US 3359411 A
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Dec. 19, 1967 S. SCHWARTZ MINIATURE FLASHLIGHT WITH INTEGRAL HINGE CASING Filed April 13, 1966 INVENTOR. SID/Y6) Sam/4.9m
United States Patent Office 3,359,4-1 l Patented Dec. 19, 1967 3,359,411 MINIATURE FLASHLIGHT WITH INTEGRAL HINGE CASING Sidney Schwartz, New York, N.Y., assignor to Bantamlite, Inc., New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Apr. 13, 1966, Ser. No. 542,405 6 Claims. (Cl. 240-6.4)
This invention relates to miniature flashlights and more particularly is directed to a keychain type pocket illuminating device having a novel casing structure.
Among the objects of the invention is to provide an improved miniature flashlight construction of the character described featuring a readily openable casing molded in a variety of colors of elastomeric material as a unitary structure incorporating an integral hinge and opposite latching means for a pair of hinged casing halves, which casing shall be inexpensive to manufacture in quantity production by conventional molding methods, be adapted to house a flashlight cartridge unit comprising a battery, light bulb and pressure operated switch and have integral button means for operating the switch on application of external pressure to a flexible wall thereof, which casing shall require a minimum of labor to assemble with the flashlight cartridge unit and be easy to open and close for replacement of the latter, which shall be rugged in construction, neat and attractive in appearance, foolproof in operation, and practical and efiicient to a high degree in use.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out.
The invention accordingly consists of features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims following.
In the accompanying drawing in which an illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a miniature keychain flashlight constructed to embody the invention.
FIG. 2 is alongitudinal section taken on line 2-2 in FIG. 1 showing interior construction, a simulated pushbutton of the casing wall being shown in broken lines in a depressed switch closing position.
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the flashlight shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a transverse section taken on line 44 in FIG. 2, and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the casing shown in open position with the cartridge exploded.
Referring in detail to the drawing, III-denotes a miniature keychain flashlight seen to comprise a casing 11 housing a battery-bulb-switch cartridge unit 20.
Cartridge unit 20 may be of any suitable construction having a light bulb 21 located in the front surface thereof and a pressure actuated switch 22 located in the adjacent top surface. As here shown cartridge unit 20 is a batterybulb-switch unit similar to those shown and described in my copending application Ser. No. 298,210 filed July 29, 1963 and entitled Miniaturized Flashlight With Replacement Cartridge Unit. Cartridge unit 20 is seen to comprise a holder 20a of any suitable electrically non-conductive resinous plastic having a cavity sized and shaped to accommodate and securely retain disc shaped miniature battery 23 oriented with its center terminal exposed for contact by switch 22 when the latter is depressed from a normally open position to close the circuit to light bulb 21, the latter also being accommodated in a suitable cavity in holder 20a and wired in circuit with battery 23 and switch 22.
Casing 11 is seen to generally comprise a bottom casing-half 12 and a top casing-half 13 interconnected by a pair of integral hinges 14. Casing 11 may be molded as an integral unit by injection molding methods of a suitable elastomeric plastic resin, such as, linear polyethylene, polypropylene, or the like material, having tough 5 foldable tear resistant properties satisfying the requirements for an integral hinge or pivot.
Casing-halves 12 and 13 are similar in shape, here shown, as substantially rectangular, having bottom and top walls 12a and 13a, respectively. Opposite side walls 12b and 13b, front walls 12c and 130, and rear walls 12d and 13d extend from bottom and top walls 12a and 13a, respectively.
Casing-halves 12 and 13 may be suitably formed to provide a lap joint closure therebetween. To this end the peripheral edge of bottom casing-half 12 is thickened to form ledge 11a from which an exterior flange 1119 upstands as offset borders of opposite side walls 12b and rear wall 12d. A ledge 110 also extends as a thickening of the peripheral edge of front wall 13c of top casing-half 13.
As seen in FIGS. 1 and 5, integral hinges 14 are formed as relatively short thin webs extending between ledges 11a and 110, and are spaced apart symmetrically, separated by a centralized opening in the front wall of casing 11 provided by recesses 12:: and 13e cut back from the peripheral edges of front walls 120 and 13c, respectively.
Bottom casing-half 12 may be provided with suitable means for seating cartridge 20 therein for proper alignment of light bulb 21 with the front wall centralized opening. To this end, each side wall 12b has a pair of spaced apart inwardly projecting fins 12 and bottom wall 12a has an upwardly projecting pintle 12g which engages a registering opening (not shown) formed in the underside of cartridge 20. Top wall 13a is provided with a downwardly projecting pintle 13 positioned for engaging and depressing switch 22 to close the circuit to light bulb 21 when top wall 13a is depressed from the full line position to the broken line position shown in FIG. 2. The exterior surface of top wall 13a may be suitably marked to indicate the area for applying pressure to the switch as by an embossed ring 13 which may be colored to contrast with the color of casing 11 to simulate a push-buttton.
