US 2739188 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 20, 1956 T. w. O'CONNELL 2,739,188
SELF-HOLDING DIALING TOOL Filed Feb. 1, 1954 f; MOHYVENTOR.
SELEHGLDING DEALING TOOL Theodore W. OConnell, Chicago, Ill., assignor to T. W. OConnell & Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application February 1, 1954, Serial No. Milk-W2 3 Claims. (Cl; 179-9ti) This invention relates to a new and improved dialing tool. The tool is improved with respect to the efficiency and convenience of the dialing operation provided thereby, the simplicity and efliciency of storage between dialing operations, and other features of utility and economy.
The tool is particularly designed for such dials as are installed in an inclined plane, although it can be used also on dials installed in a fiat plane. It difiers from earlier dialing tools in that it is not intended for dials installed in a vertical plane.
The great number of dialing operationsbillions of such operations every day-are performed on desk telephones movably installed on desks and the like. The need for finger extension tools for the dialing of such telephones has long been recognized. However such tools as have been proposed have failed to find any appreciable favor with the public. Some of them were proposed only for test operations whereinone number is dialed a great many times; these were not convenient to dislodge and re-insert at other dial positions. Others were made in the form of a ball and rod; these involved problems of visibility as well as support. it is largely with respect to these latter problems that the new tool is improved.
The details will be understood on perusal of the description which follows, together with the drawing wherein a preferred embodiment of the new tool is shown.
In the drawing:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of the tool in position for use.
Figure 2 is a section taken along lines 2-2 in Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a side view of the tool.
The new tool, when not in use, is simply supported by the dial ll) of the ordinary desk-type telephone instrument 11. It requires none of the attachment clips, suction cups, spring holders, cords and other auxiliary support members proposed in earlier constructions of such tools. Thus itiis considerably cheaper and at the same time considerably less conducive to cluttering up of desks, while being entirely unobjectionable from the standpoint of the standarjd construction of the telephone instruments themselves. At the same time it adds appreciably to the facility and convenience of the dialing operation, as compared "ither with direct finger dialing or with previously suggc-ted tools. 7
These advantages have been obtained upon the discovery thzt the tool can be made self holding by a short, round bos on the ball, of slightly smaller radius than the ball. Th: tool is particularly effective when the manipulating handle is made in form of a light fiat bar, instead of the usual'rod; this adds to the visibility of the dial numbers and to :the self-holding efiiciency of the tool.
,Accordingly the new tool as shown comprises a ball member 12 having slightly greater diameter than the circular dialing holes 13 in the dial a short tool .tholder, boss or stub extension 14 integral with the ball 12 and extending therefrom to form a special kind of fingertip device; and an integral handle bar 15 extending from the ball in a position coaxial with and opposite to nite States Patent the boss 14; this handle bar being suitably longer, somewhat wider in one plane, but appreciably narrower in another plane than the boss.
Standard finger holes on telephone dials have a diameter of about a half inch and the dials are spaced from the underlying number plate by about one-quarter inch. It has been found that considerably less than said onequarter inch is required for the length of the boss it, beyond the ball 12. A length between one-sixteenth and one-eighth of an inch is sufficient, mainly when the boss or stub is made in a form wherein the corner 16 is sharp, the radius of such corner being kept to a few thousandths of an inch. This can be achieved with fair simplicity by modern molding, casting and similar operations.
The security of the self-holding feature of the dialing tool can be further increased by making the side wall 17 of the extension stub 14 in a form slightlytapering away from the ball 12 in frusto-conical manner as shown, although such taper will best be minute, leaving the extension substantially cylindrical, in order to simplify the forming operation and also the convenience of tool insertion and removal.
The diameter of the extension 14 usually will best be made slightly less than one-quarter of an inch at the Widest point or end while the diameter of the ball 12 as mentioned will best be made slightly more than one-half of an inch. Slight modifications in such dimensions are of course involved if and when different dials it are introduced from time to time, although the magnitude of variation is small; all dimensions being determined largely by those of the adult human finger.
Referring now to the flat elongated handle bar 15, this bar takes the place of the rod heretofore used in such tools. I believe the use of such rods is due to the fact that long before the first proposal for special tools of this kind, operators instinctively used pens'or permits or the like for dialing; and when special. tools were first proposed, they copied the cylindrical or substantially cylindrical form of such pencils, etc. However it was soon observed by users and partly by those who designed the earlier tools that the dial numbers became less visible when using such ball ended rod tools. Various proposals were made, including recessed tool ends, illuminated tool ends and the like.
