US 3680746 A
A pair of divergent arms each have a free end remote from the other. A first bar extends between and connects these ends and a second bar extends along the first bar and has a connected end connected to one of the free ends and another unconnected end. The second bar is downwardly swingable about the connected end to and from a position of parallelism with the first bar. Socket means is provided at the other of the free ends of the divergent arms and operative for receiving the unconnected end of the second bar and detaining means is provided for detaining the unconnected end against unintentional separation from the socket means.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Seckelmann [4 1 Aug. 1,1972
 GARMENT HANGER  Inventor: Herbert Seckelmann, Wahlen/Odw.,
Germany  Assignee: Hessischens Kunststoifwerk Schlerf,
Wah1en/0dw., Germany 221 Filed: July 30, 1970 21 Appl.No.: 59,492
 Foreign Application Priority Data Aug. 2, 1969 Germany ..G 69 30 685.0
 US. Cl ..223/88  Int. Cl. ..A47j 51/084  Field of Search ..223/88, 91, 96, 85; 211/113  References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,435,999 4/1969 Mantell ..223/91 1,196,916 9/1916 Welch ..'...223/91 1,008,327 11/1911 Hamilton ..223/91 941,510 ll/l909 Freeman ..223/91 Primary Examiner.lordan Franklin Assistant Examiner-George H. Krizmanich Attorney-Michael S. Striker  ABSTRACT A pair of divergent arms each have a free end remote from the other. A first bar extends between and connects these ends and a second bar extends along the first bar and has a connected end connected to one of the free ends and another unconnected end. The second bar is downwardly swingable about the connected end to and from a position of parallelism with the first bar. Socket means is provided at the other of the free ends of the divergent arms and operative for receiving the unconnected end of the second bar and detaining means is provided for detaining the unconnected end against unintentional separation from the socket means.
13 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED M19 1 I973 3.680.746
INVENTOR mam! SEQHMWN ATTORN EY GARMENT HANGER The present invention relates generally to garment hangers, and more particularly to an improved garment hanger preferably, but not necessarily, of synthetic plastic material.
It is already known in the art to make garment hangers which frequently but not always are made of synthetic plastic material, and the free ends or tips of whose divergent arms are connected by a double bar extending between them. The double bar-consists of two somewhat spaced parallel bars and they are both pivotable in unison downwardly with reference to the normal upright operating position of the hanger, so that the free end of the double .bar can be moved towards and away from one of the. tips of the divergent arms. Latching means is provided for releasably connecting this free end of the double bar with this tip in question. The double bar is held in latched position by the weight of a garment-usually trousers-resting on the double bar, and usually pulled through between the individual bars together constituting the double bar.
Such garment hangers have become widely popular and are used as so-called one-way hangers, namely hangers which are provided by the factory and on which the garment is placed to remain on the hanger not only in the store but also to be given to the purchaser. The widespread popularity of such hangers results fromthe fact that they are very easy to utilize and highlyadvantageous. Thus, the garment-that is usually trousers-can be readily placed onto the hanger by sliding it between the individualbars which together constitute the double bar, and this can be'repeated as often as necessary, not only at the factory when the trousers are placed onto the hanger but at the store where a single pairof trousers may be removed from and placed back onto the hanger a number of times before a customer will make a decision to purchase it.
These .hangers have, however, one disadvantage. Specifically, it is customary during loading of the garments-for instance during transportation from the factory to the wholesaler or retailer-for the workers to grasp several garments at the same time to move them from one place to another. Customarily this is done by gripping the hangers with one hand from above and with the other'hand from below to lift them off a rod on which they and their garments hang. When this occurs, the double bar is sometimes lifted upwardly out of its detent socket so that, when the operator subsequently removes his handafter having hung the garments on a new rod-the thus detached double bars can swing downwardly under the weight of the garments hanging on them whereby of course the garments slide off the double bars and fall to the ground. It is hardly necessary to point out that this is undesirable, and why it is undesirable.
SUMMARY OFTHE INVENTION In pursuance of the above objects and others which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of the invention resides in the provision of a garment hanger which, briefly stated, comprises a pair of divergent arms each having a free end remote from the other. A
first bar extends between and connects these ends and a second bar extends along the first bar and has a connected end connected to one of the free ends and an other unconnected end. The second bar is downwardly swingable about its connected end to and from a position of parallelism with the first bar and socket means is provided at the other of the free ends and operative for receiving the unconnected end when the second bar is in parallelism with the first bar. Detaining means detains the unconnected end against unintentional separation from the socket means.
