US 3457746 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 29, 1959 J. GLASSMAN 3,457,746
. KEY SYSTEM Filed Sept. 1, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I0, 24, 2 9 v INVENTOR.
.1054 G'ZASJMAN v y 9, 1969 J. GLASSMAN 3,457,746
KEY SYSTEM Filed Sept. 1, 1967 2 Sheeis-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. 4105-. 6L ASSMAN United States Patent 3,457,746 KEY SYSTEM Joel Glassman, 1709 Graybar Lane, Nashville, Tenn. 37215 Filed Sept. 1, 1967, Ser. No. 664,994 Int. Cl. A43c 11/32 U.S. Cl. 70-456 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A key case includes a plurality of compartments for receiving keys comprising grooved, notched shafts having rivet-like elements mounted near one end thereof. The rivet elements slide lengthwise through associated slots in the key case to effect key selection and utilization.
This invention relates to key systems, and, more specifically, to improved key and case arrangements which facilitate the transporting, use and identification of keys contained in such cases.
Conventionally, a key performs two functions. One is the decoding of a lock security System. The other is the transferring of the applied finger torque with mechanical leverage to a latch to be released. The decoding key portion, i.e., the notched grooved shaft, comprises about one-third of the mass of a typical prior art key. The major portion of the key provides leverage for turning and operating the latch.
With a single key, the flared turning portion is of little consequence. However, when several keys are carried, the combined key flared portions give rise to substantial bulk and weight. Enclosing the keys in a case simply increases the gross bulk.
Moreover, there is no uniformity to the shape of the flared key ends. Accordingly, key cases must accommodate the largest of Such shapes, thereby further adding to the mass of key cases. In addition, the varying shaped flared key portions, and the mechanical devices typically found in existing key cases, pose a continuing hazard of damage to pockets and handbags.
It is thus an object of the present invention to provide an improved key and key case arrangement.
More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide keys of a uniform small size which may be readily identified and selected, and easily employed to operate a corresponding lock.
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof presented hereinbelow in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURES 1A and 1B are side and edge views of an illustrative key 10 made in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an elevation view of a key case 20 embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIGURE 3 is a cross sectional view of the key case 20 shown in FIGURE 2 taken along the axis 3-3;
FIGURE 4 is a cross sectional view of the key case 20 shown in FIGURE 2 taken along the axis 44;
FIGURE 5 depicts an alternative form of key 40;
FIGURE 6 is an elevation View of an alternative form of key case 60 embodying the principles of the present invention; and
FIGURE 7 is a cross sectional view of the key case shown in FIGURE 6.
Referring now to FIGURES 1A and 1B, there is shown a key 10 made in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The key 10 includes a notched, grooved "ice shaft having mounted near one end thereof a rivet-like element 14 having an expanding head portion 16. The element 14 may comprise, for example, pin, rivet or screw devices. The key 10 may be fabricated from a blank of the requisite shape, or may be extracted from existing prior art keys by removing the extraneous material generally indicated Within the dashed outline 12 in FIGURES 1A and 1B. Such removal is easily accomplished with an inexpensive punch press.
A plurality of keys 10 through 10 may be transported and used with the key case 20 shown in FIGURES 2 through 4. The case 20 includes an outer housing 22 which, together with an interior sheet member 29 discussed hereinafter, defines six key chambers 24 through 24 The outer periphery of the housing 22 about each key chamber 24 contains a slot 26 which extends to the rear of the housing 22, but which terminates short of the front face thereof.
A cover 27 is mounted via a hinging pin 28 or the like at the rear face of the key case 10 and is selectively rotatable either away from, or in covering overlapping relationship over the rear portion of the slots 26,. Finally, the thin metallic sheet 29 is mounted in the center of the housing 22 and has finger portions directed against the outer periphery of each key chamber 24 As will become more clear from the discussion hereinafter, the fingers of the sheet 29 serve to isolate keys located in horizontally contiguous chambers 24 and 24 24 and 24 and 24 and 24 Also, the metallic fingers bias keys in the respective chambers 26 against the outer walls thereof.
For typical operation, the cover 27 of the case 20 is first rotated to an open position thus exposing the open slots 26. Six keys 10 through 10 are then sequentially placed in the chambers 24 through 24 by inserting each key shaft within the chamber 24 the body of the rivetmembers 14 through the corresponding slot 26 and the expanded head portions 16 outside the housing 22. Perferably, the notched surfaces of the keys 10 all face in a like direction. After the six keys 10 are inserted in the case 20, the cover 27 is closed. The keys 10 are thereby secured Within the case 20 since the rivet elements 14 thereon cannot translate past the cover 27.
In a carrying orientation, the expanded heads 16 on all the keys 10 are pushed against the cover 27, thereby sliding all the keys 10 to a position entirely within the case 20. The keys are retained in this position by the urging of the metallic fingers of the sheet 29.
When a key 10 is desired to operate a lock, the expanded rivet head 16, mounted thereon is pushed until stopped by the housing 22 at the end of the associated slot 26,. The exposed key 10 is then put in the lock and rotated with mechanical advantage by pressure applied to the composite case housing 22.
According to one aspect of the present invention selection of the desired key is easily accomplished, even in a totally dark environment. Simply feeling any one of the keys for the notched surface thereof identifies the relative up direction. Once this is established the desired key may simply be slid forward for use, assuming the key case operator is familiar with the relative positions of the keys within the chambers 24. Alternatively, expanded rivet heads 16 of a differing geometry as shown in FIG- URE 2, or a unique identifying feature mounted directly on one face of the housing 22, may be employed to facilitate key identification.
In an alternative form of the invention, keys 40 of the type as shown in FIGURE 5 may be employed in conjunction with the key case '60 shown in FIGURES 6 and 7. The key case comprises a channel member 61 having a key retaining pin 63 therethrough, with the pin 63 comprising a split bar having an air gap centrally located therein. The keys 40 include at one end thereof a circular aperture 42 conforming to the circumference of the bar 63 and further include a conical slot 44.
To mount keys 40 in the case 60, each key is snapped on the rod 63 by vertically aligning the key with the aperture 63 in the orientation shown in FIGURE 7. The rod 63 is compressed by the urging of the conical section 44 thereabout until the key is snapped over the rod 63. The rod 63 is released and expands to its nominal diameter when the hole 42 is disposed thereabout. Each key 40 may then be rotated for storage within the channel 61 for storage and carriage, and rotated away from the channel 61 when in use. It is noted that mechanical advantages may be derived by rotating the desired key 40 in an approximately orthogonal relationship with the channel 61 when the key is utilized.
It is to be understood that the above-described arrangements are only illustrative of the principles of the present invention. Numerous other embodiments thereof may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a plurality of keys and a key case for including said keys, said keys having a shaft portion including an aperture near one end thereof, said key case comprising a channel-like element and a pin extending across said channel and through the aperture included in each of said keys, wherein said keys are characterized by a removed conical slot portion extending from the periphery of said keys to said key apertures, and wherein said pin is compressible and exhibits a nominal, uncompressed diameter greater than the smallest part of said removed conical slot in each of said keys but no greater in size than the apertures in said keys.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,800,843 4/ 193 1 Moulton. 1,924,134 8/1933 Segal. 2,173,008 9/ 1939 Cheney. 2,180,717 11/1939 Nelson. 2,270,621 1/ 1942 Brugnoni. 2,634,599 4/ 1953 Nicholson. 2,795,128 6/1957 Ly. 3,354,678 11/1967 Stifelman.
FOREIGN PATENTS 631,526 1/1962 Italy.
MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner ROBERT L. WOLFE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.