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Publication numberUS3118186 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1964
Filing dateFeb 10, 1961
Priority dateFeb 10, 1961
Publication numberUS 3118186 A, US 3118186A, US-A-3118186, US3118186 A, US3118186A
InventorsMoss Charles William
Original AssigneeWilliam Moss Associates C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable shelter
US 3118186 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 21, 1964 c. w. Moss PORTABLE SHELTER 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 10. 1961 INVEN TOR.

CHARLES WlLLIAM MOSS OLSEN AND STEPHENSON ATTORNEYS Jan. 21, 1964 c. w. MOSS PORTABLE SHELTER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 10, 1961 .LIEzL E m m M CHARLES WILLIAM MOSS OLS EN AND STEPHENSON ATTORNEYS United States Patent Cilice Edididd Patented Jan. 21, 1984 3,118,186 PORTABLE SHELTER Charles "William Ivioss, Ann Arbor, Mich, assignor to 3. William Moss Associates, Ann Arbor, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Feb. 10, 1961, Ser. No. 88,528 1 Claim. (Ci. 28-2) This invention relates generally to portable shelters and more particularly to an improved prefabricated shelter of a type having a plurality of rigid upright side walls and a top, such as is disclosed in my prior application Ser. No. 820,023, filed June 12, 1959, now abandoned, and an improved method of erecting a shelter of this type.

in a shelter of the type to which this invention relates, the rigid upright side walls are provided with a top which consists of bowed radially extending ribs which constantly errert outwardly directed thrust forces against the side walls of the enclosure, and these thrust forces are resisted by a tension member which extends around the side walls adjacent the upper end of the enclosure. A suitable plastic or fabric cover is then applied over the radially extending ribs so that the top of the enclosure is of a substantially dome shape. Such a shelter has the advantage of maximum head room throughout and is much more rigid than other types of shelters and more resistant to wind forces and the like. It is desirable in shelters of this type to provide ribs of maximum allowable stiffness to thereby obtain maximum thrust forces to in turn provide a shelter of maximum rigidity. It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide a shelter of the above ype which has stiff rib members in the top portion, and can be readily erected and taken down.

A further object of this invention is to provide an improved method for erecting shelters of the above type.

P rther objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, the appended claim and the accorn-partying drawing in which:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of the shelter of this in cntion, with a portion of the cover therefor removed for the purpose of clarity;

FIGURE 2 is a plan View of the shelter of this invention, with a portion of the cover therefor removed for the purpose of clarity;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of e shelter of this invention looking substantially along e line 33 in FIGURE 1; FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a wire retaining member that may be used in securing the shelter to the ground;

Fl UTE 5 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view, looking substantially along the line 55 in FlGURE l, of a pair of adjacent side walls in the shelter of this invention, "lustrating the manner in which these side walls ar ngedly connected;

FL-JURE 6 is a fragmentary elevational View of a pair of adjacent side walls in the shelter of this invention;

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary elevational view of one corner of the shelter of this invention;

FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the hub structure in the top for the enclosure of this invention;

FIGURE 81% is a sectional view of the hub as seen along the line 8A-8A in FIGURE 8, and showing frag- .ientary end portions of a pair of ribs assembled with the URE 9 is an elevational view of one end portion of a rib in the top for the shelter of this invention;

FIGURE l0 is a fragmentary sectional view, illustrated similarly to FEJURE 5, of a modified form of side wall construction in the enclosure of this invention;

FEGURE 11 is a plan view of the side walls for the shelter of this invention, showing the side walls in the stacked position they occupy prior to assembly with the top and showing some of the side walls being unfolded from the stacx;

FIGURE 12 is a plan view showing the initial assembly of the hub and some of the ribs with the side Walls;

FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary plan view showing an intermediate assembly position of the ribs and the side walls in the shelter of this invention;

FIGURE 14 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the intermediate assembly positions of the ribs and the side walls; and

FIGURE 15 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the final assembly positions of the ribs and side walls in the shelter of this invention.

