|Publication number||US3742634 A|
|Publication date||Jul 3, 1973|
|Filing date||Jul 12, 1971|
|Priority date||Jul 12, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3742634 A, US 3742634A, US-A-3742634, US3742634 A, US3742634A|
|Inventors||Haaften J Van|
|Original Assignee||Optische Ind De Oude Delft Nv|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (2), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Van Haaften July 3, 1973 1 1 INDEX CARD, FILE OR SIMILAR FLAT ELEMENT FOR A FILING SYSTEM [75 Inventor: Johan Van Haaften, Delft,
Netherlands  Assignee: N.V. Optische lndustrle De Oude Delft", Delft, Netherlands 221 Filed: July 12, 1971 211 App]. No.: 161,623
 US. Cl. 40/359  Int. Cl 1342f 21/00  Field Of Search 40/359,f 137, 360,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,248,814 5/1966 Zwolinski 6! 31. 40/360 2,430,616 11/1947 Pearson 350/112 X 3,196,564 7/1965 Boedeker 3,073,210
1/1963 Packard 350/112 X 3,590,773 7/1971 Ruppert 350/112 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,172,044 11/1969 Great Britain 40/359 1,244,109 7/1967 Germany 40/359 1,060,842 7/1959 Germany 40/360 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-.1. H. Wolff Attorney-Arthur B. Colvin [5 7] ABSTRACT lndex card, file or similar flat element for a filing system, which element along one edge is provided with a code which can be read in a direction parallel to the main plane of the element. For this purpose the element is provided along one edge with a reflector of transparant material comprising at the position of the code a surface which makes an acute angle with the main plane of the element, in which surface the code is reflected.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures INDEX CARD, FILE R SIMILAR FLAT ELEMENT FOR A FILING SYSTEM The invention relates to an index card, file or similar flat element for a filing system, in which a number of such elements are filed away vertically side by side, the element being provided with means to read out a code identifying the element in a direction parallel to a main plane of the element.
Filing systems are known, e.g. for X-ray photographs in hospitals, in which special files can automatically be extracted from a plurality of files. For this purpose the files are placed vertically side by side on shelves or they are suspended in racks, and one edge, e.g., the top edge, is provided with a bar in which a coding strip with a sufficiently large transverse dimension, provided with a black and white block code can be placed. An photoelectric reading device can be moved mechanically along the shelves to sense all the code strips and to extract those files the code of which satisfies a preselected searching program.
The coding and fastening of such code strips is troublesome, particularly if the files have small dimensions and if transverse dimension of the code strips is as small as possible to reduce the required space. Furthermore it is possible that the code strips may be fastened to the wrong files because of the fact that the files and code strips do not form a unity.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a file element, in which the code and the element (index card, document file etc.) form an inseparable unit, and in which the code can easily be applied, while the transverse dimension of the required space per element is as small as possible.
In one embodiment of the invention the code is placed adjacent one edge of the element and in the main plane of the element, the element being provided with a reflector extending parallel to said edge at the position of the code, said reflector having a surface making an acute angle with the main plane of the element, in which surface said code is reflected.
In another embodiment the reflector by way of example is a prism of a transparent material, placed with one side on the code, a slanting side reflecting the code. To assure that the light is converged onto the photoelectric elements of the reading device, the surface of the prism which is turned to the sensing direction may have a cylinder form.
Instead of direct attaching the reflector to the card or the cover of the file element in a preferred embodiment of the invention the reflector is part of an envelope which at least at the position of the reflector is transparant and in which the material to be filedbearing a code can be placed. An envelope of this kind assures an exact positioning of the reflector, is easy to handle and is reusable.
FIG. 2 shows a side elevation of a part of a filing system with two files according to the invention, and
FIG. 3 shows a partial cross-section of the element as showed in FIG. I.
In FIG. 1 is shown a transparant envelope 1, e.g., made of plastic foil, which is open at the top. In said first envelope fits a second envelope 2 of nontransparant material on which the data to be filed can be written and in which a number of papers, photographs 3 etc. can be stored. One of the edges of the envelope 2 bears a code, consisting of a black and white block code pattern 4, by means of which the file can be identified. In the inserted position of envelope 2 the code is located under a prismatic bar 5 of transparent material, e.g. plastic that is fastened to the envelope 1, e.g., by means of glue. The slanting side 6 of this prism (FIG. 3) reflects the code in such a way that said code can be read in a direction in the plane of the element, either visually or by means of a photo-electric reading device which can be moved along the front edges of a number of elements positioned vertically side by side. The light emerging from the prism can be formed into a beam by curving the surface 7 of the prism in the form of a cylinder.
The code 4 is applied to the file element 2 together with the further data so that they cannot be separated. The code may for instance be applied either by means of a graphic pencil or by means of a key board controlled code printer.
The height of the prism 5 can be small and is determined mainly by the characteristics of the reading head used. FIG. 2 further shows a solution giving a saving of space which can be used in case of a small amount of data to encode. On the envelopes 8 and 8' in FIG. 2 the code covers slightly less than half the height of the envelope. As a result the prisms 9 and 9' also extend over half the height. Furthermore they are applied in an altemating way, that is prism 9 in the upper half and on one side of the element, prism 9 in the lower half and on the other side. This permits the positioning of the envelope between parts of the frame 10 and II of the filing system so that the prisms are in a direct line. By this arrangement one has to use two kinds of envelopes. The advantage however is that two times more files can be stored in the same space.
While disclosures of preferred embodiments have been provided, it will be apparent that numerous modifications and variations thereof may be made without departing from the underlying principles of the invention. So the invention is by no means delimited to the form of the envelope as described; moreover the reflector 5 may be fastened directly to the file element.
It is also possible that use is made of reflectors of another type, e.g., slanting reflecting metal strips, which are fastened to the envelope by means of a turned back end portion.
What I claim is:
l. A filing system comprising a plurality of generally rectangular planar outer envelope members, means for supporting said envelope members in parallel, side-byside relation with an edge portion of each of said envelopes exposed for visual access from a direction parallel to the plane of said envelopes, said envelopes having an information bearing substrate disposed therein, coded indicia formed adjacent one edge of said substrates, transparent window portions formed in said envelopes adjacent said exposed edge portions, said window portions being coextensive with and in registry with said coded indicia of said substrates so that said indicia are exposed through said window portions, each said envelope including a prism member on the outer surface thereof, said prism members being disposed in covering relation of said window portions and in registry with said indicia on said substrate, said prism members including a reflector wall angularly oriented with respect to said envelope and directed toward said edge of said envelope, whereby said indicia on said substrate are visible through said prism members when viewed from said direction.
II l i UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,7l12,63)1 Dated July 3, 1973 Inventofls) Johan Van Haaften It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
On the cover sheet after "item 21" and before "item 52" insert the following:
, BQForeign Application "Priority Data Q July 28, 1970 Netherlands 7 011 113 I Signed and 'sealed this 26th day of March 197R.
(SEAL At testz EDWARD I LFLETGHERJR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer- Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-105O (10-69) uscoMM-oc scaneg 9 U. 5 GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I959 0-366-334,
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