US 3844302 A
A collapsible umbrella, of the type including frame-defining two section ribs in which the outer rib sections are slideable along the inner rib sections between extended and contracted positions and a cover overlying the frame and secured to the umbrella notch and the inner and outer ends of the outer ribs, is provided with a spreader member including a hub mounted on the notch and outwardly sprung radially projecting resilient fingers underlying the crown of the cover. Advantageously, the hub and fingers are integrally formed of a synthetic polymeric resin and the fingers are interconnected by pliable flexible connectors which may be integrally formed with the fingers and are positioned between the unbrella ribs and cover, the fingers interdigitating the ribs. Upon contracting the closed umbrella ribs the fingers resiliently maintain the cover crown in an extended position permitting its manual shaping against the influence of the resilient fingers into a compact collapsed condition.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Klein 1 Oct. 29, 1974 COLLAPSIBLE UMBRELLA  Inventor: Harry Klein, Ft. Lee, NJ.
 Assignee: Telesco Brophey Limited, Montreal,
Canada 22 Filed: Mar. 15,1972
21 Appl. No.: 234,719
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 71,732, Sept. 14,
 US. Cl. 135/26  Int. Cl A45b 19/06  Field of Search 135/20 R, 25 R, 26, 33 R, 135/36 TP  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,258,196 10/1941 Siers 135/26 2,443,772 6/1948 Mappin.. 135/26 2,465,140 3/1949 Vila 135/20 R 2,475,446 7/1949 Cohen 135/36 TP 2,864,389 12/1958 Smith et al 135/36 TP 3,146,785 9/1964 lwashita 135/25 R 3,177,883 4/1965 Militano 135/20 R 3,693,643 9/1972 Weber 135/26 Primary Examiner-Peter M. Caun Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William R. Liberman, Esq.
[ 5 7 ABSTRACT A collapsible umbrella, of the type including framedefining two section ribs in which the outer rib sections are slideable along the inner rib sections between extended and contracted positions and a cover overlying the frame and secured to the umbrella notch and the inner and outer ends of the outer ribs, is provided with a spreader member including a hub mounted on the notch and outwardly sprung radially projecting resilient fingers underlying the crown of the cover. Advantageously, the hub and fingers are integrally formed of a synthetic polymeric resin and the fingers are interconnected by pliable flexible connectors which may be integrally formed with the fingers and are positioned between the unbrella ribs and cover, the fingers interdigitating the ribs. Upon contracting the closed umbrella ribs the fingers resiliently maintain the cover crown in an extended position permitting its manual shaping against the influence of the resilient fingers into a compact collapsed condition.
1 Claim, 15 Drawing Figures PATENTEUUCI 29 an SHEET 2 0F 4 ATTORNEY PATENTED UN 29 I974 33441302 SIEEI 30$ 4 INVENTOR HAkkY/QE/N 60AM IZ ATTORNEY COLLAPSIBLE UMBRELLA REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION The present application is a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser. No. 71,732, filed Sept. I4, 1970 now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to improvements in umbrellas and it relates particularly to an improved collapsible umbrella provided with a mechanism facilitating the compact shaping of the umbrella cover attendant to the collapsing of the umbrella.
Collapsible umbrellas generally include a shaft with telescoping sections permitting longitudinal extension and contraction thereof and ribs which are likewise formed of two sections relatively movable between longitudinally extended and contracted positions. In a collapsible umbrella of the above nature the rib outer sections are slideable along the rib inner, notch-pivoted sections and are hinged at their inner ends to spreaders which are connected to the runner. The umbrella cover is mounted at its center to the notch and is connected at points along its periphery and between its center and periphery respectively to the outer and inner ends of the outer rib sections. Thus, when the umbrella is closed, it may be collapsed by contracting the shaft which effects the contraction of the ribs by way of the runner and spreaders.
The collapsible umbrella of the above type possesses an important drawback and disadvantage. With the collapse of the closed umbrella frame the inner section of the umbrella cover is generally bunched into a bulky condition and must be manually reformed and compacted to permit the insertion of the collapsed umbrella into a mating sheath or envelope. This umbrella cover shaping operation is, at its best, awkward, inconvenient and time consuming, requiring a high degree of manual dexterity for optimum results and otherwise leaving much to be desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved umbrella.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved collapsible umbrella.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved collapsible umbrella of type provided with longitudinally contractable two piece ribs.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved collapsible umbrella provided with means for shaping the umbrella cover attendant the collapse of the umbrella to facilitate the application of a cover sheath thereover.
