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Numéro de publicationUS3174493 A
Type de publicationOctroi
Date de publication23 mars 1965
Date de dépôt26 déc. 1961
Date de priorité26 déc. 1961
Numéro de publicationUS 3174493 A, US 3174493A, US-A-3174493, US3174493 A, US3174493A
InventeursGruenberg Ivor J
Cessionnaire d'origineGruenberg Ivor J
Exporter la citationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Liens externes: USPTO, Cession USPTO, Espacenet
Beach or pool-side shield
US 3174493 A
Résumé  disponible en
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Revendications  disponible en
Description  (Le texte OCR peut contenir des erreurs.)

March 23, 1965 1. J. GRUENBERG 3,174,493


/4 ATTOK/VIYS March 23, 1965 l. J. GRUENBERG 9 BEACH OR POOL-SIDE SHIELD Filed Dec. 26, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,174,493 BENCH 0R POOL-SIDE SHIELD Ivor .l. Gruenberg, 1349 South Shore Drive, Holland, Mich. Filed Dec. 26, 1961, Ser. No. 162,116 6 Claims. (Cl. 1355) The present invention relates to improvements in a simple, inexpensive and readily manipulated shield for beach or pool-side sun bathers, which shield is a highly compact and lightweight one in a folded arrangement for transportation or storage, yet when erected affords adequate and desired protection from the wind and the suns glare. It can be inexpensively produced in a single design ranging from a so-called pup size to a size adequate to completely shield several adults.

It is an object of the invention to provide a shield of this type which, as erected, presents a very attractive, slanted or prismoidal appearance, and which, by reason of its design to this end, affords adequate area for entrance of ventilating air, yet still affords the desired degree of shielding from sun and Wind.

Another object is to provide a shield of the type described which is fabricated simply and inexpensively of a minimum number of rigid frame parts, preferably in the form of rigid tubes or rods, which are united at corners of the shield by flexible connectors of one type or another, the frame parts supporting a covering of flexible canvas or other suitable weather-resistant material to afford the desired degree of shielding, and desired eye appeal.

Still another object is to provide a shield of flexibly articulated frame construction, which is readily and quickly erected, and may be easily anchored in place, either to the ground or to a pool-side surface by simply pivoting the structure about one anchor to face in a desired direction, then completing the anchorage.

A further object is to provide a shield as described which, notwithstanding the flexibility of its cover and the flexibly articulated character of its frame structure, is very rigid when erected, and capable of withstanding a surprising wind, much in excess of the capability of usual types of beach umbrellas commonly utilized.

More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide a flexibly articulated type of shield which is rigidified by a telescoping type of brace extending along a hypotenuse ridge portion of the structure, this brace being adjustable as to length to sustain the frame and covering members with the desired degree of rigidity of the former and tautness of the latter.

Another specific object is to provide a shield of the type referred to which may have its rigid tubular frame members flexibly articulated at corners of the shield in a number of alternative ways. By preference, such articulating means comprises a torsion spring type of flexible joint connecting ends of adjacent frame members. In an alternative embodiment, the joints may be fabricated of a suitably molded flexible material; and other alternative forms of flexible articulation will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.

A further object is to provide a shield characterized by a generally rectangular covering panel adapted, when erected, to be sustained by coacting frame members including a forwardly and upwardly inclined ridge member, preferably collapsible and adjustable as to its overall length. As thus erected, the center of gravity of the structure lies entirely within the triangular boundaries of the shield represented by the coacting frame members.

Yet another object is to provide a shield of the type described which, by reason of the relationship of the relatively rigid and collapsible frame members thereof to the amass Patented Mar. 23, 1965 flexible cover panel, is readily and quickly collapsed and wrapped into an extremely compact package for handling, shipping and/ or storage.

The foregoing as well as other objects will become more apparent as this description proceeds, especially when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating the invention, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the shield in a flat, spread condition thereof prior to erection and anchoring;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the erected shield, showing means for anchoring the same at ground corners thereof;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary schematic view in perspective of the erected shield, further indicating its attractive, prismoidal outline affording a desired degree of sun and wind protection, coupled with ventilation;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view primarily showing the frame structure and telescoping bracing provisions of the shield;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partially broken away and in section, of a preferred embodiment of flexible articulating means for the frame parts of the shield, and showing in dot-dash line a collapsed position of one thereof for the storage or transportation of the shield;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are similar fragmentary views, partially broken away and insection, of alternatively available types of flexible frame and bracing connecting joints of molded flexible material, FIG. 7 respectively indicating in dotted and solid line the shape of the joint member as initially molded and subsequently flexed upon assem bly of the shield;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary View, partially broken away and in section, illustrating structural features of a means for pivotally connecting a ridge member of the shield at a rear and lower end thereof to a flexible connect-ion which articulates adjacent frame members of the shield;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary view, partially broken away and in section, as from the line 9-9 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary view in section similar to FIG. 9, illustrating means for releasably connecting the ridge member of the shield to the frame structure, i.e., a flexible connector part of the latter, at the front and upper extremity of the ridge member;

