US 3353579 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 21, 1967 K. BECHTERETAL 3,353,579
KEY CASE AND ITS MANUFACTURE Filed Feb. 23, 1966 2 Sh eets-Sheet 1 INVENTORS KATHLEEN BECHTER JOHN R. RUSSELL ATTORNEY Nov. 21, 1967 K. BECHTER ETAL KEY CASE AND ITS MANUFACTURE 2 Sheets-Sheeb 2 Filed Feb. 25,1966
v v INVENTORS KATHLEEN 'BECHTER OHN R. RUSSELL I i I III KZM ATTORNEY United States Patent 7 3,353,579 KEY CASE AND ITS MANUFACTURE Kathleen Bechter, Akron, and John R. Russell, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, assignors to Steere Enterprises Inc., Tallmadge, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Feb. 23, 1966, Ser. No. 529,540 Claims. (Cl. 150-40) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A key case is formed of plastic with a wall pocket containing a removable support to which a chain for the keys is attached.
The invention relates to a new key case.
The case is composed of vinyl or other plastic and includes inside of the case, at at least one end thereof and as an integral part thereof, a cavity which embraces a removable support for a chain on which one or more keys are threaded. The support is advantageously separated from the cavity when keys are added to, or removed from, the case. This support is advantageously elongated and held in a tunnel-shaped cavity, and the inner end of the support is enlarged and of larger cross section than at least part of the tunnel through which it is pressed when placed in the case, so that it is held in the case.
In the preferred form of the invention the case is shaped by dipping a form in liquid plastic, preferably a plastisol, and the form is shaped so as to make the case with the cavity in it, in one piece. There is an opening through the top of the case adjacent the end in which the cavity is formed, and this opening preferably extends most of the length of the top and is widened when the ends of the case are squeezed together so that the keys and the end of the chain on which they are threaded can be readily flipped in and out of the case by a quick motion of the hand. The case is stiff enough to have memory which narrows the opening to its original dimensions when the pressure is relieved. There is no external snap or other fastening on the exterior of the case, which would abrade the pocket.
The case fits the palm of the hand and can be opened with one hand, by squeezing its ends. The outer surface of the two ends of the case are preferably not the same so that even in the dark, a person holding the case in one hand can, by feeling its exterior, readily determine in which end the keys are supported.
The invention is further described in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective of the case with a key on the chain, part of which extends through the open- 1ng;
FIGURE 2 is a front elevation of the form on which the case is formed;
FIGURE 3 is a view of the left end of the form;
FIGURE 4 is a view of the right end of the form in which the tunnel-shaped cavity is located;
FIGURE 5 is a top view of the form;
FIGURE 6 is a bottom view of the form;
FIGURE 7 is a front view of the form with a dipped case on it;
FIGURE 8 is a view of the right. end of the form with a dipped case on it;
FIGURE 9 is a vertical section on the line 9-9 of FIGURE 8;
FIGURE 10 is a vertical section on the line 10-10 of FIGURE 7; and
FIGURE 11 is an exploded view of the chain, the support for the chain and a finished case (partly broken away to show its structure).
FIGURE 1 shows the case 5, the chain 6 and a key 7. As best shown in FIGURE 11, the chain is held in the curled end 9 of a pin 10, the opposite end 11 of which is bent back on itself to form a snug fit in the tunnel 13 in one end of the case 5. The chain is of the type often used for keys with its ends frictionally engaged in opposite ends of a clasp. The inner end 15 of the tunnel 13 is advantageously enlarged somewhat so that the bent end 11 of the pin will seat in it. The pin can readily be removed, as for the addition or removal of a key. The pin and tunnel are illustrative of the many different types of supports and cavities that may be used.
