US 3140494 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 14, 1964 MAGIDSON 3,140,494
STIFFENING MEANS Filed July 31. 1961 y mmvron 25527 Mamie/v United States Patent 3,140,494 STIFFENING MEANS Herbert Magidson, 1450 Carla Ridge, Beverly Hills, Calif; Filed'July 31, 1961, Ser. No. 128,155 4 Claims. (Cl. 2-264) This invention relates generally to stiffening means and more particularly to such-means that may be used in the construction of garments and similar articles.
For hundreds of years, women have used stiffening means in various articles of clothing, such as undergarments, to reinforce the garments, and to prevent their bending or rolling, or otherwise changing shape. For
many years, such stiffening means, a prime example of which was the so-called corset stay, were made of natural' or relatively simple materials, such as whalebone. Later, spring steel strips were used, and more recently, plastic strips have been used. However, all of these various products have had disadvantages and objectionable features, a number of which are overcome by the present invention.
It is thus a major object' of the present invention to provide an improved stiffening means of the type described.
Another object of the invention. is to provide astiffening means that is both light in weight and generally open in construction so that the stiffening means will not add appreciably to the weight of the article to which it is applied, and' at-thesarne time will permit a maximum circulation of air to increase the comfort of the article such as an undergarment.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a stifiening means that is inexpensive and readily fabricated in quantity, so that it will be competitive costwise with pre-' viously used stiffening means.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a stiffening means that may be made in various sizes so that the degree of stiffness may readily be controlled.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide stiffening means that is adaptable to automatic production techniques and machinery so that the product may be manufactured with a minimum of labor and supervision.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of preferred and modified forms thereof, and from the drawings illustrating those forms in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view indicating generally a preferred form of the completed stiffener, the' elements going to make up the stiffener, and the general method of fabrication of this preferred form of stiffener;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary plan view, to a larger scale, of'a completed section of stiffener of the form shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view, to a still larger scale, taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 2, showing. the various parts before they are clamped. together by the method shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3, but showing theactual operation of clamping the partstogether as it occurs in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary plan'view of a stiffener in which thespacing member is slightly differently formed to divide the area between'the two side members into 3,146,494 Patented July 14, 1964 2. FIGURE 2, showing an optional method of construction of such a stiffener;
FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view, on an enlarged scale, of the stiffener shown'inFIGURE 7; and
FIGURE 9 is a plan view of a stiffener that has been edge-bent.
Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURE 1 thereof, the stiffener 10 of the present invention is formed in a manner generally resembling that of a girder or similar construction element. Thus, the stiffener 10 has longitudinally extending side members 11 and 12 that are held in spaced relationship by a spacing member 13. Preferably, the spacing member 13 takes the form of a zig-zag shaped wire or filar member that, with the side members 11 and 12, forms a series of triangles in the completed stifiener to increase the rigidity of the assembly. It will be recognized that the shape of the spacing member 13 may be varied, as indicated, in FIG- URES 5 and 6, but the generally triangular shape, shown in FIGURES l and 2 is preferred.
The side members 11 and 12 may take different forms, as will be seen hereinafter, andthe spacing member 13 may likewise take different forms. Additionally, the method of connecting the various elements to each other may be varied, various forms having their advantages, but in the preferred form, the side members 11 and 12 take the formof channel members 'whose cross-sectional form is best seen in FIGURE 3.
As best seen in FIGURES 3 and 4, the depth of the channel 12'should be approximately equal to the diameter of the wire forming the spacing member 13 so that the spacer maybe properly held to the side members 11 and 12. It will be appreciated that the channel-shaped members Hand 12 may be formed by bending a strip of lightweight sheet rnetaL'by extruding the desired shape, or by any other suitable means. The production of such channel members presents no problem, and the dimensions of such members may be held to very close tolerances. Similarly, the diameter of the wire forming the spacing member 13 may likewise be held to very close tolerances. Under these conditions, it is a very simple matter to insure that the parts all fit together in the manner intended.
