US 3418698 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 31, 1968 s. A. HOLCOMB 3,418,698
MULTIPLE GRIP CLOTHESPINS Filed June 7, 1967 INVENTOR: STEPHEN A. HOL coua .AZTORNEY United States Patent 3,418,698 MULTIPLE GRIP CLOTHESPINS Stephen A. Holcomb, 1369 N. Los Robles, Pasadena, Calif. 91104 Filed June 7, 1967, Ser. No. 644,319 Claims. (CI. 24-81) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A clothespin having two or more jaw pairs in which the first jaw components of each pair are combined in a unitary base. The second jaw component of each pair is independently springloaded with respect to the first jaw component such that each gripping jaw pair may be operated to grip and release independently of the other jaw pair or pairs.
Background of the invention There has been a need for a clothespin with more utility than that afforded by the conventional type which grips an article hung about a suspension line. One such use is to hang an article from a rod, such as the rod of a clothes hanger, where a clothesline is not available or suitable. It may also be desirable to suspend from a horizontal line fiat articles to be dried, such as photographic prints and negatives. It is often desirable to suspend such prints, particularly if they are large, from more than one point.
Double-ended clothespins are not new to the art. US. Letters Patent 2,099,177 to D. C. Smith and 3,084,410 to A. Paul, Jr., and 3,137,906 to R. Rob typify some attempts to provide a more versatile clothespin. However, no previous concept provides versatility such as that afforded by my invention.
Summary 0 the invention My invention contemplates a multiple grip clothespin that comprises first and second jaw members and a base with a third jaw member on the base. A fourth jaw member is also on the base. First and second spring means respectively urge the first and second jaw members into gripping contact with the third and fourth jaw members on the base such that the first and third jaw members are operable to grip and release independently of the second and fourth jaw members.
The base may comprise three separated jaw members with which three other jaw halves cooperate. Preferably the base is bifurcated such that a vertical stem of the base carries a jaw pair operable to grip a line and the second and third jaw pairs diverge from a central portion of the base to grip an article to be suspended such that the gripping is achieved in a common plane.
The gripping plane of the first jaw pair is not necessarily common to the plane in which the second and third jaw pairs grip. The stem of the base may be twisted such that the grip contact of the first jaw pair is perpendicular to the grip contact plane of the second and third jaw pairs.
Those jaw members not a part of the base may be conventional clothespin halves. Circular, leaf and helical springs may be used to urge the separate members of a jaw pair into gripping contact.
The clothespin of the invention may be made from many materials, although the presently preferred embodiment is molded plastic.
Brief description of the drawing FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a double-ended clothespin in accordance with the invention suspended from a line;
Patented Dec. 31, 1968 FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the embodiment of FIG. 1, partly in section;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of an alternate embodiment of the invention suspended from a line;
FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation showing the configuration of the jaws of the preferred embodiment; and
FIG. 6 is an elevational view of a further alternate embodiment of the invention.
In the views like parts are given like reference numbers.
In FIGS. 1 and 2 a rod 11, such as the rod of a clothes hanger or an interior clothes dryer, is gripped by the first and third jaws 13, 14 of a double-ended clothespin assembly 15. Third jaw 14 is integrally formed with a base 17. A second jaw member 18 forms a jaw pair with a fourth jaw member 19 integrally formed at an end of base 17 opposite from jaw member 14. Thus jaws 13 and 14 and jaws 18 and 19 form jaw pairs operable at opposite ends of base 17. Each jaw pair is conventionally urged into gripping contact by a helical spring 21 which has L-shaped anchoring arms 22, 23 extending from opposite ends of the helical coil to contact the outer sides of the jaws. Each of first and second jaws 13, 18 has a lever arm 25 which terminates in a finger grip 26. Digital pressure by the user on the grips spreads each of the jaws apart against the pressure of springs 21.
The size of the clothespin and the length of each lever arm 25 depends upon the usage of the clothespin. A lighter spring is used for hanging photoprints for drying than is used on a clothesline for heavy garments and objects such as bedding. The length of the lever arm thus derives from the strength of spring needed to keep the clothespin jaws closed in the particular usage.
Inspection of FIGS. 1 and 2 demonstrates that each of the jaw pairs may be manipulated independently. Jaw 13 may be opened while jaw 18 still retains its grip upon an object 28 gripped therein. The converse is also true: the object 28 can be removed from jaws 18, 19 while jaws 13, 14 still grip line 11.
