US 2873522 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 17, 1959 R. L. HoMc|..A
SERVING FORK Filed May 29, 1957 10. d w w w R v6 m.. mF
United States Patent O SERVING FORK Richard Louis Homola, Northampton, Pa.
Application May 29, 1957, Serial No. 662,452
2 'Claima (Cl. 30-129) The present invention relates to new and useful improvements in serving forks and has for itstprimary object to provide, in a manner as hereinafter set forth, a device of this character comprising novel means, operable by the thumb of the hand which grips the implement, for expeditiously ejecting or stripping the food lbeing served from the prongs of said implement.
Another very important object of the invention is to provide a serving fork of the aforementioned character wherein the stripper is normally in its forward or projected position on the free end portions of the prongs where it functions as a guard or shield for said prongs.
Other objects of the invention are to provide a serving fork of the character set forth which will be comparatively simple in construction, strong, durable, compact, of light Weight, attractive in appearance and which may be manufactured at low cost.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully herenafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawing forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
Figure l is a perspective view of a serving fork constructed in accordance with the present invention;
Figure 2 is a view in Vertical longitudinal section, through the implement; and
Figures 3, 4, and 6 are cross sectional views, taken substantially on the lines 3- 3, 4 4, 5-5 and 6--6, respectively, of Figure 2.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, it will be seen that the embodiment of the invention which has been illustrated comprises an elongated plate 7 of suitable metal having a longitudinal slot 8 therein. The elongated plate 7 further includes an intermediate shank portion 9 which terminates at its forward end in a head 10 comprising a plurality of tines or prongs 11.
Secured by screws 12 beneath the plate 7 is a bar 13 of wood or other suitable material. Secured by screws 14 on top of the plate 7 is a bar 15 which s substantially similar to the bar 13. The members 7, 13 and 15 provide a handle of substantially rectangular transverse section which is desgnated generally by reference character 16.
The lower bar 13 of the handle 16 has formed longitudinally therein a channel 17 which communicates with the slot 8. The channel 17 accommodates a metallic guide i 18 of substantially U-shaped transverse section which also communicates with the slot 8. The guide 18 is fixed beneath the plate 7.
Reference Character 19 designates generally an ejector or stripper for the tines of prongs 11. The stripper 19 comprises a metallic rod 20 which extends slidably into the handle 16 through the reduced forward end portion 21 of the channel 17. As shown to advantage in Figure 2 of the drawing, the rear end portion of the rod 20 projects into the guide 18. Fixed on the forward end portion of the Operating bar 28 is a thumb piece 29.
of the rod 20 is a substantially C-shaped metallic head 22 which is slidable longitudinally relative to the prongs 11.
The upper bar 15 of the handle 16 hasformed longitudinally therein the substantially T-shaped slot 23 which communicates with the slot 8. Fixed on the rod 20 is spring -based slide having an upstanding metallic arm or portion 24 which is operable in the slots 8 and 23 and which projects above the upper bar 15 of the handle 16. A coil spring 25 is mounted under compression in the guide 18 and is engaged with the lower end portion of the arm 24 for yieldingly urging the ejector or stripper 19 forwardly. Engagement of the arm 24 with the forward end wall of the slot 23 limits the forward sliding movement of the stripper 19 under the infiuence of the coil spring 25. Secured lby a transverse vscrew 26 on the projecting upper end portion of the arm`24 is an operator 27 for retracting the stripper 19. The operator 27 includes a metallic bar 28 which is slidabl-e longitudinally on the bar 15 of the handle 16 and which normally covers and closes the slot 23 in said 'bar 15. On the forward en It is thought that the use of the device will be readly apparent from a consideration of the foregoing. Briefiy,
the implement is held in one hand, the thumb of which engages the member 29 for retracting the stripper 19 against tension of the coil spring 25. With the stripper 19 in retracted position, the food to be served is impaled on the prongs 11. The food thus impaled is then deposited in the desired location by slowly releasing the stripper 19, permitting the coil spring 25 to move the head 22 forwardly for removing the food from the fork in an obvious manner. ment of parts, it will be observed, is such that when the device is not in use the stripper 19 is in its forward or projected position. Thus, the head 22 of the stripper 19 functions as a guard or shield for the pointed ends of the prongs 11. Also, the bar 28 of the operator 27 covers and closes the slot 23 for enhancing the appearance of the implement in addition to preventing dirt and other foreign matter from entering the handle 16. As [best seen in Figure 3 of the drawing, the arm 24 has formed therein grooves 30 which accommodate the plate 7 on the opposite sides of the slot 8 for slidably mounting said arm on said plate.