' By resorting to my invention I provide a garment hanger which afl'ords the advantages of those known from the prior art but which avoids their disadvantages.
The detaining means may be in various difierent forms. For instance, it may be in form of an elastically yieldable element which may be provided on the second bar itself or on the first bar, and which may be operative in different ways-for instance by resiliently deflecting it in the same direction in which the second bar is deflected prior to movement of the latter with reference to the first bar, in order to unlatch the detaining means and permit such movement. However, other possibilities are also feasible and will be discussed below.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing now the drawing in detail, and firstly the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, it will be seen that the garment hanger in toto is identified with reference numeral 1. It may frequently-but need not-consist of synthetic plastic material and various different materials for this purpose are well known and do not in themselves constitute a part of the present invention.
The garment hanger shown in FIG. 1 is provided with two downwardly divergent arms 2 and 3 each having a free end or tip remote from the other; these free ends or tips are identified with reference numerals 2a and 3a, respectively. A first bar 4 extends between and connects these free ends 2a and 3a and is rigid with them, usually of one piece with them.
Arranged below this first stationary bar 4 is a second bar 5 which is fast with-of one piece with or otherwise suitably connected to-only the free end 30. It has an unconnected end 6 which may for instance have a first engaging portion of hook-shaped configuration provided on a first part of bar 5 and may be fittingly receivable in or engageable with and engaging socket 7 provided for this purpose at or near the free end 2a of the arm 2. The bar 5 is movable between a position of parallelism with the bar 4 and a downwardly displaced position (illustrated in FIG. 1) about its connected end where it is connected with the free end 3a. When a pair of trousers is placed over the bar 5 the weight of the trousers resting on it pulls the bar 5 downwardly as shown in FIG. 1, and the hook-shaped engaging portion 8 of the bar 5 thus is maintained in engagement with a corresponding engaging recess 9 provided in the socket The construction may be such that in known manner a lateral or sidewise movement of the unconnected end 6 can take place only when the unconnected end 6 is lifted upwardly (as seen in FIG. 1) by a certain amount and then moved laterally. In place of the hook-shaped engaging portion 8 it would also be possible to provide the upwardly directed surface 10 of the socket 7 with a projection 11 (illustrated in phantom lines) which would then cooperate with a correspondingly configurated recess provided on the underside of the unconnected end 6.
According to the present invention, undesired and unintentional disengagement of the unconnected end 6 from the engaging socket 7 is avoided by providing a detaining or detent means such as is illustrated for instance in FIGS. 1 and 2. Such detent means in these embodiments is in form of a resiliently displaceable latching element 12 (embodiment of FIG. 1) or 12a (embodiment of FIG. 2) constituting a second part of bar 5 which is provided with an upwardly extending portion 13 so positioned that-when the unconnected end 6 is in engagement with the socket 7-the portion of projection 13 will engage behind or snap behind an engaging rib or cooperating projection 14 to thereby prevent lateral displacement of the free or unconnected end 6 from its engaged position, even if the free end 6 is lifted somewhat as can occur under the circumstances identified in the introductory portion of the specification. Thus, the undesired lifting of the free end 6 and its detaching from the socket 7 which have caused difficulties heretofore, are reliably avoided. In-
stead, a disengagement of the free end 6 from the socket 7 is possible only intentionally, namely by providing an additional manipulation which releases the detent or latching element 12 or 12a. This can for instance be accomplished by a downward pressure on the extension portion 15 of the element 12 in FIG. 1, or by a pressure on the upwardly direction projection 13 on the element 12a.
In the two embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2 the manipulation resulting in unlatching of the detaining means, that is of the elements 12 and 12a, respectively, requires a movement oppositely the movement leading to disengagement of the unconnected end 6 from the socket 7. The embodiment of FIG. 1 is slightly more advantageous in that it makes it possible to slide off a pair of trousers supported on the bar 5, and to replace them in the same manner if necessary, without the possibility that the trousers might become snagged on the free end or unconnected end 6, because the extension 15 of the element 12 extends beyond the unconnected end 6. However, the embodiment of FIG. 2 affords the same advantages over the prior art as that of FIG. 1.
