US 3866990 A
A cabinet for tape cassettes, comprising a plastic, box-like case having open front and rear sides, a snap-in rear wall and a snap-on cover door, and a series of cassette-storing slideways on the bottom wall of the case, with a plurality of elongated key levers pivotally mounted above the slideways and having exposed front ends along the open front of the case, and a plurality of L-shaped ejector cranks pivotally mounted adjacent the inner ends of the key levers. The key levers actuate the cranks to push selected cassettes forwardly along the slideways. Depending detent fingers on the rear ends of the key levers normally hold the cassettes in place, and upwardly projecting actuating fingers on the key levers form free-sliding connections between the levers and the cranks.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Feb. 18, 1975 Primary Examiner lames C. Mitchell Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Fulwider, Patton, Rieber, Lee & Utecht  ABSTRACT A cabinet for tape cassettes, comprising a plastic, boxlike case having open front and rear sides, a snap-in rear wall and a snap-on cover door, and a series of 312/15 cassette-storing slideways on the bottom wall of the A47) 81/06 case, with a plurality of elongated key levers pivotally 312/1349 mounted above the slideways and having exposed front ends along the open front of the case, and a plurality of L-shaped ejector cranks pivotally mounted adjacent the inner ends of the key levers. The key le- S vers actuate the cranks to push selected cassettes forwardly along the slideways. Depending detent fingers William P. McRae, 19969 Acre St., Northridge, Calif. 91324 Oct. 18, 1973 Appl. No.: 407,751
Field of Search................................
312/319, DIG. 6; 206/387; 221/274 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENT United States Patent McRae STORAGE AND DISPENSING CABINET  Inventor:
on the rear ends of the key levers normally hold the cassettes in place, and upwardly projecting actuating fingers on the key levers form free-sliding connections between the levers and the cranks.
m M W t u u H" e u u u ma mm .m m .e ari maoma SHCBC 89413 4577 99999 11111 37462 14 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED 8|975 '3, 866.990
'IIIAKVIIIA E I I STORAGE AND DISPENSING CABINET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to storage cabinets for tape cassettes, cartridges and the like, and has particular reference to a storage cabinet of the type having means accessible from outside the'cabinet for selecting and at least partially ejecting a stored cassette.
Efforts have been made in the past to provide a practical and effective storage cabinet of this general type. Representative of the results of these efforts are the cabinets and mechanisms shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 876,865, 1,014,929, 1,327,142, 2,330,173, and 3,582,168. A related ejecting mechanism also is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 830,772.
The fact that these patents, and others of similar types, have been issued over a period of years ranging from 1906 to the present, on devices for generally similar purposes, indicates that considerable attention has been given to the provision of compact, inexpensive and convenient storage means for this type of article. As yet, however, no completely satisfactory solution has been found, to the knowledge of the present inventor, and no suitable storage unit has been found to be commercially available at the present time.
The primary deficiencies in the prior art devices are believed to be in the areas of complexity (with resulting relatively high cost), bulkiness, or generally unattractive appearance or inconvenience in operation. The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a storage cabinet of the foregoing general character which is extremely simple and compact in construction, can be mass-produced at a very low cost, and at the same time, is attractive and convenient to use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention resides in an improved storage cabinet that may be fabricated almost entirely of molded plastic parts, including a box-like outer housing or case and the parts of a simple and effective selecting and ejecting mechanism, and then assembled relatively inexpensively into the final product. Moreover, the present invention makes it possible to catalog and store a relatively large number of cassettes compactly and securely in a relatively small cabinet, and to select and eject any desired cassette quickly and easily with a very simple manipulation of the ejecting mechanism.
More specifically, as illustrated in the preferred embodiment shown herein, the case has a bottom wall with means thereon defining a plurality of slideways for holding cassettes in side-by-side relation for edgewise insertion in and removal from the cabinet through an open front side thereof, and a key-lever actuated ejecting mechanism is provided in the case for each slideway. This ejecting mechanism includes a pivoted key lever having an exposed front end portion to be manually depressed to rock the key lever from an idle position to an actuating position, and a rear end portion carrying a detent that is engaged with a cassette in the idle position to prevent accidental displacement thereof. An L-shaped ejector crank is pivotally mounted in the case and positioned to be actuated by the key lever when the latter is actuated, the ejector crank having one leg which slidably engages the key lever, and another leg which serves as a push rod, swinging forwardly along the associated slideway to push the cassette thereon at least partially out of the cabinet for easy removal.
