US 3593386 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Primary Examiner Donald A. Griffin Attorney-Littlepage, Quaintance, Wray, & Aisenberg ABSTRACT: A clamp having two hingedly connected clamp portions each provided with a clamp jaw urged into clamping position by spring means is particularly used as a clothes hanger, The two clamp portions are provided with oppositely arranged hemispherical recesses adapted to contain a spherical locking body when the clamp is in closed position. When the clamp is opened by hand the spherical locking body moves out of said hemispherical recesses, preferably by gravity, into two opposite recesses of smaller depth to hold the clamp jaws in open position. When introducing a piece of clothing or other article between the open clamp jaws, this article is pushed against the locking sphere and moves this latter back A to inactive position, while said spring means close the jaws upon the article.
CLAMP The invention relates to a clamp having two hingedly connected clamp portions providedeach with a clamp jaw which are urged into clamping position by spring means acting on the two clamp portions.
The clamp is primarily intended to be used as a clothes hanger, but also other flat-shaped articles, such as sheets, papers, fabrics, foil and the like may be suspended by this clamp.
The clamp according to the invention comprises two hingedly connected clamp portions provided each .with a clamp jaw for holding an article between the jaws, spring means urging theclamp jaws into closed position, a locking member engaged between the two clamp portions, said locking-member being movable, upon openingthe clamp'by hand against the action of said spring:means, between an inactive position and a locking position inwhich theclamp jaws are held in open position against the action'of said spring means, said locking member, when being acteduponby an article introducedinbetween the open jaws, moving'into inactive position to cause closure of said jaws for clamping-said article therebetween.
The drawings represent byway of example a preferred embodiment of a clamp according to the invention.
F l6. 1 is a longitudinal sectional viewv of the clamp in closed position,
F l6. 2 shows the clampin elevation inopen position,
H6. 3 is a front elevation of the clamp in closed position drawn-to a slightly smaller scale than FIGS. 1 and 2.
The represented clamp is intended to be fixed to a wall and to be used as aclothes hanger. For such a use theclamping jaws l and 2 forming the front portion of the clamp are downwardly directed and eachvjaw is formed on a clamp portion 3 and 12, respectively. Forattaching the clamp'to a wall the clamp portion is provided at its top and bottom ends with self-sealing adhesive tape portions 4 and 5, respectively. The clampmay also be nailed or screwed to a wall, and for this purpose the top and bottom ends of the portion 3 in addition are provided with holes'6 and 7, respectively. The upper section of the clamp portion 3 is provided with a circular recess 17 receiving one end of a helical compression spring 8. The lower end'of the clamp portion 3 is provided with a semicylindrical member 9 projecting from the end of the jaw 1 toward the front of the clamp. A semicircular flange .18 slightly projects beyond the circumferenceof the member 9 at the front end thereof. The central part of the clamp portion 3 is provided with a semispherical recess I in which is engaged onehalf of a sphere 11 serving as blocking member for the two clamp portions.
The two clamp portions 3 and 12 are hingedly connected to each other intermediate their length by means of a pin 16 extending the whole width of the clamp. The clamp portion 12 in its upper section is also provided with a circular recess 17' receiving the opposite end of the compression spring 8. The central part of the clamp portion 12 also is provided with a hemispherical recess facing the recess 10 of the clamp portion 3 engaging the other half of the sphere 11. The upper section of the clamp portion :12. is longer than the upper section of the clamp portion 3 while the lower section of the clamp portion 12 is shorter than the corresponding lower section of the clamp portion 3. Theupper end of the clamp portion 12 extends at an angle with: respect to the main body of this portion, and this angularly extending end portion 13 is directed away from the clamp portion 3. The angularly extending end 13 has an arc-shaped. or semicircular outer surface 14.
