|Publication number||US2670517 A|
|Publication date||Mar 2, 1954|
|Filing date||Mar 22, 1950|
|Priority date||Mar 22, 1950|
|Publication number||US 2670517 A, US 2670517A, US-A-2670517, US2670517 A, US2670517A|
|Inventors||Hillenbrand George C, Mccullough William H|
|Original Assignee||Batesville Casket Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (12), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
March 1954 G. c. HILLENBRAND ET AL 2,670,517
ADJUSTABLE-BED CASKET Filed March 22, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 2 INVENTORS QH MJM d 04, M M -1 A-rTorzusys G. c. HILLENBRAND ET AL 2,670,517
ADJUSTABLE BED GASKET 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Q H We.
H 9w. ATTORNEY-5 March 2, 1954 Filed March 22, 1950 March 1954 G. c. HILLENBRAND ET AL 2,670,517
ADJ USTABLE-BED GASKET 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed March 22, 1950 ATTO March 1954 G. c. HILLENBRAND ET AL 2,670,517
ADJUSTABLE BED CASKET Filed March 22, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Ma Q za' 2 1e INVENTORS ATTORNEYS March 1954 G. c. HILLENBRAND ET AL 2,670,517
ADJUSTABLE-BEU CASKET Filed March 22, 1950 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS 0 I Wt @112, wMPJ ll rromdEYs shell.
Patented Mar. 2, 1954 2,670,517 ADJUSTABLE-BED CASKET George C. Hillenbrand and William H. McCullough, Batesville, Ind., assignors to The Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, hit, a corporation of Indiana Application March 22, 1950, Serial No. 151,174
10 Claims. (CI. 27-12) This invention relates to a new and improved casket in which the casket bed may be tilted from-side to side or end to end as well as raised and lowered.
Heretofore only a limited degree of bed adjustability has been provided in caskets. Current commercial models may have a plurality of spaced wall brackets along the sides of the casket which engage springs or other bed support means. The springs can thus be moved up or down prior to insertion of the mattress. Other structure has been proposed to provide tilting in which the bed support lies along one side length of the casket floor. Beneath it is a frame which has adjustable lugs on the opposite side of the being continuously adjustable from maximum to minimum. In this described tilting the choice lies simply between tilt and no-tilt, and the specific angle of tilt is fixed by the length of the particular lugs.
-The present inventors, on the other hand,
here provide a bed adjustment completely flexible over a wide range of levels and angles. In caskets of this invention the mattress may be positioned from extremes in which the top is substantially flush with the top rim of the body of the casket to a level at which the mattress abuts the casket floor. Similarly, the mattress may be canted from side to side or sloped from end to end or even twisted, if desired, over a range limited only by the dimensions of the adjusting .mechanism. Of equal significance are the facts that the adjustment as to both level and cant may be made gradually over the entire possible range and that the adjustments can be made just as easily with the corpse and mattress in position as when the springs or bed support alone are in the casket.
One of the accomplishments of this invention has been to locate the casket bed positioning mechanism in an otherwisewunused portion of the casket shell in order thatthe overall appearances of both the casket interior and exterior are not adversely affected; that is, the adjusting mechanisms are completely hidden from view, nestled in opposed end recesses of the casket This structure also permits the actuating openings for the mechanism to be readily accessible to the funeral director up to the final moment of closing and sealing the casket without marring the appearance of the casket by such access openings.
- In order to provide a casket bed which can be adjusted over the entire range between the extremes of top and bottom, it is obvious that no bulky positioning mechanism can occupy a central position of the casket floor; otherwise the bed could not be lowered to the fullest possible extent. This'fact, together with the requirements of unobtrusiveness, mentioned earlier, makes it evident that some means must be provided for distributing the load of the mattress and the corpse throughout the casket shell as it cannot be done by spaced bed support members abutting the whole area casket fioor. On the other hand, there is every reason to believe that the concentration of such a load at the extremes of a sheet metal casket floor would result in distortion of the casket shell at the points of load sustenance or might even result in buckling or even penetration through the, floor itself. Ob-
.viously, some means must be found to dissipate the effect of concentrating in a small area an entire load in a structure which heretofore has borne similar loads by a plurality of spaced abutment contacts. Thus, it is one concept of our invention to employ, in sheet metal caskets, rigidifying or reinforcing construction of the casket floor cooperating with the floor-abutting, loadsustaining members of the actuating apparatus in order to effectively distribute the load over the entire shell.
