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Publication numberUS3074135 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 22, 1963
Filing dateApr 12, 1960
Priority dateApr 12, 1960
Publication numberUS 3074135 A, US 3074135A, US-A-3074135, US3074135 A, US3074135A
InventorsBrodowski Frank S
Original AssigneeJohn A Di Lorenzo
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Releasible lace fastener device
US 3074135 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 22, 1963 F. s. BRODOWSKI 3,074,135

RELEASIBLELACE FASTENER DEVICE Filed April 12, 1960 INVENTOR. ZK S. E odo wma' United States Patent 3,074,135 RELEASIBLE LACE FASTENER DEVICE Frank S. Brodowski, Stratford, Conn, assignor of onehalf to John A. Di Lorenzo, Stratford, Conn. Filed Apr. 12, 1960, Ser. No. 21,814 11 Claims. (Cl. 24-117) This invention relates to releasible lace fastener devices, and more particularly to devices of this type which are intended to be worn on the shoe and which eliminate the necessity for tying the shoe laces.

While the invention is illustrated herein as applied to shoes and shoe laces, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to this specific use and application but instead has utility in connection with laces of any type, as used for various purposes.

An object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved releasible lace fastener device which is very simple in its construction, involving components of the simplest possible type and formation.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved lace fastening device of simple construction, wherein an absolute minimum number of parts or components is involved, thereby reducing assembly costs.

A further object of the invention is to provide a novel lace fastening device in accordance with the foregoing, wherein the assembly operations involved in connection with the components are easily carried out, without the necessity for special or costly equipment.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved shoe lace fastening device as above set forth, which eliminates the danger of tripping over the laces.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a simplified lace fastening device wherein the components are so few and simple that the cost of the tooling required to produce such components represents a low figure.

A feature of the invention resides in the provision of a simplified and economical-to-manufacture lace fastening device which is extremely easy to operate, both for the purpose of clamping or securing the laces and also for the purpose of releasing the same, all while [the device remains on the laces.

Another feature of the invention resides in the provision of a simple shoe-lace fastener device wherein the required operation or manipulation of the same may be easily understood and carried out, even by relatively small children.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved releasible lace fastener, which is reliable in its operation at all times and which will not readily get out of order.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a shoe-lace fastener as above set forth, which is attractive in its appearance, relatively small and compact, and which readily lends itself to ornamentation and the use of emblems and the like.

Other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.

In the drawings accompanying this specification, similar characters of reference are used to designate like components throughout the several views, in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary top plan view of the improved shoe-lace fastening device of the invention, shown in its operative position, said device being carried by a shoe.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the lace fastener device removed from the shoe and with the laces removed, the cover of the device being not shown in order to reveal the interior construction.

FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view of the lace fastener device, taken on the line 3--3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view, taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of another type of spring clip 3,074,135 Patented Jan. 22, 1963 ice lace clamping means which may be used in place of the spring clip shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the spring clip shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view through the spring clip, taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a cup-shaped body member, illustrating another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a spring clip of the type adapted for use with the body member shown in FIG. 8.

The present improved shoe-lace fastening device shown herein comprises essentially a relatively low or squat,

cup-shaped body 10 having a cylindrical side wall 11 and a circular or disc-shaped bottom wall 12. The body 10 has lace inlet and outlet opening means, and it is preferred to provide as the outlet opening means a single elongate lace outlet opening 14 and as the inlet opening means a pair of spaced-apart, lace inlet openings 15, both said means being shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. The inlet and outlet opening means 15 and 14 are disposed at peripheral portions of the body 10, the means 14 being in the peripheral wall 11 whereas the means 15 are located just within said peripheral wall. The term at as used herein is intended to signify a condition of close proximity, as well as a condition where the means in question is directly in or on the peripheral Wall.

The body 10 may be readily molded of plastic substance such as polyethylene, nylon (synthetic fiber forming polymeric amide) or other suitable formulations, and in the molding of the body the lace inlet openings 15 may be advantageously incorporated in the bottom wall 12 by the use of suitable core pins. Preferably the openings 15 have rounded edges to avoid any sharp cutting formations which might abrade the shoe laces entering and which are brough through the body. Also, the outlet opening 14, which is preferably disposed both in the cylindrical side wall 11 and the bottom wall 12, may be formed at the time that the body is molded, by the use of a suitable core formation. The opening 14 also preferably has rounded edges to prevent abrasion of the shoe laces.

