Assistant Examiner-Richard A. Wintercorn Attorney, Agent, or FirmJulian C. Renfro Mar. 26, 1974 [5 7] ABSTRACT A handbag apparatus whose interior is provided with an illumination means, involving the use of a small lamp'or bulb unit connected by an elongate flexible conductor to a switch unit that is in turn connected to a battery unit or source. The switch unit may function to turn on the lamp or bulb automatically when the handbag is opened, and then to turn the lamp off when the handbag is closed. The lamp or bulb may be regarded as part of an illumination means involving a light assembly or bulb unit that can be detachably connected to the inside of the handbag, from which location it can be easily removed and re-attached to the exterior of the handbag for serving as a light source, such as for guiding a ladys footsteps after dark. The switch unit may be provided with a manually-operated switch used alone or in series with the automatically operated switch, that makes it conveniently possible to disable the automatically-operating illumination arrangement, so that battery energy can be conserved during daylight hours, and when the handbag is to remain open for a protracted length of time.

10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEU R26 974 INVENTOR i STANLEY C, CASTALDO ATTORNEY ILLUMINATED HANDBAG APPARATUS HAVING WALK ALONG LIGHT REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This invention is a continuation-in-part of my application Ser. No. 74,955, which is to be abandoned with the filing of this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention is related to those teachings concerned with providing illumination for the interior of a handbag, such as a ladys purse or pocketbook, or alternatively, may be utilized with handbags of the type including valises, make-up kits, briefcases and the like, for illuminating the interior of same.

The prior art is replete with patents showing the use of various switch means for causing a light on the interior of the handbag or purse to come on, and these include manually operated means as well as automatically functioning apparatus. In the latter type of device, a reed switch may be utilized, with a magnet being disposed on the interior of the handbag at a substantially opposite location to the reed switch such that when by the opening of the handbag, the magnet is caused to move away from the reed switch, a circuit is completed, causing the light to come on, whereas a closing of the bag causes the magnet to be moved to a position that is in substantial juxtaposition with the reed switch, with this causing the circuit to the illumination means to be broken. My US Pat. No. 3,239,658 is exemplary of this type of device.

Other known devices have included lighting arrangements for handbags in which manipulation of the clasp of the bag enables the user to selectively turn on and off the illumination means, and yet other arrangements have of course included the use of a flashlight incorporated into the handbag that can be used exteriorly. However, previous teachings have not heretofore included the use of a small illumination means in a form of a simple bulb unit that can easily be moved between interior and exterior locations on the handbag, as is taught herein.

SUMMARY OF THIS INVENTION This invention relates to an illumination arrangement for a handbag or the like comprising a switch unit, a battery connected to supply electric power to the switch unit, and small yet effective illumination means also connected electrically to the switch unit. The switch unit contains means for controlling the operation of the illumination means, with the illumination means being a flipout light unit connected to the switch unit by a conductor that is of sufficient length as to enable the illumination means to be placed either outside the handbag or inside so that it can be effective to provide ample light in either of such locations.

The switch unit may contain a manually operated switch or a magnetically operated switch, with the use of the latter type of switch of course enabling the illumination means to be turned on automatically when the handbag is open, and then turned off again when the handbag is closed. If the switch unit utilizes a magnetically operated switch in series with a manually operated switch, this enables the automatically functioning switch arrangement to be disabled when such be desired, such as during daylight hours, or when the user wishes the handbag, pocketbook or valise to remain open for a protracted length of time.

The illumination means is preferably in the form of a small, flip out bulb unit or light assembly that takes up little space when inside the pocketbook, but which nevertheless can be quite effectively used after dark for illumination purposes, such as for finding keyholes or guiding footsteps. Velcro or other commercially available attachment material may be used on the base of the light assembly in order to enable it to be removably secured to either exterior or interior locations on the pocketbook when complementary pieces of Velcro are utilized in such locations.

It is therefore a principal object of this invention to provide an illuminated handbag apparatus having a walk along light that may also be used for providing illumination to the interior of the handbag.

