US 2803714 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
0, 1957 F. H. HESH 2,803,714
7 MULTIPLE POLE ELECTRICAL TYPEWRITER KEY Filed June 16, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Q Q Q 9 Q Q Q I III/en for: Hank fla s g- 20, 19'57 F. H. HESH I I 2,803,714
' MULTIPLE POLE ELECTRICAL TYPEWRITER KEY Filed June 16, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 m h o 5 \O w Ill ran e5 2 Unite States Pater 2,803,714 Patented Aug. 20,1957
MULTIPLE POLE ELECTRICAL TYPEWRITER KEY Frank H. Hesh, Chicago, Ill. Application June 16, 1954, Serial No. 437,134
Claims. (Cl. 200-6) My invention relates to an improvement in electrically operated typewriters or business machines generally and more particularly to a simplified operating key which permits the striking of many different symbols or the performance of different operations by the manipulation of just the one key.
This invention may be considered an improvement on my invention as described in Patent No. 2,532,228 issued to me on November 28, 1950. In that patent is shown a typewriter equipped with ten keys wherein the keys may be not only depressed but also shifted from side to side and from top to bottom to close five different circuits wherein five different type bars may be operated by each of the keys. One of the contacts of one of the keys may be used to operate a shift mechanism whereby conventional type bars having two characters thereon may be used. It was pointed out in that patent that a structure such as that presented therein is made feasible only by the application of electric power to typewriters. Such application being made however, the type bars may be individually solenoid operated and their operation effected by the very simple matter of just closing a contact.
That patent also explained at length the advantages of a typewriter embodying my invention. The operator of the typewriter need only placehis fingers on the keys and thereafter they need not be removed from the keys or changed to different keys. The keys may be individually depressed or shifted in the several possible directions by any of the fingers successively, so minimizing fatigue and the chance of error. The operation of the machine may be much more quickly learned since there is just the one bank of keys rather than the four banks with a total of 42 keys on the conventional typewriter. Another matter which will facilitate the learning operation is that since there is no need for striking the keys but rather just a pushing or pulling which will probably be accomplished by a slight arm movement, an alphabetical arrangement of letters can be employed rather than the frequency arrangement now used which is difficult for beginners to learn.
It was clearly indicated in the patent that although a typewriter was selected to illustrate an application of the principle, its use should by no means be regarded as being so confined. Business or computing machines of any'description which require an elaborate keyboard are fit Subjects for the application of my invention. A key of such a machine performs a single function. Closing an electric circuit may perform the same function. The circuit closure may power the function directly as in the solenoid operated typewriter key. It may act exactly as the conventional key in, for instance, a carriage return. It may effect the required operation by means of a relay. The mechanism, of necessity, exists in any such machine for converting the touch of a button into a mechanical movement. A solenoid may always be employed as an equivalent of a pressed button.
The instant invention is an improvement over the operating mechanism appearing in that patent. More particularly, it concerns a key and key receptacle permitting of far more contacts and hence far more individual controls than could be obtained in my prior invention. It is no more complicated except for the necessary multiplication of parts which arises from the increased number of contacts. It is as simply operated, as easily learned, and the various characters or operations accomplished by each of the switch keys may be easily indicated on the face of the typewriter. 1
The multiplication of contacts in each switch would normally lead to problems of accuracy or to closing simultaneously more than one circuit, but the switch which I have devised is so arranged that the latter circumstance is impossible and accuracy is not impaired.
The switching element of my invention is constructed to be easily removable from the typewriter for adjustment, cleaning, replacement or alteration of function of the key.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following description and drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a front perspective view of a typewriter constructed in accordance with my invention;
Fig. 2 is a side elevation, broken away to a fragmentary section in parts along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows, to illustrate the key and switch and type bar operating mechanism;
Fig. 3 is a view partially diagrammatic, showing a switch in section, the type bar and operation mechanism in enlarged elevation and the electric circuit diagrammatically;
Fig. 4 is a top plan View which may be considered as being taken substantially along the line 4-4 of Fig. 3; and
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary view of the switch of Fig. 3, showing the switch and receptacle disassembled.
In Fig. l is illustrated a typewriter 10 having the usual carriage 12 and platen 14 mounted thereon, all of these elements being generally conventional. The keyboard 16, however, is of distinctly different appearance. It may have a set of, for example, ten keys 17 arranged in two arcs to fit conveniently the normal positions of the fingers of each hand and otherwise be entirely enclosed by a removable cover 18. The arrangement of the keys is purely illustrative and alternative arrangements may be employed, the alternatives being made particularly easy by virtue of the greatly augmented number of contacts made possible by virtue of my invention. One alternative that I have specifically in mind is that one of the arcs of keys be limited to just four keys and a space bar be situated in appropriate position for one of the operators thumbs.
The platen will preferably have a shift mechanism associated therewith which is entirely conventional as to mechanism and operation and therefore has not been illustrated.
The typewriter may be furnished with substantially convenional type bars 20 adapted to be operated by the switch 22. The type bar 20 may have a head 24 thereon with two characters 26 and 28 on the face thereof spaced apart in the vertical direction as the head 24 strikes the platen. As in conventional typewriters, the key characters may be the capital and-lower case representation of one of the letters or any other of the common associations of one of the keys which are selectively struck by theoperatio'n of the shift lever.
The type bar is pivoted 30 adjacent its end for move ment from a substantially horizontal position to the vertical position of striking against the platen. Adjacent the pivot 30, the type bar has abell crank arm 32 by which the type bar is driven by the operating mechanism indicated generally as 34. g
The operating mechanism 34 includes a solenoid 36 which may be supported on a member 38 within the typewriter housing 40. The solenoid has a vertically reciprocable plunger 42 therein which normally is urged toward its upper position. A lever 44 is connected at one end to the plunger 42 and at the other end is pivoted 46 within the housing 40. A link 48 is pivotally secured at one end 50 to a mid-point of the lever 44 and at the other end to the bell crank arm 32. It will be appreciated that when the solenoid 36 is energized, the plunger 42 is drawn down, so drawing down the link 48 and the end of the bell crank arm 38 to throw the type bar 28 up forcibly and rapidly from its normal substantially horizontal position to its substantially vertical printing position.
Which of the characters 26 or 28 will strike the platen will be determined by the position of the platen which in conventional typewriters is controlled by the shift key. As is well known, the operation of either the shift key or shift lock has the effect of elevating the platen from its normal lower position. In the lower position of the platen, the character 26 will print and in the upper position of the platen, the upper character 28 will print. In conventional electric typewriters this elevation of the platen is accomplished by electrical means, the depression of the keys serving simply to close operating circuit therefor. Hence, a movement of one of the keys of my keyboard can be employed to accomplish this shifting.
The solenoids 36 are energized by the switches 22 which are enclosed under the keyboard of the typewriter and which are operated by the keys 17 projecting through and above the panel 18. The switches are divided generally into two segments, a receptacle 54 and plug 56 removable from the receptacle 54. The receptacle 54 may be secured in any appropriate fashion within the housing 50. It consists of a round, plastic body 58 having in this particular application, eight brass-lined sockets 60 spaced evenly about the exterior thereof and two similar sockets 62 and 64 spaced apart within the ring of the eight sockets. Terminal screws 66 extend from the bottom of all the sockets through the member 58 to provide external terminals 68 on the bottom of the body 58.
The operating circuit for the typewriter is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 3. The primary of a transformer 70, enclosed in the typewriter housing 48 is wired for attachment to a source of current such as a wall plug and the secondary is connected to terminal 64 of the nine pole switch 22. The other nine terminals 68 are connected by leads 69 to one terminal 71 of different solenoids controlling various operations of the typewriter such as operating a type bar or accomplishing a carriage shift or a carriage return, the other terminals 73 of the solenoids being connected to the other terminal of the secondary of the transformer 70.
