Title:
File index for organizing photograph compact disks (CD), thumbnail index of CD contents and/or photographs
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An arrangement for storing and readily reviewing digital photographic information stored on photographic CD;s, comprising a base, a number of CD boxes each adapted to store one of said CD's as well as at least a part of a reproduction of one of the photographs of the respective CD indicative of the photographic contents of the respective CD. The reproduction, in the form of photographs or thumbnail indexes, are stored on top of the CD, in the front section or chamber, and being visible through this first part. The second, or hinged back part will store the respective CD. A rack on the base is provided with slots for storing a plurality of CD/photograph boxes, each box with pivot pins to fit in slots in a predetermined rearward slanting position and for enabling a search of the contents of the CD boxes by flipping them into an oppositely forward slanting position. The plurality of CD/photograph boxes will be housed in a stackable carrying case.



Inventors:
Richards, Scott William (Burlington, VT, US)
Application Number:
11/082386
Publication Date:
09/29/2005
Filing Date:
03/17/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/303, 206/425, G9B/33.018, G9B/33.021
International Classes:
B65D85/57; G11B33/04; (IPC1-7): B65D85/57
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ACKUN, JACOB K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCOTT W. RICHARDS (96 HENRY ST., BURLINGTON, VT, 05401, US)
Claims:
1. A photograph organizational system, comprising a base member, rack means on said base member, said rack means being provided with substantially transversely extending slot means, and further means including said slot means for storing individual storage boxes on said base member by engaging in said slot means in a first rearward slanting position and for enabling a respective storage box to flip into a second position slanting in the opposite direction.

2. A system according to claim 1, wherein the flip angle is about 10° to 35°.

3. A system according to claim 1, wherein each storage box includes two parts pivotally connected with one another, and wherein the two parts are made of different materials, one part being made of a clear plastic material and including means for visibly displaying information concerning the photographic information in the respective storage box.

4. A system according to claim 3, wherein said means for visibly displaying information includes means for retaining pictorial information concerning the photographic contents in said two part storage box.

5. A system according to claim 4, wherein the printed photographic contents are stored in the said box, and wherein the other part includes a means for holding the compact disk (CD), where the contents are recorded in digital form, in place.

6. A system according to claim 1, wherein said rack means includes at least one pair of racks provided with substantially aligned transversely extending slot means.

7. A system according to claim 1, further comprising a cover for said base member to form together with said base member a carrying case.

8. A system according to claim 7, further comprising latching means for latching said base member and said cover in the closed condition of said carrying case.

9. A system according to claim 1, wherein said slot means are so spaced as to allow a respective storage box to flip forward at a substantially equivalent opposite angle without the lower edges of the storage boxes contacting one another.

10. A storage box in the form of a CD cassette, comprising the first part made of clear plastic material and a second part made of polypropylene, said second part including means for holding CD in place, and said first part including means for displaying pictorial information concerning the contents of the said CD.

11. An arrangement for storing and readily reviewing digital photographic information stored on CD;s, comprising a base, a number of CD boxes each adapted to store one of said CD's as well as at least a part of a reproduction of one of the photographs of the respective CD indicative of the photographic contents of the respective CD, said reproduction being on top of the CD and being visible through said first part, and means including rack means provided with slot means on said base for storing the CD boxes in a predetermined rearward slanting position and for enabling a search of the contents of the CD boxes by flipping them into an oppositely directed slanting position.

12. An arrangement according to claim 11, further comprising a cover pivotally attachable to said base member to form a carrying case with said base member.

13. A system according to claim 1, wherein said storage boxes include pivot slot mean to enable pivotal flip movement whereby storage box is provided with pivot points to engage in said slots enabling pivotal motion.

14. A system according to claim 11, wherein an access comprising a means for assisting in the removal of said printed photographic contents by means of a sliding motion of a finger within the rear of the said storage box.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None

SEQUENCE LISTING

None

This invention relates to the storage and organization of photographic compact disks (CD's) and their corresponding printed copies and/or index of contents of compact disk.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention, a Photograph and Compact Disk file, is related to the storage and organization of Photo CD's, Thumbnail Indexes of CD's Photographic Contents and/or selected photographs from the attached CD. Digital photographs, when not actually printed are usually stored in a digital “.jpg” format on a photographic Compact Disk. The compact disk, when processed by a photo lab, is often accompanied by a 4″×6″ set of “thumbnail” indexes, indicating which photographs are stored on the CD. These “thumbnail” indexes and their CD's are often stored, along with selected photos from the CD, separately and with little order. Photo albums are desirable for storing individual photographs when space is not an issue and the user has the time to organize an album, and even with this arrangement, the storage of their source CD's and indexes is often lacking order and organization. For those who prefer printing selected photographs from a CD and not placing them in an album, but rather accumulate them, there is again the issue of organizational storage. These photographs often end up in a paper envelope in a cardboard box. The Photograph and CD file would provide a means of organizing not only the Photograph CD, but also the “thumbnail” indexes and/or selected photographs.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,251,744 to Mark D. Dziersk (1993) shows a storage assemblage, which contains a plurality of cassettes, each holding an index sheet indicating the photographs within an accompanying envelope. The cassette is designed to allow the index sheet to be visible. Each cassette also includes a provision whereby an attached cylindrical container will house a roll of film at the top edge of the cassette. Although this embodiment contains a plurality of cassettes housing a visible index corresponding to a set of photographs within each cassette, it is clearly evident that the complexity of each individual cassette with it's numerous parts and it's design would be costly in terms of manufacturing. It also appears that the retrieval of each set of photographs from the attached cassettes within their storage envelopes will be burdensome. This storage assemblage embodiment appears to have no provision for the storage of negatives, as they would be presented from a standard photo lab. Furthermore, with the increasing usage of digital photography, there is no provision for the storage of a digital memory card, or digital photographic CD.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,398,021 to Scott D. Smith (2002) shows a container for photographs and film cartridges. This container not only is flimsy in its design, but it has been designed to store a roll of film with the photographs, making it unnecessarily awkward and bulky, in it's design and shape. In fact, most film, when processed into photographs, does not provide the customer the empty roll of film for storage. The said container, when filled with photographs and negatives does not provide the user a simple way to store the packet and quickly view them in a convenient manner. It lacks the ability to provide organization, such as a dedicated container or box. It also lacks the means for quick storage, quick retrieval, and an efficient stacking technique, which would provide a great deal of photographs to be stored in a small space, using the least effort to retrieve them.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,854,464 to Hae J. Kim (1989) shows a container with a lid pivotally connected to the body with an inner case mounted in the body with a plurality of spaced and slightly inclined partition plates. This container, though it contains separate sections for packets of photographs, does not provide for the storage of either negatives or digital camera memory cards where the source of the photos might be contained. Without this ability to group photo sources with photographs, Hae J. Kim's photo container lacks the complete storage capabilities one might like to have. This box also does not allow for the quick identification of separate packs of photographs, as the only part visible to the user is the top edge of the photo in a fixed container, which in most cases would not be sufficient to identify the photograph. Consequently, this necessitates the removal of each pack of photos to see what they contain. Had there been a provision to view the front of the packs of photos, it would have provided a greater opportunity to clearly see what each pack of photos contained. This photograph container also lacks the ability to protect the photographs from the elements; most notably the top quarter of the photograph. This top section of the photographs would be susceptible to constant handling when the user tries to identify the photos contained within the plurality of spaced plates.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,040,216 to Stanislaw A. Policht (1991) shows a photograph album, which is intended to be shipped from the photo-processing lab to the customer. In one embodiment the album contains a plurality of retainers, which in turn contain a flexible hinge tape to hold the photograph. This album, though it contains a plurality of photographs, would be costly for the photo-processing lab to assemble for each individual set of photographs. Subsequently, while costing the lab substantially more money to assemble, the initial cost of manufacturing and assembling of the album itself would be expensive when considering it is designed to contain only one package of photos per album. More importantly, this album does not allow for the viewing of the contents of the album quickly and easily when attempting to locate a photograph from a large quantity of stored photos. Nor does it provide a container or housing where one can readily organize and access the photographs.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,431,449 to Noritsu Koki Co., Ltd. (1995) shows a photograph film storing sheet comprising: an index print on which recorded images on a developed film is printed and a film sheet provided at the rear side of the index print and having a plurality of small pockets wherein the developed film is stored. This embodiment, though it might be useful as an album to store photos along with their corresponding negatives, does not provide for the storage of a large quantity of photographs in a small space. Photo albums are desirable when attempting to display each individual photograph, where space is not an issue, but for bulk storage of photographs, which need to be easily accessed, this embodiment cannot fulfill those criteria.

