US 3152823 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Get. 13, 1964 M. F. BATTERSON 3,152,823
MECHANICAL DEVICE Filed Aug. 6, 1962 75 5 INVENTOR. MILES F BATTERSON ATTOR N EYS United, States Patent 2,152,823 MECHANICAL DEVICE 0 Miles F. Batterson, Kalamazoo, Mich, assignor to :Unifai: fiorporation, Kalamazoo, Mich a corporation '01 L Michigan Filed Aug. 6, 1962, Ser. No. 215,021
8 Claims. (Cl. 292- 87) This invention relates to a latch for a mesh-type cage and particularly to a latch-for a mesh-type animal cage.
Previous latches of acceptable reliability have usually been relatively expensive to manufacture and install, thus adding significantly to the cost of the cage. in some cases the latch assembly has consisted of several different parts thus adding to the complexity of the cage and the cost of its manufacture. It has been common practice to attach such latches by bolting or welding. The former method may require recurrent maintenance to keep the latch tightly fixed to the cage while in use and the latter method of attachment, should it break down, requires special tools for repair which are not usually available to the user.
Such multipart latches often cannot be easily opened and/ or positively latched with only one hand which makes operation difficult when the other hand of the user 1s transferring objects or animals into or out of the cage.
Accordingly, the objects of the invention include:
(1) To provide a latch which is of one-piece construction and which is relatively simple and less expensive to manufacture than existing latches. V
(2) To provide a latch which is easily manufactured in different sizes for cages of different mesh sizes wherein each size latch is capable of use with meshes of several different sizes. (3) To provide a latch which requires no tools, additional parts, excessive efiort or special skills to attach it quickly and positively to the cage and which can be easily removed from the cage if desired by reversing a simple installation procedure. i
(4) To provide a latch which is easily attached to existing cages as a replacement for a defective latch of a different type.
(5) To provide a' latch whereby a cage door can be easily opened or closed and latched positively with one hand and whereby the closing of the cage door will auto matically and positively latch same.
(6) 'To provide a latch which cannot be opened or rendered ineffective by small mammals or lower animal forms.
(7) To provide a latch which is comparatively free of protrusions which might injure an animal either inside the cage or being transferred into or out of said cage or which might harm a person working with said cage and animal.
Other objects of this invention will become apparent to persons familiar with this type of equipment upon reading the following specification and examining the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is an end elevational view of an open mesh cage equipped with a latch embodying the invention.
FIGURE 2 is a section taken along the line IIII of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a partial end view of an open mesh cage equipped with a modification of the invention.
FIGURE 4 is a section taken along the line IV-IV of FIGURE 3.
General Description The objects and purposes of this invention, including those set forth above, have been met by a latch con-.
3,152,823 Fatented Oct. 13, 1964 on the cage by weaving it through the mesh of said cage and is held fixedly in its location by the force of its resilience bearing on the cage mesh. Said resilient force is also used to positively latch the cage door and must be overcome to open said door.
Detailed Description Referring now to FIGURE 1, the embodimentof the invention herein selected for primary consideration is attached to an open mesh cage 1, the mesh of which may be of any suitable construction, here shown as welded. The cage end 2 shown consists of a series of spaced, generally parallel, vertical elongated members hereinafter referred to as wires of which three'are shown at 3, 4 and 5 attached to, in the aforementioned manner, a series of spaced, generally parallel, horizontal wires of which two are shown at 6 and 7. The cage door 10,'which in this embodiment is also of mesh construction, similarly consists of a series of spaced, substantially parallel, vertical wires of which two are shown at 8 and 9 (FIGURE 2) attached in the aforementioned manner to a series'of spaced, substantially parallel, horizontal wires of which two are shown at 11 and 12. The door 10 is in this embodiment supported so that the'common plane through the vertical cage door wires 8 and 9 at least substantially I coincides with the common plane through the vertical wires 5 and 13 of the cage ends 2 and 15, respectively.
The cage door It is hingedly connected to the cage end 15 by any suitablemeans here shown as straps, such as strap 16 fixedly connected to the wire 13 and rotatably supporting wire 9 of the cage door'lil.
