US 2957539 A
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Oct. 25, 1960 B. J. PADLO FOLDING LADDERS Filed March 16, 1959 I l l l I l 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR.
BERNARD J. PADLO ATTORNEYS Oct. 25, 1960 2 B. J. PADLO 2,957,539
FOLDING LADDERS f s r" 4| 27 INVENToR.
BERNARD J. PAOLO BY ATTORNEYS Oct. 25, 1960 Filed March les, 1959 SIM B. J. PADLO FOLDING LADDERS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR.
BERNARD J. PABLO mgm ATTORNEYS Oct. 25, 1960 B. J. PADLo 2,957,539
FOLDING LADDERS Filed March 16, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 n nx iE: I l l INVENTOR.
BERNARD J- PADLO BY @Mw q, @mim ATTORNEYS United States Patent FOLDING LADDERS Bernard J. Padlo, 7410 Rutherford, Detroit, Mich., assignor to Fred W. Gollbach, Detroit, Mich.
Filed Mar. 16, 1959, Ser. No. 799,653 '1 Claim. (Cl. 182-94) This invention relates to a folding ladder construction and more particularly to a ladder which is particularly adapted for use as a lfire escape for a small size building.
Ladders that are permanently xed to buildings, such as tire escape ladders, generally extend from the building a considerable distance and, being generally unattractive, detract Vfrom the overall attractiveness of the building. Thus, homeowners of private dwellings, such as two or three story houses generally try to avoid the use of tire escapes and, in fact, rarely do use them, because these ire escape ladders disturb the design and attractiveness of the house and also, because they are extremely expensive.y
Thus, it is an object of this invention to form a ladder which may be permanently aflixed to a building but which may be folded in such a way that it is barely visible in its non-use position and in no way detracts from the overall appearance of the building.
A further object is to provide .a ladder construction which is extremely inexpensive to manufacture and install and which therefore, is within the purse of the average homeowner.
Another object is to form a ladder construction which in its non-use position has the appearance of a drain pipe or tube on the outside of the building, but which may be almost instantly converted into a usable ladder by simply releasing a latching means whereupon the'ladder opens under the force of gravity, and extends to the ground.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the following description of which the 4attached drawings form a part.
With reference to the attached drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is an elevation view of the ladder, in its unfolded or use position, secured to the wall of a building with the wall being shown in cross-section.
Fig. 2 is a view similar to Fig. l, but shows the ladder in its folded or non-use position.
Fig. 3 is a top View taken in the direction of arrows 3 3 of Fig. l.
Fig. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on arrows 4 4 of Fig. 5.
Fig. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view, particularly showing the latching mechanism.
Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken in the direction of arrows 6 6 of Fig. 5.
Fig. 7 is a view similar to Fig. 1, but shows a modication.
Fig. 8 shows the modification of Fig. 7 in folded or non-use position.
Fig. 9 is an enlarged view taken in the direction of arrows 3 3 of Fig. 7.
Fig. l0 is an enlarged cross-sectional view showing the latching mechanism of the modification of Fig. 7.
Fig. l1 is an enlarged cross-sectional View taken in the direction of arrows 11 11 of Fig. 8. Y
The ladder herein is generally designated as 10. It is Vformed of two vertical side members 11 and 12 which are each channel shaped in cross-section and may be formed out of ordinary channel shaped steel or the like metal. Normally, they are abutted together sothat the free ends of the legs forming the channels on each of Vthe members tightly abut the legs on the opposite members to form a single line joint 13. When theA two members are abutted together as shown in Fig. 2,v vthey appear l'to forma pipe orvdownspout which may be painted to harmonize with Vthe building upon which they are mounted. f
The side member 11 is normally xed to a wall W by mechanical fastening means 14, such as screws or the like, and the opposite side member 12 is movable relative to the member 11. l
The two side members are interconnected by a pluralityof linksl v15 with each link pivotally connected by pivot pins 16 to the movable side member 12, and by pivot pins 17 to the xed side member 11. These pivot pins may be formed of rivets or bolts and nuts or` the like. When the two side members are abutted, the links are completely concealed within the tube formed as can .be seen in Fig.` 2. When the links are folded (see Fig. 2) their. upper ends are pivotally connected to the movable side member 12.
