|Publication number||US3624673 A|
|Publication date||Nov 30, 1971|
|Filing date||Nov 19, 1969|
|Priority date||Nov 19, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3624673 A, US 3624673A, US-A-3624673, US3624673 A, US3624673A|
|Inventors||Armbruster John C, Merchant Paul A|
|Original Assignee||Ethyl Dev Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (9), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  Inventors Paul A. Merchant Kansas City; John C. Armbruster,1ndependence, both of Mo.  Appl. No. 878,110  Filed Nov. 19, 1969  Patented Nov. 30, 1971  Assignee Ethyl Development Corporation Kansas City, Mo.
 DOUBLE-ENDED PLASTIC CLOTHESPIN 1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 24/137 R [5 I] int. Cl D061 55/00  Field of Search 24/137, 138, 255 GP, 81 D, 81 DM, 137.5
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,611,161 12/1926 Clerke 24/138 1,810,542 6/1931 Trupiano 24/138 2,429,557 10/1947 Maccaferri 24/138 2,543,336 2/1951 Ratchford 24/138 X 2,885,758 5/1959 Russo et al... 24/138 3,384,935 5/1968 Salvador 24/137 R 36,394 9/1862 Cone 24/l37.5 UX 2,563,236 8/1951 Gragg.... 24/137 UX 3,521,332 7/1970 Kramer 24/81 CC FOREIGN PATENTS 206,091 1 1/1923 Great Britain 24/138 644,234 4/1937 Germany 24/138 Primary Examiner Donald A. Griffin Allorney- Donald L. Johnson ABSTRACT: A double-ended, one-piece, plastic clothespin which includes a pair of juxtaposed, spaced-apart leg members joined by an integrally formed, transverse web at the midpoint of the leg members. The web is sufficient thickness and resiliency to provide the spring action for gripping of an article on a clothesline between a pair of spaced-apart legs provided at either end of the clothespin.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a double-ended, one-piece, plastic clothespin, more particularly to a clothespin having an in tegrally formed web-that provides both the attaching means for the legs and the spring means for the gripping action of the opposed legs.
2. Description of the Prior Art While double-ended clothespin are well known in the prior art, all prior double-ended clothespins have utilized separately formed leg members joined together by various means.
In U.S. Pat. No. 1,875,461 the two halves of the clothespin are joined by a conventional helical spring means having arms extending toward opposite ends of the leg members. In US Pat. No. 2,615,221 the separately formed opposed leg members are joined together by means of a transversely mounted helical spring or by a rubberband positioned at the midsection of the clothespin. US. Pat. No. 2,871,538 discloses a doubleended clothespin wherein the two halves are joined by a pair of transversely positioned headed pins at the center of the clothespin. Additionally, leaf springs are provided on the exterior of the leg members to provide additional clamping force. US. Pat. No. 3,137,906 discloses a two-ended clothespin having the separately formed leg members joined by means of a helical spring inserted in a bore provided centrally of the leg members. The two-ended clothespin disclosed in U.S.' Pat. No. 3,084,410 utilizes two separately formed leg members joined together by means of a double-headed hinge pin having coil springs positioned between each head member and each leg member of the clothespin.
Single-piece, injection-molded, plastic clothespins are disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 2,562,751; 2,591,477 and 3,305,904.
The double-ended clothespins of the prior art are characterized in that they require two separate leg members to be joined by springs or pins or combinations thereof which entail added expense in forming the separate members and then assembling these members into the finished clothespin. The onepiece, single-ended, plastic clothespins used heretofore, of course, do not provide the advantage inherent in a doubleended clothespin.
