US 3734595 A
A storable highway reflector unit is shown having appropriate reflector surfaces which are foldable into a base and including unitarily mounted stabilizing legs for maintaining the reflector unit in an erect position.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ir States atent n 1 endzick [1 1 3,734,595 51 May 22,1973
 FOLDING HIGHWAY EMERGENCY DEVICE  Inventor: Marvin F. Bendzick, Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Assignee: Cities Service Company, New York,
 Filed: Aug. 6, 1971  AppL No.1 169,668
 US. Cl. ..350/97, 248/472, 116/63, 108/127, 108/129  Int. Cl. ..G02b 5/12  Field of Search ..350/97; 248/469, 248/472; 108/127, 129, 132; 94/15; 116/63  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,600,059 8/1971 Evans ..350/97 2,613,463 10/1952 Transue ..350/97 X 4 3,056,495 10/1962 Malachowski.. .....350/97 X 2,758,899 8/1956 Smith et a1 ...108/132 X 1,709,928 4/1929 Whitney ..108/132 X FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 495,840 6/1950 Belgium ..350/97 Primary Examiner-Ronald L. Wibert Assistant Examiner-Michael J. Tokar Attorney-J. Richard Geaman  ABSTRACT A stolable highway reflector unit is shown having appropriate reflector surfaces which are foldable into a base and including unitarily mounted stabilizing legs for maintaining the reflector unit in an erect position.
3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENILU Ii! F P w sum 2 OF 3 PAIENIEn w 5.734.595
SHEETB UF 3 INVENTOR.
MARVIN F. BENDZICK BY L ATTORNEY FOLDING HIGHWAY EMERGENCY DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a novel reflection device. More particularly this invention relates to a unitary storable reflector valuable as a highway warning signal.
Highway safety has been uppermost in the minds of the public for a number of years. Increasingly, various governing bodies are recognizing the need for mandating the use of various safety devices that were previously optional. As a result, the U.S. Government has instituted a requirement that a standard highway reflector meet certain specifications and be provided with each vehicle sold in 1972. The Government requirements call for a triangular shaped device having a length of about inches, an inner surface with a fluorescent paint and a rim of light reflecting material. The reflector must in addition be stored in a box or container, and require no tools to erect. Upon erection, on a typical highway pavement, it should be able to withstand wind forces up to 40 miles per hour.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a unitary stable highway reflector of suitable shape and construction. Another object of the present invention is to provide a highway reflector which meets governmental requirements in an efficient, attractive and economical manner. Still another object of the device of the present invention is to provide a storable reflector which does not require any tools or expertise to set up. Other objects and advantages of the reflector device of the present invention will be apparent from the description of the device and drawings of the same which follow.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I have invented a highway reflector capable of meeting safety requirements. The foldable reflector device comprises an elongated box having a pair of elongated side walls. A cover plate is pivotally connected to the box along one of the pair of elongated side walls and an essentially horizontal reflector bar is connected to the cover plate. A pivotably mounted arm is attached to the cover at one end in proximity to the reflector bar and pivotably connected to a second arm at the other end, each arm having a reflecting surface located thereon. Connection means are provided for securing the second arm to the cover by a fixedly mounted rivet on the cover, on which a hole with a slot extending therefrom on the second arm, is insertable. When erected the two arms and the reflector bar form a triangle, and when the connection means are removed from the second arm, the two arms and the reflector bar are foldable against each other. A set of four foldable legs are pivotably mounted on the underside of the base and are arranged to extend outwardly from the base when erected, and to be folded within the base.
With a view to further detailing the reflector device according to the present invention, a brief description of the drawings and of the preferred embodiment is given as follows.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the reflector device in erect condition;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the device with the legs folded; and
FIG. 3 is a side view of the device in the erect position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As previously pointed out, the basic requirements for a highway marker are that it be stable in winds of up to 40 miles per hour, and that it be a triangular shaped reflector and visible device of about 20 inches in length on each side. Storability is a desirable feature for such a reflector.
Referring now to the drawing, the reflector device consists of two major assemblies, one being the box 12 and the other being the extensible reflecting arms 52 and 54, which are mounted on a pivotably mounted cover 16.
The cover 16 is essentially a flat metallic plate which is rectangular in shape and corresponds in size to the open top of the box 12. One of the long sides of the cover is circularly bent over itself to form a tubular mounting 18 through which a rod 20 is inserted. The cover has two upraised lips 22 and 24 on its shorter side, each upraised lip having a hole 26 therein, the purpose of which will be described hereinafter. For rigidity and in addition to accommodate a horizontal reflector bar 28 about one half of the cover surface along its length is depressed about the thickness of the reflector bar 28 to form a surface 30 against which the extensible reflecting arms 52 and 54 are mounted. The cover surface has two equally spaced arm mounting holes 32 and 34 located therein at points just about the ends of the reflector bar 28. In addition tab 36 is located at the mid-point of the long end of the cover 16 and aids the user in opening the cover.
