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Publication numberUS3044477 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 17, 1962
Filing dateMay 31, 1960
Priority dateMay 31, 1960
Publication numberUS 3044477 A, US 3044477A, US-A-3044477, US3044477 A, US3044477A
InventorsHiggins James R
Original AssigneeHiggins James R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible tent frames
US 3044477 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 17, 1962 J. R.. HIGGINS 3,044,477

COLLAPSIBLE TENT FRAMES Filed May 51. 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fl G. Z.

38 FIG I. i" a 2o 20 INVENTOR.

JAMES RHiGsms AT TORNEY July 17, 1962 J. R. HIGGINS COLLAPSIBLE TENT FRAMES 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 31, 1960 1 A w l 2 6 .6 r K r /////A o. x 5 5 w F m I w {9}]! n r 2 SINVENTOR. JAMES R.Hses|-s its tes 3,044,477 CQLLAESELE TENT FRAMES James R. Higgins, Pottsville, Pa. (8 Foxcroft Road, Alexandria, Va.) Filed May 31, 1960, Ser. No. 32,686 8 Claims. (Cl. 1352) This invention relates to improvements in collapsible frames, and more particularly, to a collapsible frame structure designed for use with knock-down tents, cabanas, and the like.

An object of the invention is to provide a collapsible frame which may be easily erected with minimum effort, and accordingly, is especially well adapted for use with childrens play tents.

Another objective of the invention is to provide a collapsible frame which is automatically expanded or erected, and is adapted to be manually collapsed.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a collapsible frame of comparatively light weight which may be easily and safely erected and collapsed.

A further object of the invention is to provide a collapsible frame adapted to be collapsed into a compact unit of minimum bulk, whereby to provide for ready transportation and easy storage.

A still further object of the invention is to provide frame wherein the automatic erection mechanism is completely housed or encased, in order to prevent possibility of injury during manipulation of the frame when erecting or striking the tent.

With these and other objects in view, which may be incident to my improvement, the invention consists in the parts and combinations tobe hereinafter set forth and claimed, with the understanding that theseveral necessary elements, comprising my invention, may be 'varied in construction, proportions and arrangement, without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

In order to make my invention more clearly understood, I have shown in the accompanying drawings means (for carrying the same into practical effect, without limiting the improvements in their useful applications to the particular constructions, which for the purpose of explanation, have been made the subject of illustration.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the collapsible frame;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the frame shown in FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal central sectional viewof the frame shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view, showing the frame in collapsed position;

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional view of the frame shown in FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a detailed sectional view taken on line e s of FIG. 3.

Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 3, the improved collapsible frame comprises, essentially, three major cooperating components, namely, a main or central tubular support A, a foldable base structure B, and a foldable canopy-supporting unit C.

The central support A comprises a lower tubular member 1, and a cooperating tubular member 2 telescopically mounted therein. The members 1 and 2 may be formed from any suitable lightweight metal tubing, and preferably from aluminum or magnesium-base alloys. As previously noted, one of the objects of the invention is to provide means for automatically actuating the canopysupporting unit C to move the same into canopy-supporting position, which means is enclosed Within the tubular central support. As will be seen in FIGS. 3 and 5, a coiled tension spring 3 is attached at one end to a plate or fitting 4, secured within the lower portion of tubular member Land the opposite end of the spring is attached to a similar fitting 5 secured within the lower portion of the tube 2. It will be observed that tube 1 is relatively elongated, as compared with length of the tube 2, and that when the frame is in the erected position ('FlG. 3) the upper portion of tube 2 is substantially coextensive with and enclosed by the tube 1, whereby the inner tubular member is supported, throughout approximately its entire length, against lateral movement with respect to the outer tube.

Reference being had to FIG. 5, wherein the frame is shown in collapsed position, it will be noted that the inner tubular member 2 projects considerably beyond the upper end 6 of the outer tube 1, and that the spring 3 is then under maximum tension. In order to maintain member 2. in the extended position restraining means are provided, comprising a housing 7, secured to the inner wall 8 of the inner tubular member 2, having'compression spring 9 and a pin 10 mounted therein, the pin being normally biased outwardly by the spring into seated position in an aperture 11 formed in the outer tubular member. Means are provided for unseating the pin 10, comprising a relatively light leaf spring 12, secured at one end of the outer wall of tube 1, and having a projection 13,

attached to its inner surface in the vicinity of its opposite end. The projection 13 is designed so that when the end of the leaf spring is depressed, the pin 10 is forced inwardly to unseat the same, and permit the tube 2 to move downwardly under the influence of the spring 3. When the tube 2 reaches the retracted position (FIG. 3), the pin 10 registers with an aperture 14 formed in the tube 1, and seats therein under the action of the spring 9, thus locking the tubes against relative movement; When it is desired to collapse the unit, a leaf spring 15, similar to the spring 12, is depressed, whereby the tube 2 moves upwardly when the elements of canopy-supporting unit are manually collapsed.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, the foldable base structure B receives and supports the tubular member 1 in stable vertical erected position. Such structure comprises a collar 16 which is slidably mounted on the lower portion of the tube, and adapted to hingedly support a plurality of'arms 17. The collar is formed with rectangular shaped recessed portions 18, adapted to receive hinge plates 19 of hinge members 20, secured in the recessed portions 18 by counter-sunk screws 21, or other suitable fastening means. The plates 22 of the hinge members are severally secured to the inner end portions of the arms. It will be noted that each of the arms is formed with a flanged portion 23, having a flat bearing surface 24 substantially co-extensive with the recessed portion of the collar when the unit is in the erected position. It will be seen that the arms 17 are arranged to equispaced relationship with respect to the collar, whereby to insure stable horizontal equilibrium of the frame in its erected position, as shown in FIG. 1. The elements of base structure B are preferably of high strength, light weight non-ferrous alloys in die-cast, forged or rolled shapes. The arms may be of any desired length and cross-section, and the end portions thereof are rounded as at 25, so as to permit unimpeded sliding movement of the arms with respect to the surface on which they are placed. The end of each arm is provided with an eyelet to which a guy line 27 is secured, for purposes to be described more fully hereinafter.

The canopy-supporting unit C, which is essentially a collapsible truss-like structure, comprises a spider member 28 secured to the upper portion of the outer tube 1, a collar 29 secured to the upper end portion 30 of the inner tube 2, a plurality of ribs 31 pivotally connected to the collar 29, and a plurality of struts32, pivotally connected at opposite ends to the spider 28 and to the ribs 31, respectively. As will be seen in FIG. 6, the spider member comprises a tubular body portion 33, fitted over the tube 1, and secured thereto in a predetermined position by means of set screws 34. The body portion of the spider is formed with pairs of laterally projecting cars 35, apertured as at 36, to receive pivot pins 37, by means of which the lower ends of struts 32 are severally pivotally connected to the spider. The upper ends of the struts are severally pivotally connected to the ribs'31, intermediate the ends thereof, by means of pins 38. Each of the ribs is U-shaped in cross-section, having a canopy-supporting flange 39, and depending flanges 40 to which the end of a strut is pivotally connected. The ribs are severally pivotally connected at theirends by means of pivot pins 41 received by the apertured ears of '42 of the collar 29, which collar may be fixedly secured to the upper end portion of tube 2 by welding, swaging,,or by means of set screws. The upper flange 39 of each rib ,is formed with an aperture 43 to which the guy line 27 is tied, the opposite end of the guy linebeing secured to the eyelet 36 of a vertically aligned arm 17, as previously described.

The depending flanges 40 of each rib are also apertured,

as at 44, to receive a cable 45, or other flexible member, adapted to be drawn taut, when the arms are in the exstorage.