For one reason or another, it may be desirable to adjust the upper part of the corpse at one particular side-to-side cant, or angle, and to leave the legs either in a straight level position or at some other angle; therefore, it is particularly advantageous to provide a structure in which the degree of cant may vary throughout the length of the casket. Further, the canting of the casket bed by independent manipulation .of its foot and head ends also inherently involves twisting, or warping, the casket bed. For whatever reason warpage is deemed desirable or necessary, this invention provides-structure, including flexible springs or other flexible support means,.
to permit such warpage over a wide range.
Through gravity, the load of the mattress and corpse then accommodate themselves to the exact spring configuration which has been produced by actuation of the tilting mechanism.
, Nonetheless, the use of such a flexible support has been found to create additional problems,
especially when, for reasons already mentioned, it has been found desirable to leave the middle portion of the casket bed unsupported relative to the floor. A corpse weighing, for example, two hundred pounds results in tremendous forces pulling down and toward the center of the casket when it is laid on a flexible, yielding bed. The sagging produced by such a load transmits this pull to the positioning mechanisms at the respective ends of the casket. of this invention therefore incorporates in the positioning apparatus itself structure which is best adapted to resist the tendency of the load of the corpse and mattress to pull them away from the casket ends. Additionally, the ap= paratus is journalled in bearings carried by the casket end walls.
In addition to the fact that adjustments of the casket level can be made without tearing the bed apart, caskets constructed in accordance with our invention make it possible as a practical matter for the funeral director to carry out the positioning of the corpse in the presence of the deceaseds relatives. Heretofore, the inaccessibility of the positioning apparatus after the. body'is put into the casket had limited the changes to such arranging as manipulation of the corpse itself and adjustments of the pillow andpadding in the Naturally, no funeral director likes. to move the corpse about in the presence of relatives of the deceased, so the only recourse has been to ask them to leave the room while some rearrangement is made in the exact location of the corpse in the casket, and then their approval is solicited after the change has been made. It will be appreciated. that this procedure has been less than satisfactory to everyone involved since any particular shift has little chance of meeting the approval of even one relative and certainly not the. concurrence of several. Caskets embodying our invention, on the other hand, provide universal flexibility of the bed so that; by adjustments made without touching the corpse, its exact position in the casket can be moved about and arranged with the benefit of mutual sug estions and criticisms of everyone present until the sheet is that desired by all concerned.
In addition to the chance for the funeral director to obtain, in adjusting the corpse within the casket, the active assistance of those most .1:-
concerned with its appearance, caskets of this invention find utility from the funeral directors point of view at an earlier stage in the preparation of the body for the services.
In current commercial model caskets, bedadjusting mechanism is either entirely lacking or so inadequate that virtually all shifts and alterations involve the funeral directors lifting and repositioning of the bed or corpse or both. Ad-
justable-bed caskets of this invention reduce the physical exertion on the part of the director" to a minimum. An additional factor which reduces the over-all strain on the director is that all of the adjustments with the exception of the actual lifting of the corpse into the casket can be made by one person alone, an advantage not heretofore attainable. Even in the step of gettingthe corpse into the casket, this invention makes an improvement possible. Heretofore when the corpse is put into the casket, the problem had been one of lifting it up and over the side wall into the trough in which the mattress lies; in caskets of this invention, the raising of the bed. and mattress to the level of the top rim of the casket shell makes it only necessary to place the corpse One embodiment t on the shelf thus formed. After putting the corpse in the casket in this fashion, the mattress and corpse may then be lowered by actuating the adjusting apparatuses at the respective ends of the caskets.
