Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
BIFURCATED MEMBER HOOK FASTENING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1987/002871
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Solutions to the problem of fastening a hook (53), such as a garment hanger hook (53), directly to a linear member (7), such as a clothesline (7), to which the hook (53) is hooked in the normal manner. This is accomplished by a discrete openable clasp (64-73, 77) having two jawed fastening members (64, 72), at least one fastening member (64) being bifurcated for accommodating the hook (53) within its two spaced-apart branches (65) so that it can straddle and reach past the hook (53) to clasp the linear member (7), the two fastening members (64, 72) being arranged for conjointly clasping the hook (53) and the linear member (7) together. Most embodiments of the clasp can also fasten two generally linear members (7) together in a crossing relationship. In general, an object can be indirectly fastened to a linear member (7) by being connected to a hook (53) which is fastened to a linear member (7) by the openable clasp (64-73, 77).

Inventors:
Larsen
Walter
Louis
Application Number:
PCT/US1985/002224
Publication Date:
May 21, 1987
Filing Date:
November 08, 1985
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Larsen
Walter
Louis
International Classes:
A47G25/14; D06F55/00; (IPC1-7): A41D27/22; A44B13/02
Foreign References:
US0060351A
US3202329A
US2542224A
US3999259A
US2632930A
US2473408A
US0069398A
US2442410A
US1245756A
US3058186A
US3240462A
US3184204A
US2092121A
DE1093526B
US0763793A
US2166884A
GB768153A
US2915274A
US3193235A
US4034902A
US2360164A
US1274280A
US0265171A
US0825332A
US3527358A
US1690614A
US3048311A
US2122309A
US4008835A
US4139174A
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. What is claimed is: A device generally capable of fastening an object to a generally linear member, said device comprising the com ina tion of a hook and a discrete openable clasp for fastening the hook to the linear member, wherein there is any appropri¬ ate means for attaching the object, at least indirectly and at least temporarily, to. the hook, generally to the nonhook¬ ed or shank portion of the hook, wherein the openable clasp comprises a bifurcated fastening member with two generally parallel spacedapart branches for accomodating the hook within the space between the two branches and a jaw element on each branch for clasping the linear member, wherein the two branches are ordinarily connected together, at least in directly and at least elastically; a second fastening member, having a jaw element, for generally clasping the hook and the linear member together in conjunction with the clasping action of said bifurcated fastening member; relative movement connecting structure for connecting each of .the two fastening members together so as to provide for limited relative open ingandclosing hookandlinearmember clasping movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other; and a resilient closing member interposed between the two fastening members for urging the two fastening members toward a gener ally closed hookandlinearmember clasping position; wherein the fastening position and. assembled configuration of said device is one in which the object, when it is being connected to the linear member, is attached to the hook as described above, the hook is hooked to the linear member in the normal manner, and the openable clasp is positioned with respect to the hook and the linear member such that at least part of the hook is accomodated within the space between the two spaced apart branches of said bifurcated fastening member, the lin¬ ear member passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp with the jaw elements of said bifurcated fastening mem¬ ber clasping the linear member, and said second fastening member generally clasps the hook and the linear member toge¬ ther in conjunction with the clasping action of said bifurca¬ ted fastening member; and wherein the two fastening members 36 of the clasp, together with their respective jaw elements, are shaped and positioned for so clasping the hook and the linear member together.
2. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein the hook is the hook part of a garment hanger and wherein the object is the body part of the same garment hanger which is for supporting garments placed on the hanger.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said bifurcated fasten¬ ing member of the openable clasp, with its two generally par allel spacedapart branches and a jaw element on each branch, is comprised of a pair of spacedapart coacting fastening hooks which are ordinarily connected together, at least indi¬ rectly and at least elastically, and which are arranged for straddling, and reaching past the hook being fastened to the linear member and hooking to and clampingly pulling the lin¬ ear member inward and against the hook being fastened to the linear member, wherein said second fastening member with its jaw element is an opposing clamping member arranged and posi tioned for applying clamping pressure to the outer surface of the hook being fastened to the linear member by pushing the hook outward against the linear member in opposition to the clamping action of the coacting fastening hooks on the linear member, whereby the openable clasp is adapted to be installed on the hook and the linear member so as to clampingly and frictionally fasten them together.
4. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3«.
5. The device of claim 3 wherein the openable clasp is arranged for opening the fastening members by pressing sections of the clasp together with the hand.
6. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 5 *.
7. The device of claim 3 wherein each of the two coacting fastening hooks is generally Jshaped with a generally linear shank extending away from the hooked part of the hook and wherein the opposing clamping member is slidably connected to each hook shank, said connection being in at least one loca¬ tion on the opposing clamping member for each hook shank, thereby allowing generally sliding movement of the two fast¬ ening members of the clasp with respect to each other to pro¬ vide for at least part of the relatively positioned opening andclosing hookandlinearmember clasping movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other.
8. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 7.
9. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 wherein the two coacting fastening hooks are effectively and at least indirectly connected together by a hook connecting structure which is located so as to provide sufficient clearance be¬ tween said hook connecting structure and the hook being fast¬ ened to the linear member for installing said clasp in its fastening position, and which is sufficiently sturdy in its construction and connection with the two coacting fastening hooks to maintain an approximately fixed relative position of the two coacting fastening hooks with respect to each other throughout the normal range of operation of the clasp.
10. The device of claim 3 wherein the opposing clamping member of the openable clasp effectively has one and only one jaw element which is positioned for contacting the outer sur¬ face of the hook being fastened to the linear member in substantially one location.
11. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 10.
12. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 wherein the opposing clamping member effectively has two jaw elements which are positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook being fastened to the linear member in two respective locations which are effectively separated from each other, one location being inboard and the other location being out¬ board of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its fastening position.
13. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 wherein the opposing clamping member has a lateral confinement ele¬ ment for restraining the hook being fastened to the linear member from being displaced sideways out of a jaw element, said lateral confinement element ordinarily being incorpora¬ ted in the jaw element.
14. The openable clasp of claim 13 wherein the opposing clamping member has at least two lateral confinement elements positioned at sufficiently spacedapart locations along the hook being fastened to the linear member to stabilize the clasp against being upset in its fastening position.
15. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 wherein the resilient closing member is a generally helical spring.
16. The openable clasp of claim 15 wherein the generally helical spring is situated around and acts along the shanks of the coacting fastening hooks.
17. The device of claim 3 wherein the resilient closing member of the openable clasp is a generally twolegged spring with one leg connected at least indirectly to a coacting fas¬ tening hook and the other leg connected at least indirectly to the opposing clamping member.
18. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 17.
19. The device of claim 17 wherein the openable clasp is arranged for opening the fastening members by pressing sec¬ tions of the clasp together with the hand, said sections or dinarily being sections of said twolegged spring.
20. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 19.
21. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 further comprising an overcenter locking lever which is interposed between the two fastening members of the clasp and which has a separate and at least indirect pivotal connection with each of the two fastening members of the clasp, the overcenter locking lever being adapted to impart relative movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other when manipulated to cause the clasp to open and close, and also to lock the clasp in the closed position..
22. The openable clasp of claim 21 wherein the resilient closing member is effectively interposed between one of the pivotal connections on the overcenter locking lever and that fastening member which is at least indirectly connected to said one of the pivotal connections, the other pivotal con¬ nection of the overcenter locking lever being at least indi¬ rectly connected to the other fastening member, the interpo¬ sition being such that the resilient closing member generally causes the clasp to apply a sustained clamping force to the hook and the linear member when the clasp is in its fastening position and the overcenter locking lever is in its closed and locking position.
23. The openable clasp of claim 22 wherein each of the two coacting fastening hooks is generally Jshaped with a generally linear shank extending away from the hooked part of the hook; wherein the opposing clamping member is slidably connected to the shanks of the coacting fastening hooks so that it can slide back and forth along the shanks during opening and closing of the clasp; wherein the two coacting fastening hooks are effectively and at least indirectly con¬ nected together by a hook connecting structure which is suf¬ ficiently sturdy in its construction and connection with the two coacting fastening hooks to maintain an approximately fixed relative position of the two coacting hooks with re¬ spect to each other throughout the normal range of operation of the clasp; wherein one pivotal connection for the overcen¬ ter locking lever is effectively and at least indirectly con¬ nected to the two coacting fastening hooks, such connection ordinarily being made to the hook connecting structure, the other pivotal connection for the overcenter locking lever be¬ ing connected at least indirectly to the opposing clamping member; and wherein the resilient closing member is a spring so interposed between a pivotal connection on the overcenter locking lever and one of the fastening members that the spring is at least part of the connecting link between the overcenter locking lever and that fastening member, causing the opposing clamping member to slide back and forth along the shanks of the coacting fastening hooks to open and close the clasp when the overcenter locking lever is moved through its range of movement.
24. The openable clasp of claim 22 wherein the resilient closing member is a spring effectively interposed between a pivotal connection for the overcenter locking lever and a coacting fastening hook.
25. The openable clasp of claim 22 wherein the resilient closing member is a spring effectively interposed between a pivotal connection for the overcenter locking lever and the opposing clamping member.
26. The openable clasp of claim 22 wherein the resilient closing member is a multilegged spring having at least two legs and lying substantially in a plane.
27. The openable clasp of claim 22 wherein the opposing clamping member effectively has two jaw elements, each of which is positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook being fastened to the linear member in a location which is separated from the location where the other jaw element contacts the outer surface of the hook, one jaw element ord inarily being inboard and the other jaw element ordinarily being outboard of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its prescribed fastening position.
28. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 wherein the resilient closing member is a spring and wherein the opp osing clamping member is made of, and is part of, the same continuous piece of material of which the spring is made.
29. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 wherein the resilient closing member is a spring and wherein a coact¬ ing fastening hook is made of, and is part of, the same continuous piece of material of which the spring is made.
30. The device of claim 3 wherein both fastening members of the openable clasp are made of, and are parts of, the same continuous piece of material of which the resilient closing member is made. 3.
31. The openable clasp a's comprehended in claim 30.
32. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 17 where¬ in both fastening members of the clasp are made of, and are parts of, the same continuous piece of material of which the spring is made.
33. 33* The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 17 where¬ in the shanks of the coacting fastening hooks are curved and positioned so that the opening and closing movement of the opposing clamping member with respect to the coacting fasten¬ ing hooks will be approximately along the direction of the curvature of the shanks of the hooks.
34. The openable clasp of claim 32 wherein the clasp is made of wire.
35. 35« The openable clasp of claim 34 wherein the clasp is constructed so that each end of a piece of wire of which the clasp is made effectively terminates at the end of each coacting fastening hook, the wire being bent between each of its two ends to form the clasp.
36. The openable clasp of claim 32 wherein the clasp is made of sheet material.
37. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3 where¬ in the bifurcated fastening member of the clasp has lateral hook containment structure which is shaped and positioned so that it accomodates the hook being fastened to the linear member in at least two effectively spacedapart locations where the hook passes through the space between its two bran¬ ches, one such location being inboard and the other such lo¬ cation being outboard of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position, whereby the clasp is provided with improved stability in its fastening position.
38. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 17 where¬ in the bifurcated fastening member of the clasp has lateral hook containment structure which is shaped and positioned so that it accomodates the hook being fastened to the linear member in at least two effectively spacedapart locations where the hook passes through the space between its two branches.
39. The device of claim .1 wherein the relative movement connecting structure of the openable clasp is comprised of two lever members which are connected together to provide for generally hingedtype angular relative movement between said lever members, said bifurcated fastening member being combin¬ ed with a first one of the lever members and said second fas tening member being combined with a second one of the lever members to provide for the relative openingandclosing hook and linearmember clasping movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other.
40. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 39 where in said second fastening member does not have a bifurcation positioned in a primarily radial orientation in the clasp with branches capable of accomodating the hook between them.
41. The device of claim 39 wherein said bifurcated fast¬ ening member of the openable clasp is positioned in a primar ily radial orientation with respect to a circle centered on an axis through the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected together with the two branches of said bifurcated fastening member being separated from each other in a direction generally parallel to the axis of said circle, wherein the jaw elements on said bifurcated fastening member are positioned for contacting and applying clamping pressure to the linear member with the linear member passing transversely through the jaw region of the clasp, the clamp ing direction of said jaw elements on the linear member being primarily circumferential with respect to said defined cir¬ cle, wherein said second fastening member does not have a bi¬ furcation positioned in a primarily radial orientation in the clasp with branches capable of accomodating the hook between them and wherein the jaw element of said second fastening member is positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook being fastened to the linear member and for applying clamping pressure thereon in a direction in general opposi¬ tion to the clamping action of the jaw elements of said bi furcated fastening member on the linear member, whereby the fastening position of the clasp with respect to the hook and the linear member is that in which at least part of the hook is positioned between the two branches of said bifurcated fastening member, the jaw elements of said bifurcated fasten ing member contact and clasp the undersurface of the linear _ member where it passes transversely through the clasp, the jaw element on said second fastening member contacts and clasps the outer surface of the hook in at 'least one location so that the two fastening members conjointly clasp the hook and the linear member together, and the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected together is generally positioned to one side of the hook.
42. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 4l .
43. The device of claim 4l wherein said second fastening member of the openable clasp is shaped and positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook with its jaw element effectively in only one general location of contact which is about the same distance away from the location where the two lever members are connected together as the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fast¬ ening position on the hook and the linear member.
44. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 3.
45. The' openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in said second fastening member has jaw elements which are shaped and positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook in two effectively separated locations along the hook.
46. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in said second fastening member has a jaw element which is shaped and positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook at a location on the hook which is outboard of the posi¬ tion occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position on the hook and the linear mem¬ ber, such location being with reference to the clasp.
47. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in said second fastening member has a jaw element which is shaped and positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook at a location on the hook which is inboard of the posi¬ tion occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position on the hook and the linear mem¬ ber, such location being with reference to the clasp.
48. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in said bifurcated fastening member is shaped and positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook at a location on the hook which is inboard of the position occupied 'by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position on the hook and the linear member, such location be¬ ing with reference to the clasp and ordinarily being at the inboard end of the bifurcation on said fastening member.
49. The device of claim 41 wherein the jaw elements of said bifurcated fastening member of the openable clasp are formed as a depression in the surface of said fastening mem¬ ber for constraining the linear member in maintaining its relative position in said fastening member.
50. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 fur¬ ther comprising linear member retaining structure which is combined with said bifurcated fastening member and located generally just to one side of the position occupied by the linear member as it passes transversely through the jaw reg ion of the clasp when the clasp is in its described fastening position, said linear member retaining structure being struc¬ ture which extends above the level of that part of the jaw elements which contact the undersurface of the linear member for blocking relative movement of the linear member in at least one direction away from its intended position in the clasp with respect to its distance from the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected to¬ gether, past the position where the linear member retaining 5 structure is located.
51. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 furth¬ er comprising linear member retaining structure which is com¬ bined with said second fastening member and located generally just to one side of the position occupied by the linear mem 0 ber as it passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp when the clasp is in its described fastening position, said linear member retaining structure being structure which extends generally toward said bifurcated fastening member a sufficient distance to effectively close the gap between the 5 two fastening members to movement of the linear member in at least one direction away from its intended position in the clasp with respect to its distance from the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected to • gether, past the position where.the linear member retaining. 0 structure is located, when the clasp is in its closed' fastening position.
52. The device of claim 41 further comprising guide stru¬ cture combined with one of the lever members of the openable clasp, generally at a radial distance from the location where 5 the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected to¬ gether, said guide structure having surface which overlaps and lies next to at least a portion of a range of positions of surface on the other lever member during the opening and closing movement of the two fastening members in order to 0 form a guide which allows relative movement of the fastening members in opening and closing but which restricts relative sideways displacement of the two fastening members.
53. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 52 furth¬ er comprising linear member retaining structure which is com 5 bined with one of the fastening members of the clasp.
54. The. device of claim 41 wherein said bifurcated fast¬ ening member of the openable clasp is of sufficient length to accomodate the hook in only one location where said hook pas¬ ses through the space between the two branches of said bifurcated fastening member, said location generally being inboard of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position, such lo¬ cation being with reference to the clasp.
55. * The device of claim 41 wherein said bifurcated fast¬ ening member of the openable clasp is of sufficient length to accomodate the hook in two locations where the hook passes through the space between the two branches of said fastening member, one such location generally being inboard and the other such location generally being outboard of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its des¬ cribed fastening position, such inboard and outboard loca¬ tions being with reference to the clasp.
56. The device of claim 55 further comprising linear mem ber retaining structure combined with one fastening member of the openable clasp.
57. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 55 >.
58. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 55 furth¬ er comprising linear member retaining structure combined^with one fastening member.
59. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 4l where¬ in said second fastening member includes a lateral confine¬ ment element for the hook, said lateral confinement element being a structure, which may be incorporated with a jaw ele ent, which has generally lateral containment surfaces situ¬ ated transversely in said second fastening member for accomo dating and constraining the hook from being displaced side¬ ways out of its clasped position with respect to said second fastening member. 6θ. The openable clasp of claim 59 wherein said lateral confinement element is shaped and positioned so that, togeth¬ er with other elements and members of the clasp, it provides stability to the clasp from being laterally upset in its fastening position on a hook and a linear member. 6l . The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 4l where¬ in said bifurcated fastening member is made of a single piece of wire and wherein said bifurcated fastening member is con¬ structed by having the wire formed so as to enter the struc¬ ture of said bifurcated fastening member by arriving generally and approximately from, and in a direction leading away from, the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected together, and then continuing gen¬ erally to the end of one branch of said bifurcated fastening member while remaining generally on one side of the position occupied by the hook when the clasp is in its described fast¬ ening position, then being bent in a generally reverse direc¬ tion so as to proceed generally to the closed end of the space between the branches of said bifurcated fastening mem ber while continuing to remain on the same side of said posi¬ tion occupied by the hook, then being bent generally across to the other side of said position occupied by the hook so as to form said closed end of the space between said branches, the wire then being bent in a similar, mirrorimage, manner on said other side of said position occupied by the hook and, finally, exiting the structure of said bifurcated fastening member by proceeding generally and approximately toward said location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected together. 62. The device of claim 41 wherein the two lever members of the openable clasp have structures which are positioned as handles which can be squeezed together by hand to cause the respective fastening members, together with the jaw ele¬ ments thereon, to open with respect to each other. 63. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 62.
60. 64 The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in at least one of the two fastening members has ramped entry structure which generally comprises a section at the end of said fastening member which is angled outward toward the opening direction of said fastening member.
61. 65 The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in each lever member of the clasp is a discrete entity from the other lever member, and wherein the connection between the lever members is substantially in the nature of a mechan ically hingedtype connection.
62. 66 The openable clasp of claim 65 wherein the. resilient closing member is a generally coiltype spring with its axis located along the pivot of the hingedtype connection between the two lever members, wherein said spring has a generally tangential extension at each end of the coil, each such ex¬ tension being further bent at the end of the tangential part of the extension in a generally right angle bend so that each terminal end of the wire of the spring is approximately para llel to the axis of the spring and situated at a radial dis¬ tance from the coiled part of the spring, and wherein the spring forms the hinge pivot for the lever members by having the spring and the springattachment portion of the lever members shaped and assembled in a manner similar to the common spring clothespin.
63. 67 The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 41 where¬ in both of the two lever members of the clasp, together with their respective fastening members, are made of the same con¬ tinuous piece of material and wherein the resilient closing member is a spring which is formed of the same continuous piece of material of which the two lever members are made and wherein said spring provides the connection between the two lever members which allows the hingedtype angular relative movement between the .lever members.
64. The device of claim 39 wherein said second fastening member of the openable clasp is bifurcated and has two gener¬ ally parallel spacedapart branches for accomodating a sec¬ tion of the hook within the space between the two branches and wherein, in the fastening position and assembled config uration of the device, said second bifurcated fastening mem¬ ber accomodates a section of the hook within the space between its two branches.
65. The device of claim 68 wherein each of the two bifur¬ cated fastening members of the openable clasp is positioned in a primarily radial orientation with respect to a circle centered on an axis through the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected together.
66. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 69 where¬ in each lever member is a discrete element of the clasp to the extent that it is a separate entity from the other lever member, and wherein the connection between the lever members is a mechanically hingedtype connection.
67. The openable clasp of claim 70 wherein the resilient closing member is a generally coiltype spring with its axis located along the pivot of the hingedtype connection between the two lever members, wherein said coiltype spring has a generally tangential extension at each end of the coil, each such extension being further bent at the end of the tangent ial part of the extension in a generally right angle bend so that each terminal end of the wire of the spring is approxi¬ mately parallel to the axis of the spring and situated at a radial distance from the coiled part of the spring, and wherein the spring forms the hinge pivot for the lever mem bers by having the spring and the springattachment portion of the lever members shaped and assembled in a manner similar to the common spring clothespin.
68. The device of claim 69 wherein the jaw elements of the openable clasp, when closed, form a generally and at least partially enclosing aperture to receive the linear mem¬ ber and to hold it confiningly.
69. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 69 where¬ in one of the two bifurcated fastening members has a pair of jaw elements which have internal surfaces generally and so e what in the shape of an "L" in a view of the clasp in which the generally angular relative movement between the two lever members occurs and lies in the plane of the image, the verti¬ cal line of the "L" being generally and approximately para¬ llel to a radial extending from the location where the lever members are connected together to that part of the jaw ele¬ ments occupied by the linear member, and the bottom line of the "L" being generally and approximately perpendicular to said radial, said bottom line being that part of the "L" which is at the greatest distance from said location where the two lever members are connected together, said jaw ele¬ ments thereby being configured to contact the linear member generally at the side and at the end of the internal part of said jaw elements; and wherein the other bifurcated fastening member has a pair of jaw elements which are shaped so that they contact the linear member generally only at the side of the jaw elements; the jaw elements of both bifurcated fasten¬ ing members thereby acting together to apply a pinching force to the linear member between them, respectively, while that part of the first mentioned pair of jaw elements correspond ing to the bottom line of the "L" holds and prevents the lin¬ ear member from being displaced endwise out of the jaw elements.
70. The openable clasp of claim 73 wherein the pair of jaw elements which are shaped so that they contact the linear member generally only at the side of the jaw elements, have the surface which so contacts the linear member mounted on a projection which protrudes into and fits inside of the other pair of jaw elements when the jaws are fully closed.
71. The device of claim 39 wherein the openable clasp has a bifurcated fastening member which, together with its two spacedapart branches, is positioned in a primarily circum¬ ferential orientation with respect to a circle centered on an axis through the location where the two lever members are, in effect, hingedly connected together and which has a jaw ele¬ ment on each branch for contacting the undersurface of the linear member with the linear member passing transversely through the jaw region of the clasp, the contacting surface of said jaw elements facing toward the interior region of the clasp", generally toward a location*near to where the two lev¬ er members are hingedly connected together, wherein said cir¬ cumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening member also has a surface for contacting the outer surface of the hook, such surface generally being at the inboard end of the bifurcation on said fastening member; wherein the other fastening member has a contacting surface for contacting the outer surface of the hook; and wherein, in the fastening position and assem¬ bled configuration of said device, the openable clasp is po¬ sitioned with respect to the hook and the linear member such that the jaw elements of said circumferentially oriented bi¬ furcated fastening member contact and apply clamping pressure to the undersurface of the linear member while at least part of the hook is acco odated within the space between the two branches of said fastening member and, also, while said fast ening member contacts and applies clamping pressure to the outer surface of the hook, and the other fastening member contacts and applies clamping pressure to the outer surface of the hook, with the generally hingedtype connection be¬ tween the lever members being located generally above the hook.
72. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 75.
73. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 75 where¬ in a circumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening member which has jaw elements which face toward the interior region of the clasp for contacting the undersurface of the linear member where it passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp, has a raised section on said jaw elements which extends above the contacting surface of said jaw elements for serving as a barrier for retaining the linear member from unwantedly slipping off said jaw elements.
74. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 75 where¬ in a circumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening member which has jaw elements which face toward the interior region of the clasp for contacting the undersurface of the linear member where it passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp, has the contacting surface of said jaw elements oriented at an acute angle to the exact circumferential di¬ rection at the location of such contacting surface in the clasp, such that such contacting surface effectively forms an inclined ramp in which the further inboard from the end of a jaw element a surface point is located, the closer it is to the generally hingedtype connection between the lever mem¬ bers,, and wherein the other fastening member is bifurcated for accomodating a section of the hook within the space be tween its two branches and said other fastening member has jaw elements for contacting and urging the linear member in¬ board along the inclined ramps of said jaw elements which have said ramps, whereby the closing of the two fastening members and their jaw elements will cause a linear member passing transversely through the jaw region of the openable clasp to be urged inward toward the interior region of the clasp and thereby to be clampingly forced against the hook when the clasp is in its described fastening position.
75. The device »f claim 1 wherein the bifurcated fasten ing member of the openable clasp has lateral hook containment structure which accomodates the hook in at least two effecti¬ vely spacedapart locations where the hook passes through the space between its two branches.
76. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 79.
77. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 79 where¬ in one such location where the hook passes through the space between the branches of the bifurcated fastening member is on one side, and the other such location is on the other side of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position.
78. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 39 where¬ in said bifurcated fastening member of the clasp has lateral hook containment structure which is shaped and positioned so that it accomodates the hook in at least two effectively spa¬ cedapart locations where the hook passes through the space between its two branches, whereby the clasp is provided with improved stability in its fastening position.
79. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 4l where in said bifurcated fastening member of the clasp has lateral., hook containment structure which is shaped and positioned, so that it accomodates the hook in at least two effectively spacedapart locations where the hook passes through the space between its two branches, one such location ordinarily being inboard and the other such location ordinarily being outboard of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its described fastening position, whereby the clasp is provided with improved fastening stability.
80. The openable clasp of claim 83 wherein one of the fastening members of the clasp has linear member retaining structure for constraining the linear member against relative movement in at least one direction away from its intended position in the clasp.
81. The openable clasp as comprehended in claim 1 wherein the clasp is effectively constructed of a single contoured piece of sheet material bent into the shape of the clasp, wherein said bifurcated fastening member is generally formed as a result of a cutout section of the piece of sheet mater¬ ial, and wherein the resilient closing member is a section of the piece of sheet material situated between the two fasten ing members.
82. The openable clasp of claim 85 further comprising a lateral hook containment structure which accomodates the hook in at least two effectively spacedapart locations.
83. The openable clasp of claim 85 wherein the resilient closing member is, in functional effect, a twolegged spring.
84. A method for fastening a hook to a generally linear member to which the hook is hooked in the normal manner com prising putting a resiliently biased openable clasp having a bifurcated jawed fastening member and a second jawed fasten¬ ing member into a fastening position with respect to the hook and the linear member such that said bifurcated jawed fasten¬ ing member accomodates the hook within the space between its two branches and its jaw elements clasp the linear member with the linear member passing transversely through the jaw region of the clasp, and a jaw element of said second jaw¬ ed fastening member generally clasps the hook and the linear member together in conjunction with the clasping action of said bifurcated jawed fastening member.
85. A method according to claim 88 wherein said bifurca¬ ted jawed fastening member is a pair of coacting fastening hooks arranged for straddling and reaching past the hook be¬ ing fastened to .the linear member and hooking to and clamp • ingly pulling the linear member inward, and said second jawed fastening member is an opposing clamping member arranged for applying clamping pressure to the outer surface of the hook being fastened to the linear member in opposition to the clamping action of the coacting fastening hooks on the linear member, and wherein, in performing the method, the openable clasp is manipulated to move the coacting fastening hooks in¬ to a position of straddling and reaching past the hook being fastened to the linear member and of hooking to the linear member, and to move the opposing clamping member into a posi tion of contacting the outer surface of the hook being fast¬ ened to the linear member, and the openable clasp is released so that the coacting fastening hooks and the opposing clamp¬ ing member conjointly clamp the hook and the linear member together.
86. A method according to claim 89 wherein the resilient¬ ly biased openable clasp is arranged for opening the jawed fastening members with respect to each other by pressing sec¬ tions of the clasp together with the hand and wherein, in performing the method, the jawed fastening members are first opened by hand and then the openable clasp is put into and released in the described fastening position.
87. A method according to claim 89 wherein the openable clasp has an overcenter locking lever interposed between, and having a separate and at least indirect pivotal connection with, the pair of coacting fastening hooks and the opposing clamping member, respectively, such that movement of the overcenter locking lever opens, closes, and locks the open able clasp in the closed position, and wherein, in performing the method, the opened openable clasp is moved into its des¬ cribed position with respect to the hook and the linear mem¬ ber, and then closed and locked in a closed fastening posi¬ tion by moving the overcenter locking lever, said clasp being released in that position.
88. A method according to claim 92 wherein the openable clasp has an overcenter locking lever interposed between, and having a separate and at least indirect pivotal connection with, the pair of coacting fastening hooks and the opposing clamping member, respectively, such that movement of the overcenter locking lever opens, closes, and locks the clasp in the closed position, and wherein, in performing the meUiod, the opened openable clasp is moved into its described fasten¬ ing position with respect to the two crossing linear members being fastened together, and then closed and locked in a clo¬ sed fastening position by moving the overcenter locking lever, said clasp being released in that position. 95« A method according to claim 88 wherein the openable clasp has.
89. two hingedly connected lever members which are ang ularly movable with respect to each other, one jawed fasten¬ ing member being combined with each lever member to provide for the openability of the clasp, and wherein, in performing the method, the openable clasp is manipulated so that its two jawed fastening members open with respect to each other and so that the clasp is put into the fastening position set forth therein.
90. A method according to claim 95 wherein said bifurca¬ ted jawed fastening member is substantially radially oriented in the "openable clasp, wherein said second jawed fastening member is not effectively radially bifurcated, and wherein the method, as restated in greater detail, comprises putting the clasp into a position with respect to the hook and the linear member such that said bifurcated jawed fastening mem¬ ber accomodates the hook within the space between its two branches and its jaw elements bear up on the undersurface of the linear member, and the jaw element of said second jawed fastening member bears down on the outer surface of the hook, the method being accomplished by moving the clasp into said position from a position generally to one side of the hook and the linear member, with the substantially radial direc¬ tion of said bifurcated jawed fastening member generally pointing toward the hook and the linear member, thereby clam¬ ping the hook and the linear member together.
91. 97« A method according to claim 96 wherein the two angularly movable lever members of the openable clasp have structures connected to them which are 'shaped and positioned so that they can be squeezed together by hand to open the clasp and wherein the method includes the act of opening the jawed fastening members of the clasp by squeezing such struc¬ tures together before putting the clasp into the therein des¬ cribed position with respect to the hook and the linear member.
92. A method according to claim 96 wherein the jawed fas tening members of the openable clasp are shaped so that the clasp can be opened by contact of the jawed fastening members with the hook and the linear member and wherein, in perform¬ ing the method, the clasp is pushed with sufficient force in¬ to the fastening position described therein to cause the jaw ed fastening members to open sufficiently by contact with the hook and the linear member to allow the clasp to be moved into said fastening position.
93. method according to claim 95 wherein the bifurcated jawed fastening member is substantially circumferentially or iented in the openable clasp, the contacting .surfaces on its jaw elements face toward the interior region of the clasp, and it also has a contacting surface for contacting the outer surface of the hook, generally at the inboard end of the bi¬ furcation, and the second jawed fastening member has a con tacting surface for contacting the outer surface of the hook and wherein the method, as restated in greater detail, com¬ prises putting the clasp into a position with respect to the hook and the linear member such that said circumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening member accomodates a section of the hook within the space between its two branches and it contacts and bears down on the outer surface of the hook while the jaw elements on its two branches bear up on the un¬ dersurface of the linear member, and said second jawed fast¬ ening member contacts and bears down on the outer surface of the hook, thereby clamping the hook and the linear member together.
94. A method according to claim 95 wherein said second jawed fastening member of the openable clasp is also bifurca¬ ted and wherein, in performing the method, the openable clasp is put into a position with respect to the hook and the lin¬ ear member such that each bifurcated jawed fastening member accomodates a section of the hook within the space between its respective two branches. 5. 101.
95. A method according to claim 100 wherein each bifur¬ cated jawed fastening member is substantially radially orien¬ ted in the openable clasp and wherein the method, as restated in greater detail, comprises putting the clasp into a posi¬ tion with respect to the hook and the linear member such that 0 each radially oriented bifurcated jawed fastening member ac¬ comodates a section of the hook within the space between its respective two branches, generally within the inboard end of such space between the branches, and the jaw elements of the bifurcated jawed fastening members conjointly clasp and hold 5 the linear member between them with the linear member being positioned outboard of the hook within such fastening mem¬ bers, said method generally being accomplished by moving the clasp down into said position from above the hook and the linear member with the substantially radial direction of the 0 fastening members generally pointing downward toward the hook and the linear member (considering that the hook hangs down¬ ward normally from the linear member).
96. A method according to claim 101 wherein the two ang¬ ularly movable lever members of the openable clasp have stru 5 ctures connected to them which are shaped and positioned so * that they can be squeezed together by hand to open the clasp and wherein the method includes the act of opening the jawed fastening members of the clasp by squeezing such structures together before putting the clasp into the therein described 0 position with respect to the hook and the linear member.
97. method according to claim 101 wherein the jawed fastening members of the openable clasp are shaped so that the clasp can be opened by contact of the jawed fastening members with the hook and the linear member and wherein, in 5 performing the method, the clasp is pushed with sufficient force into the fastening position described therein to cause the jawed fastening members to open sufficiently by contact of said fastening members with the hook and the linear member to allow the clasp to be moved into said fastening position. 57 104. A method for fastening two generally linear members together in a generally crossing relationship according to the method of claim 95 for fastening a hook to a linear mem¬ ber as applied to two linear members arranged in a crossing" relationship wherein, in performing the method, the openable clasp is put into a position with respect to.the two crossing linear members such that the linear member closest to the in¬ stalling side of the clasp is accomodated within the space between the two branches of said bifurcated jawed fastening member and the other linear member is accomodated and held in a transverse relationship to, and by the conjoint fastening action of, the two jawed fastening members, thereby fastening the two linear members together in a generally crossing relationship. 105. A method for fastening two generally linear members together in a generally crossing relationship according to the method of claim 100 for fastening a hook to a generally linear member as applied to two linear members arranged in a crossing relationship wherein, in performing the method, said openable clasp, having two bifurcated jawed fastening mem¬ bers, is put into a position with respect to the two crossing linear members such that the linear member closest to the in¬ stalling side of the clasp is accomodated within the space between the two branches of each of the bifurcated jawed fas tening members, and the other linear member is accomodated and held in a generally transverse relationship to, and by the conjoint fastening action of, the two jawed fastening members, thereby fastening the two linear members together in a generally crossing relationship. 106. A method for fastening two generally linear members together in a generally crossing relationship according to the method of claim 99 for fastening a hook to a generally linear member as applied to two linear members arranged in a crossing relationship, wherein the contacting surfaces on the jaw elements on said circumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening member are shaped and oriented to form inclined ramp surfaces such that a linear member which is accomodated in a generally transverse position in those jaw elements is urged in a direction toward the interior region of the clasp as it moves further inboard from the end of said jaw elements on said circumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening mem¬ ber, wherein the second jawed fastening member is bifurcated and has jaw elements for urging the linear member inboard along the inclined ramp surfaces on said jaw elements on said circumferentially oriented bifurcated fastening member, and wherein, in performing the method, the openable clasp is put into a position with respect to the two crossing linear mem¬ bers such that the linear member closest to the installing side of the clasp is accomodated within the space between the two branches of each bifurcated fastening member and the oth¬ er linear member is contacted by and urged inboard along the inclined ramp surfaces of the jaw elements of said circumfer¬ entially oriented bifurcated fastening member by the jaw ele ments on the second bifurcated jawed fastening member, said other linear member consequently being urged toward the clo¬ sest linear member while the closest linear member is con¬ strained from moving toward the interior region of the clasp by contacting surfaces on each bifurcated fastening member, generally at the inboard end of each bifurcation, the result thereby being that a clamping force is applied to the two crossing linear members to clamp them together.
98. 107 A method for providing the openable clasp as compre¬ hended in claim 1 with improved stability in its position of fastening a hook to a generally linear member comprising the step of providing said bifucated fastening member of the clasp with a lateral hook containment structure shaped so that it accomodates the hook in at least two effectively spacedapart locations where the hook passes through the space between its two branches.
Description:
DBSCRIPTI0-? BIFURCATED MEMBER HOOK FASTENING DEVICE

