US 3507064 A
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April 21, 1970 R. N. HAMMERO 3,507,064
CARDHO LDER RACK AND CARDHOLDER THEREFOR" I I Filed Feb; '2, 195a uwumww ..,1|ll|.
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United States Patent 3,507,064 CARDHOLDER RACK AND CARDHOLDER THEREFOR Richard N. Hammero, Cottage Grove, Minn., assignor to Farmers Union Central Exchange, Inc., St. Paul, Minn.,
a corporation of Minnesota Filed Feb. 7, 1968, Ser. No. 703,738 Int. Cl. G09f 1/10 U.S. Cl. 40-124.2 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cardholder rack, and a cardholder for such a rack, in which there are a plurality of such cardholders held between two supporting grooved bars, the cardholders being flexible and having two spaced cars at each end, the lower ear extending into the groove of the adjacent bar and the upper ear extending in front of the adjacent bar so that the cardholders are inclined with respect to the longitudinal axes of the bars and held in uniformly staggered relationship so that each cardholder projects above the one immediately in front of it.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is concerned with a cardholder rack in which it is desired to hold a plurality of cards, such as credit cards, in a compact form in which significant portions of all of the cards are visible in a manner so that any one card can be readily removed from the rack and replaced with a minimum of trouble. The invention is also concerned with a novel cardholder for use in such a rack. In a conventional type of card file, the cards are stacked in a receptacle in such a manner that the tops of all of the cards lie on a common plane. In this arrangement, each card completely obscures the information in back of the card so that it is necessary to use dividers with index tabs to designate groups of cards. Even then, the only way in which it is possible to observe any significant portion of any one card is to provide sufficient room in the files so that the cards are relatively loose and can be moved apart at any particular point to identify a particular card.
Arrangements have also been proposed in which the cards are held in staggered relation so that portions of the cards may be visible. All other arrangements of this type are either relatively complicated or designed so that it is very ditficult to insert or remove a cardholder once the file has been completed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is concerned with a novel type of cardholder and cardholder rack employing a plurality of such cardholders held in uniformly staggered relationship so that each cardholder projects above the cardholder immediately in front of it to insure that a significant portion of each card is visible without movement of the adjacent card.
Very broadly, I accomplish this object by providing a pair of parallel support members for supporting the card holders, the support members having portions of fixed Width extending substantially the full length of the support members, these portions of fixed width facing each other, the cardholders having a pair of cars at each end with one ear at each end extending front of the portion of fixed width of the support members and other car extending behind this portion of fixed width.
Specifically, I formthe portions of fixed width by providing a groove in each support member in the faces of the support members facing each other, the ear which extends behind the fixed portion extending into this groove. The
ear which extends into the groove is preferably of a width greater than that of the groove so that the cardholder must be inclined for the ear to enter the groove.
Each cardholder is provided with a recessed portion of a width and thickness greater than the width and thickness of a card to be received. Preferably each cardholder has such a recessed portion on opposite faces so that when two cardholders are placed together, the cardholders collectively provide a pocket having a thickness at least twice that of a card to be received therein. Each cardholder is provided with a projection and a shoulder portion, the projection of one cardholder extending below the shoulder of the next cardholder to maintain a fixed vertical displacement of the cardholders in the rack.
Where the cardholders have recessed portions in opposite faces thereof to form the pocket of twice the thickness of a conventional card, I provide projections extending from the bottom of the recess on that side of each cardholder which is displaced below the facing recess of the next cardholder, these projections being of a length equivalent to the displacement between adjacent cardholders to prevent an inserted card from entering the portion at the bottom of the pocket which has the thickness of only one recessed portion. These projections preferably ar tapered extensions at their tops to guide an inserted card into the desired position with the bottomof the card resting against the bottom of the adjacent recessed portion.
The card-holders are preferably made of flexible material so that by flexing the cardholder its overall effective width can be reduced sufficiently to permit the insertion of the cardholder between the support members.
