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Publication numberUS3608714 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 28, 1971
Filing dateMay 13, 1970
Priority dateMay 13, 1970
Also published asDE2123644A1
Publication numberUS 3608714 A, US 3608714A, US-A-3608714, US3608714 A, US3608714A
InventorsDavid Cox
Original AssigneeEastman Kodak Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Information storage and retrieval system
US 3608714 A
Images(13)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor David Cox Stratford, Conn. [21] Appl. No. 36,822 [22] Filed May 13, 1970 [45] Patented Sept. 28, 1971 [73] Assignee Eastman Kodak Company Rochester, N.Y.

[54] INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM 20 Claims, 31 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 209/80.5, 235/6l.12 [51] Int. Cl .1 B07c 3/20 [50] Field of Search 209/80.5,

Primary ExaminerAllen N. Knowles Attorneys-John D. Husser and Robert W. Hampton ABSTRACT: An information unit is provided which comprises a substantially rectangular plate and a carrier therefor. The plate has a pair of opposite longitudinal edges which are encoded with identifying notch and land configurations. The opposite end portions of the plate are shaped to respectively define a pair of opposed hooklike members. The carrier has a pair of opposite walls between which are sandwiched the faces of the plate. The plate and the carrier are connected in sliding relation for parallel movement in opposite directions between a first relative position wherein the identifying configurations and only the first of the hooklike members are exposed and a second relative position wherein the identifying configurations and only the second of the hooklike members are exposed.

Information units of the type described are vertically supported in a stacked arrangement with each respectively con neeted plate and carrier disposed in its first relative position, by an information unit retrieval apparatus. Undesired ones of the respectively connected plates and carriers are moved from their first relative position to their second relative position in response to actuation of a carrier moving assembly and individual members selectively engageable with the corresponding notches in each of the arranged plates. Desired ones of the respectively connected plates and carriers remain in their first relative position as those lands of the former that would ordinarily be engaged by the members are removed. Thereafter, a pair of opposed movable bars are brought into engagement with the first of the exposed hooklike members to affirmatively extract the desired information units from the arrangemn, while another pair of opposed movable bars, brought into engagement with the second of the exposed hooklike members, affirmatively hold the undesired information units in the arrangement.

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I80 I82 ATTORNEYS INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to information handling systems and, more particularly to a novel and improved information unit and apparatus for selectively extracting at least one information unit from an arrangement of similar units.

2. Description of the Prior Art In present commercial information storage and retrieval systems in which information is recorded on a photosensitive or magnetic strip, such a strip is frequently of a length requiring it to be maintained in the form of a roll and the pertinent information for locating a particular image or sound area in encoded either between or alongside each area. Thus it is necessary that at least a portion of the roll be scanned in order to locate a desired image or sound area. In the event the desired area is located at or near the very end of the roll, the complete roll must be scanned.

In other systems where information is recorded on a short strip, one or more of such strips are retained on a cardlike carrier that is provided with a legible indication of the information contained or recorded on the strips held thereby. In order to locate or select any particular strip in this system, a searcher in effect, visually examines each carrier until the desired one is observed.

There are known information storage and retrieval systems wherein apparatus is used to selectively separate desired information units from a randomly sequenced arrangement of similar units. Typically, the units in such systems are cardlike information carriers. Carrier selection is usually achieved by means of selecting members which engage binary coded tabs (or notches) at the edges of the carriers. In certain systems of this type all of the information units except the selected ones are held in place in a vertically suspended file by the selecting members. The selected units are moved out of the file by the force of gravity after all of the units have been released from a common holding means. The disadvantage of these systems lies in the fact that a selected unit which has been released from its holding means may become wedged between contiguous ones of the nonselected units and therefore fail to drop out of the file. It takes relatively slight frictional contact between contiguous units in the file to overcome the relatively slight gravitational pull on a released unit, due to the fact that the weight ofa released unit is negligible.

Thus in the systems presently known it has been suggested that the entire file of information units be sufficiently agitated so that a released unit will not become wedged in position by the friction of its nonselected neighbors. Alternatively, it is known to use electromagnets or blowers to partially spreadapart contiguous ones of the filed information units in order to minimize frictional contact therebetween. However, even with the addition of such friction reduction means selected unit extraction is not accomplished with the reliability of affirmative, i.e. positive, extraction as file agitation may be insufficient to satisfactorily abate frictional contact between all of the contiguous units in the file or electrostatic forces may act to prevent the selected units from dropping out of the file.

The information-handling system of the present invention has been devised for the storage of information-bearing mediums, each of which is contained in an associated unit, and for the selection of at least one of a plurality of such units from a randomly sequenced arrangement thereof. Unit selection is achieved by means of selecting members which examine indicia encoded along a pair of opposite edges of each unit. The encoded indicia can be related to the information on a medium or it can identify the unit per se. With the apparatus to be described hereinafter, any desired unit in the arrangement can be affirmatively, i.e. positively, extracted for use. The information units to be described hereinafter are examined simultaneously, i.e. in parallel, by the selecting members of the apparatus. The medium per se can be read and/or reproduced while in a unit or it can be removed therefrom for such purpose, and any unit can be updated by either replacing the old medium with a new medium or adding a new medium to another unit having the same code designation so that all units having such designations can be retrieved from the arrangement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel and improved information-handling method and apparatus wherein a selected randomly stored information unit can be retrieved from an arrangement of similar units.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an information-handling method and apparatus wherein a plurality of information units can be stored in a stacked arrangement and at least one of the units can be selectively and affirmatively extracted from the arrangement.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for selectively separating particular information units from a stacked arrangement of similar units wherein selected units are affirmatively extracted from the arrangement and nonselected units are affirmatively maintained in the arrangement.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a novel and improved information unit.

And yet another object of the present invention is to provide an information unit that comprises a packet for an information-bearing medium wherein the medium per se can be read and/or reproduced while in the packet or can be removed therefrom for such purpose.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention there is provided an information unit in the form of a packet which comprises a substantially rectangular plate and a transparent carrier for the plate. The central portion of the plate is cut out to form an aperture for the receipt of an information-bearing medium. The carrier has a pair of substantially parallel walls between which are sandwiched the opposite faces of the plate. The carrier walls extend across the aperture so as to support a medium received therein. Alternative notch and land configurations extend along opposite longitudinal edges of the plate, and preselected lands can be removed to code the plate to a supported medium. Opposite end portions of the plate are shaped to respectively define a pair of opposed hooklike members. The plate and carrier are connected in sliding relation for parallel movement in opposite directions between a first relative position wherein the notch and land configurations and only the first of the hooklike members are exposed and a second relative position wherein the notch and land configurations and only the second of the hooklike members are exposed.

Randomly sequenced information units of the type described are vertically supported in a stacked arrangement with each respectively connected plate and carrier disposed in its first relative position, by an information unit retrieval apparatus. Combinations of preselected lands are removed from each plate in order to identify distinguishable information bearing mediums contained in the respective units. As discussed heteinbelow, the lands can be removed in accordance with any one of a number of known systems. Undesired ones of the respectively connected plates and carriers are moved from their first relative position to their second relative position in response to actuation of an assembly for vertically lowering each of the arranged carriers a distance equal to one notch pitch and actuation of individual members selectively engageable with the corresponding notches in each of the arranged plates. Desired ones of the respectively connected plates and carriers remain in their first relative position as those lands of the former would ordinarily be located immediately above the engaged notches are removed. Thereafter, a pair of opposed movable bars are brought into engagement with the first of the exposed hooklike members to affirmatively extract selected i.e. desired, information units from the arrangement, while another pair of opposed movable bars, brought into engagement with the second of the exposed hooklike members, affirmatively hold nonselected, i.e. undesired, information units in the arrangement.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The above-mentioned and other features and objects of the present invention and the manner of obtaining them will become more apparent by reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a packet and an information-bearing medium in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, showing the manner in which both a plate and a plate carrier of the packet are connected to support the medium;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the packet and supported medium ad depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the carrier shown in FIG. 1 but as unassembled, i.e. unfolded;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are front elevation views of the packet and supported medium, respectively showing the connected plate and carrier in their first and second relative positions;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified embodiment of the packet and the information bearing medium supported therein as depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view, partly in section, of a packet retrieval apparatus, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of a first F-bar assembly of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the first F-bar assembly depicted in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view taken along the line 10 10 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 11 is a rear elevation view taken along the line 11-17 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 12 is a partial perspective view showing a detail of FIG.

FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view ofa friction lock on the first F-bar assembly;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 7, showing a portion of the apparatus cut away to illustrate the operation of a cam lever assembly and a pair of packet selecting assemblies;

FIGS. ISA-15C are front elevation views, partly in section, of the packet and its operative relation to a pair of F-shaped bars on the first F-bar assembly;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view, partly in section, of a second F-bar assembly and a cam slide plate therefor, as seen from the underside of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 7;

FIG. 17 is a bottom plan view of the portion of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 16, showing further detail of the apparatus;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line l818 of FIG. 17;

FIGS. 19 and 20 are side elevation views, partly in section, of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 7 and showing the operation of an assembly that, in combination with the packet selecting assemblies, moves undesired ones of the respectively connected plates and carriers in the arrangement from their first relative position to their second relative position;

FIG. 21 is a side elevation view, partly in section, of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 7 and showing the operation of an assembly for extracting desired ones of the respectively connected plates and carriers from the arrangement;

FIG. 22 is a cross-sectional view showing a schematic compilation of the operations depicted in FIGS. 19-21;

FIG. 23 is a partial cross-sectional view of the apparatus depicted in FIG. 7, showing F-shaped bars of the first and second F-bar assemblies and selecting members of the packet selecting assemblies;

FIGS. 24-26 are front elevation views, partly in section, showing schematically the sequential operation of the F- shaped bars and the selecting members for extracting desired packets from the arrangement; and

FIGS. 27 and 28 are front elevation views, partly in section, showing schematically the sequential operation of the F- shaped bars and the selecting members for restoring nonselected of the packets to a state wherein respectively connected ones of the arranged plates and carriers are in their first relative position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Before proceeding with a description of the apparatus, it may be well to first describe the information unit, a preferred embodiment of which is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The information unit or packet 10 comprises a rectangular plate 20 and a carrier or jacket 40 therefor, and is adapted to contain an information bearing medium M.

The plate 20 shown in FIG. I is a multilayer structure provided with a rectangular aperture 21. Within such aperture, the information bearing medium M can be vertically moved relative to the plate as described more fully hereinafter. Along opposite longitudinal edges 22 and 23 of the plate, a plurality of lands 24 are formed by a plurality of notches 25, one notch pitch being the distance between corresponding points on a pair of adjacent lands. The plate can be coded to identify the information on the medium placed within the aperture 21 by removing preselected of the lands 24, see FIGS. 5A and 58. It should be understood that in a given arrangement of a plurality of plates of the type described, each plate can be readily and uniquely distinguished from the other plates by the removal of preselected of its lands. The number of lands removed from each arranged plate can be the same of may vary, and would follow any one of several known coding techniques, such as is disclosed for example in US. Pat. No. 3,396,732. It will also be appreciated that the plate 20 may be modified in having a greater or smaller number of lands de pending upon the number of plates in a given arrangement thereof, and that many other coding systems can be used without departing from the spirit of the invention as disclosed.

First and second T-shaped notches 26 and 27 are rcspec tively located in opposite end portions 28 and 29 of the plate 20, as shown in FIG. 1. The first of the T-shaped notches is shaped with respect to the plate edge 30 so as to define a first pair of opposed ears 31 and 32. The second of the T-shaped notches is shaped with respect to the plate edge 33 so as to define a second pair of opposed ears 34 and 35. In effect, the first and second T-shaped notches define hooklike formations respectively at the opposite end portions 28 and 29 of the plate. The jacket 40 is constructed of a transparent material and has a pair of walls 41 and 42 which can be arranged parallel to each other when the jacket is folded along the lines 43 and the walls are connected, such as for example, by staples 44, 45 and 46, see FIGS. 1-4. In its unfolded state, as shown in FIG. 3, the jacket has an opposed pair of U-shaped notches 47 respectively located in its opposite end portions 48 and an U- shaped aperture 49 centrally located between the lines 43 so as to define a pair of opposed ears 57 and 58. In the jackets folded state, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the H-shaped aperture is converted to a T-shaped notch 50 which is shaped to define a hooklike portion of the jacket in the manner of the first and second T-shaped notches 26 and 27 in the plate 20. The faces 55 and 56 of the jacket walls are each provided with relieved areas 51, 52 and 53, which respectively serve as cavities for the receipt of the staples 46, 44 and 45. Each of the relieved areas has a pair of indication dots 54 thereon to insure proper placement of the appropriate staple, see FIG. 1. The staples are respectively located within the relieved areas, as shown in FIG. 4.

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 2 and 4, it can be seen that the jacket walls 41 and 42 sandwich the plate 20 therebetween and are respectively contiguous with the plate faces 36 and 37. Each of the staples 44 passes through a longitudinal slot 38 in the plate while fastening the jacket walls together. The plate slots 38 respectively cooperate with the staples 44 to connect the plate and the jacket in sliding relation for parallel movement therebetween along a straight path. The information bearing medium M is removably supported between the jacket walls by the opposed pair of staples 45 and is retained within the plate aperture 21 by the jacket walls extending thereacross, see FIG. 4. If the jacket is moved with respect to the plate, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the supported medium will move with the jacket as it is fixed thereto by the staples 45. The information bearing medium is removable from between the jacket walls as it is not stapled thereto, but is merely snugly inserted between the staples 45.

It may now be appreciated that the information bearing medium M can be read and/or reproduced while it is supported between the transparent jacket walls 41 and 42 or it can be removed from the packet for such reading and/or reproduction. Also, the packet can be updated by replacing an old medium with a new medium and if necessary, modifying the configuration of alternative lands 24 and notches 25 by the removal of additional lands.

The interior surfaces of the jacket 40 opposite the lines 43, and the staples 46, respectively cooperate with the plate edges 33 and to restrict relative movement of the plate and the jacket to a predetermined distance equal to one notch pitch, thereby confining the relative movement of the plate and the jacket to a predetermined distance equal to one notch pitch,

thereby confining the relative movement of the plate and the jacket between first and second relative positions respectively shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. The plate and the jacket are complementarily shaped and constructed so that when they are in either their first or second relative positions the configuration of alternative lands 24 and notches 25 is exposed, i.e. extends beyond the jacket walls 41 and 42. Also, when the plate and the jacket are in their first relative position as in FIG. 5A the ears 3] and 32 defined by the plates first T-shaped notch 26 are exposed, i.e. lie within the jacket's U-shaped notches 47, and the plates second T-shapcd notch 27 is unexposed, i.e. concealed between the jacket walls. Alternatively, when the plate and the jacket are in their second relative position as in FIG. 5B the ears 34 and 35 defined by the plates second T- shaped notch are exposed, i.e. lie within the jacket's T-shaped notch 50, and the plate 5 first T-shaped notch 26 is unexposed. Furthermore, as is apparent from FIG. 58, when the plate and the jacket are in their second position the cars 34 and 35 respectively extend beyond the outline of the ears 57 and 58.

Referring now in particular to FIG. 7, there is shown an apparatus 100 for selectively separating particular packets of the type described from an arrangement of similar packets, wherein the selected packets are positively, i.e. affirmatively, extracted from the arrangement and the nonselected packets are held in the arrangement.

