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United States Patent Office 3,055,546
Dispensing Lead Containers” 1959–1962

date of application
date of issue
patent holder country
1959 October 28
1962 September 25
William E. Danjczek
L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc.
patent employed on Koh-I-Noor 2200-I Leads
L. & C. Hardtmuth Koh-I-Noor 2200-I Lead Box

Koh-I-Noor 2200-I Colored Leads
L. & C. Hardtmuth Koh-I-Noor 2200-I Colored Lead Box

United States Patent Office

Patented Sept. 25, 1962


William E. Danjczek, Easton, Pa., assignor to L. & C. Hardtmuth, Inc., Bloomsbury, NJ., a corporation of New Jersey

Filed Oct. 28, 1959, Ser. No. 849,370 5 Claims. (CI. 221—227)

This invention broadly relates to box-like structures for storing and dispensing what are known as drawings [sic.] leads adapted for use in suitable holders, one of such box-like structures being disclosed in United States Patent No. 2,852,160, issued September 16, 1958, to W. E. Danjczek under the title “Lead Dispenser.”

In the aforesaid patent a lead container is employed for accommodating a plurality of drawing leads, and wherein a lead ejector is employed for moving one of the leads outwardly so that it can be inserted into a holder.  Normally blocking the exit opening for leads there is provided a spring-loaded gate which automatically opens when a lead is caused to forcibly pass that gate.  Upon passage of the lead the gate again reverts to its normal exit-blocking position, thus preventing leads remaining in the container from slipping out therefrom. The ejection of leads from the container is predicated upon holding the latter in a position which causes the leads to move by gravity against the container wall along which the lead ejector operates, whereby a certain limitation is imposed upon the use as well as upon the user of the device.

The present invention is designed to overcome that shortcoming of the patented structure and to effect additional advantages over the latter.

Some of the prime objects of this invention are the provision of a simple, inexpensive and highly effective combination lead container and lead dispenser, wherein leads are normally held under manually controlled tension so that they are automatically urged, one by one, to their ejecting position, without the requirement of specifically positioning the container to facilitate the ejection of leads.  In other words, the container can be held at any desired position while a lead is being ejected; and wherein means are provided for normally holding leads within the container under tension, said tension means also preventing leads from slipping out from the container, unless tension upon the leads is manually released, and wherein by moving said tension means to a tension releasing, and thus to a lead releasing position, any lead partly ejected from the lead container, and even a portion of such lead, can pass back into the container, and wherein an operative limiting or stop gate for leads is provided at the end of the container opposite to the discharge end for the lead.

Another object of this invention is the provision with the container of a lead ejector having a lead-engaging portion projecting into the container, and wherein at one long side of the container the latter’s wall is recessed over a very substantial portion of its length, said recessed wall portion serving for accommodating and guiding said lead ejector, the very substantial length of the recessed wall portion facilitating the ejection from the container of not only leads in their full length, but even short lead pieces.

Still another object of this invention is the provision within the container of a pocket for accommodating the lead-engaging portion of a lead ejector in the latter’s inoperative position, and the provision of an operative gate for closing said pocket while a lead is being ejected, and wherein cooperating means are provided with said gate and with the lead-engaging portion of said lead ejector facilitating the operation of the gate to its pocket clearing position by said lead-engaging portion, when the latter is caused to move toward and into said pocket.

A further object of the present invention is the provision of a combination lead container and lead dispenser composed of two coacting major elements, that is, a box-like dished member having peripheral side and end walls and a closure element adapted for snap engagement with said dished member, and the provision within the closed container of a spring-loaded lead-engaging push bar adapted to normally urge leads in the direction from one side wall toward the opposite side wall, thus exerting a considerable pressure against a plurality of leads within the container, and which pressure action may cause bunching or displacement of leads, which in turn may induce a partial separation of the closure from the dished member, and for preventing such partial separation of the two elements there is provided a simple, inexpensive, mobile instrumentality for firmly holding together the two container elements at areas at which their partial separation is likely to occur.

The foregoing and still further objects and additional advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detail description of the accompanying drawings, illustrating one of the presently preferred embodiments of the instant invention, and which drawings are primarily intended to serve for explanatory purposes only, without in any way restricting the present invention to the specific structure illustrated and described, and wherein:

Patent Drawing
Fig. 1

Fig. 1 is a plan view of a combination lead container and lead dispenser in its presently preferred embodiment and containing a full supply of drawing leads, seen through the transparent cover of the device, and disclosing the lead limiting gate in partly elevated position by rounded end of lead-engaging portion of the lead ejector;

Patent Drawing
Fig. 2

Fig. 2 is the side elevation of the device, as seen along the lower edge of fig. 1;

Patent Drawing
Fig. 3

Fig. 3 is a plan view of the open box-like or dished member of the device, shown holding a few drawing leads, and with the lead limiting gate in its downmost position, thus closing the pocket for receiving the lead-engaging portion of the lead dispenser;

Patent Drawing Patent Drawing Patent Drawing
Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6

Fig. 4 is the plan view of the cover or closure element of the device;

Fig. 5 is a section taken along lines 5-5 of fig. 4; Fig. 6 is an end view as seen along lines 6-6 of fig. 4;


Patent Drawing
Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 Fig. 11

Fig. 7 is a plan view of an enlarged lower right-hand corner area of the device showing means for positively holding together the two container elements against separation from one another;

Fig. 8 is an end view of fig. 7;

Fig. 9 is a plan view of a holding clip for the two container elements;

Fig. 10 is an end view of fig. 9;

Fig. 11 is a section taken along lines 11-11 of fig. 10;


Patent Drawing   Patent Drawing
Fig. 12      Figs. 13, 14, 15

Fig. 12 is a fragmental enlarged plan view of the righthand portion of the box-like member of the device and disclosing the lead limiting gate in its downmost and in its partly elevated positions;

Fig. 13 is a plan view of the lead ejector;

Fig. 14 is a side elevation thereof seen along the bottom edge of fig. 13;

Fig. 15 is an end view seen from the right-hand end of fig. 13;

Patent Drawing
Fig. 16

Fig. 16 is a plan view of the lead push bar, seen from the top, as it appears in its intended position within the box-like member of the device;

Patent Drawing
Fig. 17

Fig. 17 is a side view of the push bar within the boxlike member, the latter being shown in section;

Patent Drawing
Fig. 18

Fig. 18 is a plan bottom view of the push bar in re, versed position to that shown in fig. 16; and

Patent Drawing
Fig. 19

Fig. 19 illustrates the spring element for the lead push bar.

The instant device can be best considered by consulting fig. 1, wherein all parts of the invention can be readily recognized.  In that figure as well as in all other illustrations numeral 10 denotes the box-like or dished lower container element for which transparent element 11 forms a closure or cover.

Dished member 10, best seen in figs. 2 and 3, constitutes a receptacle with peripheral walls comprising elongated side wall elements 13 and 14 and end wall elements 15 and 16.  All walls are substantially continuous and are of a uniform height, except side wall 14, the left-hand end of which is of the same height as the other wails, whereas its major length portion is recessed as at 14'.  The right-hand end of the high portion of wall 14 terminates in step 14'' serving as stop for lead ejector 17 operative along and guided by recessed wall portion 14'.  The construction and operation of ejector 17 will be presently explained.

Left-hand end wall 15 extends from side wall 13 toward side wall 14 but is spaced from the latter by a spare-out 18 serving as passage for a single lead.  From the lower portion of right-hand end wall 16 extends a wall appendage 19 which forms with the lower end of end wall 16 and the right-hand end of the recessed portion of side wall 14 a pocket 20 for accommodating lead-engaging portion 21 of lead ejector 17.

Spaced from right-hand end wall 16 there will be seen a guide fin 22 for a lead stop or gate 23, the latter serving for closing pocket 20 while a lead is being ejected from the device.  Gate 23 has a substantially narrow guide slot 24 into which fits guide fin 22. Forming a lower extension of guide slot 24 is a wider slot 25 which houses an expansion spring 26.  The upper end of that spring rests against the lower end of fin 22, while the lower end of the spring seats against the bottom end of slot 25, thus spring 26 normally urges gate 23 in downward direction against side wall 14, thereby closing pocket 20.  The lower left corner of the gate is slightly rounded, as is also the right upper corner of lead-engaging portion 21 of the lead ejector.  The rounding of the corners of these two parts facilitates the movement of gate 23 in upward direction to clear pocket 20 when ejector portion 21 is about to assume its inoperative position within the pocket.  Facilitating the movement of the gate, the left end of the pocket-forming wall appendage 19 serves as guide and abutment for the lower gate end.

As clearly seen in fig. 3, there is provided in the bottom portion 10' of box-like member 10 a slot 27, which is located substantially at the center between left end wall 15 and gate 23 and extends from side-wall 13 to side wall 14.  Adjacent to side wall 13 and both upper end termini of slot 27 is provided a spring retainer in the form of two short bar-like elements 28.  Between these bar-like elements and the inner face of side wall 13 is held the central portion of leaf spring 29, bearing with its rounded ends 30 against the upper edge of lead push bar 31, shown in detail in figs. 16, 17 and 18.  Bar 31 has rounded ends 32 and a central, manually operable extension 33 which projects through central slot 27 of bottom portion 10', and in which the bar extension is guided.  Extension 33 serves for moving bar 31 toward wall 13 to relieve tension upon leads when desired.

Push bar 31 engages with its lower edge drawing leads 34 placed into dished member 10, and, due to the force exerted upon the bar by leaf spring 29, all leads are kept under tension and are normally urged toward side wall 14 along which the leads assume their correct position preparatory to being ejected from the device.

Cover or closure element 11, clearly illustrated in figs. 4, 5 and 6, constitute a substantially rectangular strip of preferably transparent material, conforming in size and shape to the peripheral dimensions of dished member 10.  From the upper edges of side walls 13 and 14 and end wall 16 there projects upwardly a plurality of undercut extensions denoted as follows:  At the left-hand end of side wall undercut extension 35 will be seen.  Near the ends of end wall 13 are extensions 36 and 37, and from right end wall 16 projects extension 38.

Corresponding in number and location to these extensions, closure element 11 is provided with recesses 35', 36', 37' and 38' having slanting interior edges 39 which are adapted to be engaged by the undercuts of their respective wall extensions when closure 11 is placed over dished member 10. The engagement between these wall extensions and the slanting interior edges of the cover is designed to be what may be termed a snap engagement, whereby the assembly of the two container elements is greatly facilitated and thus rendered inexpensive.

In order to provide such snap engagement, the wall extensions must be yieldable.  That required function of the extensions is facilitated by providing cuts or slots 40 in the walls of member 10, said slots extending a short distance into the bottom portion 10' of member 10, whereby the wall portions provided with the extensions will temporarily yield to the pressure of the interior slanting edges 39 of the recesses provided in cover 11 when the latter is forced down against the upper wall edges of member 10.

Obviously, the interlocking snap engagement between slanting cover edges 39 and the undercut wall extensions is intended to hold the cover tightly against the upper wall faces of member 10.  However, due to the rather forceful action required of leaf spring 29 against push bar 31 for holding even the last remaining lead in the container under sufficient tension to prevent its movement, except by ejector 17 or by actuating push bar 31 to a tension releasing position, the possibility exists that a bunching or displacement of leads in the container may take place. In consequence of such lead displacement the cover may be caused to separate from box-like member 10, in spite of the interlocking snap engagement between the two container elements.  Such separation of the two elements would increase the possibility of a further lead displacement.  Any lead displacement in the device, even to the smallest degree, will prevent orderly ejection of leads from the device.  Therefore displacement of leads due to the separation of the two container elements must be avoided.

In order to positively prevent separation of the two container elements, which separation is likely to occur at the right-hand lower corner area of the device, the cover is forcibly held against box-like member 10 by clip 41 indicated in figs. 1, 2 and 3, and illustrated in detail in figs. 7 to 11. Clip 41 comprises a flat body 42 provided at both ends with enlargements or retaining heads 43 adapted to firmly engage the outer surfaces of cover 11 and bottom 10' of container element 10.

To facilitate the placing and correct positioning of clip 41 in order to hold the two container elements firmly against each other, there is provided at the right-hand lower edge of cover 11 a recess or slot 44 (see figs. 4 and 7) which is disposed just above slot 40 at the righthand lower corner of member 10, when the two container elements are in their snap engagement.  While slightly compressing the two container elements against each other, body 42 of the clip can be readily inserted simultaneously into cover slot 44 and slot 40 of the box-like member beneath the cover slot, and clip heads 43 will engage the outer faces of the two container elements and hold them securely against separating.

In fig. 1 the device is shown filled with twelve drawing leads held under pressure by push bar 31 as the latter is tension ally engaged by leaf spring 29, and lead ejector 17 is in a position at which its lead-engaging portion 21 partly lifts gate 23, preparatory to portion 21 entering pocket 20.  A continuing movement of ejector 17 in right-hand direction lifts gate 23 fully as lead-engaging ejector portion 21 slides into pocket 20.

Lead ejector 17 is illustrated in greater detail in figs. 13, 14 and 15, and is intended to operatively engage and to be guided along recessed wall portion 14' of side wall 14. The ejector has what can be considered a bottom element 45 from which extends rear retaining element 46, engaging and being guided along the outer or rear surface of the marginal edge area of bottom portion 10'.  Retaining element 46 has an elevated central portion, from which extend downwardly sloping portions terminating at the ends of bottom element 45.  These sloping portions are designed to facilitate the movement of the ejector along wall 14' in either right-hand or lefthand direction, even when push bar 31 reaches a position nearest to wall 14', in that these sloping portions momentarily lift ,the push bar as they pass beneath the latter’s extension 33, intended for manually moving push bar 31 ,to a tension releasing position, as already stated.

Also extending from bottom element 45 of the ejector is a front retaining element 47 which engages and is guided along the front edge of recessed wall 14'. Continuing upwardly and inwardly, toward the inner surface of bottom portion 10' of element 10 is lead-engaging portion 21, already mentioned. The rounded off right-hand end of lead-engaging portion 21 is spaced from the end of bottom element 45 to approximately the extent of the thickness of end wall 16.


Having placed leaf spring 29 into position as seen in fig. 3, that is, anchoring the spring’s central portion between the inner surface of upper side wall 13 and spring retainers 28, lead push bar 31 is inserted so that its guided extension 33 enters central slot 27 in bottom 10', while rounded spring ends 30 bear against the upper edge of the bar.  Now the bar is moved upward toward wall 13 and is held in that position until all twelve leads are placed into box-like member 10.  While still holding bar 31 in its retracted position, cover 11 is pressed against the upper edges of member 10 until the slanting or beveled edges 39 of its recesses are in snap engagement with their respective undercut wall extensions.

Obviously, before filling the device with drawing leads and before interengaging the two elements of the device, gate 23 as well as ejector 17 must be placed in position, that is the lead-engaging portion 21 of the ejector must be located within pocket 20.

In order to eject a lead from the device, having of course released operating extension 33 of push bar 31, whereby spring 29 is rendered functional, ejector 17 is moved from right to left, that is, toward end wall 15.  That movement of the ejector pushes out the lowermost lead through spare-out 18, at the lower terminus of end wall 15.  That pushing action, endures until the ejector contacts stop 14''.  Thus the major portion of the lead is caused, to extend from the device, as compared with the limited lead ejecting action effected in the structure disclosed in the aforementioned United States Patent No. 2,852,160.

When the ejector reaches its stop position at step , 14'', spring 29 tilts the leads remaining in the device about lead-engaging portion 21, and the pointed right-hand end of the lowermost lead comes to fest against side wall 14'.  As now the ejector is moved back to its starting, righthand position, the friction between lead-engaging portion 21 and the bottom surface of the tilted lead would cause the latter to pass into pocket 20 if gate 23, now in its pocket-closing position, would not prevent the lead from entering.  Thus, as the ejector moves, toward right-hand end wall 16, lead-engaging portion 21 gradually lifts the lead to the position shown in fig. 3, preparatory to elevating gate 23 and entering pocket 20.

Re-Entering Lead Into Device

When a lead is ejected to its outermost position limited by the ejector travel, and when it is desired to return the partly ejected lead into the device, the ejector is moved to its starting position and the device is swung to a vertical position at which end wall 16 would become lowermost.  Now push bar 31 is retracted by moving it against the tension of spring 29, using bar extension 33' for doing so.  That operation permits the thus released lead to move into the device by gravity action and to assume a position adjacent to recessed side wall 14'.

A similar operation is applicable for retrieving partly used leads and even broken lead portions.

Having described the specific embodiment of this invention as illustrated in the drawings and having dealt with the functional features thereof, it is to be understood that neither the description nor the specific illustrations are meant to in any way limit the scope of this disclosure, since both are to serve for explanatory purposes only, and it is further to be understood that in the course of producing the present device structural changes and improvements may become necessary, such changes and improvements being deemed to reside within the scope of this invention as defined by the annexed claims.

What is claimed as new is:

1. A combination lead container and lead dispenser, comprising a shallow dished member having peripheral wall elements enclosing the bottom portion of said member, and a cover adapted to repose upon spaced portions of some of the wall elements, yieldable wall enlargements projecting above and spaced along said wall elements, and means provided with said wall enlargements of said dished member and with corresponding portions of said cover for effecting a snap engagement between said yieldable enlargements and said corresponding cover portions, and wherein said wall elements consist of two substantially short end walls and two substantially long side walls, and wherein one of the end walls is continuous and extends from one side wall toward but being spaced from the other side wall, and wherein the other end wall and both side walls are provided with said yieldable enlargements having undercuts and which enlargements project above the upper edges of the wall elements and constituting spacers between portions of the latter, and wherein said cover is provided with undercut recesses corresponding in location to that of said projecting yieldable wall enlargements, the latter and said recesses in said cover constituting the means for effecting the snap action engagement between said dished member and said cover, and wherein said bottom portion of the dished member is provided with a substantially centrally located slot extending between .said side walls, and wherein adjacent to one of the side walls and substantially parallel thereto and adjacent to both edges of said central slot spring retention means are provided, a push bar for leads operative within said dished member and having a manually engageable projection extending through and being guided in said central slot, a spring element reposing between said one side wall and 'said spring retention means tensionally engaging said push bar and being held centrally 'by said retention means, said spring element normally urging said push bar toward the other side wall, at least one drawing lead placed into said dished member between said push bar and said other side wall, thus being normally held under tension against voluntary movement unless said push bar is moved by means of its projection against the tension of said spring element, and wherein the end walls and the one side wall of the dished member are of a uniform height, whereas only a relatively short portion of said other side wall is of the same uniform height, while its major portion is longitudinally recessed for accommodating and guiding a lead ejector; a spare-out for the passage of lead provided in the one end wall adjacent to the high short portion of said other side wall; a lead ejector having a lead-engaging portion movable along the major recessed portion of said other side wall, that is, in the direction from the other end wall toward the spare-out in said one end wall, a spring-loaded gate operatively mounted between the side walls and at spaced relation to said other end wall and serving for normally limiting the movement of drawing lead toward said other end wall, said lead-engaging portion of the lead ejector serving for moving said gate in the direction from said recessed side wall toward said one side wall.

2. A combination lead container as in claim 1, and wherein said other end wall provided with said undercut, yieldable upwardly projecting extension is severed by a pair of spaced slots extending into the body of said bottom portion, whereby said extension is rendered yield able, and wherein one of the slots is located near but being spaced from said other, recessed side wall, a combination spacing and guiding element for the lower end of the gate for spacing the latter from said other end wall, thus providing a space for accommodating the lead-engaging portion of said lead ejector.

3. A combination lead container as in claim 2, and wherein a guide fin for said gate is provided at spaced relation to and substantially parallel with said other end wall, and wherein said gate constitutes an elongated body having a relatively narrow guide slot for engaging said guide fin and a wide slot forming partly a continuation of said narrow guide slot and serving for accommodating a compression spring, a compression spring housed in said wide slot and being adapted to engage one end of said guide fin with one of its end, said spring normally urging the lower end of said gate toward said other recessed side wall, thereby closing the space for accommodating the lead-engaging ejector portion, said lead-engaging ejector portion being adapted to elevate said gate against the tension of said compression spring prior to entering said space for accommodating said ejector portion.

4. In a combination lead container and lead dispenser, a dished member for receiving drawing leads and provided with two substantially long side walls and shorter end walls, one of the side walls being recessed over a substantial portion of its length, a lead ejector operative along said recessed side wall, said recessed side wall portion serving as guide for the lead ejector, the latter being provided with a lead-engaging portion projecting into said dished member, undercut and yield able extensions projecting above the upper edges of some wall portions, a closure for said dished member having recesses with inclined interior edges, the number and the location of said cover recesses corresponding to said undercut wall extensions, the latter and said closure recesses being adapted to effect a snap engagement between the closure and the dished member, one of said yieldable extensions being provided at one of the end walls, a pair of spaced slots arranged near both ends of said extension and progressing partly into the bottom portion of said dished member, one of the slots constituting the upper slot, the other being the lower slot; said closure having a slot corresponding to and registering with said lower slot, a mobile clip element havinga body and retaining heads at its ends, the body engaging the lower slot of the dished member and the corresponding slot in said closure, while one of the heads rests against the outer surface of the bottom portion of said dished member, the other head forcibly engaging the outer surface of said closure when the latter reposes upon the upper wall edges of and is in snap engagement with said dished member, whereby the slot-equipped areas of both container parts are firmly held against separation from one another.

5. In a combination lead container and lead dispenser, an elongated box-like structure having a bottom and a pair of elongated, parallel side walls and shorter end walls, said box-like structure containing at least one drawing lead, a centrally located slot provided in said bottom and extending between said side walls, a spring-loaded lead-engaging push bar operative between said elongated side walls, said push bar having means projecting through said slot in said bottom for manually operating the push bar to a lead-disengaging or lead-releasing position, said side walls and one of the end walls having yieldable, undercut projections extending beyond the upper wall edges, one of the side walls being recessed along a substantial portion thereof, and wherein a manually actuated lead ejector is operatively associated with that one recessed wall and is adapted to move along its recessed portion for ejecting a lead outwardly from said structure, while the lead is under tension by said push bar, and wherein said lead ejector has a lead-engaging portion extending into said box-like structure, and wherein a pocket is formed in the structure adjacent to said recessed side wall and one of the end walls for accommodating said lead-engaging portion of said lead ejector when the latter is in its inoperative position, and wherein a spring-loaded gate for normally closing said pocket is operatively mounted adjacent to said one end wall, the lead-engaging portion of said lead ejector being adapted to cause said gate to assume a pocket-clearing position as said lead-engaging portion of the ejector is moved toward its inoperative position within said pocket.

References cited in the file of this patent


361,304   Lowery   Apr.   19,   1887
2,200,752   Kuhnl   May   14,   1940
2,329,442   Popp   Sept.   14,   1943
2,340,894   Morrell   Feb.   8,   1944
2,384,503   Testi   Sept.   11,   1945
2,852,160   Danjczek   Sept.   16,   1958
2,955,705   Krueger et al.   Oct.   11,   1960