US 3407636 A
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Oct. 29, 19 8 B. N. KOVACEVIC KEY HOLDER Filed Sept. 26, 1966 R. m w m ATTORNE rs United States Patent O".
3,407,636 KEY HOLDER Boris Nicole Kovacevic, 4419 N. Christiana, Chicago, Ill. 60625 Filed Sept. 26, 1966, Ser. No. 582,022 8 Claims. (Cl. 70-456) This invention relates to a new and improved carrying case for keys and the like.
Today, nearly all adults carry with them a collection of keys: a house key, an oflice key, a set of keys for the family automobile, and quite often other keys as well. When such keys are carried separately in the owners pocket, they are very likely to be lost or mislaid. Consequently, some device (usually a simple chain loop) is commonly used for keeping the keys together. Carrying cases for holding such keys have been devised but, like the chain loop, these cases normally provide little assistance to the owner in finding the right key at the right time. Particular difliculty is normally experienced in locating and separating a desired key from among the others when the key carrier finds himself in the dark or burdened with an armload of packages. 7
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved carrying case for keys and the like which provides ready, one-handed access to a desired one of a plurality of keys.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a simple and effective arrangement for interchangeably retaining a plurality of keys and for quickly and effectively segregating a desired key from its companions when its use is required.
In a principal aspect, the present invention takes the form of a carrying case for a selection of keys. The case includes a housing which defines a plurality of spaced apart, single key locations. A clasp associated with each of these locations is pivotally mounted with respect to the housing and retains a single key. According to a feature of the invention, a lever is associated with each clasp, the lever having first and second end portions and being pivotally mounted with respect to the housing such that L the application of digital pressure to the first end of the lever pivots the second end thereof into engagement with the combination of the clasp and the desired key to pivot this key outwardly from its location within the housing whereby the key is placed in position for insertion into a key hole. The first end of the lever employed for ejecting the key from its housing is preferably provided with a push button, a selected key being pivoted along with its clasp outwardly from the housing whenever the associated button is depressed.
According to a second feature of the invention, the clasp is preferably mounted upon a swing arm which pivots with respect to the housing, the clasp itself being mounted for rotation about the axis of the swing arm such that the key, when in its outwardly projecting position, may be turned in a lock without requiring the rotation of the entire carrying case. The clasp preferably includes a spring loaded latching device for engaging with the hole defined in the enlarged end of the key, thereby securely retaining the key in its associated clasp while, at the same time, permitting different keys to be interchanged in the case.
According to a further feature of the invention, the swing arm which pivotally mounts the clasp with respect to the housing is preferably spring loaded against a bearing surface effectively provided with one or more detents which serve to retain the key normally in place within the housing and also to retain the key in its outwardly projecting, operating position.
The present invention permits a selected one of a plu- 3,407,636 Patented Oct. 29, 1968 rality of keys to be readily located, segregated from the remaining keys, and placed in a position for insertion into a lock by means of a simple one-handed operation which the key carrier may easily perform, even in the dark.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood through a consideration of the following detailed description. In the course of this description, reference will frequently be made to the attached drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a carrying case according to the present invention and showing an optional sheath which may be used therewith;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view showing the manner in which a selected key is caused to pivot from the carrying case to an outwardly extending position where it may be readily inserted into a lock;
FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the carrying case shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;
FIGURE 4 is a partial, cross-sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a partial, cross-sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 6 is a full-length, cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 3.
The carrying case shown in the drawing is capable of retaining six keys, there being three recessed key locations on each side of the housing indicated generally at 11. The housing 11 may be constructed of metal or molded plastic. As seen in FIGURE 1, the recessed key locations 13, 15 and 17 receive the keys indicated at 21, 22 and 23 respectively. Three other key locations (not shown) may be loaded into the case on the underside of the housing 11. An optional outer sheath indicated generally at 25 is pivotally mounted about a fastener 27 at one corner of the housing 11 and may be used, if desired, to fully enclose the key case.
According to the present invention, a novel arrangement is employed for selecting a desired key and for transferring this key from the housing 11 to an outwardly projecting position appropriate for insertion of the selected key into a key hole. As shown in FIGURE 2 of the drawing, the thumb indicated in phantom generally at 30 (or the finger) may be employed to digitally depress a push button shown at 31 associated with the key 33 whose use is desired. The push button 31 is aflixed to one end of a lever indicated generally at 35 which is pivotally mounted with respect to the case 11 and which engages the underside of the clasp 37 which retains key 33, causing the combination of the clasp 37 and the key 33 to pivot into the outwardly projecting position shown in FIGURE 2.
