US 2992440 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 18, 1961 E. E. REvoLT 2,992,440 CHILD's ENcLosURE Filed June 10, 1959 INVENTOR.
nited States `Patent Of'hce Patented July 18,` 1961 2,992,440 CHILDS ENCLOSURE Edward E. Revolt, 2980 Hubbard, Wayne, Mich. Filed June 10, 1959, Ser. No. 819,388 4 Claims. (Cl. 5-93) The present invention relates to an improved enclosure for infants and small children of the toddler age, for use in substitution for well known types of so-called play pen. More particularly, the improvement relates to a childs enclosure which is free from certain undesirable features of such known play pen structures, as in regard to protection of the'child from being exposed to an unsanitary condition or possible injury, from drafts, etc.; in |accordance Iwith which improvement the enclosure may be produced in any desired peripheral outline and has provisions for progressively building up its height as its occupant progresses from infancy through the crawling and toddling stages of growth.
-Presently available types of childs play pen structures are almost universally or rather cumbersome and ungainly Wooden construction, embodying a fiat wooden oor, usually collapsible, and lattice or slat type side pieces, these contraptions essentially resembling cages or pens. They rest low on the floor and are entirely open to expose the child to cold air and drafts. Furthermore, the open Slat-like character of the side members permits toys and other objects of interest with which the child may be playing to be moved out of its reach, requiring the attention of a parent to replace the same.
As almost all parents know, these play pens lare clumsy objects to handle, collapse and move, and, because of their many exposed and open surfaces, are almost impossible to maintain in a clean and sanitary condition; and, when painted or enameled, the nish can be easily chipped or scratched, tending to early dilapidation.
Perhaps a more serious objection is that, in addition to being exposed to `cold air and drafts, the baby is exposed to licking or scratching by the family pet, or to ever-present insect pests, these factors representing an ever-present possibility of -an unsanitary condition or, indeed, serious harm or injury.
It is therefore a general object of the present invention to provide an infants or childs enclosure which is free from all of the above described objectionable features, being such as to protect the occupant from cold air and drafts, `while being at a height such that easy laccess to the interior of the enclosure 4is possible; which retains toys and other objects Within the babys reach and, by thesame'token, prevents access to the interior from the exterior of the enclosure by pets or pests; which is light in weight and of a unitary construction as regards each of its individual components, being thus readily handled in moving it from place to place, storing it, etc.; and which is readily and easily cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition throughout.
In attainment of the above object-ives, the invention essentially contemplates `an enclosure structure fabricated of a suitable molded synthetic plastic material, flexible to a desired degree and in a desired outline, being illustrated as circular.
. In accordance with the invention, this enclosure comprises -a bottom unit molded to provide a horizontal door panel having -a side wall continuously surrounding the saine' and extending upwardly therefrom, preferably with a mild outward `and upward are. This bottom unit may rest on the door or other suitable support, and is provided with evenly spaced openings in a suitable manner and at a sufficient elevation above the door to insure a desired ventilation of the interior; yet these openings or apertures are of suiciently small size and so located as to prevent access to the enclosure by the family .pet.
It is further contemplated in accordance with the invention, vand another object, to provide an enclosure composed of a bottom unit which may have associated therewith, as the infant progresses in age, further coacting molded plastic enclosure units of sleeve-1ike outline with provision whereby they may be nested onto the bottom uni-t to build up its height as desired. In the embodiment herein illustrated, there lare two such units, the three associated units representing, when assembled, an overall height which will ordinarily be sufcient to accommodate the child to Ian age in which the use of the enclosure is no longer desired.
In accordance with yet another object, it is intended that the enclosure be supplied with appropriate molded plastic parts which separate the bottom unit into compartments, for example, 'a central compartment, preferably off truncated-V or wedge-like shape in plan, within which -a mattress of corresponding outline may be disposed. The compartment provisions are such -as to nest Well within the interior of the bottom unit Iand to provide, preferably on either side of the mattress-receiving space, individual spaces for the accoutrement necessary in the care or accommodation of the occupant, for example, diapers, blankets, powder, etc.