' C The latch 20 consists of an elongated sheet of resilient material which may be of sheet steel somewhat longer than the distance between the vertical wires 3 and 5 and somewhat narrower than the distance betweenthe horizontal wires 6 and 7. The latch as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 has a' hemicircular bend 22 at its leftward end, the inner radius of which is not less than equal to and is preferably slightly larger than, the radius of the vertical wire 3.
The midportion of the latch 20 may be bent on a large radius if required so that when the latch strip is properly installed an area 24 on the outer side of said midportion of the resilient latch strip 26 bears forcibly on the inner side of the vertical wire 4.
Near the rightward end'of the latch strip a U-shaped bend 26 is shown which is preferably of equal or slightly larger radius than and is deeper than bend 22 and which faces the same direction as does the bend 22. The depth of the U-shaped bend 26 is sufficient to accommodate both vertical wires 5 and 8. The tips of the U-shaped bend 26 join the left and right sides of the latch strip at the bends 3th and 29, respectively.
The rightward end of the latch strip 20 is here shown as a nose 27 and is preferably bent along the width of the strip at any convenient angle to the longitudinal axis of the strip away from the cage interior.
Operation The latch 20 may be installed on the cage 1 in the position shown in FIGURES l and 2 by first orienting said latch outside the cage 1 such that its longitudinal axis is horizontal and parallel to the plane of the "cage end 2 with the bend 22 to the left and the inner radius of said bend facing said cage end. The leftward end of thelatch strip is first inserted between the vertical wires indicated at 4 and 5 and a pair of horizonatl wires herein indicated at 6 and 7. The leftward end of the latch strip 20 is then moved to the. left past wire 4 and then further left and outwardly from the cage interior untilthe inner surface of the bend 22 engages the outer surface of the wire 3. At
this point the inner surface of the bend 26 has automatically engaged the outer surface of the wire 5 and the latch is installed.
Said latch strip may also be installed, given the same pro-installation orientation as above mentioned by insert- The installed latch strip 20 is limited in its vertical.
movement by' the horizontal Wires 6 and '7 and its rightward-leftward and inward-outward movement as a whole by the configuration of the bends 22 and 26 and the compressive forces between said bends and the vertical wires 3 and 5, respectively, established by the stressed installation of the resilient latch strip 20.
Removal of the latch, should it be desired, can be accomplished by first disengaging the bends 22 and 26 from the wires 3 and 5, respectively, and then reversing either of the above-mentioned. installation procedures. Said latch is preferably installed near the midpoint in height of the cage and opposite the cage end whereon the door is hinged, asshown in FIGURES l and 2, but said latch may be installed at another point in height on said cage end or on the top or bottom of said cage if more convenient. Such placement will not impair the effectiveness of said latch and may be desired for certain special uses. Assuming the cage door to be closed and latched, said door may be opened by moving the nose 27 away from the center of the door (toward the viewer in FIG- URE 1) until the bend 29 is beyond the door at which time the door is free to swing open. Assuming the cage door 10 to be open, said door may be closed and latched simply by swinging the door toward the closed position during which operation the door wire 8 rides on the nose 27 causing said nose to move resiliently away from said door. end of said latch is forced toward the center of the door by its resiliency and position of installation to the point where the inner surface of the bend 26 contacts the outer surface of the wire 5. The door is now restricted from inward or outward movement by the latch strip surfaces joining the bend 26 to the bends 30 and 29, respectively.
Modification The above latch strip is easily made in a modified form to work effectively on mesh-type cages which differ structurally from the cage described in connection with the above latch strip. FIGURES 3 and 4 show installed a latchstrip adapted to use with mesh-type cages wherein the mesh opening is smaller and the wire diameter may be smaller. The modified latch strip 40 may be of lighter gauge resilient material and will not distort lighter cage wire because the latch strip 40bears against wire lengths forming a common side of two adjacent mesh openings thus, in effect, distributing the bearing force over twice the wire length and latch width than would be the case were an unmodified latch used with this small mesh cage.
The latch strip 40 is also modified to work with a cage door 10a which is hinged'outside the cage door opening and which also overhangs the cage end opposite the end of which the door is hinged.
