US 3071112 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. l, 1963 c K. Low-:JOY ETAL 3,071,12
CLIP AC'TUATED LATCH MECRANISM FOR REIRACIABLE WRITING INSTRUMENTS Filed July 19, 1960 i@ 40 x fig] 135 Au! 35 27, 21E v IN V EN TORF gig. 9 /zarlaa f. Zang/'a l BY %0/m eZoawlaod 0 30 M70/wn @faire States Patent litice B-,'l Ll l2 latented Jan. l., i963 3,071,112 CMP ACTUATED LATCH MECHANISM FR RETRAQTAELE WRITlNG PJSTRUMENTS Chartes K. Lovejoy and .lohn C. Lockwood, Atlanta, Ga., assignors to Scripte, luc., a corporation of Georgia Filed lluly i9, 1966, Ser. No. 43,790 3 Claims. (Cl. 12u-42.63)
This invention relates to Writing instruments, and more particularly to an improved latch mechanism for such writing instruments in which a writing unit is slidably arranged for alternate projection and retraction from within the barrel of said writing instrument upon successive manipulations of an actuating means that is operably accessible at the side of the instrument and wherein the actuating means may include a pocket clip element which is in usual clipping relation when the writing unit is retracted and which is displaced inwardly to an inoperative position when the writing unit is projected.
Briefly described, the latch mechanism of the present invention is characterized by two simple cooperating members: (l) a laterally shiftable and rockable actuating member disposed within the barrel of a writing instrument rearwardly of a writing unit retractably housed therein, with a portion of said actuating member being operably accessible at the side of the writing instrument, and (2) a longitudinally slidable means disposed within said barrel at the rear of the writing unit and adjacent said actuating member for cooperation with said actuating member to cause the writing unit to be alternately projected from the barrel and releasably latched at projected position and then retracted within the barrel upon successive manipulations of the laterally shiftable and rockable actuating member. The actuating member and the longitudinally shiftable member include cooperating cam means for translating the transverse movement of the actuator member into longitudinal movement of the longitudinally movable member as well as cooperating means for maintaining releasable engagement between the actuator and the longitudinally shiftable means for defining projected position.
In addition to the above structural features which have been generally disclosed in the prior art, the longitudinally movable member includes: (a) a fulcrum for allowing rocking of the actuator about said fulcrum to disengage the actuator from longitudinally shiftable means when said writing unit is at projected position, and (b) a supporting block disposed at the rear portion of the longitudinally shiftable means to provide a lateral support to the upper end of the actuator member for preventing inward movement of said upper clip end with respect to the barrel when the writing unit is retracted and the clip member is in its usual clipping relation exteriorly of the barrel.
ln summary, it is readily apparent that in addition to the usual components of a writing instrument which include a barrel, a writing unit slidably disposed therein and means for normally urging said writing unit to retracted position, such as a return spring, the improved mechanism of the present invention requires only two parts: (a) the laterally shiftable and rockable actuator which includes a clipping element, and (I1) the longitudinally shiftable member that includes: (l) cam means for translating transverse motion into longitudinal motion, (2) latch means for releasably engaging said member with said actuator, (3) a fulcrum point for allowing rocking of said actuator to retract the writing unit, and (4) means for laterally supporting the upper end or rear of the clip when the writing unit is retracted and the clip is in usual clipping relation.
These and other features of the present invention are described in further detail below in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FlG. l is a side elevation of a writing instrument of the present invention with a portion of the forward barrel portion broken away;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross section of the upper portion of a writing instrument showing the mechanism of the present invention as positioned when the writing unit is at retracted position and the clip is in its usual clipping relation exteriorly of the barrel;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross section of the upper portion of the writing instrument showing the mechanism of the present invention as positioned when the writing unit is at projected position;
FIG. 4 is a transverse cross section taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 2;
FG. 5 is a partial, longitudinal cross section taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the actuator member with the clip element removed;
FIG. 7 is a front elevation of the actuator with the clip element removed;
FIG. 8 is an end view of the actuator shown in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is an end elevation of the longitudinally shiftable means;
FlG, l0 is a front elevation of the longitudinally shiftable means; and
FG, ll is a side elevational view of the longitudinally shiftable means shown in FIGS. 9 and l0.
Referring to the drawings in more detail, it will be seen that the particular embodiment chosen for illustration of the present invention comprises a forward barrel portion l?. having the usual opening ld throughvwhich a writing unit 16 projects when in writing position. Axially aligned with the forward barrel portion i2 is a rear barrel portion i8 which is provided with a lateral opening 20. Writing unit 16 is slidably urged toward its rearmost portion within central bore 2l of rear bari-el portion 1S by biasing spring 22 which is seated between shoulders formed within forward barrel portion ll?, and on the writing unit le, respectively.
Attention is now directed to FIG. 2 in which it will be seen that the operating mechanism 23 comprises an actuator 24 which has mounted thereon clip 25. The actuator Z4 is a substantially channel-shaped member having a flat clip platform 25 to which is attached clip 25. The clip platform 26 is shouldered along its length at Z7 and 27 to limit the outward travel of actuator 214 through lateral opening 2u in rear barrel portion t8. The side walls 28 and 23 of actuator 24 extend inwardly within central bore 21 of rear barrel portion l and are formed perpendieularly to the clip platform 26.
