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Publication numberUS489227 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 3, 1893
Filing dateFeb 4, 1892
Publication numberUS 489227 A, US 489227A, US-A-489227, US489227 A, US489227A
InventorsJ. Ensign Fuller
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
fuller
US 489227 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.) 3 Sheets-Sheet I.

- J. E. FULLER. APPARATUS FOR FORMING, MAINTAINING, AND RENEWING THE ICE moons 0F SKATING RINKS.

No. 489,227. Patentd Jan. 3, 1893.

INVENTOH K Q; ATTORNEY.

(No Model.) 3 Shets-Sheet 2.

J. E. FULLER. APPARATUS FOR FORMING, MAINTAINING, AND BENBWING THE ICE FLOORS 0F SKATING RINKS.

No. 489,227. Patented Jan. 3, 1893.

' ATTORNEY.

THE NNNN ls PETERS on. PMOTO-L'ITHO. wrsnmmn, n. c.

A (NoModeL) 3 Sheets -Sheet 3.

J. E. FULLER.-

APPARATUS FOR FORMING, MAINTAINING, BENEWING THE 1013 FLOORS 0F SKATING RINKS.

I No. 489,227. Patented Jan. 3, 1893.

I 7 2775. 4,3 *2, I {L5 giwgmwm ATTORNEY.

J. ENSIGN FULLER, OF NEW YORK, N. Y.

APPARATUS FOR FORMING, MAlNTAlNING, AND RENEWING THE ICE-FLOORS 0F SKATING-RINKS.

SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 489,227, dated January 3, 1893.

Application filed February 4, 1892.

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, J. ENsIeN FULLER, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the city and county of New York, in the State of New York, have invented certain new and use ful Improvements in Apparatus for Forming, Maintaining, and Renewing the Ice-Floors of Skating-Rinks, of which the following is a specification, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

When the ice-floor of a skating rink,in which the same is produced by artificial means, is first frozen, it is almost impossible to produce a perfectly level skating surface thereon by the process of freezing alone; and it is usually found necessary to plane off the inequalities of such surface before the same is in a condition to allow skating thereon. As soon, however, as the rink has been used for a few hours, the ice surface becomes so cut up and roughened by the sharp skates of those using the same, that it is no longer fit for use, and it is necessary to renew such skating surface in some manner. lIeretofore this has been accomplished either by flooding the ice-floor to the depth of an inch or two and then freezing the film of water so added to the ice-floor beneath it, or by allowing the ice-floor to wholly melt, and then refreezing it. By either of these processes it has been found practically impossible to produce a skating surface which is fit to be used without being first planed to a level, and by the latter, the expense of operating the rink is much increased, by reason of the great quantity of refrigerant, which it is necessary to use each day, in order to freeze the entire body of water, which when turned to ice, constitutes the skating surface. It has also been found that after the ice-floor has been formed, and is ready for use, except in exceedingly cold weather, it is necessary to constantly use a large quantity of refrigerant in order to prevent such ice-floor from melting, and as the larger the rink the greater the amount of air which must be cooled in order to prevent such melting, the expense of maintaining rinks with large skating surfaces is enormous, by reason of the large quantity of refrigerant which must thus be used in maintaining as well as formingtheice-floorsthereof.

By reason of the several difficulties before Serial No. 420,313. (No model.)

erence designate like or equivalent parts wherever found throughout the several-views, and in which: i

Figure 1, is a view in perspective of theinterior of a rink provided with my improved apparatus, and ready for skating, parts being broken away in order to more fully show the construction thereof; Fig. 2, a view, in central vertical cross-section, of a rink provided with my improved apparatus, showing part of that portion of the apparatus used for covering and preserving the ice-floor when not in use, in position, Fig. 3, a view in central vertical section of a portion of two of the sections of such insulating cover by which the ice-floor is preserved, showing the manner of attaching the hoisting ropes thereto, Fig. a, a plan view of the arrangement of the gearing by which the various sectionsof such insulating cover are hoisted from the ice-floor so that the same be used for skating, Fig. 5, a detail view on an enlarged scale of one side of the ice-floor of the rink, with the insulating cover in position thereon, showing the device for renewing the skating surface of the ice-floor, and Fig. 6, a view of the ice-floor in cross section, showing a modified form of cover to be used in renewing the skating surface in position thereon.

