Title:
Consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A phosphorescent fireworks support device which securely holds ground-based consumer fireworks (e.g., fountains, multiple aerials, mortars, et cetera) in a vertical and upright position. Using a geometrically pleasing shape with multiple support legs and a wide base that is resistant to tipping, the apparatus arches up from the ground to form a receiving platform consisting of a radial series of resilient flexible cantilever tines with an aperture serving as the primary insertion point for the pyrotechnics. The series of uniform independent tines is cut into the receiving platform and uses gripping flanges capable of securing and holding consumer-type ground-based pyrotechnic devices of various shapes and sizes.



Inventors:
Whitley, James J. (Hillsboro, OR, US)
Application Number:
10/853186
Publication Date:
04/07/2005
Filing Date:
05/26/2004
Assignee:
WHITLEY JAMES J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F42B4/20; (IPC1-7): F42B4/26
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PARSLEY, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STOEL RIVES LLP (900 SW FIFTH AVENUE, SUITE 2600, PORTLAND, OR, 97204, US)
Claims:
1. A consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus for securing ground-based fireworks in a vertical and upright position comprising: means for providing device structure and rigidity; means for stabilizing the support platform upon a horizontal plane, connected to said means for providing device structure and rigidity; means for recieving pyrotechnics of various shapes and sizes into the pyrotechnics holder; means for surrounding and securely holding pyrotechnics of various size and shape, structurally connected to said means for providing device structure and rigidity; means for securely gripping the sidewalls of pyrotechnics of various size and shape, constructed to said means for surrounding and securely holding pyrotechnics of various size and shape; and means for restricting the horizontal movement of the cantilever tines, supportively connected to said means for surrounding and securely holding pyrotechnics of various size and shape.

2. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing device structure and rigidity comprises a support platform.

3. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for stabilizing the support platform upon a horizontal plane comprises a series of wide, stable, symmetrical legs.

4. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for recieving pyrotechnics of various shapes and sizes into the pyrotechnics holder comprises a positioning aperture.

5. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for surrounding and securely holding pyrotechnics of various size and shape comprises a series of radial, independent, flexible, resilient, curved, slender, multi-length, symmetrical cantilever tines.

6. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for securely gripping the sidewalls of pyrotechnics of various size and shape comprises a gripping flange.

7. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for restricting the horizontal movement of the cantilever tines comprises a symmetrical, contiguous controlling band.

8. A consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus for securing ground-based fireworks in a vertical and upright position comprising: a support platform, for providing device structure and rigidity; a series of wide, stable, symmetrical legs, for stabilizing the support platform upon a horizontal plane, connected to said support platform; a positioning aperture, for recieving pyrotechnics of various shapes and sizes into the pyrotechnics holder; a series of radial, independent, flexible, resilient, curved, slender, multi-length, symmetrical cantilever tines, for surrounding and securely holding pyrotechnics of various size and shape, structurally connected to said support platform; a gripping flange, for securely gripping the sidewalls of pyrotechnics of various size and shape, constructed to said cantilever tines; and a symmetrical, contiguous controlling band, for restricting the horizontal movement of the cantilever tines, supportively connected to said cantilever tines.

9. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, further comprising: a phosphorescent hue, for providing a night time illuminating light source.

10. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, further comprising: a series of, hollow anchoring holes, for fastening the pyrotechnics holder in position.

11. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, further comprising: a series of, hollow material reduction apertures, for reducing the weight of the pyrotechnics holder.

12. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, further comprising: an artwork region(s), for branding the pyrotechnics holder with vendor's name, logo, or brandmark.

13. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, further comprising: a recessed consumer notice regions, for providing space for warnings, instructions, and other consumer notices.

14. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, wherein said positioning aperture has characteristics selected from the following group: round, and polygonal.

15. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, wherein said gripping flange has characteristics selected from the following group: round, square, sawtooth, shape of a “Y” lying horizontally, and shape of a thick “C” lying on its side.

16. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 8, wherein said controlling band has characteristics selected from the following group: sine waveform shape, zigzag shape, round shape, and polygonal shape.

17. The consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus as recited in claim 13, wherein said gripping flange has characteristics selected from the following group: round, square, sawtooth, shape of a “Y” lying horizontally, and shape of a thick “C” lying on its side.

18. A consumer pyrotechnics support apparatus for securing ground-based fireworks in a vertical and upright position comprising: a phosphorescent hue, for providing a night time illuminating light source; a support platform, for providing device structure and rigidity; a series of wide, stable, symmetrical legs, for stabilizing the support platform upon a horizontal plane, connected to said support platform; a series of, hollow, round, square, polygonal anchoring holes, for fastening the pyrotechnics holder in position; a series of, hollow material reduction apertures, for reducing the weight of the pyrotechnics holder; a round, polygonal positioning aperture, for recieving pyrotechnics of various shapes and sizes into the pyrotechnics holder; a series of radial, independent, flexible, resilient, curved, slender, multi-length, symmetrical cantilever tines, for surrounding and securely holding pyrotechnics of various size and shape, structurally connected to said support platform; a round, square, sawtooth, shape of a “Y” lying horizontally, shape of a thick “C” lying on its side gripping flange, for securely gripping the sidewalls of pyrotechnics of various size and shape, constructed to said cantilever tines; an artwork region(s), for branding the pyrotechnics holder with vendor's name, logo, or brandmark; a recessed consumer notice regions, for providing space for warnings, instructions, and other consumer notices; and a symmetrical, contiguous, sine waveform shape, zigzag shape, round shape, polygonal shape controlling band, for restricting the horizontal movement of the cantilever tines, supportively connected to said cantilever tines.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/666,037, filed Sep. 22, 2003, for CONSUMER PYROTECHNICS SUPPORT APPARATUS, by James Whitley, included by reference herein and for which benefit of the priority date is hereby claimed.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to pyrotechnic devices and, more particularly, to a stable apparatus for supporting consumer-type ground-based pyrotechnics, such as mortars, projectiles, multiple aerials, fountains, and other pyrotechnic devices, commonly referred to as fireworks, so that the fireworks may be used in a manner which helps minimizes the potential for bodily harm.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Pyrotechnics, or fireworks as they are commonly called, were discovered by the Chinese in second century BC and have been used ever since for everything from warding off evil spirits to fighting wars. In the United States, fireworks were used extensively on Jul. 4, 1777 as a way to mark the signing of the Declaration of Independence one year earlier. Ever since, Americans have used fireworks to celebrate not only their independence but a variety of other noteworthy events (e.g., elections, parades, parties, holidays, commemorations, et cetera). In the year 2000 alone, Americans consumed 152 million pounds of fireworks, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission. Unfortunately, in that same year fireworks devices were involved in 10 deaths and an estimated 11,000 injuries requiring professional medical care—with children under 15 accounting for almost half of all fireworks-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2000 Fireworks Annual Report.

One of the more dangerous events that can occur is when a firework that has been stationed on the ground is activated and accidentally tipped over. Imagine the horror of witnessing a fireworks tube tipping over at the very instant it shoots out a hot mortar directly into a crowd of onlookers! This actually occurred when a “a 6-inch fountain that shot colored fireballs injured a 4-year-old girl. When the fountain tipped over, the victim was struck in the chest by a fireball. She sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her chest and neck. She was hospitalized for three weeks for burn treatment and skin grafts” (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

In order to stabilize ground-based fireworks and help prevent this type of accident from happening, many consumer-type fireworks are manufactured with a wide base or are equipped with a plastic foundation glued to the bottom of the cardboard launching tube. Despite this, year after year U.S. injury statistics prove that current foundation efforts are not enough. People clearly need a simple and robust method for more safely securing ground-based consumer fireworks.

Other than homemade solutions, research has not been able to uncover any readily available consumer solutions for stabilizing ground-based fireworks.

