US 783769 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
No. 783,769. 7 PATENTED FEB. 28, 1905- W. J. WRIGHT. I
MOVABLE STAIRWAY. APPLIOATION FILED MAY ZO, 1904.
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I I A BY WW f MM v m 9 5 No. 783,769. PATENTED FEB. 28, 1905. W. J. WRIGHT. MOVABLE LSTAIRWAY.
APPLICATION FILED MAY 20, 1904.
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SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 1 83,7639, dated February 28, 1905.
Application filed May 20, 190d. Serial No. 208,954.
To (M115 w/tmn, it IIMI/Z/ cancer/1 Be it known that l, VVILLIAM J. XV mar-r1, residing at Franklin, in the county of Venango and State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new and lniproved Ylovable Stai rway,of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates to improvements in that class of movable stairways in which is embodied end less-conveyer devices that impart a lift movement to certain parts that are automatieally flexed or changed in their position to form stair treads and risers; and my said invention seeks to provide an improved stairlift or movable stairway of the character stated of a simple and economical construction that is operable with a maximum degree of safety under a uniform and regular motion with a minimum expenditure of power, that is entirely noiseless in its action, and which will effectively serve its intended purposes.
My invention in its generic nature comprehends an endless conveyor formed wholly of a flexible material and having a portion thereof so combined and cooperatively arranged with the remaining portion whereby when ascending or descending it flexes or changes its shape into risers and tread portions at points between the drive-pulleys, and when passing over the said pulleys the two portions assume the shape, as it were, of a single belt-section adapted to frictionally engage the drive-pulleys and in such a positive manner whereby severe and irregular strain on the complete endless conveyer is positively overcome.
My invention also comprehends an endless convcyer formed of two bands of different lengths that are wholly flexible, the one overlapping the other, with the outer overlapping or longer one joined with the inner or shorter band in such a manner as to assume a superimposed position with respect to the inner or shorter band as it passes over the drive-pulleys and to buckle up at points between the said pulleys to form stair-riser and tread members.
Again, this invention embodies a two-band endless conveyer of flexible material their entire length, the enter one having such connection with the inner one whereby it assumes a perfectly flat position against its mate as it passes over the drim-pulleys and buckles into a series of stair-risers and tread members as the two bands move in a straight line and in which the said conneetionsz'ue such as to permit of readily joining the outer hand to the inner in a manm r to suit the height and width of the riser and tread portions desired.
in its more subordinate features my invention also consists in certain details of construction and peculiar combination of parts, all of which will be hereinafter fully described, pointed out in the appended claims, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which- Figure 1 is a longitudinal section, part being in elevation, of a portion of my moving stairway. Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic sideelevation of my iln 'n'oved stairway. Fig. 3 is a top plan view of so much of my improved movable stairway as is shown in Fig. l. Fig. at is a cross-section of the same on the line t a of Fig. 1. Fig. 5 is a detail view of a slightlymodilied form of the conveyor-belt. Fig. (3 is a detail view of a portion of the outer band-section, and Fig. 7 is a detail view which illustrates one way of thickening the outer belt at a point where it joins the inner belt to increase the length of the said outer belt and the height and width of the riser and tread portions thereof.
In the accompanying drawings l have illustrated the general application of my invention, and in the said drawings A designates an upper landing or platform between the ascending and descending portions of the stai rway, and 1- ll indicate the lower floor-sew tions at the lower entrant and exit ends of the stairway. Located directly under the entrant and exit ends u. (1 of the upper lloor or plat form A are drive-pulleys U (1, over which the endless coru eyer passes, the peculiar construction of which forms the essential feature of this invention, and the said rollers are smooth, whereby to frictiomrlly engage with the conveyer it At suitable points under the lower lioorsection l5 it are mounted a pair of guide and drive pulleys l f" if.
C designates an idler-pulley located under the platform A midway thereof. This pulley acts a guide for the endless conveyer I) and also as a means for sagging the upper central or loop portion D of the said conveyer, whereby to hold the conveyer in a tight frictional engagement with the oppositely-disposed pulleys C C.
