US 3260486 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 12, 1966 E. GROFF 3,260,486
HOLDER FOR AUTOMOBILE IDENTIFICATION MEANS Filed Oct. 8, 1965 United States Patent 3,260,486 HOLDER FOR AUTOMOBILE IDENTIFICATION MEANS Emory L. Groff, Pompano Beach, Fla., assignor to Emory L. Groff, Jr., Bethesda, Md. Filed Oct. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 494,093 4 Claims. (Cl. 24841) This invention relates to an improved identification marker for the owners of automobiles.
With the current and future prospect of larger car parking areas, and the presence of many cars of the same type and color parked therein, particularly where the pavement of parking spaces bears no identification, it is difficult for the owner to reasonably quickly find his car when he desires to leave the particular parking space.
In most cases, radio antennae is used to support artificial flowers, ribbons, flags and other similar devices known particularly to the owner to enable him to locate his car. However, as current usage shows, leaving the aerial in its projected position gives rise to the hazard of being bent, either by accident or design, so that its operation is impaired and a relatively costly repair or replacement job becomes necessary.
While it has also been proposed to use the edge of a window glass as well as the rain gutter as an anchoring place for a marker mounted upon an appropriate support, nevertheless they have not come into generally accepted use, notwithstanding the desirability therefor. Where in the past the clip or clamping means has been used on the rain gutter, it readily yields to angular or rocking forces manifested cross-wise of the gutter and which can readily result in detachment and displacement. In other cases, to solve this problem it has been proposed to extend a portion of the rain gutter clamp downwardly to be engaged by the inside edge of one of the doors or windows, when they are closed, for greater stability. However, this has the disadvantage, that if the car is not occupied and the door is unlocked, it is easy to pilfer the entire support as well as to have access to the interior of the car.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to proper identification means support which may be attached to the rain gutter in a manner that it will be firmly held in place against displacement longitudinally of the rain gutter, or, angularly with reference thereto, but, which can be removed, when desired, by the owner of the car either for re-positioning or transfer to another vehicle.
A further object of the invention is to provide a clamptype bracket comprising two mating parts having hooklike terminal portions, the one nearest the roof entering the rain gutter to engage in the included angle between the inwardly directed horizontal wall and the outer vertical wall, while the other part embraces the outer and bottom wall of the rain gutter, so that, when the parts above the rain gutter are firmly clamped together by a screw to hold a staff or stem, the entire bracket is firmly mounted against sliding or rocking movement.
Another object is to provide one of the parts with a laterally disposed key or tongue to enter a slot in the other part, whereby, the key overlies the upper edge of, or a horizontal inwardly directed flange of, the rain gutter, so that the part having the hook and key when secured to the outer member, firmly engages both upper and lower faces or portions of the rain gutter. Therefore, when the two parts are assembled and fastened together, the clamp will not only be held against longitudinal movement but also will be stabilized against lateral rocking or moving transversely of the vehicle.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a construction which lends itself to standard manufacturing procedures and materials such as metal or plastic.
With the above and other objects in view which will more readily appear as the nature of the invention is better understood, the same consists in the novel construction, arrangement, and combination of parts hereinafter described, illustrated, and claimed.
A preferred and practical embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of one of the members illustratinga bottom hook-like portion and gutter edge overlying key.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the complementary outer portion of the clamp also showing a hook-like bottom portion for engaging generally the outer faces of the rain gutter.
FIGURE 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the parts in FIGS. 1 and 2 assembled on a rain gutter.
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view illustrating a portion of the car roof and rain gutter whose adjacent meeting surfaces provide in effect a groove which will receive the inner edge of the hook of the outer clamp.
FIGURE 5 is a side elevation of a clamping bracket as shown in FIG. 3.
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of a modification of the invention.
FIGURE 7 is a detail cross-section of the device shown in FIG. 6.
Similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures of the drawings.
Generally, the roof C of the car has an inturned horizontal flange C which overlies the window areas, and a rain gutter R. Most rain gutters are of channel formation and have an inturned flange while a few are merely of U-shape cross-section but present an upper edge. Where the inner face of the gutter joins the roof, the surface of its outer rounded fillet provides a groove G.
Referring first to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the clamping member A includes a relatively flat vertical upper portion 1 provided with a groove 2 to receive the staff or stem of a marker, and is also provided with an opening A to receive a screw or other fastening, while the bottom edge portion is formed generally in an arc as indicated at 3 to provide a hook terminating in edge 3a.
At an appropriate point above the rain gutter area, the g body 1 is provided with a laterally disposed key 4 ex tending in the same direction as the hook and intended to engage the upper edge or outer face of the rain gutter R while the edge 3a engages in the included inner angle G of the rain gutter and roof.
