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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
LAUNDRY ACCESSORY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/018901
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A foldable laundry trolley (10) includes a pillar (11), an upper support member (12) extending transversely from the pillar (11) and a lower support member (13) also extending transversely from the pillar (11). The upper support member (12) is connected hingedly at a high level to the pillar (11) about an axis (12.1) transverse to the pillar, and the lower support member (13) is connected hingedly at a low level to the pillar (11) about an axis (13.1) transverse to the pillar, and parallel to the hinge axis (12.1) of the upper support member (12). Both support members (12,13) are foldable about their respective axes (12.1, 13.1) from working positions in which they extend transversely away from the pillar (11) and from their hinge axes (12.1, 13.1) into folded positions adjacent the pillar (11).

Inventors:
Hill, Perfedia Barbara (3 Wintersgill Flats 602 Schoeman Street Arcadia 0083 Pretoria, ZA)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2002/003371
Publication Date:
March 06, 2003
Filing Date:
August 22, 2002
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Hill, Perfedia Barbara (3 Wintersgill Flats 602 Schoeman Street Arcadia 0083 Pretoria, ZA)
International Classes:
A47G25/06; B62B3/02; B62B3/12; D06F95/00; (IPC1-7): D06F95/00; A47G25/06; B62B3/02
Foreign References:
US5090725A
DE20103240U1
DE3737532C1
GB2225985A
GB2305152A
US3507402A
CH349761A
GB2139085A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Taylor, Duncan Mckay (Adams & Adams Adams & Adams Place 1140 Prospect Street, Hatfield PO Box 101 Pretoria, 014 00, ZA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS :
1. A foldable laundry trolley which includes a pillar ; an upper support member extending transversely from the pillar, and being connected hingedly at a high level to the pillar about an axis transverse to the pillar ; and a lower support member extending transversely from the pillar, and being connected hingedly at a low level to the pillar about an axis transverse to the pillar, and parallel to the hinge axis of the upper support member, both support members being foldable about their respective axes from working positions in which they extend transversely away from the pillar and from their hinge axes, into folded positions adjacent the pillar.
2. A trolley as claimed in Claim 1, in which the lengths of the support members transverse to the pillar away from their hinge axes are slightly less than the height of the pillar.
3. A trolley as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2, in which the support members are of shelflike form, having widths matching the width of the pillar.
4. A trolley as claimed in Claim 3, in which the pillar includes a pair of posts at a spacing such as to accommodate with clearance, the widths of the support members between them.
5. A trolley as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which there are provided two spaced wheels on the pillar at its lower end; and at least one wheel on the underside of the lower support member, at a region remote from the pillar.
6. A trolley as claimed in Claim 5, in which at least one of the wheels is provided with a braking mechanism.
7. A trolley as claimed in Claim 5 or Claim 6, in which at least the wheel on the underside of the lower support member is a castor wheel.
8. A trolley as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which there is provided a support strut removably locatable between the support members, at a region remote from the pillar.
9. A trolley as claimed in Claim 8, in which the length of the strut matches the spacing between the hinge axes of the support members.
10. A trolley as claimed in Claim 8 or Claim 9, in which the lower support member has a longitudinal seat dimensioned to accommodate the strut when not in use.
11. 1 1 A trolley as claimed in Claim 10, in which the seat is in the form of a recess within which the strut is snugly receivable.
12. A trolley as claimed in any one of claims 8 to 11 inclusive, in which the strut is hingedly connected at what in use will be its lower end, to the lower support member, at a position remote from the pillar, about an axis parallel to the lower support member hinge axis; and in which the upper support member has on its underside, a strut locating formation at a region remote from its hinge axis, for locating the upper end of the strut in use, in a working position supporting the upper support member.
13. A trolley as claimed in Claim 1 2, in which the strut locating formation is in the form of a seat or socket shaped and dimensioned to match the shape and dimensions of the upper end of the strut.
14. A trolley as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in which the upper support member has support means on its underside, from which laundry is suspendable.
15. A trolley as claimed in Claim 14, in which the support means is in the form of a beam extending along the length of the upper support member with a clearance space between the beam and the underside of the upper support member.
16. A trolley as claimed in Claim 15, in which the beam has locating formations spaced longitudinally along its length.
17. A trolley as claimed in Claim 16, in which the locating formations are in the form of recesses or indentations in the beam for locating clothes hangers in position along the length of the beam.
18. A trolley as claimed in any one of Claims 1 5 to 1 7 inclusive, in which the beam is pivotally suspended from the upper support member, about a longitudinal pivotal axis transverse to the hinge axis of the upper support member.
19. A trolley as claimed in any one of Claims 1 5 to 18 inclusive, in which the spacing between the upper and lower support members, in use, is sufficient to accommodate laundry suspended from the beam and laundry stacked on the lower support member, with working clearance between the suspended and stacked laundry.
20. A trolley as claimed in Claim 19, in which the spacing, in use, is sufficient even when laundry suspended from the beam is in the form of clothing hung on clothes hangers.
21. A trolley as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, which includes securing means for securing laundry to either or both support members.
22. A trolley as claimed in Claim 21, in which the securing means includes a strap which is adjustable in length belt fashion.
23. A trolley as claimed in Claim 22, in which the length of the strap is sufficient to gird the pillar and the support members when they are in their folded positions adjacent one another.
24. A trolley as claimed in Claim 1, substantially as herein described and illustrated.
25. A new trolley, substantially as herein described.
Description:
LAUNDRY ACCESSORY THIS INVENTION relates to a laundry trolley, for handling laundry after ironing.

