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Publication numberUS3396829 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 13, 1968
Filing dateNov 12, 1965
Priority dateNov 12, 1965
Publication numberUS 3396829 A, US 3396829A, US-A-3396829, US3396829 A, US3396829A
InventorsJohn P Knight
Original AssigneeJohn P. Knight
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Recorder with ribbon-inking attachment
US 3396829 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1968 .1. P. KNIGHT $396,829


RECORDER WITH RIBBON-INKING ATTACHMENT Filed Nov. 12, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 JOHN P. KNIGHT BY ATTORNEYS United States Patent Oflice 3,396,829 Patented Aug. 13, 1968 3,396,829 RECORDER WITH RIBBON-INKING ATTACHMENT John P. Knight, P.0. Box 364, Detroit, Mich. 48221 Filed Nov. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 507,445 5 Claims. (Cl. 197-171 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A ribbon-winding and -inking assembly in a recorder having movable type, in which the ribbon moves up and down between printing and nonprinting positions, comprises a ribbon spool that supplies ribbon to a guide roller, and thence about an inking roller to a smoothing roller, whence the ribbon proceeds about a positioning roller and then past the printing position. The spool and smoothing roller and positioning roller are vertically swingable about a horizontal axis to raise and lower the ribbon, but the inking roller does not move vertically. The use or" the smoothing roller in addition to the positioning roller makes it possible to dispose the ribbon in a peripheral contact of substantial extent about the inking roller, and the arrangement and movements of the spool and rollers keep the ribbon from folding over on itself.

The present invention relates to recorders with ribboninking attachments, more particularly recorders of the sort that have movable type and means for advancing an inked ribbon past the type between spools on which the ribbon is wound. The type is selectively movable to strike against the ribbon so as to print on paper or other sheet material against a platen.

In the past, many such recorders have used a preinked ribbon, that is, a ribbon that carries its own supply of ink. When that supply of ink is diminished to the point that the impression is too faint, then the ribbon as a whole is changed. However, for various high speed or continuously operating recorders, such as teleprinters and the like, which must be available for use at all times, it is impractical to discontinue the operation of the machine to change the ribbon. Accordingly, for this and other reasons, it is often desirable to provide an inking means for continuously inking the ribbon as it winds and rewinds between the spools.

In the past, I have made a number of inventions relating to the field of continuously inking ribbons. Some of these are covered by United States Patents Nos. 2,599,561, 2,645,202, 2,770,215, 2,964,157 and Re. 24,854. In these devices, ink is supplied to a ribbon-inking roller by means of a wick that is partially immersed in a supply of liquid ink. The ribbon to be inked, in turn, is trained about the ribbon-inking roller and picks up ink from the roller as it moves past the roller.

Problems arise, however, when it is attempted to apply the principles of continuous ribbon inking to ribbons in certain environments. For example, in certain recorders, provision is made for raising and lowering the ribbon during printing. The ribbon is raised when the type strikes the ribbon and is lowered between blows of the type, so that what is being printed can be read during printing. Even during high speed printing, such as is performed by a teleprinter, the newly printed inscription is sufiiciently frequently exposed that the persistence of vision of the human eye renders it clearly visible during printing.

When continuously inking one of these vertically moving ribbons, it is impractical to try to cause the ribboninking assembly to move vertically with the ribbon. This is because the supply of ink and its applicator equipment is often of such weight that rapid vertical oscillation of such an assembly would intolerably shake the equipment. On the other hand, when it is attempted to pass a vertically reciprocating ribbon through a relatively stationary ribbon-inking mechanism, the ribbon tends to buckle or otherwise depart from a flat condition. Unless the ribbon is flat when it passes the movable type, then the impression made by the type may be distorted or incomplete; for example, if the ribbon is buckled so that its upper edge is somewhat bent over, then the letters t may lose their tops and look like is. Furthermore, if the ribbon is buckled so that its edges are exposed to the type, the edges of the ribbon may be cut or worn by the type; and as the edges of such ribbons are frequently sealed, such damage to the edge can greatly shorten the life of the ribbon.

Also, in certain recorders such as teleprinters, it is a common practice to mount the ribbon spools on which the ribbon is wound and rewound, for vertical movement with the ribbon, often for vertical swinging movement about a horizontal axis. Such relative vertical movement between the spool 'and the ribbon-inking assembly can often cause the ribbon to wind unevenly or off center and drag against the flanges of the spool.

