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Publication numberUS3145719 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 25, 1964
Filing dateJun 1, 1961
Priority dateJun 1, 1961
Publication numberUS 3145719 A, US 3145719A, US-A-3145719, US3145719 A, US3145719A
InventorsJohnson Jacob N
Original AssigneeJohnson Jacob N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible shelter
US 3145719 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 25, 1964 J, N. JOHNSON 3,1455719 CONVERTIBLE SHELTER Filed June 1, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.|.


JACOB N. JOHNSON 7 fQYH/E/ 25, 1964 J. N. JOHNSON 3,145,719

CONVERTIBLE SHELTER Filed June 1, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

JACOB N. JOHNSON United States Patent 3,145,719 CONVERTIBLE SHELTER Jacob N. Johnson, 2231 Webster Drive, Schenectady, N.Y.

Filed June 1, 1961, Ser. No. 114,238 Claims. (Cl. 135.-1)

The present invention relates to a convertible shelter and more particularly to such a shelter internally supported with independently inflatable tubes.

The present invention contemplates a multi-purpose shelter for at least one person which can be horizontally employed as a sleeping tent and which is convertible, when oriented vertically, for use as a duck blind, fish house, or the like. This combination structure obviates the requirement of transporting several different shelters on expeditions and camping trips.

The present invention is a preferred embodiment employs a weather-proof enclosure of appropriate proportions to receive the human body, the structure being supported internally with a plurality of fiexible air-inflatable tubes. Heretofore, inflatable structures of the type exemplified by rubber life rafts and the like have included an integral multi-branch air passage, inflatable to distend and shape an overall structure into the desired proportions. However, such a multi-branch air passage arrangement is not only expensive to fabricate in a collapsible shelter because of the many air-tight joints and connections required, but also such an arrangement lacks flexibility in allowing shaping of the shelter to a plurality of different uses.

It is therefore one object of this invention to provide a convertible shelter, capable of being easily transported and which is erectable as a useful and accessable structure either in a horizontal position or vertically on one end.

It is another object of this invention to provide a convertible shelter with air-inflatable inner structure members capable of distending the shelter into more than one overall shape.

It is another object of this invention to provide a convertible shelter which is simple and economical to manufacture, easy to repair, and simple for one person to transport and erect.

In accordance with the invention a convertible shelter is formed of weather-resistant sheet material inclosing an inner supporting structure. The inner structure distends the Weather-resistant material into what may be described as a hollow tubular passage with inside dimensions sufficient for receiving the human body, and having a flat side for positioning on the ground, whereby the structure may function as a sleeping tent. Closures are provided at each end of the tubular passage, at least one of which has an opening serving as an entrance to the structure.

The supporting framework within the passage is made collapsible adjacent one of the ends of the enclosure, and that end is provided with an opening seam permitting the weather-resistant outer material to fold within the passage when the shelter is supported on its other end. The structure then forms a useful top opening duck blind, deer stand, or the like. The top end of the vertically supported structure may be alternatively left flat, or drawn together if desired to form a full length shelter with a pointed top configuration; in either case access is had to the shelter through one side thereof. The arrangement has the advantage of overhead protection against the elements to an individual vertically standing or sitting inside.

According to another feature of the present invention the inner supporting structure comprises a plurality of long straight flexible individualy inflatable plastic or rub- 3,145,719 Patented Aug. 25, 1964 ber tubes, each removably secured to the inside of the outer covering material. Three tubes are disposed longitudinally of the outer casing in a triangular configuration such that a flat side of the shelter is defined between two such tubes, with the roof ridge being defined by the third. A plurality of other inflatable tubes are then disposed from one of the tubes defining the fiat side, under the tube defining the ridge, and back to the other tube defining the flat side. Then when all the tubes are individually inflated, the said other tubes arch the covering material away from the flat side forming a roomy somewhat triangular shelter.