The modified latch strip is otherwise and with few exceptions similar to the principal embodiment in configuration and installation and is identicalthereto in operation. Therefore, the foregoing description of the embodiment of FIGURES l and 2 will, with the addition of the suffix a to the identifying numbers, suffice to describe the embodiment of FIGURES 3 and 4 excepting as indicated otherwise hereinafter.
An elongated notch 42 preferably slightly wider than As said door rides past the bend 29 the rightward the outer surface of the wire 30.
at and extends from the leftward end of the latch strip to the right a distance preferably somewhat greater than the spacing of the wires 3a and 4a. 7 p
The midportion of the latch 4il'is preferably bent in a shallow approximately 2 shaped manner as shown at 4'7 such that the upper break 43 of the Z bend is at a distance from the bend 22a equivalent to the spacing between wires 3a and 4a.
Operation 0 FIGURE 3 Form The latch 49 is.preferabiy installed on the cage 1a in the position shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 by first orienting said latch outside the cage la so that its longitudinal axis is horizontal and parallel to the plane of the cage end 2a with the bend 22a to the left and the inner radius of said bend facing midcage end. The leftward end of the latch strip is first inserted between the vertical wires indicated at 4a and 5a and a pair of horizontal wires herein indicated at 6a and 7a so that the notch 42 essentially surrounds the horizontal wire 46. The leftward end ofthe latch strip 4% is then moved to the left past wire in and then further left and outwardly from the cage interior until the inner surface of the bend 22a engages At this point the inner surface 49 of the latch strip 40 slightly to the left of the bend 26a has automatically engaged the outer surface of the wire 46 at the wire 5a and the latch is installed. Removal of the latch, should it be desired, can be accomplished by first disengaging the bends 22a and 26:: from the wires 3a and 50, respectively, and then reversing the above-mentioned installation procedure.
i from thecenter of the door (towardthe viewer in FIG- URE 3) until the bend 2% is beyond the door at which time the door is free to swing open. Assuming the cage door 16a to be open, said door may be closed and latched simply by swinging the door toward the closed position during which operation the door wire 8a rides on the nose 27a causing said nose to move resiliently away from said door. As said door rides past the bend 29a the rightwardend of said latch. is forced toward the center of the door by its resiliency and position of installation and to the point where the inner surface of the bend 26a contacts the outer surface of the wire 5a. The door 16a is'in this position restricted from further inward movement by the latch strip surface joining the bend 26a to the bend 313a and by the overhang of said door. Said door is restricted from outward movement by the latch strip surface joining the bend 26a to the bend 29a.
Although a particular preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed above for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of such disclosure, which come within the scope of the appended claims, are fully contemplated.
What is claimed is:
1. In a mesh-type enclosure, such as an animal cage, having a swinging door and at least three spaced, parallel, elongated members of which one is adjacent and parallel to the swinging edge of said door, the improvement in a latch construction for said enclosure which comprises:
a latch member comprising an elongated strip of resilient material having a generally concave portion adjacent one end thereof and a second generally concave portion adjacent the other end thereof, said first and second concave portions projecting transversely in the same direction from the remainder of said strip, said first concave portion closely embracing a first side of one of said elongated members, the second concave portion being embraced around the same side of that one of said elongated members adjacent the swinging edge of said door and a portion intermediate said concave portions passing around and lying snugly against an opposite side of the intermediate one of said elongated members, said second concave portion being deeper than said elongated member adjacent said door and being adapted to receive said edge of said door thereinto. v 2. In a mesh-type enclosure, such as an animal cage,
" having a swinging door and at least three spaced, parallel,
generally coplanar elongated members of which one is adjacent and parallel to the swinging edge of said door, the improvement in a latch construction for said enclosure which comprises a latch member comprising an elongated strip of resilient material having a generally U-shaped portion adjacent one end thereof and a second generally U- shaped portion adjacent the other end thereof, said first and second U-shaped portions projecting transversely in the same direction from the remainder of said strip, said first U-shaped portion being hooked around the outside of one of said elongated members, the second U-shaped portion being hooked around the outside of that one of said elongated members adjacent the swinging edge of said door and a portion intermediate said U-shaped portions passing around and lying snugly against the inside of the intermediate one of said elongated members, the second U-shaped portion being of sufiicient depth that the arms of the U extend inwardly beyond said elongated member adjacent said door for embracing the swinging edge of said door. 3. In an enclosure of generally mesh-type construction, having a swinging door whose swinging edge is adjacent a corner of said enclosure, and said enclosure ineluding serially arranged first, second and third parallel elongated members wherein said third member defines a corner of said enclosure and further including first, second and third cross members positioned transversely to said first, second and third parallel members, the improvement in latch construction therefor comprising:
