US 2224310 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 10, 1- E. E. MERRETT ETIAL 2,224,310
INFANT'S PLAY YARD Filed July 27, 1938 2 Sheets-Sheet l z z E M BY W524) A TTORNEI Patented Dec. 10, 1940 PATENT orr cr.
INFANTS PLAY YARD Earle E. Merrett and William J. Koch, Two Rivers, Wis., assignors to Hamilton Manufacturing Company, Two Rivers, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application July 27, 1938, Serial No. 221,591
This invention relates to an infants play yard and particularly to that type thereof that is foldableor collapsible so that it may be stored in a relatively small space when not in use, the
6 principal object being the provision of a play yard of this type that is simple in construction, strong and durable, and economical to produce.
Objects of the invention include the provision of a play yard of the type described including a bottom and surrounding side members, two of the oppositely disposed side members being foldable and the bottom being formed in a plurality of parts each foldable against an associated side, means being provided on one of the bottom sections for receiving an edge of the other of the bottom sections thereon so constructed and arranged as to provide an overlapping joint with respect to the latter and serving to stiffen the bottom intermediate opposite edges thereof; the
provision of a play yard as above described in which the stifiening means for the joint between the. two sections of the bottom cooperate between oppositely foldable sides of the play yard to prevent spreading thereof and the bottom itself cooperates with such sides to prevent inward collapsing thereof; the provision of a play yard as above described in which a plurality of means cooperate between the bottom and the sides thereof to support the bottom from the sides; to provide a construction as above described in which means are provided independently of the pivoted joints between each bottom section and cooperating side sections to support each bottom section on all four sides thereof; to provide a play yard of the type described in which means are provided for maintaining the bottom sections against inadvertent opening movement when in folded position; to provide a novel form of hinge joint between the collapsible side members of a play yard of the type described and the noncollapsible side members thereof; and to provide a play yard of the type described that is simple and easy to fold and unfold and that embodies certain novel features rendering the construc-' trate a suitable embodiment of the'present invention and in which like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several different views,
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a suitable embodiment of our improved play yard in fully open or extended position and ready for use;
-Fig. 2 is a perspective View of the play yard shown in Fig. 1 but in the folded position in which it is adapted to be stored when not in use;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, partially sectioned perspective view of the lower end of the left-hand corner of the play yard illustrated in Fig. 1, and illustrating in greater detail the hinge structure employed between the foldable side members and the non-foldable side members;
Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view of the play yard shown in Fig. 1 taken on the line 4-4 thereof; v
Fig. 5 is a vertical sectional view of the play yard shown in Fig. 2 in folded condition taken on the line 5-5 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of Fig. 4 and illustrating in greater detail the construction of one of the supports for one of the floor sections carried by one of the foldable side members;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on the line 1-1 of Fig. 4 and illustrating an additional support for the foldable bottom sections on the foldable side sections and the manner in which it cooperates with the bottom sections to prevent outward displacement of the foldable side sections; and,
Fig. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on the line 88 of Fig. 4 and illustrating in greater detail the manner of hinging the foldable bottom sectionsto the non-foldable side members.
Infants or childrens play yards or play pens are commonly employed both indoors and outdoors to confine infants or children against straying and yet permit them some latitude of movement to obtain exercise. Ordinarily these play yards or play pens are made of a collapsible or a folding nature so that when not in active use they may be stored in a relatively small place. Infants and young children of an age adapting them to be safely confined in such play yards or play pens are usually of a more or less boisterous nature and destructive in their actions, and in the past such play yards or play pens, except when of the most expensive construction, have been subject to relatively early destruction by their occupants. It has been our experience that such play yards must be rigidly constructed, all movable portions thereof must be fastened securely with respect to cooperating portions, and wherever possible any latching or like means serving to maintain the position of one part with respect to another must be placed out of reach of the infant-occupant if the same is to be maintained operative. The accompanying drawings illustrate a play pen in which particular attention has been .paid to overcome the disadvantages of conventional construction in the above respect and at the same time to produce a device of the type described that is simple in construction and economical to produce.
