Title:
Garage door track clothesline
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A C-clamp type bracket is attached to a back end of the horizontal portion of a garage door track. A clothesline is attached to a bottom end of an arm extending downwardly from the C-clamp type bracket and to the top of a vertical portion of the garage door track. Bolts through loops in the ends of the clothesline secure the clothesline to a hole in the arm and the vertical portion of the garage door track or a bracket attaching the vertical portion to the garage door frame. The garage door track clothesline device may be suspended temporarily or permanently from the garage door track.



Inventors:
Morin, Jeffery Paul (Fredericksburg, TX, US)
Morin, Vicki Elaine (Fredericksburg, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/440334
Publication Date:
11/20/2003
Filing Date:
05/16/2003
Assignee:
MORIN JEFFERY PAUL
MORIN VICKI ELAINE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D06F53/04; (IPC1-7): D06F53/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Donald W. Meeker (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A garage door track clothesline device for attaching to a garage door track to enable a user to hang clothes in a garage with a vehicle parked in the garage, wherein the garage door track has a vertical portion attached to a garage door frame by a door track bracket at a top portion and at a bottom portion of the vertical portion, a horizontal portion hung by at least a front and a back hanger from the garage ceiling and a curved portion therebetween so that a garage door with rollers is capable of running in the track from the vertical portion closing the doorway to a door stop point spaced from the back hanger on the horizontal portion opening the doorway, the device comprising: a clothesline bracket fabricated of light weight material, the clothesline bracket comprising a top clamp means configured to fit around a horizontal portion of a garage door track between a door stop point and a back end of a horizontal portion of the garage door track, the top clamp having a securing means to attach the top clamp means to the garage door track and to maintain the top clamp immovably on the garage door track, the clothesline bracket further comprising an elongated arm connected to the top clamp and extending downwardly therefrom, the elongated arm having at least one line attaching means, the elongated arm extending downwardly from the top clamp a sufficient distance to position the at least one line attaching means opposite to a top of a vertical portion of the garage door track; a clothesline comprising an elongated line capable of receiving clothes hung thereon with a front end having a front securing means capable of being attached to the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track and a back end having a back securing means capable of being attached to the at least one line attaching means on the elongated arm so that the clothesline is capable of being strung along the length of the horizontal portion of the garage door track and clothes may be hung therefrom.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the at least one line attaching means comprises at least one opening in the elongated arm and the back securing means comprises an opening means at the back end of the clothesline capable of receiving a screw means therethrough to attach the back end of the clothesline to the clothesline bracket.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track has an opening therethrough and the front securing means comprises an opening means at the front end of the clothesline capable of receiving a screw means therethrough to attach the front end of the clothesline to the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track.

4. The device of claim 3 further comprising a door track bracket for attaching the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track to a garage door frame, the door track bracket having a hole therethrough capable of receiving the screw means from the front end of the clothesline.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the at least one line attaching means comprises at least one opening in the elongated arm and the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track has an opening therethrough and the clothesline is provided with a loop at each end of the line comprising the front and back securing means so that each loop is capable of receiving a screw means therethrough to attach the front end of the clothesline to the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track and to attach the back end of the clothesline to the clothesline bracket.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein the top clamp means comprises a C-type clamp having a top opening and a bottom opening and the securing means to attach the top clamp means to the garage door track comprises a screw means engaged through the top opening and the bottom opening of the C-type clamp.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the clothesline bracket is fabricated of lightweight aluminum or steel.

Description:

CLAIM OF PROVISIONAL APPLICATION RIGHTS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/380,940, filed on May 17, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to the field of suspended clotheslines, and in particular one that is mounted on the underside of an overhead garage door track.