Other structural features of the invention reside in the particular configurations of the case, the key lever, and the ejector crank, which contribute to economy of manufacture, compactness of storage, and convenience of operation, and in the configuration and mounting of a cover door for the case, which opens outwardly and downwardly in front of the cabinet to form a tray-like extension of the case.
Preferably, a set of recesses for numbered index tabs is provided on the inner side of the cover door, and corresponding index numbers are provided on the case, above the exposed ends of the key levers. These cataloging elements, plus suitable indicia on the cassettes that are stored, contribute materially to the ease of storing, selecting and dispensing cassettes, and permit easy rearrangement or reprogramming whenever desired.
As a result of the foregoing, the present invention provides an attractive storage cabinet which may be fabricated of plastic at very low cost, and which stores a plurality of cassettesin a total amount of space that is very little greater than the actual volume of the cassettes. At the same time, any desired cassette can be readily selected and easily removed, and subsequently returned to its proper place in the cabinet with equal ease.
Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage and dispensing cabinet embodying the novel features of the present invention, shown partially loaded, with the cover door in the open position, and with one key lever depressed;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, with alternative positions of a key lever, of an ejector crank, of a cassette, and of the cover door, shown in broken lines;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partially in cross-section, taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the key lever shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the ejector crank shown in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION As shown in the drawings, the invention is embodied in a storage cabinet 10 for tape cassettes 11 of a well known standard type having a generally rectangular housing, usually composed of plastic and of a standard length, width and thickness. Such cassettes contain two reels, only the toothed central portions 12 of which are shown, for holding a length of magnetic tape 13 and running it back and forth from one reel to the other in a tape player or tape recorder. 4
Along one elongated edge 14 of the cassette 11, the lower edge as viewed in the drawings, are openings (not shown) providing access to the tape during playing and recording. This portion of the cassette is thickened, as indicated at 15 in FIGS. 1 and 2. The opposite elongated edge 17 has two apertures 18 (FIG. 2) that initially are closed by breakable tabs (not shown). When the tape is recorded, at least one of these tabs is broken off, and the resulting edge opening serves to prevent the accidental erasing of the recorded material in a tape recorder. These features, and the abutments 19 shown in FIG. 2 on the end edges 20 of the cassette, are conventional in the art, and are mentioned herein only as background for the present invention.
There have been prior storage cabinets for tape cassettes and the like, including tape cartridges, reels in cans, phonograph records, and other thin and flat articles. Moreover, some of these cabinets, as evidenced by the aforesaid patent, have had'mechanisms for selecting and at least partially ejecting the articles.
The improved storage and dispensing cabinet of the present invention has a box-like case formed by a top wall 21, a bottom wall 22, side walls 23, and a rear wall 24, the front side being open and provided with a cover door 25 that is hingedly connected to the side walls adjacent the lower front corners thereof. For this purpose, brackets 27 are provided on the cover door to project into the case along the inner sides of the side walls, and hinge pins 28 (see FIG. 3) on the side walls are fitted rotatably in recesses 29 in the brackets, thereby defining a pivotal axis for the door extending along the lower portion of the open front side.
As shown in FIG. 2, the case is supported on laterally spaced legs 30 formed on the underside of the bottom wall 22, the legs having flat lower surfaces 31 and progressively increasing in thickness toward the front. The legs thus hold the bottom wall in an upwardly and forwardly inclined position relative to a supporting surface 32 such as a table top, and assist in preventing accidental sliding of cassettes 11 out of the cabinet. For aesthetic purposes, the top wall 21 preferably converges with the bottom wall, toward the front, so as to be either horizontal or inclined slightly downwardly toward the front.
Formed on the upper side of the bottom wall 22 are a plurality of elongated and parallel, upstanding ribs 33 which extend from the front edge of the bottom wall toward the rear wall 24. These ribs are spaced apart to receive the thickened side edge portions 15 of cassettes 11 between themwith a free sliding fit, and to-suport the cassettes on edge in the cabinet.
The ribs 33 thus define a plurality of slideways for receiving and holding a plurality of cassettes 11 in the case. For increased ease of insertion and removal, each slideway has small ridges 34 on both sides, along the bases of the ribs 33, so that each cassette is supported slightly above thebottom wall 22, and slides only on the ridges. A stop rib 35 (see FIG. 2) is formed on the lower portion of the rear wall 24 and projects a selected distance forwardly therefrom, for positioning engagement with the cassette in each slideway, normally holding the cassette in a preselected position in spaced relation with the rear wall and with the front edge 20 substantially even with the front edge of the bottom wall.
Mounted in the case above the slideways are a plurality of elongated, generally horizontal key levers 37, which are spaced above the slideways a distance somewhat greater than the height of the cassettes 11 to be stored. The front end portion 38 of each key lever projects under an opening in the top wall 21 adjacent the front thereof, and thus is exposed to be depressed, and the rear end portion 39 of each key lever extends over the position of the rear portion of a stored cassette, in operative association with an L-shaped ejector crank 40 which, when actuated, pushes the cassette outwardly along its slideway.
Herein, each key lever 37 is pivoted between its ends on an elongated pivot rod 41 extending transversely of the case, between the two side walls 23, and suitably supported at its ends on the inner sides of the side walls. Each key lever has a transverse through-hole 43, surrounded at each end by an outwardly projecting boss 44 for spacing the key levers apart when they are mounted on the rod.
With the appropriate number of key levers 37 on the rod 41, one for each of the slideways, the ends of the rod are supported on the inner sides of the side walls. The key levers are held in closely spaced, side-by-side relation on the rod, with one key lever overlying each slideway and with the front end portions 38 projecting forwardly from the pivot rod under the opening in the top wall, and the rear end portions extending rearwardly from the pivot rod toward the ejector cranks 40. In the normal or idle positions of the levers, the rear end portions preferably are inclined somewhat downwardly toward the rear wall, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 2.
Herein, the front end portions 38 are vertically thickened, as can be seen most clearly in FIGS. 2 and 4, and their upper sides are specially contoured to provide an upwardly facing, key surface 45 that is narrower than the lower part, so as to be spaced from the key surfaces of adjacent key levers for ease of operation. These surfaces may be knurled, as shown in FIG. 4, for non slipping actuation. The rear end portions 39 are considerably longer than the front portions and are of substantially uniform thickness from adjacent the pivot rod to the rear ends.
To form the opening along the front of the top wall 21 of the case, the top wall stops short of the front edges 47 of the side walls 23, and has a downturned flange 48 along its front edge. This flange preferably has a slight forward incline, and terminates just above the upper sides of the key levers, rearwardly from the front ends thereof, as shown in FIG. 2. For assistance in selecting a particular cassette 11, the front side of this flange is divided by ribs 49 into a series of laterally spaced zones aligned with the key levers, to receive indicia such as a series of index numbers, one number being aligned with each key lever.
Extending across the open front of the case is a relatively narrow crossbar 50 which is joined at its ends to the side walls and is positioned on the case to overlie, and partially mask, the front ends of the keys. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, this crossbar is spaced below the level of the flange 48, and covers the lower portions of the front ends, having a short upwardly inclined flange 51 along its upper edge terminating close to the ends of the keys. Upwardly inclined connecting bars 52 (see FIG. 1) connect the crossbar to the upper flange 48 along the side walls 23.
As shown in FIG. 2, an elongated flat plate 54 is secured to and extends rearwardly from the lower edge of the crossbar beneath the key levers 37 and rearwardly beyond the pivot rod 41. The rear edge portion 55 of this plate is positioned to abut against the key levers and thus determine their normal, idle positions, shown in broken lines in FIG. 2.
The L-shaped ejector cranks 40 are pivotally mounted in the case in a manner similar to that used for the key levers. Each has a through-hole 57 adjacent the juncture of its two legs 58 and 59, herein in a sleeve 60 on the leg 58. The sleeve has ends 61 which are disposed laterally beyond the sides of the legs to serve as spacing abutments.
I The ejector cranks 40 are mounted on a pivot rod 62, the opposite ends of which are fitted into two U-shaped holders 63 on the side walls 23. These holders are formed by the rear ends of two ribs 63 formed on each side wall 23, and position the rod 62 adjacent the rear wall 24 of the case, just beneath the top wall 21, with the upper leg 58 of each crank normally projecting generally horizontally forwardly over the rear end portion 39 of one of the key levers 37, and with the lower leg 59 ofthe crank normally depending generally vertically along the rear wall 24, in the gap above the positioning rib 35 thereon.
Each depending leg 59 is transversely aligned with one of the slideways and with the cassette 11 therein, to swing forwardly along the slideway upon counterclockwise rocking of the ejector crank 40 from the normal position shown in broken lines in FIG. 2 toward the position shown in full lines. These legs thus form push rods" for ejecting a cassette at least partially from the case upon such rocking.
The operative connections between the key levers 37 and the ejector cranks 40 are simple sliding connections, which herein are formed by upstanding fingers 64 adjacent the inner ends of the key levers and have upper ends 65, preferably rounded, for bearing against the undersides of the upper legs 58 of the ejector cranks. The fingers engage the legs 58'far enough from the forward ends 67 thereof to remain in engagement through the full range of permissible rocking, and position the ejector cranks with the depending legs thereof parallel to the rear wall 24 when the key levers are at rest on the stop rib 55.
An important feature of the improved cabinet is the manner in which cassettes 11 are positively detented against accidental displacement along the slideways. For this purpose, each key lever 37 has a detent finger 69 which projects downwardly from the rear end portion 39 thereof for engagement with a standard abutment on the cassette. While such a detent may be provided in different locations for different types of standard cassettes or cartridges, in this instance the detent finger is a tab which projects downwardly from the key lever beyond the upturned finger 64, and engages an edge of the rear recess 18 in the upper edge 17 of the cassette. The finger projects into this recess when a cassette is properly positioned in a slideway and the key lever is in the normal position, thus blocking sliding of the cassette out of the case.
In addition to closing the front side of the case, the cover door 25 serves as the support for a series of index plates which identify the material on the cassettes and correlate the index numbers on the flange 48 with the contents of the cassettes. For this purpose, the inner side of the cover door is formed with rectangular recesses 70, in which the plates are secured, the plates having index numbers corresponding to the index numbers on the flange 48, and sufficient space being provided for identifying data pertaining to the cassette which is stored in the corresponding slideway. Such information may be on adhesive labels, and marking tabs (not shown) also may be provided for the exposed edges 20 of the cassettes.
As shown in FIG. 1, the plates are conveniently displayed on the tray-like upper side of the cover door 25 when the latter is in an open position extending forwardly from the front edge of the bottom wall. The door has a forwardly offset lower portion 71 adjacent the level of the hinge pins 28, and a free lower edge 72 which is positioned to swing under the bottom wall 22 and abut' against the latter as the free edge portion of the door-reaches the level of the supporting surface 32. Thus, the door is maintained in the position shown in FIGS. land 2, whether or not the supporting surface extends this far forwardly.
Preferably, the free edge portion of the door has a flange 73, disposed generally at a right angle with the main panel of the door, and sized to swing over the key levers 37 and into closely spaced relation with the front edge of the top wall 21 when the door is closed, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 2. Forwardly projecting tabs 74 on the front edges 47 of the side walls 23 align with the offset in the lower portion of the door for a finished and attractive appearance when the door is closed. I
With the foregoing arrangement, the improved cabinet 10 may be manufactured and assembled at very low cost with a minimum number of parts. The case, includ ing the crossbar 50 and the plate 54, can be molded of plastic, in one piece with open front and rear sides. Both the key levers 37 and the ejector cranks 40 also may be relatively inexpensive plastic moldings, and the rear wall 24 and the cover door 25 can be plastic moldings adapted to be snap-fitted into place over the front and rear sides of the case, the hinge brackets 27 being resiliently flexible for insertion between the side walls 23 and the hinge pins 28. The snap-fitting connections between the rear wall 24 and the top, bottom and side walls are shown in FIGS. 2 and 6.
Accordingly, the key levers 37 and the ejector cranks 40 can be strung onto the pivot rods 41 and 62 and fitted into place through the open sides of the case. It is to be noted that no special manipulation is required to connect the levers and the cranks, because the upper legs 58 simply overlie the rear end portions 39 of the levers. When the rear wall 24 and the cover door 25 are in place, the cabinet 10 is completed.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the present invention provides an improved storage and dispensing cabinet 10 for cassettes 11 and the like, which cabinet is very inexpensive, compact and convenient to use during selection and dispensing of stored articles. Moreover, with.modern plastics, the cabinet can be made quite attractive, to be suitable for use on any piece of furniture.
It also will be apparent that, while a preferred embodiment has been illustrated and described, various modifications and changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, particularly in adapting the inventive concept to the storage of different types of similar articles.
1. A storage and dispensing cabinet for generally rectangular tape cassettes of predetermined length, width and thickness, each having a recess in a predetermined position on one longitudinal edge, said cabinet comprising:
a one-piece, box-like plastic case having upright side walls, open front and rear sides, a top wall having a front edge spaced rearwardly from said front side, and a bottom wall that converges forwardly toward said top wall;
said front side being spaced from said rear side a distance greater than the length of the tape cassettes, and said top -wall being spaced from said bottom wall a distance substantially greater than the width of the cassettes;
a rear wall snap-fitted onto said case and closing said rear side;
supporting means for said case beneath said bottom wall for holding the case on a horizontal surface with said top wall substantially horizontal and said bottom wall inclined upwardly toward said front side;
a plurality of laterally spaced, parallel ribs on said bottom wall extending from adjacent said rear wall to adjacent said front side, and defining between them a plurality of slideways for tape cassettes;
a stop rib projecting forwardly from said rear wall for positioning engagement with tape cassettes on said slideways, said rib being spaced from said front side a distance approximately the same as the length of the cassettes;
a plurality of elongated, one-piece, molded plastic key levers disposed in side-by-side relation in said case beneath said top wall and having front end portions projecting forwardly beyond said top wall, and rear end portions terminating short of said rear wall, each of said key levers being vertically aligned with one of said slideways in a generally horizontally idle position, and having a transverse hole between its ends that is aligned with the holes in the other key levers;
a first elongated pivot rod extending generally horizontally through said holes and secured at its ends to said side walls;
a plurality of one-piece, L-shaped molded plastic ejector cranks disposed in side-by-side relation in said case beneath said top wall, each of said ejector cranks having an upper generally horizontal leg with a front end portion overlying the rear end portion of one of said key levers, a generally vertical leg extending downwardly along said rear wall in alignment with one of said slideways to lie behind a tape cassette engaging said stop rib, and a transverse hole therethrough adjacent the juncture of said legs and aligned with the holes in the other ejector cranks;
a second elongated pivot rod extending generally horizontally through said holes and secured at its ends to said side walls;
said key levers having upwardly projecting fingers adjacent their rear ends in free sliding engagement with the undersides of said generally horizontal legs, and downwardly projecting fingers adjacent their rear ends positioned for detenting engagement with the recesses in the cassettes;
a depending flange formed integrally with the front edge of said top wall and terminating in a lower edge adjacent the tops of said key levers and spaced rearwardly from the front ends thereof, said flange having laterally spaced zones aligned with the key levers for displaying identifying indicia',
an elongated crossbar extending across said front side along said front ends of said key levers and covering the lower portions thereof, said crossbar being integrally joined at its ends to said side walls;
an elongated flat plate disposed beneath said front end portions and integrally joined at its ends to said side walls and along its front edge tosaid crossbar, said plate being spaced below said front end portions and having a rear edge spaced rearwardly from said first pivot rod for engaging the undersides of said key levers to determine the idle positions thereof, while permitting upward rocking of said rear end portions in response to depression of said front end portions;
and a cover door overlying said open front side and hingedly connected to said case adjacent said bottom wall to swing forwardly and downwardly into an open position in which the cover projects forwardly from the case, the inner side of said cover door having a plurality of identifying plates thereon for information correlating said key levers with the cassettes stored in said cabinet.
2. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 1 furtherincluding means on said door and said cabinet for stopping further opening of the door when the latter is in a preselected open position projecting forwardly from said case.
3. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 1 in which said cover door is hingedly connected to said side walls by means of hinge pins engaging resiliently flexible brackets projecting rearwardly from said door;
4. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 1 in which said pivot rods are supported on said side walls on holders molded integrally with said side walls, and positioned to receive the ends of said rods with snap fits after the ejector cranks and key levers have been strung thereon.
5. A storage and dispensing cabinet for tape cassettes and the like, comprising:
a hollow case having top, bottom, rear and side walls and an open front side, said top wall having'an opening across the front edge portion thereof;
means on said bottom wall for holding a plurality of tape cassettes on edge, in closely spaced side-byside positions extending from front to rear in said cabinet, and forming laterally spaced slideways for movement of the tape cassettes into and out of said cabinet through said open front side;
a plurality of elongated key levers disposed in said cabinet substantially beneath said top wall and in closely spaced, side-by-side relation extending from front to rear in said cabinet, and having front end portions positioned in the opening in said top wall, and rear end portions overlying said slideways in closely spaced, side-by-side relation, each of said key levers being in general vertical alignment with one of said slideways;
means pivotally supporting each of said key levers between its ends in said cabinet for independent rocking about a first pivotal axis extending between said side walls;
a stop for each of said key levers normally holding the same in a preselected idle position and permitting said front portion to be depressed to raise said rear portion to an actuating position;
a plurality of L-shaped, one-piece ejector cranks disposed in said cabinet beneath said'top wall and eachhaving an upper leg extending in a front-torear direction and overlying the rear end portion of an associated key lever, and a lower leg extending downwardly along said rear wall, each of said lower legs being laterally aligned with one of said slideways;
and means pivotally supporting each of said ejector cranks in said cabinet adjacent the juncture of said upper and lower legs, for rocking movement about a second pivotal axis generally parallel to said first axis;
said upper leg of each of said ejector cranks abutting slidably against said rear end portion of the associated key lever to be raised upon depression of the front end portion of the key lever, thereby to swing said lower leg of the ejector crank forward along the aligned slideway to push a tape cassette thereon toward said open front side.
6. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim in which each of said key levers has a depending finger adjacent the rear end thereof, for detenting engagement with a standard abutment on a cassette.
7. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 5 further including a cover door hingedly mounted on said case for swinging between a closed position and an open position about an axis along the front edge of said bottom wall, and means on said cover door and said case for stopping opening of said cover when the latter is in an outwardly extending position with the free edge thereof substantially level with said supporting means.
8. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 7 in which said cover door has a forwardly offset lower portion terminating in a lower edge, and is mounted on said case by means of hinge pins rotatably engaging brackets projecting rearwardly from said lower portion above said lower edge, said hinge pins fitting rotatably in recesses in the inner sides of said brackets, and said lower edge being swingable into engagement with the underside of said bottom wall to stop further opening of said cover door when the latter is in a downwardly and outwardly inclined open position.
9. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 5 in which said top wall has a front edge spaced rearwardly from said front side, as defined between the front edges of said side walls, and further including an elongated crossbar extending across the upper portion of said front side, beneath the level of said top wall and cooperating therewith to define an elongated slot across the front of said top wall, said key levers having front ends partially covered by said crossbar while the upper sides of the front end portions are exposed in said slot.
10. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 9 further including a flat flange depending from said front edge of said top wall and spaced rearwardly from the front ends of said key levers, and a plurality of identification zones on the front side of said flange and each aligned with one of said key levers, for displaying indicia for correlating said key levers with cassettes in said slideways.
11. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 9 further including an elongated plate disposed below said front end portions, said crossbar being secured at its ends to said side walls and along its front edge to said bar and having a free rear edge spaced rearwardly from said first axis, said stops for said key levers the rear edge portion of said elongated plate beneath said key levers.
12. A storage and dispensing cabinet as defined in claim 5 in which said key levers have upwardly projecting fingers adjacent their rear ends slidably engaging the underside of the upper legs of said ejector cranks.
13. In a storage and dispensing cabinet for generally rectangular tape cassettes of predetermined length, width and thickness and having abutments in standard position'on corresponding edges, the combination of:
a case having an open front side;
means in said case defining at least one slideway for holding a tape cassette on edge in a predetermined position and for movement I along said slideway through said open side;
at least one key lever pivotally mounted in said case to lie along the edge of the cassette opposite the slideway, and having a front end portion accessible from outside the case for manual depression, and a rear end portion movable away fromthe slideway upon such depression, said key lever having detent means on'said rear end position projecting toward said slideway and positioned for retaining engagement with the abutment in a cassette in said predetermined position, and said detent means being disengageable upon movement of said rear end portion away from said slideway;
and an L-shaped ejector crank pivotally mounted in said case adjacent said rear end portion and having one leg overlying said rear end portion to be moved away from said slideway by said rear end portion, and having a second leg extending along the rear side of said case to be moved forwardly along the slideway upon movement of said one leg away from the slideway, thereby to shift a cassette forwardly through said open end.
14. In a storage and dispensing cabinet for tape cassettes and the like, the combination of:
a case having a bottom wall and an open front side;
means in said case defining at least one slideway on said bottom wall for holding a tape cassette on edge in a predetermined position and for movement along said slideway through said open side;
at least one key lever pivotally mounted in said case to overlie the edge of the cassette opposite the slideway, and having a front end portion over said open side and accessible from outside the case for manual depression and a rear end portion movable away from the slideway upon such depression; and at least one L-shaped, one-piece ejector crank pivotally mounted in said case adjacent said rear end portion and having a first leg overlying said rear end portion to be moved away from the slideway by said rear end portion, said crank also having a second leg extending along the rear side of said case to be moved forwardly along the slideway, said first leg having free sliding engagement with said rear end portion during movement thereof.