As shown in FIGS. 8-12, a plurality of packets 10 are stacked with the longitudinal edges of each respectively connected plate 20 and jacket extending in a vertical direction to form an arrangement 60 thereof. A first F-bar assembly 110 is provided with a pair of spaced, parallel F-shaped bars 111 and 112 which vertically suspend the packets in the arrangement by engaging each jacket within the T-shaped notch thereof. With reference to FIGS. 8 and ISA-15C, it can be seen that the F-shaped bars can be moved towards and away from each other, by means described hereinafter, and are guided in such movement by the mating of studs 113, and 114 and 115 mounted on the bar 111 and respective ones of the bores 116, 117 and 118 in the bar 112. Helical compression springs 119, 120 and 121 respectively encircle the studs 113, 114 and 115 and urge the F-shaped bars apart. However, the assembly 110 is further provided with an arresting member 122 and platens 126 and 127, which restrict the F-shaped bars to a maximum spaced position, as shown in FIGS. 7, 11 and 15A. The arresting member is connected to the F-shaped bar 111 by a pin 123 and is slidingly fastened to the F-shaped bar 112 by a guide pin 124 which asis apparent from FIG. 11, will slide within the member's longitudinal slot 125 when the F- shaped bars are moved towards each other from their maximum spaced position. The platens I26 and 127 respectively have apertures 128 and 129 therein which are shaped for the receipt of the F-shaped bars, as shown in FIGS. 7, 12 and I3, and the dimensions of the apertures are such as to prevent the F-shaped bars from extending apart beyond their maximum spaced position.

Both of the platens 126 and 127 are slidable along the substantial length of the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 to sandwich the suspended arrangement 60 therebetween. As shown in FIG. 12, the platen 126 is prevented, from sliding off end end portions 130 and 131 of the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 by stops132 and 133 respectively. The platen 127 is prevented from sliding off respective end portions 134 and 135 of the F- shaped bars 111 and 112 as it is provided with a friction lock 136. As shown in FIG. 13, the friction lock 136 has a plate 137 which is pivotally connected to the platen 127 by a pin 138 and which is biased to rotate in a clockwise direction about the pin 138 by a pair of leg springs 139 and 140. Thus, the platen 127 can be locked in any position along the F-shaped bars by the friction lock 136, see FIG. 9.

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 7 and 9, it can be seen that the first F-bar assembly 110, is, in effect, a portable packet suspension carriage which, although normally suspending the arrangement 60 within rectangular frame 101 of the apparatus 100, can be used to store the arrangement in an area removed from the apparatus. As shown in FIG. 7, vertical guide studs 253 and 254, and vertical guide studs 255 and 256, are respectively mounted on spaced parallel, horizontal yokes 251 and 252. The end portions 130 and 134 of the F-shaped bar 111, and the end portions 131 and 135 of the F-shaped bar 112, are respectively provided with guide slots 141, 143, I42 and 144, see FIG. 8. Each of the guide slots are shaped for cooperation with a respective one of the vertical guide pins in the manner shown by FIG. 7, so that the first F-bar assembly is supported by the yokes 251 and 252 and is vertically removable therefrom. Also, the guide pins and the guide slots serve as means for correctly positioning the arrangement 60 within the apparatus frame.

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 7 and 14 there is shown a cam lever assembly for moving the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 of the first F-bar assembly 110 towards each other from their maximum spaced position shown in FIG. 15A, to an intermediate spaced position shown in FIG. [58, and to a minimum spaced position shown in FIG. 15C. As described hereinafter, if the respectively connected plates 20 and jackets 40 are in their first relative position the F-shaped bars can be moved to their maximum spaced position in order to engage the jackets within their respective T-shaped notches 50 and thereby suspend the packets 20 in the arrangement 60. Alternatively, if the respectively connected plates and jackets are in their second relative position the F-shaped bars can be moved to their intermediate spaced position in order to engage the plates within their respective second T-shaped notches 27 and thereby suspend the packets in the arrangement. Also, if it is desired to move respectively connected plates and jackets within the arrangement between their first and second relative positions, the F-shaped bars can be moved to their minimum spaced position.

Cam levers 151 and 152 are pivotally connected to the yoke 251 by pins 155 and 156 respectively, and cam levers 153 and 154 are pivotally connected to the yoke 252 by pins 157 and 158 respectively, see FIGS. 7 and 14. Cable 159 interconnects the cam levers 152 and 153 while extending across pulleys 171 and 172. Brackets 173 and 174 rotatingly support the pulleys 171 and 172 respectively and are mounted on the interior sur face of wall 102 of the apparatus frame 101. Link 160 interconnects the cam levers 153 and 154 by pivotally coupling thereto at joints 161 and 162 respectively. The cam lever 151 has an arcuate slot 163 therein with three distinct locking notches 164, 165 and 166. Pivoting of the cam lever 151 in a counterclockwise direction about the pin 155, as shown in FIG. 14, will direct a locking pin 167, mounted on the cam lever 152 and positioned within the arcuate slot, to any one of the three locking notches. Helical tension spring 168 interconnects the cam lever 154 and top 103 of the apparatus frame 101 to restrain the locking pin in a particular locking notch. Helical tension spring 169 -interconnecting the cam levers 151 and 152 also will act to restrain the locking pin in a particular locking notch, but such spring exerts less of a force than the spring 168 as not to negate the restraining effect of the latter spring on the locking pin.

In operation of the cam lever assembly 150, handle 170 of the cam lever 151 is pivoted about the pin 155 so as to arbitrarily direct the locking pin 167 to any one of the locking notches 164, 165 and 166. Referring now in particular to FIGS. 14 and 15A-15C, it can be seen that if the cam levers 151-154 are in position, A, i.e. the locking pin 167 is in the locking notch 166, then the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 will be in their maximum shaped position. If the cam levers are in position B, i.e. the locking pin is in the locking notch 165, then the F-shaped bars will be in their intermediate spaced position. And if the cam levers are in position C, i.e. the locking pin is in the locking notch 164, then the F-shaped bars will be in their minimum spaced position. Also, if the cam levers in FIG. 14 are pivoted counterclockwise about their respective pins then the helical compression springs 119-121 will simultaneously move the F-shaped bars apart from each other. Alternatively, if the cam levers in FIG. 14 are pivotally clockwise about their respective pins then the cam surfaces of the former will simultaneously move the F-shaped bars towards each other against the force of the springs 119-121.

A pair of spaced, parallel rectangular slide blocks 201 and 202 are connected by rods 203, 204 and 205 extending therebetween, see FIG. 16. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 17, respective end portions of the rod 205 extend through a rectangular aperture 106 and a vertical bearing slot 107 which are respectively located in opposed walls 104 and 105 of the apparatus frame 101. L-shaped bars 206, 207, 208 and 209 are fastened in pairs thereof respectively to the interior surfaces of the frame walls 104 and 105. Each of the L-shaped bars has a vertical track 210 mounted thereon which respectively mates with a complementarily shaped channel 211 in a pair of opposed sides of the slide blocks, so that the slide blocks are guided for vertical movement with respect to the apparatus frame, as in FIG. 22.

A support arm 214 is pivotally connected at one end thereof to the exterior surface of the frame wall 104 by pin 212 and is provided at its other end with a longitudinal bearing slot 216 in which the end portion of the rod 205 extending through wall aperture 106 is journaled, see FIG. 7. Similarly, a support arm 215 is pivotally connected at one end thereof to the exterior surface of the frame wall 105 by pin 213 and is provided at its other end with a longitudinal bearing slot 217 which the end portion of the rod 205 extending through the wall slot 107 is journaled, see FIG. 22. Overcenter helical tension springs 218 and 219 each have one end thereof respectively fastened to the support arms 214 and 21S, and the other end of each of the overcenter springs are respectively secured to studs 220 and 221. Each overcenter spring is fastened to a respective one of the support arms at a location between the longitudinal center of the latter and its respective longitudinal bearing slot 216 or 217, so that if the support arms 214 and 215 are in an upper position defined by their respective contact with studs 222 and 223, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 19, they will be held in that upper position by the force of the overcenter springs. Furthermore, if the support arms 214 and 215 are pivoted clockwise respectively about the pins 212 and 213 away from their upper position to a lower position wherein they respectively contact studs 224 and 225, the support arms will be blocked against further clockwise rotation by the latter studs, see FIGS. 21 and 22. Thus it becomes apparent that the pair of slide blocks 201 and 202 can be supported in upper and lower positions corresponding to the upper and lower positions of the support arms 214 and 215 and may be vertically moved between the former upper and lower positions, as in FIGS. 19-22. When the pair of slide blocks are in their lower position a knob 226 fastened to an end of the rod 205 as shown in FIG. 21 may be rotated so as to identically rotate the pair of slide blocks, see FIG. 22. As will become apparent hereinafter, the parts referenced by numerals 201-226 comprises a packet extraction assembly 200.

As shown in FIGS. 16-18, a second F-bar assembly has a pair of spaced, parallel F-shaped bars 181 and 182 that are similar in design to the F-shaped bars 111 and 112. The former F-shaped bars can be moved towards and away from each other, by means described hereinafter, and are guided in such movement by the mating of studs 183, 184 and 185 mounted on the bar 181 and respective bores 186, 187 and 188 in the bar 182. Helical compression springs 189, 190 and 191 respectively encircle the studs 183, 184 and 185 and urge the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 apart. With reference to FIGS. 7 and 23, vertical guide pins 227 and 228, and vertical guide pins 229 and 230, are respectively mounted on the slide blocks 201 and 202. The end portions of the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 are respectively provided with guide slots 192, 194, 193 and 195. Each of the guide slots are shaped for cooperation with a respective one of the vertical guide pins, as shown in FIG. 7, so that the second F-bar assembly 180 is fastened to the slide blocks 20] and 202 in a manner that permits the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 to be moved together and apart.

In FIGS. 16-18 there is also shown a cam slide plate 240 for moving the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 of the second F-bar assembly 180 from a maximum spaced position, i.e. equivalent to the intermediate spaced position of the Fshaped bars 111 and 112 in FIG. 153, to a minimum spaced position, i.e. equivalent to the minimum spaced position of the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 in FIG. 15C. The cam slide plate is movably fastened to the underside of the slide block 201 by a guide pin 231 which is disposed in the plates longitudinal slot 241. Also, the plate is provided with an aperture 242 through which the rod 205 extends. Cam fingers 196 and 197 mounted on the F- shaped bar 181 and cam fingers 198 and 199 mounted on the F-shaped bar 182 respectively cooperate with the cam fingers 243, 244, 245, and 246 of the plate 240 to hold the F-shaped bars in their minimum and maximum spaced positions. Sliding the plate to the right to this position shown in FIG. 16 simultaneously moves the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 to their minimum spaced position against the urging of the helical compression springs 189-191. Alternatively, sliding the plate to the left from its position shown in FIG. 16 to a position wherein the beveled edges 248 of the respectively cooperating cam fingers are in contact with each other, simultaneously permits the springs 189-191 to move the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 away from each other to their maximum spaced position, as in FIG. 25. Handle 247 on the plate 240 facilitates manipulation of the latter.

