US 3326188 A
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June 20, 1967 J C LONG DICTATING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 22, 196.5
JOHN 6. LONG ATTORNEYS June 20, 1967 J. c. LONG 3,326,188
DICTATING APPARATUS Filed Sept. 22, 1965 Y 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR JOHN 6. LONG United States Patent 3,326,188 DICTATING APPARATUS John C. Long, 90 Broad St., Charleston, SC. 29401 Filed Sept. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 489,180 1 Claim. (Cl. 1201) This invention relates to dictating apparatus and is particularly directed to an arrangement whereby a secretary may control a dictating machine while taking direct dictation.
Direct dictation to a secretary is invariably slow, subject to frequent interruption and often being inaccurate depending upon the efliciency of the person involved. Dictating machines have come into wide use in an attempt to speed matters, but these are not always satisfactory in that complex material cannot usually be dictated in final form, revision is not always easy, the instruments often provide poor reproduction, and records may become damaged or accidentally erased.
The present invention provides an arrangement whereby a person may dictate to a secretary who has complete and efficient control of both stenographic and machine recording, so that one may be checked against or supplement the other, and it is a major object of the invention to provide for such purpose a novel combination writing instrument holder and switching device adapted to be held in one hand by the secretary taking direct dictation.
A further object of the invention is to provide a novel writing instrument holder in the form of a stiff tube for containing a writing instrument, the tube being adapted to retain a pencil, pen or the like in writing position when held in the hand of the secretary, and the tube also carrying electrical switching means connected for controlling an associated dictating machine, so that the secretary may selectively take direct dictation and record on the machine.
Other objects of the invention comprise details of such a novel writing instrument holder contributing to efliciency and ease of operation, such as friction means in the tube for retaining the pen or pencil and various switch structures.
Further objects of the invention will appear as the description proceeds in connection with the appended claim and the annexed drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a generally perspective view illustrating an embodiment of the invention;
FIGURES 2 and 3 are views in elevation showing different forms of writing implement holders;
FIGURE 4 shows the invention as applied to a portable type dictating machine having an incorporated microphone; and
FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrate, mainly in section, two other forms of writing instrument holders.
FIGURE 1 shows a conventional type ofiice dictating machine 10 wherein the recording belt drive driving mechanism and the recording head assembly therein have the control Wires therefor enclosed in a common flexible cable 11 extending to a handpiece. This type of machine usually is portable but may be energized from the usual 110 volt room circuit by a suitable plug-in cable (not shown).
In the conventional ofiice-type dictating machine this handpiece contains a microphone and switching means, so that the person dictating and holding the handpiece can talk into the microphone, while switching the machine on during dictation and off when not dictating.
The present invention, in the FIGURE 1 embodiment, does away with the hitherto conventional handpiece operated by the person dictating, and in place thereof provides at the end of the cable 11 a special handpiece 12 adapted to be held by a secretary or stenographer receiving dictation.
Handpiece 12 comprises a hollow stiff plastic or metal tube 13 having a closed perforated end section 14 mounting therein a suitable microphone 15. The other end of the tube 13 is open to receive a writing instrument 16, which may be a pencil as shown or a pen, frictionally held therein with the marking end out. Cable 11 enters tube section 14 wherein suitable recording head wires therefrom are connected to microphone 15 and two of the control circuit wires from the cable indicated at 17 extend the length of the tube to terminals of a normally open manual spring switch 18 adapted to be operated by a resiliently mounted finger lever 19.
In operation, while the executive is dictating, the secretary holds the handpiece 12, using her fingers to depress lever 19 and close switch 18 as desired, and she is enabled to write on her pad during dictation periods and between them. The combination of the secrctarys notes with the recording on the belt or other record receiving media in the dictating machine 10 provides an accurate supplement and crosscheck of the direct dictation, enabling the secretary to type her work in final form without questions or mistakes.
In FIGURE 2 the writing instrument holder has internal bowed leaf spring elements 21 for frictionally gripping the writing instrument 16, and the switch 22 is of the type wherein a conducting finger operated contact 23 is normally held away from the terminals 24 of wires 17 by leaf spring means 25, but may be depressed to close the switch by the fingers of the secretary.
FIGURE 3 shows another form of friction holder for the writing instrument in the form of a resilient rubber O-ring 26 held in a recess 27 formed in the tube wall, and in this embodiment the illustrated switch 28 has its terminal bridging contact 29 mounted on coil springs 31.
Otherwise FIGURES 2 and 3 operate and are used as in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 illustrates the invention as applied to a conventional type portable dictating machine assembly 32 containing its own batteries for power and enclosing its microphone at the region adjacent the perforated wall section 33. The usual manual on-ofl switch 34 operated by the person dictating is not used, but instead a parallel control circuit contained in flexible plugged-in auxiliary cable 35 is connected to the end of a tubular writing instrument holder 36 wherein control circuit wries 37 lead to terminals 38 of a normally open switch adapted to be bridged by the conducting end 39 of a resilient finger lever 41 anchored at one end of the tube.
Except for the fact that the microphone is in the machine 32, this embodiment operates like the others.
FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrate a form of the invention wherein the writing instrument 16 is used to operate the switching means for the dictating machine, rather than a finger operated device.
In FIGURES 5 and 6 a tube 42 is reduced at the front end to provide a retainer throat 43 of less diameter than that of writing instrument 16, and the open rear end is externally threaded at 44 to mount threaded hollow cap 45. The dictating machine control circuit wires from cable 35 end in insulated terminals 46 within the cap. In FIGURE 5, a conducting contact 47 is normally held spaced from the terminals as by spring means 48. In FIGURE 6 the switch terminals 46 are adapted to be bridged by a free metal ball 49 mounted in the smaller diameter aperture 51 of a partition 52. With the tube 42 held upright in normal writing position in FIGURE 6, ball 49 will be normally spaced from terminals 46.
In both FIGURES 5 and 6, after the pencil 16 is inserted into tube 42 with its marking end protruding from throat 43, cap 45 is screwed on until the pencil end, here the eraser 53, just engages contact 47 or ball 49 but stops just short of closing the associated switch.
During dictation, the scretary holds the instrument of FIGURE 5 or 6 upright in her hand with the point of the writing instrument 16 pressed on the pad which displaces the pencil upwardly within the tube 42 to close the dietating machine controltswitch at 46, 47 (or 46, 49) during Writing. When she lifts the pencil from the pad the switch is opened automatically and operation of the dictating machine stops.
It will be appreciated that the various illustrated switches and writing instrument holding frictional devices can be interchangeably used in any of the embodiments of the invention, and that the FIGURE 5 and 6 embodiments can be used in an assembly such as FIGURE 1 wherein the microphone may also be mounted in the cap 45.
The tubular writing implement holding and switch mounting combination of the invention may assume various forms and shapes withoutdeparting from the spirit of the invention. The tubes may be made of metal or molded plastic, with the switch wires and contacts suitably insulated according to common practice.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restructive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claim rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claim are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
Dictating apparatus comprising a tubular writing instrument holder adapted to retain a writing instrument in writing position, normally open electrical switching means mounted on said holder, a flexible electrical cable attached to said holder, said cable being adapted to be connected to a dictating machine and having control circuit wiring extending within said holder to said switching means, and a microphone mounted within said holder electrically connected to said switching means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,767,469 6/ 1930 Metzner l2042.07 2,548,478 4/1951 Kavanagh l201 X 3,064,888 11/1962 Van de Mark 23564 X LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner.