US3820890A - Information storage and retrieval system - Google Patents

Information storage and retrieval system Download PDF

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US3820890A
US3820890A US4427370A US3820890A US 3820890 A US3820890 A US 3820890A US 4427370 A US4427370 A US 4427370A US 3820890 A US3820890 A US 3820890A
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passage
retrieval
information storage
microfiche
image
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M Kuehnle
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AUDAC CORP
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AUDAC CORP
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03GELECTROGRAPHY; ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY; MAGNETOGRAPHY
    • G03G15/00Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern
    • G03G15/22Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern involving the combination of more than one step according to groups G03G13/02 - G03G13/20
    • G03G15/26Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern involving the combination of more than one step according to groups G03G13/02 - G03G13/20 in which the charge pattern is obtained by projection of the entire image, i.e. whole-frame projection

Abstract

An information storage and retrieval system includes a housing with a passage through it. A lens system is contained in the passage for projecting an image onto a microfiche portion positioned in register with the end of the passage. Electrodes are mounted in the passage for producing a corona discharge in the passage which charges the microfiche prior to its exposure to the image and toner is introduced into the passage after such exposure to develop the image on the microfiche portion.

Description

United States Patent [191 Kuehnle [5 1 INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM [75] Inventor: Manfred R. Kuehnle, Lexington,
Mass.
[73] Assignee: Audac Corporation, Burlington,
Mass.
[22] Filed: June 8, 1970 [21] Appl. No.:44,273
52 U.S. c|..;....' ass/5 355/27, 355/44 [51] Int. Cl G033 15/00 [58] Field of Search 355/7, 27, 40, 55, 10,
[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,013,342 12/1961 Huber 355/10 X 3,080,802 3/1963 Friedel. 95/13 X 3,094,036 6/1963 Benson 355/7 3,166,420 1/1965 Clark 355/5 3,205,769 9/1965 Roth 353/27 3,260,153 7/1966 Abbott, ,lrnet a1 95/45 R 3,263,557 8/1966 Cunningham 355/5 X 3,264,961 8/1966 Tuttle et a1. 355/27 7 14 ,June 28, 1974 Giaimo 355/3 Primary ExaminerSamue1 S. Matthews Assistant Examiner Richard A. Wintercorn Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cesari and McKenna 57 ABSTRACT I An information storage and retrieval system includes a housing with a passage through it. A lens system is contained in the passage for projecting an image onto amicrofiche portion positioned in register with the end of the passage. Electrodes are mounted in the passage for producing a corona discharge in the passage which chargesthe microfiche prior to its exposure to the image and toner is introduced into the passage after such exposure to develop the image On the microfiche portion.
34 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJum m4 SHEET 1 BF 3 2 INVENTOR MANFRED R. KUEHNLE I BY QJLttZ'wz/WKW ATTORNEY S lNVENTOR MANFRED R. KUEHNLE BY v ATTORNEYS l lNFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a microxerographic information storage and retrieval system. It relates more particularly to a system of this type which charges, exposes and tones a medium and fixes a greatly reduced image on the medium.
The advent of the modern document copier, particularly the electrostatic copier, has worked a revolution in. office procedures. Copies are now so inexpensive that they are made in many cases where cost was previously a prohibitive factor. This, in turn, has brought about a change in the mode of handling printed information. That is, it is now common practice to prepare an originaldocument and then use a copier to prepare copies of the original for distribution, even for use by the originator of the document. The original document is then filed away as a master from which further copies can be made at a later time, if necessary.
At the same time, however, the amount of information that has been reduced to printed form has burgeoned so that the storage of these masters is expensive and has posed a space problem. Also, due to the number of documents involved, it is growing more and more difficult to retrieve this stored information.
To alleviate these information storage and retrieval problems, it has been proposed to record the original data on microfilm which would then be used as a mas- I ter to make additional copies in the future. The microfilm systems do offer substantial savings in cost and re quired storage space for the information. However, they are not suitable for small offices because they are rather costly and complicated to operate and maintain.
Another approach to the problem involves recording the data in microimage form on either a temporary recording medium or a permanent microfiche. Full-size reproductions of the data are then made by projecting the recorded microimages' onto a photosensitive medium. The reproductions are made via the temporary storage medium when a quick copy of the original data is desired; they are made from the microfiche when the full-size reproductions are to be retrieved from longterm storage. The storage media can be either a photographic microfiche or a xerographic microfiche, depending upon the particular application. A system of this type is fully. disclosed in application Ser. No. 858,375, filed Sept. 16, 1969, entitled A SYSTEM FOR RECORDING DATA ON MICROFICHE AND FOR VIEWING AND MAKING PRINTS OF THE RE- CORDED DATA, owned by the assignee of the present application. The apparatus disclosed there does make A further object of the invention is to provide such a system which can be operated by relatively unskilled personnel.
Another object of the invention is to provide a fast and efficient information storage and retrieval system using microxerography.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a microxerographic information storage and retrieval system in which data can be stored on and retrieved from a microfiche with a minimum number of operations and operator movements.
Another object of the invention is to provide a microxerographic information storage and retrieval system which impresses images on a medium that are relatively clear and distinct.
The invention accordingly comprises the several steps and the relation of one or more of such steps with respect. to each of the others, and the apparatus embodying the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which are adapted to effect such steps, all as exemplified in the following detailed disclosure,and-the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
' In general, the present system combines the features of a modern document copier with a xerographic microfilm system. That is, a single, multiple-function unit provides the operator with several optional modes of operation. These include the full-size reproduction of documents and other graphic data, the recording of documents in microimage form, the display of the re-' corded images on a screen and the making of full-size reproductions from the microimages.
