Title:
Expandable device utilized as a sport umbrella as well as an artificial christmas tree
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An extensible device for use such as an umbrella engaging mechanism or, alternately, a decorative supported tree. An elongated and lengthwise shaft includes an outer elongated tubular portion and an inner translatable portion. A repositionable clamp device is supported at an upper end of the device, such as for releasably securing an umbrella stem. A rotatable foot support is arranged at a lower end and facilitates driving the shaft into a ground location. In one variant, a rubber dampening insert is secured to a hollowed end of the outer tubular portion and receives a cord extending therethrough and which connects at an interior end to a translatable and noise generating anchor supported upon the end of the inner translatable portion. In another variant, the extensible device functions as a base support for a decorative tree, a plurality of elongated ribs being outwardly extensibly mounted to the outer tubular member, at least at its upper end, and each further including a faux pine branch design.



Inventors:
Jerry, Alex (St. Louis, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/259389
Publication Date:
04/26/2007
Filing Date:
10/26/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/114, 135/118
International Classes:
E04H15/28; E04H15/60; E04H15/62
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
JACKSON, DANIELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DINSMORE & SHOHL LLP (TROY, MI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An extensible device securable to a fixed location, comprising: an elongated and lengthwise extensible shaft having an outer elongated portion and an inner translatable portion; a plurality of elongated and outwardly expansible ribs pivotally secured to an upper end of said outer elongate portion; and a ground engaging support pivotally associated with a lower end of said outer elongate portion.

2. The device according to claim 1, said engaging support further comprising a foot assist tang.

3. The device according to claim 2, said foot assist tang being incorporated into said inner translatable portion and, upon a selected axial alignment with said outer elongated portion, rotating through a lengthwise slot defined in said outer portion.

4. The device according to claim 2, said foot assist tang further comprising an exterior bracket mount affixed to said outer elongate portion.

5. The device according to claim 2, further comprising a tiltable and shaft receiving clamp device associated with an upper end of said lengthwise adjustable shaft.

6. The device according to claim 1, further comprising a rubber dampening insert associated with an upper end of said outer elongated portion.

7. The device according to claim 6, said insert further comprising an aperture through which extends an elongated cord, an interior end of said cord engaging an interiorly translatable and audible generating anchored portion secured atop said inner translatable portion.

8. The device according to claim 7, further comprising an interiorly positioned and motion dampening coil spring associated with an upper end of said outer elongated portion.

9. The device according to claim 1, said extensible device having a specified shape and size, said ribs each further comprising a faux pine branch configuration.

10. The device according to claim 1, further comprising a decorative fabric canopy applied over said plurality of outwardly expansible ribs.

11. The device according to claim 9, further comprising a plurality of decorative ornaments suspended from each of said faux ribs.

12. The device according to claim 1, said inner translatable portion further comprising an elongate and extensible rod having a pointed bottom edge.

13. The device according to claim 12, further comprising a substantially cylindrical shaped and internally hollowed member which is integrally formed with, and extends in crosswise fashion from, said elongated portion, a tightening bolt threadably engaging within said crosswise extending member and communicating with an interior axial passageway to engage selected locations along said extensible rod.

14. The device according to claim 1, further comprising an inwardly actuable and outwardly spring-loaded tang defined with said inner translatable portion and extending from a windowed location of said elongated outer portion, said tang including a slightly angled upper surface and an angled lower surface coinciding with said upper surface at a substantially pointed end.

15. An extensible shaft device for use with an umbrella, capable of being affixed to a given location, and comprising: an elongated and lengthwise extensible shaft having an outer elongated portion and an inner translatable portion; a tiltable and shaft receiving clamp device associated with an upper end of said shaft and which is adapted to receive a further shaft portion associated with a conventional umbrella; and a ground engaging support pivotally associated with a lower end of said outer elongate portion and including a rotatable and foot assist tang.

16. The extensible shaft device as described in claim 15, further comprising a rubber dampening insert associated with an upper end of said outer elongated portion.

17. The extensible shaft device as described in claim 16, further comprising an aperture defined through said dampening insert and through which extends an elongated cord, an interior end of said cord engaging an interiorly translatable and audible generating anchored portion secured atop said inner translatable portion.

