US 3739792 A
An umbrella with a heat generating means, such as electric heating elements located in the ribs of the umbrella framework. The heating elements heat the volume of air present under the umbrella canopy. The power source may be incorporated in the umbrella or may be external. In addition, heated air may be drawn through an opening in the bottom and ejected through an opening in the upper end of a hollow vertical column supporting the umbrella's ribbed frame work and including heat generating means in the column.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Holland UMBRELLA WITH HEAT GENERATING MEANS  Inventor: Joan Holland, 157 East 57th Street,
New York, NY. 10022  Filed: July 14, 1971  Appl. No.: 162,514
 U.S. Cl. 135/16, 135/14 H  Int. Cl A451) 25/00  Field of Search 135/16, 14 H  References Cited 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,683,270 9/1928 Taylor et a1. 135/16 X 3,177,881 4/1965 Covington 3,444,799 5/1969 Covington 135/16 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 2/1941 Great Britain 135/16 June 19, 1973 188,872 4/1956 Austria 135/16 Primary Examiner-J. Karl Bell Attorney Albert C. Nolte, .1 r., Edward H. Hunter and C. Bruce Hamburg  ABSTRACT An umbrella with a heat generating means, such as electric heating elements located in the ribs of the umbrella framework. The heating elements heat the vol ume of air present under the umbrella canopy. The power source may be incorporated in the umbrella or may be external. In addition, heated air may be drawn through an opening in the bottom and ejected through an opening in the upper end of a hollow vertical column supporting the umbrellas ribbed frame work and including heat generating means in the column.
- 11 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures Patented June 19, 1973' 3,739,792
4 Shuts-Sheet 1 INVE TOR BY WW TT RNEYS JA/V 0L LAND 4 Shoots-Sheet 2 Patented June 19, 1973 Patented June 19, 1973 4 Shuts-Sheet 5 l VENTO R NI? ATT RNEYS Patented June 19, 1973 3,739,792
4 Shoots-Shoat 4 INVENTOR ATTORNEYS Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an umbrella comprising a resistive heating element for heating the volume of air immediately beneath the canopy of the umbrella.
It is the object of the instant invention to provide an improved umbrella comprising a canopy coated or impregnated with plastic or similar material for rendering it impervious to air so that the warm air, being lighter than the surrounding air, and therefore with upward buoyancy, will be trapped in the space underneath the canopy of the umbrella.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a vertical, downwardly-directed extension around the edge of the canopy of the umbrella for the purpose of increasing the height of the space where the warm air can be trapped and will provide further protection to the person holding the umbrella from the cold or the horizontally moving wind.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide an umbrella comprising a canopy made'of a flexible material, but coatedon the under surface by a heat insulating material, such as a rubber-like or plastic material. This material further having a dark color for the purpose of easily absorbing and re-radiating heat, but functions as a heat insulator, preventing heat conduction between the lower surface of the canopy (the warmersurface) and the upper surface of the canopy rangement and combination of parts and the details of construction hereinafter described and claimed, it being understood that changes in the precise embodiment of the invention herein disclosed may be made within the scope of what is claimed without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Further objects and features of the invention will appear as a description progresses, with the particular embodiments selected to illustrate the invention.
The invention will now be further described by detailed reference to specific embodiments which are illustrated .in the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a partial sectionaL'partial elevational view of the combination umbrella and heat generating means constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the handle and part of the hollow vertical column;
FIG. 3 is a partial elevational view of the umbrella and heat generating means;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the lines 44 of FIG. 3; Y
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an umbrella in accordance with the second embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 7--7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an umbrella in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a side elevation cross-sectional view of the handle and vertical member of the umbrella taken along the lines 9-9 of FIG. 8; and
FIG. 10 is a diagram of the equivalent electrical network of both the first and the second embodiments of the invention.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly FIGS. 1-5 thereof, the umbrella, having heat generating means, comprises a handle 3 connected to a vertical column 7 which supports an umbrella canopy 2 by means of flexible ribs 16 and flexible cross-connecting members or braces 15. Thus, in the usual manner, the braces 15 are hinged to a sliding ring 12, while the ribs 16 are connected to a fixed ring 8. The foregoing parts are well known and not considered to be part of the novel features of the present invention. However, the ribs 16 are constructed in a special manner in the form of U-shaped channels 119. This construction is clearly seen in FIGS. 3-5. FIG. 2 illustrates battery cells 81, 82 and 83, which provide electrical potential to the flexible resistive heating elements 112 located in the channels 119 of the rib 16. The battery cells apply power to the resistive wire elements by means of switch device 85.