Still a further object of the presentinvention is to provide a collapsible umbrella of the above nature having a cover-shaping mechanism characterized by its simplicity, reliability, ruggedness, convenience, ease of operation and low cost.
In a sense, the present application contemplates the provision of a collapsible umbrellacomprising a shaft, a notch mounted on said shaft, a plurality of longitudinally contractable ribs hinged attheir inner ends to said notch and swingable between an open position extending outwardly from said notch and a closed position extending proximate said shaft, elements slideable along said ribs between positions proximate and remote from said notch with the contraction and extension respectively of said ribs, a cover member overlying said ribs and secured at its outer border to the outer ends of said ribs and at points between the center and periphery of said cover to said slide elements, said cover member including a crown section between the center of said cover and the points thereof secured to said slide elements, and fingers interdigitating the ribs and connected by flexible elements for resiliently outwardly spreading and maintaining said cover crown section when said ribs are in their closed contracted condition.
In the preferred form of the improved umbrella, the notch includes a circular base to the border of which the umbrella ribs are hinged and an integrally formed upwardly directed externally threaded hollow cylindrical section mounted on the umbrella shaft. The umbrella cover has a central opening engaged by a grommet which registers with the notch and cylindrical section and is locked in position by a screw cap engaging the threaded cylindrical section. The umbrella ribs include inner sections and outer sections longitudinally slideable along the respective inner sections, the umbrella cover being secured at its periphery and at inwardly spaced points to the outer ribs inner and outer ends.
The cover crown spreading means includes an annulus or hub sandwiched between the notch base and the cover grommet and resilient fingers projecting radially from the hub and sprung outwardly. The resilient fingers may be loops or sector-shaped elements formed of spring wire, resilient arms formed of synthetic organic ploymeric resins, or the like. The resilient fingers may straddle or interdigitate the ribs and in the latter case are provided with flexible connector elements which may be integrally formed with the fingers and overlie the ribs.
When the umbrella is closed, the resilient fingers are pressed inwardly by the overlying umbrella cover but upon longitudinal contraction of the ribs the upper or inner part of the cover is released and is spread uniformly outwardly by the resilient fingers and assumes an open dome or mushroom shape. The resilient open crown is easily and rapidly collapsed into a compact uniform condition by pressing axially downwardly on the cover crown to collapse the resilient fingers which assures the proper shaping of the crown in a manner which is optimum for ensheathing the collapsed umbrella.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of anumbrella embodying the present invention illustrated in a collapsed sheathed condition;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the unsheathed umbrella in a condition ready for insertion into a sheath;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational fragmentary view of the upper part of the collapsed umbrella showing the umbrella cover crown in an expanded condition;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view thereof shown with the umbrella cover partially broken away;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 5 5 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of another form of cover crown spreader in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 7 7 in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of still another form of cover crown spreader;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary end view thereof;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary top plan view of another embodiment of the present invention shown in an open condition with the umbrella cover partially broken away;
FIG. 11 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of the spreader notch assembly thereof;
FIG. 12 is a top plan view of a further embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 13 13 in FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is a plan view of another form of spreader member; and
FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken along line 15 15 in FIG. 14.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, particularly FIGS. 1 to 5 thereof which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention, reference numeral 10 generally designates the improved collapsible umbrella which is provided with a removable tubular cover or sheath 11. Except as will be hereinafter explained umbrella 10 is of generally conventional construction such as of the nature of the umbrella structures described in US. Pat. Nos. l,3l0,48l, 2,258,196 and 2,443,772.
Umbrella 10 comprises a longitudinally contractable shaft 12 including a tubular lower section and means for releasably locking shaft 12 in an extended position. Mounted on the bottom of shaft 12 for movement with the shaft lower section between upper rib lock and lower rib release positions is a handle 13 provided with a circular groove in its upper face for releasable engaging the umbrella frame rib tips. A loop or strap member 14 of any desired design may be connected in any suitable manner to the underface of handle 13.