Referring to the accompanying drawings a play yard or play pen of the type described is illustrated as including a pair of relatively rigid opposed side members indicated generally at I II and a pair of oppositely disposed intervening collapsia ble or foldable side members indicated generally at I2. Each side member III includes an upper rail I4 and a lower rail I 6 suitably interconnected by a plurality of vertical horizontally spaced bars or balusters I8 the upper and lower ends of each of which are preferably formed to provide a short cylindrical boss or pin 20 as illustrated in Fig. 6 each of which is received in a corresponding opening in the corresponding rail I4 or I6 and suitably glued or otherwise fixed therein. Each of the rigid side members It] is provided at each end thereof with a vertically extending post 22 rigidly fixed thereto, each post 22 being of rectangular cross-sectional configuration with the plane of its thickness arranged perpendicularly with respect to the plane of the corresponding end member III and with one edge thereof projecting inwardly with respect to the rails I4 and I6.
Each of the foldable side members I2 include upper and lower rail portions 24 and 26, respectively, each formed in two parts of equal length and hinged together at their adlacent edges which abut when the play pen is in extended position, as by means of hinges 28 secured to the outer faces thereof; The respective halves of each pair of rails 24 and 26 are connected together by bars or balusters 3| in the same manner as the bar or balusters I8 are connected to the rails I4 and I6 as previously described. A latch bar 29 of a con-- ventional construction is pivotally secured to the inner face of one of each of thetop rails 24 and is adapted to extend across the line of split of such cross-bar and is free to disengageably receive the head of a screw 30 secured in the other half of the corresponding rail when the play pen is 'in open position to aid in stiffening the hinged joint and to prevent folding movement thereof during unfolding of the bottom sections.
The outer ends of the various rails 24 and 26 are pivotally connected to'the associated edge faces of the associated post 22 in the manner illustrated in Fig. 3 so that each 'side member I2 may be broken inwardly at its center and the two halves thereof folded against the inner faces of the respective opposite sides I0. As illustrated in Fig. 3 this hinge structure is provided by screwing an eye-screw 32 into the inner edge of the post 22 immediately above the desired location of the upper faces of .the cooperating rails 24-26, and arranging the plane of the eyes of such eye screws horizontally. The ends of the cooperating rails 24 or 26 are then placed in position below the corresponding eye screw 32 and an ordinary wood screw 34 is passed downwardlythrough each eye screw 32 and threaded into the upper surface of the corresponding rail half 24-26 all illustrated in Fig. 3. Also as noted in Fig. 3 the outer ends of the rails 24 and 26 are rounded as at 36 so as to permit the rails 24 and 26 at their outer ends to contact the corresponding edge face of the cooperating post 22 and yet permit them to pivot about the axes of the screws 34 in. order to obtain the desired folding effect of the side members I2. As will be appreciated the form of hinge structure thus provided is not only economical to produce and easy and quick to apply, but enables the-location of the hinge parts to, be accurately predetermined, provides a construction that is readily adjustable to vary the clearance between the ends of the rails 24 and 26 and the corresponding edge faces of the post 22, may be readily ad- ;Iusted to eliminate rattle, and is of a substantial nature.
,With the construction thus far described it will be readily understood that with the various sides I I and I2 connected together as described and as illustrated in Fig. 1, if the opposite sides I 2 are broken inwardly at their centers, the opposite sides Ifl will be drawn towards one another and as this movement is continued the respective halves of the sides I2 will be folded substantially against the corresponding sides III to which they are pivotally mounted by the structure shown in Fig. 3, until the sides I2 are completely folded between the sides Ill and assume the folded condition illustrated in Fig. 2 which permits storage of the device in a relatively small space.
