US 3250241 A
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May 10, 1966 M. LEVY ETAL INFLATABLE EMERGENCY TRAFFIC SIGNAL UNIT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 27, 1965 INVENTORS l. E V) 4'- PHIL LIP HOROHITZ MIL TON May 10, 1966 M. LEVY ETAL INFLATABLE EMERGENCY TRAFFIC SIGNAL UNIT 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 27, 1965 INVENTORS L E v Y 1- PHILLIP HORON/ 72 MIL TON AT DHV-S' May 10, 1966 LEVY ETAL 3,250,241
INFLATABLE EMERGENCY TRAFFIC SIGNAL UNIT Filed Aug. 27, 1965 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 is a INVENTORS MILTON LEVY 4- PH/L L [P HOROWITZ United States Patent F 3,250,241 I INFLATABLE EMERGENCY TRAFFIC SIGNAL UNIT Milton Levy, 664 Zola St., Woodmere, Long Island, N.Y., and Phillip Horowitz, 344 Oak Drive, Hewett, Long Island, N.Y.
Filed Aug. 27, 1965, Ser. No. 483,276 7 Claims. (Cl.'11663) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in an inflatable collapsible road marker to be used temporarily as a tratlic warning signal.
' The invention has its outstanding use for emergencies on roadsides by motorists. It is well known that there is a wide-spread need for such a warning signal to be used temporarily to ward off traflic when a motorist is forced by car trouble to park on or adjacent to a tratiic lane.
The need for such a warning signal for use by individual motorists is especially great at night, when it is not possible to observe at any great distance the fact that a motorist has stopped because of car trouble. The red danger tail lights may not be visible to an oncoming driver in the night.
One of the major problems existing with the conventional forms of emergency inflatable road markers is that there is usually no fluid or air handy for use in inflating the road marker. Furthermore, diificulty is experienced in finding a sufiiciently smooth and level supporting surface upon which to mount the road marker. Often more than one signalling element is needed for signalling for special attention whereas the conventional road marker usually has only a single signalling element.
It is therefore a primary object of the present inven tion to provide an inflatable signalling device with means for ready attachment to the air valve of thetire of an automobile so as to receive a supply of air from the tire.
Another important object of the present invention is to provide a road marker with suction means whereby the marker may be readily mounted and supported on the surface of the road or on a fixed portion of the vehicle.
Still another important object of the invention is to provide a road marker with an inflatable signalling device as well as with a flexible signalling device.
A further object of the invention is to provide an inflatable road marker that is collapsible into a small and compact package for marketing and for convenient storage when not in use.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide an inflatable road marker that is simple in construction, light in weight and which can be manufactured and sold at a reasonable cost.
For further comprehension of the invention, and of the objects and advantages thereof, reference will be had to the following description and accompanying drawings and to the appended claims in which the various novel features of theinvention are more patricularly set forth.
In the accompanying drawings forming a material part of this closure:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view showing a roadside scene with a road marker embodying one form of the invention shown in operative position on the road.
FIG. 2 is a disassembled perspective yiew of the road marker and showing an air valve actuating member.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 44 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4A is a top plan view of the parts of FIG. 4.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the balloon and 3,250,241 Patented May 10, 1966 air valve actuating member connected to the air valve of an automobile tire for inflating the balloon.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 66 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIG. 5.
FIG. 8 is an enlarged perspective view showing the neck of the balloon wrapped around the supporting post and anchored in a bend in said post.
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a kit with the cap removed showing the contents of the kit in partially removed condition.
FIG. 10 is a disassembled sectional view of modified means for connecting the supporting post to the suction cup base.
FIG. 11 is a similar view of another modified form of connection.
FIG. 12 is a similar view of still another modified form of connection.
FIG. 13 is a rear elevational view of an automobile with a road marker embodying yet another modified form of the invention installed on the roof thereof.
FIG. 14 is an enlarged side elevational view of the supporting post and suction cup base shown in FIG. 13 with a signalling device supported intermediate the ends of of the post.
FIG. 15 is a similar view showing a modified form of collapsible post.
FIG. 16 is a similar view showing another modified form of telescopic post, the post being shown in collapsed condition.
