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Publication numberUS3392556 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 16, 1968
Filing dateApr 21, 1967
Priority dateApr 21, 1967
Publication numberUS 3392556 A, US 3392556A, US-A-3392556, US3392556 A, US3392556A
InventorsAtkinson Wallace E
Original AssigneeLong Mfg Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pushbutton latch and lock mechanism
US 3392556 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1968 w E. ATKINSON 3,

PUSHBUTTON LATCH AND LOCK MECHANISM Filed April 21, 1967 2 Shets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ATTORNEYS y 16, 1968 w. E. ATKINSON 3,392,556

PUSHBUTTON LATCH AND LOCK MECHANISM Filed April 21, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 126,2 1 3m ,us

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ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,392,556 PUSHBUTTON LATCH AND LOCK MECHANISM Wallace E. Atkinson, Petersburg, Va., assignor to Long Manufacturing Company, Inc., Petersburg, Va., a corporation of Virginia Filed Apr. 21, 1967, Ser. No. 632,718 Claims. (CI. 7071) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A push button latch and lock mechanism for luggage and the like which includes a keeper tongue on one of the luggage sections and a latching unit on the other luggage section. The latching unit has an integral pushbutton and elongated latch bar member pivoted adjacent one of its ends for latching and releasing the keeper tongue. A spring controls the bar member to effect latching and release of the keeper tongue.

The present invention relates in general to a combined latch and lock structure especially adapted for application to containers or receptacles, such as luggage, having separable parts to be releasably secured in closed position, and more particualrly to a combined latch and lock structure for luggage cases and similar containers having a cover section hinged to a body section, employing an axially movable push button member to control latching of the mechanism.

It has been the usual practice in the design and construction of combined latch and lock mechanisms for luggage cases and the like to provide a spring-biased bolt on one of the separable container sections which is urged into latching relation with the keeper on the other separable case section whenever the sections are moved to closed relationship. Frequently, a movable finger piece of some sort, which is usually rectilinea rly reciprocated or pivoted through an arc, has been provided in such prior devices to permit the operator to overcome the spring-bias and release the latch. When key locking facilities are associated wth such latch and lock mechanisms, usually rather complex structural arrangements are required to achieve locking or unlocking of the latched bolt. Such prior latch and lock mechanisms usually had a large number of parts which required a relatively high degree of skill to assemble, and which frequently needed specialized machinery or mechanical jigs to assist assembly. Obviously, a reduction in the number of parts used in the manufacture of such prior structures would make possible a considerable cost saving and could improve the reliability of operation of the mechanism and its longevity in use.

An object of the present invention is the provision of a novel combined latch and lock structure involving a pushbutton type of release mechanism which is axially moved to effect unlatching of the assembly, which is simple in construction, comprised of a relatively few parts, and which is compact in arrangement, attractive in appearance, and reliable in operation.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a combined latch and lock structure having an integral pushbutton and catch mechanism which are pivotally sup ported within a casing, the pushbutton being shifted inwardly along a substantially rectilinear axis to effect the release of the catch mechanism, when the mechanism is in unlocked condition.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a combined latch and lock mechanism of the type described in the preceding paragraph, wherein the pushbutton is provided on a pivoted catch member of special configuration cooperating with a specially configurated leaf spring member for selectively restraining the catch member and pushbutton in release position and co-active with the tongue of a keeper to release the pushbutton and catch member to an outwardly projected posi tion interlocking with the keeper tongue, whereby a durable and simplified lock and latch construction with a pushbutton actuator is achieved.

Yet, another object of the present invention is the provision of a novel key locking mechanism in association with a pushbutton actuator member in a combined latch and lock structure to effect locking and unlocking of the same.

Other objects, advantages, and capabilities of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the latch and lock mechanism of the present invention assembled on fragmentary portions of a luggage case;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded perspective view of the latch and lock mechanism embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is a horizontal section view taken along the line 33 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a vertical section view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a vertical section view taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 1; and

FIGURES 6 and 7 are views similar to FIGURES 3 and 5, respectively, with the lock in unlatched cOndition.

Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures, the combined latch and lock structure of the present invention is indicated generally by the reference character 10, and comprises a latch portion 11, which may, for example, be mounted on a tray or body portion 12 of a luggage case, and a keeper portion -13 which may be mounted on a separable cover section 14 of the luggage case. Such latch and keeper portions are usually mounted on the front wall of their respective receptacle sections, adjacent the plane of separation between the receptacle body and cover, indicated by reference character 15.

The keeper portion 13 of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, and as shown in broken lines in FIGURE 5, is an integral member fixed against the inner surface of the front wall portion of cover section 14 by any suitable means such as rivets or other fastening devices, and has an upper mounting portion 16 disposed against the inner surface of the front wall portion, and a downwardly extending tongue 17 having a keeper aperture 18 therein entirely surrounded by peripheral portions of the tongue 17. The tongue 17 is inwardly offset in the illustrated embodiment, but may be straight or outwardly offset as may be required for particular installations.

The latch portion 11 comprises a casing 20 of forwardly opening box-like construction having laterally projecting mounting flanges thereon, and horizontal top and bottom walls 22, 23, the casing 20 being designed to be recessed in a suitable, correspondingly configurated opening in the front wall of the luggage body 12. Within the casing 20 is an integral pushbutton and latch member 24 in the form of an elongated latching bar pivoted adjacent one of its ends in the casing 20 by means of a pivot pin 25. The elongated pushbutton and latch member 24 has a cylindrical bore 26 near the pivoted end thereof to receive a corresponding cylindrical portion of a rotatable key barrel 27, and at a more remote location from the pivot pin 25, has a forwardly or outwardly protecting pushbutton formation 28, here shown to be of oval or-elliptical configuration in front elevation The free end portion of the pushbutton and latch member 24 opposite the pivoted end thereof is provided with a rearwardly facing socket housing a coil spring 29 bearing against the rear wall to continuously bias the pushbutton and latch member 24 to an outward or projected position. Immediately rearwardly of the pushbutton 28 is a vertical cavity or aperture 30 opening through the top and bottom surfaces of the member 24 and surrounded on all sides by portions of the push button and latch member 24 designed to receive the keeper tongue 17 therein. The cavity 30 is of generally U-shaped configuration when viewed from above or in top plan view, and has a latching tongue 31 projecting from the rear wall thereof into the cavity 30 to latch into the keeper aperture 18. A slot 32 is provided in the top wall 22 of the casing 20 in registry with the cavity 30 and corresponding substantially in horizontal cross-section to the keeper tongue 17 to permit passage of the keeper tongue 17 downwardly into the latching cavity 30.

The pivoted pushbutton and latch member 24 is very simply controlled to effect latching and release of the keeper by means of a recurved leaf spring 33 disposed within the casing 20 between the pushbutton and latch member 24 and the bottom wall 23, the leaf spring 33 having a lower leg 43 terminating at its free end in a downwardly turned, narrow tab 34a projecting into a slot 35 in the bottom wall 23 of the casing restraining the spring against transverse movement, a bead formation 36 at the bend in the intermediate region of the leaf spring 33 to be nested in a concave recess 37 formed in the lower portion of the pushbutton and latch member 24 immediately adjacent the pushbutton formation 28 between the latter and the pivot pin 25 permitting relative sliding movement of the pushbutton and latch member 24 relative to the leaf spring at an upwardly concave upper leg 38. The mid-portion of the concave upper leg 38 of leaf spring 33 is exposed at the bottom of the latching cavity 30 to be contacted by the lower edge of the keeper tongue 17 when the keeper is projected into latched relation with the cavity 30, and terminates at its free end in an upwardly curved terminal edge 38a having a rabbet or rightangular recess 38a at the rearmost portion of the edge 38a adjacent the rear wall of the casing 20.

