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Publication numberUS3351363 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 7, 1967
Filing dateDec 23, 1964
Priority dateDec 23, 1964
Publication numberUS 3351363 A, US 3351363A, US-A-3351363, US3351363 A, US3351363A
InventorsDowney David F, Ferraris John T
Original AssigneeElectrolux Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable length wand
US 3351363 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 7, 1967 o. F. DOWNEY ETAL 3,351,353

ADJUSTABLE LENGTH WAND 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 23, 1964 5 m T N E v m JOHN T. FERRARIS DAVID E DOWNEY THEIR ATTORNEY Nov. 7, 1967 D. F. DOWNEY ETAL 3,351,363

ADJUSTABLE LENGTH WAND 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 23, 1964 INVENTORS JOHN T. FERRARIS DAVID F. DOWNEY PJPI. 11.1:

THEIR ATTOR NEY United States Patent 3,351,363 ADJUSTABLE LENGTH WAND David F. Downey and John T. Ferraris, Stamford, Coma, assignors to Electrolux Corporation, Old Greenwich, Conn, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 23, 1964, Ser. No. 420,501 3 Claims. (Cl. 285303) There is provided by our invention a vacuum cleaner wand which may be telescopically adjusted and latched at any one of a number of desired lengths.

When using a tank-type vacuum cleaner a rigid hollow wand is coupled between a suction hose and a suction cleaning nozzle. The wand serves two purposes. It serves as a handle with which the housewife can move the nozzle across the surface to be cleaned and, in addition, it serves as a conduit for conveying dirt-ladened air from the suction nozzle to the hose and thence to the tank unit where the dirt is filtered from the air. Hence, the wand must be able to transmit substantial force applied in a longitudinal direction and, in addition, it must be airtight. The conventional widely-used wand has two wand sections which may be coupled end-to-end to form -a long wand, but if a short length of wand is required, only one section is used. Thus, with such an arrangement the housewife can use either a long wand or a short one, depending on the kind of cleaning task involved. However, she is not able to have a wand of an intermediate length; i.e., a wand which can have its length varied, incrementally, between the aforesaid short and long lengths.

There are many occasions when it would be an advantage to be able to adjust the Wand to intermediate lengths. Ordinarily, when a rug is being cleaned, one would want to use a long length wand. Heretofore, this was accomplished by coupling the two aforementioned wand sections end-to'end. But, if the housewife is below average height it would be an advantage to telescope the two wand sections to provide an intermediate length wand. Also, when cleaning objects above the floor, such as table tops, drapes, picture frames, moldings and the like, it would be desirable to be able to adjust the wand to various lengths in accordance with the height of the object above the floor.

One object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved vacuum cleaner wand.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a vacuum cleaner wand, the length of which may be adjusted to any one of a plurality of lengths and is positively latched in each such position of adjustment.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a vacuum cleaner wand which, although adjustable as to length, is nevertheless airtight.

Briefly, in accordance with one embodiment of our invention there is provided a vacuum cleaner wand having inner and outer tubular wand sections which are coaxially arranged so that the inner wand section can be moved, telescopically, within the outer wand section. On the outer surface of the inner wand section there is formed a series of hemispherical indentations and this series extends for a substantial distance along the length of the inner wand section. In addition, there is formed in the outer surf-ace of the inner wand section a long narrow indentation which also extends for a substantial distance along the length of the wand. At one end of the outer wand section there is connected a latch mechanism which is comprised of two coaxially arranged hollow cylindrical members; i.e., a stationary inner cylindrical member, which is fastened to the outer surface of the outer wand section, and an outer cylindrical member arranged for limited movement relative to the stationary inner cylindrical member. The inner wand section passes 3,351,363 Patented. Nov. 7, 1967 coaxially through the two hollow cylindrical members into the outer wand section. Between the two coaxially arranged cylindrical members there is provided a space within which there is seated a spring member which normally biases the outer cylindrical member to assume a predetermined alignment relative to the inner cylindrical member. Two small spheres, such as steel balls, for example, are seated in spaces which are provided in the inner cylindrical member. The first of these spheres projects into the long narrow indentation on the inner wand section. When the inner wand section is telescopically moved in a longitudinal direction within the outer wand section, this sphere will permit such movement but will prevent the inner wand section from being rotated within the outer wand section. The second sphere is forced into one of the hemispherical indentations in the inner wand section when the spring member is biasing the outer cylindrical member to its normal position because a surface portion of the outer cylindrical member forces this sphere to project into the hemispherical indentation. In this condition the wand sections are securely latched so they cannot be further telescoped. In order to unlatch the wand for the purpose of changing its length (for example, to further telescope the inner wand within the outer wand section) the outer cylindrical member is slidably moved over the inner cylindrical member against the restraining force of the spring member. After a predetermined movement, another space provided in the outer cylindrical section will arrive adjacent to the second sphere, at which point the inner wand section may be moved longitudinally. As the inner wand section is being moved, the second sphere is moved outwardly into the adjacent space thereby unlatching the two wands. The second sphere will then seat itself in any one of the successively arriving hemispherical indent-ations at which point the housewife can release her grip on the outer cylindrical member so that the spring action will again cause a latching of the two wand sections.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a tank type vacuum cleaner employing a variable length wand in accordance with a first embodiment of our invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the wand of FIG. I adjusted to a relatively short length, suitable for cleaning objects above the floor;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-section of part of the wand of FIG. 1 showing the two wand sections thereof in a latched or locked condition;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the wand shown in FIG. 3 viewed along the section line 4-4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal cross-section similar to FIG. 3, but showing the two wand sections thereof being unlatched, or unlocked, as an outer cylindrical member forming part of a latch mechanism is moved in one direction;