Description of the preferred embodiment FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate the preferred embodiment of the invention. A multiple grip clothespin 31 has a base 32 with an upper stem 33 and bifurcated legs 34, 35. Stem 33 has an integral jaw member 41. Base legs 34, 35 have formed thereon jaws 42, 43, respectively. The jaw components may be toothed, as illustrated, or contoured in other manner for properly gripping the particular subject matter for which the clothespin is intended. A first jaw member 45 is paired with jaw member 41 of the base. Second and third jaw members 46, 47 are paired, respectively, with base jaws 42, 43. The jaw pairs thus defined are urged into gripping contact by circular springs 49. In conventional fashion a spring is imbedded in the jaw member near its point of contact and passes through an aperture 51 in each of the first, second and third jaw members and through an aperture 52 in each of the base stem and legs. The jaw pairs have conventional fulcrum points at 54 beyond which jaw members 41-43 have lever arms 56 which terminate in finger grip areas 57.
In the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4 the base has an upturned rib 59 along its outer periphery. The rib is a strengthening device and may be dispensed with if the body of the base is sufiiciently rigid.
The preferred embodiment is shown suspended from a line 61. The lower diverging pairs are so arranged as to grip in the same plane. The illustrated embodiment is therefore useful for suspending large sheets, such as photographs, negatives, and the like, which tend to curl when dried suspended from just one point.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of jaw grippers 63, 64 of a jaw pair 66, 67. Jaw 66 may be a part of a base (not shown) from which other jaws or jaw members protude. The inner faces of the jaws 63, 64 are serrated to define teeth 71. Each of the serrated faces terminates inwardly in a flat wall 72. The walls are substantially perpendicular to the line of closure 73 of the jaws and each merges with a surface 74 which defines with the wall 72 a substantially right-angle dihedral. This particular jaw configuration affords a sure grip upon a suspension line such as the cylindrical line 76 of FIG. 5. The angle of the wall 72 to the jaw closure line 73 defeats the resultant of a downward pull upon the clothespin that might otherwise wedge the jaws open.
In FIG. 6 a compound clothespin 81 has a base 82 which is twisted at 83 such that the jaw pair 85 of the base stem grips in a plane perpendicular to the gripping plane of the jaw pairs 87, 88 of the bifurcated base legs. Such a base configuration results in a compound clothespin which enables many articles to be suspended from a single line since the flat articles can thereby be oriented with their flat surfaces parallel and close together.
Only a few of the many embodiments within the scope of the invention have been illustrated. While double and triple-ended olothespins have been shown, the concept of the invention obviously comprehends devices with a multiplicity of jaw pairs.
Since conventional components may be used for more than half of the clothespin of the invention, its economic feasibility is obvious. It may be made from inexpensive materials formable by standard means. The clothespin of the invention has usage in hanging not only clothes, but many other articles which must be suspended for one reason or another. The finger grip edges of the independent portions of the jaw pairs may be closely associated, as shown in FIG. 3, such that all three may be manipulated at once if desired. However, since they are separate each jaw pair is independently operable.
Many other varaitions will occur to those skilled in the art within the scope of the invention. I therefore wish that the foregoing disclosure be regarded as illustrative only and that the invention be defined by the appended claims.
1. A multiple grip clothespin comprising a first jaw member, a second jaw member, a base, a third jaw member on the base, a fourth jaw member on the base, a fifth jaw member, a sixth jaw member on the base, first spring means urging the first jaw member into gripping contact with the third jaw member, and second spring means urging the second jaw member into gripping contact with the fourth jaw member, a third spring means urging the fifth jaw member into gripping contact with the sixth jaw member, the spring means being such that the first and third jaw members are operable to grip and release independently of the second and fourth jaw members and independently of the fifth and sixth jaw members, and a lever arm on each of the second and fifth jaw members terminating remote from the jaw members closure in a fingergrip, the fingergrips of the respective lever arms being proximate each other so as to be operative simultaneously by a finger.
2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the plane of gripping contact of the second and fourth jaw members is skewed with respect to the plane of gripping contact of the first and third jaw members.
3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein the second and fourth jaw members contact each other in substantially the same plane as do the fifth and sixth jaw members.
4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein each of the first and second and fifth jaw members has a lever arm, the lever arms each terminating remote from the respective jaw member closure in a finger grip, the finger grips all being proximate each other so as to be simultaneously operative by a single finger.
5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein each jaw pair has a secondary gripper section defined by a flat first wall in each jaw member lying in a plane substantially perpendicualr to the line of closure of the jaws and a second wall in each jaw member extending substantially parallel to the line of closure and forming with the first wall of each jaw member a substantially right-angle dihedral.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 847,106 3/1907 Pasqualin 24137 894,908 8/1908 Schoning 24137.5 948,840 2/1910 Bell 2481 X 1,373,619 4/1921 Kohn. 1,447,083 2/1923 Jonas 223--96 1,884,031 10/1932 Mahle 2481 2,185,285 1/1940 Woods 24255 X 2,573,622 10/1951 Stoneburner 23396 FOREIGN PATENTS 446,220 1/ 1948 Canada.
29,021 1964 Germany. 18,226 1907 Great Britain 731,906 6/1955- Great Britain. 126,165 9/ 1949 Sweden.
DONALD A. GRIFFIN, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.