Technical Field; This invention relates primarily to supplementary clasp¬ ing devices having a bifurcated fastening member for securing the hook of a garment hanger or other hook or generally curv¬ ed member including device to a generally linear member such as a clothesline, cable, rod or the like to which the hook is attached by being hooked to the linear member. It also rela¬ tes to clasping devices of this type for fastening two gener¬ ally linear members together. It further relates to devices for fastening an object to a generally linear member, such devices being comprised of the combination of a hook, to which the object is or can be attached, and a clasping device having a bifurcated fastening member for securing the hook to the linear member. In addition, it relates to methods for fastening a hook to a linear member, for fastening two linear members together, for fastening an object to a linear member, and for making devices to accomplish these purposes.

Background Art:

There is only one prior art device known to the applicant which is capable of fastening an ordinary garment hanger hook directly to a comparatively thin linear member such as a clo¬ thesline. That is the device set forth in French Patent No. 1.500.7^+1 in which a resiliently bendable loop is installed on a hook and a linear member to fasten them together. That device is constructed entirely differently than the bifurca- ted member openable clasp set forth herein. The clothespin set forth in U.S. Patent No. 2,5^2,22^ has some similarities to the openable clasp described herein. The self-locking garment hanger of U.S. Patent No. 2, 7^,^29 combines a gener¬ ally L-shaped bracket with a closely matched garment hanger and its hook to provide a means for closing the opening of the hook, but one which is not realistically capable of dire¬ ctly and frictionally fastening the hook to a linear member. U.S. Patent * No. 3,202,329 shows a highly modified garment hanger hook which has an elongated slot at the upper section

of the hook to receive a clothesline. A specially modified clothespin is shown clamped across the lower end of the slot to close its opening and retain the clothesline within the upper portion of the slot. U.S. Patent No. 1,690,614 shows a modified hook for a garment hanger which is combined with a pivoted locking member to support and lock the hook to a clo¬ thesline. U.S. Patent No. 3,048,311 shows another highly mo¬ dified garment hanger hook in which the upper section of the hook has a series of convolutions of a size and shape which can accomodate a clothesline. This device also has locking means for positively retaining the clothesline within such convolutions. U.S. Patent No. 3»240,462 presents a clamping device which replaces the hook of a garment hanger in order to provide means for positively attaching the garment hanger to a clothesline. U.S. Patent No. 3,184,204 teaches a device made of flexible sheet material which can be suspended from a clothesline and which, in turn, has means for suspending the hook of a garment hanger directly from the device itself. U.S. Patent No. 2,915»2 presents another more elaborate me- tal fixture device which is suspended from a clothesline and which, in turn, has means for suspending a garment hanger hook from that metal fixture. U.S. Patent No. 733,921 shows a wire snap hook device which bears some resemblance to cert¬ ain embodiments of the openable clasp set forth herein.

Disclosure of the Invention:

There has long been a need for a practical fastening de¬ vice which could fasten a garment hanger or other hook inclu¬ ding device to a clothesline or other generally linear member. In the case of garment hangers, they are commonly used for holding various articles of clothing while they dry after be¬ ing laundered. When suspended from a clothesline, garment hangers are often blown by the wind along the clothesline, particularly when the clothesline has appreciable sag, with the result that several suspended garment hangers may bunch together and thereby retard the drying. In gusty winds, sus¬ pended garment hangers are often blown off the clothesline.

Some of the previous attempts to solve these problems have involved modifications to, or replacement of, the hook

of the garment hanger. In some cases this has resulted in devices which were very limited in the range of diameters of supporting . clotheslines which could be accomodated. Nearly always, such devices resulted in higher product cost. Such devices also lacked convenience and flexibility since they could only be used with the particular garment hanger on which they were installed. Other devices have been made which merely close the opening of a garment hanger hook with¬ out any capability for frictionally fastening the hook to a clothesline so as to prevent displacement of the hook along the clothesline. Other attempts at solving these problems have produced devices which attach to the clothesline and then, in turn, suspend the garment hanger hook from the devi¬ ce itself. These devices appear to be costly and/or ineffec- tual at retaining the hook in suspension under adverse condi¬ tions. The bendable loop set forth in French Patent No. 1.500.741 is a separate fastening device which does fasten a hook to a clothesline. However, this device is quite limited in the range of hook and clothesline sizes which it can acco- modate and is also limited in the amount of clamping force which it can exert on the hook and the clothesline.

I _order to alleviate problems such as the foregoing, this invention provides a resiliently biased openable clasp having at least one bifurcated fastening member arranged so that that fastening member can straddle and reach past both sides of a suspended garment hanger hook or other type of hook and clasp to the supporting linear member, while a sec¬ ond fastening member clasps the hook and the linear member to¬ gether in conjunction with the clasping action of the first fastening member. Most embodiments of the openable clasp are also capable of fastening two generally linear members toge¬ ther in a crossing relationship by functioning in substanti¬ ally the same manner as when fastening a hook to a linear member, merely by substituting a second linear member for the hook. The openable clasp may be provided with an overcenter locking lever which can be manipulated to open, close, and lock the clasp in the closed position. The openable clasp can be combined with a hook to form a device which is gener¬ ally capable of fastening an object to a linear member. In

-la ¬ this case the object is attached to the hook, generally to the shank portion of the hook, by any appropriate means and the hook is, in turn, fastened to the linear member by means of the openable clasp. It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a discrete openable clasp for securing the hook of a garment hanger or other hook or similarly curved member in¬ cluding device to a clothesline or other generally linear member to which the hook is attached by being hooked to the linear member.

It is also an object of this invention to provide a clasp for fastening two generally linear members together in a generally crossing relationship.

Another object of the invention is to provide an openable clasp for fastening a hook to a linear member or for fasten¬ ing two generally linear members together which is inexpen¬ sive to manufacture and easy to use and which will tend to prevent the two members being fastened together from being unintentionally separated from each other as well as from be- ing displaced from their desired fastening position.

A further object of this invention is to provide a device, comprised of the combination of a hook and a discrete open- able clasp, for generally fastening an object to a linear member. still further object of this invention is to provide methods for fastening a hook to a linear member, for fasten¬ ing an object to a linear member, for fastening two generally linear members together, and for providing for the fastening stability of a clasp used in accomplishing these methods. Other objects and advantages will become apparent and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the detailed description hereinafter presented, taken in conjunction with the drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

Brief Descrition of Drawings;

Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of the openable clasp having a pair of spaced-apart coacting fastening hooks for the bifurcated fastening member and a two-legged spring for

the resilient closing member, shown fastening a garment han¬ ger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 2 is an end view of the openable clasp shown in Fig. 1 without the garment hanger hook and the clothesline. Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional plan view at the plain indicated by the line 3-3 of Fig. 1 without the garment hanger hook and clothesline.

Fig. 4 is a plan view of the openable clasp with coacting fastening hooks having a helical type spring for the resilient closing member.

Fig. 5 s a side elevational view of the device shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 6 is an end view of the device shown in Figs. 4 and 5* Fig. 7 is a plan ^ view of the openable clasp with coacting fastening hooks, incorporating an overcenter locking lever.

Fig. 8 is a side elevational view of the device shown in Fig, 7, a clip for pivotally locking the locking lever to the structure connecting the two coacting fastening hooks oge- ther being depicted above the principal figure.

Fig. 9 is an end view of the device shown in Figs. 7 and 8.

Fig. 10 is a side elevational view of the openable clasp with coacting fastening hooks having a two-legged spring and an opposing clamping member made of metal wire which contacts the ' garment hanger hook at two separated locations, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 11 is an end view, taken from the left, of the pair of coacting fastening hooks and their connecting structure, from the device shown in Fig. 10.

Fig. 12 is a fragmentary sectional plan view of the open- able clasp, taken at the plane indicated by the line 12-12 of Fig. 10, shown without the garment hanger hook and clothes¬ line. fig- 13 is a side elevational view of the opposing clamp¬ ing member of the device shown in Figs. 10 and 12 or 15.

Fig. 14. is an end view of the opposing clamping member shown in Fig. 13.

Fig. 15 is a side elevational view of the openable clasp

with coacting fastening hooks incorporating an overcenter locking lever and having an opposing clamping member which contacts the garment hanger hook in two separated locations.

Fig. l6 is a plan view of the openable clasp with coact- ing fastening hooks configured to operate similar to the de¬ vice shown in Figs. 1-3. wherein the clasp is made of a sin¬ gle piece of metal wire, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 17 is a side elevational view of the openable clasp shown in Fig. 16.

Fig. 18 is a perspective view of the openable clasp shown in Figs. l6 and 17, without the garment hanger hook and the clothesline.

Fig. 19 is a plan view of the openable clasp with coact- ing fastening hooks combined with lateral hook containment structure, configured to operate similar to the devices shown in Figs. 1-3 and 16-18, wherein the clasp is made of a single piece of sheet metal, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline. Fig. 20 is a ' side elevational view of the openable clasp shown in Fig. 19•

Fig. 21 is a perspective view of the openable clasp shown in Figs. 19 and 20, without the garment hanger hook and clo¬ thesline, shown in a partly open position. Fig. 22 is a plan view of the openable clasp comprised of two lever members connected for hinged-type angular relative movement having a bifurcated fastening member positioned in a radial orientation and a second fastening member without a bifurcation, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 23 is a side elevational view of the openable clasp shown in Fig. 22

Fig. 24 is a plan view of the lever member combined with the bifurcated fastening member, being part of the device shown in Figs. 22 and 23 and shown without the garment hanger hook and the clothesline.

Fig. 25 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the two-lever-member openable clasp configured basically similar to the device shown in Figs. 22-24, wherein the second

fastening member has jaw elements shaped and positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook in two separated lo¬ cations, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothes¬ line. Fig. 26 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the two-lever-member openable clasp configured basically similar to the devices shown in Figs. 22-24, wherein the bifurcated fastening member is arranged for contacting the outer surface of the hook at the inboard end of the bifurcation and wherein the second fastening member has a jaw element positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook at a location out¬ board of the clothesline, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 27 is a fragmentary plan view of the two-lever-mem- ber openable clasp similar to the device shown in Figs. 22-24, wherein the bifurcated fastening member has guide and linear member retaining structure, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 28 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the de- vice shown in Fig. 27.

Fig. 29 is a side elevational view of the two-lever-mem¬ ber openable clasp wherein the second fastening member has a lateral confinement element for the hook and linear member retaining structure outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline. '

Fig. 30 is a side elevational view of the lever member combined with the second fastening member, being part of the device shown in Fig. 29- Fig. 31 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 31-31 of Fig. 30.

Fig. 32 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 32-32 of Fig. 30.

Fig. 33 is a side elevational view of the lever member combined with the bifurcated fastening member, being part of the device shown in Fig. 29•

Fig. 34 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 34-34 of Fig. 33

Fig. 35 is a view of the section at the plane indicated

by the line 35-35 of Fig. 33-

Fig. 36 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 36-36 of Fig. 33.

Fig. 37 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 37-37 of Fig. 33.

Fig. 38 is a plan view of the two-lever-member openable clasp made of two sections of wire wherein the bifurcated fa¬ stening member has linear member retaining structure outboard, and the second fastening member has linear member retaining structure inboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 39 is a side elevational view of the device shown in Fig. 38.

Fig. 40 is a fragmentary plan view of the pivot end of the lever member having the second fastening member, being part of the device shown in Figs. 38 and 39.

Fig. 41 is a fragmentary side elevational view of that portion of the device shown in Fig. 40.

Fig. 42 is a plan view of the two-lever-member openable .. clasp made of a single piece of sheet metal, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 43 is a side elevational view of the openable clasp shown in Fig. 42.

Fig. 44 is a side elevational view of the two-lever-mem- ber openable clasp wherein both fastening members are bifur¬ cated to accomodate a section of the hook and having an enclosing aperture to receive the linear member.

Fig. 45 is a view representing either of the devices shown in figs. 44 or 46 when rotated 90 degrees about their vertical axes.

Fig. 46 is a side elevational view of the two-lever-mem¬ ber openable clasp wherein both fastening members are bifur¬ cated to accomodate a section of the hook and having an "L" shaped internal surface in each of the jaw elements of one fastening member, shown fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 47 is a side elevational view of the two-lever-mem¬ ber openable clasp having a circumferentially oriented bifur¬ cated fastening member, shown fastening a garment hanger

hook to a clothesline.

Fig. 48 is a view of the openable clasp shown in Fig. 4? when rotated 90 degrees about its vertical axis, shown with¬ out the garment hanger hook and the clothesline. Fig. 49 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 49-49 of Fig. 47.

Fig. 50 is a view of the section at the plane indicated by the line 50-50 of Fig. 47.

Modes for Carrying Out the Invention;

The basic concept of this invention is to provide a re- silieπtly biased openable clasp having two fastening members which act together to clasp a hook, such as a garment hanger hook, directly to a supporting linear member such as a cloth- esline. At least one of the fastening members is bifurcated with two spaced-apart branches which are arranged to accomo¬ date a section of the hook within the space between the bran¬ ches so that the bifurcated fastening member can straddle and reach past the hook to clasp the supporting linear member, while the second fastening member clasps the hook and the linear member together in conjunction with the clasping ac¬ tion of the bifurcated fastening member.

Figs. 1 through 3 depict one embodiment of this openable clasp in which the bifurcated fastening member is comprised of a pair of spaced-apart coacting fastening hooks, 4, which are arranged to straddle and reach past the garment hanger hook, 2, one coacting fastening hook on each side of the gar¬ ment hanger hook, and to hook to and pull up on the clothes¬ line, 7» or other supporting linear member. The second fast- ening member is an opposing clamping member, 1, which is arr¬ anged to contact and bear down on the outer surface of the garment hanger hook, 2, in opposition to the pulling action of the coacting fastening hooks, 4, on the clothesline, 7, with the result that the garment hanger hook and the clothes- line are positively and frictionally clasped together. The two coacting fastening hooks, 4, are connected together in this embodiment by a hook connecting structure, 6, located at the top of the shanks, 5. of the hooks which causes both of the hooks to move and act together.

The two fastening members (the pair of coacting fastening hooks and the opposing clamping member), 4 and 1, are connec¬ ted together by relative movement connecting structure so as to provide for limited opening-and-closing movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other, and there is also a resilient closing member in the form of a two-legg¬ ed spring, 11, to urge the two fastening members toward a generally closed position. The opposing clamping member, 1, is arranged with a loop, 8, around each shank, 5ι of the co- acting fastening hooks, 4, to form a slidable connection with those hooks for the opening and closing movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other. A pivotal con¬ nection, 13» is provided between the hook connecting struct¬ ure, 6, and the spring, 11. The spring, 11, which may have one or more coils, 9, in its center section to increase its flexibility and range of extension, has two legs, 10, which are arranged so that the openable clasp can be opened by squeezing the legs, 10, together with the fingers.

The relative movement connecting structure in this parti- cular embodiment includes the sliding connection of the oppo^ sing clamping member, 1, along the shanks, 5» of the coacting fastening hooks, it includes the two-legged spring, 11, and it also includes the pivotal connection, 13, between the spring and the hook connecting structure, 6. Thus it is clear that what is being included in the definition of the term "relative movement connecting structure", is every part of the structure of the clasp which accomplishes the connec¬ tion which provides for the opening-and-closing relative mov¬ ement between the two fastening members, and this may include structure which is also included in other specific parts of the clasp such as the shanks, 5 , of the coacting fastening hooks, the hook connecting structure, 6, the two-legged spring, 11, and the pivotal connection, 13, between the spring and the hook connecting structure. The term "fastening member", on the other hand, is restr¬ icted in its meaning to include only that portion of the str¬ ucture of the openable clasp which accomplishes the fastening action of the clasp. In this embodiment, the bifurcated fas¬ tening member, with its two generally parallel spaced-apart

branches, is comprised only of the two coacting fastening hooks which include the hooked parts, 4, and the shanks, 5» of the hooks. Ordinarily, these two coacting fastening hooks are quite directly connected together, as they are, in this particular embodiment, by the hook connecting structure, 6. Thus, ordinarily, the concept of a bifurcation in the fasten¬ ing member will directly apply to embodiments of this inven¬ tion. However, instead of having such a direct connection between the two coacting fastening hooks or branches of the bifurcated fastening member, it would be possible to have them only indirectly connected together as would be the case, for example, if they were connected through the structure of other members of the openable clasp. The term "fastening member" or "bifurcated fastening member" is taken herein to mean and apply to the situation in which the parts or branch¬ es of such fastening member are quite directly connected to¬ gether, as in the embodiment of Figs. 1-3, as well as the functionally equivalent situation in which the connection be¬ tween such parts or branches is only indirect. In the embodiment of F,igs. 1-3- "the connection between the two coacting fastening hooks, 4, by the hook connecting structure, 6, is positioned at the top of the shanks of the hooks to provide adequate clearance between the hook connect¬ ing structure, 6, and the garment hanger hook, 2, during in- stallation of the clasp in its fastening position. This con¬ nection between the coacting fastening hooks is also suffici¬ ently sturdy in its construction and connection with the two hooks to maintain an approximately fixed relative position of the two coacting fastening hooks with respect to each other throughout the normal range of operation of the openable clasp. It would, however, be possible for the openable clasp to function if these two branches of the bifurcated fastening member (the two coacting fastening hooks) were connected to¬ gether only flexibly as could be possible with an indirect connection between them. The terms "connected", "connected together", "connecting", "connection", etc., as used herein to describe a non-hinged, non-sliding, or other generally non movable juncture between named parts of the openable clasp are taken to mean both a union in which the parts share and

are made of the same continuous piece of material, and also a fixed mechanical connection between separate and discontinu¬ ous pieces of material.

The second fastening member in this embodiment is comri- sed only of the opposing clamping member, 1, which includes the jaw element, 1, which contacts the outer surface of the garment hanger hook at one location and the structure (loops), 8, around each shank, 5» of the coacting fastening hooks which provides for the slidable connection with the shanks. The opposing clamping member does not include the spring, 11, to which it is connected in this embodiment by. being made of the same continuous piece of material as the spring.

This openable clasp is used to fasten a garment hanger hook, 2, to a clothesline, 7ι by pressing sections, 10, of the spring, 11, together with the hand to open the clasp and moving the clasp so that the extended coacting fastening hooks, 4, reach past the garment hanger hook, 2, one coacting fastening .hook on each side of the garment hanger hook, and so that the coacting fastening hooks, 4, hook to the clothes- " line., 7. Then the openable clasp is allowed to close so that the opposing.clamping member, 1, bears down on the outer sur¬ face of the garment hanger hook, 2,-while the coacting fast¬ ening hooks, 4, pull up on the clothesline, 7ι due to the force of the spring, 11, thereby clamping the garment hanger hook and the clothesline together as shown in Fig. 1.

This openable clasp can also be used for fastening two generally linear members together in a generally crossing re¬ lationship in much the same manner in which it is used to fasten a hook to a linear member. Actually, a hook can be considered to be a curved linear member which could be strai¬ ghtened out to represent a linear member which crosses the original hook-supporting linear member. The openable clasp is used in the same manner to fasten these two crossing lin¬ ear members together as when used to fasten a hook to a linear member.

The examples presented herein specifically involve the fastening of a garment hanger and its hook to a thin linear member such as a clothesline. Generally, an object, differ¬ ent than a garment hanger, can also be indirectly fastened

to a linear member by the methods and devices set forth here¬ in. To accomplish this, such an object can be temporarily or permanently fastened to the non-hooked or shank portion of a hook by any appropriate means such as bolting, welding, tying, 5 fastening with a snap fastener, etc. Then the hook can, in turn, be hooked to the linear member in the normal manner and fastened to it by means of an openable clasp as described herein. The term "object" as used in this context includes a garment hanger as well as any other object which can be

10 fastened to a linear member in this manner.

Other arrangements and types of springs may be used for constructing the openable clasp. Figs. 4 through 6 show an embodiment using a helical spring, 17, situated around and acting along the shanks, 16, of the coacting fastening hooks,

1514. The structure, 20, which includes the opposing clamping member, 15» (here made of sheet metal) is arranged to slide along the shanks, 16, of the coacting fastening hooks for the opening and closing movement of the clasp. There are two finger rests, one, 18, on the hook connecting structure and

2-0 the other, 19, on the structure, 20, which includes the oppo¬ sing clamping member, 15ι for manipulation of the clasp and for compressing the spring, 17, to open the clasp. In use, this clasp is handled and used in a manner very similar to that described for the device of Figs. 1 through 3«

25 The openable clasp can be arranged so that it has an ov¬ ercenter locking lever, 24, which opens and closes the clasp by actuating the sliding movement of the opposing clamping member, 23, along the shanks, 26, of the coacting fastening hooks, 22, and which also locks the clasp in its closed fast-

30 ening position as depicted in Figs. 7 through 9. In this em¬ bodiment, the resilient closing member is a spring, 25, which is pivotally connected to the overcenter locking lever, 24, at a first pivotal connection, 27, for the overcenter locking lever. The spring, 25, is also connected to the opposing

35 clamping member, 23. This spring, 25, acts as a link between the first pivotal connection, 27, on the overcenter locking lever and the opposing clamping member, 23, to allow the mov¬ ement of the overcenter locking lever to open and close the clasp and the spring also allows the clasp to apply a

sustained clamping force on the combination of the clothes¬ line and the suspended garment hanger hook when the clasp is locked in its closed fastening position by the overcenter locking lever. The two coacting fastening hooks, 22, are structurally connected together at the top end of the hooks by a hook connecting structure, 29, which serves as a second pivotal connection for the overcenter locking lever, 24. A spring clip, 30 * is used to pivotally lock the overcenter locking lever, 24, to the hook connecting structure, 29. The spring, 25» could be arranged differently than shown, or pla¬ ced in alternative locations in the clasp. For example, the spring could be interposed between the hook connecting struc¬ ture, 29, and the hooked part, 22, of each coacting fastening hook. This could be accomplished quite easily, for example, by bending the upper portion of each shank, 26, of each coac¬ ting fastening hook into the shape of a two-legged spring ex¬ tending to the left as viewed in Fig. 8.

To use the openable clasp with the overcenter locking le¬ ver, the handle, .28, of the overcente locking lever, 24, is grasped and swung in a counter clockwise direction about its pivotal connection with the hook connecting structure, 29, as viewed in Fig. 8. This action swings the pivotal connection, 27, for the spring around and up with the result that the spring, 25, is raised, in turn causing the opposing clamping member, 23, to which it is connected, to slide up the shanks, 26, of the coacting fastening hooks. With the clasp thus op¬ ened, it is lowered over the hook of a garment hanger which is suspended from a clothesline so that the two coacting fas¬ tening hooks, 22, straddle the garment hanger hook and hook to the clothesline in a manner similar to that shown in Fig. 1. Then the handle, 28, of the overcenter locking lever is swung back down in the opposite direction, thereby pushing the opposing clamping member, 23, down and in contact with the outer surface of the garment hanger hook, and finally locking the clasp in its fastening position as the overcenter locking lever, 24, reaches its overcenter locking position with the handle, 28, against the shanks,26, of the coacting fastening hooks. Fig. 8 shows the openable clasp with the overcenter locking lever, 24, in its overcenter locking

position without showing the garment hanger hook and the clothesline.

