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Publication numberUS2932277 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 12, 1960
Filing dateOct 28, 1957
Priority dateOct 28, 1957
Publication numberUS 2932277 A, US 2932277A, US-A-2932277, US2932277 A, US2932277A
InventorsBorah John E
Original AssigneeBorah John E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Moistening device
US 2932277 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1960 J. E. BORAH 2,932,277

MOISTENING DEVICE Filed Oct. 28, 1957 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 ao+ I i- INVENTOR.

JOHN E. BORAH ATTORNEY April 2, 1960 J. E. BORAH 2,932,277

MOISTENING DEEVICE Filed Oct. 28, 1957 a Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 9

INVENTOR.

JOHN E. BORAH BY 4. 7M

ATTORNEY April 12, 1960 J. E. BORAH moxsmmnc DEVICE 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed 001;. 28, 1957 F l G IO F l G. 12

INVENTQR. JOHN E. BORAl -l BY Wid-M ATTORN-EY United States The present invention relates to a moistening device, and more particularly to a device for moistening fingers, stamps, gummed tape, envelopes, stickers, labels and the like. One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide a device of this type which grips the surface on supporting the device and which has a reserve supply of water which is readily made available for use in the. desired amount.

Another object of the invention is to provide a receptacle for a sponge or the like for moistening fingers, stamps, envelopes and the like which returns any excess water removed from the sponge back to the sponge or to a reservoir beneath the sponge.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a flexible moistener employing a sponge which attaches itself to' a supporting surface and which is flexed in such a manner in the attaching operation that the moisture in the sponge is replenished.

A further object is to provide a sponge containing moistening devices wherein the sponge is removably attached to and held in the container therefor at the center and is spaced from the sides of the receptacle at the top thereof.

Another object of the invention is to provide a receptacle for a moistening sponge which in response to pressure grips the supporting surface and which permits the sponge to be inserted freely therein and grips the sides of the sponge when the gripping pressure is -applied to the receptacle.

. :Additional objects and advantages will'become ap parentfronr the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein: p

Figure 1 is an elevational view of one embodiment of my moistening device;

Figure 2 is a top plan view of the moistening device shown in Figure 1 with the moistening sponge removed to better show the internal construction of the device;

Figure 3 is a vertical cross sectional view of the moistening device shown in Figure 1 taken on line corresponding to line 3-3 of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a vertical cross sectional view similar to Figure 3 but showing the device in the position which it assumes when it is gripping the supporting surface;'

Figure 5 is a top plan view of a modified form of my moistening device;

Figure 6 is a vertical cross sectional view of the moistening device shown in Figure 5 taken on line 6---6;

, Figure 7 is a bottom view of the moistening device shown in Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a top plan view of another modified form of my moistening device;

.Figure 9 is a vertical cross sectional view of the moistening device shown in Figure 8 taken on line 99;

Figure 10 is a top plan view of a further modified form of my moistening device; a

Figure 11 is a vertical cross sectional view of the moistening device shown in Figure 10 taken on line .1 and i atent O f 2,932,277 Patented Apr. 12, 1960 Figure 12 is a vertical cross sectional view of another modified form of the moistening device.

The embodiment of my moistening device shown in Figures 1 through 4 consists of a disc shaped body 20 of rubber or rubber-like material having a generally flat upper surface 22, an upstanding annular wall 24 joined integrally with the outer edge of the body and a concave lower surface 26 terminating in an outwardly and downwardly extending flange 28. A rather shallow annular groove 30 in the peripheral wall of body 20 near the lower edge thereof renders the flange highly flexible so that it will form an eifective seal with the surface on which the device is supported. The center 32 of body 20 is relativelyv thin and highly flexible while the marginal portion 34 is relatively thick and relatively firm. The concave lower surface 26 of the body together with flange 28 forms a suction cup 36 for securing the device onto any suitable supporting surface 37, such as a desk or table top, store counters, and the shelf at ticket, cashier or stamp windows.

Upper surface 22 and annular wall 24 form a receptacle 38 for receiving a cylindrical sponge 39 of rubber or plastic material which seats on the upper surface and projects substantially above the upper edge of wall 24, where it can be easily reached for moistening the fingers, gummed tape, the flaps on envelopes, stamps and the like. 'The upper surface 22 contains intersecting ribs. 40 and42 which holdthe sponge off the upper surface. and four cylindrical recesses 44 which form reservoirs for water to moisten the sponge. The sponge is provided with, a plurality of vertical passages 46 which assist in lifting the water from the recesses and in the bottom of the receptacle into the uppermost portion of.

the sponge .to replenish the water removed in the aforementioned moistening operations.

In attaching the present moistening device it is necesportion. of the sponge and into vertical passages 46. The

. applying pressure to the sponge.

water rising in passages 46 fills the sponge pores surrounding the passages and moistens the sponge onand' immediately below the upper surface so that a suitablesupply of water is available for extended periods of use. This replenishing of the water in the sponge is accomplished each time the sponge is moved from one place and reattached to another surface. The supply of water in'the sponge is also readily replenished from the bottom of receptacle 38 including recesses44 by merely This depresses the sponge, forcing the water upwardly through passages 46, around the sides of the sponge and into the pores at the bottom so that on release the pores throughout the sponge are filled with water. During this compressing action the annular. side walls 24 and body 20 are flexed, producing an'additional squeezing effect on the sponge which facilitates thorough and even distribution of the water throughout the sponge.-

.One of the main advantages of the present moistening;

device is the firm gripping action of suction cup 36 which holds the device firmly in place while it is beingused.

, slipping from its 'desired location while it is being used.

A modified form of the present invention is shown in Figures 5, 6 and 7 in which a number of the features associated therewith are identical construction and function with those features of the embodiment just described; therefore, like reference characters have been applied to like parts and a detailed description of those parts will be omitted. This modified form includes body 20having a concave bottom surface 26 terminating in annular flange 28 and annular wall 24 joined integrally to the upper part of body 20. In this device a second smaller suction cup 50 is provided in the center of the bottom of body 20 and is joined integrally therewith and completely surrounded by the larger suction cup 36. In order to facilitate effective gripping action of suction cup 0, a stem 52 is provided on the upper side of body directly above the center of cup 50. Thisstem which is also formed integrally with body 20 extends through a center hole 54 of sponge 56 to a point where the upper end of the stem can be easily reached with the finger so that the stem can be readily and effectively pressed downwardly to seat suction cup 50 on the supporting surface. The downward pressing of stem 52 also expels the air from large suction cup 36 and causes it to simultaneously grip the supporting surface. In this embodiment four radial grooves 58 are provided in the upper surface of body 20 and similar connecting vertical grooves 60 areprovided in stem 52.

' These grooves facilitate the flow of water to the central stern and the ascension of the water in hole 54 so that the pores in the top central part of the sponge will be thoroughly saturated with water. Flexing of the device and compression of the sponge when the device is being secured to a supporting surface causes the water in the bottom of the receptacle to flow upwardly into the pores throughout the sponge in much the same manner as described with reference to the first embodiment described herein.

Figures 8 and 9 illustrate another embodiment similar to the embodiment shown in Figures 5, 6 and 7, i.e. the disc shaped body is provided with suction cups 36 and 50, annular flange 28 and annular wall 24, hence these parts will not be discussed in detail here. In this modification an annular ledge 64 is provided around the bottom of the receptacle for supporting sponge 66 above surface 22, thus forming a water reservoir 67 in the receptacle beneath the sponge. A central stem 68 similar to stem 52 is also provided for assisting in seating the suction cups in gripping position on the supporting surface. A cen tral hole 70 in the sponge receives stem 68 and provides a passage from the reservoir in the bottom for water to flow into the upper portion of the sponge when the sponge is depressed into the bottom of the receptacle, either specifically for the purpose of replenishing the water in the sponge or for the purpose of attaching the moistening device to the supporting surface. In this modification an annular groove 72 is provided along the top edge of wall 24 to catch the water running from the top surface of the'sponge down along the sides. Frequent use of the sponge sometimes causes an excess amount of water to flow over the upper edge of the sponge. Groove 72 catches this water and returns it down along the internal surface of wall 24 to the reservoir in the bottom of the receptacle. This annular groove also assists in assembling the sponge in the receptacle since the groove serves as a guide and permits the edge of the sponge to pass freely downwardly along the internal surface of wall 24 before it becomes confined by the wall.

