US 3449786 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 17, 1969 B. F. J. ROSS FOLDING DUSTPAN Filed Jan. 16, 1967 INVENTOR BERNARD F. J. ROSS BY; W 4
United States Patent 3,449,786 FOLDING DUSTPAN Bernard Francis John Ross, 18 Banstock Drive, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada Filed Jan. 16, 1967, Ser. No. 609,549 Int. Cl. A471 13/52 US. Cl. 15257.7 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This specification discloses a dustpan formed of molded thermoplastic material which is provided with fold lines or integral hinges along predetermined axes so as to permit the dustpan to either lie flat in use or to be folded into a chute for emptying of the contents. The fold lines or hinges are so designed as to leave the dustpan free of obstruction when laid flat.
This invention relates to improvements in folding dustpans.
In the provision of dustpans such as are commonly employed by housewives it is common practice to utilize a dustpan having a flat pan area, normally bounded on three sides with a dust retaining wall and fitted with a handle projecting upwardly at an angle therefrom. It is intended that litter picked up in such a dustpan be transferred to a dust bin, emptying of the dustpan being done by simply dumping the litter from the forward open end.
While such dustpans find comparative wide use it has been found that in many cases emptying of the dustpan is at times troublesome. Since the dustpan is intended for use about a domestic kitchen and such places, it is also expected that the litter will be dumped into various receptacles such as paper garbage bags, small waste baskets and the like. In doing so the comparatively wide open end of the dustpan makes it difficult for a person to successively transfer all of the litter into the receptacle at all times.
Attempts to overcome this difficulty have lead to the provision of folding dustpans which are provided with a hinge line or fold line somewhere about the centre portion thereof, whereby the dustpan can be folded into a V-shaped configuration thus to collect the litter in one portion of the dustpan where it can be transferred more readily into a dust bin or other receptacle. One such folding pan provides a hinge line substantially in line with the handle and extending across the flat pan area. While this type of dustpan is effective in transferring the litter by concentrating it in the V-portion of the fold, a rather large hinge portion in the area of the pan has been resorted to with the result that the hinge interferes with the normal use of the pan.
By resort to the present invention a folding dustpan is provided wherein novel means are resorted to, thus to provide a folding mechanism effective in use, the dustpan itself still being effective for normal use.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a folding dustpan incorporating a folding mechanism in the handle thereof, whereby the dustpan portion is left free for conventional use.
Other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and accompanying drawings in which like numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views and diagrams, and in which, in the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a presently preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary view of a hinge mechanism according to the present invention;
FIGURE 3 is a section on the line 33 as shown in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary side elevation of a dustpan according to the present invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a still further embodiment according to the present invention.
With reference to FIGURE 1 a folding dustpan according to the present invention is illustrated and indicated generally as 10. The dustpan 10 is provided with a comparatively fiat pan portion 11, a handle as at 12, and an open front edge as at 13. The flat pan area 11 is divided into two halves 14 and 15 joined at a hinge line 16. Side walls 17 and 18 are provided and rear walls 19 and 20 are also provided to form a dustpan of conventional configuration.
The handle 12 is also provided with a hinge line 21 along the mid-portion thereof, hinge line 21 and hinge line 16 being substantially in line. stiffening means in the form of ribs 22 and 23 are formed along both sides of the handle 12 to rigidity same.
It is intended that a dustpan according to the present invention be manufactured from plastic material and preferably to be injection molded. In this connection, it should be noted that the hinge lines 16 and 21 together with the corner hinge lines 24 and 25 be formed by coining after the dustpan has been molded. This has the advantage of reducing die costs and simplifying molding problems. The coining process forms a crease or fold line in the plastic material after the part has been made. The hinge may also be formed in the mold by well-known techniques.
In order to maintain handle 12 in the open position a spring member 26 is secured to the handle to either side of hinge line 21 by means of the socket portions 27 and 28. Member 26 resiliently biases the handle in the open position as shown in FIGURE 1, the folded or partially closed position being shown in phantom as at 29.
In order to use the dustpan as shown in FIGURE 1 the pan may be used in the conventional manner to collect litter after which by pressing the halves of handle 12 together against the biasing force of member 26, the dustpan assumes the shape as shown in phantom at 29. Litter within the pan will thus collect in the V-portion at 30 from whence it can be deposited into a suitable receptacle. Thus, while the dustpan presents a flat surface with the open edge 13 aiding the collection of litter, the V-configuration enables one to deposit litter therefrom into small receptacles such as garbage bags and the like.
Referring to FIGURE 2 and FIGURE 3 a still further embodiment of the invention is illustrated wherein a handle indicated at 31 is formed integrally with the dustpan 32. Handle 31 has a diaphragm as at 33 of reduced sectional thickness extending across the centre portion thereof and defined by the edge line 34. The dustpan 32 has a bottom portion 35 provided with the crease or fold line 36 in a manner similar to the fold line 16 for dustpan 10.
