US 3916788 A
A small portable check printer having an inked tape below the indicia printing members that is adjustable to change from a used segment of the tape to an unused segment. The inked tape is carried by a holder that is removably mounted in a pivoted printing head which also carries the printing members.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Umted States Patent 11 1 1111 3,916,788
Rodriguez Nov. 4, 1975 1 CHECK PRINTING DEVICE 1,769,719 7 1930 Smith 282/29 R 2,793,882 5/1957 Keck 282/29 R  Inventor Manuel Rodl'lguez 4561 5th 2,826,987 3/1958 Eckhoff 101/111 Terrace Fort Lauderdale 3,092,236 6/1963 Campbell et a1... 197/172 33303 3,370,531 2/1968 Falk 101/20 3,370,532 2/l968 Falk lOl/2O  June 1974 3,828,664 8/1974 Dikoff 101/110  Appl. No.1 481,123
Primary Examiner-Edgar S. Burr D Assistant Examiner-William Pieprz  US. Cl. 101/102, lag/323821, 1109176313762, Attorney, Agent or Firm olnnan and Flynn  Int. Cl. B41J 35/02  Field of Search 282/1 B, 29 R; 10l/336,  ABSTRACT 101/102, 96, 100, 20, 107, 281, 332, 335, A small portable check printer having an inked tape 310; 197/172 below the indicia printing members that is adjustable to change from a used segment of the tape to an un-  References Ci used segment. The inked tape is carried by a holder UNITED STATES PATENTS that is removably mounted in a pivoted printing head which also carries the printing members. 1,231,418 6/1917 Norman 282/29 R 1,410,357 3/1922 Adams 101/336 17 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 1 of 2 3,916,788
U.S. Patent Nov. 4, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,916,788
CHECK PRINTING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various devices have been proposed heretofore for printing the dollar amount on a bank check, money order, or the like. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,016,820 to Bernart et al. shows a check printer having inked printing dies that are slidably adjustable individually along a printing head to select the figures that are to be printed. As another example, U.S. Pat. No. 1,627,619 to Reubens shows a check printer having printing dies that are adjustable across a hinged cover to position selected figures over an inked pad on the base. Other examples are the following U.S. Pat. Nos. Maxwell 1,222,317; Eckhoff 2,826,987; Linscott 1,398,235; and Willis 1,321,348.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a small, readily portable, check printer having an inked tape that is selectively adjustable to change the segment of the tape that is positioned to be engaged by the printing elements, so that a fresh, unused segment of the inked tape may be substituted for a used segment of the tape whenever desired. Preferably, the inked tape is adjustably mounted in a holder that is releasably mounted in the bottom of a printing head which is pivoted to the base of the printer. The printing head carries printing members which are individually adjustable in accordance with the digits that are to be printed as the amount of the check.
It is a principal object of this invention to provide a novel and improved printer for use on bank checks and the like.
Another object of this invention is to provide such a printer whose useful ink supply is prolonged by the provision ofan inked tape that is adjustable so that a used segment of the inked tape may be readily replaced by an unused segment until all of the inked tape is used up.
Further objects and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment, shown in the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the printer, partly broken away for clarity;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the printer shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a horizontal section taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. 2, looking up into the bottom of the printing head and partly broken away for clarity;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal vertical section taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a vertical cross section taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing the inked tape in the printer carried by a removable holder, which is shown folded apart for clarity;
FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view showing the inked tape and its frame folded apart to reveal details of construction; and
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of the printer with parts broken away and showing the inkedtape adjusted to a different position.
Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings,
since the invention is capable of other embodiments. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
Referring first to FIG. 2, in broad outline the presently-preferred embodiment of the present check printer comprises a generally flat, rectangular base 10 and a generally flat, rectangular printing head 11, which is hingedly mounted on one end of the base for movement down toward and up away from the base. Normally, the base 10 is positioned horizontal beneath the printing head. 0n opposite sides at its left end in the drawing, the base presents laterally spaced, upstanding ears 12 (FIGS. 2 and 3) which rotatably receive respective pivot pins 13. The printing head 11 has depending marginal flanges 14 on its opposite sides which tightly receive the outer ends of the respective pivot pins. The inner ends of these pins are tightly seated in the printing head at the inside of the upstanding ears 12 on the base, as best seen in FIG. 3.