The system operates in all cases by first recording an image of the document on the unexposed frame of a xerographic microfiche. Later, if the recorded information is to be retrieved from the microfiche, it can be reproduced to full size by projecting the recorded image onto a'copying medium such as electrostatic copy paper, after which the reproduction is developed in the conventional manner. Alternatively, the microimage can be projected full-size onto a viewing screen contained in the same unit.
it much less costly to store and retrieve recorded information. However, that unit is still not as small, compact and simple to operate as might be desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Another object of the invention is to provide an in-- formation storage and retrieval system which is relatively easy and inexpensive to make and maintain.
The main distinction of the present system over the one disclosed in the aforesaid application Ser. No.
858,375, lies in the fact that the present apparatus charges, exposes and tones the recording medium to apply a greatly reduced image to the medium while the medium remains at exactly the same location in the apparatus. In other words, once the operator places the xerographic microfiche in the apparatus, all of the xerography steps can be carried out at this one station so that an image of the document is recorded on an unexposed frame of the microfiche. 1
This has several advantages. First and foremost, the system is far less complex and has far fewer moving parts than prior systems of this type which perform the various steps involved in the xerography process at different stations as shown, for example, in the aforesaid application Ser. No, 858,375. Also, the images recorded on the microfilm are consistently clear and dis tinct because, when the microfiche is placed initially in the apparatus, it is properly positioned relative to the lens system as well as to the other elements involved in the xerography process. Therefore, defocusing and other problems caused by the shifting around of the microfiche within the apparatus and play between various components of thesystem are kept to a minimum.
posed frame thereof to receive the new information to' be recorded on it. This makes it very easy to update the information on the microfiche by adding more data into blank frames in the microfiche. This is particularly important in situations where information is developed intermittently over a relatively long period of time.
Also, this feature makes it quite easy to locate a particular frame on the microfiche to which data is to be added or blocked out or to be superimposed on existing data in that particular frame. These procedures are possible here because the xerographic process does not fix the images on the microfiche. Therefore, the microfiche is always receptive to additional data.
All of these functions of the system are accomplished in a unit that is little larger than units presently used for single functions, e.g., making full-size copies, making reproductions from microimages, etc., yet it is comparable in'cost. These savings are made possible by combining the functions of a number of system components so that these components are common to two more of the machine operations. Yet, as .will be seen, the unit is fast and easy to use and has a long, useful life. Other features of the invention will be more readily understood from the detailed description to follow.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view with parts broken away of a microxerographic information storage and retrieval system made in-accordance with the present invention;
.FIG. 2 is an isometric view on a larger scale showing a part of the FIG. 1 system in greater detail;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along line 33 of FIG. 2 with some parts shown in elevation; and
FIG. 4 is a similarview along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to FIG. 1, the present system includes a housing which is divided into spaced-apart, generally rectangular upper and lower sections 10a and 10b. A microfiche holding and positioning assembly indicated at 12 is mounted in housing section 10a for vertical and horizontal movement relative to a xerography assembly 14 contained in section 10a behind the microfiche holder. The operator moves assembly 12 by means of a joy stick 16 extending down from section 10a. He controls the operation of the system by four push button switches projecting from the front of housing section 10b. These are identified as follows: a POWER switch 17a, a PROJECT switch 17b, a COPY switch 160 and a PRINT switch 17d.
The document 18 to be copied is placed face-up on a glass platen 22 on the top of housing section 10b. The document is then illuminated by means of a lamp 24 whose light is directed downward by a reflector 26 positioned just above the lamp. The image of document 18 is reflected by a mirror 28 toward assembly 14 which then focuses a greatly reduced image of the document 18 onto a frame 32a of a microfiche 32 retained in assembly 12. The xerography assembly 14 then prints-the data from document 18 onto the microfiche frame 32a.
Still referring to FIG. 1, if a full-size copy of the data in microfiche frame 32a is to be made, a projection lamp assembly 34 having an arm 36 hinged to the front of housing section 10a is swung over assembly 12 so that it is in line with microfiche frame 320 and the lens axis of assembly 14. Light from a lamp 38 in assembly 34 is directed through a collimator 42 and thence through microfiche frame 32a. After passing through assembly 14, this light is reflected by mirror 28 down toward platen 22 where the data on the microfiche frame 32a is brought to a focus.
A copying assembly 44 is contained in housing section 10b directly below platen 22. Also, the platen is transparent so that the recorded image from mirror 28 is projected through the platen onto photosensitive paper contained in copying assembly 14. Assembly 14 operates according to well-known principles and need not be described here in detail. It is sufficient to note that, when actuated, it withdraws unexposed paper from a self-contained supply and transports the paper to the proper position beneath platen 22. Then, after exposure, the assembly 44 develops and fixes the image on the paper and ejects the finished copy 45 through a slot 46 at the side of housing section 10b.
Normally, there is a white surface directly below platen 22 which provides the proper background to record the document 18 on the microfiche. Then, when the apparatus is used to make hard copy, as just described, the photosensitive copy paper is fed into position between this white surface and platen 22. It should also be understood at this point that the depth of focus of the lens system in assembly 14 is large enough so that the thickness of platen 22 has relatively little effect on the ability of the apparatus to make sharp copies on paper below the platen, even though the original document 18 is photographed from a point on the top of the platen. However, there may be some slight reduction in size of the hard copies made by copying assembly 44.