With reference to the drawings, the shelter of this invention, indicated generally at it is illustrated in FIG- URE 1 as including a plurality of upright side walls or panels 12 which are symmetrically arranged around a vertical axis to form an enclosure 14, and a top portion 16 which overlies the top of the enclosure 14 and is of a generally dome shape. The top portion 16 consists of a frame assembly 18 which includes a central hub member 2-9 and a plurality of outwardly radiating ribs 22 which are supported at their inner ends on the hub member 29 and at their outer ends on the side walls 12. A cover 24- formed of a suitable fabric or plastic material is positioned on the frame assembly 13 so that it extends downwardly over the top ends of the side walls 12 to completely cover the enclosure 14.

The side walls 12 in the illustrated embodiment of the invention, are of a sandwich construction and include a center section 12a formed of a foamed plastic material such as polystyrene which has been expanded to contain multitudes of closed cells, and outer sections or layers 32b of kraft paper board which are secured to the opposite sides of the plastic section 120. Adjacent panels or walls 12 are hingedly connected together in any suitable manner permittin the folding of each panel 12 back upon he adj cent panel so that the panels can be compactly stacked for storage and transport as shown in PIG- URE ll. One hin e construction is illustrated in FIG- URE 5 in which a strip 26 of pressure-sensitive cloth tape is secured to each side of adjacent panels l2 so as to provide a hinge connection of the panels which permits folding of either panel back upon the other. The strips of tape 26 on the outside of the enclosure 14 are preferably provided with a black polyethelene cover which will not deteriorate in the sun. The strip of tape 26 secured to the inner surfaces of adjacent panels 12 also covers a metal plate 28 which is secured to the inner surface of one of the panels 12 adjacent the upper end of the panel (FIGURES 5 and 6) by a grommet 30. The grommet 3% forms an inwardly opening socket which extends through each plate 28 and its associated panel 12, and the tape 26 prevents rotation of the rectangular plate 28 out of position on the panels 12.

Another hinge construction is illustrated in FIGURE 10 in which adjacent panels 12 have adjacent edge portions 27 thereof overlapped and secured together by a suitable adhesive. One of the two connected panels is scored or indented along parallel l nes 23 on opposite sides thereof, as by a blunt blade, and then bent along the lines 2h so as to form a hinge joint. The foamed layer at the lines 29 is permanently compressed so as to form a flexible hinge which extends vertically of the enclosure 10.

One of the panels 12 is provided with a door opening 38 and a door 32 (FIGURE 1), which is of a size to cover the opening 38, is secured at one edge by tape 34 to the panel having the opening 33. The tape 34 functions to hingedly mount the door 32 on the panel 12 so that the door 32 can be swung about a generally vertical axis between open and closed positions. A reinforcing metal channel 36 is preferably mounted on the door panel 12 at the lower end of the opening 38 to stiffen the panel 12 and prevent buckling. If desired, window openings can be formed in some of the panels 12 and covered with a layer of transparent material 40 and one suitable plastic material for this purpose is Mylar manufactured by the Dnpont Company of Wilmington, Delaware.

The hub member 29 (FIGURES 8 md 9) is preferably formed of a light weight metal such as aluminium and is provided with a central portion 42 and a plurality of radially outwardly extending spikes or legs 43 corresponding in the number of ribs 22. One rib 22 is provided for each Wall panel 12 and is formed of any light weight metal or plastic material having high spring characteristics. At the present time, heat treated aluminum tubes are preferred which are of a construction such that they are very stiff but can be bowed to the positions shown in FIGURES 1 and 15. When a rib 22 is bowed out of its initially formed straight position, it tends to resume this position. Each rib 22 is of a diameter at its inner end 44 such that it can be readily telescoped over a leg 43 on the hub 29 and is formed at its outer end with a necked down reduced diameter portion 46.. The portion 46 is preferably swaged to the shape illustrated in FIGURE 9 and includes an upset annular bead or stop 48, which is formed during the swaging operation so that it is located between the terminal end 45 of the portion 46 and the shoulder 47 formed on the rib 22 by virtue of the necked down portion 46. The end portion 46 is sufiiciently small to be readily extended through the inwardly opening socket formed by the grommet 30 and the stop 48 is of a diameter only slightly less than the inner diameter of a grommet 39 so that it can be extended with a light force fit through the grommet 30 for a purpose to appear presently. The stop 43 is spaced from the shoulder 47 a distance greater than the thickness of a panel 12.

