Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 31)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on January 17, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 4,656,687:  Elephant-shaped car cleaner and air pump.

elephantvac 

Background:

Vacuum cleaners are widely used today for cars, but portable car air pumping devices are seldom seen. If a car tire should be found to be short of air pressure on a highway, such a portable air pumping device might be very convenient for a driver, especially if it would be combined together with a vacuum cleaner, making use of the same motor used in the cleaner. So this car cleaner and air pump has been shaped as an elephant for an attractive appearance.

Claims:

I claim: 

1. An elephant-shaped car vacuum cleaner and air pump, including: an elephant-shaped cover, a dirt suction device consisting of an inlet passage, a motor, an impeller driven by the motor, and a dirt bag; an air pumping device consisting of said motor, a transmission consisting of a worm gear rod, a worm-gear wheel, and an eccentric crank; and a cylinder with a piston driven by said transmission; a lighting and colored-light signaling device, and an electric power system; having the characteristics that dirt can be suctioned and collected in the dirt bag through said inlet passage in a trunk of said cover by the suction created by the impeller turned by the motor; and that air can be pumped by compressing the air coming into the cylinder through an exhaust pipe from the impeller by means of the piston driven by the transmission.

2. The elephant-shaped car vacuum and air pump as set forth in claim 1, wherein the head portion of the cover is able to be lifted open for cleaning and emptying the dirt bag, and the body portion of the cover has on its upper surface a pressure gauge and a circular valve for closing or venting the air chamber to the atmosphere, so that for pumping air into a tire, the valve can be closed to make the air flow into the cylinder, and the air pressure in the cylinder indicated by the gauge.

3. The elephant-shaped car vacuum and air pump as set forth in claim 1, wherein the lighting or colored-light signalling is accomplished by at least one light set into at least one eye in a head portion of the cover, and covered by a multi-colored lens able to change its color from red to green or transparent.

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