If the operator decides to view the data in any frame on microfiche 32, he can swing the projection lamp assembly over assembly 12 and project an image of that data down toward platen 22 as he would if he were going to make hard copies. However, he does not actuate the copying assembly 44, so that a full-size image of the data at that particular frame is brought to a focus on the white surface directly below platen 22 and it is readily observable to the operator.
Alternatively, the mirror 28 can be hinged to housing section 10a so that it can be swung up away from the lens axis of assembly 14. This allows the image on the microfiche 32 to be projected straight through to a ground glass screen 51 at the back of housing 10. The operator can then view screen 50 through a transparent window 51 in the front wall of housing 10 between the two sections 10a and 10b.
Turning now to FIG. 2, the microfiche holding and positioning assembly 12 allows the operator to properly position a microfiche 32 mounted therein so that any selected frame thereof can located properly relative to lens axis A of assembly 14 in order to receive an image. Assembly 12 comprises a pair of parallel, spaced-apart upper and lower tracks 52 and 54 whose ends are connected to the sides of housing section a (FIG. 1). Track 52 is a channel with its sides facing downward, while track 54 is rectangular in cross-section with a flat, horizontal surface facing track 52. A generally rectangular carriage shown generally at 56 is positioned between tracks 52 and 54 and arranged to slide back and forth along them. A bottom carriage member 56a rides on track 54, while a top carriage member 56b rides with a loose fit in the channel of upper track 52.
Carriage member 56a also has a horizontal passage 58 through it for loosely receiving a shaft 62 connected at its opposite ends to the sides of housing section 10a. This is to enable the carriage 56 to pivot somewhat about shaft 62 toward and away from assembly 14 for reasons to be described later indetail.
Still referring to FIG. 2, carriage 56 carries a generally rectangular plate-like microfiche holder 64 which is mounted for vertical sliding movement. More particularly, holder 64 has a pair of vertical passages 66 and 68 at its opposite sides for slidably receiving a pair of rods 72 and 74 connected at their opposite ends to the upper and lower carriage members 56b and 56a. A generally rectangular opening 76 with a beveled wall 82 is formed in holder 64. This opening is shaped to receive a microfiche, and it may be closed by a swing-down transparent glass door 84 which is hinged to the bottom portion of wall 82.
In use, a microfiche 32 is placed in opening 76 where its edges seat against a thin strip 85 (FIGS. 3 and 4) secured to the rear of holder 64 and overhanging opening 76. Then door 84 is swung closed. A handle 86 on the door can be slid up so that a blade 86a attached to the handle engages in a registering slot 88 .(FIG. 3) in the top portion of wall 82.
As seen in FIG. 2, joy stick 16 has an upper threaded end 16a which is screwed into an ear 92 projecting from holder 64. Thus, by appropriately moving stick l6 vertically and horizontally, the operator can shift holder 64 and the microfiche 32 therein vertically or horizontally relative to the lens axis A of assembly 14 so that any one of the microfiche frames, e.g., frame 32a, can be centered on the lens axis A.
To facilitate positioning the microfiche, a springloaded pin 94 is installed in the bottom carriage member 56a. Pin 94 is arranged to engage in one of a row of depressions 96 in the top of track 54. The number of recesses 96 corresponds to the number of frame columns across microfiche 32 and the location of the depressions is such that the pin 96 engages in one of them when each microfiche frame is centered on the lens axis A.
The vertical positioning of holder 6 is controlled in the same fashion. That is, a spring-loaded pin 93 is mounted in the left-hand carriage member 56c. This pin is arranged to engage in one of a row of depressions 102 in the left-hand side of holder 64. The number of depressions 102 corresponds to the number of frame rows down the microfiche 32. Also, as before, the spacing between them is such that pin 98 engages in one of the microfiche when a micorfiche frame is centered on lens axis A.
In the present illustration, microfiche 32 has 23 co]- umns and seven rows of frames. Thus, when the positioning assembly 56 is adjusted so that pin 94 is engaged in the middle depression 96 and pin 98 is engaged in the middle depression 102, then the holder is located so that the frame 32a at the middle of the microfiche is centered on the lens axis A as shown. By manipulating joy stick 16, the operator can easily center any frame in microfiche 32 on the lens axis so that data can be recorded in that frame or so that data already in that frame can be projected for the purposes of making hard copy or for display.
If desired, numbered scale markings 1103a and 1031; can be applied to the shaft of joy stick l6 and to the front of housing section 110a, respectively, as shown in FIG. I, to facilitate locating a particular frame.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the-xerography assembly 14 includes a rectangular housing 110 which is positioned in housing section 10a behind the positioning'assembly 56. A generally cylindrical passage lll2' whose axis coincides with axis A extends all the way through housing llllll. The cross section of the front end lll2b of passage I12 is approximately the same size and shapeas a single microfiche frame. The rear end portion of passage 112 is counterbored at llll2a to receive a lens system 114 whose axis constitutes lens axis A. The mirror 23 is spaced back from housing llll0on axis A.
Thus, the image of document 18 (FIG. l) is reflected a focus on the frame of microfiche 32 which is in register with passage I12. Conversely, if the system is being used to make hard copy of an image already on a microfiche using projection lamp assembly 34 (FIG. I), the image on the microfiche frame is projected through the lens system 1114 and reflected by mirror 28 down toward platen 22.
Assembly 14 is constructed to facilitate centering the selected microfiche frame on lens axis A and then to bring to bear all of the elements necessary to impress a xerographic image on the selected microfiche frame. More particularly, when microfiche 32 is placed in holder 64 and the door 84 is closed as shown in solid lines in FIG. 3, the microfiche is brought flush against the front wall 110a of housing lllltl, except where the microfiche is in register with the passage front end 1112b. The front housing wall 16a has a groove 116 extending all around the perimeter of passage 112, and a gasket M6 is seated in this groove. Normally, the microfiche 32 is slidable relative to gasket 118 so that the operator can move the microfiche vertically or horizontally in order to center a particular frame on lens As best seen in FIG. 3, a lamp 122 is positioned in a passage I24 in housing llltl. Lamp 122 projects into a passage 126 which communicates with passage 112 so that when the lamp is lit, passage 112 is illuminated behind the microfiche frame centered on lens axis A. Thus, as he operates the joy stick 16 (FIG. 2), the operator can actually sight through the transparent door 84 and see which frame is in position to receive new data or to be projected.
