US 2880902 A
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P. OWSEN COLLAPSIBLE ARTICLE I April 7, 1959 Filed June 3, 1957 M 5 W 0 a i H j 1 1 W 1 M ,M F E 4 6 M, VA M I u l United States Patent M COLLAPSIBLE ARTICLE Peter Owsen, Dearborn, Mich. Application June 3, 1957, Serial No. 663,114
3 Claims. (Cl. 220-8) This invention relates to collapsible articles and particularly to collapsible articles such as drinking cups, bellows, and the like, having a plurality of relatively thick peripheral wall sections alternating with thin wall sections which are inverted when the thick wall sections are moved into telescoped relation to each other.
The present invention is comprised of a generally frusto body made from a relatively flexible material such as polyethylene. The body has a plurality of annular stepped sections of successively decreasing diameter, alternate ones of which have relatively thick walls while the other 'ones have relatively thin walls. With this construction, each of the thick wall sections may be telescoped one within the other with the intermediate thin wall sec: tions inverted-therebetween. It will be appreciated'that since the body is made of a flexible plastic material, the thin wall sections will be relatively more flexible than the thick wall sections and each thin wall section will consequently reversely move over itself into inside out or inverted position when the thick wall sections of diiferent diameters are moved into telescoped relation.
This construction results in a unique article which may be used for a collapsible-type drinking cup, a bellows for a camera, a protective sleeve over an adjustable element, and the like. The article is inexpensive to produce since it is formed of one integral piece which is molded as a unit from inexpensive material. In addition, the present invention is in many ways more suitable for use as a cup or a bellows for a camera since in the former it provides a water-tight container due to its one-piece construction, and in the latter it provides a light-tight article which is more rugged and more compact than the conventional cloth bellows generally used for cameras.
It is one object of the invention to provide an article having spaced walls which are movable into telescoped relation.
It is another object of the invention to provide a collapsible article of unitary construction having alternating thick and thin wall sections.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a collapsible article of unitary construction which is inexpensive to manufacture, rugged in construction and compact in collapsed form.
Other objects and features of novelty of the present invention will become apparent when referring, for a better understanding of the invention, to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
Fig. l is a sectional view in elevation of a drinking cup embodying features of the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view of the cup illustrated in Fig. 1 when in collapsed position;
Fig. 3 is a side view of the structure illustrating another form of the present invention in the nature of a bellows for a camera;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged broken sectional view of the structure illustrated in Fig. 3 taken along the line 4-4 thereof; and
Fig. 5 is a sectional view of the structure illustrated in Fig. 3 taken along the line 5-5 thereof.
The present invention is illustrated in Fig. 1 in the form of a collapsible drinking cup. The cup has a generally truncated conical body 10 made up of a plurality of annular stepped sections 12 alternating with the stepped sections 14, all of which are of successively decreasing diameter. It will be noted that the walls of the sections 12 are relatively thin as compared to the walls of the sections 14 and that they are integrally joined to one another and to the bottom 16. A bead 18 is formed around the top edge of the uppermost section 14 for reinforcing the edge and providing a finished appearance thereto.
Due to the fact that the sections 12 are thinner than the sections 14, they are more flexible and consequently when the top of the cup is moved toward the bottom, the sections reverse themselves as the sections 14 are moved into telescoped relation with each other. The sections 12 are inverted or turned inside out between the sections 14 when they are in telescoped relation, as clearly illustrated in Fig. 2. It will be observed in Fig. 2 that the inner and outer surfaces of the sections 12 are reversed with respect to their positions, the inner surfaces of Fig. 1 being the outer surface in Fig. 2 so that the sections 12 are in fact inside out.
Another form of the invention is illustrated in Figs. 3,
4 and 5 comprising a bellows 20 for a conventional camera having a camera body 22 and a lens and shutter assembly 24. As clearly shown in Fig. 4, the wall sections are the same as disclosed in Fig. 1 with the exception that they have a greater taper which means that the leading edge of each heavier section 26 will clear the trailing edge of the preceding section 26 by a greater margin thus reducing the force required to reverse the thinner sections 28 disposed therebetween. The amount of taper is not critical as sections without taper can be employed so long as a stepped construction is used wherein each section has a smaller diameter than the preceding section.
