Title:
Framing for public space housings to hold and to facilitate display of visual materials
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A housing with outer framing attached thereto comprising a cabinet adapted for containing government controlled or operated equipment, said housing comprising a top, a bottom, and generally flat outer vertical surfaces, wherein attached to each outer vertical surface is a framing having at least about the same dimensions of that vertical surface, and wherein said framing is adapted to hold and display visual indicia; a method for protecting such cabinets with such housings; a method for displaying visual indicia on such cabinets with such housings; and a business method involving contracting with a government entity for the right to use government owned or controlled equipment.



Inventors:
Holzheid, Michael (Washington, DC, US)
Application Number:
09/833624
Publication Date:
11/01/2001
Filing Date:
04/13/2001
Assignee:
HOLZHEID MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G09F15/00; (IPC1-7): A47B97/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael Holzheid (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A housing with outer framing attached thereto comprising a cabinet adapted for containing government controlled or operated equipment, said housing comprising a top, a bottom, and generally flat outer vertical surfaces, wherein attached to each outer vertical surface is a framing having at least about the same dimensions of that vertical surface, and wherein said framing is adapted to hold and display visual indicia.

2. The housing of claim 1, wherein the number of flat outer vertical surfaces is four.

3. The housing of claim 2, wherein the framing for at least one of said flat outer vertical surfaces is adapted for providing access to said cabinet.

4. The housing of claim 3, wherein the framing for two of said flat outer vertical surfaces is each adapted for providing access to said cabinet.

5. The housing of claim 4, wherein the cabinet is a traffic signal control box.

6. The housing of claim 5, wherein the framing for at least one of said two of said flat outer vertical surfaces is a hinge mounted frame or a sliding frame.

7. The housing of claim 6, wherein the framing for said at least one of said two of said flat outer vertical surfaces is a hinge mounted frame.

8. The housing of claim 7, wherein the framing for two of said flat outer vertical surfaces are not each adapted for providing access to said cabinet.

9. The housing of claim 8, wherein the framing for at least one of said two of said flat outer vertical surfaces that are not each adapted for providing access to said cabinet is a bracket mounted frame.

10. The housing of claim 9, wherein the framing comprises a transparent covering adapted for protecting said visual indicia.

11. A method for protecting a cabinet containing government controlled or operated equipment therein, wherein said cabinet is located in a public space, comprising attaching to at least one outer surface of said cabinet a framing having at least about the same dimensions of said surface, and wherein said framing is adapted to hold and display visual indicia.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the cabinet is a traffic signal control box.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein said framing is attached to all outer surfaces of said cabinet.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the framing comprises a transparent covering adapted for protecting said visual indicia.

15. A method for displaying visual indicia on a cabinet containing government controlled or operated equipment therein, wherein said cabinet is located in a public space, comprising attaching to at least one outer surface of said cabinet a framing having at least about the same dimensions of said surface, and wherein said framing is adapted to hold and display said visual indicia.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the cabinet is a traffic signal control box.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the framing comprises a transparent covering adapted for protecting said visual indicia.

18. A method comprising paying a government entity a sum of money for the right given by the government entity to use property owned or controlled by the government entity and located in public areas, wherein said use comprises protecting said property from unauthorized use by at least one of creating, managing, selling and maintaining visual indicia on said property, and wherein said property comprises a multitude of cabinets containing government controlled or operated equipment.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the cabinets are traffic signal control boxes.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the visual indicia comprises advertising.

Description:

[0001] This application is a nonprovisional application of provisional application No. 60/197,373, filed Apr. 14, 2000, of which this application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C.§119. The disclosure of said provisional application No. 60/197,373 is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The invention relates to framing for holding and facilitating advertising or other visual indicia or displays on government or quasi-government or private housings located in public areas, such as cabinets for holding sensitive and complex electronic equipment, e.g., a traffic signal control box. The invention also relates to a business method involving contracting with owners, lessors, controllers, operators, etc. of such housings to protect such housings from unauthorized use by installing such framing thereon.

