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Патент USA US3054423

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Sept. 18, 1962
R. w. ESHELMAN
3,054,413
SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR COLLAPSIBLE SHELTERS
Filed Feb. 26, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
INVEN TOR.
ROBERT W. ESHELMAN
BY
@444“ 7%
ATTOR
Y
Sept. 18, 1962
R. w. ESHELMAN
'
3,054,413
SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR COLLAPSIBLE SHELTER-S
Filed Feb.’ 26, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
ELIE-.3
I
INVENTOR.
BY
ROBERT W. ESHELMAN
£0,“ 7% E544
ATTORNE
grates atent
fice
3,054,413
Patented Sept. 18, 1962
1
2
3,054,413
tubular, open-ended pockets 18 for receiving the ribs 10.
The lower ends of the ribs, after passing through the
pockets 18, preferably pass through grommets 20 in a
SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR COLLAPSIBLE
SHELTERS
ground cover or floor 22 of suitable ?exible material.
The ?oor 22 is sewn or otherwise secured to the lower
Robert W. Eshehnan, Ann Arbor, Mich, assignor to
King-Seeley Thermos (30., a corporation of Michigan
Filed Feb. 26, 1960, Ser. No. 11,275
5 Claims. ((31. 135-4)
edges of the sides of the shelter. A door opening 24
closed by a slide fastener 26 ‘and a window opening 28
closed by a ?ap 30 may also be provided.
When the shelter is erected in position for use as in
FIGURE 1, the cover 14 is held distended in hemis
This invention relates to improvements in collapsible
shelters, and particularly to an improved support structure
for such shelters.
pherical shape by arcuate stressing of the support ribs
In shelters of the type with which the present invention
10, which are connected together and locked in stressed
is concerned, a ?exible cover is arranged to be distended
position at the top center of the assembly by means of
and supported by resilient ribs to form an enclosure. The
the connector and locking head 12.
ribs are pivotally attached to a central connecting unit. 15
As shown in detail in FIGURES 2 and 3, the rib con
When the shelter is collapsed, the ribs are straight and
nector portion of the locking head 12 comprises three
approximately parallel to each other, with the cover folded
sectored discs 32, 33, 34. These three discs have match
between the ribs. When the shelter is erected, the ribs
ing, circumferentially-spaced, radial slot-s 36 for accom
are pivoted and stressed, usually in arcuate shape, into
modating the end portions 38 of the ribs 10‘. These end
distending relation to the cover.
20 portions 38 may comprise rigid sleeves in which the re
It is a general object of the present invention to provide
silient ribs are inserted, or the ribs may themselves extend
an improved support structure for shelters of the fore
to the connector 12, depending on the rib material. In
going type that requires a minimum of manipulation for
this instance, the sleeve construction is shown.
erecting and collapsing the structure, and that is sturdy
As best seen in FIGURE 3, additional chordal slots 40
and reliable yet simple and inexpensive to manufacture. 25 are provided in the intermediate disc 33 for receiving pivot
It is another object of the invention to provide a shelter
pins 42. The chordal slots 43 are spaced slightly inwardly
support including a connecting and locking means for
from the periphery of the disc 33 and intersect the radial
support ribs that will insure maximum reliability and
slots 36 at right angles thereto. The pivot pins 42 extend
simplicity of maintenance by providing for independent
through the end portions 38 of the rib sleeves or ribs at
attachment and for replacement of individual support ribs.
right angles thereto near the ends thereof.
7
It is a further object of the invention to provide a lock
The intermediate and lower discs, 33 and'32, respec
ing head for the resilient ribs of a collapsible shelter sup
tively, have corresponding central openings 44 to ?t snugly
port assembly, wherein the act of stressing the ribs during
on a tubular hub 46, being seated against a shoulder 48
assembly will result directly in locking them in stressed
formed by a portion 50 of reduced outside diameter at
relation to the cover without further manipulation.
35 the upper end of the hub.
The discs 32, 33 are locked
in place on the hub 46, with their radial slots 36 in
come apparent during the course of the following de
registry, as by swaging over a protruding end portion 52
scription of the accompanying drawings, wherein:
of the hub.
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of a collapsible shelter
The upper disc 34 has a somewhat larger central open
embodying the invention, with portions of the cover and 40 ing 54 than the intermediate and lower discs 33, 32, to
ribs omitted and with certain parts exaggerated to bring
accommodate the swaged end 52 of the hub, and is pro
out the construction more clearly;
vided with a plurality of tapped holes 58 for receiving
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be‘
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged side elevation of the com
assembly screws 60 inserted through registering holes 62
plete connector and locking head assembly for the shelter
in the lower and intermediate discs 32, 33.
shown in FIGURE 1, being taken partly in section along 45 When the three discs 32-34 are clamped together by
the line 2-2 of FIGURE 3.
