US3587262A - Key case - Google Patents

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Publication number
US3587262A
US3587262A US3587262DA US3587262A US 3587262 A US3587262 A US 3587262A US 3587262D A US3587262D A US 3587262DA US 3587262 A US3587262 A US 3587262A
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Prior art keywords
key
case
channel
covers
means
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
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Ronald H Kaye
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SWANK Inc
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SWANK Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C11/00Receptacles for purposes not provided for in groups A45C1/00 - A45C9/00
    • A45C11/32Bags or wallets for holding keys
    • A45C11/323Bags or wallets for holding keys with key hangers
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T70/00Locks
    • Y10T70/80Parts, attachments, accessories and adjuncts
    • Y10T70/8432For key-operated mechanism
    • Y10T70/8676Key holders

Abstract

THERE IS DISCLOSED A KEY CASE OF THE AUTOMATIC KEY SELECTOR TYPE. THE CASE INCLUDES A CENTRAL SELECTOR MECHANISM COMPRISING A CHANNEL MEMBER CONTAINING SLIDABLE LATCH BUTTONS, EACH OF WHICH RELEASES A DIFFERENT SPRING LOADED KEY HOLDER. FRONT AND BACK COVERS ARE HINGED IN BOOK FASHION TO THE SELECTOR MECHANISM. IN THIS MANNER ADDITIONAL KEY STORAGE PROVIDED, CONSTRUCTION IS SIMPLIFIED, THE CASE MAY BE MADE SMALLER, AND THE RANGE OF MATERIALS USABLE FOR THE CASE IS INCREASED.

Description

United States Patent [72] Inventor Ronald ll. Kaye Falrlield, Conn. [2]] Appl. No. 873,852 [22] Filed Nov. 4, I969 [45] Patented June 28, 1971 [73] Asslgnee to Swank Inc., New York, N.Y.

[54] KEY CASE ll Claims, 3 Drawing Figs. [52] US. 70/456 [51] int. n A45c 11/32 [50] l-leldoiselrcll ..70/456 (A), 456 (B), 457, 458, 459; 150/40; 70/4.4

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,924,134 8/ 1933 Segal 70/456 2,558,265 6/ l 951 Mosch 206/38 2,836,053 5/195 8 Starrett 70/456 3,004,422 10/ l 961 Starrett 70/456 3,464,244 9/1969 Hinkle 70/45 6' Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney-Wooster, Davis and Cifelli ABSTRACT: There is disclosed a key case of the automatic key selector type. The case includes a central selector mechanism comprising a channel member containing slidable latch buttons, each of which releases a different spring loaded key holder. Front and back covers are hinged in book fashion to the selector mechanism. in this manner additional key storage is provided, construction is simplified, the case may be made smaller, and the range of materials usable for the case is increased.

PATENTED Junes IBYI SHEET 3 UF 3 ill 4 llllilllllllillfi b IIZ INVENTOR. BY m 14 Wan 9 KEY CASE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to key cases of the type designed to retain a plurality of keys on individual spring-loaded pivots, the keys and pivots remaining latched within the case when not in use. A selector button is provided for each key and extends outside the casing. Retraction of a selected button releases the latch of the corresponding pivot and, under the influence of the spring, the key pops out of the case. The development of key cases of this type may be seen by the disclosures of U.S. Pat. No. 2,836,053 of R. M. Starrett issued May 27, I958 for Key Container, and US Pat. No. 3,004,222 issued to the same patentee Oct. 17, 1961 for Key Holder. Key cases made substantially in accordance with the teachings of the latter patent have been a pronounced commercial success. However, it would be desirable to improve them in certain ways. For example, the prior art key cases are designed to hold only a limited number of keys, those which are automatically actuated. It would be desirable to provide a key case in which additional keys could be stored. Secondly, prior art key cases are designed with an actuating mechanism including a central channel formed by molded projections on the inner surfaces of the key case halves. This has made it impossible to open the key case and, as a practical matter, has limited the materials of the case to a plastic material which can be molded. It would be desirable to provide a case which could be formed of metal and given a leather or simulated leather cover for a richer appearance. It would also be desirable to reduce the size and simplify the construction of these key cases.

