US 3699617 A
A connecting device for detachably joining together two articles of clothing for laundering, such as socks. The connecting device has two similar connecting members each of which is permanently attached to one garment of a pair. The connecting members each have a single stud or a pair of studs at one end which pierces one of the garments. Flanges at the opposite end of each member lock the studs in place after the member is folded upon itself securing the garment therebetween. Attachment plugs are formed on each connecting member and are snapped together detachably retaining the two garments in their proper pair.
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United States Patent Hofmeister 1 Oct. 24, 1972  CONNECTING DEVICE FOR ARTICLES 3,389,439 6/ 1968 Papazian ..24/90 PR OF CLOTHING 3,414,944 12/1968 Rabinowitz ..24/DIG. 29 inventor: J M. Hofmeister Sargent W., Massillon, Ohio 44646 Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin  Filed: Jan. 29, 1971 Atwmey Frease & Bishop  App]. No.: 110,968
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl. ..24/81 GS, 24/88, 24/245 FF, A connecting device for detachably joining together 24/D1G. 29 two articles of clothing for laundering, such as socks.  Int. Cl. ..A44b 21/00 The connecting device has two similar connecting Field of 8 1 -24/255 SL, 90 PR, DIG. 29, members each of which is permanently attached to 213 245 73 73 GS, 31 one garment of a pair. The connecting members each 81 81 90 F, 49 M have a single stud or a pair of studs at one end which pierces one of the garments. Flanges at the opposite  References Cited 1 end of each member lock the studs in place after the UNITED STATES PATENTS member is folded upon itself securing the garment therebetween. Attachment plugs are formed on each 1,410,916 Hendrixconnecting member and are snapped together 1,588,709 6/1926 Dinkelblhler ..24/ 88 detachably retaining the two garments in their proper 1,692,043 11/1928 Kremski et al ..24/49 M UX pain 2,548,004 4/1951 Duefrene ..24/81 A UX 2,818,871 1/1958 Beaudry ..24/255 SL UX 7 Claims, 20 Drawing Figures Pmmwnmm m2 3.699.617 v sum '1 or g INVENTOR. JOHN HOP t lST ER ATTORNEYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1 Field of the Invention The invention relates to a connecting device for detachably securing together articles of clothing. More particularly the invention relates to a connecting device consisting of two members, each of which is permanently attached to one sock of a pair. The members are joined together after removal of the socks by the wearer retaining the socks in their proper pair during laundering andstorage until separated for use.
2. Description of the Prior Art The sorting of socks into their proper pairs after laundering is both time consuming and tedious for the housewife. This is especially true today since socks come in a variety of colors and fabrics, many of which differ from each other in only a slight degree and only can be matched properly in natural light or high illumination artificial light.
Existing connectors that have been used for this purpose are all detachable and are removed from the socks when the socks are being worn. This necessitates maintaining a supply of connectors at various locations in the house where the members of a family remove their socks in order that the socks are immediately joined together before placing them in a laundry box orthe like. Likewise, since the existing connectors are detachable from the socks they are subject to loss and misplacement.
Known connectors join the socks together by a button or protruding member which is inserted through an opening in an opposite half member of the connector carrying with it a portion of the sock material. This sometimes results in the connected area of the sock being left deformed after removal of the connector an may leave that area of the sock uncleaned.
Thus, the need has existed for a connecting device for joining together socks in their proper pairs during laundering which has connecting means that are permanently secured to the socks while the socks are being worn and which device. provides a secure detachable connection between the sock during laundering without affecting the sock material.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objectives of the invention include providing a connecting device for detachably joining together the socks of a pair during laundering; providing such a connecting device which includes similar connecting members each of which is permanently attached to one sock preventing loss of the connector when, not in use; providing a connecting device which may be produced, sold and purchased detached from the sock and is permanently attached easily to the socks by the user without tools or other equipment; providing a connecting device which does not interfere with the usual laundering of the socks and is not effected by the .various soaps, detergents, bleaches, water conditions and drying temperatures; providing a connecting device which may be simply and economically produced in quantity; providing a connecting device having connecting members which when permanently attached to the socks do not interfere with the wearer and to which decorative insignia or the like maybe attached to give the connecting members'an attractive appearance; providing a connecting device which prevents the socks to which it is attached from excessively twisting and pulling at the devices connecting point during laundering; providing a connecting device consisting of two connecting members which may be identical, thereby reducing production costs; providing a connecting device in which the connecting members are snapped easily and securely together; providing a connecting device which may be produced in various colors to match the color of the sock to which it will be attached and which may be marked to identify the sock user; and providing a connecting device which'is sturdy and durable in use, and which eliminates difficulties heretofore encountered, achieves the objectives indicated; and solves problems and satisfies needs existing in the art.
