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Publication numberUS3632073 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date4 Jan 1972
Filing date15 Aug 1969
Priority date24 Aug 1968
Also published asDE6933480U
Publication numberUS 3632073 A, US 3632073A, US-A-3632073, US3632073 A, US3632073A
InventorsKoma Nakatani
Original AssigneeKoma Nakatani
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tripod
US 3632073 A
Abstract
A tripod comprising a cylindrical housing including a camera-mounting portion, a movable support disc in said cylindrical housing and urged downwardly toward the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing, at least three legs connected at their upper ends to the marginal portion of said support disc, engaging openings formed axially of the cylindrical housing in the lower end thereof in positions corresponding to the positions in which the bases of said legs are disposed for permitting the legs to extend therethrough when they are pulled out of or withdrawn into the cylindrical housing, a bottom cover rotatably mounted on the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing, engaging openings formed in said bottom cover and adapted to be indexed with said engaging openings in said cylindrical housing, and means for maintaining the legs in a locked position in the cylindrical housing.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Primary Examiner-Edward C. Allen Attorney-Stevens, Davis, Miller & Mosher ABSTRACT: A tripod comprising a cylindrical housing including a camera-mounting portion, a movable support disc in said cylindrical housing and urged downwardly toward the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing, at least three legs connected at their upper ends to the marginal portion of said support disc, engaging openings formed axially of the cylindrical housing in the lower end thereof in positions corresponding to the positions in which the bases of said legs are disposed for permitting the legs to extend therethrough when they are pulled out of or withdrawn into the cylindrical housing, a bottom cover rotatably mounted on the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing, engaging openings formed in said bottom cover and adapted to be indexed with said engaging openings in said cylindrical housing, and means for maintaining the legs in a locked position in the cylindrical housing.

PATENTEU JAN 4 SHEET 1 OF 4 INVENTOR I KOMA NAKATANI ATTORNEYS PATENTEDJAN 4:912 3332.073

SHEET 2 BF 4 INVENTOR KOMA NAKATANI W/ WM/ ATTORNEYS PATENTEBW 4W2 $632073 SHEET 3 OF 4 J 9 I I 48 I2 48 I2 INVENTOR KOMA NAKATANI WMMWM ATTORNEYS TRIPOD The present invention relates to tripods in general. More particularly, the invention deals with a small tripod used as in taking pictures which is constructed such that its legs can telescopically be received in the housing when not in use.

In one type of tripods known in the art which are adapted to receive their legs in the housing provided with a cameramounting portion when not in use, a cover threadably connected to the housing is first disconnected when the tripods are used and then the legs each connected by a pin to said cover are pulled out of the housing. The cover is threadably connected to the housing again with the legs being spread and maintained in said spread position while in use. This construction requires that the legs must be pushed into and withdrawn from the housing after removing the cover. The tripods of this construction do not lend themselves to easy handling. An added disadvantage is that the cover is liable to be lost.

The present invention obviates the aforementioned disadvantages of the prior art tripods.

An object of the invention is to provide a tripod which permits to receive its legs in the housing and pull out and spread the same without removing the cover of the housing, whereby the tripod can be operated readily and the cover and the legs are never lost because they are not separated from the housing.

Another object of the invention is to provide a tripod which permits the legs to be automatically extended from the housing upon release of retaining means which retains the legs in the housing and which permits to maintain the legs in a spread position upon rotation of a cover rotatably provided on the bottom opening of the housing.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a tripod in which the upper ends of the legs are each connected by a pin to a support disc slidably received in the housing and axially directed engaging openings equidistantly spaced apart from one another are formed at the lower end of said housing, the cover rotatably provided on the bottom opening of the housing being formed with engaging grooves complementary with said engaging grooves in the housing, said support disc having legs connected thereto by pins normally urged by spring means to move in a direction in which the legs extend outwardly of the housing, there being provided retaining means for retaining the legs in the housing which are automatically extended out of the housing by the biasing force of said spring means upon release of said retaining means and maintained in a spread position as the cover is rotated, the legs being inserted and held in the housing by rotating the cover to its original position and pushing the legs into the housing against the biasing force of the spring means to be retained therein by said retaining means.

