United States Patent 3780260

A combination night light and vaporizer for liquids in which a plug-in electric wall bracket removably receives a throw-away container in the form of a dispensing package containing the vaporizable liquid. An electric lamp in the bracket provides a heat source for vaporizing the liquid in the container as well as the illumination for the night light, the lamp being controlled through an energizing circuit which includes an electric flow path in the vaporizable liquid between spaced electrodes built into the container, and an overriding manually operable switch enables the establishing of a circuit between the electrodes when there is no liquid in the container and it is desired to energize the lamp for use as a night light.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
362/92, 362/101, 362/641, 362/802, 392/393, 392/403, D23/362, D26/26
International Classes:
F21S8/00; F21V33/00; F24H1/00; H05B3/00; (IPC1-7): F22B1/28
Field of Search:
219/271,272,275,284,288-291 21
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2942090Deodorizer with electrical heating element1960-06-21Diehl
2813187Device for the dispersion of insecticide powders1957-11-12Ribarovira
2611068Pivotally mounted plug and vaporizer1952-09-16Wellens

Primary Examiner:
Albritton C. L.
I claim

1. A vaporizer device adapted to be plugged into and supported by an electrical wall outlet, comprising:

2. A vaporizer device according to claim 1, wherein the recess of the container is positioned in said heat sink bottom.

3. A vaporizer device adapted to be plugged into and supported by an electrical wall outlet comprising:

4. A vaporizer device according to claim 3, wherein the bracket legs have communicating internal cavities, and the energizing circuit includes electric conductors in said cavities having an electric source connection with said plug-in connector prongs.

5. A vaporizer device according to claim 4, wherein the plug-in connector prongs are supported for unitary rotation as a unit to angularly displaced 90° positions, circuit conductors being connected directly to the prongs and leading therefrom into the adjacent cavity substantially in a plane of rotation of said prongs, whereby the conductors may shift in a generally longitudinal direction and rendered free of bending forces.

6. A vaporizer device adapted to be plugged into an supported by an electrical wall outlet, comprising:

7. As an article of manufacture, a container for dispensing a heat vaporizable medium and being adapted for operative connection and disconnection with a heat generating device, comprising:

8. As an article of manufacture, a container for dispensing a heat vaporizable medium and being adapted for operative connection and disconnection with a heat generating device, comprising:

9. An article of manufacture according to claim 8, wherein the electrodes are positioned on opposite sides of said recess.

10. An article of manufacture according to claim 8, including a radial passage in the envelope bottom for venting the recess to atmosphere during connection of the container to the heat generating device.


In the prior art, there are numerous disclosures of electrically energizable vaporizers, and also the concept of a combination night light and vaporizer. The closest art known to applicant is the following U.S. Pats.:

No. 1,909,973-May 23, 1933

No. 2,469,656-May 10, 1949

No. 2,576,110-Nov. 27, 1951

No. 2,611,068-Sept. 16, 1952

No. 2,612,432-Sept. 30, 1952

No. 2,714,649-Aug. 2, 1955

No. 2,757,278-July 31, 1956

No. 3,248,530-Apr. 26, 1966


The present invention relates generally to the field of electric vaporizers.

It is heretofore been known from U.S. Pat. No. 2,612,432 to provide an electric vaporizer container within which there is mounted an electric heating element supplied with current through an electric plug connector cord. The container is arranged to receive a vaporizable material of cake form into heat transfer relation to the heating element. This cake is molded around connection plug terminals for completing a control circuit for the heating element through a fusable link embedded in the cake, so that upon the vaporization of a sufficient amount of the cake material, the fuse will melt and shut off the heating element.

Applicant uses a different arrangement in that the vaporizable liquid constitutes an electric flow path between internally positioned electrodes normally immersed in the vaporizable liquid.

It has also been known from U. S. Pat. No. 2,576,110 to provide a steam vaporizer, wherein the current flow between a pair of spaced electrodes immersed in a water well produces the steam for vaporizing the medicament in a separate container, the electrodes acting to terminate the heating, when the supply of water is exhausted.

Here again, the electrodes do not operate in the same manner as in applicant's device.

