|Publication number||US3735453 A|
|Publication date||May 29, 1973|
|Filing date||Feb 25, 1972|
|Priority date||Feb 25, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3735453 A, US 3735453A, US-A-3735453, US3735453 A, US3735453A|
|Original Assignee||Nathans R|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (4), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Nathans [4 1 May29,1973
 SAFETY PIN WITH PllN POINT GUARD FOR PREVENTING MANUAL REMOVAL OF SAID POINT FROM SAID GUARD  Inventor: Robert L. Nathans, 36 Stag Drive,
Billerica, Mass. 01821 22 Filed: Feb. 25, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 229,527
52 us. Cl. ..24/156 R, 24/161 R, 340/280 511 rm. Cl. ..A44b 9/12 581 Field of Search ..24/156 R, 150 SP,
24/150 FP,155 SP, 155 D, 155 SD, 155 RB, 161, 236, 237; 40/2 R, 20 R Primary Examinen-Francis K. Zugel Assistant ExaminerDarrell Marquette Attorney-Robert L. Nathans 5 7 ABSTRACT A special destructable or non-destructable safety pin is employed to mechanically couple a sensitized tag to an item to be protected against shoplifting. If a shoplifter carries the protected item through an exit area with the sensitized tag on the item, an alarm device will alert store personnel to apprehend or photograph the shoplifter. A sensitized tag is rapidly and easily applied strictly by hand to the protected garment by means of the special safety pin which upon being closed annot be opened except by special devices at the cashiers station. Once the safety pin is closed, it cannot be opened by a shoplifter without cutting the pin portion which is made difficult, at least for the average shoplifter, because the pin portion is case hardened by well-known techniques; also shoplifters, particularly a large number of females, would be reluctant to use wire cutters, carry them about and be caught with them. Additionally, the special safety pin may be employed to attach ordinary price tags to the goods and would thwart price tag switching.
19 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PROTECTED GAR/l/lE/l/T T BACKGROUND OF THE TNVENTION This invention particularly relates to the field of pilferage control and especially anti-shoplifting devices.
US. Pat. No. 2,774,060 to Thompson teaches the use of a sensitized tag having a passive electronic device (e.g., a resonant tank circuit or dipole) formed therein which causes an article removal alarm to be produced in the exit area upon the unauthorized removal of the goods bearing the sensitized tag through the exit area. Sensitized tags are also known utilizing rebroadcasu'ng devices and nonlinear elements (diodes) which act as reradiating devices. See U.S. Pat. No. 3,493,955 to Minasy and No. 3,518,546 to Augenblick et al.
One manufacturer markets a sensitized tag system which is usually coupled to a garment to be protected by means of a nylon thread. Within the next year or two, it is apparant that shoplifters will learn that the sensitized tags must be removed from the garments in order to prevent the actuation of the article removal alarm in the exit area. They will observe that upon payment, the cashier cuts off the sensitized tag. The customer has already observed by cutting the nylon threads at home to remove non-sensitized tags, that it is easy to cut them with an ordinary nail clipper or scissor or nail file and other items which are commonly carried about or are familar to shoplifters. Also, such cutting of the threads to remove sensitized tags will also accelerate, as more and more stores lease systems employing sensitized tags, because stores not having such systems will become fewer and fewer.
The nylon thread approach has previously been practical because it is of extreme importance that the tags be rapidly and easily applied to the garments, which is the case with nylon threads which are applied to the goods by a device manufactured by the Dennison Manufacturing Company.
Another manufacturer has been employing a fastening device which is essentially a rivet. A large thumbtack is passed through an item such as a dress. The sensitized tag, having a hole therein, is placed over the pin portion of the tack. A cylindrical plastic sleeve is positioned over the tag and a riveting device is employed to mash the point of the tack into the terminal portion of the sleeve thereby to rivet the sensitized tag to the dress. It is believed that the market for these devices has been considerably limited to high price dress and men s shops because I was informed that application of the rivets to the dresses and suits was tedious, time consuming and involved muscular strain induced in the hand of the clerk performing the operation. Additionally, mashing of the garment occurs due to the squeezing action of the sleeve portion against the thumbtack head; and thus, this type of rivet is believed to be unsuitable for delicate garments such as thin dresses, lingerie, sweaters, scarves, ect.
Both of the above-mentioned types of fastening devices do not readily lend themselves to the protection of items such as handbags, scarves, hats, lingerie, shirts, blankets, and numerous other items which are not made of textiles at all such as lamps, appliances, etc.
sive to manufacture and thus lend themselves to be cut ofi or opened by a special machine by the cashier upon payment of the goods. It is also desirable that such fastening devicesbe difiicult for at least the nonprofessional shoplifter to open.
