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Publication numberUS2721685 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 25, 1955
Filing dateFeb 4, 1953
Priority dateFeb 4, 1953
Publication numberUS 2721685 A, US 2721685A, US-A-2721685, US2721685 A, US2721685A
InventorsJack Frankel
Original AssigneeJack Frankel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic life saving fire escape device
US 2721685 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


ATTORNEX United States Patent() AUTOMATIC LIFE SAVING FIRE ESCAPE DEVICE Jack Frankel, Brooklyn, N. Y. Application February 4, 1953, Serial No. 335,112

1 Claim. (Cl. 227-32) This invention relates to a fire escape device.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide a device which will automatically lower one or more persons from a burning home or building at a controlled rate of safe descent, and which will automatically return to its original position to be used again.

One of the other objects of the invention is to provide a device which will automatically unwind a supporting cable at a safe rate of descent, and enable the person being lowered to arrest the downward movement at will.

Another object of the invention is to provide a safety lire escape device with a cable and a drum on which the cable is normally wound, and a Worm gearing for manually operating the drum to insure a controlled descent.

A still further object of the invention is to provide such a device with a spring which is wound as the drum is unwound, and automatic means for disengaging the worm shaft from the worm gear when the person lowered disengages himself from the harness which connects the mechanism to the person, so that the spring which has been wound to its capacity limit will automatically rewind the cable and return the device to the elevation from which it has been lowered.

For further comprehension of the invention, and of the objects and advantages thereof, reference Will be had to the following description and accompanying drawing, and to the appended claim in which the various novel features of the invention are more particularly set forth.

In the accompanying drawing forming a material part of this disclosure:

Fig. l is a perspective view showing the device applied to a person to permit a safe escape from a burning buildmg.

Fig. 2 is a side elevation of the device detached from the person, showing the worm shaft displaced from the worm gear.

Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view, taken on line 3-3 of Fig. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows.

Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view, taken on line 4 4 of Fig. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows.

Referring to the drawings, which illustrate the practical embodiment of the invention, 10a designates a housing, 10 designates a supporting cable of flexible material, which may be of any type, 11 a hook for connecting the cable to a suitable support, which may be a cross bar 12, placed across a window, or a radiator or other xed part of the building.

The lower end of the cable is secured around a drum 13, which is mounted on the spring barrel 13EL enclosed by the drum 13, and the barrel 13 is mounted directly on the shaft 14, which turns in opposite bearings 16 of the housing side plates 17 and 18, and the cable 10 freely passes through a guide 13 on the head or top wall of the housing.

The shaft 14 is equipped with a worm gear 19, which turns outwardly of the side plate 17. This worm gear is engaged by a worm shaft 20, which is mounted to 2,721,685 Patented Oct. 25, V19551 lCe 1" turn in the bearings 21 and 22. The bearing 21 is ser the side plate 17 by the bolt22a, which engages a similar slot in the plate 17.

The bearings 21 and 22 engaged the compression coil springs 26 and 27, and the lower ends of these springs engage the thrust blocks 32 and 33, which are secured by the bolts 32a and 33a to the plate 17 against sliding movement.

A metal strap or llat bar 28 is secured by welding or otherwise to the bearing block 21, and is slidably connected by the boltl 34 to the plate 17, through the slot 35. A second metal strap or flat bar 29 is secured to the bearing block 22, and is connected by the bolt 34 to the plate 17, through a vertical slot formed in said plate.

The outer end of the shaft 20 is equipped with a wheel 23, which is provided with a crank handle 24, so that the wheel may be easily turned by hand.

The straps 28 and 29 form hangers for the lowering mechanism, and a harness which includes the body belt 30 and the buckle 31 is connected to the lower ends of the straps or hanger bars 28 and 29. When this body belt is fitted on the body of the user, his or her weight will compress the springs 26 and 27, and thereby move the worm shaft 20 into engagement with the worm gear 19, so that the drum 13 may be turned to unwind the cable 10, by manually turning the wheel 23 with the aid of the crank handle 24. The type of gear teeth used will determine the elfort required to turn the drum and to lower the person supported by the body harness. A gear ratio may be provided which will use the worm shaft as a resistance to quick descent, and which will slowly turn the worm shaft, and a gearing may be used which will lock the drum against turning except when the worm shaft is manually turned.