The preferred case is advantageously made by dipping the body 22 of the form 20 in a plastisol, while supported by the plate 21. The heated form is dipped in an upright position, as shown in FIGURE 2, while held by the plate 21, and the temperature of the form and time of the dip are controlled to gel the plastisol to a desired thickness on the form. On removal of the form the case is. heated while still on the form to fuse it. It is then removed from the form and the pin with its chain is inserted (FIGURE 11). The body 22 of the form which forms the interior of the case is made with two side walls 24 and 25 which bulge out slightly at the middle so that when the ends of the case are squeezed they bulge outwardly. The end walls 27 and 28 taper upwardly from the bottom 30. Grooves 32 and 33 in the bottom are deeper at the ends than in the middle to facilitate the escape of air in dipping. The plastisol gells within these grooves and the outside of the bottom of the case is flat, the grooves forming a rib inside which is thicker at the ends than in the middle. This rib stiffens the bottom of the case so that when the ends are squeezed it is the top of the case around the opening 40 (FIGURE 1) thatcollapses.
The pin core 42 and groove 43 at the right end of the form make the tunnel 13 in the thickened end of the case. The shoulder 45 above the pin is lower than shoulder 46 at the other end of the form, and there is a vent 48 through shoulder 45 which facilitates escape of air from the groove 43 in dipping. In making the case, the form is dipped just far enough to cause the plastisol to cover the top of the body portion 22 of the form (FIGURE 10). Both ends of the form are thickened above the portion 22, about the plate 21, as clearly shown in FIGURE 8, and as the plastisol forms about these and plate 21 it forms a smooth-edged opening which is wider at both ends than in the middle. (FIGURE 1.) As best shown in FIGURE 9, the plastisol covers only the lower part of shoulder 46 and comes just below the top of shoulder 45 so as not to interfere with the escape of air through vent 48.
After dipping and fusing, the side walls of the case tend to come together and this tends to close the central portion of opening 40. The groove 43 at one end of the form tends to fill with plastisol, and this groove is deeper than grooves 32 and 33 so there is a depression 50 in the outer surface of this end of the case. When the case is used in the dark or under other conditions when it is inconvenient to look at the case (as when one has a large bundle in one hand, etc.) by feeling the groove while holding it in the palm of one hand, one can readily determine at which end of the case the keys are located. Thus, the case is easily operated with one hand, by flipping the chain with the key or keys out of the case, without the need of actually seeing the case.
The invention is covered in the claims which follow.
What we claim is:
1. A key case which consists of a one-piece, stifliy flexible plastic case having a wall thereof provided with a thickened portion with a cavity therein which cavity opens into the interior of the case, a chain for keys and a support 3 to which the chain is attached, with a portion of the support enclosed by and removably held within the cavity by friction, and an opening through the wall structure of the case near said cavity for the entry and removal of keys while on the chain.
2. The case of claim 1 in which the cavity is tunnelshaped and the support is elongated with the chain attached to one end and with an enlargement at the other end of such size as to make its passage through the tunnel diflicult, the inner end of the cavity being enlarged to accommodate said enlarged end of the support.
3. The case of claim 2 in which the support is of uniform cross section and formed with a loop at one end through which the chain is threaded, and the other end of the support is bent back on itself to form the enlargement.
4. The case of claim 2 which is generally rectangular in outline, being longer than it is wide and relatively flat, the tunnel being located longitudinally of one end with the opening to the tunnel at the top of the case and the opening through the wall structure extending substantially the entire length of the top, the bottom of the case being thicker than the side walls and therefore less flexible, the two side walls of the case bulging slightly at the middle so that when the ends of the case are squeezed toward one another the side walls bulge outwardly and spread the sides of said opening through the wall structure.
5. The case of claim 4 in which the exterior of the case adjacent one end is sufficiently different from the exterior of the case adjacent the other-end to be sensed by feeling the case when held in oneshand.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,016,940 1/1962 Mullin 15040 3,119,429 1/1964 Stiller et a1 15040 FOREIGN PATENTS 877,325 9/1961 Great Britain.
20 JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
F. T. GARRETT, Assistant Examiner.