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Publication numberUS3576342 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 27, 1971
Filing dateJun 9, 1969
Priority dateJun 9, 1969
Publication numberUS 3576342 A, US 3576342A, US-A-3576342, US3576342 A, US3576342A
InventorsEugene A Page
Original AssigneeEugene A Page
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Litter pickup tool
US 3576342 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,201,506 10/1916 Rozelle etal.

Eugene A. Page 43 Estrella, Tustin, Calif. 92680 [2]] Appl. No. 831,504

[22] Filed June9, 1969 [45] Patented Apr. 27, 1971 gerter Assistant ExaminerH. S. Lane Attorney-Fowler, Knobbe and Martens 54 LITTER PICK-UP TOOL ABSTRACT: A pair of normally closed spring jaws are 294/50.8, mounted on one end of a hollow shaft. A rod within the shaft is 294/ 100, 294/116, 294/117 axially movable and extends beyond the end of the shaft to a B251) 9/00 point between the jaws. A cylinder mounted on the end of the 294/50.6, rod forces the jaws open when the rod is moved in one 19.1, 19, 20, 99, 33, 50.9, 21; 294/50.8, 100, 1 l6, directionand allows the jaws to close when the rod is moved in the other direction.

2 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.

[51] Int. Cl [50] Field of PATENTFD mam V 3576342 INVENTOR. EUGENE 4. P461? FOWLEE, 0/0555 LI'I'IER PICK-U1? TOOL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to building and yard maintenance tools, and more particularly to a tool for picking up litter.

2. Description of the Prior Art Litter pickup tools vary in complexity from the simple stick with a nail in the end of it to the relatively complex devices having movable elements at one end of a shaft, a variety of gears, etc. to operate the elements by a lever mounted on the other end of the shaft. The stick and nail is obviously suitable only for picking up papers from lawns and is not adapted for indoor use or for retrieving cans and bottles. The actuable jaw device, on the other hand, may be used both indoors and outdoors and in most cases may be used for picking up articles other than paper. The known devices, however, are either expensive due to their complexity or tiring to use due to weight and the difficulty encountered in trying to operate them over an extended period of time. Many of the actuable jaw devices are constructed with a stationary and a pivotable jaw. To pick up a bottle, for example, the jaws are placed around the bottle and the movable jaw is pivoted towards the stationary jaw, moving the bottle. This movement may cause 'the bottle to slide out of the grasp of the jaws necessitating a second attempt. In addition, it may not be desirable to disturb the article to be picked up before it is grasped by the jaws and moved to the intended place.

' A further disadvantage inherent in the known devices is the effort necessitated by a workman using the device to maintain the article in the grasp of the jaws. The jaws of most of the known devices are biased open by some spring arrangement. The workman therefore must exert effort to overcome the spring tension to close the jaws to pick up an article and must continue to exert effort as long as the article remains in the grasp of the jaws. The amount of effort exerted increases as the weight of the article increases. Over a period of time this can be very fatiguing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention includes a shaft having a handle at one end and a pair of flat leaf springs bowed outwardly between the spring ends to form a pair of jaws mounted on the other end. The jaws are thus normally closed but may be biased open by means including a lever pivotally mounted on the handle. The tool requires a minimum of effort to operate since the jaws are normally closed. To pick up an article the workman opens the jaws and then allows the jaws to close, grasping the article. The spring jaws themselves exert the force necessary to hold tee article, thus eliminating workman fatigue.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is the ease with which the articles may be grasped by the tool. The spring jaws operate in a complementary manner, moving in unison to converge upon an article to pick it up. Since both jaws grasp the article, it remains undisturbed until the workman moves the tool once the article has been grasped.

The means for biasing the leaf spring jaws open includes a cylinder having a longitudinal axis perpendicular to the plane of ,jaw movement. The cylinder is connected to the end of a rod which passes internal the shaft and is connected to the lever pivotally mounted on the handle. When the lever is pivoted, the cylinder is forced between the jaws causing them to open. This simple, reliable construction eliminates the gears of prior art devices and allows the device to be constructed of inexpensive, lightweight materials.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the litter pickup tool partially in section showing the spring jaws nonnally closed; and

FIG. 3 is a side view of the little pickup tool partially in section showing the spring jaw open.

2 DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, there is shown a litter pickup tool generally indicated at 10 embodying the present invention. A hallow shaft 12 has a handle 14 mounted on its upper end at an angle of approximately 30 to the longitudinal axis of the shaft 12. The shaft 12 is preferably constructed from linch aluminum tubing and is approximately 28 inches in length.

A pair of flat leaf springs 16 and 18 are mounted on opposite sides of the shaft 12 on the end remote from the handle 14. The leaf springs 16 and 18 are bowed outwardly at their midsection to form a normally closed jaw. The springs 16 and 18 are preferably made from 1040 carbon steel and are approximately 2 inches wide, 0.030 inches thick, 6 inches long and are bowed smoothly outwardly approximately I inches at the widest point. The tips of the springs 16 and 18 converge to engage each other with considerable springiness to enhance holding power. If desired, the spring may be treated to facilitate the retrieval of paper or small articles by attaching an abrasive along their contact surfaces or by knurling the surfaces.

The lower end of the shaft 12 to which the springs 16 and 18 are attached is preferably flattened, as shown in the drawing, to facilitate the mounting of the springs. With the lower end of the shaft 12 flattened, the springs 16 and 18 are less likely to move laterally when a large article having an irregular shape is grasped.

