Title:
Writing instrument
United States Patent 2488639


Abstract:
The invention relates to fountain pens and more particularly to fountain pens of the type employing a writing ball and, still more particularly, to pens of this type wherein the writing ball is retractable within the barrel of the pen when the pen is not in use. An object of the invention...



Inventors:
O'connor, Arthur F.
Application Number:
US1785148A
Publication Date:
11/22/1949
Filing Date:
03/30/1948
Assignee:
O'connor, Arthur F.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B43K24/08; B43K25/02
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2449218Ball point pen1948-09-14
2427068Ball-point writing instrument1947-09-09
2400679Fountain pen1946-05-21



Description:

The invention relates to fountain pens and more particularly to fountain pens of the type employing a writing ball and, still more particularly, to pens of this type wherein the writing ball is retractable within the barrel of the pen when the pen is not in use.

An object of the invention is to provide a pen of the ball-point type which requires no cap to protect the clothing of the pen user against damage, such as ink stains, when the pen is placed in user's pocket or hand-bag.

A primary object of the invention is to provide a pen of the beforementioned type wherein, should the pen user neglect to retract the writing point of the pen before clipping the pen in place in a pocket, the conventional clipping operation will insure the desired retraction of the writing ball within the pen barrel.

It is particularly pointed out that pens having retractable writing points are old in the art; most of them being of the type requiring an operation separate from the operation of clipping the pen to a pocket, in order to insure the essential retraction of the writing end to prevent damage to clothing. Others depend upon the pen clip depressing the fabric of the pocket against a latch intended to effect a retraction of the writing point; this being generally unreliable and unsatisfactory inasmuch as the relatively stiff and thick upper selvage of a pocket, or relatively stiff fabric beneath the selvage, will not yield to the pressure of the clip enough to enter the opening in the pen barrel and depress the latch.

Pens of the retractable point type, which require the pressing of a button at the rear end of the barrel to retract the writing point before the pen is clipped to the pocket will cause ink damage to clothing if the user does not remember to push the button before placing pen in pocket.

The principal object of the present invention is, therefore, the provision of novel means for positively insuring the essential retraction of the writing point by the single conventional act of clipping the pen to the pocket and eliminating all other prior manipulation having to do with the retraction of the writing point; such prior manipulation being subject to the dependability of the pen user's memory.

A further object is the provision of an improved pen of the retractable writing-point type free from levers and the like which differ radically from the conventional appearance of a fountain pen and which create buyer resistance.

Another object is to provide a new and novel pen simple in construction, having few parts and being economical to manufacture.

Other objects, advantages and capabilities will be apparent from the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which: Fig. 1 is an axial cross-sectional view of a pen embodying the invention, in retracted position.

Fig. 2 is an axial cross-sectional view similar to that of Fig. 1, showing the writing point in extended position.

Fig. 3 is an elevational view of the upper portion of the pen assembly shown in Fig. 1, directly facing the pen clip.

Fig. 4 is an elevational view of the rear portion of the principal sliding member of the pen, illustrating the sliding member separately.

Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a latch member of the invention.

Throughout the specification the words "forward" and "rear" and their equivalents are intended to mean toward the writing end and the opposite end of the pen, respectively.

The device illustrated is a ball-point pen embodying one preferred form of the invention and comprises, as major elements, a holder 10, a plunger 12, a ball-and-cartridge unit 14, a latch 16 and a pocket-clip 18 which function in response to a push-button operation to effect propulsion of the unit 14 to project the ball-point 20 from the holder 10 for writing and latch the unit in propelled position.

The principal parts of the holder are a tubular barrel 22, a bushing 24 which is threaded into the rear end of the bore of the barrel, and a forwardly tapered tip-member 26 which is threaded into the forward end of the bore of the barrel.

The ball-and-cartridge unit 14 is shown as a self-contained element, removable as a whole from the barrel and comprises an elongate ink reservoir 28 terminating at its forward end in a tubular stem 30 through which there is an ink passageway communicating with the reservoir 28 whereby the ink may pass from the reservoir into contact with the writing ball. The barrel is formed with a longitudinally disposed elongate slot 32 in its wall adjacent the rear end of the barrel, the opposed side edges of which slot have mounted thereon a bracket 34, the bracket 34 on one side of the slot complementing a bracket 34 on the opposed side of the slot to form a mounting for a pivot pin 36 adapted for pivotally mounting the pocket-clip 18.

The plunger 12 comprises a cylindrical mem65 ber formed at its rear end with an axially disposed portion 38 adapted for sliding relation through the bushing 24 to form a push-button for propelling the writing ball out of the holder 10 and formed with an annular shoulder 40 adapted to abut the forward edge 42 of the bushing 24 as a means of limiting the rearward movement of the plunger in the barrel. The forward end of the plunger 12 terminates short of the tip-member 26 in an axially disposed externally threaded portion 44 of reduced diameter.

A longitudinally disposed elongate slot 46 is shown in the plunger in registering alignment with the slot 32 having a depth throughout its major length slightly less than the diameter of the plunger. A transverse closed-ended bore 48 is formed in the plunger intermediate the slot 46 and the shoulder 40. The bore 48 may be formed with a radially disposed longitudinally extending slot 50 along one of its sides. The elongate ball-and-cartridge unit 14 is shown with its rear end screwed onto the threaded portion 44 of the plunger and is formed adjacent the juncture of the reservoir 28 and the stem 30 with an annular shoulder 52 adapted to abut a shoulder 54 of the tip-member 26 to limit the forward movement of the plunger in the barrel 22. A coil spring 56 bears, on the one hand, against the shoulder 52 and, on the other hand, against a shoulder 58 formed in the tip-member 26 adapted to normally urge the plunger 12 and the associated ball-and-cartridge unit 14 rearwardly in the barrel 22 to retracted writing-ball position. An axial bore 60 may be formed in the plunger 12 intermediate and forming air communication between the reservoir 28 and the slot 32 and a preferably metal disc 62 may be mounted in the reservoir 28 at the back of the ink supply; the disc 62 being of such diameter as to afford a close running fit in the reservoir adapted to urge the ink supply toward the writing ball and to prevent the ink from flowing rearwardly through the air-vent 60.

The latch 16 comprises an elongate cylindrical member 64 adapted for telescoping relation with the bore 48 of the plunger and is formed with a radially disposed ridge 66 extending from the inner end of the member 64 (in its assembled position) and terminating short of the opposite end of the member 64. A coil spring 68 is shown in the bore 48 with one end bearing against the closed end of the bore 48 and the opposite end bearing against the inner end of the latch 16 adapted to normally urge the latch 16 in a direction outwardly of the bore 48.

The pocket-clip 18 comprises an elongated metal member mounted on the barrel 22 in longitudinal registering alignment with the slots 32 and 46 and adapted to swing through the slot 32 into the slot 46 when the plunger is in its forward position in the barrel 22. The pocket-clip 18 is formed intermediate its ends with a pair of spaced ears 70 coincident the brackets 34 adapted as pivotal mounting members for the pocket-clip on the pivot pin 36; the free end portions of the ears 70 being adapted to extend into the slot 46 in both the forward and rearward positions of the plunger 12 as a means of keeping the plunger from rotating in the barrel and keeping the latch 16 and the slot 46 in registering alignment with the slot 32.

Fig. 1 of the drawings shows the component parts of the pen in their respective positions when the writing ball is in the retracted position; the latch 16 being shown in retracted position and the pocket-clip in position to be grasped for engagement with the pocket of a garment. In the position assumed by the clip, in Fig. 1, it is under no spring tension but is in position where any outward movement of the portion 72 of the clip (outward movement incident to the clipping of the pen to a pocket) will exert tension adapted to hold the portion 72 against the fabric of a pocket.

It will be understood from the drawings that, to propel the writing point of the pen, the pushbutton portion 38 will be pushed in a forward direction, whereupon the latch 16 will be urged by the spring 68 into interlocked relation with the rear end portion of the slot 32, as best shown in Fig. 2. The pocket-clip 18 is formed with a portion 74 extending rearwardly of the pivot-pin 36 with an offset portion 76 adapted for nesting relation with the rear end portion of the slot 32 when the writing element is in retracted position. As the plunger 12 is pushed forwardly in the barrel 22, the latch 16 will enter the slot 32 thereby engaging the offset portion 76 of the clip and moving the member 74 outwardly and moving the portion 72 of the clip into the barrel and into the slot 46 of the plunger, as best shown in Fig. 2. It will be seen that the outer end of the ridge 66 of the latch will limit the movement of the latch in an outward direction and I contemplate making the ridge 66 of such dimension outwardly from the portion 64 of the latch that the ridge 66 will never pass the rear end of the slot 32.