In my US. Pat. No. 3,665,448 and another of my copending patent applications, systems are disclosed which produce a capsule removal alarm upon the unauthorized removal of a sensitized tag or capsule from the item being protected. While these systems are thought to be theoretically superior to the present invention because they cannot be readily disabled by the cutting of the safety pin by means of wire cutters without producing a capsule removal alarm, it is quite possible that the present invention will afiord effective protection against removal of the tags at a lower price.
A number of young women of at least average intelligence were asked to imagine themselves as shoplifters. They were asked how they would remove the nylon threads. All of them said they would cut them. The present invention was explained to them and only 20 percent thought of wire cutters. Then all of the women were told about wire cutters. Only 20 percent said that they would use them; some said they didnt want to be I caught with them. Others said they were too much like burglars tools. According to the National Retain Merchants Association, shortages are increasing at a rate no less than 20 percent annually, current losses being $8 million per day. Additionally, females steal twice as much as men. Thus, alternate approaches should be seriously considered depending upon cost factors, the degree of sophistication of shoplifters, etc.
SUY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with various embodiments of the invention, a special safety pin is employed to rapidly afiix sensitized tags which are preferably made of a thin, tough plastic to the goods to be protected. The pin is passed through a bunched" portion of a dress, for example, the sensitized tag is slipped over the movable pin portion and the special safety pin is thereafter rapidly closed. A terminal section of the pin portion is inserted within a crotch formed by at least one flexible spring element. The upward biasing force of the pin portion causes the displacement of the spring portion, and since the spring portion forms a low mechanical impedance to the upwardly biasing pin portion, the pin portion slides by the spring portion and presses up against the guard portion which may take the form of the upper portion of the head of the safety pin. Owing to the crotch configuration, the pin portion is entrapped. Optionally, a shield portion may be employed in certain embodiments to minimize tampering with the spring portion; optionally, a pin point storage pocket may also be employed to store the pin point against a portion of the safety pin before use. Additionally, case hardening of the pin portion makes cutting of the pin portion, even with a pair of quality wire cutters, difficult. If the pins are to be reusable, an aperture is formed in the safety pin to receive a tiny drive pin which, under the control of the cashier, provides for reopening of the pin by pushing against the heel of the spring portion where considerable force is required to efi'ect displacement thereof. in the alternative, the ca shier cuts the pin with a motorized pair of cutters.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon study of the various embodiments disclosed hereinafter.
FIG. 1 illustrates the combination of a protected garment, a sensitized tag and a special safety pin;
FIGS. 2, 3, 4, and illustrate various embodiments of the special safety pin.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A garment l is protected against pilferage as discussed hereinabove by means of having a clerk in a store pass the pin point of the special safety pin 2 through the garment as indicated. A sensitized tag 3 having a hole therein as shown, is passed over the pin point and the movable pin portion 4 is thereafter inserted into a pin point guard portion 6 thereby to entrap the pin point within the safety pin. The sectional lines 2' are taken through the upper portion of the safety pin as shown and the remaining figures illustrate sectional views.
In FIG. 2 the guard portion 7 has a pair of spring elements 8 and 9 associated therewith. These spring elements may be welded to the guard portion or may, of course, be formed from the same material as guard portion 7; that is the guard portion may be made elongated to a much greater extent than indicated in the figure and the terminal ends would, in this case, be bent all the way around to form the spring elements so that the entire head is formed of a unitary metallic body. Spring elements 8 and 9 press against each other and form a crotch for receiving the movable pin portion. The thickness and stiffness of spring elements 8 and 9 would be selected so that the upwardly biased movable pin portion causes the spring elements to separate so that pin portion 4 would be readily inserted within the head and would be situated at the top of the head as indicated by portion 11 in FIG. 2. In view of this configuration, it should be apparent that when a shoplifter attempts to open the safety pin, the movable pin portion would not separate the spring elements and would merely slide down one of the spring elements 8 and 9.
A pin point portion storage pocket 12 may be provided to position the upwardly biased movable pin portion against the upper portion of the safety pin during shipment. This pocket might also lessen the risk of accidental pin pricking of the fingers should the pins be randomly dumped into a storage box. The storage pocket is strictly optional since the pins may be mounted on cards or rolls of paper etc. so that pin pricking would be unlikely. In FIG. 3 the spring elements 14 and 16 create a crotch which generally forms an acute angle with respect to the sides of the head. When the movable pin portion 18 becomes entrapped within the head and the shoplifter attempts to move the pin portion downward, the pin portion would, in all likelihood, contact spring element 14 and would not even be positioned in the vicinity of the junction tip to even further thwart the extremely unlikely possibility of being able to open the pin.
