US 3900925 A
This disclosure relates to a simplified integral button attacher without any moving parts. The attacher consists of a needle having a slotted portion therein for insertion of one end of an improved fastener into the free end of the slotted portion and gripping means portion for simultaneously pushing said fastener loaded needle through a button aperture and the fabric to which it is to be attached.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 La Torraca [4 1 Aug. 26, 1975 BUTTON ATTACHER  Inventor: Gerard A. La Torraca, 1085 Wake Forest Dr., Toms River, NJ. (18735 22 Filed: on. 23, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 408,282
Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Doris L. Troutman Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lucke & Lucke 5 7 ABSTRACT This disclosure relates to a simplified integral button attacher without any moving parts. The attacher consists of a needle having a slotted portion therein for insertion of one end of an improved fastener into the free end of the slotted portion and a gripping means for simultaneously pushing said fastener loaded needle through a button aperture and the fabric to which it is to be attached.
Each of the improved fasteners have a vertical shaft with two sets of non-parallel transverse bars equally extending at each end thereof. The angular shape of the fasteners allows easier entry as needle and fasteners penetrate button and fabric. The angular shape also stresses the end bars and forces them to lie tightly against the under surface of the fabric.
16 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 3, 900825 PATENTED A1182 6 I975 HIT E U? FIG.9
FIGIO FIGM i- ATENTEU 3,900,925
SEIEU 3 [1F 3 BUTTON ATTACHER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a device for attaching buttons to fabric or any pliable material by retaining means other than sewing them on with a thread.
2. State of the Prior Art A patent to Mercer, US Pat. No 3,399,432, discloses I-beam shaped fasteners wherein one transverse cross bar is of smaller dimension than the other and of T-shaped fasteners having a large head on one end of a vertical shank and a large crossbar on the opposite end. The I-beam shaped fasteners are attached by a needle having a full length cylindrical bore into which the larger bar is inserted at the rear end thereof. In a two step operation the needle first perforates the fabric and a hole in the button and then the larger crossbar is ejected by a moveable plunger within the bore to place the crossbar above the button before the needle is retracted through the fabric so that the larger crossbar lies horizontally across an elongate recess on the outer surface of the button and the smaller crossbar lies in transverse direction to the larger on the under side of the fabric.
A first patent to Bone, U.S. Pat. No. 3,470,834, shows a more expensive and complicated device for attaching Mersers modified T-shaped fasteners having a head on the free end thereof. The device includes a spring biased plunger mounted between the end of a bore in the casing and a coaxial bore in a telescoping handle. This is also a two step operation. First the needle passes through the hole in the button and perforates the material and then the handle is pushed toward the casing so that the plunger projects the T-bar of a fastener the entire length of the slotted needle through the hole in the button and the fabric to which it is to be attached until the T-bar is disposed on the underside of the material.
A second patent to Bone, U.S. Pat. No. 3,494,004, discloses a manufacturing pattern for Mercers modified fasteners mounted on a longitudinal stringer for use with Bones above described attaching device.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A one piece, durable button attaching device comprising a hollow pointed needle portion having a longitudinal slot along a portion of the top thereof. The rear end of the needle is immovably mounted in a rounded handle portion or other gripping means. Angular shaped fasteners having a vertical shank with a pair of oppositely slanting legs extend an equal distance from top and bottom thereof forming approximately a 55 angle on one side of the shank and a 125 angle relative thereto on the other side.
