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Патент USA US2134536

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Oct. 25, 1938.
fr@ scHMlD; JR.. Er AL;
LETTER OPENER
Filed Feb.- 17, 195e
HII-IIEI--IIIII
2,134,536
Patented Oct.
1938
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE "
LETTER OPENER f
_
Theophilus Schmid, Jr., Chicago, and Andrew _
Benson, Wilmette, I-ll.
Application February 17, "1936, Serial No.v 64,370
3 Claims.
The invention Vrelates generally to letter open
ers and more particularly to such openers adapt
ed for manual operation to effect opening of the
letter by cutting a narrow strip from the edge
(Gl. 12m-35)
In mounting the cutters I3 and I4, headed pins
I8 aroused, which pins project through parallel
bores I9 in thebearing plates and are ñxed in
place by spinning out the recessed lower ends IB’
‘5 0f The
the envelope,
primary object of the present invention is
Tetalîable
’of the pins.0H When
tfl’le‘pîl’lS
thusI3 mounted,
and theirthe
edges
cutters
Olì'el‘láll
are
to provide a letter opener of this character em-
as shown in Figures 3 and 5_ so as to cut a narrow
i0
bodying rotary cutting means and adapted Vfor
Strip Í'I'Om iShe envelelîe aS determined by the Te»
economical and rapid production and assembly.
lalìîOIl 0f Jthe guide Slot Il t0 the abutting Side',` „
Another object is to provide such an opener
having an extremely small number of parts. y
,
p
v
" ,_ _
l0
The handle l0 îS preferably ferme@ 'from a
A further object is to provide such an opener
having blunt edged cutting means whereby to
_ avoid danger to the user.
faces of the cutters.
‘
in'oldable materialsu‘ch as Bakelite, andis rela
tively Vnarrow at its right end a‘s sh’own in Figure
3, With a long flat rectangular facial area 2U on _
l* this
Another
character
object
wherein
is to provide
allthea metal
letter parts
openerare
of
fully housed within a composition handle,
A further object is vto provide a letter `opener
its lower
upper surface
side to as
receive
shownadvertising
in Figuresmatter.
l, 3 and In
'4,
the handle is preferably'recesse‘d as at ZI to avoid
excessive weight and cost, it being note'd that
having two overlapping cutter elements, so con-
the guide Slot is Vof full depth at points 'I‘I" and
structed as `to be fully housed and protected by
the- handle and yet accessible for starting actu-
“II” so vas `to insure eiîective functioning of the 20
slot even though it is ‘of reduced depth intermedi
ation by either a left or right handed user.
ate these points.-
Other- objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description, taken in
25 connection with the accompanying drawing, in
‘ .
the handle, project beyond the extrem-e periph;
` Figure 1 is a side elevation view showing a let-
eral edges of the cutters I3 and I4. Moreover, the
ter opener embodying the features ‘of the inven-
facial area 20 as shownin Figure 5 is elevated to
tion.
substantially the height of the heads of the pins
»
`
`
-
-
f
Figure 4 is a section view taken along the line
4‘-4 of Figure 1.
‘
'
Figure 5 is an enlarged left 'end view or"> Figure 1.
l
l
Figures 6 and 7 are diagrammatic views of the
I two cutter assemblies showing the individual
parts thereof.
¿10
'
At its other vor left 'end the handle 'I0 is rela
tively wide as'shown in Figures 3 and 5 'so that
the bearing plates'lß and I'I, which form partei 2'5
which:
30 . Figure 2 is a right‘end'view of the device shown
in Figure 1l
Í
`
Figure 3 is a top‘plan view of saidV device.
35
‘
`
For purposes of disclosure herein the invention is illustrated as embodied in a manually operable letter opener having an elongated body or
handle I0 with avlongitudinally extending guide
slot I I formed in one broad face thereof for pas45 sage of the edge of a letter longitudinally there'
through and provided with overlapping rotary
cutters I3 and I4 mounted in the handle in such
v a position as to trim a narrow strip from an en-
i8. Hence all of the metallic parts of the device 30
are guarded against causing undue damage to
desk finishes and the like. Particularly, it should
be noted that the metallic cutters I3 and IAV are
housed by the bearing plates of the handle I0.
`
As a feature of advantage in the manufacture, 35
assembly and use of the device, the ’particular
form, relationship and mounting of the cutters
are of importance. Thus, the cutters in the pres
ent device are constructed to embody safe blunt
cutting edges ‘arranged Vto be held in operative 40.
relation without the use of springs, and all of the
parts are so formed as to permit manufacture
thereof by means of relatively automatic ma
chinery.
