Title:
Carrying case for photographic equipment and the like
United States Patent 3910470


Abstract:
A carrying case for photographic equipment and the like configured to rest against and conform to the curvature of an animate body. An outer shell of the case, which includes strap attachment for securing the case to the body, is lined internally with cushion material for retaining photographic equipment in a firm, vibration-damped state when the case is subjected to agitation.



Inventors:
Swenson, Carl O. (Woodland Hills, CA)
Sturgis, William E. (Woodland Hills, CA)
Moran, Richard L. (Studio City, CA)
Application Number:
05/449687
Publication Date:
10/07/1975
Filing Date:
03/11/1974
Assignee:
SWENSON; CARL O.
STURGIS; WILLIAM E.
MORAN; RICHARD L.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/316.2, 224/625, 224/908, D03/267
International Classes:
A45C11/38; A45F3/00; (IPC1-7): A45F5/00
Field of Search:
224/5V,5W,26R 150
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3495751SADDLE MOUNTED CANTEEN1970-02-17Moran
3363814Device for suspending a carrying case1968-01-16Hall et al.
3307757Binocular carrier1967-03-07Gatos et al.
2136357Carrying case1938-11-08Darling et al.
1809696Waterproof bather's case1931-06-09Heilweil



Primary Examiner:
Spar, Robert J.
Assistant Examiner:
Forsberg, Jerold M.
Claims:
We claim

1. An equipment carrying case comprising:

2. The equipment carrying case of claim 1 wherein:

3. The equipment carrying case of claim 2 wherein:

4. The equipment carrying case of claim 3 wherein:

5. The equipment carrying case of claim 4 wherein:

6. The equipment carrying case of claim 5 wherein:

7. The equipment carrying case of claim 1 wherein:

8. The equipment carrying case of claim 7 wherein:

9. The equipment carrying case of claim 7 wherein:

10. The equipment carrying case of claim 7 wherein:

11. The equipment carrying case of claim 7 wherein:

12. The equipment carrying case of claim 11 wherein:

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Photography, both as a hobby and as a profession, has expanded very rapidly in recent years. As its popularity has increased it has been necessary that special equipment be designed for storing and carrying the cameras and lenses. This has been especially true when such equipment has been used in sporting activities. Upon numerous occasions, for example, it has been highly desirable and, indeed, sometimes mandatory, that photographic equipment be carried upon the person of a hiker or upon a pack animal to insure its ready availability when a particularly striking scene or activity is encountered. For purposes of discussion the carrier will be hereinafter referred to as a person, or by similar terminology.

Recognizing the relative delicacy of photographic equipment, it is important that the carrying means be capable of protecting the cameras and lenses from those conditions of agitation, impact and the generally abrasive environmental conditions which one would expect to encounter under such circumstances.

It is also a matter of great importance that the photographic equipment be properly stored during periods of non-use. The storage containers should include means to assure the aforementioned dynamic and environmental isolation, additional to providing features which facilitate its being carried conveniently, while leaving the hands of the photographer free for other activities.

As noted above, ready accessibility of the equipment at all times can also be a feature of significance to the photographer. Thus, when the camera can be reached almost instantly, it assures the photographer of a maximized opportunity to obtain shots of subjects requiring a short reaction time.

In the prior art, carrying cases generally conforming to the shape of the equipment have been used. They have usually been supported by over-the-shoulder or similar straps, the case being left free to dangle or swing to and fro in response to the body movements of the person carrying it.

Therefore, objects of the invention include the provision of means for storing and carrying photographic equipment such that the equipment is vibration isolated, protected from hard knocks and from the environment, the case being conformed to the bodily shape of the carrier, while the equipment, nevertheless, is readily accessible for uses within a minimum time frame, and without bodily interference.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The photographic equipment carrying case of this invention comprises a relatively hard outer case manufactured, for example, of a tough plastic material such as polyethylene, or other suitable material. One side and/or the bottom of the case is concavely curved to conform, for example, to the shape of the hip of the person carrying it, or to the curvature of a horse, saddle or the like. Strap attachment means upon the ends of the case accommodate its being fastened for firm support against the body of the carrier, thereby minimizing free movement of the case and assuring an ease of carrying, free from movement relative to the body of the carrier.

The bottom curvature of the case accommodates the acceptance of relatively long lenses, the camera being mounted between the lense positions. The entire interior of the case is lined with sponge material such that the equipment stored therein is retained in an interference fit with respect to the sponge.

Hinge means upon the side of the case remote from the concave curvature connects a base or receptacle portion to a lid. Latch means upon both ends of the case cooperate with the hinges to retain the lid and permit it to be opened away from the body of the carrier, providing ease of access to the equipment contained.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the equipment case of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the case;

FIG. 3 is a top view taken along line 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the interior of the case, showing the equipment stored therein;

FIG. 5 is a cross section taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the case illustrating an alternative strap attachment structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In detail, the equipment carrying case 10 of this invention is shown in a perspective view, generally as oriented while being carried upon the hip of the photographer. The case includes a base or receptacle portion 12 and a lid portion 14, each being conformed in shape to include a concavely curved region on what may be termed as an inner side thereof, indicated by the numeral 16.

