US 3480372 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 25, 1969 KENNY ET AL 3,480,372
WRITING 0R DRAWING INSTRUMENT Filed NOV. 24, 1967 VENTORSm NEA S. KENNY ALAN L. SAPAKIE y DOUGLAS A. WARDEN AGENT United States Patent O 3,480,372 WRITING OR DRAWING INSTRUMENT Neal S. Kenny, Horseheads, Douglas A. Warden, Ithaca,
and Alan Louis Sapakie, Painted Post, N.Y., assignors to Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 24, 1967, Ser. No. 685,361 Int. Cl. B43k 8/00 US. Cl. 401-198 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An instrument for writing or drawing with ink or a similarfluid and comprising a bundle of relatively minute capillary tubes substantially aligned with each other and joined together at least adjacent the ends of said bundle, one end of such bundle being formed in a wedge, a semiellipsoidal, a semispherical or otherwise semispheroidal or similar shape to provide a nib, and a quantity of one of said fluids at least partially filling the capilli or bores of said tubes, such fluid being introduced into said capilli or bores by inserting one end of said bundle in a body of the fluid and thereby at least partially filling said capilli or bores by capillary action.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the field of writing or drawing instruments of the reservoir or so-called fountain pen type. More particularly, the present invention relates to writing instruments or pens of the type mentioned and which are substantially self-filling and refillable. Still more specifically, the invention pertains to a novel type of self-filling and refillable pen or writing instrument which is relatively economical to make and which does not employ a nib of the usual split point or ball type but which is provided with a nib that comprises the same material as the remainder of the pen or writing instrument and which is formed as an integrant part of such instrument.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The writing or drawing instrument or pen of the present invention comprises a bundle of minute capillary tubes which are substantially aligned with each other and are joined together at least at the ends thereof, at least one end of such bundle being formed by grinding or other suitable shaping techniques so as to provide a nib having a wedge, a semiellipsoidal, a semispherical or otherwise semispheroidal, or a similar shape. The bundle of capillary tubes may, for example, be formed by drawing a plurality of glass tubings by the socalled and well-known redraw process, and joining the tubings together, at least at the ends thereof and substantially in alignment with each other, during or following the redraw thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will best be understood with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a bundle of capillary tubes used for making one type of writing instrument embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an end view of the bundle of capillary tubes of FIG. 1 taken generally along line 2-2 of FIG. 1',
FIG. 3 comprises a cross-sectional view of the bundle of capillary tubes of FIG. 1, such view being taken generally along line 33 of FIG. 2 following semispherical forming of one end of said bundle of tubes to form a nib thereon;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 and taken generally along line 44 of FIG. 2;
3,480,372 Patented Nov. 25, 1969 FIG. 5 is an end view of a bundle of capillary tubes similar to FIG. 2 but illustrating such a bundle provided with a protective tubular outer sheath;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of one type of completed writing instrument embodying the invention and enclosed in a suitable holder or jacket for facile digital manipulation thereof;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a flexible bundle of capillary tubes used as a writing instrument in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 8 comprises a view illustrating a modification of the writing instrument of FIG. 7.
Similar reference characters refer to similar parts in each of the figures of the drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings in detail, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a bundle 10 of a plurality of rigid capillary tubes such as 11 of a thermoplastic material and each having a bore or capilli such as 12. Tubes 11 of bundle 10 are substantially aligned with each other as shown in FIG. 1 and are joined to each other at least adjacent the ends of the bundles and preferably along the entire length of the bundle.
Bundle 10 may be formed, for example, by either of two well-known methods. In a first of such methods, a plurality of thermoplastic tubings, or one or more lengths of such a tubing each having an outer diameter of approximately /2 inch, for example, are heated and individually drawn down or attenuated to a desired size by the well-known and so-called redraw process to form capillary tubes each having, for example, a bore or capillus of a diameter of approximately 4.0 to 5.0 mils. Such attenuation of the tubings or section of tubing can be performed in a single redraw step or in a plurality of sequential redraw steps of the length or lengths of tubing. One method which may be used for redraw of the tubing is shown, for example, in FIG. 4 of US. Patent 3,331,670,
issued July 18, 1967, to H. B. Cole, and reference may be made to such patent if more details of such a redraw process are desired. A plurality of capillary tubes formed by the individual drawing method such as disclosed in said patent are substantially aligned with each other and formed together, at least adjacent the ends thereof, by a suitable cement or epoxy, or other suitable adhesive to form a bundle 10 of capillary tubes such as illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings of the present application and having an average overall outer diameter of approximately 40.0 mils. Care must be taken to assure that the cement or other adhesive does not intrude into the bores or capilli of the drawn capillary tubes and obstruct such bores or capilli.