[0004] 2. Description of the Background

[0005] Generally all government or quasi-government entities, i.e., nations, states, municipalities, utilities thereof, etc., or privately owned entities having a government franchise, etc. (hereinafter all referred to as “a government entity”) own or lease or otherwise control and operate equipment that is necessarily located in public spaces for the successful operation of the functions of the entity. This equipment must be protected from the elements as well as vandalism or other destruction by humans. In many cases, the equipment is protected by a housing therefor, but even housings are subject to vandalism, such as graffiti and the like.

[0006] In many cases, such housings are physically unattractive and perhaps for this reason also may attract vandalism such as graffiti.

[0007] Traffic signal control boxes are especially susceptible to vandalism. Traffic signal control boxes are generally vertical coffin-shaped structures (regular hexahedrons) situated at street intersections for the purpose of housing the complex electronics needed to control traffic signals at the intersections.

[0008] The present invention addresses these problems by providing an outer covering for such housings that are both functional and attractive, and that should reduce the likelihood of graffiti, etc.

[0009] The present invention also provides a business method involving contracting with owners, lessors, controllers, operators, etc. of such housings to protect such housings from unauthorized use by installing such outer covering thereon.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention comprises framing that can be affixed to housings such as traffic signal control boxes and cabinets or other housings with flat surfaces. The purpose of the framing is to enable advertising posters or other indicia intended to provide information or other visual images, to be displayed on the visible sides of these surfaces. The framing is designed to hold the posters, etc., rigidly in place and to allow easy replacement thereof. At the same time, the framing is designed so as not to interfere with the equipment, such as sensitive electronics, inside the housings or impede access to the equipment by government or quasi-government employees or contractors tasked with maintenance or adjustments thereof.

[0011] The invention is thus a housing with outer framing attached thereto comprising a cabinet adapted for containing government controlled or operated equipment, said housing comprising a top, a bottom, and generally flat outer vertical surfaces, wherein attached to each outer vertical surface is a framing having at least about the same dimensions of that vertical surface, and wherein said framing is adapted to hold and display visual indicia.

[0012] The invention is also a method comprising paying a government entity a sum of money for the right given by the government entity to use property owned or controlled by the government entity and located in public areas, wherein said use comprises protecting said property from unauthorized use by at least one of creating, managing, selling and maintaining visual indicia on said property, and wherein said property comprises a multitude of cabinets containing government controlled or operated equipment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a hinge mounted frame for the front and back doors of a preferred embodiment.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a bracket mounted frame for the side panels of a preferred embodiment.

[0015] FIGS. 3 and 4 are a traffic signal control box with a preferred embodiment of framing according to the invention.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a traffic signal control box with another preferred embodiment of framing according to the invention.

[0017] FIGS. 6 and 7 are of two photographs, respectively, one showing an actual traffic signal control box in public without the framing according to the invention and the other, a traffic signal control box with the framing according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0018] The present invention is now described as a framing for displaying posters in connection with a traffic signal control box such as one now used in the District of Columbia. FIG. 6 shows such a traffic signal control box without the present invention. The box is a generally vertically-shaped regular hexahedron, i.e., it has four vertical surfaces. Two surfaces, i.e., front and back, require access; the remaining two surfaces, both sides, do not. FIG. 7 shows such a traffic signal control box with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0019] The framing accommodates each of four design objectives as follows:

[0020] In order to display as much of the poster as possible while offering a rigid unit not readily susceptible to vandalism or other destruction, the framing is manufactured of a strong but lightweight material, such as aluminum; the corners on the back of the framing are preferably reinforced with triangular metal braces; and, to enhance the display of the posters, the portion of the framing that encloses the front of the posters is preferably narrower than the portion of the framing holding the sides and backs of the posters.

