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Publication numberUS3600761 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 24, 1971
Filing dateApr 27, 1970
Priority dateApr 27, 1970
Publication numberUS 3600761 A, US 3600761A, US-A-3600761, US3600761 A, US3600761A
InventorsMathey Charles J
Original AssigneeMathey Charles J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Closure devices
US 3600761 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] lnventor Charles J. Mathey 517 S. Renter Drive, Arlington Heights, [11. 60005 [21] Appl. No. 32,107

[22] Filed Apr. 27, 1970 [45] Patented Aug. 24, 197 l [54] CLOSURE DEVICES 22 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl 24/71 SK, 36/50 [51] lnLCl. A43c 11/14 [50] Field otSearch 36/50; 24/68 T. 73 GC, 270, 71 SK, 71 T, 68 SK [561 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,345,057 3/ 1944 Marinetti 36/50 2,613,414 10/1952 Jones 24/71 SK Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin Attorney-Burmeister, Palmatier & l-lamby ABSTRACT: The closure device comprises two toggle links connected between base members. Hinge elements, preferably integral with the toggle links, are connected between the two toggle links, and also between each link and the corresponding member. in a modified construction, interfitting hook elements are provided between on toggle link and the corresponding base member. The toggle links are preferably made of flexible, resilient plastic material. In one advantageous application of the closure device, the base membets are secured to the closure flaps of a shoe, by means of one or more laces, threaded through the lace holes in the shoe, and also through corresponding lace openings in the base mernbers. The outer toggle link preferably covers and conceals the other toggle link, and also the base members.

Patented Aug. 24, 1971 3,600,761

2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOP 5 Charles .I Mal/my 9 W fmggt Patented Aug. 24, 1971 3,600,751

2 Sheets-Sheet 2 CLOSURE DEVICES This invention relates to new and improved closure devices, adapted to be closed quickly and easily with a toggle action. The closure devices may be used very advantageously to replace other closure devices, such as laces, buckles, buttons, zippers and the like. In one particularly advantageous application, the closure devices may be mounted on shoes and employedinstead of other types of fasteners to secure the shoes in place on the feet of the wearer.

One object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved closure device which may be opened and closed very quickly and easily.

Another object is to provide a closure device which affords a loose mechanical connection between the members to be joined, even when the closure device is in its open position.

A further object is to provide a closure device which affords adjustability in the extent to which the members to be joined are drawn together.

Another object is to provide a closure device which is attractive in appearance, yet can be produced at very low cost.

Thus, the present invention provides a closure device comprising two base members which can'be mounted on the members to be joined, or may be formed integrally with such members. First and second toggle links are connected between the base members. It is preferred to provide an integral hinge connection between the two toggle links and other hinge connections between the toggle links and the base members. Preferably, the base members, the links and the hinge connections are molded or extruded in one piece from a suitable plastic material. In a modified construction, the hinge connection between one of the toggle links and the corresponding base member is replaced with interfitting, separable hook members The toggle links are preferably curved and may be designed to flex appreciably when the links are swung to their closed position. In this way, the closure device compensates for variations in the extent to which the members to be joined can be drawn together. Such compensation can also be provided by mounting soft, resilient pads on the under sides of the base members. In one advantageous construction, openings are formed in the base members to receive one or more laces, whereby the base members may be mounted on the closure flaps of a shoe or the like. The lace or laces are threaded through the openings in the base members, and also through the eyelets in the closure flaps of the shoe. The laces afford ad justability, so that the tightness of the closure device can be varied. Recesses may be formed in the toggle links to afford spaces for portions of the laces. Channels may be formed in the base members to receive the end portions of the laces.

Further objects, advantages and features of the present invention will appear from the following description taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a closure device to be described as an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, the closure device being mounted on the closure flaps of a shoe.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational section taken generally as indicated by the line 2-2 in FIG. 1, the closure device being shown in its closed position.

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 but showing a slightly modified closure device in its open position.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section, taken generally along the line 44 in FIG. 2.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are views similar to Fig. 4 but showing modified constructions.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary elevation, similar to FIG. 2 but showing a modified construction.

The invention is illustrated by way of example in FIG. I in the form of a closure device 10 mounted on a shoe 12. The closure device 10 is secured to the closure flaps 14 of the shoe 12.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, the closure device 10 comprises base members 16 and 18 which are mounted on the corresponding closure flaps 14. If desired, either or both of the base members may be formed integrally with the means to be closed. Toggle links 20 and 22 extend between the base members l6 and 18. In FIG. 2, the toggle links 20 and 22 are shown in their closed position, in which the base members 16 and 18 are drawn together. In Fig. 3, the toggle links 20 and 22 are shown in their open position, in which the base members 16 and 18 are capable of being separated to a considerable extent. However, the toggle links 20 and 22 continue to provide a loose mechanical connection between the base members 16 and 18.

It will be seen that a hinge connection 24 is provided between the links 20 and 22.

Another hinge connection 26 is provided between the base member 16 and the link 20. Similarly, a hinge connection 28 is provided between the base member 18 and the link 22. Preferably, all of the hinge connections 24, 26 and 28 are formed integrally with the links 20 and 22. In this way, the base members 16 and 18, the links 20 and 22, and all of the hinge connections 24, 26 and 28 can be made in one piece. It is preferred to mold or extrude all of these elements in one piece from a suitable resinous plastic material such as polyethylene, polyropylene or the like. The plastic material should be flexible and tough so that hinge elements 24, 26 and 28 will withstand repeated flexing. The hinge elements 24, 26 and 28 are made sufficiently thin to be readily flexible.

It will be seen that the hinge elements 24 and 26 are formed on projections 30 and 32 extending downwardly or laterally from the link 20. The projections 30 and 32 are tapered or reduced in thickness toward their outer ends.

As illustrated, the link 22 has tapered end portions 34 and 36 adjacent the hinge connections 24 and 28. The hinge connection 24 is located toward the lower side of the link 22, while the hinge 28 is located toward the upper side of such link.

The illustrated base member 18 is provided with a projection 38, which extends upwardly and is connected to the hinge element 28. When the toggle links 20 and 22 are in their closed position, as shown inFIG. 2, the link 22 is nested between the base member 18 and the link 20. It will be seen that the link 20 causes the engagement ofthe projection 38 on the base member 18 with corresponding projection 40 on the base member 16. The link 20 is longer than the link 22, and is adapted to cover and conceal the link 22, when the links are in their closed position. In the illustrated construction, the link 20 is of a sufficiently large size to cover and conceal the base members 16 and 18, except for the extreme end portions thereof. Thus, the entire mechanism of the closure device is concealed by the link 20 when the closure device is in its closed position.

The links 20 and 22 provide a toggle action when the links are swung from the open position of FIG. 3 to the closed position of FIG. 2. Thus, tension is exerted by the link 20, so as to draw the base member 16 toward the base member 18. A compressive force is exerted by the link 22 so as to push the base member 18 toward the base member 16. Shortly before the links 20 and 22 reach their closed position, the link 20 passes over center, in that the line of action of the link 20 merges with, and then passes the line of action of the link 22. As a result, the links 20 and 22 are held in their closed position by the forces developed in the links due to the closing action.

Preferably the links 20 and 22 are curved, generally in the manner illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3. With this construction, the forces developed in the links tend to cause flexure of the links. Such flexure or bending of the links makes it possible for the links to accommodate variations in the extent to which the base members 16 and 18 can be drawn together. However, in some cases the links can be straight or curved in a different manner from that illustrated.

To facilitate the opening of the closure device, the link 20 is preferably formed with a projecting lip or handle 42 at one end, adjacent the hinge connection 24. The handle 42 makes it easy to exert an outward force upon the link 20 when the closure device is to be opened.

The base members 16 and 18 are preferably formed with interfitting lips or flanges 44 and 46, to assist in maintaining alignment between the base members as they are drawn together. The lips 44 and 46 are tapered in thickness. The lip 46 overhangs the base member 18 so as to form a tapered groove 48 therebetween. As the base members 16 and 18 are drawn together, the lip 44 becomes seated in the groove 18, as shown in Fig. 2.

The base members 16 and 18 are adapted to be mounted on the members to be joined by the closure device. It is feasible to use various fastening elements for mounting the base members 16 and 18. Thus, the base members can be fastened by rivets or other mechanical fasteners, or by means of sewing or adhesives. In addition, the base members can be formed integrally with the members'to be joined.

As previously indicatedQthe closure device 10 is mounted on the closure flaps 14 of the shoe 12. In the illustrated construction, the base members 16 and 18 are secured to the closure flaps 14 by means of a shoelace 50. The closure flaps are formed with the usual lace holes or eyelets 52, which are used in mounting the closure device 10 on the shoe 12. Corresponding lace openings 54 are formed in the members 16 and 18, and are positioned so as to be lined up, or nearly so, with the holes 52.

Various lacing arrangements may be employed. Generally, it is advantageous to arrange the lace or laces so that they extend generally parallel to the edges of the lips 44 and 46.

FIGS. 1-4 show a lacing arrangement which is suitable for an even number of lace holes.52 and openings 54. As shown in Fig. 4, there are four such holes and corresponding openings. It will be seen that the lace 50 has a portion 53, which extends transversely between the closure flaps 14. The ends of the lace 50 are then threaded through the lace holes 52 and the corresponding openings 54. Each end portion of the lace is then brought upwardly around the rear edge portion 55 of the corresponding closure flap 14. A channel or groove 56 is preferablyformed in each of the base members 16 and 18, so that one end portion of the lace can be threaded through the channels to the front edges 58 of the corresponding base members. A knot 60 may be formed in each end portion of the lace to retain it in place. If desired, the two ends of the lace can be tied together against the front edges 58 of the base members 16 and 18. Other interference elementsmay be employed on the ends of the lace 52, if desired, instead of using knots.

FIG. 5 illustrates a slightly modified lacing arrangement which is appropriate for an odd number of lace holes 52 and 54. The arrangement is the same as before, except that each end portion of the lace 20 is wrapped around the rear edge portion 62 of the corresponding base member 16 or 18, before being threaded through the channel 56. As before, the ends of the lace 50 are anchored by such means as the knots 60, or

other interference elements.

FIG. 6 illustrates a modified lacing arrangement, utilizing two laces 64, so there is no need for the transversely extending portion 52 of the single lace, as described in connection with FIG. 4. As to each of the base members 16 and 18, the corresponding lace 64 is threaded through the lace holes 52 and openings 54. The end portion 66 of the lace is then wrapped around the rear edge portion 62 of the base member, and is threaded through the channel 56 to the front end of the base member. The ends of the lace 64 are then tied together to form a knot 68. The lacing arrangement of FIG. 6 is advantageous because the opening of the closure flaps 14 is not limited by any portion of the lace, extending between the closure flaps.

It will be recognized that the lace arrangements of FIGS. 4, 5, and 6 make it possible to adjust the extent to which the closure flaps are drawn together when the closure device 10 is swung to its closed position. Once the lace or laces have been adjusted, the closure device always draws the closure flaps together with the same degree of tightness.

To afford clearance for portions of the lace 50, the link 22 is preferably formed with a recess or groove 70, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The recess 70 may be continuous along the entire width of the link 22 or may be discontinuous, so that the recess is formed only where actually needed to accommodate the portions of the lace extending between the lace openings 54. The formation of the other link 20 is such as to provide a clearance space 72 for theportions of the lace 50 extending between the lace openings 54 in the base 16. This space 72 is attributable not only to the formation to the link 20, but also to the provision of the projection 40 on the base member 16.

The construction shown in FIG. 3 is slightly modified in that the members 16 and 18 are provided with soft resilient pads 74 and 76, mounted on the lower sides of the members. These pads 74 and 76 may be made of foam or sponge rubber, or some similar plastic foam material. Other suitable soft resilient materials may also be employed. The pads 74 and 76 are adapted to be. compressed when the toggle links 20 and 22 are swung to their closed position. This compression of the pads makes it possible to accommodate variations in the extent to which the closure flaps can be drawn together, without excessive tightness. Thus, the pads tend to obviate any uncomfortable tightness when the closure device is closed.

FIG. 7 illustratesa modified construction in which the hinge element 26 is replaced with separable interfitting hook elements 78 and 80 on the base member 16 and the link 20. When the link 20 is not in its closed position as shown in FIG. 7, the hook elements 78 and 80 hold the link 20 against the base member 16. When the link 20 is swung to itsopen position, the hook elements 78 and 80 can be separated. The modified construction of FIG. 7 is advantageous when it is necessary to provide for wide separation of the base members 16 and 18, when the closure device is open.

As in the case of the other embodiments, either or both base members may be formed integrally with the means to be joined. In FIG. 7, the base member 18 is formed integrally with a supporting member 82,- while the base member 16 is adapted to be laced or otherwise secured to a closure flap or other member 84.

It will be evident from FIG. 1 that the closure device It) adds to the appearance of the shoe 12 and is quite attractive. The closure device may be mounted on the shoe, using the lace 50. Once that this has been done, it is only necessary to open and close the closure device 10, when the shoe 12 is to be taken off or put on. It is much easier and quicker to operate the closure device, than it is to tie and untie ordinary shoelaces. In the construction of FIG. 1, the lace 50 provides adjustability. The lace can be securely tied so that it will not come loose during use. Thus the annoyance of untied shoelaces is obviated. The closure device is advantageous for shoes intended to be worn by young children, who are often not very adept at tying shoelaces.

Various other modifications, alternative constructions and equivalents may be employed, as will be evident to those skilled in the art.

