Shellfish harvesting machine

Abstract

Claims

March 23, 1954 K JR 2,672,700 SHELLFISH HARVESTING MACHINE Filed May 19, 1952 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ATTORNEY March 23, 1954 F. HANKS, JR SHELLFISH HARVESTING MACHINE I Filed May 19, 1952 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 I N VEN TOR ATTORNEY Patented Mar. 23, 1954 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE SHELLFISH HARVESTING MACHINE Fletcher Hanks, Jr., Easton, Md. Application May 19, 1952, Serial No. 288,707 14 Claims. This invention is a shell fish harvesting machine, adapted particularly for use in the dislodging and gathering of clams or mollusks from their beds in the bottoms of streams, separating them from sand, gravel or mud, and delivering them thoroughly washed and cleaned to a predetermined location. A particular object of the invention is to provide means of comparatively simple construction which may be moved along the bottom of a stream, bay or sea to quickly, easily and without damage dislodge shell fish embedded in such bottoms, separate, wash and clean the same of foreign matter such as sand, gravel or mud, to deliver the harvested shell fish to a location for easy recovery and handling and at the same time to return to the same location in the stream bottom such sand, gravel or mud as may have been disturbed in the harvesting operation. These objects, together with others which will appear as the description proceeds, are accomplished by means of the structure hereinafter fully described, illustrated in the drawing, and particularly set forth in the claims. In the drawings: Fig. 1 is a side elevation of a conventional form of boat or other craft and showing as applied thereto shell fish harvesting mechanism embodying my invention, Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the construction shown in Fig. 1, Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the scoop and a portion of the conveyor involved in the mechanism, Fig. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view taken substantially upon the line 4-4 of Fig. 3, and Fig. 5 is a detail fragmentary sectional view taken upon line 5-5 of Fig. 4. In carrying out the invention the shell fish harvesting mechanism is mounted upon a conveyance or supporting vehicle in order that it may be moved along over the shell fish bed to be harvested. In the present instance, a conventional boat, preferably of the fiat bottom shallow draft type If), is employed as the conveyance, but it will be understood that other means may be adopted for the support and advancement of the harvesting mechanism if desired. The supporting structure or boat is provided with the usual motor H for driving the conven tional propeller l2. Arranged forwardly of this motor and preferably amidships of the boat is a conventional water pump indicated at It operated by motor [4 as shown. The pump 13 has attached thereto a hose 15 which has its intake end 16 disposed overboard in order that clear water may be supplied to the pump when the latter is in operation. The pump also has outlet hoses ll attached thereto, the purposes of which will be later set forth. While I have successfully used a single shell fish harvesting device upon one side only of the vessel, it is proposed in this development of my invention to provide a pair of shell fish harvesting devices, one located upon each side of the vessel It and in close proximity to the sides thereof, and inasmuch as these devices are identical, only one will be described in detail. The harvester includes a scoop indicated generally at it. This scoop includes a pair of spaced parallel supports or runners indicated at 19 connected together at their forward ends by a transverse bar 25). Each runner is provided with an upstanding plate 2| extending from the forepart of the runners to the rear thereof, and these plates also have portions 22 depending therefrom near the rear of the runners. The forward ends of the plates 22 are connected by a transverse horizontally disposed plate 23 constituting a blade, which blade is disposed substantially parallel with the runners [9. It will be noted that the blade 23 is disposed a substantial distance below the runners l9, so that in operation with the runners I9 resting upon the bed of the stream, the blade 23 will be disposed sufficiently far beneath the stream bottom to underlie the shell fish bed upon which the operation takes place. The scoop I8 is open at its rear end and has pivotally connected therewith a conveyor and collector frame 24. This frame includes a pair of spaced parallel bars 25 which have their forward ends engaged between the depending plates 22 of the scoop and pivoted thereto by the transverse bar or rod 26. It will be observed that the lower ends of the frame bars 25 are disposed near the lower end of the scoop