US 3924727 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Morelli Dec. 9, 1975 1 CARTRIDGE WITH RESILIENT CONNECTING MEANS Joseph L. Morelli, Hartford, Conn.
 Assignee: Litton Business Systems, Inc., New
22 Filed: Feb. 2, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 329,115
 Published under the Trial Voluntary Protest Program on January 28, 1975 as document no.
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Germany 197/151 Primary Examiner-Ernest T. Wright, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Joseph R. Spalla  ABSTRACT To facilitate the installation of an inked typewriter ribbon into a ribbon feeding arrangement of a typewriter or similar business machine, the ribbon is secured at its opposite ends to a pair of spools and wound around at least one of the spools, and the spools are supported for rotation by a pair of corresponding spool holders which are held together by a resilient connecting means to form a handling device. The pair of spool holders each have a generally cylindrical configuration, and the ribbon is drawn tangentially between a peripheral opening in each spool holder and across a gap therebetween to expose a portion of the ribbon to the ribbon vibrator of the ribbon feed arrangement. The resilient connecting means enables the spool holders to be pivoted and twisted relative to each other to enable the portion of the ribbon extending between the spool holders to undergo the manipulations necessary for insertion into the ribbon vibrator. Subsequently, the resilient connecting means may be broken so as to separate the pair of spool holders for mounting on a corresponding pair of spindles of the ribbon feed arrangement.
1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures Sheet 1 of 2 US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 US. Patent Dec. 9, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 CARTRIDGE WITH RESILIENT CONNECTING MEANS This invention relates to a ribbon Cartridge arrangement for a typewriter, and more particularly to a ribbon cartridge arrangement which facilitates the threading of an inked ribbon into a ribbon vibrator of a typewriter or other printer.
In a typewriter or similar business machine, an inked ribbon is wound from one spool to another spool past a printing location where it is raised to a printing position by a ribbon vibrator with each actuation of a type key action to effect printing. To install a new inked ribbon into the machine, the inked ribbon must be threaded into the ribbon vibrator and the spools upon which the ribbon is wound must be operably mounted on spindles of a ribbon feed arrangement which is driven in incremental steps for winding the ribbon onto one spool and then reversing to wind the ribbon onto the other spool. The threading of the inked ribbon into the ribbon vibrator generally necessitates a variety of manipulations which often require the operator to manually touch the inked ribbon with the undesirable result of soiling the operators fingers In the past, there have been attempts to package an inked ribbon in a manner which reduces the necessity of touching the inked ribbon while threading it into the ribbon vibrator. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 2,825,450 shows an arrangement wherein the inked ribbon and the ribbon spools are disposed in a pair of containers which are held together in a fixed abuting relationship by a frangible connector. However, with such an arrangement it was necessary to break the frangible connector and pull the containers apart a short distance to obtain a sufficient length of ribbon for threading into the vibrator. The necessity of breaking the containers apart prior to threading the ribbon in the ribbon vibrator is disadvantageous because too much ribbon may be drawn from the containers and the ribbon may become twisted during the threading operation. In another attempt, US. Pat. No. 3,151,724 shows a ribbon cartridge arrangement wherein a pair of ribbon spool containers are held together in a fixed abuting relation with the inked ribbon drawn about a pair of rigid projections to provide a length of ribbon for threading into the vibrator. However, such an arrangement was disadvantageous because the ribbon could only undergo a limited variety of manipulations due to the fixed relation of the ribbon spool containers.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a ribbon cartridge arrangement wherein a portion of the ribbon is exposed for threading into a ribbon vibrator and the ribbon spool holders are held together in a manner enabling relative movement to facilitate the threading of the ribbon.
Still other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from a reading of the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ribbon cartridge constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which a ribbon assembly is installed in a pair of spool holders;
FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view illustrating the manner in which the pair of spool holders may be pivoted relative to each other;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating the manner in which the pair of spool holders may be twisted relative to each other; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating the installation of the pair of spool holders in a ribbon feeding arrangement.
Referring generally to the figures in the drawing, there is shown a typewriter ribbon cartridge, generally indicated 1 l, for facilitating the installation of an inked ribbon 13 in a ribbon feeding arrangement, generally indicated 15 in FIG. 5, of a typewriter or similar business machine which includes a ribbon vibrator 17 for raising the ribbon 13 to a printing position with each actuation of a type key action, not shown, and a ribbon transport mechanism in the form of a pair of spindles 19 which are driven in a conventional manner to transport the ribbon 13 past the ribbon vibrator 17. As shown, the ribbon cartridge 11 includes a ribbon assembly in the form of the inked ribbon 13 which is secured at its opposite ends to a pair of spool means, generally indicated 21-, adapted to be mounted on the spindles 19, and a handling device in the form of a pair of spool holders 23 for rotatably supporting the pair of spool means 21. The spool holders 23 have a generally cylindrical configuration and are held together in close proximity by a connecting means, generally indicated 25, and the ribbon 13 is drawn tangentially through suitable ribbon openings 27 in the periphery of the spool holders 23 and across a gap therebetween so as to provide a length of the ribbon 13 for manipulating into the ribbon vibrator 17 as will be explained below.