U.S. Pat. No. Des. 380,150 to Yukiharu Kuratu (1997) shows a case for the storage of photographic negatives. This case is sufficient for the storage of negatives only. It is not capable of providing the user with the complete storage of photographs, negatives and/or digital memory cards with a users ability to quickly access said medium.

SUMMARY

The photograph file, in it's preferred embodiment, is a photograph storage/carrying case containing a plurality of thin, transparent, plastic photograph and CD boxes, aligned in two rows. The individual photograph/CD boxes will each have pivot pins on the bottom right and left sides to rest in the storage racks, providing not only a secure base, but a means for pivoting (flipping) boxes frontward and backwards to quickly view the contents. The Photograph file, in it's preferred embodiment will provide visual access, organization and quick retrieval to between 24 and 30 sets of photographs and/or photograph indexes with corresponding CD's per storage/carrying case. The storage/carrying cases are stackable, enabling many sets of photos/CD's to be stored in a small space with the ability to view the top photograph or index from each set, vastly simplifying specific photograph identification and retrieval. The corresponding CD in a conveniently organized, visible case can accompany each set of photographs.

The Photograph File will provide an alternative to the common method of storing photographs, CD's and index cards haphazardly within ones home. Further specific advantages will be described in the following text and drawings.

DRAWINGS IN BRIEF

FIG. 1 is a perspective right front view of the photograph file carrying/storage case in the open position showing photo/CD boxes resting in the slotted racks.

FIG. 2 is a detailed perspective of the photo/CD box storage rack, including slots within the rack, which enable pivot pins on boxes to rest in and pivot.

FIG. 3 is a right front perspective view of the photograph file carrying/storage case in the closed position, with latches locked, forming a secure case.

FIG. 4 is a detailed, front right view of the photograph/thumbnail index card box with the hinged back. The front, or upper, diagram shows an exploded view of both photograph box and the hinged back cover. The hinged back holds the corresponding photographic compact disc.

FIG. 5 is a detailed view of the hinged back, which holds the photographic compact disc. Included in this view is the hinged cover, which not only protects the contents of the photograph box, but it locks the hinged back in place when securely closed.

FIG. 6 is a front right view of five photo/CD storage boxes aligned back to back as they would rest in the carrying case, with each box displaying the right side pivot pin attached to hinged box cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective right front view of the photograph file carrying/storage case, 11/12, in the open position. The cover, 11, is resting in the open position revealing the molded troughs, 17, in the cover which not only add strength to the cover, but align with molded ridges, 16, in the base for convenient stacking. The figure shows the photo/CD boxes, 18, in the left hand side of the box filled to capacity. The right hand side of the case, 12, is partially filled to illustrate the arrangement of the photo/CD boxes resting in the appropriate position within the rack, 15. The two part handle, 13, 14, when in the closed position, form a secure handle, which will provide an extra degree of security should the latches, 19, be incorrectly secured.

FIG. 2 is a detailed perspective of the rack, 15, which the photo/CD boxes, 18, rest in. The rack is molded directly into the base of the storage/carrying case, 12, as seen in FIG. 1. The slots, 15A, within the rack, 15, are spaced to evenly house the photo/CD boxes, 18, at a backward leaning angle. The spacing must be sufficient to allow the photo boxes to flip forward, at an equivalent and opposite angle, without their lower edges, 15B, from catching each other.

FIG. 3 is a right front perspective view of the photograph file carrying/storage case, 11,12, in the closed position. The figure illustrates the two-part handle, 13,14, which when closed form a convenient carrying handle. This figure illustrates two locking latches, 19, which are the primary means of securing the storage/carrying case in the closed position. When closed, the cover, 11, holds the photo/CD boxes safely in their slots within the rack.. This figure shows the alignment/stacking grooves, 17, in the cover, 11, to facilitate simple stacking as well as stiffening the large surface of plastic.

FIG. 4 is a right front view of the photo/CD box. The figure illustrates the single cavity photo/CD box, 18, constructed of injection molded, clear, acrylic. The choice of material is for its exceptional clarity, providing easy viewing of the thumbnail index cards and/or a selection of printed photographs within the box. The box, 18, is designed to house a set of 4″×6″ thumbnail index cards along with a selection of printed 4″×6″ photographs, with it's entire contents being approximately thirty 4″×6″ sheets. The figure illustrates the hinged cover, 21, for the cavity. The dotted lines indicate, on the back and left side of the photo/CD box, openings, 24, which allows for one's finger to easily remove the photographs and/or index cards from the box, while subsequently providing ventilation for the photographic paper. FIG. 4 also indicates, on the top of the box, 18, a radiused tab, 22, which is designed for easily flipping, by ones fingers, through the boxes within the storage/carrying case. The tab, 22, will be of sufficient dimension to function as the front cover for the CD attached to the rear, hinged cover. The tab, 22, will be of sufficient width to provide space for an adhesive label indicating the nature of the contents of the box.

FIG. 5 is a view of the hinged back of the photo/CD box. This design would provide a hinged back cover, 20, which would hold a photographic CD. As the diameter of the CD is greater than the width of a 4″×6″ photograph/index card, the additional height of the CD would be incorporated into an indexing tab, 22,23. The back cover, which holds the CD would have a “living hinge”, 33, to attach the photograph chamber cover. The hinged back section of the photo/CD storage box would be made of polypropylene for its flexibility. The flexibility would be necessary to provide for the “living hinge”, 33, of the photograph chamber cover, 21. The photograph chamber cover, 21, would also be the means of securing the back cover in place when closed. The hinged back cover, 20, would lock in the closed position by means of the living hinged photograph chamber cover, 21, which itself would lock by means of an overlapping friction lock, 36. The hinged back cover “tab”, 23, would match a similarly dimensioned “tab”, 22, on the front cover, which would protect the CD from handling and act as a complete indexing tab, 22,23, when the unit is closed. Indented friction tabs, 25,26, on the top and bottom as well as a stiffening alignment rib, 27, will assist in properly aligning the back cover for closure. The indented tabs, 25,26, will also secure the hinged back cover, 20, in place, even when the photo content cover, 21 is open. The cutout, 24, on the bottom, left edge of the hinged back is incorporated into the design in order to provide easy removal of the contents of the photo/CD box. Even when the cover is attached to the back of the acrylic photograph/index box, the cutout will allow ones fingers to access the contents for simple removal. The Compact disc will be secured to the inside back of the hinged cover, 20, by means of a locking ring, 32, which will provide secure, yet removable storage of the CD.

FIG. 6 is a front, right, perspective view of a group of five photo/CD boxes, as they would appear in the storage case. When in this arrangement, the indexing tabs, 22,23, would offer a convenient way to not only flip through the boxes, but they would provide a surface to adhere a self-adhesive label identifying the contents.

Construction

Both the photo/CD boxes and the storage/carrying case will be manufactured by method of plastic injection molding. The photograph/CD chamber (front section) would be molded from acrylic for it's extraordinary clarity. The molds will be cut in such a way as to provide material thickness adequate for stiffness and strength, yet thin enough to use the smallest amount of plastic. The wall thickness will have to be great enough to allow for adequate flow of plastic. The photograph single chamber box, illustrated in FIG. 4 will be molded in such a way as to provide a clean release. The female hinge holes, 29, in the photograph chamber will be created by the means of cams in the injection molding process. The photograph finger slot, 34, and the pivot pin, 30, can be easily engineered into the mold. The index tab, 22,23, will require specific engineering into the mold design to provide a clean release as the index tab does not carry all the way to the right side of the box. An alternative design, to simplify engineering, would provide an index tab that carries all the way to the right edge of the box, providing a clean release from the mold.

To facilitate a clean release there would have to be 1 to 1½ degrees of release angle engineered into the insides of both the top wall, and the bottom wall. Greater release angle than 1½ degrees would create too great a wall thickness at the inner extreme of the mold. This could possibly cause a problem in cooling and stability of the molded photo/CD unit.

The hinged back, 20, would be molded of polypropylene, for its flexibility. FIG. 5 best illustrates how the piece would be manufactured in the mold. The relatively flat polypropylene section would have a slight depression, 34, to accommodate the compact disc in the back, which would include in the depression, finger holes, to release the CD. The male hinge pins, 28, would require specific engineering in the way of a “cutout”, 35, in the main body, behind the pins, to mold the pins and provide adequate release from the mold. The living hinge, 33, would be adequately molded in this arrangement. The pivot pin, 31, on the cavity cover, 21, would be molded into the back of the section during the injection molding process.