and immediately in the rear of the blade 23. The collector or conveyor frame 24 also includes side plates 21 which project upwardly in spaced parallelism from the bars 25, and extend forwardly so as to lie between the plates 2 l22 of the scoop. It is thus seen that the forward end of the collector or conveyor frame is hinged on a horizontal axis within the rear end of the scoop with the upstanding plates 21 interfitting be tween the plates 2| of the scoop. The collector frame 24 is provided with a conventional open mesh conveyor 29 which passes over a roller 30 carried at the forward or lower end of the collector frame 24 and over a similar roller mounted upon a transverse shaft 3| at the rear or uppermost end of the conveyor frame. The conveyor frame 24 is sumciently long to extend upwardly and angularly so as to dispose the upper end thereof above the surface of the water and convenient to be reached from a position with the vessel It. The open mesh conveyor 29 rides upon the tracks32 secured upon the inner faces of the plates flgand ithis conveyor is'of a widthso as to properly fit between the spaced parallel upstanding plates Zl. The conveyor 29 has applied thereto upon its exterior surface and in spaced relation to one another cross strips orc'oli'ector bars 33, these strips being somewhat: narrower than the overall breadth of the conveyor belt. Pivotally mounted at its forwardend=transversely within the scoop and immediately-in the rear of the blade 23 is an=apron 34 comprising a flat plate extending from its pivot 35 rearwardly and 'angularly so as-to overlie and rest upon the forward'end of the conveyor 'belt29. The apron "34 is'heredescribed as pivotally mounted at its forward end transversely'within the scoop. Its purpose is to afford a surface over which shell fish "collected within the scoop may readily-pass to the conveyorat the rear end of the scoop, and therefore need not necessarily be pivoted at its forwarden'd'within the scoop. This apron extends' the full width of 'the scoop as shown in the drawing, and is provided inwardly from its ends with -an opening or recess within whichfits a hinged"bridgeplate' 36. This bridge'plate isof a width 'substantiallyequal to 'or slightly greater than'the length of the strips or cleats 33 on the conveyor belt. The plate '36 is hinged to the apron-34 as at '31. It will be noted, with particular reference "to Figs. 2 and 3, that the conveyorframe is somewhat narrower than'the scoop, and itwill also be observed that the forward -"ends of the upstanding plates of the conveyor frame are flared outwardly as -at'38 to lie adjacent to the upstanding plates 2| ofthe scoop and between the latter. 'This'spacing of the forwardends f "the plate '21 provides in 'effect a funnel for the conveyor frame. The scoop has disposed transversely thereof and supported between or "by'the runners 19 a manifold "39 to which the discharge hose H from ,1 the "pump 3 is connected. This manifold is-p-rovided throughout its length with a series of pipes constituting jets 4a. The jets-40 of this series may :be relatively short as shown and extend in the'general -direction'of the surface of the stream 4 bed. The jets ofthis series preferably project in a-genera1 rearward direction so that streams of water projected therefrom'will take a downward andrearward course. The manifold is alsoprovided with additional jets indicated at M and. The jets 4| are relatively long, and are so located upon the manifold as 'to project their streams directly against the apron 34 near the sides=thereof asjshown bythe arrows in Fig; 3. The central j et '42 I is pref erably somewhat longer than' the companion jets 4| and is disposed -in the longitudinal axis of the "scoop -and at such angle as "to -project its' -stre'am directly-against the hin'ge'd 'plateaii. 'Iheponnecting bar 211 at the f orward-end of the scoop hassecured=intermediate its end's a ba-il "43 bymeahs'of which a rope orwcable 44- maybe secured thereto. This cable "extends forwardly from the-scoop to the -'bow'* of "the wes'sel fll to which it is connected. The scoop inwardly-from frame inwardly from pivoted at its inner end to .cable 53 may be connected to the boom 52 and to the top'of the mast to assist in the elevating or its ends, is provided with a cross bar 45, to themedial portion of which is connected a sheave or pulley 46 over which a rope or cable 41 passes. The cable 41 is associated with a boom 48 pivotally connected at its inner end to a mast 49 upon the vessel; the arrangement being such that the scoop, with the conveyor mechanism attached thereto, may be raised or lowered as desired. To furtherfacilitatethis operatiomas wellasto govern the angle at which the conveyor frame 24 will be disposed, a cable 50 connected to the conveyor its ends is associated with the draft cable 5| connected to a boom 52 also I the mast. A further 3 angle adjusting operations. With a harvesting mechanism as above described connectedto each side of the vessel, adjustments of the cables will be made so that the scoop will rest/upon the bottom of the streami'or bay so-as to be towed by the cables 44. "Thewater pump it-is set in "operation andthe vessel will be set iii-motion so as 'to move slowlyrin a forward direction. With the scoop supported by its runners 19 resting upon the bottom/the blade 23 will be disposed a substantial distance below the's-treain bottom, and water=underiproper pressure from the nozzles- Mil- 3L 42 will be projected "doumwaroll-y' and rearwardly as shown more particularly in Fig. 4. The streams from the jets "46 will agitate the sand or other material within which the shell *fish areembedded, and the pressure'wil l be sufficient to bring-"about a penetration at least as deep as thebl'ade 23. The shell fish will be dislodged andat thesa'me time washed free of sand.- or other material and will be directed by these jets in a rearward direction and within the lower part of the scoop. Being more or less buoyant, the dislodgedehell fish will move into the scoop and onto the apron 34; being propelled'thereover by the 'jets Ml-4|- 42 operating in combination. The conveyor 29 is set in motionfeitherby power means, if desired, or manually by the cranks as indicated at 54. The shell fish passing onto the 'conveyor will be caught by the transverse strips or cleats 33and carried to the top thereof wherethey may-be taken off and collected within 'theb'oat. Other material will pass off the end of the conveyor 'and will drop back into the stream in substantially the same location from which it was removed. The apron 3'4 and=thepivoted plate '38 associated therewith constitutes a-br idgebetween the blade 23 ancl' the-conveyor. The-"free end of the apron rests upon the side portions lo'f the con-veyor and overcomes :any tendency of the shel-l fish being lost by dropping-back .dowm the co'nveyor. The central plate: '36v :has 1 its freerend' sL-resting upon the conveyor. so as to overlie thercrossstrips 33 for similar purposea and the water :jetfr'om the el'on'gated nozzle'42 supplies sufficient ':pres-' sure upon the plate I33t'ito' h0ld-it iatial l times'iin close contact either with the'vbelts :or: with :the cross strips 33 carried thereby. In .Fig; 5*t0f the drawing'there 'isti'shown. a detail sectional 'view. through. zone: :iof: :theirunners. Runner 1-9 iszof= angle; aconstructionias shown, and in order-:to reinforce nor ."strengthen the structuresas well 'as to prevent the accumulation of sand, mud'orother foreignamatteriupon the horizontal "portion of: the angle; a cplatezSS is welded :or iotherwise tbridged sacrossrtlre angle as shown. ith'lthiscovering secured'iin 'awvater tightim'anner uponveach runnerpaneair chamber is provided effecting a buoyancy enabling the collector to be more conveniently and effectively handled. From the foregoing it is apparent that I have constructed a shell fish harvesting machine which is of comparatively simple construction, easy of operation and which will effectively operate to dislodge the shell fish either upon or below the bottom surface, wash them free of all foreign matter, and deliver them uninjured to the conveyor from which they may be taken at the rear or upper end thereof. By means of the tackle illustrated, it is apparent that accurate adjustments of the apparatus may be readily and easily made, and the angularity of conveyor may equally as well and efiiciently be determined. Inasmuch as the fluid jets may create considerable agitation of water within the scoop, the rear end of the latter and the forward end of the conveyor frame is covered with a netting 56 to prevent the loss or escape of any of the shell fish. It is also obvious that with harvesting mechanism constructed in accordance with this invention, the apparatus may be so adjusted as to depth, and the fluid pressure of the jets may be so controlled as to disturb the stream or bay bottom only to the depth of the shell fish bed, and it is also apparent that with a machine as here disclosed the sand, mud and other material will be deposited in substantially the same location from which it is removed as the apparatus advances. It will also be understood that the angularity of the jets as here set forth is not necessarily controlling, asthe jets may be disposed at any desired angle or in any proper direction to agitate the stream bed to dislodge the shell fish for accumulation in the following scoop. I claim: 1. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop to travel along a stream bottom, a conveyor frame hingedly connected to the rear end of said scoop, a blade in said scoop in advance of said conveyor frame, a conveyor in said frame having its forward end disposed in the rear of said scoop, an apron extending from said blade to the forward end of said conveyor and resting at its rear end upon said conveyor, and nozzles disposed transversely of said scoop in advance of said blade, and means for supplying fluid under pressure to said nozzles. 2. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop to travel along a stream bottom, a conveyor frame hingedly connected to the rear end of said scoop, a blade disposed transversely of said scoop and in advance of said conveyor frame, a conveyor in said frame having its forward end disposed in said scoop and spaced from said blade, an apron hinged in said scoop adjacent to said blade and resting upon said conveyor, nozzles disposed transversely of said scoop in advance of said conveyor, and means for supplying fluid under pressure to said nozzles. 3. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop to travel along a stream bottom, means for supporting said scoop, a blade carried by said scoop and disposed below said supporting means, a conveyor frame hingedly connected to the rear end of said scoop, a conveyor in said frame having its forward end disposed in the rear of said blade and in substantially the same plane therewith, an apron hinged to said scoop in the rear of said blade and overlying said conveyor, nozzles disposed transversely of said scoop in advance of 6 said blade, and means for supplying fluid under pressure to said nozzles. 4. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop, runners arranged in spaced parallelism upon said scoop to support the same, a blade disposed transversely of said scoop below said runners, a conveyor hingedly connected to said scoop in the rear of said blade, a connecting apron interposed between said scoop and said conveyor, nozzles carried by said scoop in advance of said blade, said nozzles being disposed at such angle as to project streams of fluid in the direction of said blade, and means for supplying fiuid under pressure to said nozzles. 5. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop to travel along a stream bottom, a conveyor frame communicating at its forward end with the rear end of said scoop, means whereby said frame may be adjusted angularly with respect to said scoop, a conveyor in said frame, a blade on said scoop disposed transversely thereof and in advance of said conveyor, an apron hingedly connected in said scoop in the rear of said blade and having its free end overlying said conveyor, a manifold supported by said scoop in advance of said blade, nozzles projecting from said manifold and directed toward said blade, and means for supplying fluid under pressure to said manifold. 6. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a pair of runners arranged in spaced parallel relationship, plates depending from the rear ends of said runners, a blade connecting the lower ends of said plates, a conveyor frame pivotally connected at one end to said plates and between the latter in the rear of said blade, an apron extending between said plates and hingedly connected thereto in the rear of said blade, the free end of said apron extending into said conveyor frame, and a conveyor in said frame underlying and supporting said apron. 7. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a pair of runners arranged in spaced parallel relationship, plates secured to and depending from the rear portions of said runners, a blade connecting the lower ends of said plates and disposed in substantial parallelism with said runners and below the same, a manifold connecting said runners in advance of said plates, an apron pivoted at its forward end between said plates and in the rear of said blade, a conveyor, one end of said conveyor disposed between said plates and in the rear of said blade, and nozzles connected to said manifold at such angles as to project fluid streams therefrom against said blade and said apron. 8. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop to travel along a stream bottom, a blade carried by said scoop, a conveyor having its forward end disposed in the rear of said scoop, an apron hingedly connected -to said scoop in the rear of said blade and adjacent thereto, said apron extending to and overlying said conveyor, said apron having a cut-away portion therein, a plate hingedly connected to said apron and disposed in said cutaway portion, nozzles disposed transversely of said scoop in advance of said blade, said nozzles directed into said scoop and against said apron and said plate, and means for supplying fluid under pressure to said nozzles. 