US 3386409 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. E. DAWSON SELF-RIGHTING TRAFFIC CONE June 4, 1968 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 16. 1967 INVENTOR. ROBERT E' DAWSON er a June 4, 1968 R. E. DAWSON 3,386,409
SELF-RIGHTING TRAFFIC CONE Filed May 16, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 e m w w ROBERT E. DAWSON Bw-wvm M M BY -30.
R. E. DAWSON SELF-RIGHTING TRAFFIC CONE June 4, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed May 16, 1967 lNVENTOR. ROBERT E. DAWSON United States Patent 3,386,409 SELF-RIGH'I'ING TRAFFIC CONE Robert E. Dawson, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., assignor to R. E. Dietz Company, Syracuse, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed May 16, 1967, Ser. No. 638,852 8 Claims. (Cl. 116-63) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hollow molded plastic trafiic cone has a base portion weighted to give a low center of gravity to the cone. The annular bottom of the base is gradually curved outward and upward to provide rockers so the cone is self righting and is divided into six angularly spaced triangular legs to prevent rolling when the cone is knocked over. The cone has a frusto-conical body so as to be nestable and an annular top and is provided with a frusto-conical plastic extension whose base snaps into engagement with the cone top when drawn up inside the cone.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to trafiic cones and more particularly to such a cone which is nestable and self-righting when it is toppled over.
Trafiic markers which were cone-shaped were developed to mark traffic lanes and tr-afiic hazards because this shape provides a comparatively broad base and an upstanding body which provides visibility. The cone is usually made hollow for compactness in transportation (stackability or nestability) and has been made frustoconical to provide a finger hole at the top for easy handling. A square or rectangular base has also been heterofore provided so that a cone placed on the margin of a trafiic lane and toppled over, by being struck by a vehicle or by the wind of a vehicles passing, will not roll into the lane and obstruct traflic.
Such cones, after they have toppled over, must be righted by hand or they fail to be as visible as when upright.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention proposes to shape the base of the cone in such a manner that the cone is nestable ,or stackable self-righting in the manner of a self-righting top. It is also proposed that greater visibility can be accomplished by providing a cone-extension which can be snapped into place at the top of the cone. It is proposed that both cone and extension be of molded plastic and still greater visibility may be provided by giving the extension a dilferent color from that of the cone.
The principal object of the invention, accordingly, is to provide a nestable cone which, when it has been toppled over, will not roll away but will right itself and stand erect near to the position in which it was originally placed.
Another important object is to provide such a cone to which, if it is desired, added height may be provided by removably securing an extension to the top thereof.
3,386,409 Patented June 4, 1968 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a trafiic cone according to the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view thereof;
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view on the line 33 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sectional view on the line 44 of FIGURE 2; 7
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view on the line 55 FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary enlarged view of a portion of the inner surface of the cone as viewed in the direction of the arrows 6-6 in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged sectional view on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 8 is a side elevational view of a cone-exten sion adapted to be removably secured to the cone of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of a portion of the extension on the line 9--9 of FIGURE 8; 3
FIGURE 10 is a diagrammatic view of a smaller scale of a traffic cone after it has been toppled over;
FIGURE 11 is a side elevational view of a cone with a cone extension attached;
FIGURE 12 is a side elevational view of a plurality of stacked and nested cones; and
FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary enlarged sectional view of a portion of the extension similar to FIGURE 7 engaged with a cone top portion.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, the traffic cone 10 comprises a base portion 11 and a nestable cone body 12 of hollow frustoconical configuration. The annular top 13 of body 12 is formed by the sidewall of the body 12 being curved inward and downward, as shown, the top terminating in an inwardly projecting annular flange 14 having flat bottom and top shoulders as best seen in FIGURE 3.
The bottom of the body portion 12 is flat where the body terminates in an annular ring denoted 15 in FIG- URE 3. From the ring 15 the base flares outwardly and upwardly in six generally triangular legs 16, as best seen in FIGURE 2. Where adjacent legs join, a stiffening rib 17, projecting outwardly from body 12, and extending to the height of the top of the base, is provided as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4. The two projecting opposed sides of each triangular leg 16 join at a rocker portion 18. Thus, the rocker portions 18, when viewed in elevation, curve outward and upward from ring 15 in an involute-type curve ending at their upper and in a straight portion 19* which extends upwardly and outwardly and terminates at a fulcrum point 20.
To provide extra weight at the bottom of base 11 the space between the body and the opposed projecting sides of each leg 16 is filled in, or is solid, as shown, to a height about half the height of the base 11, forming portions which may be defined as radially extending ribs 21 and 22 (FIGURES 4, 5, 6, and 7). Each central rib 21 is separated from the adjacent rib 22, on either side, by drainage grooves 23, FIGURE 1, since the interior of each leg 16 above the ribs 21 and 22 is hollow and open to the weather. At the lower and inner end of each pair of grooves 23-23 the sidewall of body 12, forming that side of leg 16, is provided with a hole 24. The grooves 23 and holes 24 are also useful for the inclusion of cooling means in the mold at the thicker portion of the molded product so that the product may be cured at an even rate.
It will be noted that the sidewall of body 21 is comparatively thin and the sidewalls of the base 12, particularly at the ribs 21 and 22, is comparatively thick. The particular configuration of cone shown in the drawing has a center of gravity, denoted G in FIGURE 3, at about the level of the top of rib 21.
Referring to FIGURE 10, the operation of the selfrighting cone will become apparent. When cone is toppled over to the extent that its axis A is horizontal, the cone Will be balanced on ground line L at the upper extremities, or fulcrum points of two adjacent legs 16. Although the cone is hollow so as to be nestable, its center of gravity G will then be to the left, as shown, of the fulcrum points 20, tending to right the cone as it rocks on the rocker portions 18 of the legs. The six-legged configuration of base 11, besides preventing rolling when toppled over, gives an undercut to the portion or portions in contact with the ground during the righting movement. Since the points 20 are at the ends of straight portions 19, the points 20 remain in contact with ground-line L long enough to give an initial impetus to the self-righting movement of the cone until the center of gravity G moves farther to the left than in the position shown.
It will be apparent that the cone 10 may be toppled still farther until it rests with the top 13 and fulcrum points 20 in contact with the ground-line L. The top 13 of the cone is big enough and the legs, with their undercut between them are short enough so that nine tenths of the weight in the base is even then to the left of a vertical line through point 20 ensuring that the cone will rock to the left on the fulcrum points 20.
Cone 10 is proportioned to stand 18 inches high, when erect, the usual height of such cones, with the fulcrum points about 6 inches above the ground and the center of gravity about 3 inches above ground. It will be apparent that this configuration gives considerable stability to the cone when it stands erect.
When additional height or contrasting colors are desired an extension 25, shown in FIGURE 8, may be removably secured to the top 13 of the cone. Extension 25 is made of molded plastic so as to possess some resiliency. It is frusto-conical and has an annular top 26 providing a finger hole, like that of cone 10, for easy handling. It is hollow, so as to be light in weight and also nestable and, at its circular bottom, has an outwardly projecting flange 27 therearound. The sidewall at flange 27 is substantially equal in diameter to the inside diameter of the flange 14 of cone 10 so that extension 25 may be drawn up through cone 10 until flange 27 rests against the bottom shoulder of flange 14.
Spaced above flange 27 a distance equal to the thickness of flange 14, are a plurality of radially spaced projections 28 on the sidewall of extension 25. The projections 28 flare outwardly and downwardly and have flat bottoms, as shown in FIGURE 9, so that when the extension is drawn up through the top of cone 10 the projections are carnmed inward by flange 14 and thereafter snap outward with their flat bottoms resting on the top shoulder of flange 14. It will be apparent that the extension may be removed by pressing inward on the extension sidewall 28 in the region of projections 28.
As will be apparent to those familiar with the art, the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The embodiment disclosed is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative rather than restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims.
1. A unitary traflic cone of resilient material comprising: a base portion and a hollow, frusto-conical body portion having a comparatively thin sidewall tapering upwardly and inwardly from a flat annular bottom of the base to the top of the cone so as to be nestable; the base being outside the sidewall and having a plurality of angularly spaced, outwardly projecting legs; each leg having its comparatively thick sides joined to the bottom of the body sidewall and curving upwardly and away from the body portion to a common height which is a fraction of the body height; the center of gravity of the cone being within the base portion for righting the cone when it is toppled over on any adjacent two of its curved legs.
2. A unitary traflic cone comprising a base portion and a hollow, frusto-conical body portion having a comparatively thin sidewall tapering upwardly and inwardly from the bottom of the base to the top of the cone so as to be nestable; the base being integrally molded outside the sidewall and having more than four angularly spaced, outwardly projecting, generally triangular legs; each leg having one side integral with a portion of the body, the other two comparatively thick sides of each leg being joined to the bottom of the body sidewall and curving upwardly and away from the body to a common leg height less than half the body height, the latter two sides being joined along a curved rocker portion; the base being so proportioned that the center of gravity of the cone lies within the base portion, whereby the cone is self-righting on the rocker portions of any two adjacent leg portions when it is toppled over.
3. The traffic cone defined in claim 2 characterized by having six outwardly projecting legs whose height is substantially a third of the cone height.
4. The traflic cone defined in claim 2 characterized by the legs having weight-adding ribs across the lower half thereof and slanted drainage grooves on either side of the ribs, the body sidewall being perforate at the lower end of the grooves.
5. The traflic cone defined in claim 2 characterized by the legs having the upper portions of their rocker portions straight and inclined upwardly and outwardly so as to give an initial impetus to self-righting when the cone is toppled completely over.
6. The trafiic cone of claim 2 characterized by having an inwardly projecting flange around its annular top, and having a frusto-conical cone-extension of resilient material removably engaged therewith, the extension having an annular projection around its bottom for engagement with the bottom of the cone top flange and snap-type protuberances spaced above the annular projection for engagement with the top of the cone flange.
7. In combination, a hollow traflic cone having a flat annular bottom and a frusto-conical sidewall tapering upward and inward from the bottom to an annular top projecting inward from the sidewall, and a conically shaped cone-extension of resilient material, the bottom of the extension having an annular flange projecting therefrom for engagement with the under side of the cone annular top and snap-type protuberances spaced above the flange for engagement with the upper side of the annular top for removably securing the extension bottom to the cone top.
8. In combination, a hollow frusto-conic-al traffic cone having sidewalls tapering upward and inward from a flat annular base to an annular top, the top having an inwardly projecting flange therearound with top and bottom shoulders, and a cone extension of resilient material having a conical sidewall tapering upward and inward from an outwardly projecting annular base flange, the extension sidewall at the base flange having an outside diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of the cone top flange, and a plurality of downwardly and outwardly flaring projections on the extension sidewall spaced from the base flange a distance substantially equal to the thickness of the cone top flange, whereby the extension is adapted to be drawn up inside the cone until the base flange engages the cone top flange bottom shoulder, the projections on the extension sidewall being deflected inward and then snapping into engagement with the top shoulder of the cone top flange.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,002,75 6 5 1935 Se gelhorst 40-145 2,646,638 7/ 1953 Peterson 40-125 3,099,244 7/ 1963 Knapp 1l6-63 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,363,732 5/1964 France. 1,375,270 9/ 1964 France. 435,077 3/ 1948 Italy.
LOUIS I. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.