Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3131490 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 5, 1964
Filing dateMay 16, 1962
Priority dateMay 16, 1962
Publication numberUS 3131490 A, US 3131490A, US-A-3131490, US3131490 A, US3131490A
InventorsRowen Thomas C
Original AssigneeUnited Shoe Machinery Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Temporary shoe laces and lasted shoes using same
US 3131490 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 5, 1964 T. c. ROWEN 3,131,490

TEMPORARY SHOE LACES AND LASTED SHOES USING SAME} Filed May 16, 1962 In 1/ en for Thomas C Rowen/ By his Aztqrrzey United States Patent M 3,131,490 'IEREGRARY Si-IGE LACES AND LASTED HOES USING SAME Thomas C. Rowen, Marblehead, Mass., assignor to United Shoe Machinery Corporation, Flemington, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey Filed May 16, 1962, Ser. No. 195,162 4 filiaims. (Ci. 36-1) The present invention relates to improvements in temporary shoe laces for use in securing the eyelets of an upper in place against the tension imparted to its during a lasting operation, and also to the provision of lasted shoes having uppers, the eyelets of which are held together by the improved lace.

It has been the usual practice before tensioning a shoe upper over a last to insert within the eyelets temporary laces for the purpose of resisting tension imparted to the upper while the upper in being conformed to the shape of the last. For this purpose the usual temporary lace consists of cords inserted with their ends tied together by a knot or otherwise fastened in a manner to prevent accidental removal. After the lasting operation is completed the cords forming the lace are severed and discarded, so that the last may be released for removal from a completed shoe. Conveniently operated machines have been provided for inserting and tying cord laces, and in some instances it still is the practice to insert the laces by hand where it is desirable to adjust a series of eyelets in an upper with graded lengths emphasizing a preferred style feature in the lines of a completed shoe. Regardless of the manner of inserting temporary laces the cord employed represents an item of expense and the use of a lacing machine or any essential hand operations represent a further factor in the total price of a completed shoe, particularly if special manual adjustments are required after the laces have been inserted and tied tightly with knots.

The invention illustrated herein has for its principal purpose the provision of an inexpensive form of improved temporary shoe lace, the insertion and fastening of which may be accomplished simply and eifectively without the use of a knot or other complex form of securement. Conceivably, a relatively inexpensive holder may be provided, rendering the insertion of the improved lace possible within as short a time as required for machine operation, while permitting convenient manual adjustment during the process of inserting the laces either during or after insertion. In other respects the completed lace is at least as resistant to displacement both before and during the lasting operation as the usual looped cord lace has been and such lacing has the further advantage that the eyelets and upper engaged by the laces are less likely to be marked or otherwise damaged by the laces while a supply of laced uppers is being stored in convenient opened out shape conducive to easy stacking and application to a last.

To the ends noted the lace embodying the present invention comprises a fiat sandwich composed of a relatively inflexible and incompressible elongated metallic strand and a relatively flexible and compressible organic strip secured to the outside surfaces of the strand to protect the eyelets and the surrounding upper against injury from engagement with the strand, the strand having sulficient inflexibility to to enable it to be formed into books at its ends after being inserted within the eyelets of the shoe and to be clenched snugly against the eyelets for retaining the edges of the upper along the lacing slit in the desired opened out relationship before application of the upper to a last.

These and other features of the invention, as hereinafter described and claimed, will be apparent to those 3,131,496 Patented May 5, 1964 skilled in the art from the following detailed specification, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an enlarged cross sectional detail view of,lace forming material suitable for embodiment in the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a similar sectional view of another form of lace material;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view on a reduced scale of a supply reel for the lace forming material shown in MG. 1 or 2;

FIG. 4 is a view in elevation of a preformed lace shaped for convenient insertion in the eyelets of a shoe upper;

FIG. 5 is a slightly enlarged sectional view of one end of the lace shown in FIG. 4, taken along the line V-V of that figure;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view showing the manner of insertion for a length of lace material out from the reel of FIG. 3, as that length is being inserted within the eyelets of an upper;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a shoe upper in which several laces have been inserted and one of the laces is being adjusted and clenched in position;

FIG. 8 is a sectional View on an enlarged scale taken along the line VIII-VHI of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a shoe upper after having been tensioned on a last, indicating the manner in which the temporary laces are removed; and

FIG. 10 is a further sectional view on an enlarged scale taken along the line X-X of FIG. 9, showing a lace after being adjusted and clenched in place.