Toform a ladder, the movable side member 12 is moved relative to the xed side member'into the position shown in Fig. 1L wherein the links 15 are horizontally disposed to Aform ladder rungs. The member 12 swings about the link .pivot pins 17 to the point where the links are horizontally arranged. The bottom end 18 of the side member 12 is arranged to rest upon tlie ground G when the links 15 are horizontally arranged. It is to be understood, that the ground may be a door or the` ground outside the building, or any surface upon which the ladder may conveniently rest. Normally, since the two channel members are of equal length, they would ybe arranged on the building a short distance above the ground, but when pivoted into their open position, the bottom 18 would then touch the ground to support the links in a horizontal position.
The movement of the side member 12 and the links 15 into their horizontal position takes yplace underthe influence of gravity since simply releasing or not holding the side member 12 will cause the weight of the links and the weight of the movable side member to force the movable side member down into the Fig. l position with the links horizontal.
In order to maintain the ladder in its closed position, a suitable releasable mechanical fastening means is provided (see Figs. 4, 5 and V6). This consists of a hook 20 pivotally mounted upon a pivot pin 21 which in turn is secured to the Xed side member 11. The hook is provided with a notch 22 formed to engage a pin 23 which is mounted upon the movable side member 12. A coil spring 25 is attached at one end to the hook 20 through an opening 26 in the hook and is attached at its opposite end to a bracket 27 secured to side membery 11 and hence, serves to urge the hook into a downward position. Thus, when the side member 12 is swung into abutment with side member 1l, the hook 20 will be spring biased into locking engagement with pin 23 and will remain locked thereto until it is manually released.
To release the hook from the pin, a release or trigger mechanism is provided. This consists of a shaft 30, fitted within a collar 31 which extends through the Wall W to the inside of the building. A handle 32 is secured to the end of the shaft so that the shaft can be manually rotated by turning the handle. A roller 33 is secured to the opposite end of the shaft and is provided with an opening 34 through which the end of a cable 35 is slidably passed. The roller is provided with a grooved track 36, so that rotation `of the handle causes.
the cable to wind around the roller track.
The opposite end of the cable 35 is tied or otherwise secured to the hook 20 through an opening 37 formed in the hook. Thus, rotating the handle 32, rotates the shaft 31, the roller 33 and causes the cable upper end to wind around track 36, thereby pulling the hook 20 to pivot the hook upwards and release it from pin 23.
Once the pin is released from the hook 20, the movable side member 12 swings open due to gravity. I-n order to insure against any possible sticking of side member 12 due to friction causes by corrosion of the various link pins or sticking of paint, a trigger spring 38 is provided. The trigger spring is held on a stud 39 formed on the end of the shaft 30. One end of the spring presses against an enlargement or collar 40 and the opposite end presses against the base of the V-shaped movable side member 12. Thus, when the hook is released from pin 23, the trigger spring exerts a force to overcome any friction or stickiness due to paint on the various parts and starts the movement of member 12.
Additional latching means, identical to that described above, may be used-one for each oor of the building to which the ladder is connected. Therefore, a cable 41 is secured to the hook opening 26 and extends downward to the hook opening 37 of the next lower hook. The top end 42 of the cable 35 is bent downwards as shown in dotted lines and is passed through the opening 34 and is also tied to the hook opening 26 of the next latch means. Thus, rotating either handle 32 causes both hooks 20 to pivot and release from their pins 22.
Since the weight of the ladder may be considerable, particularly if it is made out of heavy metal, and the ladder may thus open with a resounding thump upon the ground, it may be desired at times to provide a shock absorbing means, such as a hydraulic cylinder 45 connected at 46 to the stationary side member 11 and having a piston rod 47 connected at 48 to the top link of the ladder. An opening in the piston, connected to the end of the piston rod permits the ud to pass from one side 1 of the piston to the other, but slows down the movement of the side member 12. These hydraulic cylinders and piston rods are conventionally used on swinging doors and since it forms no part of this invention is not disclosed in greater detail here. Other means may also be used to slow down the movement, such as a long coil spring connected between the two side members. At times, it may be desired to stabilize the upper end of the ladder to prevent any looseness or shaking when a person climbs down the ladder. For this purpose, a brace 50 may be pivotally connected at one end 51 to the movable side member 12 and pivotally connected at its opposite end 52 to the wall W so that the brace will move with the movable side member either close to the building when the ladder is closed or extend from the building when the ladder is opened to brace the ladder and reduce any tendency to shake.