Inasmuch as the tubes are individually inflatable and individually secured to the inside of the casing, the tubes may be easily inflated by one man, and easily replaced. Furthermore, selected tubes may be removed or partially inflated as desired, to change the proportions of the structure at will.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon consideration of the present invention taken in connection with the following figures wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements and wherein,

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the convertible shelter according to the present invention disposed horizontally on the flat side thereof;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the inner framework of the FIGURE 1 structure.

FIGURE 3 is a bottom view of the FIGURE 1 shelter;

FIGURE 4 is a rear end elevation of the FIGURE 1 shelter;

FIGURE 5 illustrates the shelter of FIGURE 1 vertically positioned upon the forward end shown in FIGURE 1 and with the flat side of the shelter in the foreground;

FIGURE 6 illustrates the shelter similarly vertically positioned on one end and with the framework collapsed near the opposite end so that the end material folds within a foreshortened shelter.

Referring to FIGURE 1, a hollow tubular casing or passage 10 is formed from a straight sheet of weatherproof material, for example, canvas, which has its opposite edges joined to complete the semi-cylindrical shape. Substantially triangular end portions 12 and 14 are joined to the main body of the casing and may be cut from the same piece of material. The structure is preferably slightly tapered from the larger end wall 12, through which access is gained by means of opening 16, to a smaller end wall 14. Access opening 16 is closable with a flap 18 securable to the end wall with zipper 20.

Referring briefly to FIGURE 2, illustrating a preferred supporting structure for the convertible shelter, a first pair of long straight flexible inflatable tubes 24 and 26, each having approximately the same length as the shelter of FIGURE 1, and spaced apart the width of flat side 22 in FIGURE 1, are secured to the inner wall of the covering material with ties as shown at 28 in FIGURE 1. A similar inflatable ridge tube 30 is tied to casing 10 between the peaks of triangular end walls 12 and 14 of FIGURE 1. A plurality of long straight inflatable tubes 32 and 33, similar to the others except ordinarily of shorter length, are secured to the inside of casing 10, with ties 34 (FIG- URE 1), in a direction substantially perpendicular to tubes 24, 26, and 30, between tube 24 and tube 26 while passing under tube 30. Although the tubes 32 and 33 are standard straight tubes, they are subjected to a top flattening effect at 36 where ridge tube 30 is supported, and produce a bowed effect further down. This configuration results in added inside roominess as compared to the ordinary triangular tent. Tubes 32 and 33 are also flattened where tubes 24 and 26 meet the casing 10. Desirably, the tubes 32 and 33 are long enough to wrap around tubes 24 and 26 for added strength.

The tubes may be conveniently formed of extruded vinyl or other appropriate material each tube having a valve 38 located for convenient oral inflation thereof. The tubes are individually inflatable at will and are therefore easier for the individual to inflate than would an entire internal structure inflated at the same time. Furthermore, certain of the tubes may be inflated to a greater or lesser degree obtaining a flexibility in the shape of the shelter for purposes hereinafter more fully set out.

Referring to FIGURES 3 and 4, showing a bottom view and a rear end view respectively of the FIGURE 1 shelter, a connecting seam of closure 40 is included in a direction longitudinal to fiat underside 22 and transverse to end wall 14. This opening is in addition to the flap opening 16 provided in the opposite end wall 12. The closing seam 40 is securable preferably by means of a tight heavy-duty zipper having waterproof material closely disposed therearound to complete a substantially Weathertight seal. Zipper runners are provided at both ends.

The purpose of the seam of closure 40 will become more apparent upon consideration of FIGURES 5 and 6 illustrating the shelter supported vertically upon larger end wall 12. In this position the seam 40 provides ingress and egress to the vertically disposed shelter. The top, 14, of the shelter in FIGURE 5 can be left flat, or drawn together at the top with a drawstring to improve watershed. The top tube 33 is then deflated to facilitate such drawing together.