One of the smaller angled legs is inserted into the pointed end of the needle with the shank riding in the slot until both legs are forced into horizontal position within the needle bore before the needle is forced through the hole in the button and the fabric in a single operation. When the needle is thereafter withdrawn the wide angled leg is forced forward toward the tip at which point it is free to resume its angular position relative to the shank and therefore both legs remain below the fabric when they emerge from the needle. The upper pair of legs remain in transverse position above the button if the latter has only one hole. If it is a two hole button the fastener is turned in place to enable the smaller angled leg at the top of the shank to enter the needle first until both legs are forced into coaxial position within the needle bore before the latter is thrust through the second hole in the button and fabric beneath it in one operation. The needle is again withdrawn leaving the shank bent between both holes in the button and retained in such position by both pairs of legs stressed into parallel position to the under side of the fabric.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will now be more particularly described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevation of a button at tacher showing a tubular needle mounted into the forward portion of a handle having a stationary insert disposed within the hollow needle remote from the tip or point thereof;
FIG. la is a similar view to that of FIG. 1 showing a pointed hollow needle formed in the free end of a solid rod mounted within the handle portion;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, partially sectional, side elevation of the button attacher shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the first step of attaching a button to a piece of fabric by means of a fastener inserted within the needle until it abuts the insert;
FIG. 3 is a sequence view showing the disfiguration of the flexible fastener shank as it is forced through the button and the material;
FIG. 4 is a further sequence view showing the position of the fastener with the lower set of legs flattened out against the material after the needle is withdrawn. The fastener has been turned in place from the position shown in FIG. 2 so that the wider angled free leg will be inserted first through the second hole in the button and fabric;
FIG. 5 is the next sequence view showing the position of both sets of fastener legs when the needle has been withdrawn from the second hole;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the needle shown in FIG. 1a with the smaller angled leg inserted full length into the needle bore until it abuts the end thereof;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged perspective view of the pointed needle showing its top slot from which the fastener shank extends and a stop at the end of the slot to limit the entry of a small angled leg;
FIG. 7a is a similar perspective view to that of FIG. 7 of a needle having a top slot but no axial stop;
FIG. 7b is a perspective view of the pointed needle shown in FIG. 7a with one pair of fastener legs inserted therein until the shank abuts the end of the slot;
FIG. 8 is an individual fastener having two sets of angular stressable legs at opposite ends of a vertical shank;
FIG. 9 is a string of fasteners attached at the top forming a manufacturing pattern;
FIG. 10 is an intermediate sequence view between FIGS. 4 and 5 before the fastener has been turned in the direction of the arrow so that the smaller angled leg is inserted in the needle first as shown in FIG. 4 to enable the wider angled leg to penetrate the second hole in the button and underlying material to the dotted line position shown;
FIG. 1 1 is similar to the manufacturing pattern shown in FIG. 9 showing the fragile break points between fasteners at the bottom forming non-irritating burrs when broken apart such as shown in FIG. 5. This pattern is of the modified fastener illustrated in FIG. 12;
FIG. 12 is a modified individual fastener having a shank and bottom legs identical to that shown in FIGS. 8-11, but with a semi-spherical head at the opposite end or top of the shank;
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a needle similar to that illustrated in FIG.'1 showing a modified slot extending the full length of the needle, and
FIG. 14 is a similar view to that illustrated in FIG. 13 showing a further modified slot extending'a partial distance between the end of the insert and the front end of the handle.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, the button attaching device 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 has a rounded handle portion or other gripping means 11 with a hole 12 bored into the center of the front portion 13 thereof. A cylindrical needle 14 has a longitudinal insert 15 inserted through its rear end 16 to an appropriate position to form a stop 17 before the needle is mounted in hole 12. The insert is permanently encased and therefore it has no independent action, but is non-slidable within the needle.
The forward end of the hard plastic or metal needle may have a comparatively short slot 18 at the top terminating in a cutaway or flared portion 19 which gradually slopes down to a point 20 at the bottom.
- As seen from FIGS. 8, 9 and 10, a fastener 21, perferably made of a pliable, durable plastic, has a vertical shank or filament 22 and a set of angularly positioned Crossbars forming a pair of legs at each end thereof. On one side of the shank the top and bottom legs 23 extend toward each other and each form an approximate 55 angle with the shank. On the other side the top and bottom legs 24 extend away from each other each at an approximate 125 angle relative to the shank.
Because it is easier for outwardly directed legs 24 to penetrate fabric material, one of the smaller angled or inwardly directed legs 23 of a fastener is first depressed and inserted into the hollow needle 14 so that shank 22 slides in the slot 18 rearwardly until its corresponding leg 24 is positioned behind cut-away portion 19. These normally angularly disposed legs are stressed into coaxial position which forces the shank 22 into an angular position relative to the needle as shown in FIG. 2.
The fastener loaded needle is now ready to attach a button 25 to a piece of fabric or like pliable material 26 as illustrated in FIG. 2. The loaded needle is first inserted into a hole 27 in the button and then through the material in one operation for a distance equal to the length of both legs 23, 24 as shown in FIG. 3. When the needle is withdrawn leg 24 is free to slide out of the cutaway portion 19 and resume its original angular position, but when both legs have cleared the slotted needle portion leg 23 is stressed downwardly into flat position against the underside of material 26 which in turn forces leg 24 upwardly in like position as shown in FIG. 4.
