Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3481677 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1969
Filing dateMar 1, 1967
Priority dateMar 1, 1967
Publication numberUS 3481677 A, US 3481677A, US-A-3481677, US3481677 A, US3481677A
InventorsAbrahamson Clifford A
Original AssigneeGen Mills Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Marking device
US 3481677 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 2, 1969 c. A. ABRAHAMSON 3,431,677

MARKING DEVICE Filed March 1, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. CLIFFORD A. ABRAHAMSON J? mQ EM ATTORNEY Dec. 2, 1969 c. A. ABRAHAMSON 3,481,677

MARKING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 1, 1967 INVENTOR.

CLIFFORD A. ABRAHAMSON ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,481,677 MARKING DEVICE Clilford A. Abrahamson, Minneapolis, Minn., assignor to General Mills, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed Mar. 1, 1967, Ser. No. 619,695 Int. Cl. B43k /00, 8/00 US. Cl. 401198 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to a marking device and more particularly to an improved dye containing device which is usable for marking or coloring purposes.

A variety of marking device, coloring pens, and related implements are known in the art for use as toys or play instruments, as well as for use in the home or at work for multivarious purposes. Ink marking pens with relatively large tips for example, have in recent years, become quite popular for use in instances where a permanent mark of fairly large dimensions is desired. The use of fountain pens, ballpoint pens, or the like, is ofttimes unsatisfactory for marking or coloring purposes, because these devices have a point which produces a mark which is too small or fine for many purposes.

According to the known prior art, marking devices of the type to which the present invention relates, include a barrel out of which a marking tip protrudes; tips of this type are often formed of an absorbent material, such as felt. The tip is maintained in fluid communication with a reservoir containing marking ink, with the marking ink passing by capillary action from the reservoir to the marking tip. A cover is generally provided for covering the tip during periods of non-use. In certain other devices a fluid reservoir is not provided; in lieu thereof, an ink saturated felt wick or packing is provided which fills the barrel. A separate marking tip abuts against the wick and absorbs ink from it, thus providing a marking device.

The known prior art devices have certain disadvantages. The marking fluids often used are quite volatile;

therefore it is necessary to cover the tip and reservoir when the device is not in use, in order to prevent evaporation of the fluid. Furthermore, in many instances the marking fluid used is of a permanent type; consequently, the use of such devices by small children as a coloring implement is not always advisable. Another disadvantage of available devices is that they are rather bulky and cumbersome to use because of the necessity of providing a fairly large barrel to accommodate a reservoir of fluid, or a saturated wick; this factor is especially important if the device is to be used by children, because they might find such a device unwieldy and cumbersome to use.

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a device which can be used for marking or coloring purposes.

Another object is to provide a marking or coloring instrument which is simple in construction, relatively small in size, and which can be used for extended periods of time.

A further object is to provide a dye containing colorice ing device which is really usable by children as a toy item.

Another object is to provide a wick containing coloring device which can readily be used even after the wick has become dried out or dehydrated.

A still further object is to provide a marking device having a coloring tip which can be readily used after the tip has become dried, due to exposure to the atmosphere, by merely remoistening the tip with water.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following specification and drawings. Before proceeding with a detailed description of the invention however, a brief description of it will be presented.

Briefly, the marking device includes an elongated tubular barrel having an opening in at least one end. An elongated wick or nib, formed of a compressed sponge material, is positioned within the barrel so that one of its ends projects through the opening in a first end of the barrel, thereby forming a tip. The wick is retailed within the barrel so that it does not fall out, or become pushed into the barrel when pressure is exerted against the tip. The wick is saturated with a water soluble dye solution of a desired color so that the entire wick is colored. When saturated with the solution, the sponge wick expands so that it at least partially fills the barrel and the opening in the first end of the barrel. As long as the wick is moist, it remains relatively soft and pliable. If the wick becomes dry or dehydrated, it can readily be made to mark or color by dipping the tip in water, thus moistening or hydrating the wick. By moistening the tip with water, moisture flows into the barrel by capillary action, and the dye leaches out of the wick onto a writing or coloring surface against which the tip is pressed.

