US 3704491 A
A slide zipper operating tool adapted to hook the slot in the lever of a conventional slide zipper fastener so as to open and close the zipper fastener responsive to a pull from a remote location on a cord attached to the tool. The tool has a wide base that normally rests on the zipper fastener to prevent the tool from twisting out of alignment with the zipper fastener and is proportioned so that the lever of the zipper slider is held at approximately the optimum angle for opening and closing the zipper fastener.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Burgess  SLIDE ZIPPER OPERATING TOOL  Inventor: Wilfrid M. Burgess, 575 East Cypress, Burbank, Calif. 91502  Filed: Nov. 19, 1971  Appl. No.: 200,293
 US. Cl. ..24/205.15 H, 294/7 A  Int. Cl. ..A44b 19/00, A44b 19/26  Field of Search.....26/205.l5 H; 294/1 A, 26, 82
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Lamb ..24/205.l5 I-I Lebermann ..24/205.l5 H
[ Dec. 5, 1972 Primary Examiner-Bemard A. Gelak Attorney-Vernon D. Beehler et al.
.  ABSTRACT 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures SLIDE ZIPPER OPERATING TOOL Many garments, and in particular women's garments, are provided with conventional zipper fasteners so as to permit the wearer of the garment to take it on and off. These zippers are often located at positions where it is difficult or impossible for a particular individual to open and close them. Such a location for such a zipper conventionally occurs in the region of the wearers spinal column. In order to operate these inaccessible zippers, various expedients had been previously resorted to, including, for example, securing the assistance of another individual or using some tool, such as a safety pin, attached to the end of a string to operate the slider of the zipper fastener.
Previously, considerable difficulty had been experienced with the various tools and devices proposed for operating zipper fasteners from a remote location. Starting the zipper from either the fully open or fully closed position was generally difficult, if not impossible, and often resulted in damaging the zipper or the garment. Previously, the lever on the slider of the zipper fastener would twist out of alignment from the proper operating position and would jam or damage the zipper or the garment. Also, the zipper slider tended to pick up the edge of the cloth adjacent tothe zipper so as to jam the zipper and damage the garment.
These and other difficulties of the prior art have been overcome by the present invention in which a slot in the slider lever of a zipper fastener is engaged with a hook of a substantially rigid tool. The tool is provided with a broad based fulcrum that extends for a substantial distance on either side of the normal position of the zipper fasteners longitudinal axis so as to stabilize the tool against lateral roll. Attached to the rigid tool is an elongated pull cord of a length that is sufficient to permit the wearer of a garment to operate the zipper slider from some convenient location that is remote from the zipper. The hook, fulcrum, and attachment point for the tool are spaced from one another in a triangular relationship such that the lever of the zipper fastener slider is held at approximately the optimum angle for opening and closing the zipper fastener.
Referring particularly to the drawings, there is illustrated:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the operation of the zipper fastener operating tool of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the zipper fastener operating tool connected to the lever of a zipper fastener slider;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation similar to FIG. 2 showing the tool in operation moving downwardly in the direction of the arrow to open a zipper fastener;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the zipper fastener operating tool of this invention being operated to close a zipper fastener;
FIG. 5 is a side elevation showing the tool moving in the direction indicated by the arrow to close a zipper fastener;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged side elevation of the zipper fastener operating tool; and
FIG. 7 is a plan view partially in cross section taken along view line 77 of FIG. 6.
In the drawings there is illustrated a zipper fastener operating tool 10. Zipper 12 is positioned at the back of garment 14 at an inaccessible location. Zipper 12 is provided with a slider (not shown) and a slider lever 16, the free end of which is provided with a slot 18. Zipper fastener operating tool 10 is an integral, substantially rigid structure provided with a hook 20, a generally cylindrical fulcrum 22, and an attachment structure 26. Fulcrum 22 has a generally cylindrical fulcrum surface 24 that is elongated in the direction that is substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of zipper 12. Tool 10 includes an attachment structure 26 by means of which pull cord 38 is attached to tool 10. Attachment structure 26 includes an annular flange 28 projecting laterally from the planar body 29 of tool 10. Annular flange 28 defines cup 30. First bore 32 is concentric with annular flange 28 and extends laterally through the planar body 29 of tool 10. The longitudinal axis of second bore 34 extends in the plane defined by planar body 29. Second bore 34 is defined by channel 37 in planar body 29 and plate 36, which is integral with planar body 29, overlies channel 37, and projects laterally outwardly from that side of planar body 29 which is opposed to annular flange 28. Elongated pull cord 38 is received in first and second bores 32 and 34, respectively, and is secured in position therein by means of knot 39. Knot 39 is received in cup 30. The remote end of pull cord 38 is-attached to handle 40 by an attachment structure 41, which is substantially identical to attachement structure 26. Since the attachment structures are substantially identical, reference is made to the description of attachment structure 26 herein for a description of attachment structure 41.
