Title:
COMBINATION CASKET AND VAULT
United States Patent 3844003


Abstract:
A combination casket and vault with a base having spaced inner and outer wall members, together with retractable handles mounted on the outer wall member, each including a hand grip portion alongside the wall member, a pair of rods projecting inwardly from the hand grip portion through apertures in the outer wall member for reciprocal movement between extended and retracted positions, and retention means on the inner ends of the rods including a U-shaped crosspiece having arms with outer ends pivotally connected to inner ends of the handle rods, so that the crosspiece is collapsible when the handle is retracted.



Inventors:
ANGERMANN M
Application Number:
05/330209
Publication Date:
10/29/1974
Filing Date:
02/07/1973
Assignee:
RACINE DUO GUARD INC,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
16/439
International Classes:
A61G17/04; (IPC1-7): A61G17/04
Field of Search:
27/2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,35 16
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3411191Method for sealing openings in a casket1968-11-19Ikert et al.
3295179Combination casket and vault1967-01-03Behrendt
3038232Burial units1962-06-12Wean
2527721Casket extension handle1950-10-31Haacke
2025149Handle for storage battery cases1935-12-24Barkhausen
1851225Casket handle1932-03-29Wesemann
0828519N/A1906-08-14
0582239N/A1897-05-11



Primary Examiner:
Gaudet, Richard A.
Assistant Examiner:
Dunne G. F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wegner, Stellman, McCord, Wiles & Wood
Claims:
I claim

1. In a casket structure including

2. A combination casket and vault, comprising,

3. A combination casket and vault as defined in claim 2, including a reinforcing member secured to the inner surface of the outer wall member and including apertures aligned with the apertures in the outer wall member and reciprocally receiving the handle rods.

4. A combination casket and vault as defined in claim 2, wherein the sound control means includes resilient grommets in the apertures in the outer wall member reciprocally receiving the handle rods.

5. A combination casket and vault as defined in claim 2, wherein the retention means comprises a U-shaped crosspiece having outer ends pivotally secured to inner ends of the handle rods.

6. A combination casket and vault as defined in claim 2, wherein the inner wall member is downwardly and inwardly inclined, and engageable with the crosspiece on retraction of the handle to cam the crosspiece downwardly.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to burial caskets, and particularly to a handle structure for a combination casket and protective vault wherein a handle is retractable to a storage position closely alongside the casket base, and extensible to an operative position spaced from the casket base.

It is old in the prior art to provide a combination casket and vault as shown, for example, in prior Behrendt U.S. Pat. No. 3,295,179. In the commercial construction of a combined casket and vault, there is an expectation in the industry that a standard construction will include a minimum interior width on the order of 23 inches, for example, and a maximum exterior width on the order of 32 inches, for example, in order to fit the cavity usually provided for receiving the casket and vault. In a conventional casket without a protective surrounding vault, it is no problem to conform the construction to the required dimensions, and suitable handles may usually be fixedly mounted on the exterior of the casket with adequate clearance between the hand grip portions and the casket wall to facilitate insertion of the fingers and knuckles of a person carrying the casket. In a combination casket and vault, the surrounding vault adds to the external dimensions of the combination structure, and it is usually not practicable to provide fixedly mounted handles which fall within the maximum permissible exterior dimensions and also provide adequate clearance for comfortable insertion of the fingers and knuckles of a casket bearer. As a result of the restrictions described, in a combination casket and vault, handles have been pivotally mounted in recessed portions on the outside of the casket base. Arrangements of the type described are shown in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,295,179. Pivoted handles are also shown on the outside of a casket in prior Starrick U.S. Pat. No. 1,950,823.

One problem arising in constructions of the type shown in the prior patents is that pivoted handles mounted in recessed areas on the outside of the casket structure complicate the construction without providing adequate clearance for insertion of the hand when the handle is extended. It would be desirable to provide a retractable handle structure which does not materially add to the overall external width of a combined casket and vault when the handle is retracted, and which is movable to an extended operative position wherein adequate clearance is provided between a hand grip and the exterior of the casket to comfortably insert the fingers and knuckles of a carrier.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a general object of the present invention to provide a new and improved handle structure for a combined casket and vault which is movable between a retracted position wherein a hand grip is disposed closely alongside the casket exterior and an extended operative position wherein the hand grip is adequately spaced from the casket structure.

