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Publication numberUS3704605 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 5, 1972
Filing dateMar 1, 1971
Priority dateMar 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3704605 A, US 3704605A, US-A-3704605, US3704605 A, US3704605A
InventorsLeopoldi Norbert, Rolin Kenneth C Sr
Original AssigneeLeopoldi Norbert, Rolin Kenneth C Sr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Key holder
US 3704605 A
A key holder and utilitarian article having a spring steel member or U-shaped key retaining loop pivotally and releasably mounted at one or opposite ends in a head member with means in the head member to release either end upon actuation by the loop and locking means to secure either end against removal while the other end is released.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Leopoldiet al.

[ KEY HOLDER [72] Inventors: Norbert Leopoldi, 4180 Marine Drive, Chicago, Ill. 60613; Kenneth C. Rolin, Sr., 28 Hillside, Grayslake,

221 Filed: March 1, 1971 [2]] Appl. No.: 119,499

521 US. Cl. ..70/456 R 51 Int. Cl. ..A44b 15/00 581 Field of Search ..70/456-459; 24/240, 251, 260

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,299,679 1/1967 Anderson ..70/459 45 1 Dec. 5, 19 2.

3,478,550 1 1/1969 Salveresen ..70/459 1,571,425 2/1926 Mataloni ..70/459 2,896,290 7/ l959 Salm ..70/456 R X 794,979 7/ 1905 Haverly ..24/240 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney-Mann, Brown, McWilliams & Bradway [5 7] ABSTRACT A key holder and utilitarian article having a spring steel member or U-shaped key retaining loop pivotally and releasably mounted at one or opposite ends in a head member with means in the head member to release either end upon actuation by the loop and locking means to secure either end against removal while the other end is released.

23 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures P'ATENTEMH: 5 m2 3.704.605 sum 1 or 3 a l g 1 so 32 35 24 29 I2 5 1 gJ- INVENTORS NORBERT LEOPOLDI KE NET/1 :ROLIN, MW ZM PATENTEDMI: 12 3.704.605

SHEET 2 0F 3 I5 30 I8 33 H 36 2 3 I6 29-l5i III 7 I} I w INVENTORS NORBERT LEOPOLD/ KENNETH c. R LIN, SR.


BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention is primarily concerned with and relates to that type of key container which may be utilized as a gift item to be given away in furtherance of a promotional campaign or sales effort, and provides such a key holding device that is designed for economical manufacture, and to include sales promotional material and/or in association with an additional gift article combined therewith.

It is an object of this invention to provide a key holder having a key retaining loop member releasable from either end but secured at the respectively opposite end when released at either end.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a key holder with a generally U-shaped key retainer releasable from either end and pivotally mounted at either end when released ata respectively opposite end.

A further object of the invention is a key retainer including a generally U-shaped loop member having relatively enlarged end portions releasably secured by such end portions in slots contained in a head member having means for releasing either end portion while retaining the oppositeend portion.

A still further object of the invention is a key holder comprising a generally U-shaped loop member and a head member removably mounting the ends of the loop member and having sliding blocks or shoes in the head member releasably engaged by opposite ends of the loop member and a movable locking member operative between the sliding shoes.

Another object of the invention is to provide a key holder comprised of a head member and a generally U- shaped loop member having its end portions releasably mounted in sliding shoe members movable between release and secured positions in the head member, and having interengaging retaining means between respective shoe members and the head member.

A specific object of the invention is the provision of a key holder including a generally U-shaped loop member having its opposite ends releasably mounted in respectively associated sliding shoes mounted in a head member, and each such shoe including means to lock the shoe in release position, and movable means between said shoes whereby when said shoe is locked in release position the other shoe is locked in secured position relative to the loop member.

A still more specific object of the invention is to provide a key holder including a generally U-shaped key retaining loop, an associated head member containing oppositely sliding shoes and an intermediate operative member between the shoes, and'a cover plate retaining the shoes and intermediate member enclosed within the head member and thereby secure at least one end of said loop in the head member.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a utilitarian article including a spring steel releasable member mounted at one end with a movable member in the article actuated by the releasable end when engaged therewith.

