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Publication numberUS3142119 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 28, 1964
Filing dateFeb 19, 1962
Priority dateFeb 19, 1962
Publication numberUS 3142119 A, US 3142119A, US-A-3142119, US3142119 A, US3142119A
InventorsPatrick R O'brien
Original AssigneePatrick R O'brien
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Letter opener
US 3142119 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 28, 1964 P. R. O'BRIEN LETTER OPENER Filed Feb. 19, 1962 FIG.I


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United States Patent() 3,142,119 LETTER OPENER Patrick R. OBrien, 921 15th, Santa Monica, Calif. Filed Feb. 19, 1962, Ser. No. 174,084 1 Claim. (Cl. C30- 278) This invention relates to that class of devices known as letter openers, and it has reference more particularly to a hand operated cutter whereby a longitudinal edge portion of an envelope may be cut away thus to open the envelope for removal of a letter or otherarticle contained therein.

It is the principal object of this invention to provide an easily operable, effective and readily portable device of the above stated kind, that will operate to cut the longitudinal edge portion of the envelope away with such closeness as not to damage or mar the letter or material which may be sealed in the envelope.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a device of the above stated character that is adapted to employ any one of several present day types of safety razor blades therein as the envelope cutting member, and to provide for easy and ready replacement of the blade as may be required.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an envelope opener comprising a letter support and guide portion with a blade holder pivotally attached thereto in such manner that the blade will be automatically properly positioned for the cutting of the envelope upon the proper positioning of the letter on the support, closing the blade holder thereagainst and then drawing the letter along the guide and through the device.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention reside in the details of construction of the various parts embodied therein; in their relationship as employed in the combination and in the manner or mode of use of the device for the opening of a letter.

In accomplishing the above mentioned and other objects of the invention, I have provided the improved details of construction, the preferred forms of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. l is a perspective view of a letter opening device embodied by the present invention showing it opened to receive an envelope for opening.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on line 2 2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the blade holder removed from the letter guide and support; a part being broken away to better show the blade and its containing recess.

FIG. 4 is a front view of the letter holder and guide, partly in section, and showing the blade holder in dash lines.

Referring more in detail to the several views of the drawings:

In its present preferred form of construction the device of this invention comprises what will herein be designated as the base member and a cutter or blade mounting member 12; these parts being substantially co-extensive and joined pivotally face to face by a securing bolt, or the like 15, passed through corresponding end portions thereof.

It will be understood by reference to FIG. 2 that the base member 10 comprises a longitudinal, vertically disposed sidewall 10a that is integrally cast with a horizontal bottom plate 10b. These parts are in right angular relationship as well shown in their cross-sectional showing in FIG. 2. It is presently preferred that this member 10 be molded or cast of plastics but it might well be made of any other suitable material. It is approximately four inches long but might be increased or shortened according to uses and desires, and the vertical llange or sidewall 10a is about one inch high. The base ilange is made approximately one-half inch wide in order that it may serve with Fice the angularly related vertical flange as support and guide against which the longitudinal edge of the envelope to be cut may be disposed as drawn lengthwise against the slitting blade mounted in the blade holder 12 which will presently be described.

The cutter mounting member' 12 is merely a at plate approximately four inches long and is stepped down in height of about one inch at its swinging end to about onehalf inch at its pivoted end. This plate may also be of plastic or other suitable material. It is disposed atly against the inside face of the vertical flange of the base member and extends therealong, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and near its end of lesser width it receives the pivot bolt or pin 15 therethrough in its pivotal connection with the corresponding end portion of the sidewall 10a of the base member` The bottom longitudinal edge of the plate 12 is formed with a horizontal flange 12]'l that is spaced from the top surface of the base flange 10b a suicient distance as to permit an up and down swinging movement of the free end portion of the plate between its open and closing positions as illustrated in FIG. 4.

