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Publication numberUS3401918 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 17, 1968
Filing dateJan 30, 1967
Priority dateJan 30, 1967
Publication numberUS 3401918 A, US 3401918A, US-A-3401918, US3401918 A, US3401918A
InventorsHarold Wiese
Original AssigneeHarold Wiese
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foldable hand rail
US 3401918 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 17, 196s H. WIE-SE '3,491,918

FOLDABLE HAND RAIL FledJan. 30, 1967 4Sheets-Sheet l INVENT R. HARoaD h//Esf Sept. 17, 1968 H. WIr-:SE "3,401,918

FOLDABLE HAND RAIL Filed Jan. 30, 1967 4' Sheets-Sheet 2 FI'E Hifi! o /3 lili! I N VEN TOR. /AROAD h//Es M@ @www firman/5r:

Sept. 17, 1968 lH. WlEsE 3,401,918

FOLDAELE HAND RAIL Filed Jan. 50, 1967 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 JNVENTOR, M9204@

Sept. 17, 1968 H. WIESE .3,40L9l8 FOLDABLE HAND RAIL Filed Jan. 50, 1967 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 A a Ffm INVENTOR. #A 201. ,4M/f5.5

@ms/W frown/sys 3,401,918 FOLDABLE HAND RAIL Harold Wiese, Madison, S. Dak. 57042 Filed Jan. 30, 1967, Ser. No. 612,392 8 Claims. (Cl. 256-59) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hand rail, guard rail or section defining device designed for attachment to folding seating structures providing upright supports for attachment to spaced seat portions thereof having a iirst pivotally connected member on one of the supports directed toward the other support and a telescoping member on the other support directed toward the first support to be received into the rst member for longitudinal collapsing therebetween when the seats are shifted into folded relation.

A hand rail, guard rail or section defining device designed for attachment to folding seating structures such as grandstands or bleachers which will, when the grandstand is folded into a substantially vertical storage position, fold therewith. In order to accomplish such folding the hand rails are hingedly joined along their length and are provided with a telescoping feature to permit the foreshortening required when the grandstand is shifted to a vertical storage position.

Many auditoriums, gymnasiums and other such rooms are equipped with folding grandstand sections such that the room Vmay be utilized for more than one activity. Folding bleachers have been designed to be easily moved from a vertical storage position against a wall into a position to accommodate seated spectators. There are, however, `certain problems in shifting the bleachers into their seating positions and one problem is the location of guard rails, hand rails or section dividers and the like upon the bleachers. To date guard rails or sectioning systems have been installed only after bleachers have been expended into seating position and likewise have been removed before the bleachers have been shifted to vertical storage position. It should be obvious that the removal and installation of these hand railings and the like impair the speed and etiiciency with which a room may be prepared for a seated crowd.

Applicant has through this invention devised a method for providing hand rails, guard sections, sectioning areas and the like upon these folding Ibleachers which will fold along with the folding of the bleacher sections. In thi-s folding process, applicants hand rail substantially accordian folds to have at least portions thereof adjacent the vertical line of folded bleachers `such that only a minimal portion thereof will extend outwardly into the room.

In folding a hand rail such as provided by applicant into a vertical storage position it is necessary to substantially foreshorten the length of the rail and to accommodate this requirement the applicant has provided at least a portion of his railing with a telescoping section such that this foreshortening may be easily accomplished.

In addition to the above features applicant provides a system wherein the hand rail may be provided with an intermediate rail or additional guard member intermediate the vertical height thereof which guard rail section will also be properly taken up when the bleachers are moved from extended to folded position.

It is therefore an object of applicants invention to provide a hand railing or guard section device which may be permanently attached to folding bleacher sections and the like which will fold ltherewith from an extended seating position to a vertical storage position.

It is a further object of applicants invention to provide 3,4(ill8 Patented Sept. 17, 1958 ICC a hand rail for folding bleacher sections or the like which hand rail will when the bleachers are shifted from extended to storage position become foreshortened to facilitate such shortened storage area.

It is a further object of applicants invention to provide a unique hand rail, guard rail or section rail device for use with folding bleachers and the like which will, when the bleachers are folded, be out of normal useage areas such that they will not impede with other uses for which the room is designed.

These and other objects and advantages of my invention will more fully appear from the following description made in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a typical folding bleacher illustrating a -guard rail which embodies the concepts of applicants invention;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating the bleachers in partially folded position and the folding of the first guard rail section;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. l illustrating the bleachers in a more fully folded position and illustrating two guard rail sections in folded position;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation of a folded bleacher section illustrating the arrangement of the guard rail thereon;

FIG. 5 is a section taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a section taken substantially along line 6-6 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section taken substantially along line 7-7 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 showing the unit in a folded position; and

FIG. 9 is a transverse section taken substantially along line 9 9 of FIG. 7.

In accordance with the accompanying drawings the hand rails, guard rails or section forming devices embodying the concepts of applicants invention are generally designated 10 and are utilized in this instance as a hand guard rail along one edge of a foldable bleacher section. The collapsable bleacher section is well known to those -skilled in the art and basically includes a plurality of seat and back sections generally designated B along with the accompanying braces, rollers, etc. which sections are normally decreasing in height to permit a bleacher type arrangement for the unit` These individual sections B are either rolled or folded together from the position illustrated in FIG. 1 to a vertical storage position illustrated in FIG. 3. It should be obvious how these bleacher sections operate and likewise should be obvious that many variations and forms of such bleachers are presently available and therefore applicant does not deem it necessary to -give an entire explanation of the various types of foldable units utilized but believes that any bleacher section which folds from an extended position to a substantially vertical storage position will permit the hand rail sections 10 to be attached thereto such that they will properly fold along with the bleacher sections.

In accordance with the accompanying drawings the hand guard rail or sectioning units embodying this concept are designed to provide individual folding sections for attachment to any number of similar sections to form an entire hand or guard rail device. Each of these sections basically includes a vertical member 11 arranged for attachment at its lower end 11a to a portion of the bleacher section, and the foldable rail section generally designated 12 extending in parallel relation to the slope of the bleachers. This rail section 12 includes a first folding member 13 pivotally connected at its lower end 13a to the vertical support member 11 and a telescoping connective member designated 14 which is designed to telescope about the pivotal section 13 and to be rigidly attached at lthe lower side of its uppermost end 14a to the next succeeding similar section.

As particularly illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 the upright section 11 is provided with a fixed angularly disposed mounting element 15 on the uppermost end thereof which angularity is achieved and determined from the final disposition of slope of .the extended bleacher sections. The downwardly extending end 15a of the member 15 is substantially perpendicular to the axis of member 15 and forms an abutting surface for the next section arranged in downward disposed relation to this particular section. The uppermost end 15b of mounting member 1S is angular-ly severed to provide an abutting and partially supporting surface to the pivotal member 13 received thereagainst and pivoted within the mounting member 15,

Pivotal member 13 is mounted for rotation within mounting member 15 by providing a longitudinal slot 16 extending from the beveled end 15b of mounting member 15 wherein the pivotal member 13 is provided with a downwardly extending leg member 17 securely fastened thereto and engageable and rotatable with the slot 16 about a pivot pin 18. In this construction it is then possible to shift the pivotal member 13 from a position of engagement with the upper beveled surface 15b of mounting member 15 as illustrated in FIG. 7 to a position as illustrated in FIG. 8 and thereby achieve the intermediate and final fold position of FIG. 2 and FIG. 3.

In order to provide for attachment between the uppermost telescoping sections 14 and the next above mounting member 15 the views of FIG. 5 and 9 are ulitized. FIG. illustrates the telescoping section 14 of one hand rail section in proper abutting and joined section to a mounting member 15. This is a bottom plan view looking upwardly at such a connection to particularly illustrate the unique hinging and aligning method utilized by applicant to bring the individual sections into joined aligned relationship. Adjacent the lower end a of mounting member 15 a first strut member 20 is fixedly attached. This strut member 20 extends parallel to the axis of mounting member 15 downwardly to cover a predetermined portion of the next downwardly yadjacent telescoping member 14 for pivotal attachment thereto.

Arranged on the adjacent end of telescoping section 14 are a pair of spaced guide rails 21-22 spaced to receive the strut 20 therebetween. These rails 21-22 are fixedly attached to the telescoping member 14 to move therewith. To provide connection between the outer guide rails 21-22 and the inner strut 20 a pivot pin 23 is provided at the ends 21a-22a thereof of guide members 21- 22 and in this manner it should be obvious that as the pivoting rod 13 pivots about the pin member 18 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 the connective rod 20 being firmiy attached to the next above angularly disposed mounting member 1S would remain affixed to said mounting member 15 and the telescoping rod 14 will be free to move therefrom due to the dual pivoting action about pin 23 and pin 18. During this pivoting motion and the collapse of the bleachers as illustrated in FIG. 2 the telescoping section 14 is received downwardly about the stationary member 13 to provide a foreshortening effect necessary in such a collapsing unit. This same hinge and guide method consisting of the three sections 20-21-22 likewise provides for lateral stability when the sections are connected together due to the proper fitting of the first strut 20 within a pair of guide rails 21-22.

As illustrated in FIG. 4 the vertical support members 11 in order to be folded' into vertically aligned position must be provided with an offset section 11b intermediate the ends thereof. It should be obvious from FIG. 4 that it would be impossible to compact the vertical supports 11 unless this offset were provided such that the uppermost portion of a vertical support 11 will miss the next attached lower section 11a of the next above support. It may be possible in certain instances by properly spacing the vertical supports a greater distance apart and thereby requiring longer telescoping sections and longer internal telescoping sections 13 to eliminate such bending in the mid points of the vertical supports 11 but applicant has found that it is necessary for proper support to space the vertical members 11 approximately three seating areas apart and for this reason the mid point offset is necessary.

In order to provide an intermediate rail or other guide member applicant has provided a flexible line generally designated 25 which will extend from a rigidly fastened end 25a on the lowest vertical support upwardly through ring members or the like 26 in each of the vertical supports 11 to a pulley 'and weight construction designated generally 27 at the uppermost end of the unit 10. In this manner as the bleachers are folded the weight 9 will move downwardly as illustrated in FIG. 3 thereby drawing the resilient linkage 25 about pulley 29 and gathering the same in the vertical drop afforded between the pulley and the ground. This liexible linkage system 25 provides a safety factor for the guide rail 10 without requiring another set of folding structures and by limiting the overall length of such resilient members it should be obvious that a fairly strong mid point support may be provided between the verticals and between the hand rail sections and the bleachers themselves.

From a study of FIG. 3 it should be obvious that the railing 10 in its folded position is well elevated above the floor. With a slight modification to the structure illustrated in FIG. 3 it would be possible to revolve the outstanding telescoping sections 13-14 against the plane defined by the front of the folded bleachers and this change would simply require that the uppermost section normally anchoring the rail to the Wall or last immovable bleacher section designated for this purpose 30 be breakable and further that the attachment method used to attach the lower end of 11a of the vertical supports 11 would permit oscillation or rotation of the verticals in order to accomplish the shifting of the planes. Then it would simply be a case that the lower attachment end 11a be loosened to permit rotation of the entire now folded unit about the respective points 11a and in this manner the telescoping ones 14 would be in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the folded bleachers with the only extending portion now being caused by the offset 11b in the verticals which offset which would now dispose the unit slightly outwardly from the front of the bleachers. This obvious shifting of course does not involve any but mere mechanical skill and the absence of a fixed upper member for attachment to the wall.

Although the unit illustrated herein is logically dernoustrated on a. folding bleacher section wherein the slope of the rail must agree with the slope of the bleachers it should be obvious that the same hand rail construction could be employed when the vertical supports 11 were arranged along a substantially horizontal plane. In this situation the only change required would be the angular arrangement of the mounting member 15 to correspond to the plane upon which the units are to be mounted and this again would require no more than mere mechanical skill. In such a horizontal plane mounting system it should be obvious that the mid point offset 11b would not be required as the verticals 11 in stacked position would be aligned one behind another and no requirement for a single planar storage situation would be necessary.

It should be obvious that although the hand rail device employed herein is illustrated and discussed as being utilized on a folding bleacher section that the uniqueness of the railing system is such to permit use in any type of situation which would require a foldable hand rail unit. The lateral stability afforded between the hand rail sections provide the necessary strength and rigidity to the unit and shifting of the various angular positions of the various elements certainly would afford the placement of the device on various planar situations.

It will, of course, be understood that various changes may be made in the form, details, arrangements and proportion of parts without departing from the scope of my invention, which generally stated consists in the matter set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A foldable hand rail or the like including:

(a) at least a pair of spaced generally vertical sup port members;

(b) a first rail portion pivotally arranged on the uppermost end of a rst of said support members extending toward the other of said support memo-ers;

(c) a second rail portion telescoping about said first portion;

(d) a strut member fixedly attached to the uppermost of the other of said support members extending toward said first support; and

(e) said strut member having the extending end thereof pivotally attached to said second telescoping rail portion.

2. The structure set forth in claim 1 and means on said first support member positioning said first rail portion to control the slope thereof with respect to said rst support.

3. The structure set forth in claim 1 and gud-e means on said second telescoping rail portion receiving said strut to prevent lateral shifting of said rail with respect to said other support member.

4. A hand rail or the like in combination with multiple seating structures which fold from anormal seating configuration to a substantially vertical storage position including:

(a) at least a pair of spaced generally vertical support members;

(b) means for attaching the lower ends of said supports in ascending spaced relation to the structure;

(c) a first rail portion arranged on the uppermost end of a first of said support members extending upwardly therefrom to the next of said support members;

(d) a second rail portion telescoping about said first portion;

(e) a strut member fixedly attached to said next of said support members and extending generally downwardly therfrom toward said rst support; and

(f) said strut member having the extending end thereof pivotally attached to said second telescoping rail portion.

5. The structure set forth in claim 4 and means on said first support member positioning said first rail portion to control the slope thereof with respect to said first support.

6. The structure set forth in claim 4 and guide means on said second telescoping rail portion receiving said strut to prevent lateral shifting of said rail with respect to said other support member.

7. The structure set forth in claim 4 including:

(a) a exible connector member extending between said support members intermediate the ends thereof; and

`(b) take up means on one end of said flexible connector accumulating the same when the bleachers are folded into storage position.

8. The structure set forth in claim 4 and said vertical support members having a cooperating offset intermediate the ends thereof to permit when in folded relation portions of said vertical supports to lie in substantially planar side by side.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 522,817 7/1894 Zerfas 256-210 X 937,710 10/1909 Mowrey 52183 1,784,107 12/1930 Parker 256-210X 2,517,959 8/1950 Baldwin 256-21 2,593,336 4/1952 Nixon 182-78 2,611,422 9/1952 Roney 52-9 X 2,933,149 4/1960 Lee 52-183 X DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Prmaly Examiner.

DENNIS L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US937710 *Oct 19, 1908Oct 19, 1909Abraham C MowreyDrop-stair fire-escape.
US1784107 *Jul 5, 1928Dec 9, 1930Parker Leslie MDemountable structure
US2517959 *Nov 12, 1948Aug 8, 1950Baldwin John CGuard rail
US2593336 *Jul 3, 1947Apr 15, 1952Nixon Lawrence JHinged and collapsible stairway
US2611422 *Jul 28, 1947Sep 23, 1952Safway Steel Products IncDemountable grandstand seat planks
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3463457 *May 7, 1968Aug 26, 1969Alexander John FExtendible hand railing
US3788608 *Mar 6, 1973Jan 29, 1974American Seating CoModular folding rail
US3964215 *Feb 18, 1975Jun 22, 1976Universal Bleacher CompanyFolding handrails for telescoping seating sections
US3995832 *Oct 10, 1973Dec 7, 1976Harold WieseCollapsible bleacher rail
US4006564 *Jan 21, 1976Feb 8, 1977Harold WieseFoldable hand rail and seating structure
US4029352 *Apr 7, 1976Jun 14, 1977Lee T. EvansFoldable hand rail
US4030255 *Jun 28, 1976Jun 21, 1977Universal Bleacher CompanyFolding handrail system for telescoping seating systems
US4084277 *Sep 27, 1976Apr 18, 1978Conrad Raymond MCollapsible guard rail
US4193229 *Aug 7, 1978Mar 18, 1980American Seating CompanyHandrail for telescoping seating system with removable rails
US4571895 *Feb 8, 1984Feb 25, 1986Lyman Jr Hugh MTelescoping seating assembly
US4997165 *Aug 19, 1988Mar 5, 1991Harold WieseSafety rail for collapsible bleachers
US6425572 *Sep 8, 2000Jul 30, 2002Marshall H. LehrRetractable, telescoping handrail for recreational vehicles
U.S. Classification256/59, 256/65.2, 52/9
International ClassificationE04H3/10, E04H3/12
Cooperative ClassificationE04H3/123
European ClassificationE04H3/12B
Legal Events
Apr 7, 1988ASAssignment
Effective date: 19880201
Aug 21, 1987ASAssignment
Effective date: 19870722