FIG. 17 is a side elevational view of a road marker embodying a still further modified form of the invention, on a reduced scale.
Referring now more in detail to the various views of the drawings, in FIG. 1 a road marker 10 embodying one form of the invention is shown rnounted on a roadway 12 at a safe distance from a disabled automobile 14. The road marker is preferably positioned in the middle of the roadway, and is shown mounted on a hubcap 16 of a wheel of the automobile 14 placed flatwise on the road.
The improved road marker 10 comprises broadly a base in the form of a suction cup 18, an elongated upright supporting post 20 of thin round wire, and a rubber balicon 22.
The suction cup 18 has a dished-shaped body 24 with a central enlargement 26 on the outer surface thereof. The enlargement is formed with an annular groove 28.
The upright elongated supporting post 20 has an elongated main body section 30 which is formed with a double-bend portion 32 along one side, atone end, the top end as viewed in FIG. 2 and continues upwardly into an auxiliary body section 34 which terminates in a radial finger 36 extending in one direction and formed with a horizontal loop 38. At its other or bottom end, the main body is bent perpendicularly forming a finger 40 extending in a direction opposed to the direction of finger 36, the body continuing downwardly into an auxiliary body section 42 which terminates in a horizontal loop 44 extending in the same direction as loop 38.
The balloon 22 has an elongated rubber sac-like body 445 closed at one end, with an elongated restricted neck 48 at its other end. A bead 50 is formed around the opening 52 in the neck. The outer surface of the body 3 the neck 48 inserted through the loop 38 at the top of the post and wrapped around the auxiliary body section 34 and the beaded end of the neck anchored in the doublebend 32 as seen in FIG. 1.
In use, when assembled as aforesaid, and the balloon 22 is inflated, the road marker is ready to be mounted in an effective position such as on the roadside 12 sufficiently away from the disabled automobile 14 to warn the oncoming traflic of the danger involved. The road marker lt) may be mounted directly on the surface of the roadside 12 or may be mounted on the hubcap 16 or any smooth surface of the automobile if the roadside is not sufliciently smooth. If the automobile is off of the roadside to one side away from the lane of traffic, the road marker 10 maybe mounted on the roof top of the automobile as shown in FIG. 13.
The invention contemplates provision of means for obtaining an emergency supply of air from the tire of the automobile 14 for inflating the balloon 22. For this purpose, a tubular air-valve actuating member56 is provided for actuating the movable member 58 of a Schraeder valve 60 of the automobile tire 51 as seen in FIG. 7. The actuating member 56 is best seen in FIG. 4 and has an elongated tubular body 62 open at both ends, preferably with one end flaring as indicated at '64. Inside the body, at the other end thereof, there is a flat plate 66 with a central projecting finger 68 .thereon extending toward the adjacent open end of the body, and extending to the edge of the said open end. The body serves as a handle for manipulating the actuating member 56.
In order to inflate the balloon 22, the beaded open end of the neck 48 of the balloon is stretched over the flaring end 64 of the actuating member 56 and the other open end of the actuating member sleeved over the protruding end of the air valve 60 of the automobile tire, the valve cap having first been removed, and the movable member 58 of the air valve pressed inwardly releasing the air from the tire and permitting it to flow into the balloon as shown by the arrows in FIG. 7, for inflating the balloon.
Referring particularly to FIG. 9, the invention contemplates marketing the road marker 10 in a kit 70', the contents of which includes the elements of the road marker, an instruction sheet 72 and an extra supply of balloons 22. The kit 70 has a hollow cylindrical body 74 of pasteboard or other suitable material, open at one end and provided with a removable cap 76 therefor. The body 74 has indicia 78 printed thereon.
In FIGS. 10, 11 and 12, modified forms of means for connecting the supporting post 20 to the suction cup 18, in place of the loop 44, is shown.
In FIG. 10, the enlargement 26' is formed with a central socket opening 80 fitted with a bushing 82 to receive the threaded bottom end 84 of the main section 30' of the supporting post.
FIG. 11 shows a headed threaded bolt 86 anchored in the enlargement 26" and projecting upwardly therefrom to receive the socketed internally threaded end 88 of the main section 30 of the supporting post.