The embodiment of FIG. 3 utilizes another resiliently deflectable element, here identified with reference numeral 12b. In this embodiment, however, the element 12b is provided on the underside of the unconnected end 6 of the bar 5. The term underside" refers of course to that side of the bar 5 which faces away from the bar 4. Because the remainder of the embodiment of FIG. 3 is the same as that of FIG. 1, only the portions of interest for an explanation of the embodiment of FIG. 3 have been shown in that Figure. The operation of the embodiment of FIG. 3 is the same as in FIGS. 1 and 2, but this embodiment has the advantage that when it is desired to disconnect or disengage the unconnected end 6 of the bar 5 from the socket 7, the movement required of the element 12b for making such disengagement possible, is in the same direction as the movement of disengagement itself. However, it should be noted that if only the bar 5 is lifted-as in the unintentional lifting movement described in the introductory comments to the specificationa lateral detaching of the unconnected end 6 from the socket 7 is impossible because in this case the projection 120 of the element 12b will still remain engaged behind the socket 7 or else in a recess 7a of the socket until such time as the element 12b itself is lifted to detaching or unlatching position.
. FIG. 4, finally, illustrates an additional embodiment of the invention wherein an elastically deflectable projection 16 is provided either on the arm 2 or on the bar 4 itself. In either case the projection 16 will extend downwardly and be laterally resiliently deflectable. In the rest position of the bar 5, that is when the unconnected end 6 of the latter is engaged with the socket 7, the projection 16 engages in a recess 17 provided at the upper side of the unconnected end 6 of the bar 6. It is thus impossible to lift the bar 5 and the unconnected end 6 thereof until such time as first the projection 16 is elastically deflected and thus dislodged by exerting a requisitely strong lateral force upon the unconnected end 6 to thereby unlatch the projection 16 and subsequently the unconnected end 6.
In any case, regardless of which of the illustrated exemplary embodiments is provided, or which other modification suggesting itself to those having skill in the art might be employed, the additional detaining arrangements provided according to the present invention assure that the disadvantages known from the prior-art constructions are avoided and cannot recur. Furthermore, and particularly if the garment hanger is made of synthetic plastic material, the detaining arrangements can be provided in one and the same molding, casting or other manufacturing operation in which the hanger as a whole is produced. Thus, their provision does not require any additional operating or assembling steps and does not increase the cost of the garment hanger, at least not to any appreciable extent.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a garment hanger, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. A garment hanger, comprising a pair of divergent arms each having a free end remote from the other; a first bar extending between and connecting said ends; a second bar extending along said first bar and having a connected end connected to one of said free ends and an other unconnected end, said second bar being downwardly swingable about said connected end to and from a position of parallelism with said first bar, said second bar having at its unconnected end a first part and a second part resiliently deflectable with respect to said first part; engaging means provided on said other of said free ends and adapted to prevent swinging away of said second bar; a first engaging portion provided on said first part, engageable with said engaging means, and disengageable only when said second part is deflected with respect to said first part.
2. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said engaging means includes at least one recess, and wherein said first engaging portion includes a projection accommodatable in said one recess.
3. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, further comprising a second engaging portion provided on said second part and engageable with said engaging means.
4. A garment hanger as defined in claim 3, wherein said engaging means includes at least one additional recess, and wherein said second engaging portion includes a projection accommodatable in said additional recess.
5. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said first part is of one piece with said unconnected end.
6. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second parts are of one piece with said unconnected end.
7. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second parts project in substantial parallelism beyond said unconnected end.
8. A garment hanger as defined in claim 3, wherein, after disengagement of said first and second portions from said engaging means, said second bar is swingable in a first direction and then in a second direction.
9. A garment hanger as defined in claim 8, wherein said first engaging portion moves into and out of engagement with said engaging means in a direction other than said first direction.
10. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said first part is nearer to said first bar than is said fiq iqk ga r ment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said second part is nearer said first bar than is said first part.
12. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, wherein said arms and said bars consist at least predominantly of synthetic plastic resin material.
13. A garment hanger as defined in claim 1, said second part projecting lengthwise beyond said unconnected end of said second bar. I