FIGURE 3 is a horizontal section view of the assembly
of FIGURE 2, taken on the line 3—3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section view of the lower por
tion of the assembly of FIGURE 2, taken on the line 4-4 50
the screws 6%), they form a connector assembly on the
hub 46 in which the upper and lower discs 34, 32 co
FIGURE 5 is a side elevation of the connector and
readily replaceable connections for each rib, for ease of
assembly and for individual rib replacement if needed.
of FIGURE 2;
locking head assembly, showing the parts in position as
when the shelter is collapsed,
operate with the chordal slots 44) in the intermediate disc
33 to form passages enclosing the pivot pins 42, there
by to provide a pivotal mounting for the rib end portions
38.
It will be seen that this provides independent and
The disc assembly hub 46 also serves as a bearing for
FIGURE 6 is a side elevation of a shelter embodying 55 an axially slidable shaft 64 which extends through the
the invention, partly in section, with the ribs partly ibowed
hub 46 from a locking abutment plate 66. This plate 66
as during the erection of the shelter, and with the cover
is substantially coextensive with the discs 32~34 and is
being omitted except for its upper central portion where it
is attached to the connector and locking head.
Referring to FIGURE 1 of the drawings, there is shown
a collapsible shelter assembly embodying the invention
and comprising a frame structure including a plurality of
support ribs 10, a rib connector and locking head 12,
and a ?exible cover 14 of fabric or other suitable ma
terial. In the present schematic illustration, the top cen
tral portion 16 of the cover 14 is shown somewhat lower
than it would normally be in actual practice, in order to
show the rib connector and locking head 12 on an exag
gerated scale relative to the remainder of the assembly.
The cover 14 is provided externally with elongated,
adapted to be ‘locked in position close to the upper disc
34, as in FIGURE 2, to hold the rib end portions 38
aligned in the plane of the disc assembly. When the
plate 66 is spaced from the disc assembly, the rib end
portions 38 are free to pivot out of the plane of the disc
assembly as shown in FIGURE 5.
For holding the plate 66 in rib locking position, latch
means 68 are mounted on the lower end of the shaft 64.
The latch means 68 includes an arm 70 that is located in
the space provided by cutting away a longitudinal por
tion of approximately half the cross section of the shaft.
The latch arm 70 is pivoted on a bearing and spacer
sleeve 72 on a screw 74 that is threaded into the ?at face
3,054,413
.
-
.
3;
76 provided on the sectioned portion of the shaft 64.
When the plate 66 is in unlocked position, spaced from
the disc assembly 32-34, the latch arm 70 is axially
aligned with the shaft 64 and enclosed by the hub 46.
Under these conditions, the latch 70 does not interfere
with axial movement of the shaft 64.
A spring 78 extends from a retaining groove 80 on
the shaft 64 and passes around the pivot sleeve 72 to
4
From the foregoing, it will "be seen that the present in
vention provides a shelter support assembly in which, by
virtue of the independent mounting of the individual ribs,
it is a simple matter to assemble the ribs initially into the
connector head and also to replace an individual rib and/
or pivot connection if one should become broken during
use.
It will further be seen the simpli?ed locking assem—
bly greatly facilitates both erection and collapse of the
' shelter, since the locking action is automatic when the
Accord 10 ribs are forced into their stressed position and since the
stressed rods can be released by a simple downward and
ingly, when the shaft 64 is moved longitudinally to. bring
sideward motion of the latching handle.
.
the abutment plate 66 into locking position adjacent to
It will be appreciated that the illustrative embodiment
the disc assembly, the latch arm 79 is moved out of the
described herein is subject to modi?cation within the scope
hub 46 and freed for rotation by the spring 78, to the
limit permitted by a notch 82 which is cut in the upper 15 of the appended claims and, accordingly, is to be taken
as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.
end of the arm 76 for holding engagement with the
What is claimed is:
lower end of the hub 46. Thus, when the plate 66 is
1. In a shelter support structure of the type comprising
moved into locking position, the latch arm 78 will be
a
plurality
of resilient ribs adapted to ‘be stressed into ar
carried out of the hub 46 by axial movement of the
cuate shape for distending and supporting a flexible cover
shaft 64, thereby releasing the latch arm 79 and per
to form an enclosure, the improvement which comprises
mitting the notched portion 82 to engage the hub end.
rib ‘connecting and locking means including a disc, means
In turn, this will hold the plate 66 in rib locking position.
pivotally attaching said ribs independently to said disc at
A handle 84 extending laterally on the latch arm 70
circumferentially spaced points adjacent to the periphery
at the lower end thereof facilitates pulling downwardly
of said disc to provide for pivotal movement of the end
on the head assembly 12 to overcome the stress of the
press against the arm 70, acting to urge the arm 76 to
swing out of axial alignment with the shaft 64.
ribs 10 against the abutment plate 66, thereby facilitating
movingrthe arm 70 into alignment with the shaft 64 to
release the shaft for axial movement through the hub 46.
