US 2629251 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 24, 1953 A. SCHWALBERG 2,629,251
KEY RETAINER Filed Nov. 24, 1948 1N VENTOR. ABRAH q $4IWALBER9 2; 2L BY A TTORNEY Patented Feb. 24, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE KEY RETAINER Abraham Schwalberg, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Application November 24, 1948, Serial No. 61,781
'7 Claims. (01. 70-457) This invention relates .to key retainers. :It is one object. of my inventionto provide a key retainer in which .a plurality of keys are threaded on a two-ended, flexible, elongated elevide a key retainer of the character described in which the means for detachably holding the keys on the elongated element is 50 constructed that it will prevent keys from accidentally coming loose.
It is a further object of my invention to provide a key retainer which comprises comparatively few and simple parts, is economical to manufacture and can be sold at a low price.
It is an additional object of .myinvention to provide a key retainer which can be manipulated with ease and willgive satisfactory service over a long ,period of time.
It is still another object of my invention to provide a key retainer of the character described having a pleasing and attractive appearance, and uncomplex in contrast to present day key retainers which constitute comparatively numerous mechanical elements.
'Other objects of my invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
.My invention accordingly consists of the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts, which will be exemplified in constructions hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be pointed out in the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings in which various possible embodiments of my invention are shown,
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of an open key receptacle embodying a key retainer constructed in accordance with my invention, the receptacle being shown with the keys ready for use;
Fig. 2 is a plan 'view of said receptacle with the keys concealed;
Fig. 3 is a side view of the receptacle as it appears when closed.
Fig. 4 is an enlarged sectional view through the means for detachably holding keys on the key retainer, the same being substantiallytaken along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 in Fig. 4;
Fig. Sis a rear view of the means shown in Fig. 4. with the key illustrated in dot-and-dash lines;
,Fig. '7 is a rear view of the locking bar constituting one half of the means for detachably holding keys on the key retainer'in accordance with my invention.
Fig. 8 is a rear view of the guard plate constituting the other half of said locking means, the uncoupling position of the locking bar being illustrated in dot-and-dash lines; and
Figs. 9 and 10 are views similar to Fig. "8 of guard plates embodying modified forms of my invention.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, and more particularly to Figsl through 8, the "reference numeral 29 denotes a key receptacle. Said receptacle comprises two deep opposed pockets 22, 24 which conveniently may be made'from a somewhat flexible sheet material as, for example, leather or plastic. The pocket 22 is designed to be used as a miscellaneous receptacle, for
instance to receive coins,tickets, etc. The pocket 24, pursuant to my invention, is designed to receive one or more keys held by a key retainer 26 embodying my invention.
By way of example, the key receptacle may be constructed from two leather panels, one, 21, slightly more than three times the length of the other and both of the same width. The longer panel is folded back at ap roximately one third of its length along a crease line "28 with the side edges of the panel in registry. The panel is held in this position by a line 30 of stitching, thus forming the pocket 24!. The longer panel also is provided with a cross-wise folding zone 32 above the open mouth 34 of said pocket. The remainder of the longer panel is coveredby the shorter panel 36 which hasthree of its edges registered with the underlying three edges of thepanel 21 and is held thereto by a line 38 of stitching, thus forming thepocket 22 with an open mouth it facing the mouth of the pocket 24 across the fold zone.
The two surfaces of the pockets '22, 214 which are juxtaposed when the receptacle is closed, desirably are provided with two halves of a rapidly attachable and detachable fastening means, as for example, with the male half 42 and the female half 46 of a snap fastener. These two halves are properly positioned for mutual engagement when the receptacle is closed by folding about the zone 32.
The key retainer 25 comprises an elongated, flexible member, as for example, a chain which is connected to the front wall of the key pocket adjacent the open mouth thereof, 1. e., to that wall of the key pocket which, when the receptacle is closed,yis covered at least in part, by aflap 3 or equivalent member, in this instance the other pocket 22.
