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Publication numberUS3667990 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1972
Filing dateJun 18, 1969
Priority dateJun 18, 1969
Also published asCA941230A, CA941230A1
Publication numberUS 3667990 A, US 3667990A, US-A-3667990, US3667990 A, US3667990A
InventorsMurray K Rogers
Original AssigneeMay B Rogers, Mi Marker Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Production of indicia upon surface
US 3667990 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 6, 1972 M. K. ROGERS PRODUCTION OF INDICIA UPON SURFACE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed 'June 18, 1969 June 6, 1972 ROGERS 3,667,990

PRODUCTION OF INDICIA UPON SURFACE Filed June 18, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 mn/a/ra/e,

#urarmdffioaezs I, I f) Patented June 6, 1972 3,667,990 PRODUCTION OF INDICIA UPON SURFACE Murray K. Rogers, deceased, late of Somerset, Ky., by

May B. Rogers, executrix, Somerset, Ky., assiguor to Mi-Marker Corporation, Ferguson, Ky.

Filed June 18, 1969, Ser. No. 834,620 Int. Cl. B05c 1/16, 5/00; B44d 1/09, 1/52 U.S. Cl. 11738 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A stenciling system including method and apparatus for marking indicia on a surface wherein the dispensing nozzle of a flexible tube of marking material is applied directly to said surface while being guided by said stencil. Regulation of the flow of ink is accomplished through manual pressure on the sides of the tube. A stencil assembly is disclosed having a unitary frame with bentover edges to hold individual stencil members in position to form a composite display. A package is included in the kit for storing two stencils and two tubes of ink, said stencils bisecting the package to form compartments for the tubes.

The present invention relates to marking systems and, more particularly, to systems for marking indicia or the like utilizing a stencil device.

It is sometimes necessary to mark surfaces with identifying indicia in a permanent fashion. For example, in the armed services each member must mark his clothing for identification to insure return from the laundry facility and to prevent loss in other ways. Heretofore, it has been the practice to utilize indelible ink which is applied from a conventional rubber band stamp made up in the proper combination display to signify the persons name and other identifying information. That is, in the prior art, the hand stamp or stamps, after being applied to an ink pad, are applied in the usual manner to the cloth thereby leaving the imprint of the indicia as desired.

While this prior art method of marking clothing has proven to be highly successful in the past and has been adopted by all of the armed services as well as nationally organized groups, such as the Boy Scouts of America, as the ofiicial marking method, certain factors have arisen over the last few years which makes it desirable for a new system to be provided. In particular, the clothing to be marked is today being developed along the lines of easycare fabrics, which are generally resistive to receiving chemical compounds and liquids including marking materials or inks. That is to say, the military clothing being produced today from synthetic fibers is such as to generally resist receiving ink and maintaining the same in position for legibility for a long period of time. To complicate the situation, with the coming of fabrics resistive to chemicals, stronger detergents are being used to clean the fabrics, which in turn makes it more difiicult for the laundry mark to resist removal after several washings. Furthermore, with the clothing lasting for longer periods of time, a marking which resists abrasion and wear, i.e., is more firmly anchored against removal by mechanical means, is clearly needed.

Thus, in accordance with a main object of the present invention there is provided a marking system for indicia or the like for marking on generally nonreceptive surfaces.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for forming a mark which is highly resistive to destruction by outside forces.

In accordance with the present invention, a method of marking is provided wherein a reservoir of ink is moved hce across the surface as guided by a stencil assembly, with the ink being directly supplied to the surface from a pressurized reservoir. With this innovation, the marked indicia is positively transferred to the surface without reliance on intervening transfer means. Furthermore, where 'the surface has interstices, such as in cloth, the marking material positively impregnates the same for firm anchoring and the formation of a homogeneous mark, and therefore one that is highly legible, is assured. It should be stated at this point, that while the marking method is thus particularly adapted for use in marking cloth, the method is of course suitable for marking on other materials.

Preferably, the reservoir to be guided by the stencil assembly takes the form of a conventional tube of ink. The operator merely inverts the tube of ink with the dispensing orifice in engagement with the surface to be marked through the stencil and follows the outline of the stencil member by guiding the neck of the tube as required. Such a system greatly simplifies the marking process since there is no intermediate member, such as a stamp pad, upon which the marking material must be placed prior to marking, as in the prior art stamp method. Indeed, the problem of dried out ink pads and the need for extra storage space has been completely eliminated in the present marking kit.

Furthermore, by applying positive pressure on the sides of the tube as the indicia mark is being made, the ink can be applied in a uniform manner by the operator varying the pressure as the formation of the mark progresses. That is, as the mouth of the tube moves along the surface, the operator can visually gauge the mark being made and make the necessary changes in pressure by squeezing the tube with more or less force.

In order to select the thickness of the mark being made, the stenciling kit of the present invention may include a selection of reservoir tips to fit the tube, which tips have different size orifices and/or spreading heads. With this arrangement, it is obvious that a quick change to different size lines for the indicia can be made to increase the versatility of the marking system. Such a reservoir has the further advantage of accommodating any initial flow or glob of ink from the tube due to built up pressure in the tube resulting from the manufacturing process or from inadvertent squeezing of the tube during storage.

The stencil for guiding the feeding of the marking material is of importance to the invention due to its simplicity and functionality of design. In essence, a unitary frame of bendable material, such as aluminum, is provided with a peripheral edge bent over into spaced relationship to the back of said frame so as to form a channel to receive and hold a plurality of individual stencil members or elements, the stencil members being exposed through a central opening in the frame. Individual stencil members are simplified to complement the overall simplicity of the system by not including islands and crossovers in the openings delineating the indicia to be formed. The underside of the unitary frame is provided with a series of spurs to hold the stencil in position on a penetrable surface, such as cloth, and to aid in spacing the stencil members above the surface to prevent lateral creeping of the marking material.

In accordance with another important feature of the present invention, the stencil system is provided in the form of a marking kit such that it will particularly meet the need of marking both light and dark clothes with at least two lines of information, as required by the armed services, and being capable of being stored yet readily available for use when needed, i.e., upon receiving a new issue of clothes. Thus, the kit of the present invention is comprised of at least two stencils and containers of light and dark marking material stored in a package such that the stencils when in position form the compartments for the containers. The package is preferably cylindrical with the stencils and tubes inserted lengthwise and being substantially as long as the package, said package being divided into equal halves for easy access of the contents when the top half is removed. The stencils are also made to be substantially as wide as the package so that the interior surface of the package engages the sides of stencils to keep the same upright and in a bisecting position to form the compartments for the tubes. The top half of the cylinder is held in position by a friction joint with a removable strip of sealing tape along the joint to insure security of the contents prior to use.

Still other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description, wherein I have shown and described only the preferred embodiments of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best modes contemplated by me of carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modification in various obvious respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description are ot be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a stencil assembly and cooperating tube of ink in an operating mode in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a view of the underneath side of the stencil assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view of a stencil also constructed in accordance with the present invention, but with a different composite display of indicia;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG.'2;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a single stencil element adapted for use in the present marking system;

FIG. 6 is a spacer useful in the stencil assembly of th present invention;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective .view of the stencil assembly, and an accompanying marking tube in modified form;

FIG. 8 is a detailed view partly in cross section showing the reservoir tip of the modified form of the tube of marking material;

FIG. 9 is a side view partly broken away showing the package and its contents in the inventive relationship of the present invention; and

'FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view 7 taken along line 1010 of FIG. 9 showing the package and contents from above.

With specific reference to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is shown an overall view from which an understanding of the method and apparatus of the stenciling system of the present invention can be readily gained. As shown therein, a stencil assembly 10 has been appropriately positioned on a piece of cloth C upon which a marking is to be made. To perform the marking operation of the present invention, a tube of ink 11 having flexible sides is first inverted with dispensing nozzle 12 passing through an operative opening 13 in an individual stencil member 14 of the assembly 10. As shown, and as will be realized from studying this figure, the tube of marking material or ink is held in the hand (not shown) of the person doing the marking and caused to move in the required outlined path (as shown by the arrows) in order to provide a mark 15 of the indicia desired. As the nozzle 12 of the tube 11 is being moved in guiding relationship by engagement with the peripheral, indicia outlining edge of the opening 13, the required pressure to the marking material is applied by sequeezing the sides of said tube ll. It is of importance to note that as the mark 15 is being made the pressure required to be applied to the tube to force out the proper amount of ink can be accurately gauged so as to form a mark of homogeneous character and one which is highly legible.

As the marking material is being dispensed from the nozzle 12 and the tube 11 moved in the path, the material is desirably evenly spread by engagement of the end of said nozzle 12 with the cloth C. The particular marking material is not highly critical for the successful carrying out of the marking method of the present invention and it is therefore possible that any one of several commercially available liquid inks can be used. However; the marking material selected should have sufiicient viscosity to allow controlled dispensing from the tube 11 when in an inverted position.

In FIG. 1 and in conjunction with FIG. 2, it can be seen that the stencil assembly 10 is made up of a plurality of the individual stencil members 14 and a select number of spacers 20 to form a composite display indicative of the desired information, such as a persons last name followed by the spaced initials. Frame 21 of the assembly 10 is of a novel construction in that it is formed of a single piece of bendable material, such as relatively light gauge aluminum. In this single piece of material a central opening is formed through which the individual stencilmembers 14 and spacers 20 are exposed to perform the marking operation.