Accordingly, it is the primary object of the present invention to provide a key case of the key selector type having booklike covers readily openable for additional key storage. Other objects are to provide'such a key case wherein the operating mechanism for the key selector is separate from the covers of the case and the size and complexity are reduced. Other objects, features and advantages will be apparent from the following description and appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to an improvement in a key case of the automatic key selector type having a plurality of pivotal, spring-loaded key holders, a channel, a different spring-loaded latch block slidably mounted within the channel for each key holder, and a button carried by each latch block for manually ejecting a key. The improvement includes means for supporting the key holders and channel in fixed relationship, a cover enclosing at least a portion of the supporting means, and means for hinging the cover to the supporting means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top edge view of a key case constructed in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a left edge view of the key case of FIG. 1 showing the hinge construction;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the key case of FIGS. 1 and 2, partially broken away to illustrate its internal construction;

FIG. 4 is a cross section taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3, the key case being shown partially open;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the key case of FIGS. 1-4 with both covers of the case being shown in their open positlon;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross section taken substantially along the line 6-6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross section taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is a partial cross section taken substantially along the line 8-8 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a cross'section taken substantially along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a cross section taken substantially along the line 10-10 ofFIG. 8;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Turning first to the perspective view of FIG. 5, the key case of this invention will be seen to comprise a boxlike inner core 10 of sheet metal having hinged thereto a front cover 12 and a back cover 14. It will be understood that the key case of this invention is substantially symmetrical and, accordingly, the terms front" and back" are used herein for identification only. The core 10 comprises substantially rectangular front plate 16 and back plate 18 spaced and separated by edge plates 20, 22. These edge plates extend only partially along the length of the front and back plates, thereby providing clearance at the top and bottom for insertion and removal of keys, as will later be explained. The top and bottom of the core structure is open. Formed on the outer surface of edge plate 20 are latching ramps 24, 26.

Enclosed between front plate 16 and back plate 18 is a diagonally oriented channel 28 formed by two U-shaped channel members 30, 32. The channel members are held together and in position by means of headed pins 34, 36, each of which extends through both channel members, front plate 16, and back plate 18. The channel sides are cut away at each end, as at 38, 40 (FIG. 8) to provide clearance for hinge members 42, 44, 46, 48.

The hinge members are mounted in pairs, one pair on each of the headed pins 34, 36. As they are substantially identical, only hinge member 44 will be described in detail with particular reference to FIGS. 6 and 8. From these FIGS. it will be noted that hinge member 44 includes a substantially circular body disc 50 bounded by a rim 52 and is mounted on pin 34 by 7 means an opening through a central boss 54. On one portion of its circumference, the disc 50 and rim 52 radially offset to form a locking pawl 56. The top of the hinge member 44, as viewed in FIG. 8, extends tangentially inwardly of the case forming an arm 58 ending at a head 60 from which extends an integral pivot pin 62. The pivot pin 62 includes a necked down portion 64 which terminates in an enlarged head 66. It should be noted that the disc 50, arm 58 and pin 62 are die cast as an integral member 44. In prior art devices, the pin was a separate member. Mounted on the boss 54 of the hinge member 44 is a coil spring 68 having one end 680 positioned against the side of channel 28 and its other end 68b positioned in arm 58. The end 68b exerts outward force against rim 52 and thereby tends to rotate hinge member 44 counterclockwise, as viewed in FIG. 8, to the broken line position. However, the hinge member is normally retained in the solid line position by means of pawl 56 and a latch which will now be described.

Each of the channel members 30, 32 defines a pair of spaced longitudinal slots relatively near the ends of the channel and oppositely disposed. Thus there are defined at one end of the channel 28 the oppositely disposed slots 70, 72. As will be seen from FIG. 5 corresponding aligned slots 74, 76 are defined by each of the front plate 16 and backplate 18. A short distance inwardly from each of the channel slots, the channel members 30, 32 are cut and bent to form inwardly projecting tabs 78, 80, 82, 84. Slidably positioned within the channel members 30, 32 and adjacent the slots formed therein are four plastic latch blocks of substantially rectangular cross section. Latch blocks 86, 88 are illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 8. Each of the four latch blocks defines a corresponding recess, such as 90, 92, at its inner end and a coil spring such as 94, 96 extends between such recess and the corresponding tab. Accordingly, the latch blocks are biased outwardly and against the corresponding hinge member. Therefore, as seen in FIG. 8, the latch block, due to its blocking relationship with pawl 56 restrains the hinge member 44 to its solid line position. A

button, such as 98, 100, integral with each of the latching blocks, extends outwardly through the aligned slots in the channel and the front (or back) plate. The buttons may be provided with suitable identifying indicia. In the illustrated embodiment, this consists of raised bumps, one, two, three or four in number, on each button for touch identification in the dark. In addition, the buttons may be molded of different colored plastics.