The vertical member of the umbrella on which the canopy 2 is supported is the aforesaid vertical column 7 which takes the form of a tubular section and acts as a connecting member between the handle 3 and the canopy 2. The tubular section 7 also houses the battery cells 81, 82 and 83. Thus, the battery cells, when connected to the circuit, apply power to the resistive wire 112, thereby causing heating of the atmospheric air adjacent to the undersurface of the umbrella canopy 2. Furthermore, the canopy 2 of the umbrella is constituted of a flexible material 5 which is coated or impregnated with a plastic-like or rubber-like material 14 that is capable of rendering the canopy material impervious to air, thereby retaining the warmed air under the canopy 2 of the umbrella. The coating 14 may be preferably of a dark color, providing the canopy material with good heat and absorbing characteristics capable of absorbing some of the heat of the warmed air and radiating such heat toward the upper part of the body of the person carrying the umbrella.
A canopy extension 41, as seen in FIG. 1, attached along the outer edge of the canopy 2 and extends vertically downwardly from the umbrella. This extension greatly increases the efficiency of the device by increasing the height of the warm air column and therefore increases the area of the body which can be protected from the cold inside the canopy. The material of the vertical extension 41 may be similar to the material that constitutes the canopy 2. In addition, the coating 14, described above, may also be applied to the extension. Furthermore, one section 43 of the extension may be made of clear plastic for the purpose of providing improved visibility for the person using the umbrella.
Referring now to FIG. 2, a conductor 118 is connected to soldering lug 91 and is split into a plurality of conductors 110 at junction point 118. The conductors 110 are flexible wire conductors, preferably insulated with polyurethane, in order to withstand bending and cracking of the insulation. The flexible conductors 110 exit from the interior of the vertical column 7 to the outside through holes 117 in the vertical column.
As seen in FIG. 4, the flexible conductor 110 is rigidly connected to the end of a heating element 112 which is loosely held in channel 119 formed by'the rib 16. Furthermore, as seen in FIG. 5, the heating element 1 12 is insulated from the metallic body of the rib 16 by a dielectric, U-shaped insulating channel 114 fitted therein. The end of the heating element 112, at the extremity of the rib 16 is electrically connected to the metallic body of the rib 16 at a point 121, as shown in FIG. 4. Thus, while conductors 110 provide the positive potential of the batteries to one end of each of the heating elements 112, the other end of each of the heating elements is provided with a ground potential through the metallic body of the umbrella, constituting the metallic vertical column 7, a metallic hinged ring 8 and metallic channeled ribs 16, all connected in series.
FIG. 3 discloses each of the cross-connecting members 15 to be hinged at one end to the slidable ring 12 and hinged at the other end to a part 122 rigidly attached to the adjacent rib 16.
When switch 85 is set in the on" position, current is allowed to flow through the resistive elements 112 in the plurality of ribs 16 of the umbrella. The heat generated by this current flow through the resistive elements causes the elements to generate radiation towards the body of the person holding the umbrella and also provides for warming up the air under the canopy of the umbrella. This warm air will be contained, to a great extent, under the canopy of the umbrella because of its upward buoyancy and because the material of the canopy is coated and therefore made impervious to the warm air.
As seen in FIG. 6, a number of small, cylindrical, electric battery cells 81, 82 and 83 are retained coaxially in the column 7. Details of construction of the lower section of the umbrella are shown in FIG. 7. Cylindrical cells 81, 82 and 83 are connected in series and in this arrangement the negative terminal of the first cell 81 is connected to the positive terminal of the second cell 82, the negative terminal of the second cell 82 is connected to the positive terminal of the next cell 83 and so forth, so that the resulting battery provides a positive terminal 84 at the positive terminal of the first cell 81 and the negative terminal 86 at the negative terminal of the last cell 83. The battery cells 81 through 83 are held in position coaxially in the vertical column 7-by the walls of the vertical column. The battery cells 81, 82 and 83 are furthermore compressed upwards via a spring 85 thereby applying an upward force at the positive terminal 84 of the upper cell 81. Moreover, the battery cells 81, 82 and 83 are prevented from advancing further upwardly by a barrier 88 constituted of an electrically conductive material, such as a metal, and insulated from the metallic walls of the vertical column 7 by the insulating cylinder 92 fabricated from an insulating material, such as a plastic material. The barrier 88 tightly engages the metallic wall of the vertical column 7. The negative terminal of the battery cell 83 is furthermore electrically connected to the metallic wall of the vertical column 7 by means of the metallic spring 85, preferably steel, phosphor bronze, or beryllium copper. As seen in FIG. 7, the spring 85 is removably connected to the wall of the vertical column 7 and the electrical potential of the terminal 86 is transferred through the spring 85 and the wall of the vertical column 7 to the conductor 23 being rigidly connected to the solder lug 97, which in turn is mechanically attached to the wall of the vertical column 7 by means of a screw 95. The electrical conductor 23 provides current to one of the terminal of the electrical heating element 21. The other terminal of the heating element 21 is connected to the conductor 25 which is rigidly attached to a solder lug terminal 93, the latter being insulated from the wall of the vertical column 7 by an insulating washer 91. The solder lug 93 is electrically connected to a spring 89. The insulator 91, the solder lug 93, and the spring 89 are rigidly held against the wall of the vertical column 7 by a screw 104 threading into a dielectric nut 99.
A switch vane 81 of switch 105, when pushed forward, forces spring 89 to make electrical contact with a second spring 87 rigidly attached to the barrier 88 by means of a screw 106. FIG. 7 further shows the vane 81 of section pushedforward and, therefore causing spring 89 to make contact with switch 87. The switch vane 81 consists of two parts fabricated of dielectric material, such as a plastic, and held together by means of a screw 83. When switch 105 is made operative, the electrical circuit providing current to the heating element 21 is closed and the heating element heats the surrounding air in the manner described hereinbefore.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 8 in which is shown an umbrella 1 comprising handle 3 connected to a vertical column 7 supporting a canopy 2 by means of flexible members 15 and 16, which are hinged onto rings 12 and 8 respectively, supported by column 7. The canopy 2 is attached to the flexible members 16.
The vertical member of the umbrella on which the canopy 2 is supported comprises, in the instant invention, said tubular section 7 serving as a connecting member between handle 3 and the canopy 2 and also enclosing an electrical heating element 21 for the purpose of generating heat for warming up the air underneath the canopy 2 of the umbrella. The heating element 21 receives current from an electrical battery 35, which may be carried in the pocket of the individual holding the umbrella, or, as shown in FIG. 8, placed in a lady's pocketbook, a briefcase, or any other type of container, such as a tool box or lunch box. FIG. 8 shows the battery 35 having a cable 33 with a plug 31 at the cable end, which is removably connected to terminals in the handle 3 of the umbrella 1. With the plug 31 plugged into socket 41 and the switch 27 made operative, current from the battery 35 will flow through the resistive element 21 in the direction of the arrows 34 and 43 as shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. It is well-known that the amount of energy dissipated in the resistive element 21 and, therefore, converted into heat per second, is equal to IXR the product of the square of the current flowing through the resistors 21 times the resistance value of the element 21.
The heat generated by the element 21 will cause heating of the air inside the vertical column 7; the warm air will rise inside the tubular column 7, and'escape through rows of holes 17 and 18 shown in FIG. 8, and into the volume of air immediately beneath the canopy 2. Cool air will enter the vertical column 7 through rows of holes 19 and 20, which in turn will be heated by the element 21 and will rise and enter the volume beneath the canopy 2 via the rows of holes 17 and 18. This air, being warmer than the air around the canopy, displaces the colder air underneath the canopy, which will be forced downwardly. The canopy of the umbrella is constituted of flexible material 5 and further comprises said coating or other lamination 14 of a plastic-like or rubber-like material capable of rendering the material 5 impervious to air, therefore being capable of retaining the warmer air underneath the canopy of the umbrella. Coating 14 may preferably be of a dark color, thus providing the canopy material with good heat reflecting characteristics capable of reflecting some of the heat of the warmer air and radiating such heat towards the upper part of the body of the person carrying the umbrella. Said coating 14, also serves as an absorber to the warmer air entrapped under the canopy of the umbrella, and additionally functions as a heat insulator between the lower surface of the canopy, being the warmer surface, and the upper surface of the canopy, being the one in contact with the colder atmosphere, and, therefore, having a lower temperature.
