US 2790319 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1957 M. BRUNNER 2,790,319
! KEY HOLDER AND KEY Filed Jan. 25, 1954 .Eizg. 2
ZZV'E'ZTI Z'br' Mx Bewvmse KEY HOLDER AND KEY Max Brunner, Chicago, Ill. Application January 25, 1954, Serial No. 405,877 Claims. (Cl. 70-456) The present invention relates to a novel apparatus for the storage of keys, and a novel key which may be utilized in combination therewith. More specifically, the invention concerns the provision of an extremely small, compact key case for utilization with substantially headless keys and which permits the storage of such keys in a readily accessible, yet securely stored position.
Many advantages of the type of key having a relatively small head, have been described in my copending applications Serial No. 352,753, and Serial No. 360,470, filed on May 4, 1953, and J an. 9, 1953, respectively. The present apparatus is intended to provide an improved and highly efiicient carrying case which may be utilized with the keys disclosed in the above mentioned applications, or with an improved key described below.
The key case of the present invention is constructed to provide a key case in which a plurality of keys may be pivotally mounted upon a transverse bar and maintained in a compact, stored position by means of multi-position spring abutment retaining means associated with the case, and an auxiliary retaining channel lying in a plane substantially parallel to that of the support rod and biased in a direction toward the rod. The keys may then be released for individual pivotal movement away from the stored position by moving the storage channel away from the pivot rod and applying a force to the keys sufficient to overcome the detent action of the abutments. In order to provide a one-piece key ease unit the pivot rod and storage channel are both carried by a U-shaped housing.
In order to prevent undesired pivotal movement of the keys within the case, and in order, further, to aid in the utilization of the key and key case in combination as a lock-opening instrument, the keys and the key case of the present invention are both provided with interlocking abutments. These abutments act as resilient detents to maintain the keys either in the'operative position or in the stored position, whichever is desired at any particular moment.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a compact key casein which keys may be resiliently maintained in selected stored or operative positions.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel key case wherein resilient means are provided for maintaining keys associated therewith in an interlocked, selected, position. v
A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel key having interlocking means thereon in the fiat surface thereof for the cooperation with other similar keys and/ or a complementary key case. i
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a key case havingresilient retaining walls which cooperate to maintain the keys positioned therebetween in close con tact with one another and in selected stored or operative positions.
Yet a further object of the present invention ispto provide a novel key and key case combination in which the key case acts. as an operating handle fonthekeyand States Patent 2,790,319 Patented Apr, 30,1957
wherein the selected key is retained in a substantially rigid, extended, relationship with the case.
A feature of the present invention is the provision of a key having a recess on one face thereof and an abutment projection on the opposite face thereof for cooperation with the recess in other similar keys.
Another feature herein disclosed and forming a part of the present invention, is the provision of a novel key case constructed in the form of a U wherein the legs of the U are provided with a substantial resilience in the direction of the axisof the bight of the U.
Yet a further feature of the present inventionis a U- shaped keyholder having a transverse key support rod positioned across the tips of the legs of the U, and a storage channel positioned substantially parallel to said support rod and adjacent the bight of the U for resilient cooperation with and storage of keys mounted on said support rod.
Still other and further objects and features of the present invention will at once become apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of the attached drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown by way of illustration.
On the drawings:
Figure 1 is a plan view of the novel key and key case combination of the present invention;
Figure 2 is a side elevation view in cross-section taken along the line IIII of Figure 1;
Figure 3' is an elevation view in cross-section taken along the line III III of Figure 1;
Figure 4 is a part elevational view in cross-section taken along the line IVIV of Figure 2; V
Figure 5 is a fragmentary plan view in partial crosssection illustrating a portion of the storage channel of the key case;
Figure 6 is a plan view of a modified form of the present invention;
Figure 7 is a side elevation view in cross-section of the form shown inFigure 6 and taken along line VII-VII;
Figure 8 is an end elevation of the modification shown in Figure 6 and taken along the line VIH'VIH of Figure 7; a
Figure 9 is a plan view of the spacing washer forming a part of the present invention; and
Figure ,10 is a cross-sectional view of the Washer of F igure 9, taken along lineXX of that figure.
As shown on the drawings: a
The illustrated embodiment of the present invention shown inFigures 1 through 5 comprises a generally U shaped housing indicated at 10 having legs 11 and 12 and a'bight portion 13. As may be seen from Figure 2, the bight portion :13 is provided with a concave inner surface 14 which cooperates with the convex surface of a storage channel 15 in a manner to be explained below. The concavity 14 provides sides 13a on the bight 13 which aid in the rigidification of the U structure, thereby preventing bending of the bight 13 due to forces applied tending to spread the legsll and 12 apart.
