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Publication numberUS2872753 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 10, 1959
Filing dateFeb 20, 1956
Priority dateFeb 20, 1956
Publication numberUS 2872753 A, US 2872753A, US-A-2872753, US2872753 A, US2872753A
InventorsFenton Russell S
Original AssigneeFenton Russell S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible doll house construction
US 2872753 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 10, 1959 R. s. FENTON 2,872,753

COLLAPSIBLE DOLL HOUSE CONSTRUCTION Filed Feb. 20, 1956 13 A711 AZ? 17 INVENTOR.

153/615? gaze/v0 tint l atented Feb. 10, 1959 COLLAPSIBLE DOLL HOUSE CONSTRUCTION Russell S. Fenton, Northfield, Ill.

Application February 20, 1956, Serial No. 566,532

4 Claims. (Cl. td-=12) It is another object of the present invention to provide a doll house comprising a novel arrangement of foldable panels and in which all of the furniture is permanently secured to the foldable panels so as to occupy predetermined nested positions when the doll house is collapsed and to rigidity the structure in both the collapsed and set-up conditions.

It is another object of the presentv invention to provide novel means for locking the panels edge-to-edge to form a rigid rectangular box-like structure when the device is collapsed and to form a stable and strong-walled structure when the device is set up. It is a more specific object to provide a collapsible doll house which is neat and substantial in appearance, giving the impression of a permanent structure when it is set up and which is furthermore capable of resisting the rough usage to which the device, as a toy, will normally be subjected.

It is a further object to provide a collapsible doll house in which all of the parts are arranged to form a novel interfitting and nested structure but in which the collapsing procedure is sufiiciently simple and straightforward as to be easily mastered by a young child so that the device during periods of non-use may be easily and quickly collapsed for storage in an out-o'f-the-way place.

It is an object of the invention in one of its aspects to provide a collapsible doll house having novel storage facilities to enable storage of an entire dolls wardrobe including all of the usual accessories together with the doll itself.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the attached detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a doll house, constructed in accordance with the present invention, in its collapsed or portable condition.

Fig. 2 shows the structure with the top and front panels unfolded to form a portion of the floor.

Fig. 3 is a perspective view showing the two wings connected to one of the side panels unfolded and in place as one of the side walls.

Fig. 4 is a view similar to Fig. 3 but showing both of the sets of wings unfolded and with the room complete and ready to use.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary section taken along the line 5--5 in Fig. 1.

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary section taken along the line 6 6 in Fig. 1.

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary section taken along the line 7-7 in Fig. 4.

Fig. 8 is a transverse section on a reduced scale through the dolls wardrobe and taken along the line 8--8 in Fig. 4.

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary section taken along the line 9--9 in Fig. 1 to show the fastening device.

While the invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiment, it will be understood that the invention is not necessarily limited thereto but applicable to other toy building structures as included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Turning now to the drawings, the doll house structure indicated generally at 10 includes a base structure which is made up of a back panel 11, a first side panel 12, a second side panel 13, and a bottom panel 14, the latter being joined permanently along their edges to form a rectangular box which is open at the front and top.

Each of the side panels is provided with first and second wing portions serially hinged together and having a height which is substantially the same as the height of the side panels 12, 13. Thus the side panel 12 has a first wing 15 and a second wing 16 while the side panel 13 has a first wing 17 and a second wing 18.

In accordance with the present invention, the first wings 15, 17 have a total length which is equal to or less than the length of the back panel 11 and the second wings 16, 18 each have a length which is equal to or less than the width of the side panels 12, 13. This permits the first wings to be swung into a position parallel with the back panel and with the second wings tucked in and lying sideby-side as shown in Fig. 2. The latter arrangement not only effectively disposes of the wings but also forms a double box structure which has great rigidity and strength as will be more fully covered hereinafter.

