Title:
Garment hanger
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment hanger for supporting selected garments is disclosed. The garment hanger includes at least one frame member, at least one garment support member and at least one biasing element. The frame member includes at least one vertical member and at least one horizontal member. The horizontal member extends from at least one of the vertical members. The garment support member is pivotally attached to at least one of the horizontal members and is movable between a first position where it can accept a garment towards at least a second position where it can support a garment. The biasing element is in mechanical cooperation with one or both of a garment support member and a horizontal member and biases at least one garment support member towards its second position.



Inventors:
Baessler, Keith A. (St. James, NY, US)
Pentecoste, Mike (Manorville, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/482315
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
07/07/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/22
View Patent Images:
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20070241143Self Spacing HangersOctober, 2007Box et al.



Primary Examiner:
DURHAM, NATHAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARTER, DELUCA & FARRELL LLP (MELVILLE, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A garment hanger, comprising: at least one frame member, including: at least one vertical member; and at least one horizontal member, the at least one horizontal member extending from the at least one vertical member; at least one garment support member being pivotally attached to the at least one horizontal member, wherein the at least one garment support member is movable from a first position where a garment is acceptable between the at least one garment support member and the at least one horizontal member towards at least a second position where a garment is supportable between the at least one garment support member and the at least one horizontal member; and at least one biasing element disposed in mechanical cooperation with at least one of the at least one garment support member and the at least one horizontal member which biases that at least one garment support member towards its second position.

2. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein at least one biasing element is made of metal.

3. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the at least one garment support member includes at least one slot disposed therethrough which enhances air circulation therethrough.

4. The garment hanger according to claim 3, wherein the biasing element is substantially V-shaped and including a first leg and a second leg.

5. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the biasing element includes at least one aperture extending at least partially therethrough, the at least one aperture being insertable over a corresponding plug disposed on at least one of the at least one garment support member and the at least one horizontal member.

6. The garment hanger according to claim 1, further including at least one ridge disposed on at least one of the at least one garment support member and the at least one horizontal member, the at least one ridge limiting movement of the biasing element.

7. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the biasing element is removable.

8. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the at least one garment support member is capable of being releasably connected to the at least one horizontal member.

9. The garment hanger according to claim 1, further comprising a rail on the at least one horizontal member, the at least one garment support member being slidable along the rail.

10. The garment hanger according to claim 9, wherein the rail further comprises a plurality of detents thereon defining a plurality of positions, the at least one garment support member being repositionable between the plurality of positions.

11. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the at least one horizontal member comprises at least one hole disposed therethrough which enhances air circulation therethrough.

12. The garment hanger according to claim 1, wherein the garment hanger comprises a first frame member and a second frame member, the first frame member being hingedly connectable to the second frame member.

13. The garment hanger according to claim 12, wherein the first frame member is removable from the second frame member.

14. The garment hangar according to claim 12, wherein the first frame member is hingedly connectable to the second frame member via a barrel-type hinge.

15. A garment hanger, comprising: a first frame member and a second frame member, the first frame member being hingedly connectable to the second frame member, the first frame member and the second frame member each comprising: a first vertical member and a second vertical member; and a plurality of horizontal members, each of the plurality of horizontal members extending from the first vertical member to the second vertical member; and a plurality of garment support members, each of the plurality of garment support members being operatively engaged with the plurality of horizontal members, at least one of the plurality of garment support members comprising a plurality of slots disposed therethrough which enhance air circulation.

16. The garment hanger according to claim 15, wherein at least one of the plurality of horizontal members comprises a plurality of holes therethrough which enhance circulation of air through the garment hanger.

17. The garment hanger according to claim 15, wherein at least one of the plurality of garment support members is movable from a first position where a garment can fit between the garment support member and a horizontal member towards at least a second position where a garment is supported between the garment support member and a horizontal member.

18. The garment hanger according to claim 17, further including a biasing element that biases at least one of the plurality of garment support members towards its second position.

19. The garment hanger according to claim 18, wherein the biasing element is made of a material selected from the group consisting of metal and plastic.

20. The garment hanger according to claim 15, wherein the first frame member is removable from the second frame member.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefits of and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/700,911 entitled “GARMENT HANGER” which was filed on Jul. 20, 2005, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates to an apparatus which hangs garments. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to a garment hanger for drying and/or storing various articles of clothing.

2. Background of the Art

Devices for suspending articles of clothing are known in the art. In many instances, they are used for storing, displaying, and/or transporting various articles of clothing. As is typical with known devices, various structures are used to attach the articles of clothing to the device. These structures include clips that may be biased in an open or closed position, hooks, repositionable arms, etc. One feature that is common with many known devices is a hook or other suitable structure for hanging the device to a rod or other supporting structures.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure relates to a garment hanger for supporting selected garments. In an embodiment of the disclosure, the garment hanger includes at least one frame member, at least one garment support member and at least one biasing element. The frame member includes at least one vertical member and at least one horizontal member. The horizontal member extends from at least one of the vertical members. The garment support member is pivotally attached to at least one of the horizontal members and is movable between a first position where it can accept a garment towards at least a second position where it can support a garment. The biasing element is in mechanical cooperation with one or both of a garment support member and a horizontal member and biases at least one garment support member towards its second position.

In an embodiment of the presently disclosed garment hanger, at least one garment support member is movable from a first position towards at least a second position. In the first position, a garment can be accepted between the garment support member and the horizontal member. In the second position, a garment can be supported between the garment support member and the horizontal member. It is envisioned that the garment support member is biased towards its second position via a biasing element, which may be removable. It is also envisioned that the garment support member is able to releasably connect to a horizontal member.

In a disclosed embodiment, the biasing element is substantially V-shaped and may include at least one aperture extending at least partially therethrough. In this embodiment, the aperture is insertable over a corresponding plug disposed on a garment support member and/or a horizontal member. At least one ridge may be disposed on a garment support member or a horizontal member to limit movement of the biasing element.

It is contemplated that a horizontal member may include a rail. The rail allows a garment support member to be slidably positioned along the horizontal member. In a further embodiment, the rail has a plurality of detents thereon defining a plurality of positions. A garment support member is able to be repositioned between the plurality of positions.

In another embodiment, a horizontal member includes at least one hole extending therethrough. The hole enhances air circulation through the garment member. It is contemplated that the hole(s) at least partially aligns with the slot(s) in the garment support member.

In an embodiment of the disclosure, there is a first frame member and a second frame member. The first frame member is hingedly connected to the second frame member. It is envisioned for a barrel hinge to connect the frame members. It is envisioned for the first frame member to include a clip and for the second frame member to include an orifice. In such an embodiment, the clip of the first frame member is matable with the orifice of the second frame member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present disclosure are described hereinbelow with reference to the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a garment hanger in the prior art;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the presently disclosed garment hanger in a closed position;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the garment hanger of FIG. 2 in an open position, shown with garments in phantom;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the garment hanger of FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrating a garment support member in an open position;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the garment hanger of FIGS. 2-4, illustrating alternate embodiments of garment support members;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, top perspective view of the garment hanger of FIGS. 2-5 illustrating a biasing element; and

FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of the biasing element and garment hanger of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the presently disclosed garment hanger are now described in detail with reference to the drawings, in which like reference numerals designate identical or corresponding elements in each of the several views.

Initially referring to FIG. 1, a clothing hanger 10 in the prior art is illustrated. The clothing hanger 10 includes vertical supports 20, horizontal supports 30 and clips 40. Clothing (not shown) is held between a horizontal support 30 and a clip 40.

A garment hanger in accordance with the present disclosure is referred to in FIGS. 2-5 as reference numeral 100. The garment hanger 100 generally includes at least one frame member 10 (illustrated in FIGS. 2-5 as two frame members 110 and 110′) and at least one garment support member 150 (illustrated in FIG. 2 as three garment support members 150a, 150b and 150c on frame member 110). Each frame member 110 generally includes a pair of vertical members 120, and at least one horizontal member 130 (illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5 as three horizontal members 130a, 130b and 130c), which extend between the vertical members 120. In one embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the frame member 110′ generally includes a pair of vertical members 120′, three horizontal members 130a′, 130b′ and 130c′ and three garment support members 150a′, 150b′ and 150c′.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the garment hanger 100 is shown in a closed position wherein the frame members 110 and 110′ are illustrated pivoted towards each other along an axis defined by hinge portions 112 (see FIG. 3). The hinge portions 112 are arranged vertically and are formed by complementary structures on each of frame members 110 and 110′. The frame members 110 and 110′ can pivot away from each other, as referenced by arrows A and A′ in FIG. 3. As can be appreciated, the frame members 110 and 110′ can also be pivoted towards each other. Alternatively, the hinge portions 112 may include camming structures (not shown) that hold the frame members 110 and 110′ open in substantially the same plane (shown in FIG. 3). At least one of the hinge portions 112 may be a barrel hinge. As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, the frame members 110 and 110′ can be maintained in close proximity to one another by the engagement of a clip 114 and an orifice 116. The clip 114 may be biased towards a first position. A sliding engagement with an inner surface of the orifice 116 overcomes the normal bias of clip 114 as the frame members 110 and 110′ are pivoted towards each other. After a predetermined amount of movement has occurred, the inner surface of the orifice 116 ceases to overcome the bias of the clip 114 and the normal bias of the clip 114 urges a tip of the clip 114 to engage the orifice 116 thereby releasably holding the frame members 110 and 110′ in juxtaposition to one another.

