They Invented What? (No. 112)
U.S. Pat. No. 4,300,473: Device for moistening the adhesive coating on postage stamps and envelopes.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus for moistening adhesive coatings on postage material and the like, comprising:
(a) an enclosure member;
(b) an open top liquid container disposed within said enclosure member;
(c) a spring biased linkage member pivotally mounted within the enclosure member and biased to a predetermined position;
(d) a moistening member pivotally mounted to the linkage member, said moistening member being movable from a first position in which it is disposed within the open top liquid container to a second position in which it is extended outwardly from the enclosure member;
(e) a plunger reciprocally movable within the enclosure member, said plunger engaging the linkage member for applying a force thereto non-coincident with the linkage member’s pivotal axis to overcome its spring bias; and
(f) a reciprocally movable closure member, said closure member being movable from a first position to a second position in response to a force transmitted by said moistening member for selectively closing and exposing of an opening in said enclosure member, said moistening member extending through said opening when said closure member is in its second position.
2. An apparatus as recited in claim 1 wherein said plunger engages said moistening member to effectuate pivotal movement of the moistening member relative to the linkage member.
3. An apparatus as recited in claim 2 wherein open top liquid container is slidable into and out of said enclosure member.
4. An apparatus as recited in claim 3 wherein said moistening member includes an absorbant sponge-like material capable of absorbing and maintaining moisture.
5. An apparatus as recited in claim 4 wherein said moistening member has a configuration resembling that of a human tongue.
6. An apparatus as recited in claim 5 wherein said closure member has a configuration resembling a human lip.
7. An apparatus as recited in claim 6 further including a lip configuration on said enclosure member disposed immediately beneath said closure member.