In the particular form of my invention shown herein, the key retainer includes a two-ended chain 46 having one endmost link captively slidable on a fiat loop 48. Said loop is located on the front Wall of the key pocket adjacent the open mouth thereof,and an end of the loop extends through a metal grommet 50 secured to the key pocket. The grommet is spaced from the mouth of the pocket a distance less than the length of the loop thereby permitting the loop to swing with respect to the key pocket.
A series of keys K can be secured on the chain 46 in a manner which will be described hereinafter in detail. These keys and the chain are adapted to repose in the key pocket 24 and to pass through the open mouth thereof on their way to either active or inactive positions. It will be appreciated that with this arrangement, the full length of the chain can be employed to separate the keys from the key receptacle, thus considerably facilitating use of the keys.
The flap securely holds all the keys and the chain in inoperative position when the keys are in the key pocket and the snap fastener halves 42, 44 are mutually engaged.
It may be mentioned, that the specific construction of the chain, specific means used to attach the chain to the front wall of the key pocket adjacent the mouth thereof, and the specific means to retain keys on the chain are not of controlling importance. Thus the grommet may be replaced by an unreinforced opening in the front face of the key pocket and an endless chain may be used, the same being provided with a rapidly detachable attaching portion, without affecting the foregoing phase of my invention.
The key retainer 26 comprises a two-ended length of flexible material such as a chain, with one end attached to some suitable object which is larger than the tang openings 52 of keys. In
'lieu of the key receptacle, such object may consist of some decorative object of the proper size and any shape whatsoever, e. g., a die, a ball, a chip or a miniature baseball bat. The other end of the chain is permanently attached to a locking bar whose length exceeds the size of key tang openings but whose maximum transverse dimension is less than the key tang openings so that if the bar is pulled against a key while its long axis lies perpendicular to the plane of the tang of the key, the bar cannot pass through such opening. However, if the bar is pulled toward such an opening while the long axis of the bar is perpendicular to the tan of the key and is aligned with the opening, the bar can be passed through said opening. 7
Because the bar permanently attached to the chain is dimensioned to pass through small key that which it is disposed with respect to a key at such time as it is arranged to pass through the tang opening. Optionally, the opening in the guard member may be of such configuration that it will pass the locking bar only when the same is held in one or more selected angular positions with respect to the long axis of the locking bar.
More specifically, the chain 46 which is connected by an end link to the flattened loop 48 has its other endmost link captively secured to a wire bail 54. Said bail has its two ends extending through openings at the center of a flat thin locking bar 56, the ends of the bail being turned over to lie flat against the front surface of the locking bar as shown in Figs. 1 and 4 and being permanently secured to said bar as by welding, soldering or brazing. Alternatively, the bar may be imperforate and the ends of the bail 54 welded, brazed or soldered thereto or cast in one piece with the bar, so that the opposite side of the bar has no protuberances.
The length of the bar 56 exceeds the size of the key opening in a conventional key such, for instance, as a door key, car key, or safety deposit box key, preferably the distance from the bail to either end of the bar likewise is in excess of the size of such openings. However, the width and thickness of the bar is less than the size of the openings in such keys, whereby the bar easily may be slipped lengthwise through these openings. Moreover, the height of the bailis less than the size of such key openings, so that it will not prevent longitudinal passage of the bar therethrough. To facilitate introduction of the bar into such openings, its corners 53 are beveled. Optionally, the locking bar may be fabricated from sheet metal.
The guard plate 69 likewise may be fabricated from sheet metal. The dimensions of this plate, except optionally its thickness, are larger than the size of openings in keys, and said plate is formed with a through opening 62 which is of about the same size as the key openings. In the form of my invention being described, the opening 62 is made of a particular configuration which negatively matches the configuration of the looking bar, bail and chain, when the bar is held with its long axis perpendicular to a face of the guard plate. As will be seen from inspection of Fig. 8, the outline of the opening 62 comprises a deep rounded notch 64 which is designed, to pass the part of the bail to which the chain is captively secured, an opposed shallow rounded notch 66 which is designed to pass the inturned ends of the bail, and two opposed square-cornered notches 68, in which are designed to pass the side edges of the locking bar.
