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Publication numberUS3643268 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 22, 1972
Filing dateSep 30, 1970
Priority dateSep 30, 1970
Publication numberUS 3643268 A, US 3643268A, US-A-3643268, US3643268 A, US3643268A
InventorsPaul Stamberger
Original AssigneePaul Stamberger
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-inflatable hollow bodies for use as cushions and for like purposes
US 3643268 A
Abstract
The present invention relates to self-inflatable hollow bodies made of relatively flexible, strong, air-impervious sheet material, which bodies comprise a top portion and a bottom portion of substantially the same relative size and configuration, the marginal edges of said top and bottom portions being connected in airtight relation by means of a flexible, foldable portion or portions of sufficient height to form a hollow, hermetically sealed, body provided with an air inlet and exhaust valve which permits air to be drawn into said hollow body when said valve is opened and when the top portion is being moved into spaced or extended position with respect to said bottom portion and which valve is closed when the self-inflative hollow body is formed to thus retain the air within said hollow body to provide the self-inflated cushion, pillow, mattress or the like article of manufacture. As a means for moving said top and bottom portions from their normal, juxtaposed and readily foldable positions to their spaced positions to form the hollow body, there is provided a pair of opposed members whose upper and lower edges are secured to aligned portions of the top and bottom portions, which opposed members are sufficiently stiff or are made so by strengthening or reinforcing means to be stiffer or more rigid than the remaining portion of the hollow body. When the hollow body is in its normal, collapsed and readily foldable condition with the top and bottom portions in juxtaposed relation, said opposed members are disposed in substantially parallel relation with respect to the plane of the said juxtaposed top portion, and when said members are moved manually or automatically to positions at right angles to said plane, they act as levers to cause said top and bottom portions to be separated to form the hollow body, the extent of such separation being limited by the height of the flexible, foldable portion or portions which connect the marginal edges of the said top and bottom portions. It is the provision of the pair of opposed, relatively stiff or stiffened members which act as levers upon manual or automatic operation thereof to effect separation of the top and bottom portions to form the air-filled hollow body, which constitutes an important feature of the present invention and distinguishes said invention, in a patentable sense, from the pneumatic cushions and the like of the prior art. The means by which the self-inflatable device of the present invention may be moved from a normal flat condition to an extended condition are so constructed and arranged that such movement may be entirely manual or may be entirely automatic, the automatic movement being effected by the provision of novel means associated with each of the pair of opposed stiff or stiffened members which will move said opposed members from their normal flat positions substantially parallel to the plane of said top portion to their extended positions at substantially right angles with respect to the plane of said bottom portion.
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United States Patent Stamberger [54] SELF-INFLATABLE HOLLOW BODIES FOR USE AS CUSHIONS AND FOR LIKE PURPOSES Paul Stamberger, 552 West University Parkway, Baltimore, Md. 21210 22 Filed: Sept. 30, 1970 [21] Appl.No.: 76,734

[72] Inventor:

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 738,657, June 20,

1968, Pat. No. 3,553,113, which is a continuation-inpart of Ser. No. 453,252, May 5, 1968, abandoned.

[52] US. Cl ..5/348, 9/314, 206/.6 [51] Int. Cl ..A47c 27/08 [58] Field of Search ..9/314, 328, 312; 206/DIG. 30,

206/.6; 5/348, 349, 350; 297/DlG. 8, DIG. 2

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS H1889 Simon ..5/348 7/l9ll Jonata ...9/328 1.315.190 9/1919 Nekarda ..9/328 3.533,l 13 10/1970 Stamberger ..297/456 X 3,01 7,642 l/l962 Rosenberg et al. ..5/349 Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay

1 Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert ,1 Attorney-Smith, Michael, Bradford and Gardiner s [57] ABSTRACT connected in airtight relation by means of a flexible, foldable metically sealed body provided with an air inlet and exhaust Jaws wfiich perifiitsiir to b e drawfirito said hollow body when said valve is opened and when the top portion is being moved into spaced or extended position with respect to said bottom portion and which valve is closed when the self-inflative hollow body is formed to thus retain the air within said hollow body to provide the self-inflated cushion, pillow, matltress or the like article of manufacture. As a means for moving isaid top and bottom portions from their normal, juxtaposed land readily foldable positions to their spaced positions to form the hollow body, there is provided a pair of opposed members whose upper and lower edges are secured to aligned portions of the top and bottom portions, which opposed members are sufficiently stiff or are made so by strengthening or reinforcing means to be stiffer or more rigid than the remaining portion of the hollow body. When the hollow body is in its normal, collapsed and readily foldable condition with the top and bottom portions in juxtaposed relation, said opposed members are disposed in substantially parallel relation with respect to the plane of the said juxtaposed top portion, and when said members are moved manually or automatically to positions at right angles to said plane, they act as levers to cause said top and bottom portions to be separated to form the hollow body, the extent of such separation being limited by the height of the flexible, foldable portion or portions which connect the marginal edges of the said top and bottom portions. It is the provision of the pair of opposed, relatively stiff or stiffened mem-- bers which act as levers upon manual or automatic operation thereof to effect separation of the top and bottom portions to form the air-filled hollow body, which constitutes an important feature of the present invention and distinguishes said invention, in a patentable sense, from the pneumatic cushions and the like of the prior art. The means by which the self-inflatable device of the present invention may be moved from a normal flat condition to an extended condition are so constructed and arranged that such movement may be entirely manual or may be entirely automatic, the automatic movement being effected by the provision of novel means associated with each of the pair of opposed stiff or stiffened members which will move said opposed members from their normal flat positions substantially parallel to the plane of said top portion to their extended positions at substantially right angles with respect to the plane of said bottom portion.

7 12 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PATENIEI] FEB 2 2 I972 SHEET 1 OF 3 INVENTOR.

PAIENTEBrsaaz m2 SHEET 2 OF 3 INVENTOR:-

SELF-INFLATABLE HOLLOW BODIES FOR USE AS CUSHIONS AND FOR LIKE PURPOSES RELATED APPLICATIONS The present application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 738,657, filed June 20, 1968, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,553,113, dated Oct. 13, 1970, which application Ser. No. 738,657 was, in turn, filed as a continuation-in-part of my then pending application Ser. No. 453,252, filed May 5, 1965, now abandoned.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is an object of my present invention to provide a self-inflatable hollow body which may be of square, rectangular, circular, elliptical or polygonal configuration in plan, and which comprises top and bottom portions of air-impervious material of the same relative size and configuration, which portions are connected in airtight relation along their marginal edges by a flexible, foldable, air-impervious portion or portions which may be of bellowslike construction, which hollow body is provided with opposed relatively stiff or stiffened members having their top and bottom edges connected, respectively, to edge portions of said top and bottom portions, which members, when the body is in its normal collapsed condition occupy positions substantially parallel to the plane of said juxtaposed top portion, which permits the entire body to be readily folded into a compact, flat form. The stiffness or rigidity of said opposed end members must be sufficient to prevent the flexible, foldable portion or portions which connect the top and bottom portions from bending or distorting when the hollow body is brought to its fully extended condition. When the body is unfolded and the opposed stiff or stiffened members are moved manually or automatically from their positions parallel to said top portion to positions at right angles to the plane of said bottom portions, said members act as levers to cause separation of said top and bottom portions so that they are disposed in parallel, spaced relation, which action is permitted by the flexible, foldable portion or portions which connect the marginal edges of said top and bottom portions in airtight relation, and which separation sucks air into the interior of the hollow body through an open valve-controlled air inlet, which inlet is closed when the top and bottom portions have been moved into parallel spaced relation, to retain the air within said hollow body to form the desired air cushion, pillow, mattress or like article of manufacture.

It is a further object of my present invention to provide selfinflatable, hollow bodies admirably suited for use as seat cushions, pillows, mattresses or like articles, which bodies are relatively cheap and easy to manufacture, are readily moved manually or automatically with a minimum of effort from a normal flat, collapsed and/or folded condition to self-inflated condition, and to provide such an article which is highly efficient and practical in the purpose for which designed.

In the accompanying drawings wherein there are shown several preferred embodiments of the present invention:

FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 are perspective views illustrating one form of the present invention, these figures showing, respectively, the article when in a compact folded and collapsed condition, when in a partially folded and collapsed condition, and when in a fully expanded condition;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged end view, partly in section of a modified form of the invention showing a reinforcing or stiffening frame within one of the opposed end members to rigidify said end members to permit said opposed end members to act as levers and to thus perform their intended functions;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the line 55 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified form of the present invention showing the self-inflated hollow body in its fully extended air-inflated condition;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a plurality of the hollow bodies of the present invention disposed or arranged in side-by-side relation to form a mattress or the like extended supporting surface;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view on the line 88 of FIG. 7 showing a modified form of the self-inflatable hollow body of the present invention in which a flexible air-impervious bag or liner is disposed within and has at least one pair of its opposed walls secured to opposed walls of the hollow body to be movable therewith, which bag or liner is in communication with the valve-controlled air inlet;

FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 are perspective views of one form of the present invention showing, respectively, one of the stiff or stiffened end members overlying the top surface of one end of the collapsed article and the opposite stiff or stiffened end member underlying the opposite end of said collapsed article, a construction in which both stiff or stiflened end members overlie the opposite end portions of the article, and the article when in its fully expanded and extended condition; 1

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of one form of the present invention showing the same in its normal flat condition with the opposed end members overlying the end portions of the top members of the device in substantially parallel relation thereto and showing means by which said opposed end members are automatically moved from said positions to positions at right angles to the bottom members of the device to automatically inflate the said self-inflatable hollow body;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the form of the present invention shown in FIG. 12 when said hollow body is in its fully inflated condition;

FIG. 14 is a vertical sectional view on the line l4l4 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a frame member constructed of resilient material which is adapted to be incor porated within or attached to each of the opposed end members of the hollow body with horizontal portions of said frame underlying the bottom portion of the self-inflatable hollow body, which frame functions as a means for automatically inflating said body;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a further modified form of the present invention in which each side portion of the strengthening or reinforcing frame incorporated within or attached to each end member is extended to provide handles for imparting additional leverage to the said end members to assist in moving the same to their vertical extended positions with respect to the plane of the bottom portion of said hollow body, and which extensions also function as supporting legs to support said hollow body in spaced relation from the surface on which the hollow body is disposed; and

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the form of the present invention shown in FIG. 16 showing the hollow body fully inflated and spaced from the surface on which the inflated hollow body is disposed.

Referring more in detail to the construction of the self-inflatable hollow bodies of the present invention, and in connection with the showing of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 of the accompanying drawings, the top portion 1 and bottom portion 2, are each composed of relatively strong, flexible, air-impervious sheet material, each of which top and bottom portions 1 and 2, are of the same relative size and configuration. Said top and bottom portions 1 and 2 are connected in airtight relation along their marginal edges by relatively strong, flexible air-impervious side and end portions preferably of bellowslike construction 3 and 4 respectively, the folds of which bellowslike portion or portions extend inwardly of the hollow body as clearly shown in FIG. 3. Each of the opposed end members of the hollow body is preferably formed of material which is sufficiently stiff so that it will not be distorted when the hollow body is extended to its fully expanded condition, and is preferably of stiffer material than the remaining portions of said hollow body, or the material of which the top and bottom portions of said hollow body are constructed may be folded upon itself to constitute laminated end members which are relatively stifi, or, if desired, said end members may be stiffened or rigidified by the provision of a stiffening frame, which stiff or stiffened,

opposed end members are designated in the accompanying drawings by the reference numbers and 6, and which opposed end members 5 and 6 are each attached at their top and bottom edges to the top and bottom edges respectively of the portion or portions 3 at opposite ends of the hollow body. Each of the end members 5 and 6 may be provided with hand grips or handles 7 by means of which said end members 5 and 6 may be moved from their positions substantially parallel to the plane of said top portion to positions at right angles to said bottom portion 2 and may be pulled in opposite directions during the operation of moving the top and bottom portions 1 and 2 to their vertically spaced, extended positions. The provision of handgrips or handles 7 is not required in cases where the overall height of each of the stiff or stiffened end members 5 and 6 does not exceed the length of an operators hand when said hand is in its extended condition, as the thumbs and fingers of the perators hand may engage the top and bottom edges of the opposed stiff or stiffened end members 5 and 6 to raise said end members 5 and 6 from their positions parallel to the plane of said top portion 1 to positions at right angles to the plane of said bottom portion 2. As an alternative construction within the scope of the present invention, handgrips of handles 7 may be secured to the outer surfaces of the top and bottom portions 1 and 2 as shown, for example, in FIG. 6 so that said top and bottom portions 1 and 2 may be pulled in opposite directions to separate said top and bottom portions, during which operation the pair of opposed stiff or stiffened end members 5 and 6 perform their intended functions as levers to assist in the formation of the desired hollow body. One of the walls of the hollow body, for example, one of the end walls 5 as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, is provided with an air inlet opening 8 having a closure, which air inlet opening is open during the movement of the top and bottom portions 1 and 2 from their juxtaposed positions to their vertically spaced, extended positions to permit air to be sucked or drawn into the interior of the hollow body, and is then closed to retain the air within said hollow body. Any preferred type of valve which is movable to opened and closed positions may be employed, which valve, when open permits air to be sucked or drawn into the hollow body as the top and bottom portions 1 and 2 are raised to their extended positions, and which valve may be closed following the formation of the hollow body to retain the air therein during use of said hollow body as an air cushion, pillow, mattress or like article of manufacture. Flexible, nonextensible straplike members 9 may be provided in spaced relation along the two side portions of the hollow body to limit the extent of the separation between the top and bottom portions 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a view, partly in section of one of the end members 5 or 6 showing the stiffening of the same by the provision of a frame 10 of stiff, rigid material positioned within and extending along the marginal portions of said end members, and FIG. 5 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of FIG. 4 taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4, and showing the said stiffening frame 10, and also showing a closure member 11 which may be applied to the air inlet opening 8 to close said air inlet opening to retain the air within the hollow body when the hollow body has been moved to its fully extended condition, which closure member 11 is removed to pennit the escape of air from within the hollow body through opening 8 when said body has performed its intended purpose and is to be returned to its normal collapsed, folded condition.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified form of the present invention showing the air inlet 8 and its closure member 11, positioned on the top portion 1 of the hollow body and also showing a handgrip or handle 7 provided on the said top portion 1.

If and when it is desired to provide a mattress or an extended air-supporting surface, a plurality of the self-inflatable hollow bodies may be arranged in side-by-side relation, as illustrated in FIG. 7.

In the event that a self-inflatable hollow body is desired in which the outer surfaces are of an ornate color or texture of strong, flexible material which is not air impervious, it is within the scope of the present invention to provide a hollow body of such material 12 and to dispose within said hollow body thus formed, a relatively strong, flexible, air-impervious bag or liner 13 which is in communication with the valve-controlled air inlet 8. In this form of the present invention, opposed surfaces such as the top and bottom surfaces of said bag or liner 13 are secured to the inner surfaces, for example to the inner surfaces of the top and bottom portions 1 and 2, or to the inner surfaces of the opposed end members 5 and 6 of the outer covering or casing 12 to be movable therewith as the top and bottom portions 1 and 2 and end portions 5 and 6 are moved to form the hollow body.

The end members 5 and 6, when the hollow body is in its normal flat condition may both be disposed in substantially parallel relation above opposite end portions of the juxtaposed top and bottom portions 1 and 2 as clearly shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 10, or one of said end members 5 may be disposed in substantially parallel relation above one end portion of said juxtaposed top and bottom portions and the other end member 6 may be disposed in substantially parallel relation beneath the opposite end portion of said juxtaposed top and bottom portions as clearly shown in FIG. 9.

It is believed that the operation of the several forms of the invention described above in connection with FIGS. 1 through 11 will be readily apparent to one reasonably skilled in the art relating to air cushions, air pillows, air mattresses and the like, and that a detailed description of the operation of the self-inflatable hollow bodies above described need not be set forth herein. Suffice it to say, that when it is desired to provide selfinflated hollow bodies of the forms described above, the article is unfolded from the condition shown in FIG. 1 to the condition shown in FIG. 2. The article may be placed upon a horizontal surface with the end members 5 and 6 overlying the juxtaposed end portions of the top portion 1 in substantially parallel relation thereto. The said end members 5 and 6 are then moved from their horizontal positions to vertical positions with respect to the plane of said juxtaposed top portion, which end members 5 and 6 act as levers during said movement and which movement will result in movement away from each other of the said top and bottom portions 1 and 2 and an appreciable amount of air will be drawn or sucked into the hollow body through the open air inlet opening 8. The handles 7 or the stiff or stiffened end members 5 and 6 are then grasped by the operator and the said end portions 5 and 6 are pulled in opposite directions until the top and bottom portions are separated to the limit of such separation, which limit, if desired may be established by the provision of the flexible, nonextensible straplike member 9. As the end members 5 and 6 are pulled in opposite directions, additional air is drawn or sucked into the hollow body to completely fill the same, following which the closure member 11 is applied to close the air inlet opening 8. The self-inflated body is then presented for use as a seat cushion, pillow, mattress or the like pneumatic cushioning device. After said hollow body has served its intended purpose, the closure member 11 is removed from the air inlet opening 8, manual downward pressure is exerted on the top portion 1 to move the same into contact with the bottom portion 2, during which movement the stiff or stiffened end members 5 and 6 are moved into close, substantially parallel contact with the top portion 1 and again assume the positions shown in FIGS. 2, 9 and 10 of the accompanying drawings. If a mattress or other extended air supporting surface is desired, a plurality of the inflated hollow body portions may be arranged in side-by-side relationship as shown in FIG. 7. When said self-inflated hollow body has been collapsed into the condition clearly shown in FIG. 2, the same may be readily folded in a compact form such as shown in FIG. 1, for transportation and/or storage purposes.

While in the accompanying drawing there is shown the top and bottom portions as being of rectangular form, it is to be understood that the present invention is not so limited, and that said top and bottom portions may be of square, rectangular, circular, elliptical or polygonal configuration to provide a self'inflatable hollow body of the desired configuration, the only requirement being that the pair of sufficiently stiff or stiffened members 5 and 6 be disposed in opposed, spaced relation so that movement of the same to positions at right angles to the plane of said bottom portion 2 will result in the movement of said top and bottom portions to their spaced, parallel positions to form the desired self-inflated hollow body. The material of which the hollow bodies are constructed may be selected from a wide variety of materials, the only prerequisite being that said material is strong and flexible and is air impervious, and that it is sufficiently stiff and strong or has been stiffened so that it may be subjected to fairly heavy compression and will permit the hollow body to retain its expanded or extended configuration when under such compression. The selected material should, of course, be sufficiently flexible to permit the collapsing of the hollow body and to enable the same to be folded into a relatively small package.

In the foregoing specification and in the several forms of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 11 of the accompanying drawings, the transition of the desired hollow body from its normal collapsed condition to its extended or expanded condition to form the desired air-filled cushion or the like, is effected by manual manipulation, but it is within the concept and scope of the present invention that the desired formation of the air-filled cushion or the like may be accomplished by automatic operation, if the opposed end members 5 and 6 are each made of, or are faced or lined with, or have applied along their lower edges resilient material or sections of such material such as cured rubber, resilient plastic material, relatively thin flexible and resilient sheets or frames, or the like, which resilient material tends at all times to assume a normal condition, and in which the lower edge portion of said resilient material is extended for a relatively short distance beneath an adjacent area of the bottom portion of the hollow body. In such constructions, the article is clamped or otherwise retained in its normal, collapsed condition with said resilient material bent or folded so that the portion thereof which forms or is attached to the end members 5 and 6 overlies in parallel relation that portion of said resilient material which underlies the adjacent area of the bottom portion 2 of the hollow article. When the fastening means or clamps are removed or released from the collapsed article, the tendency of the resilient material to assume a normal condition causes the end members 5 and 6 to be automatically moved from their normal positions to positions at right angles to the plane of the bottom member 2, and in so doing moves the top member 1 into parallel spaced relation with respect to the bottom portion 2 to thus automatically inflate said hollow body to form the desired air cushion, pillow, or the like.

Referring more in detail to that form of the present invention in which the self-inflation of the air cushion or the like is automatically effected, reference is made to the showing of FIG. 12 of the accompanying drawing, from which it will be seen that each of the stiff or stiffened end members 5' and 6' is provided along the lower marginal edge portion with a strip of preformed material 14 of sufficient resilience to normally assume the flat or planar condition or other angular condition in which it was originally formed. The construction and properties of said strip 14 are such that when said end members 5 and 6 are in a position in which said members are disposed in substantially parallel relation to top member 1, the resilient strip 14 of preformed material is bent and is placed under tension and because of its resiliency tends at all times to return to its original shape or form, with the result that the resiliency of said strip 14 automatically moves the said end members 5 and 6' to their vertical positions with respect to said bottom portion 2', which results in automatic inflation of the hollow body. As in the previous description of the several forms of the present invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 11 of the accompanying drawings, a suitable value-controlled air inlet 8 is provided, which inlet is open during the aforesaid movement of the end members 5' and 6' to permit air to enter the hollow body as the same is being self inflated and is then closed to retain the air therein. While in the present description of specific means for effecting the automatic self-inflation of the hollow body due to the inherent resiliency of the material attached to the lower edge of the end members 5 and 6' and the use of a particular form of resilient frame attached to said end members, it is to be understood that there are numerous other means by which a springlike action may be obtained to effect the automatic self-inflation of the hollow body.

There is illustrated in FIG. 15 of the accompanying drawings a resilient frame of vertical and horizontal components which frame may be incorporated within or may be attached to each of the end members 5' and 6'. This frame may be in the form and shape clearly illustrated in FIG. 15, comprising as it does L-shaped portions 15 each including a horizontal portion 16 and a vertical, upright portion 17 the upper ends of which upright portion 17 being connected by a horizontal portion 18, said vertical, upright portion 17 and the horizontal portion 18 of one of these frames being incorporated within or attached to each of the end members 5' and 6' with the horizontal portions 16 secured to and underlying the adjacent end portion of bottom portion 2, it being readily apparent that when the said end members 5' and 6 are moved to a position when they are substantially parallel to the plane of top member 1' that vertical portions 17 of said frames are bent and placed under tension with respect to the horizontal portion 16 of each frame. To retain the parts in this condition, suitable clamps or other types of fastening means are provided, which clamps or other types of fastening" means will, upon release thereof permit the frames to assume their normal preformed condition which will result in movement of said end members 5' and 6' back to their positions at right angles to each other, and when so doing will cause vertical separation of the top and bottom portions 1' and 2', which separation will suck air through the open air inlet 8 to cause automatic inflation of the hollow body. When the hollow body thus formed automatically has served its intended purpose, air inlet valve 8 is opened, manual downward pressure is applied to top portion 1' to move it into juxtaposed position with respect to bottom portion 2' whereupon end members 5' and 6 are moved into positions substantially parallel to the plane of top portion 1, with the result that air is exhausted through open air inlet 8' and the hollow body assumes the position shown in FIG. 12, in which position it is clamped by suitable releasable clamps or other forms of fastening means, following which the hollow body may be folded into the compact condition shown in FIG. 1 for transportation or storage purposes.

A further modification of the present invention is clearly illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17 of the accompanying drawings wherein there is shown a hollow body in its normal flat compact condition and which is of the same general construction and operation as the previously described forms of the present invention and is applicable to the hollow bodies whether the same are manually or automatically self inflated. In this form of the invention, the reinforcing or stiffening frame to be incorporated within or attached to each end member 5 and 6 or 5 and 6' consists of spaced, parallel side members 19 and 20 connected at their upper ends by cross members 21. Each side member 19 and 20 exceeds in length the height of each end member so that the extended portions of said side members are of an overall length to provide leg portions which enable the hollow bodies to be disposed in spaced relation to the floor or other supporting surface on which the hollow body may be disposed. Detachable means (not shown) are provided for interconnecting the extensions 19-19 and the extensions 20 20 to prevent them from spreading or collapsing when the selfinflatable hollow body is subjected to a load. In the form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 11 and wherein the formation of the air-filled, self-inflatable hollow body is effected by manual operation, the extensions 19 and 20 also serve as handles which function as levers to assist in the movement of the end members 5 and 6 from their positions normally substantially parallel to the top portion 1 and to their positionsat right angles to the plane of the bottom portion 2 and also serve as handles or levers to assist in moving said end members from their vertical positions when the hollow body is fully inflated to their normal collapsed position substantially parallel to the top member 1. Hence, it is obvious that said extended portions 19 and perform a dual function, i.e., they serve as leg members to support the hollow body when the same is fully extended to provide a cushion, and also serve as levers which assist in moving the end portions 5 and 6 to and from their normal collapsed condition. If it is desired to support the hollow body above the floor or other supporting surface at a height in excess of the length of the extended portions of side members 19 and 20, said extended portions may have rigidly attached thereto auxiliary leg members of a length to obtain the desired height of the inflated hollow body from its supporting surface.

