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Publication numberUS3531029 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 29, 1970
Filing dateMay 16, 1969
Priority dateMay 16, 1969
Publication numberUS 3531029 A, US 3531029A, US-A-3531029, US3531029 A, US3531029A
InventorsLee Kenneth P
Original AssigneeLee Kenneth P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wraparound thimble
US 3531029 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 29, 1970 AK R LEE 3,531,029

WRAPAROUND THIMBLE Filed May 16, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ,Ll/s A Tramway United States Patent O 3,531,029 WRAPAROUND THIMBLE Kenneth P. Lee, 1517 San Ardo St., San Jose, Calif. 95125 Filed May 16, 1969, Ser. No. 832,546 Int. Cl. A41h 31/00 U.S. Cl. 223-101 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An open sided truncated cone shaped thimble to fit various sized thimble fingers and with a wider gap adjacent its closed end for relieving pressure against the fingernail of the finger wearing the thimble and an internal slip-proof surface to maintain the thimble on the finger as well as square seat dimple-like recess on its exterior surfaces for engaging the eye end of a needle during sewing.

BACKGROUND This invention relates to a thimble, a protective caplike cover worn on ones finger for pushing a needle into fabric during sewing.

Thimbles have been known and used for sewing from time immemorial. The most primitive people using fishbones as needles devised end bones with marrow removed as a protective cover for a finger and pusher for such needles. In the days of sailing ships seamen used a bone end mounted on leather laced about one hand as a palm for pushing a needle through said cloth and canvas. For many generations seamstresses have been using metal thimbles of various sizes to fit their fingers during handstitching. Such conventional metal thimbles are usually a heavy metal caplike cover of frusto-conical shape closed at its smaller end and tapered such as to have press fit with the end of a finger.

Such conventional metal thimbles having been accepted as the ultimate, no improvements have been known to have been attempted or made despite the fact that problems relating thereto do exist.

Primarily it has been found that the inner surface of such conventional cone-like thimbles being smooth, require a definite pressure fit of the finger into the tapered cap in order to keep the thimble from falling off the finger. Such tight fit can and does cut down circulation of blood through the tiny vessels in the finger thus compressed. Long usage, as by a seamstress through many hours per day can develop undue physical disorders in the thimble finger, the tip of a finger being one of the most sensitive of the human extremities.

From a survey of people employed in the sewing art it has been learned that thimble sizes pose a problem. Too small a cone shape causes the thimble'to extend too far beyond the tip of ones finger and to get in the way while sewing. Too large a cone shape causes the tip of ones finger to contact the closed end of the thimble which can cause soreness and even callouses to develop. Even the middle ground in which ones finger fits snugly into the tapered thimble which being absolutely round, causes undue pressure at the sides of the fingernail. This can and dotes cause corns to develop in the skin tissue pinched against the sides of the fingernail. It has also been known to push the cuticle back from the fingernail and to cause uncomfortable soreness to develop in this region.

Other problems such as the incorrect disposition of the open rim of a thimble relative to the first joint or bend of ones thimble finger can develop soreness at such knuckle joint and the pad ahead or behind, as the case may be.

Moreover, the prior known conventional metal thim- 3,53L29 Patented Sept. 29, i970 ice bles are provided with a plurality of dimple-like sockets on their exterior walls serving as a seat for the eye end of a needle by which to apply non-slip pressure to the needle. These sockets or seats are usually round or dome-like forming a ball seat which if not properly disposed relativeI to the angle of the needle can cause slip-out and injury to an adjacent finger if it is pierced by the eye end of the needle.

STATEMENT OF INVENTION With the foregoing problems in mind it is an object of the present invention to provide a thimble which readily adjusts to the size, diameter and/or taper of the: thimble finger upon which it is to be worn. In this regard it is an object to provide a thimble open lengthwise along one side facilitating a wrap around structure adapted to be formed to the size of various thimble fingers.

It is another object to provide a thimble having its embodiment in a single blank of metal formed into an open sided frusto-conical shape and having an integral tip for closing the small end of such truncated conical shape.

It is another object to provide in such an open sided wrap around truncated cone shaped thimble, a thread guard feature between the integral tip and sides adjacent the lengthwise opening.

It is yet another object to provide a knurled outer surface on the thimble while the metal thereof is yet a flat sheet or blank of metal to provide needle engaging recesses therein. This object further contemplates that these recesses be in the form of relatively square dimplelike recesses whereby the eye end of a needle seats securely in a box-like corner. This feature further includes the objects of providing knob-like detents on the interior face of the thimble for anti-friction contact with a thimble finger upon which thimble is worn.

It is still further an object to provide the open end of the foregoing thimble with an indentation disposed in a region diametrically opposite the open side of the thimble and in the zone of the joint or bend between the end of the thimble finger and the adjacent segment of such digit.

It is still another object to provide a wide, flared open zone in the lengthwise open side and adjacent the cloture tip of the thimble to relieve excessive pressure against the fingernail and esh adjacent the same on the thimble finger.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description and claims in the light of the accompanying two sheets of drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a layout of a blank prior to formation thereof into the thimble of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged end view looking into the open end of the thimble and illustrating the forming of the thimble from the fiat blank of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal section through FIG. 2 as seen from the medial line 3 3 therein and depicting the formation of the finger tip closure at the end of the thimble;

FIG. 4 is perspective view of the thimble of FIGS. 2 and 3 as seen from the closed end thereof and at slightly larger scale with respect to FIGS. l, 2 and 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the thimble of FIGS. 2 and 3 as seen from the open end thereof and at larger scale with respect thereto;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged end view of the finger tip or closed end of the thimble;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cut away illustration and side view of a portion of the thimble at a scale approximating that of FIG. 6.

FIGS. 8 through 14 are pictorial illustrations delineating the thimble of the present invention in use, FIGS. 8 and 9 showing the hands of a seamstress employing the thimble for sewing on cloth and FIGS. 10 through 14 showing the thimble used on the thimble finger of a carpet layer sewing heavier fabric.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawing, a blank 10 of fiat metal is shown as the initial and basic structure resulting in the thimble of the present invention which is generally designated 25 in the remaining views of the drawing.

The blank 10 comprises a fiat fan shaped sheet of metal of suitable stiffness stamped out by a fan shaped die. While in a fiat state the blank 10 is impressed with knurling 11 on one side 12 such as to result in the formation of a comparable number of knobs 13 on the opposite side 14 of the blank. The fan shaped sheet of metal more specifically comprises a main portion B having one larger arcuate edge 15 struck on a major radius and a smaller arcuate edge 16 struck in part on a minor radius having its center inset from center of the major radius along a medial line M. The medial line M is shown extended through the blank and bisecting the angle between diverging side edges 17 and 18 of the blank 10. The larger arcuate edge is of a chordal width to provide a partial circular cover for a human finger. The side edges 17 and 18 diverge from the chordal width of the arcuate edge 15 to the center of the major radius upon which the latter is struck. The blank 10 further includes a closure 20 for the tip end of the thimble 25. The tip end closure is formed by the provision of an integral oval shaped appendage 19. This appendage 19 is contiguous to the smaller arcuate edge 16 of the main portion B of the blank 10. The long diameter a of the oval shaped appendage 19 lies transverse or normal to the medial line M while the shorter diameter thereof is congruent to such medial line M.

In FIG. l the blank 10, shown in solid lines, is for the feminine fingers of a seamstress whereas the dotted line outline of a larger blank 10 is for the manly fingers of a carpet layer, sailmaker, canvas or awning maker. In either case the general configuration of the blank is the same except for proportional variations. The diverging side edges 17 and 18 extend straight from the larger edge 15 to an opposite end E for a length comparable to the length of the first joint of a human finger. From the end E of the diverging edge 17 and 18 the blank is configurated to provide diagonal ends 21 and 22. These diagonal ends extend at an angle from the end E to the far side F of the oval shaped appendage 19 opposite it conr tiguity with the main portion B of the blank. At the point of intersection of each of the diagonal ends 21 and 22 with the smaller arcuate edge 16 of the portion B a cove formation 23 and 24 terminates in a tip at the arcuate edge 16. This becomes a thread guard, later to be explained.

To complete the disclosure of the blank 10 the outer larger arcuate edge 15 has an indented edge portion I merging with the latter by suitable curved ends. The indented edge I lies parallel to the edge 15 and traverses the medial line M to provide clearance for the pad of the thimble finger where its first joint engages the outer edge 15 as will later become apparent. In addition thereto the corner between each side edge 17 and 18 and the outer arcuate edge 15 is rounded to leave smooth snag proof corners on the blank 1.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3 the blank is shown in the form of the thimble 25. In FIG. 2, looking into the open end of the thimble, the main portion B is shown with its sides bowed round from a flat sheet into a frustoconical shape. In FIG. 3 the appendage 19 is shown bent up at an abrupt angle from the portion B where it has contiguous connection to the main body B to provide the closure 2@ for the tip end of the thimble. The thimble 25 thus formed and as illustrated in perspective in FIGS.

4 and 5 comprises a wrap around cap or cover for ones thimble finger such as to leave a gap or open space 26 between the side edges 17 and 18 of the main body B. The smaller arcuate edges 16 of the main body are engaged by the oval shaped tip end 20 to cover the same and close the frusto-conical portion into the form of a truncated cone.

As shown in FIGS. 8 through 14 the thimble 25 is usually worn on the second finger of the right hand with the medial line portion over the pad of such finger and the open space 26 on the back side thereof. By this arrangement the side edges 17 and 18 can be spread apart to suit chubbier or heavier fingers. Vice-versa by forcing the edges 17 and 18 closer together to narrow the gap 26 the thimble fits a narrower or slimmer fingers.

Referring to FIGS. 5, 7 and 14 it Will be noted that the indented edge I is disposed adjacent the first joint of the thimble finger such as to eliminate any obstruction to circulation or hinge action of the finger. It should also be noted that the knobs 13 on the inner surface 14 of the thimble 25 serve to overcome slippage and to thereby maintain the thimble on the thimble finger with a pressure less than would normally be required by the tapered fit of a conventional thimble.

The various exterior surfaces .12 of the thimble 25 are knurled by an adequate number of the dimple-like recesses 27 distributed thereover for seating the eye end of a needle N at any convenient and natural angle it might assume relative to the thimble on the thimble finger. AS seen in FIGS. 4, 6 and 8 the oval shaped closure tip 20 also has a sufficient number of such dimple-like recesses 27 evenly distributed on its outer surface 12 for engaging the eye end of a needle N.

In connection with the foregoing and with particular reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, the dimple-like recesses 27 are impressed into the metal as a square seat which provides a good corner type engagement for the eye end of a needle. By this form of square seat needles are less likelyl to slip out of the seat as is the case with dome like pits usually formed on conventional thimbles. Moreover, the square seat dimples are impressed deep enough into the surface 12 of the metal to provide an equal number of evenly distributed knobs 13 on the inner face 14 of the thimble 25 to provide a non-slip fit for the thimble finger.

An anti-snag feature of the present invention is provided by thread guards resulting from the coved formations 23 and 24 at the ends of the diagonal edges 21 and 22. By these cove formations 23 and 24 the thread is kept from becoming bound or snagged between the edges 16 and the cover tip 20 during sewing.

The diagonally extending edges 21 and 22 serve to provide a Wider gap 26 adjacent to the tip 20 yielding more freedom for the fingernail of the thimble finger and to relieve the pressure against the fiesh at the sides of the fingernail in that Zone of the thimble.

In general the thimble 25 of the present invention is less tiring to the wearer due to the minimum amount of annular pressure as would otherwise occur in a tapered fit as in a conventional thimble. 4By this arrangement blood circulation in the terminal joint of the finger is more 'free and soreness and development of callouses and corns minimized.

As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 a seamstress handstitching cloth has absolute freedom of movement of the thimble finger yet positive needle engagement at various angles of contact with a needle N.

In the sewing of coarser or heavier material such as carpeting the thimble 25 of the present invention is equally efficient in use. This is best illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 14 in which the thimble 25 is shown yworn to engage the eye end of a needle during entry of the needle into the carpeting (FIG. 10); while pushing the needle into the under layer of the carpeting (FIG. 11); or through both layers of carpeting (FIG. l2) and with the thumb and first finger gripping the extended pointed end of the needle (FIG. 13) for pulling the needle through the heavy carpeting material. FIG. 14 illustrates a side thrust of the thimble 25 against the eye end of a needle N to force the latter practically all the way through the heavier carpet material.

Having thus described my new thimble in specific detail it will 'be apreciated that the same may be modified, altered and/ or varied without departing from the spirit or scope of my invention therein as defined in the following claims.

