Title:
Hose attachment storage apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments. The storage apparatus comprises an elongated trunk member that includes at least one branch member having a portion that extends in non-parallel relation with the trunk member and a portion configured for insertion into an end of a garden hose attachment for supportably storing the garden hose attachment on the at least one branch member. The storage apparatus may also further include one or more attachment apparatus for securing the trunk member to a structure such as the surface of the earth, a fence, a tree, a wall, etc.



Inventors:
Thorson, Thomas (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Eliot Collins, Paddy (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Collins, Lari Lee (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/896306
Publication Date:
01/27/2005
Filing Date:
07/21/2004
Assignee:
THORSON THOMAS
ELIOT COLLINS PADDY
COLLINS LARI LEE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/156
International Classes:
A47F7/00; (IPC1-7): A47F7/00
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Primary Examiner:
NEWTON, JARED W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PADDY ELIOT COLLINS (COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US)
Claims:
1. A storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments, the apparatus comprising: an elongated trunk member; at least one branch member, wherein at least a first portion of the at least one branch member extends in non-parallel relation from the trunk member and wherein a second portion of the at least one branch member is configured for insertion into an end of a garden hose attachment for supportably storing the garden hose attachment on the at least one branch member; and an attachment apparatus for securing the trunk member to a structure.

2. The storage apparatus of claim 1 comprising: a plurality of branch members, wherein at least a first portion of each of the plurality of branch members extends in non-parallel relation from the trunk member and wherein a second portion of each of the plurality of branch members is configured for insertion into an end of the garden hose attachment for supportably storing the garden hose attachment thereon.

3. The storage apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second portion of the at least one branch member extends from the first portion of the at least one branch member in parallel relation with the trunk member.

4. The storage apparatus of claim 1 wherein the at least one branch member is connectable to the trunk member in a detachable manner.

5. The storage apparatus of claim 1 wherein the at least one branch member is connectable to the trunk member at a plurality of vertical positions along the trunk member.

6. The storage apparatus of claim 1 wherein the attachment apparatus comprises a tapered end to facilitate driving the trunk member into the surface of the earth.

7. The storage apparatus of claim 1 wherein the attachment apparatus comprises a plurality of apertures, wherein each of the plurality of apertures is configured to receive a respective one of a plurality of fasteners for securing the trunk member to at least one of a wall, a fence, and a tree.

8. The storage apparatus of claim 1 wherein the attachment apparatus comprises one of a loop and a hook configured to receive a fastener for securing the trunk member to at least one of a wall, a fence, and a tree.

9. A storage apparatus for storage of garden hose attachments, the apparatus comprising: an elongated trunk member; at least one mounting peg extending outward from the trunk member, wherein the at least one mounting peg is configured for insertion into a female end of a garden hose attachment for supportably storing the garden hose attachment on the at least one mounting peg; and an attachment apparatus for securing the trunk member to a structure.

10. The storage apparatus of claim 9 wherein the at least one branch member is connectable to the trunk member in a detachable manner.

11. The storage apparatus of claim 9 wherein the plurality of branch members are connectable to the trunk member at a plurality of vertical positions along the trunk member.

12. The storage apparatus of claim 9 wherein the attachment apparatus comprises a tapered end to facilitate driving the trunk member into the surface of the earth.

13. The storage apparatus of claim 9 wherein the attachment apparatus comprises a plurality of apertures, wherein each of the plurality of apertures is configured to receive a respective one of a plurality of fasteners for securing the trunk member to at least one of a wall, a fence, and a tree.

14. The storage apparatus of claim 9 wherein the attachment apparatus comprises one of a loop and a hook configured to receive a fastener for securing the trunk member to at least one of a wall, a fence, and a tree.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This patent application claims priority from U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/488,993, that was filed on Jul. 22, 2003, and that is entitled “HOSE ATTACHMENT TREE.” The entire disclosure of U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 60/488,993 is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention is related to the field of garden hoses, and in particular, to an apparatus for the simple convenient storage of garden hose attachments.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Hoses, such as a garden hoses used in commercial and home applications are extremely versatile, and as such, have become the target for a variety of accessories designed for different purposes. Some examples of these accessories include attachments such as spray nozzles, lawn sprinklers, gardening wands, etc., referred to herein generally as garden hose attachments. Because of the sheer diversity and usefulness of these attachments, it is very typical for an owner of a hose to own several attachments.

As will be appreciated, the convenient storage of these attachments can often be difficult. At least one difficulty lies in the design of a storage system to accommodate the variety of different shapes and sizes of the various attachments. As a result the attachments are often discarded on the ground after use, where they may become lost or damaged.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing, a primary object of the present invention is to provide simple convenient storage apparatus for garden hose attachments. Another object of the present invention is to provide a storage apparatus for garden hose attachments that can be used with any type of hose accessory or attachment that is designed for connection to a garden hose. Another object of the present invention is to provide a simple and convenient means for securing the storage apparatus at a desirable location to a structure such as the surface of the earth, a fence, a wall, a tree, etc.

One or more of the above objectives and additional advantages may be realized by a first aspect of the present invention, which provides a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments. The storage apparatus includes an elongated trunk member that includes at least one branch member. The at least one branch member includes a portion that extends in non-parallel relation from the trunk member and a portion configured for insertion into a female end of a garden hose attachment for supportably storing the garden hose attachment on the at least one branch member. The apparatus further includes an attachment means for securing the trunk member to a structure such as the surface of the earth, a fence, a wall, a tree, etc.

Various refinements exist of the features noted in relation to the subject first aspect of the present invention. Further features may also be incorporated in the subject first aspect of the present invention as well. These refinements and additional features may exist individually or in any combination. For instance according to a first feature, the apparatus may include a plurality of branch members for the storage of a plurality of garden hose attachments. In this regard, the branch members may be integrally formed as a part of the trunk member or alternatively may be separate structures connectable in a detachable manner to the trunk member. In the latter case another feature of the present aspect includes the ability to adjust the spacing between the branch members by connecting the branch members at different vertical elevations along the trunk member.

According to another feature of the present invention, the storage apparatus is configured with multiple means for securing the storage apparatus to a structure such as the surface of the earth, a fence, a wall, a tree, etc. In a first example, the trunk member may include a tapered first end to facilitate driving the trunk member into the ground at a desired location. In another example, the tapered first end may include threads to facilitate screwing the trunk member into the ground at a desired location. In another example, the trunk member may include a tapered first end and a hook or loop located in a distal end of the trunk member to provide a means for securing the trunk member to a wall, a fence, a tree, etc. In another example, the trunk member may include a tapered first end, a hook or loop located in a distal end, and a plurality of apertures located along the trunk member to provide a means for screwing the trunk member to a wall, a fence, a tree, etc.

According to another feature of the present invention, the branch members are configured for slideable insertion into a female end of a garden hose attachment. Advantageously, the branch members provide a simple threadless method for locating and store such attachments. In this regard, the branch members may include a coating or cap applied to their tip portion. Advantageously, the coating or caps minimize the potentially sharp edge of the tip portion of the branch members from being presented to a user or casual passerby.

According to another feature of the present invention, the storage apparatus may be integrated or connected to a garden hose storage device to provide a single storage location for a garden hose and the numerous attachments for the same.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate numerous other examples of the basic principles of the present invention, namely, providing a simple convenient storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments. Furthermore, additional aspects, advantages and applications of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the embodiment of the storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 illustrates another embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates another embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates another embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention; and

FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which at least assist in illustrating the various pertinent features of the present invention. In this regard, the following description is presented for purposes of illustration and description. The description is not intended to limit the invention to the form disclosed herein. Consequently, variations and modifications commensurate with the following teachings, and skill and knowledge of the relevant art, are within the scope of the present invention. The embodiments described herein are further intended to enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention in such, or other embodiments and with various modifications required by the particular application(s) or use(s) of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown one embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention, namely storage apparatus 100. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the storage apparatus 100 is configured to provide a storage structure for garden hose attachments, such as attachments 102, 104, 106, and 108. The storage apparatus 100 may be used with any type of garden hose accessory that includes a conventional garden hose type fitting. Advantageously, the storage apparatus 100 provides a low cost simple and convenient storage apparatus for garden hose attachments, such as attachments 102, 104, 106, and 108. As will be appreciated from the following description, the storage apparatus 100 may be driven into the ground using a hammer or similar instrument, at a location convenient to a user. Alternatively, the storage apparatus 100 may be mounted or secured to a structure such as a fence, a wall, a tree, etc. as described herein below.

With reference to FIG. 2, the storage apparatus 100 includes an elongated trunk member 110 having at least one and preferably, a plurality of branch members extending outward therefrom, as illustrated by branch members 112, 114, and 116. It will be appreciated that branch members 112, 114, and 116, are provided for the purpose of illustration and that additional or fewer branch members may be included on the storage apparatus 100 as a matter of design choice. In this regard, the branch members 112, 114, and 116 may be separate structures from the trunk member 110 that are attachable to the trunk member 110 using hardware such as screws or nuts and bolts (not shown). Alternatively, the branch members 112, 114, and 116, may be integrally formed as a part of the trunk member 110 during manufacturing. In the former case, it will be appreciated that the trunk member 110 may also include additional mounting holes (illustrated in FIG. 6) so that a user may add additional branch members, e.g. 112, to the trunk member 110 as the need arises, e.g. upon acquiring additional garden hose attachments, such as attachments 102, 104, etc., illustrated on FIG. 1.

The branch members 112, 114, and 116 each define a pair of mounting pegs 118 and 120 that extend outward from the trunk member 110 in substantially opposite directions. The mounting pegs 118 and 120 are each configured to receive a garden hose attachment thereon as illustrated in FIG. 1. In particular, the mounting pegs 118 and 120 are designed to receive a female portion of a hose attachment, such as attachment 104, in a slideable manner thereon. Advantageously, the mounting pegs 118 and 120 provide a threadless method for supporting and storing hose attachments 102, 104, 106 and 108 etc. Also advantageously, the mounting pegs 118 and 120 provide easy and convenient access to the various hose attachments, e.g. 104, stored thereon. Yet another advantage of the tree style design of the present storage apparatus 100 is that the branch members 112, 114, and 116, permit hose attachments to be draped across or hung on over them as well as supported by the female end of the attachment, e.g. 104.

Operationally, a user selects a desired location for the storage apparatus 100. The storage apparatus 100 may then be detachably located by driving an end into the ground using a hammer or other means. Thereafter, the user may select an attachment for use by simply sliding it off of a respective mounting peg, e.g. 118, and upon completion of its use, slide the attachment 104 back onto its respective mounting peg 118.

With reference to FIG. 3, it is desirable that the mounting pegs, e.g. 118 extend outward relative to the trunk member 110 and angle upward relative to the horizon or top 300 of the trunk member 110. This in turn facilitates the support of the hose attachments, e.g. 104 on the mounting pegs, e.g. 118 using gravitational force. In this regard, it is desirable but not necessary that the upward angle σ between then trunk member 110 and the mounting pegs, e.g. 118, be greater than 900 degrees. In particular, it is desirable that the angle σ be in the range of at least 900 to 1800 and more preferably in the range of 1100 to 1750 and even more preferably approximately 135°.

With reference to FIG. 4, according to another feature of the present invention, the storage apparatus 100 may include a tapered end 400 to facilitate driving of the trunk member 110 into the ground at a desired location. Further in this regard, the tapered end 400 may also include threads, such as threads 402, so that the storage apparatus 100 may be screwed into the ground or driven into the ground. It will be appreciated, that advantageously in the later case, no additional tools, such as a hammer, are required for locating and securing the storage apparatus 100 in the ground.