Furthermore, in order to ensure proper contact between the ribbon and the ribbon-linking roller, it is desirable to provide a blade that bears against the ribbon to hold it against the ribbon-inking roller. In threading or unthreading the ribbon past this blade, however, the blade sometimes becomes bent or broken.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a recorder with a ribbon-inking attachment in which buckling of the ribbon on the printing side of the inking attachment is minimized, despite relative vertical movement of the ribbon and the inking attachment.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a recorder with a ribbon-inking attachment in which the ribbon winds evenly on the spool and is centered between the spool flanges, despite vertical or vertical swing ing movement of the spool relative to the inking attachment.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a recorder with ribbon-inking attachment in which wear on the ribbon is minimized.

Still another object of the present invention is the provision of a recorder with ribbon-inking attachment including a blade for maintaining the ribbon against an inking roller, in which damage to the blade is avoided.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide ribbon-inking attachments capable of achieving the above objects.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide recorders with ribbon-inking attachments, and ribbon-inking attachments therefor, which will be relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture, easy to install, operate, maintain and repair, that have moving parts that are light in weight, and that are rugged and durable in use.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration ofthe following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a recorder having ribbon-inking attachments according to the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged exploded perspective assembly view of the ribbon-handling and ribbon-inking portions of the apparatus of the present invention, with the ribbon and spool removed;

FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the structure shown in FIG. 2, with the parts assembled and the ribbon and spool in place; and

FIGURE 4 is a schematic elevational view showing the relationship between the ribbon spool and the adjacent guide roller.

Referring now to the drawing in greater detail, there is shown a recorder in the form of a teleprinter generally indicated at 1. Teleprinter 1 may be of substantially the same construction as shown in U.S. Patent No. 2,505,- 729, and will not be described in detail except as it directly relates to the present invention. Reference is had to that earlier patent for any needed details, the disclosure of that earlier patent being incorporated by reference into the present application so far as is appropriate.

In general, therefore, teleprinter 1 comprises a frame 3 in which is mounted for rotation a platen 5 which in turn supports paper 7 on which indicia are to be printed. Paper 7 is continuously supplied to the printing station by means of a supply roll 9. As is conventional in teleprinters, a type carrier 11 is provided, which has a plurality of movable type, and a print hammer 13 is selectively movable relative to type carrier 11 so as to strike any desired type element.

A ribbon 15 of conventional construction passes between type carrier 11 and platen 5 and is inked, so that the type element strikes ribbon 15 which in turn strikes paper 7 to print the desired indicium. Ribbon 15 is rolled at its ends on spools 17 and 19 at opposite ends of the machine, and in the conventional manner unrolls from one spool while rolling on the other spool, and then vice versa.

Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that each spool 17 and 19 is supported on a ribbon spool platform 21, which in turn is mounted for vertical swinging movement about a horizontal axis on a horizontally extending pivot shaft 23. One of the ribbon spool platforms 21 is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 with its corresponding shaft 23 extending laterally outwardly from and supported by an upright frame member 25 which is a portion of the rigid frame 3 of teleprinter 1. It will be understood that this structure and the structure hereinafter to be described may be substantially duplicated at the other end of the machine, but in mirror image relationship to the instant structure.

Spool platform 21 is provided with a downwardly extending apertured lug 27 by which linkage (not shown) is connected to platform 21 to cause platform 21 and the spool that it carries to swing vertically in correspondence to the movements of the type elements of carrier 11 and the print hammer 13. Such mechanism is fully described in Patent No. 2,505,729, referred to above, and need not be disclosed in detail here.

Also carried by spool platform 21 for rotation relative thereto'is a circular plate 29 that provides the spool support. Plate 29 has a spindle 31 that extends upwardly therefrom, and an eccentric drive pin 33 causes a spool to turn with plate 29. A keeper 35 can snap over on top of spool 19, as shown in FIG. 3, releasably to retain the spool on spindle 31. A ratchet 37, disposed beneath platform 21 but in unitary assembly and rotatable with plate 29, cooperates with pawl mechanisms (not shown), as described in the above patent, to rotate the spools for ribbon-winding movement stepwise in timed correspondence with the movements of the type elements, so that the ribbon will be stationary when an impression is being struck and will move between impressions, that is, when all the type elements are spaced from the ribbon.

