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Publication numberUS3802133 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 9, 1974
Filing dateMay 30, 1972
Priority dateMay 30, 1972
Publication numberUS 3802133 A, US 3802133A, US-A-3802133, US3802133 A, US3802133A
InventorsGregory J
Original AssigneeGregory J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building structure
US 3802133 A
Abstract
A structure fabricated from two generally rectangular sheets of plastic or cardboard and provided with opposed, generally segmented elliptical notches or cut-out portions in opposed side edges of each sheet, each sheet being bent to an arch or inverted U-shaped configuration in order to comprise an arched covering with a lateral passageway therethrough provided by the elliptical cut-out portions. One of the arched sheets may be forced to overlie the other to provide two intersecting tunnels oriented 90 DEG with respect to each other. For example, the sheets are retained in their arched configurations by securing the opposed side edges of each sheet to a base member, or alternatively, by maintaining the opposed side edges in spaced relationship with a plurality of straps, each of which straps is secured to a respective side edge of a sheet by a dowel pierced through the strap and the sheet.
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United States Patent Gregory I [451 Apr.9, 1974 BUILDING STRUCTURE [76] Inventor: James R. Gregory, 78 Stratford Rd.,

East Brunswick, NJ. 08816 [22] Filed: May 30, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 257,848

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 634,759- 10/1899 Koch 285/150 1,214,928 2/1917 Lachman 52/668 426,112 4/1890 Colby 61/16 2,372,187 3/1945 Davison 52/86 1,111,040 9/1914 Stalker 46/21 1,691,411 11/1928 Royh 135/15 PQ 2,032,693 3/1936 Fries 52/668 2,061,510 11/1936 Drunpelmann 46/21 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 626,346 7/1949 1 Great Britain 52/86 Primary Examiner-Price C. Faw, Jr.

Assistant Examiner-H. E. Raduazo Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Fide1man, Wolffe, Leitner & Hiney 57 ABSTRACT A structure fabricated from two generally rectangular sheets of plastic or cardboard and provided with opposed, generally segmented elliptical notches or cut out portions in opposed side edges of each sheet, each sheet being bent to an arch or inverted U-shaped configuration in order to comprise an arched covering with a lateral passageway therethrough provided by the elliptical cut-out portions. One of the arched sheets maybe forced to overlie the other to provide two intersectingtunnels oriented 90 with respect to each other. For example, the sheets are retained intheir arched configurations by securing the opposed side edges of each sheet to a base member, or alternatively, by maintaining the opposed side edges in spaced relationship with a plurality of straps, each of which straps is secured to a respective side edge of a sheet by a dowel pierced through the strap and the sheet.

10 Claims, 7 Drawing lFigures BUILDING STRUCTURE The present invention relates to a structure and, more specifically, to a vault-like portable tunnel structure. The present invention is characterized by two in,- tersecting tunnel sections of sufficient height that they may be used, e.g., as a toy, concession stand, shelter, etc. Since two intersecting tunnel sections are utilized, a plurality of intersecting passageways are provided to allow the provision of plural exits through the tunnels or plural countersfor concession stands. Additionally, the particular configuration of the device lends stability to prevent its rolling or tipping. Further, the device may be made small enoughand sufficiently stable to permit children to vault or crawl over the intersecting tunnel sections, thereby permitting use of the invention as a vaulting device as well as a tunnel toy for children. The invention is easily fabricated to two intersecting inverted arched sheet materials and is easily disassembled for portability thereof.

FIG. 2 is an elevation of the device as illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a section along the line 33 of FIG.'1; FIG. 4 is a plan view of a rectangular sheet provided with opposed elliptical cut-out portions and forming one of the sections according to the invention as shown in FIG. 1;

The sheets of the structure of the present invention are retained in their arched configurations by securing the same by snap fasteners to a separate base which also acts to provide a floor for the intersecting sections. Alternatively, the sections may be placed directly on the ground which functions to provide a floor. In the latter practice, the sheets are retained in their arched configurations by a plurality of straps, each of which are of sufficient length to extend laterally across a section along the floor thereof and overlie the lower marginal portions of the section. The strap end portions and the lowermost marginal portions of the tunnel section are provided with complimentary aligned apertures for receiving locating dowels therethrough. Accordingly, the straps are secured to the sheets by means of dowels, thereby providing a construction which is readily assembled or disassembled. When a large structure (e.g., up to about feet high) is desired, more substantial framework should be provided. A conventional concrete foundation could be provided if a more permanent structure is desired. In this'case steel or other prepositioned means could be utilized to hold the sections. Further, a plywood or other wood base with upturned sides could be used if more size or support is neededfor the structure.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a building like structure.