In further accordance with the invention, the subdividing provisions referred to above are removably receivable in the bottom enclosure unit, so that they may be taken out and stored when the infant hasl progressed to an age when they are no longer of use, the feature of removability also enhancing lthe ease with which yall components may be thoroughly cleaned whenever desired -and maintained sanitary.
A still further object is to provide -a molded plastic childs enclosure of the foregoing type, constituted by a plurality of `coacting units or sections adapted to be telescoped vertically, one on the other, in which these units are so molded in outline, preferably in inclined wall cross section, that they may be compactly nested within one another for storage in a space, the nested package being very light in weight for easy handling.
'Ihe foregoing as well as other objects will become more apparent as this description proceeds, especially when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating the invention, wherein:
FIG. l is a perspective view illustrating a typical assembly ot molded plastic units according to the invention to constitute a childs enclosnre, this view also showing subdividing or compartment provisions according to the invention in association Iwith the bottom unit of the enclosure;
FIG. 2 is -a top plan view o-f the structure of FIG. l, showing a wedge-shaped space defined by the compartment provisions as receiving a mattress upon which an infant reclines; i t
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view in enlarged scale and `in fvertical diametrical section through yan enclosure constituted by three component units in accordance with `tlhe invention;
iFIG. 4 is a fragmentary view in scale and section similar to FIG. 3, showing the component units of the enclosure as dismantled and reassembled in nested relation for storage; and
FIGS. 5 and 6 are perspective views of two contemplat-4 as shown in FIG. 1, or by three such units: as shown in' FIG. 3. Generally considered, these are a bottom unit or section 11, an intermediate unit or section 12 and a top unit or section 13. However, the number of such units may be further increased as desired to increase the overall height of the enclosure lll, ydepending of course upon the individual heights of the three components 11, 12, 13. The reference numerals 14 and 15 (FIGS. and 6) generally designate two different types of compartment member contemplated for use with the bottom 11, in the manner generally described above.
All such units or sectionsrlof the improved enclosure and compartment `structure are molded, preferably in a uniform thickness, of a suitable synthetic plastic material, such -as a polystyrene type. They maybe, and preferably are, transparent -01 translucent, tinted or not, and are of a'degree of llexibility such as to be self-sustaining in outline, under predetermined flexing stress, yet with sufcient give to enable necessary slight distortion for increased ease of assembly in the mated and teleseoped relationships shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, bottom u-nit 11 includes an upright, slightly outwardlyrlared wall -16 of the desired outline, shown as circular, with which Wall a at bottom 17, continuous and imperforate in area, is integrally formed, with, for a desired degree of increased rigidity and stability, a thickened bead or rim portion 18 at the juncture of wall v16 and floor 17. A number of openings 19 of a small size and uniform distribution are formed in the wall 16 for ventilation, these openings serving this purpose without permitting the occupant of enclosure to Ibte-licked or scratched by a pet.
The two open-ended wall sections: 12, 13 are molded of similar material, in corresponding thickness, in a diameter to mate with one another and with lbottom unit 11. To this end, wall unit 12 is formed with an inwardly offset annular bottom flange or shoulder 2l, wall 12 being slightly tapered to correspond with the ilare or taper of bottom wall 16 and being of an outer diameter at its top corresponding to the inner diameter of the wall 16 in the axially extending Zone of shoulder 2l at which 1v1 yand 12 have overlapping, mated engagement. lllhis should be with suicient snugness to permit partial nesting of the parts, as shown in FIG. 3, `without relative lateral shift in a horizontal plane; and the flexibility of the 1'1, 12 permits this snug lit without undue diioulty of assembly.
The top open-ended wall panel 13 is similarly provided with an inwardly oiset, annular mating flange or shoulder 23, and is of slightly tapered outline and diameter to nest snugly the `annular wall 24 of intermediate unit 12, as described above in connection with the last named unit. It may also be desired to mold the top unit 13 to provide an annular, thickened stiffening rib 25 at the top of its tapered wall 26; and it is to be understood that the invention also contemplates the provision of any such further reinforcing or rigidifying structural features as may be deemed necessary or desirable.