It will be noted that the so designed that it is collapsible into compact form and shape of minimum bulk, tofacilitate transportation and In the collapsed or knock-down condition, the rib members 31 and struts 32 lie closely adjacent the central telescopic pole elements 1 and 2, and the arms 17 of the base support, are similarly closely adjacent to, and vertically parallel with the pole unit. When the tent is knocked down for transportation to another site, the tent cover may be retained on the frame, and if desired, it may be temporarily lashed with a cord, lanyard, or the like. When the tent unit is to be stored for a protracted period,

'1 the cover is preferably removed, and the arms 17 are i springs.

panded position, whereby to provide support for the top 7 of the tent or canopy in the area between the arms.

The manner in which the improved frame is erected will be readily apparent from the foregoing description. Assuming that the frame is in the collapsed position shown in FIG. 4, it is held in approximately vertical position and the leaf spring 12 is manually depressed to release the pin 10 from seated position, thus permitting'the inner tubular member 2 to be retracted into the outer tube 1, under the influence of the spring 3, during which movement of the tube, the ribs 31 swing outwardly'and upwardly on their pivots 41,- and the struts 32 move upwardly to the position shown in FIG. 1. Simultaneously with the upward swinging movement of the ribs 31, the arms 17 pivot about the hinge members 20, due to the pull exerted thereon by the guy lines 27, and thecollar 16 slides downwardly on the outer tube. When the inner tubular member is in the above describedretracted position it is auto matically locked to the outer tube by the spring-biased pin 10 whichseats in the registering aperture 14 of the outer tube. It will be noted that when the frame is in the expanded position, the guy lines 27 and the cable 45 are drawn taut, and the inner surfaces 24 of the flanges 23, formed on the arms 17, bear firmly against the hinge plates 19, thereby insuring stable horizontal equilibrium of the frame, in the erected position.

' After the frame is in the erected position, the tent cover, not shown, is placed thereon. The cover may be formed of any suitable material, such as canvas, synthetic plastics, for example, polyethylene, polyvinyl-chloride, or the like, conformed to the outline of the frame, and provided with a central grommet adapted to fit over the peak or top portion of the inner tubular member 2. The cover may be of the umbrella type, or it may comprise a top and side panels constituting a complete tent, and one or more of the side panels may be formed with flaps to cover the access opening of the tent. It will be appreciated that the'cover may be temporarily secured to the guy lines 2'7 and to the cable 45 by means of tie strings or tapes attached to the inner surface of the cover.

When it is desired to strike the tent, for purposes of transportation or storage, the leaf spring 15 is manually depressed to unseat the pin 10, and simultaneously, one of the ribs 31 is pulled downwardly to allow the pin to clear the aperture 14 in the outer tube, whereupon a pull may be exerted on two or more of the ribs, thus causing the tube 2 to move upwardly against the tension of spring 3, until the pin 10 registers with the aperture 11 of tube 1 and seats therein.

lashed to the pole unit.

It will be appreciated that the present invention possesses many novel advantages. By reason of its ultra light weight, the unit may be erected, knocked down and tran ported with a minimum of physical etfort. The frame is not only of light weight, but it is also structurally strong and rugged. The automatic actuation mechanism is completely housed within the central pole unit, and the only manipulative projections are the locking pin release leaf Since the telescopic members are constructed of relatively unctuous aluminum alloys, they slide smoothly overeach other with no danger of locking. The entire structure, as will be observed, has all the advantages of optimum head room capacity. and symmetry of the palladin-type tent.