Adjacent the recesses 10 and 10 for the ball 11, the two clamp portions 3 and [2 are provided each with a smaller recess 15 and 15, respectively, serving to receive the ball 11 in open position of the clamp. The distance between the two recesses 15 and 15 in open position of the clamp is slightly smaller than the diameter of the'ball 11 so that the ball 11 cannot fall out through the open jaws of the clamp.
When the clamp is closed as shown in FIG. I, the ball is enclosed with a slight clearance in the spherical hollow space formed by the two recesses 10 and 10'. The clamping jaws 1 and 2, in this position, are pressed against each otherby the compression spring 8. When the clamp serves as a clothes hanger, it will be fixed on a stationary part, for example on the wall of a closet or wardrobe. When apair of trousers shall be held by the clamp, this latter is opened by' hands, by exerting pressure on the upper end 13 ofthe clamp portion 12 against the action of the spring 8, the clamp then being in the position shown in FIG. 2. In this position of the clamp, the ball falls by gravity downwards into the space defined by the two recesses 15 and 15'. The end 13 of the clamp portion 12 can now be released, since the open position of the clamp will be maintained'by the ball ll which is jammed in the two recesses 15 and 15' and blocks the clamp in open position. The person which intends to use the clamp now has both hands free and can grasp the trouser legs and insert them from below inbetween the two jaws l and 2 until the edges of the trouser legs push against the ball 11 which moves upwardly out of the recesses 15, 15' and into the recesses l0, 10, while the jaws l. and 2 spring back into closed position bythe action of the spring Sand firmly grip the trousers.
In the described example, the ball 11 is brought by the action of its own weight from its inactive position of FIG. I to jaw locking position of FIG. 2. According to another embodiment, a feeble compression spring could be provided which. may be supported by the clamp portions 3 or 12 and bear against the ball 11. In this case the clamp could also operate in horizontal position of the clamp portion 3. WHen the clamp is opened as described above, the feeble spring would urge the ball] l into the recesses l5, 15' in jaw locking position.
When the clamp, in the position of HO. 1 is used as a clothes hanger,a usual coat-peg can be suspended on the projecting member 9, and the'upperarc-shaped end portion 13itself can be used as a garment peg for other pieces of clothing, for example a shirt can be suspended thereon. The lower hook-shaped projecting member 9 obviously may also be used to directly suspend a garment having a suspension loop.
The clamp portions 3 and 12 may consist of wood or of plastics material. The locking ball 11 may be formed by a commercially available glass sphere. The hinge pin 16 and the spring 8 consist of metal.
l. A clamp comprising two hingedly connected clamp portions provided each with cooperating clamp jaws for holding an article therebetween, spring means urging the clamp jaws into closed position, a locking member engaged between said two clamp portions, said locking member being movable when the clamp is opened by hand against the action of said spring means, between an inactive position and a jaw locking position in which the jaws are held in open position against the action of said spring means, said locking member when being acted upon by an article introduced inbetween said open jaws, moving into'inactive position to cause closure of said jaws for clamping said article therebetween.
2. A clamp according to claim 1, in which said locking member is a sphere.
3. A clamp according to claim 1, in which said two clamp portions are provided with a first pair of opposite complementary recesses for holding said locking member in inactive position when 'the clamp is closed, said clamp portion further being provided with a second pair of opposite recesses of less depth than said first recesses for receiving said locking member in locking position.
4. A clamp according to claim 1 and adapted to be used as a clothes hanger and to be attached on a wall with the clamp jaws downwardly directed, said second pair of recesses for holding said locking member in closed position being located below said first pair of recesses, whereby upon opening the clamp said locking member moves by gravity from said first pair of recesses into said second pair of recesses to lock the clamp in open position, whereby a garment introduced inclamp jaw of said other clamp portion, said extended jaw portion carrying a hook-shaped member, and said other clamp portion having its end remote of the clamp jaw direct ed at an angle away from said one clamp portion.
6. A clamp according to claim 5, in which said one clamp portion is provided with means for attaching the clamp to a wall.