US 3642191 A
An envelope being formed by overlying sheets peripherally attached to form a material holding pocket. An extension of one sheet serves as a flap and includes a crease formed therein to establish a bias characteristic in the creased material which encourages self-closure of the flap. The flap includes a second crease formed therein which enables an outwardly extending flap section to be tucked in and form a seal for the pocket entrance. Fastener means are provided to retain the flap and sealing strip in a closed position. The envelope is fabricated from a clear plastic material and allows the insertion of a data form therein. This allows one to removably imprint indicia on the surface of the envelope in columns and rows prescribed by the data form.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Roof 1 51 Feb. 15, 1972  ENVELOPE CLOSURE 3,462,070 8/1969 Corella ..229/66 X  Inventor: Carl km, south Gate Calm 1,970,307 8/ 1934 Hartmann ..2/48
 Assignee: Navarm Chemical Co. Primary ExaminerHarland S. Skogquist  Filed Sept 5 1969 Att0rneyClarence A. O'Brien and Harvey B. Jacobson App1.No.: 855,534
[ ABSTRACT An envelope being formed by overlying sheets peripherally attached to form a material holding pocket. An extension of one sheet serves as a flap and includes a crease formed therein to establish a bias characteristic in the creased material which encourages self-closure of the flap. The flap includes a second crease formed therein which enables an outwardly'extending flap section to be tucked in and form a seal for the pocket entrance. Fastener means are provided to retain the flap and sealing strip in a closed position. The envelope is fabricated from a clear plastic material and allows the insertion of a data form therein. This allows one to removably imprint indicia on the surface of the envelope in columns and rows prescribed by the data form.
, 12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAfENTEDFEMS m2 3.642.191 I I. l I III.
Car/ m Roof ENVELOPE CLOSURE The present invention relates to envelope construction and more particularly to closures therefor.
At the present time, envelopes are available with a wide variety of closure mechanisms and fasteners associated therewith. It is often desirable to have an envelope available which may be closed to form a substantially sealed pocket. Prior devices allow for such protection of documents, objects and the like by using envelopes having closures which require an extensive number of fasteners requiring a great deal of time to open and close. Further, prior art envelopes for protecting objects from ambient conditions have been expensive to fabricate thereby failing to enjoy full market capacity.
The present invention is directed to an envelope closure which forms a substantial seal thereby protecting enclosed objects from ambient conditions such as gas vapor, weather elements, and the like. A clear plastic material is used to fabricate the envelope and includes creases formed therein for creating a bias in the material along the creases which encourages self-closure of the envelope. Fasteners are employed to retain the envelope in a closed condition. However, the fasteners are disposed along the periphery of the envelope and do not occlude the visibility of objects contained within the envelope.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the closed position of the present envelope.
FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view illustrating the envelope in an open position.
FIG. 3 is a partial longitudinal sectional view taken along a plane passing through section line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view illustrating a second embodiment of the present invention shown in a closed conditron.
FIG. 5 is a partial transverse sectional view taken along a plane passing through section line 55 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view illustrating a third embodiment of the present invention and shown in a closed condition.
Referring to the Figures and more particularly FIG. 1 thereof, a first embodiment of the present invention is generally indicated by reference numeral 10 which is seen to include a flap closure 12 integrally attached to the main body 14 of a bag or article containing pocket. It will be understood that the main body is fabricated from two sheets of clear plastic material positioned in overlying relation and heat sealed along the peripheral edges thereof as hereinafter discussed.
The actual construction of the flap closure 12 is illustrated in FIG. 12 and is seen to include an extension of the main pocket body indicated by 14. A flap section 16 is defined from the main pocket body by a heat formed crease 18 extending transversely across the pocket body. Viewing FIG. 2, the rearward sheet of plastic material extends upwardly from the juxtaposed sheet and serves as a sealing strip when it is tucked inwardly and the flap section 16 is folded downwardly along crease 18 to effect closure of the pocket.
The structure of the envelope is seen to include a heat formed seam 21 formed along the peripheral edge of the juxtaposed sheets forming the envelope. Second heat formed seams 22 are disposed in near spaced parallel relation to the longitudinally disposed portions of the peripheral seam 21. A space is created between the seams 21 and 22 as indicated by 24 and may receive rigidifying members therein.
Viewing FIG. 3, the first-mentioned crease 18 of the flap 12 serves to encourage the closure of the flap due to the bias characteristic obtained by the plastic material along the crease which is heat formed. A second crease 25 serves to define the sealing strip 20 from the flap extension 16 also encourages the tucking or folding action of the sealing strip which greatly facilitates closure of the envelope.
Considering FIGS. 2 and 3, fasteners are illustrated which retain the tucked in flap in a closed or sealing position. Along the upper portion of each lateral envelope edge, a female snap member 26 is inserted between the seams 21 and 22, below the primary flap crease 18. A grommet 28 is disposed immediately above the female snap fastener member 26 and serves to anchor one end of a holding strap 30 more clearly shown in FIG. 1. In order to effect sealing action of the sealing strip 20, an aperture 32 is formed along the lateral edges thereof, preferably between the seams 21 and 22. A male snap fastener 34 is disposed above the grommet 28, in the sealing strip 16. In order to close the flap 12, the sealing strip 20 is tucked inwardly so that the male snap fastener 34 passes through the aperture 32. Then, the flap is folded downwardly along the crease 18 until firm engagement between the snap fasteners 34 and 26 is effected. When it is desired to remove the contents of the envelope, the snaps are merely disengaged and the flap opened to provide entrance to the envelope.
If so desired, the lower corners of the envelope structure may include apertures 38 formed therein, at locations between the seams 21 and 22. This would allow hanging of the envelope for storage during periods of nonuse.
The envelope is fabricated from a clear and substantially smooth plastic material. By virtue of the inclusion of closure fasteners along the edges of the envelope, the central body 40 of the envelope remains unobstructed and provides clear visibility of the objects contained therein. By way of example, FIG. 1 illustrates the inclusion of a data form 41 within the envelope. The data form includes a group of grid lines 42 thereon which provides means for distinguishing rows and columns. By use of a grease pencil or like writing implement, data may be imprinted on the outward surface of the envelope pocket in rows and columns guided by the grid pattern 42. This provides a novel means for taking inventory or listing data on a medium which allows simple erasure of the inscribed data when desired by using a damp rag or like eraser, applied to the surface of the envelope until the surface is cleaned. Reuse of the envelope body for listing data over many applications has been realized in actual experimentation.
A second embodiment of the present invention is generally indicated by the reference numeral 44 and is clearly illustrated in FIG. 6. The general characteristics of the envelope there iI- lustrated is substantially similar to that previously discussed in terms of the first embodiment of FIG. 1. An envelope is formed having a main pocket body indicated by 46 which includes the attached juxtaposition of two material sheets heat welded together along a peripheral seam 48 and laterally spaced seams 50 similar to the aforementioned seams 21 and 22 of FIG. 1 respectively. A volume or space 52 is created between the seams 48 and 50 along the lateral edges of the envelope and permits the inclusion of a rigidification member 54 therein. One sheet of the main pocket body is extended and forms a flap or closure generally indicated by 56 having an extension strip'58 integrally attached to the main pocket body 46 and defined by a heat formed crease 60 extending transversely across upper edge of the main pocket body. Again, the memory characteristics of the plastic material in the crease encourages closure of the flap 56. The outer transverse edge 62 of the flap 58 is turned inwardly to form a hollow roll 66 allowing the inclusion of an additional rigidification member (not shown) therein. By virtue of the crease 60, the flap 58 is encouraged to contact the main pocket body thereby effecting sealing relation between the roll 62 and the confronting surface of the main pocket body. This sealing relation will serve to protect the contents of the envelope against destructive ambient conditions.
