US 3831518 A
A portable imprinter comprises two covers joined by a flexible hinge with first and second receptacles for embossed cards placed on the inside surface of one cover and overlaid by a third receptacle for a sales ticket. Information on the cards placed in the first and second receptacles is transferred to the sales ticket by rubbing the sales ticket with an imprinting tool carried in the imprinter.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Pittman [m 5 3,831,518 1451 Aug. 27, 1974 PORTABLE IMPRINTER  Inventor: Gary L. Pittman, Phoenix, Ariz.
 Assignee: G.B. Frank Incorporated, Chicago,
22 Filed: Apr.25, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 354,216
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 104,649, Jan. 7, 1971,
3,003,415 10/1966 Herbert 101/269 3,090,303 5/ 1963 Manners et al.. 101/269 3,267,841 8/1966 Metcalf 101/22 3,279,368 10/1966 Wilson 101/269 3,280,662 10/1966 Frankenfie1d.... 81/1 R 3,358,596 12/1967 i Davis 101/269 3,508,488 4/1970 Maul et a1 101/269 X Primary EBcanfiner -RObert E. Pulfrey Assistant ExaminerE. M. Coven Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Alan 1-1. MacPherson 57 ABSTRACT A portable imprinter comprises two covers joined by a flexible hinge with first and second receptacles for embossed cards placed on the inside surface of one cover I and overlaid by a third receptacle for a sales ticket.
7 Claims, 7' Drawing Figures PORTABLE IMPRINTER This is a continuation, of U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 104,649, filed Jan. 7, 1971, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to imprinters and in particular to a portable imprinter for transferring the embossed characteristics on a credit card to a sales ticket.
2. Prior Art As purchase of goods on credit becomes more popular, improved techniques for quickly and accurately transferring the embossed information on a' credit card to a sales record to be retained by the seller are crucial factors in increasing the efficiency of sales personnel and in lowering the cost of doing business. To speed the sale of merchandise on credit, imprinting machines have been developed which allow the transfer of the embossed information from a credit card to a sales ticket by placing the sales ticket above the credit card on a plate and then running a roller across the sales ticket to transfer the embossed information on the credit card to the sales ticket. While efficient, such prior art imprinting machines have the drawback that they are not portable. Usually these imprinting machines are fixed to the sales counter and are not of a shape to be easily carried from one place to another. Thus sales on credit usually are limited to areas possessing an imprinting machine. Moreover, such imprinting machines are relatively expensive and contain moving parts which require maintenance.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention on the other hand, overcomesthese limitations of the prior art imprinting machine. This invention makes'it possible for individuals, such as doorto-door salesmen, without ready access to an imprinting machine, to transfer the embossed information on a credit card to a sales ticket easily and conveniently. Consequently, credit cards can be used to make purchases in a wide variety of locations where heretofore such sales were not possible.
According to this invention, a portable imprinter comprises a piece of material containing on one surface thereof a first and a second receptacle for holding cards containing embossed information. A third receptacle overlying the first two receptacles holds the material to which the embossed information is -to be transferred.
Covering'that portion of the material to which the embossed information is to be transferred is a transparency. An imprinting tool is provided to be rubbed over the transparency thereby to transfer the embossed information on the first and second cards to the receiving material. I
When used to make credit sales of merchandise, the first and second receptacles are particularly suitable for holding embossed cards identifying the purchaser and the seller of the merchandise. In this situation, the third receptacle holds the sales ticket to which the embossed information on the cards in the first and second receptacles is to be transferred. The transparency is arranged so as not to cover those portions of the sales ticket on which a description of the merchandiseis written and which the customer signs.
In one embodiment, the portable imprinter of this invention comprises two folding covers. The first and sec- 0nd receptacles for the credit card and sellers card are located on the inside surface of one cover. The receptacle for the receipt of the sales ticket is located above the first and second receptacles. On the inside of the other cover is a pocket for receipt of extra sales tickets and receipts. The imprinting tool is placed in a pocket adjacent the first and second receptacles.
When the two covers of the portable imprinter of this invention are closed, the imprinter fits in the inside jacket pocket of the salesman. The imprinter of this invention is thin when closed it is at most about /2 inch thick and thismaximum thickness is only in that portion adjacent the imprinting tool and resembles a wallet. Typically, an imprinter constructed according to the principles of this invention is approximately four inches wide and 8% inches long. It can, of course, assume awide variety of other dimensions, as desired.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS portable imprinter of this invention is used.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION For convenience,'the portable imprinter of this invention will be described in conjunction with its use to record on a .sales ticket embossed information on a credit card. This imprinter is, of course, not limited to vuse with credit cards but can be used to transfer information embossed on a wide variety of cards to other materials. c
As shown in FIG. 1, the portable imprinter 10 of this invention includes covers 11 and 12 flexibly joined by a hinge 25. Typically hinge 25 is a more flexible portion of the same material comprising covers 11 and 12 although, of course, hinge 25 can be of any suitable construction. Covers 11 and 12 are, in one embodiment, flexible enough to conform to the inner pocket of a jacket but hard enough to support writing. These covers can, however, if desired be completely flexible but then the portable imprinter is best used on a firm support surface. Alternatively, these covers can be of a hard material, such as a metal or hard plastic. Use of at least a moderately stiff material allows the imprinter to be held in a hand while being used and avoids the necessity of a support surface.
Contained on the inside surface of cover 12 is a first receptacle '16 for holding a credit card 27 (FIGS. 3a and 2b) containing information identifying the customer. Typically, the credit card 27 contains in raised letters the customers name, address, identification number and any other essential or desired information. Receptacle 17 holds the salesmans identification card 28. Likewise, this card identifies the salesman in raised letters and numbers. The customers credit card 27, with the embossments facing away from the inner surface of cover 12, is inserted into receptacle l6 beneath side 16a of this receptacle in the direction of arrow 16b. The salesmans identification card 28, also with its embossments facing away from the inner surface of cover 12, is inserted into receptacle l7 beneath side I 17a in the direction of arrow 17b (See FIGS. 3a and 2b). Of course, these cards can be inserted from other directions if desired and the receptacles are so arranged. Both receptacles consist of annular bands of material to surround and retain the edges of the cards and leave uncovered the embossed information on the cards. By annular band is meant a closed band of material of any shape although, in general, the shape is rectangular. All sides but one of each annular band are firmly attached at their outer edges to the inside surface of cover 12. Sides 16a and 17a, however, are not attached to this surface and thus allow cards to be slid underneath these sides into the corresponding receptacles.
Overlying receptacles l6 and 17 is transparent cover 18. The material 26, typically a sales ticket, to which the embossed information on the cards 27 and 28 in receptacles l6 and 17, respectively (FIGS. 2b and 3a), is to be transferred, is inserted between the bottom surface of transparent cover 18 (F IGS. 2b and 3b) and the top surfaces of the cards. The embossments 27a and 280 (F IG. 2b) on cards 27 and 28, respectively, contact directly the bottom surface of the sales ticket.
To transfer the information embossed on the credit card 27 and sellers identification card 28 to the sales ticket, the salesman takes imprinting tool from pocket 14 (FlG. la) and rubs, as shown in FIG. 30, across the top surface of transparent cover 18. Tool 15 (FIG. lb) possesses a spoon-like bowl 15a on the end of handle 15b and is of a hard material. The salesman presses the convex surface of bowl 15a over transparency 18. The information contained in the raised charT acters on credit card 27 and sellers identification card 28 is transferred by means of carbon paper contained within the sales ticket to the sales ticket. While rollers and plates were also tried in place of tool 15, these other implements were not satisfactory.
The salesman can observe the transfer of information through transparency 18. Transparency l8 prevents the wrinkling of sales ticket 26 due to rubbing. With a wrinkle-proof sales ticket transparency l8can be omitted. A portion of receptacle 18 can be retained, however. to prevent sales ticket 26 from moving while being rubbed.
The salesman writes a description of the merchandise purchasedand the price on the right-hand-side 26b of sales ticket 26. The customer signs the right-hand-side 26b of the sales ticket and receives a receipt for his records. The salesman then removes the sales ticket 26 from beneath transparent cover 18 and, if he desires, deposits it in pocket 13 formed on the inner surface of cover 11.
The portable imprinter described is light in weight, easily manufactured at a low cost and conveniently used. It extends the services which can be offered to the public on credit by making it possible for individuals who do not have ready access to more complicated imprinting machines to make sales on credit.
It should be noted that if desired, receptacle 17 for the seller's identification card can be omitted and this information can be directly embossed on the inside surface of cover 12. This embossed information would be identical in appearance to the embossed information on card 28 as shown in FlG. 3a. FIG. 3a thus also depicts this'embodiment.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable imprinter comprising:
first cover means possessing an inside surface and an outside surface;
first receptacle means, attached to the inside surface of the first cover means, for receipt of at least one embossed card;
an additional receptacle means, attached to the inside surface of said first cover means and overlying the first receptacle means, for receiving material upon which to record the information represented by the embossments on the at least one embossed card;
means for transferring the information represented by the embossments on the at least one embossed card placed in the first receptacle means to the material, said means for transferring comprising a spoon-like bowl of a hard material attached to a handle, the convex surface of said spoon-like bowl being suitable for being rubbed over the top surface of said additional receptacle means to transfer the information represented by the embossments on the cards to said material, said means for transferring being supportable by the hand during the transfer of information from the at least one embossed card to said material;
second cover means possessing an inside surface and an outside surface;
second receptacle means, attached to the inside surface of said second cover means, for receipt of the material upon which the information represented by the embossments of the at least one embossed card is recorded;
hinge means connecting the first cover means to the second cover means, said hinge means comprising a more flexible portion of the same material from which said first and second cover means are formed, said hinge means being such that said second cover means can be rotated from a position where the inside surface of the first cover means is disposed adjacent and substantially parallel to the inside surface of the second cover means to a position where the second cover means is in the same plane as the first cover means.
-2. Structure as in claim 1 wherein the portable imprinter is at most about one-half inch thick, four inches wide, and eight and one-half inches long when the second cover means is disposed in a position adjacent and substantially parallel to the first cover means.
3, Structure as in claim 1 wherein said first receptacle means comprises:
, a first receptacle for receipt of a first card containing embossed information; and
a second receptacle for receipt of a second card containing embossed information.
4. Structure as in claim 1 wherein said additional receptacle means comprises a transparent surface so that the information transferred to said material from said at least one card in said first receptacle means is readily visible.
5. Structure as in claim 1 wherein said .first cover means contains on said inside surface a second additional receptacle means for receipt of said means for transferring.
6. Structure as in claim 3 wherein each of said first receptacle means comprises a closed band of material rectangular in shape, attached at its outside edge to the inside surface of said first cover means on all sides except one, that one side being unattached to allow a card to be slipped under said unattached side into said receptacle.
7. Structure as in claim 1 wherein said first receptacle means comprises a single receptacle and said first cover means contains identifying embossments on the inside