As more particularly shown in FIG. 2, each of the spool holders 23 are in the form of generally cupshaped containers 29 for receiving the spool means 21 of the ribbon assembly and have associated covers 31 which are secured to the containers 29 for holding the spool means 21 inside the cup-shaped containers 23. The spool means 21 each include a hub 33 having an axis of rotation and to which an end of the ribbon 13 is suitably secured and a bottom flange 35 for guiding the ribbon 13 during winding and unwinding movement of the spool means 21. The cup-shaped containers 29 have an inner diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the spool flange 35 so as to loosely-accommodate the flange 35, and each of the cup-shaped containers 29 has an opening 37 formed in the bottom for exposing the bottom portion of the spool flange 35 so that it may be operably mounted on a spindle 19. The ribbon cartridge 11 may be assembled by first placing the pair of spool means 21 inside the pair of cup-shaped containers 29 with the ribbon l3 beingreceived through the peripheral openings 27 formed in the side walls, and the spool means 21 may be secured inside the cupshaped containers 29 by securing the covers 31 to the open rim of the cup-shaped containers 29. As shown, each of the covers 31 has an annular opening 39 formed therein for defining an axis 40 for rotation of the spool means 21 in the cup-shaped container 29 by receiving a reduced portion 41 of the hub 33 extending axially in an upward direction so as to position the spool means 21 for rotation about the axis 40 of the spool holder 23. The covers 31 may be hingedly' connected to the cup-shaped containers 29 and secured thereto in a closed position by tabs 43 formed thereon which are received in suitable slots 45 formed in the cup-shaped containers 29.
To facilitate the threading of the inked ribbon 13 in the ribbon vibrator-17, the connecting means'25 joining the spool holders 23 is constructed from a resilient material, for example polypropylene, so as to enable the spool holders 23 to be moved relative to each other to manipulate the ribbon 13 into the ribbon vibrator 17. As shown in FIG. 2, the connecting means 25 are in the form of a plurality of flexible connectors 47 extending between the side walls of the cup-shaped containers 29 and having a cross-sectional width, preferably equal to or less than the length of the connectors 47 between the two cup-shaped containers 29, so that the connectors 47 may be easily flexed in moving the spool holders 23 relative to each other. Although it is conceivable that only a single flexible connector of the type described above could be used in joining the spool holders 23 together, and although a plurality of flexible connectors 47 could be used to join the cup-shaped containers 29 together with the connectors 47 being arranged in either a vertical or horizontal row or in some other arrangement, in the preferred embodiment shown in the drawing, the plurality of flexible connectors 47 are arranged in horizontal alignment in a common plane so as to act as a hinge having an axis about which the spool holders 23 can be pivoted relative to each other as shown in FIG. 3, with the axes 40 of the spool holders 23 lying in another common plane transverse to the plane of the plurality of flexible connectors 47. Furthermore, in a preferred embodiment the entire ribbon cartridge 11 may be constructed from the polypropylene material. With the spool holders 23 connectedby a flexible connecting means 25, as hereinabove described, the spool holders 23 are maintained at substantially the same distance from each other and are movable relative to each other in both pivotal and twisting movements, as shown in FIG. 4, so that the portion of the ribbon 13 spanning the gap between and extending tangentially between the ribbon openings 27 of the two spool holders 23 may undergo a variety of manipulations to effect the threading of the ribbon 13 into the ribbon vibrator 17. Threading is facilitated in that the substantially triangular area bounded by the connecting means 25, the span of ribbon 13 between the ribbon openings 27 which are circumferentially spaced from the connecting means 25 and the arcuate side walls of the spool holders 23 therebetween allows easy access to the ribbon vibrator 17 through which the span of ribbon 13 is to be threaded.
After the ribbon 13 has been threaded into the ribbon vibrator 17, the flexible connectors 47 may be broken or ruptured by manually pulling apart the spool holders 23. With the spool holders 23 separated from each other, the spool means 21 may be moved from the ribbon vibrator 17 by drawing out an additional length of ribbon 13 which may be inserted into a forked portion of a ribbon feed reversing lever 49 and then placed onto the ribbon spindle 19, as more particularly shown in FIG. 5, with the spindle 19 being received in an axial bore 51 formed in the spool means 21 and with the exposed bottom of the spool flange 35 being placed on the spindle 19 in cooperating relation with a detent 53 so as to effect the operable connection with the ribbon drive. To securely fasten the spool holder 23 on the spindle 19, the cup-shaped containers 29 are provided with a side opening 55 which receives a resiliently biased stop member 57 as the spool holder 23 is placed onto the spindle 19, thereby fixedly positioning the spool holder 23 into the transport mechanism 15.
What is claimed is: 1. In a ribbon cartridge, the combination comprising: a pair of spool holders for rotatably supporting a pair of spool means having a ribbon secured therebetween and wound upon at least one of said pair of spool means, said pair of spool holders each comprising an upwardly open container having a peripheral wall with at least a partial arcuate configuration and a ribbon opening formed therein for enabling the ribbon extending between said spool means to pass through the peripheral walls of said containers, a cover hingedly connected to a portion of each of said peripheral walls opposite said ribbon openings,
and tab and slot means on said covers and walls for closing said containers,
said covers having a central opening defining an axis for rotation of each of the pair of spool means,
a plurality of resilient connectors extending in a horizontal plane between and joining in close-proximity the arcuate portions of the peripheral walls of said pair of spool holders with the ribbon openings spaced circumferentially from said plurality of connectors and spaced apart from each other a distance substantially greater thanthe distance where the peripheral wallsare'connected by said plurality of connectors toforma gap to be spanned by the ribbon for enabling the ribbon to be'drawn substantially tangential between said pair of spool holders with the axis of rotation of the pair of spool means being in a common plane,
said plurality of connectors, said span of ribbon and said arcuate peripheral walls of said spool holders defining the boundaries of an area to allow access to a ribbon vibrator through which the span of ribbon is to be threaded,
each of said plurality of connectors having an intermediate portion of reduced cross-section capable of flexure for enabling said pair of spool holders to be manipulatively pivoted and twisted relative to each other with the axis for rotation of the pair of spool means being moved from the common plane to facilitate threading of the ribbon in a ribbon vibrator.
said plurality of connectors being rupturable at the intermediate portions of reduced cross-section after threading by moving said pair of spool holders from each other.