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Publication numberUS3482585 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 9, 1969
Filing dateJan 25, 1968
Priority dateJan 25, 1968
Publication numberUS 3482585 A, US 3482585A, US-A-3482585, US3482585 A, US3482585A
InventorsOverstreet Raymond L
Original AssigneeOverstreet Raymond L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Privacy enclosure
US 3482585 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 9, 1969 R. l.. ovL-:RsTREz-:T

PRIVACY ENCLOSURE Filed Jan. 25, 1968 INVENT OR Rayma/m' l.. Oye/wreef United States Patent O U.S. Cl. 135-1 4 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE Structure for privately enclosing an area having a fixed upper frame circumscribing the area to be enclosed and a shiftable lower frame, there being flexible members connected with the lower frame for shifting the same in a vertical plane toward and away from the upper frame, suitable operating mechanism being connected with the flexible members to permit such shifting, there being a foldable cover in the form of a tube having an upper marginal portion attached to the upper frame and a lower marginal portion attached to the lower frame whereby, when the lower frame is shifted to a fully lowered position, the area circumscribed by the structure is privately enclosed.

It is the most important object of this invention to provide structure for privately enclosing an area, such as a boat or other initially open area which is to be privately enclosed, the structure including an upper fixed frame which is normally secured to suitable supporting structure at the upper end of the area to be enclosed, such as the roof of a pontoon boat or similar overhead support, there being a shiftable lower frame and flexible members coupled with the lower frame to cause shifting movement thereof in a vertical plane in line with said upper frame, there `being a foldable cover of sufficient height to span the distance between the two frames when the lower frame is in a fully lowered position whereby the area circumscribed by the structure may be fully enclosed.

The present structure could find many possible uses, the same being usable to enclose any area which has adjacent thereto suitable means for supporting the upper frame in a fixed position, it being contemplated that the enclosure may be of many various sizes, depending upon the particular area to be enclosed.

Other important objects of this invention include the particular placement and disposition of the flexible members which serve to raise and lower the lower frame; the particular operating mechanism to which said members are coupled to permit shifting movement of said lower frame; and the configuration and placement of the foldable cover on the two frames and with respect to the flexible members.

Yet other important objects of the invention will become apparent from the following specification and accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of one form of the invention showing the lower frame in a fully lowered position adjacent a supporting surface;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, sectional View taken on line 2 2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a substantially central, vertical sectional view of another form of the invention; and

FIG. 4 is a transverse, substantially central sectional view of the form of invention shown in FIG. 3 of the drawing, and taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

The instant privacy enclosure consists of structure which is simple and economical in fabrication, assembly and construction and which may be used in varying environments, depending upon the wishes of the user.

rice

It is, however, specifically contemplated that structure such as that shown in FIG. 1 of the drawing might be used in connection with a pontoon boat or the like which has a deck serving as the floor or supporting surface and spaced therefrom overhead roof structure or the like. It will be readily appreciated however, that use of the structure is not limited to such an environment although the structure shown in FIG. l will be described in terms of such an end use.

The privacy enclosure structure, broadly designated by the numeral 10 has, as its essential components, an upper frame 12; a shiftable lower frame 14; a plurality of flexible members 16 which are coupled with the lower frame 14; a foldable cover 18 of tubular configuration; and suitable operating mechanism 20 to which the free ends of the flexible members 16 are connected to permit raising and lowering of the lower frame 14 through a verticle plane.

The upper frame 12 is tubular in configuration, being fabricated preferably from a lightweight metal such as aluminum or the like, and having either a square, rectangular or cylindrical, cross-sectional configuration. Said upper frame 12 is provided lwith suitable supports such as 22 for rigidly alllxing said upper frame as to the roof of a pontoon boat or the like (not shown). The upper frame 12 is of such a dimension that it essentially circumscribes the area which is to be enclosed by the structure 10, the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 being generally rectangular in configuration whereby to present a pair of opposed ends 24 and a pair of opposed sides 26.

The lower frame 14 is of essentially the same dimensions as upper frame 12 and thereby also presents a pair of opposed ends 28 and a pair of opposed sides 30, said ends 28 and sides 30 being in vertical alignment with corresponding ends 24 aud sides 26 of upper frame 12.

The lower frame 14 is likewise fabricated from tubular stock which may be cylindical, square or rectangular in cross sectional configuration, it being preferred that the same be of aluminum for purposes of reducing the overall weight of structure 10, and to provide a weather resistant material.

As is shown in FIG. 1 of the drawing there are provided a plurality of flexible members 16, these being coupled with the lower frame 14 as by passing therethrough, all as is best shown in FIG. 2 of the drawing which illustrates a typical cross section of the joint of a flexible member 16 with the lower frame 14, it being noted that a bushing 32 is provided at said joint, it being preferable that the bushing be of a suitable plastic material such as Teflon and that the flexible members 16 be in the nature of cords or the like such as, for instance, nylon cords.

In the particular embodiment illustrated there are several sets of flexible members 16, one of the same being hereinafter described for purposes of illustration inasmuch as each set is essentially identical. Thus, each flexible member 16 has one free end thereof attached to the upper frame 12 as at 34, this attachment being accomplished by securing the free end of flexible member 16 through a suitable eye such as 36 which depends from the upper frame 12. Flexible member 16 then passes downwardly to a point where it is coupled with the lower frame 14 as by passing through bushing 32 and into the hollow interior of the side 30 of frame 14, and passing throughout a length of said sidewall to a point 38 where it again passes out of said tubular side 30 through a Teflon bushing similar to bushing 32 shown in FIG. 2, and upwardly to define a stretch such as 40, said flexible member then passing through upper frame 12 as at 42, there being a suitable Teflon bushing provided in upper frame 12 also, to permit free passage of the flexible mem- 3 ber 16 therethrough. The other free end 44 of illustrative exible member 16 is then coupled with operating mechanism 20 which will be described hereinafter in more detail.

As will benoted from FIG. l of the drawing, the particular structure illustrated therein has four exible members of the type hereinabove described, the various stretches 40 thereof being spaced along the sides of the structure 10, each exible member having a free end coupled with the operating mechanism 20. The arrangement of the flexible members 16 through the frames gives a compound lifting action similar to a block and tackle. This action will provide a two-to-one, three-to-one, or similar progressive ratio necessary to raise any large or heavy frame.

Surrounding the structure is a foldable cover, preferably fabricated from a suitable cloth, plastic or the like which will fold or gather easily and which will be resistant to fire, .wrinkling, rotting and shrinkage. Cover 18 is of a sufficient height to span the distance between upper frame 12 and lower frame 14 when said frame 14 is in its fully lowered position, cover 18 thereby defining a continuous sidewall affording privacy for the area being enclosed.

It is preferred that the lower marginal edge 46 of the cover 18 and the upper marginal edge 48 thereof be slightly dared outwardly whereby the crosssectional area of the tubular cover 18 is greater at each of the marginal portions 46 and 48 thereof than is the cross-sectional area of the tubular cover 18 intermediate said marginal portions. The marginal portions 46 and 48 are secured to their corresponding adjacent frames 14 and 12 as by snap fasteners or the like, all to the end that the cover 18 may be removed readily from the frame if such is desired. It is also contemplated that the cover 18 may be provided with suitable Windows, doors or the like whereby to provide ingress and egress for the area which is enclosed and to also permit ventilation thereof.

The operating mechanism 20, as illustrated in FIG. l, takes the form of a compound pulley arrangement including a first sheave 50 to which the free ends of the several flexible members 16 are secured, said sheave 50 having attached thereto a driving spool 52 which is smaller in diameter than the sheave 50 whereby to provide a compound driving ratio for the sheave 50, there being a cord 54 suitably connected with the spool 52 whereby the operating mechanism may be actuated from aremote position as by shifting cord 54 as by grasping a loop 56 therein, which loop is disposed within the area enclosed by structure 10. It will, of course, be readily appreciated that loop 56 might be suitably trained over a reel, winch or the like which could be either manually or electrically activated whereby to facilitate the actuation of operating mechanism 20.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that, when it is desired to raise the lower frame 14 to thereby remove the enclosing structure 10 and permit free access to the otherwise enclosed area, the loop 56 will be grasped whereby to actuate operating mechanism causing the free ends of eXible members 16 to be wound about the sheave 50, all to the end that lower frame 14 will be raised, in a vertical plane, toward fixed upper frame 12. As this is accomplished, the cover 18 is gathered in folds, the dared-out bottom marginal portion 46 thereof providing, in effect, a supporting base for the subsequent folds which are created as the frame 14 is raised and the cover 1-8 gathered in folds. It will also be noted that, inasmuch as the stretches 40 of exible members 16 are disposed entirely inwardly of the cover 18 and at spaced points therealong, the cover will not fall inwardly as it is raised, but rather will gather in neat folds until such time as the lower frame 14 has reached a point substantially adjacent the upper frame 12. Once this has been accomplished, suitable locking mechanism will serve to lock or catch operating mechanism 20 or its associated components, thereby insuring that lower frame 14 is retained in a raised position so long as is desired.