Another object is to provide a portable camping structure or concession stand that is easily erected and disassembled.

.FIG. 5 isa plan view of a separate floor for the device as shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a strap which may be secured to the sections as shown in FIG. 1 in order to retain the sections in their arched configurations; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective of a section provided with the strap and with the locating dowels as shown in FIG. 6.

With more particular referenceto the drawing, there i is shown in FIG. 1 a structure generally indicated at 10 and comprising a first elongated section 12 and a second intersecting section 14. A floor 16 is secured to the sections as will be hereinafter explained.

With reference to FIG. 4, each of the sections 12 and 14 are fabricated from a single sheet of cardboard, plastic, metal or other sheet material. Further, the sheet material can be colored as desired and, when used as a toy, of sufficient strength of support the weight of children climbing or vaulting over the tunnel sections as shown in the completed device 10 of FIG. 1. For example, the tunnel. section 12 is provided at its oppositemarginal side edges 18 and 20 with generally U-shaped, or more particularly, elliptical cut-out portions 22 and 24, respectively. Additionally, the mar- A further object is to provide a playground device which functions either as a tunneling toy or a vaulting device.

An' additional object of the invention is to provide a device which is inexpensively and readily assembled and disassembled for portability thereof.

A further object of the invention is to provide a device which is readily disassembled for portability and readily. assembled in a sturdy, stable configuration to provide a safe playgroundidevice.

Other objects and many attendant advantages of the invention will be apparent upon perusal of the following description taken in conjunction with the drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is aperspective of the assembled structure according to the invention;

ginal portions of the sheet 12 adjacent to the side edges 18 and 20 are provided with a plurality of snap fasteners 26 and 28, respectively. When large structures are to be made in which the snaps are not of sufficient strength, dowels, bolts with large washers, prepositioned rods, etc. may be utilized. In addition, in some instances the snaps could be replaced with Velcro sealing pieces on the floor and arch portions. The remaining opposed side edges 30 and 32 of sheet 12 form the terminal end portions of the section as illustrated in FIG. 1, the details of which will be explained hereinafter. With reference to FIG. 5, the base or floor 16 can be fabricated from the same or a different plastic, cardboard, etc. or of wood, or any other suitable material with a general cross-configuration having extended aligned portions 32 and 34 and additional oppositely extended andaligned extended portions 26 and 38. A diagonally extending slit 40 is provided at the intersection of the extended portions 32 and 38. Similarly, a slit 42 is provided at the intersection of portions 34 and 38, a slit 44 is provided at the intersection of portions 34 and 36 and a slit 46 is provided at the intersections of portions 32 and 36. Provision of the diagonally extending slit 40 defines a pair of integral flange portions 48 adjacent to the slit 40 and integral with the extended portions 32 and 38, respectively. For example, the flanges 48 may be folded to upstanding positions generally along the dotted lines which are provided for the purposes of illustration only. Similarly, a pair of flanges 50 are defined adjacent the slit 42, a pair of flanges 52 are defined adjacent the slit 44 and a pair of flanges 54 are provided adjacent to the slit 46. As shown in the figure, for the purposes of illustration only, dotted lines further define the flanges 48, 50, 52 and 54. The flanges 50, 52 and 54 may be folded along their illustrated dotted lines to upstanding positions for purposes to be hereinafter explained. However, it is to be understood that the flanges provided could be formed in the base without requiring folding. Also, the flanges could be eliminated and the floor provided with spaced protrusions on the underside, or holes to position the sections. However, in this embodiment, the sections may need some positioning means roughly equivalent to the flanges to hold the structure in an acceptable shape.