'It is contemplated that the housing 10 be manufactured from a pair of similar leg members 11 and 12 welded or hard soldered to a portion of semi-cylindrical tubing Y which forms the bight 13. By thus permanently securing .10 may be manufactured by other methods, such as for example by forging, and the above outlined technique is setforth by way of illustration only. 7 a
. The legs '11 and 12' are provided at their ends with apertures 16 and -17 respec tively. jT-hese aperturesare preferably countersunkas atldgz and lflu for thesubstani; V
3 s tial enclosure of the head 18 and retainer bolt 19 of a support rod 20. As may be noted from Figure 4, the head 18 and bolt 19 of the support rod 20 are positioned on the rod 20 at pointsv somewhat further apartthan the natural position of the abutments 16b and 17a so that in the position shown in Figure 4, the rod 20 may be reciprocated along its axis to a slight degree. Thus while the rod 29 is positioned transversely in a .fixed position by the legs 11 and 12, movement of the legs toward or away from each other is permitted. a
A plurality of keys 21 are pivotally mounted on the support rod 26 by means of apertures 22. In order to selectively maintain the individual keys either in a stored position in which the keys extend toward the bight 13 of the housing 10, or in an operative position in which the key extends away from the bight 13, each key is provided with a recess or groove 21a on its face 23 and a projection or abutment 2112 on its face 24. These projections and recesses may be readily seen from a considerationof Figures 2, 3 and 4. e
By means of the grooves and abutment, each of the keys 21 is interlocked with the keys adjacent to it and none of the keys 21 may pivot relative to the others without separating the keys adjacent it a sufficient amount to permit the key being moved to disengage itself from the groove and abutment of the adjacent keys. In effect, this requires that sufficient play be permitted by the sup port rod 20 with its head 18 and bolt 19 to permit separation of the legs 11 and 12 a distance equal to the height of the abutment 2112 plus the depth of the abutment groove 21a.
In order that the case or housing will cooperate properly with the recesses and abutments of the keys adjacent the legs thereof, a recess groove 11a is provided in the leg 11 and an abutment 12b is provided on the leg 12. The recess 11a and the abutment 12b are substantially identical to the recesses and abutments on the keys 21 and cooperate in substantially the same manner as above described relative to the inter-cooperation of the keys. The recess 11a and the abutment 12b extend longitudinally of the legs 11 and 12 respectively, and therefore cause the keys 21 to be retained in a position substantially parallel to the plane of .the housing 10 as defined by the legs 11, 12 and the bight 13 thereof. Since the portion of the recesses and abutments extending on opposite sides of the apertures 16, 17 and 22 are symmetrical, alignment of the keys with the groove 11a and abutment 12b will permit the individual keys to assume an operative position 0 or a stored position S as shown in Figures 1 and 2.
The keys are maintained in either the operative or stored positions by means or" the inherent resiliency of thelegs 11 and 12. Preferably, the legs 11 and 12 are therefore constructed for spring material such as steel, beryllium copper, spring bronze, or other similar material which will provide substantially an infinite number of fiexures Without'breakage.
thereby squeezing the keys 21 together andtending to cause them to assume a stacked relationship in which the associated grooves and abutments are in interlocked posito provide auxiliary means for maintaining the keys in the stored condition. This is espectially true. if itlis desired to utilize the key case of the present invention with a number of keys insuthcient to completely fill up ,the
support rod 20,-in which case, of course, the grooves 21a and abutments 21b will provide insufficient locking. action to maintain thekeys'in the stored position S. s
The resiliency of the legs 11 and 12 thus provides a biasing force tending to urge; the abutment 12b and recess 11a toward each other,
The auxiliary means herein shown comprises a U-shaped storage channel which extends substantially parallel to the bight 13 of the housing 10. The channel 15 is preferably retained in cavities 25 and 26 in the base end of the legs 11 and 12. These cavities permit the movement of the channel 15 away from the bight 13 a shortdistance, but prevent its complete removal or misalignment relative thereto. Guide means are provided for the channel 15 in the form of a rod 27 to which is attached a key chain ring 28 or other similar means for actuating the rod 27 in a direction away from the support rod 20. The spring 29 is provided between the channel 15 and the bight 13 for urging the channel 15 toward the support rod and into enclosing engagement with keys 21 when in the position S. The spring 29 is preferably of the conical type which permits complete collapse thereof to a depth equal to the diameter of the wire forming the spring, but it is, of course, to be understood that various types of spring structures may be provided between the channel 15 and the bight 13 without departing from the scope of the present invention.
