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Publication numberUS3715996 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 13, 1973
Filing dateAug 6, 1971
Priority dateAug 6, 1971
Publication numberUS 3715996 A, US 3715996A, US-A-3715996, US3715996 A, US3715996A
InventorsR Rolfshus
Original AssigneeR Rolfshus
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible support member
US 3715996 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 1111 3,715,996

Rolfshus 1 Feb. 13, 1973 [541 COLLAPSIBLE SUPPORT MEMBER 1,229,138 6/1947 Reischmann ..108/44 3 329 298 7/1967 Demas ..220/8 [76] Inventor: Rudolph L. Rolfshus, 1522 Circle 3338605 8 1967 S b 287 54 A Drive, Bumsvme Minn. 55378 toe er [22] Filed Aug 6 1971 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 752,645 9/1933 France ..248/188.5 [21] Appl' 169722 581,685 8/1933 Germany ..248/188.5

[52] US. Cl ..l08/l44, 248/1885 Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel [51] Int. Cl. ..A47b 9/00 A is ant ExaminerG1enn O. Finch [581 Field of Search ..108/34, 139453; A eyP ul L. jOqU St 220/8 [57] ABSTRACT An apparatus is described which is collapsible and can [56] References cued be compactly reduced in size in its collapsed state, and

UNITED STATES PATENTS which can be extended by means of telescoping sections to provide a supporting member for seats, tables, 314,831 3/1885 Hardy ..108/l44 X and other load-carrying objects, 671,395 4/1901 Hayward ..248/407 908,999 1/1909 Johnson ..1()8/144 11 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB13I97S 3,715,996


COLLAPSIBLE SUPPORT MEMBER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the illustrative embodiment of the invention, there is provide a plurality of telescoping conical sections having hollow interiors, a base surface attached to the bottom conical section, and a top load-carrying surface attached to the top conical section. Each of the conical sections is constructed to have a plurality of vertical channels sized so as to allow interior sections to telescope within exterior sections when the vertical channels are in alignment. Small distances along the conical section upper edges are notched to provide a seat for the vertical channels when the conical sections are in an extended telescoping position, which effec-' tively locks the invention in its extended position. To achieve this locked position adjacent conical sections are twisted slightly relatively to one another.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the'course of the detailed description which follows, reference will be made to the attached drawings. in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of an embodiment of the invention shown in its extended and load-carrying form;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an embodiment of the invention shown in its collapsed form, and showing one mode of transporting the invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view of one conical section, showing the preferred arrangement of channels;

FIG. 4 is a partial expanded illustration of several conical sections, showing the respective vertical channels and notches.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention in its expanded form. Base 101 is shown, upon which is fastened a partial conical section 102. Section 102 is typically attached in a permanent manner, or base 101 and section 102 are molded as a-singled piece from any of the common materials which are adaptable for molding. Section 102 has at least one, and preferably two or more, protruding vertical channel 103. The function and structure of channel 103 will be described in more detail hereinafter. FIG. 1 also illustrates partial conical sections 105, 106, 107, 108 and 109. Each of these sections is designed to fit within the section shown below it in FIG. 1 and is slideable from within the section below it, but the major diameter of each partial conical section is chosen to be slightly larger than the minor diameter of the section below it which encloses it. This choice of diameters prevents an internal conical section from being completely withdrawn from the section immediately adjacent and exterior to it. It will be noted that each of these additional conical sections have protruding vertical chan- 5 nels also, which are shown aligned in a staggered fashion in FIG. 1. These channels will be explained in more detail hereinafter.