On the other hand, when it is desired to enclose the area, which area is broadly designated as 58 in the drawing, the operating mechanism can be actuated in a reverse manner to thereby permit frame 14 to be lowered through a vertical plane in alignment with frame 12 to a position where lower frame 14 rests upon the deck or floor 60 of the area to be enclosed. When this has been accomplished, the cover 18 will be tautly stretched between the frames 12 and 14 and, in order to insure that there is no undesirable movement of the enclosure 10 as in a high wind or the like, suitable latching means or retainer 62 can be provided, either on the lower frame 14 or the deck 60 whereby the lower frame 14 is suitably retained with respect to the deck 60. Said latches can be operable from within the enclosed area whereby the same may be subsequently released and the enclosure 10 lifted entirely from within the enclosed area 58. Suitable rubber or synthetic sealing means can be provi-ded in the bottom of frame 14 to provide a tight seal between frame 14 and deck 60, thereby making area 58 substantially watertight.

In the form of invention illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the structure consists of the same essential components as the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. l and 2, there being a fixed upper frame 72; a shiftable lower frame 74; a plurality of flexible members 76 interconnecting said frames 72 and 74; a tubular foldable cOver 78; and an operating mechanism 80 for raising and lowering the lower frame 74 through a vertical plane. The form of invention illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 is particularly intended to be used to enclose a chemical toilet such as 82 which might be found aboard a boat or the like whereby to afford privacy to the user thereof. In view of this use, the overall dimensions of the structure 70 are smaller than those of the structure 10.

As is apparent from FIG. 3 of the drawing, the upper frame 72 is suitably secured to a roof 84 or the like through brackets or supports 86, whereby to retain frame 72 in a fixed position. Said frame 72 is fabricated from tubular metal such as aluminum and of any desired crosssectional configuration which will permit passage of the flexible members 76 therethrough in a manner hereinafter to be described.

The lower frame 74 is of the same dimensions as upper frame 72 and is likewise fabricated from a lightweight metal such as aluminum and which may have any desired cross-sectional configuration. The tiexible members 76 are four in number in the specific embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, one being positioned at each corner of the frames 72 and 74, said frames being essentially square in plan configuration in the particular embodiment illustrated, although it will be readily appreciated that the same may assume any desired plan configuration as mentioned hereinabove.

Each of the exible members 76 has one free end 88 thereof secured to the lower frame 74 as by an eye 90, the flexible member 76 then passing upwardly whereby each presents a stretch 92 which is in parallel relationship with the cover 78 and spaced inwardly therefrom, all as is apparent in FIG. 3 of the drawing. Each of the exible members 76 then passes into the interior of upper frame 72, there being bushings such as 94, similar to those shown in FIG. 2, at the point of entrance of fiexible members 76 into tubular, upper frame 72, said flexible members 76 then passing along the interior of upper frame 72 to a central point 96 where they then pass downwardly through a large Teflon bushing and into tubular cord riser housing 98 which is positioned interiorly of the area to be enclosed by the cover 78.

The other free ends of each of the flexible members 76 are then coupled with a suitable reel such as 100, which reel is carried by housing 98 and which, upon rotation thereof, serves to actuate exible members 76 to thereby raise or lower frame 74 with respect to frame 72. Reel 100 has suitable clutch or drag to prevent frame 74 from descending of its own weight.

The cover 78 is tubular in configuration whereby to present a continuous side wall 102 and a pair of opposed, open ends, said upper open end being defined by a marginal portion 104 of the cover, and the lower open end being defined by a marginal portion 106 of the cover. Each of the marginal ends 104 and 106 is attached, as by snap fasteners or the like, to its corresponding frame 72 and 74. As clearly shown in FIG. 3, the marginal ends 104 and 106 are ared outwardly from the plane of the central sidewall 102 whereby to prevent the sidewall from falling inwardly into the enclosed area and, in the case of ared marginal portion 106, to provide an initial fold or base which, in turn, supports subsequent folds or gathers of the cover 78 as it is raised. If there is a tendency of the cover 78 to swing inwardly toward the enclosed area this is resisted by the stretches 92 of flexible member 76, which stretches are spaced entirely inwardly from the cover 78 and serve to resist any inward swinging movement of the cover 78, although it is contemplate that such swing movement will be limited inasmuch as the height of the cover 78 is such as to just span the distance between frames 72 and 74 when the frame 74 is in its fully lowered position, thereby causing the cover 78 to assume a taut condition when the enclosure is functioning for its intended purpose.

In using the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 it will be readily recognized that, through actuation of operating mechanism 80, and more particularly reel 100, the free ends of the flexible members 76 will be wound about said reel 100 thereby causing the lower frame to move upwardly, in a vertical plane, toward frame 72 and thereby from the position shown in FIG- 3 to a position whereby the enclosure is entirely raised against the upper frame 72, thereby effectively removing the same from the area when the structure 70 is not in use.

