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Publication numberUS3292685 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1966
Filing dateSep 9, 1963
Priority dateSep 9, 1963
Publication numberUS 3292685 A, US 3292685A, US-A-3292685, US3292685 A, US3292685A
InventorsClark Morton L
Original AssigneeGuaranteed Weather Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weatherproof retractable wall
US 3292685 A
Abstract  available in
Images(9)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

M. L. CLARK WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL Dec. 20, 1966 9 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 9, 1965 x(mumllllllllllll'llllrlllllllllidl l l 1 l l l llrmw l I l I l l I .il ||..\|l||l| I.|l||||||l||\||. 1 5 1-- 7 l /7 /O s l T+ 9 r H/,NQ f, fn?, l l n v l I I 1 i l i 1..: 15.1 liu. lllllllllll l... I x l Il ll L|s ..l -|t 1.\ll|l|l lll|||l|||l lllllllllllsl llllllllll Ils |||u| INVENTOR. MoQ'roN L. CLARK Q am ATTORNEYS Dec. zo, 1966 M. L. CLARK 3,292,685

WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL v Filed Sept. 9, 1965 9 SheetsfSheet 2 IN VEN TOR. Morz'roN L. CLARK ATTORNEYS I BY Fl65 Dec. 20, 1966 M. l.. CLARK 3,292,685

WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL Filed Sept. 9, 1963 9 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. MoRToN L.. C LARK ATTORNEYS M. 1 CLARK 3,292,685

WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL 9 Sheets-Sheet 4 f Il n 4 /f t l e r.. T 2 n x 1 /f n w l l M l m- L.

Dec. 20, 1966 Filed Sept. 9, 1965 INVENTOR. Momou L. CLARK a @M -ZZ;

ATTORNEYS 9 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed sept. 9, 196s INVENTOR MORTON L. CLARK BY um ma, M

ATTORNEYS 6 Dec. 20, 1966 M. CLARK 'wEATHERPRooF RETRAGTABLE WALL 9 Sheets-Sheet 6 Filed Sept. 9, 1965 n" In Fla. I6

` v INVENTOR. y MoRToN L. CLARK IIT F lc. I8

KM/MM ATTORNEYS Dec. 20, 1966 M. l.. CLARK 3,292,685

y WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL Filed Sept. 9, 1963 9 Sheets-Sheet 7 INVENTOR.

MoRroN L. CLARK gm! (AJA/QL ATTORNEYS "M Dec. 20, 1966 M. L. CLARK WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL Filed Sept. 9, 1963 9 Sheets-Sheet 8 ATTORNEYS Dec. 20, 1966 M. l.. CLARK WEATHERPROOF RETRAGTABLE WALL Filed Sept. 9, 1963 /BSQ INVENTOR. Moa-rou L. CLARK I KmMl/MM fm ATTORNEYS f United States Patent O 3,292,685 WEATHERPROOF RETRACTABLE WALL Morton L. Clark, Anna Maria Island, Fla., assignor to Guaranteed Weather, Inc., Bradenton, Fla., a corporation of Florida Filed Sept. 9, 1963, Ser. No. 309,589 14 Claims. (Cl. 1611-26) This is a continuation-in-part of application Serial No. 67,062, filed October 25, 1960, now abandoned.

This invention relates to retractable walls and particularly walls of the type which are adapted to be used in connection with a living or play area to convert the area from a closed area to an open area or Walls that are used to divide a room.

In homes and other buildings, it has become quite popular to provide a wall of transparent material such as glass, part of which is movable or retractable to permit the area to be converted from a closed area to an open area. Such glass walls usually include sliding sections that operate in tracks on the ceiling and floor. Such walls are not -only costly, but also produce .substantial problems because of leakage and rattling. Moreover, serious injuries have been caused by persons running into and breaking such glass walls. Since an overlapping sliding construction is used, the opening that is obtainable is a fraction of the size of the wall unless the retractable wall is recessed in a wall in which case the construction costs are substantially greater.

It is an object of this invention to provide a retractable wall construction which is weatherproof, completely retractable Without the use of horizontal slideways, inexpensive and easily installed.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a retractable Wall construction which has a novel housing for Vcontaining the rolled up retractable wall.

It is a further obiect of the invention to provide a retractable wall construction which utilizes a novel power operated device for raising and lowering the retractable wall.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a retractable wall construction utilizing a novel flexible panel.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a retractable Wall construction utilizing a flexible panel which has inherent means therein for releasing the pressure in the event that the wall is exposed to extreme pressure during storms having excessive Winds.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a retractable wall construction having a novel vertical reinforcing member.

