US 3010139 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
3,l0,l39 Patented Nov. 28,` 1961 ice YMARKING DEVICES l Raymond H; Parker, 30 Russell St., Plymouth, Mass'. Filed Dec. 1, 1958, Ser. No. 777,490 Claims. (Cl. 15-572) The present invention relates -to marking devices in general and in particular to devices for marking in free hand on rough surfaces such as cloth, cartons, crates, wooden packing boxes, lumber and the like.
Though many types of markers have been proposed and used for these purposes, there are so many drawbacks f various sortsrinvolved in their use that the conventional practice of marking these surfaces has settled down to the use of either crayons or black paint or ink applied with a bristle or felt brush. The crayon often fails to do a satisfactory job on the rougher types of surfaces such as cloth, lumber, wooden crates and boxes, because it only hits the high spots; while the brush and paint pot or ink are too messy for general use.
The purpose of the present invention is to provide a marking device for use on these and other Vrough surfaces, which will be capable of making a continuous line of uniform breadth and blackness or opacity, which is portable and storable without staining adjacent or contiguous surfaces, will be self-priming, and will admit of being closed against drying out as well as against leakage of the ink or other marking uid used therein; and which can be easily refilled.
To these ends, the invention consists in a marking device comprising an impervious reservoir or shell with a constricted mouth and lled with absorbent ink-filled material, this filler having a chamber or well containing a ball loose within the chamber or well and of such diameter as to be -able to protrude from the constricted mouth but not escape. The ink-filled chamber walls extend to or past the equator of the extended ball in the direction toward the mouth, and provide the push which rolls the ball along the surface being marked. Thus when the device is held in inclined position with its mouth end down and against or close to a surface to be marked, the ball gravitates down to press against the surface to be marked, purely by its own weight or with the assistance of added gravitating weights. No spring pressure with attendant friction is applied to the ball to force it against the surface being marked, and thus it is free to roll without hindrance over and in continuous contact with this surface while transferring continuously to such surface the ink coating the ball and rubbed oir from the inkirnpregnated side walls of the chamber. The term ink is used to include all kinds of marking uids.
Alternatively, a low-friction support to hold the ball projected slightly from the mouth may be used, to enable the Vdevice to write on overhanging surface f Other objects of the invention and the manner of their attainment are as will be made plain hereinafter.
Illustrative embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanyingv drawings, in which:
FIG. l shows in vertical axial section the marking device when made out of a conventional glass jar.
FIG. 2 shows the 'manner of forming the absorbent lining or pad from felt or other poroussheet material.
FIG. 3 shows the yabsorbent material of FIG.` 2 shaped forinsertion in the glass reservoir of FIG. l.
FIGS. 4 to 8 are views similar to FIG. l of alternative forms of the invention.
Having reference to the drawings, FIGS. 1 to 3 illustratethe construction of the device when a standard size and jshape of screw top glass jar 1 is used to form the reservoiror impervious shell of the device. A rectangular sheet of felt, heavy fabric, sponge rubber, or other ink-absorbent sheet material 3, FIG. 2, is rolled up into cylindrical form with its narrower end portion 5 inside as shown in FIG. 3, the material being of such length and thickness as to substantially fill the jar 1. As seen in FIG. l, the hollow end of the roll over the narrow end portion 5 is placed adjacent the mouth of the jar 1, so as to form a chamber or well 7 in which a ball 9 of lesser diameter than the chamber 7 and thus shiftable transversely therein is confined by a cap 11 screwed onto the mouth of the jar 1. The walls of chamber 7 extend past the equator of the ball 9 in all positions of the ball. The pad 3 may be in two pieces, as indicated by the line 6, and thus made from scrap stock, and inserted as an outer tube and an inner core or plug.
The cap 11 has an aperture 13 materially less in diameter than the diameter of ball 9, so that the ball 9 can protrude through gravity for somewhat less than half its diameter from this constricted mouth 13 in cap 11, when the mouth end of thev reservoir 1 is inverted or tipped down to any degree beyond the horizontal.
Thus, when this device, held in such partly or wholly inverted relation, is moved along a surface to be marked upon, with the ball 9 in rolling contact therewith, the ink which is wiped onto the ball from the interior side walls of chamber 7 which propel the ball is rolled onto such surface by the ball 9, In normal usage, the device is slid along the surface to be marked in tilted relation with merely a point on the rim of cap 11 resting on such surface, for ease and comfort of use; but this is not essential, as the entire cap may be rested ilatwise on the surface to be marked, or may be held free of such surface,ras the user prefers, so long as the ball rollsalong this surface.
