US 3865445 A
Improved suspension-type filing devices for filing documents and the like which may take the form of hanging binders. The devices comprise elongate suspension units having suspension means in the form of one or more hooks along their top sides for suspending the devices from one or more supports located between the ends of the suspension units and a pair of additional suspension means for optionally suspending the devices from a pair of supports located beyond the ends of the suspension units. The additional suspension means are retractable for when the devices are to be suspended by the top side suspension means. Each suspension unit also includes means for retaining flexible binding posts.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Dean et al.
[451 Feb. 11, 1975 1 HANGING BINDER  Inventors: Carl J. Dean, Southbridge; David M.
Wright, Shrewsbury, both of Mass.
 Filed: Feb. 26, 1973  Appl. No.: 335,718
 US. Cl. 312/184  Int. Cl A47b 63/00  Field of Search 312/184; 211/46; 248/317;
France 312/184 1,355,015 2/1964 France 312/184 1,245,313 7/1967 Germany 312/184 1,144,113 5/1969 Great Britain 312/184 Primary ExaminerDonald A. Griffin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Milton E. Gilbert  ABSTRACT improved suspension-type filing devices for filing documents and the like which may take the form of hanging binders. The devices comprise elongate suspension units having suspension means in the form of one or more hooks along their top sides for suspending the devices from one or more supports located between the ends of the suspension units and a pair of additional suspension means for optionally suspending the devices from a pair of supports located beyond the ends of the suspension'units. The additional suspension means are retractable for when the devices are to be suspended by the top side suspension means. Each suspension unit also includes means for retaining flexible binding posts.
1 Claim, 12 Drawing Figures SHEET 0F 4 PATENIE FEB] 1 ms HANGING BINDER This invention relates to suspension filing systems and more particularly to means for filing papers, prints, etc. which are too limp to remain flat when stood on edge in a cabinet or placed in a folder.
THE PRIOR ART Suspension or vertical filing systems are known which utilize filing devices in the form of document carriers or containers such as binders, folders, envelopes and the like which are adapted to be filed by suspending them from one or more supporting rails on which they are slidable. This type of system is exemplified by US. Pat. Nos. 3165104, 3424167, 3208457, 2165157, 1066543, 1071531, and 1832239.
Although most of such systems are designed for filing of documents such as letters, ledger sheets and the like, they also are useable to accommodate other sheet material such as samples of fabrics and photographic negatives. More recently suspension filing systems have been considered as a means for filing computer printout sheets. The latter typically are folded accordionwise and it is not uncommon for the printout of a computer run to number a hundred or more sheets. Also many such computer printouts are required to be preserved and available for repeated review, e.g. inventory and sales summaries. A preferred mode of filing computer printouts is to mount them in binders that are adapted to be suspended on racks or in specially designed file drawers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention aims at overcoming known disadvantages inherent in available devices for filing computer printouts but also is adapted for use in filing other sheet materials such as ledger sheets, fabric samples, etc. Available suspension-type filing devices for computer printout sheets are'designed to be mounted to special suspension systems that are characterized by one or two support bars or rails. In the case of a single support bar, the filing devices are suspended at or near their vertical centers of gravity. With a two bar system, the filing device is adapted to be suspended at spaced apart points which are located between its side edges. As a consequence, a prospective user of such filing devices is required to purchase a suspension filing rack or storage drawer of the type with which the filing devices were designed to be used. However, many business establishments already have filing cabinets of the type having drawers with rails for suspending hanging folders of the type shown in US. Pat. Nos. 3,238,947 and 2,910,985; and for such establishments it would be desireable to have available filing devices for computer printout sheets that are adapted to be suspended in conventional file drawers in the same manner as the folders shown in such patents.
Accordingly, a primary object of this invention is to provide filing devices, i.e., document carriers or containers, that are adapted to be supported at their opposite side edges or between said side edges.
Another primary object of this invention is to provide means affording a considerable flexibility in the filing of computer printout sheets and the use of carriers or containers of relatively lightweight, preferably made of plastic, which are sturdy, capable of holding varying numbers of sheets or pages, adapted to be suspended vertically from and of maintaining a predetermined angularity with respect to one or more support bars, and designed to be readily displaceable along and removeable from such support bars.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved document carrier suspension filing system that preferably is made in the form of a hanging binder but' also can be made in the form of a folder.
Another .object of this invention is to provide filing devices in the form of document binders that may be easily enlarged or reduced in capacity, are sturdy, and can be made in different colors or easily provided with distinctive indicia to facilitate storage in identifiable groups.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a suspension type binder for computer printout sheets and the like that may but need not employ slide fasteners of the type that comprise a keeper having openings to accept flexible binding prongs or posts and locking slides that engage bent over portions of the prongs to bind documents in assembled stacked relation. One such form of slide fastener is shown in FIG. 5 of Patent No. 1,867,158.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved by providing elongate suspension or hanger units that comprise one or more hooks along their upper sides and extendible-retractable suspension means at their opposite ends, whereby affording the option of mounting the suspension units to rails located between their ends or to rails located beyond their ends. Each suspension unit also includes means for anchoring flexible posts for binding documents.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one section of a hanging binding constituting a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of the rear side of the hanging binder section of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevational view on an enlarged scale showing the inside face of the cap member of the hanger or suspension unit;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view on an enlarged scale showing the inside face of the body member of the hanger unit;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view on an enlarged scale of the binder cover;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale of one of the two slidably extendable and retractable suspension means;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary plan sectional view taken along line 7 7 of FIG. 2 showing the disposition of one of the suspension members in the assembled hanger unit;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 4;
FIGS. 9 and 10 are cross-sectional views taken along planes corresponding substantially to the planes indicated by lines 9-9 and 10-10 respectively of FIG. 2, but showing the cap and body members and the binder cover prior to their being permanently secured together;
FIG. 11 is a side elevational view on a reduced scale of a binder comprising two of the sections of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary elevational view of a modification of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a hanging binder section that is designed for binding and filing computer printout sheets. The binder section comprises a hanger or suspension unit identified generally by the numeral 4 and a flexible cover or backer 6. The hanger unit consists of a main body member 8, a cap member 10, and two identical retractable side suspension members 12. The upper portion of cover member 6 extends between and is secured by main body member 8 and cap member 10.
Referring now to FIG. 3, the cap member 10 is made of plastic and is in the form of an elongate bar with a flat and straight bottom surface 14 and flat vertical end surfaces 15. The upper surface 16 of the cap member is flat and also is straight for a substantial distance in from each end and then is angulated, offset and angulated again on opposite sides of its vertical center line so as to form dual oppositely facing suspension hooks 18 and like shaped recesses 20. The angulated sections 22 of the upper surface of cap member 10 preferably extend at an angle of 45. The cap member has flat inner and outer faces 24 and 26 (see also FIGS. 9 and 10) but is formed with a right angle edge flange or lip 28 on its inner face 24 that extends along each end and along the full length of the upper surface 16. The cap member also has a number of hollow studs 30 that are formed integral with its inner face 24 and project outwardly at right angles. For convenience of illustration, only certain of the studs are numbered in FIG. 3. Two of the studs 30A and 30B at each end preferably are of flat oval shape in cross-section, while the other studs are cylindrical. However, all of the studs as illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10 are counterbored or bevelled so that their ends have substantially a narrow tapered edge 32. Completing the cap member 10 are two rectangular openings 34, oneadjacent each edge between the flat oval studs 30A and 308. Although only one end of cap member 10 is shown in FIG. 3, it is to be understood, as is apparent from the foregoing description, that both ends are identical in shape and construction. As shown at 38 in FIGS. 2, 3, and 9, the outer face 26 of cap member 10 is bevelled along the four sides of each of the openings 34.
Referring now to FIG. 4, the body member 8 has a straight bottom surface 40 and flat vertical end surfaces 41. Its top surface 42 is identical in shape to the top surface 16 of cap member 10, having recesses 20A and suspension hooks 18A that coincide with recesses 20 and suspension books 18 when the two members are secured together. However, body member 8 has a greater vertical dimension than cap member 10 so that when the top surfaces 16 and 42 are aligned, the bottom surface 40 is disposed below the lower surface 14 as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10.
The outer face 44 of body member 8 is flat. The inner face 46 is characterized by a plurality of relief areas or depressions 48 that reduce the total weight and materials cost of the cap member. The inner face 46 is undercut along its top edge and down along a portion of each of its side edges so as to form a groove 50 that accommodates the flange 28 of cap member 10. In addition inner face 46 has two horizontally elongate relief areas 52 whose upper edges 54 are spaced below the upper surface 42 by a distance equal to the distance between the upper and lower surfaces 16 and 14 of the cap member. Below the relief areas 52 the inner face 46 forms an inturned flange 56 that extends the full length of the body member 8 and up along a portion of each of its end. The face 46A of flange 56 is somewhat closer to the outer face 44 than the remainder of face 46, as is apparent from FIGS. 8-10.
The body member 8 also is characterized by a plurality of cavities 60 that are located so as to mate with the hollow studs 30 of the cap member. Again for clarity of illustration, only certain of these cavities are numbered in FIG. 4. Two of the cavities 60A and 608 at each end of the body member 8 are of oval shape for mating with the oval studs 30A and 30B of the cap member. As shown at 62 in FIGS. 4, 9 and 10, the cavities 60 have a reduced size at their inner ends, with the shoulders formed at the diameter transitions of the cavities serving as stops for the studs when the members 8 and 10 are assembled preparatory to permanently securing them together.
Referring again to FIGS. 1, 4 and 8, the rear side of body member 8 is formed with a plurality of tongues 64 (whose outer faces are flush extensions of rear face 46) that extend down along and in spaced relation to the recessed surfaces 52. Although not shown, it is to be understood that the tongues 64 are provided at both ends of the body member. The inner faces of tongues 64 are contoured or grooved as shown so that the tongues can function as hooks or retention members for flexible sheet binding posts as hereinafter described. To facilitate manufacture of the body member by a molding operation, and also for purposes of inspecting the binding posts to see that they are properly hooked in place and to pry them loose when it is desired to add or remove sheets from the assembled binder, it is preferred to provide an opening 66 in the body member in line with each of the tongues 64. Although only one tongue at each end of the body member will suffice for binding purposes, it is preferred to provide several tongues at each end so that the device can be used to bind different size sheets.
Referring now to FIGS. 7-10, each end of body member 8 is provided with a horizontal slot 68 in its inner face between the cavities 60A and 60B. Each slot is undercut to form a slide channel 70 of rectangular crosssection. Additionally, the body member 8 is provided with two small openings 72 and 74 at spaced apart points in the base of each slide channel. The slots 68 and slide channels 70 are provided to accommodate the suspension members 12.
As seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, each suspension member 12 consists of an elongate bar of rectangular crosssection, with a hook 78 formed at one end. In this connection it is to be noted that the underside of each suspension member is recessed or slotted as shown at 80 to limit endwise motion of the assembled binder when it is suspended in a file drawer by the members 12. Formed integral with the suspension member and projecting from one side thereof is a button or finger grip section 82 which preferably is knurled or grooved as shown at 84 to prevent the operators finger from slipping when it is desired to extend or retract the suspension member. The opposite end of suspension member 12 is reduced in thickness so as to form a detent or tail section 86. The latter has a side projection 88 that is shaped to enter the openings 72 and 74 and to provide a detent action therewith. The tail section 86 is sufficiently resilient to hold its projection 88 in each opening 72 and 74 and to bend to allow the projection to move out of each opening when an appropriate sliding force is applied to the suspension member 12. The body of each suspension member 12 is disposed in one of the slide channels and its button section 82 extends out through the associated slot 68. The button sections 82 are long enough to extend out through the rectangular apertures 34 of cap member when the latter is secured to body member 8, as seen in FIG. 9.
The body member 8 also is provided with one or more holes 90 (in this case four such holes are shown) in the region of each of the elongate recesses 52. The holes 90 are used to permit attachment of flexible binding posts to the illustrated device as described below.
The cover member 6 is made of flat sheet stock to approximately the same width as the members 8 and 10. The vertical dimension of cover member 6 is made as large or larger than the corresponding dimensions of the sheets or documents to be bound plus the vertical dimension of cap member 10. As seen in FIG. 5, the upper end of cover member 6 is shaped and perforated so as to mate with the members 8 and 10. Thus as shown, the cover member has slots 92 along its upper edge and holes 94 below its upper edge to accommodate the studs 60. Slots 96 at each upper corner accommodate the studs 60A while rectangular holes 98 are sized and located to mate with the apertures 34 in cap member 10. Cover member 6 is made of a durable, resilient material, e.g., a plastic sheet, cardboard, or a plastic impregnated cardboard. Preferably but not necessarily the cover member 6 may be crimped or scored as at 100 and 102 to facilitate bending it back away from the body member 8 to provide access for attachment and release of binding posts as described below.
The design of the hanger unit (consisting of the members 8, 10 and 12) lends itself to the use of plastics and to manufacture by injection molding or other techniques. A variety of plastic materials is available for use in practicing this invention, e.g., polystyrene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethanes, nylon and plastic-synthetic rubber copolymers. A preferred material is glass-filled polystyrene.
Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, the binder section is assembled by inserting the suspension members endwise into the slide channels 70, next mounting the cover member on the studs 30 of cap member 10, and then inserting the same studs into the corresponding cavities 60 of body member 8. Then this assembly of parts is secured together by welding. The hanger unit above described, if made of a suitable plastic such as glass-filled polystyrene, lends itself to ultrasonic welding techniques. Therefore, in practice the cap member, body member, and cover member are united into an integral, study structure by compressing them under the influence of ultrasonic vibrations so as to effect welding in a manner well known to persons skilled in the art (see I. R. Frederick, Ultrasonic Engineering, Pages l90-l92, John Wiley & Sons, lnc., 9965). The use of hollow studs with tapered edges as described assures that during the ultrasonic welding operations plastic will not flow out from between the assembled parts but will be accommodated in the spaces afforded by the interiors of the studs and the cavities 60. During the welding operation the tapered ends of the studs 30 yield by plastic flow enough for the cap and body members and the upper end of cover member 6 to be united.
FIG. 12 illustrates a modification of the invention. In this case the hanger unit 4A consists of a cap member and body member that are the same as above-described except that their upper edges are shaped so as to provide a single book 18B instead of a dual hook. The same cover member 6 may be used with this modification. It is to be noted that with the single hook arrangement 18B, the hook must be located so that when the binder is suspended by attaching hook 188 to a suitable supporting rod, the binder will hang straight and will not tilt.
Referring now to FIG. 11, use of the device of FIG. 1 will now be described in connection with binding a plurality of computer printout sheets. In the preferred mode of use, two such binder sections 2 and 2A are employed with the computer sheets sandwiched between them. This is achieved by inserting two flexible plastic binding posts 106, e.g., posts made of nylon or polyethylene, through corresponding holes at each end of one of the devices, the binding post having a head 108 as shown in FIG. 9 so that it will be held in place. Next the two posts are inserted in appropriate holes in a plurality of assembled computer sheets 111 and passed through corresponding holes 90 in a second binder section. Then these same ends are bent behind the nearest ones of the hooked tongues 64 as shown in FIG. 8. The tongues hold the posts in place and prevent them from slipping, with the result that the computer sheets are firmly bound in place. The assembled binder can then be supported by attaching hooks 18 to suitable supporting rods as shown in FIG. 2, or alternatively it may be mounted in a conventional file drawer of the type adapted to accommodate hanging folders by extending the suspension members 12 and placing them over the side rails 114 (see FIG. 2) normally used to support hanging folders. The detent action provided by the engagement of projection 88 with openings 72 and 74 permits the members 12 to be locked in retracted or extended position. When retracted, the hooked ends of the members 12 do not project beyond the ends of members 4 and 8.
It is contemplated also'that only one of the abovedescribed hanging binder devices need be used to bind and support documents, in which case a slide fastener keeper, similar in principle of operation to that shown in Patent No. 1,867,158, may be used to secure the free ends of the two binding posts.
In any event, the present invention provides a means of binding computer printout sheets and the like whereby the bound collection may be supported by attachment at or near its center of gravity or at its opposite sides.
It is to be noted that the invention is applicable to expansion-type folders and envelopes. This aspect is shown in phantom in FIG. 11 where the bottom ends of the cover member 6 are joined together by an expandible accordion-folded bottom 118 to form an expansion folder. By provision of expansion side walls, the expansion folder may be converted to an expansion envelope. Obviously the cover members 6 and the bottom 18 may be formed from a single sheet of selected material.
Although ultrasonic welding is preferred, the members 6, 8 and 10 may be secured together in other ways, e.g., by solvent welding, cementing or riveting. If a ce' ment is used to secure these parts together, the length of studs 30 are modified so that the parts can be united without any plastic flow deformation of the studs 30. In any event, whether united by welding, cementing, riveting or other suitable means, the members form a strong suspension-type filing device that is easy to assembly and use.
What is claimed is:
l. A rail mountable filing device comprising an elongate suspension unit formed of two elongate mutuallyconfronting members, one of said elongate members comprising a plurality of integral studs and the other of said elongate members comprising a plurality of cavities, said studs being disposed in said cavities and secured to said other elongate member whereby said elongate members are joined to one another, at least one of said elongate members having along its upper side and intermediate its ends at least one mounting means for mounting said device to at least one supporting rail, and a pair of suspension elements mounted to said suspension unit at the opposite ends thereof, each of said suspension elements having a hooked end portion, said suspension elements being disposed in channels defined at least in part by one of said elongate members, said suspension elements being slidable in said channels between (1) a first extended position in which said hooked ends extend beyond the-ends of said elongate members in position to interlock said device to and between a pair of spaced supports, and (2) a second retracted position in which said hooked ends are retracted substantially fully within said pair of spaced supports, and detent means for releasably locking said suspension elements in either of said first and second positions, said detent means comprising a pair of spaced first and second openings in one of said elongage members adjacent each end thereof, a resilient detent section formed integral with each of said suspension elements, and a projection on each detent section, said detent sections being disposed so that said projections will enter and provide a detent action with said first and second openings when said suspension elements are moved to said first and second positions re-