United States Patent 3864708

A coin operated automatic photographic apparatus for automatically photographing a person in a cubicle having a background including the scene of the location in which the cubicle is located, and developing the photograph and dispensing the photograph on a postcard suitable for delivery through the mails.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
G03B17/53; G07F17/02; G07F17/26; G07F17/42; (IPC1-7): G03B15/00
Field of Search:
95/14,45,82 354
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2832275Light system for automatic photographic apparatus1958-04-29Applegate
2192755Photographic apparatus1940-03-05Rabkin
1988390Change-focus objective1935-01-15Naumann
1447475Photographic reflector1923-03-06Jones

Primary Examiner:
Horan, John M.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gordon, Marden S.
Having thus described the invention What is claimed is

1. A coin or token operable automatic photographic apparatus and postcard vending machine for the taking, developing and vending of photographs in a picture postcard format, the apparatus comprising, in combination:


1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to photographic apparatus and more particularly to a novel automatic photographic apparatus which is actuated by a person sitting in a cubicle and inserting a coin or token in the apparatus to take the individual's photograph in conjunction with the scenery behind the individual depicting the location at which the apparatus is located, the photograph being automatically developed in the apparatus and vended therefrom in the form of a postcard to the individual.

2. Description of the Prior Art

There are presently known in the art coin operated photo finishing booths which have fixed lens cameras therein and which take a series of photographs of an individual sitting in the booth after which such photographs are developed in the machine and then dispensed to the individual. However, the photographic capabilities of presently available machines is of poor quality, the photographs dispensed are exceptionally small and of poor lighting contrast, and the lens is fixed such that the individual cannot adjust the area to be encompassed in the photograph.

Thus, present art coin operated photo machines are more-or-less a novelty item with the pictures therefrom not suited for use other than as novelty use at the time of taking the same.


The present invention provides an advance in the art of coin operated photographic apparatus in that it provides a cubicle in which the individual sits or stands during the picture taking session, the individual adjusting the lens of the picture taking camera in a manner to determine the field of exposure such that a close-up of the individual may be taken or a panoramic view of the individual and the surrounding scenery may be taken by the camera, the camera then taking the picture at a specified time set by the individual so that the individual has sufficient time to adjust their position in the cubicle prior to the picture being taken, after which the picture is automatically developed in the cabinet adjacent the cubicle and in which the camera is mounted, with the picture being applied to a postcard backing and then automatically vended from the machine to the individual such that the individual is provided with a high quality photograph suitable for use as a conventional type picture postcard if so desired, the scenery surrounding the individual depicting the location of the cubicle.

Among the features and advantages of the present invention is the provision of a coin operated automatic photograph apparatus and postcard vending machine which is easy to use and reliable and efficient in operation; one which provides a scenic backdrop behind the individual depicting the location of the machine such that the developed picture contains both the individual and the surrounding scenery; one which provides an adjustable timing cycle selectable by the individual for the exact time of shutter release of the camera to take the picture; one which is selective to take a close-up or panoramic view of the individual and the surrounding scenery; and one which operates without attention for long periods of time and thus requires very little maintenance work.

Other features and advantages of this invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.


In the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, and in which like reference characters are employed to designate like parts throughout the same:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cubicle and camera cabinet attached thereto with portions broken away to illustrate the scenic panoramic background surrounding the seat in which the individual may sit during the picture taking process;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the cubicle and camera cabinet;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the cubicle and camera cabinet;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the camera adapted to be mounted in or on the camera cabinet; and

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the camera of FIG. 4.


Referring now to the drawings in detail there is illustrated a preferred form of a coin operated automatic photographic apparatus and postcard vending machine constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and designated generally in its entirety by the reference numeral 10 and which is comprised of a cubicle 11, a camera cabinet 12, and a camera apparatus 14.

The cabinet 12 and cubicle 11 are formed as a single unitary structure which is provided with a top surface 21, a back surface 22, a closed side wall surface 23, an open side wall surface 24, and a picture taking end 25. The open side 24 is provided with a door type opening 26 closable by a curtain 27 suspended on a curtain rod 28 such that the curtain may be moved between an open and a closed position so as to open or close the compartment 30 within the cubicle 11. The picture taking end 25 of the cubicle 11 has rounded corners 31 and 32 with the interior surface thereof having a panoramic view 33 of the scenery surrounding the area in which the apparatus 10 is located. Disposed in front of the picture taking back end 25 is a seat 34 on which an individual desiring to use the booth is intended to sit during the picture taking process.