It will be noted from an inspection of FIG. 1 that the separate spaced-apart lace inlet openings 15 in the bottom 12 adapt the body member 10 especially well to positioning on the shoe upper at the highest lace holes in the upper, and enable the body to rest in a flat position on the shoe.

In contradistinction to such spaced-apart openings 15 for entry of the shoe laces, the laces are preferably brought out from the body 10 through the single elongate opening 14 whereby they are closely juxtaposed at the point of emergence, and are centralized on the shoe upper.

As seen in FIG. 1, ornamental enlargements such as small balls or spheres 17 may be provided on the free ends of the laces 18, to prevent the latter from being inadventently pulled through and removed from the body 10 of the lace fastener.

In accordance with the present invention, in conjunction with the simple and easily molded plastic body 10 there is provided a simple, easily actuated spring clip device adapted to be placed within the body and held thereby in operative position, said spring clip device providing a constrictable channel means through which the shoe laces 18 are passed, and by which the laces are either clamped or else released for free movement.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the spring clip shown therein comprises a peice of thin sheet metal of spring temper. The clip has a generally circular or disc-like base portion 20 provided with an upstanding hooked finger 21, the latter being lanced from the base in a manner well understood in the mechanical arts. The spring clip further has a cooperable clamping portion 23 overlying the center of the base portion 29, said clamping portion having a slot 24 through which the upper part of the hooked finger 21 extends, as seen in FIG. 3. The hooked finger 21 and the slotted portion 23 of the spring clip thus provide an opening or channel through which the two ends of the laces 18 may be passed. Depending on the position of the clamping portion 23, the said channelmay be constricted (as when said portion is free) or else enlarged (as when the portion is pressed downward) thereby to either clamp the laces passing through or else release the same for firee movement. T o facilitate actuation of the overlying clamping portion 23 of the spring clip, there is provided on said portion a turned back end or extremity 25, which is arranged to overlie the hooked finger 21 and adapted to respond to finger pressure, for the purpose of depressing the clamping portion 23. Normally, such portion tends to have a raised position wherein the shoe laces passing under the hooked finger 21 will be securely clamped and held against movement. However, when the finger piece 25- is depressed, the shoe laces will be released, as will now be readily understood.

In accordance with the invention, a thin walled flexible and resilient cover piece 27 is provided, having a flanged periphery 28 adapted to snap over a cooperable bead 29 on the body member 10. The formation and disposition of the cover piece 27 are clearly illustrated in FIG. 3. With such cover piece in place, finger pressure on the center portion of the cover piece will result in releasing movement of the clamping arm 23 of the spring clip, whereupon the shoe laces are free for movement. However, when pressure is removed from the cover piece 27, the spring arm 23 will resume a normal raised position, whereby the shoe laces passing under the hooked finger 21 will be clamped and held against free movement.

The operation and actuation of the present improved shoe lace fastening device may now be readily understood, considering FIG. 1. In this figure, the shoe is shown as being properly laced, with the fastener operative to secure the laces against loosening. The end portions of the laces 18 are extending forwardly and downward of the fastening device as shown. When it is desired to release the laces the fastening device is raised slightly and grasped between the fingers of the hand, and squeezing pressure is applied in a natural manner to depress the flexible top piece 27 at its center. This will cause a release of the spring clip, whereupon the fastening device may now be readily slid along the laces 18 until the ball enlargements 17 are encountered. Sufficient slack is thus provided in the shoe lace to permit the shoe to be loosened and removed from the foot.

As seen in FIG. 1, the flexible cover piece 28 may be provided with various types of emblems or other ornamentation. The figure of a star is indicated in H6. 1, and fraternal emblems, society emblems and various insignia may be utilized, as will be readily understood.

An important feature of the invention resides in the provision of the two spaced-apart bottom openings 15 located along the peripheral portion of the body member 10, whereby the fastener device may lie flat and also be swung upward from the ilat position shown in FIG. 1 for the purpose of grasping it between the two fingers of one hand. Then, upon exerting a squeezing pressure the fastener may be released and readily slid along the laces to the extremities thereof.

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate a modified form of spring clip means which may be utilized in place of the one piece spring clip shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. As seen in FIGS. -7, the spring clip comprises a generally circular or disk-like base 32 adapted to snugly fit within the body member in a manner similar to that shown for the base 20. Rigidly afiixed to the base 32 is an upstanding hollow and tubular clamping member 34 in which there is telescopically received an inner clamping member 36, the latter being held in raised position by a helical compression spring 37 confined within the outer member 34. A spun-in flange 38 serves to retain the inner member in place.

