US 3869080 A
Disclosed herein is an assembly of two-ply sheet material joined by an adhesive medium in a certain pattern and perforated according to this pattern to provide a plurality of mailable documents or packets of envelopes, each of which has spaced addressed areas offset with respect to any adhesive medium. These packets, in separated condition, are foldable from a sheet-like condition to a folded condition wherein window panels in one section of the packet expose for viewing a pair of desired address areas on an underlying section.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Anderson et a1.
[ Mar. 4, 1975 1 MAILABLE MULTIPLE-ENVELOPE PACKETS  Assignee: Bret W. Anderson & Associates,
1nc., Northfield, Ohio  Filed: Feb. 5, 1973  Appl. No.: 329,595
3,482,780 12/1969 Johnsen 229/69 Primary E.\'aminerWilliam 1. Price Assistant Examiner-Stephen P. Garbe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-W. W. Portz  ABSTRACT Disclosed herein is an assembly of two-ply sheet material joined by an adhesive medium in a certain pattern and perforated according to this pattern to provide a plurality of mailable documents or packets of envelopes, each of which has spaced addressed areas offset with respect to any adhesive medium. These packets, in separated condition, are foldable from a sheet-like condition to a folded condition wherein window panels in one section of the packet expose for viewing a pair of desired address areas on an underlying section. The assembly is especially designed for printing by standard computer printing equipment and later, after the envelopes have been used in a condition of detatchment from the assembly, for scanning by standard computer scanning equipment.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures MAILABLE MULTIPLE-ENVELOPE PACKETS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the contribution collection procedures of churches, a universal practice is to mail or otherwise distribute to each member periodically, such as quarterly or annually, a packet of contribution envelopes. A study of this field indicated that substantially all church envelopes are manufactured and distributed in a similar fashion. Typically, they are rectangular and slightly larger than a piece of US. currency and provided with a glued flap for sealing. The manufacturing of such envelopes typically includes the operations of dye cutting, folding, gluing, printing, address-plate impression, collating, and stuffing into a mailing envelope. An early effort in developing the present invention brought to prototype stage envelopes similar in size and appearance to present church envelopes but manufactured in continuous form as a series of side-byside pairs of envelopes dimensioned to allow impression of names and addresses by a computer printer. This concept was abandoned as too expensive. About this time it was recognized that the church envelope, after its use for contribution collection is useful in computer data compilation. That is to say, there is a growing need and desire for reports to church administrators indicating the frequency and amount of the offering of each congregation member. Such use requires that the envelope be suitable after its deposit into an offeratory receptacle for computer retrieval of information on its face, i.e., the identification of the congregation member, and the date and amount of the offering. Data of this nature needs to be presented in a form recognizable to a computer. This type of turnaround information is now commonly retrieved through manually-driven feed devices with undesirable expense.
It was recognized that another method adaptable to such information retrieval is that known as MICR based upon magnetic ink character recognition, such as used by banks to record the account number and amount of a check in their computers. This method was rejected for the uses herein intended as too expensive.
The developers of this invention regarded optical character recognition, known to the trade as OCR, as economically promising when applied to the total program of envelope distribution, contribution collections, and information retrieval. OCR identifies a method by which a modern scanning computer can operate within a certain pattern and layout of printed data. First thoughts in this field centered around the concept of a simple single-ply stub prepared as an element in a packet of a plurality of such stubs, as opposed to the multi-ply envelope or pocket. The use of such a stub necessitates an envelope for privacy, an element of undesirable if not unacceptable cost. It should be recognized that while it is an object of this invention to provide information retrieval, the practice of scanning a multi-ply article, such as an envelope, was unknown to the industry of processing business forms by computer printer and scanning equipment. Mock-up prototypes of multi-ply assembly leading to the present invention were subsequently constructed of selected material and printed with information which was successfully retrieved by passing such prototypes through the most common and widely available scanning device, the IBM Model 1287 manufactured by the International Business Machines Corporation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Important objects of the invention are: (1) to provide a packet of envelopes, especially church-collection envelopes, of an arrangement and design adapting it to be printed and prepared for mailing on a standard computer printer; (2) to provide a packet in accordance with the foregoing object which may be prepared as an element of a continuous sheet or assembly of many of such packets adapted and constructed for positive drive relation with computer printing and scanning equipment; (3) to provide a packet or continuous sheet thereof forming potential envelopes sized to achieve a maximum number of simultaneous transverse computer printings of the sheet while maintaining sufficient size of the envelopes to accommodate bills or checks without excessive folding and two areas on each envelope for names and addresses; (4) that a packet in accordance with the foregoing objects be constructed with window panels and longitudinal and/or transverse tear lines which enable the packet to be folded into a mailable article with the window panels exposing mailor and mailee address areas; (5) to provide a packet or continuous sheet of potential envelopes which may be printed on the prevailing standard printer computer having a printing line width of 13.2 inches comprising 132 printing positions; (6) to provide a packet of envelopes in accordance with the above-described packet or sheet with sufficient rigidity or snap to remain in good condition for being manually joggled, manipulated, and acceptable to the feeding mechanism of computer equipment; (7) to provide scannable envelopes or documents of which the area of gluing or adhesive application is carefully controlled and the opaqueness of the material forming the plies of the documents is such as to adapt such articles for sc anning by computer equipment; and. (8) to provide such packets in a form conforming to postal regulations, especially in the United States.