With reference to FIG. 5, according to another feature of the present invention, the storage apparatus 100 may include a means such as loop or hook 500 for hanging the storage apparatus 100 on a structure such as a fence or a wall (not shown). As illustrated on FIG. 5, the storage apparatus 100 may be configured with both the loop or hook 500 and the tapered or threaded end 400 to provide users with the option of either securing the storage apparatus 100 in the ground or to a fence, a wall, or other structure.

With reference to FIG. 6, according to another feature of the present invention, the storage apparatus 100 may include a plurality of apertures, e.g. apertures 600, 602, 604, 606, 608, 610, and 612, referred to herein as apertures 600-612. In one example, according to the present feature, apertures 600-612 may be utilized to secure the storage apparatus 100 to a fence, a wall, or other structure using screws or other means. In another example according to the present feature, the apertures 600-612 may also be utilized to add additional branch members, e.g. 112, to the trunk member 110 as desired by a user. In still yet another example of the present feature, the apertures 600-612 may be utilized to adjust the spacing between the branch members 112, 114, and 116, to accommodate larger garden hose attachments. For instance, it may be desirable to move the branch member 114 down toward the branch member 116 to provide a larger spacing between the branch members 112 and 114 to accommodate larger garden hose attachments, e.g. 106, on the mounting pegs 118 and 120. In this regard, as noted above the branch members, e.g. 112, may be connected to the trunk member 110 by bolts such that the branch members may be relocated along the trunk member 110 as desired by a user. As with the above feature, the storage apparatus 100 may be configured with the apertures 600-612, the loop or hook 500, and the tapered or threaded end 400 to provide a user with various options for securing the storage apparatus 100.

FIG. 7, illustrates another embodiment of a storage apparatus for the storage of garden hose attachments according to the present invention, namely storage apparatus 700. As with the storage apparatus 100, the storage apparatus 700 includes a trunk member 702 and at least one and preferably a plurality of branch members as illustrated by branch members 704 and 706. In this regard, the storage apparatus 700 is substantially similar to the storage apparatus 100 with the exception of the branch members 704 and 706. According to this embodiment, the branch members 704 and 706 are integrally formed into the trunk member 702 as a single unit. In addition, the branch members 704 and 706 are configured slightly different than the branch members, e.g. 112, of the storage apparatus 100, to illustrate additional possible configurations according to the present invention. In this regard, it will be appreciated that the branch members 704 and 706 may be configured in numerous different designs so long as they provide at least one mounting peg, e.g. 708, that maintains a spatial and angular orientation relative to the trunk member 702 to receive and support a garden house attachment, e.g. 104, thereon.

According to another feature of the present embodiment, the mounting pegs, e.g. 708, 710, 712, and 714 may each include a coating or cap 716, 718, 720, and 722 applied to their tip portion. The coating or caps 716, 718, 720, and 722 may be applied via a dipping process or the application of a secondary part fabricated of plastic, rubber, or similar material. Advantageously, the coating or caps 716, 718, 720, and 722 minimize the potentially sharp edge of the tip of the mounting pegs 708, 710, 712, and 714, from being presented to a user or casual passerby.

It will be appreciated that the embodiments of the present invention disclosed herein may be constructed from metal, plastic or a similarly suitable material, fabricated by means of precutting rod-stock, injection molding, stamping, or other appropriate manufacturing technique.

An extension of the present invention involves attachment of the storage apparatus 100 or 700 to a suitable surface on commercially available garden accessory used for mounting garden hoses. In this way the function of the existing device is further enhanced by having the capability to store hose attachments as well as a hose.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate variations of the above-described embodiments that fall within the scope of the invention. As a result, the invention is not limited to the specific examples and illustrations discussed above, but only by the following claims and their equivalents.