US 3416477 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
EXTENSIBLE FLAGSTAFF Fon HIGHWAY WARNING SIGNAL Dec. 17, 1968 R. R. GUNDERsoN Filed May 26, 1966 MM FM United States Patent O 3,415,477 EXTENSIBLE FLAGSTAFF FOR HIGHWAY WARNING SIGNAL v Ralph R. Gunderson, Land of Lakes, Wis. 54540 Filed May 26, 1966, Ser. No. 553,236 6 Claims. (Cl. 116-63) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE There is disclosed Aherein an extensible flagstaf for supporting a warning flag in operative position spaced from a reflector supported by and oldable relative to a base member of an associated highway warning signal. The ilagstaff comprises a support member including first and second elongated rods connected by a flexible intermediate member. An extension member is slidably secured to the second rod and is movable relative thereto between a retracted position, in which the supporting member having the extensible member adjacent the second rod may be distorted into a generally U-shaped configuration for storage within the base member of the associated warning signal, and an extended flag supporting position, in which the extension member projects outwardly from the end lportion of the second rod. Holding means is carried by the extension member for holding the extension member in selected positions of adjustment relative to the supporting member.
This invention relates to a llagstaff for a foldable highway warning signal and more particularly to an extensible ilagstaff for use with such signals.
Foldable highway warning signals of the type disclosed in my Patent No. 3,136,512, issued June 9, 1964, include reflector elements for reflecting the glare of headlights for night time safety and further include a separate warning element consisting of a warning flag supported on a staff which is detachably secured to the base portion of the signal. Typically the warning signal has a bracket which is apertured to receive an end of the shaft and the warning flag is provided with a sleeve along the marginal edge for telescoping the flag over the shaft.
For compactness in storing and convenience of use, it is desirable that the staff utilized to support the warning flag be of limited axial extent so that it may be packed within the confines of `the warning signal. It has been found, however, that for prominent `display of a warning flag it is desirable that the staff have a length greater than the length of the highway warning signal. In particular, some state highway departments have requested that the staff which supports the flag be of sufllcient length to insure that, in all conditions, the flag will be spaced from the face of the reflector surfaces so as to not tend to mask or otherwise obscure the reflectors.
Coupled with this desirability, is the ever present problem of providing a means for securely fastening the flag to the staff. The securement of the flag to the staff should be done in such a fashion as to insure little or no destruction of the flag itself in those areas where flag structure cooperates with the staff for performing part of its supporting or holding function. Furthermore,`the securement should be accomplished by means preventing axial withdrawal movement of the flag relative to the staff.
It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide a new and improved extensible flag staff for a highway warning signal.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved extensible flag staff for a highway warning signal having an extension member which is movable FPlce relative to the body of the shaft between a retracted position and an extended, flag supporting position for securing a warning flag to the staff in a position wherein the flag will not obscure or mask the reflectors of the warning signal.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved extensible llagstaff for a highway warning signal which may be retracted and distorted for storage within the confines of the area afforded by the base of t-h-e warning signal.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a new and improved extensible flag staff for a highway warning signal having an extensible flag supporting element, the flag `supporting element having a free end affording a smooth bearing surface for the sleeve of a warning flag to prevent snagging and facilitate insertion of the flag supporting element into the flag sleeve.
Still a further object of this invention is to provide a new and improved extensible flag staff for highway warning signal having an extension member slidably movable relative to the staff between a retracted position and an extended flag supporting position, the lower end of the extension member having a holding means for holding the extension member in adjusted position axially of the staff, the holding means having an integral pin member for impaling the flag to hold the flag on the staff.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment illustrated in the accompanyingV drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view of a typical highway warning signal showing the extensible flag staff of this invention in operative position detachably secured to a foldable highway warning signal and supporting a warning flag thereon;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view, partially in dotted outline, showing the warning signal in its folded storage position with the flag staff in a storage position, flexed interme-diate i-ts ends to occupy only the confines of the base of the warning signal;
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary enlarged broken view of the upper portion' of the staff shown in FIGURE 1, illustrating the relationship between the rounded bearing surface of the free end of the extension member and the interior of the sleeve of the flag;
FIGURE 4 is a section View taken generally along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 5 is a section view taken generally along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 3.
Referring now to the drawings, in FIGURE l there is shown a well-known foldable highway warning signal 10 including a reflector portion 12 having reflectors 12a and 12b. Reflector portion 12 is pivoted to a base member 14 for raising and lowering the reflector portion 12 between an operative reflecting position, as shown in FIGURE l, and an inoperative storage position adjacent the base, as shown in FIGURE 2. A warning flag 16 is adapted to be mounted on extensible staff 18 of this invention, which staff is, in turn, of a size to be received in an apertured bracket 20` to hold the staff and llag in operative position on the warning device 10.
Staff 18 shown herein is a two-piece member including rods 22a and 22h which comprise the upper and lower portions of the stall, respectively. A flexible intermediate member 24, here shown in the form of a coiled spring, joins the upper and lower members together so that the staff may be resiliently distorted and stored in a U- shaped configuration as shown in FIGURE 2, and then may later automatically reassume a straight flag-supporting configuration as shown in FIGURE 1, when removed from stored position.
Flat 16 is provided with means for mounting the flag onto the staff 18. Preferably this means takes the form of a marginal edge which is folded over upon the ag and secured to the remainder of the ilag by a line of stitching 26 to form a marginal sleeve 28 for telescoping over the staff 18. Stitching line 26a closes one end of the sleeve to provide a means limiting the telescoping of the flag on the staff. It is to be understood that other means could be utilized for providing the sleevedike portion of the ag.
Generally the flag primarily affords a daylight warning signal and the reflector portions are used primarily as warning signals for the hours of darkness. However, both elements perform at least some warning function during both the daylight and darkness hours. It is not uncommon for the warning signal to be set up in the position shown in FIGURE 1 in the darkness hours since the flag also performs a warning function during darkness, although the reflector surfaces accomplish most of the warning function during such a period. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for the warning signal to be so established during daylight hours and to remain during the hours of dusk and darkness. In either event, usually the ag is erected, in addition to the reiiector, even during periods of time when the reflectors should be performing the predominant warning function. Gusts of wind created by ambient weather conditions or by passing vehicles may tend to blow the flag into a position wherein it masks at least a portion of the reector surfaces of the warning signal. If this occurs during the hours of dusk or darkness, a great deal of the warning function of the warning signal will be lost.
In addition, the greater distance which the ag can be separated from the rellector renders it a more prominent warning signal, which is to marked advantage during the daylight hours. One problem in so displaying the ag in a position removed from the reflector is that the aforementioned wind and weather conditions may tend to dislodge the ag from the staff. Thus the means which is utilized for supporting the flag extended and spaced from the reector must also be provided with a sufficient means for locking the Hag relative to the staif so that the ag will not be accidentally disengaged from the Warning signal itself. To these ends, the extensible flagstaff 18 of this invention is directed.
An extensible member 30 is secured on the upper portion or upper rod 22 of the staff for movement axially of the staff between a retracted position, vwherein it lies within the axial extent or length of the staff, and an extended position, ywherein the greater portion of the extensible member projects beyond the axial extent of the staff. Extensible member `30 is preferably formed of thin spring wire and includes a proximal end portion 32 which serves both as a holding means for holding the extensible member in different positions of adjustment with respect to the length of the staff, and also performs a retaining function for securing the flag to the extensible member and the shaft.
The opposite end of member 30, or distal end 34, is loop 36 providing a rounded bearing surface for engaging the interior of the sleeve of the ag in a non-snagging fashion. As can best be seen in FIGURE 3, one end of the sleeve of the flag is sewn closed by stitching 26a. As the ag is telescoped over the extensible member, the rounded end 36 insures smooth insertion of the extensible member into the sleeve and, when the closed end of the sleeve has been reached, insures that after repeated use, this closed end will not be impaled or pierced by the end of the flagstaff so as to allow the flag to move downward on its flagstai. Since the closed end forms a stop means for limiting the relative axial movement between the extensible member 30 and the sleeve of the flagstaff, it is most desirable to prevent the deterioration of this portion of the ag.
The proximal end 32 of extensible member 30 is formed into a spring coil 33 1comprising two portions 38a and 38b integrally connected to each other with the respective axes of each of the portions inclined at a slight angle relative to each other. The axis of at least one of the coil portions 38a is also inclined with respect to the axis of the shaft. The interior opening 4t!4 afforded by the coil portion 38a is such that the coil portion snugly, frictionally engages the peripheral lateral surface of rod 22a to allow for axial movement of the resilient member 30 relative to the rod 22 responsive to manipulation.V
However, the resiliency of the two coil portions and the relative axial offset thereof insures that the coil 38 will resiliently bear against the staff and frictionally grip rod 22a to hold the resilient member in selected positions of adjustment along the length of the rod.