Furthermore, it is within the contemplation of the invention that the open-ended wall units or sections 12, 13 may be, like bottom unit 11., provided with appropriate'ventilating openings in a number necessary for the purpose, yet without unduly weakening the overall structure, or objectionably diminishing its stability as assembled. Naturally, the units 11, 12 `and -13 may be suitably ornamented or embellished, either in molding or by subsequent iinishing, lfor increased appeal or attractiveness; although, in this connection, such decoration should not be such as would render more difficult the maintaining of the enclosure 10, particularly in its interior, in a clean and sanitary condition.
Finally, the invention provides, for optional use with the components described above, the partition or compartmentizing members 14, I15, individually shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, respectively. 'Ihese are, in accordance with the invention, molded of the same plastic material as the wall units, and in a corresponding thickness, as indicated in FIG. 3.
Thus, two of the arcuate units 14 are preferably provided, having a mildly tapered outer Wall 28 of curvature corresponding to that of the wall 16- of bottom unit 11. The ends of this wall are subtended by an integral vertical chord-like partition wall 29, and the unit 14 isfcompleted by an integral molded floor element 30.
As nested within the bottom unit 11 in the manner as illustrated in FIGS. l, 2 and 3, the like compartment elements 14 have the tops thereof at an elevation beneath the topmost Ventilating openings 19, in the event these should be at different elevations, for unimpeded air inletY to the enclosure from its sides. They provide space on either side of a central space, within which sundry articlesof equipment necessary or desirable to the care ofthe infant may be stored in a conveniently accessible way, for example, diapers, blankets, powder, body oil, toys and the like. As nested within the bottom unit 11, the arcuateY units 14 are preferably arranged so as to provide a Ycentral space therebetween which is of a truncated-V or wedgeshaped outline, i.e., within the vertical wall elements 29 of these units in non-parallel relation to one another. This leaves a smaller, slightly non-rectangular space for the reception of the iinal unit of the structure of the invention, i.e., the compartmentizing unit 15 of FIG. 6. Unit 15 is molded to provide an arcuate end wall'Z mildly tapered upwardly and in a curvature corresponding to that of the wall 28 of the unit 15 (FIG. 5). Tapered vertical walls 33, an inner vertical cross wall 34` and a oor element 35 are integrally molded to complete the unit 15; and, as shown in FIG. 2, when this unit is placed in keystone fashion between the like units 14, 14 it delines a wedge-shaped space 37 between the two walls for the reception of a mattress 38 of similar, wedge-shaped outline. Suitably tucked in its blanket, the infant will then lie on the mattress 38, and the taper-walled outline of the space 37 diminishes the likelihood of blankets and coverlets becoming loosened and disarranged, or the infant working its way toward the foot of the central space. The wedge-shaped outline imposes additional resistance to such movement, although there is plenty of room in the space 37 for arm and leg movement. r
It is seen that the arrangement of telescoping interitted parts makes it possible to anchor protective netting in place over the occupant, as by wedging plastic mesh or like net material between adjacent surfaces of the several component units 11, 12, 13, 1-4 and/or 15.
When the enclosure 10 has served its purpose, or it is desired to store the same, the taper-welled character of its components makes it possible to nest the same in the collapsed relationship illustrated in FIG. 4, i.e., With the respective units 13, 12 and 11 of progressively diminished maximum diameter telescoped one within the other in a space of minimum overall axial height. All surfaces may be readily and quickly cleaned and sanitized before such dismantling, or when it is desired to again assemble the units as shown in FIGS. 1, 2. and 3.
