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Publication numberUS3828402 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 13, 1974
Filing dateApr 16, 1973
Priority dateApr 16, 1973
Publication numberUS 3828402 A, US 3828402A, US-A-3828402, US3828402 A, US3828402A
InventorsGorman W
Original AssigneeGorman W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for releasable gripping article
US 3828402 A
Abstract
A device for releasably holding one or more articles of different sizes and shapes. The device includes a rigid support member on which is mounted a base member, the latter being provided with a plurality of spring fingers extending therefrom. A spring under compression urges the base member toward the support member thereby gripping the article or articles to be held between the support member and spring fingers.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Gorman I Aug. 13, 1974 [54] DEVICE FOR RELEASABLE GRIPPING 702,523 6/1902 Yawman.... ARTICLE 1,074,506 9/1913 Kusserow... 1,396,428 11/1921 Helzman et Inventor: Walter Gorman, 45 Glen 1,671,725 5/1928 Jones 24/67 5 Troy, NY. 12180 Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin [22] Ffled' Apr. 1973 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Shlesinger, Arkwright, PP 351,617 Garvey & Dinsmore 52 us. (:1. 24/81 PH, 24/67.7, 24/67.11, [57] ABSTRACT 108/43 A device for releasably holding one or more articles of [51] int. Cl A44b 21/00 different sizes and shapes. The device includes a rigid [58] Field of Search 108/43; 24/ 10 A, 1 1 R, support member on which is mounted a base member, 24/11 FE, 11 PP, 11 CT, 11 HC, 81 PC, 81 the latter being provided with a plurality of spring fin- PH, 67 R, 67.3, 67.5, 67.7, 67.11 gers extending therefrom. A spring under compression urges the base member toward the support member [56] References Cited thereby gripping the article or articles to be held be- UNITED STATES PATENTS tween the support member and spring fingers. 216,657 18 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 6/1879 Cochrane 24/67.11 X

DEVICE FOR RELEASABLE GRIPPING ARTICLE BACKGROUND AND OBJECTS In the drawings, the invention is shown as a clip It is often desirable to provide devices for releasably board including a rigid support member 2. It is preferagripping articles so that they will be readily available for use when needed. Examples of such devices are clip boards and attachments for the sun visors of automobiles for holding maps, pencils, sunglasses, etc.

It has been found that a problem arises when more than one article or an article of irregular shape is to be secured. This is due primarily to the fact that an uneven contour is presented to at least one of the gripping members thereby rendering good frictional contact more difficult to achieve.

It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide an article holder capable of simultaneously gripping a plurality of articles of a variety of sizes.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an article holder able to securely grip one or more articles of irregular shape. v

Another object of this invention is to provide an article holder whereby objects may be individually introduced or removed without disturbing or interfering with the retention of other objects simultaneously being held.

A still further object of this invention is to provide an article holder so designed as to permit a plurality of articles to be simultaneously gripped or removed.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide an article holder which includes a planar writing surface, means for retaining a sheet of writing material on the surface and means for holding a plurality of writing implements so that they are readily accessible.

A still further object of this invention is to provide an article holder which may be readily adapted for use in a great variety of environments including, but not restricted to, kitchen cabinets, closet doors, display windows, ship galley surfaces, suitcases, automobile interiors or trunks and brief cases.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide an extremely versatile article holder having a simple design and being capable of easy manufacturing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A device for releasably holding one or more articles comprising a rigid support member, a base member mounted on the support member and a plurality of spring fingers extending out-wardly from the base member.

The device includes means for urging the base member toward the support member whereby the fingers yieldably engage the support member and exert a force thereon. Means are also provided for movingthe base member in a direction away from the support member, whereby the fingers move out of engagement with the support member;

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevational view of the form of the invention shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1 and viewed in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 4 and viewed in the direction of the arrows.

ble that support member 2 be generally planar and have an upper surface 4 sufficiently large to support a sheet of writing paper. A base member 6 including downwardly extending ears 8, is pivotally mounted on support member 2 by means of bracket 10, which includes means (not shown) for supporting pin 12. Since pin 12 passes through ears 8, base member 6 is permitted a limited degree of rotation about pin 12.

A plurality of spring fingers 14 are connected at one end to base member 6 and extend outwardly therefrom so as to form a continuation of base member 6. The spring fingers 14 are made of spring steel, a flexible plastic or any other resilient material having a moderate degree of stiffness and are preferably curved upwardly at their rounded ends 15. While the number or spacing of fingers 14 is not critical, it is preferable that they be close enough and numerous enough to engage articles which would commonly be held by such a device. Accordingly, the narrower the gaps 16 and the greater the number of fingers 14 provided per unit length along base member 6, the more adaptable the device will be for gripping objects of various size and shapes.