Basically, the retractable wall embodying my invention comprises a panel of flexible material Wound on a roller. The panel is preferably made of transparent plastic 1n outdoor applications and of opaque or translucent plastic in various colors for indoor applications. A plurality of transverse reinforcing rods are provided at longtudinally spaced points on the flexible panel with the ends of the rods extending beyond the longitudinal edges of the flexible wall. Vertical frame members which define the sides of the opening of the wall include guide surfaces that are adapted to engage the ends of the rods and guide the retractable panel in its movement to and from extended condition. In addition, guide walls on the frame members engage portions of reduced cross section on the ends of the rods to prevent the rods and, in turn, the flexible panel from being blown outwardly under the action of Wind or other pressure. The rods and the associated portions thereof are related to the guide surfaces and the guide walls in such a fashion that the desired Weatherproofing is obtained without binding. Weather stripping is provided adjacent all edges of the retractable panel to ICC provide a weatherproof construction. The frame that is used with the retractable wall may be made a part of the building or, alternatively, may be placed in a previously provided opening in the building. In addition, the frame may be placed adjacent an existing screened wall.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an elevation of a retractable wall structure embodying the invention.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary part sectional view of the upper lefthand portion of the wall shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary end view of the portion of the Wall shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional View taken along the line 5 5 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary part sectional view of the upper righthand portion of the wall structure shown in FIG. l.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 7-v7 in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the flexible panel used in the retractable wall.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 9 9 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary perspective View of the lower portion of the wall structure showing the wall .in partially retracted position.

FIG. 11 is an elevation of a modified form of retractable Wall.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 12-12 in FIG. ll.

FIG. 13 is a part sectional elevation of a portion of a modified form of retractable wall.

FIG. 14 is an elevation of a modified form of a retractable wall structure.

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the upper right end of the retractable wall shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the structure shown in FIG. 15.

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary sectional View taken along the kline 17417 in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 18-18 in FIG. 14.

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary part sectional View of the upper ri-ght end corner of the retractable wall shown in FIG. 14. FIG. 20 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 20-20 in FIG. 19.

FIG. 21 is a fragmentary part sectionaliview taken along the line 21-21 in FIG. 14.

FIG. 22 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the :line 22-22 in FIG. 21.

FIG. 23is -a fragmentary front elevation of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 21.

FIG. 24 is a diagrammatic end view of the flexible panel utilized in the retractable Wall shown in FIG. 14.

FIGS. 25, 26 and 27 are fragmentary perspective views of different portions of the flexible panel utilized in the retractable wall shown in FIG. 14.

Referring to FIG. l, the retractable wall structure embodying the invention is adapted to 'be positioned in a previously formed opening in a rbuilding or to beA a part of a wall which is being erected. The structure can also be used as a wall to divide .a larger `area into one o'r more smaller areas. Specifically, the retractable wall structure comprises a frame 10 that includes a top lcasing 11, vertica-l side members 12, 13 and -a bottom rnem'ber 14.

A panel 15 made from a rectangular piece of exible material has one end thereof fastened to 'a roller 16 by a rod 16a that slides into a slot in the roller 16 and clamps the lmaterial in the slot (FIG. 4). The panel is preferably made of transparent plastic in exterior applications and-of opaque or translucent plastic invarious colors for interior applications. The plastic which is used should preferably Ibe of a type having a good elastic memory and preferably should be transparent to ultraviolet rays. Vinyl base plastics have been found to produce satisfactory results. In addition, to stabilize any tendency of the plastic to stretch, a pressure-sensitive tape, preferably having ya paper backing, is applied to one face of the panel 15 along the vertical edges as at 15a (FIG. 8). Y

Panel 1'5 is adapted to be rolled on the roller 16. Transverse reinforcing rods 17 are fastened to exible panel 15 atlongitudinally spaced points. The ends of rods 17 extend beyond the longitudinal edges of panel 15 and are adapted to engage lguiding surfaces on the vertical members 12, 13 to guide the rods. In addition, the rods are adapted to be engaged iby guiding walls on the vertical side members 12, 13 which assist in guiding the rods and which prevent the rods and, in turn, the wall from being blown out when the wall is subjected to wind or other pressu-re, -as presently described.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, top 'casing 11 com-prises a pair of sections 18, 19, each of which has angularly related walls that cooperate to form a square cross section. Casing 11 lalso inc-ludes end walls 20a, 20b that close the ends of the casing. Peripheral flanges 21 on end walls 20a, 20b engage sections 18, 19 and screws 22, 23 connect the end Walls and sections together. The end of bottom wall 24 of section 18 is spaced from the lower edge of wall 30 of section 19 to form a longitudinally extending slot 25.

Rol-ler 16 is of generally well-,known construction utilized in shades and incorporates a fixed cylindrical pin 25' at one end that is rotatably mounted in a boss 26 fixed on one of end walls 20a (FIG. 6). Roller 16 also includes va rotatable non-circular pin 27 at the other end thereof which is operatively connected to a coil spring 28 within the roller. Non-circular pin 27 is non-rotatably supported in a boss 29 on the opposite end wall 20h (FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 4, roller 16 is provided with a single pawl and ratchet mechanism 31 for preloading vspring 28 in the roller 16 rather than a double pawl of -a conventional shade roller. It has been found that a single pawl maintains the spring force until the roller 16 is placed in position and thereafter provides for smooth operation without catching during movement. In this fashion, a spring force is applied which tends to retract panel 15.