What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:

1. A wraparound thimble adapted to be worn on the finger tip of a human hand for pushing a needle during stitching therewith, said thimble comprising an opensided truncated cone formed from a flat sheet metal blank having:

(l) a first arcuate edge struck on a major radius along an axial medial line extended through said blank and having a chordal width to partially circumscribe a human finger at the open end of said thimble;

(2) a second arcuate edge smaller than said first arcuate edge spaced from said first arcuate edge struck on a minor radius having its center inset along said medial line from the center of said major radius to form the small end of said truncated cone;

(3) an oval shaped appendage integral to said smaller arcuate edge and having its minor axis congruent to said medial line and having its major axis transverse to said.rnedial line for providing a finger tip closure for the small end of said truncated cone;

(4) side edges on said blank extending from the ends of said first arcuate edge toward the center of the major radius thereof to ends spaced short of said second arcuate edge, said side edges disposed parallel to each other forming a gap opposite the medial line of said open sided truncated cone; and

(5) said blank ywith its corners of intersection of said side edges with said second arcuate edge having generally diagonal ends extending from the ends of said side edges toward the medial line at that side of said appendage which is opposite its integral contiguity with said second arcuate edge to provide a wider gap adjacent the finger tip closure for relieving pressure against the fingernail of a human finger upon which said thimble is Worn.

2. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 1 in which the generally diagonal ends of said side edges have their terminal ends coved adjacent said second arcuate edge to provide a thread guard where the latter engages said finger tip closure.

3. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 2 in which said thimble has a plurality of dimple-like square seated recesses on its outer surfaces.

4. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 3 in which said thimble has a plurality of knobs projecting from the inner face thereof.

5. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 4 in which said knobs are opposite the respective dimple-like recesses.

6. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 5 in which said first arcuate edge at the open end of said thimble has an indented edge portion merging with the latter and traversing the medial line parallel to said first arcuate edge to provide clearance for the pad of a thimble finger where its first joint engages said edge at the open end of the thimble.

7. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 2 in which said first arcuate edge at the open end of said thirnble has an indented edge portion merging with the latter and traversing the medial line parallel to said first arcuate edge to provide clearance for the pad of a thimble finger where its first joint engages said edge at the open end of the thimble.

8. A wraparound thimble adapted to be worn on the finger tip of a human hand for pushing a needle during stitching therewith, said thim'ble comprising an open sided truncated cone formed from a flat sheet metal blank having:

(1) a first arcuate edge struck on a major radius along an axial medial line extended through said blank and having a chordal Width to partially circumscribe a human finger at the open end of said thimble;

(2) a second arcuate edge smaller than said first arcuate edge spaced from said first arcuate edge struck on a minor radius having its center inset along said medial line from the center of said major radius to form the small end of said truncated cone; and

(3) side edges on said blank extending from the ends of said first arcuate edge toward the center of the major radius thereof toward said second arcuate edge disposed parallel to each other forming a gap opposite the medial line of said open sided truncated cone; said first arcuate edge has an indented edge portion merging ywith the latter and traversing the medial line parallel to said first arcuate edge to provide clear ance for a pad of a thimble finger where it is adapted to engage said edge at the larger end of the truncated cone.

9. The thimble in accordance 'with that of claim 8 in which said thimble has a plurality of dimple-like square seated receses on its outer surface.

10. The thimble in accordance with that of claim 9 in which said thimble has `a plurality of knobs projecting from the inner face thereof opposite the respective dimplelike recesses.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,473,953 11/1923 lDart 223-101 XR 2,435,877 2/ 1948 Doucet 223-101 XR 2,609,978 9/ 1952 Harden s 223-101 FOREIGN PATENTS 20,188 11/ 1892 England.

JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1473953 *Mar 28, 1922Nov 13, 1923Eric DartThimble
US2435877 *Nov 28, 1945Feb 10, 1948Doucet John BThimble
US2609978 *Sep 2, 1950Sep 9, 1952Harden Faith EVentilated sewing thimble
GB189220188A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5765731 *Dec 7, 1995Jun 16, 1998Callian; Devilyn G.Thimble
US6237148 *Mar 17, 2000May 29, 2001Margaret C. GrahamThumb shielding device
US6726068Mar 29, 2002Apr 27, 2004Dennis J. MillerElastomeric thimble
US7118015 *Oct 20, 2003Oct 10, 2006Liuxin NewmanThimble
US7296715 *Feb 7, 2006Nov 20, 2007Jerome G VictoriaErgonomic thimble
US8769714Oct 13, 2011Jul 8, 2014Steven D. MeltznerDigit tip protection device
US20040099701 *Oct 20, 2003May 27, 2004Liuxin NewmanThimble
US20080060107 *Sep 6, 2007Mar 13, 2008Capson AngelaThumb or finger attachment for use with portable hand held devices
Classifications
U.S. Classification223/101
International ClassificationD05B91/04, D05B91/00
Cooperative ClassificationD05B91/04
European ClassificationD05B91/04