US 3588963 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
s. M. MOBERG 3,588,963
PLASTIC SEAL WITH LOCKING PORTIONS ENCLOSED TO OPPOSE TAMPERING June 29, 1971 Filed March 25, 1970 FIG. 1
(PRIOR ART) (PRIOR ART) SIGURD M. MOBERG ATTOHNE Y 3,588,963 Patented June 29, 1971 US. Cl. 24-16PB 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Plastic seals, hitherto having exposed locking portions, are guardingly enclosed within a separate, plastic, guard housing which is secured to the seal by being crimped thereupon. The guard housing is shown as including an integral tag for reception of indicia.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Seals have hitherto been employed for various security purposes, as for example, application upon garments or other goods for sale. A common usage involves a plan whereby a garment sold, for example, with such a seal applied thereto is not returnable to the seller if the seal has been removed. Various prior seals have been such that their locking portions have been exposed for possible tampering, hence, they could be removed without being broken or damaged. Thus, after some use of the garment by a buyer, the removed seal could be reapplied to the garment, making it appear falsely that the garment had not been used.
This invention comprehends a novel guard housing which may be fixedly coupled to such prior seals to oppose access to the seals locking portions, and, also, the combination of such a seal and a guard housing therefor.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of such a prior seal.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the locking portion of the seal as viewed from the bottom of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a tag and housing which, according to this invention is to be fixed about the seals locking portion to substantially enclose and guard the latter against tampering.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of said tag and housing substantially at the plane of line 44 of FIG. 3, including, also, a sectional view, at the same plane, of the seals locking portion disposed within said housing; said locking portion being shown inverted in this figure as compared to FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the seal, combined with the housing; with which an integral tag is shown as optionally included.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PRIOR SEAL FIGS. 1 and 2 show only one of various kinds of prior seals which may be included as a part of the present invention, but should serve to illustrate this inventions principle of providing an added housing to locking portions of a seal for improved security.
The prior seal is a single piece of molded plastic comprising a pliant shackle 12 having an integral, female locking portion 14 at one end thereof and a male locking portion 16 at its opposite end. These parts are of such related shapes and dimensions that the shackle may be locked into the form of an enclosed loop by pushing the locking portion 16 downwardly, as shown in broken lines in Hg. 4, into the locking portion 14 wherein it is held by engagement of the ends of resilient fingers 14a in back of a shoulder 16a of the male locking portion. As the surface of the mentioned plastic is quite slippery,
the shackle 12 may be formed w1th an annular shoulder 12a or a series of such shoulders to facilitate the mentioned pushing of locking portion 16 into locking portion 14.
It should be understood that the interlocking described in the next preceding paragraph hereof is an attribute of the prior art seal per se, irrespective of its combination with other instrumentalities as hereinafter described.
It will be evident that, with the prior seal as thus far detailed, the fingers 14a are exposed and could be spread and held open by a variety of small picks or other tools to open the seal; and the seal would still be available for reuse.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A HOUSING COM- BINED WITH THE PRIOR SEAL ACCORDING TO THIS INVENTION Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, and particularly to the latter figure, there is illustrated a cylindrical housing 18 of molded plastic material formed with a primary cylindrical recess 20 narrowing, at a circular shoulder 22, into a secondary recess 24. An open side slot 26 is provided at one circumferential point in the upper part of the wall of the recess 20, this slot preferably being opposite to an optionally provided plastic tag 27 molded integrally with the housing 18. The secondary recess 24 adjoins a narrower opening 28 in the bottom, as viewed in FIG. 4, of the housing.
The seal 10 is fixed to and partly into the housing 18 by introducing the seals female locking portion 14 downwardly into the housing, as viewed in FIG. 4. The thicker part of said locking portion is accommodated within the primary recess 20 and the tapering fingers 14a extend downwardly into secondary recess 24, there being enough clearance between the wall of the latter recess and said fingers to enable the latter to be momentarily spread apart in locking the seal as hereinafter described.
Downward movement of the seals locking portion 14 is limited by engagement of its thicker part with the shoulder 22. In the introduction of the locking portion 14 into the housing 18, an end portion 12b of the shackle seats in the slot 26 so that the seals locking portion 14 cannot turn in relation to the housing 18. With the parts of the seal associated with the housing as just described, the upper end of the housing is mold-rolled inwardly over the adjacent end of the seals locking portion 14 as indicated in broken lines in FIG. 4; the stock of plastic material at the upper end of the housing being such as to leave an opening 30 in the top of the housing.
The described combined device appears as shown in FIG. 5, assuming that the optional tag 27 has been provided; and it is in that condition, either with or without the tag, that the combined device is supplied to users.
In use of the seal, the user passes the male end of the shackle through some part of the article to be sealed, and then pushes the male locking portion into the housing causing the seal to become locked as already described. As shown in broken lines at the bottom of FIG. 4, an extremity of the locking portion 16 fits closely within the bottom opening 28 and the opening 30, likewise, is closed by a part of the shackle. Thus, the interlocked portions of the seal are inaccessible for tampering.
1. A plastic housing for enclosing a female locking portion of a plastic seal, said housing comprising a body portion formed with a primary recess of such dimensions as to snugly receive, seated therewithin, a relatively large part of said locking portion, leaving a collar portion of the wall of the primary recess extending clear of said locking portion, said housing being formed also with a secondary recess of less diameter than said primary recess 3 and communicating with the latter, said secondary recess being of such dimensions as to freely receive locking fingers of said locking portion therewithin; and said collar portion being crimpa-ble inwardly over marginal areas of said large part of the locking portion to hold the latter firmly in place within the housing.
2. A plastic housing according to claim 1, wherein said collar portion is formed with a slot for receiving a part of a shackle portion of said seal therewithin.
3. A plastic housing according to claim 1, further including a plastic tag molded integrally with said housing.
4. The combination of a plastic seal and a plastic housing for enclosing a part of said seal therewithin; said seal comprising an elongate, bendable shackle, a male locking portion at one end of said shackle and a female locking portion at the opposite end of said shackle, said female locking portion being formed with a passage extending therethrough for receiving said male locking portion therewithin; and said housing being formed with a recess in which said female locking portion is disposed, a generally cylindrical portion, of the housings wall which defines said recess, having a lip extending radially inwardly in overlapping relation to said female locking portion to hold the latter firmly within the housing, and said lip being clear of said passage to permit insertion of said male locking portion into said passage.
5. The combination according to claim 4, said female locking portion including plural locking fingers which are resiliently expandable and contractable into locking engagement with said male locking portion, and the wall of said recess being spaced sufficiently from said fingers to permit the latter to expand freely in receiving said male locking portion therewithin.
6. The combination according to claim 4, said recess having a larger diameter cylindrical portion and a smaller diameter cylindrical portion coaxial with the larger diameter portion, the two latter portions communicating with each other at a circular shoulder, and said female locking portion comprising a cylindrical base, held firmly between said lip and said shoulder, and locking fingers, integral with said base and extending freely within the smaller diameter cylindrical portion of said recess.
7. The combination according to claim 4, furtherincluding a fiat, plastic tag member, rigidly integral with said housing.
8. The combination according to claim 7, the seals said shackle extending laterally in one direction from said female locking portion, and said tag member extending laterally in the opposite direction from said female locking portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D 214,153 5/1969 Merser 24l5OFPUX 1,742,982 1/1930 Wittstcin 4021A 3,429,065 2/1969 Long et al. 4021R 3,467,427 9/ 1969' Moberg 24-16PBX DONALD A. GRIFFIN, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.