The storage/carrying case, 11,12, will be molded in two separate sections, hinged together using one of a variety of methods, one of which could be a metal pin in each of the two hinges. The storage rack, 15, would be molded directly into the bottom section, 12, of the storage/carrying case. The angles on both sections of the case would be of sufficient angle to allow for proper release from the mold. The molding of the top and bottom sections would be of such a design as to form an overlapping cover edges as well as overlapping edges in the handle, 13,14, so as to create one carrying handle when the unit is closed.

Reference Numerals

  • 11. Storage/Carrying Case Cover
  • 12. Storage/Carrying Case Base
  • 13. Cover Handle Section
  • 14. Base Handle Section
  • 15. Slotted Storage Rack
  • 15A. Slots in Storage Rack
  • 15B. Lower Edge of Photograph/CD Box
  • 16. Base Stiffening and Alignment Ridges
  • 17. Cover Stiffening and Alignment Grooves
  • 18. Photograph/CD Box
  • 19. Cover Latch
  • 20. Hinged Compact Disc (CD) Back Cover
  • 21. Photograph Chamber Cover (as integral with back cover)
  • 22. CD Indexing Tab (Front)
  • 23. CD Indexing Tab/Upper edge of CD Storage (Back)
  • 24. Photograph Finger Slot in Back Cover
  • 25. Upper Locking Protrusion
  • 26. Lower Locking Protrusion
  • 27. Stiffening/Alignment Rib
  • 28. Upper and Lower Back Cover Hinge Pin
  • 29. Upper and Lower Photograph Box Hinge Receiving Hole
  • 30. Pivot Pin-Left Side (On Body of Photograph Box)
  • 31. Pivot Pin-Right Side (On Hinged Back Cover)
  • 32. Compact Disk Retaining Tab
  • 33. Living Hinge (which Secures and Hinges Back Cover)
  • 34. Compact Disc Storage Inset
  • 35. Cover Cutout (Necessary to mold Upper and Lower Back Cover Hinge Pins
  • 36. Overlapping Ridged Friction Lock
    Operation

The carrying/storage case, 11,12, would be constructed of transparent photo-safe, clarified polypropylene, with two rows of notched racks, 15, to carry the plurality of photo/CD boxes, 18. If light damage were a concern, an alternative embodiment would be to mold the carrying/storage case out of opaque polypropylene plastic. The photo/CD boxes, 18, would be angled back at a slight angle, while resting in the slotted rack, 15, by means of pivot pins, 30,31, on the bottom right and left sides of the photo/CD boxes. To find a desired photo/CD box within the storage case, one would simply flip the boxes forward, with pivot pins, 30,31, pivoting within the slots, 15A, in their respective racks. After flipping forward, the box would be resting at a similar, but opposite, forward angle, revealing the next photo/CD box in line. Once identified, the user would simply lift the photo/CD box from the rack. With the cover,11, of the storage case closed, the plurality of photo/CD boxes would remain stationary within the slots, 15A, in the rack, 15, by the design and fit of the cover. The carrying storage case will have a molded handle, 13,14, which will be divided in two by the top, 11, and the bottom, 12, of the case. When closed, the handle will offer extra security when carrying the case, above and beyond the mechanical latches, 19, which will lock the case. The storage/carrying cases will be stackable. The cover of the carrying case will be notched with full-length grooves, 17, from front to back, which will align with full-length protruding ridges, 16, on the bottom of a second case, allowing for simple stacking.

Each photo/CD box, 18, will be of sufficient size as to hold a packet of up to (36) 4″×6″ photographs in the main chamber. Each photograph box would have a hinged back cover, 20, which would provide storage for a photographic Compact Disc (CD). This back cover would also include a hinged flap, 21, or door, which would close and lock the back cover into place. The door would protect the contents of the chamber, which holds the photographs. Each photo/CD box would be constructed of clear acrylic plastic or other similarly clear injection moldable plastic. The back cover, 20, would be constructed of polypropylene, which would offer superior flexibility for the living hinge, 33, which attaches the chamber cover,21. Each individual photo/CD box would provide access to the contents via cover, or door, 21, on the right hand side of the hinged back, 20, secured via an overlapping tab with a simple, plastic mechanical overlapping ridged friction lock, 36. The preferred embodiment would have a finger slide access window, 34, on the back left side of each chamber to facilitate the removal of the contents by pushing them out with finger tip, while at the same time protecting the front face of the photograph from damage. There would be a corresponding finger slide access window, 24, on the hinged back cover, 20, to facilitate removal of photos even with the back cover locked in place.

