US 2805084 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
P 1957 G. K. HALL 2,865,084
FLEXIBLE INDEX STRIP Filed June 9, 1955 JONES, HENRY A JONES, HENRY a JONES, HENRY K JONES, HORACE JONES, HUBERT 1 H j b 1 j I jlj /ezzzor Garrzlsoza EH01! on thin and flexible material. indexes may be reissued daily in the form of microfilm United Sttes Patent FLEXIBLE INDEX STRIP Garrison K. Hall, Scituate, Mass.
Application June 9, 1955, Serial No. 514,279
15 Claims. (Cl. 28143) This invention pertain to indexes, particularly to flexible index strips of a kind which may serve as the index to public records, for instance, such as grantor and grantee indexes in registries of deeds, or in telephone or street directories or the like, or in the preparation of such indexes, the present application being a continuation-in-part of the application for Letters Patent of the United States, Serial 'No..438,845, filed June 23, 1954, by Garrison K. Hall, now abandoned. The invention relates more especially to anovel index element adapted to receive on its face a typed, stamped, or photographically impressed name, address or other indicia, and which is so devised that it may be hinged to similar elements to form a flexible strip or .chain of any desired length capable of being fed through .a typewriter, press, photographic apparatus or the like to facilitate the placing of the desired indicia. on each element of the chain or the photographic reproduction of :indicia already existing on said elements. The hinge conobsolete data with a fresh element carrying correct data,
or one on which the data may be impressed. Such a flexible index strip or chain may be employed directly,
the ready interchangeability of its constituent elements making it Possible to keep it up to date, or where, in particular, the bulk of the strip of chain is excessive, it may 3136 employed as the basis for preparing, by photographic technique, either full sized, microfilm, or microprint strips Thus, at nominal cost, the
or microprint for use with viewers, or at longer intervals filmed with a flat bed camera and enlarged to'full size by wet or dry process, or reproduced by offset printing.
thickness capable of being fed through a typewriter or other apparatus having strip advancing means, and wherein the several elements are so united as to permit any individual element to be removed without disturbing the sequence of the remaining elements.
According to the present invention, each individual index element comprises a main or body portion of gen erally rectangular contour in transverse section'having approximately parallel relatively wide faces and narrow edges, one at least of the wide faces being smooth and designed to receive the desired indicia, and each element is provided with means whereby such element may be hinged to other like elements to form a chain or strip.
In accordance with the invention (for providing such hinge connection between adjacent elements) each element-has a retaining tongue or hinge pin projecting out from one of its narrow edges and a socket or hinge knuckle ence does not increase the effective thickness of the chain a of united elements nor produce protuberances which would interfere with the smooth advance movement of the chain through the apparatus with which it is employed. Desirably, the several index-bearing elements are of a hard, stitf, shape-retaining material desirably having such a degree of elasticity as to permit the projection or retaining tongue of one element to be snapped into or out of the socket of an adjacent element without damaging any of said parts, although it is contemplated that adjacent elements may be united or separated merely bysliding one endwise relatively to the other. In addition to the aforementioned characteristics, the material employed must be sufliciently tough, strong and durable .to assure the continuity of the strip or chain of such elements while it is being moved through a typewriter or other device by appropriate feed mechanism, an operation which may require that the strip or chain of united elements be bent or flexed on an arc of rather small radius. While some of the more salient features, characteristics and advantages of the present invention have already been suggested, other and further objects and advantages will become apparent from the study of a preferred embodiment taken inconjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. 1 is. a fragmentary plan view showing a portion of astrip or chain composed of individual index elements accordingto the present invention, the index elements being shown as. in the same plane;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary end view, much enlarged, of a preferred form of element, showing the socket in one longitudinal edge of the element and the tongue at its opposite edge;
Fig. 3 is ,a-fragmentary end view showing three adjacent elements of the series, to substantially the same scale as Fig. 2, with the tongue of one element engaging the socket of the next, the three elements being shown in alignment as in Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a view similar to, Fig. 3, but illustrative of the flexibility of a chain of united elements;
Fig. 5 is a transverse section through an element similar to that of Fig. '2, but provided with a ply of paper or the likeon that face which is intended to receive the indicia;
Fig. .6 is a view similar to vFig. S, but showing the element provided with a film of photo-sensitive emulsion;
Fig. 7 is an end view, to large scale, showing an element of slightly modified form;
Fig. 8 is a plan view of a single element, such as that of Fig. 7, to smaller scale;
Fig. 9 is a fragmentary end view showing portions of two elements generally similar tothat of Fig. 2, but having a socket and tongue of slightly different contour; and
Fig. 10 is a fragmentary diametrical section through the platen of a typewriter, to large scale, provided with ribs for engagement withgrooves in the index elements of Figs. 1 to 6.
