US 3887286 A
This invention provides an improvement in a finger-tip writing instrument comprising an elongated body portion adapted to fit on the end of a finger through one end and provided with writing means at the other end wherein the improvement is characterized in that said body portion comprises a flexible material.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 1111 3,887,286 Bucey June 3, 1975  FINGER-TIP WRITING INSTRUMENT 684,685 10/1901 Gerst 401/7 W61 Inventor: Jackson Bucey, 41 Schoefield i515??? 2/333 fiiiifv'fiiiiiiiijjji....
Rdw Rochester, 14617 2,728,932 1/1956 Ramsey Filed: Feb. 74 2,989,807 6/1961 FIOIBIICG 401/7 X PP N05 439,294 Primary Examiner-Lawrence Charles 52 11.8. C1 401/7; 401/7 x  ABSTRACT  Int. Cl B43b 7/00 This invention provides an improvement in a finger-tip  Field of Search 401 /6-8; writing instrument comprising an elongated body por- 15/143, 443 tion adapted to fit on the end of a finger through one end and provided with writing means at the other end  References Cited wherein the improvement is characterized in that said UNITED STATES PATENTS body portion comprises a flexible material.
372,903 11/1887 Forster 401/7 8 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures mmnzmuwa ms 3. 887286 SHEET 1 FINGER-TIP WRITING INSTRUMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention deals with a writing instrument which can be mounted by the user on a finger, especially on the index finger. Such a writing instrument is highly useful, especially for those individuals who are constantly engaged in careful reading and checking. Such people normally put down and pick up a writing instrument many times during the day. For such persons it is highly desirable to have a writing instrument fixed onto a finger in such a way that it leaves the rest of the hand free for activities other than merely holding the pen for writing and permits the user to resume his writing task without having to search for his writing implement.
PRIOR ART The idea of a writing implement which is press fit onto the finger of the user or writer is known in the art from such patents as the following:
Australian Patent No. 158,264 King U.S. Patent No. 281,525 Lane 488,945 Nelson 504,918 Geissinger 684,685 Gerst 2,151,846 Greneker 2,509,837 Niizawa 3,048,149 Guttman All of this prior art is deficient and has failed to produce an instrument which is comfortable to use. All of this prior art has used completely rigid structures of relatively short lengths. This has required considerable pressure to fit the instrument to the finger so that it does not lossen. Even then, the press fit as used in the prior art loosens quickly with the instrument thereafter slipping off readily from the finger. Further, the exces sive pressure necessary to get retention of the writing instrument on the finger causes great discomfort when such prior art devices are used.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION All of the prior art devices have failed in several respects. To be a useful finger-tip writing implement at least two essential criteria must be met. Firstly, the finger-tip implement must readily permit the finger to be inserted therein and secondly, to securely fasten the implement to the finger by a press fit. This is most readily accomplished by having a finger-tip implement of sufficient elongation that a substantial portion of the finger is inserted into the writing implement so that the press fit occurs over a larger surface area and thereby securely mounts the device on the finger.
If such an elongated writing implement is used, and if it is made of a rigid structure it will be seen that the portion of the finger which is inserted into the implement will be maintained substantially straight and will be constrained in conformity with the rigid inner surface area of the writing instrument. It is well known that in writing the index finger is normally bent somewhat at the various joints. To the extent that rigidity is imposed on the finger, especially during the period when writing occurs, there will be caused considerable discomfort to the user. Additionally, if the finger is maintained in a rigid position the user will also be discomforted and constrained in the other uses of the finger during non-writing periods.
In accordance with this invention there is provided a somewhat elongated finger-tip writing implement which gives a secure press fit and which is constructed. at least in part, of a flexible material to permit a greater area of press fit onto the finger and at the same time the flexing of the finger when the writing instrument is pressed into place. The flexible material is one which is known in the art, and may preferably be one which is not only flexible but which also has some elasticity or give.
The length to which the finger need be inserted to achieve a secure engagement of the finger to the writing implement has been found preferably to be one where the writing implement base encircles the finger at a distance at least substantially past the first joint of the finger.
Since the fingers of different individuals vary in thickness, width and length, it is contemplated, as one aspect of this invention, that various sizes of flexible finger-tip implements be made. Thus, there could be small, medium and large adult sizes available permitting the user to choose the size writing instrument which more adequately gives the proper fit and comfort. In this manner there could be a childs small, medium and large size for similar choice by children.
It is further contemplated as another aspect of this invention that the writing instrument can be constructed of portions of varying flexibility. Thus, as an example, the instrument into which the finger is inserted has longitudinal portions of moderately flexible structure interspersed with portions of extremely flexible structure. Such a structure permits a stretching effect when the finger is inserted into the writing instrument and achieves a snug fit onto the finger. The fact that a substantial portion of the instrument is of some flexibility in all directions permits the flexing of the finger joints at a right angle to the longitudinal axis of the writing instrument as required in the normal writing operation.
In another modification of this invention the writing portion of this finger-tip instrument is of the conventional ball point type or of the conventional felt tip type. It is well known how to fashion and manufacture such writing tips and the inks they use. For purposes of having these writing tips fixedly attached to the writing end portion of the writing instrument of this invention, a portion of the writing end of the finger-tip instrument is constructed of a rigid substance which is integral with or attached to the flexible portion of the finger-tip instrument.
In another modification of this invention the writing point in the writing portion of the instrument is at a position at a distance off from the center. In this manner the writing tip is in a downward position when the finger-tip instrument is placed on the finger with the writing portion down. This position makes writing easier. The downward position of the finger-tip pen conforms to the natural need for the position of the writing point in the art of writing. Furthermore, this permits the user to turn the instrument with the writing tip in an upward or sideward position when the user wants to see the finger for other purposes and not write with the instrument.
