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Publication numberUS2208366 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 16, 1940
Filing dateJul 1, 1938
Priority dateJul 1, 1938
Publication numberUS 2208366 A, US 2208366A, US-A-2208366, US2208366 A, US2208366A
InventorsJohn W Hamilton
Original AssigneeJohn W Hamilton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 2208366 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Julyl6, 1940. WLT 2,208,366

' CLOCK Filed Jul} 1, 1938 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR W John WHamiZfow WITNESSES ATTORNEYS y 16, 1940- J. w. HAMILTON 2,208,366

CLOCK Filed July 1, 1938 s Sheets-Sheet .mHHHHH/II WITNESSEE '0 J h Patented July 16, 1940 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 1 Claim.

This invention relates to improvements in clocks, particularly clocks to be used by the blind.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved clock for the use of both blind persons and persons with eyesight, and which, while presenting the appearance of an ordinary clock, is provided with Braille characters in an inconspicuous but convenient position so that a blind person may readily ascertain the time.

Another object is the provision of an improved clock for blind persons, in which the Braille characters representing hours and minutes respectively, are mounted on separate members so as to provide for greater certainty and accuracy in reading, and in which the indicators carrying the Braille characters are protected by a closure or cover which may be opened for the purpose of ascertaining the time and may be closed during the interval between time readings.

In the accompanying drawings- Figure 1 is a front elevation of a clock embodying my invention;

Fig. 2 is a plan view of the clock with the cover in open position so as to reveal the Braille time-indicating means;

Fig. 3 is a longitudinal, sectional view in the direction of the arrows on the line 3-3 of Fig. 4, showing the clockwork mechanism and the connection between the time-indicating means and clockwork mechanism, and

Fig. 4 is a sectional view in the direction of the arrows on the line 4-4 of Fig. 3.

My improved clock preferably comprises a casing of attractive appearance as indicated at [0, which may be made of metal or any other desired material. Inside of the case is the clockwork mechanism which is indicated generally by the numeral H, and which is operatively connected to the time-indicating means so that the clock will display the proper time.

My improved clock is provided with visual time-indicating means and with Braille time-indicating means. The visual time-indicating means is preferably of conventional type and is mounted on the front face of the clock as indicated at l2. Thus it may comprise a. dial l3 having the numerals 1 to 12 arranged thereon in a circle as shown, and having minute markings l4 arranged concentric with the numbers. At the center of the dial are mounted the minute and hour hands I5 and I6 respectively, which point to the numerals in the usual manner so as to indicate the time. A second-hand I! may be mounted upon a small dial face I8 so as to indicate the seconds, and beneath the second-hand an arcuate slit I9 is preferably provided through which the regulating lever extends. Where the clockwork mechanism consists of a spring movement, winding stems 2| may project through openings in the face of the clock, as shown, so

that they may be engaged by a key in the usual manner to wind the spring.

A protecting door or cover 22 having a transparent glass panel 23 is preferably connected to the front of the clock as by means of hinges (not shown) and is provided with a releasable catch 24 whereby the front of the clock may be closed.

The Braille time-indicating mechanism is preferably mounted in an inconspicuous manner adjacent the top of the clock and so that it does not detract from the appearance of the clock but so that it is readily available to a person seeking to ascertain the time. Thus I provide a cover 25 which is hingedly provided with a handle 2'! to facilitate opening and closing the cover. Beneath the cover is a small compartment having a plate 28 secured across the bottom thereof and provided with a pair of apertures 29 and 33 through which the Braille characters indicating the time are displayed. Adjacent the apertures 29 and 30 are the Braille dots 3i and 32 which serve as points of orientation in ascertaining the time. Thus, the person wishing to ascertain the time places his finger upon the dot 3| and moves his finger towards the rear of the clock until his finger contacts the Braille numeral indicating the hour. Similarly, to ascertain the 7 minute his finger is placed upon the point of ori- U entation 32 and moved towards the rear of the clock until it contacts the Braille numeral indicating the minute.

Beneath the openings 29 and 30 are the hour and minute cylinders 33 and 34 respectively, the cylinder 33 being mounted upon a shaft 35 journaled in the plates 36, and the cylinder 34 being mounted on a sleeve 3'! which is disposed around and concentric with a reduced portion of the shaft 35 so that the two cylinders may rotate relative to each other.

The hour cylinder 33 is provided with Braille characters representing the numerals 1 to 12 formed around the periphery thereof in equally spaced relationship as indicated at 38 and adjacent each of the Braille characters are the corresponding Arabic numerals as shown. Similarly, on the minute cylinder 34 are formed the Braille characters representing the numerals 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, etc., up to in equally spaced relation around the periphery thereof as shown at 39, and adjacent the Braille numerals are disposed the corresponding Arabic numerals. Thus, the Braille time-indicator is in the form of a 12-hour clock, the hour cylinder having each of the numerals up to 12 disposed thereon, and the minute-cylinder is divided into 5-minute intervals permitting a blind person to ascertain the time with a great degree of accuracy.

The cylinders are positioned beneath the opene ings 29 and 39 so that a portion of the periphery of each of the cylinders is displayed through its respective opening. It will be appreciated that the Braille characters disposed adjacent the points of orientation indicate the proper time. Thus, as shown in Fig. 2, the Braille character indicating 7 is positioned adjacent the hour point of orientation 3|, indicating that the hour is 7, and the Braille character indicating is positioned adjacent the minute point of orientation 32, thereby indicating that the time is exactly 7 oclock. If the hour point of orientation is positioned midway between the numerals 6 and '7, and if the Braille numeral 40 on the minute cylinder is positioned adjacent the point of orientation 32, it will be appreciated that the time is 6.40 or 20 minutes to 7.

The minute cylinder 34 is properly synchronized with the hour cylinder 33 at a ratio of 12:1 so that the minute cylinder makes 12 revolutions for every revolution of the hour cylinder, and, in turn, the Braille characters are properly synchronized with the hands 15 and I6 so that the same time is indicated on the Braille cylinders and on the dial face of the clock.

The Braille cylinders and the hands of the clock are operatively connected to the clockwork mechanism I l, which may be of any desired type. In the accompanying drawings 1 have shown one type of spring clock movement which may be employed but it is to be understood that other types of movements may be employed in my clock. The clockwork mechanism illustrated is supported between a pair of similar stamped plates 40 which may be connected to the casing or to one of the plates 36 as shown,

In the movement illustrated I employ a pair of coil springs of conventional type (not shown) which are encased in the spring casings 4i and are mounted upon the winding stems or shafts 2 I. To wind the springs, the shafts 2| are turned in a clockwise direction as viewed from the front of the clock, or in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed from the rear of the clock, as shown in Fig. 3. So as to prevent the shafts 2| from rotating in a direction to unwind the springs, ratchets 42 are mounted thereon and engaged by the pawls 43 mounted upon one of the plates 46 as shown. Mounted on each of the spring casings' dl so as to be rotated by the springs are the drive gears 44 which mesh with the pinion 45 mounted on the shaft 46 which in turn is journaled between the plates 40. Mounted upon the same shaft 46- is a relatively large gear 4'! which is connected both to the time-indicating means and to the second-hand and escapement. The connection between the gear 41 and the secondhand and escapement consists of a train of stepup gears. Thus the gear 47 meshes with relatively small pinion 48 mounted on arbor 49 and on the same arbor 49 is a relatively large gear 56 meshing with a relatively small pinion 51 mounted on arbor 52. Also mounted on arbor 52 is a relatively large gear 53 which meshes with the small pinion 54 mounted on second-hand arbor 55, and on the end of arbor 55 is the second-hand H. Also mounted on the second-hand arbor 55 is a relatively large gear 56 which meshes with a pinion 51 mounted on the same arbor 58 as-the escapement indicated at 59. The escapement 59 is of conventional construction and is controlled by the regulator 66 in a well-known manner. The speed of operation of the clockwork mechanism may be controlled by shifting the position of the regulating lever 26 in the usual manner.

In addition to operating the second-hand and the escapement the gear 41 also causes the operation of the time-indicating means. Thus it meshes with a pinion 6| which serves as a clutch and is mounted upon the hand-supporting arbor 62 so as to be rotatable with respect thereto. The pinion Si is disposed between collar 63 which is fixed to shaft 68 and disk 64 which is integral with collar 65 fixedly mounted on shaft 62. Between the pinion and disk 64 is a spring 66 which is secured to the side of the pinion and frictionally engages the disk 64, the frictional engagement being sufiicient so as to cause the arbor 62 and the indicating means controlled thereby to be driven by the clock mechanism, but so as to permit the rotation of arbor 62 without affecting the clock. mechanism.

