US 3083425 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 2, 19-63 R. D. MINNERLY, JR
FASTENER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 18, 1960 Mai A p C F 8 w R April Z,- 1963 R. D. MINNERLY, JR 3,083,425
FASTENER Filed May 18, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 14' Roeri D United States Patent 3,083,425 FASTENER Robert D. Minnerly, .l'n, 7650 South Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill. Fiied May 18, 1960, Ser. No. 29,882 3 Claims. (CI. 24-66) The present invention pertains to a fastener for holding together a plurality of objects. Its use as a paper clip is most easily understood and it will therefore be described in that connection.
Existing paper clips take several forms. Probaby the most common in present day usage is the kind formed to have three reverse bends with the first nested between the legs of the third and spaced from the latter to facilitate insertion over a sheaf of papers. This form of clip is usually satisfactory for holding together a few thin sheets. However, when used upon a thicker bundle the angle between the supposedly parallel engaging portions is such that they are cocked with respect to the plane of the bundle and assume the shape of a wedge. Not only do the cocked ends catch on other objects but the resultant forces induced in the clip itself tend to push the clip off the paper. Other clips have been designed, some with the purpose in mind of reducing slippage when the clip is used .on a thick sheaf. Nevertheless, these clips also have drawbacks. Some are difficult or expensive to manufacture. Many prior designs contribute to excess bulk when filed or otherwise associated with other papers similarly equipped. Even when used on thin sheets and thin stacks, many former and present day clips tend to catch on other objects and dig into the paper.
It is accordingly a general object of the present invention to provide a fastener which overcomes the aforenoted disadvantages of prior clips.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a paper clip capable of securing together and bearing fiat against the sides of sheafs of papers and the like of widely varying thicknesses.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a fastener which firmly secures over its facing working areas the objects held and yet which is easily removable without damage to the objects.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a paper clip of the aforenoted character and which is simple and economical to manufacture yet the working sides can be pre-stressed towards each other in production with variable degrees of stress between them.
A still further object of the present invention is to pro vide an improved method of forming fasteners meeting the above objectives.
A fastener constructed in accordance with the present invention includes an elongate element having an intermediate portion reversely bent upon itself. From one end of that portion both of its free end portions project away and are then reversely bent intermediate their lengths.
The features of the invention which are believed to be new are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood, however, by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a fastener constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the fastener shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the fastener shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the fastener of FIG. 1 in use;
FIG. 5 is a side elevation of that shown in FIG. 4;
FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate the fastener of FIG. 1 in use securing objects of respective different thicknesses;
FIG. 8 is a view of the fastener of FIG. 1 as it is being inserted upon theobjects being secured;
FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the fastener shown in FIG. 1 but during a preliminary stage in its formation;
FIGS. 10 and 11 are side elevational and plan views, respectively, of that which is shown in FIG. 9;
FIGS. 12 and 13 are front and side elevational views, respectively, illustrating a stage in the formation of the fastener intermediate that of FIGS. 9 and 1; and
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
As illustrated for purposes of explaining the present invention, a paper clip 20 is formed from a wire element 21. While various materials are suitable, a low-carbon steel wire preferably is employed. Wire 21 is best protected with an anti-corrosive coating, such as nickel. Of course, a coating of plastic or other resistant metal may likewise be used.
Paper clip 20 has an intermediate portion 22 reverse- 1y bent upon itself as indicated at 23. Its free end portions 24, 25 both project away from the intermediate bends 26 opposite bend 223. Each of end portions 24 and 25 is in turn loosely reversely bent intermediate its length. End portion 24 is generally V-shaped to have legs 28 and 29, while end portion 25 is of similar shape to have legs 30 and 31. The reverse bends 32 of end portions 24- and 25 are spaced from one another in a direction generally parallel to intermediate portion 22.
Wire 21 preferably is of a length such that its extreme ends 34 are disposed near bend 23 of the intermediate portion. As so formed, both legs of portion 25 are disposed across the terminal leg 29 of portion 24. Moreover, in forming clip 20* end portions 24 and 25 are placed under torsion so that when formed as shown in FIGS. 1-3 end portions '24, 25 mutually press against one another. One method of imparting such forces is described below.
In use, clip 20 is disposed upon a sheaf 48 of papers or the like as illustrated in FIGS. 4 to 6. When sheaf 40 is comparatively thick, the two legs of intermediate portion 22 are spread apart by a considerably greater angle than when the clip 'is engaged upon a relatively narrow sheaf 443' as indicated at FIG. 7. In either case, the entire spread of the elements is accomplished by the expansion of the angle between the legs of intermediate portion 22. The legs of each of end portions 24 and 2S lie flat against the engaged surfaces and there is no wedge action between end portions 24 and 25 tending to force the clip upwardly and off the held papers.
An explanation of the forces involved which permit end portions 24 and 25 to always lie flat regardless of the thickness of that which is held may best be understood by first referring to the preferred manner of forming the clip. Initially, its end portions are reversely bent laterally of the intermediate portion and toward one another to form end portions 24 and 25 as illustrated in FIG. 9. In addition the pre-stressing of the sides towards each other can be accomplished in two simple ways. The end portions 24 and 25 can be displaced in the same direction to one side of intermediate portion 22 as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and '11; experimentally, an angle of ofiset between 10 and 20 has been found to be satisfactory. Thereafter, intermediate portion 22 is reversely bent, in the same direction as the offset of end portions 24 and 25 from intermediate 22, to a point wherein the end portions are brought into engagement as illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 13. When the intermediate portion 22 is reversely bent it is bent about an axis that intersects the plane of the sides at an acute angle with the rounded ends of the sides travelling less than each to make contact with each other. Such an axis could be the broken line as shown in FIG. and the working ends would come into contact also as shown in FIG. 13. Finally, the two legs of intermediate portion 22 are compressed tightly together, placing torsion on the two legs and thereby developing the mutual pressure between both the end portions 29 and 31 and the intermediate portions 28 and 36 of elements 24 and 25, respectively, by virtue of torsion placed in the wire. It will be noted that opposite torsions can also be placed upon the two legs at the time the bending begins as a corollary to the methods described.
The relationship sought to be established is an equal compression between each portion of both legs in which there is less offset initially imparted to the end portions than to the intermediate. Thereafter, the relationship established exists for bundles of paper of any thickness since the increase of stress on the elements 22 with thicker bundles is transmitted to the end portions 29 and 31 through torsion developed in the intermediate portions 28 and 31).
Referring now to FIG. 8, initial entry of the sheets of paper into the clip, between bends 32, rotates the latter about an axis parallel to the top edge of the paper and about each of the legs of intermediate portion 22. This motion is similar to that encountered in present day clips. However, as the sheets in sheaf 40 are forced into the clip to a position (FlGS. 4 and 5) at which their top edges engage intermediate portion 22, the torsion in the vicinity of the upper parts of end portions 24 and 2S approaches that in their bottom parts as a result of which all torsional bending is reduced to an amount approaching that built into the clip during the final step of manufacture when the two legs of intermediate portion 22 are finally pressed together bringing end portions 24- and 25 into pressure against one another. place the only bending forces remaining lie in the separation of the two legs of intermediate portion 22. These forces constitute only a rotation about an axis normal to the top edge of the paper and running through bend 23.
Because the resultant bending axis is normal to the top edge of the paper, the securing forces of the clip itself, and particularly those acting on end portions 24 and 25, are normal to the surface of the paper being held. Accordingly, no forces remain which might tend to push the clip up and off the paper. End portions 24 and 25 remain parallel to one another. This is true regardless of the thickness of the object being held by the clip.
Since end portions 24 and 25 lie flat against the paper there are no parts of the clip projecting away therefrom and there is little tendency of the clips to engage other papers or other clips when a plurality of documents are stored or stacked together. Easy initial entry of the sheets of paper into the clip are enhanced by spacing bends 32 apart in a direction parallel to intermediate portion 22. The mutual pressure existing between end portions 24 and 25 insures positive engagement of the clip upon even the thinnest of papers. By disposing ends 34 immediately adjacent intermediate portion 22, the danger of tearing secured sheets, especially those such as tissue paper, is substantially minimized. Yet, all of these advantages are obtained with a clip capable of being formed from ordinary stock and by a method fully adaptable to complete automation. 1
An alternative form of the present invention is that illustrated in FIG. 14. As before, intermediate portion 22 is reversely bent upon itself. End portions 24' and 25' are formed in the same manner as previously described except that their terminal legs 29 and 31' are disposed together in parallel relationship and reverse bend 32' of end portion 25' is disposed closer to intermediate portion 22 than is the reverse bend 32 of end portion 24'. All of the other features described above with respect to the clip shown in FIG. 1 are preferably included in the clip depicted in FIG. 14. Entry of the paper to In consequence, with the clip in be held into the latter clip is achieved by inserting the paper between the two end portions, as an end result of which all expansion of the clip again takes place by a spreading of the legs of intermediate portion 22. When in place, both end portionslie flat against the paper regardless of its thickness.
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. Accordingly, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A fastener comprising an elongate wire element reversely bent upon itself over an intermediate portion of its length forming free end elements normally disposed in parallel planes, said elements including first portions mutually disposed in a plane normal to said parallel planes and end portions collectively projecting laterally from their respective first portions on the same side of said normal plane and each being reversely bent upon itself, said bends in said end portions being spaced from one another in a direction generally parallel to said first portions with one of said bends being closer than the other to the first mentioned bend and the extreme ends of said end portions being disposed in proximity to said first portions.
2. A fastener comprising an elongate wire element reversely bent upon itself .over an intermediate portion of its length forming free end elements normally disposed in parallel planes, said elements including first portions mutually disposed in a plane normal to said parallel planes and end portions collectively projecting laterally from their respective first portions on the same side of said normal plane and each being reversely bent upon itself, said bends in said end portions being spaced from one another in a direction generally parallel to said first portions, one of said bends being closer than the other to the first mentioned bend and the extreme ends of said end portions being disposed in proximity to said first portions, one of the said reversely bent end portions having an intermediatebend portion disposed across the intermediate bend portion of the other end portion and disposed in resilient contact therewith.
3. A fastener comprising an elongate wire element reversely bent upon itself over an intermediate portion of its length forming free end elements normally disposed in parallel planes, said elements including first sections disposed in a plane normal to said parallel planes and intermediate sections bent to project in said parallel planes on the same side of and at difi'erent angles to said normal plane and end sections reversely bent upon said intermediate sections respectively back towards said normal plane, one of said reverse bends of said end sections being closer thanthe other to said reverse bend in said intermediate portion, the end section of one of said elements overlying the intermediate section of the other element and terminating in proximity to the first mentioned bend.
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