In FIG. 12, the enlargement 26" is shown slightly elongated and provided with a central slightly tapered socket opening 90 to receive the bottom end of the main section 30' of the supporting post.
In FIGS. 13 and 14, yet another modified form of road marker 10 is shown mounted on the roof of an automobile 14. The marker 10 differs from the road marker 10 merely in the construction of the supporting post 20 In road marker 10*, the main body section .30 of the post is plain at the bottom and its bottom end extends directly into the enlargement 26 on the suction cup 18 Furthermore, the main section 30 is formed with a loop 96, intermediate its ends, not provided in road marker 10. The loop 96 provides means for removably supporting an additional signalling device, such .as a flexible handkerchief 98 .or the like pulled therethrough. The balloon 22 serves to signal that the motorist is in distress, and the handkerchief 98 serves as'an additional signal to signal that a certain person is needed, such as a police officer.
In all other respects, the road marker 10 is similar to road marker 10 and similar references are used to indicate similar parts.
In FIG. 15, a modified form of supporting post 20? is shown which differs from the supporting post 20 of FIG. 14 in that the body of the post is sectional and collapsible, being formed with an upper section 100 and a lower section 1112 joined by a pivot connection including a loop 164 on the bottom end of the upper section 100 and a coacting pivot pin carried at the top end of the lower section 102. A metal tube 106 is slidably sleeved around the joint and is limited in its downward sliding movement by means of a bend 108 formed in the lower section 102 remote from the joint. The tube 106 moves in the direction of the arrow 110 to permit the upper section 100 to be swung downwardly in, the direction of the arrow 112 to permit collapse of the post. The loop is omitted from post 20*. v
FIG. 16 illustrates yet another modified form of supporting post 20 which differs from the supporting post 2% of FIG. 14 merely in providing telescopic inner and outer sleeves 114 and 116, respectively, around the main body 30 of the post. This permits the body of the post to be adjusted in length so that the body with the supported balloon may be lowered in case of high winds.
Referring now to the modified form of road marker 10 shown in FIG. 17, herein the marker-comprises a suction cup 18, a sectional supporting post 20 and a balloon 22. The suction cup and balloon are similar to the cup and balloon of FIG. 1.
The supporting post 20 however consists of an upright wire socketed at its lower end in the suction cup 18 and pivotally connected at, its top end to an upright tubular member 122, intermediate the ends of the tubular member, by means of a perforated ear 124 on the tubular member. A one-way valve such as the Schraeder valve 60 of FIG. 7 is mounted in the tubular member. The wire 120 is formed with a laterally extending shelf 126 midway its ends on which is supported a rubber gasket 128. The lower end of the tube member 122 normally seats on the gasket 128, preventing escape of 'air from the balloon 22 The neck 48 of the balloon is slipped over the top end of the upright tubular member 122. In order to inflate the balloon 22, the bottom end of the tubular member 122 is inserted into the flared end 64 of the valve actuating member 56.
While I have illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the precise constructions herein disclosed and that various changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An emergency road marker for use by motorists as a traflic warning device comprising, a suction cup having a central enlargement on the outer surface thereof, an elongated wire supporting post, aloop on the bottom end of said wire fastened around the enlargement on the suction cup supporting the post in upright position, a loop on the top end of the wire, a double bend in the wire remote from the top loop, and an inflated balloon with an elongated open neck extending through the top loop and anchored in the double bend.
2. An emergency road marker for use by motorists as a traffic Warning device comprising, a suction cup having a central enlargement on the outer surface there.- of, an elongated wire supporting post having a main body section, an auxiliary body section at one end, a double bend connecting said main and auxiliary body sections, a loop on the end of the auxiliary body section extending laterally of the main body section, an auxiliary body section at the other end of the main body section, loop on the end of the latter auxiliary body section extending laterally of the main section, said last-named loop fastened around the enlargement on the suction cup, and an inflated balloon with an elongated open neck extending through said first-named loop, wrapped around the first-named auxiliary body section and anchored in said double bend.
