US 2849044 A
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8 2 1958. e. REITZEL 2,849,044
KEY CASE Filed March 19, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ixiii INVENTOR.
GEORG REITZEL ATTORNEYS Aug. 26, 1958 G. REITZEL 2,849,044
. KEY CASE Filed March 19, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
GEORG REITZEL HM M NM ATTORNEYS Unite rate atent fiFice KEY CASE Georg Reitzel, Altenmittlau Kreis Gelnhausen, Germany, assignor to Drescher & Kiefer, Altenrnittlau Kreis Geluhausen, Germany, a German firm Application March 19, 1957, Serial No. 647,010 6 Claims. (Cl. 150-40) This invention relates to carrying cases for small articles that are adapted to be carried in a pocket, handbag, or purse, and more particularly to key cases.
Various types of key cases, etc., have been in common use to provide for the carrying of the keys in a safe and efiicient manner. While most of these cases are basically suitable for the purpose desired, the key cases that are now in use generally require both hands to open, select, and use any desired key. As a result, these cases have been found to be awkward and difficult to use when only one hand is available, such as when the other hand is occuplied with the carrying of packages or the like.
An object of the present invention therefore, is to provide a novel and improved key case that includes a pair hingedly connected and similarly shaped closure memhers that are hinged together along one side and have latch means carried adjacent to the opposite side for securing the case in a closed carrying position and opening the same by applying pressure to the latch means with one finger.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a key case of the above type wherein a pair of closure members each including a frame and a shell are hingedly connected together for movement between an open and a closed position, in which the hinge means includes a spring for urging the members toward the open position and latch means are provided for securing the members in the closed position against the pressure of said spring and releasing the members by applying finger pressure to the latch means.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a key case that includes a pair of similarly shaped closure members hingedly connected along one side edge and having means for securing the members in a closed position along the opposite side edge, wherein one of the members is provided with a transversely extending recess which defines with the other of the members an opening through which a key may extend for use while the case is closed.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a key case that may be opened with one hand and is provided with a slot in one end through which a key may be extended when the case is in an open position and secured therein by closing the key case, so that the key remains available for use.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved key case that includes a pair of closure members each of which is formed of a hard shell and a metal frame permanently and securely attachable to each other by simply pressing the shell and the frame against and into each other. This affords the advantage that key cases according to the invention can be assembled in a very rapid and inexpensive fashion.
A still further object of the invention, allied with the preceding one, is to provide a metal frame formed of two halves joined along one edge by spring loaded hinges. One of the halves includes the aforementioned recess for extending one or several keys out of the case without interfering with the closing of the same, and the other half includes the latch means also aforementioned. Such preassembly of the frames limits the completion of the key case to the pressing-in of the shells thereby eliminating the need of skilled labor.
The aforementioned shells may constitute the outer surface of the finished case in which event they are suitably finished, or they may serve as a base for covering. In the latter case a suitable covering such as leather or plastic material is folded in between the frames and the shells and held in position by the pressure between these parts.
All of the foregoing and still further objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a study of the following specification, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
Figure l is a perspective view of a key case made in accordance with the present invention;
Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure l, but showing the case in an open position;
Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 1, but showing a key extended outwardly of the closed case in a position ready for use;
Figure 4 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along line 44 of Figure 1;
Figure 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view, with parts broken away, of the hinge mechanism used in the case shown in Figures 1 to 4;
Figure 6 is a cross sectional view taken along line 6-6 of Figure 1;
Figure 7 is an exploded perspective view of the frame and the shell of the case according to Figures 1 to 6;
Figure 8 is an enlarged exploded perspective view showing the manner in which the frame and the shell are secured together;
Figure 9 is a view similar to Figure 8, related parts in an assembled position;
Figure 10 is a view similar to Figure 8, showing a modified form of fastening means on the frame;
Figure 11 is a view similar to Figure 8, but showing a modified form of the shell construction, and t Figure 12 is a view similar to Figure 11 showing a still further modified form of shell construction.
Referring first to Figures 1 to 6 of the drawing, a key case 20 made in accordance with the present invention is shown to include an upper and lower shell 22, 23, that are associated with respective upper and lower generally rectangular frame members 24, 25. The upper shell and the upper frame and the lower shell and the lower frame each form a closure member which complement each other to constitute a closed key case. Each of the assembled closure members is hingedly connected adjacent one long side thereof by means of a longitudinal hinge 26. One short end of one of the closure members is provided with a shallow recess 28 that defines with the corresponding short end of the other closure member an elongated slot when the case is in the closed position shown in Figure 3. A mounting plate 29 is secured within the one closure member immediately adjacent to the recess 28 and is adapted to support a selective number of bails 31, each one of which is adapted to support one or more keys 30. Each bail is pivotal on the plate 29 through a plane that is substantially perpendicular to the central plane of the key case that extends intermediate the closure members. Thus, with the case in the open position shown in Figure 2, the key 30 and bail 31 may be pivoted about the axis of the mounting plate 29 so that the bail 31 is received within the recess 28. Then, by closing the case, as shown in Figure 3, the bail 31 is restrained in t, e extended position within the defined slot so that the key 30 remains available for use. While the key is supported for a substantially universal moveshowing the ment upon its bail 31, the bail is secured in place against movement by the wall portions defining the slot.
