Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1692686 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 20, 1928
Filing dateApr 17, 1924
Priority dateApr 17, 1924
Publication numberUS 1692686 A, US 1692686A, US-A-1692686, US1692686 A, US1692686A
InventorsNichols Harry J
Original AssigneeNichols Harry J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tactual indicator
US 1692686 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 20, 1928.

H. .1. NICHOLS TACTUAL INDICATOR Filed April 17, 1.924


HARRY J. NICHOLS, or wnsnmerron, ms'rnrcm or cont nue.


Application filed April 17, 1924. Serial in. 767,053

This invention relates to tactual indicating means and more particularly to indicating means whereby one of a plurality of similar small portable articles such as keys may be readily distinguished from the others by tactual observation in the dark, for example, as well as visually when the light will permit.

In order that a clearer perception of the present invention may be readily had, one embodiment or application of the invention will be hereinafter described with relation to keys although it is, of course, to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific articles to which it is applied or to the exact manner shown for indicating these articles.

As is well-known to all users of keys, the majority of keys now in use are of a flat type generally known as tumbler or Yale lock or Corbin lock keys. These keys have a plurality of tumbler engaging projections along one edge and one or more grooves along one side surface. l'Vhile twenty may be carried on a key ring or holder only three or four are used daily or frequently. In using any one of these keys, it is first necessary to determine which of the various keys on the ring is desired by observation and, second,

to insure that the key is placed right-side upin the lock. At times th s is exceedingly diflicult owing to darkness or a. failure in memory to properly remember the configuration of the key tumblers applicable to a particular lock, for some keys differ from others only by very slight details.

The present invention is, therefore, de-

signed to remedy this situation by marking the keys in such a manner that the desired key may readily be selected in the dark and inserted in the correct position in the lock to which the specific key is applicable.

A further obje t is to provide a tactual indicator for keys which may be inexpensively manufactured and readily applied.

A further object is to provide an indicator of the above ype which will be durable and substantial in construction, not likely to wear out or 011' with age or continued use as with luminous paint.

A further object is to provide an indicator of the above character always ready for im-.

mediate use, which will not be bulky in size or have pru ections of such character as will injure the ocket, for example.

Other objects will be in part obvious and in part hereinafter pointed out in connection with the following analysis of this invention and in connection with the accompanying sheet of drawings illustrating two of various possible embodiments; 1

Figures 1 to 4 of this drawing show, "for example, in elevation four keys, each of which is provided with different taetual indicating marks adjacent the grip or that part ofthe key which is grasped when in operation,

Figure 5 is-a sectional view of Figure 1. Figure 6 shows a modification, and,

Figure 7 shows one 'of the indicating de' vices as manufactured,according to and slightly enlarged.

Beferringto Figs. 1 to 5, there is shown a number of keys 5 having head or shank portions 6 with holes? therein for attachment to a key-ring or the like. Indicators in the form of rivets 105- are inserted in holes 8 drilled in the" head or shank portions, and are smoothed down at their ends, leaving the slightly raised rivet head pro ecting over one face of the head or shank portion 6, as shown in Fi 5. The holes themselves could be used indicating the key desired, but these are more'confusing' and not as easily discernible to the average person by a sense of touch. The indicators may also be embossed 'on the keys or other articles when produced by a stamping or punching process. The shape or configuration of the rivet head acting as the indicator is conventionally represented as circular in Figures 1 to 5. It is to be understood, however, that this shape of the rivet head is arbitrary, and may embody any design or configuration to provide the maximum of tact-ual indication. Indicators or projections-1 0 are preferably arranged on thatface of the head or shank portion 6 .with which the thumb contacts when the key is in its proper position for insertion in the lock.

The holes 8 may be placed at any desired point on the body, or the projections could be placed upon the peripheral edge if so desired. Instead this form is not as desirable owing to the factthat an increase in the rough edges is harder on the wear and tear of the pocket in which the keys arecarried.

' The present invention also has an added feature, namely, that the keys can be marked in an identifying manner in the order in which they are usually used during the day.

of using projections, notches could be cut in the edge although For example, it may be stated that the average business man uses every day only three or four keys such as his house, his garage, his olfice and his desk.

It would, therefore, to -mark the keys in this order, that is, he leaves his house in the morning, which house key would have one indicator; second, goes into his garage, which key would have two indications; third, goes to his ofiice which key has three indications and, fourth, opens his desk, which would have four indications. Placing this order of events in his mind it is a very simple matter for him to select the desired key without so much as a glance and know purely by a sense of touch that he not only has the right key for the desired look but also, by reason of the indicating means projecting laterally in a predetermined relation from the flat face of the grip portion or head, that. he is inserting the key in its right position in said lock.

In Figures 6 and 7 is shown a modification. Here the key is provided with four small holes 11 arranged in the form of a square. Into these holes are inserted one or more of the indicators 12 shown in Figure 7 and lightly tapped with a hammer which rivets over the inserted end and holds the indicator in the desired position. Thus an almost unlimited number of combinations may be provided for, according to the number of indicators used and their relative position on the key body.

The indicator While largely tactual also permits of ready observation enabling one to more quickly select the desired article rather than to compare the number of notches on the key edge.

It is thus seen that the present invention provides a simple and practical mechanism or means for indicating at any time which be perhaps desirable 9 one of a. plurality of self-contained similar portable devices is adapted to be used as wellas the assurance that such article is used in the proper-manner with relation to its cooperating part. While I have described the invention With relation to its application to keys, it is, of course, to be understood that it is applicable to other devices as-well.

What I claim is 1. In combination with a key having a flat grip, tactual indicating means arranged in fixed relation thereon thereby to distinguish said key from similarly shaped keys by a sense of touch, said indicating means projecting in a predetermined relation laterally from the fiat face of said grip to indicate when the latter is in position for proper insertion in a lock.

2. In combination with a key having a flat grip provided with a plurality of holes arranged in predetermined relation in said grip, and indicating means mounted in any one of said holes and projecting in a predetermined relation laterally from the flat face of said grip, whereby the key may be distinguished from other keys of similar shape by a sense of touch.

3. In combination with-.a key having a flat grip provided with a plurality of holes arranged in predetermined relation in said grip, and indicating means mounted in any one of said holes whereby the key may be distinguished from another key of similar shape by a sense of touch, said indicating means projecting laterally from the flat face of the grip andin" a-predetermined position thereby to" facilitate the insertion'of the key in the lock in operative position.

Signed this 11th day of .April, 1924.

nanny J. NICHOLS.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2672747 *Oct 18, 1949Mar 23, 1954Craig Burnie JKey
US3814049 *Aug 31, 1972Jun 4, 1974De Witt T HunterPatient identification system
US5339664 *Dec 11, 1991Aug 23, 1994Mellor H ClaySystem for identifying, carrying and storing keys
US6000258 *Nov 6, 1997Dec 14, 1999Lesko; Joseph JohnBraille and Arabic memory key and lock
US6032983 *May 26, 1998Mar 7, 2000Lanter; Steven S.Emergency color and tactile coded identification plate
US20080047311 *Sep 10, 2007Feb 28, 2008The Id Key Company Inc.Key head cover
US20080163656 *Jan 5, 2007Jul 10, 2008Tse Wen ChangIdentifiers for keys permitting visual, low-light and tactile recognition
US20080189996 *Mar 19, 2008Aug 14, 2008Tse Wen ChangIdentifiers for keys permitting tactile and visual recognition
U.S. Classification40/330
International ClassificationE05B19/24, E05B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B19/24
European ClassificationE05B19/24