FIG. 4 illustrates a spring portion utilizing a single flexible spring element 23 rather than the pair of spring elements discussed previously. Thpe spring element 23 would preferably have a relatively high spring constant and the insertion of the pin portion 24 might take a bit more force. However, in view of the angle of attack" of the pin portion, considerable leverage is obtainable.
As in the previous embodiments, it is submitted that it would be extremely diflicult for a shoplifter to jiggle the pin portion to open the safety pin. The FIG. 4 embodiment might be circular rather than rectangular, in the interest of further reducing manufacturing costs, so that the clerk would use a rotary motion of the wrist upon closing the pin.
FIG. 5 utilizes a flexible spring portion 28 which allows the pin portion 33 to enter the head of the pin and, as in the case of the foregoing embodiments, any downward pressure on spring portion 28 would cause the pin portion to be entrapped within the head. A shield element 31, having a pocket 32 if desired, may be provided to discourage professional shoplifters from utilizing a screwdriver to displace spring element 28 upwardly in order to disenable the enu-apping means. Entrance orifice 29 is made narrower than a screwdriver to prevent the above-mentioned tampering with spring element 28.
It is preferred that movable pin portion 4 be case hardened steel so that an outer case is produced which would resist cutting of the pin portion by professional or semiprofessional shoplifters. It is believed that the case hardening may be economically and effectively carried out by, for example, carburizing or nitriding. For a description of these processes, see Van Nostrands's Scientific Encyclopedia, IV Edition, published by D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., Copyrighted 1968. I have been informed by a materials expert that cheap wire cutters would be ineffective in cutting the case hardened movable pin portion, and that even in the case of expensive wire cutters, that the cutting of the movable pin portion would probably require considerable strength so that the special safety pin would be effective to thwart at least a majority of shoplifters. The manufacturing cost of the case hardened safety pins described heereinabove has been estimated by a materials expert to be about 1.5 cents apiece in large lots. Besides the above-mentioned difiiculties attendant upon the use of wire cutters, it should be appreciated that shoplifters would be nervous about being apprehended with them since people, especially females, very rarely carry them about so that possesion of the cutters would be strong evidence of attempted theft. This is in contrast to nail clippers, small scissors, files and razor blades which are commonplace. Also, many female shoplifters in particular would feel like criminals with wire cutters. In the case of consumables, the cashier would cut the movable pin portion by means of power shears upon payment for the goods.
It may well be preferable to market the special safety pin as a non-consumable so that it may be reused over and over again. In this case, the cashier would utilize a device for separating the spring elements by means of, for example, a power driven pusher rod. In FIG. 4, a cylindrical hole 20 is formed through the wall of the head portion 22. The pin would be inserted into a fixture to fix its position and the movable pusher rod would assert considerable force against spring element 23 to effect separation of the spring element from head portion 22. A movable bar would thereafter force the movable pin portion 24 to the right and downward to reopen the safety pin. It should be noted that the pusher rod, which forms no part of the present invention, would be asserted against the lower portion of the cantilevered spring element 23 rather than the upper portion. This would result in mechanical disadvantage so that considerable force would be required to effect this separation in order to discourage professional shoplifters from inserting a pin into aperture to attempt to disenable the entrapping means. In like manner, aperture 30, formed within shield member 31 of FIG. 5, would receive the drive pin which presses against spring element 28 at the heel portion of the cantilevered spring where considerable force would be required to substantially displace spring element 28 from head portion 27.
In summary, an inexpensive special safety pin is contemplated which may be easily and rapidly affixed to the goods without special tools and yet would be extremely difficult, particularly for the average shoplifter, to open. The sensitized tag would, of course, be made of material such as flexible plastic, which would be very difficult to cut away from the pin portion by means of a reasonably sized pair of scissors in the hands of a strong individual.
The present invention may also be utilized to prevent price tag switching as it would be difiicult to attach a tag having a lower price thereon upon the special closed safety pin because, even if the tag is made of cardboard, a conspicuous tear would have to be made in the tag being applied.
While it is greatly preferred that the special safety pin has the appearance of an ordinary one, other configurations are contemplated within the scope of the following claims. For example, the giard portion may be affixed to one end of a circular loop whereas the pin point is affixed to the other end of a circular loop. The term movable means that the pin portion is movable relative to the pin point entrapping means and such motion can conceivably be parallel to the longitudinal axis of the pin portion rather than traverse as illustrated. While the above-described embodiment is greatly preferred, other embodiments are believed to fall within the scope of the following claims.
