US 2389298 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov 20, 1945. R ELLIS APPAREL FASTENER Filed March 2'7, 1943 2 Sheets-Sheet F IG. 2.
Fl G. 6.
Nov. 20, 1945. R. ELLIS 2,389,298
APPAREL FASTENER Filed March 27, 1945 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
Patented Nov. 20, 1945 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
APPAREL FASTENEB Robert Ellis, Belleville, N. 1.
Application March 27, 1943, Serial No. 480,749
This invention relates to apparel fasteners and the principal object of the invention is to enable the flaps of a garment to be secured to each other by means of permanent magnets in lieu of buttons or other customary mechanical fastenings.
Another object of the invention is to enable the flaps of a garment to be more quickly and conveniently fastened or unfastened than is now possible by other means.
A still further object of the invention is to enable a garment to be secured around the body of a wearer with an elastic fit if desired.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a magnetic fastener which will enable the wearer to conveniently and quickly secure the garment around the body to any adjustable degree of tightness desired.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a garment fastening means which is entirely invisible either when the flaps of the garment are closed or open.
Other and further objects will appear in the specifications and will be specifically pointed out in the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings exemplifying the invention, and in which:
Fig. i is a top View of an article of apparel showing the flaps thereof closed and secured by my magnetic fastener.
Fig. 2 is a front view of Fig. 1 with the flaps in open position.
Fig. 2A is a front view similar to Fig. 2 but illustrating a modification thereof.
Fig. 3 is a similar view to Fig. l. with a slight modification thereof.
Fig. 4 is a side view of a pair of permanent magnets with the legs or pole pieces thereof in corrugated or serrated form for exerting greater tractive force with each other.
Fig. 5 is a similar view to Fig. 2, illustrating a modification thereof.
Fig. 6 is a top view of Fig. 5 showing the flaps secured and the article of apparel closed.
Fig. 7 illustrates how a magnetic fastener would be used to close the opening of a pocket.
Fig. 8 illustrates how my magnetic fastener would be used on a. garter, belt or similar article.
Fig. 9 shows the two ends of a garter and how the magnetic fastener is arranged to operate same.
Fig. 10 is a cross sectional view on the line F-F of Fig. 11.
Fig. 11 illustrates a method of securing a garment and incidentally providing an elastic fit thereto.
Figs. 12 and 13 illustrate a variation of magnet structure especially applicable to apparel closures where considerable tensional strain is encountered in the wearing thereof.
Fig. 14 shows a cross sectional view of a magnetic button secured to the garment flaps.
Fig. 15 illustrates the magnetic button of Fig.
i4 and its armature in front view.
Fig. 16 is a cross sectional view of a modified gorm of magnetic button secured to the garment aps.
Fig. 17 illustrates a still further modification of my magnetic button especially adapted to be used with garments of light weight fabric.
Referring more particularly to the drawings in which similar numerals and character of reference refer to similar parts throughout the several views, the numerals its. and MB denote the usual two associated cloth flaps of a garment which are usually drawn together about the body of a wearer an then secured in such closed position by means of buttons or other fastening means. In lieu of buttons or other fastening means as now customarily used, I employ permanent magnets HA and 52B, sewed, glued, riveted or otherwise satisfactorily attached to each flap HA and H13 respectively. the inherent magnetism remanent in these permanent magnets causthem to forcibly hold together when once contacted and to resist separation as will be readily understood, thus securely holding the flaps of the garment in closed position similar to any other fastening means, much less effort and time being required in such closing operation. The same is true when it is desired to open the garment, it being merely necessary to force the flaps apart by inserting a finger therebetween and forcing the finger downwards which is sumciently effective in overcoming the magnetic attraction between the permanent magnets.
So as not to interfere with the natural flexibility of the garment, the permanent magnets HA and 12B are composed of thin flexible sheet steel strips and each having a comparatively large number of magnetic pole-pieces l3 protruding from a common yoke H as illustrated in Figs. 2 and 7. Each pole-piece I3 is of course of opposite magnetic polarity to its adjoining pole-piece of the same magnet and the magnets HA and I23 are so secured to the flaps HA and HB respectively that, when the flaps overlap each other at the correct place for closing the garment as better illustrated in Fig. 1, the opposite pole-pieces of each magnet will be in alinement but all the "north" magnetic poles of magnet IIA will contact all the "south" magnetic poles .of magnet I23, as indicated by the letters N and 8 respectively in Fig. 1. The same arrangement of opposite magnetic pole-pieces contacting each other is to be taken for granted in allthe illustrations herein showing U-shaped magnets. The permanent magnet strips are sewed to the cloth flaps of the garment by means of thread stitches 20 passing through the holes l or are glued 0r riveted to the cloth flaps. If desired, the upper and lower pole-piece of each magnet I2A may be provided with a snap'fastener ISA formed directly out of the thin metal magnet by punching while the co-acting receptive part of the snap fastener, 18B is formed in the same manner in the polepiece of magnet IZB, thus providing additional closure security. Instead of having two permsnent magnets attached to opposite flaps as here'- tofore described, one of the flaps may be provided with an unmagnetized flexible iron armature ll composed of a number of fine wires or screen and sewed to the flap NB, this arrangement being illustrated in the lower right hand corner of Fig. 2. It will be noted that, due to the large number of pole pieces l3 and their close juxta-,
position, as compared to buttons, the garment flaps will be held together very closely along their edges without much possibility of wind or weather entering therebetween. Y
Modifications of. the above are illustrated in Fig. 3 in which the permanent magnets HA and HE are composed of a, plurality of very thin laminated strips and covered with a thin cloth lining IBA and 183 respectively, the lining rendering the magnets invisible yet being sufficiently thin to permit the magnetism to penetrate therethrough and secure the flaps in place with almost the same attractive force as that arrangement illustrated in Fig. 1. The laminated magnets have the double advantage of greater flexibility and greater remanence per cross sectional area as compared to a single strip. In Fig. 4 is shown a still further modification which is designed to increase the tractive force of the permanent magnets with each other, the pole pieces l3 herein being corrugated so as to snugly fit into each other, it being readily understood that an opposite pull on the magnets would tend to lift parts of the corrugations from each other, such actual separation of any part being resisted by tractive force whereas-when a simple sliding action occurs along the face of the magnet, considerably less magnetic force is evident. Besides, the magnetic force holding these corrugated or serrated pole pieces together will insure greater mechanical friction against separation due to the an ular travel of the pole pieces when a straight pull is exerted. However, when used to close pocket flaps as illustrated in Fig. 7, the heavy line I9 denoting .the opening, the pole pieces iii are forcibly separated at right angles to the magnetic faces and away from each other, necessitating greater effort than where a longitudinal sliding motion is used. Of course the magnets HA and I23 in the pocket I! are invisible as shown by the dotted lines. It will also be noticed that the magnetic closures illustrated in Figs. 1, 2 and 3 are both flexible and adjustable, that is, the fiap I IB may be folded over flap A to a more or less extent, determined by the length of the pole pieces It, the magnetic attraction then holding the flaps in that set position, thus enabling the wearer to adjust the tightness of the garment about the body to suit his desires. Should unusual tensional strain be applied to the aseacca flaps I IA and B. such as by heavy breathing. bending the body, etc., the pole pieces will resistively slide on each other from their original set position to a place of equilibrium strain existing between the now lessened tension and the still forceful magnetic attraction of the permanent magnets, this arrangement providing for greater wearing comfort than where the flaps are definitely secured by a-purely mechanical contrivance without providing any elasticity.
A row of individual magnets 28A and BIB may also be used on each flap as illustrated in Figs. 5 and 6 and in which the permanent magnets are preferably moulded within thin disks 22 of plastic material, thus resembling buttons in appearance and which may be sewed-to the hen by thread in the usual manner through holes 23, or fastened in any other way most applicable.