The structure of the handle 3 and the vertical tubular column 7 containing the electrical heating element 21 are shown in detail in FIG. 9. A two conductor cable 33 connects battery 35 (not shown in FlG. 9) to the plug 31, comprising two prongs 47 and 48.
The prongs 47 and 48 are slidably retained by spring contacts 49 and 50. Spring contact 49 is electrically connected to conductor 25, which is connected to one terminal 32 of the switch 27. The other terminal 30 of the switch 27 is electrically connected to the one end of the resistive element 21 through conductor 24. The resistive element 21 is commercially available in spiral form and is made up of such materials as alloys of nickel, chromium, and tungsten. Switch 27 comprises a sliding vane 26 slidably supported by the wall of the vertical tubular member 7. The vane 26 supports the conductive blade 28 which is capable of electrically connecting the members 30 and 32 constituting the two terminals of the switch 27. It should be apparent that there are various types of switches commercially available to provide the function of switch 27. When the vane 26 of switch 27 is pushed upward, the blade 28 cffectively short circuits the two, terminals of the switch, and with the plug 31 plugged into the socket 41, currentcan flow from battery 35 through the resistive element 21, which thus converts electricity into heat. An insulating member 22 fabricated from heat resistant material, such as Teflon, serves to support the heating element 21 inside the vertical tubular member. However, some of the heat generated by the electrical element 21 is conducted to the tubular column 7 and, if column 7 is made out of a heat conductive material, some of this heat will be conducted downwardly towards the handle 3 to provide needed warmth to the hands of the person holding the umbrella. Handle 3 comprises a hollow member attached to the vertical tubular column 7 at point 29 by means of an insert 28 to which both the handle 3 and the vertical column 7 are fitted. The insert 28 is provided with a hole 52 for the purpose of allowing the passage of the electrical conductors 23 and 25 therethrough. Furthermore, FIG. 9 shows arrows 33, 34, 36, 38 representing cold air currents flowing through the rows of input holes 19 and 20 upwardly towards the heating element 21 to fill the partial vacuum warming up the air in the vicinity of the heating element 21.
What is claimed is:
1. A combination umbrella and heat generating means for warming the atmospheric air present under an umbrella canopy, said umbrella having a hollow rigid support structure, comprising; at least one electrical heating element in said hollow rigid support structure, an electrical power source for said heating element, and switch means for said electrical power source for selectively operating said electrical heating element.
2. The combination as claimed in claim 1 further comprising heat reflecting means on the inner surfaces of said umbrella canopy for directing the heated air downwardly.
3. The combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said hollow rigid support structure includes a plurality of ribs to which said umbrella canopy is secured.
4. The combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said hollow rigid support structure includes a tubular section connecting the umbrella handle with said umbrella canopy, said tubular section being provided with spaced openings adjacent to the handle and to said canopy whereby the air which enters the openings adjacent to said handle is heated by said heating element and escapes through said openings adjacent to said canopy.
5. The combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said power source is at least one dry cell.
6. The combination as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a canopy extension secured to the outer edge of said umbrella canopy and extending downwardly, said extension having a transparent part which permits wider visibility for the umbrella user.
7. The combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said power supply is positioned in said hollow rigid support structure.
8. The combination as claimed in claim 3 wherein said heating element is a flexible resistance wire.
9. The combination as claimed in claim 8 wherein said ribs are U-shaped and the open sides thereof face downwardly, and said wire is secured within said U- shaped ribs.
10. The combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein said electrical power source is external and is removably connected to the umbrella handle.
11. A combination umbrella and heat generating means for warming the atmospheric air present under an umbrella canopy, said umbrella havinga rigid support structure including a plurality of ribs to which said canopy is secured, electrical heating means for warming the atmosphere under said canopy, means for conducting power from an electrical power source to said electrical heating means, and means mounting said heating means and said conducting means on said sup-