In this regard it is to be understood that, if desired, the present invention may be provided with the picture taking end 25 and the adjacent portions of the side walls 23 and 24 not being present and without seat 34 being present such that the cubicle is open ended with an individual having their picture taken then standing in front of the camera cabinet 12 with the camera therein taking both the picture of the individual with a panoramic view of the surrounding scenery.

The camera 14 may be mounted in the cabinet 12 or, as shown in the preferred embodiment, is mounted on the front wall surface of the cabinet wall 35 in a position spaced upwardly from the bottom of the cubicle such that the camera lens 36 is in position to photograph an individual 37 sitting on the seat 34 in front of the panoramic scenic background 33.

The camera 14 is provided in a protective box-like enclosure 40 having a front surface 41, a back surface 42, a top surface 43, a bottom surface 44, and opposed side surfaces 45 and 46. The front surface 41 is provided with an aperture 47 therein which is aligned with the lens 36 for the photographing of the individual 37. The camera is contained within the housing 40 and is of the instant developing type manufactured by Polaroid such that either color or black and white photographs may be provided by the camera depending upon the type of film provided therein. The lens 36 is of the type having an adjustable focal length and is connected by a suitable linkage to a control knob 50 extending outwardly of camera top surface 43 with the control knob being movable between a position adjusting the lens for a "close-up" shot of just the individual 37 alone in a manner such that the figure of the individual substantially fills the complete photograph, up to a maximum point identified by the marking indicia "panoramic" where the photograph will encompass both the individual and the surrounding panoramic scene 33. The first close-up position is designated in FIG. 3 by reference numeral 51 with the maximum panoramic field of vision being identified in FIG. 3 by reference numeral 52.

Also projecting out of camera housing top surface 43 is a control knob 55 which is connected to a suitable timer which in turn is connected to a shutter actuating member such that the individual may select any time between zero to thirty seconds by rotating knob 45 about its axis, the release of the knob starting the timer which, after the designated time has been reached, actuates the shutter of the camera to take the picture. This provides a settable time by the individual to take a desired pose on the seat 34 prior to the camera taking the photograph.

After the camera has exposed the picture, the individual then grasps the handle portion 57 of an operating lever 58 projecting outwardly of a slot 59 in housing side wall 45 in a manner to move the same vertically downward, this movement of the operating lever discharging the exposed picture from the camera which is then dispensed automatically through slot 60 in housing side wall surface 45. The picture is dispensed on a rigid cardboard type backing having postcard markings thereon such that the individual is provided with a picture postcard of both the individual and the panoramic surrounding scenery at the location of the apparatus or any portion thereof as preselected by the individual prior to having the photograph taken. In this regard it is to be understood that the present invention makes use of the Polaroid camera wherein the film is developed after being dispensed from the camera, such development taking approximately sixty seconds. Further it is to be understood that the cubicle compartment 26 may be provided with suitable flash attachments and the like which operate in conjunction with the operation of the camera shutter so as to properly light the individual 37 and panoramic scenery 33, with a suitable electrical cord 61 passing outwardly of cubicle back wall surface 22 and adapted to be plugged into a suitable source of electrical energy for powering the apparatus of the present invention.

Still further, it is to be understood that conventional coin receiving apparatus is electrically connected with the operation of the camera 14 and requires that suitable coins or tokens of a predetermined amount be inserted thereinto in the conventional manner before the camera becomes operable. Such coin apparatus may be interposed in the electrical circuitry of the shutter arrangement of the camera or in any other way to render the camera inoperable until after the predetermined amount of coins or tokens have been inserted thereinto.

There is thus provided a novel automatic coin operated photographic apparatus and postcard vending machine wherein the individual may select the field of view to be encompassed on the photograph taken by the camera between a close-up of just the individual up to a full panoramic scene of the location about the cubicle, or any intermediate portions thereof, with the individual able to preset the time delay before which the camera shutter will be operated so as to have sufficient time for taking the desired pose in the required position in the cubicle, after which the individual need only operate a single operating lever to dispense a picture type postcard having the individual's photograph and amount of desired panoramic scenery imprinted thereon ready for use in the mails if so desired.

It is to be understood that the form of this invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that this invention is not to be limited to the exact arrangement of parts shown in the accompanying drawings or described in this specification as various changes in the details of construction as to shape, size, and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention, the scope of the novel concepts thereof, and the scope of the sub-joined claims.