Roughly midway between its ends (but closer to the end where the pivot pins 12 are located) the base carries an upwardly projecting platen 15 of suitable deformable and resilient material, such as rubber or the like. This platen presents a rectangular, flat, top face 15a that is slightly elevated above the top face 10a of the base. As shown in FIG. 4, the platen is narrow lengthwise of the base and, as shown in FIG. 5, it extends across substantially the full width of the base (parallel to the conjoint axis of the pivot pins 13). As shown in FIG. 2, the check C that is to be imprinted is positioned between the base 10 and the printing head 11, with the rectangular area where the dollar amount of the check is to be printed directly overlying the platen l5.
The top edge 16 of the check engages against respective stops 17 located on opposite sides of the base and adjustable lengthwise of the base to accommodate dif ferent sizes of checks. The stops 17 are generally L- shaped and, as best seen in FIG. 2, the top edge of the check engages the inside corner of the L at the juncture between the vertical and horizontal legs of the L..The two stops are interconnected by a cross piece 18 (FIG. 4) extending across the top face of the base 10 and joined to the respective horizontal legs of the stops at the top. With this arrangement, the stops 17 are slidably adjustable along the base so as to position the line where the dollar amount is to be printed directly overlying the platen 15.
The printing head 11 carries a plurality of longitudinally adjustable printing bars 20 (FIG. 1). Each of these bars has numbers on the top, in consecutive order from 1 to 0 lengthwise of the printing bar, which are visible one at a time through a respective window 21 formed in the top of the printing head (FIG. 4) and located directly over the platen 15 on the base. On the bottom, directly below each of these numbers, each printing bar has printingdies D each of which presents a set of downwardly-protruding, rounded, indenting teeth arranged in the same pattern as the number above, so that, for example, when the number 1 appears at a respective window 21, that printing bar will present a set of indenting teeth on the bottom for impressing the pattern 1 in the underlying portion of the check on the platen 15 when the printing head 11 is pivoted downward toward the base 10. The number impressions made by the printing dies on the last two printing bars are underlined to indicate cents.
The printing bars 20 are snugly received slidably in corresponding downwardly-facing channels 27 (FIG. 1), which are formed in the printing head 11 and are elongated lengthwise of the printing head.
Each of the adjustable printing bars 20 carries an upwardly projecting knob 22 at its right end in the drawing that extends up through a corresponding longitudinal slot 23 formed in the top of the printing head 11. By grasping this knob, the user can adjust the corresponding imprinting bar 20 longitudinally to position the selected digit over the platen 15.
As shown in FIG. 4, each printing bar has an upwardly-protruding, convex detent 24 at its left end. This detent may engage in anyone of a series of downwardlyfacing recesses 25, formed in the top of the respective longitudinal channel in the printing head, to releasably hold that printing bar in a particular longitudinal position corresponding to the number selected to be printed by that bar.
The first printing bar 20 in the series prints the dollar sign, and normally the position of this bar remains fixed.
The printing head carries a thin, deformable, inked member that is interposed between the printing bars 20 and the platen 15 on the base so as to deposit ink in the number indentations which the printing dies impress in the portion of the check overlying the platen. In accordance with the present invention, this inked member is adjustable longitudinally of the printing device so that when one portion of the inked member is used up to the point that it no longer provides enough ink when an impression is made, the next unused segment of the inked member may be positioned over the platen.
As shown in FIG. 7, preferably this inked member is in the form of a once-folded, thin, flat, flexible, porous tape 30 of suitable ink retaining material. This tape is held in place in a generally rectangular frame having an upper rectangular frame member 31 hinged at 32 to an identical lower frame member 33. The upper and lower frame members have suitable pressure-sensitive adhesive on their inner faces so that when folded together they hold the inked, two-ply tape 30 flat between them.