A spring well as at 37 is provided on the bottom of the base 35 and supports a spring 38 therein. The spring 38 is secured against lateral movement by the projecting lugs 39 and 40 molded within the well 37 and is secured within the well 37 by means of the lugs 41 and 42 molded integrally with the well as shown in the section in FIG- URE 3. The biasing tension on the spring 38 maintains the pan 32 in the open position and in this position the well 37 provides the support for the pan 32 upon the pan resting on a supporting surface such as the floor. In this way the pan 32 is supported at a slight angle to the floor surface to be in position to receive litter being swept thereon.
The handle 31 provides means for handling the dustpan 32 and upon inward pressure on the sides 43 and 44, the inward pressure on the sides will collapse the diaphragm 33 the pan 32 folding on the hinge line 36 whereby the sides and 46 will form a V-configuration similar to the pan as shown in FIGURE 1.
The sides 47 and 48 of the well 37 are split along the fold line-36 as at 49 whereby the halves 45 and 46 may fold upwardly under the influence of the pressure on handle 31. Upon the dustpan 32 being returned to the fiat position the adjoining ends of sides 47 and 48 meeting at 49 butt together to form stop means resiliently biased together by the force within the spring 38.
With-reference to FIGURE 4 a still further embodiment of the invention is illustrated wherein the handle 50 is formed on the dustpan 51 and is of a configuration similar to the handle 12. In this embodiment a resilient member 52 is secured between handle 50 and the wall 53 of dustpan 51 to bias the handle 50 in a fiat position. Upward pressure on handle 50 will cause same to assume the position as shown in phantom at 54 whereby the dustpan folds on the crease line provided, in the manner similar to that described before. By providing the resilient member 52 below handle 50 a more unobstructed surface on the dustpan is provided as well as a more pleasing appearance.
With reference to FIGURE 5 a still further embodiment of the invention is illustrated wherein the handle at 55 having crease line 56 along the mid-portion thereof and the corner crease lines 57 and 58 is formed on a dustpan 59. In the embodiment a further crease line as at 60 is provided extending across handle 55 to meet with the crease lines 57 and 58. A spring (not shown) similar to spring 52 maintains the pan and handle in the open condition. Inward pressure on the edges 61 and 62 will cause handle 55 to fold along the crease line 56 the stiffening effect of the spring acting at the point of intersection as at 63 being reduced, whereby the area as at 64 of handle 62 and the area 65 onto the back of the dustpan 59 are brought coplanar.
The handle 62 normally projects from the dustpan 59 at an angle and upon the handle 55 being bent along the fold line 60 to bring areas 64 and 65 parallel, the handle 65 can then be folded along the fold line 56, whereby the dustpan 59 folds on the fold line 66 to provide a V-formation' as previously described. Thus, the fold line 56 and the extension thereof as at 67 must be substantially coincident before handle 55 can be folded.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the present invention provides a folding dustpan incorporating spring means whereby the dustpan is maintained in the open position-and which can be readily folded to provide a V-portion for emptying litter therefrom. Thus, by resort to the present invention a folding dustpan as illustrated can be provided which is efiicacious for the intended use and which can be manufactured at comparatively small cost.
What I claim is:
1. A foldable dustpan of one piece molded plastic construction adapted to lie flat in one position and to be folded into a chute in another position and comprising:
a flat one piece molded plastic pan portion having two identical halves side by side;
integral plastic fold lines joining said pan halves together and located in the plane of said pan portion; side wall and rear wall means integral with said pan portion at an angle thereto; two integral plastic fold lines formed in said rear wall means and located substantially in a common plane therewith and connecting with said pan fold line in a V-shaped formation;
handle means integral with said rear wall means; said handle means being foldable to move said rear wall means and said pan portion into said chute position; and,
resilient means biasing said pan portion to lie in said flat position.
2. The dustpan as claimed in claim 1 wherein said rear wall hinge means are arranged in an open V-shaped configuration uniting with said pan portion hinge means at the junction between said pan portion and said rear wall means.
3. The dustpan as claimed in claim 2, including a diaphragm extending across said handle and of reduced thickness to render said handle foldable.
4. The dustpan as claimed in claim 1, in which said resilient means comprises a spring member connected to said handle.
5. The dustpan as claimed in claim 1, in which said resilient means comprises a spring member connected across said pan halves.
6. The dustpan as claimed in claim 1, in which said handle defines at least one fold line aligned with said pan portion hinge means, whereby said handle folds along a predetermined axis.
7. The dustpan as claimed in claim 1, in which said resilient means comprises a spring member connected between said handle and said pan portion.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,583,154 l/l952 Pape l5257.7 2,666,309 1/1954 Anderson et al. 15--257.7 3,278,969 10/1966 Wenzlaff et al. l5257.l X
WALTER A. SCI-IEEL, Primary Examiner.
L. C. MACHLIN, Assistant Examiner.