Secured to each of the hinge members 42, 44, 46, 48 is a corresponding key retainer 102, 104, 106, 108. As the key retainers are identical, only retainer 104, illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 10 will be described in detail. The retainer is formed of a resilient sheet material, such as brass or steel, and is substantially U-shaped in cross section, as shown in FIG. 10, including depending spaced side portions 110, 1 12. It is secured to pivot pin 62 by means of a crimped tubular collar 114 and axially retained by head 66, the retainer being pivotable about the pivot pin. The key is retained between the side portions 110, 112 by means of a dimple 116 formed in one side portion 110, and a tubular extrusion 118 formed in and extending from the other side portion 112. This is a novel construction which makes it possible to easily engage and disengage the key from the retainer by a simple twisting motion which causes the key to spring apart the side portions 110, 112 while bearing against and rising over the dimple 116. However, the key is securely retained against accidental disengagement because any force exerted parallel to the side portions 110, 112 forces it directly against the cylindrical wall of extrusion 118.

It is believed that the construction and operation of the key storage and selector mechanism portion of this invention will now be apparent. In order to select any key it is merely necessary to retract the corresponding button. This releases the spring-loaded hinge member which rotates, as shown by the broken lines in FIG. 8, causing the key to pop out of the case. As the key retainer id fully rotatable about its pivot pin, there is no hindrance to use of the key. To reinsert the key it is manually realigned with the case opening and the hinge member is depressed until once more retained by the latch.

The remaining structure of this invention resides in the provision of the hinged covers 12 and 14. As the covers are substantially identical, only front cover 12 will be described in detail. The cover comprises a metal shell 120 which may be covered by a suitable sheet material 122, such as leather or plastic, and an inner liner 124. Each cover defines two slots as at 126, 128 which may be suitably trimmed and these slots receive the buttons which are thereby made accessible when the covers are closed. The portions of the covers adjacent the slots may be deformed as shown in FIG. 6 in order to reduce the required length of the buttons. Storage of additional keys is provided on the inner surface of the covers as shown in FIG. 5. Any suitable means for securing the keys may be employed, but the illustrated embodiment employs a two-pronged spring clip 130 which is centrally secured, as by a rivet 132.

Each of covers 12, 14 is formed with a tubular bead along one edge, as at 134, 136, FIG. 4. These beads are shorter than the corresponding edges of the covers, as is most clearly apparent from FIG. 2. The covers 12, 14 are secured to the core 10 by means of a pair of novel but simple hinge clips 138, 140. The upper hinge clip 138 is shown in detail in FIG. 7. The clip is preferably formed from resilient wire and is first bent into a substantially U-shaped configuration, including a generally horizontal bight portion 142 and upstanding arms 144, 146. The arms, when unrestrained, diverge slightly from one another and thus snugly engage the front plate 16 and backplate 18 of the case. When mounted against the edge plate as shown in FIG. 7, the clips are further retained by means of tabs 148 struck from the front plate 16 and backplate 18. The elongated arms 144, 146 are bent inwardly toward one another, as shown in FIG. 7, and are then bent downwardly to lie in a plane closely adjacent and parallel to the plane of the main clip body. With the hinge clips 138, 140 free of the case, the covers 12, 14 are secured thereto by inserting the free ends of the clips into the ends of the tubular beads 134, 136. At the same time the'b'ody of the clip is forced behind the edge plate 22 and beneath the tabs 148. This provides a very simply constructed but extremely satisfactory and inexpensive hinge construction. In prior art devices of this type, relatively, expensive hinges were required and the material on the covers needed to be trimmed or cut to accommodate'them. These disadvantages are removed by the hinges of this invention.