These objects and advantages are obtained by the connecting device for articles of clothing of the invention, the general nature of which may be stated as including two similar members; means upon each member for permanently attaching the member to one garment of a pair, and means for detachably connecting the members together; said members each having a first and second section integrally joined at one end and foldable upon itself; stud means formed on and extending outward from the first section and locking means formed on the second section; said locking means engages said stud means when said member is in folded position permanently attaching said member to one garment of a pair; plug means formed on the second section of each member, said plug means telescopically engage each other detachably connecting the members together; clamping means formed on the first section of each member for securing the garment between said first and second sections when the member is in folded position; annular grooves formed on the stud means; and the locking means having flange lips engageable in said annular stud grooves.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention illustrative of the best modes in which applicant has contem plated applying the principles are set forth in the following description and shown in the drawings and are particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
FIG. l is a perspective view of the connecting device securing together a pair of socks, only the top portion of the socks being shown;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one connecting memberof the connecting device shown in FIG. 1, attached to the top portion of a sock and detached from the other connecting member;
FIG. 3 is an elevation of one side of one of the connecting members in unfolded, unattached position;
FIG. 4 is an edge elevation of the connecting member looking in the direction of arrow 44, FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an elevation of the reverse side of the connecting member shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 6-6, FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 7 7, FIG. 3; 7
FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 8- 8, FIG. 5;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged edge elevation with portions broken away of the connecting member shown in folded position attached to an article of clothing;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged sectional view of the connecting device taken on line 10-10, FIG. 1;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a decorative nameplate attached to one of the connecting members;
FIG. 12 is an elevation of one side of one connecting member of an alternate connecting device in unfolded, unattached position;
FIG. 13 is an edge elevation of the alternate connecting member looking in the direction of arrow 13-l3, FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is an elevation of the reverse side of the alternate connecting member shown in FIG. 12;
FIG. 15 is asectional view taken on line l-15, FIG. 12;
FIG. 16 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 16-16, FIG. 12;
FIG. 17 is an enlarged sectional view of the alternate connecting member shown in folded position attached to an article of clothing;
FIG. 18 is a sectional view taken on line 1818, FIG. 17;
FIG. 19 is a sectional view of the alternate connecting device shown joining together two articles of clothing similar to FIG. 1; and
FIG. 20 is a sectional view taken on line 20-20, FIG. 19.
Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A typical embodiment of the improved connecting device is generally indicated at 1 (FIG. 1) and is shown in connected position joining together socks 2 and 3, only a top portion of each sock being shown.
Connecting device 1 includes two similar, preferably identical connecting members 4 and 5, each of which is permanently attached to socks 2 and 3, respectively. Since members 4 and 5 are similar, only member 4 will be described in detail below.
Member 4 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) preferably is rectangular and formed from flexible plastic and includes a rear section 6 and a front section 7 separated by a groove 8. Groove 8 forms a hinge means enabling sections 6 and 7 to pivot toward each other as shown by arrows A (FIG. 4) to a folded position (FIG. 9) for attachment to sock 2.
Rear section 6 includes a smooth, flat, outer surface 9 and an inner surface 10. A plurality of raised longitudinal clamping ribs 11, 12 and 13 are formed on inner surface with a button 14 formed integrally with middle rib 12 adjacent the hinged end of section 6 (FIG. 5).
A pair of pointedstuds 15 and 16 are formed integrally with section 6 and extends outward from surface 10. Studs 15 and 16 are located adjacent the swinging end of section 6 with stud 15 located between ribs 11 and 12, and stud 16 located between ribs 12 and 13. A plurality of annular grooves 17 are formed in studs 15 and 16, the function of which is described later.