The portion of the pushbutton and latch member 24 rearwardly spanning the latching cavity 30 is of considerably narrower vertical dimensions than the portion of the pushbutton formation 24 forwardly bounding the latching cavity 30, for example terminating at approximately the level of the center of the pushbutton formation 24 or the bottom of the latching tongue 31, defining a narrow bridge portion 39 having a downwardly facing edge adjacent the terminal edge 38a of the upper leaf spring leg 38. The shoulder of the rabbet or recess 38a in the terminal edge 38a of the leaf spring leg 38 is so located relative to this edge of the bridge portion 39 that when the pushbutton and latch member 24 is depressed rearwardly or inwardly of the casing 20' a sufficient extent to withdraw the latching tongue 31 from registry with the slot 32 in the top wall of the casing 20, thus releasing the latching tongue 31 from the keeper aperture 18, the edge of the bridge portion 39 registers with the rabbet or recess 38a permitting the terminaledge 38a to rise into the latching cavity 30 whereby the transition shoulder of recess 38a engages the bridges 39 to hold the pushbutton and latch member 24 against spring bias return to its outermost or projected position. The pushbutton and latch member 24 is thus held in its retracted or innermost limit position until the keeper 13 is again positioned so as to project the keeper tongue 17 through the slot 32 and into the latching cavity 30 to a sufficient extent to engage and depress the upper leg 38 of the leaf spring 33 to release the pushbutton and latch member 24 from the holding action of the rabbet 3811. When the keeper tongue 17 is so inserted into the latching cavity 30 to depress the upper spring leg 38 and release the pushbutton member 24 for outward movement to its projected position under the action of its coil spring 29 the latching tongue 31 is thus projected into the keeper tongue aperture 18 to latch the keeper 13 with the pushbutton and latch member 24.

To permit key locking of the latch portion 11 in such interlocked condition with the keeper 13, a sliding, keyactivated bolt member 40 is provided against the rearwall of the casing 20 between the latter and the pushbutton and latch member 24. The bolt member 40 has a suitably-shaped aperture therein to receive and be activated by the key bit, and has a raised stop formation 41 thereon disposed to normally register with a relieved portion or recess in the rear wall of the pushbutton and latch member 24 when the bolt is in unlocking position to permit appropriate inward movement of the pushbutton and latch member 24 to a position fully releasing the keeper tongue from the latching tongue 31. However, when the bolt member 40 is projected to the locking position, the stop formation 41 bears against or underlies a raised or uninterrupted portion of the rear wall of the pushbutton and latch member 24 at a position preventing such inward movement of the push button and latch member 24 as would retract the latching tongue 31 from the keeper tongue aperture 18 when the keeper tongue is located in the slot 32 and latching cavity 30. A suitable detent spring 42 overlies the bolt 40 and has a detent nose or bulge 42 therein disposed to register with a complemental socket in the bolt member 40 when the latter is in the unlocking position and to contact the adjacent end of the bolt member 40 when the latter is in the locking position to resiliently and releasably restrain the bolt member 40 in the position to which it has been adjusted by the key.

A suitable ornamental face plate, here indicated by the reference character 43, may be employed to cover the front of the latch portion 11 and provide an attractive appearance for the exposed portions of the lock, the face plate 43 having appropriately shaped recesses 44, 45 to receive the pushbutton formation 28 and the key-barrel 27. In one convenient arrangement, the face plate 43 may have rearwardly projecting integral tubular studs adjacent the opposite ends thereof to pass through accommodating apertures in the mounting flanges 21 of the casing 20 and through appropriate openings in the front wall of the luggage body 12, the assembly being retained in position of the luggage body by upsetting the open ends of the studs to form heads at the inner surface of the luggage front Wall.

In the operation of the latch and lock mechanism, the pushbutton and latch member 24, when the luggage halves are closed and the keeper tongue 17 is projected through the slot 32 in the casing 20 into the latching cavity 30, normally occupies the outwardly projected or forward limit position wherein the latching tongue 31 projects into interlocked relation in the keeper tongue aperture 18. The keeper tongue 17 is of such length as to project entirely through the cavity 30 with its lower end extending a sufficient distance to engage and depress the upper leg 38 of the leaf spring to a stressed condition spacing its terminal edge 38a somewhat below the edge of the bridge portion 39. The lock and latch mechanism may be locked in this condition by inserting the key into the key barrel 27 and turning the key in the proper direction to project the bolt member 40 to the locking position disposing its stop formation 41 relative to the pushbutton and latch member 24 so as to block inward or retracting movement of the pushbutton and latch member 24 to a position releasing the latching tongue 31 from interlocked relation with the keeper tongue aperture 18. Upon opposite movement of the key to shift the bolt member 40 from the locking to unlocking position, the pushbutton formation 28 can then be manually depressed inwardly, pivoting the pushbutton and latch member 24 inwardly about the pivot pin 25 and against the force of its coil spring 29 until the latching tongue 31 is withdrawn from vertical alignment with the slot 32 and thus is withdrawn from the keeper tongue aperture 18.

Since the keeper tongue 17 in the latched condition depresses the upper leg 38 of the leaf spring 33 somewhat below its normal position, the release of the latching tongue 31 from the keeper tongue permits the upper leaf spring leg 38 to then force the keeper tongue upwardly for a short distance and thus initiate separation of the two luggage sections. The push button and latch member 24 being in its rearward or retracted position when this occurs is restrained in this retracted, released position by engagement of the rabbet 38a of the upper spring leg 38 with the bridge portion 39 as was previously described. The latch mechanism is thus held in an open condition awaiting reinsertion of the keeper tongue 17 and release of the pushbutton and latch member 24 for forward pivotal movement to its latching position by engagement of the keeper tongue 17 with the upper leaf spring leg 38 and consequent release of the rabbet 38a from the bridge portion 39.

While but one specific embodiment of the present invention has been particularly shown and described, it will be apparent that various modifications may be made therein within the spirit and scope of the invention, and it is desired therefore that only such limitations be placed thereon as are imposed by the prior art and set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A latch and lock mechanism adapted to be mounted on separable parts of a container adjacent a line of separation therebetween, comprising a keeper to be affixed to one of the separable parts having an apertured keeper tongue projecting across the line of separation, a latching unit to be affixed to the other separable part including a latch casing, an elongated integral latch bar member pivotally supported in said casing for movement about a pivot axis perpendicular to said plane of separation between an outwardly projected latching position and an inwardly retracted release position and including a pushbutton extending integrally therefrom and spaced from the pivoted end thereof, said latch bar member having a cavity opening toward said keeper for receiving said keeper tongue and a latch tongue carried by said latch bar member projecting into said cavity to interlock with the keeper tongue aperture, and releasable means for holding said latch bar member in said inwardly retracted release position responsive to removal of the keeper tongue from said cavity and for releasing said latch bar member to said outwardly projected latching position responsive to insertion of said keeper tongue into latched position in said cavity.

2. A latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 1, wherein said pivot axis is located adjacent an end of the latch bar member and said pushbutton is an outwardly projecting button formation on said latch bar member located remote from the pivot axis, said cavity extending through said latch bar member along an axis paralleling the pivot axis, and said releasable means having a shoulder formation extendable into said cavity for latching engagement with said latch bar member at said release position and means positioned to be engaged and actuated by the keeper tongue upon insertion to latched position in said cavity for releasing said shoulder formation from said latch bar member.

3. A latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 2, wherein said releasable means comprises a leaf spring disposed between said latch bar member and a wall of said casing opposite said keeper, said leaf spring having a resiliently flexible leg normally biased to extend into said cavity when the keeper tongue is removed from the cavity and terminating in said shoulder formation at a free edge of said leg disposed in latching engagement with a bounding surface of said cavity when said leg occupies its normal position, said flexible leg being positioned to be engaged by the keeper tongue and flexed to a stressed position disengaging said shoulder formation from said bounding surface of said cavity to release the latch bar member to said outwardly projected latching position when the keeper tongue is inserted to a selected axial depth in said cavity registering the keeper tongue aperture with said latch tongue.

