|Publication number||US3293664 A|
|Publication date||Dec 27, 1966|
|Filing date||Jul 20, 1964|
|Priority date||Jul 20, 1964|
|Publication number||US 3293664 A, US 3293664A, US-A-3293664, US3293664 A, US3293664A|
|Original Assignee||Woodrow Coons|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (25), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
W. COONS PORTABLE SHOWER Dec. 27, 196% 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 20, 1964 5 o 4 0 60V? 96W 4 i siwwwww 6 INVENTOR.
WOODROW cooms Md" W ATTORNEY W. COONS PORTABLE SHOWER Dec. 27, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 20, 1964 INVENTOR WOODROW COONS BY I ATTORNEY W. COONS PORTABLE SHOWER Dec. 27, 196
5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed July 20, 1964 F/G INVENT'OR.
WOODROW COONS AI'TORNEY United States Patent 01 3,293,664 PORTABLE SHOWER Woodrow Coons, 4343 W. 17th Terrace, Topeka, Kans. 66604 Filed July 20, 1964, Ser. No. 383,658 17 Claims. (Cl. 4-455) This invention relates to new and useful improvements in portable showers, and more particularly pertains to a collapsible construction including a combined storage locker or carrying case that serves as a shower platform during use and wherein foldable support standards for the shower curtain and shower head are stored when the shower is in portable condition, together with improved water pumping and dispensing means.
The primary object of the invention is to provide a lightweight and rugged shower construction capable of efficiently and economically delivering water for shower purposes with ample provision for privacy, with such shower construction being easily and readily convertible from a condition for use to a compact condition for portability and storage in a small volume of space.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a portable shower construction in accordance with the preceding object which in use does not necessitate a pressurized external source of water, and which will deliver water in an efficient and conservative manner such that both hands of the user are free during the delivery of water.
In accordance with the object of facilitating efficacious convertability of the shower construction from portable condition to operative condition, and vice versa, it is an object of this invention to afford protection for the conduit means and concurrently to avoid any necessity for having to coil and otherwise encounter difficulty in locating and positioning the conduit in placing the shower construction in portable condition.
Another object of the invention is to provide small and lightweight water pumping means of simple and durable character of economical construction which enable the user to control the output by his foot. It is an object that such foot control can either be provided by a foot-operated discharge from a pressurized source or by directly pumping by the use of a foot.
An important feature of the invention resides in the provision of support standards that are foldable in a zigzag fashion, together with convenient means for securing the standards in operative positions.
Still another feature of the invention resides in the provision of hollow, foldable support standards with attendant support column strength, together with the positioning of a flexible water conduit within one of the support columns, whereby such conduit is in a sheltered or protected position and is foldable together with such support standard so as to avoid a separate operation in arranging such conduit during converting the shower construction from operative to portable condition, and vice versa.
Still another important feature of the invention resides in the lowermost joints of the foldable standards being connected to the cover or closure of the locker, whereby a single hinge and securing means suflices for both the lowermost joints of the standards as well as for the cover. In addition, such feature enables the cover to serve the additional function of reinforcing the standards and constituting a conveniently disposed mounting wall when in its vertical position for shower accessories, such as soap dish, etc.
Still another important feature of the invention resides in the double-walled construction of the base of the locker to jointly contribute with minimum weight to the strength of the structure and to afford a shower platform incor- Patented Dec. 27, 1966 'ice porating a drain such that water can be discharged laterally from the base through space afforded between the Walls thereof.
Still another important feature of the invention resides in the provision of a combined pump and pressurized reservoir of such construction that the same can be conveniently disposed within the locker and actuated manually through a pull rope that is drawn in an upward direction. The feature of the combined pump and pressurized reservoir is of particular importance in combination with a normally closed valve construction of extreme simplicity, reliability and low cost associated with the water conduit that can be foot operated to open and allow the discharge of water whenever desired.
Still another important feature of the invention resides in the provision of a rocker-type foot operated pump that includes a pair of pumping chambers each partially defined by flexible diaphragms that are in turn flexed to effect pumping directly through links from the rocker. Such construction is not only extraordinarily simple and economical in manufacture, but enables realization of extreme compactness and the avoidance of vertical heights normally associated with rocker-type pumps employing cylinders and sliding pistons and the greater weight and complexity of linkages to couple the movement of the rocker to the linear motion of the pistons.
A broad aspect of the invention involves a portable shower construction comprising a storage locker having a hinged top cover movable from a horizontal locker closing position to an upstanding vertical position at one side of the locker, means for releasably securing the cover in the vertical position, a pair of interconnected and zigzag folded support standards disposed in the locker and secured to the cover when the latter closes the locker, said standards being comprised of alignable joints and hinged means foldably connecting the joints, means for releasably securing the hinge means against folding of the standards when the latter are unfolded and the joints thereof in alignment, said standards being vertical when unfolded and the cover is in the vertical position, a shower curtain support hingedly secured to the upper end of the standards, said support being foldable with the standards to constitute a continuation of the zigzag folding of the latter, means for releasably securing the support in shower curtain supporting position at right angles to the standards, a shower curtain carried. by the support, a shower head carried by one of the standards with such standard being hollow, a flexible water conduit disposed in said one standards and having one end connected to the shower head and having its other end disposed in the locker, a pump in the locker having its outlet connected to said other end of the conduit and its inlet adapted to be connected to a source of water supply.
Yet another aspect of the invention involves for use in a portable shower, the improvement comprising a pump including a horizontally disposed elongated cylinder having a pumping chamber therein, a horizontally movable piston spring loaded to contract the chamber, a pulley mounted on the cylinder, a pull rope connected to the piston and thence entrained over the pulley to extend upwardly whereby a manual upward force on the pull rope moves the piston to expand the chamber against the spring loading of the piston, an outlet check valve means communicating with the chamber and adapted for connection to a source of water supply, a resilient and flexible water conduit, an outlet check valve means communicating between the chamber and the conduit, a backup member, a pivotally mounted foot pedal having a foot engageable portion downwardly swingable to move the lever from the back-up member, said conduit extending between the back-up member and the lever, and spring means biasing the lever toward the back-up member with sutficient yielding force to collapse the conduit therebetween to close off the passage of water therethrough, whereby water is discharged from the reservoir constituted of the pumping chamber pressure by the spring loaded piston only upon foot depression of the foot pedal.