Additional objects as well as features and advantages of the invention will become evident from the description set forth hereinafter when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of one embodiment of the tripod according to this invention with legs thereof being received in its housing;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the bottom cover as seen in the direction of its inner surface;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the tripod of FIG. 1 showing its legs in a spread position;

FIG. 4 is a front view of another embodiment of the tripod according to this invention with legs thereof being received in the housing;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of still another embodiment of the tripod according to this invention showing the manner in which the tripod is used.

A first embodiment of the invention will now be explained with reference to FIGS. 1 to 3. The numeral 1 designates a cylindrical housing opened at its upper and lower ends. Fonned on the outer circomferential surface of the lower end portion of said cylindrical housing 1 is a protruding portion 2 which expands and spread downwardly in an arcuate fashion.

Formed on the inner circumferential surface of the top opening of said cylindrical housing 1 is a threaded portion 3 which threadably receives therein a threaded groove 5 formed on the outer circumferential surface of an upper disc 4. Fitted in the cylindrical housing 1 for freeelevational motion is a movable support disc 6 which is normally urged to move downwardly by a coil spring 7 mounted between said support disc 6 and said upper disc 4. Cutouts 8 arranged radially are formed in three positions equidistantly spaced apart from one another on the outer periphery of the support disc 6. Legs 9 are each received in one of said cutouts 8 and pivotally connected at the upper end to the support disc by a pin 10.

Engaging openings 11 are formed in three positions equidistantly spaced apart from one another in the protruding portion 2 at the lower end of the cylindrical housing 1 for permitting said legs 9 to extend therethrough. The legs 9 are each formed at the outer edge of the lower end portion with an integral projection 12 which is adapted to be engaged in one of said engaging openings 11 when the legs are received in the cylindrical housing 1. The lower end of each leg 9 has an earth contacting member 14 connected to an inclined edge 13 at the lower end of each leg 9 so that the lower ends of the legs 9 can be disposed in a horizontal position when in a spread position.

The movable support disc 6 is formed in its center with a center axial bore 15. A guide rod 17 having an upper end threadably received in a threaded opening 16 formed in the center of said upper disc 4 and a lower end threadably received in an opening 19 formed in the center of a lower disc 18 extends through said center axial bore 15 formed in the support disc 6. Said lower disc 18 is fitted in the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing 1 and formed at its lower outer edge with a flange 20 which engages the lower end edge of the cylindrical housing 1. The lower disc 18 is connected with the cylindrical housing 1 by a threaded member 21 received in the center opening 19 of the lower disc 18 being threadably engaged in a threaded opening 22 formed at the lower end of the guide rod 17. A bottom cover 23 is threadably fitted over a threaded portion on the outer circumferential surface of the flange 20 of the lower disc 18. The bottom cover 23 is formed with engaging openings 24 adapted to be indexed with the engaging openings 11 formed at the lower end of the cylindrical housing 1. The bottom cover 23 is formed with a center axial bore 25. A rod 27 having a ring 26 connected to and suspended from its lower end extends through said center axial bore 25. Said rod 27 includes an engaging flange 27a which engages the lower peripheral edge of the center axial bore 25. The base of a retainer 28 is fitted for rotation over the inwardly directed projection of the rod 27 with respect to the bottom cover 23. The base of said retainer 28 is supported by a screw 29 threaded into the rod 27. A rod 30 mounted on the retainer 28 extends through a slot 31 formed on one side of the bottom cover 23. As shown in FIG. 2, a rod spring 34 is supported at its center spiral portion by a screw 29, one end of said spring 34 being mounted with a projection 32 formed on the retainer 28 and the other end being mounted with a projection 33 formed on the inner bottom surface of the bottom cover 23. Said rod spring 34 urges the retainer 28 in the clockwise direction so that an engaging portion 35 projecting from the retainer 28 is engaged with any one of recesses 36 formed at the lower ends of the legs 9 when the legs 9 are received in the housing 1. The legs 9 are maintained in a retained position as said engaging portion 35 of the retainer is engaged in the engaging recesses 36 in the legs. Formed on the underside of the bottom cover 23 is an arcuate slot 37 which receives therein a rotation limiting rod 38 threadably connected to the lower disc 18 so as to thereby prevent the dislodgement of the bottom cover 23 from the cylindrical housing 1 due to excess rotation.

