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Publication numberUS2670477 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 2, 1954
Filing dateDec 6, 1951
Priority dateDec 6, 1951
Publication numberUS 2670477 A, US 2670477A, US-A-2670477, US2670477 A, US2670477A
InventorsKenneth H Pond
Original AssigneeGardner Wood Products Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatically folding structure
US 2670477 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 2, 1954 PQND 2,670,477


7 W 512%54Zr: ayE l 7% a ,11 Ha I l INVENTOR. E 5 3 %m%%;m


to Gardner Wood Products 00.,

Mass., assignor Inc., Gardner,

Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Application December 6, 1951, Serial No. 266,249

5 Claims.

not to be limited thereto, it being equally applicable to a variety of furniture pieces such as cribs, cradles, tables, beds or the like, and to a variety of other structures such as animal kennels or 'coops, exercising or amusement arenas, and to the broad class of receptacles, including boxes, crates, shipping containers, and the like.

The principal object of my invention is directed to the provision of a foldable structure, the parts of which are so arranged for folding or collapsing relative to each other that the movement of certain parts automatically initiates movement on the part of other related parts whereby the device changes from an open-operating position to a collapsed non-operating position.

It is to be appreciated that the direction of effort in this invention has been to provide an automatically folding or collapsing structure which is' smooth in its functioning, the mechanical motions being such that once initiated all components or elements readily contribute to the ac tion simultaneously with each other.

My invention also consists in certain new and original features of construction and combination of parts hereinafter set forth and claimed in conjunction with the annexed drawings which illustrate a certain form of embodiment thereof, which form is deemed preferable and is a specific disclosure for the purpose of illustrating one embodiment of the invention by way of an example since the same has been found in practice to give satisfactory and reliable results. It is to be understood that the various parts of which the invention consists, can be variously changed Within the scope of the appended claims without departing from the broad aspects and spirit of the invention and that same is not limited to the precise arrangement and organization of the instrumentalities as herein shown and described.

To the above cited and other ends and with the foregoing and various other novel features and advantages and other objects of my invention as will become more readily apparent as the description proceeds, my invention consists in cer tain novel features of construction and in the combination and arrangement of parts as will be hereinafter more particularly pointed out in the claims hereunto annexed and more fully described and referred to in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a childs play yard in the open or operating position showing certain features of my construction;

Fig. 2 is an end elevational view yard shown in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the play yard along the line 33 of Fig. 1; and

Fig. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of the play yard along the line 4-4 of Fig. 1.

of the play In the following description and claims, various details will be identified by specific names for convenience. These names, however, are intended to be as generic in their application as the art will permit.

Referring now to the drawing more in detail, in which similar characters of reference indicate corresponding parts in the several figures, and referring more particularly to the preferred form of my invention selected for illustrative purposes, I have shown a play yard although it will be understood that the device of my invention could be a crib or a shipping receptacle or similar article equally as well so long as adapted for the folding or collapsing functions, which are the primary concern of this description.

The play yard as shown includes a pair of hori zontally-extending lower end rails l0 and I2 spaced opposite from and parallel to each other.

Horizontally extending upper end rails l4 and I6 are disposed above the lower end rails l0 and I2 respectively.

A plurality of vertically extending connecting bars l8 connect the respective upper and lower end rails on each side of the structure. It will be understood, however, that these rails may, if desired, be connected by other types of construction so as to provide, for example, solid side walls or walls of other types, all such as are well known and form no part of this invention.

An upper and lower end rail and the connecting member or members therebetween comprise what wil be hereinafter referred to in this specification as an end member.

A vertically extending corner post 20 is provided at each end of each of the end members. In each instance, the respective lower and upper end rails are fixed thereto in any conventional manner, as is shown in Fig. 2.

Pairs of opposite and spaced lower and upper side rail members and connecting bars therebetween are similarly provided on each side of the side members are hingedly connected to the respective adjacent posts but also in the respect that each of the side members is sub-dividedv into halves or sections 30, which halvesorsec tions are hingedly connected to each other bymeans of hinges 3? wherebythe sections-311 011 each side of the structure are foldable inwardly relative to each other and relative to the opposite end members in a manner as is clearly shown in U. S. Letters Patent #2,489,188 issued to Henry J. Landry on November 22, 1949.

By reference to that patent, it will be understood that the structure may thus be changed from an operating or open position whereat the opposite end wall members and opposite side wall members are spaced away from each other to a non-operating or collapsed position whereat the opposite end wall members are brought toward each other and are separated by the folded sections of the side wall members.