This object of the invention will be apparent from a consideration of the accompanying specification, claims and drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of my improved cardholder rack with a plurality of the cardholders therein and cards inserted into some of the cardholders, some of the cardholders being displaced fromeach other to better show the manner in which they are held in the supporting racks;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the cardholder viewed from one side;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the cardholder, on a slightly larger scale, and looking at the cardholder from the opposite side from which it is used in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an edge view of the cardholder viewed from the lefthand side of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a view partly schematic showing the manner in which an assembly of cards are held in position on the rack and in an inclined position;
FIGURE 6 is an edgewise view of portions of two card holders in assembled relationship showing the manner in which the projection of one card holder engages under the shoulder of the next adjacent cardholder; and
FIGURE 7 is a sectional line take long the line 77 at FIGURE 1 showing the way in which the internal projections within the recessed portion on one side of the cardholder prevents a card from dropping down into the portion of the pocket having a thickness of only one recessed portion.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawing, the frame of the rack includes two upright bars 10 and 11 of rectangular cross section. These bars are held in parallel, properly spaced, relationship by two horizontal bars 12 and 13 which are secured to bars 10 and 11 by any suitable detachable fastening means, such as screws (not shown). The
lower horizontal bar 13 provides a base for the rack. Each of the bars and 11 is provided with a groove 14, likewise of rectangular cross section. Only groove 14 is visible in FIGURE 1. It is understood that a similar groove is disposed in bar 11 in the face of the bar facing bar 10. The front wall of groove 14 along with the front wall of the bar 10 define a portion 15 of uniform width which extends from the top of the bar to the bottom of the bar. The bar 11 is provided with a similar portion of uniform width.
The card holder is designated by the reference numeral 17. As will be noted from FIGURE 1, a plurality of these cardholders are held in the frame including bars 10 and 11, in an inclined staggered relationship, each cardholder projecting vertically above the cardholder immediately in front of it.
Referring first to FIGURES 2 and 3, the cardholder 17 is recessed over a substantial portion of each face thereof, with the recess on one side being shown in solid lines in FIGURE 2 and designated by the reference numeral 19 and the recess on the opposite side being designated by the reference numeral 20. These recessed portions are of a width and thickness greater than the Width and thickness of the cards to be placed therein. When two of the cardholders are placed together, the recessed portions 19 and 20 combine to form a pocket twice the thickness of an ordinary card, as best shown in FIGURE 7. The upper portion of each cardholder 17 is cut away along a horizontal line 22 and a diagonal line 23 to expose a portion of the card located in the cardholder and to make it easier to read identifying data on the card. The remaining portion of the cardholder is of full height so as to provide more adequate support for the card inserted therein, this portion of full height being designated by the reference numeral 25. g
It will be noted that each cardholder has a notch in each end thereof to provide a pair of ears at each end, the ears on one end being designated by the reference characters 26 and 27 and those in the opposite end by the reference characters 28 and 29. As will be pointed out in more detail later, the lower ears 27 and 29 are designed to fit into the slots 14, while the upper ears 26 and 28 are designed to extend in front of the bars 10 and 11. The width of the lower ears 27 and 29 is preferably greater than the width of the slots 14 so that the ears 27 and 29 will fit into the slots 14 only when the cardholders 17 are inclined at the proper angle.
The lower edges of cars 26 and 28 and the upper edges of cars 27 and 29 are tapered in two directions. In the first place, as best shown in FIGURES 4, 5, and 6, the edges are tapered inwardly from the outer surfaces toward the lateral midpoint of the cardholder. The purpose of this inclination is best shown in FIGURE 5, which is a somewhat schematic view taken from the left of FIGURE 1 looking toward the right and with bar 11 removed. Referring to FIGURE 5, the angle of inclination of this taper is such that when the cardholders are disposed within the space defined by the vertical upright members 10 and 11 with the ears 27 and 29 disposed within the slots 14 of bars 10 and 11 and the ears 26 and 28 disposed in front of the bars 10 and 11, the rear portions of the inclined edges of the cars 26 and 28 are parallel to and engage the front edges of the bars 10 and 11, while the front portions of the inclined edges of cars 27 and 29 are parallel to and engage the front wall of slot 14. In other words, the inclination of the rear edges of cars 26 and 28 and the inclination of the front edges of ears 27 and 29 correspond to the desired inclination of the cardholders with respect to the longitudinal axis of bars 10 and 11. In addition to the inclination just referred to, it will also be noted that these edges of the cars 26, 27, 28 and 29 are also tapered outwardly from the bottom of the slots between the ears so that the widest portion of the slot formed between cars 26 and 27, on the one hand, and between cars 28 and 29 on the other hand is outermost. The purpose of this is to facilitate the fitting of the ears 26, 27, 28 and 29 over the portion 15 of uniform width defined by the front of bars 10 and 11 and by the front walls of slots 14.
The cardholders 17 are held in the proper staggered relation with respect to each other by a number of factors. In the first place, as pointed out above, the width of the lower ears 27 and 29 is such that these cars will enter these slots 14 only when the card is properly inclined. Furthermore, the cards are held in proper staggered relationship with respect to each other by projecting studs 31 which are designed to engage under shoulders 33 formed by the bottom of ears 27 and 29 when the cardholders are in engagement with each other. The engagement of the stud 29 with the shoulder 33- of the immediately adjacent cardholder results in the cardholder 17 being held in the proper vertically displaced relationship. When the cards are so held in vertically displaced relationship, the inclined edges of the ears 26, 27, 28 and 29 form the boundaries of a groove which exactly conforms with the width of the portion 15 of uniform width. Thus, when the cardholders are properly placed in position with the lower ears 27 and 29 within the groove 14 and the upper ears 26 and 28 disposed on the :forward side of bars 10 and 11, the cardholders 17 are held rigidly in position and cannot tilt forwardly or backwardly.
The studs 31 are formed by pressing material out so that it projects from one side. This results in sockets 34 being formed on the opposite side, these sockets resulting from the displacement of material which is pushed outwardly to form the studs 31. It is obvious that if the cardholders 17 are stacked together with the upper edges in the same horizontal plane as is commonly done in connection with card files, the studs 3-1 will enter the sockets 34 to hold a cardholder 17 in assembled relationship. Each cardholder 17 is provided with an aperture 35 therethrough. Where the cardholders are assembled in the more conventional manner just referred to, a rod may be passed through the aligned openings 35 in the manner conventional with index cards in a file drawer.
Where the cardholders are assembled in a rack as shown in FIGURE 1 and in the manner preferred for ordinary usage, the cardholders are vertically displaced. This results in the two recessed portions 19 and 20 facing each other forming a pocket which for most of its vertical depth has a thickness twice that of a conventional card. At the bottom of the pocket, however, as best shown in FIGURE 7, there would be a portion having the thickness of only one card. In some cases, an inserted card would rest on the bottom wall of one recessed portion. In others, it would drop down into the lowermost position to rest on the lower wall of the adjacent recessed portion. This would result in an irregular positioning of the cards and some tendency for the cards to jam where they dropped down into the lowermost position. In order to guard against this, I provide a plurality of projecting ribs 36 which extend upwardly from the bottom of the recessed portion 20. These projecting ribs have upper tapered extremities 37. The height of the projecting ribs 36 below the tapered upper portions 37 is exactly equal to the amount of vertical displacement between the cardholders 17. Thus, as shown in FIGURE 7, the upper end of the projecting rib 36, below the tapered portion 37, is exactly even with the bottom wall of the adjacent recessed portion 19. The upper tapered extremity 37 projects above the bottom wall of the adjacent recessed portion 19 to guide an inserted card into the portion 19 to cause the card to engage the bottom thereof. Because the projecting ribs 36 and 37 are relatively narrow and the projecting portions 37 taper so that they are very narrow in width, they do not act in any way to grip the card that is inserted. Thus, the card can be readily moved from the pocket formed by the recessed portions 19 and 20.
