US 3701987 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Leighton I  MISPLACED FILE INDICATING SYSTEM  inventor? John S. Leighton, 10830 40th Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minn. 55441 221 Filed: Aug. 16,1971
211 Appl.No.: 172,119
52 vs. 01 .;.340/2s0, zoo/61.59 511 Int. Cl. ..G08b 21/00 58 Field ofSearch ..340/280, 276,282,421; 1 ZOO/6159,6163
 v 7 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,708,747 5/1955 Moon.... ..340/2s0 3,036,298 5/1962 Schillerl; ..340/280 X Oct. 31, 1972 400,019 9/1891 1 Kruschke ..340/280 Primary Examiner- -John W. Caldwell Assistant Examiner-Scott F. Partridge Attorney-Schroeder, Siegfried, Ryan & Vidas  ABSTRACT A system is provided for electrically indicating that an error in filing has taken place. In one form, the file container is metal and serves as one-electrode. An insulated bus bar is diagonally positioned across the file bearing surface. A circuit is formed by the file con tainer, a power source. alarm and bus bar and is completed when a conductive lower edge of the file folder is misfiled. When in the proper position an insulator over the appropriate portion of the conductive edge of the file folder keeps the file folder from completing the circuit.
8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures The present invention is directed to a problem common to most record keeping installations where records are filed in some order as alphabetically, numerically or the like. When files contained in such a system have been misfiled, considerable time and money is wasted on attempting to relocate the misplaced file as the searcher is not certain whether the file has been lost or hasbeen merely incorrectly placed back into the file container. Through the use of my invention a positive indication is electrically given of the fact that a file has been placed into the wrong position within a filing drawer or other type of container. Not only is such as indication provided immediately, but the indication will continue until the file is either placed in its correct position or removed from the filing container.
In the discussion whichfollows, the term filing drawer willbe used for convenience and is intended to encompass all types of file containers whether they are in fact drawers or merelystationary file folder depositones.
INTHE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the principal parts of a distance up each of the outer sides thereof has been coated with a conductive layer 19 which may be of metalized tape or may be merely a conductive paint.
Adjacent file folder 17 there is illustrated a piece of adhesive tape which contains an interior surface that is treated so as to adhere to the file. Tape 20 is electrically insulating and can be positioned as desired along the width of file 17. Alternatively, rather than using insulator 20 one may simply leave a portion of the edge of the file uncoated.
While the invention is described with regard to a file folder constructed in accordance with FIG. 2 it should be understood that individual documents such as cards in a card file can be similarly provided with a conductive lower edge portion and insulative region by analogous wraps..
It should be understood that for the sake of illustration the thickness of various layers have been exag- FIG. 2 is a conventional file folder modified for use in the invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1 and includes a filing folder in accordance with FIG. 2; I v
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a filing drawer modified in accordance with a second form of my invention z FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view along lines 5-5 of the file drawer-of FIG. 4 and includes a file in accordance with FIG. 2 and circuitry therefor; and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the filing drawer of FIG. 4 along lines 5-5 with a file folder in accordance with FIG; 2 and includes a variation of the electrical circuitry therefor.
Turning first to FIG. 1 there is indicated a conven tional file drawer generally indicated 10 in a'somewhat schematic and perspective view. Such a file is typically constructed of metal and has a face 11 including a pull handle 12, an elongated supporting member 13 and an upright back portion 14. Such file drawers are conventional in the art and arein wide-spread usage.
Diagonally positioned across the surface of member thereof a narrow strip of conductor material 16. It
should be noted that in each of the several views like parts will be given in the same numerical designation. Insulated coating 15 can be any of a variety of materials including, for example, glyptal typeenamel. Conductor 16 is placed over the surface of the insulated coating and can be a thin ribbonof metal such as copper or can be deposited by use of conductive paint using silkscreening techniques andthe like. I
In FIG. 2 thereis illustrated aconventional filefolder 17 which is made of a material such as paper. At the upper portion of the file folder is a tab 18 of the type conventionally used to provide a visual indication of the nature of the material stored within the folder. The lower surface of the file folder and extending for a short to an alarm 23 and then by lead 24 to file drawer member 13. Alarm 23 can conveniently be an electrically activated buzzer or a simple electric light bulb. As is shown in FIG. 1 the alarm 23 may be positioned on the front face of the drawer.