As is more clearly shown in Figure 5, each closure member is provided with alternately spaced tubular portions 32, 33, which cooperate to form the hinge 26. A longitudinal pin 34 extends through the tubular portions to secure the parts in rotatable relationship. A torsion spring 35 encircles at least a portion of the pin 34 and has one end in engagement with one frame member 24 and the other end in engagement with the other frame member 25, so as to urge the two closure members apart toward an open position, as shown in Figure 2, when the latch mechanism holding the parts in a closed position is released.
Referring now to Figures 4 and 6 a suitable latch mechanism for holding the parts in the closed position is shown mounted in flush engagement with the respective closure members. The upper closure member 22 is provided with a cut-out 36 on the side of the closure member opposite the hinge 26. This cut-out defines a housing 39 with an offset back wall 38. A substantially U- shaped insert 37 partly fills the space defined by the cut-out. A manually operated latch element 41 is slidably supported upon the upper frame member 24 for reciprocatory movement within the housing 39. A pair of springs 44 seated at one end against the back wall 38, are seated at their opposite ends against the inside surface of the latch element 41 and normally urge the latch element toward a locked position, as shown in Figure 4. This latch element includes an integral depending hook portion 45 that is adapted releasably to engage within an opening 47 in a depending plate 48 secured to the lower frame member 25. Thus, by moving the upper shell or closure member 22 from the open position shown in Figure 2, to the closed position shown in Figures 1 and 3, the sloping surface of the hook 45 rides along the edge of the lower frame member 25 until the latch enters the opening 47 in the latch plate, thereby securing the parts together. By depressing a serrated fingerplate 42, the latch can be released, whereupon the hinge spring 35 urges the closure members apart to the open position shown in Figure 2. It will therefore be appreciated that a key case is provided that may be operated with one hand. By depressing the latch plate, the cover is automatically opened, whereupon the desired key 30 may be selected and pivoted outwardly through the slot formed by the recess 28, after which the top closure 22 may be closed thereby retaining the key in the operative position shown in Figure 3.
The two closure members 22 and 23 comprise each a hard shell and a frame generally made of a suitable sheet metal. The shells and the frames are alike, except for the cut-out and the indentations needed to accommodate the aforedescribed catch and recess 28.
Referring now to Figures 7 to 12 in detail, there is shown in Figure 7 the upper shell 22 and the upper frame 24 and the lower shell 23 and the lower frame 25, the two frames being joined by spring loaded hinge 26. In this connection it may be pointed out that the terms upper and lower are merely used to simplify the description, but not to designate the actual location of the parts. As evident, either frame and shell may be the upper one or the lower one in actual use.
Each of the frame members 24 and 25, includes a substantially flat face flange 50, 51, and a perpendicularly related annular frame flange 52, 53.
Face flanges 50 and 51 abut against each other when the case is closed as is readily apparent from Figures l to 3. Both long sides of each annular flange 52 and if desired the short sides also of both frames are provided with outwardly struck tabs 54 that are adapted to engage the inwardly turned lip 55 of the shells 22 and 23 which form the outside of the case. The lip 55 of shell 23 is provided with a cut-out v56 to accommodate the indentation 28in frame 25.
In Figures 8 and 9, the shell 22a is shown to be made of a plastic type material wherein the outermost edge 57 of the tabs 54 engages the inner surface of the lip 55a to hold the parts together. While the shells may be forced downwardly over the tabs 54, to assemble the parts, the engagement of the tabs with the inside surfaces of the shell lip automatically prevents the disassembly thereof.
In Figure 10, a modified form of securement means is shown wherein an integral tab 60 is formed during the fabrication of the case frame members. This tab is shown to include a downwardly and outwardly sloping surface 61 that terminates in a substantially straight shoulder 62 which is adapted to overlie the lip of the shell in the aforementioned manner. While the sloping surface 61 permits the assembly of the parts by simply pressing the frames and the shells toward each other as the inherent resiliency of the coacting parts permits passage of the lips, the straight shoulder 62 prevents the disassembly thereof. The shells may be of any desired construction and material.
In Figure 11, the shell 22b and lip 55b are shown to be of a metal, while in Figure 12 the metal shell and lip is shown to be covered with a layer of decorative leather 63.
