US 3796430 A
A baby walker is disclosed having foldable legs, whereby the walker may be collapsed into a substantially flat form for shipping or transportation in a small carton for convenience in handling or storage. The foldable legs have a hinged joint, which is self-locking when the walker is in operative position, but can be easily unlocked when the legs are to be folded. A soft plastic covering is provided for covering the leg joints to prevent injury to the infant or damage to furniture, this covering being movable downwardly along the legs to expose the joints when the legs are to be folded.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Sudo ll Mar. 12, 1974' 4] COLLAPSIBLE BABY WALKER WITH R1 1,830 6/1900 Bailey..... 5/57 B x I PROTECTIVE COVERSFOR LEG JOINTS 3,357,729 l2/l967 Krueger 1. 287/98 THEREOF 1 Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle  lnvemm' Kumo Sudo Tokyo Japan 1 Assistant Examiner-R. T. Stouffer  1 Assignee: Century Products, Inc., Cleveland, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-lsler and Ornstein Ohio  Filed: Nov. 15, 1972  ABSTRACT ] Appl. No.: 306,738 A baby walker is disclosed having foldable legs,
whereby the walker may be collapsed into a substan- 52 US. Cl 272/70.3, 108/1 15, 248/188.6, y form for h g "f l a 297/ t021111011l or eohnvemelrl ce 13 I an m]? olr storlzgle. k e [51 1m. (:1 A47d 13/04 f e 8 1 1, W 1 c s; -oc 18g  Field of Search 272/70, 70.3, 82, 83 R; w er 'f Z F 5/57 B; 280/8705; 287/86, 98, 297/5, f W 3 j f 136; 108/115, 127; 248/1886; 240/153 p ast1c coverrng 1s prov1 e or cdvermg t e eg omts to prevent m ury to the mfant or damage to furmture,  References Cited this (:overing betilrsg rnovablehdovzgwalrdly 'alontg tge UNITED STATES PATENTS fzfiedo expose e om s w en e egs are 0 e 3,504,927 4/1970 Seki 272/70.3 3,529,820 9/1970 Templeton 272/82 1 Claim, 8 Drawing Figures l \\\l a IT 8 IO l0 6 11 1 l 1 H 7 7 E 7 1 COLLAPSIBLE BABY WALKER WITH PROTECTIVE COVERS FOR LEG JOINTS THEREOF This invention relates, as indicated, to a collapsible baby walker.
Baby walkers have heretofore been provided which have collapsible legs, but in most instances, the mechanism for collapsing the legs in awkward to handle, and is usually exposed or provided with projecting parts which can cause injury to the infant as well as damage to furniture.
The present invention has, as its primary object, the provision of a baby walker of the character described, which can be quickly and easily collapsed into a substantially flat form, whereby to enable the walker to be shipped or transported in a relatively small carton or package, or conveniently stored in a relatively small space, in a closet or the like.
Another object of the invention is to provide a baby walker of the character described, having legs consisting of parts which are foldable upon each other to thereby collapse the walker into a small package, such parts being connected by means of joint members which can easilybe moved manually to permit such folding.
A further object of the invention is to provide a baby walker of the character described, in which the aforesaid joint member are provided with soft, flexible, coverings, which normally cover the joints to prevent injury to the infant as well as damage to furniture, yet can easily be moved away from said joints to expose the joints and permit the parts forming the legs to be folded upon each other.
Other objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout thesame,
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the baby walker in operative condition;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the walker, as viewed from the bottom of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view simlar to FIG. 2, but with the walker in its collapsed condition;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view, taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a view, partly in elevation, and partly in section, of one of the collapsible legs, in fully extended position;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view, taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view, taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 5, and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary elevational view, showing how the parts comprising the legs are folded upon each other.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the baby walker will be seen to comprise an annular table 1, preferably molded of plastic material, and having a hole 2 therein, the axis of which is in eccentric relation to the axis of the table 1, this hole or opening being provided for the body of the baby or infant which uses the walker.
The table 1 is also provided with a peripheral depending flange or skirt 3.
The walker is provided with a seat 4 for the baby or infant, which seat is also preferably molded of a plastic material, is resiliently'suspended from the table 1 by means 5, and is adjustable as to height. The details of such suspension means and means for adjusting the height of theseat form no part of the invention and need not be described.
The walker further includes a circular tubular metal base 6, which is of a diameter substantially greater than that of the table 1, and is disposed at a level below the seat 4, in parallel relationship to the table 1. The base 6 is supported by a plurality of circumferentiallyspaced caster wheels 7. The base, it may be noted, is I coaxial with the axis of the table 1.
The invention is concerned more particularly with the supporting legs which interconnect the table 1 with the base 6, and which will now be described.
In this instance, four circumferentially-spaced legs are employed.
Each leg comprises a lower portion of V-shaped conformation, formed from a single piece of wire or rod, bent to provide upwardly extending diverging arms 8 and 9, this portion of the leg being pivotally secured to cotter pins 10, which are secured to the base 6 in the manner shown most clearly in FIG. 4.
The arms 8 and 9 are provided at their upper ends with inturned flanges 8a and 9a.
Secured to the upper ends of each of the arms 8 and 9 is a joint member formed of sheet metal having a tubular lower portion 11, which embraces the portion of the arm 8 or 9 immediately below the flange 8a or 9a, and is provided with a hole 12., through which the flange 8a or 9a projects. Each joint member has its upper portion formed to provide an outwardly'facing channel 13 (see FIGS. 5, 6, 7 and 8), for a purpose to be presently described.