The envelope slitting blades 17 presently being used is disposed flatly in a shallow pocket or recess 17 formed in the inside surface of plate 12 and bears atly against the adjacent vertical ange of the base member. It is a blade approximately l'l1/z inches long, 5/16 inch wide and is sharpened along one edge, and is provided in opposite end portions with longitudinal slots 18--18 that receive short studs 19 therein that project outwardly from the plate 12 into the blade containing recess of the plate. The recess 17 is angularly related to the plate edge as shown in FIG. 3 so as to cause a sharpened corner of the blade to project downwardly below the plate edge as has been well shown in FIG. 3. The base flange 10b of the base member 10 is channeled as at 20 in FIG. 4 to receive the corner of the blade therein when the blade mounting bar is pressed downwardly to its full extent. Normally the blade mounting plate 12 is yieldably supported in the upwardly inclined position of FIG. l by means of a small coiled spring 25 that is contained within a vertical bore 26 in the top edge of the vertical ilange of part 10. This spring acts upwardly against a short rod 30 that is contained in the upper end portion of the bore 26 and which rod bears upwardly against an edge flange 31 that is formed on and along the top edge of the blade carrier plate 12 as shown in FIG. 2.

To use this device for letter opening, it may be placed on a table or held in the hand. The spring 25 yieldingly holds the blade bar 12 lifted to such extent as to provide clearance between the flat top surface of the base flange 10b and the downwardly projecting corner of the blade 17 as in FIG. 4.

The letter to be opened is placed with that longitudinal edge portion to be cut olf disposed atly upon the flange 10b and against the back 10a of the base member 10 as in FIG. 2 where it is seen to be received in a shallow channel 31 formed in the forward face of the vertical ange of the back 10a. Then the blade mounting bar 12 is pressed downwardly at its free swinging end lightly against the envelope edge as the letter is drawn along the bar and against the blade, thus to cut away that edge portion of the envelope that is contained between the flanges 10b and 12]'. The slit is of such closeness to the edge of the envelope that danger of damage to the contents of the envelope is negligible. After the cut has been made, downward pressure on ange 31 is released and the spring 25 opens the device for ready removal of the envelope.

A feature of the relationship of the parts 10a, 10b and 12f is such as to serve as a guideway for the envelope. Also, these plates in their closing together atten the envelope 'and will retain papers that may be contained therein from movement into the line of the slitting blade.

This device is convenient to carry; easy to use and elective in its operation. It is optional Whether or not the studs 19-19 are employed as they are not really necessary When the blade fits Well Within the recess 17.

What I claim as new is:

An envelope opening device comprising a base member and a blade mounting member; said base member comprising a side Wall and an integral bottom plate coextensive with the side Wall and at a right angle thereto and kformed with a blade end receiving slot located parallel to and closely adjacent the inside face of said side Wall; said blade mounting member comprising a bottom plate with a coextensive side Wall integrally formed with the bottom plate at a right angle thereto, and formed on its back surface with a shallow blade seating recess that opens at one end through the bottom edge of said side Wall, a blade set in said recess with one end of its sharpened edge projecting beyond the bottom edge of the recessed side wall and into said blade receiving slot of the bottom plate of the base member; said blade mounting member being nested in the angle of the base member with their bottom plates slightly spaced to dene a guideway between them 15; to receive the edge of an envelope to be opened, a pivot bolt applied through corresponding end portions of the side walls ot said members and joining them with their base plates slightly spaced for opening and closing action against an envelope when disposed between them for its opening as drawn along the guideway and against the cutting edge of said blade projecting into said slot of lthe base plate and a spring means mounted in the back wall of said base member and acting against the blade mounting member to urge the members to their open relationship when released for opening.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,651,423Y -Gruhler Mar. 6, 1928 1,908,851 Lafeveret al. May 16, 1933 2,266,863 Hatch Dec. 23, 1941 2,679,098 Deicken May 25, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 407,210 Italy Sept. 21, 1944

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1661423 *Jan 24, 1927Mar 6, 1928Gruhler Charles CEnvelope opener
US1908851 *Jun 2, 1931May 16, 1933Goss Chalapha GSafety razor carton opener
US2266863 *Nov 22, 1940Dec 23, 1941Preble D K HatchCombined pencil sharpener and envelope opener
US2679098 *Mar 18, 1952May 25, 1954Louis A DeickenEnvelope opener
IT407210B * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4711031 *Jul 16, 1986Dec 8, 1987Paul Joseph AnelloEnvelope opener
US4873767 *Jun 20, 1988Oct 17, 1989Lok Hin CSafety letter opener
US5007171 *May 7, 1990Apr 16, 1991Horning Jr John HBag opener apparatus
US6898856 *Oct 17, 2003May 31, 2005King Biu MakLetter opener
U.S. Classification30/278, 30/DIG.300, 30/294, 83/912, 83/607
International ClassificationB43M7/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S83/912, Y10S30/03, B43M7/002
European ClassificationB43M7/00B