Homemade solutions for securing ground-based fireworks are feasible but not very practical. Among other things, a homemade solution is inconvenient to build, inconsistent from one person to the next, may not be usable or accessible to all citizens, and has no mass viability. Homemade solutions are, by their very nature, largely untested craft-produced objects that can be implemented only on a case-by-case basis and in limited situations.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a reusable stable foundation and holder for ground-based consumer fireworks (e.g. multiple aerials, mortars, and fountains).

It is another object of the invention to provide a holder for ground-based consumer fireworks that is resistant to tipping over.

It is further an object of the invention to securely hold or grip ground-based fireworks using a series of individual resilient flexible cantilever tines.

It is further an object of the invention to securely hold or grip ground-based consumer fireworks in a vertical and upright position.

It is another object of the invention to hold various disparate shapes (e.g., round, square, et cetera) and sizes of ground-based consumer fireworks.

It is further an object of the invention for the user to be able to insert, secure, and remove ground-based fireworks with a minimal amount of skill, strength, time, and dexterity.

It is another object of the invention to provide a reusable stable foundation and holder for ground-based consumer fireworks that is phosphorescent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a reusable fireworks support device which securely holds consumer ground-based fireworks (e.g., fountains, mortars, multiple aerials, et cetera) in a vertical and upright position. Using a wide base that is resistant to tipping over, this multi-legged apparatus arches to form a platform consisting of a series of resilient flexible cantilever tines with an aperture serving as the primary insertion point for the pyrotechnics.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fireworks holder in accordance with the invention.

For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the FIGURES.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is a top down view of a reusable fireworks support device 10 in accordance with the invention. Formed from plastic, metal, or other suitable flexible, flame and heat resistant material the fireworks support device 10 is capable of firmly supporting consumer-type ground-based fireworks of various size and shape in a vertical and upright fashion; thus limiting the opportunity for them to accidentally tip over. Further enhancing the usefulness of the fireworks support device 10 is its phosphorescent hue 24 which serves to glow in the dark thus providing the opportunity for additional lighting during nighttime use.

The fireworks support device 10 shown in FIG. 1 uses a round convex shaped support platform 40 with three uniformly spaced support legs 12 to provide stability. While the fireworks support device 10 shown sports a round configuration, other geometric support platform 40 and device configurations are envisioned. As long as the fireworks support device 10 is stable, resistant to tipping over, and provides for the cantilever tines 20, it is entirely possible that other support platform 40 shapes could be used.

Adjacent to the three support legs 12 are round anchoring holes 26. Anchoring holes 26 create the opportunity to secure the device to a plane with nails, wire, or other suitable fasteners. They also serve to marginally reduce the material volume needed to manufacturer the fireworks support device 10.

Integrated within the support platform 40 of the fireworks support device 10 are a series of material reduction apertures 22, as shown in FIG. 1. These material reduction apertures 22 are hollow holes or indentations in the support platform 40 that serve to reduce the material volume needed to manufacturer the fireworks support device 10. Round and symmetrical in FIG. 1, the material reduction apertures 22 could be square, polygonal, or any of a wide variety of size and shapes in any number of locations and patterns.

Located within the support platform 40 of the fireworks support device 10 and adjacent to each of the three support legs 12 and anchoring holes 26 is are artwork region(s) 28, as shown in FIG. 1. Each artwork region(s) 28 serves to showcase a vendor's brand upon the fireworks support device 10. In FIG. 1, each artwork region(s) 28 is represented by a symmetrical hollow “TNT” brand mark cutout. The artwork region(s) 28 could just as easily be located elsewhere along the support platform 40, etched into the support platform 40, or could even be replaced by material reduction apertures 22.

Also shown in FIG. 1 are three consumer notice regions 34 symmetrically located along the support platform 40. These recessed consumer notice regions 34 are for stickers or labels, such as usage instructions and warnings. These consumer notice regions 34 could be located anywhere along the support platform 40, or could even be replaced by artwork region(s) 28 or material reduction apertures 22.

The fireworks support device 10 central gripping function is derived from of a series of independent radial cantilever tines 20 which come together to create a positioning aperture 38. The positioning aperture 38 is an opening in the fireworks support device 10 whose underside serves as the insertion point for pyrotechnics. Located at the apex of the fireworks support device 10 and round in this FIG. 1 example, the positioning aperture 38 could be square or a variety of other shapes so as to accommodate the supported firework, not shown.

A radial series of uniform independent cantilever tines 20 are disposed to create a platform which can completely surround and create stabilizing tension upon a variety of consumer-type pyrotechnic devices. A controlling band 36 is used to join the radial series of cantilever tines 20 together to create a band which limits their horizontal movement while allowing them the freedom to move semi-independently of one another in a vertical fashion. Shown as a sine waveform in this FIG. 1 example, the controlling band 36 could be round, zigzag, polygonal, or a variety of other shapes not yet foreseen. Mechanical calculations and trial and error are used to find a suitable configuration for the controlling band 36 that supports the desired cantilever tines 20 horizontal and vertical movements.

The slim variable-length flexible cantilever tines 20 are able to close tightly around fireworks of a wide variety of size and shape, yet resilient enough to return to their resting position when no longer in use. The flexibility and resiliency of the cantilever tines 20 depends upon the length of each, their design, and the material used. All the cantilever tines 20 shown in FIG. 1 are curved in a sweeping fashion which serves to lengthen and lessen the pressure upon them when in use. Mechanical calculations and trial and error are used to find a suitable configuration of cantilever tines 20 that supports the desired firework size(s) and shape(s) while also providing for the desired tine flexibility and resiliency.

Each of the cantilever tines 20 shown in FIG. 1 sports a gripping flange 30 which firmly fastens the fireworks support device 10 to the outer wall of the pyrotechnics being secured. The inner most cantilever tines 20 use a vertically cupped “C” shaped gripping flange 30 which juts up to firmly support the outer wall of small diameter pyrotechnics. The remaining cantilever tines 20 use a horizontal gripping flange 30 to support pyrotechnics which are larger in diameter. In this FIG. 1 example, the inner cantilever tines 20 with the “C” shaped gripping flange 30 support objects as small as ½″ in diameter, while the overall device supporting objects as large as 8″ in diameter.

In operation the fireworks support device 10 shown in FIG. 1 accepts downward reasonable arm-strength pressure so as to receive a pyrotechnic, not shown, which may be stationed vertically on the ground, through the underbelly of the support platform 40 at the exact location of the positioning aperture 38. As force is applied to the top side of the fireworks support device 10, the pyrotechnic being received juts up out and through the positioning aperture 38 with the radial series of cantilever tines 20 temporarily flexing up, out, and away from the firework, yet remaining resilient enough to retain a firm grip on the outside wall of the pyrotechnic device. The cantilever tines 20 are formed in a uniform pattern so as to completely surround and create tension pressure upon the pyrotechnic device on all sides. The radially formed cantilever tines 20 operate in conjunction with controlling band 36 to allow for semi-independent tine movement so as to accommodate a wide variety of sized and geometrically shaped fireworks.

To properly secure a firework, the fireworks support device 10 is pushed all the way down over the pyrotechnic it is supporting until the support legs 12 are horizontally aligned with the firework base, thus creating a multi-legged support platform 40. In this manner, the support legs 12 and pyrotechnic work hand-in-hand to create a stable support platform 40 that is more resistant to tipping over than if the firework were set on the ground by itself. By combining this stable base with the cantilever tines 20 and gripping flange 30, the firework can now be more safely used as it will be resistant to accidentally tipping over during operation.

Once the firework has been used, it can easily be removed from the fireworks support device 10 by pulling the firework and fireworks support device 10 away from one another in the direction that is most convenient. Once the pyrotechnic has been removed, the cantilever tines 20 return to their resting position, once again ready to support another firework in reuse.

Since other modifications and changes varied to fit particular operating requirements and environments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure, and covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.