US 3633904 A
A rotary elevator observation tower. A tower body has an elevator body mounted on the outside thereof for vertical movement on the tower body. An annular observation room is mounted on the elevator body and rotatable therearound at an inclination to the horizon. An annular platform is provided at the bottom of the tower which is also inclined at the same angle, and surrounds the observation room when the observation room is at its lowest position.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 0,611,682 10/1898 Engel 272/7 1,465,012 8/1923 Kohler 272/50 3,125,189 3/1964 Grahams" 52/65 3,246,431 4/1966 Faerber 52/65 FOREIGN PATENTS 404,168 6/1966 Switzerland 52/65 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-R. T. Stouffer An0rneyWenderoth, Lind and Ponack ABSTRACT: A rotary elevator observation tower. A tower body has an elevator body mounted on the outside thereof for vertical movement on the tower body. An annular observation room is mounted on the elevator body and rotatable therearound at an inclination to the horizon. An annular platform is provided at the bottom of the tower which is also inclined at the same angle, and surrounds the observation room when the observation room is at its lowest position.
PATENTED JAM I 19-72 SHEET 3 OF 5 PATENTED JAN] 1 I972 v SHEET '4 [IF 5 a FIGA.
PATENTEU JAN] 1 I972 SHEET 5 BF 5 ROTARY ELEVATOR OBSERVATION TOWER This invention relates to a rotary elevator observation tower to be provided at a tourist resort.
In case of the conventional tower of this kind, an observation room was simply provided at the top thereof or the observation room was rotated at best, involving inconvenience of having to make use of a staircase to climb up and down the tower.
The first object of the invention is to remove the inconvenience of having to climb up and down the tower making use of a staircase by providing an observation room which climbs up and down along the tower, thereby obviating the defects of the conventional tower.
The second object of the invention is to enable those who are inside the observation room to observe the surrounding scenery as they sit by arranging the said observation room in an ahnular shape, the said observation room itself climbing up and down along the tower.
The third object of the invention is to incline the rotary surface of the observation room against the horizon so that the scenery seen from the observation room may be inclined at various angles according to the rotation of the observation room, thereby giving those inside the room an impression as if they were enjoying scenery from an airplane, which is different from the view seen from an observation room which is either stationary or rotating horizontally.
The fourth object of the invention is to give the observation room a doughnut shape so as to obtain an observation room of an extremely novel appearance as if it were a space station.
The foregoing objects are attainable by the combination and operation of each part constituting the invention, and the embodiment thereof will be made clear by the detailed description set forth hereinunder and in reference to the annexed drawing, of which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the observation tower of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a longitudinally sectional elevation of the essential part of the observation tower of the invention with omission in part.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinally sectional elevation on a magnified scale of the elevator part of the observation tower of the invention.
FIG. 4 is a longitudinally sectional view on a magnified scale of the observation room of the observation tower of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view on a magnified scale showing the driving apparatus mechanism at the base of the tower.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional elevation of the upper machinery room of the observation tower of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view on a magnified scale of the tower body of the observation tower of the invention.
The invention consists of a cylindrical hollow tower body 1 l erected on the ground; an elevator body 12 climbing up-and down along the outside of the said tower; an annular observation room or enclosure 13 rotatably fitted to the outside of the said elevator body; and a driving apparatus for those parts.
The tower body 11, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, is erected in the center of the area enclosed by cylindrical circumferential wall 14 provided on the ground.
The upper edge of the foregoing circumferential wall 14 is inclined, an annular platform 15 being provided on the said inclined circumferential wall 14. The lower part of the said platform 15 is communicated with an intermediate stage 16, a staircase 17 being provided on one side of the intermediate stage 16, an operation room 18 being provided on the said stage 16.
Furthermore, handrails 19 are provided along the external peripheries of the foregoing platform 15 and the intermediate stage 16 as well as on both sides of the staircase 17.
As illustrated in FIG. 3, the elevator body 12, consisting of globular external walls provided with an annular opening which is loosely and vertically fitted to the tower body 11, is arranged on the outside of an elevator frame 20 which is elevatably fitted to the tower body 11, the said external walls consisting of semiglobular upper and lower walls 21, 22 fixed to the elevator frame 20 and an annular wall 23 revolvably fitted between the said walls 21, 22.
The foregoing elevator frame 20 is composed by fixing the upper and lower ends of a plurality of stays 24 arranged in parallel with the tower body 11 to-upper and lower annular frames 25, 26 surrounding the tower body 11, an upper bracket 27 and a lower bracket 28 being fixed to the outside of each stay 24, each of the brackets 27, 28 being formed in different sizes, a plurality of wheels 29, 30 being appropriately fitted by means of bearings to the lower external end of each upper bracket 27 and the upper external end of each lower bracket 28 in such a manner that the said wheels 29, 30 will revolve at an incline against the horizon and along the circum ference surrounding the tower body 11.
The numeral 31 designates a rotary frame, annular rails 32, 33 provided on the upper and lower outside thereof being in contact with the wheels 29, 30, annular rail 34 on the internal periphery of the rotary frame 31 is borne by a wheel 35 revolvably fitted to the frame 20 so as to be located at the inner end between the brackets 27, 28.
At the lower part of the foregoing rotary frame 31 is fixed an internal gear 36 surrounding the tower body 11, the said internal gear 36 and each of the foregoing rails 32, 33, 34 being concentrical.
The numeral 37 designates a machinery chassis fixed to a part of the frame 20, it being so arranged that the revolution of an electromotor 38 provided on the chassis 37 is transmitted after reduced by a speed reducer 39 to a gear 40 engaging with the said internal gear 37.
As shown in FIG. 4, the observation room or enclosure 13 is in the shape of a doughnut, comprising a lower half 41 made of steelplate or the like having a semicircular cross section and has an equatorial division line through its major annular dimension constituting a generally medial orientation plane above which there is an upper half 42 made of transparent material, such as transparent synthetic resin and the like, having semicircular cross section, floorboard 43 being provided on the'floor inside the lower half 41, a plurality of seats 44 being appropriately spaced thereon.
Furthermore, the upper half 42 is radially split into a plurality of divisions which are openable by the sliding system or the like. A plurality of arms 45 protruded from the foregoing rotary frame 31 are fixed to the lower half 41 so that the observation room 13 will rotate together with the rotary frame 31.
On both sides of the external periphery of the tower body 11 are provided a pair of perpendicular guide rails 46, wheels 47 pivoted on the inside of the upper and lower annular frames 25 of the foregoing frame 20being brought in contact with both sides and the inside of the said rails 46, so as to guide the frame 20 by the contact between the rails 46 and the wheels 47.
Adjacent the wheels 47 fitting parts of the annular frame 25 at the upper end of the foregoing frame 20 are fixed the lower ends of a plurality of wire ropes 48 respectively, the ropes 48 being wound round a pair of multigrooved wheels 50 inside a machinery room 49 provided at the upper end of the tower body 11.
As shown in FIG. 6, the grooved wheels 50 are revolvably pivoted by bearings 54 on the floorboard 51 of the machinery room 50, on the said floorboardSl'being provided a pair of openings 52 through which to loosely pass the wire ropes 48 perpendicularly rising from the elevator frame 20 and another pair of openings 53 through which to lower inside the tower body 11 the ropes 48 which are guided downward after passing through the said openings 52 and travelling round the grooved wheel 50.
From the lower end of the wire rope 48 hung down inside the tower body 11 is suspended the main counterweight 55 which climbs up and down inside the tower body 11.
The numeral 56 in FIG. 2 designates an elevator driving apparatus, the mechanism of which is as shown in FIG. 5.
chassis 57, the input axis of the said reducer 63 being connected with the axis ofan electromotor 64.
To the other axis of the electromotor 64 is fixed a V-pulley 65, the said V-pulley 65 being linked with another V-pulley 67 fixed to the axis of an emergency diesel engine provided on the chassis 56 by means of a V-belt 68, so that the grooved wheel 59 can be driven by the diesel engine 66 in case of emergency, such as power stoppage and the like, it being so arranged that the axis of the diesel engine 66 is disconnected from the V-pulley 67 by providing a clutch at the part of the V-pulley 67.
The foregoing chassis 57, as shown in FIG. 2, is provided at one side of the lower end of the tower body 11, two grooved wheels 69, 70 which are in parallel with the foregoing grooved wheel 59 being revolvably pivoted on a machinery frame 71 fixed inside the bottom of the tower body 11.
Under the foregoing counterweight 55 are fixed the upper ends of a plurality of wire ropes 72, the said wire ropes 72 being lowered perpendicularly as shown in FIG. 2, passed round the grooved wheel 69, then passed from under the said grooved wheel 69 on to the outside of the grooved wheel 59 from the upper side of the said wheel 59 through an opening 73 provided at one side of the bottom of the tower body 11, the said wire ropes 72 thus reversed being passed under the grooved wheel 69 from the lower side of the grooved wheel 59 through the opening 73, passed to the outside of the grooved wheel 70 from the lower side thereof, then guided upward along the inside of the tower body 11.
The wire ropes 72 thus guided upward is passed into the machinery room 49 through an opening 73 provided on the floorboard 51 of the machinery room 49, then passed round a pair of grooved wheels 75 revolvably pivoted by bearings 74 on the floorboard 51, the wire ropes 72 thus reversed by the respective grooved wheels 75 being guided again inside the tower body 11 through a pair of openings provided on the floorboard 51, from the lower end thereof being suspended a secondary counterweight 77 which climbs up and down inside the tower body 11.
As illustrated in FIG. 7, each three wheels 78 provided at both ends of the main counterweight 55 are maintained in contact with rails 79 provided inside the tower body 11, so that the said main counterweight 55 can climb up and down along the rails 79, guide grooves on both sides of the secondary counterweight 77 being slidably fitted to guide rails 80 provided on the main counterweight 55.
To the elevator frame 20 are concentrically fixed a plurality of power-supplying sliprings 81 which are concentrical with the rails 32, a plurality of sliding electrodes 82 (FIG. 3) provided on the rotary frame 31 being made to slide on the foregoing sliprings 81, the said electrodes 81 being connected with illuminating equipment or the like provided inside the observation room 13. Furthermore, cab tire cables for transmitting power to the sliprings 81 and the motor 38 are so distributed between the elevator frame 20 and the inside of the tower body 11 as will not interfere the elevation of the elevator frame 20, though particular description thereof is omitted here.
A plurality of posts 83 of different heights are erected on the Outside of the lower part of the tower body 11, buffer springs 84 bearing the lower side of the elevator body 12 being provided on top of the respective posts 83.
It is further so arranged that the angle of inclination of the observation room 13 and that of the platform 15 be identical so that embarkation onto the observation room 13 is possible at any position of the platform 15.
The structure of the observation tower of the invention is as described heretofore. When the grooved wheel 59 is driven by the motor 64 as illustrated in FIG. through the reducer 63 and the gears 62, 60, the wire rope 72 wound round the said grooved wheel 59 is set in motion. For instance, the rope 72 is moved as indicated by arrow in FIG. 2 and thereby the main counterweight 55 is lowered.
If the main counterweight 55 is lowered as described above, the wire ropes 48 attached to the weight 55 are lowered, the external side of the said ropes 48 which suspend the elevator frame 20 on the outside of the tower body 11 being pulled up consequently, with the result that the elevator frame 20 is elevated. At this juncture, the secondary counterweight 77 is also lowered by approximately same degree as the main counterweight 55, some disparity between both weights 55, 77 being adjusted without hindrance by the mutual sliding through the guide rails 79. The elevator frame 20 can be lowered by reversing the electromotor 64.
As described above, the elevator frame 20 is sent up and down by revolving the grooved wheel 59 by means of right and reverse revolution of the electromotor 64, as a result of which the elevator body 12 climbs up and down along the tower body 11.
If the gear 40 is turned by the electromotor 38 on the chassis of the foregoing elevator frame 20, the internal gear 36 is revolved, as a result of which the rotary frame 31 integrated therewith revolves guided by the wheels 29, 30, 35 of the elevator frame 20. Consequently, the observation room 13 too which is integrated with the rotary frame 31 revolves as it climbs up and down together with the elevator body 12. Since the rotary surface is inclined against the horizon, those sitting in the seats 44 and viewing the outside scenery through the transparent upper half 42 of the observation room 13 have an impression as if they were on an airplane making a circular ascent or descent while flying at a low altitude. The invention therefore is completely different from the simple observation tower of the conventional type.
