US 3722905 A
A portable garment rack and enclosure that rolls on casters with garments suspended on hangers supported on a hanger rod. The apparatus has a frame that supports a protective enclosure for covering the garments during transport and storage and the frame and enclosure are collapsible so that the apparatus takes up a minimum of storage space when not in use.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 51 Mar. 27, 1973 United States Patent 1 Solomon ..280/36 R ....3l2/6 ..21 1/178 R 541 COLLAPSIBLE TRANSPORTER FOR 3,633,932 1 1972 GARMENTS AND THE LIKE 1,615,430 1/1927 Woodruff..... 1,360,912 11/1920 Folmar...........................  lnventor: Archie Solomon, 900 Edgewater Trail, Atlanta, Ga. 30336 Oct. 26, 1971 Appl. No.: 192,513
Primary Examiner-Kenneth H. Betts Assistant ExaminerRobert R. Song Attorney-McCoy, Greene & Howell  Filed:
 ABSTRACT garment rack and enclosure that rolls on garments suspended on hangers supported on a hanger rod. The apparatus has a frame that suports a protective enclosure for covering the garments during transport and storage and the frame and enclosure are collapsible so that the apparatus ta minimum of storage space when not in use.
kes up a UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,106,409 10/1963 Berlin...... .................280/39 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,905
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( ATTORNEYS COLLAPSIBLE TRANSPORTER FOR GARMENTS AND THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION vention relates to a garment transporter that rolls on casters or the like so that it may be easily moved about, and that is collapsible when not in use so as to take up a minimum of storage space.
Batches of garments to be transported on hangers for various purposes such as between manufacturer and retail sale, or while being processed in a dry cleaning establishment, are generally loaded on portable racks that have a base supported on casters and a vertical stand on the base that supports a horizontal hanger rod. For many purposes it is desirable to have a protective cover or enclosure for the garments particularly when they are to be moved outside or stored for long periods of time. When such protection is desired it is preferable that the enclosure be supported independently of the garments themselves and that it have an access flap or door to facilitate loading and unloading of garments. This arrangement eliminates the need for removing the protective cover every time garments are to be loaded on or removed from the rack.
The principal disadvantage of prior art garment transporters of this type is that they take up considerable space for storage when not in use. Usually they are stored while nested side by side and due to the relatively large size of the base needed to provide a stable platform for the hanger rack, even a small number of them when stored occupy a considerable amount of floor space.
The apparatus of the present invention, however, reduces the problem identified above and affords other features and advantages heretofore not obtainable.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is among the objects of the invention to reduce the amount of storage space required by a garment transporter and protective enclosure carried by the transporter, when the transporter and enclosure are not in use.
Another object is to provide an improved protective enclosure for garments suspended on hangers supported by a hanger rod that in turn is mounted on a wheeled framework to facilitate transporting of the protected garments.
Still another object is to provide an improved protective, flexible sheet material, enclosure for garments suspended on hangers which enclosure is supported independently of the garments or hangers, and is collapsible when not in use so as to take up a minimum of storage space.
These and other objects are accomplished by means of an apparatus having two interconnected frame sections supported on rollers, a horizontal hanger rod supported by the frame sections, and a garment enclosure formed of flexible sheet material such as canvas or the like, suspended by the frame sections. Each frame section has a horizontal top brace parallel to the top brace of the other section and two struts one connected to each end of the top brace. The two struts at each end of the apparatus are pivotally connected to one another intermediate their ends so that the two sections are pivotable relative to one another about a horizontal axis, between an open utility position wherein the struts extend diagonally relative to one another and cross one another at each end at the axis, and a closed storage position with the struts pivoted relative to one another to a closely aligned position, generally vertical. The top braces are provided with restraining means for limiting the spacing between them when the respective sections are pivoted to their open position. The garment enclosure is supported by the top braces so that when the sections are in their open position the enclosure defines a protected space for the garments. The hanger rod extends inside of the enclosure across the apparatus from one end to another paraliel to the top braces.
When the apparatus is not in use the sections are pivoted relative to one another to their closed position which also serves to collapse the enclosure. In this position the apparatus takes up a substantially reduced amount of storage space.
According to one form of the invention the apparatus is supported on two fixed casters at one end and two swiveled casters at the other end to facilitate control. According to another form the apparatus is supported on fixed casters at one end and on skids at the other so that a person may merely pick up one end and wheel the apparatus around with much of the weight supported on the fixed casters. In the latter case the end to be lifted may be provided with conveniently spaced handles.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a collapsible garment transporter embodying the invention, the transporter being shown in its open or operating condition;
FIG. 2 is an end elevation showing three garment transporters embodying the invention, two of which are collapsed to their storage condition and one of which is in its open operating condition to illustrate the reduced storage space taken up by the transporter when in its collapsed condition;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modified form of garment transporter embodying the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevational view on an enlarged scale illustrating the handles used in connection with the modified form of garment transporter shown in FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring more particularly to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates a garment transporter l0 embodying the invention and comprising a pair of generally rectangular frame sections 11 and 12 formed of metal tube. One end of the transporter 10 is supported on fixed casters 13 while the other end is supported on swiveled casters 14. The sections 11 and 12 support a horizontal hanger rod 15 and also a protective enclosure 16 for garments l7 suspended on hangers 18, the hangers being connected to the hanger rod 15.
The enclosure 16 when in its expanded or open condition as shown in FIG. 1 is in the form of a rectangular polyhedron and has a top panel 19, side panels 20, a rear panel 21 and a front panel 22 with a zippered flap 23. The flap 23 when unzipped may be rolled up or thrown back over the top of the transporter to provide access to the interior of the enclosure 16 for loading and unloading garments 27. In the embodiment shown the flap 23 has a window 24 formed of flexible plastic material for example so that the interior of the enclosure 16 may be inspected without opening the flap 23.