A temporary shoe lace for use in manufacturing shoes to be effective must meet with a number of requirements including ease of insertion and removal from the eyelets of an upper after partial assembly of a shoe has been completed, reliability in holding the eyeleted edges of the upper together during the lasting operation, ease in adjustment after insertion, absence of hard metallic surfaces capable of injuring the finished surfaces of the eyelets or upper and, by no means least, the use of readily obtainable inexpensive material to form the lace. These requirements have been met in the past by the use of a number of lengths of cord inserted in parallel relation through each pair of eyelets in a shoe upper with loops of the cord passing alternately across the edges and through a pair of eyelets and with each loop passing through the preceding loop to lock the earlier inserted loops in place. A lace thus is formed from interlocked loops effective in securing the eyeleted edges of an upper together while at the same time the lace is capable of easy adjustment after being inserted.

To insert a cord lace with interlocked loops it is necessary to utilize a relatively expensive machine, such as that disclosed in United States Letters Patent No. 2,106,- 320, granted January 25, 1938, upon application of Joseph Fossa. If the ends of a cord lace are tied together with a knot, then it is necessary to untie the knot before adjustment can be made and then to retie it by hand. Such untying and retying is time consuming and inconvenient.

In the use of the temporary shoe lace of the present invention no expensive machine need be used, no knot is required, and changes in the length of the lace between each pair of eyelets is readily accomplished with little effort, the material forming the lace being inexpensive and complying with desirable requirements in all other respects.

Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, it is apparent that the present lace comprises flat sandwich material composed of a relatively inflexible and incompressible elongated metallic strand having low elasticity as compared to its ultimate strength, the strand 3 being in the form of a round drawn iron wire 10, as in FIG. 1 or of flat similar wire 12, as in FIG. 2, the width of the latter being less than the diameter of the eyelet in which it is to be inserted. It is obvious, however, that a bare iron wire would not only cause damage to the finished surfaces of the eyelet, which oftentimes is coated with enamel, but also to the upper. Such damage would be produced by cutting, marring, or discoloration as a result of oxidation or other reaction with the iron of the wire.

To hold the iron wire out of contact with the parts of the shoe, the outer layers of the sandwich are com posed of relatively flexible and highly compressible paper strips 14- of organic fiber, secured to the iron wire by adhesive. Both edges of the fiber strips project substantially from the wire, so that the strips cover the round or fiat strand, especially the edges and the flat surfaces of the flat strand to protect the upper and eyelets. The width of the fiber strips, preferably, is slightly greater than tha diameter of an eyelet to be laced, so that when inserting the ends of a length of sandwich material into an eyelet, a substantial frictional force is required to deform the edges of the strip as it is drawn through, thus enhancing the holding power of the completed lace.

To insert a lace a length, indicated at 16, in FIGS. 3 and 6, may be employed by bending it into an arcuate form and inserting the ends from the outside into a pair of opposed eyelets i8 and 2t fixed within the sides of a shoe upper 22. It is readily apparent that the spacing along the lacing slit between adjacent edges of the upper may conveniently be adjusted by sliding the sandwich material in or out of the eyelets until the preferred relationship is obtained. The positions of the upper edges may then be retained by gripping the ends of the sandwich and carrying them inwardly of the upper through pressure areas between the eyelets and the last, thus securing in place the completed lace as a result of tension produced in the upper during lasting.

