US 3140519 A
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July 14, 1964 H. w. JOHNSON 3,140,519
' BAG CLOSURE CLIP Filed Aug. 30, 1962 3,140,519 BAG CLOSURE CLIP Herbert W. Johnson, 4060 Harbor Point Drive, Muskegon, Mich. Filed Aug. 30, 1962, Ser. No. 220,418 1 Claim. (Cl. 24-305) This invention relates to a clip element, and more particularly to a unitary spring clip element having an integral closure jaw means formed from a pair of biased legs to grasp an element therebetween.
Clips for grasping articles, closing bags and various other related uses are conventionally formed by the steps of (l) fabrication of two independent legs and a spring, (2) pivotally interconnecting the legs, and (3) attaching the spring to bias them into a gripping relationship. A jaw means formed between the legs may be opened by pressing the legs together against the bias. The fabrication of such clips from the four or so parts required, including the two legs, a pivotal connecting pin, and a spring, necessarily involves the cost of forming each element independently and the cost of assembly. Although such items are indeed small, and the cost of materials is not too great, the multiple of costs involved with these several different components and their assembly necessarily increases the expense of the clips considerably.
Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a unique clip, performing the same or a superior function as previous clips, but formed completely from one unitary piece of stock. The single piece of stock includes two integral legs having an integral jaw means between them, and integral biasing means holding the legs and jaws in a gripping relationship. The novel clip requires no pivotal interconnection pin, or separate spring element. It requires no assembly of parts.
Another object of this invention is to provide a clip capable of fabrication at extremely high rates of production, since all portions of the unitary clip, including the gripping jaws, are integral and can be die-cut in one step from a large piece of stock, in a fraction of a second, and requiring only one die. The clip can be die-cut from a relatively thin sheet of spring steel, die-formed in one step to enable the ends to be interengaged, and then bent into an engaging position to form the finished item. The completed clip has a smoothly operating action. It is capable of an extremely long life since there are no assembly joints to fail. It affords an excellent gripping action of desired bias to hold bags closed or grip other items in the usual manner. There are no delicate pivots to break, or springs to disconnect. The spring action is sturdy and infallible since ,it is achieved by cooperation of all portions of the clip. The jaws, as well as the legs, have resiliency or give since the entire clip is stamped from spring steel.
These and several other objects of this invention will be apparent upon studying the following specification in conjunction with the drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective View of the novel clip, shown holding a bag closed;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the clip blank after it is die-cut, and before the die-forming step;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the clip bank after it is die-formed; and
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the completed clip after it is formed into a loop with its legs interengaged.
Basically, the inventive clip comprises a unitary, elongated, loop-like element formed from an integral elongated, flat, bendable, spring-steel strip. The loop has two legs with one free end of one leg having a centrally positioned, axially extending finger, and the other free end of the other leg having an opening receiving the finger, and having a cross leg or partition to engage the finger United States Patent f 3,140,519 Patented July 14, 1964 and prevent disconnection. The loop formation of the spring steel clip causes the legs thereof to be biased away from each other to tightly engage the finger with the cross leg. Projecting axially from the partition or cross leg is a pair of fingers spaced on opposite sides of the single finger and cooperating therewith to engage an article in a jaw means. Each of the fingers is deformed toward the opposite leg and curved back upon itself to provide a gripping jaw forming a generally closed, circular mouth.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the novel clip 10 is illustrated in FIG. 1 retaining a bag 12 in the mouth of the jaw means formed integrally of the two legs 14 and 16 of the clip. This jaw means, which defines a generally circular, closed mouth therebetween, is formed by an axially-extending, centrally positioned finger 18 on the free end of one leg 14 and a pair of fingers 24 and 26 on leg 16. Finger 18 interfits through an opening 20 in the free end between fingers 24 and 26 of the opposite leg 16. Finger 18 normally engages cross leg or partition 22 on the outer end of opening 20 and midway between fingers 24 and 26.
Central finger 18 is deformed towards opposite leg 16 and then curves back upon itself to form one jaw of the jaw means, while legs 24 and 26 are likewise deformed toward the opposite leg 14 and then curved back upon themselves to form the other jaw. Since the clip is formed of a spring material such as spring steel, and is integral, including base 28 at the juncture of the legs, a biasing force is created by the complete unit that always tends to separate legs 14 and 16 causing engagement between finger 18 and cross leg 22. Compressive pressure applied to the clip on the outside of legs 14 and 16 moves finger 1'8 temporarily away from cross 22 against this bias. Release of the pressure causes a gripping action within the closed, generally circular mouth between the generally semi-circular fingers 18, 24 and 26. The fingers have some give to provide a somewhat uniform pressure to the leg or other article gripped.
The complete spring clip is formed from a thin sheet of spring steel a few thousandths of an inch in thickness. A cutting die can cut a large number of the relatively small, elongated clip blanks 26 (FIG. 2) in a fraction of a second. The elongated fingers 18, 24 and 26, as Well as cross member 22 and opening 20 are all formed simultaneously with one stroke of the die. Next, the 'ends of the blanks are deformed with a forming die to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 3. The ends are both curved so that the fingers bend in the same direction to enable them to crisscross toward the opposite leg when the loop is closed as in FIGS. 1 and 4. The elongated strip is bent around into the loop configuration, and finger 18 is slipped through opening 20 and around the cross leg 22. This causes it to engage the cross leg to prevent the loop from opening up into its elongated form again. The loop may be used as a clip merely by pressing the fingers in the direction of the arrows illustrated in FIG. 4, to open the circular mouth between the jaw means formed by the cooperating curved fingers.
Various advantages and modifications of the apparatus will be apparent to those in the art upon studying the foregoing form of the invention. Such obvious modifications are deemed to be part of this invention, which is to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims and the reasonably equivalent structures to those defined therein.
A clip comprising: an integral piece of flat sheetmaterial forming a pair of spring legs integrally joined at one end and biased away from each other at their free ends; the free end of said legs protruding toward the other leg and each curving back on itself again to form two arcuately overlapped curved portions; one leg having a first finger of a width less than the free end of the second leg; the free end of the second leg having an elongated cut-out through which said finger protrudes; said cut-out being separated into two cut-out portions by an integral cross partition around which said finger curves, said partition being located midway between the points of intersection of said overlapping portions; a pair of finger extensions on the extreme end of said free end of said second leg formed by one of said opening portions nearest the end of said second leg; said finger extensions always being out of contact with said one finger; the contact of said cross partition and said one finger being the only contact between the free ends of said legs; and said legs being movable by a force applied against the bias toward each other to shift said finger away from said partition for reception of an article in a pocket formed between said overlapping portions, said legs when released from said force causing said first finger to apply a squeezing force against an article in a direction toward and against said partition.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 409,880 Stewart Aug. 27, 1889 1,329,422 McKelvey et al Feb. 3, 1920 1,454,213 Chapman et al May 8, 1923 2,075,072 Wachsrnan Mar. 30, 1937 2,254,798 Dye Sept. 2, 1941 2,428,558 Drucker Oct. 7, 1947 2,628,396 Grimes et a1 Feb. 17, 1953 2,852,831 Hanna Sept. 23, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,038,139 France May 6, 1953 74,787 Switzerland Apr. 14, 1917