The conveyer D in my construction of moving stairway is composed of a pair of endless flat bands, an inner one (Z and an outer one cl, the latter being of a length sufliciently greater than that of the inner or short one whereby when passing over the several power and guide pulleys the two bands have a superimposed relation and form, as it were, a single belt portion that firmly grips and en gages the periphery of the several pulleys G C C C and flexes in such a manner so the conveyer D lies smoothly upon and in a plane perfectly concentric with the axis of the several pulleys over which the conveyer passes. This automatic flexing or adjusting of the outer band member of the conveyer with respect to the inner or shorter band eflects very advantageous results in that the several pulleys over which the conveyer passes are located close up to the edges of the platform and the floor-sections, and the conveyer is thereby allowed to run smooth and close up to the said edges of the opening in the upper and lower floors, so as to entirely close the gaps that would appear between the conveyer and the floor edges were the several rollers mounted away from the edges of the flooropenings, thereby making it impossible for passengers, especially children, getting their feet between the conveyer and the floor edges adjacent to the said conveyer. The two bands that constitute the conveyer D are of a suitable material wholly flexible throughout the length and breadth thereof, and in practice I prefer to use heavyrubber belting; but the said conveyer may be formed of leather, canvas, or other flexible material, or the outer band-section of the conveyor may be composed of a thin metallic band having suitable outer covering, as shown in Fig. 5.
The idler-pulley C has sprocket-like projections 4, so spaced that they will take in the angle or depressions :0 formed at those portions of the outer band e where the tread and riser members thereof merge, said form of idler being preferably provided to insure a regular guiding of the conveyer and forholding it taut against the drive-rollers C C, and in practice the said idler may be held springpressed against the conveyer.
In the practical application of my invention the conveyer D is arranged to run between side guides 12 12, that are supported upon brackets 15 15, secured to the platform and floor sections in a suitable manner and to sustain the stair-shaped or flexed portion of the conveyer-band as it passes over one guidepulley to the other, ascending or descending the outer band d at intervals midway the points where the said band is tacked or otherwise secured to the inner band, has lateral projections, which may he in the nature of rods 13, as shown in the drawings, secured in any suitable manner upon the inner face of the outer band cl. After passing over the drivepulleys the lateral projections 13 engage with straight grooves 12, formed in the side guides 12, (see Fig. 4,) and to facilitate the travel of the said projections they are equipped with friction-rollers 12. To further sustain the conveyer-belt in its adjusted position while travelingon the upper or down inclines, I provide a series of rollers 14, that are mounted upon rods 14:, which extend transversely from one guide 12 to the other and are so disposed that the rollers 14 thereof engage the under side of the inner band member (Z. To aid in the proper flexing of the outer band portion into a stair shape when passing in a straight line from one guide-roller to the other, the said outer-band at points in line with the projections 13 is grooved transversely, as at d, whereby to thin the band (Z at such points to increase the flexibility thereof centrally between the point where the outer and the inner bands (Z (Z are rigidly connected, and to further increase the flexibility of the outer band-section it may also be formed with transverse grooves rZ at each side of the points where it is joined with the inner band, as clearly shown in the drawings.
From the foregoing description, taken in connection with the accompanyingdrawings, it is believed the complete operation and advantages of my invention will be readily understood.
It is manifest that by reason of the conveyer being formed of an endless member flexible contm uously from end to end and comprising, as it were, two portions, an outer and an inner, joined in the manner stated, that in going around the drive and guide pulleys the two portions of the belt act as one belt and adapt themselves to firmly and smoothly grip the guide and drive pulleys, and when the conveyer (Z is traveling in a straight line either ascending or descending or under other conditions where the conveyer (Z passes straight over one pulley to the other the outer band portion of the said pulley buckles up or flexes to the stair shape.
1 prefer to use a rubber cloth-covered belt, as it provides for a noiseless conveyer, and such material is also desirable since it forms a firm base upon which to stand without danger of slipping. I desire it understood that the outer belt-section may be formed of an outer metallic band, having an outer covering or layer of rubber or other similar yielding but flexible material, the band portion and cover being made fast to the inner band portion in a manner similar to that shown in the other form of my invention.
To increase the height and width of the riser and tread portions formed by the opening of the outer band portion (Z, it is only necessary to thicken the outer belt-section at the point where it is tacked or otherwise secured to the inner band portion, as ilh'istrated in Fig. 7. The thickening at the said point may be produced by thickening the outer band at such points or by adc ling wedge portions ol wood or. other material between the inner and outer band portions at the said points. By increasing the thickness of the outer band at the points stated it will be noticed that the bending-line of the said outer band is at a greater distance radially from the axis drive-pulleys, and since the diameter of the outer band-section (Z is thus increased the length of the outer band is proportionately increased and the stairriser and tread portions are thereby length ened. The guide members 12 in practice, may be readily utilized for sustaining the hand and guard rails, as shown in Fig. 2.
I am aware that stair-lifts have been provided in which the conveyor is formed of a flexible member produced by joining a series oil links that can be flexed not only at the pivotpoints to form the tread and risers, but also between the said points, and I also am aware that stair-lift mechanisms have heretofore been provided in which the flexible sections of the conveyor have pivoted or lateral bearing members for engaging with lixed guides that serve to properly flex the Llli'lOlGIliJ por tions of the conveyor and also sustain the said flexed portion in their stair-shape positions.
My invention differentiates from what has heretofore been provided in this art, so far as I know, in the construction of the conveyor, which in my case consists of a continurms unbroken endless flexible member, a portion of which is adapted when traveling in a straight line between the guide or drive pulleys to automatically buckle up into a stair shape as the remaining portion thereof maintains its stair or endless-belt shape. My invention also differs from what has heretofore been provided, so far as 1 know, in the providingof an endless conveyer, which consists of an inner and an outer hand, both of which are flexed continuously their entire length, the enter one of which is longer than the inner and joined with the inner in such manner that in passing over the drive and guide pulleys it assumes a superimposed relation with respect to the inner band portion, whereby to provide, as it were, a solid and smooth boltsection'i'or taking around the pulleys and which at a point between the pulleys automatically assumes the desired angular or stair shape.
\lVhile I prefer to make the conveyor of a yielding body, like rubber cloth, whereby to l l l i I render the operation oi my improved stairway'practically a noiseless one, .l. desire to state that within the scope of the appended claims my invention may be modified without departing from the scope of the .said claims by making the outer belt-section entirely of metallic link members joined to the inner belt in a manner similar to that shown in the drawings and heretofore described and adapted when passing up or down the inclines to automatically buckle up and form the necessary stair shapes.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim, and desire to secure by Letters Patent, is--- l. In a movable-stairway mechanism of the character described; an endless carrying-belt composed of a flexible material throughout, means for driving the same, the said belt including a portion adapted to automatically flex to form treads and risers when traveling in a straight line, for the purposes specified.
2. in a stairway as described, in combination with a plurality of supporting-pulleys; of a conveyor supported upon the said pulleys composed of an endless member composed of flexible material throughout its entire length and. having a portion adapted to flex to form treads and risers when traveling in a straight line, for the purposes specified.
3. In a movable stairway ot' the character stated, the combinatioi'i with a plurality of supporting-pulleys, one or both of which are driven, of an endless conveyer that takes around the said pulleys which consists of a body composed of flexible material throughout its entire length and having a portion adapted to flex to form treads and risers when traveling in a straight line, and a means for firmly sustaining the flexed portions as they pass from one pulley to the other, for the purposes specilied.
In a stairway of the character described, the combination with a plurality of pulleys one or more of which may be driven; of an endless conveyer that takes around said pulleys which consists of an uninterriu'ied band composed of flexible material throughout its entire length and havinga portion adapted to flex to form treads and risers as it moves in a straight line, means for sustaining that portion of the band not flexed, and a slujJporting means for sustaining the other portion in its flexed position, for the purposes specified.
5. In a moving stairway ol the character described; the eombination with suitable drivepulleys; of an endless conveyer wholly flexible its entire length, said conveyor consisting of a pair of bands having superimposed relation, the outer band being transversely secured to the inner band at suitable intervals and adapted to automatically flex into stair shapes between. the points of connection when the conveyor is traveling in a straight line as set forth.
6. In a movable stairway of the character stated; the combination with suitable drivepulleys; of an endless conveyer wholly flexible its entire length and consisting of a pair of bands having a superimposed relation, the outer band being transversely connected to the inner band at suitable intervals and provided with undercut grooves midway the pointsof connection with the inner band, substantially as shown.
7. In a moving stairway of the character described; the combination With suitable drivepulleys; of an endless conveyer wholly flexible its entire length, said conveyer consisting of a pair of bands having a superimposed relation, the outer band being transversely connected to the inner band at suitable intervals, and provided with undercut grooves at each side of the points of connection with the inner band, for the purposes specified.
8. In a movable stairway of the character described; the combination with upper and ing in a straight line, the flexible portion having lateral projecting members, the side guides having grooves with which the said lateral projecting members engage and transversely-disposed supports mounted in the said side guides over which the endless conveyer passes, for the purposes specified.
WILLIAM J. WRIGHT.
FRED Gr. DIETERIOH, JOHN L. FLETCHER.