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Publication numberUS307767 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 11, 1884
Filing dateApr 28, 1884
Publication numberUS 307767 A, US 307767A, US-A-307767, US307767 A, US307767A
InventorsIsaac W. Heysingeb
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 307767 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



PIOGKET KNIFE. No. 307,767. I Patented Nov. 11, 1884.




SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 307,767, dated November 11 188%.

Application filed April 28, 1884. (ModcL) To aZZ whom it may concern Be it known that I, Isaac W. HnYsINornn, of Philadelphia, in the county of Philadelphia and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a certain new and useful Improvement in Pocket-Knives, &c., of which the following is a full, clear, and exact description, reference being had to the drawings accompanying and forming a partof this specification, in which- Figure 1 is a longitudinal vertical section of a knife embodying myinvention, in which double parallel blades are shown. Fig. 2 is an enlarged similar view in section of the front portion of a single-bladed knife of my construction. Fig. 3 is a view of the knife as it appears when in use. Figs. 4 and 5 show slightly-different forms of the catchactuating spring. Fig. 6 is a view of the metal blank out of which I prefer to form the catch which holds the blade when the same is projected and closes the opening against foreign bodies when the same is retracted. Fig. 7 shows the catch in its completed form. Fig. 8 exhibits the forward end of the knife with the blade-slot closed by the front edge of the spring-catch. Fig. 9 is a cross-sectional View of the handle, showing the top and bottom plates, a a, and the rim A, to which they are attached. Figs. 10, 11, l2, l3, and 14 show samples of various similar tool-blades, which are adapted to be used interchangeably, if desired.

The lettering in all the figures is uniform.

My invention relates to a pocket, dirk, or hunting knife, or similar tool in which the blade is carried in a longitudinal slot or channel in the handle, opening externally at oneend, and is adapted to be projected point foremost from the open end of the said channel and held thus projected by a stop or catch, upon releasing which the blade is retracted into the handle, where it lies concealed until re quired for use. The advantages of thisform of tool are obvious, especially in emergencies,

.as it can be readily operated with one hand, which is not the case with pocket-knives orlike tools as ordinarily constructed.

The first part of my invention consists in providing the handle of the knife or other tool with a spring-catch pivoted at or near the open end of the blade-slot, said catch being so constructed as to turn upon a central pivot alongside the blade, so that the knife as ordinarily held in the hand for use will present immediately under the thumb andv over the pivot a segment of a cylinder or other elevated part, which, being properly roughened, will be rotated by drawing the thumb backward tangentially to the thumb-piece along the axis of the handle, and thus raise the front edge of the catch and uncover the the ordinary pressure of the hand against the.

handle, as when usiiig it habitually, with a simple slight backward pull, is so easy and natural that the knife is opened absolutely without effort, and almost without thought, while its action is instantaneous, either for opening or closing up the blade.

The second part of myinvention consists of providing the front part of the thumb-catch with a broad flap or edge as wide as the blade used therewith,which is adapted to close over the open end of the blade-channel and act as a perfect valve, completely closing the slot against the entrance of foreign substances such as dirt or moisturewhich usually in time render this class of tools inoperative if carried in the pocket, the said edge also acting, when raised, as a stop to impinge against the blade and prevent the retraction thereof by engaging in a transverse groove in the shank of the blade.

The third part of my invention consists of providing the blade with transverse grooves at various points along its length, in addition to the groove which stops the blade when fully project-ed, so that the blade can be firmly fixed at various distances, whereby the knife may be used for purposes to which a long blade is not adapted-as for sharpening pencils, as an eraser, for surgical uses as a lancet or bistoury, or to secure increased strength for heavy work upon the part of the blade required to be ex posed.

The fourth part of my invention consists in adapting a handle substantially of the class of knives specified to receive interchangeably various analogous tools-such as crochet-needles, brad-awls, screw-drivers, marking-pencils, button-hooks, &c.which may be inserted and used at pleasure with a handle common to all, by which means relative cheapness as well as convenience is secured, the blades in themselves being comparatively inexpensive and easy to make.

I In addition to the foregoing, my invention consists of other peculiarities of construction, which will be hereinafter indicated in detail.

Referring to the drawings, Fig. 3 shows a knife constructed in accordance with my invention and having the blade projected. As will be seen, it consists of a hollow handle, A, the forward end of which is provided with a lateral thumb-catch, D, by which the blade is held in place, as shown. The blade B is provided wit-h a number of cross-notches, b b I), along its length, by means of which the catch D is enabled to seat itself therein and lock the blade at various distances of projection. These notches are formed in the body of the blade at its thickest part, and where beveled off to an edge they run out to nothing, as is shown.

