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Publication numberUS3752524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1973
Filing dateMar 27, 1972
Priority dateMar 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3752524 A, US 3752524A, US-A-3752524, US3752524 A, US3752524A
InventorsReick O
Original AssigneeReick O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gripping device
US 3752524 A
Abstract
A gripping device having housing means adapted to be attached to the body of a user. Prong means are mounted on the housing means and include support means for supporting the prong means for movement from a retracted stored position in the housing to an extended position of use. Manually operated ejection means are provided which are coupled to the support means for causing the prong means to be ejected from the stored position to the extended position of use wherein the prong means become exposed to grip objects or substances that are normally difficult to grip. The prong means, when in the stored position, are confined and free from snagging on the user's wearing apparel.
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United States Patent [191 Reick, Jr.

[ Aug. 14, 1973 GRIPPING DEVICE [76] Inventor: Otto Reick, Jr., 1 19 Phelps, Decatur,

Mich. 49045 [22] Filed: Mar. 27, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 238,349

[52] US. Cl. 294/25 Primary Examiner-Johnny D. Cherry Attorney-Woodhams et a1.

[57] ABSTRACT A gripping device having housing means adapted to be attached to the body of a user. Prong means are mounted on the housing means and include support means for supporting the prong means for movement from a retracted stored position in the housing to an extended position of use. Manually operated ejection means are provided which are coupled to the support means for causing the prong means to be ejected from the stored position to the extended position of use wherein the prong means become exposed to grip objects or substances that are normally ditficult to grip. The prong means, when in the stored position, are confined and free from snagging on the users wearing apparel.

8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 1 GRIPPING DEVICE FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a gripping device, and more particularly, relates to an ice gripper which is to be attached to the body or to the wearing apparel of a user and has expandible and retractable prongs mounted in a housing, the prongs, when in the extended position, being capable of gripping objects, such as ice, that are normally difficult to grip.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A major concern, while ice fishing, is that the ice early or late in the winter or weakened from holes or springs will break causing the fisherman to fall into the ice-cold water and drown. The same concern exists for snowmobilers who drive their snomobiles onto the ice or irrigation ponds on farm land. The weight of the snowmobile machine plus the weight of the driver is oftentimes more than the ice will support causing the ice to break and causing the driver to fall into the ice-cold water. Many problems are present in and around the area where the ice has been broken which prevents the person in the water from successfully crawling out onto the surface of the still solid ice. One of the major problems is that the water on the surface of the ice makes the surface too slippery to be able to be gripped with the gloves or hands of the person in the water and thereby making it difficult and oftentimes impossible for the person to remove himself from the water. This is an extremely dangerous condition when the weather conditions are at very low temperatures due to the fact that the human body can only stand cold temperatures for a very short period of time before movement of the muscles in the body become slowed and nonfunctioning and the clothing becomes water soaked and heavy. Therefore, it is vitally important that the person in the water be able to remove himself from the water as quickly as possible before the cold temperature affects the body.

It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide an attachment which can be secured to the user's body or the users wearing apparel which will permit the user to be able to more successfully grip the surface of the ice and pull himself from the water.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a gripping device which can be secured to the wrists of the user and activated by a simple motion of the arm to extend devices which function as a means to grip the ice to permit the user to pull himself from the water.

Other objects and purposes of this invention will become apparent to skilled persons upon reading the following specification and an inspection of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a gripping device embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line II-II of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III-III of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary top view of the gripping device;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the gripping device mounted on the wearing apparel of a user;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line VI-VI of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view of a modified housing construction for the gripping device.

Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience and reference only and will not be limiting. The words up and down" will designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words in and out" will refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the device and designated parts thereof. Such terminology will include derivatives: and words of similar import.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The objects and purposes of the invention are met by providing a specific device having housing means adapted to be attached to the body of a user. Prong means are mounted on the housing and include support means for supporting the prong means for movement from a retracted stored position in the housing to an extended position of use. Manually operated ejection means are coupled to the support :means for causing the prong means to be ejected from the stored position in the housing means to an extended position of use so that the prong means become exposed to grip objects or substances that are normally difficult to grip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to FIG. 1, a gripping device 10 comprises a base member 11 which includes a generally arcuately shaped plate 12 having a pair of upstanding flanges 13 and 14 projecting upwardly therefrom adjacent the lateral edges. The base member 11 is made of a rollable or extrudable material so that the flanges l3 and 14 are integral with the arcuate plate 12. A pair of openings 16 and 17 are provided in the base member 11 adjacent the flanges 13 and 14. An elongated opening 18 is also provided adjacent each of the flanges 13 and 14 and is positioned between the openings 16 and 17. The purpose served by the openings 16, 17, and 18 will be explained herebelow. The upper edges of the flanges 13 and 14 are rolled over, as at 21 and 22, respectively, in FIGS. 1 and 2.

A plurality of elongated notches 23 are provided in the upper edges of each of the upstanding flanges 13 and 14. The notches 23 in the upstanding flange 13 are aligned with the notches 23 in the upstanding flange 14.

As elongated shaft 24 is received in each of the notches 23 in the upstanding flanges l3 and 14. A stop member 26 is integrally formed on the end of each of the shafts 24. The stop 26 may be of any conventional type, such as an L-shaped bend in the end of the shaft 24, for example. The length of the shaft 24 is preferably longer than the horizontal spacing between the upstanding flanges 13 and 14.

A plurality of prongs, here a pair of prongs 27 and 28 are secured to each of the shafts 24. The prongs 27 and 28 are positioned between the upstanding flanges 13 and 14 and are rotatable with the shaft 24 from a generally horizontal position illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 3 to the illustrated upstanding .position.

A pair of spring members 29 and 31 are mounted on each of the shafts 24 in a telescoping relationship. The spring member 29 is positioned between the prong member 28 and the upstanding flange l3 and serves to urge the shaft 24 rightwardly as illustrated in FIG. 2. The spring member 31 has an elongated end portion 32 which engages the arcuate plate 12 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The spring member 31 is tightly wound onto the shaft 24 and the opposite end is hooked over the prong 28 with an end segment 33 as best illustrated in FIG. 1 so that the end portion 32 is thereby tightly urged into engagement with the arcuate plate 12 to effectively bias the prongs 27 and 28 for rotation from a horizontal position to a vertically upstanding position.

A knob 34 is rotatably secured to the end of the shaft 24 remote from the stop member 26. More particularly, the end of the shaft 24 remote from the stop member 26 has a groove 36 (FIG. 6) therein and is adapted to receive a spring clip 37. The knob 34 is provided with an annular recess 38 which is alignable with the groove 36 and is adapted to receive the spring clip 37 to hold the knob 34 against a relative axial movement with respect to the shaft 24 but at the same time permitting a relative rotation.

A cover 39 comprises a flat sheet of material having rolled over longitudinal edges 41 and 42. A flange 43 is provided on one longitudinal end of the cover 39 and extends downwardly from the generally flat upper surface thereof. A flange 44 is provided on the opposite longitudinal end of the cover 39 and is initially coplanner with the top surface of the cover 39. A plurality of L-shaped openings 46 are provided in the upper surface of the cover 39. The length of the portion 47 of the L-shaped opening 46 is greater than the length of the portion 48. The portion 47 extends in the longitudinal direction of the cover 39 and the portion 48 extends at a right angle thereto.

The rolled over edges 41 and 42 are adapted to slidably engage and tightly grip the rolled over edges 21 and 22 on the flanges 13 and 14. The flange 43 engages the end surfaces 49 of the flanges 13 and 14 to position the L-shaped openings 46 relative to the shafts 24. Thereafter the flange 44 may be bent over to engage the end surfaces 51 of the flanges 13 and 14 as best illustrated in FIG. 3 to define a housing 50.

A wrist strap 52 may be fed through the elongated slots 18 in the base member 11 as illustrated in FIG. 2 to secure the gripping device to the wrists of the user. On the other hand, a backing plate 53 may be positioned beneath the wearing apparel 54 of the user and rivets 56 may be inserted into the openings 16 and 17 in the base member 11 so that the wearing apparel 54 of the user is sandwiched between the backing plate 53 and the arcuate plate 12. The rivets 56 thereby serve to secure the backing plate to the arcuate plate 12 to effectively secure the gripping device 10 to the wearing apparel of the user.

It is to be noted that the arcuate plate 12 incudes a portion 57 which extends longitudinally beyond the flanges l3 and 14 and the cover 39, when in the secured position illustrated in FIG. 5, toward the hand (not illustrated) of the user.

OPERATION Although the operation of the gripping device will be apparent to skilled persons, a brief summary will nevertheless, be given for convenience.

With the gripping device 10 properly secured to the wrists of the user, wherein the portion 57 of the arcuate plate 12 which extends longitudinally from the end 49 of the flanges 13 and 14 is closely adjacent the hand of the user, the device 10 may be activated by striking the knobs 34 against an object, such as the users opposite forearm or some other convenient surface, so that the shafts 24 are shifted leftwardly, (FIGS. 2 and 4) to cause each of the prongs 27 and 28 to become aligned with the longer portion 47 of the L-shaped openings 46. The bias of spring members 31 will urge the prong members 27 and 28 upwardly through the longer portion 47 of the openings 46 to the solid line position illustrated in FIG. 3. Since the shorter portion 48 of the openings 46 is not vertically aligned with the axes of the shafts 24, the prongs 27 and 28 will be maintained in an inclined position relative to the vertical as best illustrated in FIG. 3. In other words, the prongs 27 and 28 are inclined toward the forearm of the user. The shanks of the prongs 27 and 28 are now aligned with the shorter portions 48 of the openings 46. The spring members 29 urge the shafts 24 rightwardly (FIGS. 2 and 4) so that the shanks are moved into the shorter portion 48 of the openings 46. The prongs are thereby firmly held in the extended position illustrated in FIG. 3 and are incapable of moving toward the stored position.

The gripping device illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 is adapted for use on the left wrist of the user. The purpose of having left and right units is so that when the user falls into the water through the broken ice, and if the arms are exposed to the coldness of the water, the forearm will maintain its strength a great deal longer than will the hands and other portions of the body. As a result, it is likely that the user will have sufficient strength in his forearms in order to jab the knobs 34 into a hard surface such as the ice and/or the opposite forearm in order to cause an axial shifting of the shaft 24 to permit the prongs 27 and 28 to spring up through the openings 46. The springs 29 thereafter causeeach of the shafts 24 to shift back to the normal position so that the base of the prongs shift into the shorter portion of the openings 46. Since the prongs 27 and 28 are inclined toward the forearm of the user, the wrists of the user may be thrust dowiiwardly so that the prongs 27 and 28 will be jabbed into the ice to give leverage to the user so that he can pull himself from the water without the prongs slipping on the ice.

In the particular embodiment illustrated, the prongs 27 and 28 adjacent the forearm of the user are shorter than the prongs 27 and 28 adjacent the hand. It has been found that this construction causes the prongs to grip the ice most efficiently and serves to prevent the prongs from slipping relative to the ice while the user is pulling himself from the water.

When the prongs 27 and 28 are retracted to the position illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 3, the prongs will not be capable of snagging on the wearing apparel of the user and will not injure anybody especially the user, that may accidentally come into contact with the prongs 27 and 28 of the gripping device 10.

MODIFIED CONSTRUCTION A modified housing 50A construction for the gripping device is illustrated in FIG. 7. The parts of the modified housing 50A will be referred to by the same numerals designating corresponding parts of the housing 50 but with the suffix A" added thereto. the upper rolled edge 21 of the upstanding flange 13A is rolled slightly different from that illustrated in FIG. 2. Here, the rolling is of a nature to receive a correspondingly rolled edge 41A of the cover 39A and the two rollings 21A and 41A are interlocked to prevent a separation thereof when the prongs are ejected orare engaged with the object being gripped. That is, if the housing 50A is struck with a blow to the sidewall 13A, the interlocked connection between the side wall 13A and the cover 39A will prevent a separation of the sidewall 13A from the cover 39A. The housing is otherwise identical to the housing in FIG. 2.

