US 3597951 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Jack Nadel Los Angeles, Calif. 859,083
Sept. 18, 1969 Aug. 10, 1971 Republic Corporation Beverly Hills, Calif.
lnventor Appl, No. Filed Patented Assignee KEYHOLDER 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
Field of Search 70/459, 456 A, 456 B, 457, 458; 150/40; 24/238, 239
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 995,260 6/191 1 Korf 24/239 4/1938 Moore 70/456 2,916,907 12/1959 Brldwell 3,146,615 9/1964 Leopoldi 70/459 3,367,157 2/1968 Woofter 70/459 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,163,467 4/1958 France 70/459 Primary Examiner-Ian A. Calvert Assistant ExaminerRobert L. Wolfe Anorneys Samuel Lindberg and Arthur F reilich Patented Aug. 10, 1971 INVENTOR. L/ JCK A/A DEL Einlll II l-Ill l KEYI-IOLDER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention v This invention relates to keyholders.
2. Description ofthe Prior Art A wide variety of devices have been designed for holding keys. Many of these devices are used for promotional purposes, the keyholders bearing the name of a company which gives them away. Such a keyholder must be capable of carrying advertising and must be economical to produce. In addition, it is desirable that such a holder operate in a simple but novel manner-to make it entertaining; and that it be highly reliable since a malfunction can harm the reputation ofthe company that distributes it.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a keyholder which can bear advertising and which is economical and reliable.
Another object is to provide a simple, rugged, and novel key-holding device.
In accordance with'the' present invention, a keyholder is provided which includes a narrow key-holding member formed ina circle or other closed curve with a gap therein, a frame with a saddle portion for holding the key-receiving member to bridge the gap therein, and a spring for biasing the key-holding member against the saddle. The saddle resists turning of the key-receiving member, but the member can be pulled out and rotated 90 to unbridge the gap so keys can be removed or added.
In one embodiment of the invention, the key-receiving member is formed from a length of stiff wire with one end bent into a circle with a gap therein and the other end extending straight away from the circular portion. The frame has a deep hole for receiving the straight wire portion, and a pair of thin walls on either side of the hole that form the saddle or groove that receives the circular portion of the member. The ring can be pulled out from the groove and rotated 90 to open the gap. The outer ends of the saddle walls are concave to hold the circular portion in its 90-rotated position while keys'are added or removed.
The novel features ofthe invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention will be best understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a front elevation view of a keyholder constructed in accordance with the invention, in a closed configuration;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view ofthe keyholder of FIG. I;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3-3 ofFIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 44 of FIG. I; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the keyholder of FIG. 1 in an i open configuration.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS ing radially out from one side of the gap. The frame 14 has holds it at a fixed rotational position thereon. When the ring is pulled out against the force of the spring 16, it can be turned about to the open position shown in FIG. 5 and shown in phantom lines in FIG: 2. In the open position, the ring 18 rests on one saddle wall 28 while the end 18E of the ring at the gap 20 is spaced from the opposite wall 30. Each of the saddle walls is much thinner than the gap 20, so a wide gap is present when the key holder is opened. This provides access through the gap 20 to allow a key K to be received or removed from the ring by passing the ring through the retainer hole R of the key Both of the walls 28, 30 of the saddle have concave or depressed outer ends 28E, 30E for holding the ring 18 in its open position, the ring resting at the center portion 34 of the outer end of a saddle wall. This helps to urge the ring toward the fully open position when it is pulled out and turned slightly, to make it easier to insert and remove a key through a gap. The frame 14 is substantially symmetrical on either side ofimaginary planes that pass vertically through the hole 24, so the ring 18 can be turned from the closed and open positions shown in the figures, and it will operate in the same manner.
The holes 24 in the frame include a narrow portion just below the saddle. The spring 16 which extends around the inner end 22 of the keyreceiving member has one end 38 that bears against a ledge surrounding the upper hole 24 in the frame. The opposite end 40 of the spring is held by a cap 42 on the extreme inner end of the key-receiving member. The cap 42 has a threaded aperture 44 that can be screwed tightly onto a threaded end of the key-receiving member. The cap 42 has a threaded aperture 44 that can be screwed tightly onto a threaded end of the key-receiving member. The cap 42 has a large enough diameter to prevent the spring 16 from passing around it. Thus, the spring is compressed between the ledge around the hole 24 and the ledge on the cap 42. The keyholder is assembled by projecting the inner end portion 22 through hole 24, placing the spring 16 over the portion 22, and screwing the cap 42 tightly in place. A spring constant and preloading is used which results in the key-receiving member 12 being urged against the saddle with a substantial force such as l0 pounds. This makes it unlikely that the keyring will be pulled out unintentionally during normal handling, while allowing an adult to easily move it to an open position.
The frame 14 has oval front and rear faces 46, 48 which can hold an advertising message, such as the name of a company which provides the keyholders freely to its customers. The frame has a sufficient thickness T'to allow a recessed portion to be formed in the faces within a rim 52 so that raised letters 50 can be molded in the faces. The raised letters do not project past the rim 52, so they are not likely to catch on the clothing of the user. The sidewall 54 of the frame is smooth, and only it and the ring portion 18 can normally contact the clothes of the wearer when the keyholder is held in a pocket. The saddle portion 26 is made thinner than the lower part of v the frame to provide access to the gap 30 when the keyholder is opened. The frame 14 can be economically molded, and the key-receiving member and spring can be formed at low cost.
Thus the invention provides an attractive, sturdy, economical, and easily operated keyholderwhich can display an advertising message.
Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated herein, it is recognized that modifications and variations may readily occur to those skilled in the art, and consequently, it is intended that the claims be interpreted to cover such modifications and equivalents.
What l claim is:
I. A keyholder comprising:
a key-holding member having an outer portion for passing through the retainer holes of keys, said outer portion forming a closed curve with a gap therein for permitting the reception and removal of keys, and having an clottgated inner portion;
a frame having a saddle portion for receiving said outer portion of said key-holding member and retaining it at a fixed rotational position to bridge said gap, and having a hole extending from the location of said saddle, said inner portion of said key-holding member rotatably and slidably received in said hole; and
a spring biasing said outer end of said member against saddle and said inner end ofsaid member into said hole 2. The keyholder described in claim 1 wherein:
said saddle portion includes a pair of walls forming an elongated groove for receiving said outer portion of said keyholding member, each of said walls having a concave outer side formed so that an imaginary line joining the bottom of said concave outer sides extends substantially perpendicular to said groove, whereby when said keyholding member is pulled out and rotated said concave outer sides retain it in said rotated position.
3 A keyholder comprising:
a key-holding member including a keyreceiving portion with ends forming a gap to enable the removal and receipt of keys, and an elongated inner portion extending from one of said ends;
a frame having a hole for receiving said inner portion and having walls on either side of said hole forming a groove for receiving said key-receiving portion to fix its rotational portion and bridge said gap; and
a spring resiliently retaining said keyholding member in a position where the portion thereof containing said gap lies in said groove.
4. The keyholder described in claim 3 wherein:
said walls have outer ends defining a depression extending perpendicular to said groove, whereby to retain said key receiving portion at an open position which it assumes when it is pulled out from said groove and rotated about