Another object of the invention embraces a head portion of the key holder having a frontal recess in one face thereof for the reception of keys suspended on the key retaining loop.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present key holder has been designed primarily for fabrication in plasticmaterials for economical manufacture on a mass production basis, but the key holder may be constructed of other materials suitable for the purpose, such as various metals. The design includes multiple operating parts which are retained in operative position upon application of a cover plate as a final assembly step, and this cover plate .is permanently applied by means utilizing ultrasonics, or by the application of external heat to fuse the adjoining surfaces or by cementing the surfaces together. The inventive concept contemplates use of the key holder in association with a utilitarian article, such as asmall flashlight or a lighter. The arrangement and size of the key holder is such that it lends itself readily for combining with such articles, or it might be utilized directly in association with a leather-enclosed or vinylcovered key container, in which event the present key holder design would be mounted on the cover in such manner that the key holder is inverted so that keys suspended on the U-shaped loop would depend within and be covered by a releasable cover. An advertising message might be included on a surface of the key holder, and this surface could be made a part of the cover plate which secures the assembly. In this latter event, the cover plate may be integrated with an extended or enlarged area necessary to provide the desired surface for the message. The generally U-shaped key containing loop may be provided with separated sections for applying keys from respectively opposite ends whereby to set apart keys that are desired to be separated on a selective basis.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The foregoing and other objects of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds and when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a general perspective view of the key holder indicating the key holding loop pivoted to one side in broken lines, while showing the key securing position thereof in full lines;

FIG. 2 also is a perspective view of the key holder showing the several parts in exploded relationship;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the key holder head portion with the key holding loop being sectioned;

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view through the head portion and cover plate as taken on the line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an end elevational view of the key holder head portion showing the key holding loop in secured position;

FIGS. 6, 7 and 8 are similar plan sectional views through the head portion of the key holder respectively showing the assembled parts in normal fully secured position, with the parts at the left-hand side retracted to release the key holding loop on this side, and with the parts retracted at the right-hand side to release the loop at that position;

FIG. 9 is a general perspective view of a modified construction for the key holder wherein a back cover plate on the head portion is shown removed to reveal I the mechanism;

FIG. is a front elevational view of the modified construction revealing the frontal recess provided in the head portion for receiving keys suspended on the key holding loop;.-

FIG. 11 is a rear elevational view of the upper portion of the head member to larger scale with the cover plate removed to illustrate the mechanism in detail; and

FIG. 12 is a plan view of the head section taken on the plane indicated at 12-12 in FIG. 10 showing the contour of the key recess in the frontal surface of the head.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, 10 represents generally a key holder constructed in accordance with this invention, and includes a head member 11, a cover plate 12, and a baillikekey retaining loop 13 of generally U-shape. The loop 13 is provided with an intermediate stop or separator 14 which serves to segregate keys mounted on the loop, as will hereinafter appear. The ends of the loop 13 are offset or bent as at 15, but these end portions may be formed by upsetting the ends of the loop to provide enlargements, or the ends might be forged or swaged to provide projecting end portions to serve the purpose. It is contemplated that these enlarged or projecting end portions might be spherical if desired. This forming of the end portions 15, where upsetting, forging or swaging is utilized, may be done prior to tempering the spring steel loop 13. The intermediate stop 14 on the key loop 13, as shown, also will lend some additional resilience to the loop and increase the spring action thereof. The stop enables the separation of keys on the loop applied from respectively opposite ends, and prevents such keys from becoming mingled upon coming in contact with the stop member. The head member 11 is open on its bottom side and is formed with separate interior compartments or chambers 16 and 17. The chambers are enclosed by side walls 18, end walls '19, and a top wall 20. A pair of oppositely disposed lateral projections 21 extend inwardly from the respective side walls and define a space 22 therebetween which serves as a middle chamber for a purpose hereinafter to appear. The projections 21 also define the innermost extent of the chambers 16 and 17. The projections are cored out, as at 23, and are each provided on its inner face with a detent 24. The top wall 20 of the head is provided with similarly formed openings 25 adjacent to opposite ends of the head. These openings are L-shaped, each having a leg 26 extending lengthwise of the head adjacent one side and through the adjacent end wall 19. The transverse leg 27 of each such opening extends between the side walls 18. The portion of the top wall, bounded on two sides by the openings 25 at each end, slopes downwardly into the openings, as at 28. This tapering portion overlies the endmost areas of the underlying chambers 16 and l7.

overlying shoulder 28 formed by this top wall portion at respective ends of the head member. Thus, the end member 15 of the loop 13 may be entered into the recess 31 of either shoe 29 or 30 through the top wall opening 25 when the recess and opening are aligned,

and then the spring pressure inherent in the ,loop .13

causes the sliding shoe to be movedto its endmost position where the loop is locked in the head member 11 by means of the shoulder 28 overlying the endmember 15 of the loop. it will be noted that the longitudinally extending leg of the'recess .31 aligns with the longitudinally extending leg 26 of the top wall opening 25 which. extends through the end wall 19. This permits pivoting of the bail-like loop member about the end portion 15, retained in the recess 31 by the overlying shoulder 28, when the opposite end of the loop is released through the opening 25.