The free end of the coil portion 38a extends radially outwardly from the coil and forms an outwardly projecting irnpaling member, or pin 4Z. After the flag is telescoped over the extensible member, the flag may be rotated relative to the extensible member so that impaling member 42 pierces the fabric of the sleeve at a point intermediate the ends of the sleeve. This securely grips the ag and prevents the axial withdrawal of the flag from the staff, such as might be occasioned by wind gusts and the like. With the upper or distal end 34 of the extensible member bearing against the upper end 26a of the sleeve, and the pin 42 of the proximal end of the extensible member engaging the fabric of the ag, the flag is adequately secured against axial movement relative to the staff.
Means are further provided for limiting the extension of extensible member 3D relative to rod 22a. As best shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, in the preferred embodiment this means takes the form of radial enlargements 44 at the extreme free end tip of rod 22a. The radial enlargements form a projection in the path of the coil 38 at the proximal end of the resilient member such that when the coil abuts the enlargements, further movement of the extension member away from the free end of rod 22a is prevented.
The extensible ag of this invention provides a means for holding a warning ag free and clear from the reflective surface of reflectors of the highway warning signal with which the flag is used. The flagstaff itself may be collapsed by retracting the extensible member so that it occupies a position within the length of the staff, and the staff may also be distorted into a U-shape so that it may be stored within the contines of the base of the warning signal. In addition, the extensible member is provided with surfaces that eng-age the flag in such a fashion as to securely hold the flag against axial movement relative to the stair and to minimize wear and tear on the flag.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limi,- tations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.
1. An extensible flagstaif for supporting a warning flag in operative position spaced from a reflector supported by and foldable relative to a base member of an associated highway warning signal, comprising: a supporting member including a first elongated rod adapted to be detachably secured at one end thereof to the associated warning signal, a flexible intermediate member having one end thereof operatively connected to the other end of said first member and a second elongated rod having one end portion thereof operatively connected to the other end of said exi'ble member; an extension member slidably secured to said second rod, said extension member being movable relative to said second rod between a retracted position adjacent said second rod, in which position said supporting member having said extensible member adjacent said second rod may `be distorted into a generally U-shaped conguration for storage within the associated base member of the associated warning signal, and an extended flag supporting position, in which position the extension member projects outwardly from the other end portion of said second rod; and means carried by said extension member for holding said extension member in selected positions of adjustment relative to said supporting member.
2. The extensible agstaff of claim 1, wherein said flexible intermediate member comprises a coiled spring, the open ends of which grippingly receive the respective ends of said first and second rods.
3. The extensible agstai of claim 1, wherein said extension member has a rounded distal end portion providing a smooth bearing surface for insertion into the sleeve portion of an associated warning ag in a non-snagging fashion and for support and retention of the flag on said extension member without impalement of the fabric by the extension member distal end.
4. The extensible agstaf of claim 1 wherein said holding means comprises a coiled member having an opening of a size to snugly receive said second rod, said coiled member having portions resiliently biased relative to said second rod and to each other for frictionally engaging said second rod, with one end of said coiled member being integrally connected to said extension member and the other end of said coiled member having a free end which extends radially outwardly therefrom for impaling the lower portion of an associated warning ag thereby to secure the associated Warning ag from axial movement 25 relative to the flagstal.
5. The extensible flagstaif of claim 4 wherein the other end portion of said second rod is provided with radial enlargements providing a stop means for limiting the slidable movement of said extension member by engaging said holding means when said extension member is moved to the extended position.
6. The extensible agstatf of claim 5 wherein said extension member has a rounded distal end portion providing a smooth ibearing surface for insertion into the sleeve portion of an associated warning flag in a non-snagging fashion and for support and retention of the ag on said extension member without impalement of the fabric by the extension member distal end.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 884,950 4/1908 Page 116-175 1,007,755 11/1911 Turgeon 24-155 1,595,395 8/1926 Herbener 116-173 1,893,335 1/1933 Muller 248-414 1,924,858 8/1933 Hopp 248-414 2,418,549 4/ 1947 Rugeris 116-173 2,660,144 11/1953 Newcum 116-117 3,0l6,035 1/ 1962 Asbury 116-63 FOREIGN PATENTS 243,251 4/ 1960 Australia.
19,390 8/1912 Great Britain.
LoUrs J. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.
U.S. Cl. XR. 116-173