US 2590881 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1, 1952 c. A. MORGAN 2,590,881
CLOTHESPIN Filed July 5, 1949 2 SHEETS- Smm 1 Y INVENTOR. @A25/V65 A. M0 A/V April 1, 1952 C. A. MQRGAN 2,590,881
CLOTHESPIN Filed July 5, 1949 2 SHEETS-SHEET 2 INVENTOR. 1 CzAef'A/Cf A MORGAN Patented Apr. 1, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 1 Claim.
This invention relates to means for confining relatively hinged members within a prescribed range of movement and has particular reference to the restraining of lever handle members such as are employed inA clothespins of the spring clamp type. The present invention embodies improvements over the structure shown and described in my prior application Serial No. 45,956, filed August 24, 1948.
An object of the invention is to provide improved motion-limiting means for interposition between hinged members, such as the lever handle elements of a spring clamp clothespin, which can in no way pinch and injure the ngers of the user during manipulations of the clothespin.
Another object of the invention is to provide, in a structure of the type referred to, an improved limiting means designed to materially expedite assembly of the relatively movable parts of the clothespins.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved movement limiting means of the class described which will not only securely lock the relatively movable members against forcible displacement beyond a prescribed limit but which is possessed of maximum strength to withstand, without breakage, even greatly magniiied abnormal stresses which may be imposed on the members in deliberate efforts to destructively separate the latter.
The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which, with the foregoing, will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the specification. It is to be understood, however, that variations in the showing made by the said drawings and description may be adopted within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claim.
Referring to the drawings:
Figure 1r is a perspective view of a clamp type clothespin embodying the improved restraining means of my invention.
Figure 2 is a vertical sectional View taken in the plane indicated by the line 2--2 of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a side elevational view of the structure illustrated in Figure 1 showing the relative positions of the clamp jaws and associated handle levers when the former are caused to engage too deeply in the gullet therebetween a cord member or other such element to be gripped by the jaws.
Figure 4 is an enlarged scale vertical sectional view taken in the plane indicated by the line 4-4 of Figure 2.
Figure 5 is a top plan view of a clamp type clothespin in which is included a modified form of the restraining means of my invention.
Figure 6 is an enlarged scale perspective view of a portion of the clothespin of Figure 5 showing the relative positions of the lever members of the clothespin during inception of the operation for relatively assembling the lever members. A portion of the view is broken away so as to more clearly disclose internal details of construction.
Figure '7 is a view similar to Figure 6 showing the relative positions of final assembly of the lever members.
Figure 8 is a vertical sectional view taken in the plane indicated by line 8-8 of Figure 7.
The structure I have chosen to illustrate one form of my invention, in Figures l to 4 inclusive, comprises, basically, a conventional spring-actuated clamp jaw type of clothespin having a pair of similarly shaped operating members each of which is provided intermediate its ends With a transversely disposed semicircular groove 6 confronting the similar groove of the companion operating member to form a cylindriform pocket for the reception of a coiled torsion spring 1 among the functions of which is that of 'a fulcrum about which the operating members may be rocked toward and from each other. The operating'membershave comparative end portions thereof arranged to form clamping jaws 8 which are normally contiguously adjacent each other being held in relative engagement by wing extensions 9 of the spring 'I whose extreme end portions Il are disposed in transverse grooves I2 on the outer sides of the jaw members and forcibly press the latter together. Confronting notches I3 in the relatively facing surfaces of the jaws dene grips for engaging a clothesline ormember of similar form and the respective jaws are further provided with an interengageable notch I4 and protuberance I6 between which individual or multiple thicknesses of fabric or other sheet material may be gripped. The operating members are so designed that the opposite ends thereof are spread relatively apart when the jaws 8 are clamped together to form handle levers l1 capable of being moved together under finger pressure to open the jaws 8.
A common disadvantage of the conventional clothespin possessing the form herein illustrated is the tendency of the hinged operating members to become so displaced laterally relative to each other in some instances that in the operation of removing the clothespin from engagement with an object clamped between the jaws thereof the members may be moved laterally apart and completely separated thus rendering the clothespin unt for further use unless reassembled, a task not easily performed by the average housewife. This condition arises, as will be evident in Figure 3, by inadvertently passing the article to be gripped, here indicated as a section of clothesline I8, too deeply into the gullet between the jaws 8 with the result that when the handle levers Il are released the closure pressure of the spring extensions I I on the jaws will be imposed on the opposite side of the gripped object fromv the fulcrum point of the operating members. This will cause the seating grooves 6 for the spring 'l to be moved outwardly away from thel latter so that the lateral anchoring effect of the sides of the operating members against the inner sides of the spring wing extensions 9 will be lost. Thus it is possible for the operating members to be moved laterally in directions opposite to each other which oftentimes occurs if the clothespin is roughly handled during the process of removing the latter from engagement with the gripped article withv the result that one or the other of the former may slip out from under the normally restraining end portions II of the spring and thereby become completely detached from the other operating members.
In circumventing this I provide one of the operating members with a slot I9 of substantial length extending longitudinally of the former and of a lateral width sufficient to render the side portions ZI of the member bordering the slot capable of a slight degree of lateral flexibility.