The openable clasp can be provided with an opposing clam¬ ping member which has two separated jaw elements so that the opposing clamping member- will contact the outer surface of the garment hanger hook at two separated locations instead of contacting it at one location, as in the clasp shown in Figs. 1-3. Figs. 10 through 14 show an example of an openable clasp which operates in a manner similar to the device of Figs. 1-3 except that its opposing clamping member, 21, has two separated jaw elements, 33 and 40, which causes it to contact the garment hanger hook, 2, at two separated loca¬ tions, one inboard (at 33) and one outboard (at 40) of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7, as it is held by the two coacting fastening hooks, 4. The opposing clamping mem¬ ber, 21, is slidably connected to the shanks, 5f of the co- acting fastening hooks, 4, This slidable connection causes the two jaw elements, 33 and 40, to remain effectively in the region between the two coacting fastening hooks, 4, (in the same region as that occupied by the garment hanger hook, 2) while the jaw elements are separated, one on each side of the position occupied by the clothesline. In common with the de¬ vice of Figs. 1 through 3. the device shown in Fig. 10 has a spring, 4l, urging the opposing clamping member, 21, toward the hooked part, 4, of the coacting fastening hooks; the two coacting fastening hooks, 4, are united or connected together by a hook connecting structure, 6, at the top section of their shanks, 5; and there is a pivotal connection, 13, be¬ tween the hook connecting structure, 6, and the spring, 41. The united bifurcated fastening member (the two coacting fas¬ tening hooks, 4, connected together by the hook connecting structure, 6), used in the openable clasp shown in Fig. 10, is shown by itself in Fig. 11. This bifurcated fastening member is of the same type as used in the clasp shown in Figs. 1 through 3.

. Figs. 10 and 12 show details of the interlocking connec¬ tion between the opposing clamping member, 21, the spring, 41 , and the ' shanks, 5t of the coacting fastening hooks when these parts are made of wire. Additional details of the

opposing clamping member, 21, are shown in Figs. 13 and 14. In Figs. 10 and 12 through 14 it can be seen that the oppos¬ ing clamping member, 21, has a lateral confinement element, 48, at each location (at 33 and 40) where it contacts the hook of the garment hanger. These lateral confinement ele¬ ments, 48, which here are incorporated in each respective jaw element, 33 and 40, are shaped with generally concave surfaces so that they present lateral restraining structure which acts to restrain the garment hanger hook from being displaced sideways out of the jaw elements. These lateral confinement elements, 48, are also effective in constraining a generally linear member from being displaced sideways out of the jaw elements when the clasp is used for fastening two linear mem¬ bers together in a crossing relationship. Moreover, when the clasp is used to fasten a hook to a linear member, two suffi¬ ciently spaced-apart lateral confinement elements can have a stabilizing effect tending to prevent the clasp from being laterally upset in its fastening position.

The use of an opposing clamping member which has jaw ele- * ents which contact the outer surface of the garment hanger- hook in two separated locations instead of one location has an advantage of stabilizing the openable clasp in its fasten¬ ing position by providing a force tending to prevent the clasp from slipping off the end of the garment hanger hook when the clasp is used with hooks which do not have the bent- over end, 60, of the hook, 2, shown in Fig, 10, but which do have the end portion of the hanger hook straightened out or with less curvature than the curved upper portion of the hook as is characteristic of most garment hanger hooks. This sta- bilizing action occurs because, as the outboard jaw element, 40, moves closer to the end of the hook, it is caused to ride up on the straightened-out portion of the hook which causes the two fastening members and their respective jaw elements to open wider against the force of the spring, 41. The reac- tion to this jaw-opening action is a force which tends to urge the jaws of the clasp in a direction away from the end of the hook.

An openable clasp having an overcenter locking lever, 38, can be provided with an opposing clamping member, 21, having

two jaw elements, 33 and 40, positioned for contacting the outer surface of the garment hanger hook in two separated lo¬ cations as shown in Fig. 15. .. Here the overcenter locking le¬ ver, 38, and the two coacting fastening hooks, 39, are simi- lar in design to those elements of the openable clasp shown in Figs. 7 through 9, while the opposing clamping member, 21, is similar to that of the clasp shown in Figs. 10 and 12-14. This clasp is used in a manner similar to that described with reference to Figs. 7 through 9. The openable clasp can be constructed of a single piece of material. An embodiment of a single-piece clasp, in which the bifurcated fastening member is in the form of a pair of coacting fastening hooks, is presented in Figs. 16 through 18. This device is made of a single piece of wire in which each end of the wire is located at the end of each coacting fastening hook, 42. This clasp utilizes a two-legged spring, 46, which is doubled as is necessary with this particular construction. The opposing clamping member, 44, is at the approximate center of the length of wire and it has a loop, 45, around each shank, 43, of the coacting fastening hooks,

42, in order to stabilize the position and movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other. The shanks,

43, of the coacting fastening hooks, 42, are curved as shown in Fig. 17 in order that the opening and closing movement of the opposing clamping member with respect to the coacting fastening hooks will be approximately along the direction of curvature of the shanks, 43. This allows the opposing clamp¬ ing member, 44, to slide back and forth along the shanks, 43, without binding. The sections of wire at the top end of the two-legged spring near the top of the coacting fastening hook shanks, at 47, are twisted together to act as a hook connect¬ ing structure in order to cause the two hooks to maintain an approximately fixed relative position with respect to each other throughout the normal range of operation of the clasp. It would, however, be possible to omit the twisting together of these sections of wire and still have the clasp function to fasten a garment hanger hook to a clothesline. In that case, the two coacting fastening hooks, 42, would be connec¬ ted together only indirectly through other members of the

clasp. This clasp functions to fasten a garment hanger hook, 2, to a clothesline, 7, in a manner very similar to that of the device shown in Figs. 1 through 3.

Another single-piece embodiment of the openable clasp is shown in Figs. 19 through 21 and this clasp is made of sheet metal. The basic clasp portion of this device is similar to the one-piece wire clasp shown in Figs. 16 through 18 and it, too, functions in a manner similar to the device shown in Figs. 1 through 3« This clasp has a bifurcated fastening member which comprises not only the two coacting fastening hooks, 52, but-also a lateral hook containment structure, 51» which is bifurcated and is connected to the coacting fasten¬ ing hooks. This lateral hook containment structure, 51, is shaped and positioned so that it accomodates the garment han- ger hook, 53. at two effectively spaced-apart locations, at 54 and 55 * "where the hook passes through the space between the two branches of the structure. One of these locations, 54, is inboard and the other location, 55 * is outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7» when the clasp is in its fastening position. This lateral hook containment struc¬ ture, 51. gives the clasp very positive stability against be¬ ing laterally upset in its fastening position on the hook and the clothesline and it makes it practically impossible for the clasp to be tipped upside down in its fastening position. As shown in Fig. 20, the two primary locations, at 54 and 55 * where the hook passes through the lateral hook containment structure, 51. lie along a straight line which passes beneath the clothesline, 7, or other linear member. This straight line positioning provides an excellent design for the contai- nment structure and it works well with different sizes and thicknesses of garment hanger hooks and clotheslines. There could be some variation, up or down, in the position of these two primary locations, 54 and 55» and the lateral hook con¬ tainment structure would still function. However, if the containment structure was shaped so that the two primary lo¬ cations where the hook, 53. passes through the structure were considerably higher and closer together, the stabilizing ac¬ tion of the structure could be considerably diminished or even rendered practically ineffective. The meaning of the

phrase "effectively spaced-apart locations" in describing the primary locations where the hook passes between the branches of the lateral hook containment structure, is that these lo¬ cations are so positioned and sufficiently spaced apart to give effective stability to the clasp against being upset in its fastening position. This clasp would very likely be man¬ ufactured by stamping out a blank in the shape of the flatt- ened-out clasp from a piece of sheet metal and then bending it into the shape of the clasp as shown. A cut-out in the blank provides for the bifurcation in the fastening member. It should be noted that the lateral hook containment struc¬ ture, 51. could be eliminated and the clasp would function with its two coacting fastening hooks, 52, in the same manner as the clasp shown in Figs. 16 through 18. The two-legged spring, 56, is shown in Figs. 19 and 21 as having a reduced- width section of the strip of sheet metal of the clasp for proper proportioning of spring forces. The opposing clamping member, 59, is located at the lower end of the spring, 5^> > The tail, 57. of the lateral hook containment structure, 51. is b.ent down and the lower section, 58, of the spring, 5^> t is bent up to provide clearance for the .fingers in manipulating the clasp. Fig. 21 shows the clasp in a partly open position in order to better depict details of the construction.

The openable clasp can be provided with a bifurcated fas- tening member which is in a somewhat different form than the pair of coacting fastening hooks common to the embodiments described above. Figs. 22 through 24 show an embodiment of this invention in which the bifurcated fastening member, 64, is in the form of two radially oriented branches, 65, combin- ed with one, 66 , of two lever members, 66 and 67. These two lever members, 66 and 67, are discrete elements of the clasp with respect to each other and they are connected together with a mechanically hinged-type connection so as to allow for the generally hinged-type angular relative movement between them which provides for the opening-and-closing movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other. In this case, the hinged-type connection is provided by a coil- type spring, 68, which serves as the resilient closing mem¬ ber. This spring, 68, has a tangential extension, 69, at

each end of the coil plus an additional right angle bend, 70, at the end of each tangential extension so that each terminal end of the wire of the spring is approximately parallel to the axis of the spring. As is evident from Figs. 22 and 23, the spring is shaped and connected to the two lever members of the clasp in a manner similar to the common spring clothespin.

The bifurcated fastening member, 64, in this openable clasp is positioned in a primarily radial orientation in the clasp. This means that the two spaced-apart branches, 65 , of that fastening member extend generally and approximately in a radial direction outward from the location, at 68, where the two lever members are, at least in effect, hingedly connected together. This radial orientation can be described as being with reference and respect to a circle centered on an axis which approximately coincides with the actual or effective axis of the hinged-type connection between the two lever mem¬ bers. The two branches, 65, of the bifurcated fastening mem¬ ber are separated from each other in a direction generally parallel to the axis of that circle so that that fastening member can straddle the hook to reach and apply clamping pre¬ ssure to the clothesline, 7. or other linear member. Each branch, 65, of the bifurcated fastening member has a jaw ele¬ ment, 71, for contacting and applying such clamping pressure to the clothesline, 7, where it passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp. As shown in Fig. 23, the clamp¬ ing direction of these jaw elements on the clothesline is primarily circumferential with respect to the above defined circle. The term "jaw element" is herein taken to mean that portion or surface of the fastening member which is position¬ ed and intended for contacting a linear member, hook, or oth¬ er item being fastened by the openable clasp. A "jaw ele¬ ment" may or may not involve a separate piece of material from the rest of the fastening member. The second fastening member, 72, in this openable clasp is combined with the second lever member, 67, and this fast¬ ening member does not have a radially oriented, or any other type of, bifurcation. This fastening member has a jaw ele¬ ment, 73, positioned for contacting the outer surface of the