Section 7 includes a raised outer area 18 which may have a decorative surface 19 or finish applied thereto, and includes a smooth flat inner surface 20.. Surface 20 is formed with a cavity 21 extending into area 18 which is complementary to and receives button 14 when member 4 is in folded position.
A pair of connecting plugs 22 and 23 is formed adjacent area 18 at the swinging end of section 7 longitudinally aligned with studs 16 and 15, respectively, and extending outwardly therefrom in a direction opposite to that of studs 15 and 16. Plug 22 has a generally rectangular outer configuration and is formed with a central opening 24. A small recess 25 may be formed in one or more of the outer surfaces of plug side walls 26.
Plug 23 has an outer, generally rectangular configuration and is formed with a rectangular central opening 27. One or more bosses 28 may be formed on and extend outward from the inner surfaces of plug side walls 29 into opening 27. The outer configuration of plug 22 is complementary to the inner configuration of plug 23 formed by opening 27.
Annular, inwardly tapered recesses 30 and 31 are formed in surface 20 concentric with plug openings 24 and 27, respectively. Bottom walls 32 and 33 of plugs 22 and 23 are formed with I-I-shaped openings 34 and 35 including central circular openings 36 and 37, which are aligned with tapered recesses 30 and 31, and plug openings 24 and 27, respectively. H-shaped openings 34 and 35, and recesses 30 and 31, form tapered flange lips 38 and 39 in bottom walls 32 and 33 respectively, for locking engagement with studs 15 and 16. Operation and Use Connecting member 4 is attached to sock 2 (FIG. 9) by placing the top of sock 2 adjacent notch 8 and pivoting inner surfaces 10 and 20 of section 6 and 7 toward each other clamping sock 2 therebetween.
Studs 15 and 16 pierce the material of sock 2 and extend through the aligned bottom plug wall openings 36 and 37 into plugs 22 and 23, respectively. Opening 36 and 37 must be sized slightly smaller than the diameter of studs 15 and 16 so that the studs upon passing through the bottom plug wall openings bend flange lips 38 and 39 upwardly, engaging the lips in one of the stud grooves 17 locking the studs in place. The bending of lips 38 and 39 upwardly and their retention in this position when engaging grooves 17 is most important to prevent studs 15 and 16 from any backward movement and disengagement from section 7. Thus, studs 15 and 16 permanently andsecurely lock member 4 in folded position securing sock 2 therebetween. Thus, member 4 may be removed from the sock only be severing the studs from section 6 or reversely bending and destroying flange lips 38 and 39.
When is such attached position, ribs 11, 12 and 13 clamp sock 2 tightly against inner surface 20 of section 7, along the entire rib length. Likewise, button 14 extends into cavity 21 clamping a small section of sock 2 therein. Ribs 11-13 and button 14 hold sock 2 securely between member 4 preventing the sock from twisting during laundering and tearing about studs 15 and 16.
Member 4, preferably is attached to sock 2 (FIGS. 1 and 2) so that the smooth surface 9 of section 6 lies along the inside surface of the sock. In this position smooth surface 9 will be against the wearers leg or ankle while the sock is being worn, thus, causing no discomfort or annoyance to the wearer.
Likewise, member 4 preferably is attached to sock 2 so that while being worn member 4 ison an inside leg position with plugs 22 and 23 extending toward the wearers opposite leg. When attached in thisposition there is less protrusion against the pant leg and there is less indication of such a device being attached to the sock. Also, when so located connecting members 4 and 5 will not affect the wearers walking or other activities in any manner.
Usually members 4 and 5 will not be seen by anyone while being worn. ()ccasionally, however, thetop of a mans or. boys sock isexposed while sitting or reclining. A decorativemedallion, emblem, nameplate 40 or thelike (FIG. 11) having mating plugs similarto plugs. 22 and 23 affixed to the rear thereof, may be snapped into plugs 22 and 23 of members 4 and 5 to conceal the exposed plugs of members 4 and 5. Thus, nameplate 40 and decorative surface '19 provide the connecting members with an attractive and unique appearance should the members be exposed while the socks are being worn;
Rear section 46 includes a smooth, flat outer surface 49 and an inner surface 50. A pair of raised longitureceives the raised portion 53 of ribs 51 and 52 when member 44 is in folded position (FIG. 18).