The very fact that changes in the arrangement of the corpse can be made more easily than before helps insure that a more than satisfactory presentation can be made at the time the relatives are first called in to view the body. That is, the. exact desired position of the bed and corpse for display when the casket is open need not represent a guess on the morticians part in which the position of the bed must be determined before-the corpse is laid in the casket. Rather, all the meticulous adjustments can be made with full knowledge of exactly how the results will look.
Other advantages and objects of the invention will be apparent from the accompanying drawings' and description thereof. For claritys sake, in. Figures 1-10 and 12 the structure is shown prior to insertion of the. conventional mattress and fabric lining for the casket body, it being understood that the mattress should be dimensioned to avoid binding against the casket walls so. that it will ride up and. down and tilt in response to the corresponding movement of the springs or other support. on which it rests. Figures 1 through 10' represent one embodiment of the invention: Figures 11 and 1-2 show a preferred modification.
In the figures:
Figure 1 is a planview of a casket from above, broken in the middle in order to provide an enlargement of the casket bed positioners at the respective ends thereof, showing springs carried by these respective adjusting mechanisms.
Figure 2 is a section taken along line 2-4 of Figure 1, showing the casket bed in a level position.
Figure 3 isan enlarged view of one of the ends shown in Figure 2.
Figure 4 is a section taken along 1ine4'-4 of Figure 3.
Figure 5 is a view similar to Figured in which the tilting mechanism has been actuated and the casket'bed is thereforecanted.
Figure 6 is an enlargement of a portion of the casket shown in Figure 1 showing additionally a plaque with tilting and lift indicia indicated thereon.
Figure 7 is a sectional view taken along line 1 1 of Figure 4.
Figure 8 is a diagrammatic view of a casket body in which the respective positioningmechanisms have been adjusted to provide a sloping from head to foot;
Figure 9 is a diagrammatic view of a casket body in' which the respective. tilting mechanisms have. provided a back to front cant of the casket bed.
Figure 10 is a diagrammatic view showing a combination of the effects of Figures 8 and 9 in which they casket bed not only slopes from head to foot, but also is canted from back to front.
Figure 11 is a section of a casket taken from the side, showing the preferred embodiment. Springs and mattress are indicated in place at an intermediate level; dot-dash lines show them at two other levels.
Figure 12 is a section taken along line l2-!2 of Figure 11. V
The disclosure. in. thedrawings and in the folloiving description-is made with specific respect to sheet metal caskets, in which there is a special need for the aforementioned rigidifying structure. Alternatively, the adjusting bed mechanism can be employed in caskets made of other materials, such heavier metal construction than customary or wood or plastic, which may inherently have durable qualities which do not require a reinforced floor in conjunction with the mechanism. 7
The casket structure shown includes journals for the casket bed at its respective ends for pivotal movement of the bed and the resultant tilting; additionally, it includes means for raising and lowering the level of the bed itself. Specifically, changes in casket bed levels are attained by a screw and nut elevator mechanism, located at either end, or both ends, of the casket. The pivot points are arranged to ride up and down coincident with movements of the nut along the elevating screw shaft, so that a tilt can be obtained at any bed level, independently of the elevator mechanism. In order that the tilt of the bed produced by its pivotal movement can be fixed at any degree, means are provided to hold the bed in any of the plurality of pivoted positions. In the structure shown, these means generally comprise a rack meshed with a worm, both of which ride up and down along with the nut of the elevator mechanism. The rack is mounted to allow pivoting relative to the nut. Thus, the
teeth of the rack engage the worm and hold the bed at a specific angle.
