US 3516272 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 23, 1970 H. J. MODREY 3,516,272
KEY RING Filed July 29, 1969 a Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
HENRY d. MOORE) FIG 8 FIG. 9 FIG. IO Haw/WWW June 23, 1970 H. J. MODREY 3,516,272
KEY- RING Filed July 29, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. l4
HENRY J. MOORE) A T TORNE Y6 United States Patent 3,516,272 KEY RING Henry J. Morlrey, Eagle Drive, Stamford, Conn. 06903 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 706,247, Feb. 19, 1968. This application July 29, 1969, Ser. No. 845,764
Int. Cl. A44b /00 US. Cl. 70-459 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A key ring can be opened or locked by applying only a very slight force and manipulation of which requires a minimum dexterity. The key ring comprises a ring or similarly shaped member which is made of springy metal and has a gap in its periphery. A stern extends from the ring across the diameter thereof into and preferably through the gap to divide the area within the ring into two sections for accommodating different categories of keys or other small items having an eye or a ring attached thereto. The two sections of the ring can be closed by sliding a slide on the stern into a position blocking the gap and are uncovered by displacing the slide inwardly on the stem.
This application is a continuation-in-part application based on my copending application Ser. No. 706,247, filed Feb. 19, 1968, and now abandoned.
The present invention relates to a key holder, and more particularly to a key ring.
There are known and on the market several types of key holders, but key holders as now known are difiicult to unlock for inserting or withdrawing a key. Often they can be pried open only by using a pointed tool or by application of a rather considerable force. This makes the manipulation of the key holder difficult, particularly for women who are using key holders in great numbers.
It is a broad object of the invention to provide a novel and improved key ring which includes two sections for separating different categories of keys. The sections can be locked for securing items such as keys on the ring and unlocked for withdrawing keys from either section or adding keys to either section.
A more specific object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved key ring the two sections of which can be locked or unlocked without the use of a pointed tool or the application of substantial force and with a minimum of dexterity so that it is possible even for a person wearing gloves to manipulate the key ring.
Another more specific object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved key ring, both sections of which can be unlocked by Withdrawing a slide from a gap in the ring after releasing the slide by slightly spreading the ends of the key ring defining the gap and can be relocked by pushing the slide back into its position in the gap.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved key ring in which the inherent springiness of the ring material is utilized to lock the slide in the gap and also to make the sections readily accessible by deflecting either one or both ring ends defining the gap out of the plane of the ring depending upon whether it is desired to add keys to or withdraw from one or both sections.
A further more specific object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved key ring, the parts of which are very simple and can be inexpensively manufactured by mass production techniques and can also be conveniently and rapidly assembled.
A still further more specific object of the invention is ice to provide a novel and improved key ring which comprises only two basic components that are assembled by sliding one of the components upon the other.
The aforepointed out features, objects and advantages, and other features, objects and advantages which will be pointed out hereinafter, are obtained by providing a ring or similarly shaped member made of springy material and having a gap in its circumference. A stem fixedly secured to or integral with the ring extends into the gap and preferably through the same from a point of the periphery of the ring substantially diametrically opposite to the gap, thereby dividing the area circumscribed by the ring into two halves to accommodate two different categories of keys. A slide is displaceable on the stem between a locking position substantially filling the gap and an inwardly withdrawn position. The slide is retained in its locking position by springy engagement of a recess in the slide with the ends of the ring defining the gap and is released by withdrawing said ends from engagement with the slide recess against the spring action of the ring ends. Release and inward displacement of the slide uncover the gap in the key ring for insertion or withdrawal of keys.
In the accompanying drawing several embodiments of the invention are shown by way of illustration and not by way of limitation.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a key ring according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a lengthwise sectional view of the slide of the key ring;
FIG. 4 is a lengthwise sectional view of a modified slide;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view of the key ring showing the same in the locked position on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 6 is a similar fragmentary sectional view showing the key ring while being opened;
FIG. 7 is a similar fragmentary sectional view showing the key ring while being locked;
FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 show diagrammatically several possible shapes of key rings according to the invention;
FIG. 11 is a modification of the key ring according to FIG. 1;
FIG. 12 is a further modification of the key ring according to FIG. 1;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary view of a modification of the key ring according to FIG. 12; and
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary side view of the stern of the key ring according to FIG. 13.
Referring now to the figures more in detail, the key ring comprises two basic parts. One of these parts is a ring member 1 made of springy sheet metal stock or other suitable material. The term ring member as used herein is not intended to be limited to its narrow geometrical definition, but various other and similar configurations can also be used. Some of the many possible configurations of ring 1 are indicated in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10.
The circumference of ring 1 is interrupted by a gap 2 as can best be seen in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7.
A stem 3 extends from the inner edge of ring I, preferably from a point diametrically opposite of the gap into and through the same. The stem may be suitably secured to ring 1 but is preferably integral therewith.
The ring and the stem may be produced by any suitable technique, for instance, by stamping or punching the structure out of the sheet stock. The ring and the stem are shown to be made of flat stock, but the ring or stem or both can be also made from round or otherwise profiled stock. It may also hear ornamentations.
The width of stem 3 is such that it fits the gap with clearance. The ring and the stem are substantially coplanar when the ring is in its relaxed position, that is, if no bending or spreading force is applied to the ring ends la and 1b defining the gap.
A slide 5 is slidably fitted upon stem 3 and provided for this purpose with a lengthwise opening 6 therethrough. The cross-sectional outline of opening 6 corresponds to the cross-section of the stem so that the slide can be lengthwise displaced on the stern but not turned on the same. The maximal cross-sectional width of the slide is in excess of the circumferential width of the gap when the ring is in its relaxed position, as is best shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. The slide is fitted upon the stem by forcing the slide past ring ends 1a and 1b. The side wall of the slide includes oppositely disposed recesses 7 and 8 which are so disposed that they are engageable with ring ends 1a and 112 when the slide is within the gap, as is best shown in FIGS. 1 and 5. The upwardly facing end of the slide is preferably inwardly slanted at 9. The upper end wall 10 of each recess is preferably also slanted while the lower end wall 11 is substantially normal to the stem, for a purpose which will be more fully explained hereinafter.
The slide 5a of FIG. 4 is similar to the slide of FIG. 3, except that the recesses 7 and 8 of FIG. 3 are extended into lengthwise opening 6 of the slide as it is indicated at 7a and 8a.
The function of the key ring as hereinbefore described is as follows:
As is best shown in FIG. 1, stem 3 divides the area circumscribed by ring 1 into two sections 15 and 16, and more specifically, into two halves due to the symmetric position of the stem, but as previously indicated, the stem can also be so placed that two unequal sections are defined by the stem.
As is evident, both sections are accessible when the slide is in the position shown in dotted lines of FIGS. 1 and 2 by the simple expedient of slightly laterally bending or deflecting the ends of the ring with reference to the stem as is indicated in FIG. 2 by dotted lines for ring end 1a, thereby opening space between the stem and the ring ends. Keys indicated in phantom at and 21 may now be inserted into the selected section by sliding the eyes of the keys over the respective ring end. Similarly, keys can be withdrawn from the key ring by sliding the keys off the respective key end.
Locking and unlocking of the key ring are controlled by the position of the slide.
Let it be assumed that the slide is in the full line position of FIGS. 1 and 2, that is, in alignment with the ring ends. As is evident, the slide in this position blocks the gap. As is best seen in FIG. 5, the ring ends 1a and 1b cannot be laterally bent due to their engagement with recesses 7 and 8, and such engagement also prevents axial displacement of the slide.
When it is now desired to unlock the key ring, slide 5 is pulled downwardly. The resulting cam action of wall 10 causes a slight spreading of ring ends la and 1b in circumferential direction, as is indicated in FIG. 6 by outwardly facing arrows, thereby permitting the ring ends to slip out of recesses 7 and 8. If desired or necessary, spreading of the ring ends can be conveniently manually assisted without requiring appreciable force due to the inherent springiness of the material from which the ring is formed. The freed slide can be pulled down as is also indicated in FIG. 6 by a downwardly facing arrow. One or both sections 15 and 16 can now be opened for insertion or withdrawal of keys by deflecting or bending one or both ring ends as required transverse of the plane of the ring until the ring ends are clear of the stem.
Relocking of the key ring is effected by pushing the slide up as is indicated in FIG. 7, by an upwardly fac ing arrow. Such upward push will cause ring ends 1a 4 and 1b to snap into recesses 7 and 8 aided by the cam action of slanted wall 9. In other words, the position of the slide as shown in FIG. 5 is restored and the slide is again locked against displacement on the stem thereby also preventing lateral bending of either ring end.
As is evident, the springiness of the ring is utilized for a two-fold purpose, namely to lock the slide by biasing the ring ends while within the plane of the ring into engagement with the slide and to return the ring ends into the plane of the ring after having been bent out of this plane to make space available between the ring ends and the stem for adding or withdrawing keys.
The slide is retained against being accidentally pulled off the stem by walls 11 which act as stop when engaging the ring ends.
A jump ring 25 may be fitted in an eye 26 on the protruding portion of stem 3. This ring may be used in a conventional manner for attaching a chain or ornaments to the key ring or for hooking the jump ring in a hook. The jump ring further constitutes a safety catch for the slide if for any reason the slide is not retained on the stem by engagement of its recesses, and particularly of walls 11 with the ring ends. 4
FIG. 11 shows a key ring which is similar to the key ring of FIG. 1 except that a hole 26a: for mounting jump ring 25 is provided in the wall of the ring itself, preferably adjacent to the root of stem 3, rather than in the stem as shown in FIG. 1.
Retention of slide 5 on the stem is effected by the locking action of walls 11 of the slide recesses as explained in connection with FIG. 1.
The key ring structure of FIG. 11 simplifies and makes more economic plating operations as are generally used for finishing key rings in that plating can be completed in two operations, one being plating the key ring with the jump ring attached thereto and ornaments on the ring, if any, and the second being plating of the slide-whereas the key ring structure of FIG. 1 requires three separate plating operations-namely, plating of the ring itself, plating of the slide, and plating of the jump ring prior to attachment thereof to the stem.
The key ring according to FIG. 12 is distinguished from the key rings of FIGS. 1 and 11, in addition to being of different shape, by a widened gap 2a and a correspondingly widened slide. The widened gap has the advantage that keys or similar articles can be fitted on the key ring or removed therefrom after sliding the slide into the illustrated position without previous bending of the stem and the ring ends 1a and 1b relative to each other.
FIGS. 13 and 14 show a key ring similar to FIG. 12 except that the slide is locked on the stem, in addition to the locking action by walls 11, by upsetting or otherwise enlarging the tip of the stem, as it is shown at 15. Such enlarged stem end positively prevents removal of the slide from the stem.
As is apparent from the previous description, the slide must be assembled on the stem with the slide walls 11 facing toward the root of the stem. To facilitate and expedite correct assembly, a marker 16 in the form of an arrow pointing toward the root of the stem is advantageously provided on the slide. This marker also constitutes an ornamentation. Additional ornamentation may of course be provided.
What is claimed is:
1. A key ring comprising in combination:
a substantially ring-shaped member having a gap in its periphery;
a stern fixedly secured to said ring member and protruding through said gap from a point of the member peripherally spaced from the gap thereby dividing the area circumscribed by said member into two sections for accommodating several categories of keys;
slide means movable on said stem into and out of a locking position closing the gap, movement of the locking means out of the locking position uncovering said sections for the insertion and withdrawal of keys; and
a stop means secured to the protruding stem end for retaining the slide means on the stem, said stop means including a jump ring pivotally fitted upon the protruding stem end.
2. A key ring comprising in combination:
a substantially ring-shaped member having a gap in its periphery;
a stem fixedly secured to said ring member and protruding through said gap from a point of the member peripherally spaced from the gap thereby dividing the area defined by said member into two sections for accommodating several categories of keys;
a slide fitted upon said stem slidably between a locking position blocking said gap and a release position inwardly withdrawn on the stem from said gap, the release position of the slide opening said sections for insertion or withdrawl of keys and the locking position securing the keys on the key ring; and
a stop means secured to the protruding stem end for retaining the slide means on the stem, said stop means including a jump ring pivotally fitted upon the the protruding stem end.
3. The key ring according to claim 2 wherein said stern extends from a peripheral point of the ring member substantially diametrically opposite to said gap thereby dividing the area defined by the ring member into two halves.
4. The key ring according to claim 2 wherein said ring member and said stem are formed of one piece of sheet stock.
5. The key ring according to claim 2 wherein said slide has a slot therethrough and the stem is slidably extended through said slot.
6. The key ring according to claim 2 and comprising means securing the slide against rotation on the stem, the slide having a cross-sectional width in excess of the peripheral width of the gap, the slide being retained in the gap by pressure engagement with the ends of the ring member defining the gap.
7. The key ring according to claim 6 wherein said stern has a non-round cross section and the slide has a lengthwise opening therethrough and is slidably fitted upon the stem, the cross-sectional outline of the slide opening corresponding to the cross-sectional outline of the stem thereby preventing rotation of the slide on the stem.
8. The key ring according to claim 6 wherein the slide has recesses in its sides facing the ends of said ring member portions, said ends bing urged into engagement with said recesses when the slide is in the gap, spreading of said ends of the ring member with reference to the slide against the springiness of the ring member material releasing the slide from the recesses.
9. The key ring according to claim 8 wherein the recesses in the slide extend into the lengthwise opening thereof.
10. The key ring according to claim 8 wherein the slide has on its side facing the gap slanted wall portions for guiding the ends of said ring member portions into the recesses when the slide is pushed into the gap.
11. A key ring comprising in combination:
a substantially ring-shaped member having a gap in its periphery;
a stem fixedly secured at one end to said ring member and protruding with its tip end through said gap from a point of the member peripherally spaced from the gap thereby dividing the area defined by said member into two sections for accommodating several categories of keys; and
a slide fitted upon said stem slidably between a locking position blocking said gap and a release position inwardly withdrawn on the stem from said gap, the release position of the slide opening said sections for insertion or withdrawal of keys and the locking position securing the keys on the key ring.
said slide having in each of its sides facing the ring member ends defining the gap a recess intermediate the length of the sides, said ring member ends being biased into engagement with said recesses when the slide is in its gap locking position, the wall of each recess adjacent to the tip of the stem and the respective ring member end being so shaped that at least the wall or the respective ring member end presents a surface arranged at an acute angle to the axis of said stem so that said ring member ends are caused to spread out of the recesses by the camming action of said angled surfaces in response to a force applied to said slide toward said one stem end.
12. The key ring according to claim 11 wherein said stem has a non-rounded cross section and the slide has a lengthwise opening therethrough, the cross-sectional outline of said slide opening substantially corresponding to the cross-sectional outline of the stem thereby preventing rotation of the slide on the stem.
13. The key ring according to claim 11 wherein the outside of the wall portion of the slide adjacent to the ring member ends is inwardly slanted to define outer cam surfaces causing spreading of said ring member ends in response to an upward pressure by said cam surfaces against the ring member ends.
14. The key ring according to claim 19 wherein said slide retaining means is provided on the stem.
15. The key ring according to claim 14 wherein said slide retaining means comprises a jump ring hinged to the protruding stem portion for positively retaining the slide on the stem.
16. The key ring according to claim 14 wherein said slide retaining means comprises an enlarged stem portion at the tip thereof thereby positively securing the slide on the stem.
17. The key ring according to claim 11 wherein said ring shaped member has an opening in its wall and a jump ring is hingedly fitted in said opening.
18. The key ring according to claim 11 wherein said slide has on one of its sides a marker pointing toward the root of the stem.
19. The key ring according to claim 11 and comprising means for retaining the slide on the stem.
20. The key ring according to claim 19 wherein the opposite walls of said recesses are each substantially normal to the stern axis thereby retaining the slide on the stem by abutting engagement with the ring member ends in response to a pressure applied to the slide toward said other stem end, said opposite Walls constituting the retaining means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 855,530 6/1907 Reid 70459 1,060,736 5/1913 Bayer 2473 2,527,457 10/ 1950 Schupbech 70459 RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner R. L. WOLFE, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 70-457