Another application of my magnetic fastener is illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9 in which the numeral 2% denotes either an elastic band such as 1 would be used for a garter, or anon-elastic band such as would beused for a belt, one of the ends in either case being provided with a thin flexible armature it while to the other end is attached a number of permanent magnets 26, preferably in the shape of thin steel bars and-having their magnetic attraction of the permanent magnets 26 for the armature 25, the armature closing the magnetic circuit between the north and south pole pieces and thus forming a strong tractive force. Besides, owing to the multiplicity of the spaced bar magnets 26, adjustability as to size of the object surrounded is simultaneously secured as well as give to a certain extent if too great a tensional strain is applied, yet permitting the magnets to retain hold of the armature in such new position. Both the armature 25 and the bar magnets 26 may be sewed directly to the band 24 or. first attached to a cloth strip. 2'l which in turn may be more effectively sewn to the band 2| as indicated by the stitches 28. It will be evident that either a garter or a beltequip d with this apparel fastener can be applied to and'removed from the wearer with a minimum amount of effort and time and incidentally provides adjustability as to length.
Figs. 10 and 11 show a method of appl ing an elastic fit to a garment, the flaps HA and B being each provided with a plurality of permanent magnets I2AA and IZBB respectively, similar to the construction illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2. However, in this case, each magnet BB is free to move within the pocket formed inthe flap 3 by the stitches 29. the elastic band 30, which is secured around the yoke of the magnet IIBB,
normally holding the magnet in the position lllustrated in Fig. 11, while when in use, the magnet may be held in the position illustrated in Fig. 10 and cause the elastic band to stretch,
especially when the wearer breathes heavily,
onthelineG-Gotl'lg.l2. Itiswellknown that the transverse sliding friction of two magnetic elements in contact has much less resistance than the traction or direct pulling away from each other and as it is in many applications inconvenient to apply direct magnetic tractive force to my apparel fastener without making such closure device too conspicious and cumbersome, 1' provide means whereby the tendency to sliding of the magnets due to unusual. tension is prevented by a simple mechanical lock, the pole pieces providing the tractive force necessary to hold the locking means in position. In this case, the pole pieces A have punched in them a number of tongues 32 which extend downward as illustrated in Fig. 13 while permanent magnet i2]: is provided with correspondingly spaced holes 33 so that when the magnet H3 is placed underneath magnet A, the tongues 32 will enter the holes 33 and the magnetic attraction of the pole pieces will prevent their disengagement except by forcible means. Of course it is understood that this arrangement may be used with any kind of garment or apparel attached thereto.
Figs. 14 and illustrate still another application of my invention and in which I provide a magnetic button 34 in the shape of a thin circular disk of material such as plastic which is glued or sewed to the front face of the garment flap ilB, a circular permanent magnet disk 35 being fitted into the lower portion of the disk 34, held thereto either by friction or glue, this lower portion of the disk 34 being preferably sunk into the garment flap by cutting out a corresponding hole so as to provide a flush face to the garment iront as shown in Fig. 14. For greater magnetic holding power, the magnet '35 is provided with both a north and south pole piece on its outer face by means of the annular groove 36, there bein to b: sewed onto the garment if preferred, by means of stitches 33. Associated with permanent magnet 35 attached to flap MB is the soft iron disk armature 33 attached to flap HA, which disk may also be sewed to the garment by means of the holes 40 and stitches 4|. This disk armature 33 is sufllciently small to enable it to easily ilt into the round hole 42 left by the space between the upper face of the permanent magnet t5 and the annular rim on the outside of the plastic disk 34, so that when the garment flap in is pressed against flap H13 and the armature 38 htted into hole 42, the magnetic attraction between permanent magnet 35 and armature 33 will cause them to be held in such position and, due to the recess provided by hole 42 and the inwardly inclined sides of hole 42, the disk cannot be dislodged through any tension applied to the flaps customary while wearing but, in case it is desired to remove the garment from the body of the wearer, the flap HA is simply pulled outwards with sufllcient force to overcome the magnetic traction holding armature 33 to magnet 33 whereby the disk is easily pulled out of hole 42. It will here be noted that the use of this magnetic button will permit a garment to be more conveniently put on and taken of! than by means of the conventional button and buttonhole as this magnetic button can be easily manipulated while wearing gloves, in case fingers are numb through cold, in difllcult places of access, by young children, etc., while the appearance of the garment is enhanced by the elimination of buttons and button-holes, incialso holes 31 so as to enable the button 40 dentally giving to the garment a clean cut streamlined appearance.