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal cross-section similar to FIG. 5, but showing the two wand sections thereof being unlatched as the outer cylindrical member is moved in a direction opposite to that shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a variable length wand according to our invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a variable length wand according to our invention;

FIG. 9 is a longitudinal cross-section of part of the wands of FIGS. 7 and 8 showing the two wand sections thereof in a latched, or locked, condition;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the wand shown in FIG. 9 as viewed along the section line Ill-10 in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a longitudinal cross-section of part of the wand of FIGS. 7 and 9 showing the two Wand sections in an unlatched, or unlocked, condition;

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of the wand of FIG. 11 as viewed along the section line 12-12 in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a longitudinal cross-section of a fourth embodiment of a variable length wand according to our invention showing the two wand sections thereof in their latched or locked condition;

FIG. 14 is a cross-section of the wand shown in FIG. 13 as viewed along section line 14-14 in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a longitudinal cross-section of the wand of FIG. 13 showing the two wand sections thereof in their unlatched or unlocked condition; and

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of the wand shown in FIG. 15 as viewed along the section line 16-16 in FIG. 15.

In FIGS. 1 and 2 the reference character 16 designates an adjustable length wand according to a first embodiment of our invention. In FIG. 1 the wand 16 is shown in its fully extended condition and in this condition it is suitable for cleaning the surface of a floor. As indicated there is provided a relatively large cleaning tool 24, or suction nozzle, on the end of wand 16. However, in FIG. 2 the wand is shown in a shortened condition and a different cleaning tool 22 is attached to the end of the wand. With the shortened wand 16 and the cleaning tool 22 coupled at the end thereof the housewife can easily clean draperies, table tops, picture frames, moldings and other such objects which are located above the floor surface.

The wand 16 is comprised of the rigid, tubular, outer wand section 18 as well as the rigid, tubular, inner wand section 20. These wand sections are telescopically arranged. That is, the inner wand'section 20 is arranged for sliding movement longitudinally within the outer wand section 18. The wand sections 18 and 20 may be fashioned from aluminum, or steel, or the like. In FIG. 1 a tank unit of a vacuum cleaner includes therewithin a dust bag and a motor-fan unit. However, the dust bag and motor-fan unit are not illustrated in the drawings. Coupled to the suction inlet port of the tank unit 10 is one end of a suction hose 12. At the other end of the hose 12 there is a rigid, hollow, hose handle 14 which is inserted into the flared end portion 18a of the outer wand section 18. In the arrangement shown air, ladened with dirt and dust from the floor and rug, enters the suction nozzle 24 and this di-rty air is conveyed to the dust bag in the tank unit 10 via the inner wand section 20, the outer wand section 18, the hollow hose handle 14 and the suction hose 12.

The first embodiment of the wand 16 according to our invention is illustrated in greater detail in FIGS. 3-6 of the accompanying drawings. As shown, for a substantial distance along the outside surface of the inner wand section 20 there is formed an axially extending series of hemispherical indentations 2626. Also formed in the outer surface of the inner wand section 20 is a long narrow indentation 28 which, as shown in FIG. 4, has a semicircular cross-section. Like the series of hemispherical indentations 2626, the indentation 28 also extends for a substantial distance in an axial direction along the wand section 20. Formed in one end of the outer surface of the inner wand section 20 is an annular groove 30 and within this groove there is located an annular sealing member 32. The sealing member 32 may be formed from rubber, or another suitable elastomer, and it serves the purpose of providing an airtight seal between the inner and outer surfaces of the wand sections 18 and 20, respectively.

Secured to one end of the outer surface of the outer wand section 18 is a hollow cylindrical member 34, or as it is sometimes called hereinafter an inner cylindrical member. A substantial end section of this member 34- projects beyond an end of t e and SeCIiO This inner cylindrical member 34, is, as shown at FIG. 3, provided with an internal annular groove and after the end portion of the outer wand section 18 has been inserted within the cylindrical member 34 an annular groove 36 is formed in the inside surface of the outer wand seection 18 by means of a suitable expansion tool. By forming the annular groove 36 on the inside of wand section 18 there is necessarily provided an annular projecting rib on the outside of the wand section 18. This projecting rib enters the annular groove on the inside surface of the cylindrical member 34 thereby positively securing the cylindrical member 34 to the end of the wand section 18. Thereafter, the inner wand section 20 may be slidably inserted within the outer wand section 18.

As is shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6 there is formed near one end of the inner cylindrical member 34, in the projecting end section thereof, the two generally cylindrical holes or cavities 40 and 42. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the cavity 40 is aligned with one of the hemispherical indentations 26 of wand section 20 and the cavity 42 communicates, as shown, with an end portion of the long narrow indentation 28. Two balls 44 and 46, which may be of steel or the like, are located in the cavities 40 and 42, respectively. A hollow generally cylindrical member 43, or outer cylindrical member as it is sometimes called hereinafter, concentrically encompasses the inner cylindrical member 34. On the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 48 there are formed two= annular grooves which receive the split retaining rings 50 and 52. Being split these rings 50 and 52 may be compressed to a smaller diameter and inserted while so compressed within the outer cylindrical member 48. When the compressed rings 50 and 52 are aligned next to the aforementioned internal annular grooves they are allowed to expand to a larger diameter and in doing so the rings will become seated in the aforesaid annular grooves and a substantial portion of the inside edge surface of the rings 50 and 52 will project outwardly from the inside wall surface of the outer cylindrical member 48. As shown in FIG. 3, the inside edge of the ring 50 is normally adjacent an annular projection 54 which is formed in the outer surface of the inner cylindrical member 34. As indicated there is a small clearance provided between the peripheral edge surface of the ring 50 and the peripheral edge surface of the annular projection 54.

As shown in FIG. 3, there are defined two generally annular spaces between the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 48 and the outside surface of the inner cylindrical member 34. One annular space is located to the right of the aligned ring and projection, 51) and 54. The second annular space is located to the left of this aligned ring and projection. In the left-hand space there are located the two annular slide rings 56 and 58 together with a compression spring 62. In the right-hand annular space there are located an annular slide ring 60 and a compression spring 64. The annular slide rings 56, 58 and 60 have a generally L-shaped longitudinal cross-section as shown. The slide rings 58 and 60 are arranged in back to back relationship but are separated, as shown in FIG. 3, by the aligned split ring and annular projection, 50 and 54. Upright leg portions of the slide rings 58 and 60 are normally in abutment with the aligned ring and projection, 50 and 54. Also, an upright leg portion of the slide ring 56 abuts against the split retaining ring 52.

There is formed at the forward end of the outer cylindrical member 48, on the inside surface thereof, a short axially extending longitudinal slot comprising the two tapered, or wedge-like surfaces 66 and and the relatively straight surface 68 which is intermediate the tapered surface 66 and 70. A few end turns of the compression spring 62 are situated between the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 48 and the horizontal leg portions of the annular slide rings 56 and 58.

Being so situated the spring 62 will be confined within the lefthand space and cannot escape from this space when, as indicated in FIGS. 5 and 6, the outer cylindrical member 48 moves in a longitudinal direction relative to the stationary inner cylindrical member 34. Likewise, as shown in FIG. 3, to confine the spring 64 against escaping from the right-hand space, the end turns of the spring 64 are confined at one end between a horizontal leg portion of the slide ring 60 and the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 48. At the other end, the end turns of the spring 64 are received in an annular groove 72 which is formed in the inside wall of the outer cylindrical member 48.

A hard plastic, such as nylon, polyethylene, or even metals such as steel or aluminum may be used to fashion the following parts: the inner and outer cylindrical members 34, 48; the slide rings 56, 58, 60; and the split retaining rings 58 and 52. Spring steel or another resilient material suitable for the purpose may be used to form the compression springs 62 and 64.

One way of assembling the latch mechanism comprising the cylindrical members 34 and 48 together with the slide rings, compression coils, retaining rings and steel balls is as follows:

Before slipping the outer cylindrical member 48 over the inner wand section 20 (from right to left in accordance with the orientation shown in FIG. 3) the spring 64, the annular slide ring 60 and the split retaining ring 50 may be assembled within the outer cylindrical member 48, adjacent the inside wall surface thereof. The steel balls 44 and 46 are inserted into their respective holes, or cavities, 40 and 42. Then the outer cylindrical member 48 having the spring, slide ring and retaining ring assembled therein is slipped over the outer surface of the inner wand section 20 and, thence, over the inner cylindrical member 34 to the position indicated in FIG. 3 such that the split retaining ring 50 is peripherally aligned with the annular projecting rib 54 and the annular slide ring 60 is in abutment with both the ring 50 and projection 54. Then into the empty left-hand annular space between the cylindrical members 34 and 48 the slide ring 58 is inserted to the position shown in FIG. 3 until it abuts the aligned projection 54 and the ring 50. Thereafter, the compression spring 62 is moved inwardly into the left-hand cylindrical space between the inner and outer cylindrical members until one end thereof abuts the upright leg portion of the slide ring 58. Afterward the slide ring 56 is pushed into this space to the position shown in FIG. 3. Finally, the split retaining ring 52 is compressed to a smaller diameter and inserted into this annular space until it is aligned with an annular groove formed in the inside end surface of the outer cylindrical member 48, at which point it is permitted to expand and become seated in this annular groove. A goodly portion of the split retaining ring 52 will project outwardly from the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 48 and a portion of this retaining ring 52 will serve to hold the slide ring 56 within the left-hand space.

In FIG. 3 the two wand sections 18 and 24] are in their normal condition; that is, they are latched thereby preventing relative telescopic movement therebetween. The inner wand section 20 cannot be slidably moved in a 1ongitudinal direction within the outer wand section 18. The two springs 62 and 64 have spring constants which are substantially equal so that the outer cylindrical member 48 will normally be aligned with the inner cylindrical member 34 in the condition illustrated in FIG. 3; that is, the split retaining ring 50 will be peripherally aligned with the annular projecting rib 54 and the surface 68, on the inside of the outer cylindrical member 48, will be in contact with the surface of the steel ball 44 to keep this ball positively seated deeply within hole 40 and the hemispherical indentation 26. Since this ball 44 is positively seated, longitudinal movement of the inner wand section 20 is prevented. It is to be noted that the inner wand section 20 can never be rotated about its longitudinal central axis relative to the outer wand section because the ball 46 projects well within the longitudinal indentation 28 (FIG. 4).

FIG. 5 shows how the wand sections are unlatched when it is desired to increase the overall length of the wand, and FIG. 6 shows how they are unlatched when it is desired to decrease the overall length.

In both of the FIGS. 5 and 6 the inner wand section 28 and the outer cylindrical member 48 are slidably moved in opposite directions relative to each other in order to unlatch the wand sections for longitudinal telescopic movement. A very important feature of the first wand embodiment 16 is that the unlatching of and the relative telescopic movement of the wand sections is easily accomplished by using two hands. In. both illustrations shown at FIGS. 5 and 6 all that the housewife need do is to grasp the outer surface of the cylindrical member 48 with one hand and also grasp the outer surface of the inner wand section 20 with her other hand and move her hands apart to lengthen the wand and together to shorten it.

Assume, for example, that it is desired to make the overall length of the wand 16 longer; i.e., extend the inner wand section outwardly from the outer wand section 18. With one hand grasping the outer cylindrical member 48 and the other hand grasping the inner wand section 20, all that needs to be done is to move or pull the hands apart so that the wand section 20 slidably moves in the direction indicated by arrow A (FIG. 5), and the outer cylindrical member 48 slidably moves in an opposite direction; i.e., the direction indicated by the arrow A (FIG. 5). Of course, the same elfect can be achieved if the housewife should find it easier to grasp the outer cylindrical member 48 with one hand, holding this one hand stationary, and pull the wand section 20 with her other hand in the direction of the arrow A.

When the aforesaid movements occur, the steel ball 44 will no longer be positively forced by the surface 68 downwardly into the indentation 26 at the bottom of the cavity 40, as shown in FIG. 3. Also, when the wand section 28 and the outer cylindrical member 48 move in opposite directions indicated by the arrows A and A in FIG. 5, the spring 64 is compressed, the surface 68 is moved out of contact with the top surface of the ball 44 and the wedge-like or tapered surface 66 is moved to a position above this ball thereby allowing the ball 44 to be moved into a clearance space provided between the top of the ball 44 and the surface 66. More particularly, the ball 44 can be moved upwardly in the cavity 40 to a distance sufiicient to clear the indentation 26. However, this clearance distance is not suflicient to allow the ball 44 to escape from the cavity 40. As the housewife continues to cause relative movement between the member 48 and wand section 20, in the opposite directions A and A, the movement of the inner wand section 20 causes the ball 44 to be pushed upwardly in hole 44, out of its seated arrangement in indentation 26, into the clearance space between the top of the ball and surface 66 so that the ball 44 can roll or slide on the non-indented outer surface of the inner wand section 20 as indicated in FIG. 5. As long as the inner wand section 20 is being slidably moved, in the manner indicated in FIG. 5, within the outer wand section 18, the ball 44 can momentarily enter each of the indentations 26 which successively arrive under the cavity 4!). However, the ball 44 will be repeatedly pushed upwardly into the aforesaid clearance space and ride on the non-indented surface of the inner wand section 20 between the successive indentations 26. When a desired wand length, corresponding to a particular indentation 26, is to be achieved, the outer cylindrical member 48 is released and it will tend to return, as near as it is able, to its normal, or latched, position (FIG. 3) due to the tendency of spring 64 to expand. If the ball 44 happens to be on a non-indented portion of the outer surface of the inner wand section 20 (as in FIG.

