US 3419026 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
3 1968 w. s. EVANS, JR.. ETAL 3,419,026
UMBRELLA Filed March 3. 1966 mvzmoasz WAYNE S. EVANS,JR. BY LOUIS G TARTAGLlA nrvs.
United States Patent 3,419,026 UMBRELLA Wayne S. Evans, Jr., Huntingdon Valley, and Louis G.
Taltaglia, Philadelphia, Pa., assignors to S. W. Evans & Sons, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Mar. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 531,402 7 Claims. (Cl. 135-20) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In a -wind-proof umbrella including an umbrella shaft, a runner assembly having a bore extending therethrough so that it is slidable on the shaft and latch means on the shaft, the improvement comprising a localized deformation defining a non-yielding protrusion on the shaft whereby the maximum transverse dimension of the protrusion is greater than the cross section of the rest of the shaft, the protrusion adapted to create an increased frictional resistance between the runner assembly and the shaft. The localized protrusion is located above the latch means to signal the open position of the umbrella at which the runner assembly may be released to engage the latch. The runner assembly includes a runner body of tubular form made of an elastically deformable material having a collar portion having a bore slightly smaller than the largest transverse dimension of the shaft at the localized deformation, the main bore of the runner body being of a larger cross section to permit passage of the runner assembly thereover under extreme wind conditions thereby permitting reversal of the umbrella.
The present invention relates generally to umbrella and relates more particularly to a wind-proof umbrella having a runner assembly and shaft of a novel design.
The conventional wind-proof umbrella includes a coil spring at the top of the shaft which permits the runner under severe wind conditions to travel nearly to the shaft end, thus allowing the ribs and attached fabric cover to reverse without damage to the umbrella. Although such a structure provides a satisfactory reversing operation, difficulty is encountered upon opening the umbrella in establishing the point on the shaft at which the runner may be released to lock the umbrella in the open position. When first contacted by the runner, the coil spring does not provide an appreciable resistance to the runner travel in comparison to the force required to extend the ribs, with the result that the umbrella is apt to be opened well beyond the runner catch on the shaft. This often results in pinched fingers as the runner is propelled downwardly against the catch under both the force of the deformed ribs as well as that of the coil spring.
The present invention provides a wind-proof umbrella of a novel design which, instead of the usual spring, employs means on the shaft for causing frictional resistance between the shaft and the runner assembly passing thereover. This shaft means, which may for example constitute a deformed portion of the shaft, provides sufficient resistance to the runner travel to signal the raised position of the umbrella, but allows passage of the umbrella runner under extreme wind conditions to permit reversal of the ribs. A similar arrangement may be provided adjacent the umbrella handle to secure the umbrella in the closed position, taking the place of the usual lower latch which has proven difiicult to manipulate. The runner assembly of the invention also includes a novel latch sleeve which may be utilized to release the umbrella latch without touching the latch itself. The sleeve protects the 7 fingers from pinching both on raising and on lowering the runner.
3,419,025 Patented Dec. 31, 1968 In view of the above it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a wind-proof umbrella having a novel runner assembly and shaft arrangement which provides a readily detectable raised umbrella position and which eliminates the usual coil spring at the upper end of the umbrella shaft.
A further object of the invention is to provide a wind-proof umbrella as described having a novel latch actuating sleeve which eliminates direct handling of the latch and the possibility of pinched fingers.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a novel arrangement for securing an umbrella in the closed position without the usual shaft latch.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an umbrella as described which may be easily and economically fabricated and assembled.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description of an embodiment thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly broken away for clarity, of a wind-proof umbrella embodying the present invention shown in the raised position, the broken lines indicating the reversed umbrella position;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the details of the umbrella runner assem bly and latch in the open latched position;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a partial sectional view showing the manner in which the runner body is deformed upon passage over the pinched portion of the umbrella shaft during reversal of the umbrella;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 1 showing the manner in which the runner assembly is secured in the closed position;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 88 of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is an exploded view showing the several elements of the runner assembly.
Referring to the drawings, an umbrella 10 in accordance with the present invention includes the tubular shaft 12 having a handle 14 on the lower end thereof and a decorative and protective tip 16 at its upper extremity. Adjacent the tip 16 is the notch 18 from which pivotally extend ribs 20 supporting the fabric 22. The ribs 20 are actuated by the stretchers 24 attached to the runner assembly 26 slida ble on the shaft.
As indicated above, the novelty of the invention resides in the construction of the runner assembly and the shaft, the details of which are shown most clearly in FIGS. 2-9. As shown in FIG. 9, the runner assembly 26 is formed of three elements, the runner body 28, runner head 30 and the latch sleeve 32. The runner body 28, which is preferably of a deformable plastic material, includes a generally cylindrical body portion 34 having a hollow bore 36 of a diameter suflicient to pass over the annular shaft 12 with an ample clearance 38 as shown for example in FIG. 2. The upper end of the runner body includes a collar portion 40 of a heavier cross section having an internal bore 42 of a diameter only slightly larger than the diameter of the shaft so as to provide only a slight clearance 44 therebetween. The lower end of the runner body is provided with the beveled shoulder 46 which is interrupted by the longitudinal notch 48 for a purpose set forth below.
The runner head 30 also includes a hollow cylindrical body portion 50, the annular bore 52 of which is the same diameter as that of the body portion 34 of the runner body. The upper end of the runner head includes an annular outwardly inclined portion 54 from which extend the inwardly inclined tangs 56, the tangs being separated by the spaced stretcher slots 53. The lower end of the runner head terminates in a circumferential bead 60 which is of a diminished size along one side 62 for a reason set forth below.
The latch sleeve 32 which is preferably formed of an elastomeric material includes a central bore 64 slightly smaller than the external diameter of the body portion 50 of the runner head. The sleeve has an external hourglass shape to provide a convenient gripping surface. Toward the lower end of the sleeve an internal shoulder 66 interrupts the bore 64, from which shoulder the bore continues downwardly in an outwardly flaring portion 68. At one side thereof, the sleeve includes a latch release portion 70 which extends substantially below the end of the sleeve proper and which provides an inner latchengaging surface 72 which flares downwardly and outwardly from a point just below the waist of the hourglass, the surface 72 eliminating the shoulder 66 in this region and being spaced slightly outwardly of the flaring bore 68 although at the same flare angle therewith.
For assembly of the runner, the runner head and latch sleeve are placed on the shaft with the latch release portion and shaped portion 62 of the head 60 being aligned with the shaft latch to be further described below. The runner head is then forced downwardly into the bore of the elastomeric latch sleeve, so that the bead 60 is seated beneath the shoulder 66 as shown in FIG. 2. The runner body 28 is then lowered into the outwardly inclined portion 54 of the runner head and the inner ends of the stretchers 24 are inserted into the stretcher slots 58, being secured therein by the wire ring 74 passing through holes in the ends of the stretchers. The ring 74 is held in position by the outwardly directed lip portions 76 of the tangs 56. The runner body 28 is secured to the runner head by the inward extension of the stretcher ends which, acting against the beveled shoulder 46 of the runner body, prevent axial movement thereof with respect to the runner head.
In view of the clearance 38 between the body portions 34 and 50 of the runner body and runner head and the slight clearance 44 between the collar portion 40 of the runner body and the shaft, it can be understood that the runner assembly is free to slide along the tubular shaft 12. Upon raising the umbrella, the runner assembly is advanced upwardly along the umbrella shaft, the stretchers 24 serving to extend the ribs 20 outwardly in the normal manner to spread the fabric 22. At the usual location toward the upper end of the shaft, the latch 78 is mounted within the shaft, the spring portion 80 of the latch extending within the shaft and the latch car 82 extending radially outwardly through the longitudinal slot 84 in the shaft. The lower end 86 of the spring portion 80 is anchored in slot 87 of the shaft.
Upon upward movement of the runner assembly, the latch ear is moved by contact of the runner body with the curved edge 88 thereof against the pressure of the spring portion into the shaft permitting the runner assembly to pass upwardly thereover. When the lower end of the runner head has cleared the latch ear, the ear, biased outwardly by the spring portion 80, mover out radially through the slot 84 into the locking position shown in FIG. 2 thereby locking the umbrella in the open position, the lower end of the runner head seating on the horizontal upper edge 89 of the latch ear.
In order to accurately signal the point at which the runner assembly has cleared the latch ear and hence may be safely released, means are provided on the shaft above the latch to cause a sharply increased frictional resistance between the shaft and the runner assembly.
In the illustrated embodiment, this resistance is provided by a deformed portion 90 of the shaft which, as shown most clearly in FIG. 6, is produced by pinching a portion of the shaft into a substantially oval shape. As shown in FIG. 2, the deformed portion 90 of the shaft is located just above the upper edge of the collar 40 of the runner body when the runner assembly is in the latched position. Consequently, when the umbrella is opened, the collar portion 40 of the runner body upon reaching the deformed portion 9% of the shaft will, due to the substantial effort required to move the collar portion over the deformed portion 90, signal the position of the umbrella at which the runner assembly may be safely released. The possibility of advancing the runner assembly an undue distance beyond the latch and the accompanying risk of pinched fingers on release of the assembly onto the latch are thus avoided.
The possibility of pinched fingers is made even more remote by the latch sleeve construction, the fingers being protected from contact with the latch by the latch release portion 70 of the sleeve. Since the sleeve is made of an elastomeric material, the latch release portion 70 may be depressed against the leatch car 82 to force the ear inwardly beyond the runner head and hence release the umbrella from the latched position. The shape of the bead 60 at 62 facilitates movement of the latch release portion inwardly against the latch ear. The latch sleeve thus permits the raising and lowering of the umbrella runner assembly without handling the latch directly.
