US 3563293 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' United States Patent  Inventor Robert E. Fisher  References Cited 6422 Olde Stage Road, Boulder, Colo. UNITED STATES PATENTS No 322 3,212,546 10/1965 Lind 150/40 22 Filed Apr. 16, 1969 FOREIGN PATENTS  Patented Feb. 16,1971 1,087,172 10/1967 Great Britain 150/40 Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney-Richard D. Law
ABSTRACT: A key case formed of sheet material foldable on  Drawing g itself into a closed container, has strips of magnetized material Field of Search i 206/37 (key),i38 (key) secured to one-half of the sheet for holding keys that are at 150/40 least partially paramagnetic or include a magnetic strip A450 11/32 thereon, and a plurality of magnetized edge strips are secured 150/40; to the edges of the sheet for holding the folded material in closed position, and forming when closed a thin key case.
permit easy removal of the keystherefrom.
A further object of the invention is to provide a key case which will releasably secure keys therein by magnetic attraction.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a key case which is a sheet foldable on itself to form a closed case and means are provided to releasably maintain the case in closed position.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a key case which includes sheet material foldable on itself to form a closed case and means along the edges of the sheet prevent keys from sliding out of the closed case.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention may be readily ascertained by referring to the following description and appendedillustrations in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a fully open key case according to the invention; 7
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the key case of FIG. 1 in closed position;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the key case of FIG. 1 in open position along section line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a modified form of a key case according to the invention; l
FIG. 5 is an end elevational view of the device of FIG. 4 in closed position;
FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of the key case of FIG. 4 in open position along section line 66 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a portion of a key, modified for use with the key case of the invention; and
FIG. 8 is an end elevational view of the key of FIG. 7.
In general the key case of the invention has a main body of a soft resilient flexible material, such as soft leather, plastic, etc., having a length of approximately twice its width which readily folds back on itself along asingle fold-line forming a book-type closure. A plurality of magnetized strips are secured in one-half of the body, generally aligned axially with the length of the material, and a plurality of edge strips are secured along the edges on both sides of the sheet to space the halves of the material apart in closed position providing a cavity for keys. The keys rest on and are magnetically secured to the magnetized strips in the one half. The edge strips'are arranged for releasably locking to each other, as for example by using magnetized strips, Velcro strips, and the like. The strips should extend for a major portion of the periphery of the material to prevent accidental slipping of the key out of the closed case.
In the device illustrated in FIG. l,.a body of sheet material 10 is arranged with a pair of metal strips 11 and 12 in one half of the sheet 10. Edge strip 13 and 14 are secured along one side edge, leaving a space 15 at a fold line 16. Strips l7 and 18 are secured to the material. Spaces along the fold line permit the material to be folded back alonglitself, so that the edge strips mate one on top of the other, for example, strip 14 on top of strip 13, etc. Edge strips 13 and 17 may be double thickness or two thin strips secured one on top of the other for forming a cavity for keys. At one end of the sheet 10 a pair of short strips 20 and 21 are secured to the left edge of the sheet and on the opposite end a metal strip 23 is secured to the edge of the material. The strips 20 and 21 are of sufficient thickness to provide with the side strips a cavity for keys.
The strips along the edges of the material are arranged for releasably holding to its mating strip in folded position. In one form, strips 13 and 14 may be magnetized strips and the strips l7 and 18 may be, also, magnetic. 0n the same basis strips 20 and 21 are magnetized and strip may be paramagnetic, orit may be magnetized if desired. The space between strips 20 and 21 provides a finger grip for opening the case when it is closed. A large magnetic strip 24 is secured on metallic strip 11 in one-half of the sheet, adjacent edge strip 13. On the opposite side of the half, a strip 26 is secured on metallic strip 12 adjacent edge strip 17. A thin bridging strip 27 is secured to material between the larger strips 24 and 26. The strips 24 and 26 are magnetized material, which may be magnetized metal sheets, flexible magnetic material or the like. Such flexible magnetic strips or sheets are commercially available, and generally are powdered magnetic material embedded in flexible plastic (synthetic resins). These are secured on thin metal strips for increasing the magnetic field.
A key 30, illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 may be provided with a strip 31 which is either magnetized or is paramagnetic and arranged to releasably secure to either magnetic strip 24 and 26 and be retained thereon. If a paramagnetic key is utilized, the magnetic or paramagnetic strip secured to the key may be dispensed with.