In a preferred construction illustrated herein, the casket includes a base with spaced inner and outer wall members, and the handle includes rods extending inwardly from the hand grip portion through apertures in the outer wall member for reciprocal movement between a retracted storage position and an extended operative position, together with retention means on the inner ends of the handle rods for limiting outward movement of the hand grip portion.

As illustrated herein, the retention means comprises a U-shaped crosspiece having outer ends pivotally secured to the inner ends of the handle rods.

Preferably, the inner wall member is downwardly and inwardly inclined, and engages the retention means on retraction of the handle to cam the retention means downwardly to a position where the hand grip portion may be moved flush against the outer wall member.

The invention includes provision of sound control means for limiting noise on movement of the handle relative to the casket wall.

As shown, a reinforcing member is secured to the outer wall member for strengthening the wall member in the vicinity of the handle mounting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combined casket and vault embodying the principles of the present invention, wherein the casket and casket base are positioned on a vault cover which may be utilized as a pedestal or bier;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken at about the line 2--2 in FIG. 1, with a portion of the vault cover shown in the covering position, and a handle shown in retracted position;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2, with the handle shown in extended operative position; and

FIG. 4 is a view taken at about the line 4--4 of FIG. 3 showing the handle in plan.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings in more detail, a combination unit made according to the present invention includes a base 10, a casket body 12, a lid 14, and a vault cover 16 which is positioned in FIG. 1 for use as a pedestal or bier for supporting the casket in elevated position. The base 10 is essentialoy an elongated rectangular structure. It includes an outer member 18 incorporating sidewalls as at 20 and end walls as at 22. At the bottom, the walls 20 and 22 include an inwardly turned continuous flange 24 which functions to support the base and casket on the vault cover as shown in FIG. 1 or on any other appropriate foundation. At the inner edge of the flange 24, there is an upwardly directed continuous flange 26 which flows at the upper edge into a central elevated wall 28 which is disposed above the level of the supporting flange 24. Near the upper edge of the outer base member 20, it is formed with an outwardly extending flange portion 30 which is substantially continuous along the sidewall portions 20 and the end wall portions 22. At the outer edge of the flange 30, there is an upwardly extending terminal flange 32 which is continuous along the sidewall portions 20 and the end wall portions 22.

The base 10 also includes an inner base member which is complementary to the outer base member 20 and is supported on the outer base member 20. The inner base member forms a receptacle 34 and includes a bottom wall 36, and upwardly and outwardly extending sidewalls as at 38. At the upper edge of sidewalls 20, as well as complementary end walls, there is an outwardly extending continuous flange 40 which is formed with an upwardly facing continuous groove 42 and a downwardly facing continuous groove 44. The upwardly facing groove 42 is provided for receiving the lower edge of the vault cover 16 when the cover is positioned in overlying relationship relative to the casket body 12, as illustrated in broken lines in FIG. 2. The downwardly facing groove 44 is provided for receiving the upper edge of the flange 32 on the outer base member 20, so that the inner base member is appropriately supported on the outer base member. If desired, there may be a sealed joint at the interlock between the outer base member and the inner base member, and at the interlock between the inner base member and the vault cover.

The casket body 12 includes a generally upright wall 46 which essentially forms an extension of the inner base wall 38. In order to appropriately support the casket wall 46, it is formed adjacent the lower end with an inwardly extending continuous flange 48 which is supported on the horizontal outwardly directed flange 40 of the inner base member. At the inner edge, flange 48 includes a downwardly extending continuous flange 50 overlying the inner base wall 38. Preferably, the flanges 48 and 50 are appropriately secured to the wall members 40 and 38 by conventional means. The upper edge of the casket body 12 supports the lid 14 which may be removable, either entirely or partially.

The vault cover 16 includes sidewalls 52, end walls 54 and a top wall 56. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the top wall 56 preferably includes a central portion which is elevated as at 58 in order to fit within the inner flange 26 of the outer base member 18 so that the casket may be securely retained in position on the vault cover, when the latter is utilized as a pedestal, as shown in FIG. 1.

In order to provide for movement of the casket, the base 10 is provided with a plurality of retractable handles 60 embodying the principles of the present invention. The handles 60 are mounted at appropriate locations along the side walls 20 and the end walls 22 of the outer base member 18. Each handle includes an elongate hand grip portion 62 horizontally disposed alongside the outer wall member 20. The continuous horizontal flange 30 on the outer base wall may be upwardly recessed as illustrated at 64 to facilitate storage of the hand grip portion of the handle closely adjacent the outer wall member 20 when the handle is retracted. To mount the handle for movement relative to the outer wall 20, the hand grip portion 62 includes inwardly and downwardly extending rods 66 which are reciprocably mounted in apertures in the wall 20. In order to strengthen the wall member 20 in the vicinity of the handle mounting, a reinforcing plate 68 is preferably secured to the inner surface of the wall in the vicinity of the handle mounting, and the reinforcing member includes apertures aligned with the apertures in the wall 20 for receiving the rods 66. A flange 69 along the lower edge of the reinforcing plate 68 limits flexure of the plate. Movement of the hand grip 62 outwardly relative to the wall 20 is limited by retention means in the form of a U-shaped crosspiece 72 including outwardly extending arms 74 pivotally secured at 76 to the inner ends of the handle rods 66.

For control of sound during movement of the handle relative to the base structure, the apertures in the wall member and the reinforcing member are preferably lined with a grommet as at 70 of resilient material such as rubber, so that movement of the rods in the apertures produces substantially no objectionable noise. At opposite ends of the hand grip portion 62, it is preferably provided with pads 78 of felt or other soft material to control noise when the hand grip portion is moved to the retracted position illustrated in FIG. 2.

In use of the handles, the rods 66 on the hand grip portion and the arms 74 on the retention means function to mount the hand grip portion for movement between the retracted storage position illustrated in FIG. 2 and the extended operative position illustrated in FIG. 3. In the retracted position of FIG. 2, the hand grip portion is substantially flush alongside the wall member 20 and does not add materially to the overall external dimensions of the combined casket and vault. In the extended position of FIG. 3, the hand grip portion 62 is appropriately spaced from the casket and base structure to permit comfortable insertion of the fingers and knuckles of the casket bearer. When the weight of the casket is lifted by the handles, the arms 74 engage the grommets 70, and the retention crosspiece 72 reacts against the inner surface of the reinforcing member 68.

The rods 74 on the retention member have a length approximately equal to the spacing between walls 20 and 38, so that on retraction of the handle from the extended position of FIG. 3 toward the storage position of FIG. 2, the crosspiece 72 is adapted to engage the inner base wall 38, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 3, and the downwardly and inwardly extending wall 38 cams the retention member downwardly about the pivot axis 76 to facilitate further movement of the rods 66 into the storage space between the inner and outer base walls 38 and 20. The arms 74 on the retention member serve as extensions of the rods 66 on the hand grip member 62, so that the hand grip member is extensible sufficiently to provide adequate clearance for gripping. While the rods 66 on the hand grip are longer than the spacing between walls 20 and 38, the inclination of such rods allows them to fit in the available space. As a result of the construction illustrated, the handles are retractable into a space between walls 20 and 38 having a thickness less than the length of the handle structure.

The materials of the inner and outer base members, the casket body, the lid, and the vault cover may vary depending upon a number of factors including the amount to be invested and the degree of sealing desired. For example, the material may be steel, or stainless steel, or fiberglass reinforced plastic material. The connections between members may involve plastic sealed joints or mechanical fasteners. As shown herein, the inner base member forms the lower portion of the casket cavity, but if desired, the casket body may be extended to include an integral bottom portion separate from the base.