US 3570078 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
an @mlv Mm e% w A/ W 0 W? W 0 m w m 0 0 Wr q a fi March 16, 1971 H. A. NEUMANN m1.
JEWELRY CLASP 1 Filed Feb. 5, 1969 United States Patent 3,570,078 JEWELRY CLASP Harry A. Neumann and Oliver C. Saur, Indianapolis, Ind., assignors to Frank S. Andrus, Whitefish Bay, Wis., a fractional part interest Filed Feb. 5, 1969, Ser. No. 796,773 Int. Cl. A44b 17/00 U.S. Cl. 24-201 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A jewelry clasp wherein an elongated receptacle houses a spring biased ball. An opening is provided in the receptacle top, and forms a lip to hold the ball in position. A slot is disposed in the end wall of the receptacle and receives the shank of a ball which enters the receptacle opening and is held within the receptacle by the biased receptacle ball.
This invention relates to a jewelry clasp and to a unique concept in connecting and securing two end portions of a-bracelet, necklace or the like together.
People have worn jewelry since ancient times. Some jewelry has been expensive and some less valuable. But in all cases where a separable chain is involved, some means has been provided to secure the separable ends together. There have probably been hundreds or thousands of connector designs used over the centuries, and all of them have left something to be desired, either as to cost or ease of use. This is true of necklace connectors, but is even more true of bracelet connectors where only one hand is available to manipulate the device.
The present invention constitutes a substantial improvement over previous devices and contemplates a novel and unique concept of jewelry securement. Generally in accordance with the invention, one terminus of the jewelry clasp is provided with a walled receptacle having a spring biased movable member therein, and having an opening in one receptacle end wall. The other terminus forms part of a chain end with a free ball mounted thereon which is somewhat smaller than the movable members. The free ball is substantially lighter in weight than the chain and is provided with a shank which can fit into the receptacle end wall opening.
In manipulating the device, the receptacle is brought laterally toward the free ball and is pressed thereonto with the shank in the opening. A slight pull on the ball will secure it in place.
The accompanying drawing illustrates the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention.
-In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bracelet with the jewelry clasp constructed in accordance with the invention, and showing the one-handed method of securement to the arm of the wearer;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the receptacle with the ball inserted therein;
FIG. 3 is an end elevation of the receptacle alone taken from the left of FIG. 2 and with parts broken away;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged longitudinal section showing the ball joint entering the receptacle;
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 wherein the ball is within the receptacle; and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 4 with the ball in its final position.
As shown in FIG. 1 of the drawing, the concept of the invention may be embodied in a bracelet of semi-rigid or flexible characteristics. The bracelet shown has a chain 1 with terminal portions 2 and 3. While both terminal portions are shown as being directly connected to the chain, it would not be outside the scope of the invention it main terminal portion 2 was fixed to a solid member, such as a cameo or the like. Furthermore, the device may be used with forms of jewelry other than bracelets without departing from the spirit of the invention.
As shown, main terminal portion 2 includes a generally U-shaped rectangular receptacle 4 which is elongated. Receptacle 4 is generally enclosed except for a generally rectangular opening 5 in its upper wall 6 and a narrow central vertical slot 7 in its outer end wall 8. Opening 5 is shown as extending inwardly about onethird the length of the receptacle, although it could be more or less without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Receptacle 4 contains a member which is movable longitudinally therein. In the present embodiment, this member comprises a ball 9' which is disposed inwardly of opening 5 and which is biased toward the opening and toward slot 7, as by a spring 10 disposed between ball 9 and the inner receptacle wall 11. Stop means, such as an inwardly extending curved lip 12 on the inner transverse edge of opening 5, limits the outward movement of ball 9. 1
Wall 8 is shown as forming an inwardly curved lip 8a on the outer transverse edge of opening 5. Wall 8 is also shown as being slightly inclined inwardly toward lip 12.
In accordance with the invention, free terminal portion 3 includes a small ball 13 which is universally attached to chain 1 as by a shank 14, and which is smaller in diameter than ball 9. Ball 13 forms a shoulder 15 at its juncture 'with the smaller shank.
The invention contemplates guiding receptacle 4 into proper orientation with ball 13. For this purpose, terminal 3 and ball 13 are preferably held in relatively fixed position, as by hanging them from the wrist. (See FIG. 1.) Receptacle 4 is then grasped and brought into proximity to ball 13.
Slight pressure of receptacle '4 against ball 13 will cause the latter to enter opening 5 and force ball 9 rearwardly against the spring 10. The curved lips 8a and 12 form a curved guide for assisting ball 13 in entering opening 5. Shank 14 will enter slot 7. A slight tug on the chain will tighten ball shoulder 15 against outer wall 8, and the biasing force of spring 10 will cause ball 9 to hold ball 13 tightly within the confines of the receptacle. (Compare FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.)
Ball 13 will remain securely locked in place unless and until shank 14 is removed from slot 7, as by turning it at to normal and pulling on the chain. Longitudinal separation during normal wear is thereby prevented.
The invention provides a substantially improved clasp structure for jewelry. 'Furnbling with hard-to-join parts is eliminated, and the method of joining the clasp is unusually eifective.
1. For use in joining the first and second terminal portions of an article of jewelry, a clasp comprising, in combination:
(a) a receptacle attached to the said rfirst terminal portion and having a first ball movable therein,
(b) said receptacle having a top wall with an opening therein, and having an end wall with a slot therein which terminates in said opening,
(c) spring means disposed between said first ball and a receptacle wall opposite from said previously named end wall for biasing said first ball toward said end wall,
4 (d) a first inwardly extending lip forming an edge References Cited of said receptacle opening for limiting the biasing UNITED STATES PATENTS movement of said first ball toward said end wall,
t 1 1,618,851 2/1927 Thunberg 24123.1UX (ezioa;1 shank attached to the sald second ermlna p 1,666,272 4/1928 p g 24 123.1UX u h k 5 2,051,591 8/1936 Brogan 24-116.1UX @Qjfjggiggfi i i f ed to Sham and formmg 2,449,167 9/1948 Hopewell 24116.1UX (g) the construction being such that said shank will 3,237,977 3/1966 Batchelder 24123-1UX enter said receptacle slot and said second ball will FOREIGN PATENTS enter sald receptacle openmg and be biased by said 10 748,238 6/1933 France 287 90B first ball so that said shoulder engages said end wall, 1,352,594 6/1964 France 224 116 1 (h) and a second inwardly extendlng lip on the upper 861,323 12/1952 Germany 287 12 edge of said end wall, (i) said first and second lips forming guide means for BERNARD GELAK, p i Examiner assisting entry of said second ball into said receptacle. 5 2. The clasp of claim 1 in which said end wall is in- US. Cl. X.R. clined toward said first lip. 24230