US 3162460 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec 22, 1964 J. DAVIDSON PORTABLE ENGLOSURE 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 19, 1962 L.. J. DAVIDSON PORTABLE ENCLOSURE 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 19, 1962 Dec. 22, 1964 1 J. DAVIDSON PQRTABLE ENcLosuRE 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. 19, 1962 Dec. 22, 1964 Filed Dec. 19, 1962 l.. J. DAvlDsoN 3,162,460
PORTABLE ENCLOSURE 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Egg.10.
Dec. 22, 1964 L J, DAVlDSQN 3,162,460
PORTABLE ENCLOSURE Filed Deo. 19, 1962 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Dec. 22, 1964 J. DAVIDSON PORTABLE ENcLosuRE 6 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Dec. 19, 1962 Tlmm,
United States Patent O adsense PQRTABLE ENCLGSURE Leon Davidson, 29 iarlton Circle, Andover, Mass. Filed Dec. 19, i952, Ser. No. 245,828 6 Claims. (Ci. 23d-36) This invention relates to a portable enclosure of the type generally referred to as a playpen. lts ordinary purpose is to provide a piace in which small children may be placed to play or rest in safety. lt may, of course, be used for other purposes, but in the explanation of its construction and operation it will be considered in the light of its principal use.
Many types of playpens are known to the art. ln theconstruction herein disclosed, there will he seen a number of features made possible oy novel constructional elements which result in greater utility, simplication of operation, and low manufacturing cost.
The playpen of my construction is of variable width. When in minimum width condition, it is capable of passing through the ordinary household door. lt is also subject to being reduced in vertical dimension to an extent permitting it to be placed quite easily in an automobile while still retaining suiiicient wall height to act as a crib.
The invention further contemplates vertical wall support members of novel construction which may be removed from their connection with the wheel axles and from the door in a manner permitting them to he swung first upwardly and then over and down on the floor to nest with each other while at the same time allowing the sides of the unit to collapse altogether, thus reducing the height of the device to only a little more than the vertical dimensions of the Wheels. When in this condition, the unit occupies hut little space and may be readily stowed in an automobile, closet, attic or even under a bed. lVnile the supporting members that carry the oor and the top rail are made for convenience and strength in the general form of a W it will be understood that the vertical support members could be individual units without modifying the means for connecting them to the axles or to the oor.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a construction in which `the iioor may be shifted easily from small to large area. The small area door is detach` ahly connected to the vertical supports on one side in such manner that when the iioor is enlarged by unfolding a portion thereof the Along edge of the unfolded part may then be readily connected to the vertical supports in their widened position. When this is done, the larger iioor is then supported fully as rigidly as it was in its condition of reduced area.
These and other objects of the invention will be more fully understood as the description proceeds with the aid of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. l is a perspectiveview of the playpen in its smallest usaole dimension;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to EEG. l but with the vertical supports extended to give maximum depth;
FIG. 3 shows the plaype-n in its maximum dimension both vertically and horizontally with the floor opened for greatest area;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view partly in section showing the telescoping nature of the top rails at the ends of the Pleinen;
FIG. 5 is a section on the line 5-5 FG. 4;
dhdh Federated Dec. 22, 1964 ice FIG. 6 is a horizontal section on the line 6-6 of FIG. 3 showing the overlapped wall material in its maximum expanded condition;
FIG. 7 is a plan view on the line 7 7 of FIG. 2 to show a portion of the iioor construction in its small area condition with the mattress removed;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevation looking at the right of FIG. 7 showing the means for latching the floor to the vertical support and the means of attaching liexible. wall material at the floor level;
FlG. 9 is an end elevation showing in solid lines the playpen in its reduced horizontal dimension and showing in dotted lines the manner in which the supports may be removed from the axles and the way in which the playpen may he extended laterally;
FIG. l() is a verticai section on the line itl-19 of FIG. 2, showing the means of pivotaliy connecting the vertical supports to the upper rail;
FG. ll is an end view showing the vertical supports in the process of being swung to inoperative horizontal position;
FIG. l2 is an end view similar to FIG. ll showing the playpen in totally collapsed vertical condition with the supports nested as 'shown in FIG. 13; and
PEG. i3 is a plan view of FiG. 12 with the vertical supports in nested horizontal condition.
Referring tirst'to FiGS. l, 2, 3 and 9, the unit consists oi a iirst pair oi wheels 2, 2 mounted on fixed axle 4 and a second pair of wheels 6, 6 mounted on fixed axle 8. The axles are secured together by horizontal straps l0 and 12 (see FIGS. 9 and l1) which curve upwardly at their near and far ends as at 14 and 16. To the upper ends of these tout turned-up portions is secured the main floor l in any convenient manner, such as by small bolts, for example. rThis portion of the structure just described consisting of the wheels, iixed axles, supports i4 and le and oor l is the basic rigid supporting foundation which is not subject to adjustment. The short dimension of the tioor .is approximately the length of the axles 4 and 8, and in the preferred form will be in the order of 26 inches. Thus the playpen as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is capable of passing through any ordinary home doorway.
Along one of the long edges of ilocr 13 is a pair of hinges 2l) to which is affixed an overlying folded additional section of flooring 22 which when unfolded will assume the position shown in FlG. 3. When the floor is in folded reduced area condition, a suitable partially doubled iloor pad or thin mattress 23 may be used to cover it. When the oor is unfolded, the iioor pad may he likewise unfolded to singley thickness to he coextensive with the floor in extended position as shown in FlG. 3.
The construction of the superstructure is as follows: A pair of dJ-shaped tubular elements Z4 and 2S have vertical portions 26 on the upper ends of which are telescoped extensions Ztl. At the bottom of each of the vertical portions 126 is aL laterally extending plate 3d (decoratively cut to elephant profile) having a hole 3i. therethrough whereby the plates may tit over the ends of their respective axles d and S as at 32 and 3d. Cotter pins 35 positioned in suitable holes in the axles are provided to hold the plates in place.
. On the upper ends of the four telescoping extensions Ztl is secured the upper frame comprising a U-shaped portion 36 on one side with ends 37 and a generally similar U-shaped portion 38 with ends 39 on the other side. The dimensions of the ends 37 and 39, however, are such that they may telescope in an extensible manner. Latches 42 (see FIGS. 4 and 5) hold the telescoped ends 37 and 39 is contracted position. Other similar latches 43 are also provided to hold the portions 2S `in extended position with respect to parts 26 as shown in FIG. 2. When latches 43 are released, the'tubular parts 28 and 26 may be telescoped downwardly to the position of FIG. 1.
To further secure the vertical members 26, they are fastened to the oor at the four positions numbered 44 (see FIG. 2) by `suitable latches 46, one of which is shown in' detail in FIG. 8; Each of the four vertical parts 26 resides'i'n aA notchv 47 in the floor. Each part 26 has a hole 48 extending transversely therethrough and into this hole may be moved latch 46 whichis shiftable longitudinally through its guides 50 by the user from the released position shown in FIG. 8 to an engaged position to the right in which the righthand end of the latch extends through the hole 48. Two sets of guides Share fixed to the top of the folded iloor 22 near hinges 20 as shown in FIG. 7, and two other sets of guides 50 are xed directly to the top'of floor 18- along the opposite side. By this construction, substantial rigidity is imparted to the W'lshaped side members 2'4 and 25, these members being secured to the axles of both sets of wheels and to the floor by the latches 46 along the sides.
In shifting the vertical dimension of the playpen walls from that shown in FIG. 2 tothe reduced height shown in FIG. 1, the latches '46 remain in locked position. The verticalV extensions 28' upon release of latches V43 merely slide downwardly along tubular portions 26 to the extent of the available telescoping.
Between the upper trails 36 and 3f8'and the iloor extends a suitable flexible enclosing material, preferably in the form of mesh or net 52 and 53. Net 52 may be attached rtoupper rail1 36 through the use of attached plastic tape 54 which passes around the top of the rail and is riveted or cemented thereto as may be convenient (see FIG.V The net 52T that is attached to rail 36, including the telescoping ends 37, terminates in a vertical tape 56. The net 53E that is attached to rail 38, including the telescoping ends-39, terminates in a vertical tape SS. Thus between tapes 56 and 58 there `are two layers of overlapping net when the playpen is in the condition of reduced lateral dimension as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. On the other hand, when the'playpen is extended to maximum dimension, as will be explained shortly, the tapes 56 and 58 and the attached nets lare shifted to the position shown in FIG. 6 in which only the tapes overlap. In such condition, the tapes may be secured at spaced positions by snaps 60. Y Y
As can be seen in FIG. 5, Ithe end portions of rail 38 indicated at 3'9 slide within the end portions 37 of rail 36. y
The parts 37 are longitudinally cut away as at 64 so that the horizontal tape 66 running along the upper part of net 53 may be secured to the under side of end portion 39 of rail 385. By this construction, it is obvious that the telescoping portions 37 and 39 may be moved longitudinally with respect to each other and the overlapping net portions 52 and 53" may move correspondingly. Where rail 38 is not telescoped, tape 66 passes thereover inthe same manner that tape 54 surrounds rail 36. Thus v the rails are both decorated and protected. Y l
The'lower edges of the end parts of net 52V and net'53 are similarlysecured by tapes 61 and 62 to other telescoping tubular elements 68 and 70 best shown in FIG. 7. The element is U-shaped and extends along the ends and' side ofthe unit just below the oor IS. When the floor is unfolded so that the hinged part 22 is shifted to extended position, the U-shaped element 7l) is correspondingly moved laterally so that the lower parts of the net 52 are extended, bringing the entire structure to the positionV shown in FIG. 3, in which the oorarea `is sub stantially a square of about 40 inches on a side.
The Y lower edge of net 53 below upper rail 38 may be perman'ently aflixed to the floor 1S by upholsterers tacks 63 (see FIG. 7) as there is no relative movement required at this position.
Before the playpen can be widened from the condition of FIGS. l and 2 to the enlarged size shown in FIG. 3, the following steps must be taken: First the cotter pins 35 must be withdrawn from the ends of axles 4 and 8. Then the bolts 46 must be withdrawn from their locked position in Vertical members 26 of the W-shaped frame 24 on Ythe side of the playpen at which the hinges 20 are located. As soon as this is accomplished, frame 24 may be swung away from the wheels as shown at position A in FIG. 9, the frame 24'pivoting on the hinges 72 that encircle the long :side of frame 36. U-shaped frame 70, to which the lower part of net 52 is secured, is then drawn out to the position-B shown in FIG. 9.' When in this extended condition, the'folded loor extension 22 may then be unfolded, pivoting about? hingesZOto drop down into fiat position as shown in FIG. 3. In this position, licor extension 22 rests on extended U-shaped frame 70. (Mattress 23 is also shown in FIG. 3, being cutaway lin partr to show the floor and frame 70.) Further support for iloor extension 22 is needed, and this-is achieved by extending leg 73 downwardly and then swinging W- shaped frame 24 back into position C shown in FIG. 9 in which parts 26 enter notches 74 '(se'e FIG.A 3) in the edge of floor extension 22 so that latches 76 :secured to the edge of the oor at this position may be slid laterally to pass through openings 43' in parts 26.` At this stage of assembly, folding iioor portion 22is connected to the two hinges 20 and the two elements 26 of W-shaped frame 24 and supported by`leg 73 which rests on the underlying supporting surface. Additional support is given t'o frame 73 byy the center portion of frame 24, which by means of a bolt and wing nut or other securing means is'fastened' to frame 7? as' indicatedv at 78. In this nal condition, the playpen, as seen in FIG. 3, is supported by the four wheels and leg 73, leg 73 being of sufficient strength to carry the -load transmitted to elements 26 of frame 24.
If preferred, two separate foldable legs 73a and 731),
yshown in dotted lines in FIG. 3, could be substituted for the Ysingle leg 73.
lVJlie'nrthe playpen is in the extended' conditionl shown in' FIG. 3, ends 37 and 39 of portions 3'6V andSS are in minimum telescoped condition and vertical ltapes 56 and 58 supporting'the ends of nets 52 and 53 are in overlapping condition as shown in FIG. 6, in which position snaps 60' may be engaged to effectively seal the joint.