In the assembly of the shelter 10, the wall panels 12,

V which are initially in the stacked position shown in FIG- URE 11, are progressively unfolded from the stack so that they are upright. The hub 2 3 is positioned opposite the grommet 30 in the first panel l2unfolded from the stack and a rib 22 is positioned horizontally so that its inner end 44 is telescoped over a leg 43 in the hub and its outer end portion 46 extends into the grommet 30 in the first panel 12. The stop 48 is then forced through the grommet 30 so that the grommet St? is confined between the stop 48 and shoulder 47. The stop 48 then functions to resist any tendency of the panel 12 to ride oil. the rib 22 during further erection of the shelter 10.

A second rib 22 is then similarly assembled with both the second panel 12 unfolded from the stack and the leg 43 on the hub 2% adjacent the first leg 43. Successive ribs 22 are then assembled in sequence with the panels 12 as they are unfolded from the stack and positioned in upright positions extending about the axis of the hub 20,. as shown in FIGURES l2 and 13. The ribs 22 are of a substantially equal effective length, the effective length of a rib 22 being its length from its inner end 44 to the shoulder 47 formed thereon. This length is such that they are too long and the panels 12 are too narrow to enable a pair of ribs 22 and the panel 12 extending between the outer ends thereof to form a plane triangle, when the hub is positioned at the axis of the enclosure 14. Consequently, since the inner ends of the ribs 22 are fixed and the angle between them is fixed by the legs 43 itis necessary to horizontally distort or bend each rib 22, as shown in FIGURE 13, in order to assemble the rib 22 with the V hub 29 and a panel 12. The amount of bending necessary to assemble or insert'each rib 22 in position increases as each panel 12 is installed, since initially the hub 2t) can be to one side of the final position it must occupy in which it is coaxial with the enclosure 14.

As a result of this horizontal distortion of each rib 22 during its assembly with the wall panels 12 and the hub 25?, the rib exerts an axial thrust on its panel 12. To counteract this thrust, a draw string Si) is supported on the end portions 46 of the ribs 22 which project through the panels 12 and are located on the outside of the enclosure 14. A ratchet tightener 52 of any conventional design satisfactory for use with draw strings, is connected to the ends of the draw string Sil to permit the draw string to be maintained tight, without allowing it to be released until desired. The draw string 5% is mounted on the projecting rib end portions 46 during the assembly of the ribs 22 with the panels 12 and the ratchet tightener 52 is located in the space 54 between the first and last panels 12 to be provided with ribs 22.

Since the first panel 12 is free to move radially outwardly of the hub 2%, to some extent, because there is no restraining force on its free edge 56, its rib 22 is substantially straight as shown in FIGURE 13 until the tightener 52 is manipulated and the draw string 56 is tightened so as to pull the edge 56 of the first panel 12 into a position adjacent the edge 53 of the final panel 12. With the first and final panels 12 in positions in which their edges 56 and 58 are adjacent each other, these edges are connected together in a suitable manner. The tapes 26 may be applied as shown in FIGURE 5 to connect the edges 56 and 58 and complete the enclosure 14, or the edges 56 and 58 may be connected as shown in FIG- URE 10 with ropes or wires 89, and this latter procedure is preferred and is therefore illustrated in FIGURE 15. A plurality of grommets 82, like the grommets 3d are mounted on the first and final panels 12 adjacent their edges 56 and 5%, respectively. These edges of the panels are then overlapped so that the grommets 82 are arranged in pairs and a rope or wire 813 is extended through each pai so as to lash the panels together.

