United States Patent 3790775

An ornament which may be worn on the neck, arm, waist, etc., and which employs light which may be electroluminescent, incandescent, or fluorescent. The ornament itself is constructed out of battery material which provides the electrical power for illumination; the surface of the ornament is provided with light sources or light emitting devices and connections are provided for energizing the sources. In an alternative embodiment the light sources are internal to the ornament and fiber optics guide the light from the source to the ornaments outer surface.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
63/1.13, 63/7, 362/570, 362/800, 428/917, D30/152
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A44C15/00; (IPC1-7): A44C5/00
Field of Search:
63/1,2,23,7 240
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3549878LIGHT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM1970-12-22Bailey
3392275Illuminated article of jewelry1968-07-09Henrich
3351347Electroluminescent game ball1967-11-07Smith et al.
3153745Portable illuminating device1964-10-20Gurian et al.
2798148Twinkling electric illuminated ornament1957-07-02Di Lizio et al.
2714683Electroluminescent bulb1955-08-02Jenkins
2405384Illuminating ankle bracelet and the like1946-08-06White

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Shay, Barry F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Plottel, Roland
1. A body ornament having a cross-section over a substantial portion of its length of

2. An ornament in accordance with claim 1, wherein said transparent electrode forms at least a portion of the other surface of said ornament.

3. An ornament according to claim 1, wherein said electroluminescent material includes plates of at lest two different colors.

This invention relates generally to ornaments, and particularly to ornaments to be worn on the body.

Although body ornaments were probably worn before the beginning of recorded history, it is only in the present century that really new modes have been developed. For example, up to this light as a medium has not been used by craftsman and artisans interested in well designed ornaments; such as rings, bracelets, brooches, necklaces, belts and the like.

The present invention is directed to ornaments; bracelet, necklace, chain, button, belt, worn on the body and which emit light. In appearance, the light may be either brilliant or glowing, monochrome or of various colors, in accordance with the designer's choice. A feature of the invention is to construct the ornament itself out of a battery material which will provide the electrical power for illumination. Typically, the ornament is formed into any desired shape, such as a bracelet. Light emitting devices, such as lamps, or light emitting lenses are suitably mounted on the surface of the bracelet. The central core or internal volume of the bracelet is filled with the battery material. A switch may be included in the bracelet, and when the wearer desires, the switch is activated and the light source on the bracelet becomes illuminated. It will be appreciated that most battery material have a putty-like consistency, and may be molded to fit into a variety of shapes, which fill the internal cavities of the ornaments. By this arrangement, there is an efficient use of the volume or space available in the ornament to obtain the maximum electrical capacity that can be chemically stored by the battery material in this space. By this arrangement ornaments can be fabricated, which are of a size and weight which can be comfortably worn on the body and which, in appearance, will emit illumination, which can be of great intensity and brilliance.

Thus, there is provided a self-contained body ornament which, as part of the decorative function thereof, includes light or illumination.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the outer surface of the ornament, or portions or its outer surface are provided with electroluminescent plates. These plates may be of different colors, shapes and sizes, and they may be electrically connectable by the wearer to the battery material internal to the ornament. Thus, a glowing jewelery or ornament is provided. Artists using this invention may design ornaments which, not only require ambient light as was heretofore done, but also with glowing colors and thereby create new artistic and pleasing effects.

In a further embodiment of the invention, individual lenses may be placed on the outer surface of the ornament. These lenses may be illuminated from light source internal to the ornament. Typically, fiber optics or other light wave guides, connect the internal light source to the lenses on the surface. In a further embodiment, incandescent light sources are mounted over the surface of the ornament.

It is envisioned in one embodiment that the battery material will be molded inside of the ornament. However, this is not essential to the invention, and replaceable or interchangeable standard battery cells might be used.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ornament made according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the ornament of FIG. 1 taken through lines 2--2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plain view showing an alternative embodiment of an ornament in a closed position and (in phantom) in an open position.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 3 taken through line 4--4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a plain view, partially cut away, of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modification of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a further embodiment of the invention.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of an ornament made in accordance with this invention. The ornament is shown here as a band which may be worn as a bracelet or anklet. The surface of the ornament is made from an electroluminescent plate which, when connected to a source of electrical potential, will emit light and glow. A switch 14 is provided on the inside of the ornament and may be moved between two positions. In one position, electrical energy is connected to the electroluminescent plate 12, while in the second position, electrical energy is not so connected. As seen in FIG. 1, and more clearly in FIG. 2, which is a cross-sectional view through the ornament taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1, the central portion of the ornament is filled with a battery material shown generally by the legend 16. The switch 14 selectively connects one terminal of the battery to the one terminal of the electroluminescent material to close the circuit and to illuminate the electroluminescent material.

