US 3587835 A
Description (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)
United States Patent  Inventor Sidney X. Shore 29 Wren Drive, Roslyn, NX. 11576 [2i] Appl. No 863,636  Filed Oct. 3, 1969  Patented June 28, 1971  PAPER CLIP CONTAINER 3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl .4 206/1  int. Cl ..B43m 17/00, A45c 1 1/24  Field of Search, 206/1 (Magnet)  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,269,528 8/1966 Leedy .i 206/] FOREIGN PATENTS 6,600,20l 7/1967 Netherlands 206/(Magnet) Primary Examiner- Leonard Summer At!0rney Paul S. Martin ABSTRACT: A container for magnetizable articles, especially paper clipsof the type having elongated parallel sides and rounded ends, has a top opening and a magnet adjacent the opening for holding some of the articles in readily accessible position. The container has a stepped series of ridges of nonmagnetic material spaced closely below the magnet and progressively closer to the opening. The ridges define abutment surfaces against which some magnetic articles may be attracted and arrested so as to be held available as a reserve supply after the rest of the supply of articles is exhausted.
PATENTEU JUN28 i971 y i v 11 III PAPER cur CONTAINER This invention relates to containers for paper clips and other magnetic articles.
As a matter of convenience, articles of ferromagnetic material are here called magnetic" even though they are normally not magnetized. Also, the term standard paper clip is here used to designate the common type of paper clip made of magnetic wire and having elongated parallel sides and rounded ends. The invention is useful with various magnetic articles. However, the novel containers of the present invention are especially effective with standard paper clips and therefore the description below is concerned mainly with such paper clips.
An object of the invention resides in providing novel containers for magnetic articles having a permanent magnet adjacent to an opening at which such articles are held available for removal, where the containers are of a construction that not only tends to replace each article removed from the opening with another, but to retain a readily available reserve supply of such articles.
In the drawings, there is shown an illustrative embodiment of the invention which is described in detail below. The illustrative container shown includes a permanent magnet adjacent an opening, ordinarily a round opening surrounded by a concealed magnet. Inside the container, adjacent the opening and below the magnet, there is a stepped series of ridges of nonmagnetic material. The magnet is relatively strong, and it attracts standard paper clips from the bottom of the container toward the bottom face of the magnet. The strong magnetic field attracts some of the paper clips endwise against the stepped ridges. Paper clips that are arrested by the ridges extend downward toward the bottom of the container, and they extend the magnetic field downward. The arrested paper clips also act as guide surfaces for other paper clips in the container. Those other paper clips glide along the arrested paper clips and into position projecting out of the opening of the container, to be available for removal.
When one paper clip is removed, it draws another into the opening in position for removal. Ultimately, the paper clips arrested by the stepped ridges remain in the container. These form a reserve supply. When a person using the container needs these paper clips (because the others are used up) he shakes the container to dislodge the arrested paper clips from the ridges, and they become available. The user is thus made aware that the supply of paper clips needs to be replenished while some paper clips are still available for immediate needs.
The material that forms the ridges occupies only a limited volume, so that most of the space inside the container is available for storing paper clips.
The nature of the invention, including the foregoing and other objects, novel features and advantages, will be more fully understood from the following description and the annexed drawings which show a presently preferred embodiment of the invention.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical cross section of a cylindrical container for paper clips, as an illustrative embodiment of certain aspects of the invention, viewed at a plane containing the axis of the container;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary cross section of the container of FIG. 1 as viewed at the section line 2-2 therein;
FIG. 3 is a diaphragm of a ring magnet such as that forming part of the container of FIG. 1, showing the magnetic field pattern in relation to the wall of the container that is represented in broken lines; and
FIG. 4 is a view like FIG. 1 ofa modification.
In FIG. 1, a container is shown having a cylindrical side wall 10, a removable cover 12 at the bottom, a ring magnet 14 that surrounds an opening 16,- and a top cover 18 which conceals the magnet. A stepped series of circular ridges 20 are located below magnet 18. The apexes of the ridges extend from opening 16 along a roughly conical angle that slopes at about 45 in a practical form of such a container. In an example, ridges 20 are relatively large compared to the size of wire used for standard paper clips. The lower face of each ridge may be 0.04.to 0.05 inch wide.
Paper clips are shown in various positions in the container of FIG. 1. Paper clips A projecting through opening 16 are held by magnet 14 in position for easy removal. Other paper clips are shown in the drawing in engagement with the downward-facing sides of ridges 20. Paper clips B, C and D appear edgewise. The side view of paper clip E is shown in FIG. 1. Paper clip E (also paper clips B, C and D) are attracted upward by the magnetic field and they seem to be hanging. However, all of the paper clips become aligned with or roughly tangent to the circular ridges 20 as shown in FIG. 2 in the case of paper clip D. The magnetic field pattern is such that any other position of a depending paper clip (exemplified by paper clip D shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2) is unstable and instantly changes to the position D.
Magnet 14 is magnetized to have its poles at the top and bottom (FIG. 3). Paper clips in the container are not attracted into the center of opening 16. This is because the paper clips are drawn toward the strong concentration of magnetic flux at the bottom of the magnet. The field strength is greatest at the mean radius of the magnet (along a circle at the center, radially, of the bottom face of the magnet). At the inside corner of the magnet (at its bottom face nearest opening 16) the field is weaker. The paper clips BE are retained in their suspended positions against ridges 20 by the magnetic field, but not too firmly. When most of the paper clips in the container have been used up, some paper clips remain, those which are arrested by ridges 20. Those remaining paper clips can be shifted into opening 16 by rapping the container, especially by rapping the container while it is inverted.
Starting at opening 16, the stepped ridges are progressively further from the bottom face of the magnet. At each step the magnetic field strength is sufficient to hold a paper clip suspended but not so strong as to make it hard for a paper clip to be shifted into opening 16 when the container is rapped. Thus, the side of the first ridge 20a in FIG. 3 nearest opening 16 is close to the bottom face of magnet 14. Ridge 20b is opposite the mean radius of ring magnet 14 where the field strength is greatest, and ridge 20b is farther from the bottom of the magnet. At both ridges 20a and 20b, the magnetic field strength is strong enough to suspend paper clips.
In use, cover 12 is removed and a generous supply of paper clips is loaded into the container. A fair number of paper clips move into positions like paper clips BE. Some may enter opening 16, but if not, a few paper clips are deliberately shifted there, assuming the position of clips A. Other paper clips F are attracted to paper clips in the opening of the container. When one paper clip A is removed, it draws another into its place in opening 16. Paper clips being moved from the bottom of the container toward the opening are attracted toward paper clips BE. Those latter paper clips act as guides for the ones moving toward the opening.
Ultimately the clips that are not arrested by ridges 20 are used up. The user is thus made aware that the supply should be replenished. However, the user can obtain a few more paper clips by rapping the container to dislodge clips BE. Paper clips B-E represent a reserve supply. By rapping the container while it is inverted, those reserve paper clips can be shifted easily so as to appear at opening 16.
The sloping series of ridges 20 does not occupy any significant volume in the container, so that a small and therefore low-cost unit can have a relatively large capacity.
FIG. 4 illustrates a variant of FIG. 1. The stepped ridges 20 in FIG. 4 extend from opening 16 to the circle of mean radius opposite the bottom face of magnet 12. The surface 24 outside that diameter is essentially passive. Paper clips are attracted radially inward from wall 10 to the mean-radius circle. Therefore the construction of FIG. 4 acts like that of FIG. I. The construction of FIG. 1 is sometimes preferable in case of a critical relationship between the length of the paper clips and the diameter of the container wall, in reducing the random occurrence of a paper clip being arrested crosswise opposite opening 16.
1. A container for magnetic articles, including a container wall defining a storage space for a supply of magnetic articles, a magnet in said container, said container having an opening adjacent said magnet through which magnetic articles may be removed, the path of a'magnetic article from said storage space into said opening being partially obstructed by said magnet, said container having a stepped series of ridges of nonmagnetic material spaced closely below said magnet progressively closer to saidopening, said ridges defining a series of abutment surfaces against which magnetic articles may be attracted and arrested, the articles arrested by said abutment surfaces being subject to dislodgement by lateral raps against the container, whereby the arrested articles form a reserve supply near said opening that is available after the rest of the supply of articles is exhausted.
2. A container in accordance with claim 1, wherein said opening is circular and said magnet is also circular and surrounds said opening, said ridges being circular and coaxial with said opening and having abutment surfaces facing away from said magnet, whereby standard round-ended magnetic paper clips in the storage space tend to be attracted endwise toward said magnet and a rounded end portion of such a paper clip tends to become aligned with the part of a ridge engaged thereby.
3. A container in accordance with claim 1, wherein said ridges extend parallel to the margin of the opening adjacent thereto, and wherein said magnet has its polarization parallel to the path of articles through the opening.