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Publication numberUS3807537 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateNov 1, 1972
Priority dateNov 1, 1972
Publication numberUS 3807537 A, US 3807537A, US-A-3807537, US3807537 A, US3807537A
InventorsO Reilly O
Original AssigneeO Reilly O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Attache case with transparent side walls
US 3807537 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent OReilly [451 Apr. 30, 1974 A'I'IACHE CASE WITH TRANSPARENT SIDE WALLS Oran T. OReiily, PO. Box 728, Dallas, Tex. 03755 Filed: Nov. 1, 1972 Appl. No.: 302,917

Inventor:

US. Cl. 190/53, 220/82 B65d 3/00 Field of Search 190/41 R, 42, 19, 53, 40;

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/1881 Hershey 190/19 UX 11/1924 Brunhoff... 220/82 R 10/1953 Wishnia 190/53 X 11/1955 Kase 150/28 A 2,916,841 12/1959 Denis 190/41 R X Primary Examiner-Donald F. Norton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Peter J. Murphy; Cecil L.

Wood

[ ABSTRACT An attache case or personal carrying case includes mating box-like housing members with the side walls of these members being transparent. Opaque side wall covers are hingedly attached to the housing members and normally overlie the transparent side walls, being retained by a suitable latch means. For quick inspection of the case contents, a release lever adjacent to a handle effects release of the side wall covers to expose the contents of the case through the transparent side walls.

11 Claims, 9 Drawing igures PATENTEDAPR an m4 3. 5

SHEET 2 BF 2 ATTACIIE CASE WITH TRANSPARENT SIDE WALLS BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a personal carrying case or attache case having a transparent side wall, and having an overlying opaque side wall cover with means for quickly releasing the side wall cover to expose the case contents for inspection purposes without the necessity for opening the case housing.

In recent years, personal carrying cases frequently referred to as attache cases have come into widespread use as briefcases for carrying business papers, as sample cases for use by salesmen, and as overnight travel cases for persons carrying business papers and a minimum of personal effects.

Due to the increasing need for security precautions in all types of buildings and in common carrier vehicles such as planes, trains and busses, it is becoming more and more commonplace to inspect the contents of hand-carried parcels and carrying cases of persons prior to entering buildings and transportation vehicles. Such inspections, to be effective, are time consuming and result in considerable delays when a large number of persons are awaiting entry into a building or vehicle.

It is desirable therefore to provide a carrying case which provides a relatively quick and easy means for facilitating a thorough inspection of the contents, and to minimize the delays necessitated by such inspection.

In some cases it is desirable that the attache case remain locked; and this would be particularly true where a messenger is carrying important documents and does not have a key to obtain access to the case.

A principal object of this invention is to provide a carrying case having means for quickly facilitating the inspection of its contents.

Another object of this invention is to provide a case having means to allow inspection of its contents without the necessity for unlocking or opening the case.

A further object of this invention is to provide a carrying case having transparent walls for allowing inspection of the contents, and having conveniently releasable opaque cover means for exposing the transparent walls without requiring opening of the case.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a carrying case for these purposes which is just as functional and aesthetically pleasing in appearance as conventional carrying or attache cases.

A further object of this invention is to provide an attache case for the stated purposes which is simple and rugged in construction.

For accomplishing these objects a carrying case comprises a housing consisting of mating box-like members hingedly connected at the bottom edge walls, and having latch means at the top edge walls for closing the housing members. At least one of the housing members has a transparent side wall; and an opaque side wall cover is hingedly attached to that member at the bottom edge to overlie the transparent side wall in the closed position. The transparent side wall and side wall cover have coacting magnetic closure means at least along the top edges thereof which act to maintain the side wall cover in confronting and overlying relation with the transparent side wall. A release means disposed in the top edge wall of the housing member effects separation of the side wall cover from the transparent side wall to release the hold of the magnetic closure means, and this release means is operated by an actuator lever preferably placed close to the carrying case handle for convenient operation. The release means may include extensible pins for effecting separation of the cover from the side wall with cam means for extending the pins. Preferably both housing members have transparent side walls and associated side wall covers.