Mounted atop shaft 12 is a notch 16 which includes an annular base section 17 and an upwardly directed, integrally formed coaxial cylindrical socket section 18 having a threaded outer face. The upper end of shaft 12 engages the bore in socket section 18 and'is firmly affixed therein in any suitable manner. Formed in the outer face of notch base 17 is a peripheral groove 19 which is intersected by a plurality of regularly circumferentially spaced vertical radial slots 20.
A plurality of longitudinally contractable ribs 21 is hinged to notch 16, each rib 21 including a channel shaped inner section 22 provided with an apertured flattened inner end 23 registering with a respective slot and swingably secured to notch 16 by a hinge ring or wire 24 nesting in groove 19 and engaging the apertures in rib flattened ends 23. The outer end of each rib section 22 is peripherally closed to form a tubular guide 26.
An outer rib section 27 terminating in a rounded tip 28 extends through each guide 26 and slideably engages the channel of a respective inner rib section 22, and is movable between longitudinally extended and retracted or contracted positions. A channel shaped slide element 29 engages each rib section 22 and terminates at opposite ends in collars 30 and 32 encircling inner rib section 22. Projecting inwardly from the side walls of slide element 29 are a pair of apertured ears 33. The inner end of outer rib section 27 terminates in a knuckle positioned between ears 33 and a pivot pin 34 engages the knuckle, ears 33 and the one end of a spreader 36 disposed between cars 33, the opposite end of the spreader 36 being connected to a runner which slideably engages shaft 12.
An umbrella cover 37, formed of cloth or other suitable material, is of convex concave configuration and provided with a central opening the border of which is engaged by an annulus or grommet assembly 38. Grommet 38 engages socket section 18 above notch base 17. The outer periphery of cover 37 is suitably secured at correspondingv points to rib tip elements 28 and slide elements 29. The crown or central section 40 of cover 37 which is delineated by points 39 and grommet 38 is free of ribs 21.
The accordance with the present invention means 45 are provided for resiliently spreading the cover crown 40 attendant the collapsing of the umbrella to facilitate its contraction into a compact state for insertion into sheath 11. In the subject structure, the crown spreading means comprises a hub defining annulus 41 which engages socket section 18 and is sandwiched between grommet 38 and notch base 17 and locked in position by an internally threaded cap member 42 engaging the externally threaded socket section 18 and bearing on grommet 38, cap 42 being provided at its base with an outwardly directed peripheral flange.
A plurality of resilient wire loop members 43 are supported by and project outwardly from annulus 41. Resilient loop members 43 underly cover 37 and extend from annulus 41 to points between grommet 38 and cover anchor points 39 and are medially embraced between cover 37 and alternate rib sections 22 in the umbrella open position. Each resilient loop 43 includes an arcuate outer section 44 and inwardly converging side legs 46 the inner ends of which register with and are affixed in corresponding radial bores formed in annulus 41.
Considering now the operation of the improved umbrella 10, in its open position shaft 12 is extended and the runner raised to fully extend and raise ribs 21 by way of spreaders 36 to hold cover 37 in a taut spread condition, as shown in FIG. 4, with resilient loops 43 positioned between cover 37 and rib sections 22. In order to close and collapse umbrella 10 the runner and spreaders 36 are lowered to lower extended ribs 21 to positions along shaft 12 and the cover border is locked in a closed condition by an encircling strap or band 47 secured to the lower border of cover 37 and provided with band closure snap fasteners in the known manner. Thereafter, shaft 12 is longitudinally contracted, rib tips 28 being engaged by and trapped in the groove in handle 13, to raise spreaders 36, the rib sections telescoping thereby to contract the ribs and relieve the radial extension of crown 40 by slide elements 21. With the contraction of the umbrella, the resilient loops or fingers 43 spread cover crown 40 outwardly and releasably retain it in a mushroom configuration as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5 of the drawing. The spreader fingerextended crown 40 is then manually downwardly compressed against the influence of resilient loops 43 which may be downwardly flexed and transversely contracted to a compact longitudinally extending condition hugging the underlying upper portion of cover 37, and in this highly compact condition the collapsed umbrella is inserted, upper or cap end first, through the spread open end of sheath 11 until the cap member 42 projects through a ring 48 positioned at the remote end of tubular sheath 11. The umbrella 10 may be extended and opened in a manner opposite to that described above.