If an open top structure is required, a portion of the casing is folded inwardly providing the open top configuration shown in FIGURE 6. In the FIGURE 6 instance, both tubes 33 toward end wall 14 are preferably initially deflated in erecting the structure, while the longitudinal tubes 24, 26 and 30 are folded back inside the structure, for example half way, thereby gaining added support. After the end portion of the casing is thus folded inwardly (as shown at 44 in FIGURE 6), the tubes 33 may be re-inflated to distend the portion of material 44 towards the side walls of the structure. Alternatively, the foldedin portion 44 may be tied to the inner side walls of the structure by means of the same ties also employed to secure one of the other tubes to the tent casing, for example, the second arched tube 32 from the left in FIG- URE 2. Seam 40 is open from the top.

In either the instance of the FIGURE 5 configuration or that illustrated in FIGURE 6, the shelter obtains a plurality of additional uses; it may, for example be employed as a duck blind or deer stand Warmer wherein an individual may stand vertically or crouch in await of game, the shelter affording much more protection from the elements than heretofore provided by the ordinary blind. Seam 40 in FIG. 5 may be opened as desired.

It is also observed that end 12 upon which the shelter is supported in the positions shown in FIGURES 5 and 6, contains the opening 16 usually closed in this position with zipper 20 (FIGURE 1). However, the shelter in the FIG- URE 5 arrangement can be employed as an ice fishing house affording complete protection from the outside elements, wherein the flap 18 cooperating with the opening 16 is drawn completely back; the opening then facilitates access to a hole in an ice surface underneath the tent and makes possible fishing therethrough from inside the tent. Thus ice fishing can be carried on in comparative comfort without hindrance from the outside elements, even allowing the enclosure to be heated if desired.

It is thus seen that the present invention provides a multi-purpose convertible shelter having the advantages of simplicity and economy while providing utmost flexibility in the multiple uses thereof. Not only is the shelter usable as a sleeping tent, but has a multiplicity of other functions when employed vertically. For utmost flexibility the internal inflatable structure according to one aspect of the invention is comprised of a plurality of individual straight inflatable tubes removably secured to the inside of the shelter.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications could be made in the structure disclosed without departing from the true scope and spirit of the invention.

It is therefore intended that the following claims all cover all reasonable equivalents thereof.

What is claimed is:

1. A convertible shelter comprising a hollow tubular casing of weather-resistant material having inside dimensions appropriate for receiving the human body and a supporting structure within said material casing, said supporting structure comprising a plurality of individually inflatable elongated tubes including first and second tubes extending longitudinally within said tubular casing and defining a flat portion of said casing between said first and second tubes for alternative placement on the ground, third tubes substantially normal to said first and second tubes secured to the inside of said casing opposite said flat side for distending said side when said third tubes are inflated against the restraining effect of said material and a fourth long straight tube substantially parallel to said first and second tubes and secured to the approximate middle of the distended side, said third tubes extending under said fourth tube for supporting the same.

2. The convertible shelter as recited in claim 1 further including end walls of weather-proof material, a common closable seam extending in a direction longitudinal to said casing in the flat side thereof communicating with a closable seam extending at least partially transverse to an end wall thereof, and closure means extending along both portions of said common seam for securing said seam.

3. A convertible shelter comprising a hollow tapered tubular casing having inside dimensions at least suflicient for receiving a human body and having first and second end walls, said casing being formed of weather-resistant material, a supporting structure within said casing, said supporting structure comprising a first pair of straight flexible inflatable tubes removably secured within said casing in a direction longitudinal thereto, a second straight flexible hollow tube also removably secured to the inside of said casing and longitudinal thereto defining a substantially triangular configuration with said first pair of tubes, and a third plurality of straight flexible inflatable tubes removably secured to the inside of said casing in a direction substantially normal to said first pair of tubes and second tube, said third tubes each extending from one of said first pair of tubes under said second tube and to said other of said first pair of tubes, said third plurality of tubes acting to distend said casing in an arched cross-section when said third tubes are inflated with said second tube forming the ridge of the arch, a side of said casing being provided with a closable seam.

4. The convertible shelter set forth in claim 3 wherein one end wall of said casing is provided with a crossways closable seam communicating with the closable seam in the side of said casing so that when said one of said second plurality of tubes near said end wall is substantially deflated, the material forming said end wall and adjacent side portions of said casing is foldable and securable inside the remainder of said casing in order to form a foreshortened open end shelter.

5. A convertible shelter comprising a hollow tubular casing having inside dimensions suflicient for receiving the human body including a straight sheet of weather-resistant material having a pair of opposite edges joined to form said casing, a first triangular end wall for said casing also formed of Weather-resistant material, a second substantially triangular end wall for the opposite end of said casing being opposite to and substantially aligned with said first end wall but of smaller dimensions, independently inflatable straight flexible tubes extending from the 5 corners of said first end wall to corresponding corners of References Cited in the file of this patent said second end wall and a second plurality of independently inflatable straight flexible tubes removably secured UNITED STATES PATENTS to the interior of said casing extending transverse to said 2,752,928 Barker July 1956 casing and to said first tubes, at least one of said second 5 g Darby July 1956 tubes being disposed along at least two sides of each tri- 375,771 Brewm 1959 angiularuend \(wivall, closable accesst sejams inleaczi offsziild FOREIGN PATENTS en wa s, an an access seam ex en mg a eas par 1a y longitudinally of said casing between a pair of said first 1 g g g 22 tubes and commumcatmg with the closable openmg 1n 10 1,104,920 France June 22, 1955 the smaller of the two triangular end walls.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2752928 *Jul 29, 1952Jul 3, 1956Barker Edward DInflatable tent
US2754836 *Apr 23, 1953Jul 17, 1956Augustus Darby WilliamInflatable collapsible shelter
US2875771 *Jan 18, 1956Mar 3, 1959Brewin Glendon CInflatable tent
DK78852A * Title not available
FR1068110A * Title not available
FR1104920A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3241269 *Nov 19, 1963Mar 22, 1966Specialties Dev CorpInflatable buildings and like structures
US3304665 *Aug 9, 1965Feb 21, 1967Lee John FSurvival shelter for subzero climates
US3457684 *Jan 10, 1967Jul 29, 1969Midwest Research & Dev CorpSelf-supporting inflatable shelter
US3629875 *Feb 4, 1970Dec 28, 1971Doris I DowPortable inflatable enclosure for personal use
US3945156 *May 30, 1974Mar 23, 1976Wilfried HammInflatable building construction
US4197681 *Jul 21, 1978Apr 15, 1980Duane J. BaxterInflatable frame for tent
US4251959 *Jan 30, 1979Feb 24, 1981Hsu Yun TAmphibious safe tent
US4466432 *Sep 16, 1981Aug 21, 1984Mine Safety Appliances Co.Air supplying hood
US4607655 *Apr 9, 1984Aug 26, 1986Wagner David L RSurvival shelter
US4819389 *Sep 28, 1987Apr 11, 1989Kihn John PInflatable tent
US5007212 *Mar 21, 1990Apr 16, 1991Monty FrittsInflatable shelter
US6263617May 13, 1999Jul 24, 2001Jean-Marc Daniel TurcotInflatable self-erecting tent
US6929016 *May 1, 2003Aug 16, 2005Swei-Yuan LeeInflatable tent
US7761935 *Aug 11, 2006Jul 27, 2010Whitaker Jennifer LShower curtain with flap for use with tub transfer bench
EP0359691A1 *Sep 4, 1989Mar 21, 1990Zamora Pablo MolinaImproved inflatable structure for tents
WO1990015208A1 *May 30, 1990Dec 13, 1990Stewkie LtdInflatable building
U.S. Classification52/2.21, D25/23, D21/838
International ClassificationE04H15/20
Cooperative ClassificationE04H2015/201, E04H15/20
European ClassificationE04H15/20