As most clearly seen in FIGURES 3 and 6 of the drawing, each of the clasps 37 is rotatably attached at the bight of its bifurcated planes to a swing arm 40. :The swing arm 40 is generally cylindrical in shape and has a constricted region short of its outward end in .which the clasp 37 is retained. The outer end of arm 40 may be enlarged by peening after the clasp 37 is in place. The clasp 37 is therefore mounted for rotation about the major axis of the cylindrical swing arm 40. Thus, in the outwardly projecting position of key 33 and clasp 37 shown in FIGURE 2, both the key 33 and the clasp 37 may be rotated about the swing arm 40 .without requiring the rotation of the housing 11.
As seen in FIGURES 4 and 6, the swing arm 40 pivots about an axle pin 41 which is carried by the housing 11. Swing arm 40 is mounted for sliding axial motion with respect to pin 41. However, the cylindrical arm 40 is spring biased by the coil spring 44 in a direction tending to press it sideways against an arcuate seat or detent '46 defined in the housing 11. The spring 44 seats at both .ends against small slip washers 47 which may be ad- :cating material. The spring 44 presses against a second lcylindrical member 49 which is also slidably mounted on the axle pin 41 and which is arcuately contoured to bear against the swing arm 40.
As the swing arm 4!} begins its rotation outward from its normal position within the housing, the arcuate surface 46 no longer conforms to the outer cylindrical con- :tour of swing arm 40 causing the arm 40, as shown in -FIGURE 4, to be cammed to the left, compressing spring 44. Spring 44 reaches its point of maximum compression .when the axis of arm 40 is normal to the major plane of the housing 11. Thereafter, the spring 44 tends to force the swing arm 40 and its clasp 37 to the stable position shown in FIGURE 2. Thus, the positions of clasps 37 at the upper right and upper left of FIGURE 3 are both stable positions, any position therebetween tending to be mechanically unstable due to the action of the springs 44. .To fiip the key outwardly as shown in FIGURE 2, it is only necessary to apply sufiicient pressure to the button 31 to create sufficient inertia to allow the key and clasp to be carried beyond the midpoint of their travel. The springs 44 hold the keys in the case until needed.
As shown in FIGURE 5 of the drawing, the lever which is provided with push button 31 at one end thereof, is pivotally mounted about its midsection on a transverse pin 54. The extended arm of lever 35 opposite button 31 engages with the underside of clasp 37 to create the pivotal flipping motion illustrated in FIG- URE 2.
Each of the clasps 37 is provided with a spring loaded latch .indicated at 56. As indicated in FIGURE 6, as the key .61 is inserted into the upper clasp 37, the latch 56 is cammed upwardly until the hole 62 at the enlarged end of the key passes under the latch 56 at which time the latch 56 snaps into the hole 62 as shown by the .phantom key 62 on the underside of the key case depicted in FIGURE 6. The projecting end of latch 56 may be lifted to permit a key to be removed.
It is to be understood that the embodiment of the invention which has been described is merely illustrative of one application of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A key carrying case comprising a housing having an elongated recess open to one side of said housing, a clasp for retaining a key, said clasp and the key being 3,407,53 j A i receivable in said recess, means pivotally. mounting said,
clasp with respect to said housing, a lever having first and second ends, means located between said ends pivotally mounting said lever with respect to said housing, said rst end being positioned adjacent said one side of said housing, said second end being off-set from said first end and beingpositioned betweensaid clasp and a bottom portion of said recess, whereby' pressure applied to said first end pivots said second end away from said bottom portion into engagement with said clasp to thereby pivot said clasp and the key from their location within said recess to a position outwardly extending from said housing so that the key can be inserted into a key hole.
2. A key carrying case as set forth in claim 1 including a push button affixed to said first end of said lever.
3. A key carrying case as set forth in claim 1 wherein said clasp is rotatably attached to a swing arm mounted for pivotal motion with respect to said housing.
4. A key carrying case as set forth in claim 3 including spring means for holding said key and saidclasp within said recess.
5. A key carrying case as set forth in claim 4 wherein said spring means comprises a coil spring for forcing said swing arm along its axis of pivotal movement into a detent defined on said housing.
6. A key carrying case as set forth in claim 3 wherein :said clasp comprises a bifurcated sheet forming a pair of substantially parallel planes and includes latching UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,965,472 7/1934 Shook 456 2,208,372 7/1940 Kirkpatrick 70-456 2,228,726 1/1941 Loesch 70456 3,004,422 10/1961 Starrett 70-456 3,212,546 10/1965 'Lind 1s0 40 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner. PERRY TEITELBAUM, Assistant Examiner.