The above and other objects are achieved in a packet of potential envelopes formed of paper or a paper-like material comprising a lower ply and an upper face ply overlying the other in longitudinal and transverse and coextensive relationship, and an adhesive medium extending the plies in a pattern adapted to form potential envelopes and window panels. The packet is perforated through both plies along longitudinal tear lines and transverse tear lines to form a rectangular grid pattern of longitudinal rows and cross rows of potential envelopes and window panels of which each comprises an upper face element in back-toback relation with a lower element. The plies are joined by the adhesive medium between opposed marginal edges of at least the elements of the potential envelopes along three sides thereof and along area adjacent the tear lines with each pair of superimposed elements being unadhered and separable along one end when the envelope is detatched from the packet. The face element of each potential envelope has a first area for receiving the name and/or address of the mailor or sender of the packet and a second area for receiving the name and address of the receiver or mailee of the packet. The name and- /or address areas are offset with respect to any of the adhesive medium and are located identically on each of the face elements. The packet is ifoldable into two superimposed layers of potential envelopes along an intermediate tear line placing face elements of one layer against those of another. One of the packet layers has two of the window panels of which one defines a window through both of its elements located in registry with the first name and address area of one potential envelope in the adjacent underlying layer, and the window of the other panel is located in registry with the second name and address area of another potential envelope of the underlying layer. To enable like orientation of the envelopes when separated from each other and regrouped for subsequent processing, each of the potential envelopes is notched identically with the others to one side of the mid point along its open end.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the packet described above occurs, at an intermediate stage of its use, as one of a plurality of such packets in a continuous sheet thereof which comprises continuous edge portions at opposite sides of the packet perforated or otherwise formed to engage in continuous and positive drive relation with a computer printer. A packet preferred for its use as a mailable document and for handling by present computer printers is arranged in four longitudinal rows and six transverse rows to provide 22 potential envelopes and two window panels.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing with respect to which the invention is described:
FIG. l is a perspective view of a two-packet portion of a continuous sheet of mailable packets of potential envelopes and window panels;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view in cross relation taken along plane IIII of FIG. I illustrating ply arrangement of said sheet;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a packet of potential envelopes such as one of the two packets illustrated in FIG. 1 showing the packet folded along its longitudinal axis;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the packet of FIG. 3 folded along its transverse axis after being folded along its longitudinal axis;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the packet of FIGS. 3 and 4 in a flat mailable condition after being folded as shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, enlarged, exploded, perspective view illustrating elements of a potential envelope from the packet of FIGS. 1 to 5; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a modified face element of an envelope.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 depicts a section 5 of a continuous sheet of packets after processing by a standard computer printer. Sheet section 5 comprises packets 6, 7 of potential envelopes 8 and window panels 9, l0. Packets 6 and 7 are separable along a tear axis C-C. The panels 9, l differ by their location within the packet and the location of the windows Ill, 12 respectively.
The continuous web assembly or sheet of which section is a portion, comprises a lower continuous ply l4 and an upper face ply I5 united by an adhesive medium l6. The original unmarked web assembly, united by adhesive medium 16 distributed in a manner indicated in FIG. 6, is perforated in the rectangular grid pattern shown in FIG. I to provide transverse tear lines 18 and longitudinal tear lines 19 with the result that each packet comprises a plurality of potential envelopes 8 and at least two window panels, such as panels 9 and 10. Perforated lines 18, 19 are lines of weakening by which each of the envelopes and window panels may be detached from the assembly and the assembly entirely reduced to its component envelopes and panels.
FIG. 6, by exploded view, illustrates an envelope 8 having elements 21, 22 of plies l4, 15, respectively, ordinarily united by medium 16 but shown separated. Illustrated also is distribution of medium 16 adjacent to tear lines l8, 19 between opposed marginal edges along three sides of the element. The end of the envelope, i.e., the side which is indented by a notch 24 of element 21 and notch 25 of element 22, has no portion of the adhesive medium 16 therebetween and thus causes the envelope to be open-ended when detatched from a sheet of such envelopes.
It is to be noted that notches 24, 25 are offset with respect to axis D-D located midway between and parallel to the nearest transverse tear lines 18 and thus offcenter with respect to the open end of the envelope formed by elements 21, 22.
Looking now at face element 22 of each potential envelope, the face of the element 22 comprises an address area 28 in its upper left hand corner suitable for having printed thereon a sender or mailor address, and in a lower rightward location, an address area 29 suitable for having printed thereon a receiver or mailee address. The angle-shaped indicia 31 provides a signal to a scanning computer for assuming proper registry with, and scanning, the remainder of the printed matter on the face of element 22. As computers typically depend upon identity numbers for relating other information to an individuals account, etc., area 32 is normally printed with the number which identifies, e.g., the contributing church member.
Reducing the size of the potential envelopes 8 to a critical size may involve difficulty in placing the senders full name and address in the upper left hand corner as found in element 22 of FIG. 6. A practical alternative is to print the face of each envelope of a packet in the manner found in FIG. 7 without disturbing its function as a carrier of contributed currency through church money-handling facilities and a subsequent computer scanning operation. This is because the computer needs only the identification number in area 32, and the amount of money shown in the contribution indicating area 35, and the date. The amount of contribution is normally indicated in area 35 by the person, e.g., church official, removing the contribution from the envelope. As shown in FIG. 7, area 28 occupies on envelope 8a generally the area carrying the receiver address area 29 on element 22 of envelope 8 in FIG. 6. Because of this relocation of the senders address area, the window 12 is accordingly shifted within the panel 10 to achieve registry with area 28 when the packet 6 or 7 is folded as shown in FIG. 3 along its longitudinal axis.
FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 show various stages in the folding of the packet 6 or 7 to achieve a mailing document or packet. Using packet 6, as separated from packet 7 along axis CC, packet 6 may be stripped of tracking strips 37, 38, or need not be, as shown, and folded along its axis FF to bring the window I2 of panel 10 into registry with the senders address of potential envelope 8 or 8 a, as the case may be. The window 11 of panel 9 then automatically becomes registered with a receiver address area 29 at the opposite side of axis F-F as the packet assumes the shape of two layers of potential envelopes in face contact. Thereafter, the packet is folded along an intermediate transversetear line or axis l-lI-l to assume the partially folded condition as shown in FIG. 4, or flatly folded condition as shown in FIG. 5, wherein the packet now comprises four superimposed layers of potential envelopes and window panels.
Church envelope packets are described herein in a configuration especially suitable for printing on standard computer printers such as the IBM Model 1403 and other computer printers providing a printing width of 13.2 inches (132 printing positions), and a tracking width of 14 Vs inches from pin center to pin center. A further scanning requirement is that the ratio of the longer dimension to the shorter dimension of a scannable document, such as the envelope 8 or'8a, be no less than about 1.25 to 1.0. Such a configuration results in a packet having envelopes approximately 3.4 inches by 2.833 inches arranged in four longitudinal rows and in six transverse rows. This results in a packet comprising 22 potential envelopes and, two window panels. To obtain a desired stiffness of the envelopes, the web assembly is formed with plies of paper of a weight or quality known to the trade as 24 pound OCR (Optical Character Recognition). This paper has the requisite optical qualities for computer scanning and printing. Plies of other material providing equivalent stiffness and opacity are acceptable. The specification 24 pound" means that 500 sheets of paper, cut to dimensions of 17 inches by 22 inches, weighs 24 pounds.
What is claimed is:
1. A packet of potential envelopes formed of plies of paper and adhesive medium comprising:
a lower ply and an upper face ply of the same width overlaying the lower ply in longitudinal and transverse coextensive relation therewith;
said packet being perforated through both plies along longitudinal tear lines and transverse tear lines to form a rectangular grid pattern of longitudinal rows and cross rows of potential envelopes and window panels, each comprising an upper face element in theupper ply in backto-back relation with a lower element in the lower ply;
said plies being joined by said medium between opposed marginal edges along three sides of superimposed elements adjacent said lines to form each of certain pairs of superimposed elements into a potential envelope of which the elements thereof are unadhered and separable along one end when said envelope is detached from the packet;
in each of said potential envelopes said face element having a first area for receiving mailor address indicia and a second area for receiving mailee address indicia, both of said areas being transversely offset with respect to any of said medium, the location of said areas on the face elements of said potential envelopes being identical;
said packet being foldable into two superimposed layers of potential envelopes along a middle or intermediate longitudinal line of said tear lines to place the face elements of one layer against those of the other;
one of said packet layers having two of said window panels, each comprising a pair of said back-to-back elements defining a window therethrough with the window of one panel adapted to be located in registry with said first address area of a face element of the other packet layer, and the window of the other panel adapted to be in registry with said second area of another face element of said other layer; and
each of said potential envelopes being notched to one side of the mid point along said open end, and in identical spaced relation with respect to said address areas of said envelope.