In carrying out the invention I further provide a front panel 21 which is hingedly attached to the forward edge of the bottom panel and which has dimensions corresponding to the dimensions of the back panel for upward folding into a position parallel with the latter. Furthermore, I provide a top panel 22 hingedly secured to the outer edge of the front panel and having dimensions corresponding to the'dimensions of the bottom panel for completing the enclosure of the base structure when the front and top panels are folded into the position shown in Fig. 1.

For the purpose of securing the top panel to the back panel during transport, a central fastener 25 (Fig. 9) is used which may, for example, consist of a tab of flexible material 26 such as leather riveted to the top panel and having a snap fastener 27 at its end for engaging the upper edge of the rear panel. In addition, a handle 28 may be conveniently provided which is formed of leather or similar flexible material and which is designed to seat flatly on the top of the structure so that the top panel will lie flatly when it forms part of the floor and so that a flat surface is available for stacking when the device is stored.

In accordance with one of the features of the present invention novel means are provided for supporting or looking the edges of the top and side panels relative to one another when the device is collapsed and for supporting the forwardly extended wings 15, 18 in a rigid and erect condition when the device is set up for use. More specifically I provide flanges 31, 32 secured at the respective ends of the top panel for defining grooves 33, 34 in which the cooperating edges of the adjacent panels are nested both in the collapsed and set-up conditions. The flanges are preferably in the form of angles secured by rivets 35, 36 to the top panel 22.

In accordance with one of the more detailed aspects of the invention pieces of furniture are permanently sebored to the top panel, and spaced inwardly from the edge a 2,872,753 p h v of the top panel in positions parallel to the flanges 31, 32

for cooperating with the latter. This provides more extensive support than provided by the flanges alone, particularly since the height of the pieces of furniture is several times greater than the flange width. In the present instance the pieces of furniture performing this functon are a chair 41 and a chest 42 nailed or glued in the positions shown. The spacing or groove width is sufiicient to accommodate the thickness of the panel material but with a snug fit. i

The above locking arrangement will be apparent upon inspection of Figs. 5 and 6, which show the function of the flanges when the device is collapsed for transport. Referring to Fig. 5, for example, it will be noted that the side panel 12 is entrapped between the flange 31 and the base of the chair 41, which effectively locks the top against shifting movement relative to the side panel. A similar arrangement is employed at the other end of the top panel as indicated in Fig. 6 which shows that the side panel 13 is entrapped between the flange 32 and the chest 42. It is found that this type of engagement holds the panels in their desired plane and position, so that the collapsed device has all of the structural properties of a rigid box. The top panel is supported at its center by the upwardly presented edges of the second wings 16, 18. Since the wings are capable of supporting a considerable load when loaded edgewise, it is possible for the collapsed structure to support the weight of a child even where the panels are constructed of relatively weak material such as corrugated cardboard.

The function of the flanges 31, 32 in rigidifying the device as set up will be apparent upon inspection of Figs. 3 and 4 and the illustrative fragment of Fig. 7.

- In setting up the structure the connected wings 15, 16 are swung outwardly into alinement with one another.-

The lower edge of the wing 6 is then inserted, as shown in Fig. 7, between the flange 31 and the chair 41. This not only prevents the wing 16 from moving inwardly and outwardly of the desired plane but also prevents any skewing, insuring that the wing 16 is held in a rigid upright position. This insures that the adjacent wing 15 is also held in a rigid-upright position of alinement so that the elements 12, 15, 16 together form a smooth and continuous side wall, having the rigidity of a permanent wall structure. In similar fashion, the wings 17, 18 are swung outwardly, with the lower edge of the wing 18 tucked between the flange 32 and the chest 42. This forms a smoothly continuous wall consisting of the elements 13, 17, 18.

