US 3181203 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' Filed Feb. 15. 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet l FIG.|
INVENTOR HARRY J. WEN GER ATTORNEY 8 May 4, 1965 H. J. WENGER PORTABLE STAGE AND SHELL 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 15. 1961 A'l 1 Ill/ll lll/ ON N.
INVENTOR HARRY J. WENGER on 5 9% N 0 h m mm 73 Q mv l l I l I I l l I I I I I l r ATTORNEYS May 4, 1965 H. J. WENGER PORTABLE STAGE AND SHELL 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Feb. 15, 1961 V .II,
INVENTOR HARRY J. WEINEER ATTORNEYS a BY J May 4-, 1965 H. J. WENGER 3,181,203
PORTABLE STAGE AND SHELL Filed Feb. 15, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR HARRY J. WENGER ATTORNEYS FIGS y 4, 1965 H. J. WENGER 3,181,203
PORTABLE STAGE AND SHELL Filed Feb. 15, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR HARRY J. WENGER ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,181,203 PORTABLE STAGE AND SHELL Harry J. Wenger, Steele County, Minn. (Owatonna, Minn.) Filed Feb. 15, 1961, Ser. No. 89,520 9 Claims. (Cl. 201.126)
This invention is a combination portable stage and music shell constructed to have all the parts thereof fit within a trailer when being moved but being quickly assemblable into an outer music shell or stage as the requirements of the situation demand. It features removable platform elements which by being appropriately associated with elements that remain within trailer shell may be arranged either to be a stage on a single level or a stepped platform suitable for a band, orchestra or chorus. There have been previously portable units to serve either of the purposes described above, but as far as is known, these are provided for a single purpose only and are not intended to be converted from one to the other.
Accordingly it is the principal object of this invention to provide a combination stage and music shell which may be converted readily from one to the other.
It is another object of this invention to provide such a combination shell unit that requires very few additional parts to set the unit up as either a stage or a shell as compared to providing only one such use.
Another object of this invention is to make a combination stage and music shell in which some parts are merely reversed with relation to the trailer when used for one purpose as compared to another.
It is yet another object to this invention to provide a special bracket which makes use of the same structures on the trailer that are employed in setting the unit up as a stage in order to make it a step platform for band or other musical uses.
Another object of this invention is to provide a combination stage and stepped sound projecting shell which requires only special jacks and brackets in order to convert the platform elements from one use to the other.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide a guard rail which can be readily secured to and removed from the platform elements when arranged as a stage.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a combination portable stage and music shell which by means of a special bracket that has structure thereon that engages the same portions of the trailer unit that are engaged by the platform elements when making a stepped music shell supports one of the movable platform units at the elevation of the highest platform elements inside the trailer and by means of a special jack supports the outer end of the same movable platform unit at the same elevation.
Still other objects are inherent specific disclosures shown and described herein.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, this invention then comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.
The invention is illustrated by the drawings in which the same numerals refer to corresponding parts and in which:
In the drawings FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the device arranged as a stage;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged vertical section of the trailer and movable platform elements arranged as a stage.
Broken lines illustrate the stored position of the movable platform element extending beyond the trailer.
FIGURE 3 is a still further enlarged fragmentary sectional view showing the manner in which the bracket is engaged to the trailer and supports the rear end of the movable platform elements;
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 1 and showing the special front supporting jacks in side elevation; the scale used is larger than that of FIGURE 3 and portions of the device are broken away to conserve space and to show the internal construction of the device;
FIGURE 5 is a horizontal section of FIGURE 4 taken on the line 5-5 of FIGURE 4 and drawn to a still larger scale than that figure;
FIGURE 6 is a side elevation view of the guard rail clamping mechanism secured to the edge of a stage platform unit; broken lines illustrate hidden parts and the scale used is slightly larger than that in FIGURE 4 but not so large as that in FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a partial plan view of the guard clamping mechanism to illustrate the shape of the element which engages the underside of the platform; broken lines illustrate hidden parts, and it is drawn to the scale of FIG- URE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of the structure arranged as a stepped platform music shell; it is shown at a smaller scale than that used in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view of the same portion of the trailer as appears in FIGURE 3 but showing in section the inner engagement of the movable platform eleemnts with the trailer when set up as a stepped platform music shell as shown in FIGURE 8.