2. A packet in accordance with claim 1 wherein said packet in unfolded condition has four longitudinal rows and six transverse rows defining and providing 22 envelopes and two window panels, and said panels are located on the same side of said intermediate longitudinal tear line.
3. A packet according to claim 2 adapted for printing on a standard computer printer having continuous sheet advancing means spaced approximately 14 Va inches apart center-to-center, and a printing width between said sheet-advancing means of 13.2 inches, wherein:
said plies have longitudinal edge margins at each side of said packet having spaced apertures therethrough for positive drive relation with a computer printer;
said longitudinal tear lines are spaced approximately 3.4 inches apart and said transverse tear lines are spaced approximately 2.833 inches apart.
4. A packet according to claim .3 wherein:
the stiffness of each of said elements is equivalent to about that of 24 pound OCR paper.
5. A longitudinally continuous assembly formed of plies of paper and adhesive medium forming successive mailable packets of potential envelopes to be printed by a computer printer comprising:
a lower ply and an upper face ply of the same width overlaying the lower ply in longitudinal and transverse coextensive relation therewith;
said assembly being perforated along longitudinal tear lines and transverse tear lines defining a rectangular grid pattern of longitudinal rows and cross rows of potential envelopes and window panels, each comprising an upper face element in the upper ply in back-to-back relationship with a lower element in the lower ply;
said plies being joined by said medium between opposed marginal edges along three sides of superimposed elements adjacent said lines to form each of certain pairs of superimposed elements into a potential envelope of which the elements thereof are unadhered and separable along one end when said potential envelope is detached from the assembly;
in each of said potential envelopes, said face element having a first area for receiving mailee address indicia, both of said areas being longitudinally and transversely offset with respect to any of said adhesive medium, the location of said areas on the face elements of said potential envelopes being identical;
said assembly having uniformly spaced apertures in opposite edge margins by which said assembly may engage sheet advancing means, said edge being delineated from any adjacent of said potential window panels by certain of said longitudinal lines;
said assembly being divisible into said packets, each packet being foldable into four superimposed layers of potential envelopes by first folding along a transversely intermediate longitudinal line of said the center line of said transverse tear lines; said packet to place the face elements at one side window panels being located on the same side of against those at the other side of said line, and then said longitudinal center line; each packet being by folding the doubled-over packet along a longitufoldable first along said longitudinal center line and dinally intermediate transverse line of said packet; secondly along said transverse center line.
one of said packet layers occurring on the outside of 7. The assembly of claim 6 adapted, with the packets said folded packet having two of said window panin unfolded condition, for passage through a standard els, each comprising a pair of said back-to-back elcomputer printer having sheet advancing means proements defining a window therethrough with the viding two rows of spaced sheet advancing pins spaced window of one panel adapted to be located in regis- 10 transversely of the assembly approximately 14 74; inches try with said first address area of a face element of from pin center to pin center, and a printing width bethe next underlying layer of envelopes and the wintween said rows of pins of 13.2 inches, wherein: dow of the other panel adapted to be in registry said longitudinal tear lines are spaced approximately with said second address area of another face ele- 3.4 inches apart and said transverse tear lines are ment of said underlying layer; and 15 spaced approximately 2.833 inches apart. each of said potential envelopes being notched to one 8. The assembly of claim 7 wherein:
side of the mid point along said open end and in the stiffness and opacity of each of said elements is identical spaced relation .with respect said address quivalent to about that of 24 pound OCR" paper. areas of each envelope. 9. The assembly of claim 7 wherein: 6. The assembly of claim 5 wherein: the ratio of transverse dimension to longitudinal dieach packet in unfolded condition has four longitudimension of said potential envelopes is no less than nal rows divided by the center line of said longituapproximately 1.25 to 1.0. dinal tear lines, and six transverse rows divided by UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION PATENT NO. 3.36 353% DATED i-fiarch t, 97
|NVENTOR(5) i Anders-5m:
22m? oe-staph J'teffen It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown DBIOWI Tee 1 colurm 2, lin 7 2*"t0r "tending" insert between Signed and sealed this 1st day of July 1975.
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"M" LJAJUU :ztteSting Officer & L; 2.1 l': l;Il DA: Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks