This invention relates to an illuminating de- E vice for enclosures, and particularly enclosures o having doors, in which the device is adapted to be rendered operative and inoperative automati- e cally upon the opening and closing of the door respectively. It is particularly adapted for use in refrigerators but it is not restricted to this use and may be used in any enclosures such as s clothes chests, closets, etc.. in which it is desired to illuminate the interior upon the opening of I the door or other closure.
It is the object of the invention to provide an improved self-contained flluminating device of the character mentioned which has the following advantages: does not require an external source of energy since it may be operated by dry cells, occupies unused or seldom used space in a refrigerator; may be turned off while the door is open and remains off until turned on again manually, may be placed at substantially any desired position within a refrigerator interor and illuminates substantially the entire interior thereof, and, replacement of cells may be carried out without disturbing the device. Briefly, the-invention provides a dry cell operated electric illuminating device which is adapted especially to be supported in substantially any desired position upon the shelves of a refrigerator and which has an operating member projecting therefrom which is adapted to be engaged by the door of the refrigerator and operated by the opening and closing of the door in such a manner as to turn the lamp on and off respectively. The lamp is arranged adjacent an end of the device in such a manner that the illumination therefrom is substantially unrestricted in all directions except directly toward the front of the refrigerator. The device is small and may be fastened beneath the supporting shelf. The switch is provided with a locking mechanism in the off position so that the device may be rendered inoperative when it is desired to do so.
In the drawings:.
Fg.. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a refrigerator showing the lluminating device of this invention mounted therein; ig. 2 is a bottom view of the illuminating device with the cover thereof removed; . Fig. 3 is a sectional view along line 3-3 of Fig. 2; Figs. 4 and. 5 are fractional sectional views along lines 4-4 and 5-5 of Fig.2; 65 Fig. 6 is a sectional view along line 6-- of 'g. 2 with the operating mechanism in the inperative position; Fig. 1' is a view similar to Fig. 6 with the oPrating mechanism in the operative position; Fig. 8 is a fractional sectional view along line --- of Fig. 6; Fig. 9 is a fractional sectional view along line -s$ of Fig. 7; Fig. 0 is-a, sectional view along line (0-18 of pigs. 2 and l, and ig. 11 is a perspective view of a clamping nember for the devicen Fig. Ia typical refrigerator is represented at 10 having the usual metal rod shelf members It and door 12. The fiuminating device 13 of 16 this invention usually is mounted upon the under side of the top-most shelf as shown though it may be mounted on- any shelf as desired. It is clamped in place by means of clamping plate 1t, (see also Fig. 11) which is fastened in spaced relation to the top side of the device It and clamps over the rods tI of the shelf. A reciprocating plunger-type operating member (5 projects exteriorly from the front of the device 13 and is adapted to be moved into the operative and the inoperative positions by the opening and the closing of door 12 respectively. The lamp 16 projects exteriory from-the rear of the device and is adapted to illuminate the entire interior of the refrigerator while at the same time being shielded from the eyes of the user. As shown in Fig. 11 the corner sections IT of the clamping plate 14 are separated from the rest of the plate by means of slits 18 and are bent downwardly whereby they exert spring pressure upon the rods 1i. The device may be mounted in the refrigerator in any desired position in which the operating member IS is located so that it is operated properly by the opening and closing of the door. It may be mounted upon the upper side of the shelf, but it is preferred to mount it on the under side because there it does not occupy any usable space upon the upper side of the shelf to which it is attached, and since it is rather narrow and flat, the articles upon the shelf beneath may be arranged in such a manner that the capacity of the shelf is not decreased by the presence of the device.
As shown in Fig. 10 the device (2 comprises an open-sided casing 23 having a removable bottom cover 24 which is adapted to be received in clamping engagement by the casing. The casing is of a width adapted to receive two dry cells 25 and 26 of the ordinary flashlight type in side-by-side relation. The casing 23 has an interior wall member 27 which is shaped so as to conform more or less with the circular shape of the dry cells and which has downwardly projecting portions 28 and 29 located in the middle thereof. The shaped wall member 27 is adapted to hold the dry cells apart and hold them against excessive lateral movement, which movement might otherwise cause disengagement of the dry cell terminals with the cooperating terminals mounted upon the interior of the casing and which will be described hereinafter.