The bottom carriage member 56a is'provided with a wide arm 123 which extends rearwardly an appreciable distance from shaft 62 onwhich the member 56a is mounted. A solenoid 1132 is mounted by way of a bracket 1134 to a stationary frame member within housing section Mia (FIG. I). Solenoid 1132 has a rod 132a terminating in a pad 1133 and which is normally retracted as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 3. However, when the solenoid is actuated, rod 132a pushes down against arm 1123 so that the latter member acts as a lever tending to pivot the entire carriage 56 counterclockwise about shaft 62. This swings the holder 64 and the microfiche therein back toward the housing front wall 110a, thus'fixing the optical distance between the lens system 114 and the microfiche. It also presses the microfiche against gasket 118, thereby providing a fluidtight seal between passage front end 112b and the microfiche for reasons to be discussed later. Solenoid 132 is actuated when the operator presses either the PROJECT button 17b or the PRINT button 17d (FIG. 1).
Still referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, housing 110 contains the elements necessary to impress a xerographic image on the microfiche frame centered on the lens axis A. More particularly, as best seen in FIG. 4, a needle-like electrode 142 carried by an insulating sleeve 144 is positioned in a passage 146 extending obliquely through housing 110. The electrode is positioned so that its nib 142a is situated on lens axis A a short distance behind the passage front end 1121:. The electrode is very thin and it is located off the focal point of lens system 114 so that it does not distort the image projected to or from microfiche 32 to any great extent. A second ring electrode 147 is positioned in housing 110 surrounding nib 142a and coaxial with axis A. The inside diameter of ring 147 is slightly larger than that of passage 112 so that it does not interrupt the optical path. The electrode 147 is mounted by way of an extension 147a passing through an insulating sleeve 149 secured in a horizontal passage 150 in the housing.
When an electrical potential is applied between electrodes 142 and 147 during the printing process, a corona discharge is developed between those members. This corona discharge applies an electric charge to the microfiche frame centered on the lens axis and also in register with passage end 112b. The front half of housing 110 and particularly its front wall 110a is electrically conductive to serve as a floating electrical ground for the microfiche 32.
After the selected microfiche frame is charged as aforesaid, it is exposed. That is, the lamp 24 (FIG. 1) is briefly illuminated so that the image of the document 18 on platen 22 is projected through the lens system 114 and brought to a focus on the microfiche frame in register with passage 112. The portions of the microfiche frame which are illuminated (i.e., those corresponding to'the light areas of the document 18) lose their electrical charge while the remaining portions which do not receive light (i.e., corresponding to the darkened or printed areas in document 18) retain their charge. Thus, a latent image of the document in the form of charged areas is impressed on the microfiche frame. In order to prevent stray light from dissipating this charge on the microfiche, the glass door 84 may carry a red filter (not shown) to filter out light of shorter wavelengths which has this effect. Then, when it is desired to project an image, this filter can be slid out of the way before positioning projection lamp 34 in front of the door.
Still referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, after the microfiche frame is charged and exposed as aforesaid, a liquid toner is applied to it. More particularly, a tank 152 located in housing section a carries conventional liquid toner. The toner is conducted from the tank by means of a tube 154 containing a solenoid valve 156 and which is connected to an inlet fitting 158 on the top of housing 110. Fitting 158 communicates with a passage 162 which extends down through housing 110 just behind the front wall a thereof. The lower end of passage 162 connects with an outlet fitting 164 which extends from the bottom of the housing for connection with a pipe 166 leading to a waste tank (not shown).
Each time valve 156 is opened momentarily, a measured supply of toner is fed to passage 162. The rear wall of the passage has a portion 162a which slants downwardly toward the top of the passage end 112b forming a narrow horizontalslit at that point. The liquid toner issuing from the slit is directed toward the top of the microfiche frame so that a continuous sheet of toner washes down the inside face of the frame. This toner is then carried out of the housing by way of outlet pipe 166 and may be thrown away or recirculated as desired.
As best seen in FIG. 3, the gasket 118 confines the application of the toner to the microfiche frame which is in register with passage end 112b. This minimizes the likelihood of discolorations or markings being applied inadvertently to adjacent microfiche frames.
Provision is also made for shielding the lens system 114 from the toner during this part of the process. More particularly, a retractable, reflective shutter 172 is slidably mounted in a vertical slot174 just in front of lens system 114. Slot 174 intercepts passage 112 so that when shutter 172 is in its closed (i.e., fully up) position, as shown in FIG. 3, it completely blocks off counterbore 112a so that the toner is confined to the front portion of passage 112 adjacent microfiche 32.
On the other hand, when the shutter is open, it is retracted completely from passage 112. The shutter is moved up and down by means of a lever arm 176 pivotally mounted on a stationary frame. One end of lever 176 is connected by a pin 178 to the lower end of the shutter. Its other end is pivotally connected to the normally retracted push rod 182a of solenoid 182. Shutter 172 is normally maintained at its upper or closed position by means of a coil spring 184 situated in a vertical passage 186 in housing 110 and stretched between pivot pin 178 and a pin 188 secured to the housing near the top of passage 186. The solenoid 182 is energized to open the shutter when the operator presses the PROJECT button 17b (FIG. 1) to project data from a particular microfiche frame, or during that portion of the printing cycle when the microfiche is being exposed. Otherwise, the shutter remains closed.
As best seen in FIG. 4, after the toner has been applied, as described above, it is fused to the microfiche frame to fix the image thereon. More particularly, a tube 192 is connected to housing 110 and communicates with a main passage 194 therein having several branches (not shown) all of which lead to passage 112. Pipe 192 is connected by way of a solenoid valve 196 to a hot air source (not shown). During the printing sequence, valve 196 is opened momentarily so that hot air is directed into passage 112 and onto the microfiche frame centered in that passage. The hot air quickly evaporates the toner solvent, leaving the toner permanently fused to the frame. This process can be speededup even more by preheating the toner from tank 152 by means of a heater 198 (FIG. 3).