The box 12 is an open top with a rectangular shape and includes an integral bottom 38, and sidewalls 39 and 40 extending both upwardly and downwardly. The upward extending height of the walls is about three times the downwardly extending portion. A set of four cutouts 42 are located in the downward portion of the box sidewalls 40. Four legs 44 are pivotably attached to the box 12 under its bottom by four U-shaped brackets 46. Each U-shaped bracket is securely attached to the bottom by suitable means such as screws at an angle so that the axis of the bracket is at about 60 with a line drawn parallel to the long side of the box. Each of the legs 44 is a bent rod, having a long portion approximating the distance between the cutouts 42 and the middle of the long side of the box at which point the rod is bent at an angle of approximately 120 to form a short portion 48 which is generally longer than the U-shaped bracket, so as to pass through the U-portion of the bracket at which point the rod is desirably bent in the same plane as the bend. The last bend acting as a leg stop 49. As illustrated, each of the legs so described is pivotably attached to the box at the bracket and with the stop at either of its two positions against the bottom 38 of box 12 legs are either in a nested position with the box as shown in FIG. 2 or in an open position extending away from the box through each of the cutouts to increase the base area to prevent the box 12 from tipping over in winds up to approximately 40 miles/hour. It is easily seen that a wide stance is provided to the box by the extended legs, and likewise the legs are completely enclosed within the box in the nested position. Two clips 50 and 51, are mounted on the bottom 38 and set to hold the ends of each pair of axially adjacent legs in a nested position when the reflector is folded up.
The triangular shape of the reflector is formed by two foldable arms, 52 and 54, each being about inches long and 3 inches wide. One arm 52 is pivotably attached to the cover by a rivet 56 or other suitable connector which extends through one of the holes 34 in the cover. The shape of the ends of the pivotable arm is specifically arranged so as not to obstruct the reflector bar when the reflector is erected. For this purpose the arm 52 has a finger 60 protruding beyond the lower end. An inch wide reflex 62 is securely fixed to the arm and coextensive with the arm lip, and the outside edge of the arm. The upper apex end 64 of the arm 52 forms an angle substantially equal to that formed by the other intersecting arm 54 when the reflector is erected.
The other arm 54 is pivotably attached to the arm 52 at their upper ends by a rivet 66 extending through holes in both arms. The upper end of the second arm has a rounded finger 68 on its outer side about an inch wide on which a coextensive red reflex 70 is mounted. The second arm has its upper edge 71 formed at the same angle as the triangle and as a result the upper edge of the second arm abuts the reflex of the first arm when the reflector is erect. The length of the second arm is substantially the same as the first arm, and it extends to a bottom edge '72, cut at an angle equal to that of the triangle formed in the erect position. The bottom of the second arm does not obstruct the horizontal reflector bar. A keyhole slot 74 is located in the bottom portion of the second arm and is adapted to be inserted over the protruding rivet 32 mounted on the cover.
For purposing of maintaining the erected arms and cover in a vertical position, a pair of folding braces 76 are provided. Each brace is assembled from a pair of flat metal slats 78 and 80 each having holes in their ends as will be described. Each of the slats has a rounded end, respectively 82 and 84 and a hole is centered within one of the rounded ends. A second hole 86 in each of the slats is located with plate pin 81 lodged within to pivotably connect the upper slat to the lower slat. The upper hole in the lower slat is a greater distance away from the end than the other holes and a bent over stop 80 is located at the lower slats bottom edge. The lower end of the bottom slat is attached pivotably to the base by a bolt or rivet 90 connected to one sidewall of the base. The upper slat is pivotably connected to the cover by a rivet 92 mounted on the cover end. As constructed and described, the slats act together to brace the cover and the attached arms in a substantially vertical position when extended with the stop abutting the upper slat. As pictured, two similar folding braces are provided for safety and added rigidity. However, one brace is sufficient for the purposes of this invention.
It is clear that what is described is a novel, easily storable reflector, meeting all official requirements, which is a unitary device, and requires no tool to be set up,
while easily being folded into a relatively small volume. Therefore, having fully described my invention and wishing to cover those modifications and variations which would be apparent to those skilled in the art, without departing from either the scope or spirit thereof,
1. A foldable reflector device comprising an elongated box having a pair of elongated side walls; a cover plate pivotally connected to said box along one of said pair of elongated sidewalls thereof; an essentially horizontal reflector bar connected to said cover plate; a first arm having reflecting surfaces thereon pivotally mounted at one end to the underside of said cover plate in proximity to one end of said horizontal reflector bar; a second arm having reflecting surfaces thereon pivotally connected to said first arm at the end away from said cover plate; connection means mounted on said cover plate in proximity to the opposite end of said reflector bar from where said first arm is pivotally mounted for pivotally mounting and removably connecting said second arm to said cover plate so that said reflector bar, said first arm, and said second arm form a triangle when said second arm is connected to said cover plate by said connection means, and said reflector bar and said first and second arms are foldable against each other when said second arm is removed from said connection means; a set of four legs, each of said legs being pivotably attached to the underside of said box and including a rod having a long portion approximating less than one half the length of said box, a short portion bent at about 120 with said long portion, the opposite end of said short portion being additionally bent at about to define a stop, all the bends being in the same plane; and four U-shaped brackets, each bracket being attached to the bottom of said box adjacent each corner thereof, each of said legs being inserted through the U-portion of each of said brackets to pivotally lodge said short portion therein, so that when said legs are extended said stops engage the bottom of said box and said legs increase the base area of said box to prevent said box from tipping over in winds up to approximately 40 miles per hour.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for removably connecting the second arm to the cover comprises a rivet having a head and shank extending away from and mounted on said cover at a spaced distance from said first arm pivotable 'mounting,' said second arm having a hole adopted to be insertable over said rivet head with a slot extending from said hole for securing the second arm to the cover.
3. The device of claim 1 which additionally comprises folded brace means connected to said cover and to said base for securely holding said cover in an upright position, said brace means being adapted to close with said cover.