Title:
MUSICAL GREETING CARD
United States Patent 3798806


Abstract:
A musical greeting card is formed from a unitary member having a natural hinge for closing and opening the card. A back cover carries a music box or like element and a front cover carries a resiliently mounted decorative member. The card is maintained closed by communication between the front and back covers in interference fit relation. Upon separating the covers to open the card the music box element is actuated and the decorative member is arranged to pop-up, whereupon said member and a suitable greeting on the bottom of the box are exposed to a viewer.



Inventors:
SANFORD D
Application Number:
05/359995
Publication Date:
03/26/1974
Filing Date:
05/14/1973
Assignee:
SANFORD D,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
428/24, 446/148
International Classes:
B42D15/02; (IPC1-7): G09F27/00
Field of Search:
40/124
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3594937SOUND-EMITTING DEVICE1971-07-27Luchsinger
3427642ANIMATED DISPLAY DEVICE1969-02-11Mohr
3405467Postcard1968-10-15Preston et al.
3307281Postal card1967-03-07Mateo
2484895N/A1949-10-18Links
2005859Mail advertising device1935-06-25Hoke



Primary Examiner:
Michell, Robert W.
Assistant Examiner:
Contreras, Wenceslao J.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Cuoco, Anthony F.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A greeting card, comprising:

2. A greeting card as described by claim 1, including:

3. A greeting card as described by claim 1, wherein the natural hinge includes:

4. A greeting card as described by claim 1, wherein the natural hinge includes:

5. A greeting card as described by claim 1, including:

6. A greeting card as described by claim 1, including:

7. A greeting card as described by claim 1, wherein the means for resiliently supporting the decorative member on the platform member includes:

8. A greeting card as described by claim 1, wherein the means for resiliently supporting the decorative member on the platform member includes;

9. A greeting card as described by claim 1, including:

10. A greeting card, comprising:

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to greeting cards and particularly to musical greeting cards. More particularly, a musical greeting card is described which is of modern and durable construction and relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The greeting card industry has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years. It is well known that there is a market for almost any type of greeting card, whether it is sentimental or humorous, or simply to mark an occasion.

In order to satisfy the market and to provide a competitive product it is necessary that greeting cards have the advantages of modern and durable construction. Modern construction is necessary so as to take advantage of the cost reduction aspects of newer materials and processes. Durable construction is an important advantage when it is considered that greeting cards are more often than not transported via mail and parcel services and frequently become memorablia saved through the years, with both events occurring under less than optimum conditions.

Prior art greeting cards of the type described have not had the aforenoted advantages. They have generally been of non-durable materials with minimum structural attributes and a relatively high degree of expendibility.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention contemplates a greeting card including a unitary member which is vacuum formed from a suitable plastic. A natural hinge separates front and back covers whereby the card is opened and closed. The inside area of the back cover includes an open-topped box like member and the inside area of the front cover includes a platform member which is received in interference fit relation by the box like member to maintain the card closed. The platform member supports a resiliently biased decoration which is compressed when the card is maintained closed and pops-up when the card is opened as by pressing against the interference fit. A music box or like mechanism is arranged with the box-like member and includes a protruding actuating arm which is released when the card is opened to engage the mechanism. Decorative panels are supported by the outside areas of the front and back covers.

One object of this invention is to provide a greeting card of the type described which is of durable construction and is economical to manufacture.

Another object of this invention is to provide a greeting card of the type described which is formed from a unitary member having a natural hinge separating front and back covers and for closing and opening the card.

Another object of this invention is to provide means whereby the front and back covers communicate in interference fit relation for maintaining said covers closed.

Another object of this invention is to provide a resiliently biased decorative member supported by the front cover and arranged to pop-up when the card is opened.

Another object of this invention is to arrange a music box or like mechanism so as to be actuated when the card is opened.

Another object of this invention is to provide decorative panels on the front and back covers.

The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter from a consideration of the detailed description which follows, taken together with the accompanying drawings wherein several embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for illustration purposes only and are not to be construed as defining the limits of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a horizontally disposed isometric pictorial representation showing the elements of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a horizontally disposed isometric pictorial representation best showing one form of the natural hinge feature of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a partially sectioned diagrammatic representation showing one embodiment of the feature of the invention wherein a decorative member is resiliently supported.

FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned diagrammatic representation showing another embodiment of the feature of the invention wherein the decorative member is resiliently supported.

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic end view of the invention as shown in FIG. 2 and best showing another form of the natural hinge feature.

FIG. 6 is a vertically disposed isometric pictorial representation showing the card of the invention when closed.

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic representation best showing the feature of the invention wherein a finger notch is provided for opening the card of the invention which is closed as shown in FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 show the greeting card of the invention as comprising a unitary flexible plastic member 2 having front and back covers 4 and 6, respectively. Front cover 4 carries a platform 8 on its inside surface and back cover 6 carries an open-topped box like member 10 on its inside surface. Front and back covers 4 and 6 are separated by a plurality of parallel, transversely extending indentations or reductions in thickness, commonly referred to in the art as strike lines and designated by the numeral 12.

