|Publication number||USRE36883 E|
|Application number||US 08/582,272|
|Publication date||Sep 26, 2000|
|Filing date||Jan 3, 1996|
|Priority date||Jun 23, 1992|
|Also published as||US5276596|
|Publication number||08582272, 582272, US RE36883 E, US RE36883E, US-E-RE36883, USRE36883 E, USRE36883E|
|Inventors||Ronald L. Krenzel|
|Original Assignee||Krenzel; Ronald L.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Non-Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (19), Classifications (13), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates generally to apparatus for use in providing light where necessary and more particularly, to a portable device for holding a flashlight at any desired location.
There are many times when a person, who is alone and doing some kind of work, needs a third hand. This is particularly true when a flashlight has to be used so that such a person can see what is being worked on. Flashlights have been laid on any available objects in an effort to provide light at a desired location, but often without good results. Small flashlights have even been held in the mouth of the worker. Thus, there exists a need for a readily portable device that can be used anywhere to hold a flashlight at a desired location to provide needed light.
This invention relates to a device that is readily portable and can be used substantially anywhere to hold a flashlight to provide needed light at a desired location.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the device comprises an elongated flexible member that is capable of being moved into a plurality of differing shapes. Retaining means are provided for retaining the elongated flexible member in a desired shape. Holding means are provided on one end portion of the elongated flexible member for holding a flashlight. Generally, the desired shape has a base portion which is adapted to be placed on a fixed surface. A generally vertically extending portion projects upwardly from the base portion. The holding means are connected to an end portion of the elongated flexible member by suitable connecting means, such as a rivet. The holding means comprise a member having a generally arcuate cross-sectional configuration having an arcuate extent greater than 180 degrees and a longitudinal axis. The member is formed from a resilient material, such as a plastic material, and has spaced apart terminal end portions which may be spread apart so that a flashlight can be inserted into the member and so that the terminal end portions will resile back to exert frictional forces on the flashlight to restrain relative movement between the member and the flashlight. The flashlight also has a longitudinal axis so that when the flashlight is inserted into the member, the longitudinal axes of the member and the flashlight are in a parallel relationship.
The elongated flexible member comprises a plurality of interconnected segments each of which has a central body portion, a male end portion, a female end portion and a longitudinal axis. The male end portion has an outer surface having the configuration of a frustum of a sphere and the female end portion has an inner surface having the configuration of a frustum of a sphere and is dimensioned to receive the male end portion. The outer and inner surfaces are dimensioned so that there is frictional contact therebetween when a male end portion is inserted into a female end portion. This permits one segment to be moved relative to another segment so that their longitudinal axes are either in or out of alignment and permits unrestricted rotational movement between interconnected segments. Therefore, since the holding means is connected to the end segment, it permits the same type of movement of the flashlight. Also the frictional forces retain the two segments at whatever relative position they have been moved to. Preferably, each segment is made from a plastic material.
In another preferred embodiment of the invention, attachment means are provided for attaching one end of the elongated flexible member to a fixed support such as an internally threaded socket mounted at a fixed location. The attachment means comprise an adapter having a central body section, an externally threaded end section, a male end section and a longitudinal axis. The male end section has an outer surface having a configuration similar to the outer surface of the male end portion so that it can be inserted into a female end portion and function as described above relative to interconnected segments. The central body section has an outer configuration adapted to be received in a tool so that the adapter can be rotated to secure the externally threaded end section into the internally threaded socket.
Illustrative and presently preferred embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device for holding a flashlight of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the holding means;
FIG. 3 is a view in cross-section of one of the segments; .[.and.].
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of this invention.Iadd.; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another embodiment of this invention.Iaddend..