Referring to FIG. 7, each vertical side member 12, 13 is substantially identical in construction Iand comprises side walls 32 and an end wall 33. The inner surface 34 of end wall 33 is flat and lies in the same plane as the .inner surface 35 of the corresponding end wall 20a of casing 11 (FIG. 6) thereby defining -a continuous guiding surface from adjacent the roller 16 along the entire path of movement of the rods 17. The ends of the rods 17 engage the surfaces 35, 34 and are herebyguided throughout their movement.

Each rod 17 is of constant diameter and includes a portion 36 of reduced cross section defining an enlarged portion 37 on the end of the rod. Each side member 13 includes inwardly extending vertical guide -walls 38 spaced from end wall 33 and extending toward the reduced portion 36 to guide the rods in their upward and downward movement. In addition, when the exible Wall is in extended position, the vguide walls 38 are adapted to engage the shoulders 39 formed by the enlarged portions 37 and prevent the rods 17 and, in turn, the panel 15 from 'being -blown lout of the frame when Wind or other pressure is applied to the panel 15. The distance between opposed wall surfaces 34 is substantially equal to the length of the rods 17.

In addition, the dimensions are Isuch that the shoulder 39 on one end of a rod 17 engages the wall 38 on one side member 12, 13 before inner shoulder 40 on the facilitate the downward movement of said rods between` said walls 38 (FIG. 4).

Each rod is fastened to the flexible Wall in a suitable manner. As shown in FIG. 8, this may be accomplished by utilizing an extra length 41 of flexible material which is sewn or electronically welded as at 42 to form a pocket in which the rod 17 extends. In order to reduce the noise and facilitate the movement of the rods in the side members 13, the ends of the rods are preferably covered with a plastic tape 43 which is wrapped as shown in FIG. 8 to cover the ends of the rods by adherence to itself and by overlapping the extreme end of the rods. A satisfactory material for the tape comprises pressure-sensitive polyethylene tape.

The vertical side members 12, 13 are fastened to the top casing 11 by L-shaped brackets 44 which are riveted `to portions of the casing as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3.

As shown in FIG. 5, the opposed edges of the walls 24, 30 of sections 19, 18 of casing 11 are formed with channels 45, 46 into which felt or pile weather stripping 47 is inserted. The weather stripping engages the panel 15 opposed inner edges of the walls 32 of side member 13 i are formed wit-h channels 48 which receive weather stripping 49 as shown in FIG. 7.

A transverse pull member 50 is fixed to the lower end of the exible wall 15 as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. YSpe,- cifcally, a rod 51 is slid longitudinally into a channel 52 in the member-50 with the lower end of the flexible panel 15 clamped between the rod 51 and the member 50. A tubular 4sealing strip 53 of rubber or the like is mounted on the lower end of transverse member 50 and engages the base member 14. The base member 14 is of tapered cross section and is adapted to be mounted on the floor of a room or the like in which the retractable wall is positioned. The member 14 not Jonly completes the: frame but, in addition, forms a tread strip. Means are i provided for locking the transverse member 50 and, in

turn, the retractable wall in extended position and comi prises a bracket 54 on the member 50 supporting a lo :k`

ing device 55 that includes a handle portion 56 and a 55 upwardly.

In order to facilitate the positioning of a plurality of retractable walls adjacent one another, t-he side members i 12, 13 are of identical construction and include extending portions 59 that interengaged with one another when the side members are reversed 180 degrees as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 7. retractable walls may be mounted one adjacent another.

By the above arrangement, a retractable wall is provided which will effectively yclose an opening, which will withstand high winds wit-hout being blown out, and which can be installed readily and at low oost. the openings in which the walls are provided can vary over a wide range. The walls may be retracted readily with a minimum of eifort. Where wider openings are to be closed, a wider wall may be provided as shown in FIG.

l strips resiliently engage the wall 60 and the transverse rods 63 therein and prevent undue bowing a-nd binding In this fashion, a plurality ofV The width of of the rods 17 either during extension or retraction or under the action of wind on the wall.

In such extremely wide retractable walls, it may be desirable to provide some manual manipulating means, in addition to the action of the spring 28 of the roller 16, in order to obviate the necessity of making the spring in the roller too strong and thereby too costly. This may be accomplished by providing a pulley 70 on the nonrotating pin 25 of the roller 16, as shown in FIG. 13. Specifically, the hub of pulley 70 extends through the wall 20 and includes an enlarged portion 71 into which the pin extends. A flexible belt 72, such as Va V-belt, is trained over the pulley 70 and extends over another pulley adjacent an access opening on the lower end of the side member (not shown) whereby when the cord 72 is actuated the roller 16 can be moved upwardly or downwardly facilitating the extension or retraction of the flexible panel 15.