[0021] To allow easy replacement of damaged or out-of-date posters, one side of the framing is removable and is fitted with a lock at the point where the side joins the top of the framing. The framing also contains tracks to allow the posters to sit rigidly in the framing.

[0022] To avoid having the framing compromise the integrity of the traffic control boxes, the framing incorporates several design elements.

[0023] First, on the two sides of the boxes with access doors (the front and back surfaces) only a hinge is actually attached to the box.

[0024] Second, the framing is attached to the front and back surfaces of the boxes with a semi-permanent double-sided tape that is removable with a special solvent therefor. Applicant has found that 3M VHB tape works particularly well, and when used with 3M's solvent made for removing the tape from a surface. The framing can similarly be attached to the side surfaces, or it can be attached with other fasteners such as rivets or the like.

[0025] Third, the sides of the framing contain vent holes to permit air circulation around the box and are sufficiently wide to allow the posters, in their tracks, to stand away from the walls of the box.

[0026] Finally, to allow ready access to the boxes by traffic technicians and the police, the framing on the two sides of the cabinets with access doors includes a latch to be attached by two-sided tape to the side of the cabinet opposite the hinge in such a position so as to be aligned with a lock in that side of the framing. This lock can be keyed for use with the same key used for gaining access to the boxes so that the traffic technicians and the police will not have to carry separate keys in order to open the frames and the boxes. Once the lock has been opened, the framing can be easily swung away from the box to gain access to the box doors using the hinge on the side of the framing opposite the lock. Alternatively, locks requiring different keys can be used.

[0027] While the framing does not require a covering to protect the poster inside, it is preferred that a transparent covering such as glass and more preferably, plexiglas, be located in and at the outer edges of frame, as in a picture frame.

[0028] The invention also includes a method comprising paying a government entity a sum of money for the right given by the government entity to use property owned or controlled by the government entity and located in public areas, wherein said use comprises protecting said property from unauthorized use by at least one of creating, managing, selling and maintaining visual indicia, such as advertising, on said property, and wherein said property comprises a multitude of cabinets containing government controlled or operated equipment.

[0029] Payment may be a lump sum to the government entity or a royalty based on revenue derived from, for example, selling visual indicia such as advertising. The visual indicia is preferably located in the above-described framing, and more preferably in the above-described framing to protect the above-described traffic control boxes.

[0030] The above-described right may be conditioned on maintaining the vicinity of the property free from debris and/or unauthorized visual indicia.

[0031] Having generally described this invention, a further understanding can be obtained by reference to certain specific examples which are provided herein for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to be limiting unless otherwise specified.

EXAMPLE

[0032] The following example demonstrates two versions, one for the front and back doors, as shown in FIG. 1, and one for the side panels, as shown in FIG. 2, of a preferred framing for a traffic signal control box as now used in the District of Columbia. The versions are differentiated by their height and width, and the device used to attach the frames to the traffic sign controller box.