In assembling the cardholders in the rack formed by bars 10, 11, 12 and 13, it is possible to rapidly assemble the cardholders merely by removing bar 12 and dropping the cardholders down in such a manner that the front cars 26 and 28 are in front of the bars and 11 and the lower ears 27 and 29 slide in the slots 14. It will of course be appreciated that the cardholders must be inclined as they are so inserted in order for the ears 27 and 29 to enter the slots 14. When the card holders are so inserted, all of the cardholders will be in engagement with one another as shown in the lower portion of FIGURE 1. Cards 40 can then be inserted into the pockets formed between the various cardholders 17. As will be readily apparent, due to the staggered relation of cards 40, the upper portion of the left-hand part of each card is exposed so that it is possible to read a name or other identifying data necessary to identify that particular card. This can be done without displacing the card immediately in front of the card to be selected.
With the present arrangement, it is possible to readily insert or remove cardholders. It is obvious that as new cards are to be added or old cards are to be removed, it is necessary to insert new cardholders or to remove previously inserted cardholders. This can be readily done without disassembling the unit. The cardholders 17 are preferably formed of a plastic material which is sufficiently rigid to retain its shape but which can be flexed somewhat. When it is desired to insert a new cardholder 17 in a particular location, the cardholders 17 above the desired location can be moved upwardly as shown in FIGURE 1. The cardholder to be inserted can then be flexed about a vertical axis so as to reduce its overall effective width to one which is less than the distance between the opposing faces of the portions of uniform width of bars 10 and 11. It is now possible to insert the flexed cardholder into position inserting the lower ears 27 and 29 into the slots 14 and the upper ears 26- and 28 in front of the bars 10 and 11. With the cardholder so positioned, it can be dropped down until it contacts the lower cardholders 17 and the upper cardholders 17, which had been raised to permit the insertion of the new cardholder, can be dropped down to engage the cardholders at the lower end of the rack. It is obvious that if a cardholder 17 is to be removed, the cardholders above it can be raised and the cardholder to be removed can be flexed sufliciently to permit its withdrawal from the rack.
Where the width of the portions 15 is very uniform, the cardholders 17 will be maintained in the proper inclined relationship without any additional support. Where, however, this width tends to vary slightly due to the method of manufacture, it is desirable to employ a plate 45 secured to the bottom of bars 10 and 11 by suitable fastening means 46', the width of the plate 45 being such that the upper edge of the plate engages the front wall of the lowermost cardholder 17 when the cardholders are in the proper inclined relationship. It is also possible to insert bars in the slots 14 above the cardholders 17, these bars being such length that when the upper bar 12 is fastened in position, the insert bars will press down against the studs 31 of the uppermost cardholder 17. This, of course prevents separation of the cardholders as shown in FIG- URE 1. If such insert bars are used, cardholders can be changed by removing the upper bar 12 and the insert bars, and then removing all cardholders above the location where a change is to be made.
While I have shown the rack as being formed of two bars 10 and 11, it is obvious that it is not necessary to employ bars. While the bars provide a simple form of rack, a similar result can be obtained by the use of any vertically disposed members which provide two opposed parallel lines. While the use of slots 14 is desirable and results in a much more stable positioning of the cardholders 17, it will be obvious that the invention is not necessarily limited to the use of such slots. It would be possible simply to provide ribs of a predetermined width to provide the portions 15 of uniform width.
I have shown the rack as mounted vertically. This is a desirable position for the rack since the cards 40 are readily accessible in such a position. It is to be understood, however, that my invention is not limited to the bars 10 and 11 being disposed in a vertical manner. Certainly, in many cases it may be desirable to maintain them in a tilted position or even in a horizontal position.
