Title:
VISUAL-AUDIO DEVICE
United States Patent 3857191


Abstract:
A picture frame with a picture of a person mounted therein, a housing secured to the rear of the frame and a sound producing mechanism mounted in the housing for reproducing utterings made by the person. The sound producing mechanism includes a length of tape on which utterings made by the person are recorded and a tape storing and driving mechanism for driving the tape in a path along which a tape pickup head is situated. An amplifier is electrically connected between the tape pickup head and a speaker; and a switch is connected to the sound producing mechanism for energizing and de-energizing the same.



Inventors:
SADORUS G
Application Number:
05/307837
Publication Date:
12/31/1974
Filing Date:
11/20/1972
Assignee:
TALKIES USA INC,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
360/2, G9B/33.023
International Classes:
G11B33/06; (IPC1-7): G09F27/00
Field of Search:
40/28
View Patent Images:



Foreign References:
AT115731B1930-01-10
Primary Examiner:
Michell, Robert W.
Assistant Examiner:
Pitrelli, John F.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lockwood, Dewey, Zickert & Alex
Parent Case Data:


This application is a continuation-in-part of my co-pending application Ser. No. 113,564 filed Feb. 8, 1971, now abandoned.
Claims:
I claim

1. A personalized visual-audio recording of a particular person, comprising, a combination picture frame and housing having picture-receiving frame at the front and a rear wall, a picture of said person mounted facing frontward in said frame, a mounting plate supported within said housing in spaced parallel relation with respect to said picture and rear wall, and sound producing means within said housing for reproducing utterings made by said person, comprising, a tape cartridge pivotally mounted flatwise on the front side of said mounting plate and containing a magnetic tape on which said utterings are recorded and a drive pulley adapted to be driven by frictional engagement with a fly wheel shaft, an electric motor mounted on the front side of said mounting plate and having a drive shaft projecting rearwardly therefrom, a pulley mounted on the rearward end of said motor drive shaft, a fly wheel mounted on a fly wheel shaft journaled between said rear wall and said mounting plate and having a portion frictionally engageable with said cartridge drive pulley, spring means biasing said cartridge toward said fly wheel shaft and said cartridge drive pulley into driving engagement with said shaft, a tape pickup head mounted on the front side of said mounting plate in signal pickup engagement with said tape, a speaker mounted on said rear wall to one side of said mounting plate, amplifier means mounted on said planar rear wall to one side of said mounting plate, a switch mounted on said housing, electrical conductor means interconnecting said switch, motor, pickup head and amplifier in circuit relationship with a current source.

2. A personalized visual-audio recording of a particular person, comprising, in combination, a picture frame have interconnected sides which provide a rearwardly opening cavity, a picture of said person mounted in the front portion of said frame, a dished cover on the rear of said frame providing a forwardly opening cavity and having a planar rear wall generally parallel with said picture, and a mounting plate supported within said cover in spaced parallel relationship with a portion of said planar rear wall, said picture frame and said cover combining to form a housing, and sound producing means mounted within said housing for reproducing utterings made by said person, said sound producing means comprising, a tape cartridge pivotally mounted flatwise on the front side of said mounting plate and containing an endless magnetic tape on which said utterings are recorded and a drive pulley adapted to be driven by frictional engagement with a fly wheel shaft, an electric motor mounted on the front side of said mounting plate with a portion extending into said rearwardly opening picture frame cavity and having a drive shaft projecting rearwardly through said mounting plate, a pulley mounted on said motor drive shaft intermediate said planar rear wall and said mounting plate, a fly wheel mounted on a fly wheel shaft journaled between said planar rear wall and said mounting plate and having a portion extending forwardly through said mounting plate to frictionally engage and drive said cartridge drive pulley, spring means pivoting said cartridge toward said fly wheel shaft and biasing said cartridge drive pulley into driving engagement with said shaft, a tape pickup head mounted on the front side of said mounting plate in signal pickup engagement with said tape, a speaker mounted on said planar rear wall to one side of said mounting plate, amplifier means mounted on said planar rear wall to one side of said mounting plate, dry cell batteries mounted on the interior of said dished cover for powering said motor and amplifier, switch means mounted on said dished cover, and conductors electrically interconnecting electrical components.

Description:
The present invention relates to improvements and innovations in a combined picture frame and sound producing mechanism. More particularly, the present invention relates to a picture frame with a picture of a person therein with a housing secured to the rear of the frame and having a sound producing mechanism therein for reproducing utterings made by the person.

Heretofore, it has been proposed to utilize a sound producing means in conjunction with the showing of a picture, such as the picture projected from a slide projector. Examples of picture slide holders for holding a slide and an endless tape on which a message or sound is recorded are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,176,580 issued to J. L. Metz on Apr. 6, 1965 and in U.S. Pat. No. 3,276,154 issued to D. M. Harvey, et al. on Oct. 4, 1966.

It has also been proposed to provide a three dimensional marine picture with means for moving a three dimensional ship in the picture to effect a pitching motion thereof with the means also producing sounds, incidental to the pitching motion of the ship, such as creaking motions and/or music. Such a three dimensional marine picture is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,370,366 issued to P. Van Zanten on Feb. 27, 1968.

However, a combined picture frame with a picture or photograph of a person mounted in the frame, a housing secured to the rear of the frame and a sound producing mechanism mounted in the housing for reproducing utterings made by the person has not been available. Accordingly, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a picture frame with a picture or photograph of a person mounted in the frame, a housing secured to the frame and a sound producing mechanism mounted in the housing for reproducing utterings made by the person.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a combined picture frame, picture, housing, and sound producing mechanism as described above in which the housing serves as a means for supporting the picture frame in a generally upright position.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a combined picture frame, picture, housing and sound producing mechanism as described above and in which the sound producing mechanism can receive and store endless tapes of different lengths so that utterings of different durations made by the person can be reproduced by the sound producing mechanism.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a combined picture frame, picture, housing and sound producing mechanism as described above and in which the sound producing mechanism is battery powered, utilizes a tape on which utterings made by the person are recorded and includes at least one drum on which a portion of the tape is stored with the drum also serving as part of a means for driving the tape in a predetermined endless path.

Another important object of the invention is the provision of a device which constitutes a permanent visual-audio recording of a particular person which is characterized by: its efficient utilization of space; its economic utilization of commercially available inexpensive components; its ease of manufacture and assembly; and its reliability whether frequently or infrequently used.

For a more complete understanding of the nature and scope of the present invention reference may now be had to the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a picture frame with a picture mounted therein and constituting one illustrative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 viewed from a rear corner thereof;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view taken along line 3--3 of FIG. 1 with portions broken away to show some of the mechanisms within the housing;

FIG. 4 is a view of the interior of the embodiment of FIG. 1 taken on line 4--4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of a self-contained visual-audio recording constituting a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of the recording shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view, partially in section and partially in elevation, taken on line 7--7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is an elevational view on line 8--8 of FIG. 7 showing the working mechanism of the recording; and

FIG. 9 is an electrical circuit diagram of the working mechanism of the recording.

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1-4 in greater detail, the picture frame of the present invention is generally indicated at 10 in FIG. 1. As shown, a picture 11 of a person 12 is mounted within the picture frame 10.

Referring now to FIG. 2, it will be apparent that a casing or housing 14 is secured to the rear of the frame 10 and, in the embodiment shown in the drawings, forms a means for supporting the frame 10 in a generally upright position. A sound producing mechanism, generally indicated at 16 in FIGS. 3 and 4, is mounted within the housing 14. The sound producing mechanism is operated by a push button switch 18 which in the illustated embodiment is mounted on and protrudes through the rear wall 19 of the housing 14. The sound producing mechanism 16 includes an endless magnetic tape 20 having a substantial portion thereof received and supported on two parallel spaced drums 21 and 22, each rotatably mounted, respectively, on a pair of identical brackets 23 secured to an inner wall 24 of the housing 14. Each of the drums 21 and 22 has a plurality of spaced circular grooves thereon, indicated at 25 on drum 21 and at 26 on drum 22, in which the tape 20 is received when the tape is coiled around the drums 21 and 22 as best shown in FIG. 4. The remaining portion of the endless tape 20 is trained or guided over two spools or wheels 27 and 28 rotatably mounted on the inner wall 24. One of the spools, namely spool 28, is mounted on a shaft 30 which is releasably fixed in a slot 32 in the inner wall 24 and releasably held in place by a knurled thumb nut 34 (FIGS. 3 and 4). The adjustable mounting of the spool 28 permits the sound producing mechanism 16 to utilize continuous endless tapes of different lengths merely by changing the position of the spool 28. In this respect, it will be noted that in the illustrated embodiment one of the grooves 25, 26 on each of the drums 21 and 22 does not have tape received therein. Accordingly the spool 28 can be repositioned for mounting a longer or shorter tape on the drums 21 and 22. Preferably, an idler roller 38 is mounted on the inner wall 24 in a position where it can engage the tape 20 for tensioning the same as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.