In the U. S. Pat. No. 2,611,068, it is known to provide a plug-in type of vaporizer in which the prongs of the plug are pivotally mounted for horizontal or vertical disposition. The structure embodies relatively movable contacts, and thus differs from applicant's unique arrangement in which the electric conductors are directly connected to the plug prongs.

Applicant's present invention provides a unique departure from the devices disclosed in the foregoing patented structures, and embodies desirable features which are not present in the above mentioned known structures.


The present invention relates generally to a combination night light and liquid vaporizer of the plug-in type, and wherein the vaporizable liquid is dispensed in a throwaway package container.

It is one object to provide an improved combination night light and vaporizer in which an electric lamp orovides both the night light illumination and a heater for vaporizing the vaporizable liquid, and wherein different night light color effects may be obtained by using vaporizable liquids of different colors.

A further object is to provide a unique vaporizer combination which includes a plug-in bracket arranged to removably receive a throw-away self-contained dispensing package for a vaporizable liquid, and which embodies means for automatically interrupting an electric circuit for an associated heater lamp in the bracket, when the vaporizable liquid is reduced to a predetermined amount.

It is also a further object to provide a vaporizer according the foregoing object wherein an overriding control switch is provided for connecting the heater lamp in circuit for use as a night light, even though the vaporizable liquid has been reduced to the predetermined minimum amount.

Another object is to provide an improved plug-in type vaporizer in which the plug prongs are pivotally mounted for selective unitary movements to horizontal and vertical orientation, and wherein the electric conductors are connected directly to the prongs, thus eliminating the use of sliding switch contacts.

Still another object is to provide as an article of manufacture a throw-away dispensing container-package of unique construction for vaporizable liquid, wherein the container has a bottom portion arranged to provide a heat sink, and, which mounts plug-in connection terminals for establishing a control circuit through the vaporizable liquid between internal spaced electrodes.

Further objects of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing the invention without placing limitations thereon.


Referring to the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combination night light and liquid vaporizer embodying the features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged generally vertical sectional view of the same, taken substantially on line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view, taken substantially on line 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view showing the connection plug with pivotally mounted prongs enabling horizontal or vertical orientation;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary section taken substantially on line 5--5 of FIG. 4, showing details of the pivotal mounting;

FIG. 6 is a transverse section, taken substantially on line 6--6 of FIG. 5, and showing the manner of directly connecting the electric conductors to the prongs.


For illustrative purposes, there is shown in FIG. 1 a combination night light and liquid vaporizer according to the present invention, which comprises a bracket structure "A" preferably of an opague plastic material, and a container-dispenser "B" of an appropriate clear or translucent plastic material.

As will be seen in FIG. 1, the bracket structure "A" is of a generally L-configuration with leg portions 10 and 11 in right angled relation. The legs are constructed respectively with communicating internal cavities 12a and 12b to facilitate electrical connections with the prongs 13 and 14 of a plug connector 15 positioned at the outer end of the leg portion 10.

As thus arranged, the bracket structure can be plugged into a conventional electrical receptacle, and thus supported in an operative position. Since the prong receiving openings of conventional receptacles are sometimes vertically arranged and sometimes horizontally arranged, provision is made for pivotally orienting the prongs of the plug connector to accomodate it for use with either type of arrangement. For this purpose, the prongs 13 and 14 have their innermost ends mounted in a disc 16 of insulating material, this disc being rotatably supported within a recess 17 upon a retaining screw 18 which also provides the pivot for the disc. As best shown in FIG. 6, the disc 16 is peripherally provided with an arcuate groove 19 which receives a fixed stop pin 20. As thus arranged, the disc may be rotated through an angle of 90° so as to properly orient the prongs of the plug connector.

In order to eliminate the use of sliding contacts as conventionally embodied in structures of this character, electric conductors, as shown at 21 and 22 are connected directly to the inner ends of the prongs 13 and 14. It will be noted that the conductors 21 and 22 are carried through the internal cavity 12a and are so positioned therein that during rotative movements of the disc 16 in opposite directions, the conductors 21 and 22 are free to shift longitudinally without being subjected to damaging bending forces. As shown in FIG. 2, the lower end portion of the conductors 21 and 22 are preferably coiled as indicated at 21a and 22a. As thus arranged, the inherent disadvantages of sliding contacts will be obviated.

As shown in FIG. 2, the leg portion 11 is fabricated to provide a recess 23 which has its uppermost end opening into a top surface 24 of the leg portion 11. This recess mountingly receives therein a lamp socket 25 adapted to removably receive an electric lamp 26 which projects above the top surface 24 so as to provide illumination for the night light and form a heater for vaporizing the liquid within the associated container-dispenser "B."

Diamatrically positioned on opposite sides of the recess 23 are upwardly opening recesses 27--27 for respectively mountingly receiving therein appropriate female type contacts 28--28.

The container-dispenser "B" is constructed as a throwaway dispensing container which may be filled with a vaporizable liquid such as a deodorizer, medicinal inhalant, humidifier, etc. As will be best seen in FIG. 2, the container is of generally cylindrical configuration and is fabricated with a thick base portion 29 which effectively provides a heat sink at one end of an internal cavity 30, and at its other end is provided with a perforated end wall 31 having openings 32 therein. The openings are normally sealed at their outermost ends by means of a sealing disc member 33 of suitable plastic, rubber or other material. The disc member is normally retained in a sealing position by means of a removable cap member 34 which may be of conventional construction and may be of the snap-in type.

The base portion 29 mounts a pair of spaced elongate electrodes 35--35 which project above the base portion 29 into the cavity 30. It will be observed that the projecting portions of the electrodes are surrounded by the material of the container, except for the exposed tip portions as indicated at 35a.

The lowermost ends of the electrodes 35--35 are respectively provided with projecting end portions which form male plug connectors 36--36 which are adapted to mate with the female contacts 28--28 in the mounted position of the container-dispenser "B."

The base portion 29 is formed with a recess 37 which is positioned between the electrodes 35--35 and has an end opening into a surface 38 having confronting relationship with the surface 24, when the container-dispenser "B" is mounted on the bracket. The recess 37 is arranged to register with the recess 23 so as to operatively receive the electric lamp 26 therein into illumination transmitting relation as well as heat transfer relation to the base portion 29.

It has been found desirable to provide ventilation for the recess 37, when the container-dispenser "B" is operably associated with the bracket structure "A." For such purpose, as shown in FIG. 3, there is provided in the surface 38 of the container-dispenser a radially extending groove 39 which has its innermost end in communication with the recess 37, and its outermost end in communication with ambient atmosphere.

Electricity is supplied to the electric lamp 26 through an energizing circuit as follows: from prong 13 through conductor 21 to one of the lamp terminals, from the other lamp terminal through a conductor 40 to one of the female contacts 28 and associated male plug 36 to an electrode 35; from this electrode through the vaporizable liquid to the other electrode 35, associated male plug 36 and female contact 28; thence through conductor 22 back to the plug prong 14.

By utilizing the vaporizable liquid to provide a link in the energizing circuit between the electrode tips 35a--35a, it will be apparent that the lamp 26 will be energized so long as a flow path exists in the vaporizable liquid between the tips of the electrodes. However, as soon as the level of the vaporizable liquid is reduced to an amount in which the liquid level is between the insulated portions around the electrodes, the circuit to the lamp will be terminated and automatically cut off. Upon the insertion of a filled container-dispenser "B," the circuit will again be established so that the unit will continue to operate as a vaporizer. It will of course naturally follow that when a new container is connected to the bracket, the cap 34 should be removed along with the sealing disc 33 in order to permit the vaporized liquid to be disseminated through the openings 32 into the surrounding atmosphere.

It will be appreciated that there may be times when it is desired to utilize the device as a night light, when there is an insufficient amount of liquid in the container-dispenser "B" to establish an energizing circuit between the electrode tips 35a-35a. In order to provide for this situation, an electric switch 41 may be optionally provided, this switch having its terminals connected between the female contacts 28--28. Normally, the switch 41 would be in an open circuit position during dependence upon the automatic control by the electrodes, but in closed position the switch will operate to establish a circuit between the electrodes independently of the vaporizable liquid.

From the foregoing description and drawings, it will be clearly evident that the delineated objects and features of the invention will be accomplished.

Various modifications may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of my invention, and hence, I do not wish to be restricted to the specific form shown or uses mentioned, except to the extent indicated in the appended claims.