US 2708997 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 24, 195.5 E. F. DURANG ErAL 2,708,997
MOVING STAIRWAY HANDRAIL PROTECTIVE DEVICE Filed May 7, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet l EDM/ZN 15069557' Dl/,54H6 }INVENTOR5 BY kW/fw ATTORNEY May 24, 1955 E. F. DURAN@ ETAL 2,708,997
MOVING sTAIRwAV HANDRAII. PROTECTIVE DEVICE Filed May '7, 1952 Y 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIGS Fla@ 50W/N Foaefs roam/v6 G50/@6E 5v5/QE 77 F/EDLER INVE NTO Rs .SAMUEL ausm/E ANGLES BY ATTORNEY MOVING 'STAIRWAY I-IANDRAIL PROTECTIVE DEVCE Edwin Forrest Durang, West Orange, and George Everett Fiedler, Bloomfield, N. J., and Samuel Gustave Margles, Brooklyn, N. Y., assignors to Otis Elevator Company, New York, N. Y., a corporation of New Jersey Application May 7, 1952, Serial No. 286,638
2 Claims. (Cl. 198-16) This invention relates to protective devices for the handrails of moving stairways.
ln a moving stairway installation handrails which run in synchronism with the moving steps are provided for the passengers safety and convenience. T he handrails are guided along the inclined portion of the stairway balustrades and at the exit end of the stairway the handrails pass over newel wheels and disappear into the balustrades. At the entrance end of the stairway the handrails emerge from the balustrades and are guided over newel wheels to the inclined portion of the balustrades. The openings for the handrails in the balustrade members into which the handrails disappear and from which they emerge are larger than the handrails to provide proper operating clearance. infrequently a child while playing around the moving stairway and noticing the handrail disappear into the balustrade will try to push his finger into the opening. This has given rise to the use of many expedients to minimize the possibility of injury which might result from such misuse of the stairway. Heretofore apparatus has been provided which was designed to prevent a persons hand or fingers from entering into the opening. Hence devices have been provided which attempt to minimize the clearances between the handrail and the balustrade member. Devices have also been provided which warn a person that his hand is approaching or entering the opening.
The object of this invention is to provide an improved arrangement for protecting against injury at the .point where the handrail enters the balustrade.
The invention involves the provision of a protective arrangement which minimizes the possibility of objects such as a childs lingers being involuntarily drawn into the handrail opening. The invention further involves a protective arrangement which utilizes a large handrail opening and a guard for the opening which is yieldable to permit the forceful entry of an object such as a childs fingers into the opening and when in the opening, movement away from the handrail, and yet deters extended movement into the opening, thus minimizing the possibility of real injury.
In carrying out the invention, the opening for the passage of the handrail into the balustrade is made considerably larger than would be provided for the handrail itself and operating clearance. A guard of deformable elastic material such as sponge rubber is provided in the opening and is formed around the handrail so as substantially to close the opening. The guard extends a considerable distance into the balustrading.
A feature of this invention is that the protective arrangement gives ample warning that a persons hand is entering the balustradng and thus permits withdrawal of the hand prior to any real injury.
A second feature of this invention is that the protective arrangement will not pinch a persons hand between the guard and the handrail.
A third feature of this invention is that the guard is of a material such that any irregularities in the handrail nited States Patent 4C) j 2,708,997 Patented May 24, 1955 r'ice will quickly and quietly wear an operating clearance in the guardthus permitting small original clearances.
Other features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the above statements and from the specification and appended claims.
In the drawings:
Figure l is a view in perspective of a portion of one type of moving stairway showing the balustrades equipped with protective means in accordance with the present mvention;
Figure 2 is a plan view of a portion of a balustrade at the handrail opening embodying the protective means of Figure l;
Figure 3 is a view in section taken along line 3-3 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a view showing the shaping of the guard to permit passage of the handrail within the balustrade;
Figure 5 is a somewhat schematic view showing a section, similar to Figure 3, of another arrangement of the protective means; and
Figures 6, 7, and 8 are somewhat schematic views showing sections, similar to Figure 3, of other arrangements of the protective means Referring to Figure l, the balustrades of the moving stairway 10 are designated 11. The handrails 12 are carried around the ends of the stairway by newel wheels 13. Openings 14 for the handrails are provided in the balustrades, the handrails emerging from the openings at one end of the stairway and entering the openings at the other end. As the construction of the protective arrangement for each balustrade is identical, only that for one of them will be described in detail.
Referring to Figures 2 and 3, a guard 15 is provided for the opening 14, this guard comprising a thick lC-shaped collar of sponge rubber having an opening 16 of the contour of the handrail. This guard is supported in a holder 17 which forms the opening 14 in the balustrade for the handrail. A slight operating clearance is provided around the handrail. The guard extends a considerable distance back into the balustrade. It is securely and uniformly bonded as by cementing to backing strip 18, which is fastened in the holder 17 as by means of screws 20. This provides a removable insert but the guard may be bonded directly to the holder. The holder is formed with an exposed flange 21 which extends over the front of the balustrade and is secured in place by means of screws 22. A retaining flange 23 is povided on the holder to insure retaining the guard in p ace.
The above arrangement minimizes the possibility of clothing or a childs hand being involuntarily drawn into the handrail opening. 'The opening is of a dimension not to restrict the movement of a childs lingers into the opening and is effectively closed oif by the guard, so that the large opening is not apparent. Should a child attempt to force his lingers into the opening, the guard yields to admit the fingers without pinching. However, the sliding movement of the handrail against the fingers acts as a gentle warning to the child to withdraw his ingers and this warning increases the farther in the fingers are moved. Also the rubber yields to permit the lingers to move perpendicularly away from the handrail, the handrail opening being large enough to permit this.