The invention provides a foldable laundry trolley which includes a pillar ; an upper support member extending transversely from the pillar, and being connected hingedly at a high level to the pillar about an axis transverse to the pillar ; and a lower support member extending transversely from the pillar, and being connected hingedly at a low level to the pillar about an axis transverse to the pillar, and parallel to the hinge axis of the upper support member, both support members being foldable about their respective axes from working positions in which they extend transversely away from the pillar and from their hinge axes, into folded positions adjacent the pillar.

The lengths of the support members transverse to the pillar away from their hinge axes may be slightly less than the height of the pillar. The support members may be of shelf-like form, having widths

matching the width of the pillar. The pillar may include a pair of posts at a spacing such as to accommodate with clearance, the widths of the support members between them.

The trolley may have two spaced wheels on the pillar at its lower end; and at least one wheel on the underside of the lower support member, at a region remote from the pillar. At least one wheel may be provided with a braking mechanism. At least the wheel on the underside of the lower support member may be a castor wheel.

The trolley may include a support strut removably locatable between the support members, at a region remote from the pillar, thereby to provide support for the upper support member via the strut and the lower support member. The length of the strut may match the spacing between the hinge axes of the support members so that when the trolley is in use, the support members will be substantially horizontal. The lower support member may have a longitudinal seat dimensioned to accommodate the strut when not in use. The seat may be in the form of a recess within which the strut is snugly receivable.

The strut may be hingedly connected at what in use will be its lower end, to the lower support member, at a position remote from the pillar, about an axis parallel to the lower support member hinge axis; and the upper support member may have on its underside, a strut locating formation at a region remote from its hinge axis, for locating the upper end of the strut in use, in a working position supporting the upper support member. The strut locating formation may be in the form of a

seat or socket shaped and dimensioned to match the shape and dimensions of the upper end of the strut.

The upper support member may have support means on its underside, from which laundry is suspendable. The support means may be in the form of a beam extending along the length of the upper support member with a clearance space between the beam and the underside of the upper support member. The beam may have locating formations spaced longitudinally along its length. The locating formations may be in the form of recesses or indentations in the beam for locating clothes hangers in position along the length of the beam. The beam may be pivotally suspended from the upper support member, about a longitudinal pivotal axis transverse to the hinge axis of the upper support member.

The spacing between the upper and lower support members, in use may be sufficient to accommodate laundry suspended from the beam and laundry stacked on the lower support member, with working clearance between the suspended and stacked laundry. The spacing, in use, may be sufficient even when laundry suspended from the beam is in the form of clothing hung on clothes hangers. Thus the spacing between the support members may be of the order of 11/2 metres.

The trolley may include securing means for securing laundry to either or both support members. The securing means may include a strap which is adjustable in length belt fashion. The length of the strap may be sufficient to gird the pillar and the support members when they are in their folded positions adjacent one another.

Further features of the invention will become apparent from the following description of trolleys by way of example with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.

In the drawings Figure 1 shows a three-dimensional view of the trolley in its erected working mode; Figure 2 shows a side elevation of the trolley in its folded storage mode; and Figure 3 shows a line diagram in side elevation of an alterative arrangement.

