US 3039478 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 19, 1962 c. 1... TIMMONS 3, 7
BUILDING STRUCTURES Filed July 25, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 June 19, 1962 c. L. TIMMONS 3,039, 7
BUILDING STRUCTURES Filed July 23, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 June 19, 1962 c. L. TIMMONS 3,039,478
BUILDING STRUCTURES Filed July 25, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 IA"; w 37 42 g;
June 19, 1962 c. L. TIMMONS BUILDING STRUCTURES 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 23, 1959 June 19, 1962 c. TlMMONS 3,039,478
BUILDING STRUCTURES 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 25, 1959 /m en/br: [bar/e5 Z. imam/2s States Unite This invention relates to new and useful improvements in building structures, and in particular the invention concerns itself with a structure of this type which may be quickly and easily assembled and disassembled without the use of any tools or special skill and which, in its disassembled form, may be conveniently and compactly transported from one location to another.
As such, the building structure in accordance with the invention lends itself to a very wide variety of different uses, such as for example, as a survival shelter for military personnel, as a portable home for campers, as a permanent igloo type home for persons in northern lands, as a blind for game hunters, as a greenhouse for plants, or as a toy house for children, to mention but a few.
The principal object of the invention, therefore, is to provide a readily discerptible and conveniently portable building structure which is well adapted for the variety of different purposes for which it may be used, which is durable, rigid when erected, and which may be conveniently and economically manufactured so that it may be available at low cost.
With the above more important objects and features in view and such other objects and features as may become apparent as this specification proceeds, the invention will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference are used to designate like parts, and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing the framework of the building structure in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is an elevational view of one of the ribs;
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the annular top member;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of one of the spacer sleeves;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional detail showing the connection of the split ends of the top member;
FIGURE 6 is -a fragmentary top plan view of the top member with spacer sleeves and T-couplings connecting the ribs thereto;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary sectional detail, taken substantially in the plane of the line 7'-7 in FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in section, showing the connecting element and spacer sleeve between adjacent ribs;
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary elevational view showing the tied ends of the connecting element;
FIGURE 10 is an elevational view of a modified form of the ribs;
FIGURE 11 is a perspective view showing the complete building structure in use as an igloo or as a toy house for children;
FIGURE 12 is a perspective view showing the building in use as a blind for game hunters;
FIGURE 13 is a perspective View, partially broken away, showing the building in use as a greenhouse;
FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary perspective view of the framework of the greenhouse shown in FIGURE 13 and illustrating the arrangement of the closure at the top of the building;
FIGURE 15 is a fragmentary elevational view, partly in section, showing the supporting means for the closure;
FIGURE 16 is a top plan view of a modified form of atent the annular top member or ring with the upper ends of the ribs connected thereto;
FIGURE 17 is a fragmentary sectional detail on an enlarged scale, taken substantially in the plane of the line 1717 in FIGURE 16;
FIGURE 18 is a fragmentary perspective view of one of the sleeve or coupling components of the invention in a modified form;
FIGURE 19 is a fragmentary perspective view of an end portion of one of the ribs adapted for coaction with the component shown in FIGURE 19;
FIGURE 20 is a cross-sectional detail of one of the sleeve or coupling components of FIGURE 18 and rib of FIGURE 19 assembled; and
FIGURE 21 is a cross-sectional detail, similar to that shown in FIGURE 20 but illustrating a modified form of the connecting means.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, particularly to FIGURES 1-9 inclusive, the building structure in accordance with the invention embodies a substantially hemi-spherical framework designated generally by the reference numeral 20, which comprises an annular top member or ring 21 and a plurality of curved ribs 22 which extend radially outwardly and downwardly from circumferentially spaced points on the ring 21, as shown. The ring 21 is split as illustrated in FIGURE 5 and the adjacent ends thereof are separably connected together by a curved, tubular sleeve 23 in which one end portion of the ring may be secured by welding, or the like, while the other end portion of the ring is removably secured therein by a thumb screw 24. Both end portions of the ring may be removably secured in the sleeve by thumb screws, if so preferred.
The upper ends of the ribs 22 are removably secured by thumb screws 25 in T-couplings 26 which are slidably positioned on the ring 21 but may be secured in predetermined, circumferentially spaced points thereon by thumb screws 27. While the longitudinal bores of the couplings 26 are straight, they are sufficiently large to slidably fit the curvature of the ring, whereby to facilitate placing of the couplings on and their removal from the ring, as will be understood.
The lower end portions 22a of the ribs 22 are straight and are adapted to be inserted into the ground or, as shown in FIGURE 1, into an annular base 28 made of earth or hard snow on the ground, the base 28 facilitating erection of a building structure of a greater height than that obtained when the lower ends of the ribs are inserted directly into the ground.
The intermediate portions of the ribs 22 are suitably formed to provide sets of eyes 29, 30, and a flexible connecting element 31 such as a rope or a cable extends circumferentially of the framework and is passed through the eyes 29, as shown. Moreover, tubular spacers 32 of suitable material such as rubber, neoprene, or metal, are provided on the element 31 between the adjacent ribs 22 and have their ends in abutment with the eyes 29, whereby to retain the ribs in circumferentially spaced apart relation. As is best shown in FIGURE 9, the ends of the element 31 are brought out through lateral openings 33 formed in two adjacent spacers 32 at opposite sides of one of the ribs 22 and such ends are suitably tied or otherwise fastened together, as indicated at 34.
Similarly, the upper ends of the ribs 22 are circumferentially spaced apart on the ring 21 by curved, tubular sleeves 23a which are slidably positioned on the ring between the adjacent ribs and abut the T-couplings 26, thus assisting in locating the couplings in their proper, circumferentially spaced position on the ring, preparatory to securing by the thumb screws 27. The aforementioned sleeve 23 which connects the ends of the sleeve 2110- 3 gether takes place of one of the spacer sleeves 23a in the assembly.
If desired for greater ease of portability, each of the ribs 22 may consist of a plurality of sections as indicated at 22b and 22c in FIGURE 10, separably connected together by a tubular sleeve 35 equipped with a thumb screw 36, similar to the sleeve 23 and thumb screw 24 already described in connection with the ring 21.
The entire erected framework supports and is enclosed by a substantially hemi-spherical cover 37 of flexible and foldable sheet material which is simply positioned over the framework and is held in place thereon by suitable clasps, or the like, 38 as indicated in FIGURE 11. These clasps secure the cover to the ribs at points below the aforementioned eyes and thereby prevent the cover from sliding or shifting upwardly on the framework.
Although the cover 37 may be made from any suitable material, it is preferably made of Mylar which is the registered trade-mark of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., Inc. for a polyester film, specifically, polyethylene terephthalate resin, having a substantial physical strength, resistance to moisture and good heat insulating properties. In its transparent form, it is well suited for use as the cover for the framework when the building struc ture is in the nature of a greenhouse as illustrated in FIGURE 13, while in its metalized form it may be used for the cover of a survival shelter or an igloo home where substantial protection against the weather is required.
Of course, the building structure may be of any desired size and in the instance of its use as an igloo type building as shown in FIGURE 11, an appropriate entrance 39 may be provided for the building, consisting of a plurality of inverted U-shaped ribs (not shown) which are inserted into the ground and covered with the same material as the cover 37, as will be readily apparent. FIGURE 12 illustrates the structure as being used as a blind for game hunting, in which event the cover 37 may be painted or otherwise provided with suitable camouflage 40 and provided with suitable sight openings or windows 41 whereby the hunter inside the building may observe approaching game. In such event, the top portion of the cover 37 is formed with a circular opening 42 in register with the ring 21 so that the hunter may assume a standing position with the upper part of his body projecting through the opening 42 as shown, to facilitate shooting. The igloo type structure shown in FIGURE 11 may or may not have the top opening 42, as desired.
The structure of the greenhouse type shown in FIG- URFS 13-15 is preferably formed with the top opening 42 to facilitate ventilation, but means are provided for closing such an opening in order to control the amount of ventilation present. Such means comprise a dome-shaped closure 43, preferably formed from spun aluminum, or the like, which is suitably secured to the upper end of a shaft 44, vertically slidable in an upright, tubular standard 45 which is disposed centrally in the framework 20. The upper end of the standard 45 is provided with a set of radial braces 46 secured to the ring 21 in any suitable manner, such as by T-couplings similar to the aforementioned couplings 26, while the lower end of the standard may be anchored in the ground, as shown in FIGURE 15. I
The shaft 44 is provided at its lower end with a laterally angulated portion constituting a handle 47 which projects outwardly through a vertical slot 48 formed in the standard and is receivable selectively in a plurality of lateral bays 49 which are provided at one side of the slot 48. In this manner, the shaft 44 may be raised and lowered as desired, and retained in a pre-selected position by placing the handle 47 in the appropriate of the bays 49 so as to retain the closure 43 either in a position wherein it closes the opening 42 or in a position wherein it is raised from the opening so as to open the same to any desired extent.