3. An emergency road marker for use by motorists as a traffic warning device comprising, a suction cup having a central enlargement on the outer surface thereof, said enlargement having a socketed opening therein, an elongated upright wire supporting post anchored at its bottom end in the socketed opening in the suction cup, said post having an elongated sectional and collapsible body with an upper section and a bottom section pivotally connected in elongation of each other, a tubular member slidably sleeved over the pivotal connection, means for limiting downward movement of the tubular member, said tubular member adapted to be moved above the pivotal connection whereby the upper section is adapted to be swung downwardly for collapsing the marker, a double bend in the upper section, a loop at the top end of the upper section, and an inflated balloon with an elongated open neck extending through the loop at the top end and anchored in the double bend.
4. An emergency road marker for use by motorists as a trafiic warning device comprising, a suction cup having a central enlargement on the outer surface there of, said enlargement having a socketed opening therein, an elongated upright wire post having its bottom end inserted in the socketed opening in the enlargement, a tubular member forming an extension of the post otfset from the plane of the post, means of pivotal connection between the top of the post and midway the ends of the tubular member, 'a shelf extending laterally of the post midway its ends, a gasket supported on said shelf, the bottom end of the tubular member normally seated on said gasket to seal the bottom end thereof, and an inflated balloon with an elongated neck stretched over the top end of the tubular member.
5. An emergency road marker for use by motorists as a traffic warning device comprising, a suction cup having a central enlargement on the outer surface thereof, an elongated wire supporting post supported in up right position on said enlargement, a loop on the bottom end of said Wire fastened around the enlargement on the suction cup, an inflated balloon with an elongated open neck removably fastened to the top of the wire, and means in common for connecting the neck of the balloon to the air valve of an automobile tire and for actuating said valve, said means including a tubular member open at both ends and a flat plate anchored inside one end of the tubular member, with plate having a projecting,
the movable member of the said valve member, said device consisting of a tubular member open at both ends, and a flat plate inserted inside the tubular member at one end thereof, said plate having a finger extending toward the adjacent end of the tubular member for engagement with the movable member of an air valve member of a tire of an automobile.
7. A kit of the kind described comprising an elongated hollow cylindrical pasteboard container having one end closed, the other end being open, a removable cap for the open end, a plurality of elongated rubber balloons inside the body of the container, said balloons having elongated open necks, a suction cup with an enlargement on the central outer surface thereof in said container, said enlargement having a socketed opening therein, an elongated wire in said container formed with a perpendicular loop at one end and with. a double bend adjacent said loop, the other end of the wire being smooth and an instruction sheet therein.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 510,215 1 2/ 1893 Vauzelle 137-223 840,618 1/ 1907 Golombek 248-206 914,775 3/ 1909 Aarons 248-206 930,236 8/1909 Schacht 248-206 952,495 3/1910 Austin 248-206 954,752 -4/ 1910 Marks 248-206 995,185 6/1911 Rahrbacher 137-223 1,066,045 6/1913 Pass, 116-173 1,069,750 8/ 1913 Williams et a1. 248-206 1,070,422 8/1913 Creque 46-90 1,232,120 7/ 1917 Sutter '248-206 1,468,197 9/1923 Downing 248-206 1,485,346 2/ 1924 Fleming 248-206 1,543,954 6/1925 Shira 46-88 1,814,055 7/1931 Napier 46-88 1,874,915 8/1932 Crowley 137-223 2,208,445 7/1940 Bates 46-87 2,396,906 3/ 1946 Windson 46-90 2,785,010 3/1957 Nelson 248-206 2,882,645 4/ 1959 Stevers 40-214 2,931,133 4/1960 Dodson 46-90 2,975,534 3/1961 Lutz 46-87 3,002,490 10/1961 Murray 116-124.9 3,007,483 11/1961 Keefe 137-223 3,036,545 5/1962 Legg 116-28 3,081,054 3/1963 Westervelt 116-28 3,113,551 12/1963 Korn 116-63 3,148,856 9/ 1964 Orlando 248-206 3,154,050 10/1964 Hanson 116124.9 3,174,455 3/ 1965 Peterson 116-l24.9
FOREIGN PATENTS Ad. 32,571 9/1927 France (1st addition to 622,168).
488,336 1/ 1930 Germany. 225,131 11/ 1924 Great Britain. 462,586 3/ 1937 Great Britain.
LOUIS J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.