To use the key retainer, the locking bar is positioned to dispose its longitudinal axis perpendicular to a face of the guard plate and in line with the opening 62. Moreover, said bar is rotated on its long axis with respect to the guard plate until upstanding portion of the bail attached to the chain is in registry with the notch 64. The locking bar then is slipped through the guard plate. One or more keys now may be slid on the locking bar with the long aXis of the bar perpendicular to the plane of the key tangs and with said axis of the bar substantially parallel to the adjacent portion of the chain. After the desired keys are on the chain, the guard plate is slipped back over the locking bar and no keys thereafter accidentally can fall ofi. Any key which slides down the chain toward the locking bar will press the guard plate flat against the locking bar making it impossible for a key to slip over the guard plate or looking bar. The keys may be removed by reversing the foregoing procedure.
By imparting the foregoing contour to the opening 62 of the guard plate there only is a remote possibility that the guard plate accidentally can assume a position such that it will slip off the locking bar by itself. However, since there only is a single position of the looking bar and bail in which they match the opening 62, a user may be delayed unduly when he wishes to remove or add a key. This may be overcome by using a modified form of guard plate, as for example the guard plate 60' illustrated in Fig. 9. This guard plate has a through opening 62 of such configuration that it will pass the locking bar and bail when in any one of four different angular positions with respect to the long axis of the bar. Such opening is of cruciform shape, including the four square shaped, quadrantly disposed notches 72, l4, i6, it, each large enough to slidably pass the side edges of the locking bar. The bases of each notch are enlarged as at 99, so that these portions of the notches can slidably pass either the top or bottom of the bail 55.
Operation of the key retainer may be simplified even further by employing a form of guard plate 69", illustrated in Fig. 10. This guard plate has a circular through opening 62" barely large enough to pass the locking bar and hail with the attached chain. I have found that such plate, due I believe, to its light weight in comparison with the weight of keys, tends to lie fiat against the locking bar and as long as the plate maintains this position, the locking bar cannot pass therethrough accidentally and cannot by accident allow keys to come loose.
It thus will be seen that I have provided devices which achieve the several objects of my invention and are well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention and as various changes might be made in the embodiments above set forth, it is to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent:
1. A key retainer for keys with circular openings in their tangs, said retainer comprising a two-ended elongated flexible member on which keys are adapted to be captively slidable with said member passing through the openings in the tangs of the keys, an object whose maximum cross-sectional area transverse to the longitudinal axis of the elongated flexible member is larger than the area of the tang openings of the keys, means securing said object to one end of the elongated flexible member, a locking bar, means securing said locking bar intermediate its ends to the other end of the elongated flexible member, and a guard plate slidable along an opening therethrough on the elongated flexible member and otherwise unconnected to said member, the area of said opening in the guard plate being larger than the maximum transverse cross-sectional area of the locking bar and the maximum distance across said opening in the guard plate being shorter than the length of the locking bar.
2. A key retainer as set forth in claim 1 wherein the maximum distance across the opening in the guard plate is shorter than the distance along the locking bar from either end thereof to the point of connection to the flexible member.
3. A key retainer as set forth in claim 1 wherein the guard plate is flat.
4. A key retainer as set forth in claim 1 wherein the locking bar and guard late are flat.
5. A key retainer as set forth in claim 1 wherein the opening in the guard plate matches the configuration of a transverse section of the looking bar and the flexible member.
6. A key retainer as set forth in claim 1 wherein the opening in the guard plate is of cruciform shape with the bases of the arms of the opening enlarged.
7. A key retainer as set forth in claim 1 wherein the opening in the guard plate is of substantially circular configuration.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 448,880 7 Hansen Mar. 24, 1891 455,060 Schlutter June 30, 1891 579,423 Cleaveland Mar. 23, 1897 906,616 Cox Dec. 15, 1908 1,598,576 Habenicht Aug. 31, 1926 1,715,752 Grifiin et al. June 4, 1929 2,066,526 Gladstone Jan. .5, 1937 2,4e6,009 Hyman July 27, 1948 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 267,870 Great Britain Mar. 214, 1927,. 333,922 Germany Mar. 7, 1921 669,248 Germany Dec. 20, 1938