Fig. 16 illustrates a similar view to Fig. 14 and shows the magnetic button 35 sewed to the outside face of flap 3 and without any embellishing plastic holder. In this case however, the armature disk 33 is held from sliding movement across the face of magnet 34 by means of the depression created by having the central or north magnetic pole piece of less height than its encircling annular south magnetic pole piece, the armature disk 33 easily fitting into this depression and held thereon by magnetic attraction, the annular shoulder on the inner side of the south magnetic pole piece preventing sliding off.
In Fig. 17 is disclosed a slight variation from the magnetic buttons of Figs. 14 and 16, in this case the button being especially adapted for apparel made of thin cloth such as is generally used for shirts, dresses, etc. The armature of soft sheet iron stamping 34A is sewed or attached to the outside of flap 3, this armature having an annular depression 42A into which the disk 39A loosely fits when the flap HA, to which the disk is sewed, is folded over flap 3. The disk 39A is sewed to flap HA through the medium of the two holes 40 which are connected by a shallow trough 43 into which the threads used in sewing on the button are designed to lay so as not to form a protuberance and prevent the face of the disk 39A to lay flat against the bot: tom face of the hole 42A for better magnetic contact and neater appearance. In this case, the disk 39A is permanently magnetized, this being easily accomplished even with such a thin piece of steel or alloy, the outer face being assumed to be the north pole piece while the inner face, against the cloth ilap HA, will" be the south pole piece. With this magnetic button also, the magnetic attraction holds the two parts of the button together while the annular shoulder of hole 42A prevents sliding apart.
Of course it will be understood that the apparel fastener herein disclosed may be used on various forms of apparel such as coats, shirts, pockets, trousers, garters, belts, shoes, etc., as well as for numerous other applications outside of the garment line such as tent flaps, automobile tops, wallets, handbags, etc.
From the foregoing description, it will be evident that l have evolved an apparel fastener which has many advantages over others now in use as it can be made absolutely invisible either when the garment is open or closed; its use is more convenient when either closing or opening the garment flaps; it is more quickly manipulated; it is adjustable to a considerable degree as the permanent magnets will hold the garment flaps at any originally set position; it is elastic in that not only will the magnets slide on each other under an excessive strain but elastic material may be conveniently associated between the magnets and the garment; it is flexible in that the permanent magnets may be made of such thin spring steel that they will flex along with the garment while in use; it can be constructed to be of neat and varied appearance; and incidentally will resist as' much'tensional strain as any mechanical fastener as the magnetic qualities of my fastener are so designed to provide mechanical looking for same; besides, when used with pockets will automatically close the flaps when the hand is withdrawn; can be produced as cheap and cheaper in many respects as other apparel fasteners; and will eliminate all 4 button-holes and present a neat clean cut appearance to the garment. I
Various changes may be made in the embodiment of the invention hereinabove specifically described without departing from or sacrificing the advantages oi the invention as defined in the appended claims.
1. An apparel closure comprising two sitely disposed flexible flaps oi an article oi wearing apparel. one or more permanent as nets attached to the margin at one of said flaw,
assasss and a plurality of armatures attached to the margin oi the opposite flap, said armatures consisting of substantially thin flexible magnetically attractive wires or strips arranged parallel to said margin of said opposite flap and slightly separated irom each other. 4
2. An apparel closure as in claim 1, said separated flexible armature wires or strips being attached to said flap so as to be invisible from the m outer side oi said article of apparel.
' aoaaar Elms.