US 2875806 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 3, 1959 w. w. BLOCK LAUNDRY CART WITH PLASTIC BASKET Filed Nov. 28, 1955 9 Vi il!!! I United States Patent LAUNDRY CART WITH PLASTIC BASKET Walter W. Block, Kenosha, Wis., assignor to Quaker Stretcher Company, Kenosha, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application November 28, 1955, Serial No. 549,436
1 Claim. (Cl. 150-49) This invention isconcerned generally with a laundry cart, and more particularly with a laundry cart comprising a metallic frame and having a plastic hamper or basket part.
Laundry carts as previously constructed in the majority of cases have comprised a metal frame of some sort, generally of aluminum tubing, with a cloth'hamper or clothes receiving portion carried at the top thereof. Such laundry carts have been generally satisfactory for many purposes, but it has been ditficult to carry clothes in them from one location to another inasmuch as the hamper portion is attached to the frame, and the entire article must be carried in generally extended position.
Itis an object of this invention to provide a laundry cart having a removable hamper or basket which can becarlried by itself, the frame being collapsible and capable of being carried in a collapsed condition.
It is further an object of this invention to provide a laundry cart having a more or less rigid hamper or basket capable of use for purposes other than holding clothes.
Another object of this invention is to provide a laundry cart which folds in a novel manner for storageyor transportation.
It is further an object of this invention to provide a laundry cart wherein there is provided a basket or hamper which is detachable from the remainder of the cart for many diverse uses.
Another object of this invention is to provide a laundry cart having a plastic hamper or basket.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a laundry cart constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention and shown in operating position;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the same laundry cart in folded position;
Fig. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view through the cart;
Fig. 4 is a horizontal sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional view as taken substantially along the line 55 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 6 is a detailsectional view taken substantially along the line 66 of Fig. 5; and
Fig. 7 is a detail view partially in vertical section of the attachment of a caster to one of the legs of the cart.
Referring now in greater particularity to the drawings, there is shown a laundry cart generally identified by the numeral 10 and comprising a frame 12 and a basket 14. The frame comprises a pair of U-shaped tubular members of similar construction and each including diagonal legs 16 and interconnecting bights 18. The legs 16 cross and are pivotally connected at 20 by means such as rivets, it being understood that washers or the like are interposed between the crossed legs to space them slightly. The bights 18 are of equal length, and the legs 16 thus are equally spaced apart for each pair. The legs of one pair, such as the nearer pair of Fig. 1 thus both pass on the same side of the legs 16 of the other pair. Specifically, in Fig. 1 the legs 16 of the pair having their lowest portions foremost pass on the left side of each of the pair of legs 16 having their upper portions foremost. This results in a slight offset of the legs and bights as will be understood.
The pairs of legs 16 are interconnected more or less midway between the pivots 20 and the bights 18 by transverse support members 22, and also are interconnected near their lower extremities by transverse braces 24. The lower extremities of the legs are turned down as at 26, and are in substantially vertical position when the cart is in the extended position of Fig. l. The turned down portions 26 cross one another when the cart is folded or collapsed as in Fig. 2. Casters 28 are provided at the bottoms of the turned down portions for wheeling the cart about.
A folding brace 30 interconnects the adjacent legs of opposite pairs a short distance below the pivots 20. The folding braces simply comprise a pair of links pivotally connected to one another and pivotally connected to the legs 16. No complicated locking mechanism is necessary inasmuch as all these braces are called upon to do is to withstand tension to limit the movement of the lower portions of the legs 16 apart when in extended position.
All of the parts of the frame 12 except for the folding braces 30 are made of tubular material, preferably steel, although it is contemplated that aluminum or other materials could be used. The manner in which the supports 22 and braces 24 are secured to the legs 16 is illustrated in Fig. 6 with regard to the supports 22. Each support 22 (and also each brace 24) is flattened from tubular form at its outer ends, and theflattened outer ends are curled into generally semicircular shape as at 32. A longitudinal rib 34 is formed in each semicircular section 32 to provide rigidity thereto. Each semicircular portion 32 fits over the adjacent leg 16, and means such as a rivet 36 extends through the semicircular portion 32 and through the leg 16 securely to anchor the support 22 (or brace 24) in place.
As may be seen in Fig. 7, each caster 28 is of conventional construction, including a roller or wheel 38,
conveniently of plastic material, pivotally supported be-' tween a pair of depending flanges or legs 40 interconnected by a. bight 42 and forming therewith a caster bracket 44. A stud 46 extends upwardly from the bight of the caster bracket as is common in caster construction. A spring metal retainerclip 48 of novel construc tion fits over each stud 46 for pivotally retaining the stud in the corresponding depending or downwardly directed leg portion 26. The spring metal clip 48 comprises a bight 50 and a pair of generally depending legs 52 extending downwardly therefrom. The legs have inturned feet 54 which overlap one another.. The bight and feet are provided with generally aligned apertures through which the stud 46 extends, and the upper end of the stud is flattened as at 56 so as to provide an enlargement pre-.
venting retraction of the stud from the retainer 48. The material of the bight about'the aperture therein may be turned up for reinforcement. A dished washer 58 preferably is interposed betweenthe feet 54 and the bight 42v The basket 14 is molded of plastic,'preferably polystyrene. This material hasyhigh impact strength, and is strong in other respects. It hol d s its shape well, and is resilient. The basket is completely waterproof and may be used for many otherpurposes than holding clothes, such as for a large dish 'pan or a laundry tub, or for a babys bath. The basket can be used either when supported by the frame of the cart, or it may be supported on a table or the like for such additional uses.