The forward end and inner portions of actuator 24 are provided with a pair of forwardly facing, inclined cam members 29 and 2g. The forwardmost tip of the actuator Ztl terminates in a transverse tlat to provide a latching tip 3u while the rearward portion of the cam members 29 and 29 are ared outwardly to provide ears 3l and 3l which ride in slots 32 of liner 3?:` (FIG. 5) to prevent relative longitudinal movement of the .actuator 24 with respect to the rear barrel portion 17S. The rearward end of actuator 2.4 has arms 34 which are extensions of side walls 28 and Ztll and are adapted to act in cooperation with slidable member 35' as rear lateral support for the actuator 24 when the clip is in normal clipping position. The liner 33 is internally formed at its rearward end with a rectangular cross section cavity 36 to receive'support arms 34 when they move transversely to the position shown in FlG. 3 when the writing unit is projected.
The longitudinally slidable member 35 is disposed within rear barrel portion 18 adjacent the actuator 24 and is longitudinally movable thereoy. The longitudinally slidable member 35 is generally of a semi-cylindrical shape and is provided on its forward end with rearwardly facing, inclined cam surfaces 37' and 37 which are in sliding engagement with cams 29 and 29' of the actuator 24- Immediately behind the cam surfaces 37 and 317 is a pair of grooves 31S and 387 which are adapted to receive the cams 29 and 29' of actuator 24. The forward walls of the grooves 3rd and 38 are formed to act as latching shoulders 39 for engaging latching tip 3ft of actuator 24 as will be seen in FIG. 3. The rearward end of slidable member 35 is formed to provide a support bar di) on which the supporting arms 34 rest when the mechanism is positioned with the writing unit 16 retracted (FIG. 2). The sliding member 35 at its forward portion is provided with a longitudinal recess 41 that receives the rear portion of writin g unit 16. The recess 41 terminates at its rear end in a cylindrical fulcrum knoll 42 which acts as :both a rearward bearing stop for the writing unit i6 and a fulcrum point for the rocking of the actuator 2d.
To project the writing unit 16, pressure is applied to the forward end of clip 25 which transmits the force to the cams 29 and 2S of actuator 24. This sliding engagement between cams 29 and 29" of actuator 24 and cam surfaces 37' and 37 of slidable member 35 causes slidabie member 35 to move forward against the tension of spring 22 until the latching tip 3? of actuator 2li` engages latch shoulders 39 of slidable member 315. As the slidable member 35 moves forwardly, the support arms 34 clear the beveled end of the sliding member 35 and are received in the cavity 36 of liner 33. Thus it is seen that the writing unit `i6 is projected to a writing position and will not retract as long as the latching tip 30 is engaged with the latching shoulders 39.
It will be seen from the above that when the writing unit 16 is projected the sliding member 35 which carries the fulcrum knoll i2 is moved forwardly hence the fulcrum knoll is moved forwardly. Therefore, the lever arm portion of actuator 2d which is used for retraction is increased, thus giving added mechanical advantage. It is, of course, recognized that the fulcrum knoll A'i2 can be suitably formed on the actuator 2d at a forward position rather than on the slidable member 35 and still provide an equivalent action.
When it is desired to retract the writing unit i5, pressure is applied to the rearmost end of clip 25. This transmits the force to the clip platform 25 and causes it to rock about the fulcrum knoll #i12` so as to rotate the forward end of the actuator 24 and disengage the latching tip 3% from the shoulders 39. When the latching tip Sti is clear of the latching shoulders 39 the spring 22 causes the writing unit 16 to slide rearwardly, the cams 25? and 29' ride up cam surfaces 37 and 317 and the support arms 34 clear the beveled end of sliding member 35 to restore the actuator 24 to the position shown in FIG. 2 and to dispose the clip in position for use.
It will thus be seen that the present invention provides a simple, positive mechanism which is very easy to operate. The cam surfaces provide sufficient mechanical advantage to allow a very small force to project the writing unit. Upon projection, the fulcrum is moved to give increased mechanical advantage to the lever used to disengage the latching tip from the latching shoulders.
The two principal operating parts are so arranged that no fixed, pivoted coupling is required which obviates the necessity of numerous small parts which cause trouble in operation and articulate assembly operations which increase its manufacturing cost.
It will, of course, be understood that the present embodiment is shown only by way of illustration and numerous changes may be made and the full use of equivalents resorted to without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention as outlined in the appended claims.
l. ln a writing instrument having a barrel provided with a main central bore terminating in a forward aperture and with a lateral opening formed in its rearward portion, a writing unit slidably arranged within said barrel, biasing means normally urging said writing unit toward retracted position, and means for selectively projecting and retracting said writing unit with respect to said barrel, the improvement of said projection and retraction means comprising an actuator housed within said barrel for lateral shifting and rocking therein and manually operable at said lateral barrel opening, said actuator being disposed at said lateral opening when said writing unit is retracted and being laterally displaced inwardly thereof .along a linear path when said writing unit is projected, a slidable member disposed Within said barrel rearwardly of said writing unit and adjacent said actuator for longitudinal movement therein, said slidable member including cam and latch means adjacent one end thereof for translating transverse movement of said actuator into longitudinal movement of said slidaole member to project said writing unit and reieasably latch said actuator with said slidable member for maintaining said Writing unit at its projected position and fulcrum means disposed intermediate its length for contact with said actuator when said writing unit is at projected position so that an inward transverse movement of the unlatched end of said actuator rocks said actuator on said fulcrum means and releases the latched engagement of said actuator with said slidable member thereby allowing retraction of said writing unit under the force of said biasing means.
2. The improvement as defined in claim l and further characterized in that said actuator includes a clip element located at its outer face that is normally disposed in usual clipping relation eXteriorly of said barrel when said writing unit is retracted and inoperably disposed within said lateral barrel opening when said writing unit is projected.
3. The improvement as dened in claim 2 and further characterized in that said slidable member has its rearward end formed with a support block portion that laterally abuts the rear of actuator when said writing unit is retracted thereby preventing any inward movement of the rear of said actuator and thus providing stability to said clip when it is in clipping relation exteriorly of said barrel.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS