US 3606436 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' R. D. LYNCH RECEPTACLE DEVICE Sept. 20,1971
2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 10, 1970 a @U -.MNN m a RY LW m m? m Wm Sept. 20, 1971 R. o. LYNCH 3,606,436
I RECEPTACLE DEVICE Filed March lO, 1970 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Relax-Rf 5. A V/t/CH I N VEN TOR.
United States Pawflt Ofi ice 3,606,436 Patented Sept. 20, 1971 3,606,436 RECEPTACLE DEVICE Robert D. Lynch, 3520 th Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90018 Filed Mar. 10, 1970, Ser. No. 18,260 Int. Cl. A47f 13/08 U.S. Cl. 29419R Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Portable device for picking up small objects underfoot, having a pair of blade-like members secured in superincumbent relationship to the lower ends of a pair of operating rods and arranged for incers-like movement upon manipulation of the rods. A limp bag is invertedly mounted with its mouth secured to the blade-like members. The blade-like members are placed to straddle the object and the rods manipulated to bring the members together beneath the bag and to close the bag, crossing of the members then urging the object into a sagging portion of the bag.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed toward a portable, lightweight device for picking up small objects from the ground without bending over or touching the object with the hands, a particularly useful application of the device being to pick up dog waste and other debris. In order to achieve maximum convenience, such a device should have a disposable receptacle, be simple to operate, and be capable of picking up more than one object before it becomes necessary to empty or replace the receptacle.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention device basically consists of two complementary assemblages, each comprising an elongate operating rod having a blade-like member secured to its lower end. The two assemblages are hinged together with the blade-like members in superincumbent relationship and arranged for cooperative incers-like movement upon manipulation of the rods. A limp bag is mounted to the assemblages in an inverted position with its open end secured along the lengths of the blade-like members and a portion of its closed end secured to one of the operating rods, whereby the bag is opened and closed upon the pincers-like movement of the members resulting from manipulation of the rods.
The upper surface of each blade-like member is tapered toward the longitudinal edge opposing the other member, these thinner edges being blunt since no cutting function is intended. Hence, throughout the specification and claims these members are referred to as blade-like members rather than blade members.
When the members come together during operation they contact each other in substantially parallel alignment, similar to the movement of plier jaws as opposed to the angular or shearing contact of scissors blades. However, because of the tapering of the opposing longitudinal edges, one member slides beneath the other so that the members can cross, the resultant superincumbent relationship being achieved either by superincumbent mounting of rigid members or by mounting somewhat resilient members in the same rotational plane. Hence, although the present invention blade-like members do not function by grasping the object between them, their movement is herein referred to as pincers-like to distinguish it from a scissors-like movement.
Attachment of the blade-like members in substantially perpendicular alignment to the operating rods results in vertical orientation of the rods during use. The rods are manipulated at their upper ends, an approximately waisthigh rod length enabling convienent device operation without stooping or bending over. The rod upper end portions can be directly grasped or they can be provided with operating handles. It is presently preferred to normally bias the free ends of the blade-like members away from each other, so that the bag is normally open.
To use the device it is positioned so that the blade-like members are on the ground and straddling the object to be picked up, the open inverted bag covering the object. The operating rods are then manipulated to overcome the bias and rotate the blade-like members to bring them together with a pincers-like movement. As the blade mem- J bers approach each other and contact the object, they are in substantially parallel alignment. The tapered opposing longitudinal edge portions of the blade-like members contact the object first and tend to wedge the object upwards as the members are brought even closer together, the tapered surfaces sliding under the object. When the members contact each other the object is then completely supported by the members and the device can be lifted and tilted to one side to slide the object off of the members and into a sagging portion of the bag. However, even further motion of the members will result in crossing of the members, the object then being supported only on the tapered surface of the uppermost member, whereupon the object will slide ofi" into the bag with only very little motion of the device.
By securing only one corner of the closed end of the flexible bag to the operating rod, the main portion of the bag will sag, and by using an envelope type bag of approximately square dimensions the unsecured closed corner of the bag will droop down almost to the blade-like members and form a pouch for retention of the object when the bag is subsequently opened.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a receptacle device in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a view, partly cut away, taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the lower portion of the device in an elevated position;
FIG. 4 is a view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an elevation view of portion 6-6 of the device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is an elevation view, partly in cross-section, of the device lower portion and showing an alternative embodiment of bag securing means;
FIG. 8 is a view taken along the line 88 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention receptacle device;
FIG. 10 is a view taken along the line 10--10 of FIG.
FIG. 11 is a view taken along the line 1111 of FIG. 10; and,
FIG. 12 is a view taken along the line 1212 of FIG. 11.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Turning now to the drawings, in FIG. 1 there is shown a presently preferred embodiment in accordance with the present invention concepts, the receptacle device being generally indicated by the reference numeral 15. A pair of blade-like members 20 and are secured to the lower end of a pair of respective operating rods and 35, the upper end portions of the operating rods being bent at right angles to form operating handles 31 and 36.
Blade-like members 20 and 25 are fabricated of aluminum, and are of slightly angular cross-sectional configuration as indicated in FIG. 5. As can best be seen from FIGS. 1 and 4, one end of each blade-like member is tapered and the other end bent upwards at right angles to form respective mounting flanges 21 and 2 6, the members being secured to the operating rods by means of screws 22 and 2-7.
The upper ends of the flanges 21 and 26 are provided with transverse slits, that portion of the flange between the slit and the upper flange surface defining respective tabs 23 and 28. The assemblage comprising member and rod 30 is pivotally interconnected to the member 25-rod assemblage by a length of bent, heavy plastic sleeving 40, each of its ends being inserted onto the tabs 23 and 28, and by a length of suitably sized plastic tubing 41 covering the operating handles 31 and 3-6. The tubing 41 is readily installed by longitudinally slitting its wall at the center of the tube and inserting the end of each operating handle through the slit, the plastic deforming at the slit portion to accept the round rods. It is presently preferred to utilize vinyll type plastic for the sleeving and the tubing 41, this type of plastic being durable and exhibiting little tendency of tearing or splitting at the ends of cut or slit portions. Thus, in this embodiment two hinging means are provided, the sleeving 40 at the lower end and the tubing 41 at the upper end. The sleeving and tubing walls are somewhat thick in order to provide the desired stifiness while still being resilient enough to allow bending to provide the hinging action. Some stiffness is desired to provide a biasing force to normally hold the blade-like members 20 and 25 in the open position shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, this position resulting from the bend in sleeving 40 and the tendency of tubing 41 to return to a straight configuration.
A limp bag 45, of thin polyethylene or other suitably flexible material, is mounted in an inverted position with its open end secured to the blade-like -members 20 and 25 and its closed end secured to operating rod 35 by means of a tubular clip 46. As can best be seen from FIG. 6, clip 46 is a length of plastic tubing slit longitudinally downward from its upper end to a transversely extending cut at about the middle of the tube. The bag 45 is preferably of the envelope type, i.e. not of the expanding rectangular bottom type, and of approximately square dimensions, the bag bottom being secured to clip 46 by grasping a corner of the bag bottom and pulling it into the slit in the clip, the plastic slightly bending outward and then pinching the bag material against the operating rod to securely retain it.
The open end of the bag is secured to the upper surfaces of the members 20 and 25 by means of respective adhesive strips 24 and 29, such as transparent cellulose tape for example. It is presently preferred to 'wrap the bag material around the blade-like members, as shown in FIG. 5, both for strength and for member cleanliness. The edge surface of the bag mouth is taped to the upper surface of the blade-like members most conveniently through the use of tape which has adhesive on both sides. Thus the bag is easily detachable for replacement, it being merely necessary to pull it loose from the adhesive and to unclip the upper corner from the clip 46.
In operation, the device is placed over the object to be picked up with the blade-like members open and the bag covering the object, as shown in FIG. 1. Next the operating handles 31 and 36 are rotated toward each other to bring the members together underneath the object, as indicated by the phantom line portions of FIG. 2. The lower portion of the device is rotated upwards and the object flipped into the sagging portion of the bag, as indicated in FIG. 3. By using a bag of square configuration and securing its closed end only at one corner, the sagging portion of the bag is sufficiently large to flop over into a pouch-like portion to retain the picked-up object when the device is returned to an upright position and when the bag and blade-like members are subsequently opened to pick up another object.
Turning now to FIGS. 7 and 8, there is shown an. alternative technique for securing the bag mouth to the blade-like members. Instead of using an adhesive strip for securing the bag, an elongate spring 50 is provided, the spring having a straight intermediate portion 51 terminating in a hooked end portion 52 secured to the free end of the blade-like member 30. The other end of the spring 50 is of irregular shape defining a lever arm portion 53 operating on the rod 30. The bag mouth is pinched between the straight portion 51 of spring 50 and the upper surface of blade-like member 20, and there secured by rotating lever arm portion 53 against the spring torsion of straight portion 51, the end 52 being hooked over the end of member 20, and hooking it to the operating rod 30. To release the bag, the spring 50 is unclamped by rotating the lever arm portion 53 slightly clockwise (as viewed in FIG. 7 and indicated in various phantom lined positions) to unhook it from the rod 30, and then letting it rotate counter-clockwise to release the spring pressure.
FIGS. 9-12 illustrate another preferred embodiment of the receptacle device in accordance with the present invention concepts. Again, two assemblages of operating rods and blade-like members are used, a member being secured to the lower end of a rod 70 and a member being secured to the lower end of another rod 75. In cross section, the blade like members 60 and 65 define flat portions 61 and 66, terminating in hollow arcuate portions 62 and 67, the hollow portions defining a circular opening.
The lower ends of operating rods and are bent to form respective right angle tip portions 71 and 76, these tip portions being inserted into the ends of hollow arcuate portions 62 and 67 of the blade-like members, and there secured by means of screws 72 and 77, these screws extending through respective elongate clamping plates 73 and 78 which are for a purpose to be hereinbelow explained.
The other ends of hollow arcuate portions 62 and 67 of the blade-like members are pivotally interconnected by an elongate coil spring 80, the ends of the spring being inserted part way into the ends of the members. The up per ends of the operating rods 70 and 75 are pivotally interconnected also, by a length of plastic tubing 81. In this embodiment the blade-like members are normally biased in an open position by the tendency of the coil spring 80 and the tubing 81 to assume a straight configuration. The device is operated by squeezing the operating rod upper ends together in a manner similar to operating a pair of tweezers, pincers-like movement of the blade-like members resulting since they are hinged together at the ends away from the operating rods.
The hollow portion of each blade-like member, intermediate the operating rod tip portions and the coil spring ends, is partially filled with a rod of resilient material, these rod inserts being indicated by the reference numerals 82 and 87. A length of flexible plastic tubing 85 is used to retain the open end of the bag to the blade-like members, the clip 46 hereinabove described with reference to FIGS. 1-6 being used to retain the upper corner of the bag 45 to the operating rod 70.
The open end of the bag 45 is folded around the tubing 85 and the tubing then pushed into the hollow portion of the blade-like members above the inserts 82 and 87, the tubing being squeezed to allow it to pass into the interior of the member hollow portion and then expanding to securely retain the bag month by pinching it against the interior surfaces of the member hollow portions, as can best be seen in FIG. 11. The ends of the tubing 85 are permanently secured by pinching between the operating rod tips and the clamping plates 73 and 78, intermediate portions lying within the members to secure the bag mouth, and the central portion being looped over the coil spring 80.
To remove the bag it is merely necessary to grasp the central loop portion of tubing 85 and pull it upwards, the tubing collapsing inwardly as it pulls out of the hollow portions of the blade-like members. The installation of a bag is equally simple, the bag-wrapped tubing 85 being pressed with the thumb into the hollow member portions and depressing the resilient inserts, it again being preferred to wrap the bag around the flat portion of the blade-like members.
Thus there has been described two basic embodiments of a receptacle device in accordance with the present invention concepts, the two embodiments utilizing different hinging arrangements yet resulting in identical movement of the blade-like members. Three difierent methods of securing the bag mouth to the members have been disclosed, and various other methods and configurations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Thus, although the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the description and drawings are for the purposes of illustration only, the scope of the invention being defined by the following claims.
1.- Portable device for picking up objects underfoot, comprising:
(a) a first assemblage including a first blade-like member secured to the lower end of a first operating rod and projecting angularly therefrom;
(b) a second assemblage including a second blade-like member secured to the lower end of a second operating rod and projecting angularly therefrom;
(c) hinging means pivotally interconnecting said first and second assemblages for pincers-like movement of said blade-like members upon manipulation of said operating rods; and,
(d) a bag having a portion of its open end detachably 'secured to said first blade-like member, another portion of its open end detachably secured to said second blade-like member, and a portion of its closed end detachably secured to one of said operating rods so that the inverted bag is selectively opened and closed by the incers-like movement of said bladelike members resulting from manipulation of said operating rods.
2. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said bag is of limp material, and wherein the portions of the bag open end are secured along the substantial entirety of the length of said first and second blade-like members.
3. A device as defined in claim 2, wherein said bladelike members are secured at a first one of their ends to said operating rods, and wherein said hinging means interconnects said first and second assemblages at an end of said blade-like members.
4. A device as defined in claim 3, wherein said hinging means interconnects said first and second assemblages at said first one of the ends of said blade-like members.
5. A device as defined in claim 3, wherein said hinging means interconnects said first and second assemblages at the second one of the ends of said blade-like members.
6. A device as defined in claim 4, further including an operating handle angularly extending from the upper end of each of said operating rods.
7. A device as defined in claim 3, further including second hinging means pivotally interconnecting said first and second assemblages at the upper ends of said operating rods.
8. A device as defined in claim 1, wherein said hinging meansnormally biases an end of said blade-like members away from each other so that said bag is normally open.
9. A device as defined in claim 4, wherein said hinging means comprises a length of semi-flexible sleeving extending transversely between said blade-like members and operating rods.
10. A device as defined in claim 5, wherein said hinging means comprises a coil spring having its ends secured to the second ends of said blade-like members.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,409,778 10/1946 McCaifrey 214-377 3,446,525 5/1969 Jones 294-19R FOREIGN PATENTS 355,381 8/1931 Great Britain 29419.1
EVON C. BLUNK, Primary Examiner J. D. CHERRY, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 29450.8, 99