It is another object of this invention to provide an illumination arrangement for a handbag or the like involving the use of a small lamp or bulb unit disposed at the end of an elongate conductor that is of sufficient length to enable the lamp or bulb unit to be used interchangably at interior or exterior locations.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide an illumination arrangement for a handbag or the like in which a novel switch unit is utilized, containing both manually operated as well as automatically functioning switches used in a series arrangement, such that illumination means associated with the handbag may be caused to function automatically when the handbag is opened, but with the manually operated switch enabling such automatic operation to be disabled if desired.

These and other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be more apparent from a study of the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a handbag or purse in a widely opened position, revealing the use of my novel switch unit in combination with my novel walk along light unit, with the light unit mounted at an interior location;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view, with the handbag or purse opened less widely, and revealing the walk along light attached to an exterior location on the handbag;

FIG. 3 is a somewhat fragmentary showing of my novel illumination apparatus to a somewhat larger scale, with a portion of the switch unit partially broken away to reveal interior construction;

FIG. 4 is a cut-away view through the switch unit, taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4A is a view much like FIG. 4, but showing the manual switch manipulated to the circuit-closing position;

FIG. 5 is a foreshortened view in the nature of the showing of FIG. 4, but involving a different type of manually operated switch;

FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 5 but showing the manually operated switch in the circuit-closing position; and

FIG. 7 is a schematic showing of a typical electrical arrangement utilized in accordance with this invention, with the various components connected in series.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Turning to FIG. 1, it will be seen that I have there shown a handbag or pocketbook 10 having an outer covering 11 and a handle 12. The bag or pocketbook is shown in an open position, that is, with the lips 13 separated in order to reveal certain components utilized in accordance with this invention, these including the use of a battery means 14, a switch unit 17, and an illumination means involving a light assembly 20, and a bulb or lamp 21 used therein. A pair of insulated electrical leads contained in a flexible conductor 16 extends between the battery pack with the switch unit 17, and an elongate flexible conductor 18 containing a pair of electrical leads connects to the light assembly or unit 20. Normally, the switching action by the switch unit is with respect to only one electrical lead, for the other lead can, from the electrical standpoint, extend directly from one terminal of the battery unit 14 to the light assembly (see FIG. 7) even though the conductor physically passes through the switch unit 17.

The action of the illumination means is of course to make the contents of the handbag or purse easily visible to the owner when the handbag is open. The light assembly or bulb unit may consist of a shall base, in which a commercial type of spot point or diffused light bulb is operatively disposed; a pair of insulated, flexible wires; an outer case, such as of plastic disposed around the shell base; and suitable mounting means for the light assembly. As an example, I may utilized a GB. 222 spot point bulb, or a GB. 223 flare type bulb in the shell base, but obviously I am not to be limited to such.

The switch unit 17 is normally attached in the upper inner portion of the handbag, typically in the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. This unit is secured or affixed to the interior of the handbag by suitable mounting means, such as of Velcro, double-sided adhesive tape, or even by cementing. If this attachment operation is being performed at the factory, the switch unit may even be mechanically secured to the interior of the handbag, such as by screws or rivets, or of course it can be cemented in place. An adaptor may be used behind the switch unit to insure proper mounting in some types of handbags.

As will be noted from both FIGS. 1 and 3, the central body of the switch unit 17 is provided with a flattened portion 17a, adjacent the interior portion of which a reed switch 34 is utilized; see FIG. 3. This reed switch serves the electrical purpose of closing the circuit between the battery means 14 and the bulb 21 only at such time as the lips 13 of the pocketbook have been separated. The reed switch used may be in accordance with the teachings of any number of prior art patents, including my U.S. Pat. No. 3,239,658, and per se forms no part of the present invention.

The operation of the reed switch is thus to turn on the illumination means when the bag is opened, and turn off such means when the bag is closed. This action is brought about by the deployment of permanent magnet 32 at essentially an opposite point in the pocketbook or handbag from the flattened portion 17a of the switch unit, such that when the lips 13 of the bag have been closed, the magnet is brought closely adjacent the reed switch, thus causing its contacts to open and to turn off the light. On the other hand, opening the bag say onehalf inch moves the magnet away from the reed switch, thus to cause the completion of the circuit and the lighting of the bulb 21.