According tothepresent invention, and as shown in Fig. 1, the flexible index strip or chain S comprises a series of like index elements 1, 1, 1, etc., hingedly connected together. Each individual index element 1, 1 etc. is an elongate generally rectangular strip of a durable, hard, shape-retaining and stiff material having a flat surface 2 (Fig. 2) designed to receive indicia. The opposite face 2 is parallel to the face 2 and may likewise be flat and capable of receiving indicia, although in the preferred arrangement illustrated in Fig. 2 there is provided a groove G in the face 2 which extends longitudinally of the element and which is intended to cooperate with a rib R (Fig. 10) or the like provided for the purpose on the platen P of the typewriter, or with an equivalent part of the mechanism employed for advancing the chain'of connected elements. Such a groove, in cooperation with a rib R (Fig. 10) or similar element of the feed mechanism, assures accuracy and prevents over-travel or lagging of the chain of connected elements with reference to the" while at its other edge the element has a socket '4, the
tongues and sockets being located wholly between the planes of the opposed parallel faces 2 and 2 of the element. The tongues and sockets are complemental, so
' that the tongue of one element may fit into the socket of the next adjacent element. Because of the small dimensums of the element (the wall thickness of the socket being for example, of the order of 0.02" or less), the
walls of the socket can be spread apart to allow the tongue to be snapped between them, even though the material of the unit may be sensibly hard and rigid.
As illustrated in Fig. 2, the tongue 3 comprises a substantially circular outer portion connected integrally with the index element proper by a relatively narrow neck 3 the neck being approximately midway between the planes of the faces 2 and 2 of the element, and being, for example, of the order of 0.015" in length. That portion 5 of the narrow edge of the element 1 which is between the neck and the face 2 is preferably perpendicular to the face 2, but that portion 6 of the narrow edge of the element which is at the opposite side of the neck is inclined relatively to the face 2 to provide clearance, as indicated at 7 (Fig. 3), so that the adjacent elements may be rocked in one direction to lie in intersecting planes, as shown in Fig. 4.
The socket 4 comprises a substantially circular inner portion, spaced from the end edge 8, with a relatively narrow throat passage 9 leading from the circular portion to the end of the element, the passage 9 being of a width and length to receive the neck portion 3 of the tongue with clearance.
The tongue and socket preferably extend from end to end of the index element, the tongue constituting a hinge pin and the socket constituting a hinge knuckle in which the hinge pin may turn. 7
When the elements are assembled in hinged-together relation, the edge surface 5 of one element, by contact with the edge surface 8 of the next adjacent element, prevents flexing of the elements in one direction, which is desirable for holding the elements in substantially the same plane for certain uses, but the clearance at 7, provided by the inclined edge 6, allows suflicient flexing of the chainof elements in the opposite direction.
The individual index elements are linked together to form a flexible strip or chain S, as illustrated in Figs. 1, 3 and 4, either by snapping the retaining tongues 3 into complemental sockets 4 until a chain having the requisite number of units has been formed, the engagement of each tongue with a socket forming a hinge joint, or the adjacent elements may be united by sliding the tongue of one endwise into the socket of the next. Because of the elasticity of the material of which the elements are made, any of the elements may be removed from those next to it simply by pulling its retaining tongue from the socket in one, and similarly by pulling the tongue of the other adjacent element from the socket of the element to be removed, or, if preferred, merely by sliding one element endwise from between the two adjacent elements.
In the preferred construction, as above suggested, the tongue 3 and socket 4 extend throughout the entire length of each element, and these parts lie between the planes of the opposite faces 2 and 2 of each element, so that when the elements have been assembled to form a chain,
the maximum thickness of the chain is that of any in dividual element, and the chain is devoid of any protuberances, tabs or the like projecting outwardly from the opposite faces 2 and 2 such as would undesirably increase the bulk of the rolled-up chain or which might catch in parts of associated elements and cause damage or interference with the intended operation. However, while the hinge connection employed should be such that it does not add to the thickness of any individual element, it is contemplated as within the scope of the invention that some specifically different mode of hinging adjacent elements together may be substituted for that herein described, but with the proviso that whatever type of flexible connection be employed it provide a strong, durable connection between the elements such as to withstand the stresses imposed by the high speed mechanisms with which the chain is used, and likewise it must be such as to make it possible to remove an individual element from the chain and to replace it with another without injury to or disturbing the other elements. It is also contemplated that while as here shown and as above noted, the tongues and recesses extend from end to end of each element, desirable results, so far as flexibility and removability is concerned, might be Obtained by providing a row of spaced short tongues and correspondingly spaced short sockets at opposite edges of each respective element. While such an arrangement might facilitate the assembly or separation of the elements, and, if the element were of metal, might provide a connection of sufiicient strength, the formation of elements of that type would appear, at the present time, to offer certain difficulties as compared with the ease of manufacture of elements of the preferred construction herein specifically illustrated.