I have discovered that visibility is improved and the self-holding feature becomes possible by completely discarding the former rod handles and utilizing instead a flat handle 15 which is approximately as long as the average length of the adult human finger (not quite two and a half inches or thereabouts) and suitably dimensioned as to width (for instance, a half inch or thereabouts). The thickness of the handle can be about one-eighth of an inch; it may be more or less comparable with the thickness of an ordinary ruler. A tool handle of this kind is safely and easily grasped from its normal storage position on the dial, wherein it extends forwardly in a flat and slightly raised position as shown due to the afore mentioned holder stub dimensons. When so grasped, the handle guides the users fingertips (forefinger and thumb) to the direct vicinity of the ball 12, while the free end of the handle comes to rest somewhere in the palm of the hand. This position inherently induces a pointed position of the users fingers whereby a minimum of obscuring of dial numbers by the users hand is safeguarded. A considerably less pointed finger position is likely to be maintained, at least by a great many users, when pencil-shaped rods are used as handles; not only because of prevailing writing habits, but also because of the less pronounced stop effect of the resulting intersection between the handle and the ball. in the present tool a stop 18 is formed by the rear surface of the ball adjacent the front end of the handle bar 15. Normally the 3 users forefinger engages one of these stops. In such position the dial numbers are more visible even than when the conventional dialing by hand is used.
The flat surfaces of the handle bar of course can be imprinted with advertising matter or the like. Thus the new tool lends itself admirably to use as a commercial gift article or the like. Being unprovided with holder attachments and the like, it can be handled in casual manner. It can even be used as a disposable carrier of memorandums or the like, for instance by visiting salesmen who fail to find their prospects at their desks; in such cases the tool can be left on the telephone dial as a kind of calling card which is likely to receive immediate attention.
The security of the self-holding feature of the new tool is substantial if and when the features of the holder extension stub are maintained as described above, and par-' ticularly if the handle end of the tool is made light (as well as convenient) in the manner described. Any ball extensions opposite a handle, having appreciably smaller diameter than described, have been found unsuitable for present purposes since they tend to cause the active tool to hang in the standard inclined dial in a drooping manner. The tool then tends to slip out too easily due to vibration or the like. The present tool, by contrast, will not leave the dial even if vibration of a desk is violent. Nor will the tool fall out of the dial incident to the automatic return rotation of the dial.
As a result of this last feature, the new tool lends itself admirably to use as a marker. If a person is interrupted while dialing a telephone number, he can simply leave the new tool in the last dialed number hole, thereby facilitating completion of the dialing process.
The new tool can be molded of various synthetic plastics or cast of various other metals. These operations are simple due to the straight in-line arrangement of the bandle, ball and boss. The tool can be made in colors matching those of standard telephone instruments or contrasting therewith, and either with or without firm names or other legends on one or both of the flat surfaces 19 of the handle 15.
A number of other modifications are possible within the scope of this invention which is claimed as follows:
1. A self-holding telephone dialing tool comprising a ball member having slightly larger diameter than the finger holes of a telephone dial; a short, substantially cylindrical stub extension on said ball member, having a slight frusto-conical taper expanding away from the ball member, and having a diameter approximately half that of the ball member; and a light, elongated handle bar on the ball member substantially opposite the stub extension.
2. A unitary dialing tool for use with dial telephones having a stationary number plate, a rotatable flat disc mounted above said plate, said disc having circular apertures, said tool being easily inserted in and removed from said apertures and adapted to be supported in said apertures when not in use, comprising a ball portion having a diameter slightly greater than that of said apertures; a handle portion merging with said ball portion and substantially thinner than said ball diameter; and a stub portion on said ball substantially opposite said handle portion, the penetration of said ball and said stub portions in said apertures being insuflicient to touch said number plate, the diameter of said stub being substantially less than that of said apertures, whereby when said tool is positioncd in an aperture the tool weight causes the stub to engage said disc so as to retain the tool in the aperture.
3. A unitary dialing tool for use with dial telephones having a rotatable apertured disc and a printed surface spaced therefrom, said tool comprising an elongated fiat handle portion; an enlarged bulbous portion at one end of said handle, and having a maximum diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the apertures in said disc; and a short cylindrical projection on said bulbous portion opposite said handle portion, the diameter of said cylindrical projection being substantially less than that of the apertures in said disc and approximately half the maximum diameter of said bulbous portion, whereby said tool is easily engaged with and removed from said apertured disc, the junction of said projection with said bulbous portion forming an annular shoulder to support said tool while said tool rests in said apertured disc.
References (iited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,713,009 Smillie May 14, 1929 2,453,272 Savoie Nov. 9, 1948 2,601,129 Sams June 17, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS 485,131 Great Britain May 16, 1938