.A pair of connecting plugs 59 and 60 are formed adjacent area 56 at the swinging end of section 47 extend- Members 4 and5 are easily and quickly snapped together (FIG. 1) after removal of the socks by the wearer, prior to placing the socks into a laundry box or the like. The detachable connection between members 4 and 5 is achieved through the particular construction of plugs 22 and 23.
Members 4 and 5 are placed opposite one another so that plugs- 22 and 23 .of member 4 are oppositely aligned with plug 23 and 22 of member 5, respectively.
Members 4 and 5 are joined together by telescoping eachplug .22 into rectangular opening 27 of the opposite members plug 23 (FIG.
Plugs 22 are firmly seated and held within opposite plugs 23 by their respective bosses 28 engaging plug wall recesses 25 and the friction between opposite members plug walls 26 and 29.
Studs extend into opening 24 of the opposite members plug 22 aligning with the opposite members studs 16. When members 4 and 5 are in connected position, areas 18 preferably abut each other to prevent any rocking motion occurring between the plugs during laundering which could cause separation of members 4 and 5. The length of studs 15 and'16 is such that members 4 and Sam attachable to a range of sock material thickness yet do not contact the opposite connecting members stud preventing proper seating of plug 22 within opposite members plug 23. Second Embodiment An alternate connecting device 41 is shown in section in FIGS. 19 and joining together two articles of clothing, such as socks 42 and 43, only a portion of each sock being shown.
Connecting device 41 includes two similar, preferably identical connecting members 44 and 45,
. each of which is permanently attached to socks 42 and 43, respectively. Therefore, since members 44 and 45 are similar, only member 44 will be described in detail below. l
Member 44 (FIGS. 12, 13 and 14) preferably is formed of flexible plastic and includes a rear section 46 and a front section 47 separated by a groove 48.
Groove 48 forms a hinge means enabling section 46 and 47 to be pivoted one upon the other to a folded position (FIG. 17) for attachment to sock 42.
ing outward therefrom in a direction opposite to that of stud 54. Plug 59has a generally circular configuration and may be formed with a central opening 61. Apair of locking lugs 62 areformed adjacent the top of plug 59. and extend outward therefrom. 1
A pair of arcuateshaped openings 63 are formed in section 47 opposite each other and adjacent'plug 59.
Openings63 permitplug 59 to flex slightly upon section 47 for proper connection with member 45 and enable lugs 62 to be molded easily to the desired size and taper.
Plug includes wall 64 having an outer generally circular configuration and formed with a circular central opening 65 which may extend completely through section 47. A pair of arcuate shaped tapered flanges 66 are formed at the top of wall 64 and extend into opening 65.
Locking means are formed intermediate plugs 59 and 60 axially aligned with stud 54 for locking engagement therewith when member 44 is in folded position. The locking means includes an opening 67 formed in section 47 and a plurality of tapered flange lips 68 toward and surrounding opening 67.
The attachment of member 44 to sock 42 is similar to that of member 4 and sock' 2 described above. Stud 54 pierces the sock material (FIG. 17) which is inserted between sections 46 and 47 prior to pivoting them into folded position. Stud 54 is inserted through opening 67 bending locking flange lips 68 upward which engage grooves 55 permanently securing member 44 in attached position to sock 42.
Ribs 51 and 52 clamp the sock material tightly against the rear surface of section 47 with raised rib portion 53 clamping another portion of the sock within cavity 58 (FIG. 18).
Members 44 and 45 are joined together in a manner similar to members 4 and 5. Plug 59 of member 44 is inserted into plug 60 of member 45 with plug 59 of member 45 inserted into plug 60 of member 44 (FIGS.
19 and 20). The locking lugs 62 are snap-fitted within I plurality of annular grooves nected. This enables the studs to have sufficient length to extend through socks of various thickness and to extend through opening 67 engaging flanges 68 without interfering with each other.