In fabrication of the device, reference will be made to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The section 12 is bent to form an arch with the end portions 30 and 32 forming the outer terminal portions of the section as shown in FIG. 1. The arched sheet 12 is placed in overlying relationship upon the base 16 and, more specifically, in alignment over the extended aligned portions 36 and 38 of the base 16. The upstanding flanged portions 52 and 54 are secured, respectively, to the marginal portions of the sheet adjacent the side edges 20 and 18. As shown in FIG. 2, the snaps 56 on the flanges 52 and 54 are secured to the complimentary snap fasteners 26 and 28. In a similar fashion, the snap fasteners associated with the flanges 48 and 50 of the extended base portion 38 are secured to the remaining snap fasteners 26 and 28 of the sheet 12 in order to retain the arch configuration of the sheet and form the terminal end portion 32 of the section as shown in FIG. 1.

With reference to FIGS. 1,2 and 3, the tunnel section 14, which is configured exactly the same as the tunnel section 12, is bent to form an arched elongated section and is placed in overlying relationship on the section 12. It is understood that the section 14 is located 90 with respect to the section 12. The tunnel sections 12 and 14 respectively intersect along their elliptical cutout portions, such as portions 22 and 24 which are complimentarily aligned thereby. Accordingly, the elliptical cut-out portions provide passageways through the intersecting sections. It is understood that section 14- is secured to the remaining elongated portions 32 and 34 of the base 16 by securing the snap fasteners associated with the upstanding flanges 48, 50, 52 and 54 as heretofore described in conjunction with section 12. Thus, the base 16 not only provides a secured floor but also retains the bent sheet sections 12 and 14 in arched configurations. Additionally, the base 16 may be sized so as to maintain the arch shapes of sections 12 and 14 in segmented elliptical cross-sectional shapes, as shown in the drawings.

Accordingly, structure comprises two intersecting sections 12 and 14 which, when in use as a toy, enable a plurality of children to enter and leave the interconnecting passageways in a variety of directions. Further, the arch configurations, particularly if segmented elliptically, lend strength to the load supporting capabilities of the sections thereby enabling children to crawl or vault over the structure without danger of its collapse. The device lends itself to portability since, upon dismantling, the flanges on base 16 and the tunnel portions 12 and 14 can be readily collapsedto flat sheet configurations. When used as a tent, concession stand or other structure, the support feature is still present but size characteristics might require other positioning means than the straps, which means are discussed above. When such other uses are envisioned, a sealing strip or other sealing means which can be draped across the junctions of sections 12 and 14 may also be provided.

In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the separate base 16 may be eliminated, thereby enabling the ground upon which structure 10 is placed to act as the floor for sections 12 and 14. In the modified embodiment, sections 12 and 14 are fabricated as before with the exception that the snap fasteners 26 and 28 are replaced with apertures. As shown in FIG. 6, a strap 58 is provided with apertures 60 and 62 in its opposed end portions thereof. The end portions 52a and 54a of the strap 58 may be folded along the illustrated dotted lines (provided for the purposes of illustration only) to upstanding positions with respect to the remainder of the strap 58. The apertures 60 and 62 are provided to receive locating dowels, bolts or other positioning means 64 and 66, respectively, for a purpose to be explained.

With reference to FIG. 7, each of the sections, for example section 14 as shown in the figure, is provided with a plurality of the straps such as strap 58. More particularly, strap 58 is placed on the ground beneath the tunnel portion 14 and is of sufficient length to extend between the lateral sides 68 and 70 of the section'.The upstanding end portions 52a' and 54a of strap 58 overlie the side portions 68 and 70 with their apertures 60 and 62 respectively, overlying an aperture provided in the section. Locating dowels 64 and 66 are received in the complimentary aligned apertures therebysecuring strap 58 to section 14. Accordingly, strap 58 retains section 14in its arched configuration. It is understood that a plurality of like straps may be provided as described to ensure that sections 12 and 14 are retained in their arched configuration.

The structure 10 of the present invention may be sized from small enough to allow a child to crawl through it to large enough to act, e.g., as a concert hall.

