US 3345830 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent O 3,345,830 SELF-PIERCING EAR WIRE Ludger A. Fontaine, North Attleboro, Mass., assignor to Barrows Industries, Inc., Providence, R.I., a corporation of Rhode Island Filed Mar. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 437,940 4 Claims. (CI. 63-13) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A self-piercing ear wire consisting of a substantially circular loop having a sharp tapered point at one end and an eye at the other end receiving said point therein, said wire being tempered so as to normally assume its closed position with the tapered point passing through the eye, whereupon when said wire is placed on a wearers lobe, the point will automatically penetrate through the lobe to effect piercing thereof.
The present invention relates generally to the jewelry art and is more particularly concerned with the provision of a self-piercing ear wire.
A primary object of this invention is the provision of an ear wire so designed and engineered as to be placeable on a wearers lobe, after which the wire will slowly and automatically penetrate the wearers lobe until the lobe is completely pierced.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a self-piercing ear wire of the character described wherein the ear wire itself slowly and steadily pierces the wearers lobe without the attendant discomfort and irritation that is sometimes present where an ear lobe is pierced by conventional piercing techniques.
Another object is the provision of a self-piercing ear wire that may be made completely on one automatic machine, thus making manufacture of the instant invention extremely economical.
A further object is the provision of a self-piercing ear wire that is both attractive and comfortable in use and which may be further embellished by supporting any desired ornamentation.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description thereof proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.
In the drawings which illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational View showing the instant invention on a wearers lobe;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a self-piercing ear wire, in its normal position, constructed in accordance with the instant invention;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view thereof;
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing the ear wire spread apart for insertion onto a wearers lobe;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view illustrating the ear wire as it penetrates a wearers lobe;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view showing the ear Wire after complete penetration of a wearers lobe;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevational view, on an enlarged scale, showing certain features of the present invention, and being partly broken away;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a slightly modified form of self-piercing ear wire; and
FIG. 9 is a front elevational view of the ear wire shown in FIG. 8.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. 2 thereof, there is shown generally at 10 an ear wire comprising a wire loop 12 having an integral eye 14 at one end thereof, said eye being in a plane substantially perpendicular to the plane of the loop 12. The other end of the loop is provided with a tapered point 16 which normally extends through the eye 14. The wire loop 12 is preferably formed of a precious metal, such as- 14 karat or 10 karat solid gold, sterling silver, or even gold-filled. The reason for this is that such precious metals are not subject to corrosion such as might result in infection to the wearers car.
It will be understood that the wire loop 12 is made of a tempered wire so that the parts will normally assume the position illustrated in FIG. 2. In this position, it is important to note that the tapered point 16 extends just slightly through the eye 14, and, specifically, the beginning of the taper, as shown at 18, is substantially in the plane of the leading surface 20 of eye 14. It is further important to note, for reasons hereinafter to be described, that the surface 20 of eye 14 is flattened, as shown most clearly in FIG. 7.
It will be understood that any suitable ornamentation may be suspended from the wire loop 12, such as a suitable stone setting 22, having an eye 24 associated with said setting, said eye adapted to be threaded over the wire loop 12. V
In operation and use, the wire loop 12 is spread apart as illustrated in FIG. 4 so that the ends of the loop are suflicicntly spaced from each other to enable the wearers lobe to be passed therebetween. The surface 20 is preferably located adjacent the inner or back surface of the wearers lobe so as not to be visible, and the fact that this surface of the eye is flattened, as hereinbefore stated, results in a smoother and more comfortable positioning of the eye against the rear surface of the wearers lobe. When the ear wire has been so positioned, the loop is gently released, whereupon the pointed end 16 of the wire will slowly and gradually penetrate through the wearers lobe, as illustrated in FIG. 5. After a suflicient time has elapsed, anywhere between a couple of days and a week, the wire will complete its penetration through the wearers lobe until the ear wire again assumes its original and normal position, as illustrated in FIG. 6. Note that the relative positioning of the ends of the ear who after penetration of the wearers lobe, as illustrated in FIG. 6, is identical to the normal and original relative positioning of these parts, as illustrated in FIG. 2.
One of the advantages of the instant construction is the fact that the finished ear wire, with the exception, of course, of the drop ornament 22, may be automatically made in one machine, such as a four-slide machine, which machine will take the straight wire and automatically form the completed ear wire, as illustrated. It has been found that wire of a diameter in the range of .028" to .032" performs quite effectively and that the most effective diameter of the loop 12 is approximately 7 The inner diameter of eye 14 is preferably .125", it having been found from experience that an eye of this diameter is sufficiently large to allow for any slight deviation in course that may transpire during penetration of the pointed end 16 through the wearers lobe. As previously described, the wire is tempered so as to insure return of the wire to its normal and original position automatically when the ends are spread apart as illustrated in FIG. 4. It has been found that when using wire of the above described diameter, a temper of 4 to 6 numbers hard, calibrated on the Brown & Sharpe scale, provides satisfactory and effective resilience.
In FIGS. 8 and 9, a slightly modified form of my invention is illustrated, the only difference being that the wire loop 26 is looped upon itself to provide a second integral eye 28, said second eye being located substantially diametrically opposite from the ends of the wire loop. The second eye 28 actually performs two functions.
First of all, it acts more or less as a spring to enhance the resilience of the wire loop 26 and, secondly, it functions as a support means from which a suitable ornament, such as the ornament 22, may be suspended. In all other respects, this form of my invention is identical to the form illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 7, it again being noted that the pointed end of the wire penetrates just slightly through the upper eye, when the ear wire is in its normal and original position. As previously explained, the beginning of the taper of the pointed end is preferably located substantially in the plane of the leading surface of the upper eye, since this arrangement insures that the end of the pointed wire will be completely through the eye, but at the same time, it will not extend sufliciently therethrough so as to create a hazard to the wearer.
While there is shown and described herein certain specific structure embodying the invention, it will be manifest to those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements of the parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A self-piercing ear wire consisting of a substantially circular but disconnected loop of noncorrosive metallic wire having an eye member extending outwardly from one end of said wire, the other end of said wire terminating in a tapered sharp point normally extending through said eye, said wire including means whereby when said ends are spread apart and said loop is placed over a wearers lobe with the eye on one side of the lobe and the pointed end on the other side, said pointed end will automatically penetrate through the lobe and through the said eye until the loop ends regain their original and normal relative position, said means residing in the tempered condition of said wire.
2. The ear wire of claim 1 further characterized in that the surface of said eye that engages the wearers lobe is flattened.
3. The ear wire of claim 1 further characterized in that the original and normal position of the wire is such that the beginning of the taper of the point is located substantially in the plane of the surface of the eye that engages the wearers lobe, and the end of the point terminates slightly through the eye.
4. The ear wire of claim 1 further characterized in that said eye member is formed from an integral extension of said wire.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,276,122 8/1918 Scheid 119-135 2,713,863 7/1955 Handerson 128-330 2,869,338 1/1959 Norgaard et al. 63l2 FOREIGN PATENTS 70,508 11/1915 Austria 119-135 19,730 9/1911 Great Britain 63-14 F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner.