US 3158876 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. GOTTLIEB Dec. 1, 1964 PLAY PEN 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 22, 1964 INVENTOR. faazergorrz/ R. GOTTLIEB Dec. 1, 1964 PLAY PEN Twain 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 22, 1964 54 42 7 4035 45 44/2 4 34 i 7 3mg I v INVENTOR.
mi C T 1 E 7 0 I NEY United States Patent 3,158,876 PLAY bQfiliBiJ, 392l) 78th St, incisor: Long island, N51. Filed Ilan. 22, 1964, Ser. No. 339,415 9 Gaines. El -$9} This invention relates to a novel and improved play pen for children and other purposes and more specifically to an improved structure facilitating the opening and closing of the play pen and at the same time securely locking the play pen in an open position.
Numerous play pen structures have been suggested which embody means for folding and unfolding the play pen. Such play pens include upper and lower frame members of generally rectangular configuration wh ch are fol-dable along axes bisecting opposing sides. With such a structure, it is important that the play pen when in the open position be securely locked in the open position to avoid injury to an infant or child that may be occupying it. Certain of the known structur s generally include pairs of diverging legs on each side thereof, means between the legs and the upper frame sections to support the upper frame sections in a horizontal position and some form of locking means or legs centrally of the bottom sections to limit the downward movement thereof. Other known play pens use variations of the foregoing structure, and in general, all of these play pens require the release of several locks or toggle latches order to permit the structure to be folded.
This invention has as one of its objects an improved play pen wherein the linkages for holding the play pen in an open position secure the pen in such open position and at the same time the locking linkages can be released by a single motion to facilitate folding of the play pen.
Still another object of the invention resides in the provision of a novel and improved play pen that may be readily and easily opened and securely locked in an open position and which may be quickly and easily folded.
Still another object of the invention resides in a novel and improved play pen for children and other purposes.
The above and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings forming part of tms application.
in the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the improved play pen in accordance with the invention.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged side elevational view of the play pen of FIG. 1.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary bottom view of the structure shown in FIGURE 2.
4 is a diagrammatic view showing an initial step in folding the play pen shown in FIGURES 1 to 3.
FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic view of the folded play pen.
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragment ry view in perspective of a portion of the bottom of the play pen showing the locking and unlocking stirrup.
The play pen in accordance with the invention and as fllustrated by the embodiment shown in the drawings is of rect gular configuration and provided with upper and lower rrarne members joined by a flexible netting such as fabric or the like. The play pen support is provided by two sets of legs which are joined to the central portions of the sides of the top frame and diverge outwardly. The lower portions f the legs are pivotally connected to die bottom frame. The play pen is held in an open position by four sets of series connected links joining a section of the top frame and adjoining leg and the corresponding section of the bottom frame. The linkages are arranged and constructed to coordinate the motions of the top and bottom frames during the folding and unfolding procedures. When the bottom frames are in a horizontal plane, they automatically lock the sections of the top frame in a horizontal plane. Furthermore, the weight of a child in the play pen will function to lock the top frame in the open position and once locked the play pen wil remain securely in the open position. To fold the play pen in accordance with the invention, it is merely necessary to forcibly raise the center port ons of the bottom frame. In so doing, the links function to automatically unlock the top frame portions, and by further raising the bottom frame sections along the central portion thereof, the entire unit will fold to a storage position. With this arrangement, it is not necessary to release latches individually since all of the latches will automatically release upon raising one side of the bottom portion as described above, and the entire unit can be folded without reaching into the play pen. As a result, the mattress, which usually is employed on the floor of the play pen, need not be removed and can be readily folded along with the play pen in the man er as de scribed above.
Referring now to the drawings, the top and bottom frames are generally denoted by the numerals 1b and 11. The top frame is formed of two U-shaped sections 12 and 13 with the legs and 12B of section 12 being connected to the legs 13A and 13B of section 13. loinder of the sections is accomplished by U-shaped saddles 14 and 15 with the saddle 14 being pivotally connected at 14A and 143 to the legs 12A and 13A, respectively. Similarly, the saddle i5 is pivotally connected at 15A and 153 to the legs 12B and 13B. 11 this wa the sections 12 and 2.3 of the top frame can be readily folded one relative to the other with the total motion of each section being limited approximately to an angle of 99.
The bottom frame 11 is formed in effect of two closed loops to and 1'7. The loop 36, which is somewhat larger than the loop 17, is formed of two U-shaped sections it? and 19 with the legs 18A and 19A being connected by riveting or other suitable means substantially as shown in FIGURE 3. The corresponding legs of the U-shaped sections is and 19 are joined in a corresponding manner. The bottom frame section 17 is also formed of two U- shaped portions 2% and 21 with the legs ZiiA and 21A joined to form a rigid structure and the opposite legs of the portions 2i 2f. are similarly connected. The bottom sections 16 and 17 are hinged one to the other by a hinge Z2 joining the ends of the legs ldA and 29A. he corresponding opposing legs of the sections 16 and 1'7 are similarly hin ed. .ln this way, the axis of fold defined by two hinges 22 is centrally disposed of the bottom and offset from the ins of division of the two bottom por ions. The bottom frame sections 16 and 17 carry doors 23 and 24 respectively which rest on the top of the frame sections and are secured thereto by a plurality of brackets such as the brackets 25 as illustrated in FIGURE 3.
The top and bottom frame sections 1 and 11 are joined by a nett' g 26 attached to the frame sections in any suitable rnanner. In the instant embodiment of the invention, the netting is shown tubular fabric elements 2'7 and 23 which slide over the top and bottom frames 14.? and 11 as illustrated in FIGURES l and 2, though it is apparent that any other suitable means for attaching the netting 26 to the top and bottom frames may be utilized.
Th leg and linkage assemblies on each side of the play pen in accordance with the invention are substantially identical, and accordingly, only one side will be described in detail. The entire play pen is supported by four legs 39, El, 32 and 33. The legs 3% and 31 are pivotally attached at 39A and 31A to the saddle 15, while the legs 32 and 33 are similarly joined to the saddle 14. It will be observed that the saddles in each case preferably overlie both sides of the legs joined thereto and provide adequate rigidity without the need for other transverse supporting members disposed between the bottom ends of the legs. The legs 3% and 31 diverge outwardly with the leg 36 being pivotally secured at 3GB to an outer portion of the leg 243A of the bottom frame section 17. The leg 31 is similarly pivoted at 313 to an outer portion of the leg 313A of the bottom frame section 15. If desired, the bottom ends of the legs may be provided with appropriate wheels'34 or other suitable means.
Referring now more specifically to FIGURE 2 showing one side of the play pen in accordance with the invention, it will be observed that two sets of linkages 35 and 36 are associated with the two legs 39 and 31. The linkage 35 has an upper link 37, an intermediate link 38 and a lower link 39. The links 37 and 33 are pivoted one to the other at 46 and include a saddle-type lock 41 which limits motion of the links in an upward direction to a position slightly past alignment or dead center. The links may move in an opposite or downward direction virtually to an overlying position when the play pen is closed. The upper end of the link 37 is pivoted at 42 to the leg 12B of the upper frame sect-ion 12. The link 33 is pivoted at 43 at a point between its ends to the leg 3%).
.The bottom end of the intermediate link 38 is pivoted to the upper end of the link 35*. at 44, and the link 3 is pivoted at its lower end at 45 to a point on the leg ZtBA of the lower frame 17 which is between the hinge 23 and the pivot StiB.
The linkage assembly 35 is similarly arranged having an'upper link 46, an intermediate link 47 and a lower link 48. The link 46 has its upper end pivoted at 49 to the leg 13B of the upper frame 13 and its other end pivoted at 50 to the upper end of the link 47. This pivotal connection also includes a saddle lock 51 corresponding to the lock 41 previously described. The link 47 is further pivoted at a point between its ends to the leg 31 at 52 and the lower end of this link is pivoted at 53 to the upper end of the link 48. The lower end of the link 48 is pivoted at 54 to the leg 18A of the bottom frame section 16. As pointed out above, the opposite side of the play pen is arranged with similar linkages similarly connected.
I The bottom frame section 16 is further provided with a stirrup 55 firmly secured to the bottom frame section 16 by means of a rivet 56 securing one end of the stirrup to the leg 18A and the pivot pin 22' of the hinge 22.
. The operation of the play pen as described above is illustrated in FIGURES 4 and5. Let it be assumed that the play pen in the closed position as shown in FIGURE '5 is to be opened. To accomplish this, the top frame sections 12 and 13 which extend downwardly are manually lifted to a horizontal position. In so doing, the linkages open up and function to spread the legs 30 and 31 and; at the'same time force the bottom frame members 16 and 17 to a horizontal position. This intermediateposition is shown in FIGURE 4. When the play pen has attained the position shown in FIGURE 4, pressure is then exerted downwardly on the stirrup 55 by placing the toe of the foot in the stirrup and pressing downwardly. It will be observed that the links 39 and 48 in moving downwardly will cause the link fid to rotate in -a clockwise direction about the leg 30 and the link 47 in a counterclockwise direction about the leg 31. This.
will cause the links 38 and 37 and the links 47 and 4:6 to assume substantially linear positionsJ Slight addrtional pressure will cause further rotation of the links 33 and 47 and at the same time move their cooperating linkages 37 and 46 beyond a dead center position and into a locked position. In this locked position, anyapplication of pressure on the outer rim of the top frame will be resisted by the links 37, 38 and 46, 47, since the saddles 41 and 51 limit movement of the pivots 48 and more, an infant or child in the play pen will afford sufficient weight to firmly hold the play pen in the open position.
To close the play pen, it is merely necessary to place the foot beneath the stirrup 55 and force it upwardly a short distance. In so doing, the links 39 and 43 move upwardly, and this motion causes counterclockwise rotation of the link 33 and clockwise rotation of the link 47. This action breaks the lock between the links 37, 38 and the links :6, 47 whereupon continued upward pressure on the saddle 55 and if desired cooperating downward pressure on the top frames 12 and 13 will move the entire play pen to the collapsed position as shown in FIGURE 5. It will be observed that in the operation of the play pen to and from the opened and closed positions it is not necessary to reach into the play pen for any purpose whatsoever, and all of the operation the folding operation. With the play pen in accordance with the invention, the mattress or pad in the play pen need not be removed, provided it is sufficiently flexible to' fold with the play pen.
For convenience, only one stirrup 55 has been shown in the drawings, though it is evident that stirrups may be utilized on both sides to avoid the need for turning a play pen around or walking to the other, side in order to open or close it. In addition, the drawings illustrate.
one linkage configuration for the attainment of the desired ends, namely, securing the play pen in an open position and at the same time permitting a single motion of the bottom to unlock all of the linkages and thereby facilitate movement of the play pen to a closed position.
While only one embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it is apparent that alterations, modifications and changes may be made without departing from the true scope and spirit thereof as defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A play pen for children and other purposes comprising an upper frame having two generally U-shaped sections positioned to form a loop with the ends of each side of one section in spaced axial alignment with the ends of. each side of the other section, asaddle bracket pivotally connected to each pair of adjoining leg ends to join said sections in foldable relationship, a pair of legs pivoted to each saddle bracket and extending downwardly therefrom and in diverging relationship, a bottom frame foldable along an axis generally parallel totheaxis of v member having two sections pivoted one to the other and fold of said upper frame, means pivoting said legs to said bottom frame sections, a plurality of linkages with each linkage interconnecting one side of one upper frame section with the adjoining leg and the corresponding side of the lower'frame section, said linkages locking said play' pen in an open position with the upper and lower frames substantially horizontal and unlocking the play pen for age comprises a link pivoted between its ends to one of said legs a second link pivoted at oneend to the adjoin ing side of the upper frame section and at its other end to one end of the first lihk'and a' third link pivoted at one end to the other end of the first link and pivoted at its other end to the adjoining side of the lower frame section.
3. A play pen comprisingan upper frame having two sections, means joining said sections in foldable relationship, a bottom frame having two joined sections foldable one upon the other, two pairs of diverginglegs pivotally connected at their upper ends to said joining means and diverging downwardly and outwardly, the lower ends of said legs being pivotally connected to said lower frame sections, and a plurality of composite linkages, with each linkage pivotally connected to corresponding upper and lower sections and to the adjoining leg at a point between its pivotal connections with said joining means and said lower frame section.