As described hereinafter, if the respectively connected plates 20 and the jackets 40 are in their first relative position and are vertically supported within the apparatus frame 101, as in FIG. 7, the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 can be moved to their maximum spaced position in order to engage the plates within their respective first T-shaped notches 26 for the purpose of removing packets 20 from the arrangement 60. Also, if it is desired to move respectively connected plates and jackets within the arrangement between their first and second relative positions, the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 can be moved to their minimum spaced position as can the F-shaped bars 111 and 112.

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 19-22, there is shown an assembly 250 for vertically moving the first F-bar assembly 110, with respect to the apparatus frame 101, a distance equal to one notch pitch. With reference to FIG. 22, it can be seen that vertical push rods 257 and 258 are fastened to the yoke 252 and respectively extend through vertical guide bores 259 and 260 in a Tshaped block 261 and vertical guide bores 262 and 263 in a rectangular block 264. The blocks 261 and 264 are respectively fastened to the frame wall 105. The yoke 252 has vertical guide studs 265 and 266 depending therefrom which are respectively partially inserted in holes 267 and 268 in the T-shaped block. Helical compression springs 269 and 270 respectively encircle the guide studs 265 and 266 so as to support the yoke 252 above the T-shaped block in the manner shown by FIG. 22. The yoke 251 is identically supported above a T-shaped block 271 by an equivalent aggregation of helical compression springs, guide studs, and holes, so that the latter (not all shown) are referenced by the same numerals as their counterparts supporting the yoke 252. Vertical push rods 272 and 273 are fastened to the yoke 251 and respectively extend through a pair of vertical guide bores in the T-shaped block 217 and a pair of vertical guide bores in a rectangular block 274, see FIGS. 7 and 19. The blocks 271 and 274 are respectively fastened to the frame wall 104. Because the vertical guide bores in the blocks 271 and 274 are the equivalents of the vertical guide bores in the blocks 261 and 264 they are referenced by the same numerals as their counterparts.

Cam levers 275 and 276 are interconnected by a horizontal rod 277 which extends therebetween through a cylindrical bearing hole 278 in the T-shaped block 261 and vertical guide slots 279 and 280 in the yoke 252, as shown in FIGS. 19 and 22. Similarly, cam levers 281 and 282 are interconnected by a horizontal rod 283 which extends therebetween through a cylindrical bearing hole (not shown) in the T-shaped block 271 and a pair of vertical guide slots (one 284 of which is shown) in the yoke 251, see FIGS. 14 and 19. The vertical guide slots in the yokes 251 and 252 are longitudinally dimensioned so that the yokes are restricted to vertical movement with respect to the horizontal rods 277 and 283, a distance equal to one notch pitch. Link 285 interconnects the cam levers 275 and 281 by pivotally coupling thereto at joints 286 and 287 respectively. As shown in FIGS. 19, 20 and 22, the free ends of the vertical push rods 257 and 258 normally contact the top surface of the slide block 202, and the free ends of the vertical push rods 272 and 273 normally contact the top surface of the slide block 201, so that if the handle 288 of the cam lever 281 is pivoted clockwise about the joint 287 from its upper position in FIG. 19 to its lower position in FIG. 20 the first F-bar assembly 110 and the second F-bar assembly 180 will be vertically lowered with respect to the apparatus frame 101, a distance equal to one notch pitch. Similarly, if the handle 288,is pivoted counterclockwise about the joint 287 from its lower position in FIG. 20 to its upper position in FIG. 19, the first F-bar assembly 110 will be vertically raised with respect to the apparatus frame, a distance equal to one notch pitch by the force of the four helical compression springs 269 and 270.

As shown in FIGS. 7, 19 and 23, a plurality of the pockets are stacked to form the arrangement 60. And respectively connected ones of the arranged plates 20 and jackets 40 are vertically suspended in their first relative position by the F- shaped bars 111 and 112 which engage the T-shaped notch 50 in each jacket. The first F-bar assembly 110 is supported by the yokes 251 and 252 so that the arrangement 60 is positioned within the apparatus frame 101. Undesired ones of the respectively connected plates and jackets can be selectively moved from their first relative position to their second relative position by the assembly 250 if members, to be described hereinafter, are provided for selectively engaging the plates, and the F-shaped bars 111, 112, 181 and 182 are moved to their minimum spaced positions as in FIG. 24. Within the assembly 250, a clockwise pivoting of the handle 288 from its upper position to its lower position will cause the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 to lower the arranged jackets a distance equal to one notch pitch, see FIGS. 20 and 25. If an arranged plate is selectively engaged by at least one member 292, as in FIGS. 24 and 25, then it will be prevented from moving with its jacket. For this reason, each land 24 is associated with a corresponding notch 25 which is the one immediately below the land. With this relationship of notch and land, a member 292, when moved into engagement with a notch 25 vertically supports the arranged plate 20 unless its corresponding land 24 has been removed in which case the plate can be lowered with its respectively connected jacket. Thus it is apparent that the respectively connected plates and jackets can be selectively moved from their first relative position to their second relative position. Furthermore, when a combination of selecting members are moved into respective engagement with the corresponding notches in each plate, only the plates having the same combination of removed lands can be lowered a distance equal to one notch pitch with their respectively connected jackets,