[0033] In the hinged frame of FIG. 1, all parts made out of ⅛″ aluminum. Top and bottom weld to the left side. The right side is attached by the lock at its top and a tab at the bottom of the right side frame that slips into a slot cut into the bottom frame. The middle lock attaches the frame to the traffic signal control box. Top 1 is made out of one piece of aluminum and bent at right angles to form a front, top and back side. The length of the top is 23 ¾″, the front side is ¾″ the top is 2″ and the back side is 1″. Left side 2 is made out of one piece of aluminum and bent at right angles to form a front side and back. The length of the side is 41 ⅜″, the front is ¾″, the side is 2″ the back is 1″. Bottom 3 is made out of one piece of aluminum and bent at right angles to form a bottom, front and back. The length is 23 ¾″, the bottom is 2″, and the front is ¾″, the back is 1″. The bottom has a ¾″ slot cut in ⅜″ from the right side, ⅛″ in width. Right side 4 is made out of one piece of aluminum and bent at right angles to form a front, side and back. The length is 41 {fraction (1/16)}″, the front is ¾″, the side is 2″, the back is 1″. At the bottom of the right side is a ⅜″ tab in length and {fraction (11/16)}″ in width. Lock 5 is a small size ½″ diameter standard barrel lock 1 ¼″ in length. Latch 6 is made out of one piece of aluminum bent at right angles to form a U shape. The length is ¾″, the back is 1″ and the bottom is ⅞″, the front ⅜″. The back attaches to the control cabinet. Cam 7 attaches to the back of the standard size barrel lock, and is made out of one piece of aluminum, and has a length is 3 {fraction (3/16)}″. The top is 2 {fraction (9/16)}″. The end which attaches to the lock is ⅝″. The end has a hexagonal hole {fraction (5/16)}″×{fraction (5/16)}″ that attaches to the lock. Channel 8, of which there are four, is made out of one piece of aluminum and bent at right angles to form an L shape. The length is 18″, the width is 1 ¼ ″. The bottom is ⅝″, the front is ⅝″. The channel attaches to the bottom, top and both sides, ¼″ back from the front of each front panel. Comer support 9, of which there are four, is a triangle shape cut out of one piece of aluminum, and having dimensions of 4″×4″×5 ⅝″. On each 4″ side there are 3 {fraction (3/16)}″ holes drilled ⅝″ apart, in from the side ¼″ on each 4″ dimension. Hinge 10 is a standard piano style hinge that attaches to either left or right side of the frame, and is held in place on the frame by 7 pop rivets, centered on the back top to bottom. It is made out of steel, 36″ long and 1 ½″ when open. A preferred hinge is a product of McMasterCarr# 11555A23. Rivets 11 are ¼″ aluminum rivets sanded flush with the top of each surface. Rivets are used for attaching brackets, channels and triangle supports. Vent slots 12 are cut into both sides and the bottom only, in groups of five on both sides. Each slot measure ¼″ in width with a ¼″ space between each cut and 2″ in length. Positioning starts at 6″ from the top. Each group of vents are spaced 5″ apart ending 6″ from the bottom. The vents on the bottom are the same size but spaced 2 ½″ from either end (1 set each) and (2 sets on center) an 1 ⅛″ apart.

[0034] The bracket mounted frame of FIG. 2 is constructed the same as the hinged version. The exceptions are: 1) the overall width and height are different. The width is 19 ⅜″ and the height is 42 {fraction (7/16)}″. The front, side and back dimensions are the same as on the hinged version. The vent size and placement are the same including channels and support brackets. The right side of the frame is removable as on the hinged frame using the lock at the top in combination with the tab and slot design at the bottom.

[0035] The unique aspect of the bracket frame is how it is attached to the traffic signal control box. Holding brackets 13, of which there are two, are each cut out of one piece of aluminum. The length is 15 ⅜″, the width is 2″ with ⅛″ thickness. Two bolts ⅛″ in diameter are welded into the bracket positioned ½″ from each end and centered on the width. Mounting support 14, of which there are two, are each cut out of one piece of aluminum 18 ⅝″ in length and 1 ⅝″ wide. The support is bent at right angles to form an L shape. The top is ½″ and the back is 1 ⅛″. Two U shape cuts are made into the back of the bracket {fraction (3/16)}″ wide 2″ from either side, and up ½″ from the bottom. The cuts align with the bolts attached to holding bracket. The frame is attached to the holding bracket and secured in place with nuts.

[0036] FIGS. 3 and 4 show how the above-described frames of FIGS. 1 and 2 are attached to a traffic signal control box. FIG. 5 is a traffic signal control box wherein, instead of a hinged frame as in FIG. 1 for the front and/or back panel, a sliding frame is used. As shown in FIG. 5, the right side of the back panel comes off to change and provide access for traffic control. The right side slides out from within the main section of the frame. FIG. 5 also shows a panel 15 for access to the inside of the traffic signal control box. Panel 15 may also contain a lock, which may be the same or different from lock 5 so that it can be opened by authorized traffic control personnel only.