A compressed spring 18 is positioned between base member 6 and support member 2 thereby causing base member 6 to rotate about pin 12 in a direction urging spring fingers 14 to engage support member 2 and exert a force thereon. It is preferable that spring 18 bepositioned around pivot pin 12 so as to render it relatively stationary. In order to permit the row of spring fingers 14 to be simultaneously raised off surface 4, the base member 6 is provided with a release lever 20 extending rearwardly from the fulcrum formed by pivot pin 12 and downwardly extending ears 8. By applying downward pressure to lever 20, the base member 6 is made to rotate in a direction causing spring fingers 14 to disengage from upper surface 4.

It should be noted that the assembly including spring fingers 14, base member 6 and bracket 10 is mounted on support member 2 at a position adjacent one end thereof and that the spring fingers 14 extend toward the larger portion of support member 2. In this specific em bodiment, the gripping of objects is accomplished at the upper portion 22 of support member 2 while the lower portion 24 may be used to support a sheet of stationery, for example, for purposes of writing or drawmg.

OPERATION By applying a downward force on release lever 20, base member 6 is caused to rotate in the direction indicated by arrow A thereby causing the entire strip of spring fingers 14 to be raised off upper surface 4. At this time, any number of objects such as pads of paper 26 and 28 and pencil 30 may be inserted between spring fingers l4 and the upper portion 22 of support member 2. When lever 20 is released, the potential energy stored in spring 18 will exert an upward force on the upper portion of base member 6 thereby causing it to rotate in the direction of arrow B. This rotary motion will cause spring fingers 14 to undergo a return motion in a direction toward the upper portion 22 of support member 2. Due to the flexibility of fingers 14, if one or more of them engage a solid object such as pencil 30 during downward movement, they will be distorted from their relaxed position thereby exerting a force on the aforementioned object. This will cause the article in question e.g. pencil 30 to be clamped between one or more of the spring fingers 14 and the support member 2. All of the clamped objects may be released at once by exerting a downward force on lever 2 in the manner previously described.

Due to the fact that each of the spring fingers 14 is independently connected to base member 6, those spring fingers 14 which do not engage a solid object during return motion of base member 6 will once again yieldably engage support member 2 and exert a force thereon. This is best illustrated in FIG. 2. Since each of the spring fingers 14 will continue to move downwardly until a solid object is engaged, the strip of fingers 14 will substantially conform to the contour of the objects being gripped. This feature enables a plurality of objects which are arranged or stacked in virtually any manner, to be securely gripped.

Should a single article be removed from underneath the strip of spring fingers 14, only those fingers 14 which are actually in engagement with it will be affected and the rest of the objects will remain undisturbed. In the same manner, a new article may be secured by lifting one or more of spring fingers 14, placing the article underneath them and then releasing the springfingers so that they clamp the article between them and surface 4.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FORM OF INVENTION ILLUSTRATED IN FIGS. 4 &

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4 is essentially similar to that shown in FIG. 1 but has several modifications which will be described hereinbelow.

Support member 32 includes an upper portion 34, a lower portion 36 and has an upper surface 38 suitable for supporting a sheet of writing paper. Rigidly secured to upper portion 34 is an integral .I-shaped gripping member 40 made of spring steel or other material having spring-like properties. Member 40 comprises a U shaped portion 42, a base portion 44 and a plurality of spring fingers 46 extending from base portion 44 toward the lower portion 36 of support member 32. The U-shaped portion 42 of member 40 is secured to support member 32 by means of rivets or screws 48 and is so tensioned that spring fingers 46 are urged into yieldable engagement with support member 32 in a manner similar to that of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Release lever 50 is rigidly fastened to base member 44 and extends rearwardly from the fulcrum formed by U-shaped portion 42.

OPERATION The device shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 operates similarly to that shown in FIGS. 1 to 3.

A downward force on lever 50 will cause base member 44 to rotate in the direction of arrow C thereby causing the strip of spring fingers 46 to be raised off the upper surface 38 of support member 32. When lever 50 is released, the potential energy stored in spring-like portion 42 of member 40 will cause the strip of spring fingers 46 to move downwardly, thereby engaging either the upper surface 38 of support member 32 or any objects which might be positioned thereunder in the manner previously described.

It should be noted that the individual spring fingers 46 are curved so that they may be more easily raised when it is desired to introduce or remove individual objects without disturbing those already gripped.

While only two embodiments of the invention have been described, it should be noted that this invention has numerous other applications and is not limited to the examples herein disclosed. More particularly, the support member need not be of a size or shape which would render it capable of supporting writing or drawing material. Some of the additional applications are as follows: use in conjunction with the sun visor of an automobile; mounted in the trunk of an automobile to hold objects such as jacks, wrenches, etc; attached to dividers in file cabinets, brief cases or suit cases; employed to hold plates, utensils and other objects on a rolling or pitching ship; used in conjunction with garments or fabrics for storage or display purposes; mounted in kitchen cabinets for the retention of various utensils and used to display and dispense any number of objects in retail stores, etc.

While .this invention has been described as having a preferred design, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification. This application is, therefore, intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following the general principles of this invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth and fall within the scope of this invention or the limits of the appended claims.

What I claim is:

1. An article holder comprising:

a. a rigid support member,

b. a base member mounted on said support member,

c. a plurality of resilient members connected to said base member and extending upwardly therefrom, d. return means for urging at least a portion of said base member toward said support member whereby said resilient members yieldably engage said support member and exert a force thereon,

and

e. release means rigidly connected to said base member for moving said base member in a direction away from said support member whereby said resilient members move out of engagement with said supporting member,

f. said release means including means for permitting each of said resilient members to be moved away from said support member independently of the remainder of said resilient members.

2. An article holder as in claim 1 and wherein:

a. said resilient members are spring fingers.

3. An article holder as in claim 2 and wherein:

a. said support member includes a planar portion.

4. An article holder as in claim 2 and wherein:

a. said base member is pivotally mounted on said support member.

5. An article holder as in claim 4 and wherein:

a. said return means includes means for causing said base member to rotate in a direction causing said fingers to engage said support member.

6. An article holder as in claim 5 and wherein:

a. said release means includes lever means extending from said base member for rotating said base member in a direction causing said fingers to move out of engagement with said support member.

7. An article holder as in claim 4 and wherein:

a. said base member and said return means together comprise a unitary element.

8. An article holder as in claim 7 and wherein:

a. said unitary element is generally J-shaped.

9. An article holder as in claim 2 and wherein:

a. said fingers are substantially parallel to each other.

10. An article holder as in claim 9 and wherein:

a. adjacent fingers are separated by a relatively narrow gap.

11. An article holder as in claim 2 and wherein:

a. said fingers comprise strips having a first end and a second end opposite from said first end,

b. said strips are connected to said base member at said first end, and

c. said strips are in yieldable engagement with said support member at points other than said second end.

12. An article holder as in claim 11 and wherein:

a. said strips are curved.

13. An article holder as in claim 2 and wherein:

a. said spring fingers are integral with said base member.

14. An article holder comprising:

a. a rigid support member,

b. a base member-mounted on said support member,

c. said base member comprising a first portion and a resilient second portion,

d. said second portion having an edge noncoextensive with said first portion,

e. said second portion having a plurality of slots therein extending to said edge thereby forming a plurality of spring fingers,

f. return means for urging said second portion into yieldable contact with said support member, and g. release means for moving said second portion away from said support member,

h. said release means including means for permitting each of said fingers to be moved away from said support member independently of the remainder of said fingers.

15. An article holder as in claim 14 and wherein:

a. said slots are parallel.

16. An article holder as in claim 14 and wherein:

a. said second portion is in yieldable engagement with said support member at a point other than at said edge.

17. An article holder as in claim 16 and wherein:

a. said second portion is curved.

18. A clip board comprising:

a. a planar support member including a first portion and a coplanar second portion,

b. said second portion being substantially larger than said first portion,

0. a base member mounted on said first portion,

d. a plurality of spring fingers connected to said base member and extending outwardly therefrom,

e. at least some of said fingers extending toward said second portion,

f. return means for urging at least a portion of said base member toward said first portion whereby said fingers yieldably engage said first portion and exert a force thereon, and

g. release means connected to said base member for moving said base member in a direction away from said first portion whereby said fingers move out of engagement with said first portion,

h. said release means including means for permitting each of said fingers to be moved away from said first portion independently of the remainder of said

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US216657 *Oct 12, 1878Jun 17, 1879 Improvement in file-holders
US702523 *Jan 31, 1901Jun 17, 1902Yawman & Erbe Mfg CoClip.
US1074506 *Dec 20, 1912Sep 30, 1913Berthold A KusserowSafety article-holder.
US1396428 *Sep 12, 1919Nov 8, 1921Herman HelzmanPaper or bill file
US1671725 *Mar 29, 1926May 29, 1928Jones Harry SClamp
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3953092 *Feb 3, 1975Apr 27, 1976Artistic Innovation Developers, Inc.Mini-desk
US4739541 *May 29, 1987Apr 26, 1988Dennison Manufacturing CompanyClipboard mounted retainer for writing instruments and the like
US4896927 *Mar 1, 1989Jan 30, 1990David LiuCombination clip-board and case
US5836097 *Apr 10, 1996Nov 17, 1998Femc Ltd.Universal shelf divider, label and sign holder system
US6189210 *Mar 24, 1998Feb 20, 2001International Business Machines CorporationFixture for clamping the leads of a circuit component for soldering
US6353998Feb 1, 2000Mar 12, 2002International Business Machines CorporationMethod for clamping a circuit component to a printed circuit board before soldering
US6470536Jun 11, 2001Oct 29, 2002Jason Todd KettlestringsClip board with improved retention means
US6684491 *Mar 31, 2000Feb 3, 2004Seagate Technology LlcConnector plug extraction device for a disc drive
US7128301 *Aug 14, 2003Oct 31, 2006Meadwestvaco CorporationTwo piece calendar holder
US20140063769 *Aug 29, 2012Mar 6, 2014Michael B. WittenbergComponent Mounting Structures with Breakaway Support Tabs
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/67.5, 24/67.11, 108/43, 24/67.7
International ClassificationB42F9/00
Cooperative ClassificationB42F9/001
European ClassificationB42F9/00B