The front or forward region 18 of the case 10 is generally convexly curved and includes a protruding portion 20 extending outward from the main region of curvature 18 of the case 10. This protrusion 20 extends over a portion of both the base 12 and the lid 14, so as to define a continuously protruding portion.

A pair of hinges 22 are mounted upon the protrusion 20 and are connected to both the base 12 and the lid 14, thereby accommodating an easily opening container, i.e., the lid 14 opening away from the body of the carrier. This facilitates ready access to the equipment contained in the carrying case when that case is being supported upon the hip of the photographer. It is sometimes desirable that the hinges 22 be of the type generally known as "partially opening". This permits the lid 14 to be positioned in a partially opened condition. This ultimately results in a decreased tendancy for the weight of the lid 14 to cause structural damage to the case in the region of the hinges 22 during time periods when the lid is so retained.

It is also sometimes desirable that a single hinge 22 rather than the illustrated double hinge be utilized.

Latches 24 are provided on either end of the case 10 to assure a positive latching of the lid 14 to the base 12. Such placement also assures ease of access to these latches 24. An additional benefit of this placement is the fact that the curved region 16 is free from hardware protrusions, thereby obviating the existence of extraneous objects in contact with the hip of the carrying party, the presence of which would prove uncomfortable to that person.

A pair of guide members 25, usually bonded to the interior of the base 12, extend upward to engage the interior of the surface of the lid 14 when the lid is closed. Although optional, these guides contribute support and rigidity to the lid 14, relieving the stress otherwise applied to the hinges 22 and latches 24.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, slots 26 are provided through each end of the base portion 12 adjacent the curved portion 16 and a belt 28 is received therethrough, that belt 28 lying flat against the interior surface 30 of the base and conforming to the curved shape thereof so as to provide little or no interference with the equipment contained therein. The strap 28 is usually made of woven fabric, leather or any other suitable material. It is conventionally adjustable (not shown) to accommodate its being retained about the body of the photographer.

It is sometimes desirable to utilize an alternative embodiment of the strap retention means just described by first providing a slot 32 through the corner 34 of the base 12. In such event the strap 28 does not actually penetrate the interior of the case. Rather, it extends through the slots 32, such that a portion of the strap is held in a taut or semi-taut condition between two corners 34. This provides a web which tends to hold the case 10 away from the body of the bearer, thereby sometimes relieving the bearer of tendencies toward bodily chafing. Since the slot 32 does not penetrate the interior of the base 12, this configuration also enhances the waterproof characteristics of the case.

Additionally provided upon the two ends of the base portion 12 are a pair of strap retainers 36, in this instance a ring type retainer. A strap 38 may be attached to these retainers such that it can be placed, for example, over the shoulder of the bearer, to better secure the case while the bearer is traveling, or to support the case at such times as the bearer does not desire to have the belt 28 secured.

The interior of the base portion 12 is lined with a foamed or sponge material such as foamed polyethylene. It has been found desirable to use a material thickness of about one-half inch, such a material being illustrated by numeral 38 in FIGS. 1 and 3. In any event, a thickness should be used sufficient to provide a proper vibration isolation for the equipment stored therein.

In the usual case, the entire interior of the lid portion 14 is also filled with sponge material, as illustrated at 40 in FIG. 4. Again this provides a cushioning for the equipment stored within the case 10. Cavities 41 may be provided to accept and cushion the lenses described below.

It will be noted, particularly in FIGS. 2 and 4, that the bottom 42 of the base portion 12 is concavely curved over the greatest portion thereof. This curvature has a dual function: (a) to provide a better mating of the case 10 to the curvature of the body of the bearer and (b) to facilitate a receipt of a camera in the central portion of the case, with an appropriate matching of the space available to the size of the equipment and to facilitate the retention of the additional equipment, such as the placement of a lens upon either side of the camera.

Such an equipment orientation is illustrated in FIG. 4. Therein, a camera 44 and a pair of camera lenses 46 and 48 are so stored within the base 12. It will be noticed that the back of the camera 44 abuts the curved portion 16 of the base 12, with the lens portion being positioned within the protrusion 20. Both such camera portions abut, penetrate slightly and are cushioned by the foamed material 38, for proper support. In the usual case, the camera 44 also extends a short distance upward beyond the interior, per se, of the base 12. Thus, it also penetrates and is retained in cushioned relation by the foamed material 40 when the lid 14 is closed. Moreover, the extension of a portion of the camera beyond the top of the base 12 also facilitates an ease of grasping and removal of the camera from the case. It will also be noted that the lenses 46 and 48 nest within the respective ends of the base 12 adjacent the ends of the camera 44, these lenses being similarly cushioned by the foamed materials 38 and 40.

Hence, the curved shape and the structural features heretofore described provide to this photographic equipment carrying case a great utility for its intended function, fully meeting the objects of invention. It will be readily recognized that reasonable departure from the specific elements and features described may be accommodated without departing from either the spirit or the scope of this invention.