Terminals in the form of spring contacts 30, 31, 32 and 33, shown in Fig. 2, are mounted interiorly upon the end walls of the casing, these contacts being arranged in opposed relation in pairs, contacts 30 and 33 comprising one pair and contacts 31 and 32 the other. Dry cell 25 is located between one pair of contacts and dry cell 26 between the other. These contacts are formed of spring metal and are bent in the form of a U and arepressedwith spring pressure against the cooperating terminals of the dry cells. Contact 33 is mounted directly upon the casing wall by means of a rivet 34 as shown in Pig. 3, the balance of the terminals being insulated from the casing. A mounting for such an insulated terminal is illustrated by the mounting of contact 30 in Fig. 3. A sheet of insulating material 35 is arranged between the contact and the interior surface of the casing wall. A relatively large opening is provided in the material of the contact and a collared insulating washer 36 is located in this opening, the whole being held in place by means of washer 37 and rivet 38 which passes through the casing wall, the insulating washer 36 and the washer 37. It is obvious that when the cover 24 is removed from the casing .the dry cells may be removed and inserted laterally through the open casing side and between the spring contacts.
,,..In the circuit of the lighting device of this invention the usual wire conductors are dispensed with and in order to furnish the necessary connection each of the spring contacts described heretofore has a portion or arm projecting sidewise toward a similar portion or. arm upon the adjacent contact. This is illustrated in Fig. 2 where contacts 30, 31, 32 and 33 are shown to have arms 40, 41, 42 and 43 respectively. Arms 40 and 41 extend toward each other and are normally out of contact with each other but are adapted to be moved into mutual contact to act as a switch for the device, as will be explained hereinafter. Arm 43 carries the socket for the incandescent lamp of the device, as will be described in detail hereinafter, and arm 42 normally engages the end terminal 45 of the lamp 44. For the mounting of lamp 44 upon arm 43 reference is made to Figs. 6 and 7 where the lamp. socket 46 is shown swaged at its base end to arm The operating member g1 is adapted to effect the engagement between arms 40 and 41 and when this occurs the illuminating device is ren65 dered operative. The circuit is as follows: Starting with the threaded terminal of the lamp it extends through the lamp socket 46, arm 43 and spring terminal 33, dry cell 26, spring terminal 30, arm 40, arm 4 , spring terminal 31, dry cell 25, spring terminal 32, arm 42 and to the base terminal 45 of the lamp.
A translucent globe 50 is mounted over the bulb of the lamp. The globe is made preferably of a non-shatterable substance, such as cellulose acetate and is mounted frictionally upon a collar 51 which, in turn, is mounted by means of a press fit in an opening in the end of the casing 23.
The globe diffuses the light and protects the bulb. In addition, should the bulb become broken, the globe prevents the fragments from dropping into the food in the refrigerator or into clothes in a chest.
As stated heretofore, the device is operated by means of reciprocating plunger 15 which is adapted to cause the engagement and disengagement between conducting arms 40 and 41 to close and open the circuit respectively. Plunger 15 is a metallic rod which is held in reciprocable manner in two aligned openings in the front and rear walls of the casing. The central portion 55 of the interior wall member 27 extends substantially straight across the casing from one side to the other but the end portions 28 and 29 project downwardly and partially encircle rod 15 as shown in connection with portion 28 in Fig. 10. The rod can reciprocate freely within these members. A longitudinal slot 56 is formed in central portion 55, this slot having an offset extension 57 at one end thereof to form what is usually called a bayonet slot and providing a ledge or projection 58 which will be discussed further hereinafter. The slot is shown clearly in Figs. 8 and 9.
