US 3875771 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Reisner Apr. 8, 1975 [541 LUGGAGE STRAP LOCK 1.711.082 4/1929 Brite 70/18  lnvcntor: Sam Reisner, 550 Hanley Ave, Los
Angcles, C lif 90049 Primary Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attornev. Agent, or Firm-Pastoriza & Kelly  F1led: Oct. 23, 1973 [2l] Appl. No.: 408,390  ABSTRACT A simple tumbler-type lock is incorporated in a housg? ing having entrance and exit Slots for receiving one l5 end ofa strap. The other end of the strap is secured to Z 53 the housing so that the strap may be looped around a piece of luggage and passed through the slots into the housing. The lock itself serves to anchor the strap  References Cned within the housing when in locked condition. Unlock- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing of the lock, in turn, releases the strap so that it 590,613 9/1897 Garrett 24/170 may be pulled from the housing to enable opening of 622.776 4/1899 Mellott 70/18 the luggage 1083x112 l/19l4 Hooker 70/18 1.145.478 7/1915 Gathright 70/18 1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures LUGGAGE STRAP LOCK This invention relates generally to security devices and more particularly to a combination strap and lock for use with luggage, such as suitcases.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The key locking means by which most suitcases and attache cases manufactured in this country are secured are relative flimsy in design and in most cases one key will operate all of the luggage produced by a single manufacturer. In effect, ones luggage can usually be opened quite easily by someone who has a key of the same luggage type,
A further problem resulting from most suitcase designs is inadvertent flying open of the suitcase, particularly when they are fully packed. As is well known, persons will often pack more clothing in a suitcase than it is designed to handle and simply apply sufficient force on the cover to squeeze the contents while fastening the catches as well as the lock. Under rough handling, as often occurs in present day travel, the lock mechanism can easily fail because of the strong opening bias forces applied by the compressed clothing in the inside of the suitcase.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION With both of the foregoing problems in mind, the present invention contemplates a combination strap and lock which will not only provide secure locking of a suitcase, attache case, or equivalent luggage thereby protecting against theft of valuables or even simple vandalism, but additionally will serve to secure the piece of luggage in its closed condition.
Briefly, the foregoing is achieved by providing a housing having entrance and exit slots at opposite ends. A woven strap which may be made from metal strands suitably woven together or strong fibers has one end secured to the housing and its other end arranged to pass through the entrance and out the exit slot of the housing. The housing itself includes a simple tumbler lock for receiving a key. A securing mechanism within the housing in turn is responsive to operation of the lock to move from a first position in which the portion of the strap in the housing between the entrance and exit slots is engaged in a manner preventing backward movement of the strap out of the entrance slot, to a second position in which the strap is released in a manner that it can be moved out of the entrance slot. I
A sufficient length of strap is provided that it can be easily encircled about most conventional pieces of luggage and cinched up to fully engage around the luggage and thus hold the luggage in closed condition against inadvertent opening even under heavy packing. In addition, the auxiliary lock, of course, provides the additional security.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A better understanding of theinvention will be had by now referring to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary, perspective view of a piece of luggage, such as a suitcase or attache case with the strap lock of the present invention in locked position for securing the luggage;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, cross section taken in the direction of the arrows 22 of FIG. 1 showing a securing means within the strap lock in a first locking position;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the securing mechanism in a second, unlocked position; and,
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, perspective view of the securing means within the housing.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1, the luggage strap lock includes a housing 10 having an entrance slot 11 and an exit slot 12 at opposite ends. A belt or strap 13 preferably comprising woven metal strands has one end secured as at 14 to the underside of the housing below the slots 11 and 12 and its other end arranged to pass into the entrance slot 11, through the housing and out the exit slot 12 to define a loop.
In FIG. 1, a fragmentary portion of the defined loop is shown encircled about an attache case 16. As shown, a lock 17 which may be of the tumbler type includes a key way 18 for receiving a key 19. The arrangement is such that the lock secures the strap end portion 15 against rearward movement out of the entrance slot 11 when the lock is in locked condition but will permit forward movement out of the exit slot 12 so that the loop of the strap may be tightened about the luggage or attache case. On the other hand, when the lock 17 is operated to an unlocked position, the strap end portion 15 is released from the housing so that it may be moved out of the entrance slot 11 so that access to the luggage is had.
The manner in which the foregoing is accomplished will be better understood by now referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4.
In FIG. 2, it will be noted that the lock 17 includes a cylinder 20 provided with a projection 21 such that rotation of the cylinder will cause the projection 21 to move from a lower diametric position to an upper diametric position. The lock cylinder 20 itself can only be rotated in response to insertion of the correctly fitting key in the key way 18.
Cooperating with the lock cylinder 20 and projection 21 is a securing means in the form of a cam member 22 pivoted to the housing at 23 for rotation about an axis at right angles to the axis of the cylinder 20.
It will be noted that the cam member 22 includes an end portion 24 which overlies the projection 21 and in this position, the under surface of the member 22, designated 25, is in engagement with the strap end portion 15 within the housing. A hairpin type wire spring 26 biases the cam member 22 in a rotational direction to urge its under surface into engagement with the strap as shown.
The position of the securing means in the form of the cam member 22 as shown in FIG. 2 constitutes a first locked position of the member so that it is not possible to pull the strap 15 in a rearward direction from the entrance slot 11.
Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown the unlocked position of the cam member 22'wherein the key 19 has been inserted in the key way 18 and the cylinder 20 re tated to move the projection 21 to its diametric upper position. This movement cams up the end portion of the member 22 overlying the projection to cause rotation of the cam member in a direction opposing the bias of the spring 26. The action is such that the under surface 25 is' lifted from the strap portion thereby releasing the strap portion so that it may be removed. In FIG. 2, the forward arrow 27 indicates that the strap may be pulled from the exit slot 12 even though in locked position it being understood that rearward movement is blocked as a consequence ofthe action of the cam member 22. In FIG. 3 the arrow 28 indicates that the strap is free to be removed from the entrance slot.
FIG. 4 illustrates the cam member 22 together with the wire biasing spring 26 wherein it will be noted that the width of the cam member is such that its end portion will always overlie the projection 21 from the cylinder 20. It will also be noted that the radius R1 of the undersurface 25 of the cam member is greater than the radius R2 from the pivot point to a more rearward portion of the under surface. As a consequence, it will be evident that when the front end 24 is raised by the projection 21, the strap 15 will be released whereas when in the locked position as shown in FIG. 4 the strap 15 is thoroughly bound against rearward movement, any increasing force tending to pull the strap in a rearward direction causing a greater pressure to be exerted by the cam member under surface because of the radial differences R1 and R2 as described.
OPERATION The operation of the luggage strap lock will be evident from the foregoing description. Actually, a cylinder may be rotationally positioned in either its unlocked or locked position when initially inserting the strap into the housing. Thus, assuming that the lock is in its locked position as shown in FIG. 2, the strap can be encircled about a suitcase or an attache case and its end 15 inserted into the entrance slot and pulled through the exit slot of the housing since this motion bearing against the under surface of the cam member 22 will tend to rotate the cam member 22 in a clockwise direction, thereby relieving pressure on the strap. Any rearward movement of the strap portion 15, however, will tend to cause a binding of the cam member 22 against the strap and the floor of the housing 10 so that rearward movement of the strap is not possible when the mechanism is in its locked condition as shown.
Under the foregoing arrangement, it will be evident that the strap may be cinched tightly around the piece of luggage and the luggage is then not only held against inadvertent opening but securely locked against unauthorized entry.
When a person desires to gain access to the suitcase, he simply inserts his key and rotates the cylinder 20 to the unlocked position, which causes the projection 21 to raise against the bias of the spring the end portion of the cam member 22 thereby raising the under surface 25 to the position illustrated in FIG. 3. The strap may then readily be pulled from the rear entrance slot as described.
From the foregoing description, it will thus be evident that the present invention has provided a very useful device for not only providing additional security against unlawful entry of a piece of luggage as a consequence of the presence of the lock, but in addition will hold the luggage in a closed position against inadvertent opening when the luggage is tightly packed.
What is claimed is:
l. A luggage strap lock comprising, in combination:
a. a housing having entrance and exit slots at opposite ends;
b. a woven strap having one end secured to said housing at a point beneath the slots and its other end adapted to encircle a piece of luggage and be passed through said entrance slot into the housing and out the exit slot to define a loop;
c. a lock in said housing having an exposed keyway for receiving a key, said lock being of the tumbler type including a cylinder which operates by rotation of said cylinder in response to insertion and rotation of the correctly fitting key, said cylinder including an off-center projection which is moved from a lower diametric position to an upper diametric position upon operation of the lock; and,
d. securing means in said housing responsive to operation of said lock to move from a first position in which the portion of said strap in the housing between said entrance and exit slots is engaged in a manner preventing backward movement of the strap out of said entrance slot, to a second position in which said strap is released in a manner so that it can be moved out of said entrance slot, said securing means including a cam member pivoted in the housing for rotation about an axis at right angles to the axis of said cylinder, said cam member having a forward portion overlying said projection and an under surface engaging said strap in said housing when said projection is in its lower diametric position; and a spring biasing said cam member in a rotational directio to hold its under surface in engagement with said strap, movement of said projection to its upper diametric position by operation of said lock serving to rotate said cam member about its pivot axis in a direction against the bias of said spring in such a manner that its under surface is raised to release said strap.