US 2678045 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 11, 1954 F. c. ERHARD CARD soRTING DEVICE Filed April l5, 1952 Patented May 11, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CARD SORTING DEVICE Frances C. Erhard, Minneapolis, Minn. Application April 15, 1952, Serial No. 282,420
(Cl. 12S- 16) 1 Claim. l
This invention relates to a device for sorting cards, or card-like objects, into some predetermined systematic arrangement.
In many businesses today, a great number of cards, such as return postcards or the like, are received daily, usually through the mail. In most cases it is necessary to file these cardsy with the matter to which they appertain. In view of the fact that they are received in completely haphazard fashion, it is first necessary to sort and arrange them in systematic fashion so that the job of filing, or otherwise classifying them, can be simplified. Most frequently, it will be desired to classify the cards alphabetically, perhaps by the subject to which the card relates, or perhaps by the name of the person from whom the card is received.
The job of sorting and filing cards has become particularly tedious and time-consuming in certain bureaus of the United States Government as, for example, the Social Security Bureau. In this bureau many thousands and even millions of cards are received, and these cards must be classified alphabetically, so that they may readily be located when needed.
It is an object of this invention to provide a device whereby the speed at which such cards may be sorted, and alphabetically classified, may be greatly increased. It is also an object to provide a device whereby the sorting job may be done with less tedium and strain upon the clerk doing the job. It is also an object to provide a device of compact, easily handled size and conguration, which may be easily used and manipulated by the person doing the sorting. It is also an objective to provide an inexpensive easily constructed device for the purposes above identied.
It is further an object of this invention to provide a device which can very easily be changed to sort cards in various ways, and into diierent sorts of rclassications; that is, a device which, after having been used to sort cards alphabetically can easily be changed to sort cards numerically, for example.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a plan view of the device of this apparatus. Figure 2 is` a side elevational view, partially broken away to show the side of the device lying further away. Figure 3 is a vertical crosssectional view along the line 3-3 of Figure 1. Figure 4 is a view of a slidable separator element, hereinafter described in detail.
Referring now to the drawings in more detail, the device of the present invention comprises a rectangular box, indicated generally by reference 2 character 2, said box being provided with sides 3 and 3a, ends 4 and 4a, and bottom 5.
Each of the sides 3 and 3a, intermediate its top and bottom, is provided with slots 6 and 6a which extend along the length of box 2. Said slots 6 and Ba are located preferably about midway of the height of sides 3 and 3a, and, also, both slots are preferably located at the same height on their respective sides. However, the particular location of the slots is a matter of choice, and may be changed without departing from the spirit of this invention. Inserted within each slot 6 and 6a are a plurality of slidable separator elements 1, each of which is constructed in identical fashion, as follows:
Each of these separator elements comprises a channel member 8 extending vertically along the inside of each side 3 and 3a of box 2. Channel member 8 is amxed, by welding, soldering, or other means, to channel holder element 9, which comprises a sheet of rigid material having end portions I0 and central support portion II. In the particular embodiment shown, element 9 comprises a unitary strip of sheet material folded upon itself in such manner as to provide elements I0 and I I. However, as will be obvious, the parti-cular construction of element 9 could easily be modiiied. As shown particularly in Figure 3 of the drawing, support portion II is designed to rest upon the bottom of slot 6 or 5a., and thus to support channel member 8 in vertical, card-receiving position inside box 2. End portions I El extend in opposite directions vertically along the outside of the sides 3 and 3a of the box, thus: holding the slidable separator element 1 in position. Slots 6 and 6a are of such width as to fit rather closely about support portion II, to prevent the same from being tilted oil a horizontal plane, and thus tilting channel member 8 oli' its vertical Each of elements l is freely slidable along the length of box 2 in the slot in which it is placed.
When it is desired to separate a group of cards, the elements 1, on each side of the box, are lined up so that each element, on one side of the box, will be in opposed relation to an element on the other side of the box. Separator card I2 is then dropped down into channel elements 8 on opposed separator elements 1. Each end of card I 2 is held within a channel member.
If the cards to be sorted are to be sorted alphabetically, each of the separator cards I2 is plainly marked with a letter of the alphabet. If the cards are to be separated into some other sort of classification, the separator cards I2 would be marked accordingly.
During the sorting operation all cards which are properly to be classied alphabetically under the As, are then dropped into the box adjacent separator card labeled A which, conveniently, might be at the front part of the box.
Similarly, cards which are to be classied under the Bs are dropped ahead of the B cards, etc. After the group of cards being sorted have been separated into groups of A cards, B cards, etc., separator cards I2 are removed and different separator cards are put in. These different separator cards Would be labeled AA, AB, A0, etc. Thus the cards previously deposited in the A classification may be broken down into further alphabetical order. After the A cards are thus completely classied, then the B cards may be worked upon, etc.
Each of the separator cards I2 is freely re.- movable from the channel 8, so that new separator cards may be inserted inr the device when desired. Thus one box of the kind herein described may bc used to break down a group of cards into complete alphabetical order.
1f a large number of cards are being sorted, it may be desired to use three or four of the card sorting devices of this invention, lined up alongside one another. One box could be used to sort the cards A-F, for example, a second box to sort cards G through NL etc. It is preferable that box 2 be kept under approximately three feet in length, so that the person doing the sorting will not have to reach too far to find the proper category for the cards. It is preferable that several boxes, rather than one especially long box, be used.
It will be seen that the device of this invention provides a device having great utility for `for its intended purpose, and that it has great flexibility as to the number and kind of cards that may be sorted. It is perfectly-adaptable to take care of the situation where the bulk of the cards being sorted fall under two or three particular letters of the alphabet, and it is equally adaptable to sort cards falling substantially equally under all the letters of the alphabet.
Although the invention has been described in connection with certain specific constructions, it will be understood that the particular embodiment disclosed could be modied in many ways by a person skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention. It is to be understood that the particular details illustrated and described are intended to be wholly exemplary in character, and that all equivalents and variations, novel over the prior art, are comprehended, and that no limitation is intended otherwise than by the claim hereunto appended.
What isclaimed is:
A card sorting device comprising a card holding box having a bottom, two sides, a front and a back, each of said sides intermediate its top and bottom, being provided with a slot extending longitudinally of the side, and parallel to the bottom of the box, card separator elements carried within each yof said slots and slidable along the length thereof, said card separator elements each comprising a vertical card-edge receiving channel shaped portion lying within said box and a support portion for maintaining saidchannel shaped portion in position within said box, said support portion comprising a single strip of rigid material each end portion of which is bent at a right angle to the length of said strip, the central portion of said strip being folded upon itself to pro* vide a flange extending at right angles to the end portions of said strip, said flange lying horizontally upon the lower edge of a slot, the end portions of said strip extending vertically along outside of said box, said channel shaped portion being afxed in vertical position to the inwardly extending edge of said flange, and a plurality of separator cards held extending transversely of said box by'opposed separator elements.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,382,429 Kunkel June 21, 1921 1,893,186 Thomas et al Jan. 3, 1933 1,918,765 Lombardini July 18, 1933 2,169,562 Lombardini Aug. l5, 1939 2,229,299 Loucks Jan. 21, 1941 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 150,835 Great Britain 1920