) when the outer cylinderical member 48 is released, the cylindrical member 48 will not fully return to the condition shown in FIG. 3 because the ball 44 is wedged between the surface 66 and the non-indented surface of the wand section 20. In this condition the inner wand section 20 can still be slidably moved. However, when the next hemispherical indentation 26 arrives under the cavity 40 the ball 44 will be forced downwardly into the cavity and become seated in the indentation 26 thereby latching the two wand sections. Thus the outer cylindrical member and the ball 44 return to the condition shown in FIG. 3.

Assume, now, that it is desired to make the overall length of the wand 16 shorter. With one hand grasping the outer cylindrical member 48 and the other hand grasping the inner wand section 20 all that need be done is to cause the member 48 and wand section 20 to move relative to each other in the opposite directions indicated by the arrows B and B, respectively (FIG. 6). Again, the housewifes two hands are manipulated in either of the two ways hereinbefore discussed with respect to the wand lengthening operation of FIG. 5; i.e., the housewife may move her hands in opposite directions or, in the alternative, hold the outer cylindrical member 48 stationary while she moves wand section 20 into wand section 18 in the direction of arrow B. In either case, there will occur relative opposing movements (directions B and B) between wand section 20 and outer cylindrical member 48. As long as the outer cylindrical member 48 is moved in direction B opposite to B, as shown in FIG. 6, the surface of the steel ball 44 is free from contact with surface 68 and is adjacent to but spaced apart from the wedge-like or tapered surface 70 on the inside of the outer cylindrical member 48. As a result the ball 44 can be moved upwardly toward the surface 70 as the inner wand section 20 is slidably moved within the outer wand section 18. Moreover, as long as these opposing movements B and B occur the spring 62 is compressed and the inner wand section 20 can be slidably moved into wand section 18. After the housewifes hand is released from the outer cylindrical member 48 this member 48 will, due to the tendency of the spring 62 to expand, try to return member 48 to the normal position shown in FIG. 3 and the ball 44 will eventually become positively seated, due to contact with the wedge-like surface 70, deeply within the hole 40 and also within a particular hemispherical indentation 26 in the same manner as hereinbefore described with reference to FIG. 5. Thus the two wand sections 18 and 20 will become positively latched to provide a desired overall wand length.

Thus the first embodiment of the wand 16 shown in FIGS. 1 through 6 can be unlatched by using two hands in the easy, unawkward manner, hereinbefore described, in order to change the overall wand length in desired increments.

The second and third embodiments of the variable length wands according to our invention are illustrated in FIGS. 7 and .8, respectively. In FIG. 7 the reference character 16a designates a variable length wand according to the second embodiment. In FIG. 8, reference character 16b designates a variable length wand according to the third embodiment.

Like the first described wand 16 the wand 16a also uses the same inner and outer wand sections 20 and 18 and these wand sections are arranged so that the inner wand section 20 can "be telescopically moved within the outer wand section 18. Again, the inner wand section 20 has a series of hemispherical indentations 2626 formed in the outer surface thereof and this series of indentations extends longitudinally in an axial direction for a substantial distance along the outer surface of the wand section 20. In addition, there is provided the longitudinal narrow indentation 28 on the outer surface of the wand section 20 and this longitudinal indentation 28, likewise, extends for a substantial distance in an axial direction along the length of the wand section 20. For the purpose'of providing an airtight seal one end of the wand section 20 has the annular groove 30 formed therein and within this groove 30 there is seated the sealing member 32 which may be made from rubber or another suitable elastomer. Thus the sealing member 32 will ensure an airtight seal between the inner and outer surfaces of the wand sections 18 and 20, respectively.

As in the first embodiment, the two steel balls 44 and 46 are again employed and, as before, the ball 44 is intended to be seated in any one of the hemispherical indentations 26 adjacent the bottom of the hole 15 to lock, or latch, the inner and outer wand sections together. Likewise, the ball 46 projects out of a hole 17 into the long narrow indentations 28 and is employed for the purpose of preventing rotation of the wand section 20 relative to the wand section 18'.

The wand (second embodiment shown in FIG. 7) is illustrated in greater detail in FIGS. 9 through 12. In FIG. 9 the two wand sections 18 and 20 are shown in their latched or locked condition, whereas in FIG. 11 they are shown in their unlatched condition. At the end of the outer wand section 18 there is fastened a rigid, hollow, generally cylindrical member 11, or an inner cylindrical member as it is hereinafter called. As shown, a substantial end section of the member 11 projects beyond the end of the wand section 18. Fastening is accomplished by inserting the end of the outer wand section 18 within the inner cylindrical member 11 and with the suitable expansion tool there is formed an annular projecting rib 13. This rib 13 enters a complementary annular groove formed on the inside surface of the inner cylindrical member 11. Thereafter, steel balls 44 and 45 are inserted in the cylindrical holes or cavities 15 and 17, respectively, or holes which are formed in the inner cylindrical member 11 in said projecting end section thereof. A compression spring 19 is inserted within the rigid, hollow, generally cylindrical member 21, or outer cylindrical member as it is sometimes called hereinafter. The spring 19 is inserted within the outer cylindrical member 21 before sliding the outer cylindrical member 21 and spring 19 over the inner wand section 28. Then the outer cylindrical member 21 together with the spring 19 is inserted over the inner wand section 20 and over the inner cylindrical member 11 to the position shown in FIG. 9. The opposite ends of helical compression spring are in abutment with the annular wall surfaces 29 and 31 which are formed in the inside and outside surfaces of the outer and inner cylindrical members 21 and 11, respectively. Thereafter, a split retaining ring 23 is inserted into the space between the outer and inner cylindrical members at the left-hand side of FIG. 9. This retaining ring 23 is compressed as it is inserted within this space and then while within the space allowed to expand and become seated within an annular groove provided on an inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 21. Near one end of the outer cylindrical member 21 and on the inside surface thereof there is formed a long narrow slot wherein two surfaces are defined, the relatively straight surface 27 and the inclined, or wedge-like, surface 25.

In FIG. 9 the two wand sections 18 and 20* are latched or locked so that relative movement therebetween is prevented. This latching or locking is effected because the ball 44 is forced by the wedge-like surface 25 deeply into the cavity 15, or hole, so that the ball becomes positively seated in the hemispherical indentation 26 therebelow. Thus, the ball 44 being so seated acts together with indentation 26 as a detent to prevent longitudinal telescopic movement between the wand sections 18 and 20 in the same manner as hereinbefore discussed with respect to the first wand embodiment, wand 16, shown in FIGS. 1-6.

FIG. 11 suggests how the wand sections 18 and 20 may be unlatched to permit sliding movement of the inner wand section 20 relative to the outer wand section 18. As shown in FIG. 7, the wand 16a is so arranged and oriented for normal use that the floor tool 24 is coupled to an end of the outer wand section 18; the outer wand section 18 being located below the inner wand section 20 and is closest to the floor. The upper wand section 20 has a flared portion 20a adapted to receive the hollow hose handle 14. Advantageously, the wand 16a can, like the wand 16 hereinbefore discussed, be easily unlatched and telescopically adjusted to any desired length by using two hands.

Assume, for example, that the wand 16a is initially of a long overall length or even at its maximum length as indicated in PEG. 1; i.e., the uppermost wand section 20, which is the inner wand section, is extended from the lowermost, or outer, wand section 18. In order to shorten the overall length of wand 16:: to some other desired intermediate length, the housewife need only grasp the outside surface of the outer cylindrical member 21 with one hand and grasp the upper, or inner, wand section 20 with her other hand. Then, as suggested in FIG. 11, the cylindrical member 21 is slidably moved downwardly, which is the direction indicated by arrow C. This downwardly directed force is transmitted from the outer cylindrical member 21 to the inner cylindrical member 11 by compressing spring 19 and causing surface 29 to contact surface 31a. As a consequence the force is further transmitted to and longitudinally along the rigid outer wand section 18 which bears against the floor tool and ultimately against the floor surface. Since the wand section 18 bears against the floor surface, albeit indirectly, the cylindrical member 21 need only be moved downwardly by but a small distance. Advantageously, the housewife need not bend over or stoop to any great extent since the distance traveled by member 21 is relatively small. As the cylindrical member 21 is slidably moved to the position shOWn in FIG. 11, the housewifes other hand, which grasps the uppermost, or inner wand section 20, pushes the inner wand section 2% into the outer wand section 18 in the direction indicated in FIG. 11 by the arrow C. When the cylindrical member 21 is moved to the position shown in FIG. 11 the surface 25 is moved out of contact with the top of the ball 44. After the wedge-like surface 25 has been so moved, the straight or parallel surface 27 arrives adjacent to, but is spaced apart from, the top of ball 44. As shown in FIG. 11 there is provided enough clearance between the top of the ball and the surface 27 to permit the ball 44 to be moved upwardly out of the indentation 26 and partly into the clearance space. However, the clearance space so provided is not sufficiently large to enable the ball 44 to fully escape from the cavity 15 or hole. As long as the outer cylindrical member 21 is held in the position shown in FIG. 11 the inner wand section may be slidably moved into wand section 18. That is, the ball 44 can momentarily enter each of the indentations 26 which successively arrive under the cavity 15 while the wand section 20 is being moved into the wand section 18. In other words, the ball 44 will be abruptly pushed upwardly into the aforesaid clearance space between the surface 2 7 and the outer surface of the inner cylindrical member 11 and will slide or roll along the non-indented surface of the inner wand section 20' between the successively arriving hemispherical indentations 26. When a desired wand length, corresponding to a particular indentation 26, is to be achieved the housewifes grasp on the outer cylindrical member 21 is released and this member will tend to return, as near as it is able, to its normal or latched position shown in FIG. 9 due to the expansion of the spring 19. If the ball 44 happens to be on a non-indented portion of the outer surface of the wand section 20 when the outer cylindrical member 21 is released the cylindrical member 21 will not fully return to the condition shown in FIG. 9 because the ball 44 becomes wedged between the surface 25 and the non-indented surface of the inner wand section 2%. In this condition the inner wand section 2i? can still be slidably moved but when the next hemispherical indentation 26 arrives beneath the cavity 15 the 1% ball 44 will be forced downwardly into this cavity and will become seated in the indentation 26 thereby latching the two wand sections 18 and 20* against further relative movement.

Assuming now, for example, that the wand 16a is initially of a relatively short overall length and it is desired to achieve an overall wand length which is relatively longer, it still requires only an easy two hand operation. More particularly, one hand grasps the cylindrical member 21 and the other hand grasps the inner wand section 20. Then both hands are moved apart in, for example, the directions C and C. In effect, therefore, the outer cylindrical member 21 and the wand section 20 move in opposite directions. As long as the outer cylindrical member 21 is positioned as shown in FIG. 11, the inner wand section may be slidably moved with the other hand outwardly from within the wand section 18 in the direction indicated by the arrow C"; i.e., in a direction opposite to the movement of cylindrical member 21. The action of the ball 44 in the hole 15 relative to an indentation 26 and the surface portions 25 and 27 is the same as hereinbefore described in the discussion relating to shortening the overall length of the wand 16a.

The third embodiment of a variable length wand, designated by the reference character 16b, according to our invention is shown in FIG. 8. Moreover, as in the case of the wand 16a, hereinbefore described, the FIGS. 9-12 show the details of the wand 15b. Although the FIGS. 9-12 show the details of both the wands 16a and 16b, these FIGS. 9l2 are to be interpreted now in light of the orientation of the elements shown in FIG. 8. More particularly, in wand 1612 the inner wand section 20 is the lowermost one; i.e., it is coupled to the floor tool 24 and is closest to the floor surface. (The orientation is illustrated in FIG. 8.) Since the outer wand section 18 is the uppermost wand section its uppermost end section 18a is flared for the purpose of receiving the hollow hose handle 14.

Assume that the wand 16!; is initially at or near its shortest overall length and it is desired to lengthen the overall length of the wand. This is easily accomplished by the housewife with a relatively easy two hand operation. To lengthen the wand 16b, one hand is used to grasp the outer cylindrical member 21 while the other hand grasps the lowermost, or inner, wand section 26 Then, the housewifes hands are moved apart; e.g., one hand slidably moves the member 21 in the direction of the arrow C (i.e., pulls member 21 upwardly toward wand section 18) as the other hand moves the lowermost wand section 20 downwardly in the direction of the arrow C. As a result, the action of the ball 44 in the hole 15 relative to an indentation 26 and the surface portions 25 and 27 is similar to that hereinbefore described.

If, on the other hand, the wand 16b is initially at or near its longest length and it is desired to shorten the wands overall length, this may be accomplished in the following manner: As the outer cylindrical member 21 is pulled upwardly toward the uppermost, outer wand section 18 in the direction indicated by the arrow C, the inner wand section 20 is also pulled upwardly into wand section 18 in the direction indicated by the arrow C. Although, the two movement directions C and C are made simultaneously in the same upward direction, such a manipulation is not at all difiicult to perform with but two hands. For example, with one hand the thumb and index finger can grasp the cylindrical member 21 while the back part of the palm or heel and the remaining fingers of the same hand grasp the upper wand section 18, firmly, to permit the thumb and index finger to slide member 21 inthe direction of arrow C. While the member 21 is held in the aforesaid position shown in FIG. 11, the housewifes other hand can move the wand section 20 into the wand section 18, in the direction indicated by the arrow C. As a result, of the aforesaid manipulation, the

action of the ball 44 in hole 15 relative to an indenta 1 1 tion 26 and the surface portions 26 and 27 is similar to that hereinbefore discussed.

A fourth embodiment of our invention is illustrated in FIGS. 13 through 16. In these figures reference number 16c designates a fourth wand embodiment according to our invention. As in the previous wand embodiments the wand 160 is comprised of the inner and outer wand sections 20 and 18 which are arranged for telescopic movement in a longitudinal direction. The inner wand section 20 includes a series of hemispherical indentations 2626 on the outside surface thereof. Also, the inner wand section 20 has an elongated indentation 28a formed on the outside surface thereof and this indentation 280 has a somewhat inverted U-shaped cross-section as indicated in FIGS. 14 and 16.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 15 the outer wand section 18 includes an end section 81 which has an enlarged diameter. In this end section 81 there are provided two apertures 84 (FIG. 13) and 85 (FIGS. 14 and 16). An inner cylindrical member 80 is inserted within the enlarged end section '81. The inner cylindrical member 80 includes an enlarged projecting member '83 which is cantilevered from the main portion of the member 80 by a short, narrow, bridge section 83a. The radial inner end of enlarged projecting member 83 protrudes through the aperture 85 in the end section 81 and also projects into the elongated indentation 28a. Since the projecting member 83 is nested in the elongated indentation 28a the inner cylindrical member 80 cannot be rotated relative to the inner wand section 20. The inner cylindrical member 80 also has a hole or cavity 87 into which a ball 44 is inserted and seated in one hemispherical indentation 26 to latch the two wand sections against longitudinal telescopic movement.

A rotatable outer cylindrical member 82 is fitted over the enlarged end section 81 of the outer wand section 18. On the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 82 a recessed surface portion 88, or long slot, is provided as well as a leaf spring 89 which is supported in cantilever fashion in the slot 88 by means of a rivet 90 (see FIG. 15). Also formed in the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 82 is a recessed arcuate surface 91 into which the radial outer end of the aforementioned projecting member 83 protrudes so that only a limited rotation of the outer cylindrical member 82 relative to the inner cylindrical member 80 can be achieved.

FIGS. 15 and 16 show the inner and outer wand sections and 18 in their unlatched condition. The leaf spring 89 contacts the ball 44 and maintains it deeply seated in the hole '87 as well as seated within a hemispherical indentation 26. However, the inner wand section 20 may be moved longitudinally to force the ball 44 upwardly against the restraint of the spring 89 and partially into the recessed surface portion 88. After a predetermined longitudinal movement between the two wand sections the ball 44 becomes seated again, due to the biasing action of leaf spring 89, in the next successively appearing hemispherical indentation 26. However, when it is desired to positively latch the two wand sections to a desired intermediate length corresponding to a particu-lal hemispherical indentation 26 the outer cylindrical mem ber 82 is rotated in the direction indicated by the arrovi E shown in FIGS. 14 and 16 until the ball 44 is adjacent an internal longitudinal indentation 91a of semicircular cross-section which is formed in the inside surface of the outer cylindrical member 82 and becomes positively seated therein; i.e., the ball 44 becomes positively seated between the indentation 91a and a particular hemispherical indentation 26 thereby positively locking, or detenting, the wand sections 18 and 20 against further telescopic movement.

In order to prevent longitudinal movement of the outer cylindrical member 82 there is formed in the inside surface thereof an annular groove into which a split-retaining ring 100 is inserted as shown in FIGS. 13 and l5.

Although more than one embodiment of our invention has been described and illustrated, such embodiments are not to be considered as limiting the scope of our invention, which is to be determined from the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable length wand comprising an outer conduit adapted to receive an inner conduit for telescopic movement within said outer conduit, said inner conduit having a plurality of indentations serially arranged in a line parallel to the axes of said conduit, 21 first member fixed against longitudinal and angular movement on one end of said outer conduit, said first member having a portion extending axially beyond said outer conduit, said axially extending portion of the first member defining a bearing for snugly receiving said inner conduit and maintaining substantial axial alignment between said inner and outer conduits, an opening extending transversely through said first member communicating with the outside surface of said inner conduit, a ball radially movable Within said opening for engagement in one of said indentations, a second member slidably connected on said first member, means for preventing relative rotational movement between said first and second members, complementaiy recesses on said first and second members defining a first and second space therebetween, first and second opposed spring means in said respective spaces, said spring means normally biasing said second member into a predetermined position relative to said first member, means connected with said first and second members for limiting the relative axial movement between said first and second members, said second member having a radially inwardly directed projection, the radial extent of said projection engaging said ball positioned in an indentation in said predetermined position of said first and second members, and a first and second radially outwardly extending recess in said second member adjacent each axial side of said projection for receiving a ball released from said indentation, said second member being axially slidable in a first axial direction against the bias of said first spring means and in the opposite direction against the bias of said second spring means for positioning one of said recesses over said ball, whereby the positioning of a recess over said ball is effected by grasping said second member and said inner conduit and axially pulling or pushing said inner conduit relative to said outer conduit.

2. The combination according to claim 1 with the addition of means for preventing relative rotational movement between said inner and outer conduits.

3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said means for preventing rotational movement between said inner and outer conduits comprises an elongated indentation on the outer surface of said inner conduit substantially coextensive with said indentations, a second hole in said first member, a second movable ball in said second hole, said second member seating said second ball in said elongated indentation.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,094,169 4/ 1914 Schoenborn 285-303 X 1,209,008 12/1916 Messina 285-317 X 1,370,882 3/1921 Ferguson et a1. 2853l4 X 2,599,003 6/1952 'Leonard 285314 2,643,140 6/1953 Scheiwer 285316 X 2,689,143 9/1954- Scheiwer 285119 X 2,893,765 7/1959 Lyon 28758 2,963,930 12/1960 Clothier et a1 285303 3,244,437 4/1966 Belicka et al 285-303 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,037,089 4/ 1953 France.

489,899 8/1938 Great Britain.

CARL W. TOMLIN, Primary Examiner.

R. G. BERKLEY, Assistant Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification285/303, 285/330, 285/316
International ClassificationA47L9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA47L9/244
European ClassificationA47L9/24B2
Legal Events
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Feb 19, 1999ASAssignment
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Effective date: 19980831
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Owner name: WELLS FARGO & CO.
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