garment hanger hook, 53. in one general location, and for ap¬ plying clamping pressure thereon in a direction in general opposition to the clamping action of the jaw elements, 71. of the bifurcated fastening member on the clothesline, 7« This results in the garment hanger hook, 53. being forcefully and frictionally clamped to the supporting clothesline as shown in Fig. 23. The location where the jaw element, 73. of the second fastening member, 72, contacts the outer surface of the hook, 53, is approximately the same distance away from the hinge pivot, 68, as the location where the jaw elements, 71 , of the bifurcated fastening member ^ contact the clothes¬ line, 7. There could be considerable variation or departure from the radial orientation of the fastening members in this clasp as depicted in Fig. 23 and the clasp would still func- tion in substantially the same manner. However, the term "radial orientation" is used herein to distinguish the fast¬ ening members in this clasp from those in clasps having cir- cumferentially oriented fastening members, presented later herein which operate in a somewhat different manner. In the embodiment shown in Figs. 22 through 24, the bran¬ ches, 65 t of the bifurcated fastening member are long enough to accomodate the hook, 53. n two locations, at 75 and 76, where the hook passes between these branches. As shown in Fig. 23, one of these locations, 75, is inboard and the other location, 76, is outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7. This particular feature provides the open- able clasp with outstanding stability in its fastening posi¬ tion on the hook and the clothesline. If these branches were shorter so that they could accomodate the hook only at the inboard location, 75. where the hook passes through the bran¬ ches, and not at the outboard location, 76, there would be a tendency for the clasp to be displaced from its fastening po¬ sition under conditions of adverse forces acting on the hook and the clothesline. Moreover, by having the branches, 65 * of the bifurcated fastening member long enough to accomodate the hook in two locations, as shown in Fig. 23, the openable clasp is enabled to effectively prevent its becoming turned upside down ' in its fastening position on the hook and the clothesline. Other clasps having a bifurcated fastening

member in the form of- a pair of coacting fastening hooks and an opposing clamping member with only one jaw element, as in the embodiments shown in Figs. 1 through 9, are susceptible to being turned upside down in their fastening position, al- 5 though they will continue to fasten a garment hanger hook to a clothesline in that position. The clasp shown in Figs. 19 through 21, having a lateral hook containment structure, 51. operates on the same principle to stabilize the fastening po¬ sition of that clasp as the clasp shown in Figs. 22 through 0 24 which has a radially oriented bifurcated fastening member with branches long enough to accomodate the hook in the two locations mentioned above. Such a radially oriented bifurca¬ ted fastening member is, in fact, a form of lateral hook con¬ tainment structure. Fig. 24 is a plan view of the bifurcated 5 fastening member and the lever member with which it is com¬ bined showing the length of the two spaced-apart branches, ' 65 , and the jaw element, 71. on each branch for clasping the clothesline or other linear member. Each of these jaw ele- * ments, 71. of the bifurcated fastening member is formed as a 0 depression in the surface of the fastening member, as shown in Fig. 23, for constraining the linear member in maintaining its proper relative position in the bifurcated fastening mem¬ ber with respect to its distance from the location, at 68, where the two lever members are hingedly connected together. 5 Each of the two lever members, 66 and 67, of the clasp have structures, 77. which are positioned as handles which can be squeezed together by hand to cause the two fastening members, together with their jaw elements, to open with respect to each other. 0 To use this openable clasp to fasten a garment hanger hook to a clothesline, the hook is first suspended from the clothesline in the normal manner. Then the handles, 77. are squeezed together to open the fastening members and their re¬ spective jaw elements and the clasp is moved so that the 5 hook, 53. enters the space between the two spaced-apart bran¬ ches of the bifurcated fastening member and the clothesline, 7, is positioned in the depressions which form the jaw ele¬ ments, 71. of that fastening member. Then the clasp is re¬ leased so that the jaw element, 73. on the second fastening

member, 72, clamps to the outer surface of the garment hanger hook, 53, while the jaw elements, 71, on the bifurcated fast¬ ening member clamp to the undersurface of the clothesline, 7. with the result that the hook and the clothesline are direct- ly and frictionally clamped together as shown in Figs. 22 and

23.

The arrangement of the second fastening member of the op¬ enable clasp can be modified to change the location and man¬ ner in which it contacts the outer surface of the garment hanger hook. Fig. 25 shows a modification in which the sec¬ ond fastening member, 79, has two jaw elements, 80 and 81, which are positioned for contacting the outer surface of the hook, 53. in two separated locations, at 80 and 81, along the hook. One of these locations, at 80, is inboard and the oth- er location, at 81, is outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7, or other linear member. This arrangement adds some stability to the openable clasp in its fastening position and it also provides a means tending to restrain the clasp from shifting position so as to slip off the end (at 53) of the hanger hook when the hook has a section near its end which is straightened out or has less curvature than the curved upper section of the hook, as in the example of Fig. 25. This restraining action occurs because, as the outboard jaw element, 81, moves closer to the end of the hook, it is caused to ride up on the straightened-out portion of the hook which causes the two fastening members and their respective jaw elements to open wider against the force of the spring, 68. The reaction to this jaw-opening action is a force which tends to urge the jaws of the clasp in a direction away from the end of the hook. The opposing clamping member with two separated jaw elements used in the device shown in Figs. 10- 14, operates in the same manner to restrain the clasp from slipping off the end of the garment hanger hook.

Fig. 26 shows a modification of the openable clasp in which the bifurcated fastening member, 83, in addition to contacting the undersurface of the clothesline, 7, also con¬ tacts the outer surface of the garment hanger hook, 53. at a location on the hook which is inboard of the position occu¬ pied by the clothesline, 7. This is accomplished by shaping

and positioning the bifurcated fastening member so that that fastening member contacts the hook at the inboard or closed end of the bifurcation (at 84). The second fastening member, 85, has a jaw element, 86, positioned for contacting the out- er surface of the garment hanger hook, 53. at a location on the hook which is outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7. This arrangement produces results which are very similar to those described with reference to the device shown in Fig. 25. The lever members of the openable clasp may be provided with guide structure as shown in Figs. 27 and 28. The pur¬ pose of the guide structure is to form a guide which allows relative movement of the two fastening members with respect to each other in opening and closing the clasp, but which re- stricts relative sideways displacement of the two fastening members and their respective jaw elements. This guide struc¬ ture, 88, is structure which is connected to one of the lever members, in this case to the lever member, 66 , which is com¬ bined with the bifurcated fastening member, 64, and which has surface which overlaps and lies, next to at least a portion of a range of positions of surface on the other lever member (at 89) during opening and closing movement of the fastening mem¬ bers. Thus this guide structure forms a guide which accomplishes its stated purpose. Figures 27 and 28 also show linear member retaining stru¬ cture, 90, which has been added to one of the fastening mem¬ bers, in this case to the bifurcated fastening member, 64, just inboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7, when the clasp is in its fastening position. The purpose of this linear member retaining structure, 90, is to prevent relative movement of the clothesline with respect to the clasp in at least one direction away from its intended posi¬ tion in the clasp. In this case the linear member retaining structure, 90, is arranged to prevent relative movement of the clothesline in a direction toward the location, at 68, where the two lever members are hingedly connected together. In the embodiment shown in Figs. 27 and 28, this linear mem¬ ber retaining structure, 90, is incorporated in and combined with the guide structure, 88. It should be noted that the

placing of the jaw elements, 71. in a depression in the sur¬ face of the bifurcated fastening member, 64, of the clasp shown in Figs. 22 through 24 is another form of linear member retaining structure which functions to prevent relative move- ment of the clothesline in both directions away from its in¬ tended position in the clasp. The clasp shown in Figs. 27 and 28 also has such a depression, 71. for this purpose. Linear member retaining structure, when combined with the bi¬ furcated fastening member, can be defined as structure which is located generally just to one side of the position occu¬ pied by the clothesline or other linear member as it passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp when the clasp is in its fastening position and structure which ex¬ tends above the level of that part of the jaw elements which contact the undersurface of the linear member for blocking relative movement of the linear member in at least one direc¬ tion away from its intended position in the clasp, past the position where the linear member retaining structure is located. The openable clasp can be provided with linear member re¬ taining structure which is combined with the second fastening member of the clasp as shown in the device depicted in Figs. 29 through 37. In this case, the linear member retaining structure, 92, is combined with the second fastening member, 93. and is located just outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7, when the clasp is in its fastening posi¬ tion. Linear member retaining structure, when combined with the second fastening member, can be defined as structure which is located generally just to one side of the position occupied by the linear member when the clasp is in its fast¬ ening position and structure which extends generally toward the bifurcated fastening member a sufficient distance to eff¬ ectively close the gap between the two fastening members to movement of the linear member in at least one direction away from its intended position in the clasp, past the position where the linear member retaining structure is located, when the clasp is in its closed fastening position.

In the clasp shown in Figs. 29 through 37, the bifurcated fastening member, 94, has branches which are long enough to

accomodate the garment hanger hook, 2, generally only in one location, at 95. where the hook passes between the branches. When these branches are not long enough to accomodate the hoo in two locations, in contradistinction to the devices shown in Figs. 22 through 28, it is desirable that the second fastening member, 93, have a lateral confinement element to constrain the hook from being displaced sideways out of the jaw element of that fastening member. A lateral confinement element, 96, is colocated in this clasp with the single jaw element, 97, of the second fastening member, positioned out¬ board of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7. or oth¬ er linear member when the clasp is in its fastening position. This lateral confinement element, 96, is here formed as a concavity or opening in the jaw element into which the hook is accomodated and which has generally lateral containment surfaces situated transversely in the second fastening member for accomodating and constraining the hook from being displa¬ ced sideways out of its clasped position with respect to the second fastening member. Both the internal and external shape of the lateral confinement element is such that, as " the hook rotates about an axis tangent to the curvature of the hook at the point, at 61, where the hook, 2, contacts the clothesline, 7, the hook will be constrained to remain within the lateral confinement element and to receive a force from the second fastening member which tends to rotate the hook with respect to the clasp (and vice versa) back in the oppo¬ site direction. This provides a positive stabilizing force against having the clasp become angularly upset in its fast¬ ening position on the hook and the clothesline and tends to prevent the clasp from turning upside down in its fastening position.

The bifurcated fastening member, 94, in this clasp, in addition to having „.-ιw elements, 99, which contact the under¬ surface of the clothesline, 7. also is shaped so that it con- tacts the outer surface of the garment hanger hook, 2, at the inboard end of the bifurcation on that fastening member, at 98. This clasp is constructed as two separate lever members combined with their respective fastening members, mechanic¬ ally connected together by a hinge pivot, 62, and having a

spring, 63, for biasing the fastening members toward a closed position.

An openable clasp with a radially oriented bifurcated fastening member can be made entirely of wire. An example of such construction is shown in Figs. 38 through 41. Here each of the two lever members, together with its combined fasten¬ ing member, is a discrete part of the clasp, made of a separ¬ ate piece of wire. The resilient closing member is a spring comprised of two coils of wire, 102, formed from the terminal ends of the wire making one of the lever members. The ends of the wire of the other lever member are connected together as shown in Figs. 40 and 41 to form a pivot which runs through the spring coils, 102, to provide for the hinged-type angular relative movement between the lever members. A tan- gential extension, 103, from the end of each spring coil,

102, hooks to the other lever member to connect the two lever members together and provide for the closing bias of the clasp. This clasp is arranged so that it can be opened by ' squeezing the sections extending from the pivot location together with the hand.

The bifurcated fastening member, 104, in this clasp is made from a single piece of wire and is formed by having the wire enter the structure of the bifurcated fastening member, at 105, arriving generally and approximately from the loca- ion, at 102, where the lever members are hingedly connected together, and then continuing generally to the end of one branch, 106, of the bifurcated fastening member, 104. Then the wire is bent in generally a reverse direction, at 107, so as to proceed generally to the closed end, 108, of the space between the branches of the bifurcated fastening member while remaining on one side of the position occupied by the hook, 2, when the clasp is in its fastening position. Then the wire is bent generally across to the other side of the posi¬ tion occupied by the hook so as to form the closed end, 108, of the space between the branches, after which the wire is bent in a similar, mirror-image manner on the other side of the position occupied by the hook, and finally exiting the structure of the bifurcated fastening member, at 109, to pro¬ ceed generally back toward the location, at 102, where the

lever members are hingedly connected together.