The bottom of the play pen is made of two sections 38 and 48, respectively, each section being hinged along one 'of its long edges to a corresponding side I II. Each of these bottom sections is formedfrom relatively stiif sheet-like material and preferably of a suitable type of composition board thatis waterproof and resistant to warping, such as is commonly found on the market. Additionally each of the bottom sections 38 and 48 has rigidly fixed to the underface thereof at the outer edge thereof a bar 42 and each of which, as illustrated in Fig, 8, is provided at its outer ends with.
a cylindrical pin or boss portion 44 which is rotatably received within a cylindrical blind opening 46 provided in the inner face of the corresponding post 22 inwardly of the rail I6 thereof and in the same general plane of such rails. This permits the bottom sections 88 and 40 to be folded upwardly about their respective pivotal axes so as to bring them up into contact with the inner faces of the corresponding side sections III to thus place them in a position where they will be confined between such side sections and the inward folding sides I2 when the structure is in folded position as previously described. In Fig. 2 the play pen is shown with the bottom sections 38 and 40 folded upwardly against the rigid side members I8 and the foldable side members I2 folded inwardly against the bottom sections. Suitable catches 4| pivotally and frictionally secured to the inner edge face of one of the posts 22 of each end section III are movable to a position to latch the bottom sections 38 and 40 in folded position against the corresponding side sections III.
The bottom section 38 is of greater width measured in a direction perpendicular to the pivotal axis thereof than the bottom section 40 and thus extends across the line of break of the rails 26 and it is arranged so that its upper surface is substantially flush with the upper surface of the rails 26. Accordingly the opposite side edges of the bottom section 38 abut against the inner faces of the rails 26 and extend across the line of break thereof and this effectively prevents any inward collapsing tendency of the sides [2 when the bottom section 38 is in operative position. The bottom section 48 also fits between the side rails 26 in the manner above described and, therefore, aids in preventing inward collapsing of the side l2 but as it does not extend across the line of break of' the rails 26 is not as effective in this respect as the bottom section 38.
In order to support the abutting edges of the sections 38 and 48 a rigid cross-bar 48 is rigidly fixed to the underface of the narrow bottom section 48 at the free edge thereof and projects outwardly beyond such free edge, as best illustrated in Fig, 4, so as to provide a supporting surface upon which the free edge of the section 38 may rest when the play pen is in operative or extended position. The two bottom sections are thus proe vided with an overlapping joint between them which eliminates the presence of any open crack in the bottom of the play pen and at the same time provides an intermediate support for the floor.
In order to render the bar 48 effective as an intermediate support, a pair of plate-like brackets 50 are fixed to the underface of the bottom rails 26 in line thereof when in open position as by means of screws 52, the brackets 58 projecting inwardly so as to provide a support for the outer ends of the cross-bar 48 and thus providing a support for such outer ends adjacent the centers of the sides I2. Additionally in accordance with the present invention the inner ends of the bracket members 50 are bent upwardly as at 54 to form a hook-like projection and the lower face of the cross-bar 48 in line with each of the hooks 54 is slotted as at 56 for reception thereof. The reception of the hook-like projections 54 in the slots 56 serve to interlock the rails 26 with the crossbar 48 and in this manner the opposite sides I2 are positively locked together through the crossbar 48 against outward separation. This feature relieves the hinges 28 from a considerable amount of wear and tear, prevents the sides l2 from giving outwardly and thereby allowing the bottom sections 38 and 48 to drop downwardly therebetween and serves to render the construction more rigid in general.
Additional supports for the fioor are provided I at other points around the peripheral portions thereof. For instance each side of the section 38 intermediate its free edge and its pivoted edge is provided at its lower surface with a block 58 rigidly secured thereto, the block 58 being of such depth that when the upper surface of the section 38 is substantially flush with the corresponding side rails 26 the lower face of the block 58 is substantially flush with the lower face of the corresponding side rails 26. In line with each of the blocks 58 a bracket 60 of plate-like form is secured to the lower face of the corresponding rail 26 as by means of screws 62 and projects inwardly therefrom so as to provide a support for the bosses 44, but are supported from the sides "I and I2 in addition thereto by means of the brackets 50, 60 and 84, respectively. The result of the above described construction is that the floor of the play pen is amply supported from the sides thereof and cooperates with the sides not only to prevent inward folding or collapsing movement of the sides but also braces them against outward breaking movement dangerous to the continued operativeness of the structure.
As' a matter of convenience a castor 68 is sesuredto the lower face of each bottom rail I6 adjacent each end thereof to permit the structure to be conveniently moved from place to place without the necessity of lifting it and also to raise the bottom above the supporting surface with all of the attendant advantages thereof.