It will be appreciated that the wire forming the zigzag spacing member 13 is essentially conventional wire which is furnished on' a reel or spool. Prior to its combination with the side members Hand 12, the plain wire must be given the zig-zag shape shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, and this can easily be done by conventional machines that are readily available. Essentially, these machines bend the wire back and forth between two laterally displaced sets of pins or fingers, forming the desired zigzag shape, and the'dimensions of the finished zig-zag spacing member 13. can beheld to very close dimensional limits. It will be appreciated, of course, that the wire used to formthe spacing member 13 is preferably of the resilient material, though it usually need not be of such resilience or springiness as is usually achieved by heat-treating a wire after it is formed.
After the wire forming the spacer 13 is given its zig-zag shape, .it becomes essentially a strip of' material, and is then fed between the side members 11 and 12, which are correspondingly fed at the same rate, with their open sides toward each other. The spacingmember 13 is thus fed between the side members and the bights of the spacing member fit within the channel sections, as indicated in FIGURES 1 through 4. It will be understood, of course, that the side members 11 and 12 and the spacing member 13 may be continuously fed from their respective supply reels or forming equipment, so that the stiffening member 10 emerges as a continuous strip or ribbon.
To provide the necessary stiffness, and to prevent the side members 11 and 12 from separating from the spacing member 13, it is necessary to anchor the side members to the spacing member. In the form shown in FIG- URES 1 through 4, this is most conveniently done by bending the arms of the channel sections 11 and 12 around the wire forming the spacing member 13. Thus, as indicated in FIGURES 3 and 4, the wire forming the spacing member 13 fits snugly into one of the channel sections, such as side member 12, the arms of the channel section originally being substantially parallel, as shown in FIGURE 3. However, after the side sections 11 and 12 and spacing member 13 are all properly placed together, appropriately shaped jaws or dies 14- and 15 engage the opposite sides of the channel section 12 and bend the edges of the sides around the bight of the spacing member 13, as indicated in FIGURE 4. The spacer 13 is thus anchored to the side member 12, and a similar clamping or crimping operation is performed at each bight of the spacing member 13 that fits within the channel or side member 11.
The crimping action not only holds the spacing member 13 to the side members 11 and 12, but also acts to prevent any longitudinal shifting of these members with respect to each other. As a result, a stiff but lightweight stiffening means is provided that is very resistant to bending in its plane, but which is flexible in a direction perpendicular to that plane. This, it will be recognized, is one of the characteristics of so-called boning or similar stiffening means.
The continuous strip of stiffener is cut into desired lengths, and the ends of the cut length are protected by end pieces or caps 16 and 17. These end pieces may be formed of any suitable plastic or metal, and serve the purpose of making it easier to insert the stiffener 10 into a pocket that has been provided for it, as well as preventing the relatively sharp edges of the stiffener from wearing through the adjacent fabric. For these reasons, the end caps 16 and 17 are preferably made smooth and rounded, and of only slightly larger size than the stiffener 19 itself.
The stiffener 10, because of its flexibility in a direction perpendicular to its plane, is capable of conforming smoothly and easily to the contours of the body. Its stiffness or rigidity in its own plane makes it very satisfactory for supporting or stiffening in that direction. However, with proper equipment, it is possible to bend the stiffener 10 in its own plane so that it then has a curved shape, and in this new, curved, shape it will still retain its stiffness. Such a stiffner 10a is shown in FIGURE 9.
A strip of material that is bent in its own plane is said to be edge-bent, and one use for an edge-bent stiffener 10a is in the manufacture of brassieres, and particularly strapless brassieres, where a frame, including one or more edge-bent stiffeners 10a, must be flexible enough in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the stiffener to conform to the shape of the body, and must be sufficiently stiff in the plane of the stiffener to resist tension or other forces tending to straighten the curved section as the brassiere is tightened about the body. While it may sometimes be preferable to bend the side members 11 and 12 and the spacer member 13 before joining all three members, more often it is preferable to form the stiffener 10a as a straight ribbon, and then edge-bend the ribbon to the desired shape. In this way, a stiffener having a nonuniform curvature may more easily be produced.
In the process of edge-bending, the strip 10a is held fiat, and is bent around a form of a shape and size to provide the desired final shape, making due allowance for the spring back of the form 10a when it is released. In bending the stiffener 10a, the inner side member, for example 11, will normally not be compressed or shortened, but will usually remain the same length or be slightly lengthened. The outer side member, for example 12, will be considerably lengthened, depending upon the degree of curvature and the width of the stiffener 10a, and the stiffening section 13 will be slightly deformed so that the triangular sections whose apices are on the inner side will be wider than those triangles whose apices are on the outer edge. The resulting edge-bent form, While differing in appearance from the straight stiffener 10, will nevertheless be immediately recognized as being closely related to the straight form, and the same benefits of high strength and light weight will be obtained.