A feature of construction of this device from which its peculiar advantage is largely derived, is that as noted gravity alone is used tohold the ball in contact with the surface to be marked. This leaves the ball completely or substantially free from any friction resisting its rotation. The basic drawback of prior related devices, such as the ball-point pen, has been that the pressure applied to the ball to hold it against the surface being marked has been created by pressing the ball against some sort of fixed or spring-pressed support or back-stop or holder which occasionally checked or stopped the rolling of the ball, causing relative sliding of the ball over the surface being marked, with attendant removal of all the ink from the engaged area on the ball, so that the pen skips and the line drawn by the ball is broken. The characteristic feature ofthe present invention is' the skipless line it draws because the rolling of the ball is unchecked by friction within Athe marking device, and thus a freshly inked area of the ball is always presented to and engaged with the surface being marked. The sliding action Vof the ball which wipes its contacting area dry of ink in 'prior devices and causes skips is avoided herein by making it possible to eliminate all means which act to press upon the ball in a direction toward the marked surface. y The wiping of the b'all 'against the cylindrical wall of the chamber 7 produces only enough pressure to r'oll the ball along 'as the device is moved 'over the surface marked, the contact point against the "wall beinglubricated by the ink with whichthe wall of the chamber 7 is wet.
Anotherfe'a'turq already alludedto, is that the wall of vchamber v7 formed `of absorbent materialY extends 'to or beyond the equatorof the ball toward vthe aperture 13 in Vall positions 'of ball 9. Thus in use this ink-supplying surface is always in ink-transferring contact with the ball at some point. Yet lthe only pressure it can apply 'to the ball is the negligible amount required to m11 the ball over the surface being marked, is` coniined to point contact only, and cannot be increasedto 'bindy and skid the ball by bearing down harder on the marked device. That is, the only pressure which can be` applied to the ball by hand when in use is parallel to the surface being 3 marked, and thus cannot check its rotation and make it skid, but instead is the force that makes it roll.
These features are the underlying principle of my invention, though they are modied somewhat in practice in the interests of greater usefulness. Thus, it will be evident that it is impossible to use the marker made as thus far described on a vertical or overhanging surface, because the ball will not roll outwardly to remain in contact with such surface. Hence in certain instances where surfaces of this nature must be marked, the cavity 7 is made a very slight amount less in axial depth, measured from the outer surface of cap 11, than the diameter of the ball 9, as illustrated in FIG. l, and a soft rubber ball made of foam rubber or of other yielding nature is employed, the relationship being such that not enough pressure can be applied in compressing the ball to the extent permitted by the cap, to create friction at the points of contact of the ball with the bottom and wall of the cavity 7 to immobilize the ball. Thus the ball is enabled to rotate even though subjected to a limited amount of pressure at right angles to the surface being marked.
The width of line is governed by using balls of various diameters and compositions, and by varying the viscosity or the amount of wetting agent in the ink. Thus, for a very broad line, a soft and yielding ball, as for example one of 30 points on the durometer scale, or of large diameter, will be used, and the ball may be partially or completely absorptive of ink. For a very narrow line, a glass, steel, or other hard ball will be used as iu marking on glass or metal surfaces, preferably with low viscosity ink.
To attain a narrow line in another way, the constructions of FIGS. 4 and 5 can be used. That of FIG. 4 employs a ball of small diameter and of around 60 durometer points Working through an aperture 17 of lesser diameter than the ballin the end 19 of a narrow tube 21 of metal,.plastic or any preferred material packed with absorbent material 23, of felt, cotton, or the like. A chamber 25 is formed in the apertured end by a tubular 'length 27 of felt or other ink-absorbent material, this chamber holding a second ball 29 which is used to ride on ball 15 therein when the tube is inverted, and thus to give more weight to hold marking ball 15 against the surface to be marked, than could be obtained by the use of one small ball alone. Chamber 25 is deeper than the combined diameters of balls 15 and 29, so that neither ball can be subjectedl to pressure from within the device and directed axially of the tube which would tend to resist the free rolling of ball 15 over the surface being marked. Ball 29, equal or greater in diameter thanrball 15 and resisting on and rolling with ball 15, has only the slight and negligible friction of the inside wall of felt tube 27 to hold it back, just as in the case of ball 15.