CONCLUSION It will be seen that I have provided a novel cardholder and a rack which is extremely simple in construction and which provides for holding a plurality of cards in a manner in which a portion of each card is readily visible without disturbing the adjacent cards. Furthermore, the card may be readily withdrawn and reinserted at any time. It will also be seen that the arrangement provides for the insertion or removal of cardholders in a relatively convenient manner without disassembling the apparatus.
While I have shown a specific embodiment of my invention, it is to be understood that this is for purposes of illustration only and that my invention is limited solely by the appended claims.
1. A cardholder rack comprising:
a pair of parallel support members normally disposed in a generally vertical direction,
means for holding said support members in fixed spaced parallel relationship, each of said support members having portions of fixed width extending substantially the full length of the support member, said portions of fixed Width facing each other,
and cardholders extending between and supported by said parallel support members in inclined relationship to the longitudinal axes of said support members and in uniformly staggered relationship so that each cardholder projects above the cardholder immediately in front of it,
each end of said cardholders having a pair of cars spaced apart vertically a distance in excess of the width of said supporting members, the first of which extends in front of and engages the front of the adjacent one of said portions of fixed width of said support member and the second of which extends behind and engages the rear of said portion.
2. The cardholder rack of claim 1 in which said support members are provided with longitudinal grooves which define the rear edges of said portions of fixed width of said support members and in which the second ear at each end of each cardholder extends into the longitudinal groove in the adjacent support member.
3. The cardholder rack of claim 2 in which the second ear at each end of each cardholder is wider than the groove in the adjacent support member so that the cardholder must be inclined for the second ear to fit into the groove.
4. The cardholder rack of claim 1 in which said support members are in the form of bars having grooves in the faces of said bar facing each other.
5. The cardholder rack of claim 1 in which a member is secured to at least one of said support members adjacent the lowermost card holder and engages said lowermost cardholder to hold it and the cardholders above it in the proper inclined relationship.
6. A cardholder for use in a rack having two parallel spaced supporting portions of uniform width, said cardholder having a pair of ears at each end thereof spaced apart vertically a distance in excess of the width of the supporting portions of such a rack so that the ears are adapted to straddle such supporting portions and be maintained in an inclined position in the rack with one ear on each engaging the front of the adjacent supporting portion and the other ear on each end engaging the rear of the adjacent supporting portion.
7. The cardholder of claim 6 in which said cardholder has a recessed portion of a width and thickness greater than the width and thickness, respectively, of a card to be received.
8. The cardholder of claim 7 in which said cardholder has such a recessed portion on opposite sides thereof so that when two of said cardholders are placed in engagement with each other, the adjacent recessed portions form a pocket having a thickness at least twice that of a card to be received therein.
9. The cardholder of claim 8 in which there are projections extending from the bottom of the recess on that side of the cardholder which is intended to be displaced below the facing recess of the next cardholder, said projection being of a length equivalent to the displacement between two adjacent cardholders to prevent a card inserter in the cardholder from entering that portion at the bottom of the pocket which has the thickness of only one recessed portion.
10. The card holder of claim 9' in which each projection has a tapered extension at the top to guide an inserted card into the desired position in which the bottom of the card rests against the bottom of the adjacent recessed portion of an adjacent cardholder.
11. The cardholder of claim 6 in which the cardholder has a projection anda shoulder portion beneath said projection, the projection on one cardholder being adapted to extend below the shoulder on an adjacent cardholder to fix the vertical displacement of the cardholder when assembled in such a rack.
12. The cardholder of claim 6 in which the adjacent walls of said ears are tapered to the same degree as the desired angle of inclination of the cards with respect to the supporting portions of such a rack.
13. The cardholder of claim 6 in which said cardholder is sufliciently flexible that by flexing the same its overall effective width can be reduced sufiiciently to permit the insertion of the cardholder between the supporting portions of such a rack.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,209,818 12/1916 Dumont 40124.2 1,548,212 8/1925 Russell 40124.4
W. J. CONTRERAS, Assistant Examiner EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner