Patent application title: MEDAL-MOUNTING ASSEMBLY
Frank G. Neri (Vernon, CT, US)
IPC8 Class: AA44C300FI
Class name: Card, picture, or sign exhibiting badges
Publication date: 2014-06-26
Patent application number: 20140173950
A medal-mounting support bar assembly is especially constructed for
mounting miniature military-type medals and consists of a rigid mounting
bar and a pivotably attached, resiliently deformable clamping piece,
securable in closed relationship to one another by detent coupling
structure formed on the mounting bar and clamping piece at one end of the
assembly. Jog elements adjacent the opposite ends of the clamping piece
offset the arcuate central position thereof toward the mounting bar,
thereby increasing the gripping force generated and reducing the length
of the gaps that would otherwise be present, so as to better secure the
endmost medals against inadvertent lateral displacement.
1. A medal-mounting assembly comprised of an elongate, substantially
rigid, one-piece mounting bar having opposite ends, and a substantially
coextensive, resiliently deformable clamping piece having opposite ends,
said clamping piece being pivotably attached at one of its ends to one of
the ends of said mounting bar for movement between open and closed
relative positions, said mounting bar comprising a substantially
rectilinear front piece and fixed short end portions at said opposite
ends of said mounting bar that extend toward one another in a common
plane behind, and spaced rearwardly from, said front piece to define
spaces behind said front piece of said mounting bar; said clamping piece
being of arcuate form along a major, central portion of its length, with
tab elements at the extremities of said opposite ends thereof dimensioned
to seat within said spaces defined by said short end portions behind said
front piece of said mounting bar, and to engage behind said short end
portion of said clamping piece at the end of said mounting bar opposite
the end at which said clamping piece is pivotably attached, said clamping
piece thereby being disposed, in said closed position, in spanning
relationship between said short end portions of said mounting bar and
with said arcuate central portion thereof extending forwardly toward said
front piece; said clamping piece having a jog element formed thereinto
and joining each of said tab elements to said central portion of said
clamping piece, said jog elements offsetting said tab elements inwardly
of the arcuate plane of said central portion of said clamping piece and
rearwardly of said front piece, said offset relationship substantially
shortening the tapered gaps that would otherwise be present at the
opposite ends of the assembly, between the front piece and the clamping
piece, due to the substantially rectilinear form of the front piece and
the arcuate form of a conventional clamping piece in which no offsets are
present; said tab element at said one end of said clamping piece being
attached to said one end of said mounting bar for pivotal movement on an
axis normal to said common plane, and said tab element at the end of said
clamping piece opposite to said one end having a first element of a
detent coupling thereon, structure of said mounting bar at said opposite
end having a second element of a detent coupling thereon positioned and
configured to interengage with said first element of said detent coupling
for disengageably securing said clamping piece, in restraint of pivotal
movement in the space behind said common plane and substantially parallel
to said common plane, in said closed relative position, one of said
detent elements being a male detent element and the other of said detent
elements being a dimple.
2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein each of said opposite end portions of said mounting bar carries a rearwardly projecting attachment pin thereon.
3. A system of mounted medals comprised of the medal-mounting assembly of claim 1 in combination with a multiplicity of military-type medals, each including a loop of ribbon and a medallion suspended therefrom, said medals being mounted substantially side-by-side on said mounting bar of said assembly with said front piece thereof inserted through said loops of said ribbons comprising said medals, with said clamping piece secured in said closed position, and with said elements of said detent coupling so interengaged, the section of ribbon of each of said medals, as supported by said front piece, being less than one inch in width.
4. The system of claim 3 wherein said section of supported ribbon is less than three-quarters inch in width.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The need for a device for mounting an array of military-type medallion medals, and the associated considerations, are well described in the Background of the Invention section of Perrone U.S. Pat. No. 6,766,603. Such medals are typically constructed in two sizes, however, the larger, full-size medal normally having a suspending ribbon that is about 1 7/16 inches at the top of the loop, and the smaller, miniature-size medal having a ribbon that is about 3/4 inch wide. While the Perrone patent provides a highly effective and commercially successful medal-mounting device for the full-size medals (depicted in FIGS. 5 through 7 of the patent), it does not teach the construction of a device for optimal mounting the miniature-size medals.
 In particular, due to the substantially rectilinear form of the support bar employed in the Perrone device, and the curvilinear form of the cooperating clamping bar, tapered gaps of significant length are formed at the opposite ends of the device when the clamping bar in its closed position (see FIG. 4 of the patent). While the presence of those gaps is not detrimental when the mounted medals are of full size, and thus comprise relatively wide ribbon components, the narrower ribbons of the miniature-size medals do not effectively span the tapered gap and consequently, due to inadequate contact with or force from the clamping bar, the endmost medals tend to shift laterally on the support bar. The resulting array may therefore become quite unsightly and noncompliant with stringent standards of proper military presentation.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Accordingly, it is a broad object of the present invention to provide a medal mounting assembly wherein and whereby a multiplicity of miniature military-type medals, each comprising a medallion suspended from a loop of ribbon, can be mounted substantially side-by-side and effectively secured against inadvertent lateral displacement of the endmost medals on the mounting bar of the assembly.
 A related broad object of the invention to provide a system that is comprised of a multiplicity of miniature military-type medals mounted substantially side-by-side on a mounting bar and so secured against lateral shifting.
 Further objects of the invention are to provide such an assembly which is of incomplex and economical construction, and in which the relatively displaceable clamping component is securely engaged in its closed position.
 It has now been found that certain of the foregoing and related objects of the invention are attained by the provision of a medal-mounting assembly comprised of an elongate, substantially rigid mounting bar having opposite ends, and a substantially coextensive, resiliently deformable clamping piece, the clamping piece being pivotably attached at one of its ends to one of the ends of the mounting bar, for movement between open and closed relative positions. The mounting bar comprises a substantially rectilinear front piece, and has short end portions at the opposite ends of the mounting bar that extend toward one another behind, and spaced rearwardly from, the front piece. The clamping piece is of arcuate form along a major, central portion of its length, and has tab elements at the extremities of its opposite ends dimensioned to seat within spaces defined by the short end portions of the mounting bar, behind the front piece. In its closed position the clamping piece is disposed in spanning relationship between the short end portions of the mounting bar, with its arcuate central portion extending forwardly toward the front piece (and normally into tight engagement therewith if no ribbons interpose). A jog element, joining each of the tab elements to the central portion, is formed into the clamping piece and offsets the tab elements inwardly of the arcuate plane of the central portion, and rearwardly of the front piece. The offsetting structure significantly shortens the tapered gaps that would otherwise be present at the opposite ends of the assembly, and increases the effective length of the central portion of the clamping piece, to more fully engage the expanse of the ribbons of endmost medals mounted on the mounting bar. The tab at the "one" end of the clamping piece is pivotably attached to the "one" end of the mounting bar, and the tab at the opposite end of the clamping piece has a first element of a detent coupling thereon. Structure of the mounting bar at the end opposite to the one end thereof has a second element of a detent coupling thereon, positioned and configured to interengage with the first element of the detent coupling for disengageably securing the clamping piece in its closed relative position.
 Other objects of the invention are attained by the provision of a system comprised of a multiplicity of miniature military-type medals, each including a loop of ribbon from which a medallion is suspended, mounted on the medal-mounting assembly hereinabove and hereinafter described. The medals are disposed substantially side-by-side, with the front piece of the mounting bar inserted through the ribbon loops and with the clamping piece secured its closed position. The section of ribbon by which each of medal is supported is less than one inch in width, and is more typically less than 3/4 inch and, most specifically, 1 7/16 inch wide.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a section of a prior art medal-mounting device, as disclosed in the Perrone patent identified above.
 FIG. 2 is front perspective view of a medal-mounting assembly embodying the present invention.
 FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of a system embodying the present invention, wherein a multiplicity of miniature military-type medals are mounted, substantially side-by-side, by the assembly of FIG. 2.
 FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the medal-mounting assembly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, wherein the clamping piece of which the assembly is comprised is disengaged from the front piece and pivoted to an open position.
 FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 but with the displaced clamping piece pivoted to closely approach its closed position.
 FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIGS. 4 and 5, showing the clamping piece in its fully engaged, closed position.
 FIG. 7 is a plan view of the medal-mounting assembly of the foregoing figures.
 FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7 and drawn to an enlarged scale.
 FIG. 9 is a sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 7 and drawn to the scale of FIG. 8.
 FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9, showing the clamping piece approximately in the position depicted in FIG. 5 and showing, in phantom line, a detent transition position.
 FIGS. 11 and 12 are plan views, similar to that of FIG. 7 but showing shorter- and longer-length versions, respectively, of the medal-mounting assembly of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Turning initially to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the prior art medal-mounting device illustrated (approximately half of which is shown, the omitted half being substantially identical) comprises an elongated, substantially rectilinear support bar 10 having a backwardly recurved end 12 on which is, in turn, formed a forwardly recurved tab 19. An attachment pin (only the enlarged head 14 of which is visible) extends through the recurved elements 12, 19, and a fastening spring clip 16 is removably attached on the shaft of the pin.
 A curvilinear clamping bar 18 is pivotably mounted (at the non-illustrated end) on the support bar 10; its illustrated free end 20 is tucked under the recurved end 19, and its central section is pressed against the rear surface of the support bar 10. As can be seen, an elongated tapered gap 22 is formed between the secured end 20 of the clamping bar and the coextensive section of the support bar 10 due to the nonconforming configurations of those two components.
 With particular reference now to FIGS. 2, and 4 through 10 of the drawings, therein depicted is a first embodiment of the medal-mounting assembly of the present invention. The assembly consists of a substantially rigid, elongate mounting bar, generally designated by the numeral 30, and a resiliently deflectable clamping piece, generally designated by the numeral 42, which is slightly shorter (in the distance spanned) than the mounting bar. The mounting bar 30 consists of a substantially rectilinear front piece 32, a right-angle element 34 extending rearward from each end of the front piece 32, and short retaining element 36, 36' extending reveresly from the right-angle elements 34 toward one another; the elements 34, 36 define spaces 38 at the opposite ends of the mounting bar 30, in cooperation with the front piece 32. An attachment pin 40 is secured to each of the retaining elements, and projects rearwardly therefrom.
 As is best seen in FIG. 4, in its free (unconstrained) state the clamping piece 42 has an arcuate central portion 44 comprising the major portion of its length. Tab elements 46, 46' lie at the opposite extremities of the clamping piece 42, and are attached to the central portion 44 by intervening jog elements 48, which form obtuse angles, inclined rearwardly in opposite, longitudinal directions, with the central portion 44. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the jog elements 48 offset the tab elements 46, 46' to a position "O", spaced inwardly of the arcutate plane "P" of the central portion 44 of the clamping piece 42 and rearwardly a distance "X" from the front piece 32.
 As seen in FIG. 8, the retaining element 36 is formed with an aperture 47 through which an attachment pin 40 extends; the pin is fastened beneath its head 14 so as to function as a firm pivot for the clamping piece 42. The clamping piece 42 is shown in FIG. 10 in a relationship to the mounting bar 30 that is just short of its closed position, and it is shown in its fully closed position in FIG. 9 (having pivoted in the direction of the open arrow in FIG. 10). The tab element 46' at the free end of the clamping piece 42 is formed with a male detent element, or dimple 50, which functions to engage in the recess 52 defined by the boss 54 that is formed into the retaining element 36' on the mounting bar 30; approach positions are depicted in FIG. 10, whereas the fully engaged position is depicted in FIG. 9.
 As seen in FIG. 3 of the drawings, the assembly 30, 42 mounts six miniature, military-type medals on the front piece 32, each of the medals being generally designated by the numeral 55, 55' and consisting of a ribbon loop 56, 56' and a suspended medallion 58. The front piece 32 extends through the upper portions of the ribbon loops 56, 56' to mount the medals 55 in a substantially side-by-side array. Following insertion of the front piece 32 through the ribbon loops, the clamping piece 42 of the assembly is pivoted (as indicated by the open arrow in FIG. 4) from an open position to its closed position, with the elements 50, 54 in the detent coupling becoming interengaged to strongly secure the clamping piece 42 in its functional, gripping-relationship position.
 Due to its arcuate form, the central portion 44 of the clamping piece 42 is thereby brought to bear upon the ribbons 56 of the medallions 55, clamping them tightly against the front piece 32. Not only does the offset relationship produced by the jog elements 48 significantly increase the clamping force generated, but moreover those elements extend the effective length of the central portion 44. Thus, and as is seen in FIG. 3, a substantial length of the central portion 44 of the clamping piece 42 extends over the ribbons 56' of the endmost medals 55' in the array, and thereby securely retains them in fixed positions against inadvertent lateral shifting on the front piece 32 of the mounting bar 30.
 The construction, components, and elements comprising the medal mounting assemblies of FIGS. 11 and 12 are essentially the same as those of the assembly hereinabove described, with the exceptions that the front pieces 32', 32'' of the mounting bars 30', 30'', and the associated clamping pieces 42' 42'', are longer and shorter, respectively, than the corresponding components 32 and 42 shown for example in FIG. 7. In addition, however, due to the extended length of the assembly of FIG. 12 a third pin 40 is desirably centrally located on the clamping piece 42'' to cooperate with the pins 40 at the opposite ends of the mounting bar 30'', for attaching the system to the wearer's uniform.
 It should perhaps be mentioned that, although the front piece of the mounting bar is described as being substantially rectilinear, it may in use be distorted somewhat, due to the force exerted by the clamping piece in closed position, causing the mounting bar to also assume a slight curvature. In addition to causing the clamping piece 42 and the front piece 32 to best conform one another, and to thereby maximize the clamping force generated, a slight curvature induced in the mounting bar may also cause better conformity of the assembly to the wearer's chest contour.
 Although the components of the medal-mounting assembly of the invention may be made of various other materials, they will normally be fabricated from a suitable metal. It will be appreciated that variations in the construction of the assembly and its component parts may be made without departure from the scope of the present claims, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. It will also be appreciated that, although the assembly of the invention is especially adapted for the mounting of miniature military-type medals, it can advantageously be used to mount the full-size medals as well.
 Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides a medal-mounting assembly, and a system comprised thereof, wherein and whereby a multiplicity of miniature military-type medals can be mounted substantially side-by-side and effectively secured against inadvertent lateral displacement of the endmost medals on the mounting bar. The assembly of the invention is of incomplex and economical construction, and provides secure interengagement, in closed position, of the relatively displaceable components of which it is comprised.
Patent applications in class BADGES
Patent applications in all subclasses BADGES