The lamp unit may, in accordance with this invention, be used inside the bag for illuminating the contents thereof, or alternatively, may be utilized outside the bag for providing illumination, such as, for example, for directing a ladys footsteps after dark, and of course making it easy for her to find a keyhole in her automobile or home as the case may be. To this end, I mount the lamp unit 20 in a removable manner inside the pocketbook, such as at a location 22 by the use of Velcro, double-sided tape or the like, thus making it easy for her to remove the light from the interior position shown in FIG. 1, and then mounting it in an exterior position such as that shown in FIG. 2. Depending on the construction of the exterior of the bag, I may have mounting means 23 on a likely outer location for the light unit to be mounted, such as for example using a piece of Velcro of the type to receive the Velcro mounted at 37 on the backside of the light unit; see FIG. 3. In this manner, the user can readily move the light from an interior location and secure it in an exterior location, and then after such use, replace the light unit on the interior of the pocketbook. The flexible conductor 18 is amply long for such usage. If Velcro is used, the Velcro used at 37 on the back of the light unit should of course be of a type to be usable with the Velcro used at 22 and 23.

It has been my experience that there may be times the user finds it desirable to turn off the illumination means without having to close the handbag or pocketbook, and to that end, I provide in accordance with this invention, a second switch 46 in the switch unit 17, in series with the automatically operative magnetic switch. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 4A, the manually operated switch may be of comparatively simple construction, being operable by a short lever, handle or protusion 48 on the outside of the switch unit. Thus, the embodiment of FIG. 4, when the switch lever is in essentially the horizontal or downward position, the metallic ball 50 is touching upper conductor 52, but is separated from the lower conductor 54, thus breaking the circuit to the bulb 21, and causing the illumination means to be off during some phase in which the ladys pocketbook is open. On the other hand, when the switch lever or operator 48 has been moved to the upper position as shown in FIG. 4A, the metallic ball 50 touches both conductors 52 and 54, thusenabing the wires attached to these conductors to carry current from the battery 14 through the switch unit 17 and completing the circuit to the light bulb, for bringing about the illumination of same.

It should be pointed out that as shown in FIG. 7, the manually operated switch 46 is electrically in series with the reed switch 34, meaning of course that both switches must be in the current-carrying position be fore the bulb 21 can be caused to light. Typically, the pocketbook owner would leave the manually operated switch in the on position, and move itto the off position only when she has a particular reason for extinguishing the light.

Turning to FIGS. 5 and 6, it will there be seen that I have shown a slightly different version of the mechanical switch, one in which the flat conductors 52a and 54a are essentially parallel. In this instance, the ball 50a does not need to be metallic, for it serves when the operator portion 48a of the switch has been moved to the upper position shown in FIG. 6, to cause the pair of plates or conductors to move together and to carry current. As before, suitable current-carrying wires are secured to the conductors so that at such time as the magnet 32 is away from the reed switch 34 a suitable distance, the bulb 21 will be caused to be illuminated. On the other hand, moving the magnet to a substantially juxtaposed position with respect to the reed switch, automatically extinquishes the illumination means. Depending on the inner configuration of the pocketbook or other type of handbag, the magnet may be mounted on the inside of the outer wall of the pocketbook, or else upon a separator of an inner compartment. An adaptor may be used behind the switch unit or the magnet, or both, if such be necessary in order for the magnet and reed switch to be positioned in a given handbag, in order to properly interact.

It is not necessary to simultaneously utilize all of the foregoing aspects and features of this invention, and for example, illumination means for a handbag in the form of a purse, makeup kit, valise or briefcase could be provided on the end of an elongate electrical conductor that enables the illumination means to be used either on the interior or the exterior of the device, with the switch unit disposed between the illumination means and the battery being, if desired, of a simple type, involving only, say, a manually operated switch. On the other hand, this switch unit can contain a single, magnetically operated switch that brings about automatic energization of the illumination means when the handbag is opened, with the closing of the device of course automatically causing the lamp or bulb to extinguish.

Additionally, my novel switch unit utilizing the described switches may be utilized with an illumination means having no elongate conductor, if such an arrangement for some reason be desired.

The Velcro used on the exterior of the pocketbook is preferably of the so called female" type, that is of such a color as to be inconspicuous.

These and other aspects of my invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art, and I am not to be limited except as required by the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Illumination means for a handbag or the like comprising a switch unit, a battery connected and arranged to supply power to said switch unit, and illumination means also connected to said switch unit, said switch unit containing means for controlling the illumination of said illumination means, said illumination means being connected to said switch unit by an elongate conductor, with the length ofthe conductor being such that the illumination means can be placed either outside the handbag or inside, so that the illumination means can be effective in either of such locations, a magnetically operated switch also being provided in said switch unit, and a magnet disposed in a substantially opposite portion of the handbag, in substantial alignment with the magnetic switch portion of said switch unit, such that when the handbag is opened, and the magnet thus caused to move away from the magnetically operated switch, the illumination means will automatically be turned on, whereas when the handbag is closed and the magnet is moved into a position substantially contiguous to said switch unit, the illumination means will be extinguished.

2. The illumination means as defined in claim 1 in which a manually operated switch is provided in said switch unit in series with said magnetically operated switch, thus enabling the user to disable, if desired, the automatic operation of the illumination means when the handbag is opened.

3. Illumination means for a handbag or the like comprising a switch unit, a battery connected and arranged to supply power to said switch unit, and illumination means also connected to said switch unit, said switch unit containing means for controlling the illumination of said illumination means, said illumination means being connected to said switch unit by an elongate conductor, with the length of the conductor being such that the illumination means can be placed either outside the handbag or inside, so that the illumination means can be effective in either of such locations, and mounting means for said illumination means disposed at locations inside and outside said handbag, said mounting means involving the use of Velcro.

4. An illumination arrangement for a handbag or the like comprising a switch unit, a battery connected to supply electric power to said switch unit, illumination means also connected electrically to said switch unit, said switch unit containing a magnetically operated switch, and a magnet operatively disposed in a substantially opposite portion of said handbag with respect to said switch unit, such that when the handbag is opened and the magnet thus caused to move away from the magnetically operated switch portion of said switch unit, said illumination means will automatically be caused to turn on, whereas when the handbag is closed and said magnet is caused to move into a substantially contiguous position with respect to said magnetically operated switch portion of said switch unit, said illumination means will be extinguished, said illumination means being electrically connected to said switch unit by an elongate conductor, with the length of said conductor being such that said illumination means can be placed either outside the handbag or inside, with means being provided such that said illumination means can be utilized in an operative position in either of such locations.

5. The illumination arrangement as defined in claim 4 in which a manually operated switch is provided in said switch unit in series with said magnetically operated switch, thus enabling the user to disable said illumination means if such be desired.

6. The illumination arrangement as defined in claim 4 in which Velcro mounting means are provided, such that said illumination means can be operatively mounted in either an interior or an exterior position on said handbag.

7. The illumination arrangement as defined in claim 4 in which adaptors are used in conjunction with said switch unit and/or magnet as may be necessary in order that these components will be sufficiently close together when said handbag is closed, for said illumination means to be automatically extinguished.

8. An illumination arrangement for a handbag or the like comprising a switch unit, a battery arranged to supply electric power to said switch unit, illumination means also connected to said switch unit, said switch unit containing electrical switches, with the position of such switches determining whether the illumination means is turned on or turned off, one of said switches being a magnetically operated switch, a magnet operatively disposed in the handbag such that when the handbag is opened and the magnet is thus caused to move away from said magnetically operated switch, the illumination means will go on, whereas when the handbag is closed and said magnet is moved into a position substantially contiguous with said switch unit, said ilconductor being such that said illumination means can be placed either outside the handbag or inside, with means being provided such that said illumination means can be mounted in an operative position in at least one of such locations.

10. The illumination means as defined in claim 9 in which Velcro is used as a mounting means for said illumination means.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US4648012 *Dec 13, 1985Mar 3, 1987Pittman Ii Richard AInterior light for U.S. mailbox
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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/155
International ClassificationA45C15/06, A45C15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C15/06
European ClassificationA45C15/06