Also, the introduction of the hot air into passage 112 and the communicating passages 126 and 162 flushes out any toner residue or dirt so that the buildup of deposits within the housing is minimized. The aforesaid sequence of the steps in the printing process is con- In use, the operator can add data to an unexposed frame of the microfiche 32 very easily using the present system. First, he depresses the POWER button 17a (F1G. 1) to activate components of the system such as the timer 199 which controls the printing sequence, the toner heater 198, the sighting lamp 122 and perhaps also some of theelements of the copying assembly 44. He then places the document 18 to be copied on platen 22. Following this, he manipulates joy stick 16, while sighting through the illuminated door 181 until he sees the particular frame on which he wants to impress this new data. Although the door 84 may include a red filter as noted previously, the lamp 122 is bright enough so that he can still see the desired frame outlined in the passage end 112b.
The operator then depresses the PRINT button lamp 122 and energizes solenoid 132 which presses ,microfiche 32 against gasket 118. Then it closes a switch (not shown) which applies an electrical potential between electrode 142 and 147 to charge the microfiche frame. Next, the timer energizes solenoid 182 which retracts shutter 172, thereby clearing the optical path between the document 18 on platen 22 and the microfiche 32. Following this, the timer turns on lamp 24 momentarily, thereby exposing the microfiche frame. Then the timer deenergizes solenoid 182 so that shutter 172 closes and seals off the forward end of passage 112. Next, the timer opens solenoid valve 156 briefly, allowing a measured amount of toner to flow through the housing and across the microfiche frame being processed. Then, it opens valve 196, allowing hot air to flow through the housing and across the microfiche frame. This-evaporates the toner solvent so that a permanent image is impressed on the frame. Next, the timer closes valve 156 cutting off the supply of hot air. Following this, the timer deenergizes the camming solenoid 132 and turns on lamp 122 again so that the operator can look through door 81 and actually see the data which has been printed onto the microfiche frame. If the print was applied properly, the operator may then open the door 84 and remove the microfiche for storage.
On the other hand, he may want to view a full-sized image of the microfiche frame (or any other frame). To accomplish this, he removes document 18 from platen 22 and swings the projection lamp assembly 34 over door 84. Following this, the operator selects the desired frame and depresses the PROJECT button 17b on the front of housing section 10b. This turns off the sighting lamp 122, energizes the camming solenoid 132, energizes solenoid 182 to retract shutter 172 and turns on the projection lamp 38. Accordingly, a full-sized image of the data at the selected microfiche frame is projected onto the white surface below platen 22. (With the alternative construction described above, the image is projected onto screen 51 after mirror 28 is swung off the axis A.)
If the operator is satisfied with the image on the microfiche, he can make one or more copies thereof by depressing the COPY button 17c. This activates the copying assembly 44 so that photosensitive paper is fed under platen 22 and exposed and processed in the conventional way and ejected through the slot 416 in the side of housing section Mlb.
It will be seen from the foregoing that l have devised a multiple-function system for copying, storing and retrieving data which is relatively small and compact. In the present system, data is printed on any selected frame of a microfiche using a xerography process.
Once the microfiche is positioned to impress the data on the selected frame, the microfiche remains in exactly the same position while all of the steps in the xerography process are carried out. As a result, the system is much less complex than prior comparable units of this type. Further, because the microfiche remains stationary during processing, the images impressed thereon are relatively sharp and distinct. Furthermore, since the unit is less complex, it costs less to make and requires less maintenance.
The present system is also far easier to operate than others of this type. The operator can actually see the microfiche frame which is of interest so that he can position it quickly for information storage or display purposes. So, because of the systems flexibility and ease of operation, it provides a very powerful information storage and retrieval tool.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain tion or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be" interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described.
I claim:
1. An information storage and retrieval system comprising A. a lens system having a lens axis,
B. a surface for supporting a document,
C. means for illuminating the surface,
D. means for directing the reflected image of a document on the surface along the lens axis,
E. a light transmitting xerographic storage medium,
F. means for holding the storage medium and positioning it on the lens axis on the opposite side of the lens from the directing means so that an image of a document on the surface is projected to rise lected location on the storage medium,
G. means for charging the storage medium at the point of exposure of same to said image, and
H. means for developing the image on the storage medium while the storage medium remains at the same position relative to the lens axis.
2. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 1 A. further including 1. a light positionable to shine through the storage medium along the lens axis, and O 2. copying means, and g B. wherein the directing means projects the illuminated image on the storage medium toward the copy means for making copies thereof. 3. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 2 and further including A. a display screen, and B. wherein the directing means is arranged to project the image on the storage medium toward the screen when the light illuminates the storage medium.
4. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 1 wherein said holding and positioning means comprises A. a holder having an opening for receiving the storage medium, and
B. means for retaining the storage medium in the holder opening, said retaining means being arranged so that an operator can look through it and see the selected portion of the storage medium which is centered on the lens axis.
5. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 4 and further including a lamp positioned on the opposite side of the storage medium from the retaining means, said lamp being arranged to illuminate the selected storage medium portion so that the selected portion is readily visible through the retaining means.
6. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 4 and further including means for releasably securing the holder at a plurality of selected locations vertically and horizontally relative to the lens axis so that selected different portions of the storage medium can be centered on the lens axis and held there temporarily.
7. An information storage and retrieval system comprising A. a housing having a passage therethrough,
B. a lens system situated in the passage with the lens axis extending through the passage,
C. a light transmitting xerographic storage medium,
D. means for holding the storage medium so that a portion thereof is in register with an end of the passage,
E. means for charging the medium while in that position,
F. means for projecting an image through the lens system onto the portion of the storage medium in register with the passage end, and
G. means associated with the housing for developing the image on the storage medium portion while that portion is still in register with the passage end.
8. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 7 wherein the developing means comprise A. means in the passage for applying an electric charge to the storage medium portion in register with the passage end prior to projecting the image onto that portion, and
B. a toner source communicating with the passage for applying toner to the registering storage medium means comprises a source of hot air communicating with the passage for heating the toner.
12. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 11 and further including means for controlling the operation of the charge applying means, the image projecting means, the toner applying means and the toner fusing means in an ordered, timed sequence.
13. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 8 and further including means for positioning the holding means at a plurality of locations vertically and horizontally relative to the lens axis so that selected portions of the storage medium can be brought into register-with the passage end and be retained there temporarily.
14. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 A. and further including alamp positioned in the housing for illuminating the passage, and
B. wherein the holding means provides a relatively unobstructed view of the storage medium portion in register with the illuminated passage.
15. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 14 wherein the holding means comprises A. a receptacle for the medium, and
B. a swing-out, transparent door for retaining the medium in the receptacle.
16. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 and further including A. a gasket around the periphery of the passage end,
and
B. means for moving the holding means toward the housing so that a storage medium carried by the holder is pressed against the gasket to provide a seal which confines the toner introduced into the passage to the storage medium portion in register therewith.
17. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 and further including means operable to close off the passage immediately in front of the lens system so that the lens system is not contacted by the toner introduced into the passage.
18. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 and further including a light means for positioning in front of the holding means to direct a light beam through the medium in the holding means so that an image on the medium portion in register with the passage end is projected through the lens system.
19. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 18 and further including A. a display screen, and
B. means for directing said projected image onto the screen.
20. The information storage and retrieval system as defined'in claim 18 and further including A. a copying assembly, and
B. means for directing said projected image onto the copying assembly for making hard copies of the image.
21. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 8 wherein the charge applying means comprise A. a first needle-like electrode projecting into the passage adjacent the passage end,
B. a second electrode adjacent the passage end and the first electrode, so that when an electrical poten- I fiche portion.
26..The information storage and retrieval system as l3 tial is applied between them, a corona discharge is developed which applies an electrical charge to the registering storage medium portion. 22. In an informationstorage and retrieval system A. a housing having a passage," B. a lens system in the passage with'the lens axis directed along the passage,
C. means for holding a xerographic microfiche so that a portion thereof is in register with an end of the passage, D. means in the passage for applying an electric charge to the microfiche portion,
E. means for projecting an image'onto the microfiche portion so as to create a latent image thereon, F. means for introducing toner into the passage so as todevelop the latent'image.
23. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 and further including means to fuse the toner on the microficheportion. 24. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 and further including a shutter operable to block the passage so as to isolate the lens system when toner is introduced into the passage.
25. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 and further including a lamp in the housing arranged to light the passage so as to provide I an illuminated background for an image on the microdefined in claim 22 wherein'the charge applying means comprises 1 A. a first needle-like electrode extending into the passage. adjacent the passage end, and
B. a second electrode adjacent the passage end and also the first electrode, the electrodes being placed so as to create a corona discharge for charging the microfiche portion without interfering with images projected onto themicrofiche portion.
27. The information storage and retrieval system as defined inclaim 22 wherein the holding means comprises .A. a receptacle for holding a microfiche adjacent the passage end, and B. a transparent door for closing the receptacle and optical lens system.
14 retaining a microfiche therein. 28.-The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 27 and further including means for moving the receptacle vertically and horizontally rela- .tive to the lens axis so that selected frames of the miacross the microfiche portion, so that the toner covers its entire area. s
31. Reproduction apparatus comprising A. a substantially transparent photoconductivelayer,
', static charge'to said layer, C. means for exposing said layer to a radiation image at the point of charging of same, and
B. means for applying a substantially uniform electro- D..means for applying a finely-divided developer sub-' stance to said layer at thepoint of charging and ex- I posure of same to the radiation image to develop a visible image on the layer. 32. Apparatus as defined in claim 31 and further comprising A. means for projecting light through said transparent layer, and r j B. means for viewing the visible image on the layer when said-layer is at the point of exposure.
33. Apparatus as defined in claim 32 wherein said ex-- posing means and said viewingmeans utilize a common I 34. The apparatus as defined in claim 31 and further including means for fusing the developer substance to the layer at the point of charging, exposing and toning of same.