The second of the two well-known methods for attenuation or redraw of tubings or lengths thereof to form a bundle 10 of capillary tubes such as shown in FIG. 1 is to first longitudinally align a plurality of such tubings or lengths thereof to provide a bundle of tubings and to then heat and attenuate the entire bundle in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 4 of the cited Cole patent. Such method comprises the preferred method of forming a bundle of capillary tubes such as 10 since the tubings become joined or fused to each other during the heating and redrawing process. As with the process of individually redrawing or attenuating tubings, the bundle of tubings used in the second method can be attenuated or redrawn in a single step or in a sequential plurality of redraw steps. Alternatively, a combination of the above redraw steps can be employed. That is, tubings or lengths thereof can be individually attenuated in one or more redraw steps and then bundled together and the bundle additionally attenuated in one or more redraw steps. This will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.
There is shown in FIG. of the drawings a bundle, such as 10, of capillary tubes, such as 11, surrounded by an outer protective tubular sheath 14 also of a thermoplastic material. The provision of sheath 14 is preferable but optional and such sheath may be provided on the bundle of capillary tubes prior to any attenuation of said tubings, prior to an intermediate redraw step of the tubings, or following the completion of the redraw of the tubings into capillary tubes. Reference may be made, for example, to FIGS. 1 and 2 of US. Patent 2,602,722, issued Sept. 2, 1952, to O. M. Stuetzer, and to that part of the description in the specification of such patent relating to said drawing figures for an example of sheathing a plurality of tubings with a larger outer tubing to provide a protective tubular sheath for the plurality of smaller tubings.
Following the provision of a bundle of capillary tubes such as 11 as shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, one or both ends of such bundle is formed, as by grinding, to provide a nib on each respective end of the writing or drawing instrument comprising the present invention. Said end or ends may, for example, be formed to provide a substantially semi-spherical, semi-spheroidal, or semiellipsoidal nib or nibs such as generally illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, the provision of such nib or nibs being preferably performed by grinding one or both ends, respectively, of bundle 10 down to substantially the dotted line indicated by reference character 13 in FIG. 1 of the drawings.
Alternatively, the end or ends of bundle 10 can be curved or tapered into shapes other than those discussed above to provide the nib or nibs on the writing or drawing instrument comprising the invention. For example, one or both ends of the bundle can be wedge-shaped to provide a nib or nibs as hereinafter further discussed.
The forming of the nib or nibs on the bundle of capillary tubes completes the writing instrument embodying the invention. However, because of the small outer average diameter of the bundle of capillary tubes, it is preferred to surround the writing instrument with a suitable jacket or sheath for facile handling thereof in writing or drawing with the instrument. Such a jacket is illustrated in FIG. 6 of the drawings and comprises, for example, an elongate and substantially cylindrical jacket 16 of a plastic material and embodying a substantially cylindrical hollow 17 extending axially therethrough. Jacket 16 has a diameter similar to that of the usual pencil or pen holder and the lower portion 17a of hollow 17 in jacket 16 has a diameter substantially corresponding to that of the writing insturment or formed bundle of capillary tubes, such as 10, disposed in the hollow of jacket 16. The extreme lower end of jacket 16 is conically tapered and one end or nib of the writing instrument protrudes from the extreme tip or apex 18 of the conically tapered end of the jacket. The diameter of portion 17a of hollow 17 at the tip 18 of jacket 16 is of a somewhat smaller diameter than the remainder of portion 17a of hollow 17 in jacket 16 and, therefore, tip 18 of jacket 16 partially surrounds the nib on the lower end of the writing instrument or bundle 10 to hold the instrument within jacket 16. The upper end of hollow 17 in jacket 16 is threaded and a plastic cap 19 having a lower end of a smaller diameter than the remainder of the cap and which is also provided with threads is screwed into said upper end of hollow 17. Said lower end of cap 19 bears against and closely surrounds the upper end of writing instrument or bundle 10 to prevent movement of the writing instrument or bundle within hollow 17 of jacket 16 and insure that the lower nib of the instrument remains protruding from tip 18 of the jacket. A breather hole 20 extends through cap 19 to permit air to enter the upper ends of the capilli or bores of the capillary tubes of writing instrument or bundle 10 during use of the instrument.