The modified form of the present invention shown in Figures 10 and 11 is similar in most respects to the form shown in Figures 8 and 9, including the disc shaped body 20, suction cups 36 and 50, annular wall 24, ledge 64, Water reservoir 67 and sponge 66. In the present modification the central stem 80 is provided with a spiral groove resembling screw threads to provide a water passage for the water in the receptacle to ascend to the upper portion of the sponge. The hole 82 in the sponge is slightly smaller than the outmost diameter of the stem so that the sponge is in contact with the stem where it can absorb water from the spiral groove and also, with the spiral groove, forms a confined passage connecting the reservoir in the bottom of the receptacle with the top portion of the sponge. This stem has the further advantage of holding the sponge and preventing it from becoming displaced from the receptacle while it is being used and thus permits a deeper groove 72 at the top of wall 24 since the usual close fit between the sides of the sponge and wall 24 is not required. This stem can easily be reached with the finger and is used in the same manner as the stems previously described to seat the suction cups onto the supporting surface. l

The modified form of the invention shown in Figure 12 includes many of the features disclosed in the preceding figures and these features are identified by the same numeral in Figure 12. In this modified form three distinct water levels are provided by recesses in the bottom of the receptacle. Ledge 64 supports sponge 66 above the upper surface of body 20 providing a relatively large reservoir 67 below substantially the entire bottom of the sponge and forming the upper or first water level. The upper surface of body 20 also contains four relatively shallow cylindrical recesses 44 spaced equally from each otherand from the center of the upper surface as shown in Figure 2, thus providing a second water level. A recess 88 is provided in the center of the upper surface of body 20 and extends downwardly into the supporting structure 90 for suction cup 50 and hence extends below the bottom of recesses 44 to form a third water level area. Recess 83 is shown as being hexagonal in shape, though other shapes such as cylindrical may be used if desired. To facilitate moistening of the sponge, a plurality of vertical grooves 92, four in the embodiment shown, are provided in the internal surface of side wall 24. These grooves extend through ledge 64 and communicate with reservoir 67 so that water from the reservoir can flow upwardly in the grooves to annular groove 72 when the sponge is depressed. In this modification the sponge may be cylindrical in shape without any vertical holes therethrough. The moistening device shown in this figure functions in much the same manner as the other embodiments. When the sponge is compressed either alone or along with the flexing of the holder when the device is being secured to a supporting surface, the water in reservoir 67, recesses 44 and recess 88 is absorbed by the sponge pores, both directly and from grooves 92, where it is retained until withdrawn in moistening envelopes, stamps, labels and the like as described hereinbefore.

All of the embodiments disclosed herein are preferably made of rubber or rubber-likematerial; however, other materials or combinations of a number of materials, including rubber, plastics and metal, can be used. Several variations of my invention have been described herein. Various other changes and modifications as well as various'other combinations of features may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. A device for moistening fingers, stamps, envelopes, stickers, labels and the like, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a concave lower surface forming a suction cup and terminating in a downwardly and outwardly extending flange encircling the lower surface of said body, a shallow annular groove in the periphery of said body in close proximity to said flange, a second and smaller suction cup attached to said lower surface at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall having an internal groove at the upper edge and joinedintegrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, an annular ledge at the bottom of said wall on the internal side thereof, a vertical stem attached to said body directly above said second mentioned suction cup having a spiral groove in the side surface thereof, and a cylindrical sponge disposed inside of said annular wall on said' ledge and having a central hole for receiving saidstern and engaging the side walls thereof.

2. A moistening device, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a concave lower surface forming a suction cup and terminating in a downwardly and outwardly extending flange encircling the lower surface of said body, a shallow annular groove in the periphery of said body in close proximity to said flange, a second and smaller suction cup attached to said lower surface at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall having an internal groove at the upper edge joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, an annular ledge at the bottom of said wall on the internal side thereof, a stern attached to said body directly above said second mentioned suction cup, and a cylindrical sponge disposed inside of said annular wall on said ledge and having a central hole for receiving said stem.

3. A moistening device, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a concave lower surface forming a suction cup and terminating in a downwardly and outwardly extending flange encircling the lower surface of said body, a shallow annular groove in the periphery of said body in close proximity to said flange, a second and smaller suction cup attached to said lower surface at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall joined integrally with the upper side of said body, a vertical stem joined to the-upper surface of said body directly above said second mentioned suction cup, and a cylindrical sponge disposed inside of said annular wall and having a central hole for receiving said stem.

