Title:
Collapsible Detail Attachment For Use With Public Vacuum Cleaners
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vacuum cleaner detail attachment comprised of two attachably connected parts, a base and a tube. The base is flexible, with a plurality of support pegs, a lip around the inner edge and a hole for allowing the insertion of a tube. The tube is flexible as well as collapsible with a lip on one end to secure the tube to the base and a nozzle on the other end that tapers off.



Inventors:
Pickens, Abraham Martin (Centennial, CO, US)
Application Number:
13/492828
Publication Date:
12/13/2012
Filing Date:
06/09/2012
Assignee:
PICKENS ABRAHAM MARTIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/02
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Primary Examiner:
REDDING, DAVID A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Abraham Pickens (Centennial, CO, US)
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in witch an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A vacuum attachment for use with a claw-shaped wand comprised of two parts, a base and a tube, which are attachably connected, said base being defined as a cover shaped to fit a claw-shaped wand, said tube being defined as having a design that facilitates attachment to said base, such as a lipped end, with an opposing tapered end.

2. The vacuum attachment recited in claim 1 wherein said base is fabricated from a material that allows a vacuum seal between the base and the claw-shaped wand.

3. The vacuum attachment recited in claim 1 wherein said base has a hole to allow the insertion of said tube.

4. The vacuum attachment recited in claim 1 wherein said base has a lip around the portion that comes in contact with the claw-shaped wand.

5. The vacuum attachment recited in claim 1 wherein said base has a plurality of supportive pegs.

6. The vacuum attachment recited in claim 1 wherein said tube is collapsible and flexible, such as an annular bellows.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

EFS ID: 10284803

Application Number: 61496057

Confirmation Number: 9527

Title: Collapsible Detail Attachment For Use With Public Vacuum Cleaners

Applicant Name: Abraham Martin Pickens

Receipt Date: 13-JUN-2011

Application Type: Provisional

References Cited

4,805,255February 1989
5,452,493September 1995
6,026,541February 2000

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention relates to the field of vacuum cleaner attachments and, in particular, collapsible vacuum cleaner attachments.

2. Relevant Background

Public vacuum cleaners, such as the coin-operated vacuum described in U.S. Pat. 4,805,255, are typically found at car washes, gas stations or other locations. These vacuum cleaners generally have a large, claw-shaped wand end. Due to the size, shape and rigid material of the wand, detail cleaning in crevices and other small areas inside of a vehicle can be very difficult. When using other vacuum cleaners, such as a common household vacuum, users often have access to a variety of attachments to help them clean areas where the standard nozzle is too large to reach. Many examples of this type of attachment can be found in the Prior Art, such as in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,452,493 and 6,026,541. These attachments, however, only work with the vacuums that they are designed for and will not fit the claw-shaped wand used by the public vacuum. Furthermore, the claw-shaped wand's shape and size is not standard. For example, it can have rounded or square corners or have a block in the center to prevent large objects from being picked up by the vacuum. Attachments designed to work with other devices would not fit this wand correctly or create a reliable seal.

Although the typical claw-shaped wand cannot effectively clean smaller areas, public vacuum owners usually do not offer a solution to this problem, such as making a variety of wand sizes available for customers to use. These alternate wands could be easily lost or stolen, incurring an unnecessary expense for the vacuum's owner. They also cannot be easily provided on-loan because most locations are self-service and do not have an attendant available to lend them out. Due to this self-service nature, many locations with public vacuum cleaners utilize vending machines to sell goods to their customers. In addition to the other issues with traditional vacuum attachments, they are also usually too large to fit in the limited space available in most vending machines.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a vacuum cleaner attachment for use with a vacuum cleaner with a claw-shaped nozzle. The attachment has a support base portion with a configuration and material composition that facilitates temporary placement on the claw-shaped nozzle while creating a seal when the vacuum cleaner is in use. The attachment also includes a collapsible, flexible tube portion that has a configuration and material composition that facilitates mounting to the support base as well as facilitating cleaning in small or tight places. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the attachment is composed of two parts—a base portion and a tube portion.

The base portion is, preferably, made of a material which is both flexible enough to adapt to a variety of claw-shaped wand ends, which are frequently either straight or curved, and strong enough to facilitate connection to the tube portion. The base also serves to make a vacuum seal while in use, having a small ridge along the outside to help maintain the seal and hold the attachment in place. In addition to the ridge, a plurality of support pegs also help hold the attachment in place. They are inserted into the opening in the claw-shaped wand, guiding the attachment into proper position and keeping it in place when the vacuum is not on. Near the center of the base there is a hole, placed in such a way that, when the tube portion is attached, debris can pass through the tube and into the opening in the claw-shaped wand. The tube portion is, preferably, an accordion joint, for example an annular bellows, with two specialized ends. The accordion joint allows the tube to collapse, be extended and bend at a variety of angles. One of the tube's ends is shaped with a small lip that allows it to remain attached to base when in use. The other end is tapered to allow it to fit into small areas to reach debris.

To assemble the attachment, the user will push the lipped end of the tube through the provided hole in the base. The base's preferred material will stretch to accommodate the lip, then return to its original shape, creating a seal around the tube. The tube, if collapsed, can now be extended.

To use the attachment, the user inserts the support pegs of the assembled unit into the opening of the claw-shaped wand and activates the vacuum. The force of the vacuum creates a seal and the tapered end of the attachment can then be used to pick up debris.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention, in accordance with its preferred embodiment, is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the assembled vacuum attachment, showing both the base and tube portions.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the assembled vacuum attachment, as in FIG. 1, showing the attachment as connectibly attached to a vacuum cleaner's claw-shaped wand.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the base portion of the vacuum attachment.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the base portion of the attachment shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the base portion of the attachment shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the tube portion of the attachment, which has been fully extended.

FIG. 7 is a side view of the tube portion of the attachment, depicting the flexible nature of the tube as depicted in its preferred embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the tube portion of the attachment, which has been fully collapsed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The preferred embodiment of the vacuum attachment is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals represent like parts throughout. With reference now to the drawings, and in particular FIG. 1, there is shown the complete, assembled vacuum attachment consisting of two parts, the base 10 and the tube 20. Several key features of the invention can be seen in FIG. 1, as well as throughout the drawings, including the base's outer ridge 11, supportive pegs 12, the tube's tapered end 21 and lipped end 23. FIG. 1 also shows the tube portion 20 connectibly attached to the base 10.

With the attachment fully assembled and the tube portion extended, it is ready to be placed on the claw-shaped wand 30, as shown in FIG. 2. In FIG. 2, the supportive pegs 12 have been inserted into the opening of the claw-shaped wand with the base's outer ridge 11 surrounding the outer edge of the wand.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the base 10 and its components in detail. The base's outer ridge 11 can be seen as well as the supportive pegs 12 and the hole 13 for inserting the tube 20. Although, in the preferred embodiment, the hole 13 is shown in the center of the base 10, it could be placed in a non-center position.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the base 10, showing the hole 13 for inserting the tube 20 and the supportive pegs 12.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the base 10, showing the supportive pegs 12. From this view, the angle of the supportive pegs 12 can be seen. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the supportive pegs 12 are placed at a slight angle in relation to the base 10 to allow for easier insertion and a closer fit with the claw-shaped wand 30.

FIG. 6 shows the tube 20 in a fully extended position. The tapered end 21, annular bellows 22 and the lipped end 23.

FIG. 7 is an alternate view of the tube 20, showing the flexible nature of the annular bellows 22.

FIG. 8 is an alternate view of the tube 20, showing the annular bellows 22 in its collapsed position.