In addition to the notches shown in Fig. 3, which I sometimes dispense with in practice, there is another or principal notch, 0, (shown in Fig. 10,) which holds the blade when fully projected, and the shank of the blade in rear of the notch c is made rectangular or solid in cross-section, to slide freely in the groove of the handle and support the edges of the blade from knocking against the sides thereof when retracted. Near its rear end is a stop-lug, B, whereby the forward motion of the blade is arrested when the cross-groove 0 lies beneath the forward edge or lip of the catch D by abutting against a projection within the handle A, whereby the blade B is allowed to drop out only to its proper position when the handle is held downward.

. The slot, groove, or channel in which the blade travels is shown in Fig. 2. It extends nearly from end to end of the handle, and is of a shape to correspond to the solid shank of the blade B, which reciprocates like a plunger longitudinally therein. Near its open end (see Fig. 8) are raised lateral ears h, one upon each side, through which passes the cross-pin f, upon which turns the catch D when acted upon by the thumb. This catch D may be of various forms within certain limits, but is preferably formed in the manner shown, with an elevation above the pin f, which I usually make thesegment of a hollow cylinder (see Fig. 7) having lugs d d pierced with holes 01 d, through which passes the pin f, upon which the catch turns. The front edge or lip of the catch (see a Fig. 8) closes completely over the slot in the forward end of the handle against the opposite side of the said bladeslot, so as to make a symmetrical finish and present only a solid end, as habitually carried in the pocket; but when the elevated or V roughened surface of the catch D is turned upon its pivot, by a tangential pull thereupon to the rear, the forward edge or lip of the catch is raised, so as to open the groove and allow the blade to drop, when the front end of the handle is held downward, until the forward motion thereof is arrested by the impingement of the stop B, Figs. 2 and 8, against a lug or projection within the handle provided therefor. I sometimes project the blade by a concealed spring, but prefer to use gravity, as being more safe and more simple.

To actuate the catch D and hold it firmly closed against the blade B when projected, or against the opposite side of the bladeslot when the same is retracted, I provide the catch D with a spring. (Shown in Figs. 4 and 5 as detached, and in Figs. 1 and 2 as in place.)

For cheapness I prefer to use a coiled spring, which is wound around the central pivot-pin, f, having its two ends extended, so as to engage by one extremity, 6, against the catch D, Fig. 2, and by the other extremity, 6, against a proj ection of the fixed handle A, so that its resistance or tension may hold the catch firmly forward and downward against the backward pull required to open it. I sometimes insert a fiat spring in the handle, its point impinging against the rear edge of the catch to sustain it, or use other forms of spring, as circumstances may require. This catch D may be cast, molded, drop-forged, or formed otherwise. I prefer to make it of gun-metal or steel, and it may be dropped up from a blank ,of the form shown in Fig. 6, or cast in its finished form and dressed up; or it may be struck up from a sheet of brass or other material. I usually roughen or check its surface like the hammer-hold of a pistol, which in form and mode of action it somewhat resembles.

To resist the side pressure upward of the blade against the forward lip of the catch D, I use a screw or rivet or other form of bladesupport f, Fig. 3, across the front of the open end of the blade-slot, and immediately behind the lip of the catch D, so that the shank of the'blade will abut against the said support and be thus securely held. The front edge of the catch D is also supported by this cross-piece, lying directly behind it, against ahard backward thrust of the blade in its handle. I sometimes forge or cast this crosspiece onto the handle, and when I use a screw or removable pin I sometimes so arrange the stop B on the shank of the blade B that it may abut against the said pin f, so that by withdrawing the said pin the blade B may be removed and others substituted therefor.

In constructing the handle, while I sometimes cast or mold it of brass, malleable iron, white-metal, vulcanite, or other substance, in


one solid piece, yet for neatness, strength, and lightness I prefer to make it with an open metal rim (see Figs. 2, 3, and 9) extending around the handle, within which rim the blade lies, and having formed upon it the elevated part the function of which is to allow the requisite motion of the catch D without uncovering its rear edge, and also the lug or car a, Fig. 2, 011 the front end of the lower surface of the blade-slot, which will readily draw out of the sand in ordinary castings, these two projections j and a supporting the blade laterally. I usually form an car, a a, at the rear part of the cross-pieces j a Fig. 2, to avoid the use of more than a single rivet. These ears a and a do not extend entirely down to the surface of the rim A, Fig. 9, but allow a clear space beneath. (See Fig. 2.) I close the sides of the rim by plates of vulcanite, wood, horn, bone, or metal, to conform to the appearance of an ordinary pocket-knife, and secure lightness and strength. These plates, being notched or countersunk partly through their thickness at the front, are in- J serted so that the ears a" a engage and lock them in place, when the binding rivet or screw a is inserted at the rear. I also sometimes rivet the plates a a at the sides as well as the end, or form them in other various and well-known ways.

Figs. 11, 12, 13, and 14 show several interchangeable tools, which may be inserted when the pin f, the screwplug 0, Fig. 1, or the screw (0, Fig. 3, is removed, so that the bladeslot is opened.