Unitary member 2, including platform 8, box 10 and strike line 12, is vacuum formed from a suitable plastic which may be of the polycarbonate family. A material marketed by the General Electric Co. under the trade designation "Lexan" is suitable for the purposes described. Vacuum forming of plastics is a process well known in the art. It will suffice to say for purposes of the present invention that the process includes providing a form corresponding to the desired end product over which a thin sheet of the selected plastic is placed. Under appropriate conditions of heat a vacuum is drawn, whereupon the plastic assumes the shape of the form. The process is particularly adaptable for providing shallow dish or tray-like members such as the present invention as shown in the drawings.

When member 2, which is preferably about .015 inches thick in the areas adjacent platform 8 and box 10, and which thickness is reduced to about .012 inches at strike lines 12, is folded along the strike lines a natural hinge at 14 is formed as shown in FIG. 2. It will now be understood that hinge 14 facilitates closing member 2 whereupon platform 8 and box 10 are brought into alignment as shown in FIG. 5 for purposes which will be hereinafter described. Rather than use strike lines 12 to provide natural hinge 14, the desired result may be achieved by providing a continuous transversely extending area 15 reduced in thickness to about .012 inches as best shown in FIG. 5.

Platform 8 and box 10 are dimensioned so that when member 2 is closed through hinge 14 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, the platform communicates with the box in interference fit relation. The arrangement is such that slight hand pressure is effective for snapping the platform and box together, whereupon the greeting card of the invention is maintained closed as best shown in FIG. 6.

In this connection it is noted that front edge 10A of box 10 has formed therein a groove or notch 16 as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 6 and 7. It will be understood that when it is desired to open the greeting card the finger or thumb of the viewer is inserted in notch 16 for exerting a pressure to unsnap platform 8 and box 10, with the card being thereupon opened by taking advantage of natural hinge 14.

With further reference to FIG. 1, a bottom surface 10B of box 10 may carry a suitable greeting or message such as the seasonal greeting which is shown, for purposes of illustration, in the figure. Likewise, top surface 8A of platform 8 supports a suitable decorative member such as, for purposes of illustration, an artificial floral arrangement 18. Floral arrangement 18 is resiliently supported by platform 8 and is arranged to pop-up when the greeting card of the invention is opened as heretofore noted. This feature of the invention will be more fully explained with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4.

A music box or similar mechanism 20 is carried by box 10 as shown in FIG. 1. Mechanism 20 is shown, for purposes of illustration, as carried by upper edge 10C of box 10, it being within the scope of the invention to carry the mechanism at any other suitable part of the box as well as on platform 8. Mechanism 20 may be of the commercially available miniature type which is inactive when arm 22 is depressed as by closing the greeting card of the invention as heretofore noted, whereby the inside surface of cover 4 depresses the arm. When the card is opened arm 22 extends and mechanism 20 is actuated to emit an appropriate tune or sound as the case may be. While mechanism 20 has been described as formed into box 10, an alternate arrangement is to provide a recess along the edge of the box, and into which recess mechanism 20 is snapped as will be understood by those skilled in the art.

With reference to FIGS. 2, 5 and 6, the outside surface of covers 4 and 6 carry panel members 24 and 28. At least panel 28 may be decorative or carry a suitable message as shown in the figures. The panels may be cemented to the respective surfaces of the card covers, or alternately, may be of a thermoplastic material and heat sealed to said surfaces as will now be understood.

Returning now to the feature of the invention wherein decorative member 18 is resiliently supported so as to pop-up when the card is opened, FIG. 3 shows one embodiment of this feature. A plastic tab 30 about .012 inches thick is formed integral with platform 8 and extends angularly therefrom in contilever fashion as shown in the figure and normally supports member 18, which may be suitably mounted to arm 30 as by cementing or the like, away from the platform. With the greeting card of the invention closed as heretofore noted, member 18 is received by box 10 and tab 30 is biased when platform 8 nearly bottoms in the box to draw member 18 toward the platform. Upon opening the greeting card of the invention, as by separating platform 8 and box 10 by using finger notch 16, arm 30 and member 18 spring away from the platform so that member 18, in effect, pops-up.

An alternate arrangement of this feature of the invention is shown in FIG. 4 wherein a boss 32 is formed on platform 8. The boss carries a conventional coil type spring 34 which may be in the boss or subsequently assembled therein. The compression and extension of spring 34 upon the closing and opening of the greeting card of the invention as heretofore described provides the aforenoted pop-up action.

It will now be seen that the invention as described satisfies the objects hereunto set forth. The greeting card of the invention is formed from a unitary flexible plastic member which has a natural hinge arrangement for opening and closing the card. Platform and box members carried on opposite sides of the card communicate in interference fit relation to maintain the card closed, and a music box mechanism is actuated upon opening the card as by separating the platform and box members. A resiliently supported decorative member is arranged to pop-up when the card is so opened. The greeting card of the invention takes advantage of modern materials and processes and is of durable construction and economical to manufacture, and is thus a distinct improvement over greeting cards of the type now known in the art.

Although several embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described in detail, it is to be expressly understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Various changes may also be made in the design and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as will be understood by those skilled in the art. For example, although the invention has been described with platform 8 on cover 4 and box 10 on cover 6, it is equally within the scope of the invention that the platform and box be carried by the opposite covers, respectively.