A gear 40 is fixed to one end of the drum 21 for being driven by a worm gear 41 on a shaft 42 of an electric motor 43. The motor 43 is suitably mounted on a side wall 44 of the housing 14. It will be understood that the tape 20 is driven by reason of the friction between the tape 20 and the drum 21, as the drum 21 is rotated by the motor 43, and that the drum 22 is a free rotating drum which is driven by the drum 21 by reason of the friction between the drum 22 and the driven tape 20.

Preferably, and as best shown in FIG. 4, the sound producing mechanism includes a power supply 46 which, in the illustrated embodiment, includes at least one battery 48, as shown in FIG. 4. The power supply 46 is electrically connected to the motor 43 for energizing the same.

the sound producing mechanism 16 also includes a tape pickup head 50, a felt tape-supporting pad 52 positioned beneath the tape pickup head 50, a speaker 54, and an amplifier 56 which is electrically connected between the tape pickup head 50 and the speaker 54 and which is energized by the power supply 46. In the illustrated embodiment, the tape pickup head 50 and amplifier 56 are mounted on the inner wall 24 of the housing 14 and the speaker 54 is secured to the side wall 44. It is to be understood that the components of the sound producing mechanism 16 can be of conventional known construction and can be purchased commercially.

It will be understood that a portion of the side wall 44 of the housing 14 adjacent the speaker 54 is provided with perforations or openings, partially indicated at 58 in FIG. 3. Also, it is to be understood that the perforations can be located at a different location. For example, the perforations can be located along the bottom margin 59 of the frame 10 as indicated at 60 in FIG. 1.

Preferably, a portion of the housing 14, such as the rear wall 19, is detachable so that one can easily remove this housing portion for replacing the batteries 48.

Operation of the sound producing mechanism is controlled by the switch 18 which is interconnected with the power supply 46, the electric motor 43 and the amplifier 56. If desired the switch 18 can be of the time delay type which, when actuated, will energize the sound producing mechanism 16 for a predetermined period of time at least equal to the duration of the recorded utterings on the tape 20.

In accordance with the teachings of the present invention, utterings made by the person 12 in the picture 11 mounted within the frame 10 are recorded on a piece of tape. Then the ends of the tape are spliced together to form a continuous endless tape such as the tape 20. The tape is then mounted in the sound producing mechanism 16 within the housing 14 so that the recorded utterings made by the person 12 in the picture 11 mounted in the frame 10 can be reproduced as desired.

It will be understood that obvious modifications and variations can be made to the combined picture frame, picture, housing and sound producing mechanism of the present invention. For example, instead of having a power supply 46 mounted within the housing, the sound producing mechanism 16 can be energized from a conventional 110 volt AC source. Alternatively, the power supply 46 can include a battery charging device and constitute a rechargeable power-pack.

Referring to the second embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 5-9, the front elevation of this self-contained audio-visual recording indicated generally at 70 is comparable to the front elevation shown in FIG. 1. However, the mechanical and electrical construction and components of the recording 70 are quite different from those of the recording 10 shown and described in connection with FIGS. 1-4.

The recording 70 comprises a picture frame 71 which may either be formed of wood, as indicated, or molded from plastic or fabricated from metal. The frame 71 extends rearwardly a substantial distance on all four sides so as to provide a rearwardly opening cavity in the frame which is indicated at 72 (FIG. 7). The portrait 73 of an actual person is secured in the front of the frame 71 behind a piece of glass 74 in the usual manner. Accordingly, from the front the picture 73 appears to be a picture or portrait of the particular person in a conventional frame.