4. A moistening device, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a concave lower surface forming a suction cup and terminating in a downwardly and outwardly extending flange encircling the lower surface of said body, a second and smaller suction cup attached to said lower surface at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, a vertical stem attached to said body directly above said second mentioned suction cup having a spiral groove in the side surface thereof, and a cylindrical sponge disposed inside of said annular wall and having a central hole for receiving said stem and engaging the side walls thereof.

5. A moistening device, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a suction cup attached to the lower surface of said body at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, a stem attached to said body above said suction cup having aspiral groove in the side surface thereof, and a sponge disposed inside of said annular wall and having a central hole for receiving said stem.

6. A moistening device, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a suction cup attached to the lower surface of said body at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edgethereof, a plurality of radial grooves in the'upper surface of said'body, a stern attached to said body above said suction cup at the center of said radial grooves, and a sponge disposed inside of said annular wall and having a central hole for receiving said stem.

7. A moistening device, comprising a body of resilient material having a suction cup attached to the lower surface of said body and formed integrally with said body, a wall having an internal groove at the upper edge joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, a vertical stem attached to said body directly above said suction cup, and a sponge disposed inside of said wall and having a hole for receiving said stem.

8. A moistening device, comprising a body of resilient material having a suction cup attached to the lower surface of said body and formed integrally with said body, a wall joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, a stern attached to said body directly above said suction cup, and a sponge disposed inside of said wall and having a hole for receiving said stem.

9. A device for moistening fingers, stamps, envelopes, stickers, labels and the like, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a concave lower surface forming a suction cup and terminating in a downwardly and outwardly extending flange encircling the lower sur face of said body, a shallow annular groove in the periphery of said body in close proximity to said flange, a sec- 'ond and smaller suction cup attached to said lower surface at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall having a plurality of vertical grooves on the internal surface and an annular internal groove at the upper edge and joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, an annular ledge at the bottom of said wall on the internal side thereof, cylindrical recesses in the upper surface of said body equally spaced from each other and from the center of said body, a central recess in said body extending downward into the upper portion of said second suction cup, and a cylindrical sponge disposed inside of said annular Wall on said ledge.

10. A device for moistening fingers, stamps, envelopes, stickers, labels and the like, comprising a disc shaped body of resilient material having a concave lower surface forming a suction cup and terminating in a downwardly and outwardly extending flange encircling the lower surface of said body, a shallow annular groove in the periph' cry of said body in close proximity to said flange, a second and smaller suction cup attached to said lower surface at the center thereof and formed integrally with said body, an annular wall having an annular internal groove at the upper edge and joined integrally with the upper side of said body at the peripheral edge thereof, an annular ledge at the bottom of'said wall on the internal side thereof, a central recess in said body extending downwardly into the upper portion of said second'suction cup, and a cylindrical sponge disposed inside of said annular wall on said ledge.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 721,112 Weaver et al. Feb. 17. 1903 1,035,827 Ellis Aug. 13, 1912' 1,741,783 Lower Dec. 31, 1929

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US721112 *Sep 10, 1902Feb 17, 1903William J WeaverDevice for moistening adhesive surfaces.
US1035827 *Apr 27, 1912Aug 13, 1912Mark St Clair EllisSanitary finger-moistener.
US1741783 *Feb 15, 1928Dec 31, 1929Sun Rubber CoSponge cup
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3135003 *Dec 30, 1960Jun 2, 1964Wise Glenn EScrubbing sponge for drinking vessels
US3479987 *Oct 14, 1966Nov 25, 1969IbmApparatus for taking fingerprints
US5855214 *May 12, 1998Jan 5, 1999Latex Foam Products, Inc.Cosmetic applicator using thermoplastic attachment and method of manufacture
US5983902 *May 12, 1998Nov 16, 1999Lis CorporationMethod of manufacturing a cosmetic applicator
US7540681 *Oct 4, 2004Jun 2, 20093M Innovative Properties CompanySurgical prep solution applicator
US8662518 *Jun 24, 2009Mar 4, 2014Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki KaishaVehicle with rotatable fuel tank
Classifications
U.S. Classification118/270, 401/196
International ClassificationB43M11/04, B43M11/00
Cooperative ClassificationB43M11/04
European ClassificationB43M11/04