It is important to always insert an upwardly'or inwardly directed leg 23 into the needle first so that it is positioned beyond slot 18 and cannot escape therefrom, because leg 24 which is slanted downwardly or outwardly will penetrate the material easier and will have no tendency to escape from the slot until freed from the flared portion l9.
If a button has only one hole, fasteners with shorter shanks can be used so that one set of legs lie flat against the material and the opposite set would lie flat (not shown) within a recessed portion 28 in the button.
If the button has two holes the fastener is turned 180 as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 10 to bring it into the position shown in FIG. 4 so that again smaller angled leg 23 can be inserted first into the hollow needle portion before plunging the wider angled leg 24 through the second hole as indicated by the arrow in FIG. 4. When the needle is withdrawn from the second hole both sets of legs 23, 24 are stressed to lie flat against the material as shown in FIG. 5 and in dotted lines in FIG. 10.
A modified needle 14 is shown in FIGS. 1a, 6 and 7. Here a solid rod 29 is inserted into a correspondingly shaped recess 12'. The forward end of the rod is provided with an integral cylindrical needle portion 14 which extends from a solid rear stop 30 to a slotted portion 18, a flared portion 19 and terminates in a point 20'. Stop 30 limits the entry of leg 23 within the needle and functions in the same manner as stop 17 of insert 15.
A further simplified needle 14" is shown in FIGS. 7a and 7b. Here the needle is cylindrical in its entire length from its rear end embedded in handle 11 to its flared portion 19" and point 20". This modification relies solely upon the end 31 of slot 18" to limit the entry of shank 22 therein.
All of the button attachers illustrated and described herein can be cast or molded in one piece, in which case the needle and/or the insert would be an extension of the handle and not embedded therein as shown in FIGS. 1, 1a, 2 and 3. Also the insert 15 could be of a smaller diameter than illustrated. It could'be disposed on the bottom of the needle and be of any size or shape as long as it restricts the entry of the fastener.
As seen from FIGS. 9 and 11, the fasteners are manufactured in an alternately reverse position so that the end of a leg 23 of one fastener joins a similar leg of a,
' proximate fastener on one side and the end of a leg 24 joins that of another fastener on the other side. Each unit is easily separated at the break points 32 from a string of fasteners possibly leaving a small burr 33, see FIG. 5. As the burrs are located in a parallel plane to the material, they cannot scratch or cause any irritation to the skin of a person wearing a garment to which a button has been so attached. In'the manufacturing pattern shown in FIG. 9, only the top legs are joined together.
A modified fastener 21' is shown in FIG. 12. In this embodiment a semi-circular head 34 has been substituted for the upper angular pair of legs. In the manufacturing pattern of this modification only the bottom legs would have break points as shown in FIG. 11. One of these headed fasteners would fasten a one-holed button to a garment. If the button has two or more holes, a separate headed fastener would be required for each hole.
Although slot 18 in the upper portion of the needle 14 is shown running for only the length of one leg 24 in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4, it could extend rearwardly beyond the point where leg 23 abuts insert 15.
For example, FIG. 13 shows a modified slot 18a to that illustrated in FIG. 1 wherein it extends the full exposed length of needle 14a up to but not beyond the front 13 of handle 11. FIG. 14'is a further modified needle 14b wherein the slot 18b extends to a point substantially intermediate stop 17 of insert and the front end 13 of handle 11. The width of slots 18a and 18b would naturally be narrow enough to retain a leg 23 therein while affording at least a partial entry of an elongated shank 22 during the attaching process.
The simplified, sturdier one step button attaching devices disclosed herein, all of which may be cast or molded in one piece, have eliminated the complex, costly and potentially breakable driving mechanism and other moving parts of prior art apparatus and reduced their two step functions into a single step operation. These one piece, one step button attachers are economical, durable, reliable and easier to operate. They provide a quick, efficient means of performing an otherwise tedious task.
The forms of the invention here described and illustrated are presented merely as examples of how the invention may be embodied and applied. Other forms, embodiments, and, applications of the invention will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.