In any event, the parts are so proportioned in size that the total thickness of the lip 55 (be it metal or plastic only or a combination of several layers as in Figure 12) corresponds substantially to the distance between the straight edge 57 or shoulder 62 of the securement tabs 54 or 60 and the adjacent surface of the flat flange 50, as most clearly illustrated in Figure 9. This relationship maintains the parts in the proper assembled position without permitting any looseness therebetween that might otherwise detract from the attractiveness and utility of the device.
While this invention has been described with particular reference to the construction shown in the drawing, it is to be understood that such is not to be construed as imparting limitations upon the invention, which is best defined by the claims appended hereto.
1. A carrying case for keys comprising, in combination, a pair of similarly shaped closure members each having a pair of spaced parallel longitudinal side walls and a pair of spacel parallel transverse end walls, hinge means pivotally connecting corresponding side walls of each of said closure members together, spring means associated with said hinge means for biasing said closure members toward an open position, latch means associated with the opposite corresponding side walls releasably securing said case in a normally closed position against the action of said spring means, each of said closure members including a frame having an outwardly disposed flat flange and an inwardly disposed annular flange defining a key receiving opening, a cover shell having a continuous outer surface and an inwardly turned peripheral lip spaced from the inner surface of said shell, fastening means carried by the sides of each frame for securing said associated cover shell thereto, one of said end walls of one of said members having a shallow recess defining with the corresponding end wall of the other of said members an elongated slot providing communication between the interior and exterior of said case when said members are in said closed position.
2. A key case comprising two hollow complementary case parts to form said key case, each of said case parts including a substantially elongated rectangular frame made of sheet metal, the said frame having a right angle cross section, one flange of the frame outwardly extending in the plane of the frame to constitute one of the engaging surfaces of said case parts when said key case is closed and the other flange depending from the inner peripheral edge of the frame, the said depending flange being formed with a plurality of outwardly protruding tabs each having an outer free edge facing said outwardly extending flange in spaced relationship therewith so as to form a peripheral channel, hinge means carried by a longitudinal edge of said outwardly extending flange of each frame for hingedly joining said two frames, spring means included in said hinge means for urging said two frames into a spread apart position relative to each other, catch means at the other longitudinal edge of each frame for releasably retaining the two frames in a other with their flanges in the planes of the frames, and a shell having an inwardly turned flat peripheral flange defining a central shell opening corresponding to the outline defined by said depending frame flange, and the thickness of the shell flange corresponding to the width of said channel for joining the shells to the case parts by forcing the respective shell flange past said tabs whereby each shell flange fiits in the respective channel with one side of the said flange abutting against the respective side of the outwardly extending frame flange and the other side against said outer free tab edges and with the inner edge of the shell flange overlying said tab edges and abutting against the respective side of the depending frame flange.
3. A closed container according to claim 2, wherein each of said shells comprises an inner layer made of substantially rigid sheet material and having said peripheral flange and a soft layer covering the outside of said inner layer, the said covering layer being folded over the inner edge of said shell flange, the combined thickness of the two layers corresponding to the width of said channel whereby said covering layer is secured in position when the shells are joined to said frames.
4. A key case comprising two hollow complementary case parts to form said key case each of said case parts including a substantially elongated rectangular frame made of sheet metal, 'the said frame having a right angle cross section, one flange of the frame outwardly extending in the plane of the frame to constitute one of the engaging surfaces of said case parts when said key case is closed and the other flange depending from the inner peripheral edge of the frame, the said depending flange including a plurality of outwardly protruding tabs each having an outer free edge facing said outwardly extendposition abutting against each ing flange in spaced relationship therewith so as to form a peripheral channel, hinge means carried by the outer edge of said outwardly extending flange of each frame for hingedly joining said two case parts along one longitudinal edge thereof, spring means included in said hinge means urging said case parts into a spread apart position, catch means at the other longitudinal edge of each frame to retain the case releasably in the closed position, and a shell having an inwardly turned flat peripheral flange, the said shell flange being held in said channel with a pressure fit, one side of the said shell flange abutting against the respective side of the outwardly extending frame flange and the other side against said outer free tab edges and the inner edge of the shell flange overlying said tab edges and abutting against the respective side of the depending frame flange whereby each shell is secured to the respective frame.
5. A closed container according to claim 4, wherein the said tabs are formed integral with said depending flange having a flat upper edge parallel to said outwardly extending flange of the respective frame and inclined outwardly from the plane of the material of said depending flange of the frame.
6. A key case according to claim 4, wherein one of said frames includes at one of its transverse edges an elongated indentation in said flange in the plane of the frame, said indentation in conjunction with the corresponding flange of the other frame providing an opening in the key case aifording space for the extension of keys out of the case in the closed position thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Canada June 13,1950