Modification In Figs. 7-11, a modification is shown wherein the fixed side member 61 and the movable side member 62 are formed out of right angles instead of out of channels as is the case in the modification shown in Figs. 1-6. Here, the links 65 are connected by pins 66 and 67 to the side members 62 and 61 respectively and the links are provided with a bent portion 65a to accommodate the links between the angles. As shown in Fig. l1, when in closed position, the angles nest together to form one rectangle which gives the appearance of a thin, long drainpipe secured to the building (see Fig. 8).
The side members are arranged the same way as in the aforementioned description relative to Fig. l with the lower end 68 of the side member 62 arranged to touch the ground G. The same means for slowing down the movement of the movable member 62 is also employed, namely the cylinder 45 with its pistonrod 47.
Also, the iixed side member 61 is secured to the building wall W by suitable fastening means 64.
The latching means employed may be the same as that described above or may be modiiied as illustrated in Fig. 10. In Fig. 10, the shaft 30 fitted within its collar 31 is provided with the rollers 33 through which the cable passes. However, the upper end of the cable passes through a bracket 70 and is connected to the bottom end of a latching tongue 71. The upper end of the latching tongue fits within a notch 72 of a pin 73 which is permanently connected to side member 62 and fits within an opening 74 of side member 61. Thus, rotation of the shaft 30 causes the cable to wind around a roller 33 and pull down the latching tongue 71 against the action of a spring 75 to release the pin 73 and thus cause a spring 38 to initially push the member 62 outwardly with the further movement being accomplished under the action of gravity until the ladder is opened. The latching tongue 71 is provided with a slot 78 through which pins 79 extends to restrain the movement of the latching tongue in an upward and downward direction only. Also, the tongue slides upon a pad or base plate 80. In other respects, the latching operation is the same as that mentioned above.
It can be seen, that the ladder hereof is formed of a relatively few, inexpensive parts, such as the two side members which may be identical and formed of simple channel iron or angles, and links which may be formed of strip metal, with a simple latching arrangement for holding the ladder in its closed position. Thus, the entire construction is simple in operation, normally completely or almost completely out of view since it blends 4 in with the building upon which it is mounted, is inexpensive to mount upon the Wall, and is inexpensive to manufacture and sell.
This invention may be further developed within the scope of the following attached claim. Accordingly, it
is desired that the foregoing description be read as being merely .illustrative of an operative embodiment of this invention and not in a strictly limiting sense.
A foldable ladder construction comprising two substantially identical, elongated, vertical side members, each being channelled from end to end with the channels facing each other and the two members being normally abutted to form together an elongated hollow vertically arranged tube, and with the first one of the members being fastened to a side of a vertical wall and the second member being movable relative to it; a plurality of rigid, equal links, each having one end pivotally connected to one member and its opposite end pivotally connected to the other member and the links being completely enclosed within said hollow tube and being arranged to assume horizontal positions when the second member is moved apart from the first member; the improvement comprising a latching means enclosed within the tube for securing the two members together, said latching means including a hook pivotally connected to the first member and arranged to engage a pin mounted on the second member, a rotatably mounted shaft extending through the wall and through the first member and yinto the channel of the second member and terminating a short distance from the base of the channel of the second member, a roller mounted upon the shaft for rotation therewith, and a flexible cable connecting the hook to the roller so that rotation of the shaft causes the cable to wind around the roller and pull the hook to release it from the pin, and a coil spring surrounding the end of the shaft between the roller and the shaft and extending beyond the end of the shaft and pressing against the base of the channel of the second member, whereby the shaft may be manually grasped and rotated from the opposite side of the wall to release the hook from its pin and simultaneously the spring pushes the 5 6 second member away from the rst member to cause 295,127 Miller Mar. 11, 1884 the links to pivot into their horizontal use position. 304,821 Hofele Sept. 9, 1884 Y 704,126 Seessle July 8, 1902 References Cited in the le of this patent 830,678 Senn Sept. 11, 1906 UNITED STATES PATENTS 5 FOREIGN PATENTS 248,607 Phifer OCt. 25, 1881 18,972, Great Britain Dec. 28, 1888