US 2541706 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 13, 1951 J LEVINE 2,541,706
SPRING-URGED EXPANSIBLE STRAP 0F LEATHER OR THE LIKE Filed April 21, 1948 4/ NVENTOR. JLJZIUS. @vme T TORNE Y Patented Feb. 13, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE SPRING-URGED EXPANSIBLE STRAP OF LEATHER OR THE LIKE 17 Claims.
This invention relates to expansion bands and particularly to straps of leather or other substantially inelastic but flexible material designed to expand when taken off and to contract about the wrist or other part of the body when put on.
The invention contemplates the provision of a flexible closed watch band or strap, such as one made of leather or the like, which is so constructed that it normally contracts to fit the wrist, but may be expanded or enlarged manually to a sufficient diameter to permit the band and the watch carried thereby to be readily put on the wrist without the necessity for separatin the ends of the band.
The invention further contemplates the provision of means for folding parts of a strap or band and normally maintaining the parts folded, while permitting them to be partly or substantially entirely unfolded to increase the effective length or circumference of the band, whereby the band may be readily enlarged when desired, as is done with the well known flexible and expansible watch straps made of similar metallic parts.
The invention further contemplates the provision of a leather or the like band, strap or belt adapted for use as a wrist watch band, garter, bracelet or other art'cle or apparel, and combined with and held partly folded by a spring member similar to a spring hinge, whereby the leather band is made expansible and automatically contractable and is spring pulled normally to fit snugly about a body or limb part of the wearer.
The invention further contemplites the provision of a leather or the like band, strap or belt, presenting the appearance of an endless band, but provided with substantially coextensive folds defined by bends in the band, and of means for moving the bends toward each other to change the efiective length of the band when desired, the bends being normally held apart by said means.
The various objects of the invention will be clear from the description which follows and from the drawings, in which Fig. 1 is an end elevational view of one form of my new band as it appears applied to a watch to form an expansible wrist watch strap and showing the hinge member in partly closed position by dash-dot lines.
Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the spring hinge shown in Fig. l, but with the cover for the spring omitted.
Fig. 3 is an end elevational view of Fig. 2 showing part of a one piece belt folded or threaded through the spring hinge and secured to a bar thereof.
Fig. 4 is a side elevational view of a modified form of the spring hinge which includes a buckle tongue.
V Fig. 5 is an end elevational view of Fig. 4.
Fig. 6 is a vertical sectional view of Fig. 5 but showing the hinge closed and the strap ends pierced and held to the buckle tongue, and the strap threaded through the hinge bars.
Fig. '7 is a similar View of a slightly modified form of the hinge wherein the buckle tongue is differently arranged.
Fig. 8 is a similar view of the spring hinge of Figs. 4-6, but showing the strap difierently threaded therethrough.
Fig. 9 is a side elevational view of another modified form of the spring hinge.
Fig. 10 is an end elevational view of the hinge of Fig. 9 showing parts of a strap threaded therethrough and connected by a link.
Fig. 11 is a side elevational view of another modified form of the spring hinge wherein the spring is made separately from the hinge bars.
Fig. 12 is a vertical sectional View thereof taken on the line l2l 2 of Fig. 11.
Fig. 13 is an end elevational view of the hinge of Fig. 11 as it appears closed and with a single length of strap threaded therethrough.
Fig. 14 is an end elevational view of a typical leather or the like strap adapted to be made expansible by the spring hinge.
Fig. 15 is a fragmentary sectional View of a modified form of the strap.
In the practical embodment of the invention shown by way of example, a suitable strap of leather, fabric, metal mesh or the like flexible and relatively inelastic material, is threaded through a spring hinge and folded to provide at least two substantially coextensive thicknesses of the material and up to as many as six thicknesses if desired, by carrying the strip around one or,
more suitable cross bars formed on the hinge. To avoid creeping of the hinge alongthe strap when the hinge is manipulated, the strip is suitably secured to at least one of the Cross bars. The sprin normally maintains the hinge in its open position, thereby to make the lengths of the Various thicknesses a maximum, and reducing the efieetive length of the resulting band to a minimum. When. the hinge leaves are brought together against the action of the spring, the lengths of the folded thicknesses are reduced and the folded material thereof is straightened or unfolded to expand the band.
