US 3453700 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 8,' 1969 V. A. PETERT'IL ETAL.
INTEGRAL CLAMP Filed Jan.
Z @favs @gua dit o@ 4United States Patent O 3,453,700 INTEGRAL CLAMP Victor A. Petertil, 509 Fair Oaks, Oak Park, Ill. 60302, and James Teague, Jr., 443 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60614 Filed Jan. 16, 1968, Ser. No. 698,176 Int. Cl. D06f .S5/0.0
U.S. Cl. 24-137 6 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A clamp or gripping device integrally constructed of resilient material and having a frusto-conical shape includes first and second levers bridged at their sides intermediate their length to form a double pivot with the forward side of the bridge members defining a concave arcuate shape opening toward the constricted portion of the clamp. A longitudinal slot extends from the reduced tip of the clamp to communicate with the arcuate portion of the bridge members to provide opposing jaws for clamping; and the levers extend beyond the bridge members to provide handles which, when squeezed, will separate the clamping jaws by increasing the curvature of the arcuate portions of the bridge members.
Background The present invention relates to a clamp such as the =kind that might be used as a clothespin, blanket clip, or the like; more particularly, it relates to a clamp which is constructed as an integral body from a tough, resilient material.
Heretofore, the most popular commercial version of a lever-type clothespin is a three-piece construction including two wooden or plastic lever arms resiliently hinged in the middle by a wire spring. The arms are inclined toward each other at one end and resiliently held against one another by means of the spring.
There have been other suggested versions of this principle, not `quite so popular commercially, but one has a unitary construction in which the two `lever arms are made of a plastic or similar material, and a horseshoe or U-shaped fiat metallic spring is embedded in the levers and coated with plastic to provide the spring tension force for the clothespin.
Summary The present invention provides a clothespin or clamp of integral construction wherein the entire device is made of a tough, resilient material, such as metal or plastic and having a frusto-conical shape. The levers are bridged at the sides of their midsections; and the bridging members conform to the overall conical shape of the device. The levers are inclined toward a reduced tip or gripping front portion; and rearward of the pivotal connections, the levers form handles which may be squeezed for opening the jaws of the device.
Each of the bridging members define a concave arcuate edge facing the jaws of the device, and when the levers are squeezed, the clamping jaws separate by increasing the curvature of this arcuate portion of the bridging members.
With the present construction, there is provided a simple, economical integral cla-mp made entirely of the same material, and which is highly resistant to wear or corrosion. Because it has a conical shape, a number of the clamps may be nested for shipment or storage.
Other features and advantages of the instant invention will be obvious to persons skilled in the art from the following detailed description of a preferred embodi- 3,453,700 Patented July 8, 1969 ment accompanied by the attached drawing wherein identical reference numerals will refer to like structural features in the various views.
Drawing FIG. l is a perspective View of a clamp or gripping device according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation View of the device of FIG. l; FIIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross section of the device of FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the device of FIG. l;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal cross section view taken through the sight line 5-5 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 illustrates the device of FIG. 1 in a position in which its jaws are being opened; and
FIGS. 7 and 8 are front and side elevation views respectively of an alternate embodiment of the present invention.
Detailed description` Referring now to the drawing, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is seen one embodiment of the present invention in perspective view. When referring to the various structural features of the inventive clothespin, it will sometimes be convenient to refer to the forward and rear directions, and these will be taken to mean respectively the constricted or gripping portion and the enlarged or handle portion of the device.
The inventive clamp includes first and second elongated lever arms designated generally by reference numerals 10 and 11; and the lever arms 10 and 1 1 define an overall conical or frusto-conical shape tapering toward a constricted tip portion 12. The levers 10 and 11 are coupled together at the sides of their midsection by means of bridging members 13 and 14. Each ofthe bridging members 13 and 14 also conforms to the overall conical shape of the device; and they are formed integrally with the levers 10 and 11 and of the same material.
Forward'of the bridging members 13 and 14, the levers 10 and 11 are formed into jaws designated respectively 15 and 16. As seen in FIG. 1, these jaws are serrated as at 17 and 18 respectively, and truncated at the tip 12 to form conforming fiat tip portions 12a and 12b (FIG. 3). The jaws 15 and 16 of the device are hinged about arcuate, concave boundaries 20 and 21 which face the forward end of the device and define an opening which communicates through the entire jaw section.