' Connectors 1 and 41 are separated easily by individually grasping the connecting members and pulling them directly apart disengaging bosses 28 from recesses 25 or locking lugs 62 from flanges 66.
The unique construction of connecting devices 1 and 41 is unaffected by the twisting and rocking motions applied to the device during laundering and thus prevents premature separation of the connecting members. However, only a small force when applied properly to the connecting devices is required to separate members 4 and 5 or members 44 and 45.
Although the above discussion pertained to connecting devices 1 and41 detachably securing together a pair of socks for laundering the concept of this invention should not be limited to such an application. Various other articles of clothing such as gloves, nylon hose, ties and handkerchief sets and the like may be detachably joined together for laundering or storage.
The improved connecting device for articles of clothing has a number of advantageous features. Members 4 and 5 and members 44 and 45 are easily and inexpensively molded and formed of plastic providing a sturdy and durable construction which is unaffected by the various soaps, detergents, bleaches and water temperatures of washing and the high drying temperatures. Also, no connector parts need be made of metal or other material that may rust to discolor or harm the sock fabric. Color dyes may be added during molding to produce connectors 1 and 41 in various colors to match the particular sock color to which it is to be attached.
The connecting members 4 and 5 and 44 and 45 are permanently attached to the sock preventing them 4 from becoming lost or misplaced and thus eliminating the need for a supply of such connectors to be readily at hand for attachment to the socks upon removal.
The sock owners name or other identifying mark may be written easily in indelible ink or other marking means on'flat surfaces 9 and 49. This is extremely helpful for households having several persons wearing the same or nearly the same size socks.
Another advantage is the use of clamping ribs 11-13 and button 14 and ribs 51 and 52 with raised areas 53 to prevent twisting and tearing of the sock material at the point of connection with members 4 and 5 and members 44 and 45. Likewise, when numbers 4 and 5 and numbers 44 and 45 are separated after laundering, no attachment marks or deformation of any kind remain in the socks.
Accordingly, the improved connecting device is simplified and provides an effective, inexpensive and efficient device for detachably joining together articles of clothing and in particular a pair of socks during laundering; provides a connecting device achieving all the enumerated objectives; and provides for eliminating difficulties encountered with prior devices and solves problems and obtains new'results in the art.
In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, cleamess and understanding; but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the recgii rements of the prior art, because such terms are use or descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the description and illustration ofthe invention is by way of example, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.
Having now described the features, discoveries and principles of the invention, the manner in which the new connecting device for articles of clothing is constructed and used, the characteristics of the new construction and the advantageous, new and useful results obtained; the new and useful structures, devices, elements, arrangements, parts, and combinations are set forth in the appended claims.
1. A connecting device for articles of clothing or the like including two identical members, each member including a first section and a second section joined at one end and foldable upon each other into a permanently attached position, stud means on one section, locking means on the other section, said locking means engaging said stud means when said member is in pair therebetween, plug means on each member for detachably connecting said members together, said plug means including a first connecting plug and a second connecting plug onv one section of each member, the first connecting plug on each member being telescoped into the second connecting plug of the other member.
2. The construction defined in claim 1 in which the stud means is formed with a plurality of annular grooves; in which said locking means includes a plurality of flange lips; and in which said flange lips engage in said grooves permanently locking said studs.
3. The construction defined in claim 2 in which the flange lips are tapered.
4. The construction defined in claim 1 in which a plurality of ribs are formed on each of said members.
5. The construction defined in claim 1 in which the locking means is located between the first and second connecting plugs.
6. The construction defined in claim 1 in which decorative attachment means have first and second connecting plugs identical to the connecting members first and second plugs, respectively, and in which said decorative attachment means may be detachably connected to each of said connecting members.
7. The construction defined in claim 1 in which the first connecting plug is cylindrically shaped having locking lugs extending outwardly from the top of said first plug, in which the second connecting plug is formed with a'circular central opening, in which arcuate-shaped flanges are formed on the second connecting plug and extend into said opening, and in which the locking lugs engage the flanges when the first connecting plug is telescopically received in the second connecting plug opening.
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