As shown in Figures 5 to 7, the cutters I3 and 45
I4 are duplicates, and are formed by punching
from saw steel. After the punching operation,
in which a central hole 26 is formed, a large num
velope in such movement.
ber of the cutter disks are clamped together on a
As shown in Figures 2 and 3, the cutters I3 and - long rod (not shown) and ground to provide an ~50
I4 are mounted in the left hand end of the han- accurately cylindrical outer face 21 (Figures. 6
dle I0 in a slot I5 formed between a projecting and '7). This operation may be performed on a
upperl bearing plate‘ I6 and parallel projecting
conventional centerless grinder.
lower bearing plates> I1 which deñne opposite
As a means for supporting the cutters I3 and
I4 on the pins I8, bearing sleeves or members 29 55
55 sides of guide slot Il at said end of the handle,
2
2,134,536
and 30 are provided, and preferably these mem
bers 29 and 30 are provided with integral posi
tioning flanges or disks 3| and 32 which are of
substantially the same diameter as the cutters
the sleeve 29 (Figure 6) projects a substantial
As a practical matter the sleeves and their as
sociated positioning disks are in the present case
formed from brass which can be readily Worked
by conventional automatic screw machines. In
such manufacture of the sleeve elements the di
mensions may be held within close limits so as to
distance in each direction from its positioning
insure proper Working relationship between the
and adapted to bear overlap and bear laterallyl
against each other to produce proper lateral re
lationship of the two cutters I3 and I4. Thus
10 disk 3| and one projecting end 29’ is of a reduced
diameter so that it may project through the cen
tral hole 26 ofthe cutter with a press ñt. In this
assembly operation the cutter I 4 is pressed firmly
against the positioning disk 3| (Figure 5).
On the sleeve 30, the integral positioning disk
15
32 is formed relatively close to one end as
shown in Figure '7, and between the disk 32 and
the other end of the sleeve 30 the sleeve is formed
to provide for proper spacing and mounting of the
20 cutter I4. Thus this portion of the sleeve 30 has
a reduced end 30' of a diameter arranged to pro
ject through the central hole 26 of the cutter I4
with a press ñt. The reduced end 39’ defines an
abutment shoulder 3U” spaced from therdiskan
25 axial distance equal substantially to the com
bined thickness of the cutter I3 and its position
ing disk 3|. Thus the disk 3| and its cutter I3
may run between the disk 3.2 and the cutter I4
to hold the two cutters in the desiredv lateral
30
parts after assembly, even though the assembly 10
operations are of a simple character. It has been
found that the present opener operates without a
manual starting operation when used upon en
velopes of medium or relatively stiff grade and
that a manual starting operation is required only
when the device ís used on exceptionally heavy
envelopes or upon crumpled or relatively thin
envelopes.
We claim as our invention:
1. A letter opener having, in combination, a 20
handle, with a mounting slot therein, a pair of
parallel pins extending across said slot, a pair of
sleeves one mounted on each pin, a pair of circu
lar cutters one mounted on each sleeve, said cut
ters being of such a diameter asv to overlap and 25
abut laterally, a positioning disk formed integral
ly with one of said sleeves and extending parallel
to the cutter in spaced relation thereto, the other
cutter having its edge extending into the space
tion on their bearing sleeves, the two cutter units
are ready for mounting in the handle I0, and this
between said disk and the spaced cutter in lateral 30
abutment with-said spaced cutter, and a position
ing disk formed integrally with the other sleeve
and positioned to extend into said space in lateral
operation is relatively simple.V It will be'noted
abutment with the other positioning disk.
relationship.
`
After the cutters have been pressed into posi
35 that the sleeves 29 and 39 are of such a length as
to provide a slight clearance between the ends
of the sleeves and the bearing plates I 6 and I1.
It will be noted that the ’edges >of the disks 3|
and 32. as well as the edges of the cutters 'I3 and
40 I4 are blunt so that the user may contact any of
these edges to impart a slight starting movement
to one of the cutters. Such starting movement is
2. A letter opener comprising, in combination, a
body constituting a handle, said body having in
tersecting mounting and guide slots, a pair of
parallel pins spanning said mounting slot on 0p
posite sides of said -guide slot, a pair of sleeves
one rotatably mounted on each of said pins with 40
in said mounting slot, a pair of square edged
cutters one mounted on each of said sleeves, said
usually effected by contacting the'cutter atv the
point A (Figure 3), and -it will be noted that
cutters being sized to overlap and abut laterally,
and lrigid means formed integrally with said
sleeves operable to maintain said cutters in sub
Thus the device is capable of efficient use by_`either
the right or left hand._ In the preferred ,form
shown the edges of both theldisksßl and 32 areY
knurled to facilitate> such startingof either of
stantial lateral contact.
;
3. A letter opener having »in combination a
45 either cutter may be engaged for thisgpurpose.
50
parts to permit the two cutter assemblies to ro
tate quite freely relative to each other.
the
cutters.
Y.
'
.
,A
y
_
'
>In the manufacture of the present letter opener
the mounting or bearing sleeves 29 and 30 are
made of such a length as to provide a slight
55 clearance between the ends of the sleeves and the
bearing plates I6 and I'I. The desired relation
ship of the two cutters is maintained by the pro
jection of the parts I3 and 3| into the space be
tween the parts I4 and~32of the other assembly,
60 and su?ñcient clearance is provided between these
handle, having a mounting slot therein, a pair of
parallel pins extending across said slot in spaced.>
relation, a pair of sleeves, one mounted on each
of said pins, each of said sleeves having-a ,posi
tioning disk'thereon arranged to overlap and 'run
laterally against each other, a steel cutter mount
ed on one sleeve with one side in abutment with
the disk of one of said sleeves and 'on the side »
opposite from the other disk, and a steel cutter
mounted on the other sleeve arranged to run lat
erally against the other side'of said other cutter.
THEOPHILUS SCHMID, JR.
ANDREW BENSON.
60
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