US 3422989 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I 1969 s. L.. LONG, JR 3,422,989
PAPER CLIP DISPENSER Filed March 30, 1967 INVENTOR.
544/ L. lax/5J8 JrmeA Ew United States Patent 3,422,989 PAPER CLIP DISPENSER Sam L. Long, Jr., 1819 Peachtree St. NE., Atlanta, Ga. 30309 Filed Mar. 30, 1967, Ser. No. 627,223 US. Cl. 221186 Int. Cl. B65h 3/24 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a hand operated automatic paper clip dispenser. More particularly, the present invention relates to an apparatus which receives and retains a supply of paper clips and provides individual paper clips upon the application of downward pressure to the cover of the apparatus.
In the past, many devices have been proffered to solve the somewhat vexing problem of convenient storage of individual items such as paper clips while also providing an easy and simple means for obtaining a single item for use. In many of these prior art devices, the item to be dispensed is disposed in a somewhat vertical position and then is vertically ejected through a downwardly depressed cover. These devices have fallen short of their ultimate goal since they tend to jam and become inoperative in use. Moreover, the particular design of a paper clip causes vertically ejecting devices to be unsuitable for use with paper clips.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to produce a paper clip dispenser which is quite simple in design and easy in operation but extremely long lasting in use.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a paper clip dispenser which automatically disposes a single clip in a vertical position protruding through the cover of the apparatus whereby that clip may be easily removed.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a paper clip dispenser which is automatic in operation and relatively jam-proof in long use.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a dispenser which stores paper clips in a horizontal position and selectively pivots one clip to a vertical position for removal from the dispenser.
Briefly described, the paper clip dispenser of the present invention which achieves the above objects and possesses other objects, features and advantages generally comprises an elongate paper clip receiving tray resiliently carried within a similarly elongate housing. Immediately below one end of the receiving tray and aligned with a transverse slot formed in the bottom surface of that tray is a camming finger designed to pivot a clip lying over the slot from a horizontal position to a vertical position when the receiving tray is driven downwardly. Clips lying over the slot are maintained initially in a horizontal position by a pair of springs which urge a plurality of side-by-side laterally aligned clips against an end wall of the tray immediately adjacent the slot formed in the bottom surface of the tray. A pivot lobe protrudes inwardly from the end wall and registers within an end of the paper clip abutting the end wall and releasably provides a point about which the clip pivots when driven to a vertical position by the camming finger.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view of the present invention showing a paper clip in a vertical removable position.
FIG. 2 is a plan partially exploded view showing portions of the base broken away.
FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken along lines 33 of FIG. 1 and showing the first position of the clip in solid lines and the second position of the clip in broken lines.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a portion of the clip receiving tray showing the position of the camming finger and the pivot lobe.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the paper clip dispenser 10 generally comprises an elongate substantially rectangular base '12 having upstanding side and end walls 14 and 16, respectively, and a cover 18 having downwardly depending side and end walls 20 and 22, respectively. The side and end walls 20 and 22 of cover 18 are constructed and arranged so that cover 18 may nest over the side and end walls 14 and 16 of base 12. Base 12 further includes a lip portion 24 extending outwardly from the lowermost portions of the side and end walls 14 and 16. Cover '18 abuts this lip portion 24 when in a nesting relationship with base 12.
A pair of spaced apart coil springs 26 extend upwardly from a generally central portion of base 12 and support an elongate paper clip receiving tray 28. Tray 28 consists of a bottom wall 30, upstanding side walls 32, arcuately joining bottom wall 30, rear wall 34 and front wall 36. Rear wall 34 carries a pair of telescoping springs 38 which in turn carry a drive plate 40 of a size and shape conforming to the interior cross-sectional dimensions of tray 28. Springs 38 and drive plate 40 cooperate to produce a system which urges paper clips toward front wall 36. Front wall 36 includes an internally protruding, gently arcuate pivot lobe 42 spaced inwardly from one side wall 32 a distance sufiicient to easily permit the accommodation of a U-shaped end of a paper clip between the lobe and the side wall.
As shown best in FIGS. 3 and 4, bottom wall 30 includes a slot 44 immediately adjacent front wall 36. Slot 44 begins at the juncture of side wall 32 and bottom wall 30 remote from lobe 42 and extends across the bottom wall toward the lobe and terminates prior to juxtaposition with lobe 42. The cessation of slot 44 leaves a support section 46 in bottom wall 30 immediately below lobe 42. Support section 46 substantially approximates in length the width of a vertical paper clip and constitutes that portion of the tray 28 which supports the clip in its vertical position.
Disposed immediately below slot 44 is a camming finger 48 rigidly mounted to base 12. Finger 48 has a length and thickness closely approximating the length and thickness of slot 44. The thickness of slot 44 and finger 48 in turn closely approximate the width of one standard paper clip. Finger 48 includes a substantially horizontal top edge 50, a substantially vertical side edge 52 adjacent lobe 42 and a gently arcuate joining edge 54 integrally joining side edge 52 and top edge 50. Finger 48 has a height suflicient to place its top edge 50 immediately below a horizontally displaced paper clip lying over slot 44 when tray 28 is in its upward-most position. Top edge 50 together with arcuate edge 54 closely approximate in length the length of slot 44 so that as tray 28 is depressed finger 48 passes through slot 44 and top edge 50 and arcuate edge 54 engage a paper clip lying thereabove.