The novel features and the advantages of the invention, as well as additional objects thereof, will be understood more fully from the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a closed and latched carrying case according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the case of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the case of FIG. 1 with the side wall covers open for inspection;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the case of FIG. 3 with the side wall covers open;

FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken in the plane 5-5, indicated in FIG. 1, through the top edge walls of the housing members;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevation view of the inner face of one housing member, as 'viewed in the plane 6--6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of structure illustrated inFIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation view of structure illustrated in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of elements of the release mechanism.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS-l, 2 and 3 of the drawing are general views of a preferred form of carrying case according to the invention which has the form of a rectangular housing made up of two generally identical housing members 10a and 10b. For convenience of description, since these housing members are substantially identical, common reference numbers will be used for similar parts. While the illustrated case is substantially rectangular in form, the objects and advantages of the invention may be accomplished with a form of case which is more contoured or styled for a pleasing appearance.

Each of the case housing members is a five-sided boxlike member defining, for the case, a side wall 11 and four edge walls which provide for the case a top wall 12, two end walls 13 and a bottom wall 14. The housing members are secured at the bottom wall by hinges l5, and are latched at the top wall by locking latches 16.

The housing member 10a is illustrated as being deeper than the member 10b, and a conventional carrying handle 17 is secured to the top wall of the deeper member 10a. Resilient pads 18 may be mounted on the bottom wall for supporting the case in an upright positron.

Sincethe principal object of the invention is to provide a case having transparent side walls, the housing halves may be molded in their entirety from a transparent plastic material for example, with certain portions such as the several edge walls being made opaque in any desired manner such as by painting or by securing opaque trim material to the edge walls.

In preferred form the exterior faces of the side walls areprovided with shallow recesses 21 defining edge ribs 22 which are adjacent the top and end walls for the respective housing members. The recesses 21 may extend around the bottom edge and be provided also in the bottom walls 14. These shallow recesses are provided for accommodating the side wall covers which are fabricated from thin sheets of a relatively stiff material, such as sheet metal or plastic for example, and which include inturned bottom flanges which are received in the above mentioned recess portions in the bottom walls 14.

As best seen in FIG. 2, the side wall covers are secured to the respective housing members along the bottom edge wall by means of piano hinges 24. When the 1 side wall covers are in closed position as best seen in FIG. 1, the covers are neatly received within the shallow recesses 21 to form an aesthetically pleasing configuration; and when the side wall covers are in open position as best seen in FIG. 3, the transparent portions of the side walls are uncovered to expose the contents of the case.

Stop cords 25 may be provided for limiting the outward swing of the side wall cover 23. Alternatively, hinged braces might be provided.

It is well known, attache cases of the type described frequently are divided into two compartments, one

serving as a file compartment which may include an expanding pocket tile for example, and the other serving as a personal compartment for carrying personal articles on an overnight trip for example, with a separator partition closing the personal compartment. In FIG. 3 there is shown an expanding pocket file and this would preferably be fabricated of'a transparent plastic material. While the above mentioned separator partition might be opaque, the contents of the case would still be fully visible where transparent side walls are provided at both housing members.

A preferred means for retaining the side wall covers in the closed position is a magnetic latching means. Preferably this means may take the form of magnet strips 31 placed within the recesses 21 adjacent to the top walls 12. These magnet strips, best seen in FIGS. 3 and 7,'may preferably take the form of a resilient tape havingembedded magnetic particles, which is readily secured to the case housing members. If the side wall covers arefabricated of a magnetic metal, these covers would of course be attracted to the magnet strips to effeet the magnetic closure. If the side wall covers are fabricated of a non-magnetic material, it will be necessary to provide elements of magnetic material along the top edge inner face of the respective side wall covers for confronting engagement with the magnet strips 31 or other magnet means. While the magnet strips and confronting magnetic faces are illustrated for only the top edge of the side wall and covers, it will be appreciated that these magnetic latch means maybe extended downward adjacent to the end walls of the housing members.

A preferred form of release mechanism for the side wall covers is best seen in FIGS. through 8. This mechanism is made up of separate and substantially identical mechanisms for each of the housing members 10a and 10b, and the following description will refer essentially to the mechanism for the member 10a. As

best seen in FIG. 5, a pair of pins 41, having integral radial flanges intermediate their ends, are disposed in counterbored holes 42 which extend transversely through the top wall 12, with the smaller bore opening from the outer face of the top wall and the counterbore opening to the inner face of the top wall. The pins are retained within the holes 42 by means of an elongated cam bar 43 disposed in an elongated groove 44 which opens to the inner face of the top wall 12 and which intersects the two counterbores. The cam bar 42 is retained, in turn by means of cylindrical guide members 45 which are received and retained within the counterbores by means of snap rings 46 for example. The guide members are provided with a transverse slot for receiving and guiding the cam bar, and also with an axial recess for accommodating the inner ends of the pins 41.