In Fig. l I show a double construction, whereby two blades are adapted to lie parallel with each other, and to be projected from the same end of the handle, and independently of each other. These blades may be both knifeblades of different sizes, or different tools of the forms indicated in the figures below or others. For rapid changes I close this double barrel with a screw-plug, O, by withdrawing which the blades drop out at the rear end, and can be replaced or others substituted therefor.

Where made very light for usefor instance, as an eraser-I provide the female thread at O for attachment to apen-holder or pencil, or other like device; or I insert, instead of the plug G, a rubber eraser-head.

My invention, while more convenient for use than a knife requiring the use of two hands to open it, is especially useful when applied to dirk or bowie knives, or those in use by hunters, fishermen, &c., as the blade can be instantly projected by a turn of the wrist if it be possible to secure possession of the handle, while in sudden emergencies an ordinary clasp-knife could not be opened. It is also more useful for glove and shoe button hooks, and for various purposes where it is desirable to instantaneously open and close the blade by the use of a single handas, for instance, in cutting the cord while tying up packages, for

cutting the leaves of books while reading, and for many other miscellaneous purposes which are constantly being met with in almost every ones experience.

Having now described my invention, what I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, 1s-

1. In combination with the handle A, having an internal longitudinal blade-slot open at the end a, the blade 13, having a guidingshank at its rear end and adapted to reciprocate to and fro in said slot, together with the blade-holding catch D, pivoted at f near the open end of said slot, said catch being provided with an elevated or partly cylindrical thumb portion above the pivot, so as to adapt the catch to be partially rotated and opened by a backward pull of the thumb thereupon, substantially as described.

2. In combination with the hollow handle A and blade and shank B, having the stop 0, the spring thumb-catch D, pivoted at f, and provided with an edge or lip to engage with the said stop 0, and an elevated or partially cylindrical thumb-hold adapted to be rotated upon its pivot by a backward tangential pull of the thumb against the same, so as to release the blade, the thumb-surface of the said catch being checked or roughened, to adapt it to be readily actuated by the thumb, substantially as set forth.

8. A lip or edge at the forward part of the rotating thumb-catch D, adapted to engage with a stop, 0, upon the broad surface of the blade B when projected from the hollow handle A, and extending entirely across the said blade, and to close down when the blade is retracted, so as to entirely cover the open end of the blade-slot, substantially as shown and described.

4. In combination with the hollow handle A and thumb-catch D, the reciprocating blade B, provided with detents or stops 0 b Z) Z) at various points, adapted to engage with the catch D, whereby the blade may be fixed and securely held when projected to different dis tances, substantially as described.

5. In combination with the outer openmetallie rim, A, provided with opposite terminal ears j and a, the detachable side plates, a a, adapted to cover the open sides of said rim and form the internal slot or groove, 9, substantially as described.

6. The hollow handle A, provided with the raised ear j, in combination with the thumbeatch D, pivoted at f, and adapted to have its rear end pass down inside the ear j when the front edge is raised, substantially as described.

7. The thumb-catch D, dropped up from a metal blank, Fig. 6, into the form shown in Fig. 7, substantially as described.

8. In combination with the. hollow handle A, having the solid supporting-ear a at its forward end beneath the blade-slot, and the thumb-catch D, adapted to close by its forf in combination with the blade B and stop Ward edge or lip down against the said solid B, said stop being adapted toiinpinge against eat a, the cross-pin f, extending across the the said cross-pin and arrest the forward m0- blade-slot immediately behind the said edge tion of the said blade, substantially as de- 5 0r lip of D, so as to sustain the blade against scribed.

, pressure 11 on its flat side, substantially as described P I ISAAC W. HEYSINGER.

9. In a pocket-knife adapted to have the Witnesses: blade drop out from a hollow handle and to W. S. HOLZER, [o be held by a spring-catch, the cross-pin f or F. M. ROGERS.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3997967 *Apr 16, 1975Dec 21, 1976U.S. Philips CorporationDry shaver with an extendible trimmer
US4926555 *Aug 16, 1989May 22, 1990Wenger SaPocket knife
US5370652 *Oct 8, 1992Dec 6, 1994Kellan; Robert E.Surgical knife blade for making sutureless incisions in the eye and methods therefor
US5774994 *Jul 29, 1996Jul 7, 1998Ekco Housewares, Inc.Collapsible barbecue tools
US6047476 *Mar 10, 1998Apr 11, 2000Ekco Housewares, Inc.Collapsible barbecue tools
US6170161 *Mar 13, 2000Jan 9, 2001Ekco Housewares, Inc.Collapsible barbecue tools
US6266885Dec 4, 2000Jul 31, 2001Ekco Housewares, Inc.Collapsible barbecue tools
US6374500May 2, 2001Apr 23, 2002World Kitchen, Inc.Collapsible barbecue tools
Cooperative ClassificationB26B5/006