Top surface 110 is attached to the top conical section 109. This attachment is accomplished either through a moulding process or by some means of convenient attachment. This top surface 110 may be used as a seat, table top, or other load-bearing surface, depending upon the relative dimensions of the various elements of the invention. FIG. 1 illustrates that each of the vertical channels of the respectiveconical sections rests upon the upper edge of the conical section immediately below. This provides a good load-carrying structure. .Of course, it will be appreciated that the inventive apparatus may have more than one vertical channel per section. The preferred embodiment has three channels per conical section, each of which are spaced at 120 intervals around the circumference of the conical section. It will also be appreciated that the width of the vertical channels will vary from one co'nical section to another. For example, vertical channel 103 in FIG. 1 is wider than any of the vertical channels on conical sections 105, 106, 107, 108 and 109. The width of a vertical channel on conical section 105 is made slightly narrower than the internal width dimension of channel 103, to enable the vertical channels on conical section 105 to slide inside of the channels on section 102 when the invention is collapsed. Similarly, the outside width of all vertical channels on conical section 106 is slightly less than the inside width of all vertical channels on section 105. This relationship exists for each subsequent pair of conical sections, so that when the invention is viewed in its expanded form, as in FIG. 1, the successive vertical channels are narrower near the top of the invention.

Eyelets 112 are shown attached to upper surface 110; these eyelets are used in conjunction with a carrying strap, shown as 201 in FIG. 2, to enable the invention to be conveniently transported.

FIG. 2 illustrates the apparatus in its collapsed form. It can be appreciated from FIG. 2 that the apparatus in its collapsed form is extremely compact. The total height of the apparatus in its collapsed form is approximately'equal to the height of one of the conical sections. The apparatus is preferably designed so that top surface 110 mates snugly against base 101 when it is in its collapsed form. All of the conical sections are concentrically contained within the apparatus in its collapsed form.

FIG. 3 shows the top view of a typical conical section in the preferred embodiment. Three symmetrically spaced channels 301 are shown. FIG. 3 also illustrates the major and minor diameters of a typical conical section. Diameter D is the bottom or major diameter of the conical section, and is larger than diameter d, which is the top or minor diameter. Relative diameters of adjacent conical sections are chosen so that diameter D of a particular section is larger than diameter d of the section immediately below and concentrically external to it. Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 3, diameter D of section 106 is larger than diameter d of Section 105.

Likewise, diameter D of section 107 is larger than diameter d of section 10.

FIG. 4 illustrates an expanded portion of conical sections 105, 106, and 107. The vertical channels of these sections are more clearly illustrated in this view, as is the construction of the top edges of each conical section. Notch 401 is cut out of the upper edge of conical section 107, and each of the other conical sections has a similar notch cut from its top edge. It can be seen that notch 401 is cut completely across vertical channel 403 and extends for an additional distance along the top edge of section 107. Notch 401 provides a support and locking means for the vertical channel immediately .above. Likewise, notch 402 on section 106 provides a support for vertical channel 403 on section 197, and similar notches provide support for other vertical channels and sections.

An alternate construction of the notches along the top edges of the conical sections could be made by not cutting completely across the vertical channels, but merely extending the notches from the ends of the vertical channels into the adjacent top edge material. According to this construction, the vertical channels would not appear as shown in FIG. 4 but would instead extend all the way to the top edge of the conical sections.

Each of the conical sectionsis rotatable with respect to other sections, in that a particular conical section may be raised when its vertical channel is in alignment with the channel adjacent and external to it, and the section may then be rotated when the vertical channel clears the notch immediately below it to enable the vertical channel to rest upon the top edge of the section below.

This can be appreciated with reference to FIG. 4 by visualizing the relationship between a particular-pair of conical sections such as 106 and 107. Conical section 107 is constructed so that when vertical channel 403 is in vertical alignment with vertical channel 404 of section 106, conical section 107 will fit concentrically within conical section 106. Assuming this to be the case, conical section 107 could then be raised with respect to section 106, and when vertical channel 403 cleared notch 402 on vertical channel 404, conical section 107 could be rotated clockwise with respect to section 106. This rotation would proceed only until the left edge of vertical channel 403 struck the end of notch 402. Conversely, conical section 107 can be lowered by rotating it in the opposite direction, to place vertical channel 403 in alignment with, vertical channel 404. This frees conical section 107 from its support on the top edge of section 106 and allows section 107 to be lowered to a position internal to section 106. Other sections may be expanded or withdrawn with respect to their adjacent sections in a similar fashion.

It will be apparent that the apparatus in its collapsed form has all vertical channels in alignment. From this form, in order to expand the apparatus to its extended position, it is necessary to raise the top surface and rotate it while holding the base until all vertical channels have slipped into their respective notches. It will also be apparent that all vertical channels will have generally the same slope as their respective conical sections.

The invention may be constructed of any convenient material, such as plastic, fiberglass or metal. The relativeheights of respective conical sections are optional, to be determined by the particular application for which the apparatus is intended. In a typical embodiment, wherein the apparatus is used as a seat, seven conical sections are used, each section having a height of three inches including an overlap of about threefourths inch. This gives a seat of approximately 16 inches in height. For use in supporting a table top, the sections could be increased in height, and more or fewer sections could be used. The relative sizes and shapes of the top surface and base are arbitrary, and will be dictated by the application for which the invention is used. In one form of the invention the base may be eliminated, with the apparatus made to rest upon the bottom conical section, and the invention can as easily be used in an inverted arrangement from that shown in the illustrated examples.

It will be apparent to one skilled in this art that numerous other arrangements may be devised which nevertheless embody the invention, and that the arrangements described herein are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention.

What is claim is:

1. A collapsible support comprising:

a. a base having the largest circumference of a hollow conical section attached thereto, said conical section having at least two vertical channels disposed substantially equidistant around its circumference, said channels having notches in their upper ends and said notches extending partially into the adjacent conical section edges;

. a plurality of further conical sections having vertical channels and notches, and concentrically sized to permit each further conical section to fit within another, and the largest of said further conical sections to fit .within and internally adjacent to said conical section attached to said base;

0. a supportable surface attached to the smallest of said further conical sections.

2. A collapsible support as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vertical channels are three in number for each conical section.

3. A collapsible support as claimed in claim 2, wherein said supportable surface further comprises a surface of area larger than the area of said base.

4. A collapsible support comprising:

a. a first conical ring section having its lower diameter greater than its upper diameter, and having at least two protruding channels extending vertically, and having notches extending along its upper circumference adjacent each channel, said notches being of a length approximately equal to the channel width;

. a second conical ring section having its lower diameter slightly larger than said first conical ring section upper diameter, said second conical ring section concentrically disposed within said first conical ring section, and having channels and notches in relatively similar angular positions to those in said first conical ring section;

whereby said second conical ring section can be rotated relative to said first conical ring section to engage said second channels in said first notches.

A collapsible support as claimed in claim 4,

further comprising:

further comprising:

means for attaching to said support for transport ing said support, said attaching means coupled to said top surface.

A collapsible support member comprising:

a plurality of concentrically-spaced conical sections, each section having a major circumference and a minor circumference, said major and minor circumferences being successively smaller on internally-adjacent sections, andthe major circumference of each section being larger than the minor circumference of the next internally-adjacent sectionb. each of. said sections having a plurality of outwardly protruding ridges extending from said major circumference to said minor circumference; and

c. each of said ridges having a notch adjacent its minor circumference end, said notch extending along said minor circumference.

8. A collapsible support as claimed in claim 7,

further comprising:

(1. a surface of substantially flat area attached to said innermost conical section minor circumference. 9. A collapsible support as claimed in claim 7,

further comprising:

d. a seat attached to said innermost conical section. 10. A collapsible support as claimed in claim 8,

wherein said outwardly protruding ridges further comprise channels of generally U-shaped construction.

11. A collapsible support as claimed in claim 10,

wherein said outwardly protruding ridges are three per conical section.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6892991 *Mar 10, 2004May 17, 2005Sung Kuk SohHeight-adjustable support for elevating furniture
US7328880 *Sep 30, 2002Feb 12, 2008Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.Stabilizing system for computer hardware
US7980387 *Feb 28, 2008Jul 19, 2011Crayola LlcTelescoping case
US20030075664 *Sep 30, 2002Apr 24, 2003Helot Jacques H.Stabilizing system for computer hardware
U.S. Classification297/311, 248/188.5, D06/692.3
International ClassificationA47B3/10, A47C4/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C4/08, A47C9/00, A47B3/10
European ClassificationA47C4/08, A47C9/00, A47B3/10