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 7, l4 and 23, there is shown a plurality of packet selecting assemblies 290 and 291 respectively located adjacent opposite sides of the arrangement 60. Each of the assemblies 290 and 291 is provided with a selecting member 292 which is respectively aligned with a corresponding notch 25 in each of the arranged plates 20. A pair of guide pins 293 and 294 are respectively mounted on each of the selecting members so as to movably fasten the latter to a respective one of the frame portions 295 as in FIG. 23. A pair of leg springs 296 and 297 are respectively connected to each pair of the pins 293 and 294 and normally retain each of the selecting members in a position respectively spaced from the corresponding notches 25. The guide pins 293 and 294 respectively extend through a pair of guide slots 298 and 299 in each of the frame portions 295 so that, as shown in FIG. 14, each selecting member can be moved from its spaced position to an engaged position within the corresponding notches 25. For this purpose, each selecting member is associated with a pair of cam levers 300 and 301 which are pivotally connected to vertical rods 302 and 303 respectively. As shown in FIG. 7, the upper ends of the vertical rods are fixed to the frame top 103 and the lower ends of the vertical rods are fixed to a frame support 108. Each pair of the cam levers 300 and 301 are interconnected by a link 304 which pivotally couples thereto at joints 305 and 306 respectively. Each of the links 304 has an extension 307 which extends through a respective one of the openings 109 in the frame wall 104. In operation, as shown by FIG. 14, any one of the link extensions 307 can be pulled outwardly of the interior of the apparatus frame 101 so as to respectively pivot a pair of the cam levers 300 and 301 counterclockwise about the rods 302 and 303 and thereby move a selecting member 292 from its spaced position to its engaging position. Because of the flat portion 308 on the otherwise curved edge of the cam levers the selecting member will remain in its engaging position, see FIG. 14. If the same link extension is now pushed inwardly of the apparatus frame it can be seen that a pair of the leg springs 296 and 297 will be free to move a selecting member from its engaging position to its spaced position.

The operation of the apparatus can best be understood by describing a selection procedure with respect to a particular example. A plurality of coded packets 10, i.e. packets having preselected of the lands 24 removed from each plate, are stacked to form the arrangement 60 and respectively connected ones of the arranged plates 20 and jackets 40 are vertically suspended in their first relative position, i.e. the position as shown by FIG. 5A, within the apparatus frame 101 as previously described. Each of the arranged plates is encoded to identify the information on a medium M supported within its respective aperture 21. The coding system follows any one of several known techniques.

The F-shaped bars 111 and 112 of the first F-bar assembly are respectively moved in the directions indicated by the arrows 70 and 71 from their maximum spaced position to their minimum spaced position upon a pivoting of the handle (of the cam lever assembly 150) from its position A to its position C, see FIGS. 14 and 24. The F-shaped bars 181 and 182 of the second F-bar assembly are normally in their minimum spaced position. A desired combination of the selecting members 292 of the packet selecting assemblies 290 and 291 are moved into respective engagement with the corresponding notches 25 in each of the arranged plates, In

response to a pivoting of the handle 288 (of the assembly 250) from its upper position to its lower position the F -shaped bars 111 and 112 vertically depress the arranged jackets a distance equal to one notch pitch, see FIGS. 19, 20, 22 and 25. Thus as previously described, only the arranged plates having the same combination of removed lands as the combination of selecting members moved to their respective engaging positions, can be vertically lowered a distance equal to one notch pitch with their respectively connected jackets. In effect, the actuated selecting members 292 and assembly 250 cooperate to move undesired ones of the respectively connected plates and jackets from their first relative position to their second relative position, while maintaining desired ones of the respectively connected plates and jackets in their first relative position.

The handle 170 of cam lever assembly 150 is now pivoted from its position C to its position B, see FIG. 14. Simultaneously, the springs 119-121 respectively move the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 in the directions indicated by the arrows 72 and 73 from their minimum spaced position to their intermediate apaced position, see FIG. 25. Those selecting members in their engaging positions are moved to their positions respectively spaced from the corresponding notches 25 in each of the arranged plates. Also, in response to manual movement of the cam slide plate 240 to the left of its position shown in FIG. 16, the springs 189-191 respectively move the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 in the directions indicated by the arrows 74 and 75 from their minimum spaced position to their maximum spaced position. Thus, it can be seen in FIG. 25 that the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 engage all of the exposed T- shaped notches 26 in the arranged plates and the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 engage all of the exposed T-shaped notches 27 in the arranged plates. Consequently, if the second F-bar assembly 180 is moved in the direction indicated by the arrow 76, as in FIG. 26, it will extract from the arrangement 60 those respectively connected plates and jackets in their first relative position, i.e. the selected or desired packets. For this purpose, the knob 226 is vertically depressed so as to move the pair of slide blocks 201 and 202 from their upper position to their lower position and correspondingly move the second F-bar assembly 180 from an upper position shown in FIG. to a lower position shown in FIG. 21. Consequently, as shown in FIG. 26, all that remains in the arrangement 60 are the nonextracted, i.e. nonselected, packets. If the knob 226 is now rotated clockwise 180", the second F -bar assembly and the extracted packets will identically be rotated as shown in FIGS. 21 and 22. Movement of the F-shaped bars 181 and 182 from their maximum spaced position to their minimum spaced position will release the extracted packets from the apparatus 100 whereupon they can be transported away from the apparatus frame 101 by a suitable conveyor means (not shown).

