|Publication number||US3776009 A|
|Publication date||Dec 4, 1973|
|Filing date||May 19, 1972|
|Priority date||May 19, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3776009 A, US 3776009A, US-A-3776009, US3776009 A, US3776009A|
|Inventors||Mac Glashan P|
|Original Assignee||Armstrong J, Engel P|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (10), Classifications (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 11 1 MacGlashan KEY RING  Inventor: Paul V. MacGlashan, Poway, Calif.
 Assignees: Paul Engel; James C. Armstrong 22 Filed: May 19, 1972 21 App]. No.: 254,959
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,224,203 2/1960 France 70/459 1451 Dec. 4, 1973 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney-Herbert E. Kidder [5 7] ABSTRACT Key ring comprising a circular ring that is split at one point to provide a gap of sufficient width to pass a key. The ring is engaged on one side by a retainer shell made up of two facing halves of sheet metal formed to define an arcuately curved bore of the same radius as the ring, within which the ring is slidably received. The ring can revolve about its axis by sliding lengthwise through the arcuate bore, so as to expose the gap for the purpose of inserting a key on the ring or removing same, or it can be turned to retract the gap into the retainer shell, where it is engaged by a spring-loaded locking detent having an end that drops down into the gap to prevent the ring from turning.
1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures KEY RING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to key rings of the type widely used to carry house keys and/or car keys.
Heretofore, key rings have usually been made with a gap that is used for inserting the keys, said gap being closed by a toggle link arrangement pivotally connected to one side of the gap and having a free end engaging a hook on the other side. When the hook is engaged and the toggle link is folded closed, the ring is drawn closed slightly, which spring-stresses the ring and holds tension on the toggle link. One disadvantage of this type of key ring is that after it has been opened and closed a number of times, it tends to lose its spring tension, and closes slightly, loosening the tension on the toggle link and allowing the link to open. The result is that the keys fall off the ring and may be lost.
SUMMARY oF THE INVENTION The primary object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved key ring which has no toggle link closure, and which does not rely upon spring tension in the ring to keep itclosed.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a key ring having a positive locking section, that will not accidentally release, and that cannot readily be openedby small children. I
A further object of the invention is to provide a key ring of the class described that is convenient and easy to operate, inexpensive to manufacture, and attractive in appearance.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention are achieved by providing a circular ring with a gap at one point, which is slidably engaged within an arcuate bore in a retainer shell. The ring can be turned within the retainer shell by sliding it endwise in the said bore, until the gap is exposed or retracted. When the gap is retracted into the retainer shell, a spring-loaded locking detent drops into the gap to lock the ring against turning.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof, with reference to the accompanying drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a key ring embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevation of the same, with one half of the retainer shell removed to show the inside thereof, the ring being shown in the locked position;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, with the locking detent released and the ring turned to expose the gap so that a key can be inserted onto or removed from the ring; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view, taken at 4-4 in FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, the key ring of the present invention is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 10, and comprises a circular ring 12, retainer shell 14, and a short length of snake or chain 16, to which an The so-called snake" is a highly flexible, metal cord' made up of many interlocking pieces which give it the appearance of snake skin. The ring 12 is split at one point to form a gap 18, through which a key 20 can be inserted in the usual manner when. the gap is exposed, as in FIG. 3. h i v The retainer shell 14 is preferably made up of two stamped, sheet metal halves, which are joined together face-to-face by rivets 22 or other fastening means. The two halves of the shell 14 are formed with half-round, arcuately curved channels, which cooperate to form an arcuately curved conduit 23, having a bore 24, in which the ring .12 is enclosed. The bore 24, is an arc of a circle, and has the same radius as ring 12. Moreover, the bore 24 is very slightly larger in cross-sectional area than ring 12, so that the latter has enough clearance to slide freely within the bore without binding.
At its midpoint, arcuate bore 24 is intersected by a short, inwardly extending, radial barrel 26 having a bore 28, within which is disposed a. spring-loaded locking detent 30. The top end of the barrel 26 is bent inornament of some kind (not shown) is usually attached.
wardly at 32 (FIG. 4) to form a closure for the bore 28.
Detent 30 consists of a generally :rectangular piece of sheet metal 34, having a tongue 36 extending downwardly from the bottomend thereof. Tongue 36 has a width slightly less than the width of gap 18, so that when the ring 12 is turned to place the gap at the bottom of the retainer shell 14, as in FIG. 2, the tongue drops into the gap, thereby locking the ring against turning. Detent member 34 is slightly narrower in width than the bore 28, so that it slides freely therein.
Formed in the center of detent member 34 is a rectangular aperture, within which a coil spring 38 is secured. The bottom end of spring 38 bears downwardly against the bottom edge of the aperture, thereby pressing the detent member 34 downwardly. The top end of the spring seats against the inwardly bent portion 32. A knob 40 is fixed to the top end of detent member 34, above the inwardly bent portion 32.
The method of using the key ring; 10 is as follows: To release the locking detent 30 so that the ring 12 can be turned, knob 40 is lifted against the pressure of spring 38, raising the tongue 36 out of the gap 18. With the tongue 36 held up out of the gap, the ring is turned by sliding it endwise through the arcuate bore 24 until the gap 18 moves up to the position shown in FIG. 3, at which position a key can be inserted onto the ring or removed therefrom. After the key has been inserted, or removed, the ring is turned back so as to retract the gap 18 into the retainer shell 14. As the gap moves down to the bottom of the bore 24, detent tongue 36 drops into the gap under pressure of the spring 38, and the ring is again locked against turning.
While I have shown and described in considerable detail what I believe to be the preferred form of my invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention can take various other shapes within the scope of the claims.
1. A key ring comprising, in combination:
a ring having at least a portion thereof that is circular,
said circular portion being split at one point to provide a gap through whicha key can be passed;
a retainer shell mounted on an arc of said circular portion of the ring, said shell comprising two identical halves of sheet metal, each of which is fonned with arcuate, semi-cylindrical channels which cooperate to form an arcuate cylindrical conduit when the halves are joined together face-to-face, said ring being slidably received within said conduit;
said halves being also formed with radial, semicylindrical channels intersecting said arcuate channels, and cooperating to form a short, radial barrel when the halves are joined together, said barrel extending radially inward from said arcuate conduit;
a detent member contained within said barrel, said detent member having an aperture in the center and a spring disposed within said aperture and bearing at one end against said detent member in means for securing said two halves together in faceto-face relationship.
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