Known cameramounting means is connected to the upper end of the cylindrical housing 1 by threadably fitting a retaining cylindrical body 39 over the threaded portion on the outer circumferential surface of the upper disc 4. Disposed in the retaining cylindrical The pressing board 40 is slidably fitted in an adjusting cylindrical body 44 fitted in and supported by the top opening of the retaining cylindrical body 39. Said adjusting cylindrical body 44 receives therein a freely revolving spherical body 46 having a threaded rod 45 for mounting a camera thereon. Said spherical body 46 is brought into engagement with the upper surface of the pressing board 40 and fixed in place as the adjusting screw 42 is tightened. The adjusting cylindrical body 44 is formed on one side with a cutout 47 shown in dashanddot lines in FIG. 3 for positioning therein the threaded rod 45 of the spherical body when the rod is brought to a horizontal position.

The operation of the embodiment set forth hereinabove will now be described. When it is desired to withdraw the legs 9 into the cylindrical housing 1, the engaging openings ll of the cylindrical housing 1 are indexed with the engaging openings 24 of the bottom cover 23 and the legs are brought into a position in which they are oriented axially of the cylindrical housing 1. Upon pushing the legs 9 in this position into the cylindrical housing 1, the support disc 6 is moved upwardly against the biasing force of the spring 7 to the upper portion of the cylindrical housing 1. The upward movement of support disc 6 compresses the spring 7, so that the legs 9 can be introduced into the cylindrical housing 1. At this time, a portion 300 for operating the rod 30 is held by hand and moved horizontally in one direction so as to rotate the retainer 28 against the biasing force of the rod spring 34, and the operating portion 300 is released when the legs 9 are introduced into the cylindrical housing 1. Upon release of the operating portionf 30a, the retainer 28 is returned to its original position by the biasing force of the rod spring 34 so that the engaging'portion 35 of the retainer 28 can be brought into engagement in the engaging recess 36 of the leg 9. Thus, the legs 9 are maintained and locked in position in the cylindrical housing.

Upon turning the operating portion 301: in the reverse direction in the slot 31 against the biasing force of the rod spring 34 while the legs are locked in position in the cylindrical housing, the engaging portion 35 is released from engagement in the engaging recess 36 in the leg 9. This permits the movable support disc 6 to be moved downwardly by the biasing force of the spring 7, so that the legs 9 connected to the support disc 6 through pins extend outwardly through the engaging openings il and 24 indexed with one another. If the legs 9 are spread outwardly at this time and moved to a position disposed above the upper edge of the bottom cover 23 where the legs 9 are out of engagement with the engaging openings 24 and then the bottom cover 23 is rotated to a position in which the engaging openings 24 thereof are out of index with the engaging openings 11 of the cylindrical housing 1, then the legs 9 in a spread position are each supported at the lower edge by the upper edge of the bottom cover 23 to be maintained in said position.

From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the tripod according to this invention permits to readily withdraw the legs into the cylindrical housing and pull out the same. Once the legs 9 are received in the cylindrical housing 1, they can be locked in position in the housing by compressing the spring 7 and bringing the engaging portion of the retainer 28 into engagement in the engaging recess 36 in the leg 9. When it is desired to use the tripod, the legs 9 can be caused to extend outwardly through the openings 11 by the biasing force of the spring 7 by merely rotating the retainer 28.

In the embodiment described hereinabove, the retainer 28 is supported by a screw 29 threaded into the rod 27 extending through the bottom cover 23. Alternatively, the retainer 28 can be rotatably supported by caulking the projecting end of the rod 27.