The hub 46 also extends through a grommet 86 in
the top center section 16 of the supported fabric, with
the grommet 86 being retained loosely in position on,
the hub, beneath the disc assembly 32—34, by a snap ring
portions of said ribs into and out of the plane of said
disc, said disc having a central opening therein, an elon
gated tubular hub extending through said disc assembly
central opening and ?xed at one end to said disc assem
bly, a shaft extending through said hub and movable axial
ly therein, an abutment plate substantially coextensive
with said disc ‘and ?xed at its center to said shaft and
movable
therewith between a ?rst position wherein said
88 which is ?tted into a circumferential groove 90 on
plate is spaced from said disc to allow free pivotal move
the hub.
When a shelter of the type to which the present ‘inven 35 ment of said rib end portions and a second position where
in said plate is closely adjacent to said disc to hold said
tion is directed is in collapsed condition, the rib ends 38
rib end portions coplanar with said disc to stress said ribs
all Will be substantially parallel to each other as in FIG
URE 5, with the fabric folded therebetween and hanging
loosely from the hub 46. The locking plate 66 will be
spaced from the disc assembly 32—34 ‘and the ribs will be
vfree to pivot.
>With the parts in this position, and with the lower ends
of the ribs 10 resting on any suitable surface such as
into distending relation to said cover, and latch means c0
operable with said hub for locking said plate in said sec
ond position against the reactive force of said stressed
ribs and including a latch element carried by said shaft
and swingable into ‘and out of axial alignment with said
shaft.
2. ‘In a shelter support structure of the type compris—
against the ground, downward pressure applied on the
locking plate 66 with the hand will cause the plate to en 45 ing a plurality of resilient ribs adapted to be stressed into
arcuate shape for distending and supporting a ?exible
gage the upper ends of the ribs 10, thereby forcing the
cover to form an enclosure, the improvement which com
ribs to bow outwardly away from each other as indicated,
prises rib connecting ;and locking means including a disc
in FIGURE 6, during which time the end portions 38 of
assembly, said assembly comprising three superimposed
the ribs will pivot toward the plane of the connector disc
discs having registering circumferentially spaced slots ex
assembly 32-34. Additional pressure on the abutment 50
tending
radially inwardly from the periphery thereof for
plate will flex the ribs ultimately into a spherically-shaped
accommodating the end portions of said ribs, the inter
cage-like structure, at which point the end portions of the
mediate one of said discs further having chordal slots
ribs will be coplanar with the disc assembly and the abut-V
therein intersecting said radial slots at right angles there
ment plate will be close to the upper disc. At this point,
and without any other or further action by the operator, 55 to intermediate the ends thereof, the ‘others of said discs
cooperating with said chordal slots to de?ne passages
the latch arm 70 will swing outwardly into locking posi
for enclosing pivot pins extending through said rib end
tion under the forces of the spring 78, as previously de
portions at right angles ‘thereto to provide for pivotal
movement of said rib end portions within said radial
dinally aligned rib end sections against the force of the
slots into and ‘out of the plane of said disc assembly, said
stressed ribs pressing against the underside of the plate.
60
disc assembly having a central opening therein, a shaft
The entire assembly now can be moved away from the
extending through said central opening and movable
supporting surface, whereupon the resilience of the ribs
scribed, holding the plate 66 securely against the longitu
will cause them to spring outward and distend the cover
tautly approximately into a hemispherical shape, to be
placed in the erected position shown in FIGURE 1.
To collapse the shelter, it is only necessary to pull down
axially relative to said disc assembly, an abutment plate
substantially coextensive with said disc assembly and
?xed at its center to said shaft and movable therewith
between a ?rst position wherein said plate is spaced from
said disc assembly to allow free pivotal movement of
slightly on the latch handle 84 to relieve the pressure of
said n'b end portions ‘and a second position wherein said
the stressed ribs acting through the shaft 64 on the ‘latch
plate is closely adjacent to said disc assembly to hold said
arm 70, so that the latch arm can be swung into align
ment with the shaft. This will allow the stressed ribs to 70 rib end portions coplanar with said disc assembly to stress
said rib into distending relation to said cover, and latch
force the locking plate 66 upwardly away from the disc
means for locking said plate in said second position
assembly, thereby allowing the end portion of the ribs to
against the reactive force of said stressed ribs and includ
pivot out of the plane of the disc assembly and into
ing a latch element carried by said shaft and swingable
their parallel con?guration normal to collapse of the
75 into and out of alignment with said shaft.
shelter.
5
3,054,413
3. In a support structure for a collapsible shelter of
the type in which a distensible cover is adapted to be dis
tended and supported in substantially hemispherical shape
by a plurality ‘of resilient ribs which are pivotally con
nected together at one end and adapted to be locked ad
jacent their pivot points into stressed, cover-distending
position, the improvement which comprises rib connect
ing and locking means including a sectored disc assembly
having circumferentially spaced radial slots therein ex
tending inwardly from the periphery thereof, said slots
each accommodating the end portion of tone of said n'bs,
said assembly further having internal chordal passages
intersecting said radial slots at right angles thereto ad
jacent to said periphery for enclosing pivot pins extend
ing through said rib end portions at right angles thereto,
said disc assembly having a central opening extending
therethrough, an elongated tubular hub extending through
sembly whereby to provide for ‘free pivotal movement of
said rib end portions on said pivot pins when said plate
is in said ?rst position and whereby to hold said rib end
portions coplanar with said disc assembly when said plate
is in said second position, latch means carried by said
shaft and swingable relative thereto into a position in
latching engagement with the tree end of said hub upon
movement of said plate into said second position, and
spring means coupled to said latch means and urging said
10 latch means toward said latching engagement position.
5. In a support structure vfor ta collapsible shelter of
the type in which a distensible cover is adapted to be
distended and supported in substantially hemispherical
shape by a plurality of resilient ribs which are pivotally
connected together at one end and adapted to be locked
adjacent their pivot points into stressed, cover-distending
position, the improvement which comprises rib connect
said disc assembly central opening and ?xed at one end
ing and locking means including a sectored disc assembly
to said disc assembly, a shaft slidable axially in said ‘hub,
having circumferentially spaced radial slots therein ex
an abutment plate ?xed to ‘one end of said shaft and 20 tending inwardly from the periphery thereof, said slots
movable therewith between a ?rst position wherein said
each accommodating the end portion of one of said ribs,
plate is spaced from said disc assembly and a second
said assembly further having internal chordal passages
position wherein said plate is closely adjacent to said
intersecting said radial slots at right angles thereto ad
disc assembly whereby to provide for free pivotal move
jcent to said periphery for enclosing pivot pins extending
ment of said rib end portions on said pivot pins When said 25 through said rib end portions 'at right angles thereto, said
plate is in said ?rst position and whereby to hold said
disc assembly having a central opening extending there—
rib end portions coplanar with said disc assembly when
through, an elongated tubular hub extending through said
said plate is in said second position, latch means carried
disc assembly central opening and ?xed at one end to
by said shaft and cooperable with said hub for locking
said disc assembly, a shaft slidable axially in said hub,
said plate in said second position against the reactive 30 an abutment plate ?xed to one end of said shaft and
force of said stressed ribs and including ‘a latch element
\movable therewith between a ?rst position wherein said
carried by said shaft and swingable into and out of align
plate is spaced from said disc assembly ‘and ya second posi
ment with said shaft.
tion wherein said plate is closely adjacent to said disc
4. In a support structure for a collapsible shelter of
assembly whereby to provide for free pivotal movement
the type in which a distensible cover is adapted to be 35 of said rib end portions on said pivot pins when said
distended and supported in substantially hemispherical
plate is in said ?rst position and whereby to hold said
shape by a plurality of resilient ribs which are pivotally
rib end portions coplanar with said disc assembly when
connected together at one end and adapted to be locked
said plate is in said second position, said shaft having a
adjacent their pivot points into stressed, cover-distending
longitudinal section thereof cut away at the opposite end
positions, the improvement which comprises rib con 40 from said plate, latch means carried by said shaft and
necting and locking means including a sectored disc as
disposed within said cut away shaft portion and swing
sembly having circumferentially spaced radial slots there
able relative to said shaft into latching engagement with
in extending inwardly from the periphery thereof, said
the free end of said hub upon movement of said plate
slots each accommodating the end portion of one of said
into said second position, and spring means coupled be
tween said latch means and said shaft and urging said
latch means toward latching engagement with said free
end of said hub.
ribs, said assembly ‘further having internal chordal pas
sages intersecting said radial slots at right angles thereto
adjacent to said periphery for enclosing pivot pins ex
tending through said rib end portions at right angles
thereto, said disc assembly having a central opening ex
tending therethrough, an elongated tubular hub extend
ing through said disc assembly central opening and ?xed
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
at one end :to said disc assembly, a shaft slidable axially
14,655
in said hub, an abutment plate substantially coextensive
987,469
with said disc and ?xed to one end of said shaft and move
able therewith between a ?rst position wherein said plate
is spaced from said disc assembly and a second position
wherein said plate is closely adjacent to said disc as
2,948,287
Hartwell ____________ __ Apr. 15, 1856
Lewis _______________ __ Mar. 21, 1911
Rupert ______________ __ Aug. 9, 1960
579,505
732,709
Canada _____________ .._ July 14, 1959
Great Britain _________ .__ June 29, 1955
FOREIGN PATENTS
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