Claims (35)

1. An information storage and retrieval system comprising A. a lens system having a lens axis, B. a surface for supporting a document, C. means for illuminating the surface, D. means for directing the reflected image of a document on the surface along the lens axis, E. a light transmitting xerographic storage medium, F. means for holding the storage medium and positioning it on the lens axis on the opposite side of the lens from the directing means so that an image of a document on the surface is projected to a selected location on the storage medium, G. means for charging the storage medium at the point of exposure of same to said image, and H. means for developing the image on the storage medium while the storage medium remains at the same position relative to the lens axis.
2. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 1 A. further including
2. copying means, and B. wherein the directing means projects the illuminated image on the storage medium toward the copy means for making copies thereof.
3. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 2 and further including A. a display screen, and B. wherein the directing means is arranged to project the image on the storage medium toward the screen when the light illuminates the storage medium.
4. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 1 wherein said holding and positioning means comprises A. a holder havinG an opening for receiving the storage medium, and B. means for retaining the storage medium in the holder opening, said retaining means being arranged so that an operator can look through it and see the selected portion of the storage medium which is centered on the lens axis.
5. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 4 and further including a lamp positioned on the opposite side of the storage medium from the retaining means, said lamp being arranged to illuminate the selected storage medium portion so that the selected portion is readily visible through the retaining means.
6. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 4 and further including means for releasably securing the holder at a plurality of selected locations vertically and horizontally relative to the lens axis so that selected different portions of the storage medium can be centered on the lens axis and held there temporarily.
7. An information storage and retrieval system comprising A. a housing having a passage therethrough, B. a lens system situated in the passage with the lens axis extending through the passage, C. a light transmitting xerographic storage medium, D. means for holding the storage medium so that a portion thereof is in register with an end of the passage, E. means for charging the medium while in that position, F. means for projecting an image through the lens system onto the portion of the storage medium in register with the passage end, and G. means associated with the housing for developing the image on the storage medium portion while that portion is still in register with the passage end.
8. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 7 wherein the developing means comprise A. means in the passage for applying an electric charge to the storage medium portion in register with the passage end prior to projecting the image onto that portion, and B. a toner source communicating with the passage for applying toner to the registering storage medium portion, said toner adhering to the charged areas thereof.
9. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 8 and further including means for producing in the passage a medium for fusing the toner on the registering storage medium portion.
10. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 9 and further including means for preheating the toner prior to its introduction into the passage.
11. The information storage and retrieval system defined in claim 9 wherein the fusing medium producing means comprises a source of hot air communicating with the passage for heating the toner.
12. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 11 and further including means for controlling the operation of the charge applying means, the image projecting means, the toner applying means and the toner fusing means in an ordered, timed sequence.
13. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 8 and further including means for positioning the holding means at a plurality of locations vertically and horizontally relative to the lens axis so that selected portions of the storage medium can be brought into register with the passage end and be retained there temporarily.
14. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 A. and further including a lamp positioned in the housing for illuminating the passage, and B. wherein the holding means provides a relatively unobstructed view of the storage medium portion in register with the illuminated passage.
15. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 14 wherein the holding means comprises A. a receptacle for the medium, and B. a swing-out, transparent door for retaining the medium in the receptacle.
16. An information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 and further including A. a gasket around the periPhery of the passage end, and B. means for moving the holding means toward the housing so that a storage medium carried by the holder is pressed against the gasket to provide a seal which confines the toner introduced into the passage to the storage medium portion in register therewith.
17. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 and further including means operable to close off the passage immediately in front of the lens system so that the lens system is not contacted by the toner introduced into the passage.
18. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 13 and further including a light means for positioning in front of the holding means to direct a light beam through the medium in the holding means so that an image on the medium portion in register with the passage end is projected through the lens system.
19. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 18 and further including A. a display screen, and B. means for directing said projected image onto the screen.
20. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 18 and further including A. a copying assembly, and B. means for directing said projected image onto the copying assembly for making hard copies of the image.
21. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 8 wherein the charge applying means comprise A. a first needle-like electrode projecting into the passage adjacent the passage end, B. a second electrode adjacent the passage end and the first electrode, so that when an electrical potential is applied between them, a corona discharge is developed which applies an electrical charge to the registering storage medium portion.
22. In an information storage and retrieval system A. a housing having a passage, B. a lens system in the passage with the lens axis directed along the passage, C. means for holding a xerographic microfiche so that a portion thereof is in register with an end of the passage, D. means in the passage for applying an electric charge to the microfiche portion, E. means for projecting an image onto the microfiche portion so as to create a latent image thereon, F. means for introducing toner into the passage so as to develop the latent image.
23. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 and further including means to fuse the toner on the microfiche portion.
24. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 and further including a shutter operable to block the passage so as to isolate the lens system when toner is introduced into the passage.
25. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 and further including a lamp in the housing arranged to light the passage so as to provide an illuminated background for an image on the microfiche portion.
26. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 wherein the charge applying means comprises A. a first needle-like electrode extending into the passage adjacent the passage end, and B. a second electrode adjacent the passage end and also the first electrode, the electrodes being placed so as to create a corona discharge for charging the microfiche portion without interfering with images projected onto the microfiche portion.
27. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 wherein the holding means comprises A. a receptacle for holding a microfiche adjacent the passage end, and B. a transparent door for closing the receptacle and retaining a microfiche therein.
28. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 27 and further including means for moving the receptacle vertically and horizontally relative to the lens axis so that selected frames of the microfiche can be brought into register with the passage end.
29. The information storage and retrieval System as defined in claim 28 and further including means for moving the holding means toward the housing so that a microfiche in the receptacle is pressed against a housing portion so that a seal is formed between the passage end and the microfiche portion in register therewith.
30. The information storage and retrieval system as defined in claim 22 wherein said toner introducing means includes means for deflecting the toner down across the microfiche portion so that the toner covers its entire area.
31. Reproduction apparatus comprising A. a substantially transparent photoconductive layer, B. means for applying a substantially uniform electrostatic charge to said layer, C. means for exposing said layer to a radiation image at the point of charging of same, and D. means for applying a finely-divided developer substance to said layer at the point of charging and exposure of same to the radiation image to develop a visible image on the layer.
32. Apparatus as defined in claim 31 and further comprising A. means for projecting light through said transparent layer, and B. means for viewing the visible image on the layer when said layer is at the point of exposure.
33. Apparatus as defined in claim 32 wherein said exposing means and said viewing means utilize a common optical lens system.
34. The apparatus as defined in claim 31 and further including means for fusing the developer substance to the layer at the point of charging, exposing and toning of same.
US4427370 1970-06-08 1970-06-08 Information storage and retrieval system Expired - Lifetime US3820890A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US4427370 US3820890A (en) 1970-06-08 1970-06-08 Information storage and retrieval system

