Title:
BELL-LINER PROTECTOR
United States Patent 3778941


Abstract:
The invention comprises a one piece, concrete, bell type grave liner or protector to be lowered into a grave to enclose a casket. The protector has notches cast in its lower corners, corner edges, or bottom edges to receive a hoisting cable, thereby making handling easy. The protector has a top designed to resist vertical loads, cave-in of the side walls, and a sluffing-off of earth when an excavation is made next to it. The top is also designed to receive saddles for supporting a second protector for double interment. The protector is useful in conjunction with a base for either single or double interment. All side walls are tapered, i.e., inclined downwardly and outwardly to keep the protector from being raised, or "floating" to the surface, when unstable soils become saturated through sprinkling, rain, or exceedingly high water table.



Inventors:
DORRIS J
Application Number:
04/884220
Publication Date:
12/18/1973
Filing Date:
12/11/1969
Assignee:
PRE CAST CONCRETE PRODUCTS LTD,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/134
International Classes:
E04H13/00; (IPC1-7): E04H13/00
Field of Search:
52/124,125,134,136,137 214
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3273294Burial vault with sectional inclined sidewalls1966-09-20Trzesniewski
3091348Roll stacking device1963-05-28Heuhauser
2913895Multiple tier concrete grave box construction1959-11-24Blasius et al.
2822685Dual burial vault structure1958-02-11Chandler et al.
2589718Stacking apparatus1952-03-18Martin
1700504Concrete burial vault1929-01-29Mahan
1656571Burial-vault lid1928-01-17Sarber
1483341Grave vault1924-02-12Fitch
1021623N/A1912-03-26Nixon
0938379N/A1909-10-26
0912997N/A1909-02-23
0673273N/A1901-04-30
0447662N/A1891-03-03
0408169N/A1889-07-30
0320861N/A1885-06-23



Foreign References:
FR768397A1934-08-04
Primary Examiner:
Abbott, Frank L.
Assistant Examiner:
Braun, Leslie A.
Claims:
I claim

1. A bell type casket protector, comprising: a hollow, unitary, generally rectangular vault for enclosing a casket and having a flat generally rectangular top wall of substantial area; a body portion with downwardly and outwardly flared side and end walls, said side and end walls being of sufficient height to completely enclose the sides of a casket and having lower edges defining a generally rectangular opening to receive said casket; and a downwardly and outwardly inclined wall portion connecting said flat top wall to the upper portion of said flared side and end walls, said inclined wall portion and said flared side and end walls of said body portion cooperating with said flat top wall for preventing lifting or floating of said protector when buried in unstable soils that become excessively saturated with water.

2. A protector as recited inclaim 1, wherein formations are cast in the body portion of the protector for receiving lifting cables.

3. A protector as recited in claim 2, wherein the formations are notches formed in the lower edges of opposed walls of the body portion.

4. A protector as recited in claim 2, wherein the formations are notches formed in the body portion substantially at the juncture of the side and end walls.

5. A protector as recited in claim 4, wherein the notches are formed in the corner edges of the body portion and are spaced upwardly from the lower edges of the side and end walls.

6. A protector as recited in claim 4, wherein the notches are formed at the lower corners of the body portion substantially at the juncture of the side and end walls.

7. A protector as recited in claim 2, wherein the formations are notches and each of the notches has a generally horizontal surface for engagement by lifting cable means for handling the same.

8. In combination, a multiple, bell type burial vault structure, comprising: a unitary, rectangular first concrete hollow bell type protector to be positioned over a casket or the like at the bottom of a grave, said protector comprising a body portion having downwardly and outwardly diverging upright side and end walls, and a horizontal top wall having a flat central area and a downwardly and outwardly inclined portion connecting said area with said side and end walls; a pair of saddles disposed transversely upon and extending across said top wall; and a second similar protector supported by said saddles.

9. The combination recited in claim 8, wherein the saddles have a bottom edge contour complementary in shape to that of their associated top wall.

10. The combination recited in claim 8, wherein the opposite ends of the saddles are recessed to receive the lower edges of the side walls of the second protector.

11. The combination recited in claim 8, wherein the saddles have a bottom edge contoured complementary in shape to that of the top wall, and wherein the opposite ends of the saddles are recessed to receive the lower edges of the side walls of the second protector.

12. The combination recited in claim 8, including a rectangular concrete base interposed between the saddles and the second protector.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to vaults or protectors to be lowered into a grave to enclose a casket, and more particularly to a protector that can be used with or without a base; and in the case of multiple interment, saddles can be positioned upon the top of one protector to support a second protector with or without a base.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

Heretofore, caskets have been enclosed in various types of concrete valts vaults a box like structure and a separately formed cover. This requires two operations: one, the setting of the box in place in the grave excavation; and two, the mounting of a lid on the box. This form of vault is expensive to make and to install. Further, the covers are not so heavey that they could not be manually raised to obtain unauthorized access to the casket. In addition, such vaults have been made with vertical sides, rendering the same subject to being raised in unstable soils when exceedingly saturated with water.

Heretofore, caskets have also been enclosed in a box-like structure requiring setting of side wall sections in place beforehand, lowering of the casket into the box, and the subsequent positioning of lid sections to close the box. The side and lid sections are made of concrete and cemented together, but this form of structure requires manual handling of sections, frequently resulting in injury of the workers, such as, crushed or broken fingers or toes, strained muscles, back sprains, hernias, etc.

Handling of the heavy sections has required great physical exertion on the part of the workers, making them very tired at the end of a days work. The manual assembly of the side wall sections also takes a great deal of time and, therefore, is costly. After the casket is lowered into position within the box sides, the lid sections must be applied, entailing more time and cost. The casket is frequently marred by the workers standing on it during the placement of lid sections, and accidents commonly occur from dropping of the sections. Unless the lid sections are carefully sealed, water and dirt will fall onto the casket. In addition, unless the side and lid sections are made quite thick and properly assembled and cemented together, they will break or cave in and the effectiveness of the enclosure to protect the casket will be nullified. Another disadvantage of the sectional type of box is that spacers are often required to be placed in the bottom of the excavation to keep the side walls of the box from caving in.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises an inexpensive bell type grave liner or casket protector made of concrete and cast in one piece. The protector has generally upright tapered side walls and a flat top of substantial area that is connected with the upright tapered side walls by downwardly and outwardly inclined portions. Notches or other formations for receiving cables to handle the protector can be cast or otherwise formed in the bottom edges of the upright walls, at the lower corners, or in the corner edges, of the protector. The protector is cast between inner and outer molds as will be readily understood. Retractible means on the outer mold forming the notches in the corner edges serve the further purpose of retaining the casting in the outer mold while the inner mold is being stripped.

The protector is designed for multiple interment and to this end saddle members are provided which rest upon a lower protector and provide supports for another protector.

The protector may be positioned in a grave directly over a casket with its lower edges in contact with the earth. A substantial volume of air will be trapped within the protector and limit the seepage of water into the interior of the protector. Optionally, a concrete base can be placed on the bottom of the grave excavation, the casket lowered onto the base, and the protector then lowered over the casket with its bottom edges resting on the base. The base preferrably has a rabbet at its periphery to receive the lower edges of the upright walls of the bell protector. A mastic sealing strip is disposed in the rabbet between the base and protector.

In the case of multiple interment, two or more saddles are placed on the top of the lower protector, and these saddles may have notched corners to receive the lower edges of a second protector; or the notches can be omitted from the saddles and a base positioned thereon for supporting a second casket and the second protector.

Accordingly, the principal object of the invention is to provide a concrete bell type grave liner or casket protector that is low in cost, can be readily cast as a unitary structure, and easily installed by a one step operation.

Another object is to provide a one-piece vault or protector that has formations cast, or otherwise formed therein, for receiving a hoisting cable.

Another object is to provide a one-piece casket protector that is too heavy to be manually removed to pilfer a grave.

A further object is to provide a casket enclosure that will entrap a substantial volume of air therein and limit the entry of water thereinto.

Another object is to provide a casket protector having flared walls that prevent raising or floating thereof in unstable soils under conditions of excessive water saturation.

A still further object is to provide a casket protector designed for use with two or more saddles and a second protector for double interment.

Still another object is to provide a casket protector that can be optionally used with a supporting base for single or double interment.

Still another object is to provide a base and protector for completely enclosing a casket and sealing it off from the surrounding soil.

A further object is to provide saddle means for use with a protector of the type described and which can serve to directly support a similar protector, or to support a base and a protector.

