US 3331425 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 18, 1967 s. GROVES ET AL 3,331,425
BASS-THROUGH CURTAIN Filed June 25, 1965 INVENTO PHILIP N. DUNHAM RS E. STUART GROVES 7, w
7V .7 AIIOBNEYSMF United States Patent Maine 04005 Filed June 25, 1965, Ser. No. 466,892 4 Claims. (Cl. 160-126) This invention relates generally to curtain structures and more particularly is directed to a pass-through curtain for use across passageways such as doorways, garage entrances and the like.
In many types of buildings such as service stations, automobile garages, warehouses and the like, it is necessary that doorways be open for extended periods for ingress and egress of men and material. In automobile repair shops and gas stations for example, in which the doorways are usually quite large to accommodate automobiles and trucks, overhead doors are employed and these must usually be kept in a raised position during working hours to permit movement of men and vehicles therethrough. Because of the large area of the doorway in such buildings, it is extremely dilficult during cold weather to maintain a comfortable temperature level within the building. Even though the door may be opened and closed quickly, there is, nevertheless, a large loss of heat each time the door is operated. Also, it is a nuisance to keep opening and closing the doors while vehicles are moved in and out.
Accordingly, it is the object of the present invention to provide a new and improved pass-through curtain for use across doorways and the like.
Another object of this invention is to provide transparent draft-free barrier which permits the free movement of solid objects therethrough.
A further object of this invention is to provide a passthrough curtain having detachable and replaceable component parts.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a simple, low-cost, transparent pass-through curtain for doorways and the like, which curtain may be quickly and easily installed and may be readily drawn for storage and passage of oversized vehicles and the like.
More particularly, this invention features a passthrough curtain for doorways and the like comprising a relatively large upper main body panel of a size to span the upper portion of a doorway, for example, when suspended thereacross and a plurality of relatively small lower panels detachably connected along the lower edge of the main body panel and of an aggregate size to span the lower portion of the doorway. As another feature of this invention the lower detachable panels marginally overlap one another and their upper opposing edges diverge from one another to prevent the lower edges of adjacent panels from jamming against one another after being parted. This invention also features a novel suspension system for the curtain comprising transverse rigid rods or the like engaging the upper and lower edges of the main body of the panel whereby the curtain will hang flat against the doorway frame and may be raised or lowered by pulley systems connected to the lower rod.
However, these and other features of the invention, along with further objects and advantages thereof, will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, with reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which;
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a pass-through curtain and associated suspension apparatus made according to the invention, and
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary front elevation on an enlarged scale showing details in the construction of the lower panels.
Referring now to the drawings, the reference character 10 generally indicates a pass-through curtain assembly suspended across a relatively large doorway 12 from a frame 14 for an overhead door 16. The curtain is generally organized about a relatively large, rectangular, upper main body panel 18 fabricated from a flexible sheet. The main body panel 18 is of suflicient width and height to span the upper portion of the doorway opening with several inches overlap around the margins thereof when suspended in position. The panel 18 in the preferred form of this invention is fabricated from a flexible, clear, transparent sheet. For this purpose, transparent vinyl plastic of about 12 gauge thickness, for example, has been found to be particularly satisfactory for reasons of cost, durability transparency and draping characteristics. Quite obviously many other suitable materials may be used to advantage in place of vinyl.
As shown in FIG. 1, the upper edge of the panel 18 is formed into horizontal hem or sleeve 20 to accommodate a length of rigid pipe 22 or the like inserted therein. It will be noted that the ends of the pipe 22 extend beyond the side margins of the panel 18 and are supported by hangers in the form of metal straps 24 secured to the frame 14 which supports the overhead door 16.
Adjacent the lower marginal edge of the panel 18 is a second horizontal sleeve 28 which accommodates a length of pipe 30 inserted therein. As with the top pipe 22, the ends of the lower pipe 30 also extend beyond the side margins of the panel 18 for connection with the ends of ropes 32 and 34 in a pulley system comprising pulleys 36, 38 and 40 attached to the overhead frame 14 by pulley hangers 42 and 44. The free ends of the ropes 32 and 34 are normally secured to a cleat 46 mounted adjacent the doorway. It will be understood that the pulley system permits the pipe 30 to be raised in a horizontal condition whereby the curtain will also be raised either for storage purposes or to permit the passage of large trucks or the like. The cross pipes 22 and 30, by reason of their weight and rigidity, also provide a frame for the panel 18 and combine to hold the curtain suspended in a flat condition against the doorway frame thereby minimizing drafts and movement of the curtain.
Spaced along the lower margin of the panel 18, below the sleeve 28, a number of connectors such as snaps 50 or other suitable devices, are attached. These snaps provide a detachable connection for a plurality of smaller flexible panels 52, 54, 56 and 58 which form the lower part of the curtain 10. The individual panels 52 through 58 are each provided with cooperating snaps 60 or the like spaced along their upper margins for engagement with the snaps 50 on the panel 18.
Typically, the lower panels 52 through 58 are on the order of 6 to 7 feet in length and perhaps 3 feet or so in width. The several lower panels are separate from one another and may be removed or replaced individually. The lower panels are suspended from the main panel so that opposing margins of adjacent panels overlap by about two inches to provide an effective seal against drafts. In practice, and when using the curtain over a garage doorway, the two center panels which are 54 and 56 in the FIG. 1 embodiment, preferably should each be 36 inches in width insofar as the standard car is about 6 feet in width. In this fashion, an automobile may drive through the curtain as suggested in FIG. 1 so that the panels 54 and 56 will part easily. Also, this arrangement permits an automobile antenna, which may be located to either side of the car, to pass between the pairs of panels 52 and 54 or 56 and 58. If the antenna were to push against the center part of one of the panels, the antenna may be damaged.
' ing doorways or passages of In order to insure that the lower panels return to overlapping positions after being parted the upper opposing edges of an adjacent pair, such as pair 52 and 54 shown in FIG. 2, are cut on the bias as at 62 and 64. The cutaway portion extends about two feet down from the top edge of each lower panel. The upper opposing edges of the panels butt one another at the top of the bias cuts and then proceed to overlap. Theconverging cut edges 62 and 64 overlap about 1 foot down from the top and at the two foot point the margins become parallel and overlap by about two inches continuously down to their lower edges. With this arrangement, the opposing edges of an adjacent pair of panels will not butt or jam against one another after they have been parted, but rather will return to a flat overlying condition.
The lower panels 52 through 58 typically are fabricated from a clear, trans-parent material similar to that used in the main body panel 18 but of a heavier stock and preferably of about twice the thickness of the panel 18. Insofar as the panels 52 through 58 will be subject to wear and abrasion by reason of men, vehicles and materials passing therethrough, it has been found that a lamination of vinyl and Mylar is particularly satisfactory for use in the lower panels. Both materials are clear, transparent and flexible and the Mylar provides high resistance to puncturing and wearing. Mylar is the trademark for a highly durable transparent water repellent film of polyethylene terephthalate resin produced by Du Pont. The Mylar may be laminated to either or both sides of vinyl as desired.
The curtain may be made up in various sizes for coverany size. Obviously the size and number of the lower panels may be varied as desired. The curtain has particular utility in large workshops and the like and preferably is suspended behind the door which may be operated with the curtain in place. During winter months, for example the curtain may be left in place and the door may be operated without interferring with the curtain in any Way. The curtain thus provides a transparent barrier to the elements while permitting free passage of men and vehicles therethrough. The upper main body panel 18 normally may be left in position permanently except when a particularly large vehicle or other object must be moved through the doorway. By
.reason of the fact that the upper panel is one-piece affair and is not subject to traflic, very little heat will be lost through the upper portion of the doorway and any heat lost through the lower portion of the doorway will be minimized by the fact that the smaller lower panels naturally overlap one another and are parted only when a person or vehicle passes through. During summer months the curtain may serve to prevent loss of air conditioned air within a room or building subject to a lot of trafiic or if the curtain is to be stored the bottom panels may be detached and the upper panel drawn up by means of the pulley system. Insofar as the lower panels are individually detachable, some or all may be removed or, should one or more become worn or otherwise damaged, it may be individually replaced. The heavy weight of the lower panels insures that they will hang straight and thus provide stability against wind.
While the invention has been described with particular reference to the illustrated embodiment, it will be understood that numerous modifications thereto will appear to those skilled in the art. For example, the main body panel 18 may be used as a support or as background foradvertising material. The panel itself may be imprinted with advertising or an array of snaps may be connected to the panelfor detachably engaging other panels across the face of the main body panel, which other panels may contain advertising material. Also, many different materials may be employed in the curtain and various types of connectors may be used to detachably connect the lower panels to the main body panel. While the curtain has been described with particular reference to garage doorways and the like, it may also be used to advantage at loading doors for Warehouses or the like, across entrances to mines or in any similar type of installation where a transparent pass-through barrier would be useful. In' addition, the curtain may be employed within a building as a barrier bleitween one area and an adjacent area against dust or the 11 e.
Accordingly, the above description and accompanying drawings should be taken as illustrative of the invention and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described the invention, what we claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. pass-through curtain fordoorways and the like, comprising (a) a relatively large main body panel of flexible material adapted to be suspended across the upper portion of said doorway,
(b) a plurality of relatively small lower panels of flexible material detach-ably connected along the lower edge of said main body panel for spanning the lower portion of said doorway,
(c) elongated rigid members connected to and extending across the upper and lower margins of said main body' panel, and- V (d) supporting means for mountlng the upper member across the top of said doorway.
2. A pass-through curtain according to claim 1 includ 'ing lifting means connected to the lower member for raising said curtain.
3. A pass-through curtainfor doorways and the like,
comprising (a) a main body panel of flexible imperforate material,
(b) mounting means suspending said body panel across the upper portion of said doorway, and
(c) a plurality of lower panels of flexible imperforate transparent material detachably connected and freely hanging along the lower edge of said main body panel for spanning the lower portion of said doorway,
(d) the upper portions of opposing side edges of'adjacent said lower panels are formed to diverge from one another and the lower portion of said adjacent panels marginally overlap.
4. A pass-through curtain according to claim 3 wherein at least said lower panels are fabricated from a laminated flexible sheet including a relatively thick stratum of a clear, flexible transparent and relatively soft material and at least one relatively thin stratum of a clear, flexible, transparent and relatively hard material.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 333,158 12/1885 Reynolds 237 X 1,726,887 9/1929 Clamp 160237 1,778,499 10/1930 King 160330 2,122,532 7/1938 Mims et al. 160-330 2,500,074 3/1950 Hill 16O330 X 3,035,275 5/1962 Strebeigh 160-237 X 3,136,356 6/1964 Mears 160-87 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner;
REINALDO P. MACHADO, Examiner.
P. M. CAUN, Assistant Examiner.