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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
EXPANDABLE GARMENT HANGER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1989/003652
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A garment hanger has a guide body (1) and a hook (2) on the body for suspending the hanger. Two movable arms (3, 4) are slidably mounted on the body for free movement together in mutually opposite directions. A locking device or stop (9) is preferably mounted on the guide body (1) for interengagement with the teeth of a ratchet mechanism (8) along the upper edge of one (3) of the movable arms thereby to lock the arms in position against movement in one direction, preferably an inwardly direction. The movable arms (3, 4) are each provided with a garment device (10, 11) at their outermost ends and one of the securing devices is provided with a releasable mechanism (20) which extends inwardly of the guide body (1) below the stop preventing inward movement of the two arms. Operation of the release mechanism causes a release bar (22) to move outwardly towards the securing device. The bar moves against a cam surface adjacent the teeth of stop (9) and moves upwardly to release the stop and to allow the arms (3, 4) to move in either direction. Preferably, the hanger is of a plastics material and the stop (9) is integrally moulded with the guide body (1) whilst the release mechanism (20, 22) is integrally moulded with the securing device of one or both of the slidably movable arms.

Inventors:
Hunt, William
Application Number:
PCT/GB1988/000919
Publication Date:
May 05, 1989
Filing Date:
October 21, 1988
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BRAITRIM (LONDON) LTD HUNT, William.
International Classes:
A47G25/44; A47G25/62; (IPC1-7): A47G25/44; A47G25/62
Foreign References:
US2793799A
FR1309190A
DE286192C
Download PDF:
Claims:
C AIMS :
1. A garment hanger having a body and a hook on the body for suspending the hanger, a movable arm slidably mounted on the body for free movement in at least one direction, locking means located on the body for locking the movable arm relative to the body against movement in a direction opposite to said at least one direction and releasable means for releasing the locking means, characterised in that the releasable means are mounted independently of the locking means and comprise a lever mechanism for remotely operating the locking means to release the movable arm for free movement thereof in either of said directions.
2. A hanger as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the release means is mounted on the movable arm.
3. A hanger as claimed in claim 1 or 2, characterised in tnat the release means has a substantially vertical downwardly extending resilient portion and a bar portion extending in a direction which is potentially parallel to the movable arm slidable in the body.
4. A hanger as claimed in claim 3, characterised in that the release means is mounted on the rear or innermost surface of a garment gripper located at the extreme outer end of at least one of the movable arms.
5. A hanger as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the locking means comprises an arm pivotally mounted on the guide body and having a series of notches or teeth on a face end ofthe locking means, which teeth are arranged to engage with at least one tooth of the movable arm to lock the arm in a selected series of positions.
6. A hanger as claimed in claim 5, characterised in a ratchet on the upper and lower sides of the movable arm engagable with a stop member on one or each end of the guide.
7. A hanger as claimed in claim 6, characterised in that tne ratchet is engagable with a releasable catch located on the body.
8. A hanger as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the body comprises a central guide of a width at least no greater than the minimum width of the desired range of garments, two arms mounted on the central guide body for slidable movement in opposite directions relative to each other, a garment gripper at a free outermost end of each arm and the locking means on the two arms on the central guide body to lock each of the arms at selected positions against inward movement of said arms.
9. 0 9. A hanger as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in at least one stop on the body integrally formed therewith and extending therefrom in a direction parallel to the direction in which the ratchet extends, * the stOD•*.
10. havinσ___* teeth on the free end thereof remote f om that end integral with the body for engaging with 15 the teeth of the ratchet on the movable arm.
11. A hanger as claimed in claim 9, characterised in a cam follower on the stop lever, the cam follower extending downwardly below the teeth so that upon pressure being applied to the cam follower by vertical upward 20 movement of the bar portion of the release means, the upper edge of the bar engages the cam plate of the stop lever and pushes the lever upwardly to disengage its teeth f om the teeth of the ratchet on the movable arm.
12. 25 11.
13. A hanger as claimed in claim 10, characterised in pins extending outwardly from the bar portion into angled slots in the side face of the movable arm with which the bar portion is associated.
14. A hanger as claimed in claim 11, characterised in that the angle 30 of the slots relative to the direction of movement of the movable arm is 45°.
15. A hanger as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that each of the arms include a toothed or geared 35 portion engagable with a centrally located gear wheel rotatably mounted on the body so that movement of one arm inwardly or outwardly moves the other arm in the opposite direction so that both arms move either inwardly or outwardly together.
Description:
EXPANDABLE GARMENT HANGER

The present invention relates to expandable garment hangers.

Garment hangers in which the outer ends are intended to grip waistbands of garments such as trousers and skirts are well known. It is also known for the hanger to have a structure which is used to accommodate waistbands of different sizes. However, up till now, it has been difficult to construct a hanger in which the full range of sizes from 8 to 20 can be accommodated. Hangers having varying widths have been proposed in which two gripping ends are moved in dependence one upon the other from a centre portion and locked in position against the waistband of a garment to be supported so that the hanger is maintained at its selected position.

There has been at least one attempt to overcome these problems by providing a garment hanger with a central guide body from which extends two movable arms, one from each end. The body has a centrally located hook and a mechanism interconnecting the arms so that movement of one causes a movement of the other in an opposite direction. A locking device is pivotally mounted on the body and is in the form of a pivotal lever which on one side of the pivot engages with a series of serrations to lock the arms from movement in one direction, and on the other side of the pivot is a release lever. When pressure is applied to the release lever the portion thereof engaging the serrations disengages from th-° serrations to release the arms for movement in either direction.

Disadvantageously, the hanger when inserted into a garment such as a skirt sometimes lies with the bulk of the hanger inside the garment thus making it difficult to operate a locking device to release the movable arms inwardly and detach the garment from the hanger.

Tnerefore, it is desirable to provide a hanger in wnich the abov^ mentioned disadvantages are substantially overcome.

According to th*** 3 present invention there is providec a nan e'- having a body and a n ook on the body for suspending tn° nanger, =

-2-

movable arm slidably mounted on the body for free movement in at least one direction, locking means located on the body for locking the movable arm relative to the body against movement in a direction opposite to said at least one direction, and releasable means mounted independently of the locking means and comprising a lever mechanism for remotely operating the locking means to release the movable arm for free movement thereof in opposite directions.

In one preferred embodiment of the invention there is provided a hanger which will support garments with varying waist widths and maintain the portion which fits the garment at the desired spacing once the garment is mounted on the hanger.

Preferably, there is provided on the hanger a central guide body of a width at least no greater than the minimum width of the desired range of garments, two arms mounted on the central guide portion for slidable movement in opposite directions relative to each other, garment locking means on the central guide body to lock each of the arms at selected positions, preferably against inward movement of said arms. The locking means preferably comprises a series of notches or ξeeth on at least one arm which are arranged to engage with at least one stop on the central guide body so as to locate or lock each arm in a selectable series of positions. Such engagement can be obtained automatically where the guide body has a configuration such that on mounting a garment by the gripping means the weight of the garment tends to draw the arms outwardly to an appropriate point at which they then lock in relation to the central guide body preventing inward movement of the arms. Conveniently, a ratchet can be provided on the upper and lower sides of the arms engaging with the stop member on one or each end of the guide body. Alternatively, each of the arms can be provided with a form of ratchet which engages with a releasable catch conveniently located on the guide body, for example at one or each end of the guide body.

The at least one stop on the central guide body can be integrally formed with the guide body and extends therefrom in

a direction parallel to the direction in which the ratchet extends, and has teeth on the free end thereof remote from that end integral with the guide body for engaging with the teeth of the ratchet on the movable arm. The interim engaging teeth of the either member and ratchet cooperate to restrict movement of the arms of the hanger in a preferably inwardly direction.

A release mechanism for disengaging the interlocking teeth is preferably mounted on the rear or innermost surface of a garment gripper means located at the extreme outer end of the at least one movable arm.

When the hanger is supported by the hook, the release means has a substantially vertical downwardly extending resilient portion integrally moulded with the top of a.garment gripper means and a bar portion connected with the vertical portion and extending in a direction substantially parallel to the movable arm. The bar portion is preferably of a plastics material for engaging a cam follower plate on the stop lever which has teeth at its free end for interlocking with ratchet teeth on the movable arm. The cam plate is conveniently located adjacent to the teeth on the stop lever. The cam plate extends downwardly below the teeth so that when pressure is * applied to the cam plate by vertical upward movement of the bar portion of the release mechanism the upper edge of the bar engages the cam plate of the stop lever and pushes the lever upwardly to disengage its teeth from the teeth of the ratchet on the movable arm. Accordingly, the extendible arms become freely movable.

The vertical upward movement of the bar portion of the release mechanism is achieved by one or more pins which extend outwardly of the bar portion into angled slots in the side face of the movable arm or arms with which the bar portions are associated. The angle of the slots relative to the direction of movement of the movable arm is preferably 45° and as the bar portion is moved in the outwardly direction the pins engage the slots and move the bar portion upwardly to engage the cam plate. Two pins ar<= preferred in a longitudinally spaced relationship on the bar portion so that the bar portion remains parallel with the o able arm and ensures even movement of the bar portion against th- p cam plat

irrespective of the relative location of the movable arm and central guide portion.

Preferably, the innermost ends of each of the arms are provided with a toothed or geared portion engaging with a centrally located gear wheel rotatably mounted on the central guide body so that movement of one arm inwardly or outwardly inherently moves the other arm in the opposite direction so that both arms move either inwardly or outwardly together. Again, to ensure locking of the arms at a series of positions, at least one of the arms is provided with a series of notches or stopping portions which engage with an appropriate locking means on the central guide body.

One embodiment of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawing which shows a partial side elevational view of an expandable garment hanger according to the present invention.

Referring specifically to the drawing, an expandable garment hanger is provided comprising a central hollow guide body 1 having a centrally located hook 2 for suspending the hanger, which hook is rotatably mounted in a bush 2A of the guide portion 1. Two arms 3, 4 are slidably mounted within the hollow guide body 1 and the innermost end of each arm has a part 3A, 4A of reduced width on which is located a gear toothed portion 5, 6 respectively, extending inwardly from each of the arms. A geared wheel 7 rotatably mounted centrally of the central guide body is engaged with each of the toothed portions 5,6. Consequently, movement in one direction of one of the arms 3, 4 by reason of interaction between the respective gear toothed portion and wheel 7 moves the other arm in the opposite direction.

One of the arms 3 is provided with a ratchet portion 8 comprising a plurality of teeth being located towards the outermost end of the arm and on the upper surface thereof as shown in the drawing. The corresponding end of the guide body 1 has a stop lever 9 integrally formed therewith for locking engagement with ratchet t^eth 8. n- end of

the lever 9 remote from that end integrally moulded with the central guide body is correspondingly toothed and free to move upwardly and downwardly to engage or disengage with the teeth on the ratchet 8. Eac outer end of the arms 3, 4 is provided with a garment gripping device 1 and 11 which are angled relative to the longitudinal axis of the arms 3 " 4 to prevent a garment slipping off the hanger in use.

Each garment gripping device 10, 11 extends above and below the arms 3, 4 respectively. One of the garment gripper devices has integrally formed on an upper portion thereof a substantially verticall extending actuating arm 20 having a serrated grip portion 21 located thereon. A second serrated grip portion 21A is provided on the outer curved surface of the one gripper device. A cam operating bar 22-is attached to the end of the actuating arm 20 opposite to that end attach to the garment gripper device 10 and extends transversely to the actuating arm 20 in a direction substantially parallel to the arm 3. T cam operating bar 22 is of a two part construction each comprising a th strip of plastics material attached together with the plane of the majo surface of each strip being at right angles to each other. A first par of the cam bar 22 is a relatively short length or strip of plastics material 23 which is directly attached to the end of the actuating arm remote from its integral connection with the garment gripping bar 10. The second part 24 of the cam bat 22 has its major plane in a vertical direction and is much longer than the part 23 so that it extends beneat the stop lever 9 even though the arms 3 and 4 are fully extended. e arm 3 is provided with a ridge (not shown) along the length of one side thereof for supporting the cam bar 22 adjacent to the arm 3 and within the central guide portion 1.

