US 1995725 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 26, 1935. wAP LER I 1,995,725
METHOD FOR DISTINCTIVELY MARKING COMMODITIES 7 -Filed March 23, 1931 INVENTOR AT ORNE Patented Mar. 26, 1935 UNITED STATES "PA-TENT o FicE METHOD FOR DISTINCTIVELY MARKING A COMIWODITIES V Frederick Charles Wappler, New York, N. Y. Application March 23-, 1931, Serial No. 524,501
su'ch'as a ham, nevertheless it will be understood 7 that many phases of my invention are not re.- stricted to this specific application. I
t is'a general object of my invention to pro vide a method for distinctively marking a 'commodity, such as a ham or, the like,so'that the same may be readily and reliably distinguished from competitive commoditiesand recognized as the product of a specific manufacturer or producer. .1
It is an important object of my invention to provide fora distinctive marking of a character which will automatically insure the arrangement upon each slice of a certain predetermined distinctive indication or mark. For example, a ham or the like embodying the features of my present invention, and. which has been treated in the manner contemplated by my invention, might be caused to bear a distinctivedesignation or mark such as a letter of the alphabet, for example, the letter S; the mark being associated with the commodity in suoh a manner that under all con- 0. ditions, whether the commodity be intact or partially cut away; the desired designation will appear thereon in a conspicuous and readilyrecognizable manner. Furthermore, each slice or cut taken from such a commodity will automatically and invariably bear a similar designation, whereby a purchaser of such slices or cuts is doubly insuredagainst a substitute and possibly inferior or undesired product.
Briefly, it is a feature of my invention to provide in a solid body'of the character typified by a sliceable ham or the like, a lineal out which penetrates into the body from a surface thereof, said out having a cross-section which is substan- 45 tially uniform throughout its extent and which is of distinctive configuration. By a lineal out I refer to one which is defined by substantially a single line, the opposite edges of the cut lying closely adjacentto one another in very much 50 the same manner as the opposite, edges of agash might be arranged when produced by a sharp cutting tool, such as a knife.
A further feature of my invention lies in providing a cut of the foregoing character which extends along a substantially straight line from the exterior of the body of the commoditydeep into the interior thereof, and, if desired, completely through the body to an opposite surface; whereby only one end, and possibly opposite ends of such a cut, are visible and exposed upon the exterior of the solid body; and whereby each slice or cut, taken from such a body along a plane substantially perpendicular tothe direction of penetration of said out, will bear upon a midportion thereof a out which has the distinctive configuration desired.
vAn important feature of my invention lies in providing a cut of the foregoing character by means other than. and different from a sharp cutting tool or instrumentality; such as a knife; and, more especially, my invention provides such a distinctive cut by meansof an electric current. More particularly, I have harnessed to my present purposes the advantageous characteristics of an alternating current of small amperage and high frequency, such current being caused to pass through the commodity and through a novel and uniquely configured and constructed marking tool or. electrode.
v .I achieve the foregoing objects and advantages,
and such other objects and advantages as may hereinafter appear or be pointed out, in the manner illustratively exemplified in the accompanying drawing, wherein- Figure 1 is a perspective view of a marking tool of the present character;
Figure 2 is an elevational view of the tool of Figure 1, showing the same in operative relationship to a solid body, such as a meat commodity or the. like, the latter being shown in cross-section andpartly broken away;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 3 3 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a perspective view of "a completed commodity of the present character, showing the manner in which slices may be taken therefrom; and
Figure 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of Figure 4.
, In .Figure l, I have shown a marking tool which, for illustrative purposes, is adapted to brand or mark a solid commodity with a dis-' tinctive designation in the form of a letter S. A relatively long and thin rod-like member 10 serves as a handle and may advantageously be provided at its rear end with an enlarged hand-grip portion 11. .Themember 10 may be of any desired length, usually about a foot or two, and has a relatively small cross-sectional diameter which may, for example, be of the order of one-eighth inch. The handle 10 and the grip 11 are of insulating material such as hard rubber or its equivalents, and through the center thereof a conductive element 12 is passed which may be of any suitable material adapted to conduct an alternating current of the preferred character. The wire 12 may, for example, be of suitable metal and of a cross-sectional diameter of the order of .015 inch. At its forward end, the member 10 is provided with a wire-like electrode element 13 which is electrically connected to the forward end of the conductive wire 12. The element 13 has a cross-sectional diameter of the order of .015 inch and is arranged to define a distinctive open-ended plane figure. For example, in Figure 1, the element 13 has been shaped to define a letter S, and it is attached to the forward end of the wire 12 at the mid-portion 14 thereof. It is to be noted that the wire 13 is bent or shaped to lie in a single plane which is substantially perpendicular to the axis of the member 10, and that the configuration illustrated provides the element 13 with the free ends 15 and 16. In this respect, the configuration is what may be termed open-ended, by which term I mean to distinguish from a configuration which includes one or more closed or looped portions such as those that might be provided by a Figure B, a figure 0, or the like.
Although my invention is not restricted to any specific dimensions of parts, I will state, for purposes of explaining the general type of device which is illustrated in Figure 1, that the total height of the letter S at the forward end thereof is approximately one-half inch.
Preferably, though not necessarily, the forward portion 17 of the member 10 is of material other than hard rubber or the like, and preferably of quartz or similar vitreous substance, the better to withstand the heat that is to be generated at the wire-like element 13 when the tool is used. The forward portion of the member 10, whether of quartz or other material, is preferably tapered toward the forward end, as illustrated, in a gentle convergence so that the exterior diameter of the member 10 at its point of attachment to the element 13 is substantially equal to, and, in any event, substantially no greater than, the diameter of the element 13.
At its rear end, the wire 12 is adapted to be connected, as at 18, with a lead or wire which extends to one terminal of a source of highfrequency alternating current. For this purpose, the grip 11 may be provided with an attachment terminal or the like, in any desired manner.
When the tool of Figure 1 is used, a relatively solid body, such as the meat body 19 shown in the figures by way of illustration, is applied to a supporting platform or plate 20 of conductive material such as metal, and a suitable electrical connection is made, as at 21, with the other terminal of the alternating current source. The plate 20 is preferably, though not necessarily, insulated from the ground.
The body 19 has been illustrated by way of example as a substantially rectangular body, having a shape substantially like that of a conventional sliceable ham or the like. In the illustrated exemplification of my invention, a cut of the character hereinbefore mentioned is produced in and through this body from an end sur face 22 thereof toward and, if desired, entirely to and through the opposite end surface, which is not shown in Figure 2. In carrying out my invention, the electrode 13 is applied full-face upon the end exterior surface 22, and under such circumstances the passage of the high-frequency current through this tool and through the commodity 19 will cause the latter to be out along the distinctively configured line defined by the element 13. This cut is of the nature of a burn or sear, though the exact phenomenon is not fully understood. It is accompanied by a slight sizzling and sparking of a localized character, and there is unquestionably a development of heat. The result is, however, not a true burn, and the walls of any out produced by the method outlined are not charred, as might be expected, but are, quite to the contrary, of an apparently unimpaired condition, being perhaps slightly cooked or seared, but nothing more. Wherever the term seared appears in the appended claims, it is intended to designate the quality or condition which is produced by, and characteristic of, the herein-described method of forming the cut by the passage of high-frequency current.
The application of the tool or electrode 13 thus results in the production of a cut in advance thereof, and as a result the electrode may be advanced into the body 19 in pursuance of this cut in the manner illustrated in Figure 2. This operation may be effected at a surprisingly rapid rate of the order of approximately one inch per second, and no pressure whatsoever, or perhaps a very slight pressure, is all that is required to advance the tool or electrode.
By this procedure, a lineal cut or grooveway 23 is produced which extends from the exterior of the body 19 as far into the interior thereof as may be desired. The handle 10 follows readily behind the element 13, as indicated in Figures 2 and 3, and although the midportion of the cut 23 is slightly stretched or distended during this advance, as indicated most clearly in Figure 3, the ultimate withdrawal of the tool through the cut leaves a perfectly smooth and undistended contour of the character shown in Figures 4 and 5, the body 19 yielding only momentarily to permit the handle 10 to pass through it.
The tool may be withdrawn either rearwardly through the cut, or, if the cut extends entirely through the body and if the tool has no unduly enlarged rear end 11, it may be withdrawn forwardly. In any event, the finished product is substantially unimpaired and no material portion thereof has been cut away, the result being very much the same as that which might be produced by an elongated knife or cutting die, if it were at all possible to pass such a die or similar cutting tool through a body of the tough and extensive character of a meat commodity such as a ham or the like.
In Figure 4, it will be observed that several slices 24 have been cut from the body 19 along planes substantially perpendicular to the direction of penetration of the cut 23, which, in Figure 4, has been shown as extending entirely through the body 19 from the forward sliced end to and through the rear face 25. Each slice 24, it will be noted, has a relatively small cut 26 therein which conforms to the unique and distinctive cross-sectional configuration of the main cut 23, and this distinctive marking on each slice is of unique importance and value in that it is incapable of eradication and brands each slice or cut with the distinctive predetermined marking of the maker, producer, packer, or manufacturer. At the same time, it is to be noted that the remainder or uncut portion of the body 19 still retains on its exposed face 27 the same designation, being the forward open end of the cut 23 which extends through a predetermined extent of the body 19.
In Figures 3, 4, and 5, and also in Figure 2, the height of the body 19 with respect to the height of the cut 23 is not in true proportion, the out having been shown considerably larger than it would ordinarily be for purposes of making the present disclosure clear. Under ordinary circumstances, for example, in connection with a body of meat such as a ham, the height of the face 22 might be in the neighborhood of six inches, while the height of the letter S cut through the meat would probably be of the order of onehalf inch.
Obviously, my invention is not restricted to a configuration in the form of a letter S, and other suitable configurations may be devised or employed, such as any of the letters C, E, F, G, etc.; Or any of the numerals 1, 2, 3, 5, etc. Also, it is not necessary that the'cut extend longitudinally of the body, as herein illustrated, and it may also be provided in a commodity of irregular shape, such as an unboned ham or the like.
Furthermore, although I have found my invention of particular utility and value in connection with meat commodities such as hams, it will be understood that it might apply with equal facility to the branding or marking of similar products, such as cheeses or the like, the essence of my invention residing in the provision of a penetrative cut of distinctive cross-sectional configura-- tion and of a lineal character through, or at least into the interior of, a body which is adapted to be sliced into'marketable or usable layers or slices.
Furthermore, although I have not herein illustrated the specific source of alternating current which may be employed, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that any suitable electrio current having the necessary cutting characteristics may be used; and any desired apparatus for generating such a current or for generating sustained high-frequency alternations of the desired character may be used. The apparatus might, for example, be of the general character which is employed in certain surgical operations for purposes of so-called bloodless resection.
The process may be modified in a variety of ways to suit differing requirements and to achieve the particular result which it is desired to accomplish. For example, after the out has been made, a dye material may, if desired, be injected into the cut for the purpose of pigmenting the margins of the cut. Many dye materials are available for this purpose and are perfectly harmless. Each ultimate slice then bears the distinctive mark which is uniquely outlined with a distinctive coloration.
Also, the electrode tool may be constructed of a character wherein the operative head is removable, so that in forming a cut entirely through a body the head may be removed before withdrawing the handle rearwardly through the body.
In general, it will be obvious that changes in the details herein described and illustrated for the purpose of explaining the nature of my invention may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims. It is therefore intended that these details be interpreted as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention and illusinterior of said body from an outer surface thereof, the direction of penetration being along a straight line which is substantially perpendicular to the planes along which the body is adapted to be sliced, and said out having a cross-section, transverse to said straight direction of penetration, which is uniform throughout the entire extent of penetration and which is of distinctive configuration, whereby each slice of said body will embody in its mid-portion a lineal out having said distinctive configuration.
2. The herein-described method of distinctively marking a commodity in the form of a solid sliceable body, which consists in establishing an electrical connection between said body and one terminal of a source of high-frequency electric current, establishing an electrical connection between the other terminal of said current source and a marking tool, advancing said tool from the surface of said body deep into the interior of said body in pursuance of the cut produced in said body by the passage of said current therethrough, and then withdrawing the tool through said out.
3. The herein-described method of distinctively marking a commodity in the form of a solid sliceable body, which consists in establishing an electrical connection between said body and one terminal of a source of high-frequency electric current, forming an electrode of plane, distinctive, lineal configuration, establishing an electrical connection between the other terminal of said current source and said electrode, and advancing said electrode from the surface of said body into the interior thereof along a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of said electrode.
4. The herein-described method of distinctively marking a commodity in the form of a solid sliceable body, which consists in establishing an electrical connection between said body and one terminal of a source of high-frequency electric current, establishing an electrical connection between the other terminal of said current source and a marking tool, advancing said tool from the surface of said body deep into the interior of said body in pursuance of the cut produced in said body by the passage of said current therethrough,
and injecting a dye into the cut produced so as to pigment the walls of said out.
5. The herein-described method of distinctively marking a commodity in the form of a solid sliceable body, which consists in establishing an electrical connection between said body and one terminal of a source of high-frequency electric current, forming an electrode of plane, distinctive, lineal configuration, establishing an electrical connection between the other terminal of said current source and said electrode, advancing said electrode from the surface of the body deep into the interior thereof in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of said electrode and in pursuance of the cut produced in said body by the passage of said current therethrough, and then withdrawing said electrode rearwardly through said out.
FREDERICK CHARLES WAPPLER.