Arbor 62 is journaled in the clock face and in the rear of the casing, as shown, and also in the plates 36. Minute-hand I is mounted directly at the end of arbor 62 and rotates therewith, while hour-hand i6 is mounted upon sleeve 6'], which is disposed around arbor 62 and may rotate with respect thereto. 7 Mounted on the opposite end of sleevefil is a gear 68 which meshes with pinion 10, which in turn is mounted upon the same shaft 69 as the relatively large gear H. The relatively large gear H meshes with pinion 12 mounted on arbor 62 so that rotation of arbor 62 through the train of gears 12, H, 16 and 68 causes rotation of hour-hand I6. The ratio of the train of gears to 63 to 12:1, so as to cause the arbor 62 and minute-hand E5 to make 12 revolutions 'for each revolution of hour-hand l6.

Arbor 62 is also operatively connected to cylinders 33 and 34 so as to cause the rotation thereof. Thus,'gear' I3 is mounted upon arbor 62 and meshes with a similar gear 14 mounted on sleeve '37 so that rotation of arbor 62 causes a similar rotation in the opposite direction of cylinder 34. Also mounted 'on arbor 62 is a relatively small pinion 75 which meshes with relatively large gear 76 on shaft 35, there being a 12:1 ratio between the pinion and gear so that arbor 62 rotates 12 timesas fast as cylinder 33 and in an opposite direction.

At the rear of the clock, arbor 62 may be provided with a knob or handle 17 by'which the time-indicating means may be reset or changed. It will be appreciated that rotation of handle 1'! simultaneously causes a resetting of both the hands and the cylinders, and since the Braille minute cylinder 34 rotates synchronously with the minute-hand l5 and the Braille hour cylinder 33 rotates synchronously with hour hand l6 both of the indicating means will be reset in a corresponding manner. 7 Also, due to the provision of pinion clutch 6'1, arbor 62 may be rotated without interference from the clockwork mechanism.

It will be appreciated that to the casual'observer my improved clock presents the appearance of the ordinary clock and persons with eyee sight can ascertain the time in the usual manner from the face thereof. Blind persons can likewise ascertain the time in a convenient manner by raising the cover 25, placing the finger first upon the hour point of orientation 3| and moving the finger rearwardlyto ascertain the hour and then placing the finger upon the minute point of orientation 32 and moving the finger rearwardly to ascertain the minute.

From the accompanying illustrations and the foregoing description of my invention it will be appreciated that I have provided an improved clock which may be used both by persons with eyesight and by blind persons, and which, while presenting the appearance of an ordinary clock is provided with Braille characters in an inconspicuous but convenient position so that a blind person may readily ascertain the time. It will also be appreciated that due to the arrangement of my Braille characters and points of orientation as heretofore described a blind person can tell time with a high degree of accuracy.

It should be understood of course that modifications may be made in the illustrated and described embodiment of my invention without departing from the invention as set forth in the accompanying claim. Thus, different types of clockwork mechanism may be substituted for the clockwork mechanism illustrated and described herein, and different types of conventional clock faces may be substituted for the clock face illustrated and described herein.

I claim:

A clock comprising a casing having a clock dial face on the front thereof and a cover at the top thereof, clockwork mechanism inside of the casing, minute and hour hands mounted on the clock dial face and operatively connected to the clockwork mechanism so as to indicate the time on the dial face, a plate provided with openings and with Braille orientation points adjacent the openings mounted in the casing beneath the cover, a pair of cylinders mounted in the casing and each having a portion of its periphery exposed through one of the openings in the plate, one of said cylinders being provided with Braille characters on its periphery representing hours, and the other cylinder being provided with Braille characters on its periphery representing minutes, and means operatively connecting the cylinders and clockwork mechanism so as to cause the time to be displayed adjacent the Braille orientation points.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5311487 *Jul 8, 1992May 10, 1994Gianni MininniElectromechanical wristwatch with reading by touch
US5775252 *Mar 5, 1997Jul 7, 1998Kilgore; Gary HartmanTactile dial
EP0522644A1 *Jul 3, 1992Jan 13, 1993Touch Watch LlcElectromechanical wristwatch with reading by touch
U.S. Classification368/76, 116/300, 968/245, 368/230, 116/DIG.170
International ClassificationG04B25/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S116/17, G04B25/02
European ClassificationG04B25/02