In detail and referring to Figs. 1, 2 and 3, the leather or the like strip 23 is shown folded back at each end thereof and stitched to form end loops 2| and 22 in the usual manner to engage the usual pins 23, 24 of the wrist watch strap 25. At the opposite side or middle of the strip, is arranged the spring hinge v26 designed to permit an intermediate part of the strip to be folded back and forth to form the three thicknesses of material 2?, 28 and 29 of substantially the same lengths. As best seen in Figs. 2 and 3, the spring hinge may conveniently be made of a single piece of wire except for the headed pins 30 and 3|, the pin 33 being the hinge pin and the pin 3| constituting a cross bar. One end of the length of wire is bent to form the loop 32 under the head of the pin 33, the wire extending from the loop into the side bar 33, thence into the end cross bar 34, thence into the side bar 35 parallel to the bar 33, thence into and forming the tranversely extending coil spring 36 which terminates inwardly of the loop 32, the wire extending from the end of the spring integrally into the side bar 3'! provided with the intermediate loop 38. The
wire thence extends into the other end cross bar 39 and the side bar 40 having the loop 4| therein and terminating in the end loop 42 arrangedoutwardly of the spring and under the head of the pin 30. Said pin 33 passes through the loop 42, the spring 36 and the loop 32 to hold the parts together while permitting one leaf of the hinge consisting of the bars 33, 34 and 35 to swing thereon relatively to the other leaf consisting of the bars 3?, 39 and 40 and the cross bar 3|, thereby to move the end bars toward and from each other when desired.
Before the end loops of the strip 20 are secured to the pins 23 and 24, the end part of the strip constituting the watch band, is passed over the end bar 39 (as viewed in Fig. 3), under and then up around the other bar 34 to form the thickness 21, then under and up around the pin 3| to form the thickness 28 and finally between the side bars 33 and 35 and over the end bar 34 to form the thickness 29. Thereafter, the end loops are secured to the spring watch pins 23, 24 in the usual manner. The hinge spring 36 tends to open the hinge 26, that is to say, it urges the leaves of the spring hinge apart and carries the bar 3| as far away from the bar 34 as possible.
Preferably, the hinge leaves are curved to fit the wrist, whereby the hinge is relatively inconspicuous, at least not more so than the ordinary conventional strap buckle, which is eliminated from the present invention. To close the hinge by bringing the leaves thereof together, and thereby to expand the band so that it may be slipped over and off the wrist and hand, the spring 36 may be grasped and drawn in a lateral direction away from the wrist. Such movement folds the hinge leaves toward each other against the action of the spring, moving the end bar 34 toward the bars 3| and 39 as indicated generally by the dashdot lines of Fig. l. The major parts of, or nearly all of the thicknesses 21, 28 and 29 are thereby unwound or unfolded from the cross bars, the strip 23 sliding therepast, and the strip material elongating substantially into a single thickness much greater in overall length than its partly folded length. Release of the spring permits the hinge to open thereby folding and shortening the band automatically. To prevent dislocation of and to secure the strip in place relatively to the hinge, suitable stitching as 43 may be passed through any two adjacent thicknesses as 21 and 4 28, inwardly of and adjacent one of the cross bars as 34.
The band may be made adjustable if desired and removably secured in place to the hinge by m-ans other than stitching. This form of the invention is shown in Figs. 4-8, wherein the hinge differs from that of Figs. 2 and 3 by the provision of a pair of additional loops 45, 46 in the respective side bars 33a and 35a, which correspond to the side bars 33 and 35, and the pivotal mounting of a buckle member in the loops. A simple and inexpensive buckle member or strap end holding connection as 4'5 may be formed of a length of wire by doubling the middle part thereof on itself to form the tongue 48, the straight part of the member serving as a pin and being headed after the passage of the respective ends thereof loosely and. pivotally through the loops and 43. A two-piece band comprising the preferably leather parts 43 and 53 is preferably employed with the buckle hinge. To secure the leather parts adjustably in place to the hinge, the adjacent ends of the parts are provided with a series of longitudinally spaced apart holes as 5|, the buckle tongue 43 being passed through the hole selected to give the band the length required to fit the wearers wrist snugly, whereby the band may be held to wrists of difierent persons without excess pressure, but with sufficient pressure to prevent slipping about or loss.