1. A button attaching device for use with a fastener, said device comprising a gripping means with a cylindrical needle extending from the front end thereof. the forward portion of said needle provided with a limited longitudinal slot, said needle tapering from the forward end of said slot providing a fastener entrance thereto and terminating in a point, wherein said fastener abuts the wall of said cylindrical needle at the rear end of said slot to limit its entry therein.
2. A button attaching device for use with a fastener, said device comprising a gripping means, a cylindrical needle extending from the front end of said means, said needle provided with a longitudinal slot, said slot being wide enough to at least partially receive the shank of said fastener, said needle tapering from the free end of said slot providing a fastener entrance thereto and terminating in a point, and an immovable insert disposed within said needle up to a position where its front end abuts and limits the entry of one leg of said fastener.
3. A button attaching device for use with a fastener, said device comprising a gripping means with a solid rod extending from the front end thereof, the front end of said rod having a cylindrical bore long enough to receive a pair of fastener legs therein, a longitudinal slot disposed in said rod, said slot being wide enough to at least partially receive the shank of said fastener, and a flared entrance to said slot for inserting said fastener, said entrance terminating in a point.
4. A button attaching device for use in combination with a fastener. said device comprising a gripping means, a cylindrical needle extending from the front end of said handle, said needle provided with a longitudinal slot. a flared portion tapering from the free end of said slot providing an entrance thereto and terminating in a point, and an immovable insert disposed within said needle up to a position where its front end abuts one leg of said fastener, wherein said fastener comprises a vertical shank having at each end inwardly directed legs on one side thereof and outwardly directed legs on the other side thereof.
5. A button attaching device according to claim 4, wherein each of said legs is of equal length.
6. A button attaching device according to claim 4, wherein one of said inwardly directed legs is inserted in said flared portion and pushed rearwardly'insaid cylindrical needle, said shank riding insaid slot until one of said outwardly directed legs is enclosed within said slotted portion.
7. A button attaching device according to claim 6, wherein said inwardly directed leg is forced downwardly and said outwardly directed leg is forced upwardly into a co-axial position within said cylindrical needle and said shank is stressed into an angular position relative to said needle.
8. A button attaching device according to claim 7, wherein said inwardly directed leg is forced downwardly when released from said needle and said outwardly directed leg is compensatingly forced upwardly to stress said legs into aligned position lying flat against said material.
9. A button attaching device according to claim 4, wherein at least one of said inwardly directed legs of a first fastener is joined to that of a second fastener on one side thereof and at least one of said outwardly directed legs of said first fastener is joined to that of a third fastener on the other side thereof thus forming a manufacturing pattern of said fasteners.
10. A button attaching device according to claim 9, wherein said legs are joined by breakpoints, and nonirritating burrs resulting from breaking said points lie in a parallel plane to said material.
11. A button attaching device for use in combination with a fastener, said device comprising a gripping means, a cylindrical needle extending from the front end of said means, said needle provided with a longitudinal slot, a flared portion tapering from the free end of said slot providing an entrance thereto and terminating in a point, and an immovable insert disposed within said needle up to a position where its front end abuts one leg of said fastener, wherein said fastener comprises a vertical shank having an enlarged head at one end thereof and an angular crossbar at the opposite end, said crossbar comprising an upwardly directed leg on one side and a downwardly directed leg on the other side of said shank.
12. A button attaching device according to claim 1 1, wherein said upwardly directed leg of a first fastener is joined to that of a second fastener on one side thereof and said downwardly directed leg of said first fastener is joined to that of a third fastener on the other side thereof thus forming a manufacturing pattern of said fasteners.
13. A method of fastening a button to flexible material comprising the steps of first inserting an inwardly directed leg of a resilient fastener into a flared needle end of a button attaching device, pushing said leg beyond a slotted portion of said needle until the shank of said fastener abuts the end of said slot and an outwardly directed leg of said fastener is disposed within said slotted portion, simultaneously forcing said needle carrying fastener through a hole in said button and said material, and then withdrawing said needle leaving said legs to resume a transverse position to said shank hugging the underside of said material.
14. A method according to claim 13, including the steps of inserting a second inwardly directed leg at the opposite end of said shank into said flared end, pushing said leg beyond said slotted portion until said second outwardly directed leg is enclosed therein, pushing said loaded needle through a second hole in said button and perforating said material in one operation, and then withdrawing said needle leaving said second inwardly and outwardly directed legs flat against said material.
15. A button attaching device according to claim 2, wherein said slot ends at said means.