Double-ended clothespins can be readily affixed to a clothesline without the necessity of changing ends on the clothespin as often occurs when utilizing the conventional single-ended clothespin. The clothespin of the present invention provides the advantage in that it can be applied to the article on the clothesline using either end thereof. Additionally, the present clothespin has the following advantages: it has a spring action similar to the conventional clothespin; provides a smooth, snagproof surface; is not damaged by exposure to weather; can be mass produced economically by injection molding; and involves no hand assembly operations whatsoever.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION members and web define an outwardly directed, articlereceiving slot at each end of the clothespin. The web is of sufficient width and thickness to resiliently oppose spreading apart of the pair of leg members at either end thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective, elevational view of a double-ended clothespin constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the double-ended clothespin of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a side view of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal, sectional view taken along the line 4-4 ofFlG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is an end view of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, one embodiment of a doubleended clothespin of the present invention is depicted and designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The clothespin includes a pair of identical leg members 11a and 11b joined together by a centrally positioned, integrally formed transverse web 12. The central portions 13-13 of the leg members are disposed substantially parallel to each other and are preferably integrally formed with and joined to the transverse web 12. However, if desired, the web may be integrally formed on one leg and subsequently attached to the other leg member by any suitable means. The inner portions 13-13 are preferably thicker than the outer portions 14- 14. The outer portions 14-14 of the leg members diverge at each end of the clothespin to provide inwardly tapering clothes receiving slots 15-15. As seen in FIGS. 1, 3 and 5, outer wall portions 14-14 have inner wall surfaces 16-16 which are flat and smooth to provide a snag-free surface for contacting clothing, etc. The inner walls 17-17 of the central portions 13-13 are provided with transverse, opposed, arcuate recesses 18-18 adapted to receive the clothesline and tightly grip the article suspended by the clothespin. The innermost portions of the inner walls 17-17 are provided with substantially flat, parallel walls 19-19 which merge into the arcuate wall 20 of the web 12. If desired, the parallel walls 19-19 may be provided with an additional set of opposed, arcuate recesses.
Each leg member is provided with an integrally formed, longitudinally extending, reinforcing rib 21 on its outer wall. The rib 21 provides rigidity and reinforcement to each of the leg members 11a and 11b. The rib permits the use of thinner walls in both the central and outer portions of the leg members thereby reducing the quantity of plastic material necessary to form the clothespin yet providing the leg members with sufficient rigidity to provide a secure gripping action.
The web 12 preferably extends across the full width of each of the opposed leg members; however, it may be less than full width if sufficient spring action is still provided. The thickness of the web 12 taken together with the rigidity of the plastic material from which the clothespin is made determines the spring action exerted by the opposed jaws of the clothespin. This thickness can be readily determined by experimental means.
The clothespin of the present invention is preferably made from rigid or semirigid plastic materials having high impact and flexural strengths and a low fatigue factor. Many of the commercially available plastic materials are suitable for forming the clothespin by injection molding. Among the suitable plastic materials are thermoplastics such as high-impact polystyrene, polypropylene, high-density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymers, polycarbonates, polyformaldehydes, polyamides and polymethacrylates. Additionally, injection-moldable, thermosetting plastic materials may be used such as phenol-formaldehyde resins or melamine-formaldehyde resins and others.
In one exemplary form of the clothespin of the present invention made by injection-molding polypropylene, the clothespin had an overall length of 2% inches. The opposed leg members were seven-sixteenths inch wide and the reinforcing rib was one-sixteenth inch thick. The clothespin had a thickness measured from the top portions of the ribs of nineteen thirty-seconds inch. The slot 15 was thirteen thirtyseconds inch wide at the outer ends of the opposed leg members. The web 12 had a minimum thickness of three thirtyseconds inch and extended the full seven-sixteenths inch width of the clothespin. The slot had a minimum dimension of nine sixty-fourths inch at the inner end thereof.
From the foregoing it can be readily seen that the doubleended clothespin of the present invention provides a clothespin which is readily mass produced very economically by injection-molding techniques. Additionally, the clothespin provides the advantage of strong gripping action yet does not involve the use of separate springs and uses a minimum quantity of plastic material in each clothespin. The clothespin may be produced in attractive, bright colors which are resistant to fading.
, flat, nonparallel, outwardly diverging, inner and outer wall While there has been described what is at present considered preferred embodiments of the present invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the essence of the invention.
surfaces; and an integrally formed, transversely projecting, centrally positioned rib with a flat top wall attached to and extending the full length of the outer wall of each leg.
(5/69) UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,62%,675 Dated November 30 1911 Inventot-(s) Paul A. Marchant et a1 It is certified that error appears in the and that said Letters Patent are hereby correct above-identified patent ed as shown below:
Item  reads "Paul A. Merchant", should read Paul A. Merchant The Abstract, line 4, reads "web is sufficient", should read web is of sufficient Column 1, line 12, reads "clothespin", should read Clothespins Signed and sealed this 27th day of June 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents
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