Also mounted on an arm of spool platform 21 is a roller 39 that rotates about its generally upright axis but is otherwise fixed relative to the spool platform and accordingly enjoys vertical swinging movement with the spool platform. Roller 39 has axially spaced-apart flanges 41 for the reception and guidance of a ribbon therebetween. A ribbon reverse lever 43 is also carried by and is vertically swingable with spool platform 21, but is mounted at 45 for horizontal swinging movement relative to spool platform 21 in a generally recumbent plane, that is, generally in its own plane and parallel to the plane of the platform 21. Ribbon reverse lever 43 has a pair of legs that straddle spindle 31, one of those legs at its end having an upstanding bifurcation 47 through which the ribbon is threaded. A coil tension spring 49 acts between a crank arm on ribbon reverse lever 43 and a portion of spool platform 21, continuously to urge lever 43 in a counterclockwise direction as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the roller 39 providing a stop that limits this counterclockwise movement of lever 43.

As is conventional, ribbon 15 is provided with rivets or eyelets (not shown) near its opposite ends. When such a rivet or eyelet contacts bifurcation 47, signalling that the ribbon is almost unwound from the associated spool 19, ribbon reverse lever 43 is swung clockwise as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, whereupon a leg 51 of lever 43 contacts conventional mechanism (not shown) to reverse the direction of ribbon feed, that is, to discontinue the ratcheting of one spool and commence the ratcheting of the other spool. Again, such mechanism is fully disclosed in Patent No. 2,505,729 and need not be further discussed here.

As thus far described, the structure of the device may be conventional. The structure departs from conventional structure, however, in the provision of a ribboninking assembly or attachment 53, which, in its illustrated form, may be attached to existing machines with a minimum of adaptation. Attachment 53 comprises a base 55 having an upper leg 57 which may, if desired, lie in a recumbent plane and a lower leg 59 which, if desired, may be generally upright. Upper leg 57 at its inner end relative to the machine has an upstanding lug 61 pierced by a hole 63 for the reception of a screw-threaded stud 64 that projects endwise outwardly beyond the rest of pivot shaft 23. A screw-threaded nut 65 thus holds the upper end of attachment 53 fixedly but detachably to the machine.

Lower leg 59 has a lower laterally extending arm 67 pierced by a hole 69 in which is received a screw 71 that screw-threadedly seats in a hole (not shown) in frame 3. The lower end of attachment 53 is thus fixedly but detachably secured to the machine; and it will be appreciated that attachment 53 is attachable to and removable from the machine simply by manipulation of nut 65 and screw 71. It will also be understood that the attachment 53 in its essential aspects is duplicated on the opposite side of the machine.

Attachment 53 carries a ribbon-inking roller 73 that has a cylindrical surface rotatable about its generally upright axis. In the illustrated embodiment as seen best in FIG. 3, roller 73 is rotatable only counterclockwise, by means of a one-way pawl-and-ratchet mechanism (not shown) so that ribbon 15 is inked by the roller 73 which is adjacent spool 19 only as it unwinds from spool 19. The ribbon-inking roller 73 on the opposite side of the machine, shown at the upper left of FIG. 1, inks the ribbon when the ribbon unwinds from spool 17 and rewinds on spool 19. Of course, if desired, both inking rollers can turn freely in both directions, so as to ink the ribbon both as it unwinds and as it rewinds, thereby to increase the amount of ink that can be applied to the ribbon.

A ribbon-inking device 75 is also carried by attachment 53 for applying ink to the cylindrical periphery of inking roller 73. Inking device 75 is described in greater detail in my above-identified patent, Re. 24,854. Suffice it to say that it comprises a replaceable cartridge including a cylindrical body 77 containing a supply of liquid ink 79, in which one end of a wick 81 is immersed. Wick 81 extends through a hollow lateral enclosing arm 83 and terminates in an exposed portion 85 which bears against inking roller 73. Inking device 75 is releasably retained on attachment 53 by means of spring clips 87 so that it may be rotated about the axis of body 77 and that it may be removed and replaced when its ink supply is depleted. Lateral arm 83 is disposed in an upwardly open saddle 89 which is laterally movable, that is, in a direction perpendicular to the axis of body 77 by means of a screw 91. Upon rotation of screw 91, therefore, saddle 89 is moved parallel to the axis of the screw so that lateral arm 83 is swung to rotate the cartridge about the axis of body 77, which rotates in clips 87, thereby to adjust the pressure with which exposed portion 85 of wick 81 bears against inking roller 73. This mounting and adjusting arrangement for inking device 75 is described in greater detail in my above-identified patent No. 2,964,157, to which reference is had for a more complete disclosure.

Also mounted on upper leg 57 of attachment 53 is a roller 93 whose aixs is generally upright. Roller 93 is spaced a substantial distance from inking roller 73 and is provided with a pair of axially spaced flanges 95 between which the ribbon may be received. As can be seen from the manner of threading the ribbon, as shown in FIG. 3, roller 93 is thus a feed-on roller for the ribbon when the ribbon is being wound on the spool 19, and a take-01f roller for the ribbon when the ribbon is being withdrawn from the spool.