At the opposite end from their hinged connection 32, the upper and lower frame members present elongated tabs T, respectively, which also have adhesive on their inner faces. Each of these tabs has opposite edge notches 34 located near the attached end of the tab. Each notch is located inward from a rounded outside corner 35, formed on the respective side edge of the tab toward its attached end, and an inclined edge face 36 extending laterally outward at a relatively small angle from the inside corner of the notch in a direction toward the free end of the tab. Each tab also has V- shaped notches 37 in its opposite side edges toward its free end.
The unitary, folded-together assembly of the inked sheet 30 and the frame 31, 33 is adjustably positioned in aflat holder 40 (FIG. 6) that is mounted in the printing head. This holder comprises a flat top piece 41 and a generally flat bottom piece 42 that are joined to each other at one end 43 that is sufficiently flexible that the top and bottom pieces may be spread apart for assembly purposes. The bottom piece 42 of the holder has upstanding marginal flanges 44 that extend laterally inward at a slight angle (FIG. to resiliently grip the corresponding side edges of the top piece 41 when the holder is folded shut.
The top piece 41 of the holder has a rectangular opening 45 and the bottom piece of the holder has an identical opening 46 that is aligned vertically with the opening 45 when the holder is folded shut. These openings 45, 46 are elongated transversely and they register with the top of the platen 15 across substantially its complete width when the holder is in place in the printing head.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the printing head 11 presents on the bottom a downwardly-facing, generally rectangular recess 50. The holder 40 has a sufficiently tight frictional fit in this recess to remain seated in the printing head at the bottom of this recess and also to retain the printing bars 20 against dropping out of the printing head.
As shown in FIG. 6, the holder 40 in both its top and bottom pieces has rectangular edge notches 48 which pass the upstanding ears 12 on the base 10 of the printer when the holder is seated in the printing head.
The bottom piece 42 of the holder has a rectangular slot 47 that is elongated lengthwise of the holder. The width of this slot is substantially equal to the width of the tabs T on the inked tape frame at the inside corners of the notches 34. With this arrangement, the tabs T extend down through this slot 47, as shown in FIG. 6, and are held frictionally by their engagement at the opposite edge notches 34 against the opposite side edges of this opening.
Initially, the tape frame is positioned in the holder 40 as shown in FIG. 6 so that the rectangular end segment of the tape that is closest to the tabs T registers with the openings 45, 46 in the holder. Therefore, this segment of the inked tape is positioned to be engaged between the portion of the check on the platen l5 and the overlying printing dues on the printing bars 20. Ink is transferred from the lower ply of the inked tape 30 into the indentations that are formed in the check by the pressure of these printing dies. The ink in the lower ply of the inked tape is replenished by ink that is transferred to it from the upper ply of this tape each time the apparatus is operated so that, in effect, the upper ply of the tape acts as an ink reservoir for the lower ply and the useful life of the inked tape is thereby extended.
When the first segment of the inked tape 30 is used up, as evidenced by a significant reduction in the amount of ink transferred from it onto the check when printing impression is made, the unitary assembly of the tape 30 and frame 31, 33 may be shifted to the right to position the next, unused segment of the tape over the platen. This is done conveniently by pulling on the tabs T while the holder 41, 42 remains folded up and seated in the printing head 11 because these tabs project down from the printing head and are readily accessible when the printing head is pivoted up away from the base 10.
In the use of this printer, the unitary assembly of the inked tape 30 and its frame 31, 33 will have been shifted from the first position (FIG. 6) over to a final position in the holder, shown in FIG. 8, at which the extreme left end segment of the tape registers with the platen.
With this arrangement, the printer may be operated a relatively large number of times before replacement of the inked tape becomes necessary.
It is to be understood that a different arrangement for shifting the inked tape may be used in place of the frame and holder arrangement shown. For example, the tape may be unwound from a supply reel and wound up on a takeup reel in the printer, if desired.