9. In a shell fish harvesting machine, a scoop to travel along a stream bottom, a pair of plates arranged in spaced parallelism and depending from said scoop, a transverse blade connecting the lower ends of said plates, an apron hinged between said plates at one end in the rear of said blade, a conveyor frame pivoted between said 7 plates in theerearxbi said blade; an endless conveyor in said frame having'its upper fli ghtflindeny-mg the free end of said apron; a manifold m-said-scaop disposed transversely thereof-p nozzles-proj'ecting' "from 'said -mari-iiold some 0f is'a id n'o'a'zle's directed against--said-'lblade,"some of said nozzles directedagainst said apron, and means for-supplying fluid-underpressure to said manifold. i-01inashellfishharvestingmachine, a sc'oop comprising 'a pair of spaced parallel -'runners,- a manifold extending transverselyof said sc'oop and adjacent the forward ends='-of said r-uriners, plates depending from said runners in spaced parallelism, a blade connecting the lower ends of said pl'a tesand h'aving its transve'rse ain's dispos'ed substantally mar a-Hel *to said runners, a conveyor irame' 'hin edly connected: at its 'forward -end" between-said plates and in the-rear 'o'f s'a'id blade, a conveyor in said 'frame, an apron pivoted at its forward' 'endbetween said -"='pla'tes and extending 'rearwardly"itherefrom to wmrerlie said conveyor; said -apron having a cut-awayprir tiori' intermediate the ends'thereoi; a br idge pl'ate hinged atone en'dt'o said apron disposed With-in said cut-away portion and resting at its free'endupon'said-"conveyor,- jets projecting from saidmanifold toward said blade and toward said apron land bridgeplate; and means for-supply mg fluid under pressure to said manifold, 11. In a l sl ieli' fish harvestin machine, a pa-ir of runners arrangedin spaoedarallelisrm plates connected "to said runners and extending above and below tne same, a blade disposed transversely betweenand connecting the lovverends- 0f said plates, a "conveyor frame'hi-nged at itsiorward end" betweens'a'id-plates andin the rear or said blade,- a conveyor in said frame, side -'-pla-tes -connected to said conveyor frame and extending upwardly therefrom and disposed between tne said first'rnentioned plates, an apron hinged between the low'ei ends o'f the first mentioned-plates in the rear ofsaidblade and having its free end overlying said conveyor, a manifold connecting said runners in advance o'f 52nd blade; nozzles projecting from said manifold-toward said blade and-toward said apron, and means for supplying fluid "under pressure to said manifold. 12. In ashell fishharvesting machine, a scoop open atitsfront a-nd -rear-ends and adapted to travel along a stream bottom, a-bladeinsaid scoop intermediate the ends disposed transversely 'thereof; a manifold disposed transversely of "said scoop andadvance of -s'aid=bl'ade,'- a , cenveyorsfmmeminged at its';,forwaird :en'd withcleats disposed tran'sversely viof said conveyor, Jan apron hingedlyconne'eted at one end within said scoop the rear of and adjacent-said 'blade and having its" free end-projectedwithin said conveyoi frame; a plat'e hinged to said apron and resting at its free end-upon said co'nveyor, side platesupon said a conveyor -frame fitting within said: scoop, no'zzl'es' connected to said-manifold and fdirected toward said blade, saidaproniand said hinged plate, and means for supplying" fluid under pressure to =s'aidmanifold. ' 1-31 in 'a sl'iell fish harvesting machine, a pair "of spaced parallel interconnectedrunnersto travel alongand-restnpon a stream bottom, a scoop cai ried by- *and having its "forward edge disposed below sa-id runnersjthe-saidforward edge of said scoop disposed-rearwardlyof the --forward-ends oi s-aid runners; a conveyor frame 'hingedly monnested at its forward end in the rear end and above the" bottom of said scoop, nozzles supportedbysaid runners 'inadvance brine-forward ends of said scoop, sai'd -nozzles' directed downwafdly and ina-rearward direction to project jets iorwarlly of as Welles into said scoop, and means "for-supplying fliiid= under pressure to said nozzles. 14;- Ina shell "fish' harv'esting machine, a pair of spaced parallel runnersto rest upon andtravel al'onga=-stream bottom, a scoopinterposed-between and supported by said runners, a blade member at the forward" endof "said 's'coo'p disposedytransversely between said-runners with its forward-edge disposed rearwardly' of "the '"forward-easy said runners'and with "said edge disposed apredetermined'distancebelowthe latter, conveyor- "means communicating with" the rear end of said scoop to receive materiaTtnerefrom, nozzles "disposed "transversely of "said scoop in :advance of and above said blade, and; means for "supplying fluidunder'press'ure to said noz- 2 es. FLETCHER "HANKS; J R. i lteferences' *Git'emin =the file of this patent "J 'UNITED STATES" PATENTS Number Name 1 Date 1 #397,851 Collier Sept. 1, :1908 991,333 Lybeck sir-May 2, :1911 .,1,4 86, 485 -Fh issell =-Mar. 11, 1924 -2,288,!701 Heden July W, @1942

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