A simple arrangement is illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 in which the guard is formed by bending a at piece of sponge rubber to shape. The dimensions are chosen so that initially there is a snug lit, any irregularities in the handrail quickly wearing operating clearance to permit free movement of the handrail. The protective arrangement is illustrated as applied to an installation where the handrail is on a curve at the point of its entry into the balustrade. To conform to the handrail on the curve, when a guard formed of flat sponge rubber stock is utilized, the corners of the guard are trimmed as indicated at 24 in Figure 4.
The opening may be restricted in depth as by a structural member within the balustrading. Under these circumstances a backing plate 25, which may be a flange on the holder as shown in Figure 5, is provided as an aid in limiting the extent of movement of objects into the opening. The inner edge 26 of plate 25 conforms to the contour of the handrail and is spaced a minimum distance therefrom, the space however being greater than the clearance between guard and handrail and b-eing protected by the guard. In the arrangement shown the guard is fastened directly to the holder. The guard is illustrated in Figure 5 as conforming to the handrail longitudinally as well as sectionally, in which event it may be of molded construction. This arrangement may also be used in installations where such structural difficulties do not exist, for example in place of the arrangement of Figures 2, 3 and 4.
Figure 6 shows the protective arrangement applied to a moving stairway installation in which the handrail enters the balustrading and travels horizontally for a considerable distance. Under such conditions the guard encloses the handrail for the entire length of the guard, which length need be limited only by the free space in the balustrade. Retention of the guard in the holder in this arrangement is dependent on the bond between the guard and the holder, no retaining flange being provided on the holder as in Figure 3.
Still another variation of the protective arrangement is shown in Figure 7. Here the protective arrangement is exterior of the balustrade. rl`he size of the handrail opening i4 and the length of the guard therein is determined by the same criterion as was followed in the previously described arrangements. The guard 27 and holder 28 extend out from the balustrade, the holder being secured to the front of the balustrade. The back of the guard abuts against the balustrade 3Q or a restraining flange may be formed on the holder as in Figure 3. Also, the restrainer provided may be extended up to the handrail to form a backing plate as in Figure 5. Also both the guard and holder are shown as conforming to the longitudinal curvature of the handrail balustrading and thus both the guard and holder may be of molded construction. The front edge 31 of the holder is rounded off as shown.
A further variation of the protective arrangement is shown in Figure 8. The opening 14 in guard holder 2 wherein the handrail initially enters the balustrade is t of sufficient dimensions as not to restrict the movement of a childs ngers into the opening. However guard holder 32 rather than conforming to the longitudinal contour of the handrail is gently tapered rearwardly toward the handrail. Preferably the taper is terminated at such point as to provide a substantial thickness of the guard 34 at the rear and is provided with a rear flange 33 spaced a minimum distance from the handrail, the space being greater than the clearance between the handrail and guard 34. The guard is of sponge rubber and due to the irregular shape of the holder will preferably be of molded construction. With this arrangement the warning is intensified, the farther in the fingers are pushed. As a further variation, the guard is illustrated as mounted partially inside and partially outside the balustrade. This protective arrangement is especially suitable for installations where there are structural interferences in the balustrade. The positioning of the guard partially inside and partially outside the balustrade may be done also with the other embodiments of the invention.
In operation, assume that a small child pokes his fingers around the point where the handrail disappears into the balustrade. The large opening 14 in the holder permits his fingers to move into contact with the yieldable guard without striking a rigid member of the balustrade or the guard holder. The guard readily yields to the pressure which he may exert and if he forces his fingers into the opening, the sliding of the handrail on his fingers gives him ample warning to remove his fingers. Also the fingers can be moved perpendicularly away from the handrail and into the easily compressible guard. The depth of the guard serves as an increasing deterrent to the forcible entry of a childs hand into the opening because of the increase in the sliding sensation, this being intensified by the tapered arrangement of Figure 8. ln the arrangements shown, an object such as a childs hand when in the opening is always between the handrail and sponge rubber and hence the possibility of real injury to the hand is minimized.
The protective arrangements described above can be modified as by altering the shape and dimensions of the opening surrounding the handrail, by utilizing other cornpressible elastic material for the guard, by varying the depth of the guard in the balustrade and by varying the means of mounting the guard in the balustrade.
Thus, as many modifications could be made without departing from the scope of the invention it is, therefore, to be understood that all matter shown 1n ure accompanying drawings or contained in the above description shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
l. A protective device for the opening for the handrail in the balustrade of a moving stairway comprising, a guard of sponge rubber in the form of a frustum of a C shaped cone extending from its base in a direction inwardly of the balustrade and having an opening for the handrail with small operating clearance, and a holder for the guard having its inner surface in the form of a rustum of a C Shaped cone conforming to said guard into which the guard extends and to which the guard is secured, said holder having an outwardly extending flange for mounting on the balustrade at the handrail opening.
2. A protective device for the opening for the handrail in the balustrade of a moving stairway comprising, a guard holder for said opening of C shaped construction, extending from front to rear in a direction inwardly of said balustrade and having a flange for mounting on the balustrade, the inner surface of said holder tapering from front to rear toward the handrail, and a guard of sponge rubber extending from the front to the rear of the holder and adhered to said inner surface of said holder, the inner surface of said guard conforming to the shape of the handrail and having a close operating clearance with respect thereto.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,550,918 Felix et al May l, 1951