Referring to FIG. 2 specifically, the structure of the battery material switch and electroluminescent plate can be examined in detail. The battery material can be any convenient or conventional electric cell in which chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. As a practical matter, most batteries will be primary cells of the dry kind, although rechargeable or secondary cells might be used and other than dry cells might also be employed. A typical battery material for use in the present invention would be a modified leclanche cell having a carbon cathode 20 which would be curved and form the center core of the ornament. An electrolyte 22 surrounds the carbon cathode and typically consists of a moist paste of ammonium chloride, zinc chloride, manganese dioxide and carbon particles which improve the conductivity and assist the depolarizining action of the manganese dioxide. The electrolyte is surrounded by a zinc anode 24 which serves the double purpose of being both an anode and a container for the electrolyte. The electroluminescent plate 12 has an electroluminescent material 26 which emits light when an electrical potential is placed across it and includes an outer electrode which is transparent to light 28. When an electrical potential is maintained between the electrodes 24 and 28, the material 26 glows or emits light. It will be noted that the anode 24 Of the battery material is also one electrode for the electroluminescent material 26. The plate, 12, is in fixed permanent relation with the outer surface, 24, of the battery, 16. The difference in potential between the cathode 20 and anode 24 of the battery material is typically a few volts. When the cathode is connected to the transparent electrode 28, the electroluminescent material 26 glows. This connection is made by means of a conductor 30 extending between the cathode 20 and a switch 14. The switch 14 includes a slide connector 32 which makes contact to the electrical conductor 30, which in turn is attached to the cathode 20. The slide connector has a button 34 which extends through an opening in the switch housing 36 and which is adapted to be moved from a first position to a second position by the wearer of the ornament. As shown in FIG. 2, the slide connection is in the off position. The switch includes a second contact 38 which is connected to the outer transparent electrode 28. When the push button 34 on the slider 32 is moved from the off position as shown in FIG. 2 to the up or onward position shown in phantom in FIG. 2, an electrical connection is made between the conductor 30 and the contact 38. Thus, a potential of the cathode 20 is applied to the outer electrode 28 by the cable 30, slider 32 and contact 38. With the potential of the battery impressed between the electrode 28 and the anode-second electrode 24, the electroluminescent material 26 glows. Thus, with the slider switch in its on position a potential is impressed across the electroluminescent material 26 causing it to glow and emit light.

It should be appreciated that various modifications may be made on the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In particular, it is not necessary to use a leclanche-type of primary cell, as other types of cells may be used, such as an alkaline or mercury cell or carbon zince cell, silver oxide cell or any one of the well known varieties of such battery material. The electroluminescent material 26 may typically be a zinc silicon selenium copper compound although any other convenient or conventional-type of light-emitting electroluminescent material is suitable. A large variety of such materials are currently commercially available and are sometimes referred to as LED, for light emitting diode materials. It might be noted that where higher potentials are required for illuminating the electroluminescent material several individual cells may be hooked together in series. Furthermore, the electrode 24 in FIG. 2 serves the purpose of being both the anode of the battery material, and one electrode of the electroluminescent surface. Other arrangements may be used in which protective casings may be added over the anode 24 and second electrodes are used for the electroluminescent surface.

Referring now to the drawings of FIGS. 3 and 4, there is shown an alternative embodiment of the invention. The former figure is a plain view of a body ornament bracelet in its closed position and which is also shown in phantom in its open position. The latter figure is a cross-sectional view taken through line 4--4 of FIG. 3. The ornament has two C-shaped members 40 and 42 which are hinged together at 44 and which snap together at their other end by a fastener at 46. Two incandescent lamps 48 and 50 are mounted in each half of the ornament 40 and 42 and protrude through the surface thereof. Thd hinge at 44 not only permits the bracelet to be opened, but also serves as an electrical switch for closing an electrical path between the battery material inside the bracelet and the lamps 48 and 50. Thus, when the bracelet is closed, the lamps 48 and 50 are not illuminated.

Referring to the embodiment now in detail, and particularly to FIG. 4, the center core of the bracelet is filled with a battery material 52. This is semi-circular in shape and fills the inside portion of the bracelet. The battery material is contained in its own housing and may be slidably removed from the outer wall or housing 42 of the bracelet as will be seen in more detail below. The battery material 52 has an anode terminal 54 and a cathode terminal 56 at its opposite end. The lamp 50 is mounted inside the housing 42 with the illuminated end protruding through an aperture in the wall of the housing at 58. The aperture 58 may be opened, as shown, or alternatively a glass or lense may be mounted in the aperture 58. Lamp 50 screws into a screw connection 60 located inside the housing. An electrical conducting connection 62 is provided between one terminal of the lamp, shown here as the threaded screw, and the anode 54 of the battery material 52. The second terminal of the lamp (the button on the bottom of the lamp) is connected to an electrical conductor 64 which extends (not shown) along the inside of the housing to an electrically conductive resilient electrode 66 located near the cathode terminal 56 of the battery material 52. In FIG. 4, the electrode 66 is shown in contact with the cathode 56. The battery material 52 is held in place by a resilient spring 68 which urges the battery towards the lamp. This end of the housing 42 is screwably connectable by a screw thread 70 to the hinge mechanism 44. When the housing 42 is screwed off the hinge mechanism, the full diameter of the inside of the housing is opened and the resilient electrode 66 may be folded out and the spring 68 and battery material 52 may be removed from the housing 42. The hinge mechanism 44 includes the fixed end plate 72 which screws onto the thread 70 of the housing 42, a flat portruding member 74 which has an aperture therethrough and which lays adjacent to the flat member 74 of the other semi-circular half of the ornament. A rivet 76 joins the two flat members together. An ear 78 extends outward from each flat member. When the ornament is closed, the ear 78 extends into the adjacent housing and makes mechanical contact with the resilient electrode 66 and urges it forward into touching electrical contact with the cathode 56 of the battery material 52. This closes the electrical circuit from the cathode through the resilient electrode 66, the electrical conductor (part of which is not shown) and to electrode 64 and thence to the lower terminal of the lamp 50. The other terminal of the lamp (is screw fitting) is connected by electrode 62 to the anode of the battery material and thus the lamp is illuminated.

It will be appreciated in the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4 the battery 52 is self encapsulated. The threaded opening 70 at the end of each housing permits the battery material to be removed and a fresh battery material to be introduced. The lamp is illuminated by closing the bracelet, and extinguished by opening the bracelet. Alternatively, a push button switch may be inserted in the side wall of the housing so that the lamps may be illuminated by operating the switch rather than by closing the bracelet. This would permit the wearer to turn off the light even when the bracelet is closed.

FIG. 5 is a plain view, partially cut away, of another embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 shows an ornament, such as a bracelet or a half of a decorative object to be worn around the waist. It is partially curved so as to conform to the shape of the wearer. The surface of the object is studded with small lamps, shown here with legends 80. The lamps are mounted in the outer housing 82 of the ornament. Internal to this housing 82 (not shown) is the battery material which may be similar to the material shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. Each of the lamps has suitable electrical connection to the battery material and this is shown in the cutaway portion of the drawing as an electrode 84 connected to the lowest portion of the lamps, and the inner surface of the housing at 86 forming the second electrode connected to the side portion at the base of the lamps. Suitable switches, such as shown in the previous figures, may be included in the ornament of FIG. 5.

Referring now to FIG. 6, there is shown a perspective view of a modification of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Here instead of a pair of incandescent lamps 48 and 50 there is shown an ornament having a plurality of light sources shown as 90. The light sources 90 may be fluorescent rings mounted on the outer housing 92 of the ornament. A pair of leads internal to the housing (not shown) would be connected to each of the lights 90 from the anode and cathode of the battery material (not shown) which is inside the housing 92. The rings of light may be of different colors or of the same colors. The rings of light may be either fluorescent, or incandescent, or electroluminescent, or any other convenient and conventional source of light. The portion of the outer housing 92 between the light sources 90 may also be made of a light emitting material, such as an electroluminescent material of the kind shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Thus, the entire outer surface of the ornament would emit light. In this figure, the hinge arrangement 94 and fastener 96 are shown which are similar to the hinge and fastener shown in FIG. 3.

Referring now to FIG. 7, in this embodiment there is shown an outer housing 100 of the ornament, and a portion of the battery material 102 and a light bulb 104. One terminal of the bulb 106 is connected to one terminal 108 of the battery material. The second terminal is connected by a conductor 110 to the other terminal of the battery material (not shown). Extending from the forward face of the bulb 104 are a plurality of light-conducting guides designated generally 112. The other ends of these guides extend through the walls of the housing 100. These guides are typically fiber optics. Fiber optics 112 have the properties of carrying light from their source at the bulb to their terminals at the outside of the housing 100. Thus, light is carried by the bundle of fiber optics from the light bulb 104 to the outside of the ornament 100. The optics may terminate in the side walls of the housing 100, either at an aperture as shown in the drawing, or in an end plate (not shown) or in a lense which may disperse or otherwise focus the light emerging therefrom. It will be appreciated that the different techniques of illumination on the surface of the ornament, may be combined so as to provide an electroluminescent region, with light emerging from fiber optics. Other combinations may also be made within the spirit of the invention.

While the invention has been described with the example of a bracelet ornament, it is not so limited and it may be used in any body ornament, such as necklace, waistband, etc. Furthermore, body ornaments may include collars to be worn on domestic animals, such as dogs.

In summary, there has been shown and described an ornament to be worn on the body which has an outer housing which surrounds and contains a battery material. Light sources are contained within the ornament and brought out to the surface of the ornament. With this invention, artists and craftsmen may design jewelery and other decorative items and employ light as a new medium and thereby create items of new and decorative effect.

Although an embodiment of the present invention has been described herein, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to that precise embodiment, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope of this invention.