US 3855926 A
A case formed with a compartment having a forwardly facing opening therein and including cartridge mounting means. A ribbon cartridge is received within such compartment and is formed with a check-receiving slot. Rollers are carried on the carriage for mounting an ink ribbon arranged with its ink surface facing such slot. A base plate is mounted in such compartment under the ink ribbon and a floating signature bar is disposed over such ribbon. The signature bar is normally biased upwardly out of engagement with the ribbon and has an actuating arm disposed thereover and pivotally mounted on one end from such case, the free end of such actuating bar being formed with a handle which may be pressed downwardly to engage such arm with the signature bar and urge it downwardly. Thus a check may be received in such slot for disposition under such ribbon and upon depression of the handle such bar will press the ribbon against the check to press such check against the base bar to thereby form an inked signature on such check corresponding with the signature on the signature bar.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Dikoff Dec. 24, 1974 1 1 SIGNATURE WRITER 21 Appl. No.: 386,191
152] US. Cl. 101/336, 101/3 R 51 1m. (:1 B41f 31/16  Field 01 Search 101/3, 3 SP, 336, 287, 101/296, 316, 318, 324
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 66,328 7/1867 Slack 101/318 1,887,555 11/1932 Johnson 101/336 X 2,126,861 8/1938 Altvater 101/316 2,464,042 3/1949 Inskeep 101/336 2,868,120 1/1959 Heuber 101/336 3,296,959 1/1967 Semell 101/316 X 3,762,530 10/1973 Patel 101/336 X Primary Examiner-Robert E. Bagwill Assistant ExaminerEdward M. Coven Attorney, Agent, or Firm'Fulwider, Patton, Rieber, Lee & Utecht  ABSTRACT A case formed with a compartment having a forwardly facing opening therein and includingcartridge mounting means. A ribbon cartridge is received within such compartment and is formed with a check-receiving slot, Rollers are carried on the carriage for mounting an ink ribbon arranged with its ink surface facing such slot. A base plate is mounted in such compartment under the ink ribbon and a floating signature bar is disposed over such ribbon. The signature bar is normally biased upwardly out of engagement with the ribbon and has an actuating arm disposed thereover and pivotally mounted on one end from such case, the free end of such actuating bar being formed with a handle which may be pressed downwardly to engage such arm with the signature bar and urge it downwardly. Thus a check may be received in such slot for disposition under such ribbon and upon depression of the handle such bar will press the ribbon against the check to press such check against the base bar to thereby form an inked signature on such check corresponding with the signature on the signature bar.
7 Claims, 4 Drawing-Figures SIGNATURE WRITER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention;
The signature writer of the present invention relates to an apparatus for automatically forming a signature on a check or the like.
'2. Description .of the Prior Art:
Many businesses involved in financial transactions find it necessary to issue numerous checks each month, thus necessitating signing thereof by persons responsible for payment of the bills of such businesses. With the present day popularity of ball-point pens, many such checks are signed in ball-point ink and unscrupulous persons have developed procedures for lifting signatures of this type from checks for transferral to'other checks of greater quantity thus enabling convenient forgery and defrauding of the check drawer. In effort to overcome this threat and the inefficiency involved in occupying a responsible executives time in the signing of numerous checks, various types of signature writers have been proposed. However, many of the prior art signature writers merely emboss the signature on the checks, thus enabling relatively easy alteration thereof without detectable damage to the check itself. Further, many of the prior art signature writers are relatively complex in construction thus rendering them expensive to manufacture. Additionally, there are no prior art signature writers known to applicant which employ an ink ribbon cartridge which can be conveniently and inexpensively changed by unskilled personnel.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The signature writer of the present-invention is characterized by a case formed with a compartment having means therein for removably mounting a replacable ink ribbon cartridge therefrom. A base plate is mounted in such compartment immediately beneath the ink ribbon and a floating signature bar is mounted over such ribbon and has a pivotable actuating handle disposed thereover for depression to urge the signature bar downwardly against the ink ribbon to urge such ribbon against a check disposed therebelow thus urging both the ribbon and check against the base plate to form a signature on such check.
The objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an ink ribbon cartridge which may be employed in a signature writer embody- DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the signature writer of the present invention includes, generally, a case 11 with a compartment 13 formed therein and having an opening 15 in the front end thereof. Mounted in the lower portion of the compartment 13 is a horizontal base plate 17 and disposed thereover is a floating signature bar 19 which is engaged on its top side by an actuating handle 21. A removable ink ribbon cartridge 23 is received in the compartment 13 and has an ink ribbon 25 mounted thereon for disposition between the base plate 17 and ink bar l9 whereby depression of the handle 21 willurge such signature bar 19 downwardly against the ribbon 25 to urge such ribbon against a check 27 to be signed thereby forming a signature on such-check.