To confine the stencil members 14 in the frame 21, opposite peripheral edges 23, 24 and 25, 26 (see FIG. 2) are folded under so as to be a predetermined spaced distance from the back of the frame 21 equal to the thickness of the stencil members 14 (see (FIG. 4). The ends of the folded over edges 23-26 are mitered at a 45 angle to the fold lines so that the adjacent ones of the edges 23-2'6 mate, as can be seen for example in FIG. 2.

-By having the edges 23-26 to be simply fold-overs of the unitary frame 21, it will be realized that the construction of the stencil assembly 10 is greatly simplified. If necessary, one of the edges (note edge 25 in FIG. 2) can be opened from its permanent folded over position so as to allow the release of the stencil members 14 should a change in the composite display of indicia be required. Otherwise, the components are firmly and permanently held in place ready for immediate use in marking. It will be obvious that the stencil assembly 10 (FIG. 2) is set up as the name of the user; whereas, the stencil assembly 10a (FIG. 3) is set up as the initials and serial number, all in conformance with the standardized requirements of the armed services.

The individual stencil members 14 can be of any suitable material but are preferably formed of transparent plastic so that easy alignment on the surface to be marked may be readily attained. For example, it may be desirable after the marking has been in use to rejuvenate the same. This can be easily done with the use of the stencil 10 of the present invention by merely placing said stencil 10 over the old marking and applying an overlayer of ink with the tube as described above.

As best shown in the enlarged FIG. 5 view, the indicia are made without any islands or crossovers that might otherwise hamper the movement of the nozzle 12 of the tube 11 along the indicia opening 13 during the marking operation.

FIG. 6 is a showing of one of spacers 20, which is to fill in extra space in the composite displays shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. If desired, half-width spacers 20a can be used to complete the display accurately in the stencil assembly 10, 10a and to allow variable spacing of the indicia in the display (note FIG. 3). In actual practice, only the stencil members 14 and the spacers 20, 20a required for the particular name and serial number are obtained from a common supply at the time of purchase of the kit.

The edges 23-26 are preformed with a plurality of spurs 30 projecting therefrom on the underneath side (see FIGS. 2 and 4). Such spurs 30 may be conveniently formed by simply puncturing the edges 23-26 at multiple points with a sharp instrument and serve as a positioning means for the stencil assembly when the same is used for marking a surface, such as the cloth C or the like, which can be penetrated. As the stencil assembly 10 is brought down in position on the surface, the cloth C is stretched outwardly from the marking area and then held by the spurs so as to allow production of a completely wrinkle-free area to insure the formation of an attractive mark. In the case of woven cloth being marked on, the interstices of the cloth C are assured of being opened by a limited amount so as to be more readily penetrated by the marking material.

As best shown in FIG. 4, the stencil members 14 lie in a plane above the bottom of the supporting spurs 30. This means that when in the marking position on the cloth C, said members 14 are spaced above the surface whereby the ink being applied is prevented from creeping laterally under the members 14 and causing a smear.

A modification of the system of the present invention is concerned with providing a reservoir tip 40, which is attached to the nozzle 12 of the tube 11, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. One advantage of providing the auxiliary reservoir tip is to allow the selection of a different size dispensing orifice 41 and surrounding end face for spreading the material for making any desired width mark. Another important function of the reservoir tip 40 is to accommodate the initial flow of marking material from the tube 11 to insure against excess of material flowing onto the surface of the cloth C at the start of the marking operation. For example, during the manufacture of the tube 11, the contents is packaged under pressure so that upon removal of the cap the marking material immediately begins to flow uncontrollably to form a deleterious glob. As can be seen in FIG. 8, with the reservoir tip 40 in use, this initial material is accommodated until the proper time for release and transfer to the surface as desired in response to manual pressure. Desirably, a matching overcap 42 may be provided to prevent the contents of the tube 11 from drying out between applications.

In FIGS. 9 and 10, there is illustrated the novel packaging concept of the stencil kit of the present invention. As shown in these figures, in addition to the tube of marking material 11, an additional tube 11a of marking material of a different color is provided to give the kit capability for marking on dilferent color surfaces. Positioned in cylindrical package 44 between the tubes 11, 11a are the two stencil assemblies 10, 10a which gives the multi-line capability for the name and serial number data as discussed with relation to FIGS. 2 and 3.

