Title:
Garment Dryer Extension
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An extension for garment dryers facilitates the drying of garments with deep and narrow cavities, such as high boots, rubber gloves or plastic bags. The extension provides stable support for the garments by locking into and slidingly engaging with protrusions in the garment dryers.



Inventors:
Mccartney, Lorne R. (Ottawa, CA)
Application Number:
14/677886
Publication Date:
10/15/2015
Filing Date:
04/02/2015
Assignee:
MCCARTNEY LORNE R.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
34/104
International Classes:
A47L23/20; D06F59/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20160242524HAIR DRYER WITH AIR OUTLET ARRANGEMENTAugust, 2016Floessholzer
20020178603Wafer drying apparatus using isopropanolDecember, 2002Chuang et al.
20150068055VERTICAL PLASTIC MATERIAL DRYING APPARATUSMarch, 2015Wang
20070277393Cabinet for automatic washing or/and drying machine and automatic washing or/and drying machine with the sameDecember, 2007Tunguy-desmarais
20060010710System and method of detecting misaligned waferJanuary, 2006Park et al.
20070119069Electromagnetically-shielded hair drying systems and methodsMay, 2007Shim
20070277392Method for drying synthetic resin pelletsDecember, 2007Zlotos et al.
20130269208HAND DRYEROctober, 2013Gammack et al.
20070137061Freeze dryer shelf assemblyJune, 2007Bogdan
20030070781Method for making tissue sheets on a modified conventional crescent-former tissue machineApril, 2003Hermans et al.
20050217139Clothes dryerOctober, 2005Hong



Primary Examiner:
LAUX, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Thomas E. Sisson PLLC (Henrico, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An extension for garment dryers, the extension comprising: at least two longitudinal members having a first end and a second end; the longitudinal members joined at the first ends in a generally arched shape; and the second ends having a divergent “Z”-shaped configuration with an intermediate part and a terminal part, wherein each “Z”-shaped second end is inserted through and engages a facing vertical slit in a pair of adjacent protrusions on a garment dryer so that the terminal part exits through an opposing vertical slit, the intermediate part engages the lowermost edge of the opposing vertical slit.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the second ends have a convergent “Z”-shaped configuration and each “Z”-shaped second end is inserted through the facing vertical slit in a pair of adjacent protrusions on a garment dryer so that the terminal part exits through the facing vertical slit and the intermediate part engages the lowermost edge of the facing vertical slit.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the second ends have a convergent “Z”-shaped configuration and each “Z”-shaped second end is inserted through the opposing vertical slit in a pair of adjacent protrusions on a garment dryer so that the terminal part exits through the facing vertical slit and the intermediate part engages the lowermost edge of the facing vertical slit.

4. An extension for garment dryers, the extension comprising: at least two longitudinal members having a first end and a second end; the longitudinal members joined at the first ends in a generally arched shape; and the longitudinal members joined at the second ends with a connecting member, wherein each second end is inserted through and engages a facing vertical slit in a pair of adjacent protrusions on a garment dryer so that the connecting member engages the lowermost edge of the facing vertical slits.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION:

This invention relates generally to a garment dryer extension. The invention may find use in an arrangement with garment dryers when drying garments with deep and narrow cavities, such as high boots, rubber gloves or plastic bags.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

In general, when drying garments, such as high boots, rubber gloves or plastic bags, it is desirable to keep any moist cavities in the garments open to a source of heat or air flow. Sodden leather or fabric garments tend to be heavy and awkward to handle, may be covered with dirt or snow, and may lose their original shape, wrinkle or discolour if the garment dries out unequally. Many drying implements have thus been devised to retain the garments in a predetermined position and open to heat or air circulation over an extended period of time. Preferably, such drying implements should be easily assembled and disassembled without the use of specialized tools or skills, manufactured of common, inexpensive, non-toxic and non-flammable materials, easily cleaned, and capable of being stored in a minimum amount of space in a cupboard or a closet.

Common household garment dryers may include variations on U.S. Pat. No. 4,596,078—Lorne R. McCartney's device and U.S. Pat. No. Des. 293,021—Lorne R. McCartney's design, which disclose a garment dryer with protrusions for channelling air flow from the air register of a residential forced air heating system into the cavities of garments suspended thereupon. The advantage of this device is that it is inexpensive, readily manufactured from common materials and does not require any installation as it may be simply placed over the air register. As a further advantage, the device channels the flow of air from the air register into the moist cavity of the garments through preformed openings, such as vertical slits in the protrusions. A disadvantage of this device, however, is that it does not securely retain very high boots or long gloves unless the protrusions are extended accordingly, resulting in an unsatisfactory increase in the weight and size of the garment dryer.

