US 3431404 A
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United States Patent O Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A magnetically encodable envelope-like carrier for checks which cannot otherwise be processed on automatic check-sorting equipment. The lower portion of the carrier, adapted for magnetic encoding, is three-ply, so that the carrier-check assembly is substantially the same thickness top-to-bottom.
Background of the invention The invention relates to envelopes, especially envelopes which are adapted for use on automatic processing equipment.
Over the past decade or so, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of automatic business machines of the computer family. These machines frequently operate by processing documents which have been encoded with magnetic ink, the ditferent magnetic patterns being sensed and identified by magnetic heads which utilize the information to sort and classify the documents.
Among the documents which are magnetically encoded are personal checks; one por-tion of the check has magnetic indicia identifying the bank on which the check is drawn, each depositor also having his own account number magnetically applied to his checks. This procedure has proved so effective that banks have announced plans to impose a significant charge for processing any check which is not magnetically encoded. It is inevitable, however, that there -will always be some checks which are unsuited for handling on business machines. Not only will there be occasional use of nonencoded checks, but there will also be checks which have been folded, bent, torn, or otherwise mutilated so that they cannot be processed on automatic equipment. To cope with this problem, many banks make use of envelope-like carriers for such defective checks, one portion of each such carrier being re-encoded by bank personnel and the check placed therein for automatic processing.
Prior art carriers for defective checks and similar documents have generally been formed from two rectangular panels of paper or similar sheet material, sealed together along at least the bottom edge and one end, the top and/or other end being left open to permit inserting the check. The sealed-together portion of the bottom edges of the two panels is sufliciently wide to permit encoding, typically on the order of at least 5A; inch. This portion may be either sealed together throughout its width or sealed only at the top and bottom of the portion with narrow stripes of adhesive.
Although useful, -both types of carrier described in the preceding paragraph have been less satisfactory than desired. When the entire bottom portion of the two panels is sealed together, .the surface tends to be uneven and dificult to encode. When only two stripes of adhesive are used, air bubbles tend to form and interfere with processing. In either event, inserting a check in the carrier causes a discrepancy in thickness, the upper portion of the carrier 'being three-ply and the lower portion two-ply, thereby tending to interfere with uniform feeding through processing equipment. With both types of carrier, too, there is a 3,431,404 Patented Mar. 4, 1969 ice tendency for the check to become wedged along the upper portion of the seal line and hence diicult to remove.
Summary The present invention provides a novel envelope-like carrier for checks or other documents which cannot otherwise be processed automatically. The carrier is provided with a smooth-surfaced area which does not contain air bubbles and -can be readily encoded. When a check is inserted in the carrier, the resultant assembly has substantially the sa-me thickness from top to bottom and hence can be readily handled, without misalignment, by automatic processing equipment. There is no undesirable wedging of checks in the carrier, and they can be removed readily when desired.
Although similar in many ways to prior art carriers, the carrier of the present invention dilers in a simple but highly significant manner. Like previously known carriers, the carrier of this invention comprises a pair of superposed rectangular panels which are joined along the bottom edge. A narrow strip of sheet material, however, is interposed between and adherently bonded to the two panels along the bottom edge, thereby providing a false bottom on which a defective check rests, leading to the beneficial results described in the preceding paragraph.
Brief description of the drawing The invention will be better understood by referring to the accompanying drawing, in which like numbers refer to like parts in the several views and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a lfront view of a carrier made in accordance with the present invention, illustrating the manner in which a check would "be positioned therein;
FIGURE 2 is a right side of the carrier in FIGURE l, .taken from the right side;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of the carrier of FIGURE l, taken along section line 3-3 and looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIGURE 4 is a front view of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the carrier of FIGURE 4, taken along section lines 5-5 and looking in the direction of the arrows.
It is to be understood that thicknesses have been exaggerated to facilitate understanding.
Description of preferred embodiments Although the embodiments are subject to considerable variation without departing from the spirit of the invention, it is believed that the following description will provide those skilled in the art with the basic understanding for practicing the essential features of the invention according to the manner which is presently preferred.
