US 3851505 A
A card holding device is provided which is mounted to a vehicle dashboard for conveniently retaining a parking card, or the like, when not in use. A lock mechanism including a solenoid is connected to the vehicle ignition switch to prevent unauthorized removal of the card when the vehicle is left unattended.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Wilkinsonv [451 Dec. 3, 1974 CARD HOLDER FOR VEHICLES  Inventor: Lawrence H. Wilkinson, 718 Encino P1,, N.E., Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87106  Filed: May 1, 1973  Appl. N0.: 356,079
52 us. Cl. 70/255, 70/389 Int. Cl E05b 65/12  Field of Search 70/276,277, 278, 413,
70/389, 390, 387, 405, 237, 258, 255, 58; 40/10 A, B, R, 15 A, 17, 18, A
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 429,795 6/1890 Pusey 70/390 x 745,355 11/1903 Walbridge.... 70/390 1,500,028 7/1924 Morrison /15 R 1,590,006 6/1926 Wcrley /255 1,628,525 5/1927 Bell 40/15 A 2,151,113 3/1939 Jac0bi.... 70/81 X ,3,595,042 7/1971 Sedley.... 70/276 3,636,745 l/l972 Green 70/281 3,705,277 12/1972 Sedley 200/45 3,708,032 1/1973 Suzuki /114 Primary ExaminerRobert L. Wolfe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Clarence A. OBrien; Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT A card holding device is provided which is mounted to a vehicle dashboard for conveniently retaining a parking card, or the like, when not in use. A lock mechanism,including a solenoid is connected to the vehicle ignition switch to prevent unauthorized removal of the card when the vehicle is left unattended.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures CARD HOLDER FOR VEHICLES The present invention is generally related to vehicle accessory holders and, more particularly, to a unique device for holding parking cards, or the like.
' In recent years, credit. cards and the like have become most popular and are used for nearly every type of purchase and transaction. This is particularly true of vehicle related purchases and services, where cards may even be used for gaining access to automated parking lots. Heretofore, the use of such credit cards has been rather bothersome to the vehicle operator, as he had to reach in his back pocket to remove his wallet to get the desired card. Therefore, it would be most desirable to provide a means of holding vehicle parking cards and the like within easy reach of the driver, such that the cards may be retrieved with a minimum amount of effort.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel device for holding parking cards, or the like, within easy reach of the driver for convenient storage and retrieval, as desired.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a unique card holding device including means for preventing unauthorized removal of a credit card, parking card, or the like held by the device.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a versatile card holding device including a solenoid operated lock mechanism which prevents removal of the card unless the vehicle ignition switch is turned on.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a novel card holding device which is convenient to operate, includesa minimum number of moving parts, is durable, long lasting, easy to install, and economical to manufacture and maintain.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafterdesc'ribed and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
FIG. I is a perspective view of a typical'vehicle dashboard with' the card holding device of the present invention installed therein. 3
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the card holding device of the present invention with a typical parking card inserted therein.
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of the device shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation similar to FIG. 3, but with the card locked in place.
Referring now, more particularly, to FIG. I of the drawings, the card holding device of the present invention is generally indicated by the numeral and is illustrated as being mounted in a typical vehicle dashboard panel 12 provided with a conventional vehicle ignition switch 14. The card holding device is provided with a framework or housing 16 which is provided with a card-receiving slot or opening 18 into which a parking card 20 or the like may be conveniently inserted. Preferably, the card is held in the slot and stored there when not in use. When the vehicle operator requires use of the card, for example, in the event of a purchase, or to gain access to an automated parking lot, the card may be easily removed from the device which is within convenient reach of the vehicle operator. However, the device is provided with a locking mechanism which prevents removal of the card in the event that the vehicle ignition switch is turned off, as hereinafter explained.
Referring now, more particularly to FIGS. 24, the structure and operation of the card holding device of the present invention may be more fully understood. The device is provided with a housing or framework 22 which is appropriately fastened to the vehicle dashboard by way of brackets 24, or other appropriate means. Of course, if desired, the device may be mounted separate from the vehicle dashboard, but still within convenient reach of the vehicle operator. A solenoid 26, or other appropriate means of actuation is mounted to housing 22 and is provided with an elongated actuator 28 which is reciprocated upon energization of the solenoid to lock or unlock the card holding device. A lever member 30 is pivotally mounted on top of housing 22 and is provided with a cam surface 32 which is engaged by the end of actuator 28. Lever member 30 is also provided with a finger portion 34 having a lower surface in engagement with a lockpin 36 which is reciprocally mounted to housing 22. A coil compression spring 38, or other biasing means, is disposed between an enlarged head portion 39 of the locking pin and housing 22, such that it influences the pin upwardly into engagement with lever member 30.
Card 20 is provided with an aperture 40, or other appropriate irregularity on its surface which is retentively engaged by locking pin 36 when it is depressed to the locked position. When card 20 is fully inserted into the receiving slot 18 of the card holding device, opening 40 is in general alignment with locking pin 36. With the vehicle ignition switch in the on" position, solenoid 26 is conditioned to hold actuator 28 in the retracted or open position illustrated in FIG. 3. In this condition, locking pin 38 is in an uppermost position, such that it does not interfere with removal of the card from the receiving slot. r I r When the vehicle ignition switch is turned off, solenoid 26 is appropriately operated, preferably by deenergization thereof, to cause actuator 28 to move to the right as illustrated in FIG. 4. The end of actuator 28 presses against cam surfaces 32 of lever 30, causing it to pivot in a clockwise direction to a locked position as shown in FIG. 4. This movement, in turn, depresses actuator pin 36 against the bias of spring 38, such that the lower end of the actuator pin extends into the card opening 40. With the pin in the locked position, it is impossible to remove the card from the holding device without destroying the card or causing significant damage thereto.
From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the card holding device permits the insertion or removal of a card when solenoid 26 is appropriately actuated to withdraw the lockpin 36. Preferably, this condition occurs when the solenoid is energized. However, if desired, an appropriate solenoid control arrangement may be provided to provide this condition when deenergized. It should also be noted that actuators, other than solenoids, may be provided to effect operation of the locking mechanism. For example, vehicle vacuum or fluid pressure may be utilized to maintain the mechanism in an unlocked condition until the vehicle engine is shut off and a corresponding drop in pressure or vacuum permitting movement of the locking pin to the locked position. Such arrangements would be provided with other appropriate springs or biasing means to overcome the bias of spring 39 to move the locking pin to the locked position.
Also, in order to prevent the card from dropping when the lock pin 36 is retracted, the housing 22 has one or more bowed leaf springs 42 mounted thereon in any suitable manner and frictionally engaging the card through an appropriately located notch 44. This structure prevents the card from falling out due to vibrations or gravity when going uphill as would occur during normal operation of the vehicle. Further, multiple card holding devices may be built in when constructing the dashboard or instrument panel or one or more card holding devices may be added on to an existing vehicle as an accessory. The term vehicle as used in this application is intended not only to include automobiles but all types of over-the-road vehicles, boats and other water vehicles, airplanes and other airborne craft and any other suitable vehicle. Additionally, the location of the aperture in the card and the location of the locking pin may be varied to eliminate any problem of reduction in the information carrying space on the card.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. In combination, a mounting panel having a slot formed therein, a flat elongated hollow housing having at least one open end and a pair of opposing large plan area longitudinal side walls interconnected along corresponding longitudinal edges by a pair of opposing small plan area longitudinal side walls extending and secured therebetween, means supporting said housing from one side of said mounting panel with said one open end registered with said slot, whereby a card may be inserted into said slot from the other side of said mounting panel for at least substantial displacement of the first inserted end of said card into said housing, one of said large plan area side walls having an opening formed therethrough, an elongated locking pin plunger disposed generally normal to said one side wall, means supporting said pin plunger from said one side wall for lengthwise reciprocation of said pin through said opening between an extended position with said pin plunger projecting into the interior of said housing and a retracted position with said pin plunger retracted from the interior of said housing, means connected between said pin plunger and said one side wall yieldingly biasing said pin plunger toward its retracted position, a lever pivotally supported from the exterior of said one side wall for oscillation about an axis extending transversely of said lever intermediate its opposite ends and generally paralleling said one side wall, one end of said lever being disposed outwardly of and comprising an abutment defining the outer limit of movement of the outer end of said pin plunger, solenoid means carried by said one side wall and including a reciprocal actuator shiftable between extended and retracted positions and normally biased toward the extended position, said actuator including an operative connection with the other end of said lever to allow oscillation of the latter to a position permitting retraction of said pin plunger and to shift said lever to a position moving said pin plunger to the extended position therof upon deactivation of said solenoid means, said pin plunger, when in the extended position, being adapted to be received through a bore formed through a card positioned in said housing with the bore registered with said opening to lock said card in said housing against retraction therefrom.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said path of reciprocation of said actuator generally parallels said one side wall.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said mounting panel comprises a portion of the dashboard of a vehicle.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein said vehicle includes an ignition circuit, said solenoid means being electrically connected in said ignition circuit for actuation of said solenoid means in response to said ignition circuit being closed.