Cover 18, as previously described, includes side and end walls 20 and 22 which generally conform in length and width to the side and end walls 14 and 16 of base 12 and define an interior area sufficient to receive the side and end walls 14 and 16 in a nesting relationship. Cover 18 further includes a top wall 56 which defines a transverse channel 58 adjacent one of the ends of cover 18. Channel 58 is constructed and arranged to align with both slot 44 formed in tray 28 and a paper clip lying adjacent front wall 36 over slot 44. Channel 58 is also of a width sufficient to permit the edgewise passage of a paper clip therethrough. Therefore, when cover 18 is placed over base 12, the under surface of top wall 56 engages the top-most surface of rear wall 34 and front wall 36 of receiving tray 28. Moreover, the paper clip lying immediately above slot 44 in tray 28 will lie immediately below channel 58.
OPERATION OF THE DISPENSER In operation, cover 18 is removed from base 12 and drive plate 40 is retracted toward rear wall 34 of receiving tray 28. The retraction of plate 40 compresses telescoping springs 38 and increases their urging force toward front wall 36. While maintaining plate 40 in a retracted position, several paper clips are placed in tray 28 in a side-byside horizontal arrangement standing on their elongate edges. Opposite ends of each paper clip engage upstanding side walls 32 which serve to confine the clips in an aligned fashion.
Plate 40 is then gently released so that it engages the rearmost clip and urges the entire series of aligned clips toward front wall 36. The force of springs 38 against plate 40 drives the forwardmost clip into contact with front wall 36. With the forwardmost clip in contact with the front wall, lobe 42 registers within one U-shaped end portion of the forwardmost clip. In this position, the forwardmost clip lies immediately over slot 44 but is restrained from dropping through that slot by the combination of the driving force of springs 38 urging the clip against front wall 36 and the presence of lobe 42 within one end of the clip. Tray 28 is in its normal up position with camming finger 48 disposed immediately below slot 44 and out of registration within that slot.
Cover 18 is then positioned over base 12 and side and rear walls 14 and 16 so that channel 58 aligns with slot 44 and the forwardmost paper clip. The device is now loaded with paper clips and ready for use with no clip extending through channel 58.
To maneuver a paper clip into position for removal from the dispenser, cover 18 is depressed thereby driving tray 28 and its paper clips downwardly against the tension of support springs 26. As the tray moves downwardly, top edge 50 and arcuate edge 54 of camming finger 48 enter slot 44 and engage the forwardmost paper clip. Further movement of the tray downward causes the forwardmost paper clip to pivot about lobe 42 and pass along arcuate edge 54 as finger 48 continues to pass through slot 44. As the clip pivots, its moving end passes upwardly through channel 58 in cover 18. In the covers lowermost position, the under surface of top wall 56 engages the top surface of side and rear walls 14 and 16 of base 12. Moreover, finger 48 protrudes through slot 44 to the degree that substantially vertical side edge 52 lies alongside one side of the forwardmost paper clip, now in a substantially vertical position. In this vertical position, the clip rests against support section 46 of tray 28 and is still urged against front wall 36 by telescoping springs 38.
Releasing the pressure on cover 18 permits springs 26 to drive tray 28 and cover 18 upwardly to their normal position. The forwardmost paper clip now protrudes vertically through slot 58 and is ready for easy removal from the dispenser. By grasping the clip along its exposed portion and pulling upwardly, the lowermost U-shaped portion of the clip passes over lobe 42 against the tension of springs 38 and slides out of the dispenser.
Upon removal of the vertically extending paper clip, spring 38 urges the next clip into horizontal position abutting front wall 36, immediately over slot 44. This second horizontal clip is then in position to be pivoted to a vertical removing position upon depressing cover 18.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A paper clip dispenser comprising a paper clip support tray including at least one end wall and means for biasing a stack of aligned paper clips flat against said end wall, a positioning lobe projecting from said end wall for extending into the web of the paper clip adjacent said end wall, and cam means movable with respect to said support tray into contact with the paper clip adjacent said end wall for pivoting the paper clip adjacent said end wall about said lobe and with respect to the remaining paper clips of the stack of aligned paper clips.
2. A paper clip dispenser comprising a housing including a cover defining an opening therein and a base, said cover and said base being movable toward and away from each other, a paper clip receiving tray disposed within said housing and resiliently supported by said base and movable with said housing, said tray including a support surface and a front wall, means for biasing a stack of paper clips against said front wall along said support surface, said front wall having an inwardly protruding pivot lobe thereon for projection into the web of the paper clip adjacent said front wall, said support surface defining a slot adjacent said front wall and in alignment with the opening of said cover, a camming finger rigidly afiixed to said base and positioned so that upon movement of said tray toward said base said camming finger passes through said slot to strike the paper clip on said tray adjacent said front wall and pivot it about said pivot lobe until it protrudes through the opening of said cover.
3. A paper clip dispenser as recited in claim 2 wherein said camming finger has a substantially horizontal top edge, a substantially vertical side edge and an integral arcuate edge joining said horizontal and vertical edges, said horizontal and arcuate edges having a length closely approximating the length of said slot in said receiving tray.
4. A paper clip dispenser as recited in claim 3 wherein said paper clip receiving tray includes an upstanding rear wall, and at least one telescoping spring aflixed at one end to said rear wall and having a drive plate affixed to its opposite end, said spring being constructed and arranged to urge a plurality of paper clips against said front wall of said tray and cause said lobe to register within one U-shaped end portion of the forwardmost clip within said tray.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1951 Jennings 221-187 7/1959 White 22l-224 WALTER SOBIN, Primary Examiner.