The long leg of the respective L-shaped sliding shoes extends longitudinally of the respective chambers 16 A slide block or sliding shoe 29 is disposed in the and 17 in the head member, and the respective projections 21 define passageways through which these longitudinal legs of the sliding shoes are adapted to reciprocate when operated. Each such long leg is provided with a detent 32 on its face disposed toward the projection 21, and this detent cooperates with the detent 24 on the opposed face of each projection 21 when the sliding shoe is moved to the position where the associated end of the loop 13 is released from the head member. immediately-behind the detent32 the long leg of the sliding shoe is cored out, as at 33. This cored-out portion, taken with the cored-out portion 23 of the associated projection 21, affords sufficient resilience in the cooperating members, so that the detents 24 and 32 will snap into'and out of engagement as desired when the shoe is actuated between its two operative positions. When either sliding shoe is actuatedv to its position where the detents engage, the shoe will be held in this position while the loop 13 is released at that end and will be retained in this position by the detents until that end of the loop is reentered through the opening 25 into the recess 31, whereupon the spring action of a the loop will move the sliding shoe to its endmost position in the head member. The sloping surface 28 facilitates reentry of the end portion 15 of loop 13 into the opening 25 and operative engagement with recess 31 of the sliding shoe.

The innermost end of each sliding shoe 29 and 30 is tapered off, as at 34, and these tapered end portions are disposed adjacent tothe middle chamber 22. A movable member 35 is disposed in the middle chamber between the opposing sloping ends of the sliding shoes. This rolling member, as shown, comprises a spherical ball but, if desired,,a cylindrical rolling member may be utilized to p erform the function, or a sliding wedge might serve this purpose. The movable member 35, as shown, acts as a lock to prevent longitudinal movement of a sliding shoe when the other shoe is retracted to release one end of the loop 13. This relationship is retracted sliding shoe which thereupon is moved to its endmost position by the spring action of the loop, and

the member 35 is shifted across the middle chamber 22 to release the previously locked sliding shoe 124 instead lock the other shoe against longitudinal movement when the other end of loop 13 is actuated to retract the shoe and shift the member 35 across the middle chamber. When both of the sliding shoes 29 and 30 are disposed in their endmost positions, the member 35 is free in the chamber 22, but when either sliding shoe is actuated longitudinally, the member 35 is shifted across the middle chamber to lock the other shoe in its endmost position while the first shoe and the member 35 are maintained in their shifted positions by the interaction of the detents 24and 32.

The assembly of the parts in the head member 11 comprising the sliding shoes 29 and 30, the rolling member 35, and the key loop 13 is maintained by the cover plate 12. The various parts, including at least one end portion of the key loop 13, are operatively assembled in the head member, and the cover plate can then be secured to the head member, preferably by fusing, which can be accomplished by the application of ultrasonics, or by an external source of heat, thus integrating the cover plate permanently with the head member. If desired, the cover plate might be permanently attached by the use of cement between the adjoining surfaces. The cover plate 12 on its face disposed toward the head member is provided with a pair of projecting locators 36 which are spaced and positioned to correspond with the core holes 23 in the projections 21 of the head member and which engage in the entrances of these core holes when the cover plate is assembled onto the head member. This positions and aligns the cover plate in proper relation to the head member and affords a smooth fitting substantially imperceptible joint between these parts.

The cover plate 12 is shown as combined or associated with a utilitarian article 37, such as a lighter or a pocket-type flashlight, or, where a particular promotional effort would warrant, the article might comprise a small transistor radio. In this latter event, the metal loop 13 could be utilized as the antenna, and such that when released on one side would straighten out to increase the receiving range of the radio. When engaged on both sides, the loop might be utilized as a carrying handle.

For purposes of economy, the utilitarian article can be dispensed with and the cover plate 12 constructed in a manner to provide an extended surface area for the sales message. This surface might approximate the area of one face of the utilitarian article illustrated and could be located at one side edge of the cover plate'and extend in a direction opposite to that of the key ring 13. The surface of course, could be disposed midway between the side edges of the cover plate and extend perpendicular to the outside face of the plate, if preferred. Where the key holder is associated directly with a leather or vinyl covered key container, the extended surface would be disposed at one side edge of the cover plate and extend in the same direction as the key ring 13 whereby also to provide a back plate for attachment of the leather or vinyl cover. As a modification of this latter arrangement, the extended surface back plate might be made a part ofthe head member 11 at one side edge thereof and extending into the key enclosing cover.