In accordance with one of the features of invention 'still further rigidity is provided by the permanent mounting of box-like furniture elements against the side and bottom walls, and securely joined to each of them. For example, I provide a wardrobe 43 having a top wall 44, a side wall 45, and a front wall 46 which may include doors. This three-sided structure is nested into the lefthand corner of the doll house as shown in Fig. 4 with the rear edges respectively secured to the back, side and bottom panels 11, 12 and 14 respectively as, for example, by nailing or gluing. This box within a box not only rigidifies the corner, but imparts rigidity to the entire structure. It is an economical arrangement since the panels 11, 12 and 14 serve a double purpose, forming a part of the furniture in addition to defining the room. The back panel 11 is further rigidified by a permanently installed dressing table 47 which is secured, as by gluing, to the back panel and bottom panel. The dressing table may be formed if desired by a single strip of wood running horizontally and provided with a skirt as shown. Not only do the pieces of furniture reinforce the panels, but it has been found that the furniture itself is reinforced and protected by the panels and consequently may be made much lighter and cheaperv than would be the case if the furniture were freestanding and sold separately.

For the purpose of rigidifying and preventing warping of the relatively free first wing member 15, 17, each of the latter has secured thereto a box-like piece of furniture as, for example, a chest 51 and bed 52 respectively. The total thickness of the chest and wardrobe and the total thickness of the bed and dressing table are less than the depth of the side panels 12, 13 so that no interference takes place when the wings 15, 17 are folded inwardly. If desired the bed may be dimensioned to project under the dressing table when the device is collapsed.

By using the above structure a high ratio may be obtained between the volume of the device in its set-up and collapsed conditions, in the present instance 3% to 1. In the practical case, the doll house may be scaled to an 8-inch doll and may have a height of 13% inches, a width of 27 inches, and a depth of 31% inches. Such dimensions are, of course, much greater than may be employed in any practical doll house of conventional type. Yet, the device may be stored in a total volume which is much smaller than that of the usual scale of doll house. The device is preferably formed of a single T-shaped blank of material, 87 inches across by 45% inches long, the left arm being formed of the elements 12, 15, 16, the right arm of elements 13, 17, 18 and the vertical leg by the elements 14, 21, 22 with the back 11 being the common member. This enables utmost simplicity in manufacture since all of the joints are simple folds with the exception of the joints between the side panels 12, 13 and the bottom 14, which may be respectively formed of tape. Or, if desired, for economy of material, the T may be formed of separate horizontal and vertical blanks permanently taped together between panels 11, 14.

With regard to choice of material, a wide variation is possible without departing from the teachings of the invention. For example, the entire device may be constructed of fiberboard or, for maximum economy, of a good grade of corrugated board without being in any way flimsy. The latter may be covered by thin plastic sheet material which not only serves to reinforce the raw edges but which, in addition, provides a pleasing and waterproof finish. The room may be tastefully outfitted by papering the interior with wallpaper, by applying curtains at the window, and by affixing carpets to the panels forming the floor.

It is to be noted that everything is fixed in place which contributes toward realistic play. The doll may be actively handled within the doll house without upsetting the furniture, a feature which extends the utility of the toy down to the lower age groups. Also important there are no loose pieces to become lost or stepped on, the clothes or other accessories are all transported, locked in place, in the wardrobe and chest provided. Consequently, the device may be subjected to considerable mistreatment when it is in its collapsed position as, for example, during shipping, without in any way disturbing the contents.

While the invention has been particularly described as a doll house, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the term is not to be narrowly construed and that the structure will find equal application to other collapsible enclosures used as a toy in which the walls form the interior of a room or a scenic set for use as a playtime locale. Accordingly, the term box-like furniture elements used in the claims may not be necessarily limited to house furniture, but may include any box-like furnishings appropriate to the room or set.

