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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
EXTENSIBLE LOOP HOOK FASTENING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1987/002969
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Supplementary fastening devices utilizing an elastically extensible loop (57) for fastening the hook (59) of a garment hanger or other hook including device to a clothesline (5) or other generally linear member to which the hook is hooked. These devices may be in the form of a rigid or semi rigid clip (8) in which the effective length of the loop portion (7) of the clip is increasable against the bias of an elastic member (8, 9) and they may also be in the form of a flexible and elastically elongatable loop (57).

Inventors:
Larsen
Walter
Louis
Application Number:
PCT/US1985/002275
Publication Date:
May 21, 1987
Filing Date:
November 18, 1985
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Larsen
Walter
Louis
International Classes:
A47G25/14; D06F55/00; (IPC1-7): B65D63/00; A41D27/22
Foreign References:
US4277668A
US2651134A
US4008835A
US2877941A
US1797539A
US3184204A
FR1500741A
FR1281537A
FR1276833A
FR796222A
CH463738A
US0382611A
US0432809A
US0485758A
US0986069A
US1047284A
US1103420A
US1236282A
US1255118A
US1093945A
US1560191A
US1618941A
US1725986A
US0208018A
US1782185A
US2616203A
US2591900A
US3115331A
US3704487A
US4419874A
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Claims:
CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A device generally capable of fastening an object to a generally linear member, said device comprising the combina 5 tion of a hook and an effectively closed loop, in which the effective length of the loop is elastically extensible, for fastening the hook to the linear member, wherein there is any appropriate means for attaching the object, at least indirec¬ tly and at least temporarily, to the hook, generally to the O nonhooked or shank portion of the hook, wherein the relative size of the hook and the linear member is such that the lin¬ ear member is comparatively thin with respect to the size of the hook as exemplified by the comparison in size between a typical garment hanger hook and a typical clothesline, where 5 in the fastening position and assembled configuration of said device is one in which the object, when it is being fastened 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 loop is positioned with respect to the hook 0 and the linear member such that the hook passes through the loop at a first substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook which is on one side of the position occupied by the linear member and the loop substantially, generally and eff¬ ectively lies on a path which extends from said location 5 where the hook passes through the loop to a location under the linear member, thence around the outer side of the hook at a second substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook which is on the other side of the position occupied by the linear member, thence under the linear member again and, 0 finally, rejoined on the hook on the first mentioned side of the position occupied by the linear member and wherein the range of elastic extensibility of the loop is sufficient to permit installation of the loop in such position with respect to the hook and the linear member and also to confiningly 5 grasp the hook and the linear member between the two inwardly inclined locations on the outer surface of the hook and the undersurface of the linear member where the loop contacts the hook and the linear member when the loop is in its fastening position.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein the effectively closed loop is comprised of a generally loop shaped clip in which the effective length of the loop portion of the clip is elas¬ tically extensible and which is so constructed and arranged that it is adapted to occupy the fastening position with re¬ spect to the hook and the linear member set forth therein.
3. The effectively closed generally loop shaped clip as comprehended in claim 2.
4. A fastening device for fastening a hook to a generally linear member comprising an effectively closed generally loop shaped clip in which the effective length of the loop portion of the clip is elastically extensible, there being an elastic force producing member which generally urges a reduction in the effective length of the loop, and which is so constructed and arranged that it is adapted to occupy a position with re¬ spect to the hook and the linear member, when the hook is hooked to the linear member, such that the clip generally contacts the outside surface of the hook at two locations, one generally on each side of the position occupied by the linear member,, and the loop lies between said two locations on a path which generally passes the underside of the linear member to lock the hook and the linear member together.
5. 5« The fastening device of claim 4 comprised of a loop body having side members forming the sides and side exten sions of the loop, an effectively closed fixed loop end which is ordinarily fixed with respect to the side members of the loop body, a movable loop end which is generally movable with respect to the side members of the loop body to increase or decrease the effective length of the loop, the elastice force producing member generally acting on the loop body and the movable loop end to urge these elements in the direction of decreasing the effective length of the loop.
6. The fastening device of claim 5 comprising an effecti¬ vely closed loop made of material having at least moderate resistance to deformation wherein said fastening device is comprised of a loop body having generally parallel side mem¬ bers forming the sides and side extensions of the loop and an effectively closed fixed loop end, a movable loop end which is movable generally along the side members of the loop body to increase or decrease the effective length of the loop, and a spring generally acting on the movable loop end in the di¬ rection of decreasing the effective length of the loop.
7. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the loop body is made of wire.
8. The fastening device of claim 4 wherein the force producing member is a generally helical type spring.
9. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the force pro¬ ducing member is a generally helical type spring acting along the direction of, and located on, the loop body.
10. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein said force producing member is a generally and somewhat Cshaped spring lying generally and approximately in the plane of the loop body, the ends of said spring being pivotally attached to the loop body at pivot attachments which are located on said loop body at a generally somewhat greater distance from the fixed loop end than the movable loop end at the position of said movable loop end which provides the maximum effective length of the loop, said pivot attachments allowing angular movement of said spring in the vicinity of said pivot attachments in at least the plane of the loop body, said spring extending generally outward from each side of said loop body in the vicinity of said pivot attachments and then bending around so as to cross the side members of the loop body at a crossing location which is generally in the vicinity of the movable loop end, said spring being slidably attached to the side members at said crossing location so as to allow said spring to slide along and in the direction of the side members, said spring acting on the movable loop end at said crossing location.
11. The spring as set forth in claim 10, being an element of a springincluding device, wherein said spring is so con¬ structed and shaped that it provides a non linear forcedis¬ placement relationship, the force being lower in the high range of elastic displacement than indicated by a linear ex¬ trapolation of the forcedisplacement relationship in the initial range of displacement.
12. The spring of claim 11 so constructed and shaped that it provides a reduction in force in the maximum range of elastic displacement from the force provided at an intermedi¬ ate range of displacement.
13. The fastening device of claim 10 wherein the spring is so constructed and shaped that it provides a non linear 5 forcedisplacement relationship, the force being lower in the high range of elastic displacement than indicated by a linear extrapolation of the forcedisplacement relationship in the initial range of displacement.
14. The fastening device of claim 13 wherein the spring 10 is so constructed and shaped that it provides a reduction in force in the maximum range of elastic displacement from the force produced at an intermediate range of displacement.
15. The fastening device of claim 4 combined with a hand hold.
16. 1516.
17. The fastening device of claim 5 combined with a hand hold.
18. The fastening device of claim 5 having a first finger rest means generally connected with and acting on the movable loop end and a second finger rest means generally .connected 20 with and acting on the loop body, said finger rest means be¬ ing shaped and positioned for manipulating the loop and for increasing the effective length of the loop.
19. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the loop body has a thumb rest generally at the end opposite the fixed loop 25 end and wherein there are finger rests generally connected with and acting on the movable loop end, the thumb and finger rests being positioned in a manner similar to those on a hy¬ podermic syringe to enable the fastening device to be held and manipulated in a manner analogous to the manner of 30 holding and manipulating a hypodermic syringe.
20. The fastening device of claim 10 wherein the loop body has a thumb rest at the end opposite the fixed loop end and wherein those portions of the generally and somewhat C shaped spring which extend outward from each side of the loop } " 5 body at the crossing location of said spring with respect to the loop body are usable as finger rests, said thumb and fin¬ ger rests enabling the fastening device to be held and manip¬ ulated in a manner analogous to the manner of holding and manipulating a hypodermic syringe.
21. The fastening device of claim 10 wherein the spring is slidably attached to the side members of the loop body at the crossing location by a clip which interlocks the spring and side members together.
22. The fastening device of claim 20 wherein the movable loop end is part of said interlocking clip.
23. The fastening device of claim 10 wherein the pivot attachments on the loop body for the Cshaped spring are substantially closed eyelet loops.
24. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the loop has an openable section which is adapted to allow the stem or shank of a hook to enter directly into the inner region of the loop through the opened although normally effectively closed openable section.
25. 24, The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the generally loop shaped clip has an openable section comprised of mutual¬ ly separable segments, said openable section having an entry region which is so shaped that it causes said segments to spread apart when the fastening device is moved in a manner bringing the shank of the hook into said entry region, there¬ by opening the loop and allowing the shank of the hook to enter directly into the inner region of the loop.
26. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the generally loop shaped clip has an openable section at the fixed loop end comprised of two overlapping segments with a generally ramped entry region which is so shaped that it causes said segments to separate in a direction generally normal to the plane of the loop body when the fastening device is moved so as to bring the shank of a hook into the ramped entry region with said shank being positioned approximately in the plane of the loop body and generally crosswise to the longitudinal axis of the loop body, said separation of the segments allow¬ ing the shank of the hook to enter directly into the loop.
27. The fastening device of claim 25 wherein an overlapp ing segment of the openable section has a shape producing a ramped exit region to facilitate withdrawing the shank of the hook from the loop during removal of the fastening device.
28. The fastening device of claim 5 wherein the effectiv • ely closed loop has an open section which is so constructed and arranged that the shank of a hook can effectively pass into and out of the inner region of the loop through the open section during installation and removal of the device.
29. The device of claim 1 wherein the effectively closed 5 loop is, at least for a substantial portion of its length, flexible and elastically elongatable. 29• The device as set forth in claim 28 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 10 snppojrting garments placed on the hanger. "C~ The device of claim 28 wherein, in the installed po¬ sition and assembled configuration of the device, the loop occupies a position with respect to the hook and the linear member such that the hook passes through one end of the loop 15 opening at the first said inwardly inclined location on the hook which is on one side of the position occupied by the, linear member, the loop extends therefrom underneath the lin¬ ear member, and the hook passes through the other end of the loop opening at the second said inwardly inclined location on 20 the hook which is on said other side of the position occupied by the linear member.
30. 31 The device of claim 30 further comprising a handle which is connected to one section of the loop to serve as a manipulatable appendage for stretching and moving said sec 25 tion of the loop during installation and removal of the loop in and from its fastening position.
31. 32 The device of claim 28 wherein, in the installed po¬ sition and assembled configuration of the device, the loop oxrαupies a position with respect to the hook and the linear 30 member such that the hook passes through one end of the loop at said first substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook, said location being outboard of the position occupied by the linear member, the loop extends therefrom underneath the linear member and continues with both strips of loop ma 35 terial passing to one side of and over and around the outside of and around to the other side of the hook at said second substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook, said second location being inboard of the position occupied by the linear member, thence the loop extends back underneath the linear member again and the hook passes through the other end of the loop at a generally substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook which is outboard of the position occu¬ pied by the linear member, ordinarily near to the first said 5 location where the hook passes through the loop.
32. 33 The device of claim 32 further comprising a handle which is connected to one section of the loop to serve as a manipulatable appendage for stretching and moving said sec¬ tion of the loop during installation and removal of the loop 10 in and from its installed position with respect to the hook and the linear member.
33. 34 The device of claim 28 further comprising a loop lengthening structure on which at least a portion of the loop is mounted, said mounting being without restraint on the loop 15 in the direction of linear elastic extension of the loop from the loop lengthening structure, whereby a longer loop can be utilized in the device than would be suitable without such loop lengthening structure and thereby the effective elastic extensibility of the loop can be increased. 20 35. The device of claim 34 wherein the loop lengthening structure includes an aperture through which the loop extends in lateral confinement away from said structure to form the open, hookfastening, portion of the loop and wherein that portion of the loop lengthening structure, which is on the 25 other side of the aperture from said open portion of the loop, has a support for the end of the loop opposite to the open, hook fastening, portion of the loop, said support being constructed without confinement to the loop which prevents intentional dismounting' of the loop from said support, where 30 "by the loop can be intentionally dismounted from, and remoun¬ ted on, said support and thereby provide temporary increased slack in the loop.
34. 36 The device of claim 34 wherein the loop lengthening structure is so constructed, shaped and positioned with re 35 spect to the loop that it forms a handle for manipulating the loop during installation and removal of the loop to and from its position of fastening the hook to the linear member.
35. 37 The flexible and elastically elongatable effectively closed loop as comprehended in claim 28 further comprising means for mounting at least a portion of the loop on a struc¬ ture such that the stretchable length of the loop is increas¬ ed without increasing the effective relaxed size of the loop opening for fastening purposes. 38. The loop of claim 37 further comprising means for providing increased slack in the loop and for withdrawing such increased slack.
36. 39 The device of claim 33 wherein the two strips of loop material which extend from said handle section of the loop are positioned in a spacedapart relationship and wherein there is structure combined with the loop in the handle sec¬ tion of the loop which is shaped, positioned, and which has sufficient resistance to elastic deformation to maintain an effective amount of spacing between said two strips of loop material to provide for facile installation of the loop on the end of the hook when stretching tension is applied to the loop.
37. 40 The device of claim 39 wherein said structure which is combined with the loop in the handle section of the loop is made of the same continuous piece' of material "of which the loop is made and has a generally greater cross sectional area than that of each strip, thereby providing greater strength in said handle section to lessen distortion tending to reduce the spacing between said two strips of loop material when stretching tension is placed on the loop.
38. 41 The subcombina ion of the loop and the handle of claim 39 wherein said structure,which is combined with the loop in the handle section of the loop, includes a raised section of the loop material to provide resistance to elastic deformation to maintain effective spacing between said two strips of loop material when the loop is stretched.
39. 42 The device of claim 33 wherein the handle has a cut¬ out section for increasing the grippability of the handle by the fingers.
40. The device of claim 33 wherein the handle is made of the same continuous piece of material of which the loop is made.
41. A method for fastening a hook to a comparatively thin linear member, as exemplified by the comparison in size between a typical garment hanger hook and a typical clothes¬ line, comprising the steps of putting the hook on the linear member so that the hook is hooked to the linear member in the normal manner and positioning an effectively closed loop, in 5 which the effective length of the loop is elastically exten¬ sible, in a fastening position with respect to the hook and the linear member such that the hook passes through the loop at a first location on the hook at which the outer surface of the hook is substantially inwardly inclined and which is on OI one side of the position occupied by the linear member and the loo substantially, generally, and effectively lies on a path which extends from said first substantially inwardly in¬ clined location on the hook to a location under the linear member, thence around the outer side of the hook at a second 5' location on the hook at which the outer surface of the hook is "substantially inwardly inclined and which is on the other side of the position occupied by the linear member, thence ■ from said second;;substantially inwardly inclined~location on the hook to a location under the linear member again and, 0 finally, rejoined on the hook on the first mentioned side of the position occupied by the linear member.
42. A method according to claim 44 wherein the loop is in the form of an effectively closed generally loop shaped clip in which the effective length of the loop portion of the clip 5 is effectively elastically extensible and wherein the method, as restated with greater relevancy to the clip, comprises the steps of hooking the hook to the linear member in the normal manner and manipulating the loop shaped clip into a position with respect to the hook and the linear member such that the 0 loop portion of the clip contacts the outer surface of the hook at two locations, one location being on each side of the position occupied by the linear member, and the loop contacts the undersurface of the "linear member between the locations where it contacts the outer surface of the hook to clamp the 5 hook and the linear member together.
43. A method according to claim 45 wherein, in performing the method, the loop shaped clip is positioned on the hook so that an inboard or shank section of the hook passes through the loop portion of the clip and the clip is manipulated and moved so that the loop part of the clip goes under the linear member, the end of the hook goes through the loop, and the clip is moved into and released in the described fastening position. 5.
44. A method according to claim 46 wherein, in performing the method, the loop shaped clip is first positioned on the hook so that the inboard or shank portion of the hook passes through the loop portion of the clip, the hook is then hooked tα the linear member, and the clip is then manipulated and l'JX o~τ . sσ that the loop part of the clip goes under the linear meπtber,. the end of the hook goes through the loop, and the clip is moved into and released in the described fastening position.
45. A method according to claim 46 wherein, in performing 15 the method, the hook is first hooked to the linear member, the loop shaped clip is then moved so that the end of the hook passes through the loop portion of the clip, relatively speaking, the clip is then further moved so that the loop part of the clip passes between the hook and the linear mem .
46. 20 ber to position the clip with the inboard or shank portion of the hook passing through the loop portion of the clip, the clip is then manipulated and moved so that its loop part pas¬ ses under the linear member, so that the end of the hook pas¬ ses through the loop, and the clip is moved into and released 25 in the described fastening position.
47. A method according to claim 46 wherein the effective¬ ly closed generally loop shaped clip has an openable section in the loop portion of the clip and wherein, in performing the method, the clip is moved with respect to the hook, which 3 is ordinarily suspended from the linear member, so that the inboard or shank portion of the hook moves through the open¬ able section of the loop and into the loop portion of the clip, and the clip is moved and manipulated so that its loop part passes under the linear member, so that the end of the 35 hook passes through the loop, and the clip is moved into and released in the described fastening position.
48. A method according to claim 46 wherein the effective¬ ly closed generally loop shaped clip has an open section in the loop portion of the clip and wherein, in performing the method, the clip is moved with respect to the hook, which is ordinarily suspended from the linear member, so that the in¬ board or shank portion of the hook moves through the open section of the loop and into the loop portion of the clip, and the clip is moved and manipulated so that its loop part passes under the linear member, so that the end of the hook passes through the loop portion of the clip, and the clip is moved into and released in the described fastening position.
49. A method according to claim 46 wherein the manner in which the clip is manipulated as set forth therein includes the act of extending the effective length of the loop by grasping and moving structure connected to one part of the loop shaped clip while another part of the clip is restrained by contact with the hook, generally that part of the clip which is positioned on the inboard section of the hook.
50. A method according to claim 46 wherein the manner in which the clip is manipulated as set forth therein includes the act of extending the effective length of the loop by grasping each of. two parts of the clip which are movable with respect to each other to change the effective length of the loop and manipulating and moving said two parts with respect to each other so as to extend the effective length, of the loop.
51. 53• A method according to claim 52 wherein the generally loop shaped clip has a movable loop part which is movable with respect to the primary clip structure to effectively ex¬ tend the length of the loop and wherein the manner in which the clip is manipulated to extend the effective length of the loop is by generally pressing together structure connected to the movable loop part and structure connected to the primary clip structure.
52. A method according to claim 44 wherein the loop is flexible and elastically elongatable and wherein the method, as restated with greater relevancy to the flexible loop, com prises the steps of putting the hook on the linear member so that the hook is hooked to the linear member in the normal manner, positioning the flexible and elastically elongatable effectively closed loop on the hook such that the hook passes once through the loop at said first substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook and, after the preceding two steps have been accomplished in an appropriate order, essent¬ ially pulling one section of the loop to stretch the loop and also moving said section of the loop so as to install the loop in said fastening position with respect to the hook and the linear member.
53. A method.according to claim 54 wherein the effective¬ ly closed loop is combined with loop lengthening structure on which at least part of the loop is mounted and wherein the step of installing the loop in its fastening position with respect to the hook and the linear member is accomplished by grasping, pulling, and moving said structure, using said structure as a handle to move said pulled and moved section of the loop.
54. A method according to claim 5 wherein the effective¬ ly closed loop is combined with loop lengthening structure on which at least part of the loop is mounted and which provides means for releasing a portion of the mounted part of the loop to increase.the slack in the unmounted part of the loop and means for withdrawing such increased slack and wherein the step of positioning the loop on the hook such that the hook passes once through the loop is accomplished by releasing a portion of the loop to increase the slack in the loop, posi¬ tioning the loop with its increased slack on the hook with the hook passing once through the loop and then withdrawing and removing the increased slack in the loop with the loop positioned on the hook.
55. method according to claim 5^ wherein the step of positioning the loop on the hook with the hook passing once through the loop is accomplished by so positioning the loop at a substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook which is inboard of the position occupied by the linear mem¬ ber when the hook is hooked to the linear member and wherein the step of installing the loop in said fastening position with respect to the hook and the linear member is accomplish¬ ed by extending the loop, from said inboard location on the hook, under the linear member and pulling and moving said pulled and moved section of the loop so that the loop stret¬ ches and extends from under the linear member toward that section of the hook which is located outboard of the position occupied by the linear member and, further, by moving said section of the loop so that the loop passes on the end of the hook with the end of the hook passing through the loop and, further, by releasing said section of the loop on a substant¬ ially inwardly inclined location on the outboard.section of the hook.
56. A method according to claim 57 wherein the loop has a handle connected to it and wherein, in performing the method, the loop is stretched and said section of the loop is moved as set forth therein by pulling and moving the handle, the handle being connected to the loop at said pulled and moved section of the loop.
57. A method according to claim 5 wherein the step of positioning the loop on the hook such that the hook passes once through the loop is accomplished by so positioning the loop at a substantially inwardly inclined location on the hook which is outboard of the position occupied by the linear member, when the hook is hooked to the linear member in the normal manner, and wherein the step of installing the loop in said fastening position with respect to the hook and the lin¬ ear member is accomplished by extending the loop, from said outboard location on the hook, under the linear member and pulling and moving said pulled and moved section of the loop so that both strips of loop material extend from under the linear member to one side of the hook at a second substanti¬ ally inwardly inclined location on the hook which is inboard of the position occupied by the linear member and, further, by moving said section of the loop around the outside of and around the other side of the hook and down under the linear member again toward that section of the hook which is located outboard of the position occupied by the linear member and, further, by moving said section of the loop so that the loop passes on the end of the hook with the end of the hook pass ing through the end of the loop and, further, by releasing said section of the loop on a substantially inwardly inclined location on the outboard section of the hook.
58. A method according to claim 59 wherein the loop has a handle connected to it and wherein, in performing the method, the loop is stretched and said section of the loop is moved as set forth therein by pulling and moving the handle, the handle being at said pulled and moved section of the loop.
59. A method according to claim 60 wherein the step of hooking the hook to the linear member in the normal manner is accomplished before the step of positioning the loop on the hook such that the hook passes once through the loop.
60. A method for releasing a loop from a position of fas¬ tening a hook to a comparatively thin linear member after the loop has been placed in such a fastening position according to the method of claim 60, the method comprising pulling and moving the handle so as to move said section of the loop off of the end of the hook, whereby the loop releases its grasp on the hoo.κ and the linear member without becoming entangled in the hook and the linear member due to the wrong section of loop being removed first from the hook.
61. A method for providing for the removal of a loop from a position of fastening a hook to a linear member when the loop is installed in such a position by the method of claim 57. he method comprising the step of providing the loop with a graspable manipulatable appendage which is connected to the loop at said puiled and moved section of the loop.
62. A method for providing for the removal of a loop from a position of fastening a hook to a comparatively thin linear member without entangling the loop in the hook and the linear member when the loop is installed in such a position by the method of claim 59. said method comprising the step of provi¬ ding the loop with a graspable manipulatable appendage which is connected to the loop at said pulled and moved' section of the loop, whereby said section of the loop will be positively identified and provided with ready removal means to ensure that that section of the loop can be removed first from the end of the hook and to facilitate its removal during removal of the loop from its fastening position.
Description:
DESCRIPTION EXTENSIBLE LOOP HOOK FASTENING DEVICE

Technical Field: This invention relates primarily to supplementary fasten¬ ing devices in the form of an effectively closed loop, in which the effective length of the loop is elastically exten¬ sible, for securing the hook of a garment hanger or other hook or generally curved member including device to a gener- " ally 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 relates to devices for fastening an object to a generally linear member, such devices being com¬ prised of the combination of a hook, to which the object is or can be attached, and an elastically extensible loop-type fastening device for securing the hook to the linear member. It also relates to a spring device which provides a non-lin¬ ear force-displacement relationship and which has general ap¬ plicability to devices such as the fastening device herein described. It further relates to methods for fastening a hook to a linear member, to methods for removing a fastening device from its fastening position, and to methods for provi¬ ding for the removal of the fastening device.

Background Art:

A bendable loop-type hook fastening device is set forth in French Patent No. I.500.7 issued to Jacob. A semi-rigid loop-type clip adapted to close the hook opening of hooks having substantially parallel sections is set forth in United States Patent 2,122,309 issued to Beimler. An elongatable link in the form of an elastic strip of material having two longitudinally spaced holes and adapted to close the opening of a hook in a manner similar to that shown in Beimler is presented in United States Patent 2,877,9^1 issued to Kelone. Other attempts to solve the problem of fastening a garment hanger to a linear member have resulted in devices which att¬ ach to the linear member and then, in turn, suspend the gar¬ ment hanger hook from the device itself. Examples of devices in this category are United States Patents 2,092,121;

2,915,27-4-; and 3,l8 ,20 . There have also been devices which replace or modify the garment hanger hook in order to more positively fasten the garment hanger to a clothesline, of which the following United States patents are examples: 1,690,61^; 3,0 8,311; 3.2 0, 62; and 4,03^,902.

Disclosure of 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 acco odated. 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 Fatent No. I.5OO.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

accomodate and is also limited in the amount of clamping force which it can exert on the hook and the clothesline. In order to alleviate problems such as the foregoing, this invention provides a supplementary fastening device in 5 the form of an elastically extensible effectively closed loop for securing the hook of a garment hanger or other hook in¬ cluding device to a clothesline or other generally linear member when the hook is hooked to the linear member in the normal manner. The loop is arranged and installed to pass

1.0 over and contact the hook at two locations, one on each side of the linear member, and to pass under the linear member be¬ tween the two locations where it contacts the hook. This fastening device thus acts to lock the suspended hook to the supporting linear member. This loop-type fastening device

15 may be in the form of a rigid or semi-rigid loop-shaped clip in which the effective length of the loop is elastically elongatable. The loop-shaped clip may have an openable or open section in the loop to facilitate installation. The loop-type fastening device may also be in the form of a

20 flexible and elastically elongatable loop.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a supplementary fastening device for fastening the hook of a garment hanger or other hook or similarly curved member including device to a clothesline or other generally

25 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 fast¬ ening device for securing a hook or curved member to a gener¬ ally linear member, which is inexpensive to manufacture and

30 easy to use, and which will tend to prevent a hook, which is hooked to a linear member, from being unintentionally unhook¬ ed from the linear member and from being displaced from its desired position along the linear member.

Another object of this invention is to provide a device

35 for fastening an object to a linear member, said device being comprised of the combination of a hook and a loop-type fastening device.

It is also an object of this invention to provide methods for fastening a hook to a linear member, for removing a

loop fastening device from its fastening position and for providing for the removal of the fastening device.

An additional object of this invention is to provide a spring device which has a non-linear force-displacement rela- tionship for applications, including the fastening device herein described, in which it is necessary or desirable to have non linear forces or to avoid high return forces at the upper range of spring displacement.

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.

3rief Description of Drawings;

In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is is a plan view of the elongatable loop fasten¬ ing device with a generally C-shaped spring provided with thumb and finger rests, the movable loop end being in the position of minimum effective length of the loop.

Fig. 2 is a plan view of the device shown in Fig. 1 with the movable loop end being in the position of maximum effec¬ tive length of the loop.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the thumb rest end of the loop body of the device of Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is an end view of the thumb rest shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary plan view of that portion of the generally G-shaped spring which crosses the loop body of the device shown'in Fig. 1. Fig. 6 is a fragmentary end view, taken from the left, of that portion of the G-shaped spring shown in Fig. 5«

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary end view, as viewed from the right, of that portion of the generally C-shaped spring which pivotally attaches to the body of the device of Fig. 1. Fig. 8 is a plan view of the spring loaded clip of the device shown in Figs. 1 and 2, removed from the device.

Fig. 9 is a side elevational view of the spring loaded clip shown in Fig. 8.

Fig. 10 is an end view of the spring loaded clip shown

in Figs. 8 and 9.

Fig. 11 is a side elevational view of the loop fastening device shown in Figs. 1 and 2 installed in its fastening po¬ sition on a garment hanger hook and a clothesline. Fig. 12 is a plan view of the loop body portion of a fastening device similar to that shown in rig. 1, wherein the loop body has an openable section in the loop.

Fig. 13 is a side elevational view of the loop body shown in Fig. 12. Fig. 14 is an end view of the thumb rest of the loop body shown in Figs. 12 and 13 *

Fig. 15 is a plan view of the loop body portion of a fastening device similar to that shown in Fig. 1 wherein the loop body has an open section in a portion of the loop. -Fig. l6 is a side elevational view of the loop body shown in Fig. 15.

Fig. 17 is a view of " the section at the plane indicated by the line 17-17 of Fig,. 167

Fig. 18 'is an end view of the loop body shown in Fig. 16. Fig. 19 is a plan view of-the loop body portion of a fastening device similar to that shown in Fig. 15 wherein the open section is open to the full effective length of the loop.

Fig. 20 is a side elevational view of the loop body shown in Fig. 19. Fig. 21 is a plan view of the loop fastening device with a helical spring and finger grip on the spring.

Fig. 22 is a side elevational view of the device shown in Fig. 21.

Fig. 23 is a modified perspective view of a flexible and elastically elongatable loop-type fastening device as made generally from stretchable sheet material.

Fig. 24 is a side elevational view of a garment hanger hook- which is hooked to a clothesline and a loop-type fasten¬ ing device in an initial position of installation. ?ig« 5 is a side elevational view of the hook and cloth¬ esline as in Fig. 24 with the loop-type fastening device in an intermediate position of installation.

Fig. 26 is a side elevational view of the hook and cloth¬ esline as in Fig. 24 with the loop-type fastening device in a

final intermediate position of installation.

Fig. 27 is a side elevational view of the hook and cloth¬ esline as in Fig. 24 with the loop-type fastening device in its position of fastening the hook to the clothesline. Fig. 28 is a side elevational view of a flexible and elastically elongatable loop fastening device as made gener¬ ally of molded stretchable material.

Fig. 29 is a plan view of a flexible and elastically elongatable loop fastening device having structure on which at least part of the loop is mounted.

Fig. 30 is a side elevational view of the device shown in

Fig. 29.

Fig. 31 is an end view of the device shown in Figs. 29 and 30. Fig. 32 is a side view of the device shown in Fig. 30 installed on the hook of a garment hanger.

Fig. 33 is a side view of the device shown in Fig. 32 fastening a garment hanger hook to a clothesline.

Kodes for Carrying Out the Invention;

This invention is primarily a fastening device- in the form of an elastically extensible loop which is adapted for fastening the hook of a garment hanger or other hook includ¬ ing device to a clothesline or other generally linear member to which the hook is attached by being hooked to the linear member in the normal manner. This fastening device may be in the form of a rigid or semi rigid clip in which the effective loop portion of the clip is elastically elongatable. This fastening device may also be in the form of a flexible and elastically elongatable loop.

Figs. 1 through 11 depict one embodiment of this fasten¬ ing device in the form of a rigid or semi rigid clip in which the effective length of the loop portion of the clip is elas¬ tically elongatable. In this embodiment the device is con- structed with side members, 3. of the loop body attached to a fixed loop end, 6, which forms one end of the loop. The other end of the loop is comprised of a movable loop end, 7, which is arranged to slide back and forth along the side mem¬ bers, 3» of the loop body in order to increase and decrease

the effective length of the loop. The side members, 3» of the loop body form the sides and side extensions of the loop; the sides of the loop being that variable portion of the side members which is included in the effective length of the loop as the loop assumes different effective lengths depending on the position of the movable loop end, 7. The elastic force which urges the movable loop end, 7, in a direction of de¬ creasing the effective length of the loop is provided by a generally C-shaped spring, 8. This C-shaped spring, 8, pro- vides finger rests, 9t and the loop body has a thumb rest,

10, which allows the device depicted in Fig. 1 to be held and manipulated in a manner analogous to the manner of holding and manipulating a hypodermic syringe. When this device is so held and the finger rests, 9. are sα.ueezed toward the thumb rest, 10, the loop portion of the fastening device be¬ comes elongated and the C-shaped spring, 8, becomes bent as shown in Fig. 2. While the loop is thus elongated, this de¬ vice can be maneuvered and installed in a fastening position on a garment hanger hook, 2, which is suspended from a cloth- esline, 5» or other linear member by reaching over the sus¬ pended hook, with the end of the hook pointing away from the person, passing the end of the hook through the loop of the fastening device, pulling the fastening device toward the person so that the fixed loop end, 6, of the device passes between the hook and the clothesline (under the hook but over the clothesline), then moving the fastening device so that the fixed loop end, 6, moves under the clothesline, 5r toward the end of the hanger hook, 2, and finally passing the end of the hanger hook through the loop, once again, and raising and releasing the fastening device in a position as shown in Fig.

11. An alternative method of installing the fastening device would be to position the loop on the shank portion, 4, or in¬ board section of the hook (so that the shank portion of the hook passes through the loop) before suspending the garment hanger from the clothesline. Then, after the garment hanger hook is suspended from the clothesline, the loop portion of the fastening device can be elongated as described above and the device moved, raised, and released in a fastening posi¬ tion as shown in Fig. 11. It does not make much difference

whether the fixed loop end, 6, of the loop is on the outboard section, 2, of the hook (that section near the end of the hook) or the inboard section, 4, of the hook when the device is in its fastening position. Fig. 11 illustrates the means by which this fastening de¬ vice achieves excellent effectiveness and stability in its preferred fastening position. As shown, the effective loop portion of the fastening device contacts the outer surface of the hook, 2, at two spaced-apart locations, at 6 and 7, one location, 6, being outboard and the other location, 7. being inboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 5« At each of these two locations, at 6 and ~ , the curved outer surface of the hook is substantially inwardly inclined away from the vertical which creates an inclined ramp effect on these curved surfaces. These inwardly inclined surfaces re¬ act with the tendency of the loop portion of the fastening device to become shorter due to the bias of the spring, 8, and this creates a force which tends to push the loop in an upward direction on the hook. In so doing, this causes the loop to lift up on the clothesline, 5. and to push it toward the undersurface of the hook. This creates a clamping force which frictionally binds the hook and the clothesline togeth¬ er. If the clothesline was replaced with a much larger diam¬ eter supporting rod, such as a typical closet hanger rod, this type of positive clamping action could not be achieved since the loop fastening device would either be forced to a position off of the hook, or, if the hook had a sufficiently long end section, 2, (which the illustrated hook does not have) the loop fastening device would be forced to occupy a position on the hook that was so low that it could not take advantage of the substantially inwardly inclined outer sur¬ faces on the upper section of the hook to achieve such posi¬ tive fastening action. Such positive fastening action thus requires (with typically shaped hooks) that the supporting linear member be comparatively thin with respect to the size of the hook. The meaning of the term "comparatively thin" as used herein to describe the size of the linear member means that the size of the linear member is determined with respect to the size and shape of the hook that is being fastened to

the linear member and that such size does not exceed that which will allow the loop-type fastening device to be instal¬ led in a position which will effectively produce the above described positive clamping and locking action resulting from the loop being installed on the substantially inwardly incli¬ ned outer surfaces of the hook as set forth above.

Figs. 3 and 4 are additional views of the thumb rest, 10, of the device shown in Fig. 1 and show how the ends of the wire forming the loop body can be bent to form the thumb rest, 10. Figs. 5 and 6 show details of the center section of the C-shaped spring at the location, 11, where it crosses the side members, 3. of the loop body in Fig. 1. As depicted, this fastening device uses a spring loaded clip, 12, to slidably attach the C-shaped spring, 8, to the side members, 3. at this crossing location, 11. In this case the wire in the center section of the C-shaped spring is bent so that it forms a generally square cornered raised section, 13. which protrudes between the side members, 3, and is capable of being locked in place by the spring loa- ded clip, 12.

The ends of the C-shaped spring, which are bent in small eyelet loops, 14, for pivotal connection to the side members, 3, of the loop body at the pivotal connection points, 15. are shown, in end view, in Fig. 7. The pivotal connection points, 15. on the loop body are, in this case, formed as small eye¬ let loops, 15. in the wire of the side members as shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

The spring loaded clip, in its unattached and unloaded state, is shown in three views in Figs. 8 through 10. This clip has two outward opening and outwardly biased hooks, 18 and 19, which hook to the raised section, 13, of the C-shaped spring, 8, and slidably lock it to the side members, 3, of the loop body as shown in Fig. 1. When assembled in the fas¬ tening device, the wire of the spring loaded clip extends outward from one of its hooks, 18, past the side member on its side to a position, 20, outboard of the side member. Then the wire is bent in a generally reverse direction so as to extend inward and to pass by the opposite side of the same side member. Then, before reaching the middle of the loop

body, the wire is bent generally outward again, at 21, and then is bent generally around the outside of the same side member, at 22, and then the wire extends inward to the center and on the same side of the loop body as the hooks, 18 and 19. are located where it may be formed into a V-shaped detent, 7. to form the movable loop end of the fastening device. Then the wire continues across to the other side member where it is bent around that side member, as shown, in generally the same manner as being bent around the first side member and then the wire terminates at the second hook, 19. in the spring loaded clip. This spring loaded clip thus serves as the movable loop end, and the V-shaped detent, 7. is for the purpose of assisting in keeping the hanger hook centered and aligned with the longitudinal axis of the loop body. The C-shaped spring, 8, used in this fastening device has a unique advantage in that the force which it provides at the crossing location, 11, to urge the movable loop end toward a position of minimum effective length of the loop, as shown in Fig. 1 , becomes substantially less at the position of maximum deflection and maximum effective length of the loop, as shown in Fig. 2, than would be the case with a more typical spring, such as a helical type spring in which the force-displacement relationship is essentially linear. This allows the person using the fastening device with a C-shaped spring to hold it in the position of maximum deflection of the loop, Fig. 2, with less exertion during installation and removal of the de¬ vice in its fastening position than would otherwise be re¬ quired. The amount of this reduction in force at maximum de¬ flection is determined to some extent by the shape of the C- shaped spring. An increase in the degree of curvature in that portion of the spring which is closer to the crossing location, 11 (Fig. 1), than to the ends of the spring wire, 14, generally causes a further reduction in the force at maximum deflection of the C-shaped spring. A modified form of loop body which improves the ease of installing and removing the fastening device in its fastening position, and which can be directly substituted for the loop body in the device of Figs. 1 and 2, is shown in Figs. 12 and 13. Here the- fixed loop end of the loop body is formed of

two overlapping segments, 25. to create an openable section in the loop. These overlapping segments, which are normally held together by spring pressure from the loop body, can be separated in the directions indicated by the arrows in Fig. 13 to open the fixed loop end of the loop body and thereby allow the shank or inboard section of a hanger hook to be in¬ serted directly into the inner region of the loop without first passing the end of the hook through the loop as is nec¬ essary with the device shown in Figs. 1-11. These two utu- , ally separable segments, 25. comprise an effectively closed openable section in the loop, located, in this case, in the effectively closed fixed loop end of the loop, which allows the fastening device to be just s effective for fastening a hook to a linear member as those devices in which there is no openable section. Each overlapping segment, 25. may be pro¬ vided with a structure, 26, which extends away from the fixed loop end of the loop body at an angle, as shown in Fig. 13, and which provides a ramped entry region, 27/ at that end of the loop- body. Thus it can be seen that if the fastening de- vice is moved so that the shank of a hanger hook enters the ramped entry region, 27, with the shank approximately in or parallel to the plane of the loop body, the device can then be pushed toward and against the shank causing it to react with these ramped entry structures, 26, forcing the overlapp- ing segments, 25, apart, and thereby allowing the device to be further moved in the same direction until the shank or in¬ board section of the hanger hook enters into the inner region of the loop. In performing this operation, the fastening de¬ vice is, of course, held so that the movable loop end is in a position of maximum effective length of the loop correspond¬ ing to the position shown in Fig. 2. After the shank of the hook is within the inner region of the loop, the fastening device can then be tilted approximately 90 degrees so that the plane of the loop body is approximately parallel to the clothesline and the device can then be raised, passing the end of the hanger hook through the loop, and released in a fastening position corresponding generally with that shown in Fig. 11.

The modified loop body of Figs. 12 and 13 also permits

the fastening device to be removed from its fastening posi¬ tion and directly separated from the hanger hook without sli¬ pping the loop body off the end of the hanger hook. In remo¬ ving this fastening device, the loop is first elongated to correspond with the situation as shown in Fig. 2, the fasten¬ ing device is lowered so that only the shank of the hanger hook remains within the inner region of the loop, and the de¬ vice is then generally tilted about 90 degrees so that the shank of the hook contacts the side members, 28, and forces the overlapping segments, 25, to separate, thus opening the loop. Then the fastening device can simply be pulled back so that the shank of the hanger hook passes out of the opened section of the loop. It can be seen that each overlapping segment, 25. without the ramped entry structure, 26, forms a generally J-shaped structure with the side member, 28, being the straight part of the "J". That part of each overlapping segment corresponding with the end of the curved part of the "J",—29, can be bent away at an angle from the plane of the loop body,, as shown in Fig. 13. to form a ramped exit region -to facilitate withdrawing the shank of the hanger hook from the inner region of the loop.

Having an openable section at the fixed loop end of the loop body, as in Figs. 12 and 13. generally requires that the ends of the wire or other material forming the loop body be at that end of the loop body. In this-case the thumb rest, 30, at the other end of the loop body can be formed by bend¬ ing and curving the wire between the side members, 28, as shown in Figs. 12 through 14..

Instead of having an openable section in the loop, there may be a permanently open section in order to facilitate in¬ stallation and removal of the fastening device. It should be noted, however, that even though there may be such an open section in the loop, the result is still that of an effectiv¬ ely closed loop insofar as the action of the fastening device on the combination of the clothesline and suspended hook is concerned. One configuration of a loop body with an open section is shown in Figs. 15 through 18. Here the open sec¬ tion, 32, is located to one side of the fixed loop end, 33. There is a structural support member, 34, connecting the two

side members, 35 and 36, near the open section, 32, to pro¬ vide strength and stiffness for the side member, 36, which is on the same side of the loop body as the open section, 32. This support member, 34, may be curved downward, as shown in Fig. 17, to provide clearance with the suspended hanger hook. There may also be a short projection, 37, at or near the end of the side member, 36, which is on the same side as the open section, 32, in order to prevent the clothesline from slipp¬ ing off that side member, 36 , and into the open section, 32. This loop body may generally be used with a C-shaped spring and movable loop end of a type similar to that described pre¬ viously. It may also be modified as necessary to function with other types of springs such as helical and two-legged springs. As shown in Figs. 15 through 18, this loop body is made from a stamping of sheet metal although other methods of fabrication can be used. These drawings show how the thumb rest, 38, can be made from this material.

A fastening device with the loop body shown in Figs. 15 through 18 can be used by first having the end of the hanger hook, which is suspended from a clothesline, pointing toward the person using the fastening device. After elongating the loop, as described with reference to Figs. 1 and 2, the de¬ vice is moved so that the shank or inboard section of the hook enters the open section, 32, and into the inner region of the loop near the fixed loop end, 33. Then the fastening device is simply raised so that the end of the hanger hook passes through the inner region of the loop, 39, without the open section, and released in a fastening position correspon¬ ding generally with that shown in Fig. 11. The loop body may also have an open section, 41 , without a structural support member near the open section as shown in Figs. 19 and 20. In this case some additional stiffness may be provided for the structure by having a support member, 42, between the side members at or near the pivotal connection points, 43, for the C-shaped spring. Additional stiffness may also be furnished by having thicker material in the loop body. Projections, 44, may be provided on the side member next to the open section as limit stops for the movable loop end and to prevent the clothesline from slipping off the side

member and into the open section, 4l . In addition to being usable with a C-shaped spring, this loop body may also be mo¬ dified for use with other types of springs. A fastening de¬ vice with the loop body shown in Figs. 19 and 20 is used in a generally similar manner to the device described with refer¬ ence to Figs. 15 through 18 except that the hanger hook need not be oriented in any particular direction.

Figs. 21 and 22 show a fastening device employing a heli¬ cal type spring, 46, which acts and is slidable along the side members, 49 and 50, of the loop body. This allows the movable loop end, 47, to move back and forth along the side members to increase or decrease the effective length of the loop. The effective length of the loop is that distance and portion of the loop which lies between the fixed loop end, 48, and the movable loop end, 47, and is thus a variable quantity depending on the position of the movable loop end. The loop body is that portion of the fastening device which generally includes the fixed loop end and the side members. The side members, which are ordinarily parallel, are compri- sed of the sides, 49» of the effective portion of the loop, which is that variable portion of the side members lyin-g " within the effective length of the loop as determined by the position of the movable loop end, 47, and the side extensions, 50, of the loop which is that variable portion of the side members extending on the other side of the movable loop end. In the device shown in Figs. 21 and 22, that portion, 51. of the helical type spring nearest the movable loop end is shaped so that it can be grasped by the fingers and thereby used as a hand hold in manipulating the device. There may be a raised portion, 5 , in the spring to assist in preventing the fingers from slipping along the spring. This fastening device can be used as follows. After inserting the hanger hook into the inner region of the loop, 53, so that the loop is mounted on the shank portion of the hook, and suspending the hanger hook from the clothesline, pull the hand hold, 51, on the spring to elongate the loop (with the fixed loop end, 48, being held by the shank of the hook) and maneuver the fastening device so that the end of the hook passes through the loop and so that the fastening device is raised and

released into a position corresponding generally with that shown in Fig. 11.

Fig. 23 shows an embodiment of this extensible loop fast¬ ening device in which the loop is flexible as well as elast- ically elongatable. This device, 55, can be made from any of a variety of flexible and elastic materials such as rubber, synthetic rubber, and some of the stretchable rubber-like plastics. It is also possible to make such an elastic loop- type fastening device from a coil or other type of spring which can be stretched in length. The loop, 55. is made of such size, shape, and configuration, considering the elastic properties of the material used in its construction, that it can be stretched sufficiently in lengt to allow its being installed on the hook and the linear member without exceeding the normal useful elastic deformation capability of the loop material. The loop must also be constructed so that it will contract sufficiently in length at the end of the installa¬ tion procedure to graap the hook and the linear member and confine them in their fastened-together position. A handle, 57, can be connected to one section of the loop, 55, gener¬ ally at one end of the loop, which will make it easier to stretch and manipulate the loop, particularly when removing the device from its fastening position, than would be the case without the handle. Figs. 24 through 27 show a convenient and effective meth¬ od for installing the fastening device on a garment hanger hook, 59. which is hooked to a clothesline, 5. in the normal manner. First the loop, 55 , is positioned so that the hook, 59. passes once through the loop opening, 5^ as shown in Fig. 24. In this case the hook passes through the loop at a location, 61, on the hook which is outboard of the position occupied by the clothesline, 5« The outboard section, 61, of the hook, 59, is that section of the hook which extends from the position occupied by the clothesline, 5. to the end, 65, of the hook. Then, essentially by pulling on one section of the loop to stretch it and also moving that section of the loop, the loop is manipulated as shown in Fig. 25 so that the two strips of loop material, which extend from the above men¬ tioned location where the hook passes through the loop, are

caused to extend under the clothesline, 5, (at 62) and then to one side of the hook at a location on the hook which is in¬ board of the position occupied by the clothesline. This in¬ board location on the hook is on that portion of the hook which is on the other side of the position occupied by the clothesline, 5. from that section containing the end, 65. of the hook. In the example of Figs. 24 through 27, the loop, 55, has a handle, 57, connected to the loop at that section of the loop which is pulled and moved, as described above, in order to facilitate manipulation of that section of the loop. During installation of the loop on the hook and the clothes¬ line, the hook is ordinarily held in its position on the clo¬ thesline by the person installing the fastening device. It may also be held in this position by gravity acting on a weight attached to the hook, by inertia, or by any other in¬ ternal or externally applied force. After achieving the sit¬ uation shown in Fig. 25, the same section of the loop that wars pulled and moved previously is further moved around the outside of and around the other side of the hook (at 63) and down under the clothesline, 5. toward the outboard section, 61 , of the hook as shown in Fig. 26. Then that same section of the loop is further moved so that the loop passes on the end, 65, of the hook, 59. with the end of the hook passing through the end, 66 , of the loop and, finally, that section of the loop is raised and released on the outboard section, 61, of the hook as shown in Fig. 27.

The handle, 57. greatly improves the ease with which the fastening device can be released from its fastening position for two reasons. First, the handle, 57. presents a readily grippable appendage to a device which would, without the han¬ dle, be quite difficult to grasp when tightly bound to the hook, 59. in its fastening position as shown in Fig. 27. Se¬ cond, the handle automatically and conveniently differenti¬ ates which end of the loop was last placed on the hook during installation of the fastening device. This is very important because it is this end of the loop which must be removed first from the hook during removal of the fastening device in order to release the loop from its fastening position without entangling the loop in the hook and the clothesline and

thereby seriously impeding removal.

One important aspect of the method of using a flexible and elastically elongatable loop fastening device, as presen¬ ted herein, is that, when installed, the loop occupies a po- sition on the hook and the clothesline or other linear member such that it contacts and wraps around the outer surface of the hook at effectively two locations on the hook which are substantially inwardly inclined. This creates an upward com¬ ponent of the tension forces in the stretched loop to positi- vely clamp or bind the hook and the linear member together in a manner similar to that described above with reference to the rigid or semi rigid clip and Fig. 11. Actually, the pri¬ mary difference between the clip and the flexible loop is that, in the flexible loop, the stiffness constraint of the side members has been removed, allowing the loop to bend around the linear member as well as to be installed in the position shown in Fig. 27. In order to utilize the substan¬ tially inwardly inclined outer surfaces of the hook to achie¬ ve its positive clamping action on the hook and the linear member, the size of the linear member must be comparatively thin with respect to the size and shape of the hook so that the loop will not be forced to occupy a position so low on the hook that only frictional forces would be available to retain it in place. Thus the term "comparatively thin" as used herein to describe the size of the linear member has the same meaning with regard to the flexible and elastically elongatable loop as to the rigid or semi rigid clip, i.e., that the size of the linear member, with respect to the size and shape of the hook, does not exceed that size which will allow the flexible and elastically elongatable loop-type fas¬ tening device to be installed on the substantially inwardly inclined outer surfaces of the hook in order to achieve such positive clamping and binding action of the loop on the hook and the linear member. The embodiment of the fastening device shown in Fig. 23 is readily adapted to being manufactured by being cut from stretchable, generally rubber-like, sheet material. When the fastening device is cut from sheet material, the grippability of the handle by the fingers can very conveniently be

increased by having the handle, 57, provided with a cut-out section, 58, as shown in Fig. 23. This additional cut-out can be accomplished during the same cutting operation used to manufacture the fastening device and thereby furnished with minimum increase in manufacturing cost. This fastening de¬ vice can also be manufactured by being molded together with its handle as a one-piece unit of stretchable, generally rub¬ ber-like, material. When made in this way, the grippability of the handle by the fingers can conveniently be increased by ' providing the handle, 57. with a raised portion, 69, as s-hσwn in side view in Fig. 28.

Installation of this fastening device will be facilita¬ ted, particularly when used with garment hangers which have thick hooks, such as those made of plastic, if the device is constructed and shaped so that the two strips of loop mater¬ ial which extend from the handle are held in a spaced-apart relationship. This will make it easier to install the handle end of the loop on the end'of the hook during the final phase of installation. The fastening device shown in Fig. 23 ac- < complishes the spacing of these parts of the loop by having these two strips of loop material, 67, joined to the handle, 57,. at suitably spaced-apart locations. Additionally, the section, 68, of the handle, 57, spanning between the loca¬ tions where these two strips of loop material, 67, are joined to the handle, 57. has a greater cross sectional area than that of each strip to lessen the distortion tending to reduce the spacing between these two strips when stretching tension is placed on the loop during installation. These same meth¬ ods can be used when the fastening device is produced by a molding process. In addition, when produced by molding, the handle end of the loop can be provided with a thickened or raised section, 70, in the vicinity of the location where these two strips of loop material are joined to the handle as shown in Fig. 28. This will provide additional cross sect- ional area and stiffness to hold these two strips of loop material apart when the loop is stretched.

The flexible and elastically elongatable loop-type fast¬ ening device can be furnished with a loop lengthening struc¬ ture on which at least part of the loop is mounted and which

takes up at least part of the slack of the loop as shown in Figs. 29 through 33 ' In this embodiment, the stretchable loop, 71 , is mounted on such a structure which also serves as a handle, 72, and which takes up some. of the slack in the loop. By taking up some of the slack in this manner, this device allows the stretchable length of the loop to be longer than would be required for fastening a hook to a clothesline without such structure, which results in an increase in the effective elastic extensibility of the loop. This allows the fastening device to accomodate a greater range of hook and clothesline sizes and the increased elastic extensibility fa¬ cilitates installation while providing for better elastic clamping action on the hook and the clothesline.

In this embodiment, the loop, 71, is retained on the loop lengthening structure and handle, 72, by an enclosing ring, 73. which forms an aperture through which the loop extends in lateral confinement at one end of the structure, and by a notch, 74, whiςh forms a support for the loop at the other end of the structure. This structure and handle is shaped so that it provides fi-nger grasps, 75. o aid in manipulation of the device, particularly in pulling it in the direction indi¬ cated by the arrows in Fig. 30 to stretch the loop, 71. dur¬ ing installation and removal of the fastening device.

In use, the end of the loop which is in the support or notch, 74, can be dismounted from the support by slipping it out of the notch and off to one side of the handle. Then the other end of the loop, 76, can be pulled out to draw a por¬ tion of the loop through the enclosing ring or aperture, 73, thereby creating an enlarged loop of slack material at that end of the handle. This enlarged portion of slack loop ma¬ terial can then be placed around the neck of a garment hanger hook, 59, by first passing the end, 65, of the hook through the loop. Then the other end of the loop can be pulled back and replaced in the support or notch, 74, with the result that the fastening device loop will be positioned on the han¬ ger hook, 59, as shown in Fig. 32. Then, after the hanger hook has been suspended from a clothesline, 5, as in Fig. 33 (with the loop fastening device positioned at a location on the hook which is inboard of the position occupied by the

clothesline) , the handle, 72, is pulled down and under the clothesline and moved so that the end, 65, of the hanger hook passes through the stretched out loop near that end of the handle structure at which the enclosing ring or aperture, 73. is located. It can be seen in Fig. 29 that the end of the handle structure in the vicinity of the enclosing ring or aperture, 73, is of such width that it holds the two ' strips of loop material extending therefrom, when the loop is stret¬ ched out, in a spaced-apart relationship which facilitates passing the end, , of the hook through the loop during this phase of installation. Then, to complete the fastening pro¬ cedure, the handle, 72, is raised and released on the outboard section of the the hook in a position as shown in Fig. 33- The examples presented herein have specifically involved the fastening of a garment hanger and its hook to a thin lin¬ ear member. Generally, an object, different than a garment hanger can also be fastened to a linear member by these meth¬ ods and devices. To do this, the 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, ty¬ ing, 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 a loop fastening device as described herein. The foregoing is considered as illutrative only of the principles of the_ invention. Further, since numerous modifi¬ cations and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not intended to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed. For example, in the device shown in Fig. 23 and installed in a fastening position as shown in Figs. 24-27, it would be possible to rejoin the two strands of loop material in the middle section of the loop and still have the device function in substantially the same manner as that depicted. Such a modification would be considered to be well within the range and scope of my invention.




 
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