Title:
ORNAMENTAL DEVICE
United States Patent 3694648


Abstract:
An ornamental device including a housing, means on the housing for hanging the housing on a suitable support, means within the housing for holding an element to be viewed, means within the housing for illuminating the element, and means carried by the housing for permitting viewing of the illuminated element. The device may be spherical and simulate a Christmas tree ornament. The element to be viewed may comprise a photographic transparency.



Inventors:
YATES ROBERT L
Application Number:
05/017494
Publication Date:
09/26/1972
Filing Date:
03/09/1970
Assignee:
ROBERT L. YATES
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/716, 40/725, 359/799, 359/801, 362/311.06, 362/311.13, 362/396, 362/808, 428/11, D11/121
International Classes:
A47G33/08; F21S4/00; F21S8/00; F21W121/04; (IPC1-7): A47G33/16; G02B27/00
Field of Search:
240/1R,2AT,1S,1T 40
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3253137Garland light1966-05-24Richter
3177593Eye display and viewer1965-04-13Loeb
2917853Article reminiscent of special occasions1959-12-22Lawsky
2303988Transparency displaying device1942-12-01Christensen
2220038Ornament1940-10-29Kreisler et al.
2074671Interiorly illuminated sign1937-03-23Regester
1636141Ornamental light1927-07-19Mammen
1409114Picture illuminator1922-03-07Loveberg
1215986N/A1917-02-13Pohlman



Primary Examiner:
Prince, Louis R.
Assistant Examiner:
Yasich, Daniel M.
Claims:
I claim

1. An ornamental device comprising: a light transmitting housing arranged to present a pleasing aesthetic appearance when illuminated from internally thereof; means on the housing for hanging the housing on a suitable support; means within the housing for holding an element to be viewed; means within the housing for illuminating said element and said housing; and means carried by the housing spaced from the element in the holding means for permitting desired viewing of the illuminated element substantially only from directly forwardly thereof with said housing defining a more softly lighted surround thereabout.

2. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said housing is arranged to glow when illuminated by said illuminating means.

3. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said housing is translucent.

4. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said housing is spherical.

5. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said housing includes a tubular projection, said hanging means being secured to said housing substantially in said projection.

6. The ornamental device of claim 5 wherein said tubular projection is adapted to pass said illuminating means therethrough for servicing thereof.

7. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said illuminating means includes an electrically operated lamp and wires extending outwardly through said housing at said hanging means.

8. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said viewing means comprises opaque tubular wall means extending between said viewing means and said spaced holding means and having a transverse cross-section substantially smaller than that of said housing.

9. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said holding means comprises an open pocket means constructed to permit ready removal and installation of the element to be viewed relative to said device.

10. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein a plurality of element holding means and viewing means are provided.

11. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein said housing simulates a conventional Christmas tree ornament.

12. The ornamental device of claim 1 wherein a second holding means for holding a second element to be viewed is provided within said housing and a second means is carried by the housing for permitting the second element to be viewed, and said illuminating means is disposed to light each of said elements.

13. An ornamental device comprising: a light-transmitting housing arranged to present a pleasing aesthetic appearance when illuminated from internally thereof; means on the housing for hanging the housing on a suitable support; means within the housing for holding an element to be viewed; means within the housing for illuminating said element and said housing; means carried by the housing spaced from the element in the holding means for permitting viewing of the illuminated element; a second holding means for holding a second element to be viewed within said housing; and second means carried by the housing for permitting the second element to be viewed, said illuminating means being disposed adjacent the center of said housing to pass light through each of said elements where each of said elements is a transparency, a tubular projection on said housing adapted to pass said illuminating means therethrough for servicing thereof, and said viewing means comprising opaque tubular wall means extending between said viewing means and said spaced holding means and having a transverse cross section substantially smaller than that of said housing.

14. An ornamental device comprising:

15. The ornamental device of claim 14 wherein the total weight of the device is less than approximately 4 ounces.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to ornamental devices and in particular to illuminated ornamental devices.