Referring to the drawin gs:.'lhe numeral 1, designates a watertight basin, having a thick floor 2, and thick side walls, 3, made of any suitable insulating and water-tight material. \Vithin this basin 1, are arranged a series of pipes 4:, preferably in the form of loops, as shown in Fig. 1, which communicate at one end with a small header 5, and at the other with a larger header 6. The small header 5, is in communication with a supply of liquid anhydrous ammonia, or other refrigerant, supply through a pipe 7, and the large header 6,

' erably slants upward as shown, and the pipe 10, is provided with perforations 13, on the upper outward side thereof, through which the hot air or steam may be projected therefrom in an upward and outward direction.

The ice-floor 14, of the rink, when not in use for skating, is preserved and kept from melting, by being covered with a cover 15, which is preferably of the form of construction shown in detail in Fig. 3, and for convenience in handling is preferably made in sections. Each section thereof consists of a light frame-work of boards 16, suitablybraced, and

"held together, by rods of iron 17, provided with a cover 18, and bottom 19, of thin boards, canvas, tarred-paper, sheet metal, or any other suitable material, either singly or in combination with others. However, the bottom, and preferably both sides, of each of said sections of the cover 15, should have an outer covering, at least, of some material which is thoroughly waterproof, in order that no dampness may penetrate to the filling of such sections. The longitudinal chambers between the boards 16, of the frame-work, are also preferably cut up into squares by cross-partitions 20, and the spaces thus left are packed with a filling 21, of light insulating material such as mineral-wool, or ground cork; the purpose of the partitions 20, being to prevent such insulating material from shifting, as the cover is from time'to time moved.

A tight-joint is formed between the edges of the cover 15, and the side walls 3, of the basin 1, and between the abutting edges of the various sections of such cover, in any desired manner,preferably by having such edges formed rounded as shown, of canvas or other flexible material, filled with an elastic filling 21, such as cotton, or the like, which will be compressed so as to forman air-tight joint, when the various sections are lowered into position on the ice-floor. On the under side of this insulating cover 15, are preferably secured short-legs 22, provided with rubber feet 23, which rest upon the ice-floor 14, when the cover is in position thereon, and serve to support said cover at a short distance above the surface thereof, as shown in Figs. 2 and 5.

Although the various sections of the insulating cover 15, may be placed upon and removed from the ice-fl0or 14, in any desired manner, and by means of any suitable mechanism, I prefer to use the form of device shown in Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 4, for that purpose. This mechanism consists of two or more revoluble shafts journaled in hangers 25, which are suspended from the ceiling of the rink. These shafts are each provided with bevelgear wheels 26, meshing with corresponding bevel-gear-wheels 27, mounted upon a shaft 28, having a driving pulley 29, through which power is transmitted thereto, such shaft 28, being also supported by hangers 30, similar to those which support the shaft 24. Each of the shafts 24, has rigidly mounted thereon, so as to be rotated therewith, two or more drums 31, adapted to "receive and wind upon themselves when rotated, ropes or chains 32, the lower ends of which are secured to the top of a section of the cover 15, by means of a hooked turn-buckle 33, and ring 34, secured to such section in any desired manner.

It will be seen that a hoisting apparatus of the form described, is provided for each of the various sections of the cover 15, and as each of them is operated separately, the cover may be hoisted or lowered, with but a small expenditure of power. The two gear wheels 27, are of the same diameter, as are also the two-gear-wheels 26, meshing therewith, consequently a rotation of the shaft 28, causes a synchronous rotation of the two shafts 24, carrying the drums 31, which being also each of the same diameter, wind up the same quantity of rope at each revolution, and thus the section of the cover 15, hoisted thereby, is kept in a level position at all times; any departure from a level position, caused by uneven stretching of the hoisting ropes 32, being easily corrected by a manipulation of the turn-buckles 34. Power may be applied to this hoisting apparatus, by means of a rope 35, coiled upon the pulley 29, or in any other convenient way.

The bottom of the cover 15, being somewhat unsightly, the same is preferably hidden from view when the various sections thereof are raised, by a flexible curtain or false ceiling 36, of any suitable material, such as bunting or canvas, which may if desired be decorated in a suitable manner, which is drawn beneath the raised cover 15, and there supported, by any convenient means. This curtain or false .ceiling 36, when not in use is preferably rolled upon a revoluble roller 37, located at the side of the rink, as shown, in Figs. 1 and 2, and is preferably drawn across the rink beneath the raised cover 15, and held in position when desired, by means of wires or ropes 38, reeled upon drums 39, located at convenient points along the rink, upon the side thereof opposite to that upon which is located the roller 37. These wires or ropes 38, are secured to the edge of the curtain or false ceiling 36, in any convenient manner, preferably by means of hooks 40, se-

cured to such wires or ropes, and hooking into grommets formed in said curtain for that purpose as shown. These wires or ropes 38,

may be unhooked and coiled upon the drums 39, when it is desired to lower the cover 15, or they may be so placed as to correspond to the spaces between the ends of the various sections of the cover 15, in such manner that said sections may slip by them when raised or lowered; and if the rink be a large one, the

curtain or false ceiling 36, for convenience in handling, may be made in sections.

Although in Fig. 1, I have shown the cover 15, as in sections which are one-third the width of the basin 1, and in Fig. 2, as in sections which are one-half the width thereof, it is evident that the number of such sections may be increased or diminished, and that if the basin 1, be small enough, such cover may be made in but one section of sufficient size to cover the entire basin, without departing from the scope of my invention.

The operation of the apparatus is as follows:'lhe basin 1, being first flooded with water to a depth of say from six to eight inches, and sufficient to cover the pipes 4, to

at least a depth of two inches, the cover 15, is

lowered so as to cover the water in the basin 1, but not sufficiently far for the legs 22, to reach the water therein. Liquid anhydrous ammonia being then admitted to the small header 5, through the pipe 7, passes therefrom through the pipes 4, to the large header 6, from whence it passes through a pipe 8, to an absorber or compressing pump, not shown, located at any convenient point. In its passage through the pipes 4, this liquid anhydrous ammonia is expanded into a gas or vapor so rapidly that it takes up the latent heat in the water in the basin 1, and in con sequence such water is soon frozen into a solid sheet of ice 14. The cover 15, being then raised and the inequalities of the surface of the ice, caused by the bulging and heaving of certain parts of the ice-floor, invariably present in the freezing of large surfaces, being scraped or planed off, until the entire surface is reduced to a level, the rink will be ready for skating. A few hours use of this ice-floor will so cut up and roughen the same, that it will no longer be fit for use, and it is then necessary to replace the roughened surface thereof by a new surface of smooth ice, which shall be fit for skating. In order to do this, the fine particles of ice which have been cut therefrom by the sharp skates, together with the grit and dirt which have necessarily collected on such ice-floor, are first removed by sweeping with stiff brooms, or in any other convenient way, and the cover 15, is then lowered into position so as to completely cover the basin 1, but so that the rubber feet 23, of the legs 22, thereof, are from two to three inches above the surface of the ice-floor 14. Steam or hot air under pressure being then admitted to the pipes 12, passes therefrom through the pipes 11, to the pipes 10, from which it escapes through the perforations 13, into the confined space between the bottom of the cover 15, and the top of said icefloor 14. During this operation, there being no anhydrous ammonia passing through the pipes 4, the hot air or steam soon melts the surface of the ice-floor, to say the depth of an inch or so, throughout the entire basin 1; when the hot air or steam being shut ofi, and if desired a small quantity of fresh water admitted to the basin 1, to take the place of the ice removed bysweeping,anhydrous ammonia is admitted to the pipes 4, as hereinbefore described, and the thin film of water on top of the ice-floor is soon converted into ice, and

frozen solidly to the six or eight inches of ice already below it, but inasmuch as this large body of ice below, has bulged and heaved all that it possibly can when originally frozen, this renewed surface will be found to be substantially level, and ready for use as soon as frozen, without being scraped, planed or otherwise leveled.

Sometimes when steam is used. to melt the surface of the worn and roughened ice floor, as hereinbefore described, the same is not turned 05 when the anhydrous ammonia is admitted to the pipes 4, and when it is thus allowed to continue to flow into the space between the top of the ice floor and the bottom of the cover 15, during the operation of freezing the new surface, such steam is condensed, and falling upon the ice-floor in the form of a mist, freezes quickly thereto, and thus assists in forming a perfect glare-ice skating surface, as well as in making up for the loss occasioned by the removal of the sweepings of ice, cut from the floor by the'skaters.

When not in use for skating, and when not undergoing the process of renewal, the icetloor 14, is kept preferably covered by the cover 15, which is lowered so that the rubber feet 23, of the legs 22, rest upon the surface thereof, thus taking the strain from the hoisting apparatus, and when so covered by this insulating cover 15, it will be found that the ice-floor may be preserved intact for days, with the use of but little, if any refrigerant.