A cam 59 is mounted rigidly upon rod 15 in the approximate middle portion thereof, this cam 80 having a lateral extension 60. A bell crank lever 61 of electrical insulating material is mounted pivotally on rod 62 in member 28 and has upper arm 71 thereof in cooperative relation with cam 59 and lower arm 72 in cooperative relation with arm 40 of the switch of the device. A washer 63 surrounds rod 15 and rests against the forward edges of member 29 and a helical wire spring 64 is fitted over rod 15 and is held under pressure between washer 63 and the rearward surface of cam 59. The ends of spring 64 are locked against turning movement relative to wall member 27 and cam 59 respectively by means which are shown in Figs. 4 and 5. In Fig. 4 the rearward end 65 of spring 64 is shown as being substantially straight and extending laterally so as to engage the interior surface of member 27. The forward end portion 66 of spring 64 is shown as extending laterally from rod 15 and encircling the extension 60 of cam 59. The spring is mounted in a twisted condition such that a rotary force is constantly exerted upon cam 59, urging projection 60 toward the side of slot 56 opposite to slot extension 57. A relatively soft bumper member 70 is fitted over the forward end of rod 15 for the purpose of preventing wear upon the cooperating surface of door 12. This member may be composed of rubber or other relatively soft material.
In operation, when the door of the refrigerator so is in the closed position, as shown in Mg. 6, rod 15 is maintained in its rearward position by door 12 against the compression of spring 64. The clamping member 14 engages the rods of the refrigerator shelf with sufficient pressure to pre- g. vent movement of the device as a whole under the pressure exerted by spring 64. In this position arm 71 of bell crank lever 61 is not engaged by cam 59 and arm 72 of lever 61 is in its rearward position, allowing switch arm 46 of ter- 7T minal 30 to remain in its rearward position out of contact with switch arm 41. In this position the circuit is open and the lamp is not lighted.
In this position cam extension 60 is located slightly to the rear of ledge 58. When the re- y5 frigerator door 12 is opened free of contact with plunger 15 spring 64 causes rod 15 to move forwardly until the position shown in Fig. 7 is reached, in which position cam 59 moves arm 71 of lever 61 downwardly, which in turn, causes arm 12 to move conducting arm 40 into engagement with conducting arm 41 to close thereby the circuit and render the device operative.
When it is desired to lock the device in the inoperative position, as is desirable to conserve the energy of the cells when the refrigerator is allowed to remain open for a considerable period of time for the airing or cleaning thereof, rod 15 is moved rearwardly manually and given a twist to the right whereby extension cam 60 enters the lateral slot extension 51. Rod 15 is then allowed to move forwardly until cam extension 60 engages ledge 58 and is released. The rod is thereby locked in an inoperative position and will remain there indefinitely unless released as will be described. Ledge 58 may be formed at an angle as shown to insure that the rotary bias exerted upon cam extension 60 does not cause it to move out of the slot extension.
When it is desired to render the device operative again after being locked in position this may be done by closing the refrigerator door or otherwise manually moving rod 15 rearwardly sufficiently to cause disengagement between cam extension 60 and ledge 68. Upon such disengagement the rotary bias of spring 64 causes rotation of the cam extension to the left and out of slot extension 57. When rod 15 is again allowed to move forwardly it may do so freely since cam extension 60 is free to move longitudinally in slot 56. This turning of rod 15 is accomplished automatically by spring 64 by the disengagement of cam extension 60 from ledge 58. When cam extension 60 is turned into slot extension 57 the twisting pressure exerted upon spring 64 is increased and this assists in effecting the subsequent movement of cam extension 60 out of the slot extension.
It is apparent from the above description that the invention provides an illuminating device for the interior of refrigerators and the like which may be placed in any convenient location within the refrigerator interior and does not occupy.any useful space therein. Illumination is provided 60 for substantially the entire interior of the compartment but the direct light is, nevertheless, shielded from the eyes of the user. The electric lamp bulb is shielded against accidental breakage by contact with objects stored in the refrigerator by means of globe 50 which also softens and spreads the light more uniformly throughout the refrigerator interior. The device is operated by the mere opening and closing of the refrigerator door and this is all that is necessary even after the device has been locked in the inoperative position.- The device is simple, comprising a minimum number of parts and is economical to manufacture. The cry cells are readily replaceable wher they become exhausted and this may be done whilt B5- the device remains in its position.
The terms "forward" and "rearward" anc similar terms are used herein in a relative senst for the purpose of simplifying the description anc are not intended as limitations as is evident Although only one modification of the device i described and illustrated it is understood tha the invention is not limited thereto but is limited only in accordance with the scope of the appendei claims.
