US 3058335 A
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Oct. 16, 1962 B. COTHRON 3,058,335
COMBINATION IDENTIFICATION CARD AND KEY AND LOCK THEREFOR Filed Feb. 5, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 26 32 I I 2 H i T 44 iv INVENTOR.
LAWSON B. COTHRON Oct. 16, 1962 B. COTHRON COMBINATION IDENTIFICATION CARD AND KEY AND LOCK THEREFOR Filed Feb. 5, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
LAWSON B. COTHRON United States Patent Ofifice Fatented Got. 16, rate 3,058,335 CGMBINATION IDENTIFICATION CARD AND KEY AND LOCK THEREFOR Lawson B. Cothron, 4886 Jewel, San Diego, Calif. Filed Feb. 5, 1960, Ser. No. 7,004 Claims. (Cl. 70-355) The present invention relates generally to looks and more particularly to a combination identification card and key and lock therefor.
The primary object of this invention is to provide an identification card having one end edge shaped to correspond to the operative edge of a key and a lock which is actuated by merely inserting the shaped edge of the card inthe lock.
Another object of this invention is to provide a card key which will operate lever or pin-tumbler type locks adapted to receive the end of the card.
Another object of this invention is to provide a card key and lock combination which can be used indepen dently or in conjunction with many types of locks, latches and the like in the manner of multiple key arrangements.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a card key which may be combined with a conventional size identification card, easily carried and handled.
A further object of this invention is to provide a card key and lock combination wherein the card key can be retained in lock actuating position by a simple card holder, one field for such use relating to the ignition lock conventional in automotive vehicles.
Finally, it is an object to provide a card key and lock combination of the aforementioned character which is simple and convenient to use and which will give generally efiicient and durable service.
With these and other objects definitely in view, this invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of elements and portions, as will be hereinafter fully described in the specification, particularly pointed out in the claims, and illustrated in the drawings which form a material part of this disclosure, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation view of a dual type lock incorporating the card key, the cover plate being partially cut away;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view similar to FIGURE 3, but showing the card key removed and the mechanism locked;
FIGURE 5 is a side elevation view of the lock mechanism unlocked with the bolt retracted;
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view, as taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 8, of a pin tumbler lock actuated by the card key;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIGURE 6; and
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 8--$ of FIGURE 6.
Similar characters of reference indicate similar or identical elements and portions throughout the specification and throughout the views of the drawings.
Referring now to FIGURES l5 of the drawings, the card key 10 is a fiat, generally rectangular element preferably dimensioned to correspond to a conventional identification or credit card as carried in a wallet. The faces of the card key may be printed, or otherwise impressed with any type of identification or information and may even include an embossed charge plate as used in charge account billing. One end edge of the card key 10 is formed to provide a plurality of staggered steps 12 which form the key edge 14, the two ends of the stepped edge being retained whole and constituting stop portions 16. In the use of the card key 10 the only stress involved results from pressure transmitted to the key edge 14, thus the card may be made from plastic, as indicated, from metal, or any other suitable material of suflicient rigidity.
The lock 20 used for illustration herein is a dual type lock such as employed on safe deposit boxes and the like and normally requires two keys, one of which is now replaced by the card key 10. This lock is merely one example of the use of the card key and is by no means limiting. As illustrated, the lock 20 comprises a generally rectangular box like casing 22 having a removable side panel 24 for access to the mechanism. Inside the casing 22 is a bolt 26 having a tongue 28 which extends through one end of the casing to engage a striker plate or similar member, not shown. The bolt 26 has a channel portion 30 extending along one side of the casing 22, said channel portion having an inwardly turned retaining flange 32 in which are several longitudinally spaced notches 34. The end of the bolt 26 adjacent the tongue 23 is engaged by a locking mechanism actuated by a key 36, indicated in broken line in FIGURES l and 5, said key being inserted in a rotatable barrel 38 having an arm 40 which engages a socket 42 in said bolt and moves the bolt longitudinally as the barrel is turned. The bolt 26 is prevented from moving by a spring loaded catch 44 which is disengaged only by the key 36. This type of lock mechanism is well known and is not claimed as a part of the present disclosure, being included only as an example.
The mechanism actuated by the card key 10 comprises a plurality of locking members, illustrated as levers 46- pivotally mounted on a hinge pin 48 terminally secured in end supports 50, said hinge pin being disposed parallel to the direction of sliding motion of the bolt 26. The levers 46 are spaced to fit into the notches 34 in the retaining flange 34 and are held in place by spacers 52 on the hinge pin 48, said levers being free to swing perpendicularly to said retaining flange through the notches. Each of the levers 46 is biased outwardly from the casing 22 by a leaf spring 54, as in a conventional type spring lever lock in which the levers are operated by a normal key. Each lever 46 has a flat top edge 56 and a generally arcuate end edge 58 in which is a slot 60 dimensioned to clear the edge of retaining flange 32. The slots 60 of the various levers 46 are disposed at diiferent distances from the top edges 56 so that, when all of the slots are aligned along the retaining flange 32, the levers are at difierent angular positions relative to each other. The steps 12 on the card key 10 are arranged to hold the levers 46 in the diiferent relative positions with the slots 60 aligned, as in FIGURE 2. To ensure proper alignment, the side panel 24 is provided with an entry slot 62 to admit the card key 10, and within the casing 22 are fixed stops 64 on which the stop portions 16 of said card key rest, so limiting the depth of insertion. Thus the mechanism is unlocked by simply inserting the card key 10 through the entry slot 62 as far as the stops 64.
With the levers 46 actuated by the card key 10, the key 36 is then turned to retract the bolt 26, the retaining flange 32 sliding through the now aligned slots 60 to the open position, as in FIGURE 5. If the notches 34 and levers 4-6 are evenly spaced as illustrated, the withdrawal of the card key 10 allows said levers to return to their normal position, biased by springs 54, the levers then being disposed in said notches and locking the bolt 26 in open or retracted position.
It should be understood that the bolt 26 need not be actuated by the key 36 swinging the arm 40, but may be operated by an extended bar or handle as in a conventional slide bolt. The dual lock configuration is, however, particularly suitable for use in safe deposit boxes, or the like, in which arrangement one key is held by the deposit establishment and another carried by the depositor, so that a box can be opened only when both keys are present. The use of a card key provides proper identification of the depositor and is more diflicult to duplicate than a conventional key, since the identification must be reproduced in addition to the stepped key edge. Further, since the card key is normally carried in a wallet, loss is not likely to occur as with a key carried loosely in a pocket. The card key 10 may be made with any reasonable number of steps 12 according to the number of levers 46 in the lock, and each step may be cut to any one of several depths, the result being a very large number of possible combinations. The steps 12 can be made by a simple hand operated tool having individually adjustable cutters which can be set at coded positions corresponding to the desired configuration of the key edge 14, although this is not a part of the present disclosure.
As a further example, FIGURES 68 illustrate a pin tumbler type lock actuated by a card key '70, similar in all respects to the card key 10 except for the configuration of the steps 72 forming the key edge 74, the ends of which have stop portions 76. The lock 80 has a casing 82 with a front panel 84 and is secured to a supporting member 86, such as a door, drawer front, or the like. Inside the casing 82 are an upper support block 88 and a lower suport block 90, between which is mounted a longitudinally slidable bolt 92 having a tongue 93 projecting from one end of said casing. The bolt 92 has an upwardly extending, longitudinal retaining flange 94 slidable in a guide channel 96 in the upper support block 88, and a downwardly extending guide flange 98 slidable in a guide channel 100 in the lower support block 90. The bolt 92 is acauated by a handle 102 protruding through a suitable opening 104 in the front panel 84 and supporting member 86.
In the upper support block 88 are movable locking members comprising a plurality of pin tumblers 106, which are axially slidable on axes perpendicular to the axis of motion of the bolt 92 and to the plane of the retaining flange 94, said pin tumblers thus sliding generally from front to rear in the lock and being biased toward the front panel 84 by springs 198. Forward motion of the pin tumblers 106 is limited by a plate 110 between the upper support block 88 and the front panel 84. The retaining flange 94 has a plurality of notches 112 spaced to fit under the pin tumblers 166, which thus lock the bolt 92 against sliding. Each pin tumbler 106 has a transverse slot 114, the slots being disposed at different distances from the ends thereof, so that when the pin tumblers are held at specific displaced positions, all of said slots are aligned allowing the retaining flange 94 to slide longitudinally.
The card key 76 is inserted through an entry slot 116 extending through the supporting member 86, front panel 84, plate 110 and into the upper support block 88, said entry slot ending just short of the guide channel 96 and the end wall thereof providing a stop face 118. With the stop portions 76 of the card key 741 in contact with the stop face 118, the steps 72 are arranged to hold the pin tumblers 106 with their slots 114 in alignment along the retaining flange 94, as in FIGURE 7, allowing the bolt 92 to move freely. As illustrated, the entry slot 116 is inclined downwardly and outwardly to prevent moisture from entering the lock mechanism, which is a useful feature when the lock is used on an exterior door. However, it should be understood that inclination of the entry slot and lock mechanism is not essential, but is merely an additional feature which extends the practicability of the lock for exterior use.
As a further convenience, the card key 70 may be held in a small tray 12% fixed to the supporting member 86 immediately below the entry slot 116, said tray having an 4 upwardly extending flange 122 which retains the card key. The length of the tray 120 is such that the card key 70 is held with a slight bow along its length, so ensuring adequate pressure to hold the pin tumblers 106 in unlocked position, as in FIGURE 6. With the card key 70 thus held, the lock is secured in unlocked condition, leaving the hands free. For easy removal of the card key 70, the tray is provided with an access slot 124, which also serves as a moisture drainage outlet in external usage.
In each instance, the lock is operated by a card key which is merely inserted through a narrow slot, the lock having its movable locking members aligned along the slot so that all locking members are actuated simultaneously by the shaped edge of the card key. While special lock construction is necessary to cooperate with the card key, the components used are of conventional type and can be made with existing equipment. The combination of a key with an identification card makes illegal duplication difiicult, but provides complete return information in the event of loss.
Many different types of locks may be adapted for use with the card key, either operated entirely by the card key or in combination with additional locking means. As an example, the arrangement illustrated in FIGURES 6-8 may be used to operate a vehicle ignition system, the card key being the owners card issued with some vehicles. Other uses and arrangements of lock mechanisms will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
The operation of this invention will be clearly comprehended from a consideration of the foregoing description of the mechanical details thereof, taken in connection with the drawings and the above recited objects. It will be obvious that all said objects are amply achieved by this invention.
It is understood that minor variation from the form of the invention disclosed herein may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that the specification and drawings are to be considered as merely illustrative rather than limiting.
1. The combination of an identification card and a lock, comprising: a thin, generally flat identification card of the type ordinarily carried in a wallet, and having identification means thereon such as a per-sons name, address and description, said card having a key edge; said key edge having a plurality of staggered steps therein; a lock having a lock mechanism including a plurality of locking members positionable in a particular staggered relation to release the lock mechanism; said lock having an entry slot adjacent said locking members through which said identification card is insertable to engage the locking members; said key edge having stop portions at the ends thereof; and fixed stop means in said lock adjacent said entry slot for engaging the stop portions at the ends of said key edge, said staggered steps being dis posed to hold said locking members in said particular staggered relation when said identification card is held with said key edge against the locking members and with said stop portions abutting said stops.
2. A lock and key combination, comprising: a thin fiat slightly flexible card element having one key edge; said key edge having a plurality of adjacent staggered steps therein; a lock having a lock mechanism including a plurality of locking members positionable in a particular staggered relation to release the lock mechanism; said lock having an entry slot adjacent said locking members through which said card element is insertable to engage the locking members; said key edge having stop portions only at the ends thereof; fixed stop means in said lock adjacent said entry slot; said staggered steps being disposed to hold said locking members in said particular staggered relation when said card element is held with said key edge against the locking members and with said stop portions abutting said stops; means for holding said card element in a slightly bowed condition with said key edge in firm contact with said locking members, said holding means comprising a card-retaining tray fixedly mounted externally of said entry slot, said card-retaining tray having means thereon engageable with the edge of said card element opposite said key edge of said card element.
3. A combination according to claim 2 wherein said last means is a flanged portion on said tray.
4. A lock and key combination, comprising: a thin, slightly flexible, resilient, generally rectangular flat card element having one key edge along one of the edges of said element, said key edge having a plurality of adjacent staggered steps therein and stop portions only at the ends of said key edge; a lock having fixedly positioned stop members and a movable bolt; a plurality of spaced boltlocking members positionable in a particular staggered relation to release said bolt; said lock having a narrow entry slot adjacent to and extending transversely across said locking members, whereby, when said key edge of said card element is inserted through said entry slot, said key edge engages said locking members and said stop members of said lock, said steps being disposed to hold said locking members in said particular staggered relation when said stop portions are resting on said stop means; a card retaining tray fixed relative to said lock, adjacent to and extending outwardly from said entry slot; said tray having an end flange means for engaging the end of said card element remote from said key edge and holding said card element in firm contact with said locking members; and said tray having means, comprising an access slot adjacent said flange, to facilitate removal of said card element.
5. A lock and key combination according to claim 4, wherein said entry slot and said tray slope downwardly and outwardly from the lock to promote moisture drainage from the vicinity of the entry slot.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 46,721 Stafford Mar. 7, 1865 556,309 Deibert Mar. 10, 1896 584,532 Welker June 15, 1897 1,277,241 Mortensen Aug. 27, 1918 1,669,262 Plumb May 8, 1928 2,159,305 White May 23, 1939 2,524,696 Ellis Oct. 3, 1950 2,669,857 Ramien Feb. 23, 1954