With tape 20 in the position shown in FIG. 3 the elec- Q trical circuit cannot be completed. This would be the condition where the file is in the proper location within the drawer. If, on the other hand, file 17 'had been positioned such that the file were located at a position other than along line 3.3 of FIG. 1, tab 20 would not be in a position to-insulate the lower conductive edge 19 of file 17 from contact with conductor 16. Under such condition the circuit would be completed and alarm 23 would give either a visual or audio signal that the file wasinan improper place. i
For the greatestutility tape 20 should 'be of the type that can be removed and repositioned at other portions :along the lower edge of the conductormaterial 19. This compensates for changes within a file drawer as the number and size of fileswithin are expanded or contracted. c,
Turning to FIG. 4 there is illustrated a variation of the invention wherein the frontportion 11 of the file cabinet is shown in dotted outline forthe sake of clarity in illustrating the positioning of the insulated strips 15 and conductors l6 and 16'. As can be seen the strip containing conductor 1 5 is diagonally positioned across the surface of the member '13 in the file drawer in a substantially identical manner to that described with regard to FIG. 1. The insulator '15 and conductor 16' at the left hand portion of thebottom13is parallel to the edges of the drawer and is positioned at some predetermined point intermediate the lateral edges of the drawer. This type of construction provides two different modifications of electrical connections and indications.
In FIG. there is illustrated a cross-sectional view along 5-5 of FIG. 4 and includes a file 17in accordance with the description given with regard to FIG. 2. In the modification of the invention'of FIGS. 4 and 5 the invention provides a means where two indicia are utilized to identify both the position a file has within an individual file drawer and the proper file drawer of a series of files. In this instance a second tab has been positioned to correspondto the conductor 16 when the file is in the proper drawer. The relationship of insulator 20 and conductor 16 are substantially identical to the description given with regard to FIG. 3. As can be seen if the file folder 17 is either in an incorrect drawer, which is determined by the location of insulator 20', or in 'an incorrect position within the correct 1 drawer, as determined by insulator 20, electrical contact will be made between the conductive edge 19 and conductors 16 or 16. so as to complete the circuit and sound or visually indicate by means of alarm 23 that a file is in the incorrect position. Of course, it will be understood'that in this form of the invention conductor 16 and 16' would desirably be inelectrical contact with one another by appropriate means (not shown).
Referring to FIG. 6 a modification is shown wherein file 13 does not become a conductor within the alarm indicating system. In this form of the invention conductor 16 iselectrically isolated from conductor 16 in a manner as shown in FIG. l. That is, these two conductors have not been electrically joined. Circuit means are utilized to connect conductor 16 to a source of power 22 and alarm 23 which in turn is connected to conductor,l6. The file folder 17 is provided with a single insulator member 20 corresponding in its position along conductor 19 to the position it is intended to occupy within the file drawer. Electrical contact is made between conductor 19 and conductor 16' while the circuit is completed only if the'file has been misplaced so that insulator 20 does not provide insulation between 19 and 16.
Various modifications in addition to those described above will now be apparent to those skilled in the art.
What is claimed is:
l. A file apparatus forindicating the presence of an erroneously placed file comprising:
a. a filecontainer including a file supporting member having an upper surface adapted to support the lower edge of a file, said file supporting member having a first edge extending along the length thereof;
. a first conductorextending along the length of said surface,
c. a second conductor extending along said surface and electrically insulated from said first conductor, said second conductor being positioned on said surface so that it progressively becomes more remote from said first edge as it progresses along the length of said file container;
. an electrical power means;
. an electrically activated alarm means;
f. lead means connecting said first conductor, said power means, said alarm means and said second conductor so that when a filehaving a conductive edge is placed in contact with said first and with 2 said ts t econd conductor said alarm is activated.
1 e apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said file supporting member is metal and forms said first electrode.
3. A file apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wherein said supporting member has a generally rectangular configuration and said second conductor extends generally diagonally across said supporting surface.
4. A file apparatus in accordance with claim 3 wherein said upper surfacehas a third conductor electrically insulated from said first conductor and extending substantially parallel to a longitudinal edge of said supporting member, said third conductor being in electrical contact with said second conductor.
5. A file apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said first conductor is mounted on the upper surface of and is electrically insulated from said supporting member and is positioned generally parallel to said first edge. v
6. A file I apparatus in accordance with claim 5 wherein the upper surface of said supporting member is of a generally rectangular configuration.
7. A filing system for indicating the presence of an erroneously placed file comprising: t
a. a file the major portionof the lower edge thereof being coated with a conductive material with at least one portion of the lower edge being non-conductive corresponding to its desired position within the file;
b. a file container for said file including a file supporting member having an upper surface adapted and electrically insulated from said first conductor, said second conductor being positioned on said surface so that it progressively becomes more remote from said first edge as it progresses along the length of said file container;
e. an electrical power means;
f. an electrically activated alarm means;
g. lead means connecting said first conductor, said power means, said alarm means and said second conductor so that when said file is positioned along said file supporting member so that the conductive edge is placed in contact with both said first and said second conductors said alarm is activated.
8. A system in accordance with claim 7 wherein said file is coated with a conductive material across the en-- tire lower edge thereof and an electrical insulator material is placed over said conductive material in a position corresponding to the desired position of the file in the file container.