5 I claim: 1. An illuminating device for refrigerators and the like having shelves comprising spaced apart elongated members, comprising a casing, an incandescent lamp mounted exteriorly upon said casing, a battery, electrical conductors and switching means in said casing and in electrical connection with said lamp, said switching means comprising a reciprocating plunger in said casing and having an end thereof projecting exteriorly of said casing, spring means for constantly urging said plunger to the operative position thereof, and means for clamping said casing to the shelf members of said refrigerator comprising a member of spring material attached exteriorly and in spaced relation to a side of said casing, the spacing between said casing side and said member being such that said refrigerator shelf members are held therebetween under pressure.
2. An illuminating device for refrigerators and the like comprising a casing, means for clamping said casing to a shelf of said refrigerator, an incandescent lamp mounted exteriorly upon said casing, a battery, electrical conductors and switching means in said casing and in electrical connection with said lamp and adapted to render said lamp operative and inoperative, said switching means comprising a reciprocating plunger in said casing and having an end thereof projecting exteriorly of said casing, spring means for constantly urging said plunger toward the operative position thereof, said reciprocating plunger being also rotatable, and means including a shoulder on said plunger off the center of rotation thereof and a co-operating abutment on said casing, adapting said plunger to be rotated g into a locked position.
3. An illuminating device for refrigerators and the like comprising a casing, means for clamping said casing to a shelf of said refrigerator, an incandescent lamp mounted exteriorly upon said casing, a battery, electrical conductors and 40 switching means in said casing and in electrical connection with said lamp and adapted to render said lamp operative and inoperative, said switching means comprising a reciprocating plunger in said casing and having an end thereof projecting 45 exteriorly of said casing, said reciprocating plunger being rotatable, means operable to lock said plunger against movement in at least one longitudinal direction, when said plunger is rotated into a locked position, and spring means for 50 simultaneously urging said plunger out of said locked position and toward the operative position thereof.
4. An illuminating device for refrigerators and the like comprising a casing, means for clamping St Ssaid casing to a shelf of said refrigerator, an incandescent lamp mounted exteriorly upon said Scasing, a battery, electrical conductors and switching means in said casing and in electrical connection with said lamp and adapted to ren- 60 der said lamp operative and inoperative, said Sswitching means comprising a reciprocating plunger in said casing and having an end thereof projecting exteriorly, of said casing, lateral proSjections on said casing and said plunger, said 65 Splunger in the inoperative position being rotatable e to bring said projections into mutual engagement to lock said plunger in said inoperative position, and spring means simultaneously urging said t plunger toward the operative position thereof 70 i and causing a rotary bias on said plunger urging i said projection on said plunger out of engagement with said projection on said casing.
5. An illuminating device for refrigerators and the like comprising a casing, means for clamping said casing to a shelf of said refrigerator, an incandescent lamp mounted upon said casing, a battery, electrical conductors, switching means g in said casing and in electrical'connection with said lamp adapted to render said lamp operative and inoperative, said switching means comprising a reciprocal plunger in said casing having an end thereof projecting exteriorly of said casing, spring means for constantly urging said plunger toward the position thereof which renders said lamp inoperative, said reciprocable plunger being also rotatable, and locking means responsive to a rotation of said plunger into a locked rotated position thereof, to lock said plunger against longitudinal movement toward the position in which it renders said lamp operative.
6. A unitary illuminating device for refrigerators and the like, comprising a casing, an incandescent lamp, a battery, switching means for controlling the operation of said lamp, electrical conductors for connecting said battery lamp, and switching means, means for supporting said illuminating device in a refrigerator, said switching means including a movable actuating member thereof urged toward the door of said refrigerator and adapted to be engaged and actuated thereby, said movable actuating member being also operable manually, and manually operable means for locking said switch in one operated position thereof, said locking means including a member biased out of locking position but arranged to be held in said locking position by the force that urges said actuator towards said door and arranged also to be released from said locking position by motion of said actuator resulting from said door striking said actuator, whereby said locking means operates in response to the normal actuation of said actuating member by said refrigerator door to unlock said switch.
WALTER B. SCHULTE.