MODIFIED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 9 to 12 illustrate a modified arrangement of the key holder wherein the head portion 11' is provided with a frontal recess 38' in one face thereof for receiving keys suspended on the loop 13'. This recess, as shown, extends throughout the full height of the head portion and therefore is enabled to receive keys of variouslengths. The width of the recess is such as to accommodate a number of keys substantially in accord with the total keys adapted normally to be retained on the key loop 13. .T he key loop is shown as having the key supporting bar extending straight across from one side leg to the other, and without the intermediate key separating stop of the embodiment previously described, but such stop may be incorporated in this form, if desired, or the loop might be rounded or curved between the two side legs, if preferred.

In this form of the invention, the L-shaped sliding shoes 29' and 30 are disposed to operate similarly to the sliding shoes of the previous embodiment, but are arranged in positions rotated 90 relative to the positions of the shoes in that embodiment. The sliding shoes 29' and 30' reciprocate in opposite directions across the head 11', but the inwardly extending legs of the L-shaped shoes are disposed in an over-and-under arrangement as distinguished from the side-byside arrangement of the previously described design. The rolling member 35' is disposed between the sloping inner end faces 34' of the sliding shoes as in the previously described arrangement so that the mechanism functions in a similar manner.

In the modified construction, the projections 21' extend generally vertically and define the middle chamber 22' between them for the operation of the rolling member 35. These projections also define the respective end chambers 16 and 17' for the reciprocating movements of the upright portions of the L-shap ed sliding shoes 29' and 30' as they are respectively actuated by manipulation of the key holding spring loop 13 similarly to the previous design. Each sliding shoe is provided with a detaining member 32' mounted in the horizontal leg of the L-shaped shoe. This plug-like insert is non-metallic and engages the opposing face of the projection 21' frictionally to retain the sliding shoe in retracted position when the shoe is moved inwardly to release one end of the key loop 13'. This holds the sliding shoe in retracted position until the key loop is reengaged therewith, whereupon the spring action of the latter moves the sliding shoe to its normally expanded outward position in the end chamber 16' or 17', as the case may be.

The upper surface of the upright portion of the L- shaped sliding shoe 29 is provided with an angleshaped recess 31' for receiving the end projection 15 of the key loop 13', and as in the previous arrangement, this angle-shaped recess aligns with a similarly shaped opening 25' in the top wall of the head member 11. When the angle-shaped recess 31 and similarly shaped loop can be removed and the sliding shoe remains in this retracted position until the end projection of the key loop is reentered into the recess 31', whereupen the spring pressure inherent in the loop 13' slides the shoe 29' to the end of chamber 16' where the end projection 15' on the key loop "is engaged under the overhanging shoulder provided by the top wall portion 28', thus securely locking the key loop in its closed key retaining position. The angleshaped opening extends through the end wall of the head member, as at 26', whereby to enable the key loop 13' to be pivoted around its one projection 15' in moving to open position, as indicated in FIG. 9.

The sliding shoe is disposed in an inverted position in relation to the sliding shoe 29', as best seen in FIG. 11, and therefore the angle-shaped recess 31' is disposed in the top face of the inverted shoe to cooperate with the angle-shaped opening'25' in the top wall of the head. 11 similarly to the other shoe 29'. The key holding loop has the same relationship at this side as at the opposite side, so that the loop can be released from either side and secured in the same way. All of the moving parts of the operating mechanism are retained in operative positions within the chambers 16, 17' and 22 by means of a removable cover plate 12' which is secured on the-back side of the head member 11' by means of two screws 39. The operating heads of these screws can be seen in FIG. 10. The screws, as shown, extend through holes 41 in the head member and are threaded into openings 40 in the cover plate. Obviously, these screws could extend through holes in the cover plate and thread directly into the rear wall of the head member 1 l if preferred. I The functioning of the sliding shoes 29' and 30' and the rolling member in chambers 16, 17' and 22, and the key holding loop 13' in relation to the recesses 31 and top opening 25 and the actuation of the sliding shoes, is substantially identical with the functioning of the corresponding parts in the previously described key holder design. The primary features added here comprises the rearrangement of the operating parts and the frontal recess 38 which, as readily seen in FIGS. 10 and 12, is adapted to receive the depending portions of keys suspended from the key loop 13' substantially within the face of the head member 11 to provide a more compact key holding arrangement.