18. An extensible device securable to a fixed location, comprising: an elongated and lengthwise extensible shaft having an outer elongated portion and an inner translatable portion; a plurality of elongated and outwardly expansible ribs pivotally secured at least to an upper end of said outer elongate portion, each of said ribs further comprising a faux pine branch configuration; and a support associated with a lower end of said outer elongate portion.

19. The device as described in claim 18, further comprising a plurality of decorative ornaments suspended from each of said faux ribs.

20. The device as described in claim 18, further comprising a decorative fabric canopy applied over said plurality of outwardly expansible ribs.

21. An extensible device securable to a fixed location, comprising: an elongated and lengthwise extensible shaft having an outer elongated portion and an inner translatable portion; a plurality of elongated and outwardly expansible ribs pivotally secured to an axially translatable rib support slide associated with an upper end of said outer elongate portion; and a catch portion fixedly secured to an exterior location of said inner translatable portion and which is engageable by said rib support slide to secure said expansible ribs in at least one of a retracted and an expansible position.

22. The extensible device as described in claim 21, said catch portion further comprising a hook secured to said rib support slide and engageable with a loop portion attached to shaft.

23. The extensible device as described in claim 21, said catch portion further comprising at least one of a ring, loop and spring attached to said inner translatable portion secured to said rib supporting slide.

24. The extensible device as described in claim 21, further comprising at least one tang inwardly deflectably mounted to the shaft and slidably translatable through slots defined in a rib support slide.

25. The extensible device as described in claim 21, further comprising an inwardly pivotal hook mounted to said inner translatable portion and selectively engaging said rib support slide in said retracted position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to collapsible umbrellas securable in an upwardly arrayed and extending fashion. More specifically, the present invention relates to an expandable device utilized in such as a sports umbrella, as well as an expandable Christmas tree.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Folding umbrellas are well known in the art and which are designed to provide a degree of portable shading. The standard type of umbrella includes a main shaft having a top end and an opposite and curved handle end. A collar is slidably engaged along the substantial length of the shaft from between the handle end and a position proximate the top end. A plurality of elongate and arcuate skeletal portions are provided which make up the frame of the umbrella fabric covering portion and which extend in radially outward fashion from locations proximate the top end. A like plurality of ribbed portions extend in proximity to the axially slidable collar and interconnect at intermediate axial locations to each of the associated skeletal portions. A spring-loaded catch or locking tab of some form is typically provided at an upper end location of the main extending shaft and, upon coming into contact with the slidable annular collar, locks the collar in place at its elevated location and so that the pluralities of fabric supporting arcuate skeletal portions and interengaged and outwardly extending rib portions are locked in place.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,401,736, issued to Jerry, discloses an umbrella device incorporating an engaging mechanism for securing the umbrella to a fixed location. The device includes an elongated shaft having a top end and a bottom end which is capable of being extended across an overall axial length. A fabric covering portion is supported by an outwardly actuable frame secured to the shaft, the frame including a plurality of elongate and arcuate ribs to which is secured the fabric covering portion. An annular collar is mounted about the elongated shaft in axially extending fashion. An additional plurality of supporting ribs extend from the collar, each of the supporting ribs engaging an associated fabric securing rib so that, upon a selected upwardly axial extension of the collar, the frame is engaged in the outwardly actuated manner. A substantially “C” shaped clamp is secured in axially slidable fashion along the extended axial length of the shaft, the clamp affixing the umbrella device to a substantially horizontally extending ledge support.

U.S. Design Pat. No. 406,077 teaches a pop-up foldaway Christmas tree supported upon a rectangular base platform and including a plurality of expansible sections pivotally interconnected at a top end of an upwardly extending base stem, as well as translatable connectible through cross members along a lower and vertically translatable collar. Another example of a coupling device for a collapsible sunshade umbrella is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 5,878,762, issued to Huang, and which includes a coupling base with a supporting column having a first end portion and a second end portion containing an insertion socket therein. Two juxtaposed extension ears each extend outwardly from the outer wall of the supporting column and is formed with a plurality of locking ribs. A pivot base includes a rotary block rotatably mounted between the two extension ears and including two sides, each containing a plurality of locking indents each receiving one of the plurality of locking ribs of each of the two extension ears, and a supporting tube fixedly mounted on the rotary block.

