US 3199629 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 10, 1965 R, w. FAGALY LADDER CONSTRUCTION Filed Nov. 12, 1963 IN V EN TOR. ROBE RT W F'AGALY u wr m ATTORNEY United States Patent Filed Nov. 12, 1963, Ser. No. 322,642 2 Claims. ((31. 182200) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in ladder constructions and more particularly is concerned with a ladder employing an adjustable arcuate foot member adapted to adjust the ladder to a vertical position when the supporting surface is not level. The present invention comprises an improvement over the ladder construction shown and described in my copending application Serial No. 266,981, filed March 21, 1963.
A primary objective of the present invention is to provide a ladder employing an arcuate foot member and having in combination therewith a gear drive for adjusting the ladder relative to the foot member to accomplish a ladder leveling function. Another object is to provide a device of the type described which in addition to ad justing the ladder relative to the arcuate foot member furthermore automatically holds the ladder in such adjustable position.
Generally speaking, the ladder construction of the present invention employs a bottom foot member which is arcuate in shape and which is rotatable relative to the ladder to position the bottom edges of the foot member at different levels. The foot member is slidably connected to the bottom portion of the ladder to accomplish such rotatable movement, and a gear drive is provided between the foot member and the ladder to accomplish such adjustable movement.
The invention will be better understood and additional objects will become apparent from the following specification and claims, considered together with the accompanying drawings, wherein the numerals of reference indicate like parts and wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective of a ladder employing features of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary, front elevational View of the present ladder adjusting means;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary, cross sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 2; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary, front elevational view of a ladder and the present foot member, showing the ladder in adjusted position for leveling the latter.
Referring now in particular to the drawings, and first to FIGURE 1, there is illustrated a ladder in the form of a stepladder having the present adjustable foot member applied thereto. Such ladder comprises a pair of side rails 12 and a plurality of equally spaced steps 14. This type of ladder also employs a pivoted rear leg 16 similarly employing side rails 12.
The adjustable foot member, designated by the numeral 16, is arcuate in shape and has one or more projections 18 on its upper surface throughout the full length thereof. In a preferred construction, the foot member comprises a pair of tubes 29, FIGURE 3, interconnected by a horizontal web portion 22. Such structure facilitates structural rigidity, and as will appear hereinafter provides for an efiicient guiding function with the side rails of the ladder, the foot member 16 being mounted in a downturned position. Projections 18 comprise the upper portions of the tubes 20.
The lower ends of the ladder rails 12 are provided with recesses 24 arranged to receive the upper projecting portions 18 of the tubes 20. Angled brackets 26 are secured to the sides of rails 12. These brackets are riveted or otherwise securely fixedly attached to the side rails but have a slidable connection with the foot member 16. More particularly, the horizontal web portion 22 of the foot member has a pair of slots 28 for the slidable reception of pins 3% having head portions 32 on each end for connection to the bracket arms 26 and the bottom side of web 22. Thus, an adjustable connection is provided between the foot member 16 and the ladder 10, the slots 28 being of sufficient length to permit the desired extent of adjustment.
As best seen in FIGURE 2 there is a small spacing provided between the foot member 16 and the bottom surface of lowermost step 14 of the ladder. Secured to the undersurface of said lowermost step is a pair of journals 34 for a shaft 36 projecting through one side rail 12 of the ladder and carrying a crank handle 38 on the projecting end. 'Secured to the shaft 36 intermediate the journals 34 is a worm 44} in mesh with a worm gear 42 integral with the web portion 22 of the foot member 16.
Thus upon positioning the ladder on the ground and it is desired that it be leveled, the crank handle 38 is operated in the desired direction to rotate the ladder on the foot member for leveling. Such a leveled position is illustrated in FIGURE 4.
In a stepladder construction it is preferred that a foot member 16 be provided on both the front and rear rail assemblies of the ladder, as shown in FIGURE 1.
In a preferred-construction, the foot members 16 employ supporting plates 44 having a ball socket 46 adapted to receive a ball-type projection on the bottom edges of the foot members.
The present device does not obstruct in any way the use of the steps of the ladder. The area between the first and second step is entirely clear, and furthermore even the area under the first step is substantially clear. Furthermore, the present device is constructed and arranged such that the space between the bottom terminal edges of the foot member 16 and the first step, or in other words the radial dimension of the foot member at the center thereof, is substantially the same as the spacing between all the steps. Thus, the present leveling foot does not require a different use of the ladder.
It is to be understood that the form of my invention herein shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of my invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A ladder construction having side rails and a plurality of steps supported transversely on the rails and including a lowermost step spaced upwardly from the bottom edges of the side rails, means defining a pair of transverse recesses in each of the bottom edges of said rails, an arcuate foot member slidably connected to said side rails and having a pair of longitudinal projections on its upper surface extending through a portion of the length thereof, said foot member having a horizontal web portion interconnecting said longitudinal projections, said projections being adapted for slidable engagement in said recesses in the bottom edges of the ladder side rails for guiding adjustable movement relative thereto in a leveling function, a worm rotatably mounted on said ladder, a worm gear on the horizontal web portion of said foot member in meshing relation with said worm for movement of said arcuate foot member upon rotation of said Worm, and means connected With said worm for turning the same to adjustably move said foot member.
2. The ladder construction of claim 1 wherein the slidable connection between said ladder rails and said arcuate foot member comprises a bracket secured to each of said ladder side rails, means in said web portion defining longitudinally disposed slots, and connecting means on said brackets slidably contained in said slots.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 199,922 2/78 Medart 182-200 1,928,158 9/33 Ruse 182-200 2,971,602 2/61 West 182200 2,979,857 4/61 Longbotham 248l88.2
FOREIGN PATENTS 655,493 7/51 Great Britain.
HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.
REINALDO P. MACI-IADO, Examiner.