As best seen in Figs. 6, 7 and 8, the band may be folded about the various cross bars or threaded through the hinge in various ways. In each case, however, the strap part 50 is folded to provide two thicknesses of material 52 and 53, and the part 59 unfolded to provide but one thickness 54. In Fig. 6 which shows the closed position of the hinge, the end part of the thickness 54 is fastened to the buckle m-mber after the end has been passed under the bar 39 and over the bar 3| and under the buckle member 4?. The end of the thickness '52 is passed over the end bar 34 around the cross bar 3| and under the thickness 54 and then on to the buckle tongue. Said tongue is arranged as in Fig. 5 outwardly of the end bar 34 to lie thereon and to be stopped thereby when tension is put on the hand, thereby to prevent the band ends from leaving the tongue.
In Fig. '7, the buckle tongue 48 is arranged inwardly of the end bar 34 and the ends of the thicknesses 53 and 54 are passed over the member 41 before attachment to the tongue. When the band is tensioned, the pull on the tongue tends to raise it against the end bar 34 as viewed in Fig. 7. In Fig. 8, the band part 43 passes over the end bar 39 instead of under it, and then passes under the buckle member and on to the tongue to provide the single thickness 54. The other band part 5|] passes over and then around and under the cross bar 3|, then under the buckle member and on to the tongue to form the thicknesses 52 and 53, the buckle member being arranged as in Fig. 6, but the band parts being differently threaded through the hinge as just described. It will be obvious that the band parts may be threaded through the hinge and attached to the tongue in other combinations as may be found convenient. In any case, by the provision of the adjusting holes 5|, the band may conveniently be adjusted to the size which fits the wearers wrist.
In the spring hinge of Figs. 9 and 10, both leaves are made alike and interchangeable, each having intermediate loops as 38, 4| or 38a, 41a, and an intermediate headed cross bar as 3'! or 3.1a; This provides two similar sets. of cross bars, there being one intermediate and one end cross bar in a set. As shown in Fig. 10, the. band may be threaded through the hinge by passing it over the end bar 3'9, then through the closed link 55, then under and up around the cross bar 3|, then over and down around the cross bar em, then again through the link 55' and finally out over the end bar 39a. The band is secured to the cross bar as 3! of the hinge by suitable stitching as 56. As shown, the. spring joining the arms 31 and 40a. is substantially concealed by the cover 5'! of hollow cylindrical form, serving also as a finger piece by means of which the spring may be manipulated. As best seen in Fig. 10, raising the cover 51 closes the hinge, shortens the thicknesses 58, 59, 59a, 85 and 66a, and expands the band. Release of the cover permits the spring 36 to open the. hinge, lengthen said thicknesses and contract the band around the wrist, the thicknesses 59 and 59a. sliding through the link during such operation.
The hinge of Fig. 9 may also be used to provide a relatively great amount of expansion for a relatively short hinge, as by means of two band parts such as those of Figs. 6-8, provided that an end of the band parts is each secured to a cross bar in any suitable manner as by stitching, stapling or the like, or the formation of an end loop on the band part through which the cross pin is passed before it is secured to the side bars of the hinge. It would be understood that three layers, folds or thicknesses of material may be formed on each band part by folding that part of the band adjacent the secured end thereof, back and forth around two of the bars forming the set. With two of the sets or four bars, as man as six layers or thicknesses may be provided if desired, and therefore each layer or thickness may be relatively short and a large amount of expansion nevertheless attained, but with a considerable increase in the effective thickness of th band at the hinge.