Furthermore, when the observation room 13 is at its lowest position, it is supported by the higher springs 84 as illustrated in FIG. 2, the upper edge of the lower half 41 of the observation room 13 being slightly higher than the upper surface of the platform 15. In this state, if the lower half 41 is set free by sliding the upper half 42, it becomes possible to reach the seats 44 inside the lower half 41 from any part of the platform 15 and vice versa.
What is claimed is:
1. In a passenger-carrying combined elevator and rotary observation enclosure having passenger ingress and egress means and mounted on a vertical centrally disposed tower, the improvement comprising an annular-shaped observation enclosure with means for rotatably mounting said enclosure at a fixed nonvariable predetermined inclined angle relative to the horizon upon an elevatable but nonrotatable elevator body disposed concentrically within said annular enclosure; means mounting said elevator body concentrically and coaxially around said central support tower; means for selectively elevating and lowering said elevator body and the attached observation enclosure; and cooperative means on said elevator body and said enclosure for selectively revolvably rotating said enclosure around said elevator body and tower at said fixed inclined angle and independent of said means for elevating and lowering said elevator body.
2. The combined elevator and rotary observation enclosure as defined in claim 1 further comprising a boarding and disembarking platform at the base of said tower and having a common ingress and egress surface of substantially fully angular configuration, said surface being inclined relative to the horizon at the identical angle as that of said observation enclosure; said surface being located so as to be closely adjacent the outer periphery of said observation enclosure and at a predetermined level relative thereto to facilitate safe passenger ingress and egress when said enclosure is in a stopped and fully lowered condition and irrespective of the stopped state of revolution thereof.
3. The combined elevator and rotary observation enclosure as defined in claim 2 wherein said observation enclosure is of generally doughnut shape and has an equatorial division line through its major annular dimension constituting a generally medial orientation plane by which said observation enclosure is inclinedly oriented, and further having a generally upright central axis normal to and centrally intersecting said inclined orientation plane, said upright axis being inclined relative to the center vertical axis of said support tower; said equatorial division line serving to further define said enclosure into lower and upper portions, the upper portion of which comprises transparent viewing panels or sections, at least some of which are selectively openable and closeable to permit said ingress and egress relative to said platform surface and observation enclosure.
4. The combined elevator and rotary observation enclosure as defined in claim 2 wherein said enclosure is divided into passenger compartments and provided with seating means.
5. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein the means for nonrotatably mounting said elevator body include fixed vertical guide rails on at least two circumferentially spaced portions of said towers outer periphery, and antifriction means on said elevator body complementally coacting with said rail means.
6. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said support tower has a hollow central portion and said means for elevating and lowering said elevator body and its rotatably attached observation enclosure comprises a primary and secondary power source of which means are provided for selectively connecting said secondary source into the system only in emergency conditions in the event of a failure of said primary power source, a power drive train connected with a main drive pulley means, a plurality of drive cables operably connected at one end with said elevator body and extended up the center of said tower and trained over a support pulley means mounted in the upper end of said tower and then connected at their other cable ends to counterweight means having suitable guide means within said tower for vertically guiding said counterweight means.
7. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said means for rotatably mounting said observation enclosure on said elevator body comprise frame means on said elevator body defining an annular pathway disposed at the predetermined angle of inclination of said observation enclosure, said annular pathway having a radially upright circumferential surface and lower and upper planar surface means; a complementary annular framework for complemental disposition within said pathway and having a plurality of outwardly radial extending connecting arms connected to the inner periphery of said annular enclosure; fixed annular rail means and complementally engaging antifriction rollers operatively mounted on said pathway surfaces and on said complementary annular framework to facilitate relative rotation of said enclosure and elevator body; an annular ring gear fixedly mounted on said complementary annular framework and a separate drive motor and drive train means including a drive gear disposed to peripherally engage with and rotate said annular ring gear to impart revolving rotation to said observation enclosure.
8. The combination as defined in claim 7 further including means for conducting electrical power into said enclosure including annular electric power supplying sliprings and sliding electrodes cooperably mounted on said elevator body framework and on said complementary annular framework rotatable within said annular pathway of said elevator body.