When a low pitch worm gearing is used, which will permit the worm gear 19 to drive the worm shaft 20, a brake screw 39, having an operating wheel 38, and a brake shoe 40, may be operated to apply frictional resistance to the drum 13, and thus hold it against too rapid movement, or to stop it from any turning movement.

As the downward movement of the lowering mechanism, under the influence of the weight of the body of the user turns the drum 13, the spring 41, enclosed by the spring barrel 139-, will be wound. When the person reaches the ground or any acceptable landing, which may be a safe lower floor, the weight of the body will be taken olf the straps. When the harness has been separated from the body, the spring rewound by descent, will automatically rewind the drum and due to the springs 26 and 27, will disengage the worm shaft 20 from the worm gear and the energy of the spring 41 will be expended directly in winding the drum 13, thus elevating the entire safety device to its original position.

This spring 41 also serves as a shock absorber to arrest any tendency toward rapid descent, and its capacity should correspond to the length of the cable 10.

The improved safety device can be used by workingmen required to escape from dangerous building conditions, by guests of hotels, by persons living at home, or working in office or factory buildings, and will enable an indefinite number of persons to escape, if not overloaded at any one time.

The safety device may be used again and again to safely lower women, children and men from dangerous high ele vations to safe low elevations. The body belt may be secured directly under the arms, so that it will not slip, and no serious discomforture to the wearer will result.

While I have illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the precise constructions herein disclosed and the right is reserved to all changes and modications coming within the scope of the invention as dened in the appended claim.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by United States Letters Patent A safety device for lowering a person from a high elevation to a low one comprising, a housing, a exible cable drum around which a cable is wound in said housing, a shaft extending through said housing rotatably supporting said drum, a worm gear on one end of said shaft, a pair of bearings slidably mounted on opposite sides of the said worm gear within a first pair of slots in the housing wall, a worm mounted between said pair of bearings, a pair of thrust blocks secured to the housing wall below the said bearings and in spaced relation thereto, a strap mounted on each bearing and means on the lower ends of the straps secured to the housing through a second pair of slots in the housing wall below the thrust blocks, compression means between the said thrust blocks and the bearings urging the worm away from the worm gear, means secured to the lower ends of the straps adapted to be worn by a person whereby the weight of a person causes the worm to move into engagement with the worm gear and slowly unwind the cable against the force of the compression means.

References Cited in the lle of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 199,934 Richards Feb. 5, 1878 272,129 Edmonds Feb. 13, 1883 295,465 Von der Linden Mar. 18, 1884 419,542 Nittinger Jan. 14, 1890 1,141,995 Upton June 8, 1915

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US199934 *Jun 6, 1877Feb 5, 1878F OneImprovement in fire-escapes
US272129 *Apr 8, 1882Feb 13, 1883 Fire-escape
US295465 *Mar 18, 1884 Chaeles von bee linden
US419542 *Oct 29, 1889Jan 14, 1890 Carl nittinger
US1141995 *Jul 27, 1914Jun 8, 1915George F UptonFire-escape.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4511123 *Jun 2, 1983Apr 16, 1985Meyer OstrobrodSafety device
US4877110 *Oct 14, 1988Oct 31, 1989D B Industries, Inc.Safety device with retractable lifeline
US6182789 *Mar 13, 1995Feb 6, 2001Toshio OkamuraEscape device
US6371244Dec 27, 2000Apr 16, 2002Toshio OkamuraEscape device
US6823966Oct 25, 2002Nov 30, 2004American Escape Systems, Inc.Descender apparatus
U.S. Classification182/236
International ClassificationA62B1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA62B1/00
European ClassificationA62B1/00