From the foregoing it will be seen that there has been provided a key holder having a permanently assembled key ring on a head member containing means for retaining at least one end of the key ring in the head at all times, and which enables either end of the key ring to be released while the other end is held against removal with locking means for the retaining means shiftable in response to the securement or release of either end of the keyring. The key holder has application in association with any of variousutilitarian articles of a nature that'a person might find useful and would normally wish to keep in their possession. The utilitarian article can be impressed with an advertising message, or the cover plate may be formed in such manner as to provide a surface for the sales message, whereby the key holder is enhanced as a promotional article.

The embodiments in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A key holder including a head having an opening, a sliding shoe in the head having a recess, a movable locking member in the head engaging said shoe, a cover plate retaining the sliding shoeand locking member in the head, a key holding loop removably mounted at one side in the head, the other side of said loop having a projection on its end, said projection extending through said opening in the head into said recess in said sliding shoe, and a shoulder on said head overlying said projection on said key holding loop in said recess in one position of the sliding shoe.

2. The key holder of claim 1, wherein said sliding shoe is movable to a second position where the recess is aligned with said slot to release that end of the key holding loop through the slot.

3. The key holder of claim 2, wherein the sliding shoe and'said head have cooperating means to retain the sliding shoe in said second position. I

4, A key holder including a head, oppositely sliding shoes in the head, a movable locking member between the shoes, a U-shaped loop releasably secured at one end or the other in the head, and a cover plate retaining said shoes and locking member in the head, said U- shaped loop being engaged at respectively opposite ends with said respective sliding shoes.

5. The key holder of claim 4, wherein said head includes individual chambers for the respective sliding shoes.

6. The key holder of claim 5, wherein said head is provided with an intermediate chamber for said movable locking member.

7. The key holder of claim 6, wherein said individual chambers are L-shaped and one leg of each such L- shape communicates with said intermediate chamber.

8. The key holder of claim 7,'wherein the sliding shoes are generally L-shaped and said movable locking member is operatively disposed between the end portions of respectively opposed legs of the sliding shoes.

9. The key holder of claim 5, wherein said sliding shoes and said head include cooperating detent means retaining the shoes respectively in certain positions.

10. The key holder of claim 4, wherein said sliding shoes each have an open recess for engagement respectively by opposite ends of said U-shaped loop.

11. The key holder of claim 10, wherein said U- shaped loop has bent ends engaged respectively in said recesses.

12. The key holder of claim 11, wherein said bent ends are engageable respectively under overlying shoulders provided on said head in certain respective positions of the sliding shoes.

' 13. The key holder of claim 12, wherein said head is provided with slots for passage of said bent ends into said recesses.

14. The key holder of claim 13, wherein said slots are L-shaped, whereby said U-shaped loop may be released at one bent end and pivoted about the other bent end.

15. The key holder of claim 14, wherein said recesses are L-shaped and in general alignment with said L- shaped slots in certain respective positions of said sliding shoes.

16. The key holder of claim 4, wherein said U-shaped loop comprises a spring which maintains said sliding shoes in certain respective positions.

17. The key holder of claim 16, wherein said U- shaped loop is provided with an intermediate stop dividing the loop into separate key holder portions.

18. The key holder of claim 4, wherein said cover plate is permanently secured to said head.

19. The key holder of claim 18, wherein said cover plate is formed as part of a utilitarian article.

20. The key holder of claim 18, wherein said cover plate is formed to convey a message.

21. The key holder of claim 14, wherein means are provided to lock the sliding shoes against movement whereby to secure said pivoted end of the loop against removal.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US794979 *Apr 29, 1905Jul 18, 1905Elmer J HarvelySwivel-hook.
US1571425 *May 5, 1925Feb 2, 1926Joseph MataloniKey holder
US2896290 *Sep 27, 1957Jul 28, 1959Salm Inc ArthurPocket implement with retainer for apertured articles
US3299679 *Feb 23, 1965Jan 24, 1967Anson IncDual key clasp
US3478550 *Jan 17, 1967Nov 18, 1969Salvesen William RKey retaining device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3916659 *Apr 5, 1974Nov 4, 1975Leopoldi NorbertKey holder
US4407148 *Mar 19, 1981Oct 4, 1983Rousseau Jean PKey holder
US5197316 *Nov 14, 1990Mar 30, 1993The Black & Decker CorporationLatchable retainer for keys and the like
US5400625 *Dec 3, 1993Mar 28, 1995Embry; Donald J.Locking key ring
EP0098011A1 *Jun 17, 1983Jan 11, 1984Wilhelmus Marie Antonius MommersA key keeper
WO2008039833A2 *Sep 26, 2007Apr 3, 2008Kurdziel Steven JKey ring device
U.S. Classification70/456.00R
International ClassificationA44B15/00
Cooperative ClassificationA44B15/00
European ClassificationA44B15/00