Thus assembled vertical heights as low as 2 feet and as high as 25 feet or more may be tolerated. Of course, the

length of each section 12 or 14 can be varied to almost any desired length. However, the length and height of the assembled structure can be determinative of the floor or strap strength and material, as well as the material used therefor and the attaching means. The floor means can vary within the above described alternatives or may be of different structure, so long as the elliptical nature and strength of the structure are retained. For ease of portability in larger structures, prepositioned folding points may be provided, e.g., transverse to the elliptical curve and in this case, as well as in plain structures, vertical support means such'as telescoping poles 70 (as shown in FIG. 7) may be provided for vertical positioning between the floor 16, ground or straps 58, and the highest point in the structure. Positioning means are then provided in sections 12 and '14 in this appended claims.

What is claimed is: 1. A structure comprising a first arched section provided with inverted U-shaped cut-out portions, a second arched section overlying said first section provided with inverted, U-shaped cut-out portions, said sections being formed from resilient sheets of material biased toward the flat position, said second section intersecting said first section with the cut-out portions of said second section in complimentary alignment with the cut-out portions of said first section, thereby providing a plurality of intersecting passageways through said first and second sections, and removable means secured to each of said sections for retaining them in said arched configurations.

2. The structure of claim 1, wherein said removable means comprises a strap provided with apertures in its end portions thereof, and said sections are provided with complimentary aligned apertures, and said structure further includes locating dowels receivable in said complimentary aligned apertures of said strap and said sections.

3. The structure of claim 1 and further including a floor having extended portions extending beneath said intersecting sections.

4. The structure of claim 3 wherein said removable means comprises flange portions on said floor, said flange portions being so constructed and arranged for folding to upstanding positions, and fastening means being adapted for removably securing said flange portions to said sections.

5. The structure of claim 4 wherein said fastening means include snap fasteners.

6. The structure of claim 1 wherein each of said sections is fabricated from a single piece of sheet material, each sheet material being bent to an arch configuration defining the arch of the section, the arch configuration being load bearing and preventing the collapse of said tunnel section.

7. The structure of claim 6 wherein said cut-out portions are of segmented elliptical configurations, and said sections are bent to arch configurations having segmented elliptical cross-sections for supporting the weight of children climbing over said tunnel sections.

8. The structure of claim 1 wherein the intersection of said sections is further provided with sealing means adapted to prevent leakage into said structure.

9. The structure of claim 1 wherein said sections are further provided with vertical support means.

10. The structure of claim 9 wherein said supports are telescoping poles.

Patent Citations
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US1111040 *Nov 25, 1913Sep 22, 1914Ralph M StalkerKnockdown building structure.
US1214928 *Nov 15, 1911Feb 6, 1917Universal Electric Welding CompanyWindow sash or frame.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4078572 *Dec 27, 1976Mar 14, 1978Moss Charles WPortable shelter
US4715154 *Dec 10, 1984Dec 29, 1987Steelcase Inc.Space partition module
US4856242 *Dec 18, 1987Aug 15, 1989Steelcase Inc.Space partition arrangement
US4876832 *May 7, 1987Oct 31, 1989Wasserman Ervin WWalking power mower enclosure
US4988090 *Mar 23, 1989Jan 29, 1991Schmitt Marcella HPortable, safety, play furniture assembly
US5004297 *Jul 7, 1989Apr 2, 1991Schmitt Marcella HPortable, safety, play chair
US5046982 *Oct 20, 1989Sep 10, 1991Arlington-Hews, Inc.Construction apparatus
US5060426 *Apr 18, 1986Oct 29, 1991Hypertat CorporationBuilding structure
US5222513 *Dec 4, 1992Jun 29, 1993Hilliard Sarah MTent system
US5394897 *Jun 28, 1993Mar 7, 1995Ritchey; Michael T.Tent system
US5581960 *Sep 30, 1993Dec 10, 1996Lewis; Andrew K.Composite building structure
US5588265 *Aug 26, 1994Dec 31, 1996Gill; Danny A.Earthquake protective structure
US6701948 *Nov 24, 2001Mar 9, 2004Brian David JoppPortable shelter's modular shell including displaceable/connectable walls
US7611306 *Nov 3, 2009Infiltrator SystemsLeaching chamber with drain holes in base flange
US20060084361 *Oct 14, 2004Apr 20, 2006Favorito Anthony RToy vehicle accessory
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/86, D25/18, 52/80.1, D21/506, 52/222, 135/97, D25/17
International ClassificationE04B1/32
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/3205, E04B2001/3276
European ClassificationE04B1/32B