Advantages

From the description above, it is possible to see the advantages of this invention over the storage of photographs and compact disks in otherwise less organized methods.

    • a. The storage of the printed copy/copies of photographs selected from the CD can be easily identified through the clear case.
    • b. The CD that corresponds with the printed photographs can be easily attached to the printed photo/index file for convenient access in the event additional prints are to be made.
    • c. By storing CD's and photographs/thumbnail indexes in organized boxes within a dedicated case, one can easily organize photographic information in categories, whether it be family photographs, vacation photographs or professional needs such as real estate, architectural, artistic, construction, law enforcement, etc.
    • d. The storage/carrying cases can be conveniently stacked, for space savings, and labeled on the front indicating the range of the contents of the individual photo boxes within. Each individual box can also be labeled with important information regarding the contents of the CD.
      Conclusion, Ramifications & Scope

The reader will see that this photographic storage system will provide the user of the invention a means of storing, labeling and accurately organizing large quantities of photographs and CD's in a time when photography is becoming more and more digital. The storage system should not be limited to family photographs, as indicated above. The scope of digitally stored photographic information can extend to almost every aspect of business where organization of large quantities of photographs may be essential.

Alternate Embodiments

Reference Numerals (for Alternate Embodiments)

  • 111. Photograph & Negative Box
  • 112. Photograph Chamber Cover
  • 113. Negative Chamber Cover
  • 114. Overlap Locking Tab
  • 115. Photograph Access Window
  • 116. Negative Access Window
  • 117. Hinged Back Compact Disk (CD) Cover
  • 118. Locking Ridge Protrusion (Upper)
  • 119. Locking Ridge Protrusion (Lower)
  • 120. Back Cover Access Slot
  • 121. Stiffening Alignment Ridge (Upper)
  • 122. Stiffening Alignment Ridge (Lower)
    Alternate Embodiment #1, Including Dual Chambers (without CD)
    (One Chamber for 4″×6″Photographs, the Other, Lower, Chamber for Negatives)
    (FIG. 7)

An alternative embodiment would be a system for storing photographs along with negatives from a film camera. This embodiment would allow for the organization of millions, if not billions of sets of photographs along with their accompanying sets of negatives to be stored in an organized case. Each photo/negative box, 111, will be of sufficient size as to hold a packet of up to (36) 4″×6″ photographs in the upper chamber, with a lower chamber of sufficient size as to hold a packet of negatives as provided by a standard photo processing lab. The lower chamber would be of sufficient size to hold any standardized digital camera memory card in place of the negatives if so desired. For simplicity in manufacturing and substantial reduction in cost, each photo/negative box would be injection molded in one piece, with access covers hinged with flexible plastic connections or “living hinges” as in the preferred embodiment. The covers, 112, 113, in this embodiment, would be attached via living hinge directly to the main photo/negative box, each having their own separate door or cover. Each photo/negative box would be constructed of photo-safe clarified polypropylene. Each individual photo/negative box would provide access to the contents via said cover on the right hand side of the box, secured by an overlapping tab, 114, with a simple, plastic mechanical friction lock. The preferred embodiment would have a finger slide access window, 115, 116, on the back left side of each chamber, as in the preferred embodiment, to facilitate the removal of the contents by pushing them out with finger tip, while at the same time protecting the front face of the photograph from damage.

Alternate Embodiment #2, Including Dual Chamber (with CD)

(One Chamber for 4″×6″photographs, the Other, Lower, Chamber for Negatives, Including Folding Back Cover Which Houses a Photographic Compact Disk)

(FIG. 8)

An alternate embodiment of this invention provides for the storage of photographs, negatives, and compact Discs, which will solve a unique storage problem. This alternative embodiment provides for a complete storage solution for photographs printed at a lab, which, when requested, provide printed photographs, negatives along with a Photo CD from the customer's roll of film.