4. A latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 1, wherein said releasable means comprises a leaf spring disposed between said latch bar member and a wall of said casing opposite said keeper, said leaf spring having a resiliently flexible leg normallybiased to extend into said cavity when the keeper tongue is removed from the cavity and terminating in a shoulder formation at a free edge of said leg disposed in latching engagement with a bounding surface of said cavity when said leg occupies its normal position, said flexible leg being positioned to be engaged by the keeper tongue and flexed to a stressed position disengaging said shoulder formation from said bounding surface of said cavity to release the latch bar member to said outwardly projecting latch ing position when the keeper tongue is inserted to a selected axial depth in said cavity registering the keeper tongue aperture with said latch tongue.

5. A latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 1, wherein said releasable means comprises a leaf spring disposed between said latch bar member and a wall of said casing opposite said keeper, said leaf spring having a resiliently flexible leg normally biased to extend into said cavity when the keeper tongue is removed from the cavity and terminating in a shoulder formation at a free edge of said leg disposed in latching engagement with a bounding surface of said cavity when said leg oocu-pies its normal position, said flexible leg being positioned to be engaged by the keeper tongue and flexed to a stressed position disengaging said shoulder formation from said bounding surface of said cavity to release the latch bar member to said outwardly projected latching position when the keeper tongue is inserted to a selected axial depth in said cavity registering the keeper tongue aperture with said latch tongue, said free edge of said spring 'leg being spaced from engagement with the latch bar member when in stressed engagement with the keeper tongue occupying a latched position within the cavity whereby upon release of the latch tongue from latching relation with the keeper tongue said spring leg returns toward its normal position and imparts withdrawing movement to the keeper tongue in engagement therewith.

6. In latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 4 a key locking mechanism, including a key responsive slide bolt supported for sliding movement between locking and unlocking positions, said bolt having a stop formation disposed in intercepting relation to a portion of said latch bar member at said locking position to stop movement of the latter toward said release position before withdrawal of the latch tongue from interlocking relation with the keeper tongue, and said latch bar member having recess means registering with said stop formation at said unlocking position to accommodate movement of said latch bar member to said release position.

7. A latch and lock mechanism adapted to be mounted on separable parts of a container adjacent a line of separation therebetween, comprising a keeper to be afiixed to one of the separable parts having an apertured keeper tongue projecting across the line of separation, a latching unit to be affixed to the other separable part including a laterally elongated latch casing, an elongated intergral pushbutton and latch bar member substantially coextensive longitudinally with the casing pivotally supported adjacent an end thereof in said casing for movement about a pivot axis perpendicular to said plane of separation between an outwardly projected latching position and an inwardly retracted release position,

' said pushbutton and latch bar member having a cavity ext-ending therethrough along an axis paralleling the :pivot axis open at the top and bottom thereof for receiving said keeper tongue therethrough and having a latch tongue projecting into said cavity to interlock with the keeper tongue aperture, and releasable spring means having a shoulder biased to engage said pus'hbutton and latch bar member and hold the latter in said inwardly retracted release position when the keeper tongue is removed from said cavity, said spring means being positioned adjacent the bottom of said cavity when the keeper tongue is removed from the cavity to disengage said shoulder from said pushbutton and latch bar member for releasing the latter to said outwardly projected latching position responsive to insertion of said keeper tongue into latching position in said cavity.

8. A latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 7, wherein said releasable means comprises a lea-f spring disposed between said latch bar member and a wall of said casing opposite said keeper, said leaf spring having a resiliently flexible leg normally biased to extend into said cavity when the keeper tongue is removed from the cavity and terminating in said shoulder formation at a free edge of said leg disposed in latching engagement with a bounding surface of said cavity when said leg occupies its normal position, said flexible leg being positioned to be engaged by the keeper tongue and flexed to a stressed position disengaging said shoulder formation from said bounding surface of said cavity to release the latch bar member to said outwardly projected latching position when the keeper tongue is inserted to a selected axial depth in said cavity registering the keeper tongue aperture with said latch tongue.

9. A latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 8, wherein said releasable means comprises a leaf spring disposed between said 'latch bar member and a wall of said casing opposite said keeper, said leaf spring having a resiliently flexible leg normally biased to extend into said cavity when the keeper tongue is removed from the cavity and terminating in a shoulder formation at a "free edge of said leg disposed in latching engagement with a bounding surface of said cavity when said leg occupies its normal position, said flexible 'leg being positioned to be engaged by the keeper tongue and flexed to a stressed position disengaging said shoulder formation from said bounding surface of said cavity to release the latch bar member to said outwardly projected latching position when the keeper tongue is inserted to a selected axial depth in said cavity registering the keeper tongue aperture with said latch tongue, said free edge of said spring leg being spaced from engagement with the latch bar member when in stressed engagement with the keeper tongue occupying a latched position within the cavity whereby upon release of the latched tongue from latching relation with the keeper tongue said spring leg returns toward its normal position and imparts withdrawing movement to the keeper tongue in engagement therewith.

10. In latch and lock mechanism as defined in claim 9, a key locking mechanism including a key responsive slide bolt supported for sliding movement between locking and unlocking positions, said bolt having a stop formation disposed in intercepting relation to a portion of said latch bar member at said locking position to stop movement of the latter toward said release position before withdrawal of the latch tongue from interlocking relation with the keeper tongue, and said latch bar member having recess means registering with said stop formation at said unlocking position to accommodate movement of said latch bar member to said release position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,311,298 2/ 1943 Marsh 292128 2,927,814 3/1960 Reitzel 292-335 3,100,980 8/1963 Humphries 707l 3,294,206 12/1966 Gehrie 19049 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. R. L. WOLFE, Assistant Examiner. I

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2311298 *Feb 7, 1941Feb 16, 1943Eagle Lock CompanyLuggage latch
US2927814 *Mar 25, 1957Mar 8, 1960Drescher & KieferClosure fastener
US3100980 *Oct 18, 1961Aug 20, 1963Excelsior Hardware CompanyLuggage latch
US3294206 *Jul 28, 1964Dec 27, 1966Kidde Co Presto Lock DivLuggage
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3527067 *Feb 17, 1969Sep 8, 1970Long Mfg Co IncCombined latch and lock structure
US3590609 *Feb 11, 1969Jul 6, 1971Long Mfg Co IncLatch structure
US3598436 *Sep 3, 1969Aug 10, 1971Kidde Co Presto Lock DivHasp
US4420956 *Apr 6, 1981Dec 20, 1983Kwoon Kwen Metal Ware Company Ltd.Combination lock
US4813253 *Nov 14, 1986Mar 21, 1989HermesSafety locking device for an article, in particular luggage, and an installation including said device
US5150590 *Apr 23, 1991Sep 29, 1992Ling Chong KuanEjectively openable latch for luggage
US5255154 *May 6, 1991Oct 19, 1993Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaPortable electronic apparatus with a latch mechanism including an interlock
US5331508 *Nov 5, 1993Jul 19, 1994Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaPortable electronic apparatus having a removable keyboard unit
US5345795 *Mar 10, 1992Sep 13, 1994Diversified Control, Inc.Lock structure
US5355278 *Mar 15, 1993Oct 11, 1994Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaPortable electronic apparatus having an electro-magnetic shield supporting a keyboard
US5372022 *Nov 5, 1992Dec 13, 1994Yoshida Kogyo K.K.Lock assembly
US5860302 *Mar 31, 1997Jan 19, 1999Diversified Control, Inc.Latch-lock structure
EP0490153A1 *Nov 25, 1991Jun 17, 1992Ykk CorporationLock assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification70/71
International ClassificationE05B65/52, E05B65/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B65/5269
European ClassificationE05B65/52A3C