Yet another aspect of the invention involves for use in a portable shower, the improvement of foot operated pumps of the type including a foot actuated rocker operatively connected to a pair of alternately expanding and contracting pumping chambers comprising a body having a spaced pair of cavities formed in the top thereof, said body including an upstanding rocker support intermediate the cavities, a rocker disposed above the body and centrally pivoted to the rocker support for rocking alternate upward and downward movement of the opposite sides of the rocker above the cavities, a pair of flexible diaphragms sealed to the top of the body above the respec tive peripheries of the cavities to define with such cavities a pair of pumping chambers, a pair of links pivotally depending from the opposite sides of the rocker and having their lower ends respectively connected to central portions of the diaphragms, a pair of spaced, parallel and horizontal blind bores in the body each extending below both of said cavities, vertically disposed inlet check valve means communicating between both of the cavities and one of the blind bores, and a pair of vertically disposed outlet check valve means communicating between both of the cavities and the other of said blind bores.
Yet another aspect of the invention involves in a portable shower, the improvement comprising a combined storage locker and shower platform including a generally rectangular horizontal base provided with upstanding peripheral front, rear and side walls and a generally rectangular top movable intermediate a horizontal position and an upstanding vertical position extending above the rear wall, said top in the horizontal position, being spaced above the base and defining therewith and the walls a closed storage locker, a pair of support standards each comprised of a series of elongated joints in endto-end relation, hinge means for foldingly connecting adjacent joints whereby said joints can be folded from aligned relationship to each other to a zigzag folded relationship to each other, means for releasably securing the joints in aligned relationship, each of said standards including first and second joints at the opposite ends thereof, said first joint of each of the standards being secured to said top, a generally U-shaped curtain support frame having its free ends hingedly connected to the second joints to swing between positions folded against the second joints constituting a continuation of the zigzag relationship of the joints and a position substantially perpendicular to the second joints of the standards to overlie the base when the top is vertical and the joints of the standards are in alignment, means for releasably securing the frame in the last mentioned position, means pivotally securing the first joints and the top to the walls, and means for releasably securing the first joints and the top in vertical positions, whereby the standards and the U-shaped frame when folded are received within the locker on the top closing the locker and whereby the top can be swung to and secured in a vertical position to expose the base as a shower platform and the standards and the U-shaped frame secured in unfolded positions so as to be adapted to support a shower curtain.
Other objects, features and aspects of the invention as well as numerous advantages thereof will become apparent during the following description of preferred embodiments thereof taken together with the accompanying drawings illustrative thereof, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a portable shower in accordance with the invention, this view showing the portable shower in its erected or operative position, and associated with a reservoir or water supply;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the shower construction shown in FIGURE 1 with the shower curl tain removed, and with hidden portions of the structure being shown in dashed outline;
FIGURE 3 is a rear elevational view of the structure shown in FIGURE 2, hidden details of construction being shown in dashed outline;
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the structure shown in FIGURE 2, hidden details of construction being shown in dashed outline;
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the shower construction shown in FIGURES 1 through 4 in a condition intermediate its operative condition and its collapsed or portable condition to illustrate the manner in which the foldable standards are readied for positioning within the locker, with certain details of construction being shown in dashed outline;
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged vertical sectional detail view showing the hinge construction employed intermediate joints in the standards;
FIGURE 7 is a side elevational view of the structure shown in FIGURE 6, hidden details of construction being shown in dashed outline;
FIGURE 8 is a horizontal sectional detail view taken upon the plane of the section line 8-3 in FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 9 is a broken and enlarged vertical sectional view of the combined hand operated pump and pressurized reservoir employed in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 1 through 10;
FIGURE 10 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the foot controlled valve means employed in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 1 through 9;
FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary perspective View illustrating the use of an alternative water pumping means that may be employed in lieu of the structures shown in FIGURES 9 and 10 in the shower construction shown in FIGURE 1.;
FIGURE 12 is an enlarged top plan view of the pumping means shown in FIGURE 11, with hidden details of construction being shown in dashed outline;
FIGURE 13 is a vertical sectional view taken upon the plane of the broken section line 1313 in FIGURE 12;
FIGURE 14 is an end elevational view of the pumping means shown in FIGURES 11 through 13;
FIGURE 15 is an exploded perspective view of the outlet check valve employed in the pumping means shown in FIGURES 11 through 14; and
FIGURE 16 is an exploded perspective view of the inlet check valve employed in the pumping means shown in FIGURES 11 through 13.
Referring now to the drawings wherein like numerals designate like parts throughout the various views, and initially directing attention to the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 1 through 10, the reference numeral 10 designates the shower construction of the invention generally.
Broadly, the shower construction 10 comprises a combined storage locker and shower platform designated generally at 112, a water pumping and distributing system designated generally at 114, foldable shower head and shower curtain supporting means designated generally at 16, a shower head 18, a foldable shower curtain construction designated generally at 20, and a shower curtain 22.
The combined storage locker and shower platform 12 comprises a generally rectangular base 24 having upstanding peripheral side walls 26 and 28, and front and rear walls 30 and 32, respectively. In addition, the combined storage locker and shower platform 12 includes a closure cover 34 of generally rectangular configuration which in the collapsed or portable condition of the shower construction 10 rests upon the walls 26 through 32 and is suitably releasibly secured thereto by means not shown to constitute a compact, luggage-like enclosure convenient for portability, it being understood that the same can conveniently include any desirable form of carrying handle or strap, not shown.
The base 24 is double walled including spaced top and bottom walls 36 and 38, the top wall 36 being of slightly pyramidal configuration to present a generally concave or sloped upper surface to drain water toward the center thereof. The center of the top wall 36 is apertured and provided with a perforated drain fitting 40, and the lower end of the fitting 40 is connected to a flexible drain tube 42 disposed between the walls 36 and 38 that extends through the front wall 30 to discharge externally of the base 24. Of course, the tube 42 can be connected to external plumbing, not shown, such as may be included in mobile homes, trailers, cabins, etc., if desired.
