Title:
Large hanger for displaying eyeglasses
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A large eyeglass hanger is provided that mounts eyeglasses so that they do not project beyond the outer edges of a holder assembly for the glasses to avoid having adjacent hung glasses on a display engage each other with the potential for damage this creates. The large hanger also enables use of a correspondingly large indicia receiving member of the holder assembly for receiving printed matter, such as an eyechart and operating instructions that may be provided for specialized eyeglasses that can be displayed. Despite the large size of the hanger, the holder has an arm securing portion that, in one form, has only one of the temple arms of conventionally operated eyeglasses secured thereto to allow for sampling and in a manner that the potential purchasers get a clear view of their front facial area as the still attached hanger extends along the side of their head. The large holder assembly can alternatively include compartments for those glasses that are not to be sampled, as well as a compartment for receiving a case for the displayed glasses.



Inventors:
Waters, Michael (Barrington Hills, IL, US)
Application Number:
09/884198
Publication Date:
12/19/2002
Filing Date:
06/19/2001
Assignee:
WATERS MICHAEL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/461
International Classes:
A47F7/02; B65D73/00; (IPC1-7): A45C11/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FITCH EVEN TABIN & FLANNERY, LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An eyeglass hanger comprising: a large holder assembly having a generally rectangular configuration including a predetermined width and length thereof with perimeter edges extending thereabout; an opening in the holder assembly extending adjacent one of the perimeter edges along the width of the holder assembly for receiving a support therethrough for eyeglass display with the length of the holder assembly extending downwardly; and an eyeglass securing portion of the holder assembly for keeping eyeglasses secured to the large holder assembly within the perimeter edges thereof during eyeglass display.

2. The eyeglass hanger of claim 1 wherein the eyeglass securing portion includes one of a compartment for containing eyeglasses therein and a raised portion for attaching a temple arm of the eyeglasses thereto.

3. The eyeglass hanger of claim 1 wherein the holder assembly includes a sheet slightly smaller than the perimeter rectangular configuration of the holder assembly for providing a large area on which printed matter can be received.

4. The eyeglass hanger of claim 3 wherein the sheet has a rectangular configuration with a length of approximately 7.5 inches and a width of approximately 4.5 inches.

5. The eyeglass hanger of claim 1 wherein the holder assembly has a bubble pac construction including front and back plastic members attached together with a sheet for receiving printed matter therebetween.

6. The eyeglass hanger of claim 1 wherein the holder assembly defines a compartment for receiving an eyeglass case therein.

7. An eyeglass display assembly comprising: eyeglasses including a pair of lenses which are laterally spaced apart for viewing therethrough with the spaced apart lenses having a predetermined footprint; an eyeglass holder having a relatively large predetermined configuration with outer edges thereof; an opening in the holder that allows a support to extend therethrough for hanging of the holder therefrom; and an eyeglass securing portion of the holder that keeps the eyeglasses secured in a predetermined position relative to the holder for display such that the footprint of the lenses does not extend beyond the outer edges of the holder.

8. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 7 wherein the eyeglasses include a pair of pivotal temple arms for providing the eyeglasses with open and folded conditions thereof, and only one of the temple arms is attached to the holder securing portion to allow the temple arms to be pivoted to the open condition for sampling of the eyeglasses by a user with the eyeglasses still attached to the holder.

9. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 7 wherein the holder securing portion comprises a compartment in which the eyeglasses are carried.

10. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 9 wherein the eyeglass lenses are held in a small, thin card member.

11. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 9 wherein the eyeglass lenses are mounted to arms that can pivot to allow the lenses to shift from being laterally spaced apart to overlap each other in a stowed position thereof, and the compartment is configured to carry the eyeglasses with the arms pivoted so that the lenses are laterally spaced apart from each other.

12. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 11 wherein the holder includes a member having a predetermined size sufficiently large to receive printed instructions thereon relating to operation of the eyeglasses for causing pivoting of the arms with the associated lenses thereof.

13. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 9 wherein the eyeglasses include a pair of temple arms and a bridge portion disposed between the spaced apart lenses, the temple arms and bridge portion being pivotal for providing the eyeglasses with a compact, folded condition thereof in which the lenses overlap each other, and the compartment is configured to carry the eyeglasses in the compact, folded condition.

14. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 13 wherein the holder includes an indicia receiving member having a predetermined size sufficiently large to receive printed instructions thereon relating to operation of the eyeglasses for causing pivoting of the temple arms and bridge portion between a use condition and the folded condition of the eyeglasses.

15. The eyeglass display assembly of claim 7 wherein the holder includes a compartment, and an eyeglass case received in the compartment.

16. A hanger for eyeglasses that have a pair of pivotal temple arms for providing the eyeglasses with folded and open conditions thereof, the eyeglass hanger comprising: a holder assembly for carrying a pair of eyeglasses and having a large predetermined size that is generally bigger than that of the eyeglasses with the arms pivoted to the folded condition thereof for providing space for receiving printed matter thereon and limiting theft of eyeglasses; an opening in the holder assembly for receiving a support therethrough to allow the holder assembly to hang therefrom; and an arm holding portion of the holder assembly for securing one of the temple arms of the eyeglasses in a predetermined position relative thereto with the other temple arm free of the holder assembly portion to allow the eyeglasses to be pivoted to the folded condition for display or to the open condition for sampling of the eyeglasses on a head of a user for fit and operation without removal of the eyeglasses from the holder assembly with the holder assembly extending alongside the users head.

17. The eyeglass hanger of claim 16 wherein the holder assembly includes a substantially flat indicia receiving member on which printed matter generally related to the eyeglasses is received, and the arm holding portion is raised relative to the flat indicia receiving member so that the member has clearance from the user's head when the eyeglasses are being sampled.

18. The eyeglass hanger of claim 16 wherein the holder assembly includes a compartment sized for receiving a case for the eyeglasses.

19. The eyeglass hanger of claim 16 wherein eyeglasses include a pair of lenses of a predetermined diopter rating, and the holder assembly includes an indicia receiving member and reading chart thereon to allow users to choose a pair of eyeglasses that optimizes their eyesight therewith.

20. The eyeglass hanger of claim 16 wherein the opening is elongated in a first direction for receiving a pair of support rods therethrough, and the arm holding portion extends in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction so that with the holder assembly hanging on the support rods the eyeglasses in the folded condition will extend generally vertically along the second direction.

21. The eyeglass hanger of claim 16 wherein the holder assembly includes front and back plastic members with the arm holding portion on the front plastic member and an indicia receiving sheet member having front and back sides thereof received between the plastic members attached together with printed matter received on the sheet front side spaced from the arm holding portion for viewing thereof and substantially the entire backside of the sheet available for printed matter.

22. The eyeglass hanger of claim 21 wherein the arm holding portion is a raised portion of the front plastic member including apertures therein, and tie members for being received through the apertures and about the temple arm to tightly secure the arm to the raised portion.

23. The eyeglass hanger of claim 16 wherein the holder assembly has a generally rectangular configuration with a length of approximately 8 inches and a width of approximately 5 inches, and the opening is centered along the width of holder assembly at one end along the length thereof so that with the support extending through the opening the length of the holder assembly extends substantially downward.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to eyeglass hangers and, more particularly, to eyeglass hangers that allow eyeglasses to be sampled by potential purchasers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The display and sale of non-prescription eyeglasses has become pervasive at retail outlets. Such eyeglasses include magnifier lenses with specific diopter ratings that can be either tinted or clear, as well as sunglasses and the like. To accommodate as many glasses as possible including glasses of different styles and different diopter strengths, the displays for these glasses are designed to take up a minimum of floor or shelf space.

[0003] One of the more common eyeglass displays is of the carousel-type where a rotatable central body is provided that can include a plurality of supports, such as pegs or rods positioned around the body extending outwardly therefrom and at different levels along the height of the center rotating body. Alternatively, it is also known to mounts pegs and support rods to extend out from a peg board. For displaying eyeglasses from these rods, eyeglass hangers have been developed that generally include a flat, small plastic card member incorporating some type of opening or slot that allows the card to hang from the support rod or rods. In one commercial hanger provided by Magnavision®, a central depending loop from the card member supports the bridge of the eyeglass frames extending therethrough so that the lenses are aligned horizontally with each other with the small card extending lengthwise less than the full extent of the folded eyeglasses therebelow. Thus, when a potential purchaser tries on a pair of eyeglasses secured to these types of hanger, the card will be disposed across the center of their forehead above their eyes detracting from the wearer's ability to get a good, clear view of the look and fit of eyeglasses on their face. Such a hanger is shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,144,344; 5,260,726; and 5,521,911. As can be seen in those patents, the card body has a generally rectangular configuration such that with the eyeglasses carried by the depending loop thereof, the outer sides of the card are generally aligned over an intermediate position along the length of the respective frame portions of the pair of eyeglass lenses. Accordingly, the length of the card between the outer sides thereof is approximately between three and three and one half inches.