I claim as my invention:

1. A collapsible doll house comprising in combination a base structure having a back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels secured together along their respective edges so as to form the floor and walls of a doll house leaving the top and front of such base structure open, each of said side panels having first wings-and second wings serially hinged thereto so as to unfold outwardly and of corresponding height, said first wings having a total length which is equal to or less than the length of the back panel to permit the first wings to be swung inwardly into a position parallel with said back panel with the second wings lying side-by-side nested in said base structure, a front panel hingedly attached to the forward edge of the bottom panel so as to unfold fiat and having dimensions corresponding to the back panel for upward folding parallel to the latter, and a top panel hingedly secured to the front panel so as to unfold flat forming an extension of the front panel and having dimensions corresponding to the dimensions of the bottom panel for completing the enclosure of the base structure when folded up wardly, said serially connected first and second wings when unfolded in combination with the unfolded front panel and top panel forming walls and floor extending the volume of the doll house defined by the base structure, said top panel having flange means along its lateral edges for engaging the upper edges of the side panels when the device is in its collapsed condition and for engaging the bottom edges of said second wings for rigidifying the structure when the device is set up.

2. A collapsible doll house comprising in combination a base structure having a back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels secured together along their respective edges so as to form the floor and walls of a doll house leaving the top and front of such base structure open, each of said side panels having first wings and second wings serially hingedthereto so as to unfold outwardly to an erect position and of substantially the same height, said first wings having a total length which is less than the length of the back panel to permit the first wings to be swung inwardly into a position parallel with said back panel with the second wings nested in said base structure, a front panel hingedly attached to the forward edge of the bottom panel so as to unfold downwardly to a flat position and having dimensions corresponding to the back panel for upward folding parallel to the latter, a top panel hingedly secured to the front panel and having dimensions corresponding to the dimensions of the bottom panel for completing the enclosure of the base structure, said serially connected first and second wings when unfolded in combination with the unfolded front panel forming walls and floor extending the volume of the doll house defined by the base structure, and means for securing the top panel in place when folded with respect to the side and back panels.

3. A collapsible doll house comprising in combination a base structure having a back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels secured together along their respective edges so as to form the walls and fioor of a doll house leaving the top and front of such base structure open, each of said side panels having wings hinged to the forward edges thereof so as to unfold outwardly to an erect position and of substantially the same height, said wings having a total rigid length which is less than the length of the back panel to permit the wings to be swung inwardly into a position parallel with said back panel, a front panel hingedly attached to the forward edge of the bottom panel so as to unfold downwardly to a fiat position and having dimensions corresponding to the back panel for upward folding parallel to the latter, a top panel hingedly secured to the front panel and having dimensions corresponding to the dimensions of the bottom panel for completing the enclosure of the base structure, and means for securing the wings in place along the edges of the front panel when the same are unfolded and the device is set up so that said wings when erect in combination with the front panel when flat form walls and floor extending the volume of the doll house defined by the base structure.

4. A collapsible toy house comprising in combination a base structure having a back panel, a bottom panel and two side panels secured together along their respective edges so as to form the walls and floor of a doll house leaving the top and front of such base structure open, each of said side panels having first wings and second wings serially hinged thereto so as to unfold outwardly and of corresponding height, said first wings having a total length which is substantially equal to the length of the back panel and said second wings each having a length which is substantially equal to the depth of the side panels to permit the first wings to be swung inwardly into a position parallel with said back panel with the second wings lying side by side nested in said base structure, a front panel hingedly attached to the forward edge of the bottom panel so as to unfold downwardly to a fiat position and having dimensions corresponding to the back panel for upward folding parallel to the latter, a top panel hingedly secured to the front panel and having dimensions corresponding to the dimensions of the bottom panel for folding parallel to the latter to place the device in a fully collapsed condition, said serially connected first and second wings when unfolded in combination with the unfolded front panel forming walls and floor comprising an extension to the doll house defined by the base structure, and box-like furniture elements secured to at least one of said wings, front and top, panels in such position as to brace the walls of the doll house extension for reinforcing and rigidifying the same and arranged for registered nesting when the device is in its collapsed state.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 243,873 Dorn et al. July 5, 1881 1,181,825 Bartelt May 2, 1916 1,493,277 Pool May 6, 1924 1,881,356 Gold Oct. 4, 1932 2,040,974 Bigelow May 19, 1936

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification446/478, 229/120.18, 434/79, 229/103
International ClassificationA63H3/52, A63H3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H3/52
European ClassificationA63H3/52