In FIGURES 7 and 8, there is illustrated an alternate form of construction in which the side members, instead of being channel sections such as the sections 11 and 12 previously described, are formed of solid material such as square or round wires. Since the spacing member 13, which may be the same as that shown in the first form, cannot fit within the side member 21 and 22, the three elements are caused to adhere by other means, such as by welding, soldering, or by means of high strength adhesives. Welding may cause a change in the stiffness characteristics of the metal, which may require further heat treatment. However, this is not necessarily required, but depends upon the particular wire used, and its condition. Soldering is less likely to cause a change in the characteristics of the metal, and of course, the adhesive is least likely. By suitable production equipment, the side members 21 and 22 may be held to the stiffener member 13 in a continuous manufacturing process that welds, solders, or cements the three elements together. Such equipment in and of itself forms no part of the present invention, except as its function may be utilized in achieving the described results. The finished stiffener is provided with end pieces or caps 16 and 17, as the previously described form is, and the stiffener is used in the same manner. It is likewise possible, of course, to bend the welded, soldered, or cemented form of stiffener into edge-bent shapes, as the preferred form is.
It will be appreciated that if desired, the spacing member 13 may be held to the channel-shaped side members 11 and 12 by adhering means, such as welding, soldering, or cementing, instead of, or in addition to the crimping of the side members as previously described. The cementing process may take use of any of a number of adhesives and cements effective to join metal to metal.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that there have been provided a new and improved stiffener fully capable of achieving the objects and securing the advantages heretofore set forth. While there have been shown and described preferred and optional forms of the device, the invention is not to be limited to the particular form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown, except as limited by the claims.
1. An apparel garment stiffener which includes: a pair of longitudinally extending, laterally spaced, sheet metal side members; a single, generally longitudinally extending spacing member having a substantially zig-zag shape, contacting the separate side members alternately; means for permanently anchoring said side members and said spacing member together against relative movement where said spacing member contacts said side members; and smooth end surfaces on the stiffener to lessen wear of garment fabric and facilitate insertion of the stiffener into a fabric pocket.
2. An apparel garment stiffener which includes: a pair of longitudinally extending, laterally spaced channelshaped side members disposed With the channel openings facing each other; a spacing member between said side members, said spacing member having a substantially zig-zag shape with the bights thereof fitting into the open channels of said side members; means for anchoring said side members and said spacing member together against relative movement Where said spacing member contacts said side members; and smooth end surfaces on the stiffener to lessen wear of garment fabric and facilitate insertion of the stiffener into a fabric pocket.
3. An apparel garment stiffener which includes: a pair of longitudinally extending, laterally spaced, channelshaped side members disposed with the channel openings facing each other; a spacing member between said side members, said spacing member having a substantially zigzag shape with the bights thereof fitting into the open channels of said side members; means forming a part of said channel-shaped side members and engaging the inner surface of each bight to anchor said side members and said spacing member together against relative movement thereat; and smooth end surfaces on the stiffener to lessen Wear of garment fabric and facilitate insertion of the stiffener into a fabric pocket.
4. An apparel garment stiffener which includes: a pair of self-supporting longitudinally extending, laterally spaced side members; a single, generally longitudinally extending spacing member of substantially zig-zag shape having its bights contacting the separate side members alternately; means for permanently anchoring the bights of said spacing member to said side members to prevent relative movement therebetween at their points of engagement; and smooth end surfaces on the stiffener to lessen Wear of garment fabric and facilitate insertion of the stiffener into a fabric pocket.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 954,900 Spragiotti Apr. 12, 1910 1,106,477 Schuler Aug. 11, 1914 1,231,089 Stebbins et a1 June 26, 1917 1,842,612 Kahn Jan. 26, 1932 2,089,023 Hahn Aug. 3, 1937 2,112,480 Coddington Mar. 29, 1938 2,300,181 Spaight Oct. 27, 1942 2,622,272 Macomber Dec. 15, 1953 2,666,202 Ongley Jan. 19, 1954 2,710,967 Bohm June 21, 1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 511,588 France Dec. 29, 1920