US 3655062 A
A penholder assembly having a funnel adaptor pivotally mounted in the top of a bonnet and a stem attached to the bottom of the bonnet having either an annular boss or annular groove which is gripped by resilient coupling means that are mounted in a bushing which releasably receives the stem.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [151 3,655,062 1451 Apr. 11, 1972 Curry  PEN HOLDER ASSEMBLY  Inventor: James E. Curry, Pawtucket, RI.
[ 73] Assignee: A. T. Cross Company  Filed: July 10, 1970  Appl. No.: 53,783
 US. Cl. ..21l/69.6,2l l/69.8,248/475 A [5l Int. Cl. ..A47f 7/00  Field of Search ..2l l/69.6, 69.7, 69.8, 69.5, 2] H691; 248/475 A; 287/DlG. 5
[ 56] 7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,853,876 4/1932 Parker ..21 l/69.6
3,544,259 12/1970 Fujita ..248/475A 1,618,851 2/1927 Thunberg ..287/DIG. 5
2,403,083 7/1946 Hull ..211/69.6 1,641,949 9/1927 Hammon ..2ll/69.5
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,246,937 10/1960 France ..248/475 A Primary Examiner-Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-Abraham Frankel Attorney-Barlow & Barlow  ABSTRACT 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEUAPR 1 1 m2 FIG.5
INVENTOR JAMES E. CURRY ATTORNEYS PENHOLDER ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to penholders and more particularly to penholders used in desk sets. A feature that is incorporated into almost every desk set penholder today is its ability to be adjusted universally. Many penholders have a spherical ball and socket unit with a funnel adaptor attached to the spherical ball. The socket is normally mounted in some manner in the base of the penholder. The angular position at which the funnel adaptor and funnel extend from the base is maintained by frictional or resilient means between the ball and the socket.
Another type of structure used to give universal adjustability to the funnel is to have the funnel adaptor mounted in a bonnet and having it pivotable only in a single plane around a given axis. Attached to the bottom of the bonnet then is a cylindrical stem that mates with a cylindrical sleeve in the base and allows the stem to be rotated 360.
A problem of much concern to the pen industry is the fact that the funnel adaptors are frequently broken when a heavy book or object is accidentally dropped thereon. The time in volved and the nuisance of the whole process in obtaining a new funnel adaptor from the manufacturer often sours the users disposition toward the manufacturers products generally. Many a potential repeat customer is lost in this manner.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The maneuverability of the penholder of the present invention retains the basic ability to be universally adjusted while incorporating the advantage of preventing the funnel adaptor from being broken as a result of a heavy blow against it. The funnel adaptor is mounted in a bonnet in such a manner that it may be pivoted only within a single plane. A stem attached to the bottom of the bonnet cooperates with a bushing mounted in the base of the penholder to form a coupling unit and the stem is revolvable therein throughout 360. The bushing contains resilient means that act against an annular groove or annular boss on the stem to provide sufficient tension to retain the stem in the bushing when subjected to normal forces. When a greater force is applied to the funnel adaptor, the outer edge of an annular flange on the sleeve surrounding the bushing acts against the bottom surface of the bonnet as the bonnet is being rocked'upwardly from the base. The point at which the bonnet pivots about the flange is the fulcrum and as force on the funnel adaptor becomes greater than the forces resiliently holding the stern in the bushing, the stem will rise up out of the bushing. This safety disengagement feature prevents the funnel adaptor from being broken each time an accidentaL blow is struck against the adaptor.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the preferred embodiment showing a partial cross section through the base;
FIG. 2 is a cross section illustrating the removable penholder unit;
FIG. 3 is a cross section of the fixed penholder unit;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of an alternative embodiment showing a partial cross section through the base;
FIG. 5 is a cross section illustrating the alternative removable penholder unit; and
FIG. 6 is a cross section of the alternative fixed penholder unit.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the preferred embodiment of the penholder will be discussed. Basically the penholder consists of a removable unit 10 and a fixed unit 25 mounted in a base 35. The removable unit has a funnel 11 mounted at the top of the funnel adaptor 12. A pen is normally received in the top of the funnel. Bonnet 13 having a slotted bore 14 in its top surface receives the lower end of the adaptor l2 and pin 15 passing through a horizontal bore 16 in the lower end of the adaptor prevents it from being pulled out of the bonnet. The bonnet is flanged radially outward slightly as at 13' and screw threaded into the bottom wall 13A of the bonnet is a stem 20 having a bored out area that receives a spring 17 and ball 18. The action of the spring against the ball maintains the bottom of the funnel adaptor in its uppermost position within the honnet. The action of the annular boss 19 will be explained later when its relationship to the fixed unit 25 is discussed.