If the steam or hot air were admitted to the space between the top of the ice-floor and the bottom of the cover in a downward or even a horizontal direction, it would have a tendency to plow or furrow out the surface of the ice, and to avoid this difficulty I prefer to have such steam or hot air issue from the pipe 10, at the upper outer side thereof, as shown in Fig. 5, so as to strike either against the under sideof the cover 15, or the upper wall of the groove 9, and thus be deflected toward the center of the rink. By this means, as the pipes 10 and 12, are preferably arranged on all four sides of the basin 1, and the hot air or steam, is thus directed from all sides toward the center at once, the hot air or steam will come into contact with the ice at the center almost as soon as it does with that at the sides, and in consequence the melting of the surface of the ice-floor will be practically equal at all points, and the renewed surface when frozen therefore substantially level.

hen steam is used in this process of re- IIO newing the surface of the ice-floor, and the same is allowed to issue from the pipes 10, during the process of freezing, much of the water condensed therefrom will be deposited and frozen upon the legs and under surface of the cover 15, and this melting and dripping upon the ice-floor after said 'cover is hoisted will annoy the skaters, when the curtain or false ceiling 36, is not used, and discolor and spoil the appearance of such curtain when it is. To overcome this difficulty, the modified form of construction shown in Fig. 6, may be used. In this form of the device, a flexible curtain 41, is stretched tightly across the basin 1, just above the pipes 10, and the steam or hot air is then admitted to the space between such curtain and the ice-floor, as hereinbefore described. This curtain 41, when not in use, is preferably rolled upon a roller 42, located in a recess 43, and passes through a slit 44, made for that purpose in the side wall 3, of the basin 1, and between rollers 45, which clear the same of the ice which has formed thereon from the water condensed from the steam, when the curtain is drawn back and rolled upon, the roller 42. This curtain 41, may, of course, be used in connection with the cover 15, or separately therefrom, and when such insulating cover 15, is not used, a second flexible curtain 46, may be drawn across the basin 1, a short distance above the other, and these two curtains with the air space between them will also act as an insulating cover for the rink, when the same is not in use, and will protect the ice-floor from melting to a certain extent, although not near as effectively as will the cover 15, packed with insulating material.

It is evident that other refrigerant than anhydrous ammonia, and other means than the pipes 4, may be used for freezing the icefloor, and that the same may be formed in any manner; also that many modifications in the construction, combination and arrangement of the various parts of my improved apparatus for forming, maintaining and renewing the ice-fioors of skating rinks, other than those mentioned, may be made without departing from the scope of my invention, and I do not limit myself to any particular form or mode of constructing the same, but

Having described my said invention, its construction, and the manner of operating the same, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:-

1. The combination with the ice-floor basin of a skating-rink, of a removable insulating cover therefor, a series of ropes or chains attached to such cover by which the same may be hoisted from or lowered into position, a series of drums upon which the ropes or cables may be wound, and means for synchronously rotating said drums, so as to hoist or lower the cover and maintain the same in a horizontal position at all times, substantially as shown and described.

2. The combination with the ice-floor basin of a skating-rink, of a removable cover therefor, and means for introducing heated gases or vapors into the confined space between the surface of the ice-floor and the cover, substantially as shown and described.

3. The combination with the ice-floor basin of a skating-rink of a removable cover therefor, and perforated heating pipes arranged around the walls of the basin, and adapted to discharge their contents into the basin beneath the cover, but above the ice-floor, substantially as shown and described.

4.. The combination with the-ice-floor basin of a skating-rink, of a removable cover therefor, and heating pipes adapted to discharge their contents into the space between the ice fioor and the cover, in an upward direction, arranged around the wallsof such basin,.substantially as, shown and described.

5. The combination with the ice-floor basin of a skating-rink, of a cover therefor, mechanism whereby said cover may be hoisted and suspended above the basin, and a curtain or false ceiling adapted to be drawn under and held suspended beneath the raised cover, substantially as shown and described.

6. In a skating-rink, the combination with the. ice-floor, basin thereof, of a removable'insulating cover therefor, provided with short legs secured thereto and adapted to support the same, and a heating pipe or pipes arranged along the walls of the basin, and adapted to discharge the contents thereof beneath the insulating cover and above the icefloor when the cover is in position upon such ice-floor, substantially as shown and described.

7. A removable insulating cover for the icefloors of skating-rinks, having a rigid body portion, and compressible elastic edges, as 21, whereby a tight joint may be formed-between the same and abutting surfaces, substantially as shown and described.

Signed at the city and county of New York, in the State of New York, this 1st day of February, A. D. 1892.

J. ENSIGN FULLER.

Witnesses:

JOHN S. O. BAILEY, O. L. DAVIS,

Referenced by
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US4774777 *Mar 4, 1987Oct 4, 1988Adrian BrochuMethod of collecting, preserving and repositioning snow on a ski slope