Fulcrum 22 projects substantially symmetrically on either side of planar body 29 for a substantial distance so as to provide stability to tool 10 and prevent the twisting and rolling of slider lever 16 while'the tool is being used. Pull cord 38 is mounted to attachment structure 26 in such a fashion that tension on pull cord 38 is transmitted to tool 10 along a line which lies substantially in the plane of planar body 29 so that there is little or no tendency to pull slider lever 16 out of alignment with the longitudinal axis of zipper 12. In order to position the slider lever 16 at the proper position for opening and closing zipper 12 and to prevent zipper 12 from binding and catching the cloth adjacent to it in garment 14, the hook 20, fulcrum 22, and attachment structure 26 are positioned within the plane of planar body 29 such that their relative locations are defined by a triangle, see FIG. 6. First apex 42 of this triangle is located at the arcuate, inwardly disposed surface of hook 20 at the point where slot 18 contacts and engages with hook 20. Second apex 44 of this triangle is located at the outwardly disposed wall of first bore 32 where pull cord 38 engages with, and exerts pressure against, the wall of first bore 32. The third apex 46 of this triangle is located at a location where the plane of planar body 29 intersects the fulcrum surface 24. Fulcrum surface 24 is that portion of fulcrum 22 that normally contacts zipper 12 while tool 10 is in use opening or closing zipper 12. In the preferred embodiment, the angle of the acute planar triangle at first apex 42 is about 56; at second apex 44 the angle is about 46; and at third apex 46 the angle is about 78 degrees. These angles may be varied somewhat, if desired; for example, the angle at first apex 42 may be varied from about 50 to 60, and the angle at second apex 44 may be varied from about 40 to 50 with the third apex 46 varying from about 90 to 70. Preferably, first apex 42 varies from 52 to 59; second apex 44 varies from 43 to 50; and third apex 46 varies from 70 to 84. The configuration and positioning of fulcrum surface 24 may be altered as desired, and the benefits of this invention will still be achieved so long as there is a point along that line defined by the intersection of the plane of planar body 29 with fulcrum surface 24, whereat the above angular relationships are found. Thisis the same line that is defined by the intersection of the longitudinal axis of zipper 12 with fulcrum surface 24 when tool 10 is in its usual operative position.
in the preferred embodiment the fulcrum surface 24 extends laterally of planar body 29 for an overall distance equal to from approximately one and one-half to two times the perpendicular height of the triangle at apex 46.
In operation, the wearer of the garment inserts hook 20 into slot 18 of slider lever 16, as shown, for example, in FIG. 2. At this point the planar body 29 is aligned with and occupies the same plane as the longitudinal axis of zipper I2. Fulcrums surface 24 rests upon zipper 12 and extends laterally outwardly for a substantial distance symmetrically about the longitudinal axis of zipper 12. In order to open the zipper 12, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the user of the tool grasps the T-shaped handle 40 and manipulates pull cord 38 so as to exert an approximately downwardly directed force on tool 10 at second apex 44. The configuration and stability of tool 10 is such that even the application of tension to pull cord 38 at an angle which diverges substantially from the longitudinal axis of zipper 12 will provide smooth operation of zipper 12 without its jamming or damaging the garment 14. When it is desired to close zipper 12, such as is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the hook 20 is engaged in slot 18, as illustrated in FIG. 5, and the user of tool manipulates pull cord 38 so as to exert tension on the pull cord and move too] along the longitudinal axis of zipper 12.
For stability purposes fulcrum surface 24 should extend normal to the longitudinal axis of zipper 12 for a distance at least as great as the perpendicular height of the acute plane triangle at its third apex 46.
What is claimed is:
1. A device for operating the slider of a zipper including a lever having a slot therein, said device comprising:
a substantially rigid structure including;
a hook means for engaging said slot;
an attachment means spaced from said hook means for securement of a pull cord means; said pull cord means being adapted to move said structure along the longitudinal axis of said zipper fastener whereby said zipper fastener is opened and closed;
a fulcrum means spaced from said hook means and said attachment means to provide a fulcrum for said hook, said fulcrum means including a fulcrum surface adapted to rest on said zipper fastener and to extend substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of said zipper fastener, an acute plane triangle having a first apex at said hook means, a second apex at said attachment means and a third apex at a location where the longitudinal axis of said zipper fastener normally intersects said fulcrum surface, the angle of said first apex being from about 50 to 60 and the angle of said second apex being from about 40 to 50.
2. A device of claim 1 wherein the fulcrum surface is generally cylindrical with the longitudinal axis of said cylindrical fulcrum surface extending'generally normal to the longitudinal axis of the zipper fastener.
3. A device of claim 1 in which the fulcrum surface extends normal to the usual position of the longitudinal axis of said zipper fastener for a distance at least as great as the perpendicular height of the acute plane triangle at the third apex of said triangle.
4. A device of claim 3 wherein said fulcrum surface extends substantially symmetrically on either side of the usual position of the longitudinal axis of said zipper fastener.
' 5. A device of claim 1 wherein the angle of said first apex is about 56 and the angle of said second apex is about 46.
6. A device of claim 1 including an elongated pull cord means secured at one end to said attachment means and at another end to a handle means, whereby the slider of a zipper fastener may be operated from a remote location.
7. A device of claim 1 wherein the attachment means comprises a first bore extending laterally through said structure and a second bore adjacent and generally perpendicular to said first bore, said second bore intersecting said first bore and being substantially in axial alignment with the usual position of the longitudinal axis of the zipper fastener.