At this point it should be explained' that in order r'.
to carry out the operational features of my invention, it would be impractical to construct the operating members of wood as in conventional clothespins due to the likelihood of the latter splitting or breaking during certain assembly operations and consequently it is preferred that both of the operating members be constructed of more sturdy material such as any of the moldable hard-setting substances commonly classed as plastics. On the longitudinal sides of the slot I9, immediately adjacent the portal of the latter facing the companion operating member, I provide relatively confronting and inwardly extending lips or equivalent protuberances 22 to form substantially horizontal ledge surfaces 23 facing upwardly and outwardly of the slot. The companion .operating member has thereon, and preferably comprising an integrally formed part thereof, a tongue or wing member 24 extending toward the opposed operating member to enter the slot I9 thereof. The distal end portion of the wing member 24 within the slot is formed with a laterally widened head 26 having downwardly flaring sides 2l terminating at substantially horizontal shoulder surfaces 28 complementary and engageable with the ledge surfaces 23 ofthe slot. During assembly of the clothespin, entrance of the laterally wider head 26 into the correspondingly narrower slot is effected' by bringing the relatively constricted outer eX- tremity of the headinto entering position below the lip bordered portal of the slot and applying pressure in a direction longitudinally of the wing member 25s to urge the head upwardly through the slot. This pressure will cause the flaring sides 2l of the advancing head to flex the side members 2| of the slot outwardlysufciently to der surfaces 28 above the ledge surfaces 23 thus locking the operating members against separation beyond a prescribed limit of relative outward movement but permitting unrestricted relative inward movement of the members in the normal opening and closing motions of the clothespin.
It will be readily seen, in Figure 3, that if a member I8 to be gripped is inserted too deeply into the gullet between the clothespin jaws 8 the interlocked handle lever members I'I will be prevented from separating outwardly beyond a prescribed degree and since the latter members cannot move relatively laterally the danger of the members becoming relatively detached, as hereinbefore described, will be obviated. It will further be seen that due to the conformation of the wing member 24 and its relationship with the cooperating portions of the handle lever member Il, no relatively overlying parts exist between which the fingers of the user might be painfully pinched in manipulation of the clothespin. Furthermore, the operations of assembly of the parts comprising the improved clothespin ofv my invention are not perceptibly extendedv over those necessary to assemble the conventional type of clothespin the only added effort being that to snap the head portion of the motionrestraining wing member into engagement withits cooperative slot of the companion handle lever.
Although I have shown the opening I9 in its preferred form as being equipped with opposed lips 22 it is within they scope of the inventiony to utilize only a single lip cooperating with a single laterally widened portion of the head 26, it being evident to those skilled in the art that suchl construction would function equally as well as that illustrated.
In Figures 5 to 8 inclusive I have illustrated a modified form of construction for the clothespin operating lever restraining means. In this form of the invention the clothespin structurels-iden'- tical with that previously described with the exception that the marginal lips 22 which border the opposite longitudinal sides of the slot I9 ter' minate before reaching the outermost end ofthe slot nearest the distal portion of the lever member Il so as to form an entrance opening. 2910i unrestricted cross-sectional area extending vertically through and of corresponding lateral width to the slot I9. The head portion 26 0f the wing member 24 is substantially of the same general shape as that previously described being possessed of a lateral width which will permity ready insertion of the former into and'through the entrance opening 29 and further having the usual shoulder surfaces 28 adapted for cooperative engagement, as hereinbefore'explained, with the lips 22. The procedure-of assembly necessary with this arrangement to dispose thelever members Il in relative operative positionsis to superpose one lever member over the other in slight longitudinally displaced relationship, as shown in Figure 6, so as to permit the head member 26 to pass freely into and through the-en'- trance opening 29 until the shoulder surfacesl 28 are substantially aligned with the'ledge surfaces 23" of the'lips whereupon the lever members are' shifted longitudinally to occupy their' normal' relative operative positions, as shown in' Figure '7, soas to move the head member shoulder surfaces 28 forwardly of the slot I9 to positions' overlying and'engaging the ledge surfaces 23. In
the subsequent relative approach and recessionall movements of the lever members the interlockedy plained. abnormal and destruction-inviting relative separation of the clothespin elements.
As Was mentioned previously, although the specific modification shown in Figures to 8 utilizes a pair of opposed shoulder and ledge engaging portions, it is within the scope of the invention to provide only single interengaging shoulder and ledge surfaces to eiect the hereinbefore described interlocking arrangement of the operative members of the clothespin.
A clothespin comprising a pair of elongated relatively rigid members provided with opposed centrally disposed recessesand opposed jaw portions and diverging handle portions at opposite sides of the recesses, a coil spring seated in said recesses and secured to said members to provide a pivotal connection for said members and urge said jaw portions together and said handle portions apart, said spring resisting but permitting spread of said members from each other along their entire length, one of said handle portions being formed with an elongated slot extending longitudinally of the member, a tongue formed integral with the other of said handles and extending into said slot in operative engagement with the sides thereof, said slot being enlarged laterally cross-Wise of the member at the outer side of the member so as to dei-lne a ledge within the slot, and said tongue having a corresponding laterally enlarged head portion adjacent the free end thereof normally positioned in the enlarged portion of the slot, and having shoulder arranged to seat upon said ledge so as to limit the spread of the members thereat, said head being of greater width laterally than the unenlarged portion of the slot, at least one side of said slot being defined by a laterally-Flexible portion of the member, the Flexibility of said portion being such as to permit the head portion of the tongue to be forced through the unenlarged portion of the slot.
CLARENCE A. MORGAN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the ille of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 867,489 Faulkingham Oct. l. 1907 1,134,710 Wild Apr. 6, 1915 2,461,333 Maccaferri Feb. 8, 1949 2,499,517 Marini Mar. 7, 1950 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 34,558 Austria May l5, 1908 376,251 France Mar. 1l, 1907