While I have shown and described the preferred embodiment of my invention, I wish it to be understood that I do not confine myself to the precise details of 'construction herein set forth by way of illustration, as it is apparent that many changes and variations may be made therein, by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention or exceeding the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A collapsible tent frame of the character described comprising a central support embodying a pair of telescopically nested tubular members,a foldable base structure slidably mounted on the .outer member'of said nested pair of tubular members, adapted to support said members in stablevertical erected position, a collapsible, trusslike supporting structure, comprising a plurality of ribs pivotally connected to a collar secured to the upper end portion of the inner tubular member, a plurality of'struts pivotally connected to a spider member fixedly secured to the outer tubular member, the opposite ends of the struts being severally pivotally connected to the ribs at points intermediate the ends thereof, and spring means within the central support and interconnected to thetubular members, said spring means being constructed and arranged to normally urge the inner tubular member into retracted position with respect to the outer tubular member, and thereby pivot'the ribs about'thecollar into canopy-supporting position. w v v i 2. A collapsible tent frame in accordance with claim 1, wherein means are provided for locking the tubular members against relative longitudinalmovement when the canopy-supporting structure is in'expanded canopy-supporting position. V a

3. A collapsible tent frame in accordance with claim 1, wherein means are provided to restrain the inner tubular member against longitudinal movement With respect to the outer tubular member when the canopy-supporting structure is in collapsed position.

4. A collapsible tent frame in accordance with claim 1, in which the foldable base structure comprises a collar slidably mounted on the outer tubular member, said collar having a plurality of equispaced arms pivotally mounted thereon.

novel tent frame structure is thereon, said arms being in vertical alignment With the ribs of the canopy-supporting structure.

6. A collapsible tent strut ture in accordance with claim 5, wherein the vertically aligned ribs and arms are interconnected adjacent their respective ends by flexible tensioning means.

7. A collapsible tent frame of the character described, comprising a central vertical support embodying a pair of telescopically mounted tubular members, spring means enclosed Within the central support and interconnected to the tubular members, said spring means being operative to normally urge the tubular members into nested relationship, a spring biased locking pin carried by the inner tubular member, the outer tubular member having a pair of longitudinally spaced apertures formed therein at positions of potential registry with the locking pin, pin release means mounted adjacent each aperture, a spider fixedly secured to the outer tubular member, and having a series of radial struts pivoted thereon, a collar fixedly secured to the upper end portion of the inner tubular member and having a corresponding series of radial ribs pivoted thereon, each of said ribs being pivotally connected intermediate of its ends to a strut; a base support structure embodying an elongated collar slidably mounted on the outer tube, a series of arms pivotally mounted on the collar and moveable from a position substantially parallel to the axis of the outer tube to a limit position substantially perpendicular to the axis of the outer tube, each of said arms being in vertical alignment with a rib, and a flexible member interconnecting each of the arms to its vertically aligned rib.

8. A collapsible tent frame in accordance with claim 7, in Which each of the arms is formed with an elongated collar-abutting flange substantially coextensive with the collar, when the frame is in the erected position.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 207,357 Kuball Aug. 27, 1878 1,207,649 South Dec. 5, 1916 FOREIGN PATENTS 2,551 Great Britain 1869

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US207357 *Jun 21, 1878Aug 27, 1878P OiteAlbert
US1207649 *Apr 3, 1916Dec 5, 1916Richard Martin SouthUmbrella.
GB186902551A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3167081 *May 1, 1963Jan 26, 1965Higgins James RCollapsible tent frames
US3213868 *Feb 26, 1962Oct 26, 1965Forbes Robert SFoldable fallout shelter
US4805654 *May 18, 1988Feb 21, 1989Wang Kuo HsinSun shield for automobiles
US4945936 *Aug 16, 1989Aug 7, 1990Surrendi Dennis CCollapsible tent and frame therefor
US6336465Aug 1, 1996Jan 8, 2002Dennis C. SurrendiClevis assembly and fly adaptor assembly for collapsible umbrella tent and frame therefor
US7628164Sep 30, 2005Dec 8, 2009Joen-An Ma OliverBases and braces for support poles, such as poles for pavilions and umbrellas
US8025071Dec 8, 2009Sep 27, 2011Oliver Joen-An MaBases and braces for support poles, such as poles for pavilions and umbrellas
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/98, 135/22
International ClassificationE04H15/00, E04H15/28
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/28
European ClassificationE04H15/28