The recording 70 has a rear cover 75 which is generally dish-shaped and includes a flat or planar rectangular rear wall 76 having four integral sides extending forwardly at an angle therefrom and terminating in a continuous flange 77 which mates with the rear surface of the frame 71. The planar rear wall 75 is provided with perforations in the area P in registration with a loud speaker on the interior. Four screws 78-78 provide an efficient and satisfactory method of securing the rear cover 75 to the frame 71. The forwardly opening cavity 80 (FIG. 7) provided by the rear cover 75 together with the rearwardly opening cavity 72 provided by the frame 71 afford adequate space for housing the mechanical and electrical components of the self-contained audio-visual recording 70. However, all of these components are mounted within the rear cover 75 in a particular manner or arrangement.

The rear cover 75 may be formed of any desired material such as plastic or metal but desirably is molded from colored plastic (e.g. Plexiglas) on a quantity production basis at low cost. A flat rectangular plate 81 which may be formed of rigid plastic (FIG. 7) is cemented or otherwise suitably secured to the lower interior of the rear planar wall 76 and supports a rectangular mounting plate 82 on four corner posts 83-83 in spaced relation with the rear wall 76.

A magnetic tape cassette 84 of known commercial type is mounted flat-wise on the front side of the plate 82 by means of a pivot pin 85. The cassette 84 contains an endless length of magnetic tape 86 suitably supported therein on spools one of which indicated at 87 is rubber covered and serves as the cassette drive spool. It will be understood that the particular construction of the cassette 84 does not form any part of the present invention.

A tension spring 88 serves to press the drive pulley 87 of the cassette 84 into frictional driving engagement against a drive shaft 90 which projects forwardly through a bearing in the mounting plate 82 and the opposite end of which is journaled in another bearing in the plate 81. The portion of the drive shaft 90 between the plates 81 and 82 serves to mount a grooved fly wheel 91 as shown in FIG. 7. The spring 88 is anchored at one end on a screw 92 projecting forwardly from the mounting plate 82 and at the opposite end it is hooked into a notch 93 in the side of the cassette 84.

Aa magnetic tape pickup head 94 of known commercial type is mounted on the front side of the plate 82 so as to have its tape engaging surface positioned to engage the tape 86 in the usual and known manner. The tape of the magnetic pickup head 94 has a pair of leads or conductors 95-96 extending therefrom. The pickup head 94 is suitably mounted on the mounting plate 82 by a small plastic support block 97 so as to be at the proper elevation for engaging the tape 86.

A small DC motor 100 of known commercial type is mounted on the mounting plate 82 to one side of the cassette 84 and serves to drive the tape cassette 84 in known manner. The motor 100 is of such size and dimension as to partially project into the space or cavity 72 provided by the frame 71. The motor 100 has a drive shaft projecting rearwardly therefrom which carries a small grooved pulley 101 so as to receive a round endless belt 102 which passes over the groove in the fly wheel 91. The conductors or leads from the motor 100 are indicated at 103 and 104.

In addition to the components or parts that have already been mentioned there are also mounted on the interior of the rear cover 75 above the plates 81 and 82 a speaker 105, a standard 9 volt battery 106, two standard 1.5 volt dry cell batteries 107-107, an amplifier 108 and a switch 110. The switch 110 has a manipulating projection 111 which projects rearwardly through a suitable opening in the rear cover 75 as shown in FIG. 6.

The speaker 105 is of known type and desirably is cemented to the inner face of the planar rear wall 76 by means of suitable adhesive. The amplifier 108 is a three-stage audio amplifier of known commercial type and is cemented to the rear wall 76. The batteries 107 are held in place between the upwtanding spring arms of a clip 112 cemented to the planar rear wall 76. The battery 106 is retained in a clip 113 which is cemented to one of the inclined rides of the cover 75.

The electrical components are interconnected in conventional known manner as shown in the wiring or circuit diagram in FIG. 9. It will be understood that when the switch 110 is actuated to its "on" position the battiers 107 serve to actuate the motor 100 while the amplifier 108 is energized by battery 106. The tape 86 is continuously driven in the one direction and utterings of the person shown in the picture 73 that have been recorded on the tape are played in a continuous manner as long as the switch 110 is in the on position.

With the foregoing arrangement of components the center of gravity of the audio-visual recording 70 is relatively low being below the vertical center line. This makes for stability when the unit 70 is rearwardly inclined on a standard 114.