The package 44 and the contents are substantially the same length and said package is divided into lower and upper halves 45, 46, respectively. The lower half 45 is adapted to present the contents for easy access and hold the same in the upright position when the upper half 46 is removed. Extending around the upper portion of the bottom half 45 is an inwardly projecting rim 47 which serves to form an outwardly facing locking surface for frictional engagement with the lower portion of the upper half 46. To protect the contents prior to use, the two halves 45, 46 are connected together by a strip of tape 48 positioned around the juncture, as shown in FIG. 9.

An important feature of the package 44 lies in that the stencil assemblies 10, 10a serve to bisect said package 44 into two compartments '50, '51 (FIG. 10) which are adapted to receive the tubes 11, 11a. The stencil assemblies 10, 10a are substantially as wide as the package 44 measured at the rim 47 whereby the side edges of said stencil assemblies '10, 10a are in juxtaposition to said rim 47 when in the package 44. Because of this, the stencil assemblies 10, 10a are held captive from sidewise movement (FIG. =10) and thereby are maintained in the upright position for easy access at all times. During the marking operation when one of the stencils 10, 10a and one of the tubes 11, 11a are removed there is no loss of the compartments 50, 51 due to the maintenance of the blocking relationship of the remaining stencil. Thus, returning the stencil assembly 10, 10a and the tube 11, 11a being used to the package 44 in the proper position can be done without ditficulty.

In summary, the method and apparatus of the present invention provides a system for marking indicia which can be carried out from start to finish in an efficient manner. The marking operation is performed by direct transfer of the ink from a reservoir requiring no intermediate transfer member such as a stamp pad or other conventional applicator. The efiicient transfer of ink to the surface is accomplished by applying pressure to the material in the reservoir such that homogeneous markings are obtained which are highly legible and resistive to destruction. The construction of the stencil assembly 10 is such as to promote ease of use and because of the simplicity of said assembly it is also inexpensive to manufacture. Finally, the employment of the marking apparatus in kit form is enhanced by providing a package for storage of two tubes 11, 11a of marking material and two stencil assemblies 110, 10a in a compartmented package 44 utilizing the latter as the dividing partition for ease of access and return.

In this disclosure, there are shown and described only the preferred embodiments of the invention, but, as afore mentioned, it is to be understood that the invention is capable of various changes or modifications within the scope of the inventive concept as expressed by the accompanying claims.

What is claimed is:

1. The method of marking indicia or the like on a surface comprising the steps of placing a stencil adjacent to said surface, moving the dispensing nozzle of a flexible tube of marking material along and in engagement with said surface while guiding said nozzle along and in engagement with the edge of said stencil outlining said indicia, and applying sulficient pressure to the sides of said tube to feed said material from said nozzle onto said surface to form said indicia.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the surface is cloth having interstices therein, the pressure applied to said tube being sufficient to feed the material into said intershoes.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said marking material is applied in liquid form, said material having sutficient viscosity to permit controlled dispensing when said tube is inverted.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein said stencil is held at a predetermined distance above said surface to prevent lateral creeping of said material.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein said marking material is passed through a reservoir tip and feeding orifice of a predetermined size on said tube immediately prior to engaging said surface, whereby the initial and feeding flow of material may be regulated.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein said stencil is made up of a plurality of stencil members prior to placement with respect to said surface, said stencil members being held together to form a composite display for the marking operation.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein said surface is positively held in position with respect to said stencil during the marking operation.

8. The method of marking indicia or the like on a surface comprising the steps of placing a stencil guide adjacent said surface, moving a dispensing nozzle of a reservoir along and in engagement with said surface while guiding said nozzle along and in engagement with the edge of said guide outlining said indicia, and applying sufficient pressure to the material within said reservoir to feed said 7 8 material from said nozzle onto said surface to form said FOREIGN PATENTS indicia.

References Cited 609,544 10/1948 Great Bntam 117 38 UNITED STATES PATENTS WILLIAM A. POWELL, Primary Examiner 480,371 8/1892 Mandigo 117-37 R 1,950,649 3/1934 Bauer 35-26 118-301, 504; 16197, 413; 20647

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US4268545 *Jul 30, 1979May 19, 1981Libbey-Owens-Ford CompanyMethod of and apparatus for printing a pattern on a substrate
US4336754 *Oct 3, 1980Jun 29, 1982Identifax Nationwide RegistryProperty identification system
US5038714 *Mar 3, 1989Aug 13, 1991Dye Robert EMasonry coloring stencil
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U.S. Classification427/282, 101/129, 118/504, 427/288, 206/224, 401/18, 118/301, 401/183
International ClassificationB44C1/04, B05D1/32
Cooperative ClassificationB05D5/06, B44C1/04, B05D1/32, B05D1/26
European ClassificationB05D1/32, B05D5/06, B05D1/26, B44C1/04