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Publication numberUS3401855 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1968
Filing dateAug 8, 1966
Priority dateAug 8, 1966
Publication numberUS 3401855 A, US 3401855A, US-A-3401855, US3401855 A, US3401855A
InventorsRudolf Balzer, Stensrud Rolf J
Original AssigneeRolf J. Stensrud, Rudolf Balzer
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clothes hanger
US 3401855 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

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Sept. 17, 1968 United States Patent Oflice 3,401,855 Patented Sept. 17, 1968 3,401,855 CLOTHES HANGER Rudolf Balzer, 14258 Aztec, Sylmar, Calif. 91345, and 3J. Stensrud, 15015 Parthenia, Sepulveda, Calif.

Filed Aug. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 570,972 4 Claims. (Cl. 223-94) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Normally oppositely depending arm portions are pivotally mounted on a central supporting portion through flexible strips between upper edges of each of the arm and supporting portions for pivotal movement of the arm portions from the normally oppositely depending positions vertically upwardly to vertically extending collapsed positions adjacent the supporting portion. Mating edges of the supporting and arm portions are formed with interengaging projections and grooves having flanges engageable in generally horizontal directions when the arm portions are in the normally oppositely depending positions providing extreme stability against bending in the horizontal directions between the supporting and arm portions. The entirehanger is preferably of an integral plastic construction.

This invention relates to a clothes hanger for hanging clothes on a supporting object, such as a closet hanger rod, and more particularly, to a collapsible clothes hanger which may be selectively placed in a collapsed position to as to be in a compact form for easy storage or transportation when not in use.

Many prior forms of clothes hangers have been provided, most of which have been of a completely rigid form necessarily including oppositely depending arms for properly engaging clothes to be supported thereon. Although these prior clothes hangers have been satisfactory for per-forming the clothes hanging function, due to the depending arms thereof, a relatively large amount of space is required for storage or transportation during periods when these hangers are not in use.

For instance, there are many occasions when extra clothes hangers are required in the average household, although not normally used at other times. Furthermore, there are many occasions when it is desirable to transport clothes hangers, such as in a suitcase, so that these hangers are available when the suitcase is unpacked and the clothes contained therein are to be hung up. In either case, the supporting and widely depending nature of the clothes hangers makes them not adaptable for convenient storage or packing, in view of the relatively large space required.

There have been certain prior forms of clothes hangers provided which are collapsible so as to reduce this space required for storage and transportation, but none of these prior forms have been completely satisfactory for numerous reasons. One such reason is that in these prior collapsible forms the means for locking the depending arms thereof in their normal clothes-supporting positions have not properly guarded the hangers against accidental collapse, thereby making the hangers virtually unusable. Another of such reasons is that the prior collapsible forms have frequently been quite expensive to fabricate so as to be not economically practical for use by the average person.

It is, therefore, an-object of our invention to provide a clothes hanger for hanging clothes on a supporting object which is conveniently collapsible in order to occupy less space during storage and transportation, yet when placed in a normal clothes-supporting position will securely sustain this position. By providing the oppositely depending arms thereof with positive, yet selectively detachable, locking means between these arm portions and the central supporting portion thereof, the arm portions are securely locked and retained in their normal, oppositely depending positions during use of the hanger. Furthermore, the locking means is formed such that excessive manipulation is not required for this selective detachment and reattachment.

It is another object of our invention to provide a clothes hanger for hanging clothes on a supporting object in which the entire hanger may be formed of one piece from a usual plastic material so as to be readily moldable on a mass production basis and present the maximum economics of fabrication. The requirements of the plastic material from which the hanger is formed are that the resulting hanger will be rigid, but that portions thereof will be relatively flexible in order that the movement of the arm portions relative to the supporting portion may take place without damage to the structure. Also, the construction of the hanger, as well as the nature of the plastic material, must be such as to sustain repeated flexing during this collapse and reassembly in order to withstand use over a relatively long period of time.

It is another object of our invention to provide a clothes hanger for hanging clothes on ,a supporting object having the foregoing features in which maximum flexibility of the arm portions relative to the supporting portion thereof is provided, while at the same time, when the arm portions are in their normally, oppositely depending locked positions, they are retained in these positions in a manner so as to be secure in supporting clothes on the hanger, while selectively detachable for the collapsing movement. By forming the hanger of one piece and from plastic, the pivotal movement of the arm portions relative to the supporting portion may be provided by a flexible strip pivotally connecting the upper edges of the arm portions to the upper edge of the supporting portion, and this flexible strip may extend integrally over the entire extent of these arm and supporting portions. The locking means may be provided between the arm portions and supporting portion underlying this flexible strip pivotal connection and may include projections on one of the arm portions ,and the supporting portion pivotally receivable in complementary grooves or slots formed in the opposite of these portions, with interengaging flange means on the projections and the walls forming the grooves so as to securely lock the portions in assembled position, yet permit selective disengagement and re-engagement by an outward flexing of the groove walls.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following specification and the accompanying drawing which is for the purpose of illustration only, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of an embodiment of the clothes hanger incorporating the principles of the present invention, with the hanger in assembled position;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but with the hanger in collapsed position;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, side elevational view taken from FIG. 1 and showing the pivotal connection between the hanger arm portions and central supporting portion;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the broken line 4-4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but with the hanger in collapsed position;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the broken line 6--6 in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along the broken line 77 in FIG. 5.

Referring to the drawing, an embodiment of the clothes hanger incorporating the principles of the present invention is shown in extended position in FIG. 1 for supporting clothes in the normal fashion, and in collapsed position in FIG. 2. The hanger generally indicated at is preferably formed as a unitary plastic molding from usual plastics, such as polypropylene or high density polyethylene, the prime requirement of the particular plastic being that the resulting hanger It) will be relatively rigid for supporting clothes in the usual manner when in extended position, yet the plastic will have sufficient flexibility for movement of the hanger to the collapsed position, as will be hereinafter described.

As shown, hanger 10 includes an inverted U-shaped, central supporting portion 12 and the normally, oppositely depending arm portions 14, with the central supporting portion having the central, upstanding hook 16 for removably supporting the hanger 10 from the usual stationary object, such as the crossbar of a closet, not shown, and with the arm portions angling slightly downwardly from the central supporting portion and terminating outwardly in arcuate ends 18. A transversely broadened, striplike upper edge 20 is preferably formed continuously along the central supporting portion 12 and arm portions 14 so as to extend the entire extent of the hanger 10 and, due to the inherent characteristics of the plastic as described, provide strip-like, flexible connectors 22 pivotally connecting the lower ends of the central supporting portion legs 24 to the inner ends 26 of the arm portions. Underlying the connectors 22, separable locking means in the form of slots 28 in the arm portion inner ends 26 and projections 30 in the central supporting portion legs 24 are provided for detachably or releasably connecting the arm portions 14 to the central supporting portion 12 for the pivotal movement from the normal extended clothes supporting position shown in FIG. 1 to the collapsed position shown in FIG. 2 in which the arm portions project vertically upwardly beside and preferably abutting the central supporting portion legs.

As shown in enlarged cross section in FIGS. 4, 6 and 7, the central supporting portion projections 30 are formed with the transversely, outwardly extending flanges 32 which interengage with the transversely, inwardly extending flanges 34 provided on the walls forming the arm portion slots 28. Again, due to the inherent characteristics of the plastic material from which the hanger 10 is formed, when the arm portions 14 are pivoted from the collapsed position, as shown in FIG. 2, to the extended position, shown in FIG. 1, the central supporting portion projections 30 will enter the arm portion slots 28, forcing the walls of these slots to flex transversely, outwardly and permit the projection flanges 32 to interengage behind the slot flanges 34 so as to detachably retain the arm portions in the extended positions relative to the central supporting portion. Also, when it is desired to move the arm portions 14 from the extended position shown in FIG. 1 to the collapsed positions shown in FIG. 2, upward forces are exerted on the arm portions and will cause the flanges 32 and 34 to disengage by the outward flexing of the walls forming the slots 28 so that the arm portions may be pivoted upwardly relative to the central supporting portion through the strip-like flexible connectors 22.

This locking means between the central supporting portion 12 and arm portions 14 is extremely positive in view of the fact that the strip-like flexible connectors 22 providing the pivotal movement between the arm portions and central supporting portion are formed at the arm portion upper edges and overlying the separable slots 28 and projections 30. With this particular positioning, it can be seen that the downward forces on the arm portions 14 caused by the weight of clothes hanging on these arm portions in the normal use of the hanger 10 will tend to further engage these projections and slots, rather than tending to disengage the same. Further, due to the secure engagement provided between these slots 28 and projections 30 by the flanges 32 and 34, the usual slight upward forces on the arm portions 14 relative to the central supporting portion 12 encountered in the normal use of the hanger 10 will not cause disengagement between the projections and slots.

Also, as shown in the drawing, it will be noted that the flanges 32 and 34 of the slots and projections 28 and 3t) interengage with each other When the arm portions 14 are in their normal oppositely depending positions in generally horizontal directions. It will be further noted that the slots and projections 28 and 30 with their flanges 32 and 34 extend substantially totally along the mating edges of the supporting and arm portions 12 and 14 underlying the flexible connectors 22. Thus, the slots and projections 28 and 30 with their flanges 32 and 34 combine with the flexible connectors 22 to give the supporting and arm portions 12 and 14 extreme stability in the horizontal directions for resisting bending therebetween in said horizontal directions.

According to the principles of our present invention, therefore, a clothes hanger is provided which may be formed of a unitary plastic structure, that is, with the arm portions 14 integrally connected to the central supporting portion 12, yet these arm portions may be selectively moved pivotally between normal outwardly extending and oppositely depending positions in which the hanger func tions as a normal clothes hanger, to vertically, upwardly extending collapsed positions in which these arm portions are positioned closely beside the central supporting portion, and the hanger will occupy much less space. Thus, the hanger 10 may function as a normal clothes hanger and for storage or transportation may be collapsed into a space-saving position for the obvious convenience involved. At the same time, when the arm portions 14 are in the normal, oppositely depending positions wherein the hanger 10 is in normal clothes supporting position, the locking means formed by the slots 28 received in the projections 30 is extremely positive, as provided by the interengaging flanges 32 and 34, as well as the fact that this locking means underlies the strip-like flexible connectors 22 providing the pivotal movement between the arm portions 14 and the central supporting portion 12.

We claim:

1. A clothes hanger for hanging clothes on a supporting object including a central supporting portion and normally oppositely depending arm portions, means on said supporting portion for hanging said portion on said supporting object, flexible strip means between upper edges of each of said arm portions and said supporting portion for pivotally connecting said arm portions to said supporting portion movable from said normally oppositely depending positions vertically upwardly to vertically extending collapsed positions adjacent said supporting portion, and selectively detachable locking means between each of said arm portions and said supporting portion underlying said strip means for normally locking said arm portions against said vertical upward pivoting in said normally oppositely depending positions and selectively detachable for movement of said arm portions to said collapsed positions, said locking means including interengageable means engageable in generally horizontal directions when said arm portions are pivoted downwardly to said normally oppositely depending positions for combining with said flexible strip means to resist bending in sad horizontal directions between said arm and supporting portions and provide relatively rigid horizontal stability therebetween.

2. A clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 in which said supporting and arm portions are formed of a relatively rigid flexible plastic; and in which said interengageable means of said detachable locking means includes integral projections formed on one of said supporting portion and said arm portions received in complementary grooves formed in the other of said supporting portion and arm portions, means on said projections and extending inwardly within said grooves for interengagement in generally horizontal directions by outward flexing of walls forming said grooves upon movement of said arm portions to said normally oppositely depending positions and disengagement by said outward flexing of said walls forming said grooves upon movement of said arm portions from said normally oppositely depending positions toward said collapsed positions.

3. A clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 in which said supporting and arm portions are formed of a relatively rigid flexible plastic; in which said strip means are formed integral with said supporting and arm portions; and in which said interengageable means of said detachable locking means includes integral projections formed On one of said supporting portion and said arm portions received in complementary grooves formed in the other of said supporting portion and arm portions, means on said projections and extending inwardly within said grooves for interengagement in generally horizontal directions by outward flexing of walls forming said grooves upon movement of said arm portions to said normally oppositely depending positions and disengagement by said outward flexing of said walls forming said grooves upon movement of said arm portions from said normally oppositely depending positions toward said collapsed positions, said projections and grooves extending substantially totally along edges between said supporting and arm portions underlying said strip means.

4. A clothes hanger as defined in claim 1 in which said supporting and arm portions are formed of a relatively rigid flexible plastic; and in which said interengageable means of said detachable locking means includes integral projections formed on one of said supporting portion and said arm portion received in complementary grooves formed in the other of said supporting portion and arm portions, flanges on said projections, flanges extending inwardly within said grooves, said projection and groove flanges interengaging in generally horizontal directions by outward flexing of walls forming said grooves upon movement of said arm portions to said normally oppositely depending positions and disengaging by said outward flexing of said walls forming said grooves upon movement of said arm portions from said normally oppositely depending positions toward said collapsed positions, said projections and said grooves with said flanges extending substantially totally along edges between said supporting and arm portions underlying said strip means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 202,530 10/ 1965 Van Dusen.

D. 206,199 11/ 1966 Zuckerman.

1,336,429 4/1920 Gould 223--94 2,723,065 11/ 1955 Vargo 223-94 2,926,823 3/ 1960 Weiser 22394 3,219,241 11/ 1965 Newton 223-94 3,240,375 3/1966 Burrows 22031 XR 3,338,285 8/1965 Iaster 24201 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Primary Examiner. G. H. KRIZMANICH, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1336429 *Feb 10, 1919Apr 13, 1920Gould Harry MGarment-hanger
US2723065 *Apr 12, 1954Nov 8, 1955Joseph VargoCollapsible coat hanger
US2926823 *Nov 29, 1956Mar 1, 1960Morris WeiserGarment hanger
US3219241 *Mar 7, 1963Nov 23, 1965Henry Newton ClarenceGarment hanger
US3240375 *Nov 20, 1963Mar 15, 1966Allen BurrowsShipping and display container
US3338285 *Nov 23, 1964Aug 29, 1967Asf Gleitverschulss GmbhPackage or wrapper of plastic material
USD202530 *Jun 5, 1964Oct 12, 1965 Coat hanger
USD206199 *Mar 8, 1965Nov 8, 1966 Garment hanger
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3477623 *Oct 26, 1967Nov 11, 1969Samsonite CorpHanger for coats and the like
US3531028 *Feb 28, 1969Sep 29, 1970Vazquez Frank BCollapsible clothes hanger
US4221310 *Jan 17, 1979Sep 9, 1980Hazenveld Martin GGarment hanger
US4227632 *Jun 8, 1978Oct 14, 1980Collis John HFlexible garment hanger
US4673115 *Apr 28, 1986Jun 16, 1987Lamont Romanus MUnitary collapsible coat hanger
US4813581 *Jun 8, 1987Mar 21, 1989Lamont Romanus MUnitary collapsible coat hanger
US9414703 *Dec 3, 2014Aug 16, 2016Gregg Myles LevineCollapsible or stackable garment hanger
DE4215624A1 *May 12, 1992Nov 18, 1993Heinz DrischelCollapsible clothes hanger for lightweight shirts and blouses - has hinge beneath hook to fold two shoulder parts flat against each other
Classifications
U.S. Classification223/94, D06/318
International ClassificationA47G25/40, A47G25/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G25/403
European ClassificationA47G25/40D4