It will be appreciated from the foregoing that the present invention provides a play pen of the type described that is simple but of extremely rugged construction and is economical to manufacture and overcomes many disadvantages of constructions as heretofore suggested.
Formal changes may be made in the specific embodiments of the invention described without departing from the spirit and substance of the invention, the scope of which is commensurate with the appended claims.
What we claim is:
1. In an infant's play pen, in combination, a pair of oppositely disposed rigid side members, an additional pair of side members interposed between opposite ends of the first mentioned side members, said second pair of side members each being formed in its entirety in two parts of equal length hingedly secured together and each being hingedly secured at its ends to the ends of the first mentioned side members, a bottom for said play pen formed in two separable sections, one section being pivotally secured to one of the first mentioned side members and the other of said sections being pivotally secured to the remaining of the first mentioned side member, one of said sections being of greater length than the other of said sections and fitting between said second pair of side members and overlapping the line of break of each thereof, the hinge connections between said second pair of side members both being located on the same side of the line of break of the fioor sections.
2. In an infants play pen, in combination, a pair of oppositely disposed rigid side members,
an additional pair of side members interposed between opposite ends of the first mentioned side members, said second pair of side members each being formed in two parts hingedly secured together and each being hingedly secured at its ends to the ends of the first mentioned side members, a bottom for said play pen formed in two sections, one section being pivotally secured to one of the first mentioned side members and the.
other of said sections being pivotally secured to. the remaining of the first mentioned side members, a cross bar secured to the lower face of one of said sections at the free edge thereof and projecting outwardly therebeyond to form a supporting surface, the free edge of the other of said bottom sections adapted to rest upon and be supported by said supporting surface, and means cooperating between the ends of said bar and said second pair of side members for supporting I said bar from said second pair of side members.
3. In an infants play pen and the like, in combination, a pair of oppositely disposed rigid side members, a pair of inwardly foldable side membars interposed between corresponding ends of the first mentioned pair of side members, afioor for said' play pen comprising a pair of cooperable sections one pivotaily secured to one of the first mentioned pair of side members and the other pivotally secured to the remaining of the first mentioned pair of side members, a cross bar secured to the free edge of one of said bottom sections and extending between said second pair of side members, said cross-bar projecting beyond said free edge whereby to receive the free edge of the other of said bottom sections thereon thereby to form a support for the free edges of both said bottom sections, a bracket secured to each of said foldable side members and extending inwardly therefrom, an upturned end on each of said brackets, said brackets being arranged to receive said bar thereon, and said bar being provided with a recess at each end thereof for reception of the upturned end of the corresponding bracket .whereby to lock said bar to said bracket and thereby prevent outward folding movement of said second pair of side members when operatively engaged with said brackets.
4. In a childs play pen, in combination, a pair of opposed rigid side members, a pair of inwardly foldable side members interposed between the corresponding ends of the first mentioned pair of side members, a pair of bottom sections pivotaily secured to the respective rigid side members, and a, pivotal connection between the ends of said second pair of side members and the ends of the first mentioned pair of side members of each connection comprising a screw eye secured in the end of one of said side members with the plane of the eye thereof horizontally directed and overlapping a surface of an end of a cooperating side member and with one face thereof lying in contact therewith, and a' screw extending through said eye and threading into said cooperating end with the head thereof in contact with the opposite face of said screw eye to maintain said surface in substantial engagement with said eye.
5. In an infants play pen including a pair of rigid side members and a pair of foldabie side members having a pair of horizontally directed bars, means pivotally connecting said foldable side members to said rigid side members comprising, in combination, screw eyes threaded into the ends of said rigid side members and arranged with the plane of the eyes thereof horizontally, the ends of the bar of said foldable side member being arranged in superposed relation with respect to said eyes and in contact with one face thereof, and a wood screw threaded downwardly through each eye and into the cooperating of said ends with its head engaging the opposite face of said eye to maintain the engagement of said eye with the surface of the corresponding said end.
EARLE E. IVERRE'I'I. WILLIAM J. KOCH.