In FIGS. 6 and 7 of the drawings there is illustrated another form of cover crown spreading means 50 which may be substituted for the crown spreading means in the umbrella 10, the umbrella being otherwise similar to that first described. Specifically the crown spreading means includes an annulus or hub 51 having a plurality of peripherally spaced rectangular sockets or a peripheral groove formed in the outer face thereof. A plurality of normally outwardly radially projecting resilient fingers 52 are mounted on annulus 51 each finger 52 being formed of a resilient synthetic organic polymeric resin tube compressed and flattened at its inner end, as at 52a, the flattened ends 52a registering with and secured in the peripheral sockets in annulus 51.
In assembly with an umbrella 10 the spreader means 50 is mounted on the notch member with the hub 51 sandwiched between the umbrella cover center grommet and the notch base section and with fingers 52 underlying the umbrella cover. The resilient fingers 52 are so related and positioned on the notch relative to umbrella ribs 53 that a resilient finger 52 is medially positioned between each successive pair of umbrella ribs 53, as shown in FIG. 6.
The operation of an umbrella provided with the cover crown spreader means 50 is similar to that of umbrella 10 as earlier described.
Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9 of the drawing which illustrates still another form of crown spreading means, reference numeral 54 designates a mounting annulus or hub having regularly circumferentially spaced upper and lower radial bores 56 and 57 respectively formed therein, the bores 57 being circumferentially spaced from bores 56 distances less than that between successive bores 56.
A plurality of radially projecting sector shaped resilient wire loops 58 are supported by and project radially from annulus 54. Each resilient loop 58 includes an arcuate outer section 59 and radial legs 60 converging from the outer ends of arcuate section 59 and engaging at their inner ends a pair of remotely spaced, successive, vertically staggered upper and lower bores 56 and 57, the legs 60 of adjacent loops 58 being spaced from each other. Thus, loops 58 lie in inclined planes so that when they are collapsed with the contraction and compression of the umbrella cover crown they are brought into unimpeded successively overlapping relationship. The spreader means are so mounted on the umbrella notch and the loops 58 are so dimensioned, related and positioned that a loop 58 is medially positioned between each open umbrella rib 61 and the umbrella cover.
The operation of the collapsible umbrella with the crown spreading means last described is similar to that of umbrella 10.
Referring now to FIGS. 10 and 11 of the drawings which illustrate another embodiment of the present invention which differs from those first described in the construction of the spreader member and its relationship to the umbrella ribs and notch, reference numeral 65 designates the improved umbrella which includes a notch 66, ribs 67, a cover 68 and a spreader member 69, the collapsible rib and frame structure being similar to that first described.
Notch 66 includes an annular base 70 provided with a channel 71 in its outer face to accomodate a hinge wire, and regularly circumferentially spaced radial recesses 72 intercepting channel 71 to swingably receive the inner ends of corresponding ribs 67. Coaxially projecting upwardly from base 70 is a tubular shank 73 having an externally threaded lower portion 74 and an upper portion 76 of reduced outside diameter. A pair of diametrically opposite vertical grooves 78 are formed in the outside face of shank 73. The notch 66 is mounted on the umbrella shaft in the manner earlier described.
Spreader member 69 comprises a normally flat body member 79 formed as an integral unit by molding or stamping, of a resilient synthetic organic polymeric resin such as polypropylene, polyethylene or the like. The body member 79 includes an annular hub portion 80 with outside and inside diameters about equal to these of notch base 70 and shank portion 74 and a pair of diametrically opposite inwardly directed rectangular ears 81 mating the lower parts of grooves 78. Radiating from hub 80 are regularly angularly spaced integrally formed resilient fingers 82 equal in number to ribs 67 and having slightly outwardly diverging side edges 83 and arcuate end edges, each of the fingers 83 having a pair of transversely spaced apertures 86 located proximate its outer end. The ears 81, groove 78, fingers 82 and notches 72 are so spatially related that when ears 81 register with grooves 78, fingers 82 medially interdigitate ribs 67.
Each of fingers 82 is coupled to the fingers adjacent thereto by easily pliable flexible connector elements which are defined by a flexible line 87 formed of any suitable natural or snythetic yarn or monofilament which extends between the successive fingers 82, interlacing the pairs of apertures 86 and suitably joined at their opposite ends. The length of the line 87 is advantageously such that when umbrella 65 is fully opened and fingers 82 underly the umbrella cover 68, line 87 is in a substantially taut condition.