A still further object is to provide a casket protector that can be installed in a grave opening with a minimum amount of manual labor and risk of accident.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the bell type casket protector of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one of the saddles used in case of a dual interment;

FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view through two of the protectors with interposed saddles, as used in a dual interment;

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view, taken on the line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, inverted perspective view showing one of the notches that is formed in each corner at the bottom of the protector to receive a hoisting cable;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified form of protector wherein notches are formed in the bottom edge of the sides adjacent the corners of the protector to receive hoisting cables;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of still another modified form of protector wherein notches are formed in the edges of the corners of the protector at points spaced from the bottom edge of the protector;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view, taken on the line 8--8 of FIG. 7 illustrating the shape of the notches shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a base that can be used with the protector shown in FIGS. 1, 6 and 7; and

FIG. 10 is a vertical sectional view similar to FIG. 3, but showing a modified saddle, and two bases similar to that shown in FIG. 9 directly supporting protectors for a dual interment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the bell type liner protector or vault is generally rectangular and is identified by the numeral 1 and comprises a body portion 3 and a top portion 5, both of which are of generally truncated pyramidal shape. The body 3 comprises upright walls including opposed side walls 7 and opposed end walls 9, which diverge outwardly and downwardly. The top 5 comprises a flat generally rectangular horizontal portion 11 of substantial area, which is connected with the upper portion of the side walls 7 by downwardly and outwardly inclined portions 13, and with the upper portion of the end walls 9 by downwardly and outwardly diverging wall portions 15. The wall portions 13 and 15 are disposed on an angle of about 45°. The top portion 11 is purposely made flat, instead of curved or dome shaped, in order to avoid caving in of the earth while a grave is being dug adjacent to a previously buried protector, which frequently occurs when a new grave is being dug adjacent to a conventional vault or casket having a rounded or dome-shaped cover.

As has been indicated above, the protector 1 is utilized to enclose a coffin 17 disposed in a grave excavation 19. Accordingly, the lower edges of the side walls 7 and 9 define a rectangular opening to receive the coffin 17. The protector 1 is made of concrete, wet cast as a unitary structure, and in view of its size (outside dimensions, 923/4 inch × 35 inch × 281/4 inch) and thick walls (interior dimensions, 853/4 inch × 291/2 inch × 261/4 inch) weighs about 1,300 pounds, which is too heavy for manual handling. Accordingly, and in the interest of economy and simplicity, the protector 1 is provided at each of its bottom corners with a notch 21 that can be readily formed by the mold during the casting operation. Considerable time, labor, and expense in making the protector 1 is also saved by having the upright walls 7 and 9 of the body portion 3 flared outwardly, thereby facilitating rapid removal of the forms after the concrete has set.

In order to increase the resistance of the body portion 3 against fracturing or buckling inwardly, a continuous steel reinforcing band 23 is embedded in the side walls 7 and the end walls 9 adjacent the lower edge thereof, and a similar reinforcing band 25 is embedded in said walls at a point adjacent their juncture with the top wall portions 13 and 15. The latter wall portions form with the top wall 11 a two-way arch construction, which strengthens the top 5 against cracking or cave-in under the weight of the earth or a second protector overlying the same, and also strengthen the upright walls 7 and 9 against failure.

The protector 1 is particularly adapted for multiple depth interment; and to facilitate the same, a unique saddle structure 27, FIG. 2, is provided. The saddle 27 is cast from concrete and contains at least one embedded reinforcing bar 29 extending lengthwise thereof. The saddle 27 has its lower edge contoured so that it is complementary to the transverse shape of the top 5 of the protector. More specifically, the saddle 27 has a horizontal portion 31 to engage with the horizontal portion 11 of the top 5, and end portions 33 having inclined surfaces 35 to engage with the inclined portions 13 of the top 5, as is best shown in FIG. 4. Thus, the saddles 27 straddle the top 5 so that it cannot shift sidewise thereacross. The saddle 27 has a step-notch or recess 37 formed in its upper surface at each end thereof. These recesses receive the lower edges 38 of a second or upper protector 1A. The notches 37 center the upper protector 1A relative to the lower protector 1, as illustrated in FIG. 4, and prevent lateral movement of one relative to the other.

As is further shown in FIG. 4, the lower edges of the side and end walls 7 and 9 of the protector 1 rest directly upon the earth at the bottom of the excavation 19. A substantial volume of air is thus trapped about the casket 17 within the lower protector 1 and prevents water from rising to any substantial height within the protector. In the case of the upper protector 1A, supported by the saddles 27, earth will fill the space between the top 5 of the lower protector 1 and the bottom edges of the upper protector 1A and the entrance of any substantial amount of water into the upper protector will be prevented by the entrapped air, in a similar manner.

FIG. 1 illustrates one way in which the protector 1 can be supported by hoisting cables 39 and 41 (shown in dot-and-dash lines) received in the corner notches 21, for handling the protector by a suitable crane at the manufacturing site as well as at the grave site. As is shown, the cables 39 and 41 extend toward each other from the lower corners of the protector 1 to a hook or harness (not shown), and thus automatically are retained in engagement with the notches 21. If desired, a crane may be located at the grave site and the cables 39 and 41 attached to the protector 1 to lower the same into position about the casket 17, as a part of the funeral rites. After the protector 1 has been lowered into place, the cables 39 and 41 can be readily removed by working them out of the notches 21 without the use of any special tools.

Referring to FIG. 9, a rectangular base 43 is cast as a unitary concrete structure, with a plurality of reinforcing bars 45 embedded therein. The mold is designed to cast the base 43 with a marginal recess or rabbet 47 extending about its entire periphery, thereby providing a raised portion 49 having a flat top surface 51. The base 43 has sides 53 corresponding in length to the over-all dimension of the sides 7 of the protector 1, and ends 55 having an over-all width corresponding to that of the protector end walls 9. The length and width of the raised portion 49 correspond approximately to the internal dimensions of the sides and ends of the protector 1 at the lower edges thereof, whereby the raised portion 49 of the base 43 nests within the protector 1, as is best illustrated in FIG. 10. Here, the base 43 is shown resting upon the bottom of the excavation 19 with a protector 1 positioned upon the base 43. Mastic sealing material 57 is disposed in the rabbeted portion 47 between the base 43 and the protector 1 to prevent moisture from gaining access to the interior of the protector, thereby protecting the casket 17 against damage. Notches 58 are formed in the lower side of the base at each corner to receive a hoisting cable (not shown).

FIG. 10 also illustrates a modified saddle 27a from which the recesses 37 shown in FIG. 2 have been ommitted. These recesses are unnecessary when the saddles 27a support a base for multiple interment. Thus, FIG. 10 illustrates a base 43a supported by saddles 27a (only one of which is shown), with a protector 1B mounted on said base in the same manner described in connection with the lower base 43. Thus, a multiple interment may be made with both caskets 17 sealed against the entrance of moisture.

FIG. 6 illustrates a modified protector 1C wherein notches 59 are cast in the lower edges 38 of the side walls 7, adjacent to the end walls 9. The protector 1C can be safely handled by hoisting cables 39 and 41 received in the notches 59. The notches 59 are so located that the cables 39 and 41 clear the ends of a casket previously lowered into the grave excavation. After the protector 1C has been lowered into position over the casket, the ends of the cables 39 and 41 can be disconnected and the cables pulled lengthwise to free the same from the protector 1C.

FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of the invention wherein a protector 1D has a notch 61 formed in the exterior surface thereof at each corner edge thereof, that is, at the juncture of the side walls 7 and end walls 9. The notches 61 are spaced upwardly from the bottom edges of the protector 1D and include a horizontal ledge 63 and an inclined portion 65, as is best shown in FIG. 8. One of the hoisting cables 39 is here shown received in one of the notches 61. The cables 39 and 41 can be used to lower the protector 1D into a grave excavation in the same manner described in connection with the protector 1. After the protector 1D has been lowered into position it is only necessary to disengage the cables 39 and 41 from the notches 61 to free the same from the protector 1D. No tools are required for this purpose. The corner edge notches 61 are formed by separate retractible key members (not shown) mounted in an outer mold, (not shown), as will be readily understood. Hence, these notches serve the further purpose of retaining the cast protector in the outer mold while the inner mold is being withdrawn. Upon withdrawing the key members, the outer mold can be removed from the protector.

In all forms of the protector disclosed herein, the flared walls with their sloping sides make it much more convenient and easier to place and tamp earth around them than if they were truly vertical. In this connection, the size of a grave is usually not more than about 36 inches wide by 94 inches long. The outside dimensions of the protectors at their lower edges 38 is about 35 inches wide by 92 3/4 inches long. The outside dimensions at the upper ends of the side walls is about 321/2 inches wide by 901/4 inches long, which provides the desired wall taper or slope.

The base 43 may have notches or recesses similar to the recesses 21 formed at each of its corners to facilitate lowering of the base 43 into the grave excavation by means of the cables 39 and 41.

It will be understood that various changes may be made in the design of the various protectors, the saddles and the base disclosed herein without departing from the principles of the invention or the scope of the annexed claims.