I claim:

1. A closure device,

comprising a pair of base members,

a first swingable toggle link member having a first integral hinge connection to one of said base members,

a second swingable toggle link member having a second integral hinge connection to the other base member, and

a third integral hinge connection between said first and second swingable toggle link members whereby said toggle link members are swingable to a closed position with said base members in a predetermined relation.

2. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which at least one of said members is resiliently yieldable upon movement of said toggle link members to said closed position. a

3. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which at least one of said toggle link members is curved to provide for resilient flexure thereof upon movement of said toggle link members to said closed position.

4. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which all of said members and said hinge connections are made in one piece of resinous plastic material.

5. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which at least one of said base members has a resiliently compressible element which is yieldable upon movement of said toggle link members to said closed position.

6. A closure device according to claim 1,

including means to be closed,

said means being integral with at least one of said base members.

7. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which said base members are provided with resiliently compressible pad elements mounted on the undersides thereof.

8. A closure device according to claim -1,

in which said base members are formed with openings adapted to receive one or more laces or the like to secure the base members in their position of use.

. 9. A closure device according to claim 8,

in which at least one of said toggle link members is formed with recess means opposite said openings to afford space for portions of the laces.

10. A closure device according to claim 8,

in which'said base members are formed with channels for receiving laces or the like.

11. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which one of said toggle link members substantially covers and conceals the other toggle link member and said base members when said toggle link members are in said closed position.

12. A closure device according to claim 1,

in which one of said toggle link members substantially covers and conceals the other toggle link member when said toggle link members are in said closed position.

13. A closure device according to claim 1,

including closure supporting means having lace holes therein,

said base members being mounted against said closure supporting means,

said base members having lace openings therein, and lace openings to secure said base members to said closure supporting means,

said lace means affording adjustability between said base members and said closure supporting means.

14. A closure device according to claim 13,

in which said base members have opposed edge portions,

said lace means being positioned to extend generally parallel to said edge portions.

15. A closure device according to claim 13,

in which said lace means takes the form of a single lace with a portion extending between said base members.

16. A closure device according to claim 13,

in which said lace means takes the form of at least two laces threaded between said respective base members and closure flaps.

17. A closure device,

comprising a pair of base members,

first and second toggle link members adapted to be connected between said base members,

a hinge connection between said toggle link members, and at least one other hinge connection between at least one of said toggle link members and one of said base members, said base members being provided with lace openings for mounting said base members in positions of use. 18. A closure device according to claim 17, including lace means threaded through said lace openings. 19. A closure device according to claim 18, in which said base members have opposed edge portions, said lace means being positioned to extend generally parallel to said opposed edge portions.

20. A closure device according to claim 17 including opposed closure supporting means,

said base members being mounted against said closure supporting means,

said closure supporting means having lace holes therein,

and

lace means threaded through said lace openings and lace holes to secure said base members to said closure supporting means,

said lace means affording adjustability between said base members and said closure supporting means.

21. A closure device according to claim 17,

in which at least one of said toggle link members is formed with recess means opposite said openings to afford space for laces.

22. A closure device according to claim 17,

including hinge connections between both toggle link members and the corresponding base members.

" UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,600,761 D t d August 24, 1971 Inventofls) E Charles J. Mathey It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

In the Abstract, line 6, "on" should read -one.

Column 1, line 28, A comma should be inserted after "links".

Column 5, line 45 After the comma insert -and lace means threaded through said lace holes Column 6, line 13, Change "flaps" to --supporting means-- Signed and sealed this 21st day of March 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer- Commissioner' of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2345057 *Jan 27, 1941Mar 28, 1944Arnold W Jones And Company IncShoe
US2613414 *Jul 2, 1948Oct 14, 1952Kelso JonesShoe latch
US3200458 *Dec 26, 1962Aug 17, 1965Lorenzo MarzocchiFastening device
US3424303 *Nov 20, 1967Jan 28, 1969Automation Devices IncSealing ring
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4519150 *Jan 21, 1983May 28, 1985Battelle Memorial InstituteSki boot
US5226246 *Sep 17, 1991Jul 13, 1993Mike SooMeans for converting unfinished products of lace-type skates into buckle-type skates
US5353483 *Jul 6, 1993Oct 11, 1994Louviere Donald LMethod and apparatus for quickly securing a laced shoe
US6470537 *Mar 23, 2001Oct 29, 2002John H. SchallenkampFootwear closure fastener replacement system
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/61, 36/50.1
International ClassificationA43C11/14, A43C11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43C11/1413
European ClassificationA43C11/14B2