Applications Claiming Priority (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US4427370 US3820890A (en) 1970-06-08 1970-06-08 Information storage and retrieval system
CA115,008A CA947362A (en) 1970-06-08 1971-06-07 Information storage and retrieval system and method of forming a xerographic image on a microfiche
FR7120536A FR2096004A5 (en) 1970-06-08 1971-06-07
DE19712128238 DE2128238A1 (en) 1970-06-08 1971-06-07
GB1927971A GB1326973A (en) 1970-06-08 1971-06-07 Apparatus for information storage and retrieval
NL7107801A NL7107801A (en) 1970-06-08 1971-06-07
BE768217A BE768217A (en) 1970-06-08 1971-06-08 Device for storing and locating data and method for forming a xerographic image on a microfiche

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US3820890A true US3820890A (en) 1974-06-28

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US (1) US3820890A (en)
BE (1) BE768217A (en)
CA (1) CA947362A (en)
DE (1) DE2128238A1 (en)
FR (1) FR2096004A5 (en)
GB (1) GB1326973A (en)
NL (1) NL7107801A (en)

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3972610A (en) * 1973-04-09 1976-08-03 A. B. Dick/Scott Electrophotographic apparatus for production of plural images on a sheet
FR2339879A1 (en) * 1976-02-02 1977-08-26 Coulter Information Systems Appts measuring size of particle - divides one of mass or particle number into predetermined fractions
US4068941A (en) * 1975-09-18 1978-01-17 Spence Bate Microfiche records
EP0100643A2 (en) * 1982-07-30 1984-02-15 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Apparatus for imaging and developing electrophotographic microformats
EP0153422A1 (en) * 1984-02-09 1985-09-04 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Electrophotographic device
FR2616928A1 (en) * 1987-06-22 1988-12-23 Regma Method of making from an original a microimage on a chosen zone of an electrophotographic substrate and apparatus for implementing the method
US4913086A (en) * 1987-12-28 1990-04-03 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Developing apparatus
EP0386414A1 (en) * 1989-03-08 1990-09-12 Georg-Ulrich Kempf Image processing device for transparent source documents

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN102745459B (en) * 2012-06-18 2015-07-08 浙江大学 Alternated plate feeding device

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3972610A (en) * 1973-04-09 1976-08-03 A. B. Dick/Scott Electrophotographic apparatus for production of plural images on a sheet
US4082442A (en) * 1973-04-09 1978-04-04 A. B. Dick/Scott Electrophotographic method for production of plural images on a sheet
US4068941A (en) * 1975-09-18 1978-01-17 Spence Bate Microfiche records
FR2339879A1 (en) * 1976-02-02 1977-08-26 Coulter Information Systems Appts measuring size of particle - divides one of mass or particle number into predetermined fractions
EP0100643A2 (en) * 1982-07-30 1984-02-15 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Apparatus for imaging and developing electrophotographic microformats
EP0100643A3 (en) * 1982-07-30 1984-05-23 John D. Plumadore Apparatus for imaging and developing electrophotographic microformats
EP0153422A1 (en) * 1984-02-09 1985-09-04 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Electrophotographic device
FR2616928A1 (en) * 1987-06-22 1988-12-23 Regma Method of making from an original a microimage on a chosen zone of an electrophotographic substrate and apparatus for implementing the method
US4913086A (en) * 1987-12-28 1990-04-03 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. Developing apparatus
EP0386414A1 (en) * 1989-03-08 1990-09-12 Georg-Ulrich Kempf Image processing device for transparent source documents

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
DE2128238A1 (en) 1971-12-16
NL7107801A (en) 1971-12-10
BE768217A (en) 1971-12-08
GB1326973A (en) 1973-08-15
BE768217A1 (en)
CA947362A (en) 1974-05-14
CA947362A1 (en)
FR2096004A5 (en) 1972-02-11

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