4. A play pen comprising an upper frame formed of two sections foldable along a transverse axis, a bottom frame and floor support formed of two sections joined one to the other and foldable along an axis substantially parallel to the first said axis, a pair of legs on opposing sides of said frames, each pair of legs extending downwardly and outwardly from points in the vicinity of the first said axis and pivotally connected relative to said frames to carry them in spaced relationship while permitting the frames to be simultaneously folded and unfolded, and two pairs of linkages, each linkage interconnecting a leg with adjoining portions of said upper and lower frame sections to lock the play pen in an open position, said linkages being automatically unlocked by upward displacement of the axis of fold of said lower frame sections thereby permitting collapse of the play pen to a closed position.
5. A play pen according to claim 4 wherein each linkage comprises three individual links pivotally connected one to the other with the outer end of the first link pivotally connected to an upper frame section, the outer end of the third link to the adjoining bottom frame section.
and a point midway between the ends of said intermediate link to the adjoining leg, the last said pivot being located on said leg at a point between said upper and lower frame sections.
6. A play pen according to claim 5 including a stirruplike bracket depending from one of said lower frame sections to facilitate locking of said play pen in the open position by application of downward pressure thereon and unlocking said linkages by applying upward pressure thereto.
7. A foldable play pen comprising an upper flame having two generally U-shaped sections, means joining said sections one to the other to form a closed loop with said sections being foldable one upon the other on a transverse axis, a lower frame formed of two sections, at least one section comprising a closed loop, said sections being pivotally secured one to the other in foldable relationship. said lower frame sections supporting individual floors, a pliable fabric secured to said upper and lower frame sections to form a closed pen, a pair of legs on each side of said upper and lower frame sections, each pair of legs being pivoted relative to said upper sections and at points adjoining the axis of fold, the lower portions of said legs being pivoted to said lower frame sections at points adjoining the outer portions thereof and individual linkage means attached to diagonally opposite legs, each linkage means interconnecting the leg to which it is attached with the adjoining upper and lower frame sections to lock said play pen in an open position when the bottom frame members are aligned in a substantially horizontal plane and to permit closure of said play pen when the center portions of said lower frame sections are raised.
8. A foldable play pen comprising an upper frame having two generally U-shaped sections, means joining said sections one to the other to form a closed loop with said sections being foldable one upon the other on a transverse axis, a lower frame formed of two sections, at least one section comprising a closed loop, said sections being pivotally attached one to the other in foldable relationship, said lower frame supporting floor portions, a pliable fabric secured to said upper and lower frame sections to form a closed pen, a pair of legs on each side of said upper and lower frame sections, each pair of legs being pivoted relative to said upper sections and at points adjoining the axis of fold, the lower portions of said legs being pivoted to said lower frame sections at points adjoining the outer portions thereof and at least two linkages each connectin a diagonally opposite leg with the adjoining upper and lower frame portions to lock said play pen in an open position when the bottom frame members are aligned in a substantially horizontal plane and to permit closure of said play pen when the center portions of said lower frame sections are raised, said linkages each comprising a series of three links pivotally connected in end to end relationship, means pivotally connecting a point disposed between the ends of said intermediate link with a point on said leg between said upper and lower frame sections, means pivotally connecting the outer end of one outer link to a point on the adjoining upper frame substan ially removed from the axis of fold and means pivoting the outer end of the other outer link to a point on the adjoining lower frame section between its axis of fold and the point of pivotal attachment of said leg.
9. A play pen according to claim 8 including four linkages and wherein one of said bottom frame sections includes a depending stirrup to facilitate locking said play pen in the open position by the application of downward pressure on said stirrup and for unlocking said play pen by applying upward pressure to said stirrup.
References (Ii-ted in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,991,486 Hamilton July 11, 1961 3,040,341 Hesketh et al June 26, 1962 3,063,065 Shaw Nov. 13, 1962 3,092,847 De Puy June 11, 1963 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.