In the assembled condition of umbrella 65, the hub 80 registers with shank 73, ears 81 engaging grooves 78, and the hub rests on base 70 with fingers 82 medially interdigitating ribs 87, and as in the first described embodiment, the central grommet engaged opening of cover 68 likewise engages shank 73 and rests on hub 80 and the assembled elements are locked in position by an internally threaded cap, corresponding to cap 42, engaging threaded shank section 74. The line defined connector elements 87 are located between ribs 67 and cover 68. The operation of collapsible umbrella 65 is similar to that of umbrella 10 except that in the opening of umbrella 65, ribs 67 bear on and raise the overlying connector elements 87 to urge the fingers 82 into firm engagement with the underface of cover 68.
in FIGS. 12 and 13 there is illustrated another embodiment of the present invention differing from that last described primarily in that the spreader member is integrally formed with the notch. In this embodiment the notch 90 includes a vertically bored cylindrical base 91 provided with a regularly notched peripheral groove 93 in its outer face corresponding to that in notch base 70. Coaxial with and projecting upwardly from base 91 is an externally threaded tubular shank 92.
An annular hub section 94 is integrally formed with the top face of base 91 and extends from shank 92 to the outer edge of base 91. A plurality of regularly circumferentially spaced resilient fingers 96, corresponding in number to that of the ribs of the associated umbrella frame, are integrally formed with and project radially outwardly from the lower peripheral face of hub 94, each of fingers 96 having outwardly diverging side edges 97. The confronting inner side edges of adjacent fingers are joined by thin collapsible gussets or webs 98 which extend outwardly along a fraction of the lengths of fingers 96 and are thinner than the fingers. Pairs of transversely spaced apertures 99 are formed proximate the free ends of fingers 96 and these are interlaced by a flexible line 100 in the manner of line 87.
A connector line similar to line 100 but interlacing pairs of apertures, located inwardly of apertures 99 may be substituted for or employed in addition to connector line 100.
The notch and spreader member may be injection molded as a unit of the resins described above and is suitably attached to the umbrella shaft. The central opening in the umbrella cover engages shank 92 and is locked in position by a threaded cap. The umbrella employing the integral notch and spreader last described operates in the manner of the earlier described umbrellas.
The use of a separate connector line for joining the spreader fingers, such as lines 87 and 100, may be obviated by substituting integrally formed highly pliable and flexible bands between the fingers, as in the spreader member 110 illustrated in FIGS. 14 and 15.
The spreader 110 includes an annular hub 111 with an axial bore 112 and having a pair of opposite locating lugs 113 directed inwardly from the face of bore 112. integrally formed with hub 11] and projecting radially therefrom are resilient regularly spaced spokes or fingers 114 of a number equal to that of the umbrella ribs. The outer ends of the fingers 114 are connected by a thin highly flexible pliable circular web 116 concentric with the hub 111 and integrally formed with the fingers 114.
Spreader 114 is employed in the manner of spreader 69 and is similarly associated with the umbrella ribs, notch and cover. The high pliability and flexibility of web 116 permits the collapse of fingers l 14 while transmitting the upward movement of the umbrella ribs to fingers 114. It should be noted that the flexible web may be spaced inwardly from the outer ends of fingers 114 and that the spreader is formed by injection molding from any suitable polymeric resin. Moreover, as in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, hub 111 may be part of or integrally formed with the umbrella notch.
While there have been described and illustrated preferred embodiments of the present invention, it is apparent that numerous alterations, addititions and omissions may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
1. In a collapsible umbrella of the type having an elongatable shaft, a cover, elongatable ribs under the cover with the cover connected thereto at points at the periphery of the crown region and being free from the ribs for a distance inward of those points, the umbrella having a notch to which the shaft, ribs, and cover are connected, the improvement that comprises the inclusion of a spreader which comprises an integral plastic star including hub and fingers, portions of said spreader that are spaced out from the hub lying over the ribs and under the cover, the notch comprising an integral molded plastic member that includes a horizontal base disk annularly channeled at its circumferential edge, with a plurality of regularly spaced vertical recesses intersecting the annular channel, an upstanding tubular shank whose lower portion at least is externally threaded, with a pair of diametrically opposite vertical grooves in the outside face of said shank.