' The basket includes a bottom 60 which is generally flat, but which preferably is provided with longitudinal ribs or undulations 62'for rigidity. The basket includes integral sides and ends 64 and 66 extending generally upwardly from the bottom, but tapering slightly outwardly. The side walls and ends are outwardly offset at 68, and then extend on up. to a curled-over rim or edge 70 extending completely around the basket.
The basket is supported on the transverse supports 22 with the rim supported suificiently high above the bights 18 as to allow ready grasping by the fingers as isillustrated at 72 in Fig. 3. The lower portions of the side walls 64 and ends 66 readily clear the legs 16 and bights 18' upon insertion and removal of the basket from a posi tion within the frame on top of the supports 22. However, the upper portion as effected by the offset 68 forms a frictional, wedging fit with the frame of the cart. This holds the basket in place on the frame, yet allows ready removal therefrom. More particularly, and as may be seen in Figs. 3 and 4, the bights 18 engage the upper portions of the ends 66 along a line contact 74. The engagement along the lines 74 is somewhat of a wedging, frictional engagement. In addition, the lateral corners of the basket wedgingly engage the legs 16 at diagonally opposite corners as is indicated at 76. At the other pair of diagonally oppositecorners, as at 78, there is substantially no engagement. This is due to the oifset of the pairs of legs and bights, such ofiset previously having been explained, and effectsa slight and temporary warping of the basket, thereby insuring a firm, resilient and frictional fit of the basket Within the frame. Such wedging fit is readily released by lifting the basket, and if necessary by applying a slight further manual warping force on, the basket. Of course, once the basket is free of the frame it resumes its initial rectangular outline.
It will be apparent that the basket readily can be removed from the frame. Theframe can be collapsed, and the basket can be placed in the lower portion thereof as is shown in Fig. 2 for storage, or for more compact transportation of the cart. The offset of the legs again is of importance when in the collapsed position of Fig. 2 inasmuch as it efiects awedging retention of the basket within the frame.
The plastic basket of my laundry cart presents many advantages not found in prior laundry carts with which I am familiar. For example, the basket is, completely removable from the frame for readily carrying clothes about. It will be understood that the basket can besupported by one hand and a hip,while the collapsed frame is carried in the other hand. The basket can be used as a dish pan or laundry tub, or for bathing av baby, either with the basket supported by the cart or on a table. The basket has many other uses, including that of a garden basket. Obviously, none of these useful functions could be effected by the usual cloth hamper. The plastic characteristic of the basket imparts many useful features which would not be found in a metal basket, and which are not obvious- For example, the temporary deforma 4- tion allowing a wedging fit of the basket in the frame is possible only with plastic. If a basket of the shape shown were made of metal, it would be too rigid for this purpose. Furthermore, it would be too heavy.
It is to be understood that the specific example of the invention herein shown and described is for exemplary purposes only. Various changes in structure will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art, and are to be understood as forming a part of the invention insofar as they fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claim.
The invention is hereby claimed as follows:
A laundry cart comprising a supporting frame including a pair of substantially identical inverted U-shaped frame members each comprising a top bight portion and a pair of similarly spaced legs depending therefrom, one leg of one frame member crossing the adjacent leg of the other frame member onthe outside thereof and the other leg of the said one frame member'crossing the adjacent leg of the other frame member on .the inside thereof to laterally offset the frame members and the bight portions relative to each other, means for .individually pivotally interconnecting the adjacent legs at the crossing location thereof permitting the frame members to be collapsed to substantially parallel position and to be expanded to supporting position, upper transverse support members interconnecting the legs of each frame member, lower transverse support members interconnecting the legs of the frame members adjacent the lower ends thereof, and a yieldable plastic basket having bottom and peripheral walls and adapted to be selectively i received between the bight portion of said frame members and resting on said upper transverse support members when the frame members are in expanded supporting position, and between the legs of both frame members and resting on at least one of the lower transverse support members when the frame members are in collapsed substantially parallel position, the peripheral wall-of said basket including an outwardly offset upper wall portion inclined outwardly toward the top edge thereof and of sufficient extent to extend below said bight portions with the top edge of the basket disposed above said bight portions when the frame members are in expanded supporting position and the basket supported thereby with opposed portions of the said upper wall portion providing wedging engagement with the bight portions and with the offset positioning of said bight portions operating to warp the basket for wedging engagement with the upper end portions of diagonally opposite legs on the frame members, and opposed adjacent upper wall portions of the basket adapted to fit in wedging engagement with the legs of the frame members and with an intermediate portion of the upper wall portion adapted to rest on at least one of said lower transverse members when the frame members are in collapsed position and the offset positioning of the pairs of legs operating to warp the-basket into tight engagement therewith.
References Cited in the file of thispatent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,052,803 Schmoller Sept. 1, 1936 2,154,800 Zumwinkel Apr. 18, 1939 2,695,645 Tupper Nov. 30, 1954 2,767,754 Lederer et al. Oct. 23, 1956 2,787,310 Zerbe Apr. 2, I957