A casket embodying this invention has a shell, generally designated as Ill, which has sides II, II, ends I2, I2 and a floor I3. An inturned flange I4 extends continuously about the top rim of the body I0. At the middle of each of the part of flange I4 adjacent ends I2 is an end-wall flange extension I5 which serves incidentally as a plaque to distinguish the tilt means from the lift" means. An elevating screw I8 is secured in the plaque I5 at bearing I5a and depends into the casket body proper. At its base it is secured by cup I9 against lateral displacey ment but is free for rotation. Threaded shaft I8 has an operative head 2I, shown socketed to afford a recess for receiving a corresponding key, not shown, rotation of which produces corresponding rotation of screw I8. A solid hexagonal shaft 23 is disposed parallel to screw I 8 and is similarly journalled in plaque I5 from which it depends into the casket body. For simplicity of operation, shaft 23 is also machined to provide an operative head for receiving a key of similar configuration to that which will rothe rib structure distributes the thrust of the load of the corpse, transmitted through shafts I8 and 23, throughout the area of the floor I3.
The casket body I!) is designed to accommodate a mattress spaced above the floor I3. Such a mattress is supported by springs, generally designated by 25, which include end angle irons 26 and side angle irons 2?. As shown, each end of springs is supported by a pair of brackets 28 which are in turn integral with, and extend from,
the upper part of an inner plate 29 having armelevating screw I8.
with the teeth of rack 32.
ate slots 30 and 3I and a peripheral set of teeth in the rack 32. Thus, the levels of the respec-' tive pairs of brackets 28 determine the levels of the ends of the springs carried thereby. For
example, as the brackets at the head end of the casket are raised relative to the foot end, the ends of brackets 23 at one end of the casket become farther away from the corresponding parts of brackets 28 at the other end. In the absence of stretchable springs, some means must be provided to accommodate these variations in spacing between corresponding parts. This is accomplished by having bolts 29a, which otherwise secure springs 25 against lateral displacement relative to brackets 28, freely slidable in slots 28a toward, and away from, the casket end walls. The conventional nuts and washers employed with bolts 29a are suitably spaced to permit the free play necessary for this sliding of the bolts rela-' tive to brackets 28.
Plate 29 is pivotally attached by a rivet 33 to outer plate 34 which in turn has tabs or nuts 35 and 36, each of which have a screw threaded aperture, forming a skeletal nut which receives Additional, outer plate 34 is apertured at M and 42 to receive guide pins 38 and 39 riding in slots 30 and 3I, respectively, of adjacent plate 29. Thus, plate 29 is free to swivel relative to plate 34, but it cannot pivot beyond the limits defined by the engagement of the pins 38 and 39 with the extremes of slots 30 and 3|. The teeth of rack 32 are an arc of a circle whose center is pivot pin 33. Element 34 has a yoke 43 which carries a worm 45 meshing Gear 45 has a bore therethrough which slidably accommodatesshaft 23, and this bore is, at least in part, dimensioned to be driven upon rotation of shaft 23. As shown, this is accomplished by making this bore 46 of hexagonal cross section through which shaft 23, also hexagonal in cross section, fits snugly, but with sufficient clearance to avoid binding on up and down movement. Any other splinelike arrangement, as will readily be apparent to those skilled in the art, would be suitable for this purpose, as long as worm 45 is free to ride up and down shaft 23 upon elevation or lowering of plate 34. This up and down movement of plate 34, of course, occurs in response to rotation of elevating screw I8.
The heads of guide pins 38 and 33, together with the engagement of worm 45 and rack 32, provide bearings for dissipating throughout plate 34 the effect of a load placed on yieldable springs 25. a
As shown, the nuts 35 and 36 of element 34 are spaced from gear 45. For stability consistent with simplicity of structure, two spaced nuts (comprising a skeletal nut) are provided, but it will be appreciated that a single nut could satisfy the desired function. Shafts I 8 and 23 are shown parallel; therefore, the nut or nuts which ride up and down screw I 8 lie in a plane substantially parallel to that of threads of gear 45. Upon the tilting of the casket bed support which is produced upon rotation of shaft 23 and consequent rotation of gear 45, that portion of the casket bed which lies adjacent to elevating screw I8 will remain at the same level while the sides of the casket bed will be relatively lowered or raised with respect to this fixed level. Atany desired cant of the casket bed the entire supporting assembly may be elevated or depressed upon rotation of screw I8,"which causes member uneasy? 7 3, including the.v gear, 45,, to ride up. ordown screw it: andrelative. to shaft 23.