[0004] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0005] Due to inclement weather and regulations in some neighborhoods it is not possible to hang wet clothes outside of the house. Hanging clothes inside the house gets in the way of other household activity, such as clothes hanging in the shower or bathtub when someone wants to use them. Basement areas are often damp places and may not provide the best drying environment. If a basement has a musty smell that smell will often be imparted to the wet clothes hung there. If the basement is used for recreation, wet clothes hanging there may interfere with other activity. The bottom line is that wet clothes hanging in the house are unattractive and undesirable. A garage is often a better place to hang wet clothes out of the way of household activity and in a location with better drying conditions and no musty smell.

[0006] Prior art examples show that basements and cellars have long been used for areas in which to suspend clotheslines. While some attempts have been made to provide garage clotheslines, they are often not designed to allow a vehicle to be parked in the garage at the same time or are really too heavy to be mounted on a garage door track because the device plus the wet clothes are likely to bend and damage the track.

[0007] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 3,978,988, issued Sep. 7, 1976 to Friedeberg, provides a design for attaching a portable clothesline to an overhead garage door. The overhead clothesline support is adapted to be attached to an overhead garage door track. The support comprises a horizontally disposed elongated end-beam with two ends and that has means along its length for attaching clothesline thereto. The support also comprises a pair of vertically disposed, spaced, beams. Each beam has a first end and a second end. The first end of each beam being secured to said end-beam intermediate the ends of the end-beam. A pair of J-shaped hooks open downwardly and have a long leg and a short leg. The long leg of each hook is secured to the second end of a beam. The short leg of each hook lies in a plane spaced from the beams and is adapted to hook over the garage door track. The support also includes a horizontally disposed crossbeam that has ends and extends between the beams. A crossbeam is secured at its ends to the beams intermediate the first and second ends thereof. A brace extends upwardly from the crossbeam toward the plane of the hook short legs and the brace is adapted to engage the garage door track to retain the J-shaped hooks in engagement with the track without interfering with garage door operation in the track. This device is too heavy for the track and also cannot be used with a vehicle parked in the space.

[0008] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,950,823, issued Aug. 30, 1960 to Woidka, depicts an indoor clothesline supporting device that has line anchoring part so constructed as to be quickly and readily separable from their supporting structure. The device provides a clothesline supporting apparatus that has line-anchoring elements adapted to extend through a ceiling to support an overhead line. The anchoring elements are removable when not in use. The device does not require lockings pins. The elements of the device are maintained in assembled relation by the weight of the garments.

[0009] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,587,150, issued Feb. 26, 1952 to Hansen, shows a simple, durable and relatively inexpensive hanging support that can be used to support clotheslines. The hanging support is adapted to be quickly, easily, and securely attached to and removed from exposed overhead joists, such as those customarily found in basements or other unfinished areas of dwelling. The hanging support is of instant nature and comprises a hanger-bar and a clamp-bar adjustably tied thereto. The hanger-bar and the clamp-bar may be caused to engage the opposite sided of an exposed joist in a jaw-like manner, securely gripping the joist between them.

[0010] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,312,803, issued Mar. 2, 1943 to Curtenius, claims a retractable clothesline support that consists of frames that are arranged in spaced opposed relationship to one another. These frames are hinged to joists on the ceiling. The hinges are spaced on horizontal axes so they may be swung in the same direction from a vertical position to stored or horizontal position.

[0011] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,486,035, issued Oct. 25, 1949 to Koester, describes a support for clotheslines and the like that may be manipulated to displace bodily the device supported by it. The device is designed to be installed in an area with limited head room, such as a basement for example. When employed as a support for a clothesline, it will not permit the line to become entangled or sag under the weight of the wash hung thereon. The device is simply and easily manipulated into a lower or operative position so as to be easy to reach, or into an upper or inoperative position so as to be out of the way.

[0012] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,141,032, issued Dec. 20, 1938 to Cordell, discloses a clothesline support that is so constructed that the distance the wires are suspended from the ceiling may be readily adjusted. The support may be quickly installed in a basement or room and easily removed therefrom. The support is adapted to hold a plurality of lines and capable of adjustment, so the wires may be suspended parallel to the ceiling to which the supports are attached. The support comprises two parallel rods that are suspended from the ceiling by means of V-shaped brackets. The brackets may be adjusted to change the vertical and horizontal position of the rods, thereby changing position of the clotheslines that are suspended from the rods.