In FIG. 1, there is disclosed a readily portable device 2 for holding a flashlight 4 having a longitudinal axis. The device 2 comprises an elongated flexible member 6 which is capable of being moved into a plurality of differing shapes. The shape illustrated in FIG. 1 comprises a base portion 8 adapted to be placed in contact with a support surface 10 and a generally vertically extending portion 12. Holding means 14 (FIG. 2) are provided for holding the flashlight 4 and comprise an open-ended arcuately-shaped member 16 having an arcuate extent greater than 180 degrees and having a longitudinal axis. The member 1 is preferably formed from a resilient material such as polyethylene, such as that marketed under the trade designation "DELRIN", so that the end portions 18 and 20 may be moved apart as the flashlight 4 is inserted therethrough and then spring back to retain the flashlight 4 therein. Reinforcing means 22 are preferably integrally molded with the member 16. As illustrated in FIG. 1, when the flashlight 4 has been inserted into the member 16, the longitudinal axes thereof are in a parallel relationship.
.[.The.]. .Iadd.As shown in FIG. 5, the .Iaddend.elongated flexible member 6 may be formed into a variety of shapes other than that illustrated in FIG. 1. Such shapes include wrapping a portion of it around a pipe or rod for working under a sink, wrapping a portion around any convenient part when working on an engine and in fact, can be used anywhere.
The elongated flexible member 6 is of the type marketed by Lockwood Products, Inc. under the trade designation LOC-LINE .[.().]. (.Iadd.R).Iaddend.. This product is used a modular hose system for providing high volume fluids for cooling tools, such as in cutting operations. The elongated flexible member 6 comprises a plurality of interconected segments 30. As illustrated in FIG. 3, each segment 30 comprises a central body portion 32, a male end portion 34 and a female end portion 36. The male end portion 34 has an outer surface 38 comprising a frustum of a sphere and the female end portion 36 has a mating inner surface 40 comprising a frustum of a sphere which is dimensioned so that, when the male end portion 34 is inserted into the female end portion 36, there is frictional contact between the mating outer and inner surfaces 38 and 40. These frictional forces function as retaining means to hold one segment 30 at any desired location relative to an interconnected segment 30. However, these frictional forces can be overcome which permits interconnected segments 30 to be moved relative to each other so that their longitudinal axes are either in or out of alignment and permits unrestricted relative rotational movement therebetween. The member 16 is preferably provided with a female end portion 36 having an inner surface 40 so that it can be connected to the male end portion 34 of the end segment 30 or it can be connected to an end segment 30 by any suitable means, such as a rivet. This connection permits the flashlight 4 to have the same relative movements as the interconnected segments, as described above. The length of the elongated flexible member 16 can be changed by adding or removing segments 30.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 4. An adapter 50 has a male end portion 34 that is dimensioned to fit into a female end portion 36 and has an externally threaded end portion 52. An internally threaded socket 54 is secured to a ledge 56 by clamping 35 means 58. The adapter 50 has a central body section 60 having an outer surface configuration so that a tool can be applied thereto and rotated to attach the adapter 50 and therefore, the elongated flexible member 6, to the socket 54.
It is contemplated that the inventive concepts herein described may be variously otherwise embodied and it is intended that the appended claims be construed to include alternative embodiments of the invention except insofar as limited by the prior art.
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|U.S. Classification||362/191, 362/396, 362/419|
|International Classification||F21V21/32, F16M11/40|
|Cooperative Classification||F16M11/041, F16M13/02, F21L15/14, F16M11/40, F21V21/32|
|European Classification||F21V21/32, F21L15/14, F16M11/40|
|Mar 19, 1998||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ELWARD-LOUIS JOINT VENTURE, COLORADO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KRENZEL, RON;REEL/FRAME:009051/0903
Effective date: 19960701
|Oct 13, 1999||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RONALD L. KRENZEL, COLORADO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ELWARD-LOUIS JOINT VENTURE;REEL/FRAME:010302/0096
Effective date: 19981203
|Jun 14, 2001||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Apr 1, 2003||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Aug 10, 2005||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12
|Aug 10, 2005||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 11