Turning for the moment from attachment 53 itself, it will be noted that there is also a smoothing means for the ribbon provided on the opposite side of inking roller 73 but unconnected with the attachment 53. Such smoothing means is needed, in order to smooth out the buckling which the ribbon suffers when moving up and down on the inking rollers. In a preferred embodiment, the smoothing means is a roller 97 which is rotatable about a generally upright axis and is provided with flanges 99 to retain the ribbon in contact with roller 97. Roller 97 is mounted on an arm 101 which is attached at its other end to spool platform 21, and may for convenience be held thereon as at 45 but not for horizontal swinging movement relative to platform 21, as arm 101 is fixed relative to platform 21. A hole 103 is provided through upper leg 57 of attachment 53 for the reception of roller 97 therein. When roller 97 is thus disposed in hole 103, rollers 73, 93 and 97 are about on the same level with each other and approach parallelism if they do not attain parallelism. As indicated above, roller 97 swings vertically with spool 19, while rollers 73 and 93 do not.

Rollers 93 and 97 are partially masked from each other by inking roller 73. As a result, the ribbon passing between rollers 93 and 97 will contact a substantial portion of the periphery of inking roller 73, preferably about 14 degrees of arc.

In order to maintain ribbon 15 in proper contact with inking roller 73, a blade is provided which bears against the side of the ribbon opposite the inking roller, in the form of a helical leaf spring 105 that bears yieldably at one end against the ribbon backed by the inking roller, and at the other end is attached to an upright post 107 fixed to upper leg 57 of attachment 53. When threading the ribbon between spring 105 and inking roller 73, or when unthreading it, it sometimes happens that this spring is bent too far back and takes a permanent set away from inking roller 73. To ensure that spring 105 cannot be pulled back beyond its elastic limit, a stop 109 is provided which is U-shaped and which straddles leaf spring 105 with one of its legs above and the other of its legs below spring 105 and with its ends fixed in vertically spaced relationship to post 107.

A number of unique relationships of the present invention may now be recognized. In the first place, it will be seen from FIGS. 3 and 4 that when the ribbon is being wound on spool 19, it passes from a relatively stationary roller 93 to a vertically swinging spool 19. Thus, one end of that stretch of the ribbon between roller 93 and its point of tangency with spool 19 will be substantially relatively fixed while the other will be vertically swinging. This relative movement of the ends of a stretch of ribbon in the past has caused the ribbon to wind and unwind unevenly and to bind and jam against the ends of the spool. But in the present invention, this tendency to miswind has been overcome by the placement of the roller 93 relative to the axis 111 of vertical swinging movement of the spool 19. Specifically, roller 93 is substantially closer to axis 111 than is inking roller 73, with the result that the point of tangency of that straight stretch of ribbon, with the ribbon that has already been wound on spool 19, is also as close as possible to axis 111. The closeness of this point of tangency to the axis 111 ensures that vertical movement of the point at which the ribbon joins the roll on spool 19 will be reduced to a minimum. This minimized vertical swinging of what amounts to the point of formation of the coil of ribbon on the spool ensures that the twisting or misalignment of that length of ribbon that is winding on the spool will be minimized.

It should also be noted that the mounting of roller 97 for vertical movement with the spool ensures that the ribbon will be flat when it passes beneath the movable type. To this end, it is permissible and even desirable to provide flanges 99 on roller 97, as roller 97 moves vertically with the ribbon and the flanges 99 do not greatly interfere with the edges of the ribbon and preferably rarely touch it. Alternatively, of course, roller 97 could be an unflanged roller; and in still another embodiment of the invention, it could be unflanged and fixedly mounted on attachment 53, so that the vertically movable ribbon could slide freely up and down on its unflanged periphery. However, it is preferred to provide flanges 99; and in order to avoid buckling the ribbon, it is further preferable to mount roller 97 for vertical swinging movement on and with spool platform 21.

At the same time, however, it will be recognized that almost none of the added structure is vertically movable. As a result, there is almost no added load on the motor that swings the spool platform, and very little added moving mass to increase vibration.

As noted above, ribbon winding is performed stepwise, between the blows of the type elements. Ordinarily, the winding movement of the spools takes place while the spools are swinging down from their upper-most or printing position. Winding may take place, for example, over, say, five degrees of arc of the vertical swinging movement of the spool. It is important, however, that the spool and the roller 93 be specially oriented relative to each other, so that the winding and unwinding operations may proceed properly as described above. To this end, the spool 19 and the roller 93 are so arranged that when their axes are substantially parallel, they will be disposed at a common level relative to a plane perpendicular to their axes. This relationship is best seen in FIG. 4. When spool 19 swings vertically away from the position shown in full line in FIG. 4, to one of the dotted line positions of FIG. 4, then one or the other edge of the ribbon will be tightened by roller 93, with the result that the ribbon on spool 19 will tend to move vertically away from that tightened edge. Therefore, when spool 19 swings down to the lower dotted line position in FIG. 4, roller 93 tensions its upper edge and the ribbon tends to move down on the spool; and when spool 19 swings up to the upper dotted line position in FIG. 4, roller 93 tensions its lower edge and the ribbon tends to move up on the spool. As a result, the ribbon tends to be wound on the spool and unwound from the spool in a nicely centered position between the flanges of the spool. Of course, the position of the spool in which its axis is parallel to that of roller 93 could be attained during ribbon winding, or it could lie above or below the sector through which the spool swings during ribbon winding.

Finally, it will be noted that the stop 109 prevents excessive rearward movement of leaf spring without hindering the normal movement of that spring, so as to avoid giving spring 105 a permanent set.

From a consideration of the foregoing disclosure, therefore, it will be evident that all of the initially recited objects of the present invention have been achieved.

Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention, as those skilled in this art will readily understand. Such modifications and variations are considered to be within the purview and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Having described my invention, I claim:

1. In a recorder having movable type and means for advancing an inked ribbon past the type between spools mounted on spool supports and on which the ribbon is wound; the improvement comprising a ribbon-inking assembly comprising a ribbon-inking roller, means for supplying liquid ink to said inking roller, ribbon guide means along the path of a said ribbon between the adjacent said spool support and said ribbon-inking roller, ribbonsmoothing means along the path of a said ribbon on the side of said roller opposite said guide means, ribbonpositioning means for directing the ribbon along the path it follows past the type, said ribbon-inking roller being disposed between said guide means on the one hand and said smoothing means and positioning means on the other hand so that a said ribbon trained about said inking roller and said guide means and said smoothing means contacts a substantial portion of the periphery of the inking roller, said positioning means being substantially farther from said inking roller than is said smoothing means, and means for oscillating said smoothing means and said positioning means vertically about a horizontal axis to move the ribbon up during printing movements of the type and down between printing movements of the type, said inking roller and said smoothing means being positioned farther from said axis than said ribbon guide means, said positioning means being positioned farther from said axis than is said smoothing means, and said roller and said ink-supply means being fixed against vertical movement with said smoothing means and positioning means.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said smoothing means being substantially farther from said positioning means than from said inking roller.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, and means mounting said adjacent spool support for conjoint vertical swinging movement with said smoothing means and said positioning means.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said smoothing means and said positioning means each comprising a roller, the distance between the axes of said inking roller and said smoothing roller being substantially less than the distance between the axes of said smoothing roller and said positioning roller.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said smoothing means being positioned farther from said axis than is said inking roller.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,505,729 4/ 1950 Zenner 17825 2,599,561 6/1952 Knight. 1,942,722 1/1934 Mosfelt et al. l97l71 1,962,309 6/1934 Jewell l97--171 2,724,332 11/1955 Schlessiger et al 197171 2,964,157 12/1960 Knight 197-171 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner.

E. T. WRIGHT, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1942722 *Feb 20, 1933Jan 9, 1934Ross J BeattyManifolding apparatus
US1962309 *May 18, 1932Jun 12, 1934Nat Postal Meter CompanyInking device for printing ribbons
US2505729 *Apr 22, 1948Apr 25, 1950Teletype CorpPrinting telegraph apparatus
US2599561 *Nov 12, 1947Jun 10, 1952Knight John PApparatus for inking ribbons
US2724332 *Dec 24, 1952Nov 22, 1955IbmRibbon mechanism
US2964157 *Jan 31, 1958Dec 13, 1960Knight John PTypewriter ribbon regulators
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3603283 *Oct 27, 1969Sep 7, 1971Westates Space Era ProductsRibbon-inking machine
US4188134 *Nov 3, 1977Feb 12, 1980Litton Business Systems, Inc.Ribbon cartridge having cam means for moving ribbon sensing and reversing lever
US4212551 *Nov 17, 1977Jul 15, 1980Litton Business Systems, Inc.Ribbon cartridge
U.S. Classification400/202.4, 400/200, 178/25
International ClassificationB41J31/16, B41J1/16
Cooperative ClassificationB41J1/16, B41J31/16
European ClassificationB41J31/16, B41J1/16