With the material folded back on itself, the edge strips are magnetically attracted to their mating strips and are maintained closed thereby. The magnetic strip on the key adheres to the magnet 26 or 24, but the key is releasably secured thereto. The spacer 27 compensates for the difference in height of the two ends of the key induced by adding the strip 31 thereon. It, also, holds the end of short keys.
The modification of FIG. 4, illustrates a sheet of flexible material 30, having a fold line 36 separating it into two halves. The left half includes a pair of spaced] apart thin, paramagnetic strips 32 and 33 secured to the material. Magnetic strips 38 and 39 are secured on strip 32 and 33, respectively. Thin paramagnetic metal strips 34 and 35, both of which include comer gussets, are secured along the edges of the other half, in position to be juxtaposed over strips 38 and 39, respectively, on the other half in closed position. This magnetic edge strips are secured to the: two metal strips, forming latch means for the case. Strip 40 is cemented or otherwise secured to the metal strip 34, and in a similar manner strip 41 is secured on metal strip 35.
The opposite ends of the sheet material have magnetic strips 45 and 46 secured thereto, and a spacer bar 47 is secured to the material extending from the strip 46. The spaces between the middle end strips and the side edge strips provide finger grips for opening the closed case. A magnetic strip on a key, i.e. strip 31, will magnetically attach to either of the metal strips 32 or 33. Since the metal strips 32 and 33 are thinner than edge strips 38, 39, 40 and 41 a key cavity is formed on closing the case.
The thin paramagnetic metal strips are secured as by cementing or the like to the sheet material, and the magnetic strips are secured in a similar manner to the metal strips. By having paramagnetic metal under and in contact with the magnetic strips, the magnetic field is increased. This is a wellknown phenomenon, and it is useful in providing additional holding power for latching the case closed and holding the keys. The keys may be placed alternately in reversed position to accommodate more keys in the case. Thus, in FIG. 1, key 30 is shown resting on strip 24 and another key head may be placed on strip 26 with the notched section on spacer 27. Other keys may be alternated for holding a plurality of keys in the case.
The thin paramagnetic material may be very thin steel, coated with a material to make it rustproof. The plastic magnetic strips are rustproof, so that the case is effective for carrying in a persons pocket and be :safe from perspiration, moisture and the like. The thin metal is preferrably quite flexible adding to the usability of the case.
The illustrations are exemplary for discussion only, and the concepts intended are set forth in the following claims.
l. A key case in combination with at least one key comprismg:
a. a sheet of flexible, resilient material foldable on itself to form a closed case;
b. at least one strip secured to one half of said sheet;
c. edge strips mounted around the edges of said sheet, leaving spaces for the fold line of sheet and spaces for finger grips, and said strips arranged in overlapping position in sheet closed position;
d. said overlapping strips arranged for releasably securing said sheet in closed position;
e. and at least one of said at least one key and said at least one strip being magnetic and the other being at least paramagnetic for holding said at least one key in said case;
2. A key case and key combination according to claim 1 wherein said at least one strip is a pair of spaced apart strips.
3. A key case and key combination according to claim 2 wherein thin paramagnetic metallic strips are secured as said at least a pair of spaced apart strips to said sheet material, and a magnetic strip is secured to said at least one key for magnetically securing said key to said strips.
4. A key case and key combination according to claim 2 wherein an intermediate strip is secured to said sheet between said at least two strips to support a portion of a key.
5. A key case and key combination according to claim 1 wherein said at least one strip is a magnetic strip.
6. A key case and key combination according to claim 5 wherein a thin paramagnetic metallic strip is secured to said sheet and said at least one magnetic strip is secured to said thin metallic strip. 1
7. A key case and key combination according to claim 1 wherein said edge strips are magnetic strips arranged to magnetically hold said case in closed position.
8. A key case and key combination according to claim 7 wherein a thin, paramagnetic metallic strip is secured to the edges of said sheet and said magnetic strips are secured on said metallic strips. i
9. A key case and key combination according to claim 1 wherein said edge strips are Velcro strips for releasably securing said sheet in closed position.
10. A key case and key combination according to claim 1 wherein said magnetic strips are formed of powdered magnetic material embedded in a flexible, resilient, plastic material.