The pins 41 are urged inwardly against the cam bar by means of compression springs 47 confined within the counterbores and bearing against the pin flanges. In the normal position of the cam bar, the inner ends of the pins are received in notches 48 provided in the cam bar, which permit the outer ends of the pins to be completely received within the respective holes. The notches 48 define cam surfaces which function to extend the pins outwardly as will be described.

As best seen in FIG. 5 a cylindrical recess 51 defines an extension of the cam bar groove 44; and a compression spring 52 disposed in this recess bears on the end of the cam bar to normally urge the bar toward the left as seen in- FIGS. 5 and 7, wherein the cam bar notches are positioned to receive the pins 41. Movement of the cam bar toward the rights, as seen in these Figures, ef-

' fects camming of the pins 41 outwardly to separate the side wall cover 23 from the magnet strip 31 and thereby break the magnetic latch permitting the side wall cover to swing open as seen in FIG. 3 and 4.

The cam bar 43 'is shifted to effect this release by means of an actuator lever 55 which is fixed to the cam bar and projects upwardly from the top wall 12 through a slot 46 adjacentto the handle 17. As best'seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the two actuator levers 55,-for the release mechanisms of the respective housing members 10a and 10b, are positioned in side-by-side relation so that they may be readily engaged simultaneously by the thumb of the user carrying the case by means of its handle. As seen in the drawings, movement of the actuator levers toward the handle will effect the release of both side wall covers. In this manner the covers may be readily released for inspection of the carrying case contents and enable inspection of the case very quickly and easily. Following inspection, the side wall covers are simply swung into' the latched position where they are retained magnetically.

While only two release pins 41 are shown for each housing member, it will be appreciated that a mechanism may be provided for actuating additional release pins, and that release pins may be arranged in the end edge walls 13. As-described above, it is preferred that the side wall cover be relatively stiff to effect release of the magnetic latch, particularly if the magnetic latch means is extended along the end edge walls. If desired, stiffening ribs may be incorporated in the structure of the side wall covers.

What has been described is a carrying case suitable for use as an attache case or for other purposes having convenient means for enabling inspection of the contents of the case without the necessity for opening the case.

A particular advantage of the use of this type of case is in situations where valuable articles are carried in a case by a messenger who does not have a key for opening the case.

Another principal advantage of a case of this type is that it enables quick inspection, which is particularly useful in situations such as the boarding of aircraft where there may be a great number of cases to be inspected within a relatively limited time. It is also useful for enabling the inspection of cases used for briefcases in office buildings or plants where a large number of persons are seeking ingress or egress within a relatively short time span.

A particular feature of the construction according to the invention is that it accomplishes the desired purpose and yet enables the fabrication of a carrying case which is quite conventional in appearance and which may include any of the usual aesthetic features which will enhance the sale of such cases.

Another feature and advantage of the invention is the use of a simple magnetic type latching means and the use of an associated simple and effective release means for the side wall covers.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A carrying case comprising a housing consisting of mating box-like members hingedly connected at bottom edge walls; latch means at the top edge walls of said housing members for closing said housing members; at least one of said housing members having a transparent side wall; an opaque side wall cover hingedly attached to said one housing member at the exterior thereof, to overlie said transparent side wall;

closure means acting between said one housing member and said side wall cover for retaining said side wall cover in the closed position; release means disposed in said one housing member for effecting release of said closure means and separation of said cover from saidmember; said release means including at least one actuatorlever readily engageable by the carrying case user for effecting release of said side wall cover.

2. A carrying case as set forth in claim 1 said side wall cover being hingedly attached at the bottom edge wall of said one housing member; and said release means being disposed in the top edge wall of said one housing member.

3. A carrying case as set forth in claim 2 said one housing member having magnet means fixed at the exterior face of the side wall adjacent to the top wall thereof; and said side wall cover having magnetic means fixed at least along the upper edge thereof positioned to be disposed in confronting relation with said housing magnet means when said side wall cover is in closed position.

4. A carrying case as set forth in claim 3 said housing magnet means comprising a strip of resilient material having magnet particles embedded comprising means for separating said coacting magnetic means.

7. A carrying case as set forth in claim 3 said release means comprising a plurality of pins mounted in the top edge wall of said one housing member for reciprocating movement in a direction perpendicular to the plane of said side wall, and disposed to be extended outward from saidhousing member into engagement with said side wall cover; spring means urging said pins to an enclosed position within said housing member; cam means for engaging and moving said pins to an extended position; and means coupling said actuator lever to said cam means for selectively moving said cam means to extend said pins.

8. A carrying case as set forth in claim 7 said cam means comprising an elongated bar mounted in the top edge wall of said one housing member for reciprocating movement in an endwise direction.

9. A carrying case as set forth in claim 8 7 spring means urging said cam bar in one direction to effect retraction of said pins within said housing member; and said cam bar being movable against the force of said cam bar spring means for -extending said pins from said housing member.

10. A carrying case as set forth in claim 1 each of said housing members having a transparent side wall; an opaque side wall cover hingedly attached to each of said side wall members at the bottom edge wall thereof; a handle mounted on the top edge wall of one housing member;

coacting magnetic closure means acting between each of said housing members and its respective side wall cover, including magnet means mounted on said sidewalls at the upper edges thereof and coacting magnetic means on the. upper edges of said side wall covers;

separate release mechanisms for each of said housing members; each release mechanism comprising a plurality of pins mounted in the top edge wall of 'a member for reciprocating movement in a direction perpendicular to the plane of said side wall, and disposed to be extended outward from said housing member into engagement with the side wall cover; spring means urging said pins to an enclosed position within said housing member; reciprocating cam means mounted in the housing top edge wall member for selectively extending said pins;

a separate actuator lever coupled to the respective cam means for each of said housing members; and said separate actuator levers projecting from the top walls of the respective housing members and 8 being disposed adjacent to each other and adjacent the outer face of said one housing member side wall to the carrying case handle when said carrying case having a top rib and end ribs defining a recess for is closed. said side wall cover.

1 1..A carrying case as set forth in claim 1 i 3,807,537 Dated April 50, 1974 Oran T. O'Reilly Patent No.

Inventor(s) 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 {761 the address for the inventor should read P; O. Box 728, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755 Signed and sealed this 15th day of October 1974.

(SEAL) Attest:

C. MARSHALL DANN McCOY M. GIBSON JR.

Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer FORM PO-1050 (10-69) USCOMM-DC sows-pee u s covzunmzm PRINTING orncs 93 o

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4002233 *Feb 20, 1976Jan 11, 1977Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc.Knock-down display case kit
US4669587 *Mar 25, 1986Jun 2, 1987Zika-Plastik GmbhPortable receptacle
US4693346 *Nov 29, 1984Sep 15, 1987Eversdijk Aarnoud WillemCase with hollow frame
US4934571 *May 24, 1985Jun 19, 1990Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaCarrier bag for a vehicle
US6637563Jul 11, 2002Oct 28, 2003Donald W. RuckhClear plastic case for moving through an airport
US6668990 *Mar 12, 2002Dec 30, 2003Norman John Humiston, Jr.Easily inspectable luggage
US6923302 *Jul 17, 2003Aug 2, 2005Travel Caddy, Inc.Luggage with visual inspection panels
US7181881 *Dec 5, 2003Feb 27, 2007Heckler & Koch, GmbhMethods and apparatus to lock a dust cover in a firearm housing
US7581625 *Jul 14, 2006Sep 1, 2009Chun Lung ChengCase with hinge edge frame arrangement
US7641051 *Sep 12, 2006Jan 5, 2010Reborn Products Co., Inc.Package for selling a product with a gift item and for conversion into a keepsake box
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US20040183313 *Mar 19, 2003Sep 23, 2004Sherman Robert A.Display case with magnetic latch assembly
US20050011715 *Jul 17, 2003Jan 20, 2005Travel Caddy, Inc. D/B/A TravelonLuggage with visual inspection panels
US20050016051 *Dec 5, 2003Jan 27, 2005Wilhelm FischbachMethods and apparatus to lock a dust cover in a firearm housing
US20150000805 *May 25, 2014Jan 1, 2015Angelique WhitakerTransparent bag with a non-transparent concealment flap
EP0143499A2 *Nov 22, 1984Jun 5, 1985Aarnoud Willem EversdijkCase
WO1988003769A1 *Nov 29, 1984Jun 2, 1988Aarnoud Willem EversdijkCase
WO1995014402A1 *Nov 22, 1994Jun 1, 1995George ParaskevopoulosBriefcase/case
WO2012057952A2 *Sep 26, 2011May 3, 2012Barnes & Noble, IncA door mechanism for secure digital memory card
Classifications
U.S. Classification190/121, 220/665, 383/106, 190/124
International ClassificationA45C3/02, A45C3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45C3/02
European ClassificationA45C3/02