While matters such as dimensions of the parts are, of course, matters of choice, it is contemplated that as typically produced the overall height of the enclosure 10 will be of the order of 30 inches, with a diameter of about 40 inches at the bottom tapering to a diameter of approximately 44 inches at the top; and with all three sections 11, 12 and 13 approximately 12 inches in height, allowing for the overlapped and telescoped iit of the upper two sections at their respective annular offsets or anges 21, 23. It is thus seen that, as the component units of the enclosure are assembled, it is of a height at least `suflcient to prevent the escape of an active infant over'they top wall thereof.
What is claimed is: 1. A childs enclosure structure comprising a plurality of units molded of flexible synthetic plastic material to provide a continuous peripheral wall on each, said units being of like perimetral outline and adapted to be assembled vertically one upon another with adjacent edges of the respective walls in register, and means to hold said units together as so assembled, said lower unit having a horizontal floor integral with its wall and being provided with Ventilating openings at a predetermined elevation above said oor, and at least one partition member of similar molded plastic material receivable within said lower unit said partition member terminating at an elevation beneath the topmost Ventilating openings, and being shaped 'for generally fitting engagement with the Wall of the lower unit to subdivide the interior of said lower unit into compartments, said units as thus assembled being of a height adequate to restrain an active infant from escape over the wall of the topmost unit.
2. A childs enclosure structure comprising a plurality of units molded of flexible synthetic plastic material to provide a continuous peripheral wall on each, said units being of like perimetral outline, with said walls inclined to the vertical, and adapted to be assembled vertically one upon another with adjacent edges of the respective walls in register, and means to hold said units together as so assembled, including means for partially telescoping said edge of the upper unit in overlapping engagement with that of the lower unit at a horizontal zone of mating engagement, said lower unit having a horizontal oor ntegral with its wall and being provided with Ventilating openings at a predetermined elevation above said floor, and partition members of similar molded plastic material receivable within said lower unit said partition members terminating at an elevation beneath the topmost ventilating openings, and being shaped for generally tting engagement with the wall of the lower unit to subdivide the interior of said lower unit into compartments, said partition members comprising like members tted with said last named Wall about a substantial length and area of engagement, said units as thus assembled being of a height adequate to restrain an active infant from escape over the Wall of the topmost unit.
3. A childs enclosure structure comprising a plurality of units molded of exible synthetic plastic material to provide a continuous peripheral wall on each, said units being of like perimetral outline, with said walls inclined to the vertical, and adapted to be assembled vertically one upon another with adjacent edges of the respective walls in register, and means to hold said units together as so assembled, including means for partially telescoping said edge of the upper unit in overlapping engagement with that of the lower unit at a horizontal zone of mating engagement, said lower unit having a horizontal floor integral with its wall and being provided with Ventilating openings at a predetermined elevation above said oor, and partition members of similar molded plastic material receivable within said lower unit said partition members terminating at an elevation beneath the topmost ventilating openings, and being shaped for generally fitting e11- gagement with the wall of the lower unit to subdivide the interior of said lower unit into compartments, said partition members comprising like members fitted with said last named wall about a substantial length and area of engagement, and a further partition member receivable therebetween to subdivide a central tloor space of said lower unit, said units as thus assembled being of a height adequate to restrain an active infant from escape over the wall of the topmost unit.
4. A childs enclosure structure comprising a plurality of annular wall units formed of synthetic plastic material, said units being of substantially equal height of wall and having means to hold the same in assembled vertical register one `upon the other and, as so assembled, being of suicient overall height to restrain an active infant from escape over the top of the Wall, one of said units being a bottom unit having a door molded integral therewith, said bottom unit being of a height equal to a substantial fraction of the height of an infant deposited therein, and being provided with a plurality of Ventilating openings at a predetermined elevation in its Wall, and a partition member shaped for mating engagement with the last named wall to subdivide the interior of said bottom unit, the top of said partition member being substantially beneath the top of said bottom unit and the topmost ventilating openings in the latter.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,012,431 Prather Dec. 19, 1911 1,527,349 Curley Feb. 2.4, 1925 2,273,390 Warren Feb. 17, 1942 2,438,434 Friedman Mar. 23, 1948 FOREIGN PATENTS 472,203 Italy June 11, 1952