The case 11 is of sheet metal construction and is relatively small in size, as for example, six inches long and. four inches wide. Projecting rearwardly from the front opening 15 are check-receiving slots 28 formed in the side walls of the case 11. Mounted at the rear of such slots are vertically spaced apart 'locators 29 for receiving the rear extremity of the cartridge 23. Mountedadjacent the front wall of such case are stops30 which limit rearward travel of such cartridge 23.
The top wall of such case 1 1 slopes downwardly at 32 and is formed with a pair of spaced apart longitudinally extending arm-receiving slots 33.
Referring to FIG. 3, conveniently, the base plate 17 is mounted directly from such case 11 but, of course, may be incorporated in the cartridge 23. In order to further discourage alteration of signatures formed by such signature writer, the upper surface of such base plate 17 is serrated at 31 (FIG. 4) to cause the signature formed by such writer to be serrated.
The signature bar 19 is of generally rectangular construction and is formed with a thick central area having a raised script formed on the bottom thereof to define the desired signature. Relatively thin flanges 35 project from the opposite ends of such bar 19 and interposed between such flanges and the opposite ends of the base plate 17 are respective compression springs 37 vwhich bias the signature bar 19 upwardly. I
The ink ribbon cartridge 23 is formed from a sheet metal frame which is turned back on itself at its interior end to form coextensive, horizontal top and bottom webs 38 and 39, respectively, which form a closed reversing end 36 and diverge apart therefrom toward an open end to form therebetween a check slot 40 aligned between the slots 28 in the side walls of the case 11.
The top and bottom webs 38 and 39 form borders which define respective overlying windows 41 and 43 that normally register between the baseplate l7 and signature bar 19. The free ends of the cartridge webs 38 and 39 are turned upwardly and downwardly, respectively, to form respective front flanges 45 and 49 which fare in with the front wall of the case 11, the opposite ends of such flanges being turned rearwardly to form ears 51 and 53, respectively. Mounted from the ears 53 is a feed roller 59 carried from shaft 61 journaled through bores formed in such ears. Similarly, a take-up roller 65 is mounted from the ears 51 by means of a shaft which .is journaled on its opposite end through bores formed in such ears, a take-up knob 67 being mounted from one end of such roller. A supply of ink ribbon 25 is carried on the feedroller 59 and projects therefrom and beneath the bottom web 39 of the cartridge 23 with its ink surface facing upwardly and turns over the closed reversing end 36 to overlie the top web 38 with its ink surface facing downwardly and then connects on its lead end with the take-up roller 65.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a mounting rod 71 projects on its opposite ends through bores formed in the side walls of the casell and has the actuating handle 21 mounted therefrom. Such actuating handle is generally U-shaped to form a pair of legs which are each formed with a downwardly projecting cam '73 overlying the signature bar 19 (FIG. 3) and project generally rearwardly and upwardly therefrom to project from respective longitudinal slots 78 formed at the opposite sides of the case top wall, such legs being connected together on their free end by means of a press plate 79. 1
In operation, a check to be-signed may conveniently be inserted in the receiver slot 40 with such check being disposed transversely of the case 11 to register the signatureline under the signature bar 19 (FIG. 3). The operator may then press the heel of his hand against the press plate 79 to depress the free end of the actuating handle 21 to engage the cams 73 with the opposite ends of the signature bar 19 to press such bar downwardly against the bias of the biasing springs 37. The raised script forming the signature on the underside 34 of the signature bar 19 will then engage the upper surface of the top run of the ink ribbon 25 to urge such ribbon run downwardly through the upper cartridge window 41 to engage the face of the check 27. Further depression of the handle 79 will urge the top run of the ribbon 25 and the check 27 further downwardly to press the check through the lower cartridge window 43 to engage the top surface of the lower ribbon run to urge the check and ribbon against the serrations 31 in the base plate 17.
Consequently, the raised signature script on the undersurface 34 of the signature plate 19 will cause a high concentration of pressure on the ribbon 25 disposed on the top and bottom sides of the check 27 to thereby cause the ink to transfer from the confronting surfaces of the ribbon 25 and onto the front and back side of such check in a pattern corresponding with the signature on such signature bar. Concurrently, the serrations 31 (FIG. 4) will serrate the check paper thus rendering alteration of such signature without extensive and detectable damage to such check extremely difficult and unlikely. Release of the free end of the handle 21 enables the biasing springs 37 to urge the signature bar 19 upwardly against the cam surface 73 of the handle 21 thereby raising such handle and freeing the check 27 for removal from the writer. I
After a sufficient number of checks have been signed to result in depletion of the ink on the ribbon 25 registered between the signature bar 19 and base plate 31, such ribbon may be conveniently advanced by merely grasping the take-up knob 67 (FIG. 1) and rotating such knob to draw the ribbon from the feed roll 59 rearwardly beneath the undersurface of the bottom cartridge wall and concurrently drawing the top run of such ribbon forwardly along the upper surface of the top cartridge wall 37 thus resulting in registration of unused ink ribbon between such signature bar 19 and base plate 17.
After the ink on the entire ribbon 25 has been depleted, the cartridge 23 may conveniently be replaced by merely grasping the front extremity thereof and withdrawing such cartridge from the compartment 13 through the front opening 15. A new cartridge 23 may then be conveniently inserted by inserting such cartridge through the opening 15 with the ribbon suspension frame 23 being received between the signature bar 19 and base plate 17. The rear extremity of the suspension frame 23 will be received between the locators 29 and accurate forward and rearward location of such cartridge will be established when the ears 51 and 53 engage the stops 87 (FIG. 3). The signature writer is then again ready for use in signing additional checks 27.
If at some later date a different signature is to be utilized in signing checks, the signature bar 19 may conveniently be removed through the front opening 15 by merely depressing such bar and removing the same for replacement'by a different bar bearing the desired new signature. Obviously, the case 11 may also be conv structed with a separable base and cover to enable the cover to be removed for convenient replacement of the cartridge 23, and/or signature bar 19.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the signature writer of the present invention provides an economical and convenient means for signing checks without occupying the time of the party authorized to sign such check on behalf of the drawer. Further, replacement of the ink ribbon employed in such check can be accomplished rather rapidly and without mess by relatively unskilled personnel, thus constituting a substantial saving in both ribbon costs and labor.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention may be made with regard to the foregoing detailed description without departing from the spirit of the invention.
l. A ribbon cartridge for receipt in a printer having a cartridge-receiving chamber including a print support surface having a print bar spacedfrom said support surface to form therebetween a ribbon path and having a raised indiciabearing face shiftable toward said surface, said cartridge comprising: v
a cartridge frame formed with first and second coextensive webs projecting along said path and spaced apart to form therebetween a paper-receiving slot, said web being formed with confronting windows of sufficient size for .passage therethrough of said indicia-bearing face;
feed and take-up rollers mounted on one end of said frame from said respective first and second webs; and
an ink ribbon having printing ink on one side thereof and feeding off said feed roller along said first web with the ink side thereof facing said first web and extending to the end of said frame opposite said one end to form a first run then turning back to extend along said second web to form a second run and then feeding onto said take-up roller whereby said cartridge may be inserted in said printer as a unit and said paper received in said slot and said printeractuated to shift said print bar towards said paper to engage said indicia-bearing surface with said second run of said ribbon and urge it through said second window to engage said paper and urge it into contact with said'first run of said ribbon and then press said second run, paper and first run together and against said support surface to print said indicia on the front and back sides of said paper.
2. A ribbon cartridge as set forth in claim 1 for receipt in a printer having a front wall formed with a cartridge-receiving opening and side walls formed with paperreceiving slits extending rearwardly from said opening and wherein:
said cartridge frame includes respective downwardly and upwardly turned flanges on said one end of said webs, said flanges faring in with said front wall and wherein, further, said paper-receiving slot is aligned with said slits. 3. A ribbon cartridge as set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said frameincludes downwardly and upwardly turned flanges on said one ends of said first and second webs, respectively, said flanges being turned rearwardly to form ears projecting along the opposite sides of said respective webs; and
said feed and take-up rollers being mounted on their respective opposite ends from said respective ears.
4. A signature writer comprising:
case means formed with a ribbon cartridge-receiving compartment and having a paper-receiving opening in one end thereof;
base plate means mounted in the lower portion of said compartment and formed with an upwardly facing paper support surface;
a signature bar above said support surface and normally spaced therefrom to form therebetween a ribbon path and formed on its lower surface with a raised script defining a selected signature;
mounting means mounting said signature bar from said case means for vertical travel thereof;
a cartridge including a frame formed with first and second coextensive webs projecting along said path and spaced apart to form therebetween a paperreceiving slot; said webs being formed with confronting windows of sufficient size for passage therethrough of said raised script-bearing face;
feed and take-up rollers mounted on one end of said frame from said respective first and second webs;
an ink ribbon having printing ink on one side thereof and feeding off said feed roller along said first web with the ink side thereof facing said first web and extending to the end of said frame opposite said one end to form a first run, then turning back to extend along said second web to form a second run and then feeding onto said take-up roller; and an actuating arm pivotally mounted on one end from said case means and projecting over said signature said signature bar mounting means includes means removably mounting said signature bar from said case means whereby said signature bar may be removed and replaced by a different signature bar.
6. A signature bar writer as set forth in claim 4 wherein:
said case means includes a top wall formed at its opposite ends with respective raised and lowered horizontally extending portions, said, raised portion being disposed over said signature bar and said portions being connected together by a sloped transition section formed with a pair of longitudinal slots disposed on the opposite sides thereof; and
said handle includes a transverse pivot shaft disposed in said raised portion, spaced from said signature bar, said handle including a pair of elongated arms connected on their one ends to the opposite ends of said shaft and projecting horizontally therefrom to overlie the opposite ends of said signature bar and then turning upwardly to project outwardly through said slots and then turning to project horizontally to terminate in respective free ends, said handle further including a transverse. press plate connecting said free ends together.
7. A signature writer as set forth in claim 4 wherein: