US 3662481 A
A compact, personal size file in which a plurality of miniature file cards are aligned in almost total overlap in an open frame. The frame includes a pair of channeled members receiving the ends of the file cards on opposite sides of a generally rectangular opening. The cards can be inserted, manipulated and withdrawn through either side of the file.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Lewis, Jr.
1451 May 16, 1972 1 CARD FILE  lnventor: Robert B. Lewis, Jr., 3222 Military Avenue, West Los Angeles, Calif. 90034  Filed: July 10, 1970  Appl. No.: 53,757
52 U.S. c1 ..40/65,40/78,40/l24 51 1111.01. ..oo9r11/30  Field oiSearch ..40l65, 78.13, 124, 124.1, 124.2, 40/1244, 78, 78.4
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,047,840 12/1912 Reynolds ..40/1242 3,282,2 8 11/1966 Jacobs 1,650,890 11/1927 DeSaussure.
1,875,382 9/1932 Hutchens.....
1,964,346 6/1934 Finley ..4
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Erbsloh ..40/1 24 Rand Specs Great Britain Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner.l. H. Wolff Art0rneyNilsson, Robbins, Wills & Berliner  ABSTRACT A compact, personal size file in which a plurality of miniature file cards are aligned in almost total overlap in an open frame. The frame includes a pair of channeled members receiving the ends of the file cards on opposite sides of a generally rectangular opening. The cards can be inserted, manipulated and withdrawn through either side of the file.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMM 16 I972 662,481
29. ROBERT 5. LEW/ac/k.
CARD FILE FIELD OF THE INVENTION The field of art to which the invention pertains includes the field of card indexes and files.
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Keeping personal files up to date is a continuing problem. Pocket address books do not contain adequate room for address changes or other notations as may be desired and are quickly obsoleted. Conventional 3 X inches card files can serve the purpose of maintaining an updated file in which information can be selectively added and maintained in alphabetical or other order. However, such files are bulky and cannot readily be carried on the person. Accordingly, it is a principle object of the present invention to provide a compact, personal size card file which is small enough to be carried in a shirt pocket, yet which contains a relatively large number of cards for individual data entry, and in which information can be readily changed and updated.
In accordance with the present invention, the foregoing object is achieved by the use of miniature, flexible file cards which have their long ends held in an open frame between opposite, channeled members. The frame defines a generally rectangular opening in which the cards are stacked in almost total overlap. The cards can be inserted, manipulated and withdrawn through either side of the frame. The closely stacked cards do not occupy the entire opening and can be manipulated therein by sliding the cards along the channels to reveal the information on any selected card. The card file is sufficiently small to be spanned by the hand so that the cards can be rapidly spread between the fingers to locate a desired card. The selected card can then be simply lifted from the file and modified or replaced.
In accordance with a specific embodiment herein, an integral, one piece frame is formed defining a rectangular opening therethrough and includes two longitudinal sides formed with spaced, opposed channels for receiving the cards and two opposite shorter sides which are tapered to form opposite acute and obtuse angles with respect to the main longitudinal direction of the channels. In a particular embodiment, more than 80 file cards of 1 X 2-13/16 inch dimension can be filed in a frame sufficiently small to be carried in a shirt pocket.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing manipulation to locatea particular card;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the removal of a card from, or the insertion of a card into, the card file unit;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the file cards aligned in a stack and of the card file frame;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the card file;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view on line 5-5 of FIG. 4, in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a file case enclosing a plurality of card files.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As required, a detailed illustrative embodiment of the invention is disclosed herein. However, it is to be understood that this embodiment merely exemplifies the invention which may take many different forms that are radically different from the specific illustrative embodiment disclosed. Therefore, specific structural and functional details are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims which define the scope of the invention.
Referring to FIG. 1, the card file unit which is generally indicated at 10 is formed to hold a large number of miniature, flexible cards 12 aligned in almost total overlap so that only the regions immediately adjacent the top edges of the cards 12 are exposed. The cards 12 are contained in an open frame 14 which will be described in more detail hereinafter, but which is sufiiciently compact so as to be readily spanned by the fingers and can be easily carried in a shirt pocket. Although for clarity of illustration, only a relatively small number of cards 12 are represented in comparison to the actual number of cards which can be accommodated. In the frame 14 illustrated, over cards 12 can be filed with room available for manipulation.
In order to locate a particular card, the file 10 is grasped in one hand while the cards are manipulated from front and rear by the fingers of the other hand, until the desired card, indicated at 20, is located. As shown, the left side of the frame 14 is held in the fingers of the left hand 18 while the thumb and middle finger of the right hand 16 manipulate the cards. The right middle finger supports a top stack of cards 24 while the right thumb slides the cards 12 into a bottom stack 22. A sufficient number of cards 12 are disposed in the frame 14 so that when the top stack 24 and bottom stack 22 are pushed to opposite sides of the frame 14, there remains some overlap, as indicated at 25. The overlap 25 is necessary to prevent the selected card 20 from being pushed over onto the lower stack of cards 22. On the other hand, the number of cards should be sufficiently limited so that a substantial portion of the face of the selected card 20 is exposed.
Referring to FIG. 2, there is depicted the removal of the selected card 20 from the file 10 by first flexing the card 20 to reduce its longitudinal extent, then lifting it from the frame 14. When it is desired to insert a new card, or to replace the card 20, it is flexed and inserted at a desired point between the other cards. Such insertion can also be illustrated by the pictorial representation of FIG. 2 wherein the card 20 is being placed into the file. Alternatively, the card 20 can be withdrawn or inserted from the rear of the frame 14 as appropriate to the dexterity of the user.
The simplicity of construction of the card file 10 may be readily noted from a consideration of FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. In FIG. 3, the cards 12 have been removed from the frame 14 and aligned in a stack alongside the frame 14 so that the relative dimensions of these components can be illustrated. The frame 14 is constructed in one piece of molded plastic so that a generally rectangular opening 26 is defined by the opposite sides of the frame 14. The frame 14 includes a pair of longitudinal members 28 and 30 on opposite sides of the rectangular opening 26 and which define opposed channels (only one of which, 32, is shown in FIG. 3) which are formed to receive the ends of the file cards 12. The channeled members 28 and 30 terminate in and are connected by bottom and top members 34 and 36, respectively, which are tapered to form opposite acute and obtuse angles 38 and 40 with respect to the main longitudinal direction of the channels 32. The substantial taper of the ends of the channels 32 causes the file cards 12 to assume a tilted position when disposed against one or the other of the ends 34 and 36. This configuration enables the frame 14 to accommodate a large number of cards as hereinbefore referred to. In the illustrated design, the angles of the tapers are about 18 from horizontal (i.e. the acute angle 38 is 18 while the obtuse angle 40 is 162). Tapers of between about 5 and about 60 will allow the accommodation of a large number of file cards.
The manner of disposition of the file cards 12 is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 where it is to be again noted that pictorial limitation prevents the illustration of a realistic number of file cards, the actual number being from 4 to 6 times the amount shown. For purposes of illustration, the file cards 12 are shown in two stacks 22 and 24 corresponding to the top and bottom stacks depicted in FIG. 1 wherein a selected card 20 has been located. It will be seen that the acute angle formed at the bottom end of the channel end 32 aligns the cards 12 at the defined angle so that each card normally overlaps almost all of the surface area of the next card. As illustrated, when the stacks 22 and 24 are pushed to opposite sides of the frame 14, a viewing region 27 is exposed on the selected card 20 which is sufficient to enable identification of the card 20 and yet preserve the overlap region 25. Accordingly, the amount of open space within the frame 14 corresponds to less than one card width but generally more than one-half card width.
The file cards 12 may be of light-weight cardstock with a smooth surface substantially free of irregularities and protrusions so that they smoothly slide one over another. Referring back to FIG. 3, it will be seen that when the cards 12 are stacked one atop another, the thickness of the resultant stack as indicated at 42 is greater than the height of the frame channels 32 as indicated at 44. These relative dimensions are important for proper operation of the file, to prevent stacked alignment of the cards 12 in the channels 32. The cards 12 have substantially greater dimension between the channels 32 than along the channels 32 and the frame opening 26 has substantially greater dimension lengthwise of the channels 32 than between the channels 32.
The overall dimensions of the file card unit 10 as illustrated in the drawings are 2-l5/l6 inches in width, 3-7/8 inches in length and with a thickness of about one-half inch. The channels are about threc-eights inch wide which is approximately the thickness of 40 of the file cards which are used. In general, suitable files can be constructed with channels from about 2 to about 5 inches long, about one-fourth to 1 inch in height separated at their ends by about 1.5 to about 4 inches, to contain file cards which are longer than wide, from about 1.5 to about 4 inches long and from about one-fourth to about 3 inches wide. With such dimension, the file l0 easily fits into a shirt pocket. It should also be noted that while one card flexes easily during insertion or removal, the many overlapping cards are stiffer in bulk and do not tend to accidentally fall out of the unit.
FIG. 6 illustrates a simple bookcase-like frame 46 which holds a substantial number of the card file units 10. The card file units 10 are shown aligned alphabetically, but could also be divided on the basis of other categories such as class of products, customers, or the like.
It is to be understood that the above-described features of the present invention are illustrative of the application of the principles of the invention and are not limiting. Thus, by way of example and not of limitation, the unit can be made of metal, such as aluminum, and can have support and backing plates partially closing the bottom and/or top of the unit while retaining an opening through the frame member for access to the cards from both sides thereof. Accordingly, from the foregoing, it is evident that various changes can be made in the present invention without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
I claim: 1. A hand held card file, comprising: a plurality of flexible file cards; and an integral frame having a top and bottom and opposed side members, so as to define a generally rectangular opening through which said file cards can be inserted, manipulated and withdrawn from either side thereof; said pair of members on opposite sides of said opening defining opposed channels, each being formed to receive the ends of said file cards therein whereby the file cards may be manipulated from top and bottom of said opening to successively expose information on any selected card; said cards being removably mounted between said opposed channels to permit each card to normally overlap all of the face surface area of the next contiguous card; said channels are each formed with opposite ends tapered to form a parallelogram in cross-section; the part of said frame comprising the tapered ends combined with the top and bottom elements being so shaped as to cause tilting of said cards in overlapping relationship; the dimensions of said plurality of cards and channels being such that when said plurality of cards are aligned in a stack outside said frame, they have a greater total height than the height of each channel. 2. The invention according to claim 1 in which the heights of said channels are from about one-fourth to about I inch, the lengths of said channels are about 2 to about 5 inches and the distance between said channels is from about 1.5 to about 4 inches, said file cards being longer than wide, from about L5 to about 4 inches long and from about one-fourth inch to about 3 inches wide.