a strip of elongated resilient material of length exceeding the distance between said first and said third parallel members and of width greater than the distance between any two adjacent ones of said cross members but less than the distance between said first and third cross members, a slot in said resilient member parallel with the lengthwise extent thereof and of length greater than the distance between said first and second parallel members but less than the distance between said first and third parallel members, the end of said resilient member divided by said slot being arranged and positioned to embrace the outer side of said first parallel member, a midportion of said resilient member extending past and in contact with said second parallel member with I said slot embracing an intermediate one of said cross members, and the portion of said resilient member near the end thereof opposite said slotted end lying outside of and engageable with said corner of the cage defined by the third parallel member and a U- shaped portion nearer to but spaced from the said last-named end of said resilient member arranged to receive and embrace the swinging edge of said door. 4. The device defined in claim 1 wherein the extremity of said resilient member adjacent the second U-shaped portion is bent in a direction away from the hinge portion of said door to provide a ramp for leading the swinging edge of said door into said second U-shaped portion. 5. In a cage having a sidewall comprising at least three spaced, parallel, elongated members, one of which forms an end edge of said sidewall, and a swinging door having a free end movable toward and away from a position adjacent said one elongated member, the improvement in a latch structurefor the cage which comprises:
a one-piece, elongated latch strip of resilient material,
said strip having a concave portion at one end partially closely embracing one side of the elongated member farthest away from said one member, said strip extending therefrom toward said one member with an intermediate portion thereof contacting the opposite side of the intermediate member, said strip having a second concave portion arched in the same direction as said first concave portion and disposed adjacent said one member, the free edge of said door being receivable into the concavity of said second concave port-ion, and a nose portion extending from the end of said second concave portion remote from the remainder of the strip, said nose portion defining an acute angle with the adjacent'part of said second concave portion.
6. A latch construction for releasably holding a door in place at one end of a mesh-type cage, comprising:
, a one-piece, elongated strip of resilient material having two parallel concave portions extending crosswise of the, strip adjacent the opposite ends thereof with their concavities facing in the same direction and a nose extending from the end of one of said concave portions.
7. A latch construction for mounting on the sidewall of a mesh-type cage and adapted for releasably holding a cage door in position, comprising:
an elongated strip of resilient material having a first U-shaped section adjacent one end of the strip, said first section extending crosswise of the strip and being bent in one direction out of the plane of the portion of the strip adjacent thereto and being curved through an angle of at least about degrees, said strip having at the other end thereof a second U-shaped section which is parallel with said first section and which is bent in said one direction out of the plane of the portion of the strip adjacent thereto so that both sections project in the same direction from said strip, said second U-shaped section being of greater depth than said first section,
and a nose extending from the end of said second section remote from the remainder of the strip and defining an acute angle with the adjacent part of said second U-shaped section.
8. A cage construction, comprising:
a cage having a pair of spaced apart sidewalls formed of criss-crossing wire members;
a door hingedly mounted on the end of one of said sidewalls and having a free end swingable toward and away from the end of the other sidewall;
a one-piece, elongated, latch strip mounted on said other sidewall, said strip having a U-shaped portion at its inner end which opens toward said other sidewall from outside the cage and which snugly embraces one of the wire members thereof, the intermediate portion of said strip being received within the cage and contacting another of said wire members from inside the cage, said strip having another U-shaped portion adjacent its outer end which opens toward said other sidewall from outside the cage, the free end of said door being receivable into said another U-shaped portion, said strip having a nose at its outer end which extends from said another U-shaped portion away from said cage and which is inclined away from both said sidewalls.
References Cited in the file of this patent FOREIGN PATENTS 84,321 Denmark Sept. 23, 1957