The bifurcated fastening member in the clasp shown in Figs. 38 through 4l has a linear member retaining structure, 110, in the form of an upturned end of each branch of the bi- furcated fastening member and located outboard of the posi¬ tion occupied by the clothesline, 7, or other linear member. The second fastening member, 111, has linear member retaining structure, 112, in the form of the crossover element, 112, which enables the clasp to be opened by squeezing sections of it together as mentioned above. This linear member retaining structure, 112, is located inboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7. Thus the two linear member retaining structures, 110 and 112, one on each fastening member and lo¬ cated, respectively, outboard and inboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 7. function, together, to retain the clothesline in its proper position in the clasp.

The second fastening member, 111, has a single jaw ele¬ ment, 113. which contacts the outer surface of the hook, 2, at a location which is outboard of the position occupied by the linear member, 7. As is evident from Figs. 38 and 39, this second fastening member.) Ill, also incorporates a later¬ al confinement element with the jaw element, 113. to con¬ strain the hook, 2, from being displaced sideways out of the jaw. This is especially desirable in this embodiment because the bifurcated fastening member, 104, is only long enough to accomodate the hook, 2, in one location, at 114, where the hook passes through the space between the branches of the bi¬ furcated fastening member. This lateral confinement element, at 113. is shaped so that it provides a positive stabilizing force against having the clasp become angularly upset in its fastening position on the hook and the clothesline in a man¬ ner similar to that explained above with reference to Figs. 29 through 37« It should be noted that the bifurcated fast¬ ening member, 104, in this clasp, in addition to contacting the undersurface of the clothesline, 7. also contacts the outer surface of the hook, 2, at the inboard and closed end, at 114, of the space between the branches of the bifurcated fastening member.

It may be desirable to have a lateral confinement element

combined with the second fastening member of the openable clasp even when the bifurcated fastening member is long en¬ ough to accomodate the garment hanger hook in two locations where the hook passes through the space between its branches, 5 as in the case of the embodiments shown in Figs. 22 through 28. A reason for this is that a lateral confinement element can act to center a hook within the space between the bran¬ ches which could be desirable when the clasp is used with hooks which are considerably thinner than the maximum hook

10 thickness which the bifurcated fastening member is capable of accomodating.

It was shown above,with reference to Figs. 16 through 21, that the openable clasp can be constructed of a single piece of material when the bifurcated fastening member is in the

15 form of a pair of coacting fastening hooks. Clasps having other forms of bifurcated fastening members can also be con¬ structed as single-piece devices. Figs. 42 and 43 show a clasp constructed of a single piece of sheet material which has a radially oriented. ifurcated fastening member, 122,

20 long enough to accomodate the garment hanger hook, 53. in two locations where the hook passes through the spaced-apart branches. In this clasp, the spring, 119, which urges the two fastening members toward a generally closed clasping po¬ sition, also serves to connect the two lever members, 120 and

25121, together to provide for the generally hinged-type angu¬ lar relative movement between the lever members. This clasp does not have handles positioned so that the clasp can be op¬ ened by squeezing sections of it together. Instead, this clasp is configured to be pushed into its fastening position

30 on the hook, 53. and the linear member, 7. by having its two fastening members, 122 and 123, arranged so that they will be opened sufficiently by contact with the hook and the linear member to permit such installation. In this embodiment, both the bifurcated fastening member, 122, and the second fasten-

35 ing member, 123, have ramped entry structure, 124 and 125 re¬ spectively, which is a section at the end of each fastening member angled outward toward the opening direction of the fastening member in order to facilitate opening of the fast¬ ening members by contact with the hook and the linear member

when the clasp is forcefully pushed into its fastening posi¬ tion. Actually this device would work just ' about as well if only the bifurcated fastening member had ramped entry struc¬ ture. In fact, such ramped entry structure would not be re- 5 quired on the bifurcated fastening member, 122, either if the branches of that fastening member extended outward sufficien¬ tly far from the jaw element, .126, of the second fastening member, 123, to allow those branches to be positioned below the linear member, 7, before pushing the clasp into its fast-

10 ening position. It may be noted that this clasp has linear member retaining structure in the form of a depression, 118, in the surface of the bifurcated fastening member which forms the jaw elements for that fastening member.

An openable clasp in which both fastening members, 130 5 and 131, are bifurcated is shown in Figs. 44 and 45. In this embodiment, the bifurcation in both fastening members is po¬ sitioned in a primarily radial orientation with respect to a circle centered on an axis through the location, 134, where the two lever members, 132 and 133. are hingedly connected

20 together. In this embodiment, each lever member, 13 and

133, is a discrete element to the extent that it is a separ¬ ate entity from the other lever member and the connection,

134, between the lever members (also serving as the spring) is a mechanically hinged-type connection of the same type as

25 used in the common spring clothespin. This ^ clasp is opened and manipulated in the same manner as a spring clothespin.

Fig. 46 shows a somewhat similar embodiment of the clasp to that shown in Fig. 44 in that both fastening members, 135 and 136, are also radially bifurcated. Fig. 45 serves as a

30 90-degree rotated view of the device in Fig. 44 and also of the device in Fig. 46 and it shows the extent of the bifurca¬ tion in both fastening members. The general manner in which both of these clasps function to fasten a hook to a linear member is shown in Fig. 46. Basically these clasps act to

35 clamp or constrain the clothesline, 7, or other linear member between the jaw elements of the respective fastening members while the garment hanger hook, 2, is confined within the in¬ ner portion of the -space, 137. between the branches of each of the two bifurcated fastening members. In the clasp shown

in Fig. 46, a first one of the bifurcated fastening members, 135, has a pair of jaw elements, 138, (one on each branch) which have internal surfaces generally in the shape of an "L" which enables that fastening member, 135. to clasp the linear member, 7, at the side, 140, of the "L", while the bottom line of the "L", 141, holds and prevents the linear member from being displaced endwise out of the jaw elements. The second bifurcated fastening member, 136, has a pair of jaw elements, 139, which are shaped so that they contact the lin- ear member, 7. only at the side of the jaw elements, at 139. to apply a pinching force to the linear member in conjunction with the clamping action of the first bifurcated fastening member. In this particular example, the jaw elements, 139. on the second bifurcated fastening member, 136, are mounted on a projection which protrudes into and fits inside of the other pair of jaw elements, 138, when the jaws are fully clo¬ sed. This allows the clasp to grasp thinner clotheslines than would otherwise be possible. Thus it can be seen that, in the clasp shown in Fig. 46, the two bifurcated fastening • members clamp the linea'r member, 7. 'between them, the first bifurcated fastening member, 135. holding it from being dis¬ placed endwise out of the clasp, while the hook, 2, is con¬ tained and locked within the inner part of the space, 137, between the two branches of each of the two bifurcated fast- ening members.

The clasp shown in Fig. 44 functions in the same general way except that the jaw elements of its bifurcated fastening members, 130 and 131. when closed, form a generally and at least partially enclosing aperture, 142, to receive the linear member and to hold it confiningly.

The openable clasp can have a bifurcated fastening member which is positioned in a primarily circumferential (or tange¬ ntial) orientation, instead of being radially oriented as is characteristic of the clasps shown in Figs. 22 through 46. A clasp having two circumferentially oriented bifurcated fast¬ ening members is shown in Figs. 47 through 50. The term "circumferential" as used herein to describe the positioning and orientation of a bifurcated fastening member means that the effective clasping portion of the fastening member lies

approximately in a circumferential or tangential direction in the clasp with respect to a circle centered on an axis through the location where the two lever members are hingedly connected together, with such effective clasping portion fac- ing toward the interior region of the clasp. Thus, with ref¬ erence to Fig. 47, one of the bifurcated fastening members, 147, has a clasping portion or jaw element, 151, which runs approximately in a circumferential direction with respect to the hinge pivot, 154, which connects the two lever members, 149 and 150, together. This jaw element, 151. is positioned for contacting the undersurface of the clothesline, 7, or other linear member where it passes transversely through the jaw region of the clasp. This bifurcated fastening member, 147, is also arranged so that it contacts the outer surface of the garment hanger hook, 2, at the inner end of the space (at 153) between the two branches of that bifurcated fasten¬ ing member, 147. The second fastening member, 148, is also bifurcated and circumferentially oriented in the clasp and it, too, is arranged so that it contacts the outer surface of the hook, 2, at the inner end of the space (at -156) -between its two branches.

In the embodiment depicted in Figs. 47 and 48, the jaw elements, 151 and 152, of the bifurcated fastening members, 147 and 148, are oriented at an acute angle to the exact circumferential direction at the location of those jaw ele¬ ments such that the jaw elements effectively form an inclined ramp in which the further inboard from the end of each jaw element a surface point on that jaw element is located, the closer it is to the hinge pivot, 154, which connects the two lever members- together. Thus, as the linear member, 7. is pushed further inboard along these inclined ramp surfaces by the closing action of the jaws, it will be forced to a posi¬ tion closer to the hinge pivot. At the same time, the reac¬ tion of the curved upper surfaces of the hook, 2, to the clo- sing action of the two fastening members, will be to force the hook to a position farther away from the hinge pivot. The combined result of these two reactions is to clamp the hook and the linear member together.

It is not necessary that both fastening members be

circumferentially oriented in the clasp. For example, it would be sufficient if only the first mentioned bifurcated fastening member, 147, was circumferentially oriented. The second fastening member, 148, could, in such a case, have a radially oriented bifurcation arranged such that, in closing, it would push the linear member, 7. further inboard along the inclined ramp surfaces of the jaw element, 151, of the first mentioned bifurcated fastening member, 147. This would pro¬ vide for substantially the same type of fastening action as in the case where both bifurcated fastening members are cir¬ cumferentially oriented. This clasp, with either one or both fastening members having circumferentially oriented inclined ramp surfaces, can be used to fasten two generally linear members together in a generally crossing relationship. When the clasp is used for fastening a hook to a linear member, these inclined ramp surfaces generally provide for the accomodation of a greater range of different sizes of hanger hooks and clothesline diameters than would be the case if the angle of inclination of these surfaces was zero. How- ever, this clasp would still work for this purpose if this angle of inclination was zero, i.e., if the surfaces of these jaw elements were parallel to the bottom or outboard surfaces, 155. of the fastening members. This is so because the curved upper surface of the hook, 2, also acts as a pair of oppo- site-facing inclined ramp surfaces which causes the clasp to "ride" up on these surfaces as the two fastening members close due to the urging of the resilient closing member (not shown). When this happens, the circumferentially oriented jaw elements are raised along with the rest of the clasp cau- sing the clothesline, 7, to be pulled up and pressed against the hook, 2, thereby clamping the hook and the linear member together. When the clasp is configured to operate in this manner, it is not necessary that the second fastening member, 148, have any bifurcation at all. All that is necessary for the second fastening member under such circumstances is that it contact the curved upper surface of the garment hanger hook, 2, in order to react with such surface to raise the clasp as explained above. It may be desirable, when the clasp is configured and used in such manner, for the jaw

elements of the circumferentially oriented bifurcated fasten¬ ing member to have a raised section which extends above the contacting surface of those elements (toward the hinge pivot, 154), to serve as a barrier or fence for retaining the linear member from unwantedly slipping off those jaw elements. Such a raised section would be comparable to the linear member re¬ taining structure present in the clasps depicted in Figs. 22 through 43, and generally such a raised section would be lo¬ cated at the end of those jaw elements, 151• It is not necessary that the fastening members be arrang¬ ed so that the location where they contact the outer surface of the hook (at 153 and 156) be raised to the level depicted in Fig. 48. Particularly in the case where the angle of in¬ clination of the contacting surfaces on the jaw elements is zero (when these surfaces are parallel to the bottom or out¬ board surfaces, 155. of the fastening member, as mentioned above), the clasp will function properly if the location where the fastening members contact the outer surface of the hook, at 153 and 1-56, is approximately at the same level as the contacting surfaces -on the jaw elements. However, it. is generally desirable that such location on the fastening mem¬ bers, " particularly on a fastening member which is not bifur¬ cated, be shaped (have a lateral confinement element) so as to prevent the fastening member from slipping sideways off the hook.

Most of the embodiments of the openable clasp presented herein can be used to fasten either a hook to a linear member or two generally linear members together. The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the in- vention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not in¬ tended to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation described, and accordingly all suitable modifica¬ tions and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.