FIGS. 11 through 14 are perspective views illustrating a procedure for collapsing the shield progressively into a compact condition for subsequent wrapping for handling, shipment and/ or storage; and

FIG. 15 is a perspective view showing the shield in its wrapped and packaged condition.

FIG. 1 of the drawing shows a preferred embodiment of the improved shield in a fiat, spread out condition on the ground prior to final erection and anchoring. The shield is generally designated by the reference numeral it and comprises an approximately rectangular, preferably one-piece panel 11 of water-proofed flexible canvas or equivalent, weather-resistant material, plastic, fabric or otherwise. The panel is cut away at 12 at its four corners to accommodate the flexible joint or articulating means of the structure to be described. It is also stitched or otherwise seamed at 13 along its four sides to receive the four identical rigid, elongated frame members 14, which may be in the form of lengths of tube or rod of standard and readily procurable type. These lengths are flexibly connected to one another at the four corners of the shield 14), upon assembly of the latter in fabrication or members of one sort or another, as shown respectively in FIG; 5 and in FIGS, 6 and 7, shortly to be described.

V Such adjustable corner connector is generally designated in FIG. 5 by the reference numeral 16, and is similarly 3 designated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, although it is to be understood that the alternative embodiments of FIGS. 6 and 7 may be substituted therefor, if desired.

As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4, an elongated adjustable ridge brace or pole extends between corners of the shield 11 which, when the latter is erected, are at the front and rear thereof. This ridge member extends along the hypotenuse of the erected unit, being generally designated 18. In the illustrated form, it comprises an elongated rigid tube 19 telescopingly receiving a rigid rod or tube 20 with a reasonably close sliding lit; and a hand clamp 21 is provided to secure the parts 19, 20 in a desiredly elongated or extended overall length, they being operatively connected at opposite ends of the hypotenuse ridge member 18 to the front and rear articulating joints. Clamp 21 is, however, not an indispensible part.

Now referring to FIG. 5, showing a preferred form of torsion spring type of flexible joint or coupling 16, the latter is shown as comprising a suitably elongated length of right hand-wound helical torsion spring 22. It should be understood that four such springs are utilized. Whether right hand-wound, as indicated, or left handwound in the manner subsequently referred to, all four springs must be of the same hand helix. The end coils of this spring are inserted in adjacent ends of a pair of tubular frame members 14, the proportioning of these coils being such as to have a slip or slide interference fit with the inner diameter of the respective tubes 14.

With all four of the spring thus inserted in the four pairs of adjacent tube ends, one of the spring ends may be considered to be a one-way clutch resisting torsional displacement, under a twist in the direction which causes the helical spring coils to expand, when frictionally engaged with its tubular seat. Accordingly, when the tube 14 receiving the opposite end of this clutch-anchored spring 22 is twisted or wound relative to the latter in a slipping direction, for a right-hand helical spring, through a predetermined number of turns, this torsionally loads the three other springs of the system. For a left-hand spring the twist of the tube is, of course, in the opposite direction. Thus, when the twisted or wound tube is released the result is that all four spring connections 16 react into torsional equilibrium, being securely fastened in a simple frictional clutch manner to the respective tube lengths.

This provides a universal, flexible connection between the four tubes, enabling their folding from the solid line to the dot-dash line position of FIG. 5, and continually stressing the frame tubes at corners of the shield 10 away from one another and to positions to take up slack in the shield covering 11, whether the shield is in the flat condition of FIG. 1 or erected as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4.

It is possible to employ helical articulating springs such as are shown in FIG. 5, but with a frictional lit to the outer diameter of the tube members 14, in which case left or right hand-wound helical springs would be employed in a diameter at the ends thereof enabling them to fit on the CD. of the tubes; and the action would be otherwise generally as described in connection with FIG. 5.

FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate alternative available types of flexible articulating means, generally designated, respectlvely 25 and 26. The joint 25 differs from the joint 26 of FIG. 7 in that it is a T-type incorporating an integral connecting piece 28 at its center, adapted to frictionally receive one end or the other of the rigid adjustable bracing ridge 18. Otherwise, the two forms are the same, and corresponding reference numerals are employed to designate corresponding portions thereof.