It is to be understood that various changes may be made in the construction and operation of the self-inflatable hollow bodies specifically illustrated and described herein without departing from the spirit of the present invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A self-inflatable hollow body adapted to serve as an airfilled cushion, pillow, mattress or the like, comprising air-impervious top and bottom portions of substantially the same size and configuration, a flexible air-impervious portion extending between said top and bottom portions with the top and bottom edges thereof connected in airtight relation to the marginal edges of said top and bottom portions, a pair of relatively stiff opposed members each having their upper and lower edges connected to the edges of said top and bottom portions respectively, said relatively stiff opposed members when said top and bottom portions are in juxtaposed positions being disposed in substantially parallel relation to the plane of said top portion and when moved to positions at right angles to the plane of said bottom portion causing said top portion to be moved from its juxtaposed position with respect to said bottom portion to a position in parallel spaced relation to said bottom portion to form the hollow body defined by said top, bottom and their interconnecting portion, and a valve-controlled air opening in communication with the interior of said hollow body which when open permits air to be sucked into said hollow body and when closed retains the air therein.

2. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 1, in which said top and bottom portions are composed of flexible, air-impervious material to permit said hollow body to be folded for storage and transportation purposes when said top and bottom portions are in their juxtaposed positions.

3. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 1, wherein said flexible air-impervious portion which extends between said top and bottom portions in airtight relation therewith is of bellowslike formation.

4. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 1, wherein said relatively stiff opposed members are each provided with a handle to assist in moving said opposed members from their normal positions substantially parallel to the plane of said top portion to their positions at right angles to said bottom portion to form the hollow body.

5. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 1 wherein said top and bottom portions are each provided with a handle to assist in moving said top and bottom portions from their juxtaposed positions to their spaced extended positions and when so doing moving said relatively stiff opposed members from their normal positions substantially parallel to said top portion to positions at right angles to said bottom portion.

6. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim ll wherein each of said opposed members is of rectangular configuration and is stiffened by associating therewith a rigid frame extending along at least the two opposite side edge portions thereof.

7. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 6 wherein said rigid frame is also of rectangular configuration and extends along all edge portions of each of the opposed rectangular members.

8. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 1 in which said opposed members are each provided with rigid stiffening rods disposed in spaced parallel relation and which are of a sufficient length to extend beyond the lower edge of each of said members, said extended portions providing levers which may be grasped by the operator and moved to assist in moving said members from their normal positions substantially parallel to said top portion to their positions at right angles to said bottom portion, and which extended portions serve as legs to support said hollow body in spaced relation with respect to the surface on which said hollow body is disposed.

9. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim I in which said opposed members are each provided with stiffening means each comprising a rigid member of substantially U- shaped formation the parallel side portions of said U-shaped members extending beyond the lower edge of each of said opposed members, said extended portions providing levers which may be grasped by the operator and moved to assist in moving said opposed members from their normal positions substantially parallel to said top portion to their positions at right angles to said bottom portion, and which extended portions serve as legs to support said hollow body in spaced relation with respect to the surface on which said hollow body is disposed.

10. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 1, in which each opposed member has attached thereto preformed resilient means which at all times tend to assume their preformed condition, portions of said resilient means also being attached to the adjacent portions of said bottom portion, the arrangement being such that when said opposed members are in their normal positions substantially parallel to the plane of said top portion and are retained in said positions by releasable means, said resilient means are bent and placed under springlike tension, and when said releasable means are released said resilient means will return to their preformed condition and when so doing will automatically move said opposed members from their said normal positions to positions at right angles to said bottom portion to thus move said top portion to its extended position with respect to said bottom portion, to automatically inflate and form said hollow body.

11. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 10, in which said resilient means comprise strips of preformed resilient material each having a portion thereof attached along the lower edge of each of said opposed members and a portion thereof attached to said bottom portion, which resilient material is bent and placed under springlike tension when said opposed members are in their said normal positions and are releasably retained in said positions.

12. A self-inflatable hollow body as defined in claim 10, in which said resilient means each comprise a preformed L- shaped member of relatively rigid material each having its vertical portion attached to one of said opposed members and its horizontal portion attached to the adjacent portion of said bottom portion, which preformed L-shaped members are bent and placed under springlike tension when said opposed members are in their normal positions substantially parallel to the plane of said top member and are releasably retained in said positions with the vertical and longitudinal portions of said L- shaped resilient members disposed in substantially parallel positions with respect to each other and which L-shaped members tend at all times to assume their L-shaped form.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification428/12, 206/522, 5/708, 5/655.3, 206/.6, 352/91.00R
International ClassificationA47G9/10, A47C27/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47C27/084, A47G9/1027
European ClassificationA47C27/08A8, A47G9/10D