Although particular preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations and modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the rearrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the inventron. i

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A gripping device, comprising: housing means adapted to be attached to the body of a user:

a shaft rotatably mounted on said housing;

prong means mounted on said shaft and rotatable therewith from a retracted stored position in said housing means to an extended position of use, said prong means, when in said stored position, being confined and free from snagging on the users wearing apparel; and

manually operated ejection means coupled to said shaft for causing said prong means to be ejected from said stored position in said housing means to said extended position of user wherein said prong means become exposed to grip objects or substances that are normally difficult to grip.

2. The gripping device according to claim 1, wherein said housing means comprises means defining at least one opening therein; and

wherein said housing means comprises means sup porting said shaft for rotation and a shifting movement in the axial direction and spring means for normally urging said prong means from said stored position to said extended position when said shaft is shifted axially until said prong means becomes aligned with said opening in said housing means.

3. The gripping device according to claim 2, including a knob means rotatably mounted on one end of said shaft, said knob means further including means for preventing a relative axial movement.

4. The gripping device according to claim 2, wherein said prong means comprise a plurality of prongs mounted on said shaft; and

wherein said housing means includes means defining a plurality of openings, each of said prongs being alignable with an opening in. said housing means; and

wherein said spring means comprises a first spring biasing said shaft in one axial direction and a second spring for biasing the rotational movement of said shaft to a position wherein said prongs engage the interior of said housing means when in the stored position and project outwardly through said openings in said position of use.

5. The gripping device according to claim 2, wherein said opening in said housing means is L-shaped.

6. The grippiitg device according to claim 1, wherein said housing means comprises connecting means adapted to connect said housing means to said body of said user.

7. The gripping device according to claim 1, wherein said housing means comprises connecting means adapted to connect said housing means to the wearing apparel of said user.

8. The gripping device according to claim 1, wherein said housing means comprises a base plate which extends longitudinally beyond oneend of said housing means and is adapted to engage the user's body to stabilize said gripping device when subjected to a load.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US758196 *Jun 2, 1903Apr 26, 1904Robert N ThomasCorn-husker.
US1274481 *Apr 27, 1918Aug 6, 1918George L WestIce-mitten.
US2278610 *Oct 7, 1940Apr 7, 1942Keely Herman ABundle picker
US3593803 *Dec 27, 1968Jul 20, 1971Charles W IbachGardener{3 s glove
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4002366 *Nov 28, 1975Jan 11, 1977Hammes Robert BAccessory serving as life saving aid
US5209685 *Mar 18, 1992May 11, 1993Hammes Robert BIce lifesaving device
US5310229 *Feb 19, 1993May 10, 1994Hanson David CIce emergency aid and recovery method incorporating same
US5325596 *Jun 4, 1993Jul 5, 1994Baker Joseph LSelf defense glove
US5597189 *Apr 26, 1994Jan 28, 1997Barbee, Sr.; Gary W.Prosthetic utensil and tool holding device for both the right hand and left hand
US5924752 *May 30, 1997Jul 20, 1999Moody; Jack R.Ice spike
US7114222Aug 17, 2004Oct 3, 2006Yvon LemireSurvival hook
US8056680 *Mar 6, 2009Nov 15, 2011Broten Neil EWearable, self-deploying fall arrest device
US8370966 *Apr 19, 2010Feb 12, 2013Luke HendonRoofing glove
US20050108862 *Aug 17, 2004May 26, 2005Yvon LemireSurvival hook
US20100224443 *Sep 9, 2010Broten Neil EWearable, self-deploying fall arrest device
US20100236077 *Sep 23, 2010Shirey Patricia APersonal weapon
US20110252536 *Apr 19, 2010Oct 20, 2011Luke HendonRoofing glove
Classifications
U.S. Classification294/25
International ClassificationB65G7/12, B65G7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65G7/12
European ClassificationB65G7/12