US 3550601 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  lnventor Donald F. Peters 33 Kingsboro Ave., Gloversville, NY. 12078  Appl. No. 781,082  Filed Dec. 4, 1968  Patented Dec. 29, 1970  PORTABLE COLLAPSIBLE CHILD S PLAY ENCLOSURE Claims, 14 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 135/4, 135/7.l, 52/71  Int. Cl A451 1/16, E04f /04 Field ofSearch /1, 4, 7.1; 52/71; /(Inquired)  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,845,861 2/1932 Anderson 52/71 2,528,721 11/1950 Brockman et a1... 135/1X 2,808,846 10/1957 Jonsson 135/4 3,052,250 9/1962 Moss 135/1 Primary Examiner-.1. Karl Bell ArtorneyD. Emmett Thompson ABSTRACT: A portable collapsible childs enclosure having side members hingedly connected at their sides to form a rectangular frame arrangement. Roof-supporting bows formed of resilient material, such as music wire, are pivotally connected at each upper corner of the frame. The bows extend diagonally of the frame and meet at ajunction in the middle of the frame. In addition to supporting the roof, these bows maintain the frame in rectangular form due to the fact that the bows have a length exceeding half the distance between opposite diagonal corners of the frame. Also, the inner ends of the bows are pivotally connected to a structure at the junction. The junction structure has stop means cooperable with the bows to limit the upward movement of the structure so that he bows take an arcuate, or convex, form and exert an outward yielding force against the corners of the frame. When the junction structure is depressed below the top of the frame, the bows take a concave form, and the downward movement of the junction structure does not have a stop limit, whereby the corners of the frame can be moved inwardly, the side members folded upon themselves, and the frame collapsed to flat condition.
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SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTUR. DONALD F. PETERS.
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. 1 PORTABLE COLLAPSIBLE CHILDS PLAY ENCLOSURE BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention embodies a structural arrangement formed of readily available materiahsuch as small diameter steel rods which are economically fabricated into the side members of the frame. The side members arehingedly joined together so they can be moved to present a rectangular frame.
Bows formed of resilient material, such as music wire, are pivotally connected at like ends to the upper corners of the frame. The'inner ends of the bows are pivotally connected to a junction structure located at the center of the frame. When the structure is in use, these bow members curved upwardly from the corners of the frame to the junction structure, upward movement of which is limited by stop means which causes bows to take the arcuate, or convex form, in which they exert outward yieldingpressure against the comers of the frame.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view, in perspective of the erected enclosure embodying my invention.
FIG. 2 is a somewhat enlarged view, similar to FIG. 1, with the roof and sidewall coverings removed.
FIG. 3 is a view of the frame with the bow structure depressed.
FIG 4 is a view showing the frame side members partially folded.
FIG. 5 is a view showing the frame collapsed to substantially flat condition.
FIG. 6.is a view, in perspective, of the bow junction structure.
FIG. 7 is a view taken on line 7-7, FIG. 2. FIG. 8 is an enlarged view showing the hinge connection of N a bow at a corner of the frame.
FIG. 9 is a view, in perspective, of a modified arrangement wherein the enclosure takes the form of a sandbox.
FIG. 10 is a view, similar to FIG. 9, with the canopy and seatsremoved.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In the form shown in FIGS. 1 to 5, the frame consists of three side members, there being no side member at what is considered the front of the enclosure. In order that the frame, when collapsed, can be reduced to small dimension, each side member preferably consists .of a pair of sections hinged together. These sections areformed of bent-up metallic rod of small diameter to rectangular configuration. The pair of sections of each side member are hinged together, as indicated at 20. The opposite side members are hinged to the intermediate, or rear side member, as at 21.
The adjacent side rods 23 of each section in a pair are formed with inwardly offset'portions 24, see FIGS. 2 and 7. These offset portions are encircled by clips 25. In this manner, the pair of sections of each side member are hinged together, whereby one section can be folded over the adjacent sections.
The vertical side rods 27 of the sections of the intermediate, or rear side member are, in like manner, hinged to the rods 28 of the adjacent sections of the opposed side members at the hinged joints 2]. The sections making up the side members are formed with upper and lower crossmembers 30, 31. As shown in FIG. 2, a flexible strand is fastened at its ends to the upper front corners of the front sections of the opposedside members.
Bows 38, 39, 40, 41, are pivotally connected to the four upper corners of the frame. As shown in FIG. 8, a section side rod, as 28, is formed with a loop 43 at the joinder of the upper end of the side rod and top rod 30. The outer end of the bow extends through the loop and is curled around the bight portion thereof. With this arrangement, the bows are pivotally connected to the corners of the frame.
The bows 38-41 extend in a direction diagonally inwardly from the corners of the frame. Each bow has a length substantially in excess of half the distance between diagonally opposite corners of the frame. The inner ends of the bows 38- 41 meet at a junction'at the center of the frame and are pivotally connected to a junction structure indicated generally at 47, see FIG. 6. This form of junction structure consists of upper and lower flat plates 50, 51, of rectangular form, the upper plate 50 being of considerable less dimension than the lower plate 51. These plates are secured together in spaced relation by fasteners 53.
In the form shown in FIGS.'1 to 6, the bows 38, 39, and the bows 40, 41, are formed in one piece. The bight portions of these one-piece bows are positioned between the plates 50, 51, inside of the fasteners 53, see FIG. 6. With this arrangement, the center or inner portions of the bows are pivotally mounted in the junction structure 47.
When the junction structure 47-is raised upwardly, the bows 38-41 assume anupwardly curve, or convex form, as shown in FIG. 2. This is due to the fact that in length the bows exceed half the distance between opposite diagonal corners. The bows remain in this upwardly curved form due to the resiliency of the material from which the bows are formed, such as music wire. .The extentof the curvature is determined by the height of the junction structure 47 above the plane of the top of the frame. This, in turn, is determined by the lower plate 51 acting as a stop means to prevent further upward movement, or bowin of the members 38-41. In this position, the bows 38-41 also exert a yielding force against the corners of the frame structure, as will be apparent, maintaining the frame in erected rectangular form.
The strand 33 serves to prevent spreading of the front corners of the frame. A cover, including a roof section 60 and side panels 61, is positioned on the erected frame. The cover- .ing also including afront door closure portion 63 left unattached to the right edge of the front opening, as shown in FIG. 1.
When the bow junction structure 47 is pressed downwardly pivotal movement of the bows take place at the corners of frame and in the junction structure 47. FIG. 3 illustrates the bows in depressed condition. The sections of the three side members are now folded about their hinge joints 20, 21. FIG. 4,illustrates'a partial folding of these sections. As the sections are folded further upon' themselves, the frame is collapsed to the condition shown in FIG. 5.
In FIGS. 9 to 14, the basic structural arrangement is employed in the form of a childs sandbox. In this arrangement opposed side members 70 are formed with sections 71. Opposite opposed side members 73 are of one-piece construe tion. The side members 70, 73, are substantially shorter than the side members in FIGS. 1 to 5, and the side members 73 have affixed thereto at their ends, tubular socket members 75. Corner posts 76 are inserted in the tubular socket members 75. The bows 38-41 are pivotally connected at their outer ends to the upper ends of the posts 76. As shown in FIG. 13, the upper ends of the posts are flattened and the bows are formed with a loop 78 encircling a rivet, or the like, 79. The bows are formed with extensions 80 to receive pockets formed in the corners of a canopy 83. The inner ends of the bows in this form' are also pivotally connected to a junction structure 85, FIG. 11, embodying an arrangement somewhat different from the junction structure 47 shown in FIG. 6. The structure consists of a pair of angle members, the sides 86 of which are fixedtogether as by welding. The end portions 87 of the sides 86 are bent to diverge outwardly and are apertured to receive rivets, or the like, 88, about which the inner ends of the bows 38-41 are looped. The opposite sides 90 of the angle irons are engaged by the bows and serve as a stop to limit upward movement of the structure 85. This type ofjunction structure in preferable in this form of the invention due to the fact that the bows 38-41 can pivot about the rivets 88 to a position perpendicular to the structure 85 when the structure is depressed. When the structure is so depressed, the bows lie in close parallel relationship to the posts 76 when they are removed from the sockets 75 and gathered in parallel relationship. When so arranged, the posts and bows can be packaged with the collapsed frame, as shown in FIG. 14.
A sheet 93 of flexible impervious material is positioned in the side members 70, 73, the sheet extending upwardly over the side members and being detachably secured thereto by channel members 95. To provided provides a box, or receptacle, for the sand or as a preferably provided pool. The lining sheet 93 may be conveniently removed for cleaning by removal of the channel members 95.
Seats 96 may be arranged at the corners of the box structure and may consist of a flat board provided with cleats 97 straddling the upper edges of the sidewall members. To provide additional strength for supporting seats, the side members are preferably provided with reinforcing rods 98 extending vertically between the upper and lower rod members 30, 31.
The play enclosure of my invention is quickly and conveniently erected and collapsed without the use of any tools. In erected form, it has the required rigidity. In a collapsed form, it can be stored in a small space.
l. A portable collapsible childs play enclosure comprising a rectangular frame consisting of at least three side members hingedly connected together at the corners of the frame, opposed side members of said frame each include a pair of rectangular sections hingedly connected together along like side edges, the opposite side edges of said sections in said opposed side members being hingedly connected to the third side member, a bow member formed of resilient material pivotally connected to each upper corner of said frame, said how members extending in a direction diagonally of the frame and being pivotally connected at their inner ends to ajunction structure located at the center of the frame, said bow members having a length exceeding half the distance between diagonally opposite corners of the frame, said junction structure including stop means to limit upward movement thereof, whereby said bow members curve upwardly from the corners of the frame to said junction and exert an outward yielding force against the corners of the frame to maintain the same in rectangular form, said bow members being movable from said upwardly curved condition to a downwardly bowed condition when said junction structure is pressed downwardly below the top of said frame to permit said side members to be moved about their hinged joints into flat collapsed condition.
2. An enclosure structure as defined in claim 1, wherein said rectangular frame consists of three side members, each including a pair of vertically disposed rectangular sections hingedly connected along like side edges, the opposite side edges of said sections in at least two of said side members being hingedly connected to the said opposite side edges of said sections of the third side member.
3. An enclosure structure as set forth in claim 1, wherein said frame includes four side members, two of said side members, arranged in opposed relation, being each formed of a pair of sections hingedly joined together and hingedly joined to the ends of the opposite pair of said side members, a post extending upwardly from each corner of the frame, said bow members being hingedly connected to the upper ends of said posts.
4. A portable collapsible childs play enclosure comprising a rectangular frame having four side members hingedly connected together at their ends at the corners of said frame, each side member of an opposed pair consisting of two sections hingedly connected together medial of the side members of said pair, a socket member fixed to said side members at each corner of the frame, a corner post removably positioned in each of said sockets, a bow member formed of resilient material pivotally connected to the upper end of each of said posts, said bows extending in a direction diagonally of the frame and being pivotally connected at their inner ends to a junction structure located at the center of the frame, said bow members having a length exceeding half the distance between diagonally opposite corners of the frame, said junction structure including stop means to limit upward movement thereof, whereby said how members curve upwardly from said corner posts to said junction structure and exert an outward yielding force against said posts to maintain the frame in rectangular form and upon removal of said posts from said sockets, said posts and bows being movable into close parallel relation for packaging.
5. An enclosure as set forth in claim 4 and including a frame liner of flexible impervious material arranged in said frame and means for detachably securing said liner to the upper edges of the side members of said frame.