FIGS. lll3 illustrate a modification of this invention which omits the internal boxlike coreand replaces it with a skeletonized construction. In this embodiment the mechanical operation of the key selector portion is essentially similar to that previously described, and, accordingly, need not be disclosed in detail. A primary distinction is that the channel and the pins 152, 154 are not secured to plates but, rather, to an elongated U-shaped bracket 156 which lies along the upper edge and a shorter U-shaped bracket 158 adjacent the lower hinge corner. The covers 160, 162, are similar to those of FIGS. 1-7 and are provided with similar tubular beads 164, 166. A portion of the cover may be extended along the edge opposite the beads to form closure wall 168 which interengage by means of a suitable latch 170. The covers, of course, are open at the top and bottom when closed to permit insertion and removal of the keys. Portions of the sidewalls of brackets 156, 158 are cut and struck inwardly toform tabs 172. These tabs secure hinge clips 174 which are quite similar to those previously described and function in a similar manner. It will be noted that this form of construction provides a much thinner, simpler and, therefore, less expensive key case.

It will be understood by those skilled in the art that a number of variations and modifications may be made in this invention without departing from its spirit and scope. Accordingly, the foregoing description is to be construed as illustrative only rather than limiting.

I claim:

1. In a key case of the automatic key selector type including a plurality of pivotal, spring-loaded key holders, a channel member, a different spring-loaded latch block slidably mounted within said channel member for each of said key holders, and button means carried by each of said latch blocks and extending out of said channel member for manual operation to release a selected key holder, the improvement which comprises: means for supporting said key holders and channel member in substantially fixed relationship; cover means enclosing at least a portion of said supporting means; and hinge means securing said cover means to said supporting means.

2. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said channel member is substantially straight and of substantially rectangular cross section.

3. The improvement of claim 2 wherein said channel member comprises: first and second half channel members, each of substantially U-shaped cross section, and pin means joining said half channel members at their ends.

4. The improvement of claim 1 wherein said supporting means comprises: a front plate; a backplate parallel to, and spaced from said front plate; a first edge plate joining aligned first edges of said front and backplates; a second edge plate joining aligned second, opposite, edges of said front and backplates, said front, back, and edge plates forming a substantially boxlike inner core; a first pin extending through said front and back plates at one corner of said core and supporting between said plates one end of said channel member and at least one of said key holders; a second pin extending through said front and backplates at the diagonally opposite comer of said core and supporting between said plates the other end of said channel member and at least one of said key holders.

5. The improvement of claim 1 wherein: said supporting means comprises a first U-shaped .bracket having parallel, spaced, elongated legs with their free ends spaced outwardly of one end of said channel member, first pin means extending through said free ends and said one end of the channel member, a second U-shaped bracket having parallel, spaced,

shortened legs with their free ends spaced outwardly of the other end of said channel member, said first and second brackets being substantially parallel and having their base portions aligned, second pin means extending through said free ends and said other end of the channel member; said cover means comprises a substantially rectangular front cover and a substantially vertical back cover disposed on opposite sides of said supporting means, each of said covers defining, along a first aligned edge, a tubular bead; and said'hinge means comprises a first U-shaped spring clip secured to the base portion of said bracket and having its free leg ends disposed within respective first ends of the tubular beads of said covers, and a second U-shaped spring clip secured to the base portion of said second bracket and having its free leg ends disposed within respective second ends of the tubular beads of said covers.

6. The improvement of claim 4 wherein said cover means comprises a substantially rectangular front cover and a substantially rectangular back cover disposed on opposite sides of said inner core. I

. 7. The improvement of claim 6 wherein each of said covers defines, along 'a first edge, a tubular bead and wherein said hinge means comprises a first U-shaped spring clip secured to one end of said first edge plate and having its free leg ends disposed within respective first ends of the tubular beads of said covers, and a second U-shaped spring clip secured to the other end of said first edge plate and having its free leg ends disposed within respective second ends of the tubular beads of said covers.

8. The improvement of claim 7 wherein the legs of each of said spring clips are bent back upon themselves to lie in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the bight portion of the clip.

9. The improvement of claim 5 wherein the legs of each of said spring clips are bent back upon themselves to lie in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the bight portion of the clip.

10. The improvement of claim l wherein said cover means includes key storage means thereon.

11. The improvement of claim 1 wherein each of said key "holders comprises: a substantially disc shaped pivoted body member and an integral pivot pin extending tangentially therefrom; and a key retainer rotatably mounted on said pivot pin.

US3587262A 1969-11-04 1969-11-04 Key case Expired - Lifetime US3587262A (en)

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Cited By (14)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3677044A (en) * 1970-10-05 1972-07-18 Paul T De Frees Keycase
US3696649A (en) * 1971-03-01 1972-10-10 Ho Chow Key case
US4785645A (en) * 1987-06-15 1988-11-22 Dengel Donald F Key retainer
US4951489A (en) * 1989-06-26 1990-08-28 Proch Nathan C Key holder
US5177989A (en) * 1991-07-02 1993-01-12 Stillwagon Applied Technology Incorporated Key holder with swivel cartridge
US5209090A (en) * 1990-08-06 1993-05-11 Stillwagon Applied Technology, Inc. Object retention apparatus
US5346066A (en) * 1991-08-02 1994-09-13 Jones Ray A Key safe
US5511390A (en) * 1994-08-12 1996-04-30 Mah; Mon Dod Pendant locket holder for keys and other articles
US5642807A (en) * 1995-02-27 1997-07-01 Barnes; George W. Article employing modified musical recording tape cartridge storage case for storing small loose items
US6672118B1 (en) * 2002-07-08 2004-01-06 Edward E. Wright Apparatus and method for retaining keys
US20060027005A1 (en) * 2004-07-30 2006-02-09 Gurdip Gill Key holder
US20090095844A1 (en) * 2005-06-21 2009-04-16 Hansson Mark G Cargo Parachute Release Apparatus, System and Method
US20110219831A1 (en) * 2010-03-11 2011-09-15 Continental Automotive Systems Us, Inc. Automotive key fob having an anti key rattle spring
US10028605B1 (en) * 2017-01-04 2018-07-24 Nite Ize, Inc. Systems and methods for a detachable key holder and organizer

Cited By (20)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3677044A (en) * 1970-10-05 1972-07-18 Paul T De Frees Keycase
US3696649A (en) * 1971-03-01 1972-10-10 Ho Chow Key case
US4785645A (en) * 1987-06-15 1988-11-22 Dengel Donald F Key retainer
US4951489A (en) * 1989-06-26 1990-08-28 Proch Nathan C Key holder
US5209090A (en) * 1990-08-06 1993-05-11 Stillwagon Applied Technology, Inc. Object retention apparatus
WO1993000839A1 (en) * 1991-07-02 1993-01-21 Stillwagon Applied Technology Incorporated Key holder with swivel cartridge
US5177989A (en) * 1991-07-02 1993-01-12 Stillwagon Applied Technology Incorporated Key holder with swivel cartridge
US5346066A (en) * 1991-08-02 1994-09-13 Jones Ray A Key safe
US5511390A (en) * 1994-08-12 1996-04-30 Mah; Mon Dod Pendant locket holder for keys and other articles
US5642807A (en) * 1995-02-27 1997-07-01 Barnes; George W. Article employing modified musical recording tape cartridge storage case for storing small loose items
US20040003635A1 (en) * 2002-07-08 2004-01-08 Wright Edward E. Apparatus and method for retaining keys
US6672118B1 (en) * 2002-07-08 2004-01-06 Edward E. Wright Apparatus and method for retaining keys
US20060027005A1 (en) * 2004-07-30 2006-02-09 Gurdip Gill Key holder
US20090095844A1 (en) * 2005-06-21 2009-04-16 Hansson Mark G Cargo Parachute Release Apparatus, System and Method
US7934683B2 (en) * 2005-06-21 2011-05-03 Conax Florida Corporation Cargo parachute release apparatus, system and method
US20110168847A1 (en) * 2005-06-21 2011-07-14 Hansson Mark G Cargo Parachute Release Apparatus, System and Method
US8052091B2 (en) 2005-06-21 2011-11-08 Conax Florida Corporation Cargo parachute release apparatus, system and method
US20110219831A1 (en) * 2010-03-11 2011-09-15 Continental Automotive Systems Us, Inc. Automotive key fob having an anti key rattle spring
US8485008B2 (en) * 2010-03-11 2013-07-16 Continental Automotive Systems Us, Inc. Automotive key fob having an anti key rattle spring
US10028605B1 (en) * 2017-01-04 2018-07-24 Nite Ize, Inc. Systems and methods for a detachable key holder and organizer

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