Referring now to the form of the invention shown in Figs. 11 to 13, the spring BI is made separately from the hinge leaves, the side bars 62, 63, 64 and 65 of which are shown as made of narrow strip material instead of wire. The spring is mounted on the pivot pin 56, one extended leg or extension 51 thereof being fastened to the arm 64 and the other end 68 to the arm 63. The arms 62 and 53 of one leaf are preferably held together by the headed cross bars 69 and lil, corresponding to and functioning similarly to the bars 39 and 3! of Figs. 2, 4 and 9, though it will be understood that at least one of said bars may be replaced if desired, by a removable telescoping spring pin of the same type as the conventional telescoping pins 23 and 24 customarily used to hold watch bands to the watch. The other pair of parallel arms 64 and 65 are preferably held together by the headed pin H forming an end bar of the hinge. As shown in the closed position of the hinge in Fig. 13, the band 12 is threaded through the hinge in the same manner as shown in Fig. 3 or in a similar manner.
The band itself may of course be made in any of the usual ways. For example, the band 20 of Fig. l is merely looped at its ends. In Fig. 14, the band 13 may also be made of one piece of leather or the like with a substantial part of each of the end portions 74 and 15 of the band doubled on itself to provide two thicknesses of material secured together. The middle or foldable portion 16 of the band is of a single thickness to permit easy folding and unfolding of the strap middle on the hinge leaves. If desired, the parts l4, l5- and T6 may be made of separate pieces as shown in Fig. 15. In that case, an end portion 11 of the single thickness T8 constituting the middle part of the band, is inserted between the two thicknesses l9 and Bil of each of the. end parts of the band, and the three thicknesses are stitched together as by the stitching d l.
The term leather has been used herein to designate the material of the strap because that material is commonly used for Wrist watch bands. However, other flexible but substantially inelastic materials such as imitation leather, fabric, nylon or other plastics and even metallic mesh fabric and the like in strip form may be used instead and operate substantially as well with the spring hinge to form an expansible band. If desired, a combination of various materials may be used for the strap, such as leather for the band parts 14 and 15 which are. most frequently seen, with fabricv or woven nylon material for the foldable middle part 16 which is subjected to. the greatest wear.
It Will be understood that covers of metal or the like extending across the hinge and covering such parts. as the. side bars and cross bars: of the spring hinge as well as the coil spring itself, may bev employed if desired to conceal the bars and to provide an ornamental surface under or behind which the operating parts are arranged and are notv ordinarily visible, in a manner which is obvious and requires no further illustration. It will further be seen that I have provided a simple and eflicient means for holding a flexible band or strap in folded position and for permitting the unfold ing thereof whereb the band may be expanded without the necessity for the use of elastic, and that I have provided a device well designed to carry out the intended purposes of the invention.
While I have shown and described certain specific forms of the invention, various changes may obviously be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention defined by the appended claims.
1.. An expansible inelastic band comprising an inelastic strap member, a spring hinge comprising a pair of pivoted leaves, one of the leaves having a pair of cross bars in laterally spaced relation to each other, the other of the leaves having a single cross bar, the strap member being secured to said single cross bar of one leaf and being folded to pass around a cross bar of the other leaf.
2. An expansible band comprising an inelastic strap member and a spring hinge consisting of hinge leaves pivot-ally connected together atone end and having their opposite, free ends urged normally to the open position thereof and having the free ends movable toward each other while the hinge is being closed and movable away fromeach other while the hinge is being opened, the strap member being secured to the hinge and folded to provide not less than two thicknesses of material between the free ends of the hinge, and one of said free ends of the hinge leaves having a bar engaged within the fold of said strap member the length of said thicknesses decreasin as the hinge is closed and increasing as the hinge is opened.
3. The combination with a strap member of flexible material, of spring-pressed foldable means for normally maintaining part of the strap member folded on itself to provide spaced bends therein, said means having members engaging the bends and movable toward each other to reduce the distance between the bends and thereby to increase the effective length of the strap member, said bends being spring-urged away from each other to increase the distance between the bends and thereby to reduce the effective length of the strap member.
4. The combination with a hinge having a pair of leaves and a sprin urging the leavesapart to an open position, each of the leaves having a transversely extending member, and a strap member of flexible material having parts thereof folded around the members to provide bends therein spaced apart a maximum distance when the leaves are in open position and spaced apart a minimum distance when the leaves are in closed position.