Ei'gures 8-, 9- and 1:0 demonstrate three types ofthe positions which may be attained through adjustments of the respective shafts.
A strip of cloth 4? is shown employed to keep elevating screw i8 from soiling. lining and other trappings of. the casket, which are added subse- (fluently. Strip 41- is attached beneath plaque ii to block 48 and is held taut by a coil spring 49 hooked in tab 50. of frame 23. Plate 29 is slotted at i to accommodate covering 4-1.
In; the preferred embodiment shown in Figures LL and: 12, it will be: noted that casket bed support braces 52.- extend. from the lower margin of pivot plate 54 which in other respects is substantially identical to plate 29 of the embodiment shown in Figures 1 through '7. A. chief advantage of the; structure of Figures 11 and 12 is that the bed support and mattress occupy a level adjacent that of the plate structure of the positioning mechanisms and may therefore be lowered all the. way to the floor. In this way there is no wasted space at the bottom of the casket which otherwise occurs when the bed support brackets are extensions of the upper margin as in pivot plate 29.
Figure 11, mattress 5t rests on springs 25. In the uppermost position of springs and mattress 58 of this figure, shown in dot-dash lines, addition of decorative clothtrippings to hide mattress 55 raises the effective level of the bed to substantially that of flange i4. 1
Thus, it will be seen that caskets embodying this invention represent an improvement in the mechanics. of displaying a corpse at and before the funeral services. This improvement is directly reflected in. the saving of timeof the funeral director, in the saving of. his physical-efforts, and in: a more satisfactory showing of the corpse at the time of display.
Having described our invention, we claim:
I. Mechanism for adjusting the bed, of a casket comprising a nut and a cored Worm maintained in. fixed spacial relationship with each other, an elevating screw engaging said nut, a rotatable shaft disposed through the core of said worm and cooperating therewith to drive said worm upon, rotation thereof, said worm slidable relative to said shaft, a casket bed support pivotally secured: to said nut for up and down translation therewith. and an arcuate rack associated with said support in fixed spacial relationship to said nut'and meshed with said worm whereby rotation of said shaft angulates said casket bedsupport.
- --2. In a casket the combination of a casket bed,
aswivel plate secured to an end of said bed,
support means for pivotally carrying said swivel plate, an arcuaterack mounted at the periphery of said; swivel plate, a worm having a bore, said worm meshed with said rack, a vertical shaft iournailed in the end of said casket, said shaft disposed through said worm for guiding said worm during vertical movement thereof, said shaft being dimensioned to drive said Worm upon rotation, of said shaft whereby said bed is tilted from side to side, and means for moving said worm up and down relative the fioor of the casket so that said bed may be tilted with said swivel plate disposed at any height above the floor of said basket.
3. An adjustable-bed casket comprising a casket shell, means reinforcing the floor of said shell, a casket bed, a swivel plate secured to said "casket bed, gear-teeth mounted at, the periphery 8 ofsaid swivel plate, a; bearing plate pivotedtozsaid swivel plate, a worm carried by saidbearing plate and meshed with said gear teeth, an, eler vating screw secured in said casket shell and journalled in said bearing plate for raising; and.
lowering said casket bed, a drive shaft journalled in said worm, said drive shaft and said.- screw abutting the floor-of said casket shell whereby said reinforcing means tends to distribute, the effective weight of a load upon. said casket bed throughout said casket shell floor.
4. In combination with a casket, an adjustable bed and means for adjusting said bed comprising: an elevating screw journalled in one endof the casket, two plates secured together in; flush relationship, the inner of said, plates secured to said bed, the outer of said plates screwthreaded and riding up and down said elevating screw, a worm carried by said outer plate, ear teeth mounted on the inner of said plates. and meshed with said worm, and means for: driving said worm, the inner; of said plates translatable up and down in conjunction. with the outer; of said plates but mounted for pivotal, movement relative thereto, each of said plates; bearing against the other when a loadis placed uponsaid bed.