Each leg further comprises an upper portion of U- shaped conformation, formed from a single piece of wire or rod, bent to provide a base portion 14, which extends through holes 15 in the channel-shaped portions 13 of the joint members, and upstanding spaced arms 16 and 17, which terminate at their upper ends in outwardly-extending flanges 16a and. 17a respectively.
The lower portions of the arms 16 and 17 extend through the channel-shaped portions 13 of the joint members, and are normally retained in the bottoms of these channels, due to the inherent resiliency or tendency of the arms 8 and 9 to diverge from each other, causing the portions 13 of the joint members to bear against the arms 16 and 17, as shown in FIG. 6.
The flanges 16a and 17a are pivotallymounted in brackets 18, which are secured to the inner faces of the skirt or flange 3 of the table 1 by means of screws 19 and nuts 20.
In FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7, the legs are shown in their fully extended or operative condition, in which the arms 14-15 are locked against pivotal movement relatively to the arms 8 and 9 by the joint members 11-13.
For the purpose of covering the joint between the arms 14-15 and anns 8 and 9 while the arms are in such locked position, a tubular cover or shroud 21 is provided, which is preferably made of a soft molded flexible plastic material, this cover or shroud being frictionally secured to the joint, as best seen in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
This cover or shroud serves to protect the legs and arms of the baby or infant from coming into contact with any of the parts constituting the joints, and being injured, and also to prevent these joint parts from coming into contact with furniture, and thereby scratching or otherwise damaging it.
When it is desired to collapse the walker in the manner shown in FIG. 3, or to a position in which the table 1 and seat 4 are virtually enclosed within the base 6, for the purpose of enabling the walker to be shipped in a container or carton of relatively small depth, or to permit the walker to be stored in a relatively small space, this. is done in the following manner:
The covers or shrouds 21 are moved downwardly to the position approximately indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 5, thereby exposing the joints between the -upper and lower leg portions. The shrouds can be moved downwardly most easily on the legs by flexing the legs 8 and 9, as seen in FIG. 5, inwardly to the phantom line position and then lowering the shrouds to expose the joints between the upper and lower leg portions.
With the joints thus exposed, the arms 8 and 9 of the lower 'leg portions are manually flexed toward each other to thereby cause the joint members 11-13 to move to the position shown in broken lines in FIGS. 5 and 6. This causes the lower portions of the arms 16 and 17 of the upper portions of the legs to be exposed, so that they are no longer confined by the side walls of the channels 13, and the upper portions of the legs are free to be pivotally moved in relation to the hinge members.
Since the upper portions of the legs are pivotally I movable in the brackets 18, and the lower portions of the legs are pivotally movable in the heads of the cotter pins 10, the seat 1 can then be folded to the collapsed position shown in FIG. 3 or lower. This folding movement of the legs 16 and 17, at an intermediate stage in the folding, is also indicated by the broken lines in FIGS. 6 and 8.
For the purpose of limiting the flexing of the arms 8 and 9 toward each other, the base portion 14 of the upper leg portions is provided with protrusions 22 (see FIGS. 4, 5 and 6), which act as stops against which the joint members 11-13 bear.
When the walker is to be restored to its normal or op erative condition, it is only necessary to elevate the table 1 in relation to the base 6, so that when the arms 16 and 17 come into alignment with the arms 8 and 9, the resilience of the arms 8 and 9 will force the hinge members 11-l3 outwardly to the solid line position in FIGS. 5 and 6, thereby locking the arms 16 and 17 against pivotal movement relatively to the arms 8 and After this locking action, the covers or shrouds 21 are restored to the position shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7, to thereby cover the joints.
It is thus seen that I have provided a baby walker which can be collapsed into a substantially flat form for shipping or transportation in a small carton, or convenience in handling or storage, which has foldable legs having a hinged joint which is self-locking when the walker is in operative position, but can be easily unlocked when the legs are to be folded and which has plastic covers or shrouds for covering the leg joints to thereby prevent injury to the infant or damage to fumiture, and which are movable along the legs to expose the joints when the legs are to be folded.
It is to be understood that the form of my invention, herewith shown and described, is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes may be made in the shape, size and arrangement of parts thereof, without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the subjoined claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In combination with a baby walker, said walker comprising a table, a supporting base, and folding legs, each with a locking leg joint, pivotally connected to and interconnecting said table and base, each of said legs including a lower V shaped member, the free ends of which each terminate upwardly in an outwardly directed U-shaped channel locking member, an upper leg portion being generally U-shaped with the bight of said U extending between and through said channel members with the base of each leg of said U-shaped leg portion being normally locked within said U-shaped channel locking member, said upper and lower leg portions being selectively, pivotally disengageable by inward flexing of said lower leg portions and said U-shaped channel locking members, the invention comprising: a soft flexible protective cover dimensioned to encircle and selectively conceal said channel locking members, said cover including a soft molded one piece body having oppositely disposed major front and rear faces interconnected by side edge portions complementary to said channel locking members and each configured to conform to the locking portions of said leg and channel locking members, said cover defined by a generally tapering sleeve-like body and further including necked upper and lower extremities engageably encircling respective upper and lower leg portions of said folding furniture leg, said cover further dimensioned to slide along said leg in one direction to expose said joint but limited to sliding in an opposite direction to a sufficient degree to cover said joint, said cover being frictionally secured to said leg and said channel locking members when said lower leg portion and said channel locking members are in their outwardly extended position, said cover being freely slidable downwardly on said leg when said lower leg portion and said channel locking members are flexed inwardly sufficiently to disengage said channel locking members from said upper leg por-'