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Publication numberUS3298052 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 17, 1967
Filing dateMar 5, 1965
Priority dateMar 5, 1965
Publication numberUS 3298052 A, US 3298052A, US-A-3298052, US3298052 A, US3298052A
InventorsMax G Wolfe
Original AssigneeMax G Wolfe
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic window washer and dryer for modern skyscrapers
US 3298052 A
Abstract  available in
Images(6)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 17, 1967 M. G. WOLFE 3,298,052

AUTOMATIC WINDOW WASHER AND DRYER FbR MODERN SKYSCRAPERS Filed March 5, 1965 6 Sheets--Sheet 1 ya 86 z 86 Q 6d INVENTOR ATTURNE.

M. G. WOLFE 3,29%,052

AUTOMATIC WINDOW WASHER AND DRYER FOR MODERN SKYSCRAPERS Jan. 17, 1967 6 Sheets-Sheet Filed March 5, 1965 E MwWPIHIW INVENTOR Wax 5. Wolfe Ware/v15 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 2 INVENTQR Max 6': Wolfe M. G. WOLFE Jam. 17, 1967 AUTOMATIC WINDOW WASHER AND DRYER FOR MODERN SKYSCRAPERS Filed March 5, 1965 M. G. WOLFE Jan. 17, 1967 AUTOMATIC WINDOW WASHER AND DRYER FOR MODERN SKYSCRAPERS 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed March 5, 1965 INVENTOR /7ax fi. 1M0! fa M. G. WOLFE Jan. 17, 1967 AUTOMATIC WINDOW WASHER AND DRYER FOR MODERN SKYSCHAPERS 6 Sheets-$heet 5 Filed March 5, 1965 INVENTOR. Max 6. Wolfe Jan. 17,. 1967 M. G. WOLFE 3,293,052

AUTOMATIC WINDOW WASHER AND DRYER FOR MODERN SKYSCRAPERS Filed March 5, 1965 6 Sheets-$heet -5 United States Patent Filed Mar. 5, 1965, Ser. No. 437,465 12 Claims. (Cl. 15-302) This invention relates generally to window washing apparatus for buildings. More specifically it relates to automatic outside window and wall washing apparatus.

It is generally well known that the washing of the outer side of windows in skyscrapers is accomplished either by a man entering upon the outer ledge, or in the case of modern skyscrapers having generally flat walls, by men upon a vertically movable scaffold suspended by rope from the roof of the building. In the design of ultra modern skyscrapers the recent architectural trend is for the building to have an outer flat wall wherein the windows are located generally flush with the wall and wherein the wall is divided into vertically longitudinal bays by means of rectangular colernize the window washing methods for such building structures.

Accordingly, it is a principal object of the present invention toprovide a modern skyscraper window washing apparatus having self-contained means for automatically washing an entire vertical row of windows located between two vertical columns.

Another object is to provide a modern skyscraper automatic window washer that additionally at thesame time washes the building wall located between the vertical row of windows, thereby removing therefrom all dirt which might otherwise eventually flow across the windows in subsequent rain storms and thus streak the washed windows.

Yet another object is to provide a modern skyscraper automatic window washer having the above objects, which additionally has self-contained means to automatically wipe and dry the windows and wall immediately after washing the same, thus providing a polished finish to these surfaces in view that all water drops that might cause streaking upon drying are removed.

A still further object is to provide a modern skyscraper automatic window washer and dryer which can be readily relocated from one bay to another 'bay of a building, thereby permitting an entire building with many bays on its outer side to be washed and dried by a singular apparatus.

Another still further object is to provide an apparatus having the above objects wherein the washing and drying operations may be selectively used as desired, and wherein a building may thus be only washed but not dried under certain weather conditions or wherein the building may be only buffed and polished without using water to wash the same such as for removing a light dry dust therefrom.

Another still further object is to provide an apparatus having the above objects which is adaptable for being designed for use upon buildings where the windows are relatively flush with the outer side of the wall but wherein there are no columns outwardly positioned from the wall to divide the same into bays, thereby extending the the frame.

3,298,052 Patented Jan. 17, 1967 adaptability of this apparatus to additional designs modern architecture.

Another still further object is to provide an apparatus having the above objects which can be controlled by an operator remotely located upon the ground.

Other objects are to provide an apparatus having the above objects, which is simple in design, inexpensive to manufacture, rugged in construction, easy to use and etficient in operation.

These and other objects will be readily evident upon a study of the following specification and the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus shown in operative use upon the side of a modern design skyscraper, i

FIG. 2 is a top plan view thereof shown partly in cross section,

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 3,

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross sectional view through 55 of FIG. 1, p

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken on line 66 of FIG. 5,

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary front view of the apparatus showing the retractable shoe mechanism,

FIG. 8 is an enlargedfragmentary view similar to FIG. 7 shown partly in cross section,

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of a building showing a modified form of the invention,

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 10-10 of FIG. 3,

FIG. 11 is a diagrammatic perspective view showing the power cable reeling mechanism,

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the control unit,

FIG. 13 is an end view of the apparatus showing a modified construction.

FIG. 14 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of a modified type of drying roller,

FIG. 15 is an electromechanicalcircuit diagram of the apparatus, and

FIG. 16 is an electro-mechanical circuit diagram showing a safety feature to inactivate a certain control during operative use.

Referring now to the drawings in detail the numeral 20 represents a modern skyscraper automatic window Washer and dryer according to the present invention wherein there is a scaffold assembly 21 having a rigid frame 22 made from angle irons upon which the workconnecting horizontal bars 26 and 27. At the lower ends of the legs and the plates there are caster wheels 28 to permit the frame to be moved about when resting upon the ground 29.

The plates 24 and 25 are located at opposite ends of An upper and a lower bearing block assembly 30 and 31 respectively are secured on each plate and a drying roller assembly 3 2 and a washer roller assembly 33 respectively are supported on these bearing block assemblies.

Immediately below the washer roller a water tank 34 is secured between the plates 24 and 25, the tank being located so that the washer roller has physical contact at all times with water 35 contained. in the tank. The tank includes a bottom wall 36, opposite side walls 37, opposite end walls 38 and an opening 39 on top. A drain cook 40 located on the underside of the tank serves to drain the water from the tank after the same has been a used and becomes dirty. Clean water can be poured into the tank through the opening 39.

The washer roller assembly includes a shaft 41 sup ported at its opposite ends in the bearing block assemblies 31. A plurality of radially extending bristles 42 are supported on the shaft 41, the lowermost ends of the lower bristles projecting downward into the water within the tank.

The drying roller assembly includes a central shaft 43 supported at its end in the bearing block assemblies 30. A hollow cylinder 44 having radially inward projecting spokes 45 connected to hubs 4-6 is fixedly mounted by means of set screws 47 upon shaft 43. The hollow cylinder is made from screening material or sheet metal having a great number of small openings 48 therethrough. A sleeve 49 made of water absorbent material is fitted over the cylinder. The openings 48 permit seepage of water on the sleeve to gain access to the hollow interior 50 of the cylinder. As shown in FIGS. and 6, at one end of the cylinder, there is an internal gear 51 which is in engagement with a gear 52 mounted on pin 53 supported on plate 24. The gear 52 is in engagement also with a gear 54- mounted rotatably free on shaft 43. The gear 54 has a plurality of radiallyextending propellor blades 55 integrally formed therewith.

A sprocket 56 is fixedly secured to shaft 41, and a sprocket 57 is fixedly secured to shaft 43 (see FIGS. 5 and 15). An endless chain 58 transmits motion therebetween. Another sprocket 59 also on shaft 43 is driven by means of an endless chain 60 passing over sprocket 61 on a motor shaft 62 of a three pole motor 63 rigidly mounted on the frame 22. The motor 63 is controlled by means of wires 64 leading to a control unit 65 where a two pole switch 66 controls forward or backward rotation of the motor. An extension cord 65A serves to connect the control unit to an electric power source.

A squeegee assembly 67A is also supported upon the frame 22. This assembly includes a shaft 67 supported at its opposite ends in the plates 24 and 25. A bar 68 is provided with lugs 69, the lugs having openings 70 therethrough to receive the shaft 67 from which the bar depends rotatably free. The bar has a longitudinal groove 71 for supporting one longitudinal side of a rubber squeegee 72, therein. The bar also has lugs 73 which are connected by means of a pin 74 to one end of a solenoid arm 75 of a solenoid 76. The solenoid is controlled by wiring 77 to a switch 78 on the control unit. Actuation of the solenoid causes the squeegee to pivot about shaft 67 to allow the squeegee edge 79 to retract or advance between an operative and an inoperative position.

At each longitudinal end of the frame a synchronized motor 80 is secured for the purpose of elevating the apparatus vertically along the outer side of a building. A gear case 81 adjacent each motor 80 contains a primary gear 82 on motor shaft 83. A pair of secondary gears 84 engage the gear 82 and an idler wheel 85 is so positioned that a cable 86 passed vertically along one side of the gears 84 is turned partly around an are about each gear 84 thereby being in frictional engagement therewith.

The cable 86 extends out of openings 87 on the upper and lower side of the box. The cable extends upwardly to the roof of a modern skyscraper where it is temporarily secured for the window washing operation.

As shown in FIG. 1 a modern skyscraper 88 has a flat outer wall 89 divided into longitudinally vertical bays 90 by means of rectangular columns 91 on the outer side of the building. In the present form of the invention the columns are provided with a vertical groove 92 on each side for engagement with the apparatus 20 for the purpose of maintaining the apparatus at a fixed distance away from the wall 93 of each bay. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the wall 93 is comprised of windows 94 and wall sections 95 therebetween, the windows and wall sections bein relatively flush with each other.

The apparatus 20 has shoes 96 and 97 at its ends which travel within the grooves 92. The shoe '97 is spring loaded by means of compression coil spring 98 to assure positive contact between the groove and shoe at all times. The other shoe 96 is made retractible so that the apparatus may be disengaged at the lower end of each bay 90 after completing a window washing operation and moved to another bay for further work. The shoe 96 is mounted upon stub shafts 99 that project horizontally through plate 24. A bar 100 connects the stub shaft ends, and a solenoid arm 101 of solenoid 102 mounted on the frame moves the bar 100 causing the shoe to be extended into the groove or withdrawn therefrom. Electric wiring 103 between the solenoid 102 and a switch 104 in the control unit provide means for operating the same.

As shown in FIG. 16, a safety device 105 is provided whereby accidental disengagement of the shoe 96 cannot occur while the apparatus is in movement along a building wall. Each synchronous motor 80 is a three pole motor to provide movement in both directions. Both motors 80 are synchronized together and are connected by wires 106 to a two pole switch 107 on the control panel. A link 108 is connected to the pivotable arm 108A of switch 107. A sliding block 109 made of electrical insulation material is attached to the link 108. An electrical bridge 110 is provided at one point from the upper side to the lower side of the block. When the arm 109 is in off position the bridge 110 provides electrical circuit between a wire 103A and wire 103B leading to switch 104. When the arm 109 is in either operating position the bridge is not in position to complete a circuit to switch 104. Thus the shoe 96 cannot be accidently disengaged from the groove during use.

The apparatus has means for automatically stopping the upward movement of the apparatus at the top of the building and reversing its travel downward. A switch unit 111 is attached to the upper end of shoe 96. The unit has a pivotable arm 112 that fits into groove 92. The groove has a top wall 113 against which arm 112 abuts upon the upward travel of the apparatus. As shown in FIG. 8, this causes the arm to swing downward, causing a switch 114'within unit 111 to break a circuit and stop the upward travel of the apparatus. The arm now srikes switch 115 in the unit, closing a circuit to reverse the synchronous motors and cause the apparatus to descend. Electric lamps 116 and 117 on the control unit are located in these circuits to visually inform an operator upon the ground that the apparatus has reversed its travel direction. A leaf spring 118 located inside unit 111 engages selectively notches 119 on the arm to maintain the selected circuits in operation.

In FIG. 13, a construction is shown wherein the washer roller and dryer roller are adjustable horizontally so to selectively contact or be spaced apart from the building windows and wall during operation. In this construction the bearing blocks 120 and 121 are supported between horizontal tracks 122 and 123, the bearing blocks being horizontally slidable between the tracks by means of solenoids 124.

FIG. 13 shows a modified drive wherein a singular belt 125 passes around pulleys 126 and 127 of the rollers, pulley 128 of the motor and pulley 129 of take up idler 130.

In operative use the operator stays upon the ground while the apparatus first ascends the wall and then descends. During the descent the rollers rotate. The washer roller with bristles wetted in the tank scrubs the windows and walls between the windows. The dryer roller rubs off the excess water thereafter and the squeege wipes the surface clean. While the dryer roller rotates, the propeller blade drives off the water laden air within the roller cylinder. During this operation the control unit can be held in the operators hand so he can selectively activate or inactivate either roller or squeege. The electrical wires between the apparatus and control unit are grouped to form a cable that is released from a reel 131 during ascent and wound up during descent thereby preventing loose wires upon the ground during operation. The reel 131 is mounted on a shaft 132 on synchronous motor 80 as shown in FIG. 11. The reels is approximately the same diameter as gear 84 thus at all times maintaining the control unit the same distance away as the lower end of the cable from the gears 84.

In FIG. 14 a modified dryer roller is shown wherein the cylinder 133 has a removable sleeve 134. Tabs 135 on the sleeve have openings 136 to receive holding screws that are secured in threaded openings 137 on the cylinder.

FIG. 9 shows a modified construction adaptable for use on a building 138 which does not have columns on the outer side of the walls. In this construction, vertical grooves 139 are provided in the flat wall between the windows 145. An access opening 140 of enlarged proportion is provided at the bottom of the groove for insertion of a shoe 141. A lug 142 on the shoe is connected by a pin to a bar 143 secured to the apparatus 144.

While various changes may be made in the detail construction, it is to be understood that such changes shall be within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Having thus set forth my invention what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers, the combination of a frame, mechanism carried on said frame for washing windows, mechanism carried on said frame for drying windows and means carried on said frame for wiping said windows, the frame comprising a pair of vertical corner legs, a pair of vertical plates, a plurality of horizontal bars rigidly connected to said vertical legs and plates, a caster wheel on the lower end of each of said legs and plates, means on said frame for slidable movement along a building wall, a plurality of bearing block assemblies secured to each of said plates for supporting said window washing mechanism and said window drying mechanism, said window washing mechanism comprising a horizontal washer roller assembly, said washer roller assembly comprising a shaft supported at its opposite ends in one of said bearing block assemblies on each of said plates, a plurality of radially-extending bristles on said shaft, the lowermost ends of the lower of said bristles extending downwardly into a water tank mounted between said plates on said frame, said window drying mechanism comprising a horizontal drying roller assembly, said drying roller assembly comprising a shaft supported at its opposite ends in another of said bearing block assemblies on each of said plates, a hollow cylinder having inwardly-extending spokes secured to a pair of central hubs being supported on said drying roller shaft, said cylinder'having a plurality of openings through the cylindrical side thereof, a sleeve fitted over said cylinder, said sleeve being made from a water absorbing material, and means for blowing water vapor outwardly from within said hollow cylinder.

2. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers, the combination as set forth in claim 1, wherein said sleeve is open along the cylindrical side to permit removal from said cylinder, said sleeve having a plurality of tabs on each edge adjacent said opening, a plurality of threaded openings in said cylinder, and a clearance opening in each of said tabs for receiving holding screws therethrou-gh.

3. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers the combination as set forth in claim 1, where in said means for wiping said windows comprises a squeegee unit, said squeegee unit comprising a supporting shaft mounted at its ends in said plates, a first set of lugs on said bar, said lugs having openings to receive said squeegee unit shaft therethrough, said bar having a longitudinal groove, a rubber squeegee supported insaid groove and said squeegee having an edge for wiping contact with said windows of said building, and said bar having a second set of lugs connected to a solenoid arm of a solenoid mounted fixedly on said frame.

4. In a window washing apparatus for modern sky scrapers, the combination as set forth in claim 3, wherein said squeegee unit is located on said frame above said drying roller assembly and said drying roller assembly is located on said frame above said washing roller assembly.

5. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscraper buildings as defined in. claim 4, wherein said means for sliding movement along a building wall includes a shoe at each opposite end of said frame, said shoe having means for being engageable with said building.

6. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers the combination as set forth in claim 5, wherein both of said shoes are carried on a pair of horizontal stub shafts extending through openings in each of said plates, one of said shoes being outwardly urged from one of said plates by a compression coil spring therebetween, and the other of said shoes having a vertical bar across the ends of said stub shafts, said bar being connected to a solenoid arm of a solenoid mounted in stationary position on said frame, whereby said solenoid moves said shoe relative to said frame.

7. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers, the combination as defined in claim 6, wherein said means for sliding movement along a building wall further comprises a pair of synchronized motors, one of which is mounted at each longitudinal end of said frame, each of said synchronous: motors having an adjacent gear box, a first gear within said gear box, said first gear being secured on the shaft of its respective motor, a pair of second gears in vertical alignment relative to each other engaged with said first gear, said second gears being within said gear box, an idler wheel within said gear box, a space between said second gears and said idler wheel for receiving a vertically-extending cable along one side of said second gears and extending arcuately around portions thereof, said idler w-heel being so positioned relative to said second gears to cause said vertical cable to extend around said arcuate portions of said second gears, said gear box having openings on the top and bottom sides thereof for vertical passage of said cable through said box.

'8. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers, the combination as set forth in claim 7, wherein one of said gear boxes has one of said second gears mounted on a shaft extending outwardly from said gear box, a reel secured on the outer end of said gear shaft, said reel having a diameter generally equal to the diameter of said second gear, and an electric cable mounted on said reel, one end of said cable depending downwardly to a control box, the other end of said cable being connected to said motors and said solenoids on said frame, and said control box having means for connection to an electric supply source.

9. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers the combination as set forth in claim 8, wherein said bearing block assemblies of said roller assemblies are mounted transversely slidably free between pairs of tracks mounted on said plates, said bearing block assemblies being connected to the solenoid arms of solenoids mounted in stationary position on said frame.

10. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers, the combination as set forth in claim 9, wherein said building is provided with vertical grooves on said columns for receiving said shoes therein.

11. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers, the combination as set forth in claim 10, wherein each said solenoid for moving said shoe is controlled by a switch within said control box, said synchronous motors are controlled by a switch within said control box,

said switch for said synchronous motors having a pivotable arm aflixed to a manually operated lever, said arm being connected by means of a line to a sliding block carrying an electric bridge, said electric bridge closing an electric circuit to said shoe controlling solenoid when said manually operated lever is in a position whereby said synchronous motors switch is in open position.

12. In a window washing apparatus for modern skyscrapers the combination as set forth in claim 11, wherein said shoe movable by said solenoid has a switch unit mounted thereupon said switch unit comprising a housing enclosing a pair of switches and a pivotable arm extending outwardly from said housing, the outer end of said arm extending into said groove of said building when said shoe is in engagement with said groove, said groove having a roof at the upper end thereof, said pivotable arm being in alignment to abut with said roof when said apparatus is at the upper end of said building wall, said pivotable arm maintaining one of said switches within said switch unit in closed position and the other of said switches in open position during upward travel of said apparatus and said pivotable arm, upon abutment with said roof, adapted to be pivoted downwardly to open said closed switch and close said open switch.

References Cited lay the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,773,900 8/ 1930 Kaufman 15-250.11 2,517,474 8/1950 Fouse 15103 X 3,080,592 3/1963 Hassage.

FOREIGN PATENTS 250,862 4/ 1964 Australia.

10,592 5/ 1905 Great Britain. 182,224 7/1922 Great Britain.

ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3344454 *Feb 18, 1966Oct 3, 1967Mikalson Severine AlbertRemote controlled window washer for high rise buildings
US3425082 *May 27, 1966Feb 4, 1969Hetman Frank WSelf-propelled device for cleaning the window and wall surfaces of a building structure
US3454976 *Jan 30, 1968Jul 15, 1969Kijinski GeraldAutomatic window washing system
US3497902 *Oct 4, 1968Mar 3, 1970Hartigan JohnBuilding cleaning apparatus
US3641607 *Mar 17, 1969Feb 15, 1972Jerome H LemelsonBuilding maintenance apparatus
US3887954 *Apr 26, 1974Jun 10, 1975Carlsson Rolf GottfridMotor-driven washing apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/302, 15/50.3, 15/103, 15/98
International ClassificationA47L1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47L2201/00, A47L1/02
European ClassificationA47L1/02