Concurrently with a tightening of the draw string 50 to draw the panel edges 56 and 58 toward each other, the hub 20 is urged upwardly by manually applying a slight upward pushing force to the hub 20. The hub 20 Will continue to rise under the action of the ribs 22 until each rib 22 occupies a substantially vertical plane and is bowed upwardly in that plane. The assembly of each rib 22 with the hub 20 so that the inner end portion of the rib 22 is fixed on a leg 43 prevents the hub 20 from rising to a point at which the ribs 22 are straight. The end portion 46 of each rib 22 extends through its grommet 3d at an angle to the grommet axis so that the stop 48 on the rib 22 is jammed against the outer side of the grommet thereby locking the rib 22 in the grommet.

The cover 24 consists of a plurality of strips or pieces of material which are connected together to form a dome shape cover. In the illustrated embodiment of the shelter 1t), panels 69, each of which is of substantially spherical triangular shape, are secured together to form ti e cover 24 of a shape such that it will snugly fit over the frame assembly 18. Seams 62 are forn ed by the connection of the panels es and each seam overlies and extends along a rib 22. Adjacent the outer end of each seam e2. a strip of reinforcing material 64 is secured at one end to the cover 24 and adjacent its opposite end is provided with a plurality of reinforced openings or grommets 6d. The cover 24 is securely fastened to the frame assembly 13 by pulling the cover 24 downwardly over the upper ends of the panels 2 and hooking the reinforcing strips 64 over the projecting end portions 46 of 41S ribs 22 so that the'end portions 46 extend through the openings 6 in the strips To facilitate pulling the outer edge of the cover 24 downwardly over the rib end portions 46, the reinforcing strips 64 can be used as hand grips. The lower edges of the cover 24 can conveniently be tucked under the draw string 59 for purposes of appearance and to complete the attachment of the cover 24 to the en closure 14.

To enable the shelter it) to be securely staked to the ground, some or all of the panels 12 are provided adjacent their lower ends with a grommet 59 which forms an in wardly opening socket in the panel 12. A plurality of wire retaining members 74 corresponding in number to the number of grommets 69 are included with the en closure it). Each retaining member 78 consists of an elongated wirebody 71 having its upper end bent in a substantially vertical plane to form a hook 72 and having its lower end bent in a substantially horizontal plane so as to form a substzmtially horizontal loop 74. The hook 72 is extended through a grommet 66 and the body 71 is of a length such that when the hook 2 is so positioned (FIGURE 3) the loop 74 is positioned adjacent the ground surface on the inside of the panel 12. A ground stake or the like 76 is then driven through the loop 74 so that a downward force is applied to the loop 74.

From the above description it is seen that this invention provides an enclosure 16 having connected side walls or panels 12 which are rigidly secured to the top structure 16 so as to provide a very rigid assembly which is extremely strong and can therefore be used over a pro longed service life. The enclosure 19 is readily assembled and disassembled and can be stored and transported in a compact package. To disassemble the shelter ill it is only necessary to remove the cover 24, remove the connecting means between the first and last panels 12, and relax the tension in the draw string 56. The ribs 22 then tend to resume their initial straight positions, by virtue of their high spring qualities, so that the frame structure 18 merely sags toward its horizontal position shown in FIGURE 14. The ribs 22 can then be with drawn from the hub 29, and the wall panels 12 can then be restaclred.

In the shelter 19 of this invention, erected according to the above described method, the ribs 22 are much stiffer than they could be if they had to be individually flexed into the positions shown in FIGURES l to 15 to form the dome-like top for the enclousure 14. Accord ingly, a much stronger and more rigid shelter 16 is ob tained. The number of wall panels 12 used and the dimensions of each panel are related to the intended use or" the shelter 19. In one embodiment of the invention, the enclosure 14 is provided with thirteen panels each of which is approximately six feet tall and the enclosure is about twelve and one half feet in diameter. In this embodiment of the invention, the shelter weighs a total of only about seventy five pounds and two men can erect it in approximately fifteen minutes. In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the rib retaining plates 28 are positioned so that each panel 12 has its plate 28 positioned adjacent one vertical edge of the panel. The location of the tape strips 26 at these edges in the FIGURE 5 embodiment of the invention permits the use of the strips 26 to hold the plates 28 against rotation in these positions. It also permits the applica* ion of greater leverage to the first panel 12 by the draw string 54 and by the individual erecting the shelter It and for these reasons the location of the plates 28 in these positions is preferred. However, it is to be understood that the principles of this invention can be practiced with the plates 23 and the grommets 39 located adjacent a vertical edge of each panel 12 or spaced from the edge. The location of the plates 28 adjacent the top horizontal edges of the panels 12 is desirable because it increases the headroom in the shelter it The outer sides of the panels 12 may be provided with a coating 84 of aluminum, if desired, since such coating is desirable for insulation and weather purposes. It is seen that the panels 12 and the draw string 5i) constitute a retention means for re taining the ribs 22 in their bowed positions in the shelter top portion, and it is within the scope of this invention to provide similar or equvalent retenton means, which does not also function as the shelter side wall, in constructing a shelter top unit which is then applied to a shelter side wall unit.

It will be understood that the specific construction of the improved shelter and the method for erecting the shelter which are herein disclosed and described are presented for purposes of explanation and illustration and are not intended to indicate limits of the invention, the scope of which is defined by the following claim.

I claim:

A shelter comprising a single preassembled, unitary rectangular side wall member, made up of a plurality of vertically connected wall portions joined on their vertical edges before the wall member is erected and relatively movable on their joined vertical edges, the memher, when erected and its ends brought together, forming a vertical preassembled polygonal petrimeter enclosure wall of a length equal to the desired circumference of the shelter, and of a height adequate to provide standup room for a human being, and which is arranged around a vertical central axis to form a polygonal preassembled enclosure with its vertical end edges joined, all of said wall portions having similarly located equally spaced sockets near their upper edges and a top frame for said enclosure including a plurality of equally spaced upwardly bowed radial ribs of a number equal to the number of wall portions, and radiating on equidistant radii from said central axis to said wall portions, and having a central hub by which their inner ends are interconnected and held above said wall portions in a generally horizontal plane against pivotal and lateral movement, and having their outer ends below their inner ends and loosely dis posed in said wall portion sockets so that said ribs are in longitudinal compression of sufiicient magnitude to bow said ribs upwardly from said wall portions and cause the ribs to exert outward and downward thrust along their own longitudinal axes upon said wall portions; and a draw means for the wall member which can be manually and gradually adjusted and contracted and drawn tightly for gradually bringing the two ends of the wall member to-- gether when separated to close the gap between them when the wall is erected in an arcuate form and to COIli-f plete the enclosure, and for moving the outer ends of the ribs inwardly and thus bowing said ribs upwardly so that they exert thrust upon the wall portions outwardly and downwardly; all of said frame ribs being similarly positioned relative to their corresponding panels, with all ribs being connected to their panels at similar points; each rib having at its outer end an abutment for engaging its panel at its socket and biasing it outwardly; and each rib having at its outer end a. stop for engaging said panel at its socket for preventing the rib from pulling inwardly away from its panel socket; with the panels engaging said rib abutments and biasing against them inwardly to bow said ribs upwardly.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 539,226 Lorenz May 14, 1895 988,731 Naylor Apr. 4, 1911 1,148,320 Hollis July 27, 1915 1,258,410 Hill Mar. 5, 1918 1,733,004 Bower Oct. 22, 1929- 1,940,147 Sankus Dec. 9, 1933 2,044,321 Nozawa June 16, 1936 2,440,449 Raemer Apr. 27, 1948 2,635,302 Denning Apr. 21, 1953 2,693,178 Williams .1 c Dec. 2.8, 1954

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U.S. Classification52/71, 52/63, 52/82, 52/745.13, D25/19, 52/80.1, 52/272
International ClassificationE04H15/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H15/008, E04B2001/0092
European ClassificationE04H15/00D