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Publication numberUS2682402 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 29, 1954
Filing dateOct 11, 1951
Priority dateOct 11, 1951
Publication numberUS 2682402 A, US 2682402A, US-A-2682402, US2682402 A, US2682402A
InventorsSkelton Mccarthy Marion
Original AssigneeSkelton Mccarthy Marion
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible platform and framework exercising apparatus
US 2682402 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




This invention relates to gymnastic apparatus to carry out exercises for physical well-being and is directed to the problem of constructing such an apparatus in a manner to permit contraction thereof to compact form for storage and for transit.

The beneficial effects of physical exercise in the daily routine are widely recognized but most people find it difiicult to acquire and maintain the habit of regular exercise. One reason is that it is a matter of time and trouble to travel to and from gymnasiums and other places for exercise and sports and a busy person finds it too easy to omit such trips from the daily schedule. Another reason is that so many forms of exercise, such as golf and tennis, are seasonal in most climates and lead, naturally, to long periods of inactivity between seasons. A third reason is that travel makes it difficult to keep up exercise and causes interruptions that break up beneficial habits of exerc se.

Busy people are attracted to exercises with gymnasium apparatus because of the saving in time since a well-balanced and thoroughworkout can be completed in a gymnasium in a few minutes. Membership in a gymnasium also has the advantage of affording exercise independent of seasons. Unfortunately, however, there is daily loss in time en route to and from a gymnasium and, furthermore, travelling out of the city interrupts the gymnasium routine.

A gymnasium or sports room at home eliminates the daily loss of time in going to and from a public gymnasium but few people have such a room available for adequate conventional gymnastic equipment and those who do have the room still have the problem of maintaining the exercise habit when travelling out of the city.

The present invention solves all of these problems by providing a home gymnastic apparatus that is small enough to fit into limited space available in even a small home or in a hotel room and is collapsible into a compact kit. The kit may be stored out of the way, for example in a bedroom closet, and in a preferred'practice of the invention is made exceedingly light for portability and collapses into the form of an ordinary piece of luggage for convenience in travelling.

The general object of the invention is to provide a small home gymnasium that is adequate for balanced physical culture exercises and yet .is collapsible in the manner and for the purposes above described. In general this object is accomplished by providing a suitably dimensioned box-like container made like a suitcase with both sections hinged together. Inside this portable container and in part attached thereto is a collapsed frame that may be erected in one minute, also a platform for muscular development that is attached by springs to one end of the container.

A particular object of the invention is to provide for exceptionally eliicient use of space for storage whereby the collapsed frame and the other parts of the complete apparatus may be stored in a portable container of minimum dimensions.

The various objects and advantages of the invention may be understood from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings, which are to be considered as merely illustrative, Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the erected apparatus in use;

Fig. 2 is a transverse section through the base of the apparatus taken as indicated by the line 2-2 of Fig. l, with parts broken away to reveal concealed structure;

Fig. 3 is a transverse horizontal section taken on the line 3--3 of Fig. 2 which includes a plan view of a movable platform in the apparatus;

Fig. 4 is an enlarged detail indicated by the circular arrow 4 in Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a transverse section taken as indicated by the line 55 of Fig. 4;

Fig. 6 is an enlarged detail taken on the section indicated by the line 6-6 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 7 is an enlarged longitudinal section taken on the line 7-1 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 8 is an enlarged transverse section taken on the line 3-4! of Fig. '7;

Fig. 9 is a perspective view showing the apparatus in partially erected state;

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view indicating how the closure fits onto the top of the container; and

Fig. 11 is a perspective view on a smaller scale of the completely collapsed and packed apparatus in the form of a piece of luggage for storage or travel.

The general concept underlying the invention may be understood by considering Fig. 1 showing the apparatus in use, Fig. 9 showing the apparatus in the process of being collapsed and Fig. 11 showing the completely collapsed apparatus in luggage form.

As may be seen in Figs. 10 and 11 the apparatus includes a suitable luggage-type container having a suitable strap handle 20 for convenience in carrying the apparatus. It is contemplated that such a container will be made in a plurality of longitudinal sections which may be separated and positioned end to end to form a suitable base for the erected apparatus. In the presently preferred form of the invention the container is split longitudinally into two sections generally designated 2| and 22, each of which has what may be termed a bottom wall 23, two side walls 24 and one end wall 25.

The two sections 2| and 22 of the container are pivotally interconnected by suitable hinges 3|) and may be releasably held together by suitable luggage latches 3| to form the closed container. The two end walls 25 of the sections 2| and 22 form the bottom of the upright container as viewed in Fig. 11 and the absence of a second end wall for each of the sections leaves the top of the container open as may be seen in Fig. 10. A suitable closure 32 provided with the previously mentioned handle 20 is provided for this top opening.

As indicated in Fig. 10, such a closure 32 may be in the form of an end plate which may be releasably attached to the rest of the container by four luggage latches. Each of the four latches is of a well-known type comprising a suitable fitting 33 on the body of the container and a complementary fitting 34 on the closure 32, the fitting 33 having a metal loop 35 (Fig. to engage a lug 36 on the corresponding fitting 34.

The first step in unpacking and erecting the apparatus is to remove the closure 32 from the closed container as indicated in Fig. 10 and then to unfold the two sections 2| and 22 to position the two sections end to end on the floor, as shown in Fig. 9, to form the base for the erected apparatus. It will be noted that the absence of end walls for the two sections adjacent the hinge 30 results in an apparatus base in the form of an elongated pan, there being free communication between the two sections 2| and 22. It is apparent that this open pan may be turned upside down on the fioor if desired so that the two bottom walls 23 of the sections 2| and 22 may provide an extensive stationary platform for the user of the apparatus. For the sake of certain advantages, however, I prefer to use this pan-like base with the open side up as shown in Figs. 1 and 9.

Under my basic concept various devices including spring equipped devices may be included in the assembly for carrying out various exercises for muscular development. In the preferred practice of my invention, one of these devices is in the form of a suitable movable platform, generally designated 40, which is equipped with suitable yielding means that urge the platform toward one end of the apparatus base so that the user can exercise by moving the platform in the opposite direction against the resistance of the yielding means. For this purpose, the platform 40 is connected to the end wall 25 of the section 22 by a plurality of coiled springs 4|, which springs urge the platform 40 toward the normal position shown in Fig. 9.

In the particular construction shown, the platform 40 includes two hollow side members 42 for strength and rigidity on the top of which is mounted a platform plate 43 and on the opposite ends of which are mounted two end plates 44 and 45. The previously mentioned springs 4i extend through apertures in the end plate 44 and under the platform plate 43 for connection to the opposite end plate 45. It is apparent that extension of the springs 4| through one end plate of the platform 40 to the opposite end plate 4 makes it possible to employ relatively long springs and yet urge the platform toward a normal position relatively close to the end of the apparatus base.

It is contemplated that the platform 40 will be mounted on suitable antifriction means for free movement and that suitable means will be provided for guiding the platform. In the particular construction shown, each of the sections 2| and 22 of the container is provided with two guides in the form of channels 48 mounted on the two side walls 24, respectively, the two channels 48 on each side of the container moving into longitudinal alignment with each other when the container is unfolded to form the open base. As best shown in Figs. 2 and 3, the platform 40 is provided on each side with a pair of guide rollers 49 mounted in brackets 50 to ride inside the channel guides 48 and the platform is also provided with suitable supporting rollers 5| mounted on axles 52 that extend through the hollow side members 42.

The required collapsible framework may take various forms in various practices of the invention but preferably it is at least in part pivotally connected to the apparatus base for erection by unfolding movement. In the particular construction shown, the framework comprises two end assemblies that are hingedly connected to the apparatus base together with two side assemblies that may be detachably connected both to the apparatus base and to the two end assemblies to complete the erected frame structure.

In the construction shown, a U-shaped end as sembly generally designated 55 is hingedly mounted by its two legs 58 adjacent the end wall 25 of the container section 2|. As shown in Figs. '7 and 8, each of the legs 58 is mounted on a suitable hinge pin 51 that extends through a U- shaped bracket 58, the U-shaped bracket being mounted on the adjacent guide channel 48. This arrangement permits the U-shaped end assembly to be folded down against the two guide channels 48. For strength and rigidity the U-shaped end assembly 55 may be braced by diagonal tension members 59 intersecting at a plate fitting 60, each of the tension members including a suitable turnbuckle 6| for tensionadjustment. Folding inclined braces 62 may also be provided.

At the opposite end of the apparatus base a second U-shaped end assembly 65 of the framework is hingedly mounted in the same manner in the end of the container section 22 to fold down against the guide channels 48. In this instance, however, the end assembly is braced by a horizontal crosspiece 64 instead of diagonal tension members so that the end assembly when folded down will clearand surround the platform 40 at the normal position of the platform as shown in Fig. 9, with the horizontal crosspiece 64 lying on top of the platform 40.

The two side assemblies required to complete the erected framework, each of which is generally designated 66, are shown in erected state in Fig. 1 and in collapsed or dismantled state in Fig. 9. Each of these side assemblies 66 of the framework comprises an upright member 61 adapted for releasable connection with the apparatus base and two longitudinal members 68 adapted for releasable connection with the end assemblies 55 and 65, respectively. In the arrangement shown, the upright member 61 and the two longitudinal members 68 are attached to a central channel member 69, the upright member being rigidly connected thereto by a rivet 10 (Fig. 6) and the two longitudinal members 68 being pivotally connected thereto by pivot pins 1|.

The upright member 6'! is attachable in a releasable manner to the apparatus base prefer ably in such a manner as to immobilize the two sections 2| and 22 with respect to unfolding movement about the two hinges 30. For this purpose, a pair of rectangular brackets, generally designated 15, are mounted on the interconnected ends of the two sections 2| and 22 as may be seen in Figs. 1, 4 and 5, there being onesuch bracket on each side of the axis of the hinges 30. When the two sections 2| and 22 of the container are unfolded to form the base as shown in Fig. 1, each of the two pairs of brackets on opposite sides of the base close together to form a central double walled web 16 (Fig. 5) with two single webs ll spaced on opposite sides thereof. Thelower end of the upright member 61, which is reinforced by a suitable plug 18 (Fig. 5), has a transverse slot so that the end may fit snugly over the central web 28 and between the two outer webs 11. When a suitable removable bolt 19 is inserted across the assembly as shown in Figs. 4 and 5 and secured by a suitable wing nut 80, the result is 'not only to mount the upright member rigidly on the unfolded base, but also to make rigid the base itself by engagement of the bolt 19 and the wing nut 80 with the brackets 15 of the two base sections 2| and 22 across the axis of hinge 30.

It is apparent that the four longitudinal members 68 of the two side assemblies 66 may be releasably connected with the U-shaped end assemblies 55 and t5 in'various ways. In the construction shown, each of the U-shaped end assemblies 55 and 65 incorporates two elbows 8| at the top corners thereof for interconnecting the legs and the transverse members of the assembly. Each of the two elbows 8| is reinforced with a suitable plug 83 (Figs. 7 and 8) which is provided with a bore 84 to receive a pin 85 that is provided on the end of the corresponding longitudinal member 68. As best shown in Fig. 7, the pin 85 may be integral with a plug 86 in the end of the longi tudinal member 58. To make the joint secure, a suitable thumb screw 88 may be used in a manner shown in Fig. 7', the thumb screw extending through the pin 85 as well as the structure of the end assembly into which the pin is inserted.

In a preferred practice of my invention the framework also includes an additional transverse member 98 which is equipped with suitable clamptype fittings 9| to permit it to be mounted across two of the longitudinal frame members 68 as shown in Fig, 1. To increase the utility of the apparatus for its purpose, the transverse member 90 may carry a pair of well-known exercising evices $2 each of which comprises a suitable coiled spring 93 and a handle 94. A pair of strap loops or slings 95 may also be added, as shown in Fig. l.

The manner in which the erected apparatus may be used for various exercises is readily apparent from the foregoing description. With the extensive framework available for handholds in all directions, bending exercises and leg exercises may be performed in variety. The exercising devices 92 are of special benefit in developing arm and shoulder muscles.

The spring-equipped movable platform 40 may be employed in various ways within the ingenuity of the user. The exercise indicated by the dotted, lines in Fig. l is performed with the user standing on the platform 4|] and gripping the transverse member 90. In this position the user employs his muscles to draw the platform 40 away from its normal position against the resistance of the coiled springs 4|. It is apparent that the user may face in the opposite direction and grasp the end assembly 65 to use his legs for pushing the platform 40 backward against the resistance of the springs.

The invention may also be used for various stretching exercises. For example, the user may place his feetin the two slings andsuspend himself from the apparatus face up by grasping the bar 55, thus stretching his body with special benefit in the spinal region.