Where the retractable wall is used to divide an interior area, the base member 14 may be eliminated, as Well as the locking device 55, the retractable wall being held in close position by gravity.

It can thus be seen that I have provided a weatherproof retractable wall which can be easily erected `and at a minimum cost in order to effectively close an area. Upon retraction of the flexible panel, the area is opened to the outside without leaving tracks or other exposed devices on the oor. In the extended position, the ilexible panel effectively closes the opening against the elements. When the flexible panel is m-ade of transparent material, such as plastic, it gives the eifect of an open area even though it is extended or closed. The interrelation of the guide surfaces and the ends of the rods is such that rattling, noise and blowing out of the panel is prevented even under heavy wind conditions. Weather stripping positioned specically as shown prevents wind, r-ain and the like from entering the interior.

The use of transparent plastic, such as vinyl-base plastics for the iiexible panel, provides a wall which effectively isolates one area from another but, at the same time, does not obstruct the view and permits transmission of ultraviolet rays. When opaque materials are used, the wall separates areas providing privacy.

In the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 14-27, the retractable wall structure comprises a frame 80 that includes a top casing or housing 81, vertical side members 82, 83 and a bottom member or sill 84.

Panel 85 is made of flexible material and has one end thereof fastened to a roller 86 by a rod S7 (FIG. 2l) that slides into a slot 88 in the roller S6 and clamps the material in the slot 88. The panel 85 is preferably made of transparent plastic for exterior applications and an opaque or translucent plastic in various colors for interior applications, as in the previous form of the invention. Vinyl based plastics are preferable, as heretofore described.

The panel S5 is made of two rectangular plastic sections 85a, S517 which are stitched together (FIG. 26) in the manner shown diagrammatically in FIG. 24. As shown in FIGS. 2427, horizontal rods 90 are provided at longitudinally spaced positions across the panel 85. The rods 90 on the upper panel 85a are mounted on one side of the panel while the rods 90 on the lower'panel 85h are mounted on the opposite side of the panel in orde-r to facilitate the winding and unwinding action, as presently described.

The rods 90 are mounted on the panels by stitching strips of similar material as at 91, 92 to opposite faces of the panel, one of the strips forming pockets for the rods.

Vertical rows 93, 94 of stitching are provided along the longitudinal vertical edges of the panel 85 and function to reinforce and stabilize the edges of the plastic panel 85 and also serve to provide a valving action during periods of excessive pressure to permit the panel to flex outwardly and `relieve the pressure from wind and the like, the elastic memory of the panel 85 and the com- 6 bined action of the stitching 93, 94 returning the panel to its original position when the pressure is relieved. The stitching preferably comprises thread of an unshrinkable, relatively inelastic and non-stretchable material such as Dacron.

Referring to FIGS. 16 and 17, one end of the roller 86 comprises a pin 95 which is mounted in a bracket 96 which is formed with an entrance slot 97. A locking tab 98 is povited to end wall 99 of housing 81 to lock the end of the roller 86 against inadvertent removal. As shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, the other end of the roller 86 is formed with a ilattened projection 95 that engages an output shaft 100 of a motor operated actuator 101.5- VT he actuator 101 is provided with a switch, not shown, whereby the roller 86 can be rotated to wind and unwind' the panel 85 on the roller.

Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, each vertical side member 82, 83 is substantially identical in construction and comprises side walls 102 and an end wall 103. The inner surface 104 of end Wall 103 is ilat and lies in the same plane of the corresponding end wall 99, 99 (FIGS. 16, 19) of the casing 81 thereby dening a continuous guide surface from adjacent the roller 86 to along the entire path of movement of the rod 90. The ends of the rods 90 engage the surfaces 104, 99, 99 and are thereby guided throughout their movement.

Each rod 90 is of uniform, constant diameter and includes a portion 106 of reduced cross section defining an enlarged portion 107 on the end of the rod. Each side member 103 includes inwardly extending vertical guide walls 108 lspaced from end wall 103 and extending toward the reduced portion 106 to form a slot 109 which guides the rods in their upward and downward movement. In addition, when the flexible Wall is in extended position, the guide walls 108 are adapted to engage the shoulders 109 formed by the enlarged portions 107 and prevent the rods 90, and in turn, the panel 85 from being blown out of the frame when wind or other pressure is applied to the panel 85. The distance between the opposed wall surfaces 104 is substantially equal to the length of the rods 90.

In addition, the dimensions aresuch that shoulder 109 on one end of a rod 90 engages the walls 108 on one side member 82, 83 before the shoulder 110 on the opposite end of the rod 90 engages the walls 108 on the opposite side member 12, 13. This insures that the rods can move upwardly and downwardly without binding on the lshoulders 110. The upper portions of the edges on walls 108 are tapered downwardly toward the slot 109 to facilitate the downward movement of the rods between the walls 108 as the panel is unwound from the roller 86. The ends of rods 90 are preferably wound with plastic tape which is wrapped around the ends as shown in FIG. 18, as is the previous form of the invention.

As shown in FIG. 18, theinner ends of walls 102 are formed with inwardly extending portions having grooves 121 in which weather stripping 122 is inserted. Weather stripping 122 comprises a pluality of pile fibers which extend into sealing engagement with the surfaces of the panel 85.

Referring to FIGS. 15-17, top casing or housing 81 comprises a right angular member 123 which is mounted on the end members 124, 125 which deline the surfaces 99, 99 respectively. End members 124, 125 are, in turn, mounted on the vertical side members 82, 83. Housing 81 also includes a removable section 126 which is right angular in cross section and has a vertical portion which is adapted to extend behind a lip 127 that extends from the free top end of the section 123 and a horizontal portion which snaps above and slightly behind screws 128 on the side members 82, 83 respectively (FIG. 15). A pivoted latch 81a locks the housing section 126 in position.

As shown in FIG. 14, the retractable wall is intended for use in openings having wide spans, and a central vertical support member 129 is provided on the outer surface of the panel 85 and extends between ends connected to section 123 and base member 84 (FIGS. 21, 22). Member 129 is formed with a vertically extending projection 130 having a groove 131 therein in which we-ather stripping 133 is positioned to extend inwardly and contact the outer surface panel 85. InV order to stabilize any tendency for the rods 90 upon the panel 85 to bend inwardly, a second vertical frame member 134 (FIGS. 21, 22) is fixed on the removable casing section 126 by a bracket 127 and extends downwardly into engagement with the sill 84. The inner vertical member 134 is provided with a groove 135 in which a vinyl strip 136 is insertedin contact with the inner surface of panel 85. The presence of the resilient Vinyl strip 136 provides sufficient yielding pressure on the rods 90 to obviate any tendency for rattling of the rods. The lower end of the inner vertical member 134 is held in position on the sill 84 by a resilient clip 138 that engages theend of the member 134 (FIGS. 21, 23). When it is desired to expose the panel and provide access tothe roll 86, the frame member 134 is swung past the clip 138 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 21 to the dotted line position and the upper end of the section 126 is disengaged from the lip 127. As shown in FIG. 2l, a horizontal ysealing strip 139 is provided on the inner end of the horizontal portion of section 126.

As shown in FIG. 21, a pull down member 140 is mounted on the lower end of the panel 85 by a pin member 141 that extends through a loop 142 on the lower end of the panel and holds the loop in a slot 143 Ain the upper end of the member 140. A resilient sealing strip 144 is provided in the lower end of the member 140 for sealing engagement with the sill 84.

As shown in FIG. 14, weights 145 are provided on the member 140 to insure the -smooth movementV of the panel 85 downwardly when the actuator 101 is energized to unwind the panel from the roller. A spring clip 146 is provided on the members 82, 83 so that it can be pivoted downwardly into overlying relation with the weights 145, when the panel 85 is extended to close the opening, and provide a safety lock for the panel from the interior.

Referring to FIG. 21, the provision of the rods 90 on the inner surface of the lower half 85b of the panel 85 (FIG. 24) insures the general central movement of the rods downwardly into the -slot 109 when the panel is first being unwound from the roll 86 as the panel continues to be unwound from the roll 86, the provision of the rods 90 on the outer surface of the upper half 85a of panel 85 continues to locate the rods generally centrally of the slot 109 so that the unwinding action continues to be facilitated.

In the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 14-23, the various sections are made in the form of extrusions of aluminum or the like so that they can be made in quantity at low cost.

I claim:

1. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, a panel of imperforate flexible material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse reinforcing members positioned `at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said reinforcing members extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide surfaces along the path of said members and adapted to contact and abut the ends of said members throughout their entire path of movement to guide s-aid members and said panel, each reinforcing member being formed with an enlarged portion on the end thereof and a portion of reduced cross section adjacent and spaced from the end of said member outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, and means comprising longi- Y width than the enlarged portions of said reinforcing.` members, said guide walls adapted to engage the enlarged tudinally extending guide walls at each end of said rein-'i adjacent the ends of said reinforcing members intoH which the ends of said reinforcing members freely extend, said enlarged spaces being substantially greater` in portions of said reinforcing members to prevent the members from being pulled out under the action of wind on the flexible Wall, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends ofVY the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide walls and during winding and unwind-` ing of said panel and said reinforcing members on and off said roller.