In a further embodiment of the invention an extremely flexible finger-tip instrument is provided. This is especially useful for those people who require the finger-tip instrument to be in continuous use for long periods of time. For such individuals it is essential that the finger-tip instrument be firmly and securely press tit and there be minimum discomfort to the user while at the same time giving the user full finger joint flexibility, not only for writing purposes, but for all other purposes for which the finger may be required. This aspect of the invention is achieved by having at least some part of the finger-tip instrument ribbed or corrugated. Such corrugations are solely on the inside surfaces of the finger-tip instrument which engages the finger. Such corrugations may also be throughout the instrument so that flexibility is not only achieved by the flexible nature of the material used to make the finger-tip instrument but also by the manner in which the instrument is constructed.
Since the finger-tip instrument can be used for writing in different colors, as is well known in the art, the nature of the external appearance of the instrument can be matched or color coded to the color of the ink so that the user knows the color to be deposited by the instrument.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention comprises an elongated body portion which is adapted to fit onto the end of a finger in the same manner as a sewing thimble is placed on a finger. The body portion is preferably made of a flexible plastic material so that it is automatically adjustable to fingers of different thicknesses. A pen mechanism, preferably of the conventional ball type or felt tip is mounted at the lower end of the body member and is connected to a reservoir in the body member holding a suitable supply of ink.
In the drawing:
FIG. Us a perspective view of the finger-tip pen;.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the finger-tip pen.
FIG. 3 is a front view and FIG. 4 is a rear view of the finger-tip pen.
FIG. 5 is a sectional plan view of the finger-tip pen taken through line 5-5 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view taken through line 66 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a modification of the finger-tip pen shown in FIGS. 1 to 6.
FIG. 8 and FIG. 9 are modifications of the finger-tip pen shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 10 is a modification of FIG. 3.
FIG. 11 is a sectional plan view taken through lines 11-11 of FIG. 10.
FIG. 12 shows a perspective view of a further modification of the finger-tip pen.
Referring more specifically to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by the same numerals, there is shown embodiments of this invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the finger-tip pen 10 seated on the index finger of the hand in a writing position. In FIG. 2 there is shown a side elevational view of the pen 10 with an elongated body portion 17 which is adapted to fit on the end of a finger in much the same manner as a sewing thimble. The writing means is shown at the tip of the body portion 17.
As shown in FIG. 6, which a cross-sectional side view of FIG. 5 taken through line 66, the thin walls of the finger-tip pen constitute a large reservoir area 19 for an ink supply.
The modification in FIG. 7 shows, as a side elevational view, a finger-tip pen 110, similar to the pen of FIGS. 1 to 6, wherein the writing means 115 are not at the tip of the pen but are adjacent to the tip or end of the finger-tip pen 110.
The modification of FIG. 8 shows a finger-tip pen 210, similar to the pen shown in FIG. 2, with corrugations or ribs 218 on the internal surface to provide a maximum press fit to the finger.
The finger-tip pen 10 of FIG. 2 may be further modified as in FIG. 9 with both internal corrugations 318 and external corrugations 320 so as to provide maximum flexibility.
The sectional plan view of FIG. 11 of the finger-tip pen 410 taken through lines 1lll of FIG. 10 shows longitudinal portions 412 of extremely flexible structure interspersed throughout the finger-tip pen hous- FIG. 12 shows a perspective view of the finger-tip pen 410 with no opposing longitudinal members present.
Referring more specifically to FIGS. 1 to 6 of the drawing, there is shown a preferred embodiment of this invention. The elongated body portion 17 is made of a flexible material and is preferably of a somewhat conical shape, with the writing means 15 at the apex of the cone. When the finger is inserted, it engages the inner surface of the writing instrument. In this embodiment the elongated body of the writing instrument comprises, at least in part, of opposed longitudinal members 13, 14. The larger and longer member 13 fits in an are over the top of the finger. This is opposed by a narrower and shorter member 14 to embrace the underside of the finger. The height and width of the channel opening 21 between the members may be made to different widths and length and, if desired, can be entirely absent as shown in perspective view of FIG. 10 or FIG. 12 which are modifications of the pen shown in FIGS. l-6.
When no opposing longitudinal members are present, the elongated body portion more closely resembles a completed conically shaped structure with the writing means 415 of FIGS. 10 and 12, respectively, at the apex of the cone. It is preferred that the body portion 417 be made of a somewhat more flexible material than that used when the opposing longitudinal members are present. This more flexible material permits a more ready insertion of the finger in this instance where no provision for channels are made.
1. In a finger-tip writing instrument comprising an elongated body portion adapted to fit on the end of a finger through one end and provided with writing means at the other end, said body portion including a hollow portion wherein a supply of ink is stored, said ink supply being in communication with said writing means, the improvement wherein said body portion is formed of a material adapted to flex in use, and wherein said body portion consists at least in part of opposedlongitudinal members, said opposed members forming channels comprising a longer upper member arced to encompass the top side of said finger and an opposed shorter lower member arced to encompassthe lower side of said finger, said upper member being of such length as to cover the first joint of said finger.
2. A finger-tip writing instrument according to claim 1 wherein said body portion consists of a plastic material.
3. A finger-tip writing instrument according to claim 2 wherein said writing means comprise a ball-point pen.
4. A finger-tip writing instrument according to claim 2 wherein said writing means comprise a felt tip pen.
5. A finger-tip writing instrument according to claim 2 wherin said body portion comprises at least one longitudinal area of extremely flexible and highly resilient material to permit stretching of said body when the finger is inserted, providing thereby a snug press fit on the inserted finger.
6. A finger-tip writing instrument according to claim 2 wherein said body portion is corrugated on at least a portion of said inner surface to provide increased frictional engagement of said writing instrument and said finger.