The members are so fixed relative to the end members and are so hingedly connected to the side members that the lower extremities 2! of the members 26 extend downwardly below the plane of the lower edges of the side and end members whereby legs are provided and the main body structure is held up off the floor. This is particularly desirable where the structure is used as a play yard or crib for a baby in which instance it is desired to avoid drafts close to the floor which may adversely affect the health of the baby.

A floor or base (the construction being a fiOOI in the case of a play yard, crib or cradle and being a base in the case of a receptacle) coin-- prises a pair of floor members and 42. These members are pivoted by means of hinges and to their respective lower end rails i9 and I2, as shown in Fig. 3.

Members 49 and 42-aregenerally triangular in form. and have their apices pointing toward each other. Member, 40 isprovided with apair of wing members 5! and 52 and member dZ-is provided with a pair of wing members 53-.and.54.

The wing members are generally triangular in shape and are of such dimension that-the members it and 12 and the wing members 51, 52, 53 and 5 1 when placed in a horizontal plane side by side in the manner shown by Landry generally cover the area defined within the opposed side and end members ofrthestructureh The wing members 5!, 52, 53 and 54 are hinged to the respective adjacent member 49 01:42 by hinges 56.

The wings 5!, 52, 53 and 54 have outen un.- hinged free edges adjacent the respectiversections of the lower side rails. the wings are not joined to the adjacent .sections of the lower side rails, all for reasons as will be presently observed. They are supported relative thereto by means of straps subsequently to be described. An improvement over the aforementioned Landry construction has been obtained in the elimination of a hinged connection between the wing members and the adjacent lower side rails inasmuch as in movements from That is to say,

an open to a collapsed position there are movements of the wing member relative to the respective section of the side members. Special hinges having slots to permit certain sliding or shifting motions of one element relative to the other have thus heretofore been necassary and these have been objectionable due to frequent malfunctions.

According to this invention, the wing members not being connected to adjacent frame members there is free movement of the wings during movement of the parts between open and closed positions. The wing members in no way prevent proper functioning of the relatively hinged side rail sections.

member outwardly beyond the rail memberl2 as shown in Fig. 3.

A pedal member consists of a foot engaging portion 68 and a pair of parallel side faces 61 which extend downwardly and away from the footportion S6. The side faces 87 have lower ends 68 or extremities which are offset oran-.-- gularly disposed relative thereto. as shown in- Fig. 3, andthese ends are fixed to opposite sides of the member 60 as by screws 65 or the like.

The ends 68 are notched; as at 10 to provide a clearance for the rail member 12 as in the case of the driving member 60 as aforementioned whereby a pivotalaction'ofmember 69 and the pedal member fixed thereto relative to the rail member 52 is made possible by hinges 46.

The construction and relation-of parts is such that as the foot engaging portion 66 of the pedal member is engaged by the foot of the operator and as the same is depressed downwardly; to a lowermost position as shown in dot-dash lines in Fig. 3, the. floor member. 42518: urged upwardly pivoting on the-hinges 46 relative to the rail member i 2 and thereby shifting from; its operat: ing position inthe horizontal plane to its non.- operating position in the vertical plane.

There is also provided a connectinglinkll. which may be, madeof any suitable, material and which has one extremity connected in pivotal relationto theinner extremity figi'of the operating member 60 by meanslofg suitable attachment "M- such as a pin or; the usual design. Member, 12';

has its opposite extremity held vin pivotalirela,-

tion'to a bracketzmember 16 which is fixed to the. underside. of the, floor member 40 as by rivets; l 8- or the-like;

The link I2. is of Suchtension that asthe ope crating memberfifi is urged upwardly toits verticalposition, the link 12i issimultaneously. acatuated upwardly causing floor member. 40 to.

pivot. upwardly'upon its hingemembers Mxrele ative to-.-the adjacent end'wall member andiurg ing same tobemoved inwardly toward the opposite end wall members i in. front of whichv thev operator is standing;

It will be appreciated: that while the pedal- It will also be understood that casters (not shown) may be secured to the lower extremities of the posts 20 so as to facilitate these movements relative to the base, floor or ground area upon which the structure is placed.

Thus actuating the operating member brings about the elevation of floor members 40 and 42. Simultaneously therewith, movement of the hinged sections ofthe side rails inwardly between the end rails is accomplished by means now to be described.

' Additionally, elevator members in the form of flexible straps 80 are provided beneath the adjacent inner edges of the floor members 40 and 42 and have their opposite free ends fixed to the respective sections of the lower end rails 30 as shown in Figs. 1 and 4. Brackets 82 in the form of angles are fixed to the members 30 by screws 84 or the like. The ends of the straps 80 are carried over the top portions of the angles and are fitted between the angles and the members 38 where they are held secure by means of the'fastening means 84. Other means for securing the rails to the straps may be provided.

The midsections of the straps 80 are secured to the underside of the respective floor member 40 or 42 so that as the floor members are elevated from their horizontal to their vertical positions, the strap members simultaneously are actuated so that they pull the respective sections of the side wall members inwardly.

The sections of the side wall members on each side being hinged to each other as aforementioned, a movement is effected whereby the sections move inwardly together so as to obtain the desired collapsing action.

It will here by understood that the wing members 5|, 52, 53, and 54 are in no way connected to the respective sections'of the side wall members. The wing members do seat upon the straps in horizontal position thereof. Since opposite ends of the straps are secured to the side rail sections, the inner adjacent edge portions of the floor sections are supported so that the central portion of the floor which is most used is adequately supported.

The various components of my invention having been described, I shall now describe the operation of my construction.

When the operator presses upon pedal 66, a pivotal action is initiated as the inner end of the operating member 60 is urged upwardly carrying therewith the floor member 42, which pivots upwardly upon hinges 46. Simultaneously, a similar pivoting action is initiated in the case of floor member 40 which pivots upwardly upon hinges 44, this action being produced by means of the extremity 62 of the member 60 which initiates the movement of the floor member 40 upwardly as the floor member 42 is urged upwardly. As member 42 continues upwardly, link 12 is pulled upwardly so as to urge the member 40 to hinge upon the hinges 44.

As the floor members 40 and 42 are raised about the axes of the respective hinges 44 and 46, the respective pairs of wing members being hingeably and pivotally connected thereto are simultaneously raised upwardly.

As the floor members are raised upwardly, the sections of the foldable side members are simultaneously moved inwardly, by the action of the straps 80 and 80.

It is to be appreciated that all of these actions are simultaneous with each other so that as the floor members are urged upwardly to the substantially vertical positions, the wing members are similarly elevated to substantially vertical positions to the point whereat the floor members and respective wing members are folded or collapsed inwardly between the opposite sides which are brought toward each other to provide a collapsed structure ready for carrying or storage.

Conversely, when it is desired to open the structure from the collapsed or folded position to the open or operating position, the ends need only be separated from each other. Such a separating action urges the floor and wing members downwardly by their own weight as the sections of. the side rail members are moved outwardly.

It will be noted that the floor members are elevated from horizontal to vertical position by operating mechanism arranged for positive action on the main floor members 4!! and 42 and that simultaneously therewith the side rail sections are moved inwardly by upward movements of said main floor members. In this way, the wing members do not function with an elevating action which tends to cause buckling thereof and the wing members not being attached to any rail members they do not interfere with or control the relative movement of other components. It will also be noted that the straps have a dual function in that they not only function to draw the side rail sections inwardly but provide supporting means for inner edge portions of the floor members which is important in structures of this kind.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the essential characteristics thereof. Hence, the present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects merely as being illustrative and not as being restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all modifications and variations as fall within the meaning and purview and range of equivalency of the appended claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

What it is desired to claim and secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A foldable construction comprising in combination, a pair of separate end members, a pair of separate side members each including a pair of sections hinged together at their inner edges and hinged at their outer edges to outer ends of said end members and adapted whereby the pairs of side members may be disposed in folded adjacency between said end members in the folded relation of the construction and in extended adjacency forming a rectangle with said end members in the non-folded relation of the construction, a pair of floor members each having a longitudinal edge hinged to one of said end members and provided with transverse free end edges, wing members adjacent the opposite free end edges of said floor members having inner edges hinged thereto and provided with free edges adjacent and opposite thereto, and a pair of elevators each having outer ends connected to said side members and each having a mid section connected to one of said floor members,.all adapted and arranged whereby in movement of the parts form a nonfolded to a folded relation and as said end members are moved together said elevators are caused to pull said side members inwardly.

2. A folding construction comprising in combination, and end rail member at each end of the folding construction, a pair of floor members each having a longitudinal edge hinged to one of said ege'romw 7 end 1' rail-1 members andhaving wing membershingedly secured to its adjacent. transverse" end edges asiderail member-at each: end of the fold altadapted and arranged fwhereby as said :rloor.

members are swung into substantially'vertical positions: saidEside railmembers are moved m wardly by said elevatorss,

3: A foldableconstructioncomprising incombination; axpair oi i'spaced 'en'd members; a pair of spaced side memberszeach including a pair .of :side sections hingedtogether"- at. their inner. edges and hinged "at their-outer ends to outer ends of said enddn'embers andthepairs of .side sections being disposed i in close folded adjacency between said endrmembers in the folded relation of the constrnctio'm a pair of floor members each having a longitudinal edge hinged to one of said end memhers-and provided with transverse free end edges,

wings addacentthei-opposite free end edges of said fioor -members-having. inner edges hinged thereto and'provided'witmfree edges adjacent and opposite-thereto, and-elevators independent of and suporting each: ot'said wings and each having outer ends connectedjo theoppositely disposed side rail sections and an inner portionconnected to; a;- free edge portion of the one of said floor members adjacent thereto, all adapted and arranged-whereby movement I of parts from a non-foldedto' 'asfolded relationthe sections of said side: membersare: moved inwardly. by said bination; a pair-of separate end members, a. pair ot-'separate--si'demembers eachmclud ing a pair of sections hinged together at their inner edgesv 8 andihingedi' atrtheir outer' edges to the adjacent outer 'ends of: said end members, apair of floor members each havinga longitudinal edge hingedto. one of said endmembers and provided with opposite transverse free end edges, wing membersiadjacent the-freeend edges of said floor membersmhaving inner edges hinged thereto, and aupain. of elevators each having the outer ends thereof connected to the adjacentside members and; each having an-. intermediate portion connected to adjacent floor members, all. adapted and arranged whereby inmovement of the parts from a non-folded to a folded relation said'en'd.

members are moved together and said elevators are caused to pull said side members inwardly.

5. A foldable construction comprisingin combination'; a pair of spaced end members, a-pair.

of spaced side members each including a pair of side'sections hinged together at their inneredges and hinged at their outer ends to outer ends of said end members, a pair of floor members each having a longitudinal edge hinged to one of said end members and provided with opposite transverse-free end edges, wings adjacent each of the freeend edges of said floor members having inner edges hinged thereto, and a pair of elevators independent of and supporting each of saidwings and each having outer ends connected to the oppositely disposed side rail sections and an inner portion connected to a free edge portion of the one of said floor members adjacent thereto, all adapted and arranged whereby in movement of parts from non-folded to folded positions the sections of said side members are moved inwardly bysaid elevators.


References Cited in the file of thispatent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,489,188 Landry Nov; 22, 1949 2,523,124- Landry Sept. 9, 1950

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2489188 *Jul 25, 1947Nov 22, 1949Henry J LandryAutomatically folding play yard
US2523124 *Apr 27, 1949Sep 19, 1950Henry J LandryAutomatically folding play yard
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2758317 *Oct 8, 1953Aug 14, 1956Henry J LandryConvertible folding play-yard and crib constructions
US2781527 *Oct 8, 1953Feb 19, 1957Henry J LandryConvertible crib and play-yard constructions
US2825071 *Aug 14, 1952Mar 4, 1958Henry J LandryAutomatically folding play-yard
US2883679 *Apr 11, 1956Apr 28, 1959Henry J LandryFolding play-yard
US2896224 *Nov 19, 1956Jul 28, 1959Henry J LandryConvertible folding play-yard
US3183528 *Sep 28, 1961May 18, 1965Baby Line Furniture CorpFolding playpen
US7661156Feb 15, 2007Feb 16, 2010Thorley Industries, LlcPortable folding play yard with stabilized corner posts
US7836530Feb 13, 2008Nov 23, 2010Thorley Industries LlcFoldable child enclosure
US8060959Oct 18, 2010Nov 22, 2011Thorley, IndustriesFoldable child enclosure
US8458829Oct 14, 2011Jun 11, 2013Thorley Industries LlcFoldable child enclosure
US8650678Mar 28, 2012Feb 18, 2014Thorley Industries LlcCorner latching play yard
US8756727May 10, 2013Jun 24, 2014Thorley Industries LlcFoldable child enclosure
US8806674Jan 10, 2014Aug 19, 2014Thorley Industries LlcCorner latching play yard
US8973181Mar 12, 2013Mar 10, 2015Thorley Industries LlcWheel assembly for a foldable child enclosure
US9060621Jul 16, 2014Jun 23, 2015Thorley Industries LlcCorner latching play yard
US20080189854 *Feb 13, 2008Aug 14, 2008Thorne Henry FFoldable child enclosure
US20080196163 *Feb 15, 2007Aug 21, 2008Thorley Industries, LlcPortable folding play yard with stabalized corner posts
US20110031457 *Oct 18, 2010Feb 10, 2011Thorley Industries, LlcFoldable Child Enclosure
US20130221302 *Feb 24, 2012Aug 29, 2013Pao-Hsien ChengBaby play yard mattress
U.S. Classification5/99.1, 217/46, 217/14
International ClassificationA47D13/06, A47D13/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47D13/065
European ClassificationA47D13/06B4