The plug 56 is a round, plastic body having a relatively deep cup-shaped recess 72 in the top surface thereof and a somewhat shallower recess 74 in the bottom thereof. Eight brass rods 76 having threaded eyes 78 in the upper ends thereof are embedded about the periphery of the plug so that the lower ends 80 thereof project from the bottom of the plug to define prongs which fit into the sockets 60. Screws 82 having exterior heads are threaded into the eyes 78 and the ends thereof project radially into the cavity 72. One short prong 84 has one end thereof embedded in the bottom of the plug adjacent recess 74 and a flexible contact member 86 is secured to the enclosed end thereof in conducting relation. A second short prong 88 is also embedded in the plug on the other side of the cavity 74 and has a contact member 90 secured to the upper end thereof and underlying the contact member 86.
The key 18 is mounted to a flexible shaft 92 which extends downward axially through the plug and is slidably contained in a small bore 94 in the web between the cavity 72 and 74. The lower end of the shaft 92 abuts against the flexible contact member 86.
i A guide plate 96 is secured to the top of the plug to overlie the cavity 72. The guide plate is formed to have a cross-shaped opening 98 therein, the ends of the cross arms being bifurcated to terminate in two lobes 100.
From an inspection of Fig. 4 it will be appreciated that the screws 82 and hence the rods 76 and the receptacle 68 are arranged and spaced to underlie the lobes at the ends of the cross-shaped track 98. In other words, they may be defined as occurring in groups of two at four evenly spaced points about the periphery of the plug 56 and socket 58. The prongs 84 and 88 are located to be received in the sockets 64 and 62 respectively.
The operation of my device may be readily appreciated from the foregoing description. The socket 64 is connected to the secondary of the transformer 70. The plug 56 being connected to the receptacle 54, the flexible contact member 86 and the shaft 96 of the key 18 are thus energized. Thereafter, by moving the key into any of the lobes or depressing the key so that the flexible contact member 86 will touch the contact surface 90, any one of nine solenoids may be actuated. Also, by virtue of the cross guide pattern with the lobes at the ends thereof, the key shaft may be moved so as to touch any one of the screw contacts 82 firmly and with assurance and at the same time not touch accidentally any of the others. The touching of contact by depressing the key, of course, requires a very different type of manipulation and will not accidentally occur.
The desirability of making the contact screws 82 adjustable can be readily perceived. The inside screw ends which constitute the contacts should, of course, be recessed far enough so as to obtain full benefit of the lobes for preventing accidental contact and at the same time the contact end should be far enough forward to minimize, as far as is consonant with this separation, the amount of movement required of the key to make the contact.
It will be noted that the switching mechanism proper is entirely contained in the plug 56. The receptacle 54 is simply a block in which the necessary sockets are located and to which the necessary leads have been connected. By virtue of the prong and socket inter-engagement between the plug and receptacle, the switching mechanism may be easily changed and replaced. The key 18 and associated shaft 92 may be readily removed from the switch simply by pulling it out of the bore 94. Thereafter, the keyboard cover 18 may be removed and the switching mechanism removed for replacement, adjustment, repair, etc.
The conventional typewriter has 42 keys on it for a total of 84 symbols. It will be appreciated, thus, that only 42 out of the possible 90 positions or 90 different circuits which I contemplate need be used for the conventional typewriter characters. If a shift switch and a space switch are to be incorporated additionally, this would extend the number to 44. Indeed, all the mechanical controls of the typewriter operation can be actuated by my switches and one of the switches could be devoted to the specific purpose of mechanical operation such as spacing, shifting, carriage return, margin release, carriage release, tabulation, back space, and the like.
In view of the great number of remaining possible switch contacts, 36 at least, an entire second alphabet could be incorporated into the typewriter, such as italics, bold face, etc. Another potentiality of the manifold connections of my device is that special type bars might be prepared and added to the machine which print the whole of some of the shorter and more common words or syllables of the English language such as and, the, (017,! but!!! tion,ii PIG ,9, ex ,9
The particular configuration of my guide plate 96 having the lobed cross therein warrants comment. The obvious way to provide for eight contacts about the periphery of a circle would be to make something in the nature of an eight pointed star. However, the possibility of inaccurate movement in such an arrangement so as to move the switch shaft 92 against the wrong contact is relatively great. I have found that confining the initial movement of the switch shaft into one of four grooves and, once having the shaft located in the groove, thereafter diverging in one direction or the other results in highly accurate work and minimizes materially the possibility of confusing contact locations.
From the foregoing description, it will be perceived that my invention is capable of a great many different applications and there may be equally many alternatives and variations as to the precise structure, operation or function to be performed.
Thus, although my invention has been described as applied to a typewriter, it will find equal utility in a variety of other machines such as calculating and computing machines, etc. or, in short, any machine utilizing an extensive keyboard. I therefore desire that my invention be regarded as limited only as set forth in the following claims.
1. A multiple pole switch comprising a switch body having a cup-shaped cavity therein, said body having at least eight electric contacts spaced circumferentially on the interior wall of said cavity arranged in four groups, said groups being approximately 90 degrees apart, said contacts being adapted for electric connection on the exterior of said body, a resilient conducting shaft contained at its lower end in the bottom of said cup and connected to a source of electrical energy, said shaft being movable against any of said electric contacts selectively, and a guide plate associated with the open end of said body to guide the movement of said shaft, said guide plate having cross slots therein to direct the shaft to any of said groups selectively, the ends of said slots being forked to direct subsequently said shaft to any individual member selectively of said group.
2. A multiple pole switch comprising a switch body having a cup-shaped cavity therein, a plurality of contact members spaced peripherally about the interior wall of said cavity and projecting inwardly therefrom, said members being adapted for electric connection on the exterior of said body, said cavity having a through aperture in the bottom thereof, a resilient conducting shaft contained at its lower end in said aperture, said shaft being laterally movable into contact with any of said members selectively, a resilient conductor adapted for connection to a source of electrical energy abutting against the bottom of said aperture, the lower end of said shaft abutting against said conductor, and a contact underlying and spaced from said conductor, said shaft being movable laterally against any of said contact members selectively and movable vertically in said aperture to move said conductor against said contact.
3. A two piece multiple pole switch comprising a cylindrical plug having a cup-shaped cavity in one end thereof, a series of parallel, circumferenti ally spaced conductors having threaded eyes embedded in the wall of said cup, said conductors projecting from the other end of said plug to define parallel prongs, threaded contacts adjustably contained in said eyes and extending through said cup wall and having means for adjustment on the exterior of said body, a flexible conducting shaft mounted in the bottom of said cup to extend outward therefrom and electrically connected to another prong extending outward parallel with said first mentioned prongs, said shaft being movable selectively against any of said contacts, and a receptacle having sockets therein to receive all of said prongs, said receptacle having electric terminals on the exterior thereof connected individually to each of said sockets.
4. A multiple pole switch comprising a switch body having a cup-shaped cavity therein, said body having at least six electric contacts spaced circumferentially on the interior wall of said cavity arranged in substantially equally spaced groups, said contacts being adapted for electric connection on the exterior of said body, a conducting shaft contained at its lower end in the bottom of said cup and connected to a source of electrical energy, said shaft being movable against any of said electric contacts selectively, and a guide plate associated with the open end of said body to guide the movement of said shaft, said guide plate having cross slots therein to direct the shaft to any of said groups selectively, the ends of said slots being forked to direct subsequently said shaft to any individual member selectively of said group.
5. A multiple pole switch comprising a switch body having a cup-shaped cavity therein, a plurality of contact members spaced peripherally about the interior wall of said cavity and projecting inwardly therefrom, said members being adapted for electric connection on the exterior of said body, said cavity having a through aperture in the bottom thereof, a conducting shaft contained at its lower end in said aperture, a resilient conductor adapted for connection to a source of electrical energy situated under said aperture, and a contact underlying and spaced from said conductor, said shaft being movable laterally against any of said contact members selectively and movable vertically in said aperture to press said conductor against said contact.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,434,217 Ledwidge Oct. 31, 1922 1,572,314 Sarber Feb. 9, 1926 1,840,853 Shaw et al Jan. 12, 1932 1,912,623 Douglas June 6, 1933 1,954,272 Taylor Apr. 10, 1934 2,532,228 Hesh Nov. 28, 1950