U.S. Design Pat. No. 413,429, issued to Carson, illustrates a clamp for supporting an umbrella and which appears to show a substantially “C” shaped frame having an axially extending and internally hollowed cylindrical sleeve integrally formed therewith. The presumption from the title of the invention is that the shaft or main body of the umbrella is insertingly engaged through the sleeve and the thumbscrew illustrated is employed to secure the clamp at a selected axial location along the umbrella sleeve. The clamp of Carson further illustrates a main and exteriorly threaded bolt which is interengageably and threadably secured through an appropriately sized aperture in the lower arm of the “C” shaped member. A pincer support attached to an extending end of the bolt includes an arcuately configured upper surface and, upon rotating the bolt to translating in one of two directions, is positioned in opposing fashion to a corresponding and arcuately configured inner facing surface of the upper arm of the “C” shaped member.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,327, issued to Davis, teaches an umbrella holder for grasping the lower and curved handle end of a conventional umbrella and which includes a clamp mechanism, a forward/rearward angular adjustment mechanism, a length adjustment mechanism, and an umbrella shaft and handle securing mechanism. The device of Davis is a separate device manufactured for use with the conventionally constructed umbrella.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,345,786, issued to Buzzella, teaches a vented metal umbrella of the type produced in knock-down or kit form for compact storage and shipment prior to assembly at the site of use. A generally vertical support structure includes a lower support tube, an upper support tube telescopingly received within the upper end of the lower tube. A knuckle member is affixed to an upper end of the upper support tube. A collar is secured to a location of the upper tube, at a position below the knuckle member, and includes a set screw extending through an opening in the tube for adjustably securing the upper support tube. An adjustable knuckle arm is also provided and secures in rotatably adjustable and end-to-end fashion to the knuckle member. An umbrella covering cone is secured to a circular flange extending from an upper end of the adjustable knuckle arm and by means of an intermediate mounted and umbrella support disc.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

An extensible device is disclosed, and such as is for use with an umbrella engaging mechanism or, as will be described in an alternate embodiment, a decorative supported tree. The present invention is an improvement over the prior art in that it provides an improved construction for quickly being supported upon a ground engaging location.

In a first variant, an elongated and lengthwise shaft includes an outer elongated tubular portion within which is supported in axially repositionable fashion an inner translatable portion. A repositionable clamp device is supported at an upper end of the device, such as for releasably securing a conventional umbrella stem.

A rotatable foot support is arranged at a lower end and facilitates driving the shaft into a ground location. The foot support can either be internally or externally supported relative to the inner or outer elongated portions.

In one variant, a rubber dampening insert is secured to a hollowed end of the outer tubular portion and receives a cord extending therethrough. An interior end of the cord secures to a translatable and noise generating anchor, supported upon the end of the inner translatable portion. In this fashion, a desired audible noise can be generated upon retraction (upward inner displacement) of the inner translatable portion of the shaft relative to the fixed outer tubular portion.

In another variant, the extensible device functions as a base support for a decorative tree. A plurality of elongated ribs are outwardly extensibly mounted to the outer tubular member, at least pivotally at their upper ends, and each further including a faux pine branch design. The ribs may also be translatably supported at additional intermediate locations to the fixed outer tubular portion and it is also envisioned that additional features such as a decorative canopy and/or ornaments can be provided in interacting fashion with the faux multiple rib design.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made to the attached drawings, when read in combination with the following detailed description, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an overall perspective view, in reduced length, of the expandable and umbrella-like device according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial view in section of the device according to FIG. 1 and further illustrating a crosswise extending member integrally formed with the main shaft and which permits the extensible rod to be fixedly repositioned to selected axial locations relative the main shaft;

FIG. 3 is a generally elongated perspective view of the main shaft and extensible rod according to the first preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a cutaway view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 and further illustrating the feature of the rubber dampening end attachment associated with the rod telescopically insertable into the interiorly hollowed shaft;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of an annular collar locking mechanism according to a further preferred variant of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view in perspective of the interengagement of an annularly disposed collar with an upper end of a main shaft as also illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a first sectional illustration of a main shaft portion and which includes a pivotal and foot assist tang for assisting in downward embedding engaging of the shaft into a ground location;

FIG. 8 is a rotated view of the shaft portion illustrated in FIG. 7 and further showing the rubber dampening insert associated with a top end of the main shaft portion;

FIG. 9 is a further sectional cutaway view of the main shaft portion of the expandable device and showing shock cord extending from the main shaft portion and engaging an interior anchor, such as to convert interiorly generated pressure resulting from telescoping of the anchor to create noise;

FIG. 10 is a further sectional illustration of a main shaft portion associated with an extensible device and depicting both internal and external foot assist portions, as well as an upper end umbrella shaft clip;

FIG. 11 is an illustration similar to that shown in FIG. 9 and showing a rubber dampening insert in place upon an upper end of the shaft portion;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged partial view of a shaft portion associated with an extensible device and including an interiorly and upper end located coil spring for providing interior dampening upon translating extension therethrough of the shock cord;

FIG. 13 is an illustration of an expansible device utilized as a pop-up Christmas tree according to the present invention;

FIG. 14 are front and side sectional illustrations of a first mechanism for locking a canopy associated with the expansible device in either the up or down position and which includes respective hook and loop portions attached to a rib support slide and shaft, respectively;

FIG. 15 are succeeding front and side sectional illustrations of another canopy locking mechanism and including a hook attached to a shaft portion, engageable by a ring, loop or spring attached to a corresponding rib supporting slide;

FIG. 16 is a further succeeding illustration of a canopy locking mechanism and including at least one, and typically a pair, of tangs inwardly deflectably mounted to the shaft and slidably translatable through slots defined in the rib support slide; and

FIG. 17 is a yet further succeeding illustration, again in section, of a canopy locking mechanism and showing a further variant including an inwardly pivotal hook mounted to the shaft and selectively engaging a further configured rib support slide in a down position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference now to FIG. 1, an expansible device is illustrated at 10 according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The device 10 is illustrated in reduced length in FIG. 1 however, and referring further to FIGS. 3 and 4, a better representation of its overall length dimensions is illustrated not in reduced section.

It is further understood that the initial variant 10 illustrated is that of an extensible device incorporated into an umbrella configuration, it being further again understood that the succeeding variants of the present invention also contemplate an extensible device operating as a separate component for attaching an umbrella exhibiting a convention stem support. Alternatively, the extensible device may function as a central supporting stem to an outwardly extensible and seasonal Christmas tree exhibiting faux pine tree designed ribs.

Referencing back to FIG. 1, the device includes a main elongated shaft 12 having a top end 14 and a bottom end 16. The elongated shaft 12 is generally constructed of a durable material, such as a durable plasticized material or lightweight metal and, as is best illustrated in FIG. 2, also includes an axially extending passageway 18. Inserted within the axially extending passageway 18, in telescoping fashion, is an elongated and extensible rod 20 which includes a top end 22 (see FIG. 4 cutaway) and a generally tapered and pointed bottom end 23. Also shown in FIG. 4 is a rubber dampening insert 25 supported upon an end of the inner telescoping rod 20, the purpose for which being to prevent the lower rod portion 20 from accidentally disengaging from within the confines of the outer tubular shaft portion 12.

Referring again to FIGS. 1-4, and as is best illustrated in the enlarged cutaway of FIG. 2, a substantially cylindrical shaped and internally hollowed member 24 is illustrated and which is integrally formed with and extends in crosswise fashion from a location proximate the bottom end 16 of the main elongated shaft 12. A generally annular, elongated and interiorly defined surface 26 of the crosswise extending member 24 (see as best shown again in the cutaway of FIG. 2) is interiorly threaded so that an exteriorly threaded and extending shaft portion 28 of a tightening bolt 30 threadably engaging within the crosswise extending member and, by virtue of the communicating passageway established between a crosswise passageway defined by the interiorly defined surface 26 and the intersecting and axially extending passageway 18 of the main shaft 12, is capable of intersecting the telescoping path of the extensible rod 20.