With reference in particular to Figs. 3 and 4 it will be seen that the channel 17 is of a cross-section greater than the width of the slot 8 and that the coil spring is neatly and effectually confined for operation in the channel. In fact, the edge portions of the slot 8 bordering the slot overhang the open top of the channel and the spring is thus effectually housed in the channel between the slotted portion of the handle portion 7 of the plate. The slotted handle portion is, as a matter of fact, sandwiched between the bottom bar or part 13 of the sectional handle. The top part or bar 15 is thus superimposed on the slotted portion 7 in such a way that the widest part of the T of the inverted T-shaped slot 23 is just above 'the slotted part of the plate portion 7 as seen in Fig. 4. It follows that the arm 24 (alternatively a slide having an arm portion) is approximately H-shaped by reason of the grooves 30 which serve to key said portion in the slot 8 as Well as the component portions of the slot 23 and the channel 17. This carefully selected organization of components is such that it will be found to meet with manufacturing procedures and economies and makes possible the provision of a novel construction which promotes positive and reliable control and functioning of the stripper.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readly occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and de- The construction and arrange- 'av/3,522 a 3 scribed, Vand accordingly all 'suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within thescope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
AservingfOi'k comprising anelongated'plate/having av-handle portion at 'one' end which is flat 'and-provided with `a central longitudinalslot relatively restricted in width, the other end of said plate having a fork head with prongs and the median portion'of the plate providing'a s'hank, a bottom bar having 'a flat top surface provided with a'lengthwise groove providing a spring accommodating channel terminating short of 'the respective 'forward and rearwarl ends of said bottornbar, said handle'portion of said-plate being supe'rimposed upon the lc-hanneled 'side of said bottoin bar and'the slot therein registering Wit-h the open -side of said channel, said channel being' of a cross-sectional width appreciably greater than thewidth of said slot, a manually' actuata'ble s'liding stripper for 'said prongs ernbodying a rod parallel with said fork head and shank and extending through a restricted hole in said bar registering with the forward end of said channel; a slide having 'a lower portion slidingly keyed in said channel, said slide having an arm with a grooved median portion keyed for sliding in and along said slot,V said arm als'o having an upper lend portion,` a coil spring Wholly confined in said channel and bearing at'one end against one end of the .channel and having 4the other end surrondi'ng i said rod and Abearing against tlielower portion of theslide',
said coil spring being of a cross-section suitable for operaton'in said channel but greater than the Width'of-the slot in that portion of said plate overhanging said channel, a top bar similar to the bottom bar and superimposed on the top side of the handle portion of said plate and secured to said plate and bar and having a lengthwise slot through and upwardly beyond which said upper end portion of said slide is extended for accessi'bility and operation, and manu ally shiftable Operating means for said stripper having an elongated cover member normally'covering the slot last narned and provided at its forward end with an integral thumbpiece,` said"thumbpiece being spaced re'arwardly from an adjacentfor'ward lend of said top bar.
2. The structure defined in claim 1, and wherein the slot in said top bar is' of'inver'ted T-s'hapeform, the wide part of the T being in the plane just above the top of the slotted portion of said plate and `corresponding in width to said groove.