As seen in FIG. 5, each frame member 110, 110′ may include one or more embodiments of garment support members 150a, 152a, 152b and 154. Other types of garment support members are also envisioned and are within the scope of the disclosure. In particular, garment support member 150a is an elongate structure that is pivotably attached to the horizontal member 130a. More specifically, the garment support member 150a is pivotable with respect to the horizontal member 130a. In the embodiment of the disclosure illustrated in FIG. 5, the garment support member 150a includes a plurality of slots 160, at least one hinge portion 162 and at least one opening 164. In this embodiment, the horizontal member 130a includes hinge portions 132 and clips 134 (see FIG. 4). The hinge portions 132 and 162 cooperate to form a pair of hinges that allow the garment support member 150a to pivot from an open position (FIG. 4) towards a closed position (FIG. 5) and vice versa, as indicated by arrow B in FIG. 4. The garment support member 150a is pivotable with respect to the horizontal member 130a. The clips 134 interact with the openings 164 to allow the garment support member 150a to be secured in a closed position. The interaction between the clips 134 and the openings 164 is substantially similar to the interaction between the clip 114 and the orifice 116 and will not be discussed in further detail. In its open position, the garment support member 150a (FIG. 4) is spaced apart from the horizontal member 130a defining a gap therebetween, thereby allowing one or more garments (shown in phantom in FIG. 3) to be placed in the gap.

After the desired number of garments have been placed in the gap, the garment support member 150 is pivoted from its first or open position towards its second or closed position (i.e., towards the horizontal member 130), thereby reducing the size of the gap, until portions of the garments are captured between the garment support member 150 and the horizontal member 130 (see FIG. 3). In addition, after the garment support member 150 is pivoted towards the horizontal member 130, the clips 134 interact with the openings 164 to releasably maintain the relative positions of the horizontal member 130 and the garment support member 150.

The slots 160 are positioned along the garment support member 150 and provide pathways for air to circulate, thereby enhancing the drying of the garments supported by garment support member 150. In one embodiment, circulation of air through slots 160 is further enhanced by holes 136 that are disposed along the horizontal member 130. It is envisioned that a least a portion of a slot 160 is aligned with at least a portion of a hole 136. The garments may be removed by pivoting the garment support member 150 away from the horizontal member 130. When removing the garments, the clips 134 are biased such that they do not engage the openings 164, thereby allowing pivotal movement of the garment support member 150 away from the horizontal member 130 to increase the size of the gap and release the portions of the garments disposed therebetween.

A majority of the figures illustrate the garment hanger 100 having three horizontal members 130, but it is envisioned for the garment hanger 100 to have fewer than or more than three horizontal members 130. As illustrated in FIG. 5, at least one horizontal member 130 of the garment hanger 100 may include more than one garment support members 150. Horizontal member 130b is illustrated with two garment support members 152a and 152b in FIG. 5. It is envisioned for the garment support members 152a, 152b to be slidable with respect to the horizontal member 130b, as indicated by arrow C in FIG. 5. The garment support member 152a is slidable along a rail 138 near an upper portion of the horizontal member 130. In a further embodiment, the rail 138 includes a plurality of detents 139 which enable the garment support member 150 to be moved to discrete positions. The detents 139 on the rail 138 define a plurality of positions between which a garment support member 150 may be positioned and repositioned. It is contemplated that the detents 139 are arranged such that when in a discrete position, at least a portion of a slot 160 on the garment support member 150 aligns with at least a portion of a hole 136 of the horizontal member 130.

Another embodiment of a garment support member 154 is illustrated in FIG. 5. The garment support member 154 is spring biased in a closed position by a spring 156 or other suitable structure. As can be appreciated, compression of the spring 156 pivots the garment support member 154 about a hinge towards its closed position. Additionally, a plurality of slots 160 may be disposed on the garment support member 154.