In order to restore those packets now constituting the arrangement 60, i.e. those packets not released from the apparatus frame 101 as in FIG. 26, to a state wherein respectively connected ones of the arranged plates and jackets are vertically suspended in their first relative position as in FIG. 23, the knob 226 is rotated counterclockwise 180 and vertically raised until the second F-bar assembly 180 is returned to its upper position as shown in FIG. 27. Thereafter, the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 are moved from their maximum spaced position to their minimum spaced position, and the lowermost opposed pair of selecting members 292 respectively of the selecting assemblies 290 and 291 are moved from their spaced positions to their engaging positions as in FIG. 27. If the handle 288 of the assembly 250 is now pivoted from its lower position to its upper position and the knob 226 is simultaneously raised, the F-shaped bars 111, 112, 180 and 181 will be moved in the direction indicated by the arrow 77, see FIG. 28. Consequently, the arranged jackets can be vertically raised one notch pitch with respect to the arranged plates. In FIG. 28 an arranged jacket is raised one-half of a notch pitch as shown at 78. Thereafter, the F-shaped bars 111 and 112 are moved from their minimum spaced position to their maximum spaced position and the lowermost opposed pair of selecting members are moved from their respective engaging positions to their respective spaced positions, so that each one of the respectively connected plates and jackets are vertically suspended in their first relative position as in FIGS. 7 and 23. If it is desired to select additional packets out of the remaining arrangement, the selection procedure may now be repeated. Alternatively, the first F-bar assembly can bc removed from the yokes 251 and 252 in order to store the arrangement 60 in an area separate from the apparatus 100.

It should be understood that the apparatus 100 can be used in orientations other than as illustrated, and that electromechanical means (not shown) can be used to actuate the cam lever assembly 150, packet extraction assembly 200, cam slide plate 240, assembly 250, and packet selecting assemblies 290 and 291. Also, an apparatus (not shown) which is similar in part to the apparatus 100 can be constructed for bidirectional packet selection. That is to say, selection would occur each time the arranged jackets are moved one notch pitch and extraction then would be in the direction of such movement.

Referring now in particular to FIG. 6, there is shown a packet 80 which is a modification of the packet 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. As can be seen in FIG. 6, the features of the packet 80 that are identical to the packet 10 are referenced by the same numerals. The jacket 40 of the packet 80 is provided with a symmetrical pair of T-shaped notches 81 which are respectively located in the jacket walls 41 and 42. When the respective edges 82 of the jacket walls are bonded together, as in FIG. 6, the T-shaped notches 81 define a pair of opposed cars 83 and 84. Accordingly, there is formed a hooklike portion of the jacket that is similar to the one previously described.

The packet 80 is designed to be used with an apparatus (not shown) which is similar in part to the apparatus 100. In the former apparatus, after selected packets have been extracted from the arrangement, the nonselected packets are rotated about one end thereof, so that there is no need to restore the nonselected packets to their first relative position as previously described. Thereafter, additional packets may be selected out of the remaining arrangement by repeating the selection procedure.

The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Iclaim:

1. An information packet comprising:

first and second elements having cooperating means for respectively connecting the one to the other to restrict said elements to parallel relative movement therebetween in opposite directions along a predetermined linear path and to confine such relative movement within first and second relative positions of said elements;

said first element having first, second and third portions thereof, and said second element having fourth and fifth portions thereof;

said first portion having first means engageable to prevent movement of said first element, in a first of said opposite directions, along said predetermined linear path from said first relative position to said second relative position;

said second portion having second means engageable to prevent movement of said first element, in a second of said opposite directions, along said predetermined linear path from said second relative position to said first relative position;

said third portion having third means engageable to prevent movement of said first element, in either the first or second of said opposite directions, along said predetermined linear path; and

said first and second elements having outlines complementarily shaped and constructed such that in said first relative position, said first and third portions extend beyond the outline of said second element and said fourth portion

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1744373 *Jan 29, 1929Jan 21, 1930Erich WaltherBox for filing index cards
US3342185 *Aug 3, 1965Sep 19, 1967Bolkow GmbhCard selecting apparatus
US3353280 *Feb 16, 1965Nov 21, 1967Bolkow GmbhApparatus for the visible and audible presentation of information in a desired sequence
US3396732 *Aug 11, 1967Aug 13, 1968Eastman Kodak CoInformation storage and retrieval apparatus
FR779163A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3853224 *Jul 18, 1973Dec 10, 1974Gakken Co LtdInformation retrieval system
US3974361 *Dec 23, 1974Aug 10, 1976Gaf CorporationInformation storage card with coded vertical edge
US4700840 *Feb 14, 1986Oct 20, 1987Drexler Technology CorporationData card cassette
Classifications
U.S. Classification209/608, 235/487
International ClassificationG06K21/04
Cooperative ClassificationG06K21/04
European ClassificationG06K21/04