The base 35 permanently receives within a bore 36 in its top surface the fixed unit 25. Outermost in the unit is a sleeve 26 having a flange 27 that limits the distance the fixed unit may be pushed into the bore. A bushing 28 having a chamfered mouth sets within sleeve 26 and has an internal annular shoulder 29 against which a split ring 30 is held in place by a second sleeve 31. Although the mouth of the bore of the bushing is depicted as being chamfered as at 32, it is to be realized that the design of the relief is not to be so restricted. The relief could also be in the form of a counterbore for example, and as long as the configuration of the relief allows the stem to be rocked laterally, its design is unlimited.
The action which occurs when the removable unit is coupled to the fixed unit is as follows. The stem of unit 10 is first lowered into the bushing 28 and since the outer diameter of annular boss 19 is slightly less than the diameter of the bore of bushing 28, the stem will descend freely until the annular boss 19 engages the split ring 30. By increasing the downward force applied to the stem the round surface of the boss 19 cams against the curved surface of the split ring forcing the ring to expand into the annular groove formed between the top surface of sleeve 31 and the bushing shoulder 29. The annular boss then passes through the split ring which then springs back to engage the stem 20 and the bottom wall of the bonnet rests upon flange 27 of sleeve 26.
For a proper understanding of how the removable unit releases from the base, it is necessary to refer to FIG. 1. As seen in the figure, the funnel and funnel adaptor are depicted in an attitude similar to one that would result from the force of a heavy blow across the top of the funnel or funnel adaptor. Point 37 which is spaced from the center of the flange 13' becomes the fulcrum around which the different forces act and the effect of a sufiiciently large force causes the stem 20 to rise up out of the bushing with the boss 19 sliding up the chamfered mouth when the resisting force of the split spring against the annular boss has been overcome. This therefore prevents the funnel adaptor from being broken as the result of heavy objects falling on the penholder.
An alternative embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 4-6. As seen there, the outer configuration of the lower end of the stem 20 is different. It is in the form of an inverted frustoconical section and has an annular groove 19 therearound. The upper end of bushing 40 is bored out to matingly receive the frusto-conical stem 20 and has a plurality of bores 41 extending radially outwardly. Positioned within these bores are springs 42 that bear against balls 43. When the stem 20' of the removable unit is pressed into bushing 40, the balls 43 compress springs 42 until the balls ride into the annular groove 19' of the stem. The force of the spring loaded balls against the groove of the stem retains the stem within bushing 40 against any normal forces which may strike the funnel or funnel adaptor. When a force larger than normal is applied against the funnel or funnel adaptor, point 37 becomes the fulcrum around which the different forces act. As the gripping force applied against the stem by the resilient coupling means is overcome, the stem becomes disengaged and rocks up out of the bushing and thus prevents the adaptor from being broken.
It will be seen that I have provided a construction of a penholder held in a bushing in a base which has a fulcrum point for rocking a funnel adaptor out of its bushing and has its cooperating parts of a shape to permit this rocking action.
' What is claimed is:
1. A penholder comprising a funnel having a bore for receiving a pen,
a funnel adaptor attached to the bottom of the funnel,
a bonnet having an axial bore in which one end of the funnel adaptor is received and having a radially extending flange with a bottom wall,
a stem attached to and projecting from the bottom wall of said bonnet and extending axially perpendicular to said bottom wall,
annular means on the outer surface of said stem,
a bushing having a bore for receiving said stem,
resilient spring means mounted within said bushing cooperating with said annular means releasably coupling said stem to said bushing,
said bore of the bushing having an enlarged opening at its top,
the radius of said flange and the axial extent of said stem spring means comprises a split ring that may be expanded into a groove in said bushing.
3. A penholder as recited in claim 1 wherein said resilient spring means comprises a plurality of spring loaded balls that are received in bores in said bushing.