Also, the lower disc 18 is fitted in and connected to the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing 1 by having its flange engage the lower end edge of the cylindrical housing 1 in the embodiment described above. However, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to this particular construction, and that the lower disc 18 can be threadably connected to the lower end of the cylindrical housing I.

it should also be understood that the cameramounting means is not limited to the construction shown and described above. The threaded rod 45 for mounting a camera can be mounted directly on the upper end of the cylindrical housing 1.

In the first embodiment, the bottom cover 23 is formed with the engaging openings 24 which engage protrusions 12 formed on the legs 9. in the second embodiment shown in FIG. 4, arcuatc edges 48 for guiding the legs 9 from the lower ends of the engaging openings 24 to the upper edge of a flange 24a of the bottom cover 23 are formed so as to thereby facilitate spreading of the legs when they are pulled out of the housing.

In the third embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the legs 9 are held between inclined edges 49a formed on the top of the flange 24aand inclined edges 49 formed on the lower ends of the engaging openings 11 of the cylindrical housing 1, thereby ensuring that the legs 9 is maintained in a spread position.

An intermediate cylindrical body may be removably mounted between the cylindrical housing I and the retaining cylindrical body 39 so as to adjust the height of the tripod as desired.

v -While the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it should be understood that the invention is not limited to the specific constructions shown and described above, and that many modifications and changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

. l. A tripod comprising a cylindrical housing 1 including at its upper end a spherical body 46 on which a threaded rod 45 for mounting a camera thereon is projected, a movable support disc 6 slidably fitted in said cylindrical housing 1 and urged downwardly toward the bottom opening of the cylindrical housing by spring means, at least three legs 9 connected at their upper ends through pins to the marginal portion of said support disc in -positions equidistantly spaced apart from one another, engaging openings 11 formed axially of the cylindrical housing in the lower end thereof in positions corresponding to the positions in which the bases of said legs are disposed for permitting the legs to extend therethrough when they are pulled out of or withdrawn into the cylindrical housing, a lower disc 18 connected to the cylindrical housing 1 at the lower end thereof, a bottom cover 23 rotatably mounted on the lower disc 18, engaging openings 24 formed in said bottom cover 23 and adapted to be indexed with said engaging openings 11 in said cylindrical housing 1, a retainer 28 rotatably mounted on the bottom cover 23, engaging recess 36 formed on the underside of the portion of at least one of the legs near its forward end, an engaging portion 35 formed on the retainer 28 adapted to be engaged in said engaging recess in the legs when the latter are received in the cylindrical housing, a rod spring 34 for forcing the retainer 28 in a direction in which the engaging portion 35 is engaged with the engaging recess 36, an operating portion 300 for operating a rod 30 connected to said retainer 28 and extending outwardly through the side wall of the bottom cover 23, and a horizontally directed slot 3! formed in the side wall of the bottom cover for said operating portion to extend therethrough outwardly of the cover, whereby the legs 9 can be retained in their spreading position by supporting the upper and lower edges of the legs 9 projected out of the housing 1 between the upper edge of the bottom cover 23 and the inner ends of the openings ll formed on the housing 1.

2. A tripod as defined in claim 1 further comprising arcuate guide edges 48 provided in said engaging openings 24 formed in the bottom cover 23 for permitting the legs 9 to extend therethrough whereby the legs can be assisted in being brought to a spread position.

3. A tripod as defined in claim 1 further comprising inclined edges 49 inclined in the lower direction formed at the upper end of the engaging opening 11 of the cylindrical housing and inclined edges 49:: inclined in the lower direction formed at the upper end of the bottom cover 23.

3 t v I I

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Classifications
U.S. Classification248/169, 248/181.1
International ClassificationF16M11/22
Cooperative ClassificationF16M11/22, F16M11/14, F16M11/242, F16M2200/022
European ClassificationF16M11/24A, F16M11/22, F16M11/14