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Publication numberUS3503235 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 31, 1970
Filing dateAug 15, 1968
Priority dateAug 15, 1968
Publication numberUS 3503235 A, US 3503235A, US-A-3503235, US3503235 A, US3503235A
InventorsField Jack W
Original AssigneeJ W Field Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Snap apart key holder
US 3503235 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 31, 1970 J. w. FIELD SNAP APART KEY HOLDER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 15, 1968 INVENTOR. JACK W. FIELD ATTORNEYS- M mm mm 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 15, 1968 INVENTOR. JACK W F lELD ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,503,235 SNAP APART KEY HOLDER Jack W. Field, Franklin Township, Somerset County, NJ. J. W. Field Company, Inc., 16 E. 52nd St., New York, NY. 10022) Filed Aug. 15, 1968, Ser. No. 752,814 Int. Cl. A44b 15/00 US. Cl. 70---456 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A pull apart key holder is formed of two dish shaped circular sections having opposing faces. One section contains a female recess with a constricted resilient throat on its internal face; a mating male snap member is provided in the internal face of the complementary section. Each section is molded of elastomeric plastic material and includes a unitary flexible band extending radially from its periphery. The band has a knob element at its free end. The respective knobs are snapped into mating sockets on the internal faces of each section to form the bands into key receiving loops. The knob ends are further secured by the opposing faces of each section.

BACKGOUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention Key holders with removable sections for separating individual keys without dismounting the same.

Description of the prior art The user of a plurality of keys usually finds many instances wherein it is desirable to remove a selected key or keys from the remainder of the keys fastened to his key holder. For example, on numerous occasions, the driver of an automobile may find it necessary to open the trunk lid or glove compartment lid while the engine is operating. This necessitates removal of a certain key from a key chain or holder which carries the ignition key.

It is also often desirable to separate the automobile ignition key from the remainder of the keys when leaving ones car in a public garage or parking lot. Thus, the attendant may move the car, but is denied access to materials in the glove compartment or trunk and is not left in possession of the drivers house and/or office keys.

Hence, it is useful to have a key holder in which a selected key or keys can be removed While the rest of the keys remain secured together.

It has been proposed heretofore to provide key holders which include separable elements, each capable of carrying one or more keys. The most common of these prior devices are of the magnetic type wherein two key carrying sections are joined by magnetic means secured to either or both sections.

Among the disadvantages of prior devices are the costs of materials and construction. The magnetic key holders of the prior art consist of at least two separable elements and two separate key retainers or key chains, one fastened to each of the separable elements. In addition, the separable elements themselves must either be magnetic, magnetizable, or contain a magnetic element.

Production of one of these prior devices necessarily includes several distinct steps. Both the separable elements and the key rings or chains must be fabricated and then the key rings, holders or chains must be threaded through their appropriate openings on the separable elements.

As the manufacture and assembly costs of these prior devices were appreciable, the costs of separable key holder did not lend themselves to large scale promotional distribution.

Another disadvantage of the prior magnetic devices 3,503,235 Patented Mar. 31, 1970 is the fact that a permanently magnetic material is carried with ones keys. The disadvantage of carrying such a material is that it has a tendency to attract and/or magnetize magnetizable materials which may be carried along with the keys or in the proximity of the key ring. Thus, a wrist or pocket watch may become magnetized and rendered inaccurate unless appropriate precautions are taken.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a key holder with removable sections for separating certain keys from the remainder which, however, is so constructed that it is not subject to any of the foregoing disadvantages.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a key holder of the character described which is simple and rugged in construction, yet can be fabricated by mass production methods at an appreciably lower cost than prior devices designed to serve the same function.

It is another object of the invention to provide a key holder of the character described wherein key carrying sections are secured together by means of integrally formed mating snap connectors.

It is another object of the invention to provide a key holder of the character described wherein each section is provided with a unitarily molded plastic band capable of being readily converted into a loop for carrying a plurality of keys.

It is another object of the invention to provide a key holder of the character described wherein the two mating key carrying sections are secured together in such a manner that each section is rotatable about the other so that the respective key retaining bands may be easily swung into registry, thus reducing the space required to carry the holder and keys.

It is another object of the invention to provide a key holder of the character described which is suitable for rapid and economical production and requires minimal assembly time and operations.

It is another object of the invention to provide a key holder of the character described which is suitable for mass distribution for promotional or advertising purposes due to its utility and low unit cost.

Other objects of the invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.

The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the key holder hereinafter described.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings in which is shown one of the various possible embodiments of the invention:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a key holder constructed in accordance with and embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the separated elements;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view through said elements, the same being taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged front view of the assembled elements with the key loops apart;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view through said elements, the same being taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged axial fragmentary sectional view of the snap connector elements in assembled position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in detail to the drawings, the reference numeral 10 denotes a key holder which embodies the .presenttinventions Said holderis composed of male and female sections 12, and 14 of hollowed out configuration. The male section 12 consists of a base 16 of circular plan configuration the periphery of which contains a concentric bevel or chamfer 18 to present a dished configuration with a hollow inner section 20 (as seen in FIG. 3). Spacedlaterally inwardly from the peripheral edge 22, a concentric annular flange 24 projects upwardly (as seen inFIG. 2) in a direction normal to that of the base 16.

A thin flexible band 26 of oblong cross-section (compare FIGS. 2 and 3) projects radially outwardly from the peripheral edge 22 and a thickened spherical knob secttion 28 is formed at the free end (tip) of the band. The thickness and breadth of the knob 28 and the band 26 are such that the knob and the band may easily pass through the eye of a key, for example a typical maximum thickness or breadth is 0.130". The band is of suflicient length (two inches, for example) to carry a plurality of keys when bent to form a closed loop.

The portion of the annular flange 24 adjacent the band 26 is shaped in a manner hereinafter described to detachably captively accommodate the knob section '28. Radially inwardly of the band 26, the flange 24 is cut away at a notched section 30. The notched section 30 is of suflicient width to allow the band 26 to pass freely therethrough. From the opposed edges of the notched section 30, the flange 24 has extensions that run inwardly toward the center of the section 12 and then join each other at a curved bend 32 forming a circular well 33 the internal diameter of which is greater than the width of the notched section 30 and through the side wall of which said notched section extends. The notched section 30 thus serves as a lateral reduced opening into the well.

The lower (as viewed in FIG. 3) part 34 of the well is adjacent the base 16 and is of cylindrical configuration, forming a socket. It is large enough to snugly receive a knob section 28. A transition wall 36, between the upper edge or throat 38 of the well 33 and the socket 34 of said well is smoothly tapered toward the throat.

The base 16 under the cylindrical socket 34 is built up to an increased thickness.

The diameter of the well at the internal surface 40 of the throat 38 is sufficiently less than the diameter of the spherical knob 28 to make the throat constricted so that it offers resistance to the entry of the knob 28 into the recessed hollowed out cylindrical socket 34. The negative clearance, e.g. 0.01", is such that the knob 28 must be forcibly pressed, outwardly flexing the wall of the socket, to permit entry of the knob 28 through the throat 38 into the cylindrical socket. Once the knob 28 passes through the constricted throat the expanded flange wall spans back to normal position, captively retaining the knob section 28 within the socket 34 between the constricted throat 38 and the thickened bottom wall 16 against accidental withdrawal, until such time as the knob is deliberately pulled out of the socket.

When the knob 28 is seated within the cylindrical socket 34, the portion of the band 26 adjacent the knob 28 will pass through the notched section 30 and the entire band 26 will be securely positioned in a closed loop formation (see left side of FIG. 3 and both sides of FIG. suitable for retaining keys.

The descriptions of both the male section 12 and the female section 14 are identical to this point in their respective structures, hence like parts of the female section are denoted with the same numeral plus the reference letter a. The sole distinction between the two sections lies in the male and female snap connector halves which removably secure the members together.

Turning to the male section 12, a cylindrical post 42, unitarily formed with the base 16, projects upwardly (as viewed from FIG, 3) from the center of the base 16 to an elevation spaced above the base 16 a distance greater than the elevation of the annular flange 24.

A bu bous crown sect on 44 is situated a th f ee n (tip) of the post 42. The crown section 44 is spherical in nature (greater than a heimsphere) and of a diameter greater than the diameter of the cylindrical post 42. The equator of the section 44 is above the tip of the cylindrical post so that the crown section is undercut where it joins the post.

Turning now to the female section 14, a cylindrical flange 46, unitarily formed with the base 16a of the female section, projects upwardly (as viewed from FIG. 3) from the center of the base 16a to an elevation spaced above the base 16a a distance greater than the elevation of the annular flange 24a. The internal walls of the flange 46 form a socket 48 adapted to detachabl captively receive the male post 42 with a snap fit.

The open end 50 of the socket 48 is circular and concentric with the base 16a, the annular peripheral flange 24a, and the cylindrical socket flange 46. The diameter of the socket 48 at the open end 50 is approximately the same as the major diameter of the spherical crown section 44 so that the crown section 44 may be readily seated in the socket end 50 in aligned relationship.

Inwardly of the socket end 50 the internal surface of the cylindrical flange 46 converges slightly to form a constricted throat portion 52, the diameter of which is slightly larger than or equal to that of the cylindrical male post 42 and somewhat, e.g. 0.02 smaller than the major diameter of the spherical crown section 44.

The internal surfaces of the flange 46 thereafter flare outwardly to form an enlarged hollow cylindrical section 54, the diameter of which is equal to or slightly larger than, e.g. 0.001", the major diameter of the spherical crown section 44. The cylindrical section 54 extends downwardly to the base 56 of the socket 48 which has been thickened so that the head 58 of the crown 44 is immediately adjacent the base 56 when seated within the socket 48 (as seen in FIG. 6).

When the male and female sections 12, 14 are placed in opposed aligned preengagement relation, the crown section 44 will be seated in the open socket end 50. As engaging pressure is applied to the outer surfaces of the bases 15, 1611 by a users fingers, the wall of the socket 48 flexes, enlarging the diameter of the contricted throat portion 52 and admitting the crown section 44 which thereupon passes the constriction and is seated in the enlarged hollow cylindrical section 54. The constricted throat section then resumes its unstressed lesser diameter sothat entrance of the knob into the socket is performed with a snap action and the knob will be retained captive in the socket against accidential displacement outwardly, yet can be withdrawn from the socket deliberately upon application of a separating force. Such separating force is most easily applied by manually grasping the male and female sections at their peripheral edges 22 and pulling the same apart. As has been priviously stated, the diameters of the hollow cylindrical section 54 and the crown section 44 are approximately equal, as are the diameters of the post 42 and the constricted throat portion 52, creating a rotatable fit so that the crown 44 and post 42 can turn within the socket 48 about the longitudinal axis of the post.

When in connected relationship as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5, the opposing edges 25 and 25a of the annular flanges 24 and 24a abut each other and provide a smooth bearing surface for relative rotation of the sections.

A portion of the flange edges 25a, 25 additionally serve as an abutment against the bands 26 and closure for the open mouths of notched sections 30 (see FIG. 5) to assist against accidental removal of the knobs 28 from their associated wells 33 when the sections 12, 14 are interengaged.

Each section 12, 14, together with all of its parts is unitarily molded of one-piece construction from a syn-. thetic elastomeric plastic. Typical plastics suitable for such application are: butadiene (25%) modified poly styrene (75%), polypropylene, polyethylene and poly-.

vinyl chloride. The band section 26 is made thin enough, e.g. 0.04", in its desired direction of flexure to be flexible so that it is easily bent into a closed loop, yet tough enough to sustain repeated bending and straightening without fatigue failure. The bases 16, 16a are stiffened by the annular peripheral flanges 24, 24a so that they are sufiiciently rigid to permit their manipulation for coupling and uncoupling of the two sections.

The walls of the Wells 33 and the socket flange 46 are, of course, made thin enough to possess the requisite elastic qualities so as to flex radially while admitting the male members and return to their original shapes so as to securely lock the knobs and male member in place.

Thus it will be seen that there has been provided a key holder with separable sections which achieves the various objects of the invention and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.

As various possible embodiments might be made of the present invention and as various changes might be made in the embodiment above set forth it is to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Having thus described the present invention there is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent:

1. A separable key holding device comprising two sections each section being unitarily molded of a synthetic elastomeric plastic and having an integrally formed thin slender radially extending elongation constituting a key retaining flexible band said band projecting from a point of juncture with a periphery of said section to an end point distant from said point of juncture, said band being adapted to bend between said point of juncture and said end point to form a closed key loop, said end point having enlarged retaining means intergally molded therewith, said band and said retaining means being of such dimensions as to freely pass through the eye of a key, a hollow open ended receiving means in said section adjacent said point of juncture, said retaining means being shaped to be removably captively engaged in said receiving means, said retaining means having a spherical contour and a maximum thickness in a direction transverse to the length of said band, said receiving means having a constricted throat, the span of which is less than said maximum thickness, and an enlarged hollow interior of such dimensions as to accommodate said retaining means, said constricted throat being resilient to yieldingly accommodate said maximum thickness and return to its original constricted dimension after said returning means passes therethrough; one of said sections having a male projection shank with an enlarged head portion unitarily molded therewith, the receiving means of said one section being positioned distant from said male projection; a second of said sections including a socket unitarily molded therewith, and having a constricted throat, said constricted throat having a diameter smaller than the diameter of said enlarged head portion, the receiving means of said second section being positioned distant from said socket, said constricted throat being of such 6 thickness as to yieldingly enlarge to pass said enlarged head portion while being of sufficient elasticity to return said constricted throat to its original diameter upon passage of said head portion therethrough, said constricted throat diameter permitting a sliding fit between said throat and said shank, said one section and said second section being thereby adapted to be snapped together in interengaging relationship when said male projection shank and said socket are axially aligned.

2. The key holding device of claim 1 including 'a projection located on said second section and unitarily molded therewith, said socket being located within said projection.

3. The key holder of claim 1 wherein the outer periphery of each of said sections is circular, said male shank being centrally located on said one section, said socket being centrally located on said second section.

4. The key holder of claim 3, further including annular flanges concentrically located on each of said sections, one of said flanges projecting from said one section toward the second section, the other of said flanges projecting from said second section toward the said one section, said flanges being of the same diameter.

5. The key holder of claim 4 wherein a portion of each said flanges forms the receiving means of the associated section, the upper edge portion of each of said flange portions forming the respective constrictive throats.

6. The key holder of claim 5 wherein each of said enlarged retaining means is spherical.

7. The key holder of claim 5 wherein each of said flange portions is shaped as a well with a lateral reduced opening.

8. The key holder of claim 7 wherein said lateral reduced opening of said well is of a dimension greater than the thickness of the band of the affiliated section to accommodate said band when said retaining means is positioned within said receiving means to bend the band to form 'a key loop.

9. The key holder of claim -8 wherein the outer edges of each of said flanges are smooth and of a uniform height to present a bearing surface permitting rotation of each of said sections about the other when said sections are snapped together in interengaging relationship.

10. The key holder of claim 4 wherein the outer edges of each of said flanges are smooth and of a uniform height to present a bearing surface permitting rotation of each of said sections about the other when said sections are snapped together in interengaging relationship.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,181,321 5/1965 Gits -456 3,318,354 5/1967 Borisof 40 FOREIGN PATENTS 138,879 lO/ 1950 Australia. 720,198 10/1965 Canada. 1,125,991 7/1956 France.

0 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner ROBERT L. WOLFE, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3181321 *Jan 21, 1963May 4, 1965John R GitsKey holders
US3318354 *Aug 4, 1965May 9, 1967Lectro Stik CompanyKey cases
AU138879B * Title not available
CA720198A *Oct 26, 1965Erwin T SteppanKey holder
FR1125991A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3863477 *Jan 28, 1974Feb 4, 1975Leather Tree IncDual key ring holder
US3898825 *Oct 24, 1974Aug 12, 1975Taylor Frank EKey ring
US3908418 *Feb 11, 1974Sep 30, 1975Stoffel Seals CorpKey holder
US4358944 *Sep 17, 1980Nov 16, 1982Stoffel Seals CorporationUnitary key holder
US5168735 *Nov 29, 1991Dec 8, 1992Philip WangKey holder
EP0348246A2 *Jun 22, 1989Dec 27, 1989Robert M. BroadwayModified key retaining device
EP0471965A1 *Jul 6, 1991Feb 26, 1992Berendsohn AgTwo-piece key-ring
EP0508948A1 *Mar 19, 1992Oct 14, 1992Robert Rieffel AgPlastic key holder and hanging device for same
EP0520362A1 *Jun 23, 1992Dec 30, 1992Vela Werbeartikel Produktion und Service GmbH & Co. KGKey-ring
U.S. Classification70/456.00R
International ClassificationA44B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA44B15/002
European ClassificationA44B15/00B