[0013] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 2,040,746, issued May 12, 1936 to Kniedler, indicates a simple and efficient clothes hanger that may be installed in basements, cellars and the like. The clothes hanger comprises a pair of spaced members, each is formed of a single bar of angle iron bent to provide a cross-piece, and upstanding end pieces. One of the flanges of the cross-piece is vertically arranged and the other flange of the cross-piece extends toward the other member. The lower ends of the end pieces rest on the ends of the last mentioned flange. The vertical flange of each cross piece has spaced notches therein, opening out through the upper edge of said flange. A clothesline is laced through the previously mentioned notches.

[0014] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 1,896,996, issued Feb. 7, 1933 to Beglinger, puts forth a clothes hanging device with a novel form of bracket designed for connection with wall structures, posts and rafters, irrespective of the inclination thereof. The invention consists of attaching bars carried by the supporting brackets, to which the clothes or drying lines are connected in a spaced manner insuring air circulation.

[0015] Prior art U.S. Pat. No. 1,697,977, issued Jan. 8, 1929 to Henryson, concerns a simple, efficient and practical support for clotheslines and the like, whereby such lines may, without being disconnected, be swung up into an out of the way position as desired. The support may be used, for instance, in basements where head room is needed when the lines are not in use.

[0016] What is needed is a lightweight clothesline hanger system which is easily attachable to a garage door track and enables the clothesline to run underneath the track so that the clothes may be hung even if there is a vehicle parked in the space.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0017] An object of the present invention is to provide a lightweight clothesline hanger system which is easily attachable to a garage door track and enables the clothesline to run underneath the track so that the clothes may be hung even if there is a vehicle parked in the space.

[0018] Another object of the present invention is to provide a garage door track clothesline that is inexpensive and easy to manufacture.

[0019] One more object of the present invention is to provide a secure lightweight aluminum or steel bracket that is easy to install and remove.

[0020] An additional object of the present invention is to provide a clothesline mounted to a vertical bracket located at the rear of the garage door track at one end and attached to a large door track bracket, which bolts to the vertical front door section of the garage door track at the other end, thereby providing strong support.

[0021] An added object of the present invention is to provide a device that utilizes the front vertical portion of the garage door track and the very back end of the track, beyond the travel of the door, to make good use of an existing structure while enabling alignment of the track beside a parked vehicle.

[0022] An ensuing object of the present invention is to provide an overhead clothesline that may be exposed to sunlight and outdoor air which does not need to be removed after each use in order to avoid the unattractiveness of lines in the yard.

[0023] An ancillary object of the present invention is to provide an overhead clothesline that may be used without concern over weather changes when the clothes are unattended.

[0024] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an overhead clothesline that may be exposed to sunlight and outdoor air without the inconvenience of going outside in homes which have attached garages.

[0025] An auxiliary object of the present invention is to provide an overhead clothesline that does not interfere with the operation of the garage door by means of a vertical bracket that is positioned at the far end of the garage door track, beyond the travel of the door.

[0026] In brief, a garage door track clothesline device for attaching to a garage door track that enables a user to hang clothes in a garage while a vehicle is parked in the garage. The garage door track clothesline device may be suspended temporarily or permanently from the garage door track. The device does not interfere with the operation of the garage door by means of a vertical bracket that is positioned at the far end of the garage door track, beyond the travel of the door. The clothesline is attached to the bottom end of the vertical bracket and also to a door track bracket, which attaches to the top of the vertical portion of the garage door track. The clothesline has looped ends that are attached to mounting holes provided on the door track bracket and on the elongated arm of the clothesline bracket by a screw means. When installed, the clothesline is aligned with the garage door track, positioned parallel to a parked vehicle, thereby out of the way.

[0027] An advantage of the present invention is that it is easy to install and remove.

[0028] Another advantage of the present invention is in being lightweight.

[0029] An additional advantage of the present invention is that it is inexpensive.

[0030] A contributory advantage of the present invention is that it is sturdy and supportive.

[0031] One more advantage of the present invention is that the clothes may be left unattended.

[0032] A further advantage of the present invention is in providing a space saving device.

[0033] Yet another advantage of the present invention is in providing a method of conserving electricity.

[0034] Still another advantage of the present invention is that it is easy to manufacture.

[0035] A corollary advantage is that the clothes may be exposed to fresh air and sunshine.

[0036] An added advantage of the present invention is that it does not interfere with the operation of the garage door.

[0037] A further advantage of the present invention is that it does not clutter the yard.

[0038] A final advantage of the present invention is in providing an option to dry clothes in a private manner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0039] These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

[0040] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the garage door track clothesline of the present invention attached to a garage door track showing clothes on the line and a car parked in the garage;

[0041] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the parts of the garage door track clothesline of FIG. 1 aligned for assembly;

[0042] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the parts of the garage door track clothesline of FIG. 1 with the components in the attached configuration.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0043] In FIGS. 1-3, a garage door track clothesline device 20 is provided for attaching to a garage door track, which enables a user to hang clothes 40 in a garage with a vehicle 50 parked in the garage, as shown in FIG. 1. The garage door track has a vertical portion 32 attached to a garage door frame by a door track bracket at a top portion and at a bottom portion of the vertical portion. The garage door track has a horizontal portion 30 hung by at least a front and a back hanger from the garage ceiling and a curved portion therebetween so a garage door 31 with rollers is capable of running in the track from the vertical portion closing the doorway to a door stop point spaced from the back hanger on the horizontal portion 30 opening the doorway.

[0044] The device 20 utilizes a clothesline bracket fabricated of lightweight material, preferably aluminum or steel, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The clothesline bracket comprises a C-type top clamp means 21 that is configured to fit around a horizontal portion 30 of a garage door track between a door stop point and a back end of a horizontal portion 30 of the garage door track. The top clamp 21 has a securing means to attach the top clamp 21 means to the horizontal section 30 of the garage door track and to maintain the top clamp 21 immovably on the garage door track. The C-type clamp 21 has a top opening 22 and a bottom opening 22. The securing means comprises a screw means, preferably a bolt 19, engaged through the top opening 22 and the bottom opening 22 of the C-type clamp 21 securing it tightly on the track.

[0045] The clothesline bracket further comprises an elongated arm 23 connected to the top clamp 21, which extends downwardly therefrom. The elongated arm has at least one line attaching means, which comprises at least one opening 24 in the elongated arm. The back securing means comprises an opening means, such as a loop 26 at the back end of the clothesline 25 capable of receiving a screw means, preferably a bolt 19, therethrough to attach the back end of the clothesline 25 to the opening 24 in the elongated arm 23 of the clothesline bracket. The elongated arm 23 extends downwardly from the top clamp 21 a sufficient distance to position the clothesline 25 in a horizontal position with a forward end of the clothesline having a loop 26 as an attaching means to a hole 33 in the vertical portion 32 of the door track or to a bracket attaching the track to the garage door opening on a top of a vertical portion 32 of the garage door track, as shown in FIG. 1.

[0046] In practice, a user would position the clothesline bracket attaching the C-clamp 21 to the horizontal portion 30 of the garage door track and running a clothesline 25 from the bottom of the arm 23 extending down from the C-shaped bracket to the vertical portion 32 of the track and attaching the other end of the clothesline to a hole in the track or a bracket attaching the track to the garage door frame.

[0047] Clothes 40 could then be hung on the line running underneath and parallel to the garage door track even with a vehicle 50 parked in the garage.

[0048] It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.