2. Description of the Prior Art

One conventional form of ornamental device comprises a Christmas tree ornament. Conventionally, such ornaments may comprise globes having decorative finishes to provide a pleasing aesthetic effect. The globes are provided with hangers adapted for facilitated attachment to a tree branch. One disadvantage of conventional ornaments of this type is the lack of personal identification with the ornament. Thus, resort has been had to the making of ornaments as by members of the family for providing more personal decoration such as of a Christmas tree.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an improved ornamental device permitting individual identification with the ornament while yet providing an aesthetic, accurately manufactured over-all appearance. More specifically, the invention comprehends providing an ornament including a housing, means on the housing for hanging the housing on a suitable support, means within the housing for holding an element to be viewed, means within the housing for illuminating the element, and means carried by the housing for permitting viewing of the illuminated element. The housing may comprise a light-transmitting housing for improved aesthetic effect. The viewing element may comprise a picture or transparency suitably selected by the user and installed in the ornament. The viewing means may comprise a suitable lens for magnifying the image of the element to be viewed for improved discernment of the element. Where the element to be viewed comprises a transparency, the illuminating means is arranged to provide substantially evenly diffused light therethrough for improved viewing.

The ornament may comprise a device generally simulating a Christmas tree ornament globe. The housing may be light-transmitting permitting the illuminating means to provide a highly aesthetic light transmission therethrough as well as provide means for illuminating the element to be viewed therein.

The device may be arranged to carry a plurality of elements to be viewed and the illuminating means may be suitably arranged to provide suitable illumination of each of the plurality of elements.

The device may be arranged to permit facilitated insertion and removal of the elements to be viewed whereby the elements may be installed and replaced by the user as desired. The device is relatively light permitting it to be used in the manner of a conventional Christmas tree ornament by hanging the same on a branch of the Christmas tree. The illuminating means may be energized by wires brought outwardly through the housing. Illustratively, the illuminating means may comprise a conventional Christmas light and may comprise one of a series of such lights on a common string with a series of the ornamental devices being provided for use with the lights of the series.

The ornamental device is extremely simple and economical of construction while yet providing the above discussed desirable features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary elevation of a tree branch carrying a number of ornamental devices embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the ornamental device;

FIG. 3 is a diametric section taken substantially along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a transverse section taken substantially along the line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a reduced side elevation illustrating the appearance of the device to a viewer; and

FIG. 6 is a diametric section showing a modified form of ornamental device embodying the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in FIGS. 1-5 of the drawing, an ornamental device generally designated 10 is shown to comprise a device such as for hanging on a support illustratively shown as a Christmas tree branch 11. Ornamental device 10 is adapted for personal identification with the user by utilization of an element to be viewed 12, such as a photograph or photographic transparency selected by the user and viewable in the device as will be brought out in greater detail here following. Illustratively, the device may be utilized in conjunction with pictures of the user's family to provide a closely personal identification with a series of such devices hung on a Christmas tree or the like.

Ornamental device 10 may comprise a housing 13 provided with suitable means 14 for hanging the device on a suitable support. Structure 15 is provided within the housing for receiving and holding the element to be viewed. Means 16 are further provided within the housing for illuminating the element 12. Means 17 are carried by the housing 13 for permitting viewing of the illuminated element. The entire ornamental device 10 is relatively light in weight and simple and economical of construction while yet providing improved personal identification with the device as by permitting the elements to be viewed to be personally identified with the user.

In the illustrated embodiment, the elements to be viewed comprise photographic transparencies. Thus, the illuminating means may comprise a lamp element 18 disposed rearwardly of the transparency 12 for transmission of light through the transparency and outwardly from housing 13 through the viewing means 17. In the illustrated embodiment, lamp element 18 comprises a conventional low wattage Christmas decoration lamp provided with suitable wires 19 which are brought out through the opening 20 in a cover 21 for connection to a suitable power supply (not shown) such as a receptacle outlet. Lamp 18 may comprise one of a series of such lamps in a string as desired. The lamp may be held in place in the housing by suitable bracket means 22 permitting facilitated installation and removal of the lamp such as for maintenance purposes.

Housing 13 may define any desirable shape and in the illustrated embodiment comprises a globe having a projecting tubular portion 23 at the upper end thereof capped by cover 21. The globe may be formed of a suitable lightweight material, such as plastic, glass, etc., and illustratively may be light transmitting for improved aesthetic effect. Where the globe is formed of a translucent material, the light transmission therethrough from lamp 18 provides a highly desirable general glowing appearance.

Hanging means 14 may comprise a suitable hanger having a pair of legs 24 received below the topwall 25 of cap 21, and a loop hanger portion 26 projecting upwardly through the opening 20 such as for hanging the device from a Christmas tree branch or the like. Legs 24 may be resilient to facilitate passage thereof through opening 20 in mounting the hanger on cover 21. Holder 15 illustratively comprises a frame provided with a center opening 27 aligned with the lamp 18 and viewing means 17 as best seen in FIG. 3. In the illustrated embodiment, holder 15 is arranged to suitably carry a transparency introduced thereinto through an upwardly opening slot 28 in the housing 13 adjacent tubular portion 23. Illustratively, the transparency may comprise a conventional 35 mm. transparency. The device may be adapted for mounting different size transparencies as desired. To provide improved illumination of the transparency, a diffusing sheet 29 may be mounted rearwardly on the frame. Further, the inner surface adjacent lamp 22 may be provided with a reflective coating 30 as seen in FIG. 4 to provide improved efficiency in illumination of the transparency.

Viewing means 17 may comprise a suitable lens 31 which may be formed of suitable material such as plastic, glass, etc. The lens is preferably formed of plastic to minimize the weight of the ornamental device and effectively minimize the cost thereof. The lens is mounted in a suitable opening 32 in housing 13 and may be secured therein by suitable adhesive means 33 as desired. A tubular duct 34 may be provided extending between holder 15 and lens 31 to limit viewing within the housing to the area of the transparency 12. Light from lamp 18 may pass around the outside of tubular element 34 to illuminate the forward portions of the housing 13 where the housing is light-transmitting and such light transmission is desired.

As seen in FIG. 5, the transparency 12 may be readily viewed through lens 31 to provide a personal identification with the ornamental device by suitable selection of the transparency. Illustratively, a series of such ornamental devices may be hung on a Christmas tree with each of the devices carrying a picture of a different one of the user's family. As holder 15 permits ready installation and removal of the transparency, the transparency may be readily changed from time to time to keep pace with changes in the user's family or retained permanently therein as desired by the user. Where the housing is light-transmitting, the ornament functions somewhat in the manner of an ornamental lamp as the device not only provides for viewing of the transparency, but provides a general illumination of the tree.

Balancing of the device may be effected by suitably selecting the weight and positioning of lens 31, holder 15, and illuminating means 16.

Holder 15 is provided with a cutout portion 35 permitting the passage of lamp 18 therethrough such as for use in installing and removing the lamp as for maintenance thereof. The lamp is preselected to pass through the tubular portion 23 of housing 13 upon removal of the cover 21.

The invention further comprehends providing a plurality of such elements to be viewed within the housing. Illustratively, as seen in FIG. 6, a pair of transparencies 12a and 12b may be provided within the housing for viewing through oppositely disposed lenses 31a and 31b. Lamp 18a may comprise a dual lamp for illuminating both transparencies from a center portion thereof within housing 13. Suitable brackets 22a may be provided extending between the transparency holders 15a and 15b for carrying the lamp removably within the housing. Thus, ornamental device 10a, as shown in FIG. 6, permits use of a number of elements to be used within each ornamental device. The elements may illustratively be identical so that the same view will be obtained through each of the viewing portions of the device or may comprise different pictures as desired.

In illustrating the invention, the element to be viewed has been shown as a transparency. As discussed above, the element may comprise a conventional photograph which may be in black and white, or color as desired. Where the element comprises a photograph, the lamp is preferably mounted forwardly of the photograph such as adjacent the bottom of housing 13 as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 3. Where the device is adapted for use with such a photograph, the tubular device 34 may be provided with a suitable opening (not shown) in alignment with the lamp 18 and photograph 12 to permit illumination of the surface of the photograph by the lamp.

The foregoing disclosure of specific embodiments is illustrative of the broad inventive concepts comprehended by the invention.