1-. A safety pin comprising:
a. a pin portion having a pin point portion;
b. pin point guard means for guarding said pin point portion upon closure of said safety pin; and
c. pin point entrapping means for permitting insertion of said pin point portion into said pin point guard means and for preventing removal of said pin point portion from said pin point guard means upon manual manipulation of said safety pin, said guard means being so constructed to prevent manual manipulation of said entrapping means so that said pin point portion may be removed from said guard means only upon use of a proper tool or destruction of said safety pin.
2. The safety pin of claim 1 wherein said pin point entrapping means includes a relatively flexible spring means, at least a major portion of which is covered by said pin point guard means and which is oriented to provide a low resistance to the insertion of said pin point portion within said pin point guard means upon the closing of said safety pin and configured to prevent the withdrawal of said pin point portion from said pin point guardmeans upon the aforesaid manual manipulation of said safety pin.
3. The safety pin as set forth in claim 2 further including a shield member for shielding said spring means against tampering.
4. The safety pin as set forth in claim 1 further including a storage pocket for retaining said pin point portion before said safety pin is closed.
5. The safety pin as set forth in claim 2 further includ ing a storage pocket for retaining said pin point portion before said safety pin is closed. 1
6. The safety pin set forth in claim 2 wherein a hole is formed in said guard means adjacent said spring means for receiving a drive pin for displacing said spring means to allow said safety pin to be reopened.
7. The safety pin set forth in claim 4 wherein a hole is formed in said guard means adjacent said spring means for receiving a drive pin for displacing said spring means to allow said safety pin to be reopened.
8. A safety pin comprising:
a. a pin portion having a pin point portion;
b. pin point guard means for guarding said pin point portion upon closure of said safety pin;
c. means for coupling said pin portion to said pin point guard means; and
d. a normally closed pin point entrapping means which opens to form a passageway upon the insertion of said pin point portion into said pin point guard means and which blocks said passageway to said pin point guard means and which is oriented to provide a low resistance to the insertion of said pin point portion within said pin point guard means upon the closing of said safety pin and configured to block the withdrawal of said pin point portion from said pin point guard means upon the aforesaid manual manipulation of said safety pin.
10. The safety pin as set forth in claim 9 wherein said relatively flexible spring means includes a spring member mechanically biased against a stop portion of said pin point guard means.
11. The safety pin as set forth in claim 10 wherein said stop portion of said pin point guard means is also a relatively flexible spring member.
12. The safety pin as set forth in claim 10 wherein said spring member is mechanically biased against said stop portion of said pin point guard means only at the extremity of said spring member.
113. The safety pin as set forth in claim 12 wherein said stop portion is also a relatively flexible spring member.
14. The safety pin as set forth in claim 10 furtherincluding a shield member for shielding-said spring means against tampering.
15. The safety pin as set forth in claim 12 further including a shield member for shielding said spring means against tampering.
16. The safety pin as set forth in claim 8 further including a storage pocket for receiving said pin point portion before said safety pin is closed.
17. The safety pin as set forth in claim 9 further including a storage pocket for receiving said pin point portion before said safety pin is closed.
18. The safety pin set forth in claim 9 wherein a hole is formed in said guard means adjacent said spring spring means to allow means for receiving a drive pin for displacing said spring means to allow said safety pin to be reopened.
19. The safety pin set forth in claim 10 wherein a hole is formed in said guard means adjacent said spring means for receiving a drive pin for displacing said said, safety pin to be reopened.
I i t
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US721225 *||Apr 26, 1902||Feb 24, 1903||Philip H T Paulinetti||Safety-pin.|
|US877085 *||Mar 6, 1907||Jan 21, 1908||Double Pointed Safety Pin Mfg Co||Safety-pin.|
|US1801955 *||Apr 11, 1930||Apr 21, 1931||Ferrone Frank D||Safety pin|
|US2234852 *||Mar 27, 1940||Mar 11, 1941||Brueggeman John T||Safetypin|
|US2863199 *||Aug 31, 1956||Dec 9, 1958||Emile Scheemaeker||Safety pin|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3851359 *||May 2, 1973||Dec 3, 1974||Wilson L||Disposable safety pin|
|US3911534 *||Oct 30, 1974||Oct 14, 1975||I D Engineering Inc||Anti-theft fastening device|
|US3947930 *||Apr 14, 1975||Apr 6, 1976||I. D. Engineering, Inc.||Anti-theft fastening device and tool for releasing same|
|US3973418 *||Mar 31, 1975||Aug 10, 1976||Mrs. Lawrence Israel||Reusable device for attaching an anti-theft monitor to merchandise|
|U.S. Classification||24/704.2, 99/493|
|International Classification||A44B9/14, A44B9/00|