Each of the sections 11 and 12 has a horizontal top brace 25 and a horizontal bottom brace 26, one of the fixed casters 13 and one of the swivel casters 14 being secured to each of the bottom braces 26. The respective braces 25 and 26 of each section 11 and 12 are connected by struts 27 at each end of the transporter. The struts 27 have a flattened portion 28 midway between their respective ends and the respective struts of the sections 11 and 12 are pivotally connected to one another at each end of the transporter 10 by means of a pivot pin 29 extending through the respective flattened portions 28. Accordingly the frame sections 11 and 12 may be pivoted relative to one another about a horizontal axis defined by the pivot pins 29 at each end of the transporter 10.
The limits of the pivotal movement extend from the open or operating condition shown in FIG. 1 to the closed or collapsed condition illustration by the two collapsed transporters 30 in the right hand portion of FIG. 2. It will be seen from FIG. 2 that the space between the rear panel 21 and front panel 22 when the transporter is in its collapsed condition is about onefourth the distance between the respective panels 21 and 22 when the transporter is in its open or operating condition. Thus four times as many transporters may be stored in a give floor area when they are in their collapsed condition as may be stored when they are in their open or operating condition.
The hanger rod is supported on vertical end posts 31 that in turn are fastened to the struts 27 of the frame sections 1 l and 12 at their lower ends by the pivot pins 29. Thus the frame sections 11 and 12 are pivotable relative to the hanger rod 15 as well as with respect to one another.
FIG. 3 shows a garment transporter 40 illustrating an alternate form of the invention. The enclosure 16 and certain other parts are essentially identical to those of the transporter 10 of FIG. 1 and the principal difference resides in the form of the bottom braces 41 connecting the struts 42 and in the way in which the transporter 40 is moved. A portion of the bottom braces 41 of each of the frame sections 43 and 44 is adapted to rest on the floor while at the other end an inwardly bent corner portion 45 is provided at 45 for mounting a fixed caster 47. Thus the transporter 40 is supported on two fixed casters 47 at one end but on the bottom braces 41 at the other end.
This affords a more positive support for and positioning of the transporter 40 especially in that a braking" action is provided to resist undesired rolling such as when the transporter is positioned on a sloping surface.
In order to move the transporter 40, the end opposite the fixed casters 47 must be lifted so that the weight is carried both by the person desiring to move the transporter and by the fixed casters 47. In order to facilitate lifting of the one end the respective struts 42 are provided with handles 48 that are connected to brackets 49 using a pivot pin 50 which permits the handles to pivot to a downward position illustrated in dashed lines in FIG. 4, when not in use.
It will be noted that in both transporters 10 and 40 the top panel 19 of the enclosure 16 has its side edges connected to the top braces 25 of the respective frame sections. This serves two purposes. On the one hand it serves to suspend the side panels 20, rear panel 21 and front panel 22 from vertical suspension points so as to provide an independently suspended enclosure of a generally rectangular polyhedron form. Thus the support is independent of the garments and their hangers located within the enclosure 16.
This connection also serves however to limit the pivotal movement of the frame sections away from one another to their open or operating position and thus defines the operating position. Without this tension effect restraining the movement of the top braces away from one another the sections would merely pivot until the transporter collapsed to the floor.
According to an alternate form of the invention the restraint for the sections may be provided by lightweight chains interconnected between each top brace 25 and the hanger rod 15 at each end of the respective transporter. This would provide a positive tension member and would also avoid using the top panel 19 of the enclosure 16 for a structural purpose. This alternate arrangement is particularly desirable where the expected loads are to be quite heavy since the heavier the load the greater the tension that must be carried in the top panel and the panel would be more-likely to tear and permit the transporter to collapse.
While the invention has been shown and described with respect to specific embodiments thereof, this is intended for the purpose of illustration rather than limitation and other modifications and variations of the specific embodiments shown and described will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the specification. Accordingly, the patent is not to be limited in any way that is inconsistent with the extent to which the progress in the art has been advanced by the invention.
1. Apparatus for covering and transporting garments suspended on hangers, comprising two interconnected generally rectangular frame sections supported on roller means, a horizontal hanger rod having a vertical post depending from each end thereof supported by said frame sections and a garment enclosure formed of flexible sheet material suspended by said frame sections, each frame section having a horizontal top brace and two struts forming the sides thereof, each strut being pivotally connected intermediate its ends to a strut of the other frame section, the lower end of said vertical post being pivotally connected to respective one of said pivotal connections of said struts, whereby said sections are pivotable relative to one another about a horizontal axis, between an open service position with said struts extending diagonally and crossing one another at each end at said axis and a closed storage position with said struts pivoted relative to one another to a closely aligned position wherein said enclosure is collapsed, and restraining means connected between the upper portions of said frame sections for limiting the spacing between said top braces when said sections are pivoted to their open service position.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said roller means comprises two fixed casters at one end of said apparatus and two swivel mounted casters at the other end of said apparatus.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said roller means comprises two fixed casters at one end of said apparatus and wherein said frame sections engage the supporting surface at the other end of said apparatus.
4. Apparatus as defined in claim 3 including handles on said apparatus at said other end thereof to lift said other end for rolling said apparatus on said fixed casters.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said enclosure has a rectangular polyhedron form when said apparatus is in its open position.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein said restraining means comprises a rectangular panel forming the top panel of said enclosure, said panel having its parallel side edges connected to said top braces.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein said enclosure has parallel generally rectangular front and rear panels, said front panel having a flap that may be opened to facilitate loading and unloading of garments.
8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein the spac ing between said front and rear panels when said apparatus is in its closed storage position is about one fourth the spacing between said front and rear panels when said apparatus is in its open position.