2. Ina retractable wall structure, the combination comprising 1a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, a panel of imperforate exible material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse rod-s positioned at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said rods extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide -surfaces along the path of said rods :and adapted to contact and abut the ends of said rods to guide said rods and said panel, each said surface lying yin substantially a single plane substantially perpendicular to said rods and extending from adjacent the roller along the entire path of the ends of said rods, each Vsaid rod being of substantially constant diameter and having a portion of reduced cross section spaced from each of the extreme ends of the rod with each said portion thereby forming a first shoulder adjacent the end of the rod and a second shoulder spaced inwardly from the first shoulder and outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, a pair of guide walls adjacent each end of the rods extending substantially perpendicular to said rods and having edges extending inwardly toward said reduced portion, said guide Walls being spaced from sa-id guide surfaces such as to define enlarged spaces adjacent the ends of said rods into which the ends of said rods freelyV extend, said guide walls adapted to engage said first shoulder and prevent the rods from being pulled outwardly under the action of wind on the fiexible panel, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said reinforcing `members on and off said roller.

3. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a top casing including top, side, end and bottom walls, a roller, means on said end walls for supporting a roller, a flexible imperforate panel having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be Ywound on said roller, said bottom wall of said casing wall of said casing bein-g formed with guide surfaces lying in substantially the same plane for abutting and guiding the ends of the transverse rods, the length of each rod being substantially equal to the distance between opposite guide surfaces, each said rod being of substantially constant diameter Iand having a portion of =re duced cross section spaced from each extreme end of the rod thereby forming a first shoulder adjacent each end of the rod and a second shoulder spaced inwardly aaeaess from the first shoulder `and outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, a pair 'of guide walls adjacent each end of the rods having edges extending inwardly toward the portion of reduced cross section, said guide walls being spaced from said guide surfaces such as to define enlarged spaces adjacent the ends of said rods into which the ends of said rods freely extend, said guide walls being adapted to engage said first shoulder and prevent the rods from 4being pulled outwardly under the action of wind on the flexible wall, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said reinforcing members on and off said roller.

4. The combination set forth in claim 3 including lbooster means comprising a pulley operatively connected to said roller, and flexible means engaging said pulley and adapted to be manually manipulated to facilitate the movement of the roller.

5. In a retractable wal-l structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting saiid roller, a panel o'f imperforate flexible material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, at least one lrow of stitching adjacent each longitudinal edge of said panel, said stitching comprising relatively inelastic, dimensionally stable, exible thread, a plurality o'f transverse reinforcing members positioned at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said -reinforcing members extendin-g fbeyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide surfaces along the path of said members and adapted to Contact and abut the ends of said members throughout their entire path of movement to guide said members and said panel, each rein-forcing member being formed with an enlarged portion on the end thereof outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, and means comprising longitudinally extending vguide walls at each end of said reinforcing members between which the ends lof said members freely extend, said guide walls 'being spaced from said guide surfaces such as to define enlarged spaces adjacent the ends of said reinforcing members into Vwhich the ends of said reinforcing members freely extend, said enlarged spaces being substantially greater in width than t le enlarged por-V tions of said reinforcing members, said guide walls adapted to engage the enlarged xportions 1of said reinforcing members to prevent the members from being pulled out under the action of Win-d on the exible Wall, said Iguide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide Walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said reinforcing members on and ofisaid roller.

6. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, a panel Iof imperio-rate flexible material having one end thereof yfastened to said roller and being adapted to be Wound on said roller, reinforcing means extending along each longitudinal edge of said panel, said reinforcing means being relatively inelastic, dimensionally stable and flexible, a plurality of transverse reinforcing members positioned at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said reinforcing members extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining the longitudinally extending surfaces along the ends of said 4reinforcing members, each reinforcing member being formed with an enlarged portion on the end thereof 'outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, and means comprising longitudinally extending guide walls at each end rof said reinforcing members be tween which the ends of said members freely extend, said guide walls being spaced lfrom said longitudinally extending surfaces such as to define enlarged spaces adjacent the ends of said reinforcing members into which the ends of said reinforcing members freely extend, said enlarged spaces being substantially -greater in width than the enlarged portions of said reinforcing members, sa1d guide walls adapted to engage the enlarged portions of said reinforcing members to prevent the members from being pulled out under the action of Wind on :the flexible wall.

7. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller,

a panel of imperforate flexible plastic material having one end Ithereof 'fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse reinforcing members positioned at longitudinally spaced points -on said lflexible panel with the ends of said reinforcing members extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide su-rfaces along the path of said members and adapted to contact and abut the ends of said members throughout their entire pat-h -o-f movement to guide said members and said panel, each reinforcing member being formed with an enlarged portion on the end thereof and a portion -of reduced cross section adjacent and spaced from the end of said member outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel; and means comprising longitudinal-ly extending guide walls at each end of said reinforcing mem-bers between which the ends of said members freely extend, said guide walls adapted to engage the enlarged portions of said reinforcing mem-bers to prevent the members 'from being pulled out under the action of wind lon the flexible wall, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide Walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said Ireinforcing members on and off said roller, said reinforcing members on the llower end of said panel being, when the panel is wound on said roller, on the surface nearest the center of the roller while said reinforcing members on the upper portion of said panel are on the surface of said panel remote from said center. Y

8. In a retractable wall structure, the combination cornprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, a panel of imperforate flexible plastic material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse relinforcing members positioned at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said reinforcing members extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide surfaces along the path of said members and adapted to contact and abut the ends of said members throughout their entire path of movement to guide said members and said panel, each rein-forcing member being formed with an enlarged portion on the end thereof and a portion o'f reduced cross section adjacent and spaced from the end of said lmember outwardly `from the :longitudinal edges of said panel; and means comprising longitudinally extending guide walls at each end of said reinforcing members between which the ends of said members freely extend, said guide walls adapted to engage the enlarged portions of said rein-forcing members to prevent the members from bein-g pulled out under the action of Wind on the `flexible wall, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide walls .and during Winding and unwinding of said panel and said reinforcing members on and off said roller, said reinforcing mem-bers on the lower end of said panel being, when .the panel is wound on said roller, on the surface nearest the -center of the roller while said reinforcing members onv the upper portion of said panel are on the surface of said panel Iremote from said cente-r, and power-operated means acting on said roller to rotate said roller selectively in opposite directions.

9. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means vfor rotatably supporting said roller, a panel of imperforate flexible material having one end rthereof 4fas-tened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse rods positioned .at longitudinally spad points on said flexible panel with the ends of said rods extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide surfaces along the path of said rods and adapted to contact and abut the ends of said rods to guide Vsaid rods and said panel, each said surface lying in substantially a single plane substantially perpendicular to said rods and extending from adjacent the roller along the entire path of the ends Yof said rods, each said rod being of substantially constant diameter and having a portion of reduced cross section spaced from each of the extreme ends of the rod with each said porti-on thereby forming a first shoulder adjacent the end of the rod and a second shoulder spaced inwardly from the first shoulder and outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, .a pair of guide walls adjacent each end of the rods extending substantially perpendicular to said rods Iand having edges extending inwardly toward said reduced portion, said `guide Walls adapted to engage said first shoulder and prevent the rods from being pulled outwardly under the action of Wind on the flexible panel, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the rods both during their movement of said rods between said guide walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said .rods on and off said roller, said rods on the lower end of said panel being, when the panel is wound on said roller, on the surface nearest the center of the roller while said `rods on the upper portion of said panel are on the surface of said panel remote from said center.

10. In la retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, a panel of imperforate exible plastic material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse reinforcing members positioned at longitudinally spaced points on sa-id flexible panel with the tends of said reinforcing membersextending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining longitudinally extending guide surfaces along the path of said members and said panel, each reinforcing member being formed with an enlarged port-ion on the end thereof and a portion of reduced cross section adjacent and spaced fromrthe end of said member outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, means comprising longitudinally extending guide walls at each end of said reinforcing members between which the ends of said members Vfreely extend, said guide walls adapted .to enga-ge the enlarged portions of said reinforcing members to prevent the members from bein-g pulled out under the action of wind on the iiexible wall, at least one row of stitching adjacent each longitudinal edge of said panel, said stitching comprising relatively inelastic, dimensionally stable, fiexible `thread, said reinforcing members on the lower end of said :panel-being, when the panel is Wound on said roller, on the surface nearest the center of the roller while said reinforcing members on the upper portion of said panel are on the surface of said panel remote from said center, and power operated means connected to said roller and adapted to rotate said roller to wind and unwind said panel.

11. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, a panel of imperforate exible plastic material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being vadapted -to be wound on said roller, at least one lrow of stitching adjacent each longitudinal edge of said panel, said stitching comprising relatively inelastic, dimensionally stable, fiexible thread, a plurality of transverse reinforcing members positioned at longitudinally spaced guide surfaces along the path of said members and` adapted to contact and abut the ends of said members throughout their entire path of movement `t-o guide said members `and said panel, each reinforcing member being formed with an enlarged portion on the end thereof and a portion of reduced cross section adjacent `and spaced from the end of said member outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, and means comprising longitudinally extending guide walls at each end of said reinforcing members between which the ends of said members freely extend, said guide wa-lls Iadapted to engage the enlarged portions of said reinforcing members to prevent the members from being pulled out under the action of wind on the flexible wall, said guide surface extending along the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said -reinforcing members between said guide walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said reinforcing members on and off said roller, said reinforcing members on the lowerl end of said panel being, when the panel is wound on said roller, on the surface nearest the center of the roller while said reinforcing members on .the upper portion of said panel are on the surface lof said panel remote from said center, and power operated means connected to said roller and adapted to rotate said roller to wind and unwind said panel.

12. In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising ya top casing including a first section defining a top and a side wall, and -a second removable section defining a side and bottomI wall, said casing having end wa-lls on said first section, -a roller, means on said end walls for supporting a roller, la fiexible imperforate panel having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to -be wound on said roller, said bottom wall of said casing having a longitudinally extending slot through which said flexible panel extends, a vertical member extending downwardly fr-om each end of said casing, each said member having a pair of side Walls and an end wall,

l a plurality of tranverse rods positioned at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said rods extending beyond the longitudinal edges rof said panel, the end wall of each said vertical member and the end wall of said casing being formed with guide surfaces lying in substantially rthe same plane for abutting andV guiding the ends of the transverse rods, the length of each rod being substantially equal to the distance between opposite guide surfaces, each rod having a portion of reduced cross sectional dimensions adjacent each end thereof thereby defining a shoulder outwardly from the longitudinal edges of said panel, and a pair of guide walls on each said vertical member adapted to extend inwardly toward said rod at the area of reduced cross section, said guide walls engaging the shoulder on said rod and preventing the rod from being pulled out under the action of wind on the fiexible panel, said guide s-urfaces extending Ialong the entire path of the ends of the reinforcing members both during their movement of said reinforcing members between said guide walls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said reinforcing members on and off said roller.

13. -In a retractable wall structure, the combination comprising a roller, means for rotatably supporting said roller, la panel of imperforate fiexible material having one end thereof fastened to said roller and being adapted to be wound on said roller, a plurality of transverse rods positioned at longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said rods extending 4beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, means defining a pair 1of longitudinally extending guide surfaces along the path of said rods and adapted to contact and .abut the ends of said rods to guide said rods and said panel, each said surface lying in substantially a single plane and extending yfrom Iadjacent the .roller along the entire path of the ends of said rods, the length of each rod being substantially equal to the distance between said guide surfaces, said guide surfaces extending along the entire path of the ends of the rods both during their movement of said rods between said guide wa'lls and during winding and unwinding of said panel and said rods on and oi said roller, said rods on the lower end of said panel being, when the panel is Wound on said roller, on the surface nearest the center of the roller while said rods on the upper portion of said panel are on the surface of said panel remote from said center.

14. In a retractable Wall structure, the combination comprising a top casing includin-g a first section defining a -top .and a side wall, and a second removable section defining a side and bottom wall, said casing having end walls on said first section, -a roller, means on said end walls for supporting a roller, la iiexible i-mperforate panel having one end thereof fastened to said rolle-r and being adapted to be wound on said roller, said bottom wall of said casing having a longitudinally extending slot through which -said exible panel extends, va vertical member extending downwardly from each end of said casing, each said member having 'a pair of side walls and an end. wall, a plurality of transverse rods positioned at 'longitudinally spaced points on said flexible panel with the ends of said rods extending beyond the longitudinal edges of said panel, the end wall of each sa-id vertical member and the end wall of said casing being lformed with guide surfaces lying in substantially the same plane for abutting and guiding the ends of the transverse rods, the length of each rod being substantially equal to the distance between opposite guide surfaces, each `rod having a portion of reduced cross sectional dimensions adjacent each end thereof thereby defining .a shoulder outwardly .from the xlongitudinal edges of said panel, and a pair of guide walls on each said vertical member adapted to extend inwardly toward said rod at the area of reduced cross section, said guide walls engaging the shoulder on said rod and preventing the rod from being pulled out under the action of wind on the flexible panel, said guide surfaces extending along the path of -the ends of the rods both during their movement of said rods between said guide walls and during winding of said panel and said rods on said roller, vertical stabilizing Imembers on each side of said panel intermediate the longitudinal edges thereof, said stabilizing ymember adjacent .the interior 'being fastened to said second section of said casing whereby said stabilizing Imember and said second section are removable as a unit.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 236,126 12/ 1880 Washburn 160--264 835,599 11/1906 Cahill 160-242 916,316 3/1909 Holmes 160-241 1,106,624 8/ 1914 Cadwallader et al. 160--264 1,147,188 7/1915v Rojas 160--26 1,284,123 11/ 1918 Masu-mi-an. 1,509,450 9/ 1924 Sweeney 160-26 1,853,704 4/1932 Standow 160-130 1,923,506 8/1933 Rice 160-26 1,958,695 5/ 1934 Claus 160--23 2,172,956 9/ 1939 Derman 160-266 2,230,908 2/ 1941 Reiman 160-264 2,347,845 5/ 1944 Sohane 160-26 2,509,398 5/1950 Peremi et al. 16-0-23 2,754,899 7/ 1956 Karobonik et al 160-23 2,839,135 6/1958 Anderson 160-133 2,957,520 10/1960 Howard 160-118 3,019,450 2/ 1962 Karasiewicz 160-133 FOREIGN PATENTS 594,882 46/ 1959 Italy.

HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner.

REINALDO P. MACHADO, Examiner.

D. L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification160/26, 160/264
International ClassificationE06B9/58, E06B9/24, E06B9/80, E06B9/40, E06B9/13, E06B9/11, E06B9/17
Cooperative ClassificationE06B9/13, E06B9/17076, E06B9/58, E06B9/80, E06B9/40, E06B9/17046
European ClassificationE06B9/13, E06B9/17D, E06B9/40, E06B9/58, E06B9/17H, E06B9/80