Referring to the drawings, reference numeral 10 refers generally to a laundry trolley in accordance with the invention. The trolley 10 includes a pillar 1 1 and an upper support member 12 extending transversely from the pillar 1 1. The upper support member 1 2 is hingedly connected at a high level to the pillar 1 1 about an axis 12.1 transverse to the pillar 11. The trolley further includes a lower support member 13 extending transversely from the pillar 1 1. The lower support member 1 3 is hingedly connected at a low level to the pillar 11, about an axis 13. 1 transverse to the pillar 1 1. The axes 12.1 and 13. 1, are parallel to each other. Both support members 12 and 13, are foldable about their respective axes 12.1 and 13. 1, from working positions in which they extend transversely away from the pillar 11 and from their respective hinge axes 12. 1 and 13. 1, (as shown in Figure 1 of the drawings), into compact folded positions adjacent the pillar 11 (as shown in Figure 2 of the drawings).

The pillar 1 1 is constituted by a pair of posts 14. 1 and 14.2 spaced axially along the lower support member hinge axis. The upper and lower support members 12 and 13 are of shelf-like form having a width fitting with clearance between the posts 14.1 and 14.2.

The trolley has two castor wheels 16.1 and 16.2 at the lower ends of the posts 14.1 and 14.2, and a third castor wheel 1 6. 3 on the underside of the lower support member 13, at a region remote from the pillar 11 and the hinge axis 13.1.

The upper support member 1 2, has on its underside, laundry support means in the form of a beam 18, from which laundry is suspendable. Thus, clothing in the form of a jacket 24, is suspendable via a hanger 20 from the beam 18. The beam 1 8 has locating formations in the form of notches 22 spaced longitudinally along its length. The beam 18 is suspended via support struts 18. 1 pivotally supported on the underside of the upper support member 12, about pivotal axis 18. 2.

The upper support member 1 2 is provided on its underside with a locating formation 15.2 having a seat or socket shaped and dimensioned to match the shape and dimensions of the upper end 15. 3 of the strut 15.

In one embodiment of the invention, the upper support member 12 is provided with a curtain (which may be removable) depending downwardly from the upper support member towards the lower support member 13, hiding the supported laundry from view when the trolley is in its working mode.

The lower support member 13 is further provided with a strap 28, which is adjustable in length, and which can be used belt fashion to strap folded laundry 26 in stacked form, on to the upper surface of the lower support member 13.

In use, when the trolley is to be folded into a bundle for storage, all laundry and clothing is removed from the trolley, the upper support member is raised in the direction of arrow 34.1, to disengage the upper end 15. 3 of the strut 1 5 from the socket of its locating formation 15. 2.

Thereupon, the strut 15 may be lowered into a recess 32 provided in the lower support member 13, by pivoting the strut 1 5 about its pivotal axis 15.1. The upper support member 12, may then be displaced arcuately in the direction of arrow 34.2, about its pivotal axis 12. 1, provided by the pivot pins 36 at the upper ends of the posts 14.1 and 14.2, and lowered into a position between the posts 14.1 and 14.2.

The lower support member 13 may then be displaced arcuately in the direction of arrow 38, about its pivotal axis 13.1 provided by pivot pins 40 in arms 40.1 projecting outwardly from posts 14.1 and 14.2.

The reverse procedure is followed, when the trolley is to be erected into its working mode.

In Figure 2 of the drawings, the trolley is shown in its folded mode, stored in an upright position, supported by its wheels 16.1 and

16. 2. The beam 18 is shown in its extended position for clarity. If desired, it can be folded flat against the underside of the upper support member 12 and may also be held in position by the strap 28, although not shown folded flat in Figure 2 of the drawings.

Referring to Figure 3 of the drawings, there is shown an alternative construction in which the wheels 16. 1 and 16. 2 are mounted on the underside of the lower support member 1 3 instead of at the lower end of the pillar 11.

If desired the trolley may be provided with wheels which have brakes.

The Applicant believes that the trolley as described and illustrated can facilitate the transfer of laundry from a laundry room to a storeroom, or from a storeroom to a place of use. Thus the Applicant believes the trolley can serve a useful function in places where large bundles or stacks of linen and clothing are to be handled and transported, e. g. in hotels, hospitals, and the like. The trolley is easily handled, because no great strength or effort is required in wheeling it when loaded, from place to place. When it is in its folded mode, it can even be wheeled to a place of storage such as a broom cupboard, a corner, or even under a bed or bench.

The trolley can be easily folded, as shown in Figure 2, and can be retained by the strap 28 in a compact bundle, which is easily man- handled.