In operation, the keys 21 are ordinarily carried in the pocket of the user in a stored condition such that all of the keys 21 are positioned within the legs of the housing 10 as indicated at S. When it is desired to utilize one of the keys, the rod 27 is pulled away from the support rod 20 to permit the selected key 21 to swing past the sides of the channel 15. With the channel 15 in the above described position, the selected key 21 is manually urged in the direction of the arrow shown in Figure 2. The application of a slight amount of force in the pivotal direction as indicated, will cause the arcuate surfaces of the recesses 21a and abutments 21b to spring legs 11 and 12 away from each other to an extent sufiicient to permit pivotal movement of the selected key about the support rod 20. The key is then pivoted into a position shown at 0 in Figures 1 and 2, in which position the recesses 21a and abutments 21b again are in alignment and the legs 11 and 12 will snap back into their position shown in Figure 1.
In the open position the key 21 will be substantially rigidly held in the extended positionand may readily be inserted in the lock with which it is to be used. The key may then, of course, be rotated by means of rotation of the housing 10, which rotation is transmitted to the selected key 21 through the support rod 20. The key may, of course, be replaced in the key case by pivotal movement of the key about the support 20 until the free end of the key is adjacent the channel 15, at which time the channel 15 is moved away from the rod 20 until the end of the key 21 passes thereunder.
It will thus be seen, that I have provided a novel key and key case combination in which an extremely compact carrying case is provided and in which the keys mounted therein are resiliently maintained either in the the stored or operative position. means maintaining the keys in these positions are very rugged and effective, they are nevertheless very simple and susceptible of. inexpensive manufacture thereby enabling the device of the present invention to be sold at a price substantially less than the prior art key cases having far a more complex and less efficient means for retaining the keys in the desired positions.
A modified form of the invention is shown in Figures 6-10. There, the case comprises a strip of spring material permanently deformed into a U. The auxiliary channel member 15 is dispensed'with and a system of abutments and recesses 121b and 121a respectively are relied upon to supply all of the detent action for maintaining the keys in the selected positions. a
As may be seen in Figures 7 and 8, four depressions or recesses are formed inone face of each key, and four similarly positioned abutments are positioned on the opposite s ide;."Although inmost cases this inter-relation ship between keys is found'satisfactory by itself to properly While the resilient position them, spacing washers 30 have been shown placed between adjacent keys. These washers prevent the keys from catching on one another, and at the same time permit the pivot bar to be filled up to a point at which the spring in the arms 111 and 121 will operate to compress the keys on the bar 120. By using washers 30 of various thicknesses it is possible to provide the proper spring tension against the sides of the keys.
It is to be understood, of course, that the washers 30 may be used with the modification shown in Figures 1-5 if desired. It is, however, ordinarily necessary that the washers be used in the modification shown in Figures 6-10 since no looseness can be permitted where the auxiliary channel 15 is not provided and the entire detent effect is provided by the recesses and abutments.
As may be seen from Figure 8, a modified pivot bar 120 is also shown. There the bar comprises a threaded bolt 120a carrying a sleeve 12%. The bolt is threaded directly into one wall 111 of the base 110, or otherwise securely affixed thereto, but is freely slidable in the aperture 117 in the wall 112. Provision of the sleeve 12Gb is not essential but aids greatly in the assembly of the keys into the case since it permits stacking the keys and washers on the bar with subsequent insertion of the bar and keys as a unit into the case.
In operation, the form shown in Figures 6-10 is substantially identical to that discussed relative to the embodiment shown in Figures 1-5. It will be noted, however, that in view of the use of four cooperating recesses and abutments, the keys will assume an intermediate position at right angles to the case 110. This position shown in dotted lines in Figure 7, permits the case to act as a substantial force-applying lever in cases where the lock being actuated is stiff or otherwise somewhat diflicult to operate.
It is, of course, to be understood that variations and modifications may be made in the above discussed and disclosed apparatus and it is therefore intended that the invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.
I claim as my invention:
1. In combination, a key case and a plurality of keys mounted for storage therein, said key case comprising a U-shaped housing having a support rod secured thereto and extending between the ends of said legs remote from the bight of said U, one of said legs having a depression therein adjacent said support rod and the other of said legs having an abutment thereon adjacent said support rod, and each of said keys having an abutment on one side and a depression on the opposite side whereby said keys may be stacked in interlocked relationship on said support rod, and whereby said keys may be maintained in a predetermined position by the interlocking action of said abutments and depressions.