Flowers, plants, or the like, may be positioned on suitable benches 50 provided in the structure when the same is used as a greenhouse as illustrated in FIGURE 13, and if in such instances the structure is of a substantial size so that the ribs 22 are of a considerable length, several vertically spaced connecting elements 31 with the sleeves 32 thereon may be provided between the ribs for proper rigidity.
Referring now to the accompanying FIGURES 16 and 17, the same illustrate a somewhat modified embodiment of the annular top member or ring designated as 51 which may be used in substitution for the aforementioned ring assembly 21, 23a and 26. As such, the ring 51 is solid and formed integrally with a plurality of downwardly and laterally directed projections 52 having bores 53 therein to removably receive the upper ends of the ribs 22 which are fastened therein by the thumb screws 25. This integral arrangement of the top ring eliminates the need for assembly of individual components (21, 23a, 26) and, by virtue of its integrity, prevents the possibility of such individual components becoming lost or otherwise misplaced.
As already noted, the invention is well adapted for use as a survival or an emergency hut, and in such an environment it may be necessary to assemble the same during darkness, when proper orientation of the various components may be difficult or even impossible. Accordingly, means shown in FIGURES 18-21 are provided to facilitate assembly of the structure in a convenient manner which safeguards against the possibility of error in orienting the various parts, particularly from the standpoint of connecting the upper ends of the ribs 22 to the top ring 21 (or 51, as the case may be), and similarly connecting the rib sections 22]; and 22c together at the sleeves 35. As shown in FIGURES 1820, such means involve the provision of irregular, polygonal extremities 54 at the connecting ends of the ribs or rib sections, which are receivable in complemental sockets 55 formed in the sleeves 35 and/or in the coupling members 26 or 52. The configuration of the extremities and sockets is such that the ribs may be inserted into the sockets only in one particular way, so that proper orientation of the ribs relativeto the sockets is obtained.
FIGURE 21 illustrates a slightly modified arrangement wherein the rib extremities 54a and the sockets 55a are provided merely with a flat side 56 to attain the same result in a simpler manner.
While in the foregoing there have been described and shown the preferred embodiments of the invention, various modifications may become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention relates. Accordingly, it is not desired to limit the invention to this disclosure and various modifications may be resorted to, such as may lie within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed as new is:
1. In a building structure frame of a portable and readily discerptible character, the combination of a substantially hemi-spherical framework including an annular top member, a set of curved ribs extending radially outwardly and downwardly from circumferentially spaced points on said top member, means separably connecting the upper ends of the ribs to the top member, the lower ends of the ribs being adapted to be anchored to a supporting surface, the intermediate portions of said ribs being provided with eyes, a flexible connecting element extending circumferentially of said framework and passing through said eyes, and spacer sleeves provided on said connecting element between adjacent ribs and abutting said eyes, two of said sleeves at opposite sides of one of said ribs being provided with lateral apertures, said flexible element having free end portions extending outwardly through said apertures and separately tied to- References Cited in the file of this patent gether at the outside of said two sleeves.
2. The structure as defined in claim 1 together with UNITED STATES PATENTS T-couplings provided at the upper ends of said ribs and 379,274 Hamilton Mar. 13, 1888 separably connecting the same to said annular top mem- 5 833,411 Orrnsby Oct. 16, 1906 her, and spacer sleeves provided on said top member 912,184 Scott Feb. 9, 1909 between said ribs and in abutment with said couplings. 2,044,659 Adams June 16, 1936 3. The structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said 2,598,940 Robie June 3, 1952 annular top member is split and has adjacent ends there- 2,690,185 Pomykala Sept. 28, 1954 of separably connected together. 10 2,808,913 Frieder et a1. Oct. 8, 1957