US 3332604 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 25, 1967 H. M. WHITMAN CONTINUOUS ENVELOPE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 10, 1966 July 25, 1967 H. M. WHITMAN 3,332,604
' CONTINUOUS ENVELOPE Filed March 10, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 4
4 OOOOOOOOOOOO Arm/WE) United States Patent 3,332,604 CONTINUOUS ENVELOPE Harlan M. Whitman, Atlanta, Ga., assignor to Curtis 1000 Inc., a corporation of Minnesota Filed Mar. 10, 1966, Ser. No. 533,315 Claims. (Cl. 22969) This invention relates to envelopes arranged on a carrier means adapted for the serial processing of such envelopes through business equipment, and to envelope structures especially adapted for this purpose.
The growing commercial use of automatic processing equipment has increased the attractiveness of so-called continuous envelopes; as shown and described in US. Patents 2,723,076 and 2,723,077, a series of envelopes is mounted on a carrier means, either between a pair of feeding tapes or on a sheet which is provided with edges adapted for feeding. When the carrier means is run through a business machine, the envelopes may be printed with addresses or other indicia, and then stripped from the carrier means, e.g., by equipment like that shown and described in US. Patents 2,880,799, 2,961,136 or 3,026,239. Appropriate material is then inserted in the envelopes, which are thereafter sealed and mailed, .delivered, or utilized for such internal functions as job tickets or inventory records.
Business equipment is typically designed to process continuous forms, the usual maximum and most popular form width being 18% inches, including approximately %-inch at each edge which is line-hole punched to permit driving by sprocket wheels on the equipment; thus a maximum of 18 inches of form width is actually available for use. In accordance with prior art practice, the most popular business envelope, 9 /2 inches long and designed to accommodate 8 to 8 /2-inch wide stationery or enclosures, has been centered between the punched edges. The high hourly cost of data processing equipment suggests the desirability of positioning two envelopes between the edges, thereby essentially halving the burden rate, but no such assembly has heretofore been available. Envelopes of the type shown in Patents 2,723,076 and 2,723,077 have removable supplemental mounting flaps, or tabs, which extend beyond the ends of the envelopes and reduce the length of usable envelopes below that which will accommodate the desired width of enclosure when two envelopes are positioned laterally adjacent each other. Other types of envelopes have likewise proved unsatisfactory.
The present invention provides, for the first time as far as I am aware, a continuous envelope assembly in which two series of envelopes are mounted side by side on a carrier means of conventional width, thereby making it possible for a pair of envelopes to be printed in substantially the same amount of time as is ordinarily required to print one envelope; and thus greatly reducing the cost of processing. The envelopes can accommodate conventional business stationery and are readily removed from the carrier means without being disfigured in the process.
The novel envelope assembly just referred to is made possible by envelope structure similar to those shown in the said Patents 2,723,076 and 2,723,077, but differing in certain aspects. Like these earlier envelopes, the envelopes of the present invention have supplemental perforated tabs, which are preferably connected to the back panels and which in a continuous envelope assembly are adhered to the carrier means. Unlike these prior envelope structures, however, the perforated tabs which are adhered to the carrier means lie entirely beneath the envelope, thereby permitting the envelopes to be positioned, end to end, in almost contiguous position. As
3,332,64 Patented July 25, 1967 will be pointed out, the tabs are preferably of a novel construction which facilitates stripping envelopes from the carrier means after processing.
The present invention thus provides, for the first time, insofar as I am aware, a continuous envelope assembly in which more than one series of envelopes, attached to a continuous feeding means, can be fed simultaneously through business equipment, the envelopes being of a size for convenient business use.
Understanding of the invention will be facilitated by referring to the accompanying drawing, in which like numbers refer to like parts in the several views, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view of a continuous plural-series envelope assembly embodying my invention;
- FIGURE 2 is a back view of a novel and versatile envelope particularly suitable for use in the assembly of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a view of the blank used for making the envelope of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a view of the blank of FIGURE 3 in partially folded form;
FIGURE 5 is a view of a novel twin envelope blank which is useful for making novel envelope assemblies in accordance with the invention; and
FIGURE 6 is a view showing a twin envelope structure formed from the blank of FIGURE 5 mounted on perforated tape feeding means.
Referring first to FIGURES 1-4 inclusive, elongated carrier sheet 10 is arranged in typical fanfold form, envelopes 20 and 200 being mounted on one face thereof. Envelopes 20 form one series, while envelopes 20a form a laterally juxtaposed parallel second series; the envelopes in each series extend substantially at right angles to lateral edges 11 of carrier sheet 10. Adjacent lateral edges 11 are holes 12, which afford means for feeding sheet 10 through automatic processing equipment. For compactness and ease of handling, sheet 10 is zigzag-folded at fold lines 13.
Envelopes 20 and 20a are desirably formed from a blank of the type shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. Front panel 21 is connected by fold lines to back panel 22 at the bottom, to sealing flap 23 at the top, and to end flaps 25 at opposite ends. Gummed sealing area 24 is provided on sealing flap 23, while gummed sealing areas 26 are provided on flaps 25. The completed envelope is shown in FIGURE 2.
Back panel 22 is provided with weakened areas, e.g., perforated lines 27 which lie parallel to the ends of the envelope, extending from the distal edge of panel 22 to a point adjacent the fold line dividing panels 21 and 22. Extending from this point to'the lateral edges of panel 22 is cut line 23, thus defining separable tabs 29. Envelopes 20 are attached to carrier sheet 10 by an adhesive means which joins tab 29 thereto, thereby holding the envelopes in predetermined location on carrier sheet 10 during processing while still permitting ready removal after processing by severing along perforate line 27, leaving tabs 29 attached to carrier sheet 10. Back panel 22 is sealed to end flap 25 immediately adjacent perforate line 27, inboard from the ends of the envelope.
If the envelopes are required to roll around a platen, they are desirably positioned so that sealing flap 23 extends under the body of the immediately serially adjacent envelope; such an arrangement prevents the envelopes from stripping prematurely from carrier sheet 10. Envelopes mounted with sealing flap 23 extended are also more convenient for insertion of contents; in fact, some inserting machines require this arrangement. On the other hand, other types of tabulating equipment take the envelopes on a level plane, permitting sealing flap 23 to be folded down. Such an arrangement is also advantageous for those types of inserting equipment which require the flap to be down, and for many postage meters. The envelope shown in FIGURES 2, 3, and 4 is particularly suited for use in either extended-flap or folded-flap equipment. In this envelope front panel 21 is deeper than back panel 22, and the depth of sealing flap 23 adjacent the ends of the envelope is comparatively skimpy. Thus, as is apparent in FIGURE 2, when sealing flap 23 is folded over back panel 22, gummed area 24 contacts panel 22, but the ends of flap 23 are clear of perforate line 27. The resultant envelope is capable of being easily stripped from carrier sheet 10, whether flap 23 is in either extended or folded state.
The manner in which tabs 29 are delineated from panel 22 by perforated line 27 and cut line 28 has been found to be extremely important to achieve optimum results. Thus, for example, stripping of envelopes from the carrier is facilitated if out lines 28 are formed at an acute angle to the bot-tom edge of the envelope, preferably between 20 and 50; 35 has been found particularly desirable. Similarly, in order to facilitate stripping the envelopes from carrier sheet 10, perforate line 27 is preferably so constructed that a narrow perforate portion is present where lines 27 and 28 intersect. In the envelope industry such perforate portions are termed sea while the intervening imperforate portions are termed land. To permit the continuous envelope assembly to pass around platens in processing equipment without premature separation of the envelopes from the carrier, the leading end of perforated line 27 should be land.
If desired, the envelope shown in FIGURES 2, 3, and -4 may be modified so that flap 25 lies over, rather than under, panel 22; in this arrangement, of course, flap 25 will be provided with a perforated l-ine extending thereacross, between one free side thereof and the gummed area corresponding to 26. Likewise, if desired, tabs 29 may be folded back over panel 22, and the thus-exposed surface adhered to carrier sheet 10. In such an arrangement, of course, tabs 29 might extend beyond the ends of panel 21 in the original blank, but would lie within the projected perimeter of the finished envelope.
It will be appreciated that the envelope of FIGURES 2, 3, and 4, although especially suited for a plural-series continuous envelope assembly, can also be employed in the more conventional single-series product. Similiarly, it may be employed as a conventional business envelope, removing tabs 29, if desired.
FIGURE depicts a novel .allochir-al twin-envelope blank which is similar to the blank shown in FIGURE 1 but which is especially suited for use where the carrier means does not employ a continuous sheet but instead utilizes a pair of laterally spaced feeder tapes. Front panels 51 and 51a are connected by fold lines respectively to back panels 52 and 52a at the bottom, to sealing flaps 53 and 53a at the top, and to end flaps 55 and 55a at opposite ends. Gummed sealing areas 54 and 54a are'provided on sealing flaps 53 and 53a, while other gummed sealing areas (not shown) are provided on the rear sun face of flaps 55 and 55a. 3
Back panels 52 and 52a are provided at their outboard edges with perforated lines 57 and 57a which lies parallel to the ends of the envelope, extending from the distal edge of panels 52 and 52a to a point adjacent the fold line separating panels 51 and 52 and 51a from 52a. Extending from this point to the lateral edges of panels 52 and 52a are cut lines 58 and 58a, thereby de fining separable tabs 59 and 59a. Panels 52 and 52a are joined at their inboard ends by linking panel 60 along perforated lines 61 and 61a, cut lines 62 and 62a extending from the end of lines 61 and 61a to the inboard lateral edges of panels 62 and 62a.
The twin envelope blank is folded and assembled in much the same manner as the single envelope structure previously described. End flaps 55 and 55a are folded over front panels 51 and 51a, thereby exposing the gummed area on said flaps. Back panels 52 and 52a are then folded upward over front panels 51 and 51a, and are sealed to end flaps 55 and 55a. Depending on the processing equipment employed, sealing flaps 53 and 53a may either remain in extended position or be folded over back panels 52 and 52a.
As is shown in FIGURE 6, the twin envelope unit is especially suited for processing equipment wherein feeder tapes are employed as the carrier means, tabs 59 and 59a being adhered to tapes 63 and 63a, linking panel 60 providing a means for holding the two envelopes firmly in spaced relation. If desired, linking panel 60 may be adhered to a central tape which extends along the entire continuous envelope assembly.
The twin envelope structure of FIGURES 5 and 6 may be further modified, to more closely position the two envelopes or permit them to be longer, by shortening the length of linking panel 60 and integrally forming inboard end fiaps 55 and 55a, die-cutting a central sawtooth or undulating lines to form a pair of flap-s having complementary fingers.
What I claim is:
1. A continuous envelope assembly cofilprising in combination: an elongated carrier means having spaced lateral edge portions which include means for feeding said assembly through automatic processing equipment, a plurality of laterally juxtaposed series of envelopes positioned on said carrier sheet parallel to and spaced from the lateral edges thereof, each of said envelopes being formed from a single piece of sheet material folded to provide a front panel, a back panel, a sealing flap, and a pair of end flaps, whereby the periphery of said envelope is defined substantially entirely by fold lines, the envelopes in each series extending at right angles to said lateral edges, said envelopes having removable tabs positioned entirely between said envelopes and said carrier means, and adhesive means removably holding said tabs in predetermined location on said carrier means during processing but permitting each said envelope to be stripped from said carrier means after processing.
2. An envelope particularly adapted for use in the continuous envelope assembly of claim 1, comprising in combination: a front panel; a back panel; a gummed sealing flap extending from the upper edge of one of said panels; and an end flap extending from each end of one of said panels folded over and adhered to the other of said panels in a gummed area which extends substantially parallel to but is spaced inwardly from the end of said envelope; a perforate line extending parellel to the end of said envelope across the outer of said other panel and said end flap, between one free side thereof and said gummed area to form a removable tab which lies entirely within the projected perimeter of said envelope, one end of said perforate line terminating with a land area and intersecting the top of said back panel, and the other end of said perforate line terminating with a sea area and connected to a out line which extends to the lateral edge of said back panel.
3. A twin envelope adapted for use in the continuous envelope assembly of claim 1, comprising in combination: a pair of integral separable allochiral envelopes, each such envelope comprising in combination a front panel; a back panel; a gummer sealing flap extending from the upper edge of the front panel, and flaps extending from the ends of the front panel and folded thereover; said back panel being folded over and adhered to said end flaps in an area spaced from the lateral edges of said back panel, a perforate line extending across said back panel beyond said adhered area so as to define an outboard removable tab, and an inboard linking panel, said linking panel joining the inboard ends of the back panels of said allochiral envelopes.
4. A continuous plural envelope assembly comprising 3 Carrie! n havi g laterally spaced edges adapted for feeding through a business machine, and a plurality of envelopes as defined in claim 3 extending between said edges, the tabs of said envelopes being adhered to said carrier means.
5. A continuous envelope assembly comprising in combination an elongated carrier means having spaced lateral edge portions which include means for feeding said assembly through automatic processing equipment, a plurality of laterally juxtaposed series of envelopes positioned on said carrier sheet parallel to and spaced from the lateral edges thereof, the envelopes in each series extending at right angles to said lateral edges, each of said envelopes comprising: a front panel; a back panel; a gummed sealing flap extending from the upper edge of one of said panels; and an end flap extending from each end of one of said panels folded over and adhered to the other of said panels in a gummer area which extends substantially parallel to but is spaced inwardly from the end of said envelope; a perforate line extending parallel to the end of said envelope across the outer of said other panel and said end flap, between one free side thereof and said gummed area to form a removable tab which lies entirely within the projected perimeter of said envelope, said tab being adhered to said carrier means.
6. The envelope assembly of claim 5 wherein the sealing flap and end flaps extend from the front panel, and the back panel is outer com-pared to said end flaps.
7. The envelope assembly of claim 6 wherein one end of the perforate line extends to the top of the back panel and the other end of said perforate line is connected to the lateral edge of said back panel along a cut line.
8. The envelope assembly of claim 7 wherein the cut line intersects the lateral edge of the back panel at an acute angle between 20 and 9. The envelope assembly of claim 8 wherein the perforate line has a sea areaat the end which connects to the cut line and a land area at the other end.
10. The envelope assembly of claim 7 wherein the front panel is deeper than the back panel, and the sealing flap is so dimensioned that when folded over said back panel, no portion of said flap overlies any portion of the perforated lines.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,723 ,076 11/ 1955 Whitman 229-69 2,723,077 11/ 1955 Whitman 22969 3,104,799 9/ 1963 Steidinger 22969 3,211,469 10/ 1965 Chamberlain 229-69 JOSEPH R. LECLAIR, Primary Examiner.
DAVID M. BOCKENEK, Examiner.