Turning first to FIGURES 1-3, carrier 10 comprises front panel 11, rear panel 12, and support strip 13, which is an extension of rear panel 12. Strip 13 has a width suitable for the imprinting of magnetic characters, about 5/s inch presently being recognized by the industry. Adhesive layer 14 is interposed between strip 13 and the portion of rear panel 12 immediately adjacent the bottom edge thereof; in similar manner, adhesive layer 15 is interposed between strip 13 and the portion of `front panel 11 immediately adjacent the bottom edge thereof. The resultant three-ply portion of the carrier is stiffened, smoothsurfaced and readily printed with magnetic characters 18 on the front Iface of front panel 11. The upper edge of strip 13 thus serves as a false bottom to carrier 10, on which checks are supported without becoming wedged too tightly.
Interposed between front panel 11 and rear panel 12, along the areas immediately adjacent the end edges thereof, are adhesive layers 16 and 17, thereby dening a rectangular receptacle which is closed at the bottom and end edges and open at the top. Rear panel 12 is preferably slightly higher than front panel lll to facilitate opening and inserting a check to be carried by the receptacle, although this is not absolutely essential. lf adhesive layer 17 is omitted, thereby creating a receptacle which is closed along the bottom and one end while remaining open at the top and the other end, insertion of a check is also facilitated, although the chance of puckering the carrier is increased.
FIGURES 4 and 5 illustrate a modified form of the invention in which carrier 40 comprises front panel 41 `and rear panel 42, formed from a single piece of sheet material. A separate support strip of sheet material is interposed between, coterminous with, and adhered to panels 41 and 42 along the bottom edges thereof, forming a false bottom in the same Amanner as in carrier 10. Adhesive layer 46 connects panels 41 and 42 along the right edge of the carrier, the left edge remaining open and being provided with thumb notch `48 for convenience in inserting and removing checks. It will be noted that the checkcarrying receptacle portion of carrier 40 is closed at the top, bottom and one end, remaining open at the other. The exposed lower portion of front panel 47 is available for the application of suitable magnetic indicia.
Although carriers made in accordance with this invention may be fabricated from most paper products, it is preferable .to employ a high rag content well-beaten paper, which is strong but translucent, thereby facilitating the microlming of checks contained inthe carrier. Alternatively, the paper may be translucentized by saturating a fibrous backing with a resin 'whose refractive index approximates that of the fibers. Films and other sheet materials may also be employed.
1. A magnetically encodable envelope-like carrier for a. check which is not adapted to be processed on automatic check-sorting equipment, said carrier comprising in combination:
a rear rectangular panel of sheet material having four edges consisting of a top, a bottom, and two ends, the `distance 'between said ends substantially exceeding the distance between the top and bottom,
a front rectangular panel of sheet material having substantially similar dimensions to said rear panel, connected thereto and coterminous therewith along at least the bottom vand one end,
a narrow strip of sheet material, having a width on the order of twice the height of magnetic characters to be applied to said envelope, interposed between and adherently bonded to said panels, coterminous with the ends and bottom edges of said panels, to form a stiffened, smooth-surfaced readily magnetically encodable three-ply portion along the bottom edge of said envelope, the entire upper edge of said strip being sealed to said panels and serving as a false bottom for said carrier,
the portion of said carrier above said strip providing a rectangular receptacle, having interior dimensions slightly larger than the `check to be carried thereby, said receptacle being closed along said false bottom and at least one adjacent `side and open along at least one other side, whereby a check may be inserted in said receptacle and supported by said strip, thereby providing a readily processable assembly having substantially uniform three-ply thickness from top to bottom.
2. The carrier of claim 1 wherein said strip is formed by folding over an extension at the bottom of one panel.
3. The carrier of claim 2 wherein both panels are formed of translucent paper, thereby facilitating the photographing and observation of indicia applied to both sides of a check in said receptacle.
4. The carrier of claim 3 `wherein said receptacle is closed at both ends and open at the top.
5. The carrier of claim 4 wherein the back panel is slightly higher than the front panel -to facilitate inserting a check.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,742,222 4/ 1956 Braccio 229-68 2,775,405 12/ 1956 Paston 229-68 X 3,043,506 7/1962 Bremer 23S-61.12
DAVID M. BOC'KENEK, Primary Examiner.
U.S. C1. X.R.