As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, each garment support member 150, 150′ may also be pivotally secured to horizontal members 130, 130′, respectively, via at least one biasing element 180. At least one biasing element 180 may be disposed between the garment support members 150, 150′ and the horizontal members 130, 130′. Biasing element 180 biases garment support members 150, 150′ towards their respective second positions, where garments may be supported.

Biasing element 180 includes a substantially V-shaped (including a substantial U-shape) length of material (e.g., metal, plastic, or the like) having a first leg 182 and a second leg 184. The first leg 182 is secured to at least one horizontal member 130, 130′ and the second leg 184 is secured to at least one garment support member 150, 150′ (e.g., first leg 182 is secured to horizontal member 130 and second leg 184 is secured to garment support member 150). Biasing element 180 is configured to bias the first leg 182 and the second leg 184 in opposite directions from each other. In this embodiment, lower portions 151, 151 ′ of garment support members 150, 150′ are biased towards the horizontal members 130, 130′, respectively.

Biasing element 180 may be permanently affixed (e.g., soldered) or removably secured to horizontal members 130, 130′ and/or garment support members 150, 150′. FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate biasing element 180 being removably secured to both garment support members 150, 150′ and horizontal members 130, 130′. In the illustrated embodiment, biasing element 180 includes a first aperture 186 (FIG. 7) on its first leg 182 and a second aperture 188 (FIG. 6) on its second leg 184. First aperture 186 is insertable over a first plug 190 on the horizontal members 130, 130′ and second aperture 188 is insertable over a second plug 192 on the garment support members 150, 150′.

Additionally, at least one ridge 194 (several pairs of ridges 194 are shown) may be included on the horizontal members 130, 130′ (see FIG. 7) and/or on the garment support members 150, 150′ (not explicitly shown). As can be appreciated with reference to FIG. 7, the at least one ridge 194 may limit any undesired shifting of the biasing element 180.

It is envisioned that a plurality of plugs and/or projections 190, 192 may be included on any horizontal member 130a, 130b, 130c, 130a′, 130b′, 130c′ and/or any garment support member 150a, 150b, 150c, 150a′, 150b′, 150c′, 152a, 152b, 154, thus enabling the biasing element 180 to be positioned at various locations. It is also envisioned that a plurality of biasing elements 180 may be included. Additionally, the biasing element 180 may be used alone or in conjunction with other elements of the garment hanger 100 such as the spring 156, clip 134 or opening 164.

As can be appreciated with reference to FIG. 5, any combination of garment support members 150, 152a, 152b and 154 may be used on the horizontal members 130 of the garment hanger 100.

In another embodiment, the garment support members 152a and 152b include an engagement structure (not shown) for releasably connecting to one another. In such an embodiment, the garment support members 152a and 152b function as a single garment support member.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2-5, each frame member 110, 110′ of the garment hanger 100 may include a hook 118, 118′, respectively. The hook 118, 118′ facilitates hanging the garment hanger 100 on a rod (shown in phantom in FIGS. 2-5) or other structure. The hooks 118, 118′ may be attached to the frame members 110, 110′, respectively, via a swivel hinge.

As shown in phantom in FIG. 2, it is envisioned that the garment hanger 100 includes a handle 170. As can be appreciated, the handle 170 could facilitate transporting the garment hanger 100. Although illustrated on horizontal member 130b, it is contemplated for the handle 170 to be disposed on any portion of the garment hanger 100.

It is envisioned that each frame member 110, 110′ includes only one vertical member 120, 120′, as opposed to a pair of vertical members. In such an embodiment, the horizontal members 130, 130′ will be cantilevered with respect to the vertical member 110, 110′.

While the above description contains many specifics, these specifics should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the present disclosure, but merely as illustrations of various embodiments thereof. For example, the word garment is intended to include all types of items that may become wet, such as for example, towels, rags, tablecloths, rugs, etc. It is also envisioned for the garment support members to be removable from their respective horizontal members. It is further envisioned for the horizontal members and the vertical members not to be horizontal and vertical. Thus, it is envisioned that the horizontal members and the vertical members are not perpendicular to each other. Rather, the horizontal members and the vertical members may form acute or obtuse angles with one another. It is further envisioned for the holes and slots to be of any suitable size and of any regular or irregular shape. Those skilled in the art will envision many other possible variations that are within the scope and spirit of the present disclosure.