Having explained the operation of moving the plunger and associated writing ball to a locked propelled position, I will now explain the operation of retracting the writing ball, it being again emphasized that the operation of clipping the pen to a pocket insures that the clipped pen will be in retracted position wholly independent of other operations which are necessary with other pens in the art and wholly independent of the thickness, hardness or flexibility of the pocket fabric. While a pen user might be ex4pected to forget one or more of several essential manipulations of a fountain pen to insure the retraction of the writing end of the pen when it is clipped to a pocket, he will automatically think Sto clip the pen in his pocket, to avoid loss of the pen and it is pointed out that this single operation of clipping the pen in place will insure that the pen of the present invention will positively be in retracted position when clipped to a pocket.

To effect the retraction of the writing element of the pen shown in Fig. 2, the user presses the portion 74 of the clip against the pen barrel.

This operation forces the offset portion 76 of the clip against the outer end of the latch 16 and forces the latter inwardly, at which time the plunger is urged to its rearward position by the spring 56. As the plunger moves rearwardly, the portion 78 of the plunger moves to the position shown in Fig. 1, providing a backing for the forward end of the clip adapted to hold the clip in a position where the operator may obtain a hold on the clip sufficient to enable him to pull the clipping end of the clip out to fit over the pocket fabric. On the premise that the pen user is least likely to forget the operation of clipping the pen to a pocket, than any of the numerous additional operations required to insure the retraction of the writing element in pens of the type known in the art, it will be: seen that the present invention will more nearly meet the requirements of this type of pen than any prior art structures. The importance of the present invention may best be evaluated by considering the irreparable damage done to an article of clothing if, over an extended period of time, the user of the prior art pens of the type forgets just once to make the one or more adjustments of the pen preliminary to the operation of clipping the pen in place in a pocket.

While I have shown one preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that it is not restricted to the details set forth, since these may be modified within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. I show, by dotted lines in Fig. 1 of the drawings, the lip of a garment pocket 80, to which the pen may be clipped.

I claim: 1. In a ball-point writing instrument having a barrel, a unit slidable in said barrel having a writing point at its forward end propellable and retractable through the forward end of the barrel and an actuating push-button at its rear end operable through the rear end of the barrel, an aperture in said barrel, a latch on said unit automatically engageable with said aperture when said unit is moved forwardly in the barrel, stop means on said barrel adapted to limit the movement of said unit in a rearward direction, and spring means in said barrel continuously urging said unit in a rearward direction, a pocket-clip member pivotally mounted on said barrel formed with a portion swingable outwardly from the barrel into holding position with the fabric of a garment pocket and an integral portion simultaneously swingable inwardly through said aperture into latch-releasing engagement with said latch.

2. In a writing instrument having a barrel formed with an aperture in its wall, a propellable and retractable unit slidable in said barrel and provided at its forward end with a writing element and provided at its rear end with a pushbutton, a recess formed in said unit opposite said aperture, spring means adapted to normally urge said unit rearwardly in the barrel, a latch on said unit automatically engageable with said aperture when said unit is in propelled position, a pocketclip pivotally mounted intermediate its ends to said barrel, the rear end portion of said clip having nested relation with said aperture when said unit is in retracted position, said latch being adapted to urge said rear end portion out of said aperture and simultaneously move the opposite end portion into said recess when said unit is moved to propelled position, said clip being adapted when placed in pocket engaging position to simultaneously move said rear end portion into latch releasing position, whereby the clipping of said writing instrument to a pocket will insure retraction of said unit.

3. The structure of claim 2, wherein said pocket-clip is formed with a laterally projecting portion extending through said aperture into said recess adapted to maintain said recess and said aperture in registering alignment, thereby preventing relative rotary movement of said unit and said barrel.

ARTHUR F. O'CONNOR.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent: UNITED STATES PATENTS Number 2,400,679 2,427,068 2,449,218 Name Date Biro -------------- May 21, 1946 Randolph ---------- Sept. 9, 1947 Gruber ----------- Sept. 14, 1948