5. In a casket the combination of a, flexible bed, a swivel piate secured to one end: of saidibed, an outer bearing plate mounted fiushwise ad:- jacent said swivel plate and awayfrom said bed, said swivel plate secured to said outerbearing plate at a pivot point for, pivotal movement relative thereto, a rack at the peri-phery'ofi said; swivel plate, a worm meshed with said rack critical".- ried by said outer bearing plate, an elevating screw iournalled in the shell of the casket and carrying said outer bearing plate up and down upon. rotation thereof, and means for rotating said worm to cant said flexible bed.
6. In a casket, the combination of a flexiblfi bed, a swivel plate secured to each of the respective ends of said bed, outer bearing plates mounted flushwise adjacent said swivel plates and away from said bed, each of said swivel plates secured to its correspondingbearing plate at pivot points for pivotal movement relative thereto, an arc of gear teeth mounted on each of said swivel plates radially withrcspect to said pivot points, a worm, meshed with each of said gear teeth and carried by each of said, outerrbearing, plates, an elevating screw journalled; at, each end of the shell of the casket and carrying Said outer bearing plates up and down upon rotation of said screws, and means for rotating said worms to cant said flexible bed.
7. A casket having an adjustable bed, said casket comprising a casket body; an adjusting mechanism secured to each of the opposed ends of said body; each of said mechanisms including: a pair of plates secured together for relativ pivotal movement, one of said plates carrying a casket bed support anda rack, the other of said plates carrying a worm meshed with said; rack and screw-threaded to receive a vertical screw, a screw journalled in said worm-carrying plate disposed vertically alongside an end of said casket body and abutting th floor of said casket body, and means for driving said worm; and a bed; riding on said bed supports.
8. In a casket, a first shaft and a second shaft, said shafts rotatably journalled within an end of said casket, each of said shafts having an exposed operative head by which the shaft may be rotated, a flexible bed disposed within said casket.
elevating nut means in screw threaded engagement with said first shaft, pivotable bed support means securing an end of said bed to said elevating nut means, and bed tilting means for effecting relative rotative movement between said elevating nut means and said pivotable bed support means, said bed tilting means being slidably and operatively associated with said second shaft.
9. In a casket, the combination of a casket bed, a swivel plate secured to an end of said bed, support means pivotally journalling said swivel plate upon an axis of rotation extending longitudinally of said casket, a gear rack on said swivel plate, said gear rack disposed upon an are centered at the pivotal journal between said swivel plate and said support means, a worm having a bore, said worm being rotatably journalled in fixed relationship relative to said support means and meshed with said rack, and a shaft journalled in the end of said casket, said shaft slidably disposed through the bore in said worm and dimensioned to drive said worm upon rotation of said shaft whereby said swivel plate and bed may be tilted from side to side about said pivotal journal.
0. In a casket, a flexible bed, a vertically disposed elevating screw rotatably mounted within the casket adjacent an end of said bed, elevating nut means threadedly engaging said elevatin screw and adapted to ride said screw vertically upon rotation thereof, bed support means pivotally securing said end of the bed to said elevating nut means for tilting movement about an axis extending longitudinally of said casket, an arcuate rack disposed in fixed relationship to said bed support means, a worm rotatably mounted in fixed relationship relative to said elevating nut means and meshing with said rack, and means for rotating said worm whereby said end of the flexible bed may be twisted relative to the other end about said axis.
GEORGE C. HILLENBRAND. WILLIAM H. MCCULLOUGH.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 247,496 Goodwin Sept. 2'7, 1881 1,228,953 Naysmith June 5, 1917 1,667,982 Pearson May 1, 1928 1,934,425 Harms Nov. 7, 1933 2,159,144 Fletcher May 23, 1939
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||27/12, 248/286.1, 5/11|
|Cooperative Classification||A61G2017/044, A61G17/04|