It must again be emphasized that the material employed in making these indicia-bearing elements must be strong and tough to assure the continuity of a strip or chain of elements while it is being fed through the typewriter or other mechanism with which it is associated. At the same time, the material, although it may be shaperetaining and sensibly hard and rigid and substantially unaffected by atmospheric moisture, is desirably of a degree of elasticity to permit the retaining tongue of one element readily to be snapped into or out of the complemental thin-Walled socket of an adjacent element. Because of the small size and shape of the elements and because cost of manufacture should be as low as possible, it is desirable to employ a material such that the element may be produced by an extrusion process. One material having the desired characteristic is a synthetic resin, for instance Tenite II, which is a cellulose acetate-butyrate base, thermoplastic material characterized by toughness, high impact strength and stability, and which can easily be molded or extruded. Certain metals or metallic alloys, for instance aluminum, are also useful for the purpose.
An arrangement such as that illustrated in Fig. 9 may be useful in facilitating the joining of adjacent index elements by snapping the tongue of one into the socket of the next. In this arrangement, the element 1 having the tongue 3 is provided at one side of the tongue with a slot 11, While the element 1 which has the socket 4, is provided with a flexible finger 12 which slides within the slot 11. The element 1*, which has the socket 4, is provided with a flexible finger 12 which slides within the slot 11. At the opposite side of the tongue 3 the element 1 has the inclined end edge 6, such as described with reference to the device of Fig. 2, thus providing a clearance space. The flexibility of the finger 12 makes it possible easily to snap the tongue 3 of one element into the socket 4 of the next, although the finger 12 sutfices, during the operation of the device, to prevent accidental escape of the tongue from the socket.
Merely by way of example, but without limitation, index elements according to the present invention and made of material having physical characteristics such as above suggested, may have the following superficial dimensions:
thickness 0.063" between faces- 2'and'2 width' of-faces 2 and 2 0.166"; and a length of 12". The circular portion of the tongue 3 isdesirably of a diameterof 0.300" and the diameter of the corresponding socket is desirably 0.035".
The groove G maybe of' any desiredcontour for cooperation with the rib on the platen. It is contemplated that should the materials employed in formingthe basic elements 1, 1 etc. fail to providea surface which will take the desired indicia, for example, an inl impression, this may be overcome, as illustrated in Fig. 5, by coating the basic element 1 with suitable material, for instance, by laminating a sheet of paper K or the like to said surface with glue. Alternatively, as illustrated-in Fig. 6,
the surface of the basic element 1 which is to receive.
the indicia may have a photo-sensitive coating C on which indicia may be impressed photographically. It will be noted that Whether the individual elements are provided with such coatings or not, elements 1 such as illustrated in Figs. 7 and 8, may be so formed as to have indiciareceiving faces 2 and 2 at opposite sides. Thus, for example, if one side 2 has been filled with data or if the information thereonhas become obsolete, the element l may be removed from the chain, reversed, again assembled with the other elements, and then provided with fresh indicia on its exposed face 2. Further, the surface which has been used. once may be coated, for example,,by a lamination of paper, so that-it may be used a second time. To facilitate the advance of elements like 1 said elements maybe provided with holes 10, for example, near-their opposite ends, for cooperation with pins or lugs provided on the typewriter platen.
In the event that it is not desirable to move a chain of the elements through a typewriter or similar device while impressing the desired indicia thereon, the individual elements, before assembly with others, may be like elements, each having a. body portion of uniform provided with the desired indicia and thereafter hinged together to form a chain.
The dimensions of the elements, at least to some extent, are dictated by the needs of the user as to the amount of data to be recorded on the face of the element, or by the recording means available, or for relatedreasons. However, it has been determined that elements hinged together to form strips for use with a typewriter of standard dimensions have indicia-receiving faces preferably from to l in width and up to 12" in length, and should be from to in thickness.
It should be understood that the present disclosure, insofar as details are concerned, is for purposes of illustration only, and that the invention is inclusive of all modifications and/or equivalents which fall within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A flexible chain capable of being fed through a typewriter or similar device, said chain consisting of a series of like elements hingedly connected together, each element having a body portion of uniform thickness and having at least one substantially rectangular face adapted to receive a typed impression, said impression-receiving face being elongate transversely of the chain and relatively narrow longitudinally of the chain, a tongue projecting from the longitudinal edge of the body portion of each element and a socket in the opposite longitudinal edge of each element, the tongues and sockets being wholly within the thickness of the body portion and constituting means for hinging each element to adjacent elements thereby to form a flexible chain, the parts being so constructed and arranged that if the chain be laid upon a flat support the impression-receiving faces of the several elements will lie in the same plane and form an uninterrupted surface.
2. A flexible chain according to claim 1, wherein each tongue and each socket, respectively, extends uninterruptedly from one end to the other of the body portion of the element.
thickness and which is rectangular inshape, the body portion being of the order of /8 inch irrthickness, elongate transversely of the chain and relatively narrow. longitudinally of the chain, a socket in one. longitudinal edge of the body portion and a tongue'projecting' from the opposite longitudinal edgeiof thebody'portion, the tongue and the socket being wholly within the thickness of the body portion, the tongue and socket being designed to cooperate with the socket and, tongue respectively, of adjacent elements thereby. hingedly to connect the elements to form a chain. in which the entire width of the bodyportion of each element isalways fully exposed to view.
4. A flexibleichain according to claim 3, wherein the material of whichthe-elementis formed is impervious to moisture andis of a kind. which'canbe extruded to the desired 'cross-sectioncontour.
' 5. A flexible chain capable of being fed throughv a typewriter or similar-device, said chain consisting of. a series of like elements, each being a strip ofsheet material and being elongate transversely of the chain and relatively narrow as compared Withitslength in a direction-longitudinal of the chain, the material. being sufficiently. strong andtough to assure the continuity ofthe chain While being moved throug'h the typewriter and being from to of: an:v inch in thickness, each element having a smooth: rectangular face adapted. to receive a typed impression as the chain is moved through the typewriter, each element having a socket at one longitudinal edge and a tongue at its opposite longitudinal edge, the tongue and socket being complemental to a socket and tongue respectively, of the next adjacent elements respectively, thereby to form hinge joints uniting adjacent elements to form a flexible chain, each tongue and socket being disposed wholly within the thickness of the element whereby the flexible chain, constituted by the united elements, is nowhere any thicker than any individual one of its constituent elements.
6. A flexible chain designed to be fed through a typewriter or similar device, said chain consisting of a series of like elements hingedly connected together, each element being of a material which is substantially impervious to moisture and sufficiently strong and tough to assure the continuity of the chain when in use, each element being sufficiently narrow and thin to permit the chain to flex about the platen of a typewriter or similar device, each element comprising a body portion which is of approximately rectangular contour in transverse section and each element having at least one face capable of receiving indicia, said indicia-receiving face being elongate transversely of the chain and relatively narrow longitudinally of the chain, a tongue projecting from the longitudinal edge of the body portion of each element, and a socket in the opposite longitudinal edge of each element, the tongues and sockets being wholly within the thickness of the body portion and constituting means for hinging each element to adjacent elements so as to form a flexible chain, the parts being so constructed and arranged that if the chain be laid upon a flat support the indicia-receiving faces of the several elements will lie in the same plane and form a substantially uninterrupted surface.
7. A flexible chain according to claim 6, wherein the indicia-receiving face of each index element consists of a layer of photosensitive material.
8. A flexible chain according to claim 6, wherein the indicia-receiving face of each index element consists of a layer of ink impression-receiving material.
9. A flexible chain according to claim 6, wherein each index element has substantially parallel faces, each of said faces being capable of receiving indicia.
10. A flexible chain according to claim 6, which is designed to be fed through a machine having a platen provided with longitudinally extending, work-feeding ribs, characterized in that each element of the chain has a longitudinally extending groove for cooperation with the ribs of the platen.
11. A flexible chain according to claim 6, which is designed to be fed through a machine having a platen provided with Work-feeding pins, characterized in that each of the index elements of the chain has holes for cooperation with the pins of the platen.
12. A flexible chain according to claim 6, wherein the means for hinging each element to adjacent elements is so constructed and arranged that any selected element may be separated from adjacent elements without permanently deforming or injuring the elements from which it is separated.
13. A flexible chain according to claim 6, wherein the narrow edges and the tongue and sockets of each ele ment are so shaped and dimensioned that when the strip or chain is placed upon a fiat surface, those wide faces of the elements which are designed. to receive indicia form a substantially uninterrupted flat surface.
14. A flexible chain according to claim 6, wherein the tongue and socket extend uninterruptedly from end to end of each element.
15. A flexible index device comprising a series of index elements hinged together to form a strip or chain capable of being fed through apparatus having strip advancing means, each index element comprising a main or body portion of generally rectangular contour in trans- I verse section,- haying'approximately parallel relatively wide faces and relatively narrow edges, at least one of said wider faces being smooth and appropriate to receive indicia, each element being provided with means whereby such element may be hingedly connected to like elements,
thereby to form the' flexible strip or chain, the hinging means being so devised as to permit any selected element 'to be separated from adjacent elements without permanently deforming said adjacent elements and without dis turbing the sequence of the remaining elements, the hinge means comprising a retaining tongue or hinge pin projecting out from one narrow edge of each element and 'a socket or hinge knuckle in the opposite edge of said References Cited the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,379,637 Hofimann July 3, 1945 FOREIGN PATENTS 567,822 France Dec. 12, 1923