Both are integrally molded of a suitably flexible material throughout, i.e., natural or synthetic rubber or plastic, being initially produced in a shape similar to a standard rigid threaded pipe connection, straight or T- type. They have integral cup termini 29 frictionally receiving internally the ends of the frame tubes 14, and as assembled at the four corners of the shield, they afford universally flexible connections for the latter.

Those skilled in the art will recognize the possibility of employing different types of flexible construction joints, for example a double Cardan metal joint, or simply a length of plain flexible tubing.

However, I find that the helical spring type of connector 16 is to be preferred, in general, since the woundup springs tend to stress the frame members 14 away from one another, making a desiredly rigid frame structure and keeping the flexible covering panel 11 more taut when set up.

FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 of the drawings show provisions according to the invention for connecting the tubular, axially collapsible ridge member 18 to the frame structure. To this end, the rigid tube 19 which terminates adjacent the rear of the shield is provided with a connector plug 31, preferably integrally molded of a suitable plastic material, which frictionally engages within the end of the tube 19, as illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, and has a somewhat enlarged outer portion 32 which inwardly abuts the end of the tube. If desired, the plug 31 may be fixedly held in place by a pin 33 extending through the latter and tube 19. Enlarged portion 32 is molded to provide a transverse opening 34 which receives the connector spring 22 with a reasonable tolerance, as shown in FIG. 8. Plug 31 is, of course, assembled to the spring 22 prior to completion of the assembly of the latter to the two adjacent frame members 14 at the rear of the shield structure.

In accordance with the invention, the second tube 29 of the collapsible ridge member 18 is provided with a molded plastic plug member 36 frictionally engageable within the outer end of the tube 20, and, if desired, positively held in place by a through pin 37. Plug 36 has an integral enlarged portion 38 rearwardly abutting the end of rigid tube 20 and is shaped at 39 in the form of a downwardly opening hook. This hook formation 39 is enabled to releasably engage the spring connector 16 at the forward corner of the shield, which becomes the upper corner of the latter in its erected condition. The hooked portion 39 of plug 36 engages or abuts the connector spring 22 in a positive fashion, when ridge member 18 is extended properly, thus to hold the shield in a taut and relatively rigid condition both prior to and after erection to the condition illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4 of the drawings.

The mode of erecting the shield would appear to be obvious from an inspection of the last named figures. With its forward side frame members 14 brought inwardly toward one another to a desired angular relationship to provide the desired width and height of entrance opening therebetween, the ridge member 18 is extended to a proper length, and its forward connector plug 36 is straddled over the forward spring connector 16, in the manner of FIG. 10. In the alternative, the ridge member 18 may be extended and applied to the forward spring connector 16 prior to the final erecting operation. The tautness of the flexible panel 11 induced by the spreading action of the corner connectors holds the connector plug 36 quite firmly against the forward corner connector spring 22. In either case, the hand piece of clamp 21 may be tightened to hold the ridge parts, although I find that even a hand clamp 21 may be dispensed with, inasmuch as the inherent flexing action of the connectors 16 insures rigidity and tautness of the cover panel both prior to and after erection. It may be noted by reference to FIG. 10 that the hooking action of the plug 36 at 39 will suflice to hold the ridge member 18 against telescoping collapsing action in the normal handling of the product.

In the use of the shield 10 as thus erected, it may be anchored at its rear corner (designated A in FIG. 2) to the ground, using a suitable length of pin 41 engaging the rear flexible connector 16, 25 or 26. For pool-side use,

a suitable vacuum cup anchor applied to the connector may be employed. The unit is then swung about point A as a pivot to bring it to a desired facing position, whereupon its respective sides are brought toward one another to the angular relation of the pairs of respective forward and rearward frame members to one another; whereupon the shield is then anchored at B at its forward connector 16, 25 or 26, again using ground pins 41 or suction cup type securing means.

The width and height of the forward entnance opening to the shield are, of course, selected as desired by a simple swinging adjustment of the fname members, the width decreasing as the angle C (FIG. 4) between uprights decreases, and the height increasing as the angle C decreases; and the adjustable ridge member 13 may be clamped at final length when these matters of height and width have been determined in the erection of the shield.

As indicated above, I have found that the spring type connector 16 commands preference over the molded types 25 and 26, in that it affords a more rigid erected frame and keeps the covering panel 11 more taut at all times. In fact, utilizing the spring articulator I have found it possible to eliminate the tube forward anchor pins 41, substituting a flexible cord 43 connected across the forward ground joints 16 in the manner suggested in FIG. 3 of the drawings.

FIGS. 11 through illustrate a convenient and very expeditious procedure for collapsing and compacting the shield for handling, shipment and/ or storage. Considering those figures in sequence, the erected shield may first be placed upon its back, with the half thereof uppermost of the hypotenuse ridge member 18 facing upwardly and toward the viewer. The forward rigid tube 20 is then manually detached from the forward spring connector 16, and then collapsed lengthwise to a length approximating one of the frame member 14, to the condition indicated in dotted line in FIG. 11. It is then swung forwardly about an are indicated in dot-dash line to the position of FIG. 12, in which it extends along the side of one of the frame members, remaining flexibly articulated to the rear connector 16 at its connector plug 31.

This enables the upwardly and forwardly projecting shield half to be swung downwardly into juxtaposed relation to the bottom half, as illustrated in solid line in FIG. 13, whereupon one half of the thus triangularly outlined unit is swung, as indicated by arrows and dotted line in FIG. 13, onto the other half.

This leaves the shield in the condition shown in FIG. 14, so that the same can be rolled about its assemblage of collapsed ridge member and fname members onto the flexible cover panel 11 to bring the unit into the extremely compact wrapped or packaged condition shown in FIG. 15 for further handling, :shipment or storage. It may be further secured in this condition, if desired, by means (not shown), such as a cord, an umbrella type of tape and snap fastener means, or the like.

The invention affords a most attnactive shield for its intended purpose, surprisingly rigid when erected, notwithstanding the simplicity of its component parts. Regardless of size, the shield is readily erected, collapsed and wrapped for handling, etc., on location by unskilled persons, and affords desired wind and sun protection, coupled with desired ventilation. When erected, the center of gravity of the shield structure falls well within the supporting side frame members and taut cover panel supported thereby. This makes the shield very stable indeed, considering the flexible and flexibly articulated nature of its component parts. Thus, in instances of use as at a pool side, for example, involving no appreciative wind exposure, the shield will retain its erected and placed 6 position Without need for pinning or securing means, such as the pins 41, suction cups or the like, always assuming the presence of suitable means or disposition to resist the return spring of the structure to the fiat condition of FIG. 1.

What I'claim as my invention is:

1. A shield of the type described comprising a cover panel of generally quadrilateral outline in flat condition having elongated frame members extending along and connected respectively to the sides thereof, resilient connectors flexibly articulating said frame members to one another at the corners of said panel, and an elongated substantially straight rigid ridge member extending between and connected to diagonally opposed corners of the shield, said shield being erectable to a condition presenting generally triangular cover panel portions extending downwardly from said ridge member in an angularly spread relation to one another, with said ridge member in a forwardly and upwardly inclined position, said ridge member being the sole rigid means connected to said cover panel other than said frame members for maintaining the shield in said erected condition, said ridge member having a portion flexibly connected to one of said diagonally opposed cover corners and having a further portion adapted for a connection to the other cover corner which will permit wrapping of said cover panel about said frame members as an axis when the shield is in a non-erected condition, said resilient connectors adapting said frame members to be collapsed into side-by-side relation to one another in said non-erected condition, whereby said cover panel may be successively folded on itself upon a diagonal across one pair of said panel corners, then medially folded further upon itself to bring said frame member to said side-by-side relation, then wrapped about said frame members.

2. A shield in accordance with claim 1, in which said connectors comprise flexible torsion springs frictionally connected under torsion to and between adjacent ends of frame members articulated thereby.

3. A shield in accordance with claim 1, in which said connectors comprise molded non-metallic members engaged with adjacent ends of frame members articulated thereby.

4. A shield in accordance with claim 1, in which said portions of said ridge member have an axially spreadable connection to one another medially of the length of the ridge member.

5. A shield in accordance with claim 1, in which said further portion of said ridge member has means for a quick release connection to said other cover corner.

6. A shield in accordance with claim 1, in which said ridge member is engaged directly at its opposite ends with corner connectors.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,266,853 12/41 Dabney 5 2,551,393 5/51 Pinger 285-156 2,934,076 4/60 Fulke 1355 2,963,031 12/60 Carroll 135-5 2,966,372 12/60 Phillips 285423 2,985,469 5/61 Bowman 285423 X 3,010,464 11/61 Moss 1355 3,055,682 9/62 Bacher et a1 285-181 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 1,240,431 7/60 France.

HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner. D. I. STOCKING, Examiner.

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Classification aux États-Unis135/143, 135/120.3, D25/56
Classification internationaleE04H15/00
Classification coopérativeE04H15/003
Classification européenneE04H15/00B