A third form of the present invention is shown in FIG. 4 and is generally indicated by reference numeral 64. This latter embodiment is substantially identical to the second embodiment discussed in connection with FIG. 6. The distinguishing characteristics between the latter embodiments reside in the roll formed along the outward edge of the flap 58. In the case of the third embodiment shown in FIG. 4, an enlarged single loop or roll is formed to allow the insertion of a ribbon-type tie 68 therein having the ends extending outwardly to encircle the main pocket body as indicated by 70. it is presently contemplated that the ribbon tie 68 be of the form currently employed to tie consumer plastic storage bags. When the tie 68 is properly positioned around the main pocket body, the roll 68 engages the confronting surface of the main pocket body and establishes a sealing relation therewith for protecting the envelope contents from destructive ambient conditions.
Although the present invention, described in terms of three embodiments, have been said to form sealing closures, it will be noted that this should be interpreted as meaning a substantial seal as opposed to a completely airtight seal. The amount of sealing action realizable is sufficient to render the envelope resistant to weather as well as other destructive ambient conditions.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
1. An envelope comprising first and second sheets of material being peripherally attached with an edge remaining free to form an object holding pocket, the free edge of the first sheet extending beyond the free edge of the second sheet, a first crease formed transversely in both sheets of the envelope to define a flap to be folded along the crease, the extension of the first sheet having a second crease transversely formed therein to define an outwardly disposed sealing strip which is turned in along the second crease and positioned in contacting juxtaposition with the pocket for closing the same in a sealed condition, the material along said first and second creases having a bias characteristic encouraging self-closure of the flap and a seal between the sheets along said first crease, first fastener means affixed to said pocket, second fastener means affixed to said flap between said first and second creases, said sealing strip including an aperture therein, one of said fastener means passing through said aperture and into engagement with the other of said fastener means to effect flap closure.
2. An envelope comprising first and second sheets of material being peripherally attached along a first sealed seam with an edge of each sheet remaining free to form an object holding pocket, the free edge of the first sheet extending beyond the free edge of the second sheet, a second sealed seam between said sheets in spaced relation to a lateral portion of said first sealed seam to define a first sealing space between said first and second sealed seams, first fastener means affixed to said sheets in the area of said first sealing space, second fastener means spaced from said first fastener means and affixed to the sheets of material in the area of said first sealing space adjacent to said first edge and engaging said first fastening means when said flap is closed.
3. The structure set forth in claim 2 wherein said first and second fastener means include first and second fasteners, respectively, which are held to the sheets of material through holes formed therein, the holes being formed in said first sealing space such that they are isolated and sealed from the interior of said pocket by second sealed seam.
4. The structure set forth in claim 3 wherein a first crease is formed transversely in both sheets of material to define a flap for said pocket, said second fastener means being affixed to said flap.
5. The structure set forth in claim 4 wherein the extension of said first sheet has a second crease transversely formed therein to define an outwardly disposed sealing strip which is turned in along the second crease and positioned in contacting juxtaposition with said pocket for closing the same in a sealed condition.
6. The structure set forth 11'] claim 5 wherein said first and second creases have a bias characteristic encouraging self-closure of the flap and providing a seal between said first and second sheets of material along said first crease.
7. The structure set forth in claim 6 wherein said sealing strip has a first aperture therein, one of said fasteners passing through said first aperture when engaging the other of said fasteners.
8. The structure set forth in claim 7 wherein said sealing space is provided with at least one mounting hole extending through both sheets of material and sealed from the interior of said pocket by said second sealed seam.
9. The structure set forth in claim 7 wherein said envelope includes a second sealing space similar to said first sealing space and laterally opposite thereto with third and fourth fasteners mounted therein, and a second aperture in said extension of the first sheet to accommodate engagement between said third and fourth fasteners.
10. The structure set forth in claim 9 together with an elongated rigid member extending into each of said sealing spaces and held therein by said first fastener.
11. The structure set forth in claim 2 wherein said first sealing space is provided with at least one mounting hole extending through both sheets of material and sealed from the interior of said pocket by said second sealed seam.
12. The structure set forth in claim 9 wherein said fasteners are snap fasteners located at opposite corner portions of the envelope closure.