The invention will best be understood by reference to the following drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a marking device constructed according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view in partial section of the marking device prior to saturating a sponge Wick with a fluid medium;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view in partial section of the marking device after the wick has been saturated with a fluid medium;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating the sponge wick removed from the marking device;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken along line 1010 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a partial sectional view illustrating another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 12 is a sectional view which illustrates another embodiment of the invention.

FIGURE 1 illustrates a marking device designated generally by numeral 10. The device includes an elongated tubular barrel 12 having first and second ends 14 and 16 respectively. The end 14 is provided with a slit-like opening 18, and the end 16 is open. A pair of spaced apart projections or nib holders 20 and 22 form an integral part of the barrel end 14, and they are positioned on the barrel so that they project axially away from the barrel 3 end. The space between the nib holders 20 and 22 is substantially the same as the thickness of the slit 18.

An elongated wick or nib 24 is positioned within the barrel 12 in such a manner that its longitudinal axis is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the barrel, and one of its ends projects through the opening 18 in the barrel end, thereby forming a tip 26. The wick is preferably formed of a compressed cellulose sponge material which is cut into strips of predetermined length and width, and it has a rectangular cross-sectional shape. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the wick has a top surface 30, a bottom surface 32, side surfaces 34 and 36, and ends 38 and 40. The top and bottom surfaces are somewhat larger than the side surfaces. The sponge material is compressed in any suitable manner, for example during production, so that it will expand in not more than two directions, i.e., opposite directions. As shown in FIG. 6, the sponge is compressed so that its height or thickness h is reduced relative to its initial or expanded thickness. When the sponge material is caused to expand, such expansion occurs in not more than two directions, i.e., the height or thickness h increases, but its length l and width w remain substantially unchanged. While a cellulose sponge material is preferred because it can be readily compressed and expanded, other types of material, such as felt, might be used as well.

As depicted in FIG. 5, the width of the wick 24 is somewhat less than the longest dimension of the slit 18, and its thickness is somewhat less than the thickness of the slit. Thus, the wick can easily be inserted into the barrel by sliding it through the opening 18.

After the wick 24 has been positioned within the barrel 12, it is saturated with a dye solution by dipping the tip 26 into an appropriate dye source. The liquid dye flows toward the opposite end of the wick by absorption and capillary action, and as it does, it causes the compressed sponge material to expand in a direction normal to its width, thereby increasing its relative thickness or height. FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate the condition of the wick 24 within the opening 18 and the barrel 12 after the sponge material has expanded. The edges 42 and 44 of the slit-like opening 18 grip the wick along its top and bottom surfaces 30 and 32 respectively, thereby retaining it in a desired position within the barrel. The nib holders 20 and 22 likewise grip the wick 24 and prevent a portion of it from expanding to any great extent; moreover, they aid in supporting the tip of the wick when pressure is exerted against it when it is used for marking or coloring purposes.

Since the wick or nib 24 expands in a direction normal to its width, it partially fills the interior of the barrel, in this regard note FIG. 10. As illustrated, the wick expands so that the top and bottom surfaces 30 and 32 respectively, .press against the interior of the barrel. Since there is very little, if any, expansion of the wick in a direction parallel to its width, a pair of air gaps or vents 46 and 48 are formed along the sides of the nib. The air gaps extend the entire length of the barrel and are aligned with the ends of the slit-like opening 18 so that continuous passages are formed which extend from one end of the barrel to the other.

Different types of dye solutions can be used for saturating the wick. If, for example, the device is to be used by children as a coloring implement, it might be preferred to saturate the wick with a concentrated water soluble dye. Numerous dyes of this type are commercially available and can be used with excellent results. As an example, dye powders are commercially available in many difierent hues. A concentrated dye solution can be made by mixing a quantity of the powder with a prescribed amount of water. Two or more different powders might be combined to produce dyes of different hues.

A flange 50 forms an integral part of the barrel proximate its end 14. The flange serves a number of purposes; it provides an abutment against which the users fingers can rest without coming in contact with the tip of the nib; it provides a support so that the device can be laid on its side on a flat surface without having the tip 26 contact the surface, and the like.

