US 3576238 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Wingfield L. Chubb Beverly Shores, 1nd. 46301  Appl. No. 791,059  Filed Jan. 14, 1969 Patented Apr. 27, 1971  CARRYING CASE LATCH STRUCTURE 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl. 190/49  Int. Cl. E05b /52  Field of Search 190/49, 50, 28', /69, 70, 71, 72, 75, (lnquired)  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,970,858 2/1961 Norrenberg 292/ X 3,448,838 6/1969 Maile /49 3,464,240 9/1969 Brody 70/71 3,478,547 1 1/ 1969 Constable 70/71 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,116,985 6/1968 Great Britain 190/49 6,701,385 7/ 1967 Netherlands 70/71 Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorneys-Hobbs and Green and Kemon, Palmer and Estabrook PATENTED APR 27 lElYI SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTOR. WING FIELD L. CHUBB A T TORNE Y PATENTEUAPRZHQH 3576238 sum 20F 2 INVENTOR. WING FIE/D L. CHU B BY zv rzgvm A TTORNE Y5 particular, numeral designates having the present lock structurev incorporated therein. The case consists of two sections indicated: by numerals 12 and I4 CARRYING CASE LATCH STRUCTURE Onetype of carrying case which is now being extensively usedconsists of two vertical sections of ridged construction. connected together by a hinge means along the lower edge. The two sections meet near the center of the top and a pair of spaced latchesretain thesections together when the case is closed. A handle usually attached to onesection'isdisposed between the latchesand isadapted to carry the .case in vertical position while the two latches secure the two sections together and hold the case in its closed and locked position In the past a variety of different types of latches have been used, and they have been installed on the cases in a number of different ways; however, in most of these prior installations, a button, lever or bar protruding above the surrounding case structure hasbeen used to manipulate the latchto unlock and possibly lock the latch after the two sections have been brought'together when the caseis being closed. These. protruding buttons; .levers and bars often are easily bumped and/or pressed accidentally causing the latch to release, thus partially or fully unlocking the case, occasionally without the knowledge of the carrier, so that the contents of the case may accidentally be spilled and/or lost. Further, aside from the: frequent unattractiveness of the latch, usually the direction to whichthe button, lever or bar must be pushed in order to open thecase is not readily. apparent from a visual examination of the latch, thusfrequently causing one to fumble withthe latch before, it can be released. It is therefore one of the. principal objects of the present invention to provide a latch for a carrying case of the aforementioned type, which is recessed in the surrounding construction but which can readily and easily be manipulated to release the latch when the case is to be opening.
Another objectof the invention is to provide arecessed latch structure for a carrying case which is so constructed and designed that it is readily apparent by a mere glance how the manipulating means must be operated in order to release the latch and in which the manipulating means is protected by the surrounding case structure from accidental operation. Still another object of the, invention is a carrying case frame and latch structure in which the: latch isfullyrecessed within the adjacent frame and which is simple and sturdy in construction and relatively easy to fabricate and assemble.
A further object is to provide a recessed latch structure which is released by the movement of a barv means. longitudinally within a-recess at the and of the latch to cause the latch topivot outwardly and. whichis latched by merely pressing the pivoted latch inwardly into a recesstherefor in the adjacent frame structure.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and.
' accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a-perspective view of a carrying case having the present latch and frame structure embodied therein;
'FIG. 2 is an enlarged-fragmentary top plan view of one of the latch structures shown in FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the latch and frame structure shown inthe preceedingdrawings, the;section being taken on line- 3+3 of FIG.2, showing thelatch in its locked position;
- I FIG, 4 is a cross-sectional view similar to-theviewshown in FIG. 3 illustrating the latch in its unlocked position; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical cross-sectionalyiew of-the present latch structure, the section. being taken on line 5-5of FIG. 2-.
Referring more specifically-to: the drawings and to FIG. 1 in generally a carrying case which are pivoted to one another-by ahingemeans (not shown) on the underside of the case. Thetwosections are latched together when the case is closed by the present latch structures indicated generally by numerals l6; and 18, recessed in the frame structure forming a part of case section 12 and form the upper edge of the section when the case is opened and the two sections laid ,down flat. Two latches 16 and 18 are spaced from one another equally on eitherside of the center and a handle 24 is pivotallysecured to case section 12 at the center between the two latch structures by a bar 26 which may be secured to the frame 20 by rivits, lugs or other suitable securing means.