On the other hand, when it is desired to enclosed the toilet 82, as when the same is being used, the user may step within the area to be enclosed and operate mechanism 80 to thereby lower frame 74 from a position adjacent the roof 84 and frame 72 to a fully lowered position, as illustrate in FIG. 3, wherein the toilet area is entirely enclosed by the structure 70.

Thus, there is provided a privacy enclosure supported beneath a suitable waterproof roof which enclosure is simple in fabrication, construction and operation and which may be accommodated to many various uses to transform an otherwise open-sided area into an enclosed, private area for many purposes. Due to the use of Teon or other suitable plastic bushings in all parts of the enclosure, all cords can be contained within the frames to prevent fouling and to be neater and more appealing to the eye. Since there are no pulleys, and as the operating mechanism is within the enclosed area, rust problems are eliminated. Further, easier lifting is accomplished, regardless of the size of the structure, due to the compound action of the flexible members laced through the frames effecting a lift similar to that of a block and tackle. Additional cords may be used to provide more compound action and to help prevent the cover from falling inward on larger enclosures. By providing means to secure the lower frame to the floor and a seal between the frame and floor, there is presented a watertight enclosure having the sidewalls stretched tightly in place to provide weatherprooiing against the elements.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. Structure for privately enclosing an area comprising:

a fixed, upper frame circumscribing the area to be enclosed;

a lower frame of essentially the same dimensions as said upper frame, said lower frame being shiftable through a vertical plane from a fully raised position adjacent the upper frame to a fully lowered position adjacent the bottom of said area to be enclosed;

a plurality of flexible members of at least suflicient length to span the distance between said frames when said lower frame is in said fully lowered position;

a foldable cover of sufficient height to span the distance between said frames when said lower frame is in said fully lowered position, said cover being connected to each of said frames, said cover being in the form of a tube having a continuous sidewall and a pair of opposed ends, the upper marginal portion of said tube being attached to said upper frame, the lower marginal portion of said tube being attached to said lower frame, the cross-sectional area of said tube at each of said marginal portions being greater than the cross-sectional area of said tube intermediate said marginal portions; and

operating mechanism positioned within the area enclosed by said structure and connected with said exible members to permit shifting of said lower frame through said vertical plane, said flexible members each having one free end thereof coupled with said operating mechanism, each member passing therefrom through said upper frame to said lower frame, passing longitudinally along said lower frame, and thence passing to said upper frame and being coupled therewith, thereby causing a compound function, the stretches of said exible members which span the distance between said frames when said lower frame is in a fully lowered position being in parallel relationship to said cover throughout substantically the complete height of said cover and spaced inwardly therefrom, said flexible members each passing through a series of direction changing components between their point of coupling with said operating mechanism and their point of coupling with either frame.

2. Structure for privately enclosing an area as set forth in claim 1, there being means for securing said lower frame to the floor of said area.

3. Structure for privately enclosing an area as set forth in claim 1, said operating mechanism being in the form of a reel, one free end of each of said flexible members being trained thereabout.

4. Structure for privately enclosing an area as set forth in claim 1, said operating mechanism being in the form of an assembly providing a compound lifting action, one free end of each of said flexible members being attached thereto, there being means for driving said assembly.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 969,899 9/l9l0 Partington 1358 1,072,339 9/1913 Liljegran 13S-2 XR 1,279,596 9/1918 Sharbondy 135-8 KENNETH DOWNEY, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. XR. --8

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US969899 *Jan 18, 1909Sep 13, 1910Susan C PartingtonProtector for automobiles, &c.
US1072339 *May 25, 1912Sep 2, 1913Ernest W LiljegranTree-protector.
US1279596 *Dec 17, 1917Sep 24, 1918Alvin L SharbondyCover for vehicles.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4817654 *Jun 20, 1988Apr 4, 1989Mary Jane ChristensenRetractable vehicle cover and apparatus therefor
US6752164 *Aug 16, 2002Jun 22, 2004Wan Joo ParkRoom tent
US8733380 *Dec 9, 2010May 27, 2014Thomas W. RobertsGaraged vehicle cover
US9289101 *May 20, 2014Mar 22, 2016Wezor Inc.Collapsible toilet enclosure
US20140190538 *Jun 26, 2012Jul 10, 2014Basf SeSystem for Protecting Stored Goods
US20150272407 *May 20, 2014Oct 1, 2015Wezor Inc.Collapsible toilet enclosure
DE102014115070A1 *Oct 16, 2014Apr 21, 2016Aleksandar StojanovicVorrichtung zur Raumteilung, Verwendung einer solchen Vorrichtung sowie modulares System zur Raumunterteilung
Classifications
U.S. Classification135/121, 135/90, 135/120.2
International ClassificationE04H1/12
Cooperative ClassificationE04H1/12
European ClassificationE04H1/12