This alternate embodiment could contain a hinged rear back cover, 117, which could hold a compact disk (CD), which would contain digitized storage of the accompanying photographs and negatives. This cover would be hinged to the left side of the photo/negative box and would hold a compact disk on the inside of the rear, hinged panel in a manner similar to the preferred embodiment. As in alternate embodiment #1, for simplicity in manufacturing and substantial reduction in cost, each photo/negative box would be injection molded in one piece, with the upper chamber (photograph/index chamber) access cover, 114, hinged with a flexible plastic connection or “living hinge” as in alternate embodiment #1. The upper chamber cover, 114, in this embodiment, would be attached via living hinge directly to the main photo/negative box, with it's own separate door or cover. This hinged panel, also constructed of flexible polypropylene, when closed against the back of the photo/negative box would be secured by means of indents in the top and bottom edge of the photo/negative box corresponding with protrusions, 118, 119, in the stiffening alignment ridges, 121, 122, thereby keeping the cover closed while handling the box The hinged back, 117, which holds the CD, would have a cover, 113, or door to enclose the negative chamber only. When the back CD cover is closed, the negative chamber door would lock the back cover in place. The photograph chamber door, 114, would be molded directly to the body of the photo/negative box. As in the preferred embodiment the rear (CD) cover would have a slot, 120, accessing the back side of the photograph cavity, matching the slot in the photo/negative boxes respective slot, 115, aiding the removal of photographs by pushing them out with one's finger, even while the back cover remains closed. Alternative embodiments might have finger access to the negative cavity as well or possibly a solid back, sealing off the entire back when CD cover is closed.

Alternate Embodiment #3, Including Dual Chamber With Compact Disk

(FIG. 9)

An alternate embodiment to the aforementioned embodiment (which includes a Compact Disk) could be a box also containing a hinged back cover. This back cover, 117, could hold a compact disk (CD), which would contain digitized storage of the photographs. This embodiment would incorporate the photo/CD box hinged cavity covers, 113, 114, on the back cover. Only the back cover, 117, (the cover which holds the compact disk) in this embodiment, would be constructed of polypropylene for the flexibility of the “living hinges”. The main photograph/negative chamber, 111, would be constructed of clear plastic, as in the preferred embodiment. The photographs and negatives would be stored in the photo/CD box as in the preferred embodiment, but they would be sealed within their cavities by closing the back (CD) cover, 117, and then closing their respective cavity covers, 113, 114, (which are connected to the hinged back cover.) The back cover would align precisely with the photo/CD box when closed, and the cavity covers would provide the security in firmly holding the back cover in place. With either the photo cavity opened or the negative cavity opened, the back cover would remain closed and locked by the means of the “other” cover. The back cover would have a slot, 120, accessing the back side of the photograph cavity, matching the slot in the photo/CD boxes respective slot, aiding the removal of photographs by pushing them out with one's finger, even while the back cover is closed. Alternative embodiments might have access to the negative cavity as well or possible a solid back, sealing off the entire back when CD cover is closed.

Other Alternative Embodiments

    • 1. An alternate embodiment of the storage/carrying case would be to design the case with either a single row of photo/CD boxes, triple rows or wider to facilitate higher or lower volumes of photographs
    • 2. A very basic alternate embodiment would be the design of a photograph storage box, which houses sets of photographs only. These photo boxes would be arranged, as in the preferred embodiment, in the photo storage/carrying case. This embodiment would be useful in the case where photographs ONLY are stored. It might be useful to store photographs in categories or groups where negatives and/or CD's are not available as in individual photographs given to the collector, which the collector might like to categorize, as in miscellaneous children's photographs or other grouped categories.
    • 3. An alternate embodiment of the photo/CD box would be a box without any finger access slots. This embodiment would fully enclose the photographs and negatives but would make it more difficult for removal as well as limit the ventilation photographs will need.
    • 4. An alternate embodiment of the photograph/CD cavity covers would be to include ventilation holes in their design.
    • 5. An alternate embodiment would be the organization of any of the above embodiments in a molded rack system that is not housed in a dedicated storage/carrying case. This rack system would be manufactured to fit into a variety of sized shoeboxes or similar sized boxes or even a drawer. The rack could be manufactured simply and inexpensively to fit a variety of length and width boxes by creating a “full length and width” rack which could be simply shortened and/or narrowed by snapping off the desired perforated sections to custom fit any box.