The frame structure of case section 12,consists of an outer flat member or strip 30 with two inwardly extending flanges 32 and 3.4 1 formed integrally with member 30. Extending outwhen the panel isinserted in the groove' defined by the two -beads-36 and 38, the two beads are pressed inwardly to attach the frame structurefirmly to the panel. The frame 20 includes an outwardly extending flange 42 which assists in aligning the edge of case section 14 when thecase is closed. As seen in FIG. 5, the case section 14 includes an upper panel 44 having amolding 46, extending around the edgethereof and secured to, the panel by beads 48 and'50 which clamp the edge of panel 44 to secure the molding46 rigidly thereto.
Asection of the upper. member30 is removed to provide a slot for receiving the latch assembly 60 which consists generally of a bar 62 having laterally projecting lugs 64 and 66 secured to theunderside of member 30 by rivits 68 and 70, respectively. The latch proper indicated generally by numeral 'is-pivoted on pin-82 supportedby an upwardly extending member 84 securedto bar-62. The pivoted part 80 contains a tongue 85 which slips through a slot .8 6 in an inwardly extending tongue87 attached to the adjacent part of molding 46. A spring88 urges pivoted part 80 upwardly fromthe position shown in FIG. 3 to; the position shown in FIG. 4, and the part is heldin its latched position by-jabolt or lug which engages member,90 secured to and forming a part of base member 92. Since the details of the internalmechanism of the latch proper do not form apart of r the present invention,the internal mechanism of the latch will not be further described herein. The pivoted part 80 is released from its latched with asuitable-material such as fabric or plastic, indicated generally by numeral 102', however, the frame and latch structure can be left in its normal metallic condition. The
frame structure 20 normally extends completely around the case, and member 30 is normally on a plane substantially the sameas the plane of the two panels 40 and 44, with beads 36 and. of the two frame members120 and 46 forming an outline for the. frame structure togive the structure a finished appearance.
lnzthe operation of the foregoing latch structure, thecase is closed. by pressing the two sections 12 and 14 together, thereby causing tongue'87 tov extend inwardly through slot 110 in member 34. Pivoted part 80 is then merely pushed downwardly causing tongue 85 to slip through slot 86 in tongue 87, thereby locking the two tongues together and holding the two sections of the case together. As thepivoted part is,pressedinwardly to the positions shown in FIG. 3, the bar latchesin a slotted member 90 to retain the pivoted part in its horizontal and latched position, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 5. Whenthe case is to be opened, the operator merely places his finger in recess 98 at the endof pivoted parts of 85 and 87, thus pennitting the two sections to be separated the overall latchstructure. The twosections are parted along 75 and the case opened.
it is seen from the foregoing that the latch parts are fully recessed in recess 100 and operating bar 92 is contained in the end of recess 100 where it is fully protected from accidental operation. However, the bar is readily accessible for operation by a finger inserted in slot 100 at the end of pivoted part 80. Since the finger can only be moved in one direction to release the latch, the natural operation is to press bar 92 inwardly when the latch is to be release, thus no fumbling or instructions are required in order to learn how the case is to be opened.
While only one embodiment of the present carrying case latch structure has been described in detail herein, various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.
l. A frame and latch structure for a carrying case having two sections pivotally connected to one another along one edge, said structure comprising a longitudinal frame member having a slot therein, and a latch assembly including a bar having ends secured to said frame member at opposite ends of said slot and being offset inwardly equally at each end to form a rectangularly shaped recess with said frame member, a pivoted locking part disposed in said recess and seating in said recess when in its locked position, a longitudinally movable barlike member disposed in one end of said locking part and spaced from the adjacent end of said recess for releasing said locking part, and a spring means for unlocking said section.
2. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 1 in which said longitudinal frame member includes two spaced inwardly extending members joined integrally to said longitudinal member and forming the sides of said recess.
3. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 2 in which said said pivoted locking part is disposed adjacent to one end of said slot and is spaced from the other end of said slot to provide a recess for operating said barlike number i 4. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 1 in which said longitudinal frame member includes two laterally extending beads for clamping said frame member to the respective section of said case.
5. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 1 in which said longitudinal frame member is constructed of extruded aluminum.
6. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 5 in which said longitudinal frame member is substantially covered by a layer of material blending with the outer surface of the carrying case sections.
7. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 1 in which said barlike member is movable toward said pivoted part for unlocking the latch.
8. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 1 in which said pivoted locking part is disposed adjacent to one end of said slot and is spaced from the other end of said slot to provide a recess for operating said barlike member.
9. A frame and latch structure as defined in claim 1 in which the upper surface of said locking part is on a plane substantially the same as the plane as the outside surface of said frame member when the locking part is in its locked position.