A lever 20 is pivotally mounted by a pivot pin 21 to the handle l4 and is spring loaded by a spring 26 into the position shown in FIG. 2. As may be seen, the pivot pin extends through one end of the handle and is located on one side of the shaft so that the lever extends across the end of the shaft. The lever 20 is preferably constructed from Vi-inch aluminum tubing about 7 inches in length and has a pivot plane coinciding with the plane defined by the shaft 12 and the handle 14 and also the plane of movement of the springs 16 and 18.

A rod 22 is connected at its upper end to the lever 20 at a point between the first pin 21 and the free end of the other end of the handle 20. The rod extends internal the shaft 12 terminating at a point intermediate the springs 16 and 18 approximately 1% inches below the end of the-shaft 12. This is about at the point where the jaws commence to bow out wardly. The flattened end of the shaft 12 has a hole drilled in it to accommodate slidably the rod 22. The rod 22 is approximately 30 inches in length and will move along the longitudinal axis of the shaft 12 as the lever 20 is pivoted towards the handle.

' A cylinder 24 is mounted transversely to the end of the rod 22, with its axis perpendicular to the rod and the plane of movement of the jaws l6 and 18. Note that the cylinder engages each jaw in line contact so that a minimum of friction is encountered as the cylinder is moved relative to the jaws. Preferably the cylinder has a width equal to or less than the width of the spring jaws 16 and 18, and is constructed of 1- inch aluminum tubing or other suitable strong, lightweight material.

In FIG.' 3 the litter pickup tool 10 is shown with the lever 20 pivoted into the handle 14 causing the leaf spring jaws 16 and 18 to be biased into the open position to receive an item to be gripped and lifted. When the lever 20 is thus positioned, the rod 22 has been moved upwardly in a direction along the axis of the shaft 12 causing the cylinder 24 to force the jaws apart. When the lever 20 is released, the jaws return towards the normally closed position shown in FIG. 2 and hence will grip the item to be lifted.

The overall length of the litter pickup tool 10 is approximately 38 inches from the tips of the jaws 16 and 18 to the top of the handle 14 along the longitudinal axis of the shaft 12. This is a convenient length for an operator who is standing or who is riding on a low vehicle. Due to the light weight of the tool and the fact that the operator need only grip the lever to open the jaws, it has been found that the tool can be operated for long periods without fatigue.

l claim: 1. A litter pickup tool comprising: a hollow shaft;

a handle mounted on an upper end of the shaft at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the shaft;

a lever pivotally mounted on the handle;

a rod passing through the hollow shaft with an upper end coupled to the lever, the rod moving parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shaft as the lever is moved on the handle;

a pair of normally closed jaws made of spring steel mounted on the lower end of the shaft, the lower end of the rod extending beyond the lower end of the shaft to a point intennediate the jaws, the jaws having an upper portion secured to the lower end of the shaft, each jaw being outwardly bowed away from said end of the shaft and the free tips of the jaws extending inwardly from the bowed portions to resiliently engage each other; and

a cylindrical element mounted on the lower end of the rod transversely with respect to the rod and the cylindrical surface of the element engaging the inner surface of the jaw bowed portions in a manner such that movement of the rod toward the handle along the longitudinal axis of the shaft by actuating the lever forces the spring jaws into an open position and releasing the lever allows the jaws to return to the normally closed position.

2. A litter pickup tool comprising:

a hollow shaft having sidewalls flattened on its lower end;

a handle mounted on an upper end of the shaft at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the shaft;

a lever pivotally mounted on the handle;

a rod passing through the hollow shaft with an upper end coupled to the lever, the rod moving parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shaft as the lever is moved on the handle;

a pair of normally closed jaws made of spring steel mounted on the lower end of the shaft, the lower end of the rod extending beyond the lower end of the shaft to a point intermediate the jaws, the jaws having an upper portion secured to the lower end of the shaft, each jaw being outwardly bowed away from said end of the shaft and the free tips of the jaws extending inwardly from the bowed portions to resiliently engage each other, the jaws having a width of about 2 inches; and

a cylindrical element mounted on the lower end of the rod transversely with respect to the rod and the cylindrical surface of the element engaging the inner surface of the jaw bowed portions in a manner such that movement of the rod toward the handle along the longitudinal axis of the shaft by actuating the lever forces the spring jaws into an open position and releasing the lever allows the jaws to return to the normally closed position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1201506 *Feb 26, 1915Oct 17, 1916Manson W RozelleDevice for placing and removing electric-light bulbs.
US2610886 *Aug 31, 1949Sep 16, 1952Parker Carl AGarden tool
US2819922 *Apr 1, 1955Jan 14, 1958Panzica Joseph ATool for installing and removing fluorescent lamps
US3157422 *Jul 15, 1963Nov 17, 1964Ralph E AddyHand implement
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4010970 *Apr 21, 1976Mar 8, 1977Campbell John RWaste receiver for dogs
US4951987 *Oct 16, 1989Aug 28, 1990Lebeau Jean GRefuse collecting tool
US5403054 *Apr 18, 1994Apr 4, 1995Schreiber; Dale A.Pick-up tool
US5413454 *Jul 9, 1993May 9, 1995Movsesian; PeterMobile robotic arm
US5775755 *Mar 19, 1997Jul 7, 1998Duratech, Inc.Tube gripper device
EP0002069A1 *Nov 21, 1978May 30, 1979Michael P. HennessyJaw-type refuse collecting device
Classifications
U.S. Classification294/50.8, 294/116, 294/100, 294/117
International ClassificationE04H1/12, E01H1/12
Cooperative ClassificationE01H1/12, E04H1/12, E01H2001/1293
European ClassificationE04H1/12, E01H1/12