Two pins 25 extend perpendicularly and outwardly from the major surface of the bar portion facing the movable arm 3. The arm 3 in turn has a pair of slots 28 provided in the surface thereof adjacent to ' he bar portion for receiving the pins 25 thereon that as the bar portion 24 is moved in a direction parallel to the direction of the movement of tne movable arm 3 the pins 26 engage the walls defining the slots which are preferably at an angle of 45° relative to the longitudinal axis of n

movable arm. As the bar portion 24 moves further the pins 25 extend further along the slots 28 and the bar portion moves upwardly to engage a cam plate 30 which is mounted adjacent the teeth on the f ee end of the stop lever 9 and extends down below the teeth on that one side thereof.

In describing the operation of the hanger it is assumed the arms 3, 4 are in their most inwardly position in which free ends 12, 13 of overlapping portions 3A, 4A abut end walls 15, 14 respectively of the opposite arm.

The expandable garment hanger is then placed inside the waistband of a garment such as a skirt or a pair of trousers with, for example, garment gripping device 10 against the waistband. Tne arm 4 is pulled outwardly of the central guide body 1 until the garment gripping device 11 engages the opposite side of the waistband. As the arm 4 moves outwardly the arm 3 automatically moves outwardly until the waistband of the garment is at full width. The teeth on stop lever 9 engages the ratchet teeth 8 and prevents inward movement of the arms 3, 4 thus ensuring the garment is securely supported at its waistband without stretching or distorting the garment.

The garment is removable from the nanger by applying by the thumb and forefinger for example on pressure grips to move the actuating arm 20 in the direction of arrow 26 causing the actuating arm and bar portion 22 to move towards the rear surface 27 of the garment gripping member 10. As pressure is applied in the direction of the arrow 26 the pins on the bar portion 22 engage the inclined walls of the slots on the movable arm

3 to move the bar portion 22 in a transverse upwardly direction relative to the movable arm 3 and thereby to engage the edge of cam plate 30 located adjacent to the teeth on the free end of the lever 9 forcing the teeth of the lever to disengage with the ratchet teeth 8 and allowing the arms 3 and 4 to be moved freely in either direction. Once the arms 3 and

4 are moved towards the inner most position the garment can be removed from the hanger.

Whilst the stop lever 9 is integrally formed at one end thereof with the central guide body, the lever can be separately mounted on the guide body.

Whilst the present invention has been described with referrence t a locking device and/or release device on one end of the hanger, sucn devices can be provided at both ends of the garment hanger.

In an alternative embodiment a lever can be provided on which th actuating lever 20 is pivotally mounted centrally thereof to have a scissor like movement so that applying pressure on tne actuating lever i the direction of the arrow 26 causes the bar portion 22 to move towards the centre of the hanger to achieve the separation thereof with tne movable arm to disengage the locking device.

In one alternative construction of an expandable garment hanger according to the present invention the actuating arm 20 and cam bar 22 are constructed in a substantially identical manner to that just described but are located with the actuating arm being mounted on an extended portion of the bush 2A which supports the central hook 2. An aperture is provided in the central guide body to allow interconnection with the cam oar 22 to move the cam plate attached to the stop lever 9.

The bar portion 23 is resilient enough to bow wnen sufficient pressure is applied to the actuating arm 20 and the junction of arm 20 and bar portion 23 engages the rear surface of the garment gripping device 10. The bowing action can assist in raising the bar portion 22 towards the cam plate to disengage the interlocking teeth by applying pressure to tne opposed end of the oar 22 for example in the region of the central hook 2.

In a further alternative expandable garment hanger according to the present invention the movement of the arms 3, 4 is ootained by replacing the gear toothed portion and wheel oy a lever pivotally mounted between opposite ends thereo , and connected at tne opposite ends to a respective one of th inner enαs of the arms 3, 4.

In an alternative embodiment more than two pins 25 can be provided for example 3 or 4 such pins, with each having a corresponding slot 28.

Although the bar 24 is described as moving towards the left hand side of the guide body 1 to lift the stop or cam lever 9, the bar 24 can, as indicated in the scissor operation embodiment disclosed above, move to the right hand side of the guide body 1, in which case the slots 28 will lie at an angle of say 45° to the right hand side of the guide body rather than 45° to the left hand side as shown in the accompanying drawing.

Whilst the angle of the slots is described as being 45° tne angle can be any angle within the range say 5 to 80° .