As indicated above the runner body, being made of a plastic material, is sutficiently deformable to conform with the deformed portion 90 of the shaft and pass thereover to permit the reversal of the umbrella as shown in the broken line illustration of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 4, because of the smaller bore 42 of the collar portion of the runner body, passage over the deformed shaft portion 90 effects a non-uniform deformation of the normally annular runner body, and to relieve the stresses arising from such a deformation, the notch 48 is provided in the shoulder 46 of the lower end of the runner body. After the collar portion 40 of the runner body has passed over the deformed portion 90 of the shaft, the runner assembly is free to slide along the remainder of the shaft until the runner body contacts the umbrella notch 18. As noted previously and with reference to the drawings, the bore 36 of the runner body 28 and the bore 52 of the runner head are circular and are of substantially the same diameter or cross section and as illustrated, are of a larger cross section than the major portion of the shaft 12 to provide a clearance therebetween. It is noted that the umbrella shaft 12 is of predetermined uniform cross section for substantially its entire length with the exception of the protrusions 90 and 92. Further, as clearly illustrated in the drawings, the bore 36 and bore 52 have a slightly greater cross section or diameter than the largest transverse dimension of the non-yielding rigid protrusion in the form of the deformed portion 90 of the shaft to permit the free sliding movement of the runner assembly when the collar portion 40 clears the deformed portion, for example, under extreme wind conditions facilitating reversal of the umbrella. This relationship is also true with respect to the deformed portion 92 at the lower end of the umbrella shaft. This arrangement stops the reversal of the umbrella with the ribs 20 at a substantial angle to the shaft preventing damage to the rib linkage and allowing the ribs to be returned to their proper orientation by pulling the runner assembly back across the deformed portion 90.
A similar abbreviated deformed portion 92 of the shaft spaced a short distance above the handle 14 provides suffi: cient frictional resistance to lock the umbrella in the closed position. In this instance the deformation extends only a short distance along the shaft so that the runner assembly may pass thereover without requiring an undue opening or closing force.
Although in the embodiment illustrated the frictional resistance between the shaft and the runner assembly for signalling the raised position of the umbrella and for securing the umbrella in the closed position is caused by a deformation of the shaft, there are a number of other arrangements which could be utilized for causing such resistance. For example, one or more O-rings could be set into the shaft at these points. Another embodiment might include the transverse slotting of the shaft and the anchoring of an outwardly extending thin flexible strip of plastic material in the slot over which the runner assembly would travel with increased frictional resistance.
Manifestly, other changes in the details of construction can be effected by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in and limited solely by the appended claims.
1. In a wind-proof umbrella incuding an umbrella shaft of predetermined uniform cross section for substantially its entire length, a. runner assembly slidably disposed on said shaft and latch means on said shaft, the improvement comprising means defining at least one non-yielding localized permanent protrusion on said shaft having a transverse cross section dimension greater than the predetermined cross section of the shaft, said protrusion adapted to create an increased frictional resistance between said runner assembly and said shaft, said localized protrusion being located above said latch means so as to signal the open position of the umbrella at which the runner assembly may be released to engage said latch means, said runner assembly including an elongated tubular member made of an elastically deformable material having a central main bore and a collar at one axial end thereof of a bore size slightly smaller than the transverse dimension of said protrusion, said runner assembly being free to slide along the remainder of the shaft.
2. An umbrella as claimed in claim 1 wherein said protrusion comprises a localized deformation of said shaft.
3. An umbrella as claimed in claim 2 including a second localized deformation in said shaft at a point spaced above said handle so that upon closure of said umbrella, said second deformation lies just above "said collar, said second deformation cooperating with said collar portion to hold the umbrella in the closed position.
4. The invention as claimed in claim 3 wherein said second deformation provides substantially less resistance to passage of said runner assembly than said deformation above said latch, whereby said umbrella may be readily opened by application of a mild axial force. upon said runner assembly.
5. An umbrella assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein said runner assembly comprises a tubular runner head having an outwardly inclined upper portion to which said stretchers are pivotally attached and a tubular runner body having a shoulder of the lower end thereof seated in the outwardly inclined portion of said runner head and being secured therein by the inner ends of said stretchers.
6. An umbrella as claimed in claim 5 wherein said tu'bular runner head is made of metal and said tubular runner body is made of an elastically deformable material.
7. The umbrella as claimed in claim 6 wherein said runner assembly includes a latch sleeve secured to said runner head, said latch sleeve being formed of an elastomeric material and including a latch release portion extending below the lower end of said runner head aligned with said latch, said latch sleeve by depression of said latch release portion permitting depression and a safe release of said latch.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 641,114 1/1900 Ingram -39 959,127 5/1910 Edwards 135-31 1,112,774 10/1914 Cruser et al 135-40 2,822,815 2/1958 Bremshey 135-39 PETER M. CAUN, Primary Examiner.
US. 01. X.R. 135-41