[0004] Another commercial eyeglass holder provided by Foster Grant™ has a similar approach in that it provides a small card member that is disposed above the eyeglasses it carries, albeit with the eyeglasses in a vertical orientation hanging down therefrom. For this purpose, the card member has an integral downwardly depending arm that has apertured sections thereof. To carry the eyeglasses instead of using the eyeglass frame bridge as with the earlier-described hanger, one of the temple arms is inserted through a pair of the apertures to hold the eyeglasses with the folded temple arms extending vertically. The card member of the Foster Grant™ hanger thus is aligned vertically over the vertically hanging eyeglasses. This hanger is improved in terms of allowing the user to try on a pair of glasses without obstructing a clear view of their face with the hanger. However, the card member is even smaller in size than the Magnavision® eyeglass hanger card member. The commercial Foster Grant™ eyeglass hanger card member has a square configuration with two inch sides.

[0005] As is apparent, neither of these hangers provide the eyeglasses protection during display, as both have the eyeglasses carried thereby hanging exposed below the main card member portion of the hanger so that adjacent glasses can contact each other potentially marring and scratching the finish of the frames and lenses. Further, in both the Magnavision® and the Foster Grant™ hangers, these relatively small card members do not provide much in the way of surface area for receiving printed matter thereon. Accordingly, these eyeglass holders do not convey much information relating to the eyeglasses to the purchaser.

[0006] Eyeglass displays tend to be located in high traffic areas in retail stores, such as near the checkout line or near a pickup window at a pharmacy. Accordingly, with the above-described small cards of the eyeglass hangers, theft of the eyeglasses can be a significant problem. These small cards do not provide much of a deterrent from the perspective of a putative thief who would have no problem concealing the folded eyeglasses and the small card of the holder such as fit in their pocket.

[0007] Accordingly, there is a need for an improved eyeglass hanger. More particularly, an eyeglass hanger that protects the glasses on display from damage and which can provide more information to a purchaser would be desirable. Further, an eyeglass hanger that is a deterrent to theft of the eyeglasses is needed. The eyeglass hanger should also allow a potential purchaser to sample the eyeglasses without undue interference from the hanger.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] In accordance with the present invention, an eyeglass hanger is provided that is of a relatively large size in comparison to the aforedescribed hangers for carrying the eyeglasses within perimeter edges of a large holder thereof. Preferably, the holder includes an arm holding portion that secures one of the temple arms of the eyeglasses thereto in a manner so as to permit potential purchasers of the eyeglasses carried thereby to try on the glasses and get a substantially unimpeded view of their face so that can readily determine how the eyeglasses will look when being worn. A further feature of the large holder is that it is able to provide a large surface area for receiving printed matter. The large size of the hanger, e.g. eight inches by five inches, also is sufficient to significantly minimize the ability of would-be thieves from easily concealing the present hanger and attached eyeglasses, thus lessening the chance that they will be stolen. In addition, the large eyeglass hanger herein provides sufficient space such that the hanger can also carry a case for the eyeglasses therewith.

[0009] As is apparent, the present eyeglass hanger is a significant departure from the prior hangers in terms of the approach taken with respect to its size. Prior holders tended to focus on making the thin body or card thereof relatively small presumably for space conservation purposes. In contrast, the present hanger utilizes a large holder assembly with a relatively large predetermined configuration providing several advantages associated with this large size without having to compromise too much in the way of space conservation, as the large hanger still has a relatively thin profile, e.g. on the order of approximately 0.5 inches.

[0010] In terms of its advantages, the present large hanger has the ability to keep the footprint of the eyeglasses and particularly the lenses including the associated frame portions thereof within outer edges of the holder so that the holders will be interposed between adjacent displayed eyeglasses, and no contact will be