FIGURE 10 is a rear elevation of the jack and platform elements supported by it taken on the line Iii-10 of FIGURE 4; broken lines illustrate hidden parts, and the scale used is that of FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary front elevation of the bracket structure and the rear portions of two platforms engaged by it showing how they interlock and taken on the line 11-11 of FIGURE 3; it is drawn to the same scale as FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 12 is a horizontal section taken on line 12-12 of FIGURE 3 and drawn to the same scale.
Referring to the drawings and specifically to FIGURE 1, the invention is shown housed in a trailer structure 20 having a hinged side 21 that opens up to serve as a canopy when crank 22 is actuated. Levers 24 connect the canopy 21 with the mechanism actuated by crank 22. The details of this structure are not recited herein as they form part of and are described in my co-pending application Serial No. 853,896, filed November 18, 1959, and entitled Sound Projecting Shell. At the rear of trailer housing 20 is the upper fixed platform portion 25 which is solid and fixed to the trailer. It may be made in a single piece but is here shown as a series of separate pieces which are separately fastened to the trailer as a practical matter of limitations of materials. Next to platform 25 are the movable platform elements 26 which, as here shown, are placed in the trailer just ahead of the fiXed platform and filling the space between the front of the trailer and the fixed platform at the highest level of the latter. These units are narrower than the fixed platform pieces for ease in handling. In front of the movable elements 26 are the longer elements 28 which are also movable and are shown supported with their rear tops supported at the same level as the tops of movable elements 26 by means of brackets that will be discussed in detail in connection with FIGURES 2 and 3. At the front, the longer movable elements 28 are supported by the special jacks 29 which will be described in detail in connection with FIGURES 4 and 5.
A stairway designated and having the hand rail 31 may be seen at the rear end of the structure as shown in FIGURE 1. This stairway is secured in position by any suitable means. A second stairway may be provided at the other end of the stage of which only the hand rail 32 shows in FIGURE 1. A safety or guard rail extending around the stage is supported by means of supporting elements 34 which are spaced at intervals along the front edge of the structure. A flexible element 35 is stretched between the elements 34. The ends of the flexible element are secured to the upper ends of the hand rails 31 and 32 of the stairways.
Turning now to FIGURE 2 the trailer 20 is seen in transverse section with the fixed platform 25 shown in section. The movable platform elements 26 are also shown in position and having their top surfaces at the same level as the fixed platform 25. Movable platforms 28 are shown supported with their tops at the same level as platform 26 at the rear of platform 28 by means of a bracket element generally designated 36. One of the special jacks 29 may also be seen at the right hand side of this view supporting the front end of the movable platform element 28.
In FIGURE 3 the manner of attaching bracket 36 to trailer 20 is shown clearly. In that figure a channel is shown formed in the lower side of the trailer structure 20 at 38 into which a hook 39 that is rigidly secured to the bottom of the bracket vertical member 40 may fit. Vertical support 40 also has secured to it the angle member 41 which with the inner wall of vertical member 40 provides a means for pivotally supporting a locking member 42. Locking member 42 has an end piece designated 44. When the handle 43 of locking member 42 is moved to the rear from the position shown in FIGURE 3, end piece 44 is turned sideways so as to enter the opening 45 in the front of trailer structure 20 above channel 38. When handle 43 of locking member 42 is turned to the position shown in FIGURE 3 the tip 44 locks by engaging behind the portion 46 of trailer 20 at the top of channel opening 45. Thus the hook 39 and the tip 44 of locking member 42 on bracket 36 securely attach the bracket to the front of the trailer mechanism. As may be seen in FIGURE 12 the locking member 42 is engaged by the channel member 41 by reason of the latter having its outer edge formed at an angle as at 33. Portion 33 prevents the locking lever 42 from being turned too far and thus accidentally releasing the tip 44 from its position behind the portion 46 of channel opening 45.
Secured to the top of vertical member 40 is a channel element 48 within which two edges of adjacent elements 28 may fit. A triangular brace 49 holds the channel member 48 rigidly at right angles to vertical member 40. The structure of channel 48 will be noted to be spaced forward from the edge of a vertical member 40 that is against trailer 20 and a beveled end as at 50 makes it possible to place easily the rear edges 51 of movable element 28 in behind the rear edges 50 of the channel member and snugly up against trailer 20. Lower edges of ends 51 rest on the top of the vertical element 40.
As seen in FIGURE 11 the channel member 48 flares outwardly slightly at the top so that the two adjacent sides designated 52 of two adjacent movable elements 28 may he slipped into the channel member 48 easily. However the channel tapers so that at its bottom it is exactly the width of the two edges of the side pieces 52 of movable portions 28. When the two platform element side pieces 52 are completely engaged with channel 48, they are forced and held snugly adjacent each other as shown in FIGURE 11.
In FIGURE 4 is shown a fragment of a movable platform 28 being supported by the jack structure 29. The jack consists essentially of a pair of telescoping tubes one of which 54 fits inside the other and has a foot 55 secured to its lower end. There is a series of notches or cuts 56 formed in one edge of tube 54- into which the latch of the device may fit. Tube 58 slidably fits the outside of tube 54, and secured to tube 58 is a spring latch 59. The lower end of this spring latch is bent around into a tongue 60 which extends through an opening in the tube 58 and engages a selected one of the notches 56. Latch 59 is secured at its top to the tube 58 but is of spring material so that by pushing inwardly or toward tube 58 on handle 61, which is bent and rocks on tube 58, the upper end of handle 61 will engage the inside of latch 59 and move it outwardly or away from tube 58. Such action removes tongue 60 from a notch 56 in which it is placed. When the tongue 60 is withdrawn, of course, the tubes may be telescoped in order to adjust the height of the jack 29. Tongue 60 engages the appropriate notch 56 to lock the jack securely at the altitude at which it is set when handle 61 is released.
At the top of the jack a hook member 62 is secured. Hook 62 has upstanding portions at the rear thereof designated 64 and within which the metal edging 65 at the front of a movable platform element 28 engages. The top of edging 65 continues up and hooks over as at 66 the top portion of hook 62. Thus the fronts of the movable platforms 28 are securely supported both at the top of the edging 65 and at the bottom thereof by the hook 62. One of the jacks 29 will support two front corners of platform elements 28 that are next to each other, which may be clearly seen in FIGURE 10. In that figure are shown a pair of platform elements 28 with their metal edgings 66 extending above the wood top portions thereof. On the inside of edging 65 of the units 28 are seen hook portions 64 of the hook 62. Hook portions 64 are separated by a notch 68 between them so that the edges 69 of movable platform elements 28 may fit within the notch. Notch 68 is wider at its top than on its bottom in order to permit easy access by edges 69 of the platforms. It narrows at its base, however, so that there is barely room for the two elements 69 to engage the bottom of the hook 62 behind portions 64. Thus while the edges 69 have easy access to notch 68, they are automatically wedged together as they drop down into the hook 62 behind the portions 64 as shown in FIGURE 10.
It should be noted that latch 59-61 is on the same side of tube 58 as is the hook 62. For this reason all the latches will be facing inwardly or underneath the movable platform 28 when the jacks are supporting it. For this reason there is little possibility of the jacks being accidentally lowered when the device is in use.
In FIGURE 6 is shown an enlarged close up view of the locking mechanism by means of which the guard rail supports 34 are held onto the edge of the stage. A pair of side plates, which are joined together, each have a configuration which might be described as a distorted backward J. A pair of front portions 70 lie on either side of the guard rail support 34 and are suitably secured thereto as by welding. They then extend to the rear by means of short sections designated 71 and then rise to the rear in the manner similar to section 70 but not so tall and form portions designated 72. The side plates are suitably secured to element 34 at the front and held together at the rear by a portion which may be either secured in place as by welding or the like or formed integrally with the side pieces 70-72. This rear portion is designated 74. Secured to it is a bearing member within which a locking handle 76 is pivotally secured. At the inner end of locking handle 76 and lying between the portions 70 and 72 of the side plates and directly above the portions 71 is a cylindrical portion designated 78 which is secured to handle 76 in a manner eccentric therewith. This shows clearly in FIGURE 6.
A horn like platform engaging member 79 is secured rigidly to portion 74 and extends upwardly and outwardly therefrom in two branches as shown clearly in FIGURE 7. Eccentric member 78 will clear the inside edge of hook 65 when handle 76 is turned up. After the element 78 is inside of hook portion 65 of the movable platform 28, handle 7 6 is turned to the position shown in FIGURE 6 which causes eccentric 78 to bear on the inside of hook 65 and thus raise the side pieces 70-72 up toward the top of movable platform 28. Movement in this direction of the side pieces 7 (L72 causes the horn element 79 to engage the underside of the platform. As the force is increased on handle 76, the outer portions of horn 79 are pressed tightly against the underside of movable platform In this manner the guard rail support 34 is snugly secured to the platform elements 28 and suitable railing material here shown as flexible element strung between them. A restraining medium like this minimizes the chances for persons accidentally to step off the edge of the stage.
In FIGURE 8, the device is seen set up as a stepped music shell. Fixed platform 25 appears at the rear. Next to it is the lower fixed platform designated 80, which also may be seen in FIGURES 2, and 9 and on which the movable platforms 26 rest when the device is being used as shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 3. As seen in FI URE 9, the movable platform 28 have their edge portions 66, which are at the front of the stage, engaged in the channel 38 of trailer 20. In other words platforms 28 are being used in a reverse arrangement relative to the trailer 20 from that illustrated in FIGURES 1, 2, 3, and 4. The rear end of platform 28 is supported by the trailer, therefore, and the forward edges rest on a series of jacks 81 which are not described here in detail. They may be substantially the same as the jacks shown and described in my copending patent application for a Sound Projecting Shell referred to above.
Movable units 26 are supported by resting on top of the movable platform 28, but they are also securely held to trailer 20. As shown in FIGURE 9 there are hooks designated 82 formed at the rear of the movable platforms 26. These hooks 82 may be inserted in the openings at the front of trailer 20 when the platform is tipped up in order to allow the end of hook 82 to enter through channel opening 45. Hooks 82 then engage behind the portion 46 as shown in FIGURE 9 when the platform 26 is allowed to drop down flat on platform 28. Thus platform 28 actually supports platform 26 but hook 82 holds the platform 26 securely in position as shown in FIG- URES 8 and 9.
Thus the oppositely facing hook structures of channel 38 and member 46 above opening 45 may be used with either the bracket 36 to support a portion of a stage or with the two groups of movable platform elements to form a stepped music shell. The bracket 36 and jack 29 are not used when the unit is arranged as a music shell.
It is apparent that many modifications and variations of this invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. The specific embodiments described are given by way of example only and the invention is limited only by the terms of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable stage and music shell comprising, a trailer open at one side and having a pair of vertically spaced channels extending horizontally along the base of the open side providing vertically spaced oppositely disposed hooking portions, upper and lower fixed platforms in said trailer, brackets having vertical portions to which a hook portion is secured; said hook for said brackets engaged with the lower of said channel hooking portions of said trailer, a locking member pivotally supported in said vertical bracket portion and having a tip thereon in the upper of said channels and engaged with the hooking portion of said upper channel of said trailer, channel members secured to the top of said bracket vertical member, long movable platform members having edges engaged in said bracket channel members and supported thereby at one end, said long movable platform members having their tops supported at the same level as said upper fixed platform, short movable platform members on said lower fixed platform and between said upper fixed platform and said long movable members and jacks engaged with and supporting the front edges of said long movable platform members; said jacks being movable, said locking member tip being narrower in one dimension than the other; whereby when said locking member is pivoted said tip disengages the hooking portion of said upper channel portion and is removable therefrom releasing said bracket hook for movement out of said lower channel, whereby all of said longer movable platform members may be placed in said trailer on top of said upper fixed platforms and said shorter movable platform members.
2. The portable stage and music shell of claim 1 in which said bracket channels are flared at their tops and precisely the width of two edges of movable platform members at their bottoms.
3. The portable stage and music shell of claim 2 in which said jacks have hooks having notches flared at their tops and precisely the width of two movable platform element edges at their bottoms.
4. The portable stage and shell of claim 3 in which said jacks have means thereon for adjusting them to any one of a plurality of vertical positions; said adjusting means positioned on the same side of said jacks as said hooks.
5. A portable stage and music shell of claim 1 in which said longer movable platform elements have metal edgings at their ends supported by said jacks; said metal edgings incorporating hook portions that, when said longer platform members are turned end for end, are engaged in the bottom one of said channels of said trailer; whereby the ends of said longer movable platform members are supported at a level substantially twice the thickness of said shorter movable platform members below said lower fixed platform of said trailer, means for supporting the other edges of said movable platform members at the same level as their ends supported by said trailer, and said shorter movable platform members having hooks on the rear thereof adapted to engage in the upper of said channels extending along the open side of said traitor and to hold said shorter movable platform members adjacent said trailer while their weight is supported by the portion of said longer movable platform members adjacent to said trailer; whereby said upper and lower fixed platforms, and said shorter and longer movable platforms form a descending series of stepped platforms.
6. The movable stage and music shell of claim 1 in which a plurality of guard rail supporting members are provided each comprising, a vertical member, means at the top of the vertical member for engaging a guard rail, a pair of side plates secured to the bottom of said vertical member, said side plates having a space between the front and backs thereof, a plate secured to said side plates at their rears, a bearing secured to said plate, an L handle rotatably mounted in said bearing, an eccentric secured to the end of said L handle and between the front and back of said side plates in said space, a horn like platform engaging element rigidly secured to said plate and said side members and engaged with the bottom of said longer movable platform members; said longer movable platform members having metal edgings and said eccentric engaged with said metal edgings, and a guard rail secured to and supported by said guard rail supporting members.
7. A portable stage and music shell comprising a trailer having a canopy hinged to and forming one side thereof when closed and providing a canopy when opened, means for holding said canopy in raised and lowered positions, an upper fixed platform within said trailer, a lower fixed platform within said trailer adjacent said upper fixed platform, short movable platform members arranged on said lower fixed platform adjacent said upper fixed platform and forming a floor portion of the same altitude as said upper fixed platform, a plurality of long movable platform members resting on top of said upper fixed platform and said short movable platform members and removable therefrom selectively, interacting hook and hook receiving means on said trailer and long movable platform members for supporting said long movable platform members with one end adjacent to and at the same level as the top of said short movable platform members, jacks engaging and supporting the outer end of said long movable platform members at the same elevation as their ends adjacent said trailer.
8. The portable stage and music shell of claim 7 in which said jacks comprise telescoping tube members, a series of notches in the inside tube member, an opening in the outer telescoping tube member, a spring member secured to said outer tube member and having one end bent to form a tongue that enters the opening of said outer tube area and the notches in said inner tube, and a bent lever embracing said spring tongue for prying said tongue from said notches at will.
9. A portable stage and music shell comprising, a trailer one side of which hinges open to form a canopy, a pair of vertically spaced hooking portions formed in the base of said trailer below said canopy, a platform in said trailer, movable platform members, means secured to said movable platform members and engaged selectively with either of said vertically spaced hooking portions to support one end of said movable platform members adjacent the hinged side of said trailer, and jacks engaged with and supporting the ends of said movable platform members spaced from said trailer hinged side at the same elevation as the selected one of said vertically spaced hooking portions.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Primary Examiner.
HENRY C. SUTHERLAND, Examiner.