The mating clamping member B as shown in FIG. 2 includes a relatively flat body portion 5 provided with an opening B to be aligned with the related openings A of FIG. 1, to receive the threaded shank of a bolt, and which shank receives a conventional wing nut N.
As will be further seen from FIG. 2, the outer member B of the clamp includes, at its lower end, a horizontally disposed hook 7 including a top 8, side 9 and bottom 10 wall portions to embrace the rain gutter R.
Substantially at the junction of the top wall 8 of the hook 7 and the upright wall 5, a slot S is formed, preferably lying partially within the plane of the vertical wall 5 and over and above the top horizontal portion of the gutter hook 7. This slot is intended to receive and interlock with the key 4 which will overlie and engage the horizontal top wall 8 of the rain gutter R when the two parts A and B are clamped together.
The rain gutter R, in addition to the top wall 11, has side wall 12, bottom wall 13, and an inner vertical wall 14 which is secured to that part of the car roof C whose adjacent horizontal wall 0' overlies the window area of the car and supports inverted channel C holding the glass gasket.
As will be seen from FIGS. 3 and 4, for example, when the members A and B are fitted to the rain gutter, the inner face of the hook 7 embraces the vertical wall 12 and bottom wall 13, and the upwardly directed edge 10a of the hook may engage within the said groove G formed between the bottom outer corner of walls 10 and 11 of the rain gutter R.
When the device is to be assembled, it will now be seen that the member A has its curved bottom portion 3 placed within the angle of the wall portions 8 and 9 and then moves to a vertical position so that the key 4 enters slot S and is in position to engage the top surface or edge of the rain gutter R.
When the parts are assembled as shown in FIGS. 3 .and 4, and the screw fastenings of whatever kind are made tight, the clamp members A and B will be drawn together thus causing both members of the clamp assembly to rigidly and firmly engage the rain gutter so that it will not move longitudinally, o-r clockwise or counterclockwise, until the fastenings are intentionally released to either effect disassembly; remove the identifying marker from the socket portion 2 of the clamp A; or transfer the entire clamp to another vehicle.
FIGS. 6 and 7 show a modification wherein the marker support is in the form of an integrated spring clamp, which includes an upright marker support holder having a spring base 21 of a cross-section substantially the same as the rain gutter R. This base includes a bottom wall 22 and a compressible side wall 23 having an angular anchoring lip 24. The side wall 23 is first inserted in the rain gutter and then the entire body is turned until the shoulder of the anchoring lip snaps into place behind the inturned edge of top wall 25 of the rain gutter.
1. A holder for mounting identification markers on the rain gutter of an automobile, comprising, in combination,
an inner clamping member having an upper relatively flat portion and also having a pair of lateral portions projecting from the same side thereof and vertically spaced to engage inner and outer portions of the rain gutter to prevent rocking relative to the axis of the gutter,
an outer clamping member having a relatively fiat upper portion and an arcuate hook-like rain gutter embracing lower portion,
and detachable screw means for connecting said members together.
2. An identification marker holder to be mounted on an automobile rain gutter of substantially U-shaped crosssection, having one wall secured to the automobile top to provide a groove at the junction of the gutter and top,
comprising, in combination, a pair of mating clamping members having their arcuate terminal portions formed as reversely disposed hooks located at different levels and one of which enters the rain gutter and the other of which embraces the outer side of the gutter, whereby, the edge portion of its hook enters the aforesaid groove when the clamping members are forced together by screw means. 3. An identification holder for mounting on the rain gutter of automobiles, comprising, a one-piece body including an upright tubular portion and a lower resilient compressible portion disposed at right angles to said tubular portion and adapted to enter the rain gutter to become releasably interlocked therewith.
4. A holder for mounting identification markers on the rain gutter of an automobile, comprising, in combination, a pair of clamping members each having flat upright portions forming means to grip a stem of the marker, and also having reversely disposed arcuate hook-like bottom portions disposed at different elevations to engage and embrace the internal and external portions of a rain gutter, detachable screw means for holding said members together, and cooperating means on said hook-like bottom portions to engage related portions of the rain gutter to prevent both longitudinal and rocking movement relative to the rain gutter, said means including a slot in one of the members disposed in the area of the rain gutter and a laterally offset tongue on the other of said members fitting into said slot and overlying and spaced from the edge of its related hook portion to engage an upper portion of a rain gutter while the hook engages an internal portion thereof.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,288,442 6/ 1942 Felton 248-229 2,358,120 9/ 1944 Winsick 248-43 2,634,928 4/1953 Hawes 248-43 2,669,405 2/1954 Donnelly 248-39 2,718,370 9/1955 Carrier 248-41 2,895,694 7/1959 Graving et al. 248-481 References Cited by the Applicant UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,643,841 6/1953 Wallace. 3,036,545 5/1962 Legg. 3,136,289 6/1964 Johnson. 3,178,139 4/1965 McFarlin.
CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.