The inner and outer members have slots 39 and 40, adapted to be brought into registration when the inner member is depressed, as by the application of finger pressure to a top-most protruding portion 42 of such member. The shoes laces are passed through the registered openings 39 and 40, and normally the action of the spring 37 is such as to cause the laces to be securely clamped and held against free movement. However, when the inner telescoping member is depressed to correctly register the openlugs 39, and 4c, the shoe laces will be free for movement.

Another embodiment of the invention is idustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. This embodiment comprises a generally low, squat cup-shaped body having, carried by its bottom wall 51, a plurality of tunnel-like structures 52, S3, 54 and 55. The tunnel-like structures 52, 5 3 are shown as being spaced apart and generally parallel, and provide inlet openings for the shoe laces 18. The tunnel-like structures 54 and 55 are shown as convergent, said structures terminating at the periphery of the body 5%? in the single outlet opening 57, whereas at the inside of the body the structures 54, 55 present lace passages which are separated or spaced approximately the same amount as the lace passages of the structures 52, 53.

In conjunction with the body 50 there is provided a spring clip formed of a thin metal strip having the shape of a flattened loop, with a bottom portion 59, end portions 60, upper clamping portions 61 and 62, and upwardly-offset extremities 63 and 6-4. The upper clamping portions 61, 62 are adapted to underlie the shoe laces 18, and such portions are normally spring-urged upward, thereby to clamp the shoe laces at the points where such laces leave and enter the tunnel-like structures 52, 53, 54 and 55. The oifset extremities 63, 64 constitute fingerpieces, by which the spring clip may be actuated to release the shoe laces 18. Such offset extremities will extend below and engage the undersurface of the central portion of the flexible top piece 27, for example, such piece being adapted for use with the body member 50, as may be readily understood. When no pressure is applied to the top piece, the spring clip 58 is in expanded condition, whereby the laces 18 are gripped and pinched against the tunnel structures 52, 55 and 53, 54 thereby to secure the laces against movement. Finger pressure on the top piece will compress the spring clip 58, thereby releasing the shoe laces for free movement. Thus it is seen that the operation of the lace fastener device shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, insofar as the user is concerned, is the same as that of the embodiment of FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, and this is also true of the fastener employing the spring clip of FIGS. 5, 6 and 7.

It will now be understood from the foregoing that I have provided a novel and improved, greatly simplified lace fastening device having a number of distinct features and advantages. The device is small and compact, and extremely simple in construction. It has relatively few components, and the said components may be economically fabricated and assembled.

Moreover, the device is simple to operate, and the operation is easily understood, even by children of tender years. Also, the hazard of tripping over untied laces is completely eliminated. The cost of producing the fastener is low, to such extent that it may be universally used in conjunction with shoes worn by all kinds of people, both children and adults. The fastener lends itself readily to ornamentation and to the use of emblems, whereby it may serve as a distinguishing mark or badge.

The present device may not only be readily fabricated in part of plastic but metal, leather and other suitable materials may also be used. The use of the cap 27 masks the clip and the functioning thereof, so that the operation and working parts are largely concealed, and are protected.

Variations and modifications may be used within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvements may be used without others.

I claim:

1. A releasible lace fastening device comprising a low, squat cup-shaped body having oppositely disposed lace inlet and outlet opening means for enabling two laces to pass through the body, said outlet opening means providing for passage of the laces in side-by-side juxtaposed relation to each other and both said inlet opening means and outlet opening means being located at the peripheral portions of the body; means including a spring clip, providing a constrictable channel for both the laces, said spring clip having a manually actuatable portion for enabling the efiective size of the channel to be changed for the purpose of permitting free passage of the laces through the channel or else for clamping the laces against movement in the channel; and a flexible and resilient cover separate from said clip and actuatable portion, extending over and carried by the cup-shaped body and closing the same, said cover having a flexible wall arranged to be manually displaced for the purpose of transmitting force to the manually actuatable portion of the spring clip, to operate the same.

2. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the cup-shaped body is of molded plastic construction and has relatively thick walls at the said inlet and outlet opening means, said opening means and Walls being devoid of sharp cutting edges which could abrade the laces.

3. The invention as defined in claim 1 in which the opening means in the body comprises two spaced-apart inlet openings for the laces in the bottom wall thereof, and one outlet opening, said outlet opening being of larger size than either of the said inlet openings.

4. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the spring clip comprises a strip of thin sheet metal having superposed clamping portions, one portion having a hooked finger lanced from it and the other portion having a slot through which the hooked finger extends, said slotted portion and hooked finger defining the constrictable channel for the laces.