To assemble the marking device, the compressed wick or nib 24 is inserted into the barrel through the opening 18 in such a manner that the tip 26 remains outside the barrel. Since the nib has a cross-sectional shape which is slightly smaller than the cross-sectional shape of the opening 18, it will slide out of the barrel if the barrel is vertically oriented or inclined with the tip down. By moistening the tip 26 with a small amount of moisture, the tip will expand so that the nib holders 20 and 22 and the edges 42 and 44 of the opening 18 grip the wick and retain it in position within the barrel. The device is then placed in a dye containing receptacle so that the barrel is vertically oriented and the tip is submerged in the dye solution. The dye flows from the tip 26 toward the opposite end of the wick by absorption and capillary action so that it completely saturates the wick, thus causing it to expand as explained hereinbefore. The device is now ready for use.

If the device is used immediately, it will mark or color a surface against which the tip is contacted. If on the other hand, the tip 26 is exposed to the atmosphere for a period of time, the wick will eventually dry out or dehydrate and the device will not color or mark. By moistening the tip with water, e.g. by dipping it in a water containing receptacle, the moisture flows toward the opposite end of the saturated wick, thus remoistening or hydrating the wick and causing it to color or mark as intended. The device can be used until all of the dye concentration has been leached out of the wick. If preferred, the barrel might be formed of a transparent plastic material so that the saturated wick is visible to the user.

It has been found that the air passages 46 and 48 aid in permitting the water to flow from the tip 26 toward the opposite end of the nib by absorption and capillary action. While FIGS. l-lO illustrate the barrel as being open in the end 16, it might be preferred to block the end 16 and merely provide one or more passages in the barrel 12. FIGURE 11 illustrates a barrel 52 having a closed end 54, and a pair of passages 56 which communicate with air gaps or passages 57 between a wick or nib 58 and the inner surface of the barrel.

FIG. 12 illustrates another embodiment of the invention which is quite similar to the embodiment described above. In this embodiment, the device includes a tubular barrel 60 having an opening 62 in one end and a pair of nib holders 64. A cap or cover 66, having an air passage 68, is secured to the opposite end of the nib. A sponge wick or nib is positioned within the barrel in much the same manner as that described before, so that one end projects through the opening 62 and forms a tip 72. The end 74 of the wick is tapered so that it forms a blunt point, and the length of the wick is somewhat shorter than the length of the barrel. Instead of saturating the nib with a water soluble dye solution, a portion of the barrel is filled with a powdered dye 76, and a wad of cotton 78 is inserted within the end of the barrel for preventing the loose powder from leaking out. The end 74 of the wick is surrounded by the powdered dye. By moistening the tip 72 of the wick with water, the water flows into the barrel by absorption and capillary action toward the opposite end of the wick, until it contacts the dye powder within the barrel. By expressing the water from the tip it draws the dye out of the barrel and leaves a mark on the surface which is being marked or colored. Instead of using a powdered dye, it might be preferred to place a compressed water soluble dye capsule or pellet within the barrel against the wick is juxtaposed. By moistening the wick, the dye leaches out of the tip.

In the above description and attached drawings, a disclosure of the principles of this invention is presented, together with some of the embodiments by which the invention may be carried out.

Now, therefore, I claim:

1. A marking device comprising an elongated tubular barrel having first and second ends, one of said ends having a slit-like opening therein, an elongated wick formed of expandable sponge material positioned within said barrel so that one of its end projects through said slit-like opening thereby forming a tip, the other end portion of said wick terminating within the barrel, means including said slit-like opening for retaining the wick within said barrel, and a source of water soluble dye powder, said dye powder being located within the barrel so that at least a portion of the wick is in intimate contact with said powder.

2. A marking device comprising an elongated tubular barrel having an opening in one end, an elongated wick formed of absorbent capillary material positioned Within said barrel so that one of its ends projects through said opening thereby forming a tip, said wick being saturated with a water soluble dye solution, said wick when dehydrated being hydratable by moistening said wick with a fluid medium thereby causing the dye to leach out of the tip portion of the wick, and means for preventing said wick from moving with respect to the barrel, said means including a pair of external, spaced apart nib holders integrally connected to said one end of the barrel in such a manner that they project axially away from said end, the relative spacing between said holders being such that they grip a portion of the wick and prevent it from moving with respect to the barrel.

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein the opening in said one end of the barrel is a slit-like opening which is transverse to the longitudinal axis of the barrel, and the spacing between said holders is substantially the same as the thickness of the slit, said slit-like opening and said holders gripping the wick and preventing it from moving with respect to the barrel.

4. The combination of claim 3 wherein the wick is formed of a sponge material which is expandable when moistened with a fluid medium, and the tip of the wick when expanded is substantially wider than the spacing between the nib holders and the thickness of the slit-like opening.

5. The combination of claim 3 wherein the wick is formed of a compressed sponge material having a substantially rectangular cross-sectional shape, said sponge being compressed in such a manner that it is expandable in not more than two directions when moistened with a fluid medium.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein the crosssectional shape of said compressed sponge material is slightly smaller than the cross-sectional shape of the slitlike opening.

7. The combination of claim 6 wherein one of the dimensions of said rectangular shape is greater than the other, said sponge is expandable in a direction normal to said greater dimension, said sponge when expanded being wider than the thickness of the slit so that it is gripped by the edge of said slit, and a pair of passages are formed within the barrel when the sponge expands.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein the tip of said wick when remoistened with water causes said dye to leach out of said wick onto a surface.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,139,492 12/1938 Fidelman 401198 X 2,517,283 8/1950 Bryant 401198 3,088,160 5/1963 Cline 401198 1,576,533 3/1926 Mikeleitis 401198 FOREIGN PATENTS 607,405 7/ 1926 France.

LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 401201, 207

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1576533 *Apr 18, 1925Mar 16, 1926Kurt MikeleitisMoistener for postage stamps, envelopes, and the like
US2139492 *Aug 20, 1937Dec 6, 1938Paul FidelmanMeans for coloring photographs, prints, lantern slides, positive transparencies, and the like
US2517283 *Jul 16, 1946Aug 1, 1950Bryant Frederick WLiquid applicator
US3088160 *Sep 18, 1961May 7, 1963Cline Nathan RMarking pen
FR607405A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3993409 *Sep 5, 1975Nov 23, 1976Hart Una LColoring pen assembly
US5174756 *Dec 18, 1991Dec 29, 1992Alan TaylorApparatus for simulating a sharp edged weapon
US5909978 *Nov 15, 1993Jun 8, 1999Porex Surgical Inc.Marker pen
US5954443 *Sep 8, 1994Sep 21, 1999Bacon; Bruce AllenMethod for marking the external surface of a strand of material
US6027271 *Oct 19, 1993Feb 22, 2000Merz & Krell Gmbh & Co. KgCapillary writing medium reservoir system
US6161975 *May 13, 1999Dec 19, 2000Ek Success, Ltd.Marker assembly
US6244774Aug 9, 1999Jun 12, 2001Merz & Krell Gmbh & Co. KgCapillary writing medium reservoir system
US6786668 *Feb 19, 2003Sep 7, 2004Emil Jon SlevinInstrument for highlighting
US8152401May 27, 2008Apr 10, 2012Daniel SokoloffSurgical skin marker with disposable sterilized tip
US8834162 *Jul 27, 2012Sep 16, 2014Spencer P. WarnTraining edged weapon
US20060210349 *Feb 24, 2006Sep 21, 2006Permawick CompanyInjectable wicking composition for marking instruments
US20070086832 *Nov 9, 2006Apr 19, 2007The Pilot Ink Co., Ltd.Writing instrument for water-metachromatic members with detachable pen point holder
US20070269258 *May 3, 2007Nov 22, 2007Steven BowersAngled permanent marker
US20090297251 *May 27, 2008Dec 3, 2009Daniel SokoloffSurgical skin marker with disposable sterilized tip
US20130029295 *Jul 27, 2012Jan 31, 2013Warn Spencer PTraining edged weapon
WO1994011205A1 *Oct 19, 1993May 26, 1994Merz + Krell Gmbh & Co. KgCapillary writing medium reservoir system
Classifications
U.S. Classification401/198, 401/40, 401/207, 401/131, 401/201
International ClassificationB43K8/00, B43K8/02
Cooperative ClassificationB43K8/02
European ClassificationB43K8/02