In FIG. 5, the added weight needed to get good contact between ball 31 and the surface to be marked is at'- tained by means of a weight 33 comprising a metal cylinder engaging with the ball 31 when the device is in its downtumed working position shown in FIG. 5. Both the ball 31 and the weight l33 are located in a chamber 39 provided in the lling 41 of cylinder 42 and'comof adjustment of its depth. Thus, the reservoir or shell 52 is lined with an ink-absorbent tube 53 of felt or sponge rubber from the end having the aperture 54 to a point short of the end closedrby the stopper 56, and a core 58 of similar or any desired absorbent material extends slidably from the stopper 56 t0 a distance initially greater than the diameter of the ball from the aperture 54, and forms the bottom of the well 50. The ball may be of any of the materials set forth for this purpose herein. Whenthe device is tobe used in any position where the ballr can gravitate into the aperture 54, it is used with the parts in the relation shown, as for marking on horizontal surfaces. But if desired to mark on vertical or overhanging surfaces, it is only neces# sary to push the stopper 56 farther into the shell 52, which compresses the tube 53 and to some extent the core 58 and slides the core axially within tube 53 to reduce the depth of well 50 and thus thrust the ball 60 into aperture 54 so that it projects partway from the aperture in all positions of the marker.
I have found that the core 58 slides easily within the passage through tube 53 when the core is made of hair felt with a square cross-section each side of whichsection equals in length the diameter of the passage inthe tube 53, and is inserted in helical (twisted) form into the passage, and in ink-transferring contact with the walls of tube 53.
As in the case of the form of FIG. l, the pressure of the end of core 58 against the ball does not prevent the rotation of the ball in marking, but does hold it pro-V jected far enough to make a clear and skipless line of uniform breadth on the vertical or overhanging surface being marked. A
To restore the parts to the relation shown in FIG. 6,
or to ease an excessive pressure applied by core 58 to the ball, the ball is merely pushed back into well 50 to slide the core reversely within tube 53. i
A further modification of the form of FIG. 6, intended expressly for marking on vertical or overhanging surfaces, is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. Therein, the ball 66 is loose andV rolls about within a chamber or well 68V defined by the ink-absorbent tube 70 of feltor sponge rubber and the core 72 of smiliar or any desired absorb ent material, but a metal pin 74 having its ends xed in the shell 76 extends diametrically across the shell at a distance from the mouth 78 less than the diameter of ball 66. This pin 74 provides a low-friction support for the ball holding the latter projected partway from the mouth 78 in all positions of the marker, yet the ball Vwill not be held from rotation by contact with the smooth pin even when made of sponge rubber or other yielding nature because the friction between the ball and the surface being marked exceeds ythat between the ball and the smooth surface of the pin, 'lubricatedjby the ink thereon. This construction gives very satisfactory results.
The transverse pin 74`also limits Vthe yapproach of the absorbent core 72 toward the mouth of the marker toV an Y extent wherevitcould impede the rotation of the ball, and
i end of cylinder 42 has anaperture 35 less in diameter than ball 3l, and the total length of this v-ball weight 33 is less than the depth vof chamber 39.
In all four forms, since the ball is not a valve, a protective cover is provided to prevent leakage and staining of adjacent objects, as well as to prevent the contained ink from drying out. In FIG. 1, this is in the form of a. screw cap 14, screwed onto the outside of the threads which are rolled into the rim of apertured cap 11 whereby itis xed on the usual threads moldedfabout the mouthv of the jar 1. t p The form of FIG. 6 has aswell 50 which is capable plus the thus determines the elfective depth of the well 68. Addi-v tionally, it fixes the walls 70 of thewell'in permanent position, always extending past theequator of the ball. k In this form, the absorbent material 70, 72 filling the shell` 76 may be 'all in one-unit.of absorbentmaterial,
instead of a tube'witha-separate core. y n Y. j
" ToV save the operation of xing the pin 74Y in Ythe shell 76, this element may be the bend of the U of a hairpinlshaped member-straddling the core 72 with its legs ex-Y v tending to the capor closure means at the farend of the shell, or the short leg of -an L-shaped member or the cross-bar of'a'T-shaped member, the long leg of kthe L or T reaching to the capped end and extending alongside or through the core 72,. AOr the pin 74may be held merely by frictiohal engagement of its ends with the walls of the chamber 68, through being made shorter than thek diameter of the shell but longer than the diameter of the chamber deined by the tube 70.
In FIG. 4, a cover is provided and screwed onto threads formed on the outer Wall of cylinder 21 of metal or plastic adjacent the apertured end 17. A similar cap 26 closes the other end of cylinder 21, being likewise applied to threads formed on the outside of the cylinder.
The form of FIG. 5 is closed in identical manner to FIG. 4, by a screwed-on cap 36 closing the apertured end and a similar cap 38 closing the other end of tube 42.
Sometimes the closure means is an expansible rubber cap 62, drawn over the open end or ends of the reservoir, as in FIG. 6, and also used on the form of FIGS. 7 and 8, or a friction-tight metal or plastic cap.
All ve forms follow the rule that the ink-soaked walls of the chamber 7, 25, 39, 50 or 68 extend to or beyond the equator of the ball when the latter is in its sta-te of greatest protrusion from the aperture. Thus the ball is continuously receiving ink from the side walls of its chamber when rolling, without being subjected to any material amoun-t of rotation-checking pressure from within the chamber at right angles to the surface being marked and resulting from pressing the device against this surface.
These marking devices are easily filled or replenished with ink by simply pouring the ink into the chamber through the aperture in the cap when the ball gravitates back to the bottom of chamber 7, 25, 39, 50, or 68. Or the cap and ball may be removed, and the chamber used as a measure of the amount of ink to be added. Additionally, where the nature of the ink permits, an ink-filled cartridge may replace the exhausted one in the forms of FIGS. 4, 5 and 7.
While I have illustrated and described certain forms in which the invention may be embodied, I am aware that many modiiications may be made therein by any person skilled in the art, without departing from the scope of the invention as expressed in the claims. Therefore, I do not wish to be limited to the particular forms shown, or to the details of construction thereof, but what I do claim is:
1. A marking device having in combination an irnpervious reservoir having a constricted mouth, an inkabsorbent filler in the reservoir having an axial chamber adjacent such mouth, and a ball in the chamber of less diameter than the chamber and loose and rolling about in such chamber but of greater diameter than the mouth, the walls of the chamber extending toward the mouth to the equator of the ball when the latter is in its state of greatest protrusion from the mouth.
2. A marking device according to claim 1, in which the ball is ink-absorptive.
3. A marking device according to claim 1 in which a gravi-tating weight between the ball and the closed end of the chamber adds its weight to that of the ball.
4. A marking device according to claim 3 in which the gravitating weight is a second ball.
5. A marking device according to claim 1 in which the chamber is less in depth than the diameter of the ball.
6. A marking device according to claim 1 in which the ball gravitates into the chamber and opens the mouth tor ended reservoir having a constricted mouth, an ink-ab' sorbent filler therein having a substantially cylindrical chamber with bottom and side walls defined by the filler, and a ball retained within the chamber and adapted to c roll about loosely and shift transversely in the chamber and protrude from the mouth and to be held against a surface to be marked purely by its own weight as the device is moved thereover.
10. A marking device according to claim 1 in which a low-friction material is interposed between the ball and the bottom of the chamber.
11. A marking device according to claim 10 in which the low-friction material limits the depth of the chamber to less than the diameter of the ball.
l2. A marking device according to claim 10 in which the interposed material holds the ball projected partway from the mouth in all positions of the marking device.
13. A marking device according to claim 1 in which a metal pin extends across the chamber and supports the ball, holding the latter projected partway from the mouth with capacity for free rotation.
14. A marking device having in combination chamber having ink-impregnated walls and a constricted mouth, and a ball loose and rolling freely and gravitating and shiftable bodily transversely within the chamber and of such diameter as to protrude from but not escape from the mouth.
15. A marking device according to claim 1 in which at least a portion of the ink-absorbent ller is slidable within the reservoir and thrusts the ball partway through the mouth.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 554,189 Kochendarfer Feb. 4, 1896 720,705 La Burt Feb. 17, 1903 1,485,181 Grund Feb. 26, 1924 1,514,519 Harris Nov. 4, 1924 1,742,548 Leal Jan. 7, 1930 2,883,690 Holler Apr. 28, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 259,258 Switzerland Jan. 15, 1949 271,143 Switzerland Jan. 3, 1951 422,306 Italy June 13, 1947 638,709 Great Britain June 14, 1950 703,046 Germany Feb. 27, 1945 965,456 France Feb. 15, 1950