2. A key and key case combination comprising a key case having a U-shaped housing, the free ends of the legs of said said U-shaped housing having a support rod passing therethrough in slidable relation thereto, a plurality of keys mounted on said support rod and having a combined thickness sufficient to fill the space between said legs, a U-shaped storage channel positioned between said legs at the bight of said U, means for biasing said channel toward said support rod whereby keys positioned on said support rod may be maintained between the edges of said channel by said last named means, and actuating means secured to said channel for urging said channel away from said support rod against said biasing means to permit the pivotal movement of keys about said support rod into an operative position.
3. A key case comprising a U-shaped housing having a pair of legs rigidly secured to a bight portion, an aperture in the free end of each of said legs, and a support rod extending between said legs and through said apertures in slidable relation thereto, an abutment on one of said legs adjacent the aperture therethrough and a recess in the other of said legs adjacent the aperture therethrough and in substantial alignment with the abutchannel toward said support rod, and guide means secured to said channel and associated with said housing for maintaining said channel in alignment with said bight portion and for actuating said channel away from said support rod.
5. A key having a lock engaging portion and a carrying portion, said carrying portion having an aperture therethrough, an interlock depression in one face of the carrying portion of said key adjacent one end of said aperture, and an interlock abutment on the other face of the carrying portion of said key adjacent the opposite end of said aperture.
6. A key having a lock engaging portion and a carrying portion, 'said carrying portion having an aperture therethrough, an interlock recess in one face of the carrying portion of said key adjacent one end of said aperture, and an interlock abutment on the other face of the carrying portion of said key adjacent the opposite end of said aperture, said abutment and said recess lying in opposed, substantially aligned positions relative to said aperture whereby said key may be interlocked in various positions through 'said abutment and recess with similar keys stacked in contact therewith.
7. In combination, a key case and a plurality of keys mounted for storage therein, said key case comprising a U-shaped housing having a support rod secured thereto and extending between the ends of the legs of said U- shaped housing remote from the bight of said U, one of said legs having a depression therein adjacent said support rod and the other of said legs having an abutment thereon adjacent said support rod, and each of said keys having an abutment on one side and a depression on the opposite side whereby said keys may be stacked in interlocked relationship on said support rod, and whereby said keys may be maintained in a predetermined position by the interlocking action of said abutments and depressions, and spacing means positioned on said support rod between adjacent keys to fill the space between said legs, said spacing means comprising washers having a recess on one side and an abutment on the other for cooperation with the abutments and recesses on adjacent keys.
8. A key case comprising a U-shaped housing having a pair of legs rigidly secured to a bight portion, an aperture in the free end of each of said legs, and a support rod extending between said legs and through said apertures in slidable relation to at least one of said legs, an abutment on one of said legs adjacent the aperture therethrough and a recess in the other of said legs adjacent the aperture therethrough and in substantial alignment with the abutment on said one leg.
9. In combination, a key ease and a plurality of keys mounted for storage therein, said key case comprising a U-shaped housing having a support rod secured thereto and extending between the ends of the legs of said U- shaped housing remote from the bight of said U, one of said legs having a plurality of depressions therein surrounding said support rod and the other of said legs having a plurality of abutments thereon surrounding said support rod, and each of said keys having a plurality of abutments on one side and a plurality of depressions on the opposite side whereby 'said keys may be stacked in interlocking relationship on said support rod, and whereby said keys may be maintainedin a plurality of predetermined positions by the interlocking action of said abutments and depressions.
10. A key having a lock engaging portion and a carrylock abutments on the other face of thecarrying portion 5 of'said key adjacent to and surrounding the opposite end of said aperture, said 'abutments and said recesses lying in opposed, substantially aligned positions relative to said aperture whereby said key may be interlocked in various positions through said abutments and said recesses with 10 similar keys held in contact therewith.
fReEerences Cited in the'file of this patent ITED STATES PATENTS Mouat Dec. 8, 1891 Long Mar. 1, 1927 Copp Apr. 17, 1928 Despard Aug. 30, 1932 Long Mar. 7, 1933 Vavrosky May 16, 1933 Goessling Apr. 30, 1935 Brandt Feb. 16, 1937 Schuyler Ian. 11, 1938 Haulton Oct. 15, 1940 Holmgren Apr. 15, 1952