1. In a printer for bank checks and the like having a platen and selectively adjustable printing members mounted opposite said platen for movement toward and away from the platen to make impressions on a check on the platen, the improvement which comprises:
an inked tape positioned in confronting relationship to said printing members and extending across said platen, said inked tape being substantially longer in one direction than the platen;
and means supporting said inked tape for selective adjustment in said one direction across the platen to present a different selected portion of the inked tape at the platen to ink the impressions made on the check by said printing members, said means supporting the inked tape for selective adjustment comprising:
a frame holding said tape, said frame having a tab extending therefrom in said one direction;
and a holder receiving said frame and tape and having an opening therein for exposing the tape to the check on the platen, said holder having a slot therein elongated in said one direction and receiving said tab on the frame to lock the frame at different selected positions in said one direction for positioning different segments of the tape at the platen.
2. A printer according to claim 1, wherein said tab on the frame has opposite edge notches therein for engaging the opposite edges of said slot in the holder to lock the frame in a selected position.
3. A printer according to claim 2, wherein said frame comprises upper and lower, flat, rectangular members hingedly interconnected at the end away from the tab and folded over one another and gripping the inked tape between them.
4. A printer according to claim 3, wherein said upper and lower members of the frame are adhesively attached to each other and to the inked tape around the latters peripheral edges.
5. A printer according to claim 4, wherein said tab on the frame comprises upper and lower tab members extending respectively from the upper and lower frame members and adhesively secured to each other with the upper tab member directly overlying the lower tab member.
6. A printer according to claim 1, and further comprising:
a printing head carrying said printing members and said inked tape, said printing head being mounted for movement down toward and up away from said platen;
each of said printing members having a plurality of different downwardly-facing, indicia-forming patterns in succession in said one direction;
and each of said printing members being adjustable along said printing head in said one direction to present selected indicia forming patterns to said platen, said means supporting the inked tape for selective adjustment comprising:
a frame holding said tape, said frame having a tab extending therefrom in said one direction;
and a holder carried by said printing head and receiving said frame and tape and having a bottom opening therein for exposing the tape to the check on the platen, said holder having a slot therein elon' gated in said one direction and receiving said tab on the frame to lock the frame at different selected positions in said one direction for positioning different segments of the tape directly overlying the platen.
7. A printer according to claim 6, wherein said holder comprises upper and lower, generally flat members hingedly connected to each other at one end to be spread apart for the insertion of said frame and the tape between them and to be folded together to hold the frame and tape between them, said upper member of the frame having an opening therein aligned with said bottom opening for exposing the top of the tape to said printing members.
8. A printer according to claim 7, wherein said slot is in the bottom member of the holder, and said tab on the frame extends down through said slot to be accessible when the printing head is raised up from the platen.
9. A printer according to claim 8, wherein said frame comprises upper and lower flat rectangular members hingedly connected at the end away from the tab and folded over one another and gripping the inked tape between them.
10. A printer according to claim 9, wherein said upper and lower members of the frame are adhesively attached to each other and to the inked tape around the latters peripheral edges.
11. A printer according to claim 10, wherein said tab on the frame comprises upper and lower tab members extending respectively from the upper and lower frame members and adhesively secured to each other with the upper tab member directly overlying the lower tab member.
12. A printer according to claim 11, wherein said tape has contigious upper and lower inked layers for transferring ink from the lower layer onto a check on the platen and for transferring ink from the upper layer onto the lower layer.
13. A printer according to claim 6, wherein said printing head has a downwardly-facing recess at the bottom, and said holder is seated in said recess.
14. A printer according to claim 13, wherein said holder is seated frictionally in said recess.
15. A printer according to claim 13, wherein said printing head has a plurality of downwardly-facing longitudinal channels above said recess which slidably receive said printing members individually, and said holder extends beneath said printing members and retains them in said channels.
16. A printer according to claim 1, wherein said tape has two contiguous inked layers which respectively face toward said printing members and toward said platen for the transfer on ink onto the check on the platen from the tape layer that faces toward the platen and for the transfer of ink from the tape layer that faces toward the printing member onto the tape layer that faces toward the platen.
17. A printer according to claim 1, and further comprising stop means positioned to one side of said platen in said one direction for engagement by the top edge of a check that is to be imprinted, said stop means being selectively adjustable toward or away from the platen in said one direction.