5. The invention as defined in claim 4, in which the slotted portion of the metal stn'p has an end which is folded back over the said slot, said end being the uppermost portion of the spring clip and constituting the manually actuatable portion of the clip.

6. The invention as defined in claim 1, in Which the spring clip comprises a pair of telescoping members having juxtaposed portions provided with alignable openings, said juxtaposed portions and openings constituting the constrictable channel through which the laces are passed.

7. The invention as defined in claim 6, in which the telescoping portions of the clip include an outer tubular portion having a pair of slots in its side walls and an inner solid portion having a slot through it, said slots constituting the lace accommodating openings, and in which said spring clip further comprises a helical coil spring disposed within the outer tubular member and engaging one end of the inner telescoping member.

8. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the spring clip comprises a thin sheet metal strip formed into the shape of a flattened loop, said clip having relatively movable end portions adapted to individually engage the laces to clamp the same against edges of the said inlet and outlet opening means of the cupshaped body.

9. The invention as defined in claim 8, in which the end portions of the flattened metal loop have upwardly offset extremities disposed below the center portion of the resilient cover, whereby depressing the said cover portion will efiect downward movement of the said extremities to release the laces for free movement.

10. The invention as defined in claim 9, in which the cup-shaped body has raised hollow formations on its bottom, providing tunnel-like structures in which the inlet and outlet opening means are disposed.

1-1. The invention as defined in claim 1, in which the outlet opening means for the laces is disposed partly in the side Wall and partly in the bottom wall of the cupshaped body.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 132,311 Moritz et a1. Oct. 15, 1872 1,725,748 Alexander Aug. 27, 1929 2,236,506 Hirsch Apr. 1, 1941 2,531,835 Anderson Nov. 28, 1950 2,740,654 Orshel Apr. 3, 1956

Patent Citations
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US132311 *Oct 15, 1872 Improvement in book-holders
US1725748 *Oct 5, 1928Aug 27, 1929Alexander Clinton BSlack adjuster
US2236506 *Jun 25, 1940Apr 1, 1941Hirsch Albert W HShoelace holding device
US2531835 *Jul 2, 1947Nov 28, 1950Anson IncExtension key chain
US2740654 *Jan 9, 1953Apr 3, 1956Stoffel Seals CorpCord seal lock
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3418733 *Jun 19, 1964Dec 31, 1968Cyril M. Tyrrell Jr.Shoelace anchor
US4852223 *Mar 15, 1989Aug 1, 1989Mccreary John CClothing cord securing clamp
US4967454 *Feb 17, 1989Nov 6, 1990Elieff Paul JShoe closure system and method
US4969242 *Oct 20, 1989Nov 13, 1990Carlton Sr Darcy MTied shoelace shield
US5337458 *Jul 20, 1993Aug 16, 1994Yoshida Kogyo K.K.Cord stopper
US6202443Feb 24, 1999Mar 20, 2001Jacquelin Annette Grosser-SamuelsAdjustable jewelry
US6334240 *May 18, 2000Jan 1, 2002Ying-Chi LiLace buckle device
US6484535Jan 16, 2001Nov 26, 2002Jacquelin Grosser-SamuelsAdjustable jewelry assembly
US6622358Mar 5, 2002Sep 23, 2003Philip Troy ChristyLace tightening article
US6675446 *Aug 27, 2001Jan 13, 2004J.A.M. Plastics, Inc.Attachable neck lanyard slider
US9044068Jan 5, 2012Jun 2, 2015Tom NealeFastening system and method
US20040148742 *Jan 31, 2003Aug 5, 2004Salomon S.A.Cord locking device and an article including such device
US20130167866 *Dec 31, 2012Jul 4, 2013Diana WrightHair accessory
US20140059819 *May 21, 2013Mar 6, 2014J.C. CleareDecorative retaining assembly for a shoelace
EP0486779A2 *Sep 6, 1991May 27, 1992William Prym GmbH & Co. KGLocking device for cord with at least one going-through cord and with a cord clamp
EP0719958A2 *Dec 18, 1995Jul 3, 1996Ykk CorporationCord stopper
WO2013103853A3 *Jan 4, 2013Jun 18, 2015Neale TomFastening system and method
U.S. Classification24/712.5, 24/545, 24/712.7, 24/115.00G
International ClassificationF16G11/10, F16G11/00, A43C7/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16G11/10, A43C7/00
European ClassificationA43C7/00, F16G11/10