It may be further understood by inspection of Fig. 1 that the erected apparatus may be reversedto form an exercising table in which the twosections 2| and 22 of the base form a table top supported by the erected frame structure.

To dismantle the erected apparatus it is necessary only'to remove the transverse member 90, unscrew the four thumb screws "88 and withdraw the two bolts 19. The two side assemblies'BB of the framework are folded and moved to positions of storage as indicated in Fig. 9. The transverse member 9|i is stored in the same manner. When the two end assemblies 55 and 65 have been folded down into the interior of the two container sections 2| and 22 the two sections may then be folded together toreceive the closure 32 as shown in Fig. 10. When the closure 32 is latched in place, as'shown in Fig. 11, the kit takes the form of an ordinary piece of luggage.

It is apparent that by making all of the structure of relatively light material the weight of the whole kit may be reduced to relatively few pounds for convenient portability. To this end the various members of the framework are of tubular construction as shown in the drawings and may be made of relatively light metal such as aluminum. The sections 2| and 22 forming the body of the container may also be made of aluminum or maybe made of lightweight plastic material. Strength is required in the construction of the apparatus base as it forms a table for setting-up exercise and other stretching exercises.

My description in specific detail of a preferred form of the invention will suggest to those skilled,

in the art various changes, substitutions and other departures that properly fall within the scope and spirit of my appended claims.

I claim as my invention:

1. A collapsible physical culture apparatus comprising: an elongated base divided transversely into two sections, said base having a bottom wall, two upright side walls and two upright end walls; a platform mounted in said base for movement longitudinaly thereof, said platform being shorter than one of said sections thereby to fit inside the section; means yieldingly urging said platform toward one end of said base; and framework mounted on said base and extending upward therefrom whereby a user standing on said platform and grasping said framework for stability may exercise by exerting muscular force on said framework in one direction and exerting muscular force on said platform in the opposite direction in opposition to said yielding means, said framework being of substantially uniform height and of sufficient strength and rigidity to support the weight of a user whereby the apparatus may be turned upside down to serve as an exercising table with the user prone on said bottom wall, said base being foldable to bring the side walls of the two sections of the base into edge-to-edge relation and to bring the end Walls into edge-to-edge relation thereby forming a portable container, said framework being collapsible to fit into said container with said platform.

2. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said base sections are hinged together and provided with latch means to releasably interconnect the sections in their folded positions.

3. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said base has the configuration in plan of a rectangle and in which said framework has substantially the same rectangular configuration in plan.

4. A reversible physical culture apparatus of the character described comprising: an elongated wall member to serve as a base in a first position of the apparatus and as a table top in a second position of the apparatus; a platform movable along said base in engagement therewith for guidance thereby in said first position of the apparatus; means to yieldingly'urge said platform toward one end of said base; and framework mounted on said base and extending upward therefrom in said first position of the apparatus whereby a user standing on said platform and grasping said framework for stability may exercise by exerting muscular force on said framework in one direction and exerting muscular force on said platform in the opposite direction in opposition to said yielding means, said framework being of substantially uniform height and of sufficient strength and rigidity to sup ort the weight of a user whereby the apparatus may be used as an exercising table with the user prone onsaid wall member in said second position of the apparatus.

5. A combination as set forth in claim 4 in which said framework comprises a plurality of vertical members connected at their inner ends to said wall member and a plurality of horizontal members interconnecting the outer ends of said vertical members.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 332,989 Benedict Dec. 22, 1885 1,509,750 Campbell Sept. 23, 1924 1,765,361 Berman June 24, 1930 1,996,350 Schaff Apr. 2, 1935 2,128,332 Schollmeyer Aug. 30, 1938 2,622,877 Lemponen Dec. 23, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 254,571 Great Britain 1926 807,392 France 1937 648,641 Great Britain Jan. 10, 1951

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2841139 *Mar 23, 1956Jul 1, 1958Robert Tarr AlexanderCombined exercising and massaging lounge
US3421760 *Nov 23, 1965Jan 14, 1969Habern W Freeman JrExerciser device
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U.S. Classification482/135, 482/133, 482/38, 482/121
International ClassificationA63B21/04, A63B17/00, A63B21/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B17/00, A63B21/04, A63B2210/50
European ClassificationA63B21/04, A63B17/00