Prior to the placing of the writing instrument in the hollow 17 of jacket 16, one end of the instrument is inserted into a body or container of ink or similar writing fluid and such fluid automatically moves upwardly through the bores or capilli of the capillary tubes of the instrument as a result of capillary action. The rate of movement of the writing fluid upwardly through said capilli may, for example, be on the order of at least one inch per second and, therefore, if the writing instrument is five inches long and said one end threeof is allowed to remain in said body or container of writing fluid for five seconds, the instrument becomes filled or substantially filled. Following such filling or at least partial filling of the writing instrument in the manner discussed, the instrument is disposed in hollow 17 of jacket 16 as illustrated in FIG. 6 and cap 19 is screwed thereon to hold the instrument in place as previously discussed.
During use of the writing instrument in writing or drawing on paper or other similar material, the absorbency of the paper or similar material, at the points or areas thereof contacted by at least parts of the surface of the nib of the writing instrument during the movement of the nib across such material, draws the ink or writing fluid from the corresponding contacting capilli or bores of the capillary tubes and said writing or drawing by said instrument is thus accomplished.
By forming nibs on both ends of the writing instrument, when the ni-b on one end thereof becomes unsuitably worn, the instrument can be reversed in jacket 16 and the nib on the second end of the instrument can then be used. The writing instrument is readily removable from jacket 16 for automatic refilling thereof in the manner discussed above and, when both nibs on the writing instrument become unduly worn, the instrument can be readily removed from jacket 16 and replaced with a new or a replacement instrument.
Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, a second embodiment of the invention and a modification of such embodiment will be briefiy discussed.
There is shown in FIG. 7 a bundle 21 of relatively elongated and flexible hollow capillary tubes such as 22 each of which are individually attenuated or redrawn from tubings or sections of tubing of a thermoplastic material as outlined in the first of the methods discussed in conjunction with the forming of bundle 10 of FIG. 1 and as is well known in the art. To form bundle 21, a plurality of the capillary tubes such as 22 are substantially aligned with each other and are joined to each other at first and second ends thereof by lengths of suitable binding or wrapping materials 23 and 24, respectively, wrapped about bundle 21 adjacent the respective ends thereof. The material 23 wrapped about bundle 21 adjacent the first end thereof is not disposed at the extreme limits of the first end of the bundle and such end is slightly curved, as by grinding the outer edges thereof, to form a suitable ni'b 26 having smooth outer edges which will not catch on the surface of paper or similar material with which the completed writing instrument, incorporating bundle 21, is to be used. At least one length of a suitable binding material, such as a length of cord or flexible wire 25, is spirally or helically wound about the outer periphery of bundle 21 to hold the capillary tubes 21 in relatively close adjacency to one another between the ends of the bundle while permitting relative motion between the individual tubes of the bundle and, thus, retaining the flexible characteristics of the tubes and, thereby flexibility of bundle 21. The writing instrument of FIG. 7 is now complete.
The writing instrument of FIG. 7 is extremely suitable or adaptable for use with a pen graph or pen chart and such use of the writing instrument is schematically illus trated in FIG. 7. Nib 26 on the first end of the writing instrument is held in any convenient manner and contacts one surface of a roll or length of paper or other writing material 27 which is moved between the surface of nib 26 and a surface of a suitable backup plate 28 while being wound from one rotatable reel such as 29 onto another driven reel such as 30. The second end of the writing instrument or bundle 21 is inserted into a body of ink or similar writing fluid 31 held in a suitable container 32 and the writing fluid moves by capillary action into the capilli or bores of the capillary tubes 22 of bundle 21 and reaches nib 26. As paper 27 moves over nib 26 the absorbency of the paper causes the nib to write or draw thereon and the writing fluid used in such writing or drawing on paper 27 is replaced at the second ends of capillary tubes 22 by additional writing fluid moving up into the bores of such tubes 22. Thus, the writing instrument can continue to write so long as container 32 is maintained sufficiently full of ink or other writing fluid.
Pen graphs or pen charts such as schematically illustrated in FIG. 7, and including paper 27 and elements 28, 29 and 30, are well known and no detailed discussion thereof is considered necessary, since such graph or chart per se forms no part of the present invention.
Referring now to FIG. 8 of the drawings, the modification of the apparatus of FIG. 7 will be very briefly discussed.
In the modification of FIG. 8, one end of a bundle 21a of flexible capillary tubes 22a and similar to those of FIG. 7 is ground in substantially a wedge-shape to form a nib 26a. The peripheral edges of the formed nib 26a are slightly curved similar to those of nib 26 and for the same purpose. A roll or length of paper 27a moves between the surface of nib 26a and the surface of a backup plate 28a and is contacted by such surface of the nib. Paper 27a is moved over the surface of nib 26a by being wound from a rotatable reel 29a onto a driven reel 30a. It will be understood that the second end of bundle 21a is disposed in a body of suitable writing fluid in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 7 and, therefore, the modification of FIG. 8 operates in a manner similar to that discussed in conjunction with FIG. 7. However, the wedge-shaped nib 26a of the writing instrument of FIG. 8 provides larger openings at the ends of the bores or capilli of the capillary tubes 22a of the writing instrument and, thereby, provides for a more optimum supply of ink to paper 27a.
It is pointed out that, if found desirable or expedient to do so, nib 15 of the writing instrument of FIGS. 1 through 6 can, as previously mentioned, also be formed in a wedge shape similar to that of FIG. 8. Also other shapes for said nib 15 can be provided. However, the semispherical, semispheroidal or semiellipsoidal shapes pre viously mentioned are considered to be the most practical for a manually employed writing instrument such as illustrated in said FIGS. 1 through 6 and discussed in conjunction therewith.
It is also pointed out that a writing instrument such as shown in FIGS. 7 or 8 and discussed in conjunction therewith can be manually used if found expedient to do so for some reason. However, in such an event it will probably also be found expedient to provide the nib such as 26 or 26a of the writing instrument with one of the above-mentioned semispherical, semispheroidal or semiellipsoidal shapes.
Although there is herein shown and discussed in detail only a few embodiments of the invention disclosed, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made therein within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. An instrument for writing or drawing with ink or a similar fluid, such instrument comprising,
(A) a multitudinous bundle of capillary tubes substantially aligned with each other and sealed together at least adjacent the ends of the bundle, at least one end of such bundle being shaped to provide a single nib; and
(B) a quantity of one of said fluids at least partially filling the capilli of said tubes.
2. An instrument in accordance with claim 1 and in which said nib is substantially semispherical.
3. An instrument in accordance with claim 1 and in which said nib is substantially semiellipsoidal.
4. An instrument in accordance with claim 1 and in which said nib is substantially wedge-shaped.
5. An instrument in accordance with claim 1 and in which said one end of said bundle is somewhat rounded or similarly tapered to provide said nib.
6. An instrument in accordance with claim 1 and further including a jacket surrounding said bundle and shaped to provide for facile handling thereof in Writing, said ni-b protruding from one end of the jacket, such bundle being readily removable from the jacket for refilling or replacement of the bundle.
7. An instrument in accordance with claim 2 and further including a jacket surrounding said bundle and shaped to provide for facile handling thereof in writing, said nib protruding from one end of the jacket, such bundle being readily removable from the jacket for refilling or replacement of the bundle.
8. An instrument in accordance with claim 3 and further including a jacket surrounding said bundle and shaped to .provide for facile handling thereof in Writing, said nib protruding from one end of the jacket, such bundle being readily removable from the jacket for refilling or replacement of the bundle.
9. An instrument in accordance with claim 5 and further including a jacket surrounding said bundle and shaped to provide for facile handling thereof in writing, said nib protruding from one end of the jacket, such bundle being readily removable from the jacket for refilling or replacement of the bundle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,585,016 2/1952 Kollsman 40135 2,608,953 9/1952 Kollsman 401-35 3,140,505 7/1964 Shimamura 401--258 X 2,732,824 1/1956 Brown 401-198 X 3,203,025 8/1965 Schreur 401198 X 3,361,516 1/1968 Rigondaud 401198 X FOREIGN PATENTS 425,413 3/ 1935 Great Britain. 1,418,087 10/ 1965 France.
LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 65-4