A suitable releasable latching means for looking together casing-halves 12 and 13 in closed position may be integrally formed in rear walls 12d and 13d, here shown as a tab 13g extending downwardly from rear wall 13d of top casing-half 13 on the interior side of rear wall 12d of botom casing-half 12 when in closed position, tab 13g terminating in a tongue 13h for seating in a cutout 12h formed in rear wall 12d adjacent bottom wall 12a. To facilitate closing, tongue 13h may be provided with a beveled exterior outwardly facing surface 13i which, as shown in FIG. 3, is accessible through cutout 1211 for depressing to release tongue 13h.
A terminal link 11d may be integrally molded to extend from exterior flange 11b centralized with respect to the wall of casing 11 opposite light bulb 21 for connecting casing 11 to a keychain or keyring in the well understood manner.
The practical operation and utility of the invention will now be apparent. After molding casing 11 as an integral one-piece structure, pre-assembled cartridge unit 20' is merely dropped into position in bottom casing-half 12 of open casing 11, as is clear from FIG. 5, cartridge unit 20 being properly located by fins 12] and pintle 12g. Top casing-half 13 is then folded over on hinges 14 to seat the free peripheral edge thereof on ledge 11a. Application of finger pressure in the region of rear wall 13d will bring tab 13g down along the interior side of bottom casing-half rear wall 12d, beveled surface 13i serving to 70 flex tab 13g inwardly for clearance of tongue 13h for snapping into latching engagement in cutout 12h.
A keychain or keyring (not shown) may then be threaded through terminal link 11d, flashlight now being ready for use. Switch 22 is in a normally open position so that light bulb 21 may be energized by grasping casing 11 between thumb and index finger in the region of ring 13j and depressing top wall 13a which in turn lowers pintle 13 to engage and depress switch 22, as indicated in broken lines in FIG. 2, closing the circuit to battery 23. Upon release of finger pressure, switch 22 and top wall 13a resiliently return to their normal positions.
Replacement of cartridge unit 20 is readily accomlished by pressing inwardly on beveled surface 131' with any suitable instrumentality, such as a pencil, ball point pen or small screwdriver to release tongue 13h from cutout 12h by inwardly flexing tab 13g. Casing 11 is then folded open on hinges 14, cartridge unit 20 replaced, and casing 11 closed in the manner hereinbefore described.
It is thus seen that there is provided in improved miniature flashlight with integral hinge casing whereby the several objects of this invention are achieved and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiment above set forth, it is to be understood that all matters herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawing are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my inveniton, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A miniaturized flashlight comprising a casing molded of elastomeric plastic material as an integral structure having a pair of casing-halves interconnected by a pair of spaced apart relatively thin webs providing hinges for disposing the casing-halves in an open side-by-side position and swingable to a closed edge-to-edge position of peripheral edges of the casing-halves, aligned recesses from said peripheral edges formed in each casing-half between said hinges providing an opening in the casing, integral means formed in said casing-halves opposite said hinges for releasably latching the casing-halves in said closed position, a battery-switch-bulb cartridge unit disposed in said casing with the bulb located in said opening and having a normally open switch projecting from a surface thereof towards a flat wall of one of said casinghalves, said flat wall being resiliently depressible to engage and close the switch to light the bulb.
2. The miniaturized flashlight defined in claim 1 in which said integral latching means includes a cutout formed in a wall of one of said casing-halves spaced from the peripheral edge thereof and a tab extending from a wall of the other of said casing-halves terminating in a tongue for engaging said cutout, said tongue being accessible from the exterior of the casing for inward depression and disengagement from said cutout.
3. The miniaturized flashlight defined in claim 1 in which a peripheral edge of one of said casing-halves is thickened to form a ledge, an exterior offset flange extending from said ledge along three sides of said peripheral edge, said hinge forming webs extending from said ledge along a fourth side of said peripheral edge and interconnecting with a corresponding ledge formed on a peripheral edge along one side of the other of said casing-halves, the other three sides of the peripheral edge of said other casing-half being constructed and arranged to abut said first mentioned ledge providing a lap joint with said offset flange.
4. The miniaturized flashlight defined in claim 3 in which a terminal link for a keychain is integrally molded to extend laterally from said offset flange on a side of said casing opposite said aligned recesses.
5. The miniaturized flashlight defined in claim 1 in which a ring is embossed on said flat wall facing said switch to simulate a switch button, and a pintle is integrally formed to project inwardly from the region of said button to engage said switch.
6. The miniaturized flashlight defined in claim 1 including integral means formed in the other of said casinghalves for seating the said cartridge unit therein when the casing is in said open position and retaining the cartridge for proper alignment of said bulb in said opening when the casing is in said closed position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,465,114 3/1949 Oury 24010.65 2,879,381 3/1959 Coffey 24010.65 3,085,150 4/1963 Bautsch 240-1065 3,256,428 6/1966 Schwartz 240-1065 NORTON ANSHER, Primary Examiner.
G. HOFFMAN, Assistant Examiner.
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