The tightening bolt 30, threadably engaged within the crosswise extending member 24, further includes a tightening/loosening knob 32 and, at an opposite end thereof, an end face 34 of the extending shaft portion 28. In a first position, the knob 32 is fully tightened and so that the shaft 28 extends beyond the communicating and intersecting passageway 18 of the main shaft 12 and the annular facing surface of the shaft 28 supports and thereby telescopically restrains the extensible rod 20 completely within the axially extending interior of the main shaft 12. Reference is made to FIG. 3 and which illustrates, in phantom at 20′, the extensible rod completely contained within the main shaft 12.

In a second position, the knob 32 is sufficiently loosened to permit a selected axial length of the extensible rod 20 (see as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 4) to extend beyond the communicating crosswise extending passageway of the crosswise extending member 24. The knob 32 is then retightened to a sufficient extent so that the end face 34 of the shaft portion 28 abuttingly engages against a selected axial location (see at 36 in FIG. 4) of the extensible rod 20. In its generally extended position, the generally tapered or pointed end 24 of the extensible rod 20 may be downwardly and forcibly engaged against the ground, see again FIG. 1, according to a first option.

Referring again to FIG. 1, a fabric covering portion is illustrated generally at 38 and is supported atop the elongated main shaft 12 by an outwardly actuable frame secured to the main shaft 12. The actuable frame includes a first plurality of elongate and arcuate shaped ribs 40 to which is secured the fabric covering portion, such being known according to conventional mounting or sewing techniques known in the art. The frame further includes another and like plurality of supporting ribs 42 having extending ends which engage intermediate locations of associated ribs 40.

The supporting ribs 42 are secured such as to a collar assembly illustrated, at 54 (again FIG. 1), and which terminates in a disk 56 to which is secured in circumferentially spaced fashion the opposite ends of the supporting ribs 42. It is envisioned that any type of assembly can be utilized which biases the ribs in a downward and closing direction. It is also envisioned that any type of spring may be completely encapsulated within the elongated main shaft 12, or deleted in its entirety without affecting the overall operation of the umbrella device. An end cap 58 is illustrated secured atop the top end 14 of the main shaft and, upon the upward axial extension of the collar 44 and its engagement at the location illustrated in FIG. 1, such as by retightening the screw 50, the frame structure of the umbrella is in its substantially opened position with the fabric covering 38 substantially employed.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, a further variant is illustrated for securing an annular collar assembly 126 in a fixed and upwardly extending position relative to a main shaft 128 of the umbrella device and which is telescopingly inserted therethrough. As best illustrated in FIG. 6, an inwardly actuable and outwardly spring-loaded tang 130 extends from an annular surface location of the elongated shaft 128. As is also shown in FIG. 5, a coil spring 132 is illustrated in cutaway embedded in a crosswise extending manner within the main shaft 128 and biases the tang 130 in a crosswise and outward direction.

The configuration of the tang 130 is such that it includes a slightly angled upper surface 134 and an angled lower surface 136 which coincides with the upper surface 134 at a substantially pointed end 138 (see as best illustrated in FIG. 6). The annular collar assembly 126 further includes a generally disc shaped portion 140, from which circumferentially extends each of supporting ribs 42″ of the actuating frame structure and which again further includes the main elongated and arcuate ribs 40″ to which is secured the fabric 38″ and which interengages with the supporting ribs 42″, at the intermediate locations designated at 44″.

An axially extending sleeve 142 is integrally formed with the supporting rib engagement portion 140 and extends upwardly a selected distance and terminates in an upwardly facing and annular edge 144. A windowed portion 146 is formed within a selected annular location of the sleeve 142 proximate the annular edge 144 and so that, upon selected upward axial extension of the collar assembly 126, the annular edge 144 inwardly actuates the tang 130 (see arrow 145 of FIG. 6) and by riding against the angled lower surface 136.

Once completely biased within the interior of the hollowed interior of the main shaft 128, the tang 130 subsequently aligns and extends outwardly to seat within the windowed portion 146 and to thereby lock the collar assembly 126 in place at its upwardly-most actuated position. To facilitate subsequent release of the tang 130 from within the windowed portion, an upper horizontal edge 148 of the windowed portion may be angled in an upwardly and outwardly fashion (see again as best shown in FIG. 6) and which is sufficient to facilitate, along with the slight angling of the tang upper surface 134, to again bias the tang 130 to its inward-most recessed position so as to facilitate downward actuation of the collar assembly 128 to close the umbrella fabric covering portion and associated frame.

Referring now to FIG. 7, a first sectional illustration is shown at 150 of an extensible device and by which a main shaft portion includes an outer elongated portion 152 and an inner and translatable portion 154. A pivotal and foot assist tang 156 is incorporated for assisting in downward embedding engaging of the shaft into a ground location. In the embodiment of FIG. 7, the foot assist tang 156 is incorporated into the inner translatable portion 154 and, upon a selected axial alignment with the outer elongated portion 152, is rotated (see pivot 158) through a lengthwise slot 160 defined in the outer portion 152.

A rubberized and end-attachable dampening insert 162 is provided at an upper end of the outer tubular portion 152. It is contemplated that the rubberized insert 162 may facilitate insertion of the tubular portion 152 into a further recessed interior of another hollow shaft shaped article or, alternatively, the dampening insert can be either incorporated or deleted from use with a noise generating device such as disclosed in FIGS. 9 and 10 and which includes a shock cord 164 extending from a variant 152′ of the main shaft portion. An interior anchor 166 is supported upon an end of a modified version of an inner translatable portion 154′, and is operable to convert interiorly generated pressure resulting from telescoping of the anchor 166 (in a direction towards the upper end of the outer member 152) to create a desired audible noise. The determination of what degree of opening in the upper tubular end 152 determines what tone of audible output is generated from the device.

Referring now to FIG. 10, a further sectional illustration is shown at 168 of a main shaft portion associated with an extensible device, such as substantially described previously, and depicting both internal (again 156) and external 170 foot assist portions. It is also envisioned that the tubular end 152 can likewise be telescoping, see as indicated at 171 and 171′ in FIG. 10, and in order to be sectioned into smaller lengths.

The external foot portion 170 operates to pivot about an outer fulcrum 172 and, in either instance, provides a foot supported surface to enable a user to downwardly embed the device into a ground location. Additional features include an upper end umbrella shaft clip 174 to which can be releasably secured such as a stem portion of an existing umbrella device or the like (not shown).

FIG. 11 is an illustration, at 176, similar to that shown in FIG. 9 and further showing a rubber dampening insert 162 in place upon an upper end of the shaft portion and including a shock cord 164 extending therethrough and securing to an interiorly displaceable shock cord anchor 178. As previously stated, displacement of the anchor 178 results in an audible output, generated either through the dampening plug 162 or, alternatively, through an open end of the outer tube 152.

FIG. 12 illustrates at 180 an enlarged partial view of a shaft portion 182 associated with an extensible device. In this variant, the shaft portion includes an interiorly and upper end located coil spring 184, such as for providing interior dampening upon translating extension therethrough of a shock cord (not shown in this illustration). In operation, the spring 184 pushes an interiorly disposed rod an outward distance, and in order to facilitate grasping by a user. In reverse motion, the inner shaft (or rod) again translates interiorly within the outer tube to create the desired noise output. It is also again understood that the spring 184 can be utilized with any of the configurations of the expansible device according to the present invention, and such as in particular are illustrated in reference to the previously disclosed embodiments of FIGS. 7 and 8.

Referring to FIG. 13, an illustration 186 of an expansible device utilized as a pop-up Christmas tree according to the present invention. In this variant, an elongated and lengthwise extensible shaft has an outer elongated portion 188 and an inner translatable portion 190.

A plurality of elongated and outwardly expansible ribs 192 are pivotally secured at least to an upper end 194 of the outer elongate portion. Each of the ribs may further exhibit a faux pine branch configuration. A plurality of decorative ornaments 196 may be suspended from each of the faux ribs 192. Additionally, a decorative fabric canopy 198 may be applied over the plurality of outwardly expansible ribs 192. Although not clearly illustrated, the ribs 192 may also be translatably supported at additional intermediate locations to the fixed outer tubular portion.

Additionally, other decorative aspects such as tinsel, bulbs, lights, a top ornament (see at 199) can be provided (such as in multiple layers) to create the desired decorative effect. It is also envisioned that the device 186 may include the provision of any needed electrical connections (not shown) and can again be provided with or without a fabric cover within the scope of the invention.

A support is associated with a lower end of the outer elongate portion. The support may include any of a platform base 200, intermediately positioned “C” clamp device 202 and threadably tightenable cylindrical portion 204 (see as also previously described at 24, FIG. 1). It is further understood that a foot assisted tang, such as previously described, can be likewise incorporated into the design of FIG. 13 and in order to quickly secure the decorated extensible device to an outside location.

Referring now to FIG. 14, a first optional sectional illustration is shown of a mechanism for locking a canopy associated with the expansible device in either the up or down position. As will be discussed in reference to each of the variants of FIGS. 14-17, illustrations are shown for locking a canopy portion of the expansible device in either an up or down position. These include manually opening, such as through the application of the user's hand, in order to lock the umbrella in the up position. Also contemplated is the ability to “auto open” the canopy, such as by employing a spring to open the device automatically, but which also requires that the device be manually (such as by downwardly) translated to be locked in the down/closed position.

Referring again to FIG. 14, rotated front and side views are shown of respective hook 206 and loop 208 portions, these being attached to a rib support slide 210 and a shaft 212, respectively. In a preferred variant, the elongated hook 206 includes an inwardly engaging tab 214 which is pivotally actuated about pin axis 216 (see side view illustration in FIG. 14), the rib support slide 210 capable of being translatable along the exterior surface of the shaft 212 or, in a preferred arrangement fixed to an end of an outer telescoping shaft portion 218, within which the shaft 212 component may inwardly telescope.

Referring now to FIG. 15, succeeding front and side sectional illustrations are made of another canopy locking mechanism, this including a hook 220 attached to a shaft portion 222, and which is engageable by a ring, loop or spring, see collectively referred by ring 224, and which may be attached at a given edge location to a corresponding rib supporting slide 226.

FIG. 16 is a further succeeding illustration, see as generally shown at 228, of a canopy locking mechanism and including at least one, and typically a pair 230, of tangs inwardly deflectably mounted to a collar 232, secured about a shaft portion 234 of the device. The tabs 230 include outwardly facing and inwardly deflectable tangs, see at 236, and which are translatable through slots (see in phantom at 238) defined in a slidably disposed rib support slide 240 arranged about the shaft portion 234. The tangs 236 and collar 232 may define a molded attachment about the shaft 234 and it is envisioned that they can operate with either a manual or auto-open variant.

Referring finally to FIG. 17, a further illustration is presented at 242 of a canopy locking. A pivoting hook 244 is provided with an inwardly pointed tang 246, the catch 244 being pivotally secured about a base support 248 secured to an axially extending location along shaft 250. A further configured rib support slide 252 exhibits an annular projecting bottom location 254 and which engages the pivotal tang 246 of the hook element 244 in a downwardly retracted position relative to a handle 256 associated with the expansible mechanism.

Although not illustrated, additional possible variants for holding open the canopy portion of the extensible device include the use of flip-over fasteners of the kind used on camera tripod devices, and in order to lock the associated legs in place upon the same being extended. It is also envisioned that such an arrangement can be utilized with a modification of the decorative tree variant of FIG. 13, particularly in that the canopy portion is ideally engaged in an intermediate (sliding) location along the shaft, and opposed to in a substantially uppermost fashion as described in the several other embodiments.

It is therefore understood that the present invention provides a novel and unique arrangement incorporating an extensible device operating as a separate component for attaching an umbrella exhibiting a convention stem support or, alternatively, the extensible device may function as a central supporting stem to an outwardly extensible and seasonal Christmas tree exhibiting faux pine tree designed ribs. Additional preferred embodiments will also become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains and without deviating from the scope of the appended claims.