Where a lace of predetermined fixed size is to be inserted a length 16 of the sandwich material may be preformed into a U-shape, as illustrated in FIG. 4. In this figure the straight end portions, indicated at 24, of the U are bent to form right angles with the connecting base, indicated at 26. The position at which the ends of the length of sandwich are clenched is determined by their positions in the eyelets i3 and 20, the adjustment being made directly upon insertion of the sandwich length. Also, after the ends of the sandwich are clenched they be unclenched again and reclenched in different adjusted positions, thus accomplishing the desired results with a minimum of attention and effort. As appears in PEG. 5, the cross section of the ends of the sandwich length is crowned to increase its stillness and resistance to withdrawal. The crowned shape is shown as having its concavities facing toward each other but for the sake of protecting the eyelets the concavities might well be faced away from each other. It is often possible to remove laces thus formed from the eyelets of a shoe upper and use them over again in a new lasting operation for a number of times before the material of the sandwich is rendered unfit for further service. Up tot a certain point continued bending and unbending increases the stiffness and resistance to withdrawal.

Even though the sandwich lengths are not preformed as in FIG. 4, it has been found that a generally arcuate shape in the sandwich length is conducive to easy manipulation and adjustment, while inserting the length into the eyelets. Thus, the sandwich material may be supplied in the form of a reel 28, shown in FIG. 3. When withdrawn from the reel the length 16 tends to conform with the arcuate shape originally given to it, which is retained after the length is severed by a knife 30 from the remainder on the reel. With such arcuate sandwich lengths the required number may be supported in a simple holder formed by a block (not shown) provided with spaced shallow slots, the spacing of which is the same as those 4 between pairs of eyelets in a shoe upper. When located in the slots of the block the eyelets of the upper may readily be inserted by slipping the eyelets over the ends of each length. After insertion of the lengths in the eyelets the upper is removed from the block with the lengths in place and the ends bent over and clenched, as by a pair of duck bill pliers 32 in FIG. 7, the bill of the pliers being long enough to reach all of the laces thus inserted.

By the use of paper fiber strips 14 wider than the enclosed metallic strands, so that the edges of the strips fit snugly within and project substantially beyond the enclosed strands, the inserted strand lengths will be retained temporarily within the eyelets merely by frictional engagement inside the eyelets, the edges of the strip being deflected as in FIG. 8 with resulting indentations 34 formed along either edge of the strips as they are engaged by the eyelets. The frictional engagement of the strips in the eyelets thus provides effective means for retaining the adjustment of the lengths before being clenched with a secure grip following adjustment in the eyelets.

For best results the fiber strips enclosing the metallic strands should be at least .005 of an inch thick and with a wire metallic strand 19 its size for best results should be between No. 53 and 59 Twist Drill and Steel Wire Gage Size. For the flat strand 12 of FIG. 2 a thickness of .010 to .016" is effective to resist the stresses and tension set up during lasting of an ordinary shoe upper.

It will be apparent from consideration of FIG. 10 that as a shoe upper is applied to a last 36 and tensioned to make the upper conform with the last the bent over ends of the length 16 forming the lace are gripped a lo-ng pressure areas 37 between the eyelets l8 and 2% of the upper and a tongue 33 or similar corresponding portion of the shoe upper, so that as the lasting tension is applied the ends are gripped with increasing forces against displacement by pressure of the upper against the last, the metallic strand in the sandwich acting to resist elongation of the lace and the fiber strips being compressed by engagement of the eyelets Without injuring their finished surfaces. Furthermore, the fiber strips being somewhat flexible distribute any concentrated forces produced by the enclosed strand over sufficient areas on the upper to avoid marking or discoloration which might occur through direct contact with the strands.

For removing lahe laces after a lasting operation is completed it is only necessary to insert a hooked tool 40 (see FIG. 9) into a lace close to one of the eyelets so as to lift the upper away from the last supported surface of the tongue 38. When the upper is lifted away from the tongue the pressure against the clenched end of the lace is relieved and the lace may be withdrawn from the eyelet. The other end of the lace is withdrawn from the opposite eyelet in a similar manner.

The nature and scope of the invention having been indioated and specific embodiments having been described, What is claimed is:

1. A temporary shoe lace for holding eyel ts of an upper in place against tension imparted to the upper during a lasting operation, comprising a flat sandwich composed of a relatively inflexible and incompressible elongated metallic strand and :two flat relatively flexible and compressible organic strips, respectively secured to opposite outside surfaces of the strand with diametrically projecting flanges extending beyond the strand to fit snugly within and to protect the eyelets land the surrounding upper against superficial injury from engagement with the strand.

2. A temporary shoe lace for holding eyelets of an upper in place against tension imparted to the upper during a lasting operation as in claim 1, in which the width of the sandwich is greater than the diameter of the eyelet through which it is drawn to enhance the holding power of the completed lace.

3. A temporary shoe lace for holding eyelets of an upper in place against tension imparted to the upper during a lasting operation as in claim 1, in which the metallic strand is in the form of a round wire and each organic strip of which covers the 'wire through-out about 180 of its circumference and both of which strips are brought together at their edges to form laterally flanges which will lie flat against the surfaces of the upper to provide a total width slightly greater than the diameter of the eyelets into which they are to be inserted, the ends of the lace being bent through 180 about the eyelets to form hooks, the inner surfaces of which are gripped by pressure between the eyelets and a last as a result of lasting tension in the upper.

4. A lasted shoe provided with a eyeleted upper having a U-shaped relatively stiff temporary lace passing through each of several pairs of eyelets and across the lacing slit and a last over which the upper is tensioned, the ends 6 of the lace being gripped by carrying them inwardly of the upper and toward each other through pressure areas between the eyelets and the last and a fiat cover of cornpressible material secured to opposite sunfaces of the lace with diametrically projecting flanges extending at 180 from each other to protect the eyelets.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 657,852 Oanedy Sept. 11, 1900 688,297 Ellis Dec. 10, 1901 827,937 Miles et a1. Aug. 7, 1906 1,283,014 Young Oct. '29, 1918 1,361,796 Moore Dec. 7, 1920 1,517,118 Lawrence Nov. 25, 1924 3,022,511 Macy Feb. 27, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US657852 *May 29, 1900Sep 11, 1900Ernest E CanedyInstep-fastener for use in lasting shoes.
US688297 *Feb 7, 1898Dec 10, 1901Warren Eugene EllisFastening for shoe-uppers.
US827987 *Feb 2, 1905Aug 7, 1906Reuben M MilesShoe-lacer.
US1283014 *Jul 10, 1915Oct 29, 1918United Shoe Machinery CorpLacer.
US1361796 *Sep 7, 1920Dec 7, 1920Moore Frederick WShoe-fastener
US1517118 *Mar 24, 1923Nov 25, 1924Lawrence Orville HMetal shoe fastener
US3022511 *May 20, 1954Feb 27, 1962Ideco IncPellicle fastener
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4296515 *Jun 9, 1980Oct 27, 1981John HauserFastening of shoe uppers for lasting
US5465442 *Jul 23, 1993Nov 14, 1995Avery Dennison CorporationFastener system for use in shoe-lasting applications
US5557864 *Feb 6, 1995Sep 24, 1996Marks; Lloyd A.Footwear fastening system and method of using the same
US5586353 *Apr 19, 1995Dec 24, 1996Avery Dennison Corp.Plastic fastener for shoe-lasting applications
US8893405 *Aug 2, 2011Nov 25, 2014Nike, Inc.Article of footwear incorporating tensile strands with an elongated cross-sectional shape
US20120017468 *Aug 2, 2011Jan 26, 2012Nike, Inc.Article Of Footwear Incorporating Tensile Strands WIth An Elongated Cross-Sectional Shape
U.S. Classification36/1, 12/113
International ClassificationA43D11/00, A43D11/08, A43C1/00, A43C1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA43D11/08, A43C1/02
European ClassificationA43D11/08, A43C1/02