In thev narrow condition of the playpen, as shown in FIGS. 1' and 2, leg 73 is swung up to horizontal position out of the Way as it is not needed for support since frame Z4 is carried directly by axles 4 and' 8 through plates 30.
When the lateral dimension of the playpen is to be reduced from its maximum size, as shown in FIG. 3, to that of FIGS. 1 and V2, the above procedure is reversed. Wing nut 78 is removed to free W-shaped frame 24 from'U- shaped member 70. Latches 76 are withdrawn from their engagement with elements 26 and frame 24 is swung outwardly, pivoting Ion hinges 72'. With mattress 23 removed, hinged floor extension 22' is' swung up and over to fall down on top of Vxed floor IS'. Latches 76 drop into ,openings 32 (see FIG. 34) so that lloor extension Z2 may parallel floor 1S. Frame 70 is then pushed inwardly, telescoping with xed tubular elements 6h until it reaches a position just inside notches 47. Upper rails 36 and 33 arev thenforced together with end portions 37 and 39 telescoping until the condition shown in FIGS. l
and 2 is reached. At this point, latches 42 engage to hold the upper rail in reduced Vdimension condition. W-
@shaped frame 24 is then swung to position D in FIG. 9,
pins 35 reinsertcd. With vertical elements 26 located in notches 47, latches 46, which are secured to the now top side of folding oor portion 22, may be reinserted in openings 43. Finally the bolt and wing nut 7S may be reset through frame 7 (l and the middle part of frame 24 thereby to provide intermediate support for the iloors 13 and 22.
From the description thus far, it can be seen that the playpen may readily have its vertical dimension changed through the telescoping of elements 26 and 2S and its width changed through the use ot' the telescoping upper rail portions 37 and 39 and the lower telescoping tubular elements 68 and 7?.
Explanation will now be given of the manner in which the playpeu may be reduced to minimum dimension to facilitate storage or transportation. Referring to FIGS. 9, 1l, 12 and 13, the procedure is as follows: Cotter pins 35 are removed from both axles and all four latches 46 are withdrawn from engagement with the four vertical posts 26. Likewise the bolt and wing nut 78 is removed to free frame 24 from tubular element 70. Once this has been achieved, W-shaped trarne 25 at the left as viewed in FIG. 9 and JV-shaped frame 24 at the right, turning on their respective hinges 72 on rails 36 and 3S, may be swung upwardly and over, each passing through an angle of approximately 270. These two frames are shown on their way to iinal horizontal position in FIG. ll, whereas in FG. 13 they are shown in nal horizontal position directly on oors 18 and 22 from which mattress 23 has been removed. Since there is no longer any support for the side enclosing nets 52 and 53, the upper rails 36 and 38 drop down so that the whole upper structure then rests on oor 1S and the folded-over floor portion 22. This arrangement is shown in end view in FIG. l2 and in plan in FIG. 13 and represents the minimum dimension obtainable. -In this position, it can be seen that the total height of the unit is but little more than the height of the wheels and the lateral dimension, in a preferred commercial construction, is in the order of 26 inches. Thus the unit can readily be stored in a small space, such as a closet, under a bed, or within an automobile.
If desired, a conventional foot brake mechanism 84 operated by a pedal 86 may be used, but this constitutes no part of the invention.
To reassemble the unit from the condition of FiGS. 12 and 13, reverse procedures are followed which will be obvious in view of the foregoing explanation.
It is my intention to cover all changes and modifications ot the examples of the invention herein chosen for purposes of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
l. A playpen comprising supporting wheels and axles, a floor carried by said axles over said wheels, supports on opposite sides of said floor comprising two upwardly extending memhers detachably secured to the said axles, a top rail carried by the upper ends of said supports, tlexible material secured to said floor and top rail and closing the space therebetween, said members rotatably secured to said raii and constituting the sole support therefor, whereby when said members are detached from said axles they may be swung to a position over said licor and said members, top rail and ilexible material may drop to substantially the level of said floor.
2. A playpen comprising supporting wheels and axles, a oor carried by said axles over said wheels, supports on opposite sides of said floor comprising two upwardly extending members detachably secured to the said axles and to opposite sides of said oor, a top rail carried by the upper ends of said supports, hexible material secured to said oor and top rail and closing the space therebetween, said members rotatably secured to said rail and constituting the sole support therefor, whereby when said members are detached from said axles and door they may be swung to a position over said floor and said members,
top rail and flexible material may drop to substantially the level of said floor.
3. A playpen comprising supporting wheels and axles, a laterally extendible oor carried by said axles 'over said wheels, supports on opposite sides of said door comprising on each side two upwardly extending members detachably secured to the said axles and said tloor when said floor is unextended, means for securing two of said upwardly extending members after detachment from said axles and unextended door to the edge of said iloor when extended, means for maintaining said extended door substantially horizontal, an adjustable top rail carried by said members and means permitting adjustment to match the floor dimension, said members having telescoping portions above said floor whereby said top rail may be raised or lowered with respect to said iioor, and flexible A material secured to said top rail and floor and closing the space therebetween.
4. A playpen comprising supporting wheels and axles,
a main floor carried by said axles over said wheels, supports on opposite sides of said oor comprising on each side two upwardly extending members of which those on at least one side are detachably secured to said axles and said oor, a continuous rectangular top rail carried by the said members, means for extending the area of said floor comprising an additional iioor section overlying said main iloor and connected thereto by hinges along the edge to which said members are detachably secured, said top rail being extensible along opposite ends thereof whereby when said members are detached from said axles and floor said top rail may be extended to a dimension substantially equal to the dimension of said main door and additional door section when the latter has been opened on said hinges, other means for connecting the said detachable members to the outer edge of said opened licor section, and means for supporting the said members when connected to the said opened door section at the level required to maintain said oor section substantially in the plane of said main ioor. 5. A playpen comprising supporting wheels and axles, a main iloor carried by said axles over said wheels, supports on opposite sides of said fioor comprising on each side two upwardly extending members which are detachably secured to said axles and said door, a continuous rectangular top raii carried by the said members, means for extending the area of said oor comprising an additionat door section overlying said main oor and connected thereto by hinges along one edge, said top rail comprising two U-shaped sections with their respective ends telescoped whereby when said members are detached from said axles and iioor on the side wherein said hinges are located said top rail may be extended to a dimension substantially equal to the dimension of said main floor and additional door section when the latter has been opened on said hinges, other means for connecting the said detachable members to the outer edge of said opened iloor section, and means for supporting the said members when connected to the said opened oor section at the level required to maintain said oor section substantially in the plane of said main oor.
6. A playpen comprising four wheels and axles on which said wheels are mounted, a main floor carried by said axles above said wheels, a lloor extension section overlying said main' loor and hinged to one side thereof, side supports comprising W-shaped tubular members, each member having each of its lower extremities detachably secured to an axle, latches on said main floor and iioor section for detachably securing thereto the outer upwardly extending parts of said W-shaped members, vertically movable telescoping elements on the upper ends of said members, a rectangular tubular top rail carried by said terescoping elements, said rail having telescoping opposite side sections whereby said rail can be extended in the direction of opening movement of said door extension section, said side support members rotatably mounted on S said` toperailf, wherebyI when said members have been rRefexemces Citedinthele of thisY patent' detacbedvfiom saidaxles and oor they ILnav'be rotaied UNITED STATES PATENTS aboutv'said top ra11 toassumea horxzomal. overlappmg positorrwithin said topmail on'said ooig'exible mate- '2,634,432 Ehrenberg --nn APL 14 1953 2,764,764V Savage Oct. 2, 1956 rialsecured to saidtop-rai and-sadffloor to provide an 5 enclosing Wall when said side supports are in operative 3733453 AdmSOll 1 Feb: 17, 1959 verticalN position and carryingrsaidtoprail'and adapted ytocol-'lrpse to ineie'ctive` positionwhen said-side supports FOREIGN PATENTS' have been detached froml said:l axlesand 'oor and have 438,127 Italy Julyv23, 1948 been rotated to saidhorizontaI positiony on said floor. 10 453,785 Italy Dec. 14, 1949