Rearward of the bridging members '13 and 14, the levers 10 and 11 form handle members 23 and 24 which are separated by means of a generally V-shaped aperture or groove 25 extending transversely between both handles.
As illustrated for one side in FIG. 6,. when the handles 23 and 24 are forced together, the jaws 15 and 16 are separated; and the arcuate portions 20 and 21 of the bridging members 13 and 1-4 define an increasing curvature. This is considered an important aspect of the invention since it prevents tearing into the bridging members partially defined by the arcuate edges. The rearward portion of the bridging members (the back of the bridging member 13 is identified by reference numeral 28 in FIG. 6) is in compression, and in order to accommodate this compressive force, there is a slight lateral bulge at this section of the bridging member. It is the resiliency and compression of this bulging portion tending to re-achieve its original conical shape together with the tension in the arcuate edges of the bridging members that provides the tension force in the clamping jaws.
The entire clamp is of integral construction and made entirely of the same material which, in a preferred embodiment is a tough, resilient plastic, such as nylon, polypropylene, or rigid polyethylene; or it may be made of metal. In either case, the construction is greatly simplified over prior constructions. Further, due to the conical shape and hollow interior, individual of the devices may be nested with adjacent members for convenience of shipping or storage.
An alternative embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 7-8 in which reference characters identifying elements similar to those previously shown are the same with an added prime notation. In the embodiment illustrated here, there is provided additional bulk material at the tip 12', and at the edges of the handle members 23' and 24', the additional bulk there being represented respectively by reference numerals 30 and 31. Further, each of the levers 10 and 11 is provided with an interior rib, 33 and 34 extending fully its longitudinal length for adding structural strength.
In addition, there are rectilinear serrations 36 rather than the curved serrations of the previous embodiment; and the serrations 36 do not extend the full length of the jaws, the remainder of the jaws being reduced to define an extended opening.
It will be further obvious that for certain applications of the inventive clamp, serrations need not be used at all, and the jaws can be at; further, the opening of the jaws may be as narrow as desired for particular application, for example as paper clips.
Because the clamp is hollow in its longitudinal dimension, it may be used as a gripping device capable of exerting a force on `a member or members extending axially of it. That is to say, a rod or pencil extending axially of the conical shape can be securely held by the opposing tip members 12a and 12b (FIG. 3). The tips may also be designed to hold two flat strips or straps together in this manner. Likewise, the clamps may be used to mark position on vertically-extending rods without protruding laterally therefrom.
Having thus described in detail a preferred and an alternative embodiment of the inventive clamp; it will be obvious that certain structural modifications may be made rwithout departing from the inventive principle.
1. A clamp comprising: first and second elongated levers tapering from an enlarged rear portion to a reduced forward end; rst and second resilient bridging members, each extending in the direction of elongation of said levers and integrally interconnecting said levers at intermediate locations and forming continuing portions of the sides of said levers, the portions of said levers extending rearward of said bridging members providing handles and the portions of said levers extending forward of said bridging members providing opposing jaws, said jaws separating when said handles are pressed together thereby creating a transverse tension force in the forward section of said bridging members and a transverse compression force in the rearward section of said bridging members whereby said jaws will tend to assume their original position when said handles are relaxed.
2.` The structure of claim 1 wherein said clamp is entirely made of a tough, resilient plastic material and generally defines a frusto-conical shape vwith said first and second bridging members conforming to said shape; the forward edge of each of said bridging members define a concave arcuate shape opening toward the forward end of said device, the rearward portion of each of said bridging members defining an expanded transverse dimension when said handles are pressed together.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein said jaws are serrated substantially throughout the disconnected portions of said jaws.
4. The structure of claim 2 further comprising material forming additional bulk on the peripheries of said handles and the front portion of said tip, and further comprising a rib integral with each lever extending substantially its entire longitudinal length for providing additional strength.
5. The structure of claim 2 characterized by the fact that said clamps may be nested, one within another, for reducing volume during shipment and storage.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein said clamp is entirely made of a resilient material and generally defines a frusto-conical shape.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,360,164 10/1944 Santora 24--138 2,494,613 1/1950 Gordos et al. 24-137.5 XR 2,885,758 5/1959 Russ et al.
FOREIGN PATENTS 543,238 5/1956 Italy. 1,091,832 11/1954 France.
412,700 11/ 1966 Switzerland.
DONALD A. GRIFFIN, Primary Examiner.