5. An expansible band comprising a hinge including a pair of leaves having a plurality of cross bars and a spring urging the leaves apart, and a strap having a part thereof folded on itself around and secured to a cross bar of one leaf and passing around a cross bar of the other leaf.
6. An expansible band having a part thereof folded on itself to provide a plurality of thicknesses of material joined by bends, and hinge means comprising hinge leaves pivotally connected together at one end and having their pposite free ends engaged in said bends and adapted to be manipulated to move the bends toward and from each other to alter the lengths of said thicknesses and the resulting effective length of the band.
'7. In an article of the character described, a spring hinge comprising a single length of wire and of generally rectangular shape, said hinge having an integral transversely arranged coil spring, end bars and a pair of cross-bar-receiving loops, and a cross bar having the ends thereof inserted in the loops.
8. The article of claim 7, and a strap member having parts thereof folded about and threaded through the hinge past the cross bars to provide a plurality of coextensive thicknesses of material on the member, the lengths of said thicknesses being changeable on the operation of the hinge.
9. In an article of the character described, a spring hinge comprising a coil spring and a pair of hinge leaves each havin a pair of spaced cross bars, the leaves being urged apart by the spring, and a flexible band threaded through the leaves and folded about the bars to provide a plurality of thicknesses of material changeable in length on the operation of the hinge 10. In an article of the character described, a band having a portion of a. single thickness of material folded to provide a plurality of substantially coextensive and adjacent thicknesses of material, and means engaging the ends of said plural thicknesses and expansible and contractible for changing the effective lengths of said thicknesses simultaneously to vary the effective length of the band.
11. The article of claim 10, the length-changing means comprising a spring hinge having cross bars around and past which the band is threaded.
12. In an article of the character described, a spring hinge including a pair of hinge leaves pivoted together, and a sprin urging the leaves apart, said leaves being provided with a plurality of cross bars, a strip of flexible material threaded through the leaves, and means securing a selected part of the strip to a selected cross bar, part 8 of the strip being folded about a different cross bar to provide a plurality of thicknesses of adjacent strip material.
13. The article of claim 12, the strip having spaced perforations therein, and the securing means comprising a buckle tongue pivoted to one of the leaves and passing through a selected one of the perforations.
14. A superficially shortened expansible band comprising an inelastic strap member doubled on itself intermediate the ends of the same to shorten the over-all effective length of said member and spring means holding the doubled portion of said strap extended to a predetermined limit and yieldable to enable shortenin of the doubled portion to increase the effective over-all length of the strap member, said means comprising a spring hinge having leaves connected at the center and a spring urging said leaves in extended, fully separated relation and transverse bars carried by said leaves and engaging said strap member, one of said bars being slidingly entered between the doubled portions of said strap member.
15. A superficially shortened expansible band comprising an inelastic strap member doubled on itself intermediate the ends of the same to shorten the over-all effective length of said member, spring means holding the doubled portion of said strap extended to a predetermined limit and yieldable to enable shortening of the doubled portion to increase the effective over-all length of the strap member and means for securing the ends of said strap member to said spring means, including an adjustable strap end holding connector for enabling adjustment of the length of the band.
16. A superficially shortened, extensible strap member comprising a spring hinge of hinge leaves pivotally connected together at one end and a spring urging the opposite free ends of the leaves apart into fully separated; extended relation, cross bars at the free ends of said hinge leaves and a second cross bar on one of said hinge leaves and a flexible strap having different end portions connected with a cross bar on one hinge leaf and one end portion extending from said cross bar in looped formation about the second cross bar on the other hinge leaf.
17. A superficially shortened, extensible strap member comprising a spring hinge of hinge leaves pivotally connected together at one end and a spring urging the opposite free ends of the leaves apart into fully separated, extended relation, cross bars in laterally spaced relation on the free end portions of said hinge leaves, a link interposed between the free end portions of said hinge leaves and a flexible strap member engaged over certain cross bars on said leaves and having a loop portion extending through said link and looped about other cross bars on said hinge leaves.
' JULIUS LEVINE.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 696,205 Singer Mar. 25, 1902 757,772 Rodenberg Apr. 19, 1904 1,215,498 Dietz Feb. 13, 1917 1,794,458 Herschede Apr. 2'7, 1927