The fo-ldable standards 16 comprise a pair of identical standards 44 and 46 disposed respectively adjacent the junctures of the rear wall 32 and the side walls 26 and 28. Inasmuch as the foldable standards 44 and 46 are substantially identical, a detailed description of one will suflice for both. The standard 44 comprises a series of straight joints or sections 48, 50, 52 and 54 which are in vertical alignment when the standard 44 is in its operative or supporting condition shown in FIGURE 1. All of the joints 4854 are shorter in length than the spacing of the front and rear walls 30 and 32 of the locker 12, and indeed, the lowermost joint 48 is shorter than the vertical height of the walls 26-32 of the locker or carrying case 12. The joint 48 is rigidly secured to the locker 12 in a vertical position by any suitable means and preferably by rivets, not shown, to both the walls 26 and 32 to mutually enhance the rigidity of the joint 48 and the juncture of the walls 26 and 32. It will be understood of course that the lowermost joint 56 of the standard 46 is similarly secured to the locker 12 in corresponding relation to the walls 28 and 32.
Hinge means 58, 60 and 62 are respectively provided at the junctures of the joints 48 and 5'0, 50 and 52, and 52 and 54 whereby the standard 44 can be folded in what may be termed a zigzag fashion or relationship (by which terms is meant that adjacent hinge means fold in opposite directions) as suggested in FIGURE 5, so that the joints 54, 52 and 58 can be folded to be in horizontal positions effectively stacked one upon the other in parallel with and closely spaced from the side wall 26, with the joint 54 being lowermost, joint 52 next above and joint 50 being on top. With the joints 54, 52 and 50 folded within the locker 12, it will be noted that the vertical heights of the joint 48 and the walls 2632 are such that the folded standard 44 is entirely received within the space surrounded by the walls 2632.
For reasons to be more fully explained subsequently, the joints 48-54 are hollow or tubular and can be circular or rectangular in configuration, or square in transverse configuration, as shown. The locker 12 including the cover 34 is preferably made of aluminum sheet of about 14 gauge, however, the locker 12 including the top 34 can be made of any suitable material having adequate strength and resistance to corrosion and water. In particular, it is possible to make the locker 12 including the cover 34 thereof of a synthetic resin, such as polyurethane or nylon, for example. As in the case of the locker 12, the joints 4854 of the standard 44 (and also the joints of the standard 46) are made of aluminum, though suit able synthetic resin materials such as polyurethane or nylon, for example, can be employed. A square tubular aluminum extrusion material commercially available having external dimensions of one inch by one inch and a wall thickness of 16 gauge has been found well suited for the construction of the joints of the standards 44 and 46.
Since each of the hinge means 58-62 are essentially identical to each other, a description of the hinge means 62 will suffice for all and for this purpose attention is directed to FIGURES 68, wherein it will be seen that the same comprises a pair of tubular elements 64 and 66 which are aligned and abut each other when the joints 52 and 54 are aligned and in unfolded relation to each other, the arrangement being such that the hollow interiors 68, 70, '72 and 74 of the elements 54, 64, 66 and 52, respectively, are also in alignment. The hinge elements 64 and 66 are provided with tubular extensions 76 and 78 of reduced wall thickness fitted respectively in the adjacent ends of the joints 54 and 52 and riveted thereto as shown at 86 and 82. The elements 64 and 66 include integral apertured ears or loops 84 and 86 that are interdigited with each other and receive rotatably therethrough a hinge pin 88 which is enlarged at its opposite ends to prevent removal. As apparent, the hinge pin 88 is in the plane of the juncture of the elements 64 and 66, parallel to a side of and spaced outside the extent of such side of the joints 54 and 52, whereby the joints 54 and 52 can be swung about the axis of the pin 88 into at least substantial parallelism with each other and with said sides of the joints 54 and 52 being for all practical purposes flush with each other. While the elements 64 and 66 can be of any suitable material, they are preferably metal, such as brass; however, it is especially preferred that they be of aluminum and that the rivets 88 and 82 also are of aluminum. While it is preferred that the elements 64 and 66 be of metallic material, the use of suitable synthetic resins such as nylon is not precluded.
Means is provided in connection with each of the hinge means 58-62 to retain the joints connected thereby in aligned or unfolded relation. Such means are essentially the same for all the hinge means so specific attention need only be given such provision for the hinge means 62. With continued reference especially to FIGURES 6-8, such means will be seen to comprise a latch member 90 disposed on the side of the elements 64 and 66 opposite the hinge pin 88 and disposed to overlap such elements 64 and 66. As may be clearly seen in FIGURE 7, the latch member 98 is triangular in configuration with one side uppermost and an apex lowermost. The member 90 is mounted for horizontal reciprocation toward and away from the element 64 (and also the element 66 when the joints 54 and 52 are unfolded), the means employed for such mounting comprising a pair of horizontal, parallel push rods 92 and 94 fixed to the member 90 adjacent the upper apices thereof with such push rods 92 and 94 being journaled through the element 64 to normally project horizontally from the element 64 on the side thereof opposite the member 98 when the latter is flush against the element 64. As clearly shown in FIG- URE 8, the push rods 92 and 94 are substantially spaced on opposite sides of the center of the element 64. Also, as may be seen in FIGURES 6 and 8, coiled compression springs 96 and 98 are disposed respectively about the push rods 92 and 94 within the hollow interior of the element 64, with the ends of the push rods 92 and 94 remote from the member 90 being enlarged and the springs 96 and 98 having ends bearing against such enlargement with their other ends seated against an inner surface of the element 64 so as to bias the push rods 92 and 94 downwardly as seen in FIGURE 8 and thereby resiliently urge the member 90 into flush engagement with the element 64.
Adjacent the lowermost apex of the member 90, the latter is provided with a latch pin 100 fixed thereto that projects toward the element 66 and is received within a latch recess 162 in the latter. The arrangement is such that when the latch pin is received within the latch recess 102, the latch pin I00 engages the element 66 so as to prevent separation of the abutting surfaces of the elements 64 and 66 and pivotal motion about the hinge pin 88. However, the latch pin 100 can be readily removed from and released from engagement with the element 66 in which position it is normally held by the springs 96 and 98 by simply depressing either one or both of the push rods 92 and 94 against the actions of the springs 96 and 98 to move the member horizontally from the element 64 and the element 66.
Since the hinge means 58 is disposed below the top edge of the rear wall 32, the latter is cut away (not shown immediately to the rear of the hinge means 58 to prevent interference with the latch means associated with the hinge means 58, as will be evident. Similar provision is made with respect to the lowermost hinge means of the standard 46.
From the foregoing, it Will be readily appreciated that each of the standards 44 and 46 and be readily folded and unfolded, the operation of the latch means such as that described in relation to the hinge means 62 enabling the joints to be readily latched in aligned position or unlatched for folding. It is most desirable that both the standards 44 and 46 be folded and unfolded simultaneously and to this end and for the other benefits such as reinforcing yet to be described, a horizontal rod 104 has its opposite ends fixedly secured to the upper ends of the uppermost joints of the standards 44 and 46, and a similar rod 1115 has its opposite ends fixedly secured to the upper ends of the joints of the standards 44 and 46 corresponding to the joint 52. Similarly, a rod 106 connects the upper ends of the joints corresponding to the joint 50, as shown.
Supplementing the reinforcement and parallel spacing effects of the rods 104, 105 and 106 is the provision of the top or cover 34 constituting a part of the combined locker and shower platform 12, such cover 34 being made of material such as previously indicated suitable for other parts of the locker construction 12. The cover 34 is fixedly secured at a plurality of vertically spaced positions in spaced relation to both the joint 50 of the standard 44 and to the corresponding joint 111) of the standard 46 by suitable means including spacers 107, it being noted that the substantial rigidity of the cover 34 greatly reinforces the joints 50 and 110, maintaining such joints in parallel and obviously assuring movement of such joints in unison about the common axes of the hinge means at their lower ends, and additionally it will be noted that a substantial conservation of Weight and economy of parts as well as of labor in fabrication is realized upon such hinge means serving the dual function for pivotally mounting both the support standards 44 and 46 and the cover 34. The cover 34 is generally rectangular and is dimensioned to overlie and rest upon the upper edges of the walls 26-32 of the combined locker and shower platform 12 to constitute a closure therefor. Means, not shown, is provided for securing the cover 34 in its closed horizontal position.
The shower supporting means 21) comprises in addition to the previously described cross rod 104 a U-shaped frame 112 having its free ends pivotally connected to the upper ends of the standards 44 and 46 at positions indicated at 114 and 116, it being noted that the positions 114 and 116 are closely adjacent the cross rod 104. In the operative position of the U-shaped frame 112, it will be noted that the latter is substantially perpendicular to the supports 44 and 46, and means are provided for releasably supporting the U-shaped frame 112 in its operative position. The last mentioned means comprises a conventional pair of pivotally connected brace links 113 connected between the uppermost joint of the standard as and one side of the U-shaped frame 112 as well as a similar pair of brace links 120 connected between the uppermost joint 54 of the standard 44 and the other side of the U- shaped frame 112. It will be readily understood that the pairs of brace links 118 and 120 can be released from their supporting positions by pushing the central portions of such pairs of brace links toward the pivotal connections 114 and 116, whereupon the U-shaped frame 112 will fold downwardly into a position substantially flush against the uppermost joints of the standards 44 and 46. It is important to note that the direction of pivotal motion of the U-shaped frame 112 as it is being folded is opposite that of the uppermost joints of the standards 44 and 46, so that (as will be readly appreciated on inspection of FIGURE 5) the folding of the U-shaped frame 112 constitutes a continuation of the zizag folding of the support standards 44 and 46 themselves. As will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art, the dimensions of the U-shaped frame 112 are such that the same is received within the locker construction 12 when the standards 44 and 46 are folded therein With the U-shaped frame 112 being disposed directly below such folded standards 44 and 46.
Notwithstanding the fact that the U-shaped frame 112 is dimensioned so as to be received within the locker 12 in a horizontal position, the dimensions of the frame 112 approach the horizontal dimensions of the locker 12 so that the shower curtain 22 supported from the U-shaped frame 112 and the cross rod 104 can have its lowermost edges spread outwardly only slightly and be disposed about the upper marginal portions of the walls 26-32, as shown in FIGURE 1. As those familiar with the art will readily appreciate, it is not essential that the shower curtain 22 have its lowermost edges disposed outside the locker 12 but can if desired be hung so as to have its lower edges within the vertical space defined by the dimensions of the locker 12.
The shower head 18 is mounted by any suitable means adjacent the top of the standard 44 and as clearly shown in FIGURE 1 is oriented so as to direct water emitted therefrom into the space encompassed by the shower curtain 22. A flexible water conduit, such as of rubber, neoprene or any suitable synthetic resin such as commonly used for water hoses and the like, is designated at (see FIGURE 8), it being understood that if deemed necessary or desirable that the flexible and preferably also resilient water conduit or hose 130 can be of composite character such as to include woven fabric, such as of nylon, for reinforcing, such practice being of long standing in the art. The upper end of the water conduit 130 is connected through a suitable opening (not shown) in the upper end of the joint 54 to the shower head 18, and the water conduit 130 extends downwardly through the joints 54, 52, 50 and into the joint 48, it being noted that the water conduit 130 extends downwardly through the hinged means connecting such joints inasmuch as they are also hollow, and the lower end of the water conduit 130 extends into the space surrounded by the walls 26432 through a suitable Opening in the joint 48 as indicated at 132.
Means disposed within the space surrounded by the walls 26412 for pumping water into the water conduit 130 for discharge from the shower head 18. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 1 through 10 such means comprises an elongated horizontal cylinder fixed to the rear wall 32 having closed end walls 142 and 143. A pressure piston 144 is reciprocably disposed within the cylinder 140 to define with the cylinder 140 and the closure wall 142 a variable volume combined pumping chamber and pressurized water reservoir 146. A coiled compression spring 148 is disposed Within the cylinder 140 and biased between the closure wall 143 and the piston 144 to spring load the latter for movement in a direction reducing the volume of the chamber 146. The latter conduit or hose 136 is connected to an outlet check valve including a ball check 150 communicating through the closure wall 142 with the chamber 146. Another flexible conduit 152 is connected by an inlet check valve including a ball check 154 through the closure wall 142 to the chamber 146, the arrangement being such on movement of the piston 144 to the right as seen in FIGURE 9 the volume of the chamber 146 expands and draws water thereinto through the hose 152 and the ball check 154. On the other hand, when the piston 144 moves to the left, the chamber 146 shrinks in volume and Water contained 9 therein is forced outwardly through the ball check 150 and into the water conduit or hose 130.
When the shower construction 10 is disposed in its operative condition such as shown in FIGURE 1, the flexible hose 152 can be extended rearwardly thereof intermediate the rear wall 32 and the cover 34 so that the free end of the flexible hose 132 can be emersed in water 160 contained in a lightweight rectangular reservoir 162. The reservoir 162 can be made of aluminum or of a suitable synthetic resin such as polyethylene.
The reservoir 162 is preferably dimensioned so that the same can be received within the locker 12 when the latter is closed intermediate the folded standards 44 and 46, in which case the reservoir 162 can serve in its stored condition as a receptacle for the curtain 22 to protect the latter from damage and soiling, it being understood that normally the shower curtain 22 is removed from the U-shaped frame 112 and the cross rod 104 when the curtain 22 is stored. Such removal and storage of the curtain 22 is not necessary to collapsing the apparatus 10 with the locker 12 portion thereof, but is usually deemed more convenient,
The extent of the water conduit 130 between the cylinder 140 and the standard 44 extends through a box 166 fixed to the rear wall 32, and wherein the water conduit 130 passes against a concave side of a back-up member 168 contained in the box 166. An L-shaped foot lever 169 is pivotally mounted within the box 166 at a pivot 170 and includes a horizontal extent 172 that projects from the box 166 through an opening 174 in the latter. The free end of the horizontal extent 172 of the foot lever 169 is provided with a portion 176 adapted to be engaged by the toe or foot of a shower user and pressed downwardly. The L-shaped foot lever 169 also includes a vertical extent 178 with the upper free end of the extent 178 being engaged by a coiled tension spring 180. The end of the coiled tension spring 180 remote from the foot lever 169 is fixed to the back-up member 168 so that the upper end of the foot lever 169 is yieldingly urged or biased to the left as seen in FIG- URE 10. Such biasing of the foot lever 110 is such as to raise the portion 176 and to urge a convex portion 182 of the foot lever 169 into compressive engagement against the side of the conduit 130, whereby the latter is collapsed so as to shut off the flow of water therethrough. The valving action of the convex enlargement 182 can be re duced by using the toe or foot to depress the portion 176 of the foot lever 169 in such a manner that the pressure within the conduct 130 coupled with the resiliency of the latter opens the conduit 130 and allows the flow of water therethrough until, of course, toe or foot pressure is removed from the portion 176 of the foot lever 169.
Means is provided to actuate the piston 144 to enlarge the pumping chamber 146 and concurrently compress the spring 148 so that the latter will maintain water contained within the pumping chamber 146 under pressure. Such means comprises a pull rope 200 secured at one end to the piston at 202 and extending through a suitable opening in the closure wall 143, and thence being entrained upwardly over a pulley 204 mounted on a bracket 206 carried by the closure wall 144 as shown in FIGURE 9. The upwardly extending portion of the pull rope is provided with a pull handle 208, and for convenience a hook 210 is fixed to the standard 46 over which the pull rope 200 can be hung. In operation, assuming that the piston 144 is disposed in the position shown thereof in FIGURE 9, the user of the shower grasps the pull handle 208, disengages the pull rope 200 from the hook 210 and pulls upwardly on the handle 208, such pulling by virtue of the pull rope 200 being entrained over the pulley 204 appiies a force against the piston 144 to move the same to the right as seen in FIGURE 9. This results in expansion of the pumping chamber 146 and upon the operator having moved the piston 144 as far to the right as his strength permits, the rope 200 is again hung over the 10 hook 210, whereupon the coiled compression spring 148 causes the piston 144 to act against water contained in the chamber 146 and maintain such water under pressure.
Water pressurized within the chamber 146 is valved as desired by operation of the foot lever 169 to control the rate of delivery of water through the conduit to the shower head 18. This enables the operator to avoid waste of water such as when he is lathering and lets both hands free at all times except when the rope 200 is being pulled. With such eflicient and conservative use of water, the reservoir 162 will easily hold sufficient water for at least one person to take a shower bath. It will be understood of course that the reservoir 162 can be fiilled from some convenient source of water (preheated, if desired) whenever necessary. It is possible to use the pumping and valving system designated at 16 in conjunction with a source of pressurized water rather than in conjunction with the reservoir 162, is being only necessary that the hose or conduit 152 be coupled to such source of pressurized water such as may be available in a trailer camp or cabin, and that the conduits 130 and 152 have suflicient strength against rupture to withstand such pressure. In addition, the spring has suflicient strength to maintain the water conduit 130 collapsed except when the portion 176 of the foot lever 169 is pressed downwardly.
Attention is now directed to another embodiment of means for pumping water for use in lieu of the previously described pumping and water distributing means disclosed in FIGURES 1 through 10 and in particular FIGURES 9 and 10. Such alternative embodiment requires (in the absence of an external pressure source of water) a work effort during all times water is dispensed, rather than intermittent effort; however, such is deemed by many to be preferable to having to exert substantial effort (even though intermittent) that requires the use of at least one hand. As will become evident during the ensuing description of such alternative water pumping means, the latter is adapted for connection to the previously described water conduits 130 and 152. The alternative water pumping means is designated generally at 300 in FIGURE 11 wherein it will be seen that such pumping means 300 is connected to the previously described water conduit 130 and to the water conduit 152, whereby the pumping means 300 is adapted to receive water from the receptacle 162 (or external pressured water source) and deliver water so received under pressure through the conduit 130 to the shower head 18. Also, it will be obvious upon inspection of FIGURE 11 that the pumping means 300 is disposed within the locker 12 so as to be stored therein when the latter is closed.
Directing attention now to FIGURES 12 through 16 for a detailed understanding of the pumping means 300, it will be seen that the latter comprises an integral metal block 302, preferably cast of aluminum though if desired the same may be molded from any suitable synthetic resin such as polyvinylchloride, for example, such block 302 including a central and vertically upstanding rocker support column 304. The block 302 is formed with a pair of circular cavities 306 and 308 in the upper side thereof, such cavities 306 and 308 being disposed on opposite sides of the column 304 and preferably being substantially flat bottomed as shown at a position spaced substantially above the bottom of the block 302 as clearly shown in FIGURE 13.
As indicated previously, the structure of the block 302 is integral and can be formed in a single casting or molding operation to include the column 304 with the cavities 306 and 308 formed therein. A pair of flaxible diaphragms 310 and 312 are peripherally secured as by retaining rings 314 and 316, respectively, and threaded fasteners 318 to the top of the block 302 to overlie the cavities 306 and 308, respectively, to define in conjunction therewith pumping chambers 320 and 322. An elongated rocker 324 is centrally and pivotally supported upon the 1 1 top of the column 304 by means of a pair of spaced depending lugs 326 and 328 carried by the rocker 324 disposed on opposite sides of the upper end of the column 304. A pivot pin 330 having enlarged opposite ends extends through aligned openings in the upper end of the column 304 and the lugs 326 and 328.
At a position overlying the center of the diaphragm 310 the rocker 324 is provided with a spaced pair of depending lugs 332 and 334, and a rod 336 depends from a position intermediate the lugs 332 and 334. The upper end of the rod 336 is pivoted to the lugs 332 and 334 by means of a cross pin 338 fixed to the rod 336 and extending through aligned openings in the lugs 332 and 334. The lower end of the rod 336 extends through a central opening in the diaphragm 310 and is sealingly secured thereto by means of washers 340 and nuts 342 threaded on the rod 336 in a conventional manner. In an analogous manner, the rocker 324 is pivotally connected to the diaphragm 312 by means including a rod 344, depending lugs 346 carried by the rocker 324, cross pin 348, washer 350 and a nut 352 (see FIGURE 14). As thus far described, it will be evident that a rocking motion of the rocker 324 about the horizontal and transverse axis of the pivot pin 330 actuates alternate upward and downward movements of the diaphragms 310 and 312 to alternately expand and contract the pumping chambers 320 and 322. The diaphragms 310 and 312 are as previously explained flexible and somewhat resilient in character and are of sufficient wall thickness and strength to withstand the pressures that may be generated within the pumping chambers 320 and 322, such diaphragms 310 and 312 being preferably made of neoprene or the like.
The block 302 is provided with a pair of blind bores 360 and 362 constituting respectively outlet and inlet passageway means for the pump 300. As will be evident upon inspection of the drawings, the blind bores 360 and 362 are horizontal, spaced and parallel, and in addition such blind bores 360 and 362 each underlie both of the pumping chambers 320 and 322. Identical outlet check valves communicate between the pumping chambers 320 and 322 and the blind bore 360, and since both of such outlet check valve means are identical, it will suflice to describe in detail only such means as provided for communication between the pumping chamber 320 and the blind bore 360, such means being designated generally at 370. As will be best understood upon reference to FIGURES 13 and 15, the outlet check valve means 370 comprises an opening 372 communicating between the chamber 320 and the blind bore 360, such opening 372 being vertical, having an enlarged internally threaded upper end 374 and a reduced lower end defining a shoulder 376. A centrally apertured and externally threaded 378 is threaded into the internally threaded and enlarged upper end 374 of the opening 372, and a valving element comprised of a valve disc 380 and an integral reduced depending guide shank 382 is received within the opening 372 with the shank being slidable in the reduced lower end of the opening 372. A coiled compression spring 384 is seated between the shoulder 376 and the underside of the disc 380 to urge the latter upwardly, and a sealing gasket 386, preferably neoprene, is fixed to the upper side of the disc 380 for sealing against the underside of the plate 378. It will be readily appreciated that the valve disc 380 including the sealing gasket disc 386 closes the aperture in the plate 378 against upward movement of water through the opening 372, while pressure in the pumping chamber 320 in excess of the pressure prevailing in the blind bore 360 will unseat the valve and allow downward movement of water from the chamber 320 into the blind bore 360.
Inasmuch as the inlet check valves communicating between the pumping chambers 320 and 322 and the blind bore 362 are identical, a description of such valve means communicating between the pumping chamber 322 and the blind bore 362 will suffice for both, such inlet check valve means being designated generally at 400. Directing attention to FIGURES 13 and 16, it will be seen that a vertical opening 402 is provided between the pumping chamber 322 and the blind bore 362 that is substantially identical to the previously described opening 372, with an internal shoulder 404 constituting a valve seat. A centrally apertured plate 406 is threaded into the upper end of the opening 402, and a valving element comprised of a valve disc 410 with a sealing gasket 412 attached thereto and a guide shank 414 is positioned in the opening 402 with the guide shank 414- being slidable in the central aperture in the plate 406. A coiled compression spring 416 is disposed about the shank 414 and is biased between the valve disc 410 and the plate 406 to urge the valve gasket 412 against the annular valve seat 404. The valve plate 406 is provided with a plurality of openings 420 therethrough to permit free vertical movement of water through the plate 406. As will be evident, the valve construction 400 prevents downward movement of water therethrough; however, a pressure differential in the blind bore 362 over the pressure within the pumping chamber 322 will result in unseating the valve 400 and the flow of water from the blind bore 362 into the pumping chamber 322. The spring 416 is of very low strength so that the valve 400 will open upon a positive pressure within the blind bore 362 and/ or a low suction pressure in the pumping chamber 322.
Suitable coupling means 430 and 432 are respectively provided for coupling the water conduit to the blind bore 360, and the conduit 152 to the blind bore 362.
In the use of the pumping means 300, it is to be noted that the block 302 is preferably not rigidly attached to any portion of the locker 12 and can be moved about the shower platform or wall 36 to any position desired because of the flexibility of the conduits 130 and 152. Such statement of preference is not intended to preclude rigid attachment of the pumping means 300 to the locker 12 at such position as may be desired. It is preferred that the pumping means 300 be unattached as this enables the user to locate the same for convenient operation by either foot and when facing in any direction that he may desire, such as to the front, rear or side. It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the pump 300 is operated by the user placing a foot on the rocker 324 and rocking the same about the axis of the pivot pin 330. The operator can control the rate of water delivery by the rate at which he rocks the rocker 324 and by the magnitude of the oscillations of the rocker 424 about the pivot pin 330. The operator is able to economize on the use of Water such as when he is soaping or the like by simply interrupting the rocking motion imparted to the rocker 324 by his foot.
As in the case of the previously described embodiment of pumping means, the pumping means 300 can be coupled by the conduit 152 to a pressurized source of water (provided the conduits 130 and 152 as well as the diaphragms 310 and 312 are of suflicient strength) in which case it may not be necessary to rock the rocker 324 at all, or in any event the energy of such pressurized water will reduce the work effort involved in rocking the rocker 324.
It will be appreciated from the foregoing that an extremely flexible and convenient shower construction 10 has been provided whether the pumping means such as shown in connection with FIGURES 1 through 10 or the alternative pumping means shown in FIGURES 11 through 16 are included. Of special advantage is the fact that the water conduit 130 is disposed within one of the foldable standards, whereby the conduit 130 is folded or unfolded along with the standard 44 so as not to require any special attention, while at the same time affording protection for the conduit 130.
With further regard to the protection afforded the conduit 130 within the standard 44, it will be noted that sufficient slack is affored in the length of the conduit 130 within the standard 44 when the standard 44 is erect so that over tensioning of the same will not occur upon folding of the standard 44, though of course any inherent resiliency of the conduit 130 will tend to relieve any stresses that might be applied to the same during folding of the standard 44. It should also be noted that any application of stresses to the conduit 130 at the hinge means 58, 6t) and 62 is relieved or minimized to a substantial extent by the internal configuration of the hinge elements 64 and 66 on the sides adjacent the hinge pin 38. This will be readily seen upon reference to FIGURE 6 wherein it is shown that the internal edges Silt) and 502 of the elements 64 and 66 over which the conduit 130 folds are rounded or beveled.
During the preceding description of the standards 44 and 46, it was indicated that the joints thereof can be round tubular extrusions rather than the square configuration illustrated. In the event that the joints are selected to be round tubular extrusions, the only modification of the hinge means 62 from that shown in FIGURES 6 through 8 that are necessary is that the tubular extensions at the upper and lower ends of the elements 64 and 66, respectively, be given a configuration complementary to the internal shapes of the joints connected thereby.
The subject invention has been described in great detail solely to assure a full and complete understanding of the principles involved, and it is to be strongly emphasized that narrowness in scope of invention is not to be thereby inferred. Obviously, numerous variations and departures from the illustrated and described prefered embodiments of the invention can be readily made without departing from the spirit of the invention, and accordingly, attention is directed to the appended claims in order to ascertain the actual scope of the invention.
1. In a portable shower, the improvement comprising a combined storage locker and shower platform including a generally rectangular horizontal base provided with upstanding peripheral front, rear and side walls and a generaly rectangular top movable intermediate a horizontal position and an upstanding vertical position extending above the rear wall, said top in the horizontal position, being spaced above the base and defining therewith and the walls a closed storage locker, a pair of support standards each comprised of a series of elongated joints in endtoend relation, hinge means for foldingly connecting adjacent joints whereby said joints can be folded from aligned relationship to each other to a zizzag folded relationship to each other, means for releasably securing the joints in aligned relationship, each of said standards including first and second joints at the opposite ends thereof, said first joint of each of the standards being secured to said top, a generally U-shaped curtain support frame having its free ends hingedly connected to the second joints to swing between positions folded against the second joints constituting a continuation of the zigzag relationship of the joints and a position substantially perpendicular to the second joints of the standards to overlie the base when the top is vertical and the joints of the standards are in alignment, means for releasably securing the frame in the last mentioned position, means pivotally securing the first joints and the top to the walls, and means for releasably securing the first joints and the top in vertical positions, whereby the standards and the U-shaped frame when folded are received Within the locker on the top closing the locker and whereby the top can be swung to and secured in a vertical position to expose the base as a shower platform and the standards and the U-shaped frame secured in unfolded positions so as to be adapted to support a shower curtain.
2. The combination of claim 1, wherein one of said standards is hollow, a shower head mounted upon said one standard, and a flexible conduit connected to the shower head and extending through said one hollow standard, whereby the conduit is foldable along with said one standard and is in a position affording substantial shielding against injury at all times.
3. The combination of claim 2 including water pumping means connected to the flexible conduit and disposed within the locker.
4. The combination of claim 3, wherein said pumping means includes a rocker for foot actuation.
5. The combination of claim 3, wherein said pumping means includes a cylinder and a piston spring loaded to discharge water from such cylinder into the flexible conduit, and a normally closed, foot actuatabl-e valve means for controlling discharge from the cylinder into the flexible conduit.
6. In a portable shower construction, structure comprising a horizontal tray, a pair of spaced support standards each comprised of a vertically extending series of joints, means pivotally connecting the lower end of the lowermost joint of each of the standards to the tray at positions adjacent a rear edge of the latter for swinging movement of such lowermost joints in a forward direction about a horizontal axis to generally horizontal collapsed positions overlying and spaced above the tray, each of the standards also including hinge means connecting adjacent ends of the joints for alternate forward and rearward swinging movement of the joints with the lowermost joints being connected to the joint thereabove for the latter to swing forwardly, whereby the joints of each standard can be nested in collapsed and folded relation in the space intermediate the tray and the lowermost joint when the latter is in collapsed position, means interconnecting corresponding joints of the standards for reinforcing and maintaining the joints connected thereby in substantially parallel relation, means for selectively securing the hinge means and pivotally connecting means to prevent swinging movement of the joints when the standards are in vertical operative position, a cover secured to the lower most joints of the standards, and upstanding side walls about the periphery of the tray, with the tray, the cover and the side walls enclosing the standards when the latter are in collapsed position and constituting a carrying case.
7. The combination of claim 6 including a U-shaped frame having its free ends pivotally connected to the upper ends of the upper joints of the standards, said frame being swingable between an operative curtain supporting position substantially at right angles to the upper joints to an inoperative position substantialy flush with the upper joints so as to be collapsible within the carrying case with the latter, and means reasonably securing the frame in said operative position thereof.
8. In a portable shower, the improvement comprising a generally rectangular base constituting a shower platform, said base being provided with peripheral upstanding front, rear, and opposed side walls, a pair of vertical standards having their lower ends disposed to overlie the base adjacent the junctures of the rear wall with the opposed side walls, means pivotally connecting the lower ends of the standards for swinging downwardly to a horizontal position toward the front wall, each of the standards being comprised of joints each of which is shorter than the spacing of the front and rear walls, hinged means connecting the joints of each standard for folding the joints in a zigzag relation to each other whereby the standards can be disposed in a folded condition within the space surrounded by the walls, means interconnecting the joints of the standards whereby the standards can be folded in unison, a movable cover carried by the walls for closing the top of the space surrounded by the walls when the standards are folded within such space and to constitute with the base and walls a carrying case, and means for releasably securing the standards in vertical positions.
9. The combination of claim 8, wherein the base is double walled with the upper wall thereof being generally concave and provided with drain means for discharging water draining therethrough laterally from the base.
10. The combination of claim 8, including a U-shaped frame, means hingedly connecting the free ends of said frame to the upper ends of the standards for movement from a position folded against the upper joints of said standards to a position at right angles thereto, means for releasably securing the frame in the last mentioned position, and a rod connecting the upper ends of the standards to constitute with the frame in its secured position a shower curtain ring having a periphery substantially overlying the periphery of the base.
11. The combination of claim 8, including a shower head mounted on one of said standards, and a flexible conduit in such hollow standard to be foldable with said standard.
12. The combination of claim 11, wherein the hinged means connecting the joints of said one of the standards includes a pair of aligned and abutting tubular elements with the flexible conduit extending through such elements, a hinge pin disposed at one side of the juncture of the elements and pivotally connecting such elements, and said means for securing the standards in vertical position including a movable member disposed on the side of the elements opposite the hinge pin detachably connecting the elements.
13. The combination of claim 12, wherein said member interlocks with one of the elements to connect the elements, said member being movable from said one element and interlocking relation therewith to disconnect the elements, spring means biasing said member toward interconnecting relation with said one element when the elements are in abutting relationship, and a push pin reciprocable through the hinge means for moving the means against the action of the spring means.
14. The combination of claim 8, including a shower head carried by one of the standards with such standard being hollow, a flexible water conduit in the standard having one end connected to the shower head and its lower end extending into the space surrounded by the walls, a water pumping and dispensing System disposed in the space surrounded by the walls, said system including a positive action pump means including a horizontally disposed cylinder fixed to the base and having a pumping chamber therein, a horizontally movable piston in the cylinder spring biased to reduce the volume of the chamber, a pulley carried by the cylinder and a pull rope connected to the piston and entrained over the pulley whereby the rope can be manually drawn upwardly to move the piston in a direction to enlarge the chamber, said cylinder having an inlet check valve communication with the chamber and adapted for connection to a source of water supply, and said cylinder being provided with a check valve outlet communicating between the chamber and the lower end of the flexible conduit.
15. The combination of claim 14, including spring actuated means disposed on the base for normally clamping the flexible conduit to collapse the latter and prevent the flow of water therethrough, and foot operable means operatively connected to spring actuated means for opposing the action thereof, with the conduit being sutficiently resilient to recover from collapsed condition on operation of the foot operated means for the passage of water therethrough.
16. The combination of claim 8, including a shower head carried by one of the standards with such standard being hollow, a flexible water conduit in the standard having one end connected to the shower head and its lower end extending into the space surrounded by the walls, a water pumping system disposed in space surrounded by the walls, said system comprising =a body having a pair of cavities in the top thereof that are sealingly capped about their respective peripheries by flexible diaphragms to define a pair of pumping chambers, a rocker disposed above the body and centrally pivoted to the body to overlie the diaphragms at its opposite sides, actuating links depending from the opposite sides of the rocker and connected to the diaphragms whereby rocking of the rocker alternately expands and contracts the pumping chambers, a pair of parallel blind bores in the body and underlying the cavities, a pair of outlet check valves communicating between one of the bores and both cavities, a pair of inlet check valves communicating between the other bore and both of the cavities, means connecting said one bore to the lower end of the flexible conduit, and the other bore being adapted for connection to a supply of water.
17. A portable shower construction comprising a storage locker having a hinged top cover movable from a horizontal locker closing position to an upstanding vertical position at one side of the locker, means for releasably securing the cover in the vertical position, a pair of interconnected and zigzag folded support standards disposed in the locker and secured to the cover when the latter closes the locker, said standards being comprised of alignable joints and hinged means foldably connecting the joints, means for releasably securing the hinge means against folding of the standards when the latter are unfolded and the joints thereof in alignment, said standards being vertical when unfolded and the cover is in the vertical position, a shower curtain support hingedly secured to the upper end of the standards, said support being foldable with the standards to constitute a continuation of the zigzag folding of the latter, means for releasably securing the support in shower curtain supporting position at right angles to the standards, a shower curtain carried by the support, a shower head carried by one of the standards with such standard being hollow, a flexible water conduit disposed in said one standard and having one end connected to the shower head and having its other end disposed in the locker, a pump in the locker having its outlet connected to said other end of the conduit and its inlet adapted to be connected to a source of water supply.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 204,879 6/1878 Bozerian 4-156 428,252 5/1890 Linden 4147 689,164 12/1901 Castle 4155 2,781,766 2/1957 Krieger. 2,852,784 9/1958 Winkler 4154 2,988,754 6/1961 Misson 4-156 3,067,434 12/1962 Neal et al. 4147 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner. H. K. ARTIS, Assistant Examiner.
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|U.S. Classification||4/599, 4/603|
|International Classification||A47K3/28, A47K3/32|