Other household garment dryers may feature wire racks, such as those disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,127,529—Florence S. Martinez's device or U.S. Pat. 5,692,316—Christopher P. Antal's device. These devices have the advantage of providing a strong and lightweight support frame onto which the garments may be suspended. The disadvantage of these devices is the difficulty of anchoring the wire racks to the floor or to the source of heat or air circulation without drilling or damaging the floor or without the necessity of providing an additional base element that would add to the overall size and weight of the complete device or require additional installation or tools or storage space. As a further disadvantage, these devices do not channel or concentrate the flow of heat or air circulation and thus may lead to insufficient drying within the farthest recesses of garments with deep cavities, such as high boots. So, for example, Martinez's device accommodates only a single pair of low shoes and may require the removal of an air register cover; Antal's device accommodates multiple garments but requires a heavy or bulky support base; neither device anticipates the channelling of the flow of air into the garment cavity.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:

This invention seeks to provide a garment dryer extension which is capable of being fitted onto a garment dryer so as to retain and keep open to heat or the flow of air even garments with deep cavities, such as high boots, rubber gloves or plastic bags.

An aspect of the invention seeks to provide a garment dryer extension that may be easily assembled and disassembled without the use of specialized tools or skills, may be manufactured of common, inexpensive, non-toxic and non-flammable materials, may be easily cleaned, and is capable of being stored in a minimum amount of space in a cupboard or closet or even tucked underneath a garment dryer when not in use.

Another aspect of the invention seeks to provide a garment dryer extension which is capable of being fitted onto a garment dryer so as to afford the user the ability to customize the garment dryer according to the immediate requirements by removing or adding a plurality of the garment dryer extensions according to the number of articles to be dried or by modifying the size or shape of the garment dryer extensions according to the size or shape of the articles to be dried so as to achieve an optimal opening of the moist cavities of the garments or secure retention of the garments in a predetermined position over an extended period of time.

In a preferred embodiment, the invention seeks to provide a garment dryer extension which is capable of being fitted in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with a garment dryer so as to receive a degree of structural support and rigidity therefrom, such as for example by being coupled in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical openings or vertical slits in the protrusions of the garment dryer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

Further objects and features of this invention will become more apparent by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an aspect of the novel garment dryer extension fitted onto a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of an aspect of the novel garment dryer extension fitted onto a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of an aspect of the novel garment dryer extension;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of an aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of an aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of yet another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 10 is a partial cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of yet another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design;

FIG. 11 is an elevational view of another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design; and

FIG. 13 is partial cross-sectional elevational view taken along the lines IV-IV of FIG. 2 of another aspect of the novel garment dryer extension in a locking and slidingly engaging relationship with vertical slits in protrusions of a garment dryer, such as that described in McCartney's device and design.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION:

As shown in FIGS. 1 to 13, the novel garment dryer extension 10 is designed to be fitted onto a garment dryer 50, such as that described in McCartney's device and design. The garment dryer extension 10 may be manufactured of any common, inexpensive, non-toxic and non-flammable material, such as for example solid wire, coated wire, metal tubing, solid or hollow plastic tubing, bamboo or flexible wooden stock, such as willow, or combination thereof. It may be desirable to select different materials according to the anticipated size and weight of the garment to be treated and it will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that for example metallic wire that may have some flexibility permits shaping by end users to fit the internal cavity of the garment to be dried, such as bending the wire to form a tall and narrow stilted arch to more closely fit a tall and narrow high boot or bending the wire to form a short and broad stilted arch to accommodate a skate or a hockey helmet. Alternately, the garment dryer extension 10 may be manufactured of a more rigid material such as hardened or spring steel or tubular stock so as to provide better support for heavier garments, such as heavy skates or heavy and wet winter boots.

The garment dryer extension 10 may be supplied preformed in a stilted arch shape, or may be supplied to the end user in straight lengths to be shaped by the end user according to individual need, or may have any other shape that is convenient for retail or shipping purposes if the material is sufficiently flexible to allow for shaping by the end user. Although FIGS. 1 to 13 show for convenience the garment dryer extension 10 as essentially a planar object, it will be understood by a person skilled in the art that the device may be supplied preformed or may be individually shaped by the end user to a variety of three-dimensional shapes, such as for example a cylinder with a hemispherical head, for the purpose of conveniently and securely retaining and keeping open the garments.

In an embodiment of this invention, the garment dryer extension 10 has an arch 30 joining a pair of stilts 20 with straight ends suitable for insertion into holes or openings in the garment dryer 50 and the garment dryer extension 10 may receive lateral support from the garment dryer 50 if the thickness of the material into which the holes or openings are preformed or drilled is sufficient so as to allow for sliding engagement of the stilts 20. Additional lateral support may be afforded by having the garment dryer extension 10 abut or slidingly engage some other superimposed structural part of the garment dryer 50.

In another embodiment of this invention, the garment dryer extension 10 has an arch 30 joining a pair of stilts 20 with preformed or end-user-formed “Z”-shaped ends 21. Each “Z”-shaped end 21 has an intermediate part 22 angled away from the stilt 20 and a terminal part 23 at a substantially supplementary angle to the stilt 20.

In a preferred embodiment of this invention shown in FIGS. 1 to 5, the garment dryer extension 10 has an arch 30 joining a pair of stilts 20 with preformed or end-user-formed “Z”-shaped ends 21. Each “Z”-shaped end 21 has an intermediate part 22 substantially perpendicular to the central axis of the garment dryer extension 10 and convex to the curvature of the arch 30 and a terminal part 23 at a substantially supplementary angle to the stilt 20.

In use, the garment dryer extension 10 is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 by inserting the “Z”-shaped ends 21 through the facing vertical slits 60 in a pair of adjacent protrusions 70. Preferably, such a pair of protrusions 70 should be selected that when the desired garment is suspended onto the garment dryer extension 10 the combined center of gravity of the garment with the garment dryer extension 10 and with the garment dryer 50 is as close to the center of gravity of the garment dryer 50 as possible. Each “Z”-shaped end 21 is passed through the hollow center of the protrusion 70 so that the terminal part 23 exits through the opposing vertical slit 60 on the same protrusion 70.

The garment dryer extension 10 is then locked into place by depressing the stilts 20 in the direction of the base of the garment dryer 50 until the intermediate part 22 rests on the lowermost edge of the opposing vertical slit 60. If the arch 30 is made of spring or spring-like material and the stilts 20 need to be slightly spread apart for the terminal parts 23 to exit through the opposing vertical slits 60, then spring force of the arch 30 will contract the stilts 20 toward one another and thereby press the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70. This slight but constant pressure of the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70 will tend to stabilize the garment dryer extension 10 in the planar direction defined by the stilts 20.

It will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the material of the garment dryer extension 10 and the garment dryer 50 as well as the angle defined by the arch 30 before the garment dryer extension is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 must be carefully selected to optimize the ease of assembly and disassembly and to prevent any damage to the protrusions 70. Ideally, such material should be selected for the garment dryer extension 10 and such angle defined by the arch 30 should be preformed that only slight spreading apart of the stilts 20 is necessary for stable installation for the required weight and size of the garment to be dried without any damage to the often much softer plastic material that the garment dryer 50 is made of. Alternately, if the garment dryer extension 10 is provided to the end user in a bendable or customizable form, the material must be selected so that it may be easily formed by hand without much strenuous effort but yet retains sufficient internal resistance to exert the required slight but constant pressure of the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70 so as to stabilize the garment dryer extension 10 in the planar direction defined by the stilts 20.

In order to slidingly engage the garment dryer extension 10 and thereby stabilize the garment dryer extension 10 in a direction perpendicular to the planar direction defined by the stilts 20, the intermediate part 22 of each “Z”-shaped end 21 should be shorter than the distance between the facing vertical slit 60 and the opposing vertical slit 60 on the same protrusion 70 but not so small that the stilt 20 is bent out of shape by friction against the top edge of the facing vertical slit 60 or installation of the stilt 20 is inconvenient for the average user. Preferably, such length of the intermediate part 22 should be selected relative to the size of the facing vertical slit 60 that when the garment dryer extension 10 is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 and the terminal part 23 exits through the opposing vertical slit 60 and presses against the protrusion 70, the stilt 20 is at or near the top of the facing vertical slit 60 with none or only minor frictional engagement with the top edge of the facing vertical slit 60.

Furthermore, the material selected for manufacturing the garment dryer extension 10 should be selected so that the stilts 20 are of the same or only slightly smaller diameter than the width of the facing vertical slits 60 so that when the garment dryer extension 10 is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 there is a sufficient degree of sliding engagement between the stilts 20 and the facing vertical slits 60 to firmly hold the garment dryer extension 10 in place when the desired garment is suspended thereupon but without deforming or damaging either the garment dryer extension 10 or the vertical slits 60 or requiring physical strength unavailable to the end user.

In another embodiment of this invention shown in FIGS. 6 to 8, the “Z”-shaped ends 21 are “reversed” so that the intermediate part 22 of each “Z”-shaped end 21 is substantially perpendicular to the central axis of the garment dryer extension but concave to the curvature of the arch 30, with the terminal part 23 at a substantially supplementary angle to the stilt 20. The garment dryer extension 10 is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 by inserting the “Z”-shaped ends 21 through the facing vertical slits in a pair of adjacent protrusions 70. Each “Z”-shaped end 21 is passed through the hollow center of the protrusion 70 but the terminal part 23 exits through the facing vertical slit 60 on the same protrusion 70. The garment dryer extension 10 is then locked into place by depressing the stilts 20 in the direction of the base of the garment dryer 50 until the intermediate part 22 rests on the lowermost edge of the facing vertical slit 60. If the arch 30 is made of spring or spring-like material and the stilts 20 need to be slightly contracted for the terminal parts 23 to exit through the facing vertical slits 60, then spring force of the arch 30 will spread apart the stilts 20 away from each another and thereby press the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70. This slight but constant pressure of the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70 will tend to stabilize the garment dryer extension 10 in the planar direction defined by the stilts 20.

In yet another embodiment of this invention shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the “reversed” (concave to the curvature of the arch 30) “Z”-shaped ends 21, as described above, are inserted through the opposing vertical slits 60 and are locked into the facing vertical slits 60 in a pair of adjacent protrusions 70. The garment dryer extension 10 is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 by inserting the “Z”-shaped ends 21 through the opposing vertical slits in a pair of adjacent protrusions 70. Each “Z”-shaped end 21 is passed through the hollow center of the protrusion 70 so that the terminal part 23 exits through the facing vertical slit 60 on the same protrusion 70. The garment dryer extension 10 is then locked into place by depressing the stilts 20 in the direction of the base of the garment dryer 50 until the intermediate part 22 rests on the lowermost edge of the facing vertical slit 60. If the arch 30 is made of spring or spring-like material and the stilts 20 need to be slightly contracted for the terminal parts 23 to exit through the facing vertical slits 60, then spring force of the arch 30 will spread apart the stilts 20 away from each another and thereby press the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70. This slight but constant pressure of the terminal parts 23 against the protrusions 70 will tend to stabilize the garment dryer extension 10 in the planar direction defined by the stilts 20.

In this embodiment, in order to slidingly engage the garment dryer extension 10 and thereby stabilize the garment dryer extension 10 in a direction perpendicular to the planar direction defined by the stilts 20, the material selected for manufacturing the garment dryer extension 10 should be selected so that the stilts 20 are of the same or only slightly smaller diameter than the width of the opposing vertical slits 60 so that when the garment dryer extension 10 is fitted onto the garment dryer 50 there is a sufficient degree of sliding engagement between the stilts 20 and the opposing vertical slits 60 to firmly hold the garment dryer extension 10 in place when the desired garment is suspended thereupon but without deforming or damaging either the garment dryer extension 10 or the vertical slits 60 or requiring physical strength unavailable to the end user.

In another embodiment of this invention shown in FIGS. 11 to 13, the locking function may be achieved by replacing the “Z”-shaped ends 21 with a straight connecting member so as to effectively create an isosceles triangle but with an arch or some other three-dimensional structure at its acute vertex.

It will be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the protrusions 70 need not be hollow but appropriate preformed openings may be provided or the vertical slits 60 may be replaced by channel-like grooves to accommodate the stilts 20. If desired, the stilts 20 need not be installed on a pair of adjacent protrusions 70 but on protrusions farther apart on the same garment dryer 50 or even adjacent garment dryers 50 so as to further modify the spring force exerted by the arch 30 and accommodate heavier or larger garments. Furthermore, although this description has considered the garment dryer extension 10 as essentially a planar object, it will be understood by a person skilled in the art that the device may be shaped to a variety of three-dimensional shapes, and consequently the intermediate part 22 of the “Z”-shaped ends 21 may be normal to the planar direction defined by the stilts 20, in which case the spatial orientation of the vertical slits 60 in the protrusions 70 would be modified accordingly.

Additional modifications may be considered by a person skilled in the art and while I have described my invention in connection with the specific embodiments thereof, it is clearly to be understood that this is done only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of my invention as set forth in the objects thereof and in the appended claims and the scope of the claims should be given the broadest interpretation consistent with the description as a whole.