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  1. Erweiterte Patentsuche
VeröffentlichungsnummerUS3133334 A
Veröffentlichungsdatum19. Mai 1964
Eingetragen14. Nov. 1962
Prioritätsdatum14. Nov. 1962
VeröffentlichungsnummerUS 3133334 A, US 3133334A, US-A-3133334, US3133334 A, US3133334A
ErfinderJohnsen John W
Ursprünglich BevollmächtigterMinnie B Johnsen, Richard E Johnson
Zitat exportierenBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Externe Links: USPTO, USPTO-Zuordnung, Espacenet
Combined burial coffin and reusable outer casket
US 3133334 A
Zusammenfassung  auf verfügbar
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y 19, 1964 J. w. JOHNSEN 3,133,334





' FIG, 10 go/1N m JOHNSEN ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,133,334 C(PMEENED BURIAL CUFFIN AND REUSABLE OUTER CASKET John W. Johnsen, Camp Hill, Pa., assignor of one-third to Minnie B. .lohnsen, Camp Hill, Pa., and two-thirds to Richard E. Johnson, St. Paul, Minn.

Filed Nov. 14, 1962, Ser. No. 237,472 7 Claims. (Cl. 27-27) This invention relates to a new and improved burial coffin and casket combination; in particular, it concerns novel structure addressed to the problem of ameliorating the high cost of funerals especially as it relates to the money spent for elaborate caskets that are interred in each burial.

It is well known that conventional burial practice involves the selection and use of a single casket for each funeral with the casket being placed in a concrete vault at the interment site. Generally, the vault is characterized by an open end which'is sealed shut by means of a flanged headpiece after the casket is placed thereWi-thin. The use of a separate elaborate'and usually highly expensive casket for each burial is considered by many to be something of an anachronism, besides being wasteful and extremely uneconomic. The sharp rise in funeral costs reflects this condition. Fifteen years ago, one could be decently laid away for a cost of from $300 to $500. Nowadays, the figure is $900 to $1,200. A good share of this prohibitive expense is in the cost of the casket itself.

I have found that the outstanding problem may be solved in a remarkably simple manner.

It is an object of my invention to provide a new and improved combined coffin and casket structure that will overcome the above disadvantages and limitations.

Another object of this invention is to provide novel structure for pre-interment and burial purposes characterized by an outer casket that can be reused and an inner cofiin adapted for permanent installation in a burial vault.

A further object of this invention is to provide a coffin casket combination having novel means for facilitating the disengagement of the coffin from the casket without removing the coffin from its place in a burial vault.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a novel coffin-casket combination utilizing a relatively inexpensive innerburial cotlin that is removably mounted in an appropriately designed reusable outer casket, the structural and ornamental features of the combination being such as to provide maximum utility and economy during all phases of a funeral.

A further object of this invention is to provide in a cofiin-casket combination, novel means for facilitating the disenegagement of the coffin from the casket within a burial vault to allow the removal of the casket from the vault for further use together with novel means for selectively covering certain structural features of the combination.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings. It will be understood that changes may be made in the details of construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the accompanying claims, as the invention has been set forth by way of illustration only.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the invention with parts broken away for the purpose of clarity;

FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of the structure shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged transverse sectional view,

v Patented May 19, 1954 taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 2 showing the inner casket in two positions;

FIGURES 4 and 5 are side elevational views, with parts broken away, illustrating the means used to raise and lower the structure of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 6 is a front end view of the structure shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partially in section, taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 8 is a longitudinal sectional view of a second form of the invention;

FIGURE 9 is a View similar to FIGURE 8 illustrating a step in the removal of the outer casket from the vault;

FIGURE 10 is a transverse elevational view taken substantially along the line 10--10 of FIGURE 8 showing the inner casket in two positions;

FIGURE 11 is a transverse elevational view taken substantially along the line 11-41 of FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 12 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view, partially in section, taken substantially along the line 12-12 of FIGURE 8; and

FIGURE 13 is a plan view, partially in section, taken substantially along the line 1313 of FIGURE 12.

Generally speaking, according to the principles of my invention, I provide an inner coflin structure made of relatively inexpensive yet thoroughly adequate materials such as, for example, fiberglass, light metal, molded or laminated plastic material and the like. The inner cofiin contains the corpse during the pie-interment ceremony and is permanently buried within a suitable vault thereafter. In order to satisfy the demands ordinarily made concerning the external appearance of a casket, especially during the pre-interment period, I also provide a hollow exterior casket structure that is mounted on wheels and adapted to enclose and support the inner coffin during the funeral service and pre-interment ceremony. The exterior casket structure may be made of expensive and highly adorned material, if desired, to give an impression of dignity and beauty to the pre-interrnent part of the funeral and is so constructed and arranged as to be completely removable from the burial vault without disturbing the inner cofiin and without extensive post-ceremony effort of the kind that may be offensive to some people. The exterior casket is designed for repeated use thus enabling one to obtain the benefit of an expensive casket without the necessity of purchasing the same. Such an arrangement is very practical in that the inner coifin can be constructed with purely functional purposes in mind and made watertight, rodent resistant and structurally sound without regard to aesthetic non-functional features that often do little more than add greatly to the cost of such a structure.

Referring now to FIGURES 1-7 of the drawings, wherein a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated, the invention, designated in its entirety by the reference character A, includes an exterior casket structure 20 having side walls 22, 24, a closed front end 26 and a rear end 28 having an opening 29. Further provided is a conventional cover member 30 adjacent the front end 26 and suitable hand rails 31 of similar carrying means along the lower edge of walls 22, 24. Casket structure 20 may be constructed of suitable material of a costly nature to enhance its external appearance, as desired. The inner surfaces of walls 22, 24 of casket 2t} terminate at their lower edges in a pair of inwardly extending inner ledge members 32, 34 having generally horizontal upper supporting surfaces 36, 38.

Further provided are a set of rear wheels, 40 and a set of forward wheels 42, each being pivotally mounted for limited retraction within wells 44 formed in walls 22, 24

immediately forwardly of their supporting brackets 46. (See FIGURES 4 and 5.) Means for raising and lower ing casket 20 includes a leg 48 for each wheel pivotally mounted at its upper end, as at 43, to bracket 46 and rotatably carrying a wheel at its lower end. The upper forward surface of each leg 48 is formed into an upwardly concave cam shape, as at 50, which is engaged by a follower link 52 mounted for pivotal movement, as at 45, about a generally horizontal axis slightly forwardly and above bracket 46. The lower end of follower link 52 is equipped with a roller 54 which contacts cam surface 50 of leg 48. Connecting each follower 52 between the wheels 40 and 42 on each side of casket 20 is a control rod 56 which extends through a suitable bore therein. Control rod 56 engages follower 52 between its pivot point 45 and roller 54 to impart rotational movement thereto and raise or lower casket 20 a distance sufiicient to engage or disengage the inner coffin assembly 60 from inner ledge members 32, 34, as will be explained. A pair of laterally spaced control handles 58, mounted exteriorly of casket 20 upon front end 26 thereof are provided, each being connected to a control rod 56 on opposite sides of casket 20. As shown in FIGURES 4 and 5, the control handles 58 are normally positioned in an upward attitude against the front end 26, in which position wheels 40, 42 are held down out of well 44.

The inner coffin structure, designated in its entirety by the reference character 60 includes a flat bottom portion 62 having outer longitudinal edges 61, 63 which engage the inner ledge members 32, 34 of exterior casket 20. Extending below bottom portion 62 of inner coflin 60 are depending rear legs 65 and forward legs 67. Legs 65 and 67 of equal length, are longitudinally placed between wheels 40, 42, respectively, and extend below bottom portion 62 a distance sufficient to result in vertical clearance, as at 69, when exterior casket 20 is raised and at the same time they rest upon the floor with clearance, as at 71, between edges 61, 63 of bottom portion 62 of inner coffin 60 and inner ledges 32, 34 of casket 20 when exterior casket 20 is in a lowered position. See FIGURE 3. An upper enclosing structure 64 having a forward opening 66 and a longitudinally slidable cover member 68 carried upon tracks 70 is removably mounted upon bottom portion 62. A water and air tight seal (not shown) may be provided between cover 68 and tracks 70 and between enclosing structure 64 and bottom 62. Opening 66 is arranged so as to be in register with the cover member 30 of casket 20 when inner coffin 60 is positioned therewithin. Hand engageable means 72 are recessed into the forward end of cover 68 to permit the opening and closing thereof and suitable locking means (not shown) are provided for closing cover 68 in a forward position.

Completing the structural features of the foregoing combination is curtain 74 slidably mounted within exterior casket 20 in spaced relation to inner coffin 60 and carried at its rear end within guide slots 76, 78 on each side of rear opening 29 of rear end 28. Curtain 74 is preferably constructed of a series of articulated narrow laterally extending panel sections 80 of light metal or other suitable material. Each panel section 80 is pivotally connected along its length to an adjoining identical section to form a longitudinally flexible curtain 74. Curtain 74 is sup ported along its length between guide slots 76, 78 and opening 66 of inner cofiin 60 by means of a series of longitudinally spaced laterally extending circular bars 82 and a roller guide 84 positioned on each side of the upper corner adjacent opening 29 in exterior casket 20. Curtain 74 extends from the bottom of opening 29 in exterior casket 20 upwardly and forwardly toward cover 30 thereof. A pair of laterally spaced longitudinal cables 86 connected at their rear ends to the forward end of curtain 74 extend therefrom through apertures 88 in the front end 26 of exterior casket 20 where they terminate in a pair of laterally spaced control handles 90.

During the pre-interment part of the funeral, exterior casket 20 is displayed in the conventional manner with cover 30 thereof in an open position. Exterior casket 20 is in a raised position allowing inner coffin 60 to rest upon ledges 32, 34 thereof. Curtain 74 is retracted fully toward the rear of casket 20 to conceal rear opening 29 in exterior casket 20. Slidable cover 68 is also retracted at this time to allow viewing of the body in inner cofiin 60. After the service, cover 68 is locked in a forward position and cover member 30 is closed. The entire assembly is then taken out to the cemetery and wheeled into a conventional vault 100 with the rear end 28 positioned adjacent the closed end of the vault. Immediately following the burial ceremony and before closing vault 100 with headpiece 102, curtain 74 is pulled forwardly by means of cables 86 and control handles 90 to permit the longitudinal separation of exterior casket 20 from inner cofiin 60. Exterior casket 20 is then lowered by pivoting control handles 58 downwardly and forwardly, as shown in FIGURE 5, so that inner coffin 60 rests upon the floor of vault 100. The clearance 71 between the outer longitudinal edges 61, 63 of inner cofiin 60 and inner ledges 32, 34 of casket 20 permits exterior casket 20 to be wheeled free of inner cofiin 60 and removed from vault for repeated further use in the manner suggested.

In FIGURES 8 to 12, I have illustrated an alternative form of my invention which eliminates the use of the pivotal wheel construction shown and described hereinabove. In this embodiment of my invention, I provide an exterior casket having side walls 122, 124, a closed front end 126 and a rear end 128 having an opening 129. A cover 130 and outer hand rails 131 are also provided. Exterior casket 120 is equipped with a pair of relatively short inner forward ledge members 132, 134 which extend rearwardly from front end 126 in the manner shown in FIGURE 8 and are tapered downwardly at their rear ends, as at 127. Wheels and 142 are fixed vertically adjacent each end of exterior casket 120. To support the inner coffin within exterior casket 120 at its rear end I provide the releasable structural combination shown in FIGURES 8, 12 and 13 of the drawings. This feature includes a pair of pivotal inner coffin horizontal supporting links 200, 202, each mounted within walls 122, 124, respectively, of exterior casket 120 forwardly of the rear wheels 140 thereof. Links 200, 202 swing inwardly about vertical pivot pins 167 from the plane of walls 122, 124 to engage the outer longitudinal edges 161, 163 of the bottom 162 of inner coffin 160 whereby to support the rear end thereof. A torsion spring 165 surrounding each pivot pin 167 carrying supporting links 200, 202 normally biases links 200, 202 inwardly into casket 20 in supporting relation to inner cotfin 160. A pair of control cables 170, 172 extend forwardly from links 200, 202 into engagement with laterally spaced pivotal control handles 176 mounted on the front end 126 of casket 120. The control handles 176 are arranged so that pulling them forwardly and downwardly will result, by virtue of cables 170, 172, in the pivoting of links 200, 202, outwardly bringing them out of engagement with inner cofiin 160 and into suitable horizontal recesses 178 provided in the walls 122, 124 of exterior casket 120. Release of handles 176 against the pressure of springs 165 results in the return of links 200, 202 to their former supporting position within exterior casket 120.

Inner coffin 160 is identical above its bottom portion 162 to inner cotfin 60 previously described. However, I provide a single transverse rear lug 180 and a pair of laterally spaced forward legs 182 in place of the leg construction shown and described in connection with inner coffin 60. Legs 180, 182 depend from bottom portion 162 of inner cofiin 160 a distance sufiicient to result in vertical clearance 184 between the floor of vault 210 when inner cofiin 160 is carried upon its forward and rear supports, as set forth hereinabove. Further provided in this embodiment of my invention is an upstanding step 212 formed in the floor of vault 210 between wheels 140, 142 and just forward of rear leg 1%.

t should be understood that exterior casket 120 is equipped with a sliding curtain assembly 274 and cover 130 similar to that shown in previously described exterior casket 20; a slidable cover 168 assembly also being provided for inner coffin 160 in a manner similar to that provided for inner coflin 69.

The manner in which this form of the invention operates will now be described. It should be apparent that this form of the invention has the same functional and utilitarian advantages as those ascribed to the earlier structure. Inner coffin 160 is placed in exterior casket 12% by sliding the forward end thereof up onto tapered ledge members 132, 134 of casket 120 and lifting the rear end up while links 2%, 202 are swung inwardly into recesses 178 by the operation of handles 174, 176. Release of links 2%, 2&2 permits the resting of the rear end of inner coffn 160 thereon. When removal of casket 120 is desired, links 290, 2% are pivoted in the manner de scribed into recesses 17% resulting in the dropping of the rear end of inner coflin 16% upon the floor of vault 210. As shown in FIGURE 9, this causes rear leg 1% of inner casket 169 to abuttingly engage step 212 of vault 210 By then wheeling casket 129 out of vault 21% the forward portion of inner coifin 160 is slidably released from ledge members 132, 134 onto the floor of vault 210 without longitudinal displacement. The tapered construction of ledge members 132, 134 reduce the chance of a sudden dropping of inner coflin 160.

Although my invention has been described in connection with a preferred and an alternate embodiment there of, variations and modifications may be resorted to by those skilled in the art without departing from the principles outlined in the foregoing. I consider all of these variations and modifications to be within the true spirit and scope of my invention, as disclosed in the foregoing description and defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a combined burial cofin and removable outer casket, a hollow outer casket structure having an open end, inner ledge means extending longitudinally within said outer casket structure, wheel means carried by said outer casket structure, a burial coffin supported within said outer casket structure upon said inner ledge means, support means depending from said burial coflin below said ledge means, and means associated with said wheel means operable to raise and lower said outer casket structure whereby to effect the vertical disengagement of said burial with from said inner ledge means to allow said outer casket structure to be wheeled free of said burial cofiin.

2. The structure of claim 1 wherein said outer casket structure is provided with a sliding curtain adapted to overlie the open end thereof when said burial coffin is resting upon said inner ledge means and adapted to be retracted towards the closed end thereof whereby to expose the open end thereof and allow the removal of said burial coffin therefrom.

3. In combination with a vault having an upstanding ledge on the floor thereof, a rollable hollow outer casket having a closed and open end, inner ledge means within said casket adjacent the closed end thereof, coflin supporting members within said casket adjacent the open end thereof normally biased in an inner coffin supporting position and adapted to assume a coffin release position, means for moving said coilin supporting members into a coffin release position, a burial coffin supported within said outer casket upon said ledge means and said coffin supporting members, forward support means depending below said burial coifin in normally spaced relation to the floor of said vault when said coffin is supported within said outer casket, and rear support means of the same length as said forward support means de thereof.

6. The device of claim 3 wherein said means for moving said coffin supporting members into a coffin release position include cable means extending longitudinally of said outer casket and handle means mounted on the front end of said outer casket.

7. In a structure of the class described, a rollable outer hollow housing having an open end, a burial coffin removably carried within said outer housing, means operable to effect relative vertical displacement between said outer housing and said burial coffin whereby to permit said outer housing to be rolled free of said burial cofiin, curtain means mounted for longitudinal movement within said outer housing above said burial cofiin, said curtain means being adapted when in a rearward position to cover the open end in said housing and expose the forward end of said burial coffin and when in a forward position to clear the open end of said housing whereby to facilitate the longitudinal separtion of said burial coffin and said outer housing, and means mounted upon and extending through the closed end of said outer housing for controlling the movement of said curtain means.

References Qiterl in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Benbough May 1,

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US-Klassifikation27/27, D99/1, 27/35
Internationale KlassifikationA61G17/00
Europäische KlassifikationA61G17/00