It will be noted from Fig. 5 that the walls 26 and 28 are square in cross section and it is to be understood that the walls may be round, square, rectangular, or of any cross sectional configuration so long as the walls taper or are of decreasing diameters so as to be in offset relation to each other.
It will be observed that in Fig. 3 a thick wall section 26 is secured to the lens and shutter assembly 24 and a thin wall section 28 is secured to the camera body 22. This arrangement permits the bellows-like portion 20 to retract entirely within the camera body 22 whereas if a thick wall 26 were secured to the camera body 22 it would not reverse itself to permit the bellows portion 20 to be entirely retracted within the camera body 22.
The material which applicant employs for either of the embodiments shown in Figs. 1 and 3 may be polyethylene. While polyethylene is a preferred material for the purposes of this invention, a wide variety of other plastics which are capable of being formed into films or sheets can be satisfactorily employed. The thin sections should be fabricated from a material which is tough, pliable and capable of withstanding repeated flexing. Examples of satisfactory substitutes for polyethylene include cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate butyrate, ethyl cellulose, vinyl polymers and copolymers and particularly including polyvinyl chloride and vinyl chloride, acetate copolymers, polystyrene, polyamides, polyesters, and rubber, natural and synthetic. The primary requirement is that the thickness of the walls of the sections 12 and 14 in Fig. l, for example, be proportioned so that the walls of the sections 12 will be thin enough to provide the flexibility necessary to permit them to turn inside out Patented Apr. 7, 1959 3 and that the walls of the sections 14 are thick enough so that they will be sufiiciently rigid to perform the telescoping action.
A ratio of one to three for the Wall thicknesses is usually satisfactory and may be & to /3 A,; to A to 4; or the like depending upon the material, the size of the article and the pressure the article is to withstand.
It will be noted that in both Figs. 1 and 3, the sections are each tapered the same amount so that the clearance provided between adjacent sections 14, in Fig. l, for example, when they are telescoped, is greater than the wall thickness of the intermediate sections 12 and that the actual amount of this clearance depends upon the amount of taper. The greater the taper, the greater the clearance.
The sections need not be tapered the same amount and some or all may have straight walls with different diameters to provide the necessary clearance to permit the telescoping action.
What is claimed is:
1. A collapsible article made in a single molding operation from a semifiexible plastic material comprising, a generally tubular body having a plurality of stepped truncated portions, alternate ones of said truncated portions having relatively thick walls to be substantially rigid, the other ones of said truncated portions having relatively thin walls to be substantially flexible, each of said truncated portions having a maximum cross-sectional area smaller in magnitude than the minimum crosssectional area of the preceding truncated portion, whereby the relatively thick walled truncated portions may be moved one within the other by turning the relatively thin walled truncated portions inside out.
2. A collapsible drinking cup made in a single molding operation from a semiflexible plastic material comprising a bottom portion and a generally frusto-conical body having a plurality of annular sections tapering outwardly from said bottom portion, alternate ones of said annular sections having relatively thick Walls to be substantially rigid and the other ones of said annular sections having relatively thin walls to be substantially flexible with the annular sections at either end of said body having relatively thick walls, whereby each of the thick wall annular sections may be moved one within the other beginning with the annular section adjacent the bottom portion by turning the thin wall annular section inside out.
3. A tapered bellows for a bellows-type camera made in a single molding operation from a semiflexible plastic material comprising, a plurality of tapered rectangular truncated portions integrally joined to one another in substantial coaxial alignment, alternate ones of said trun cated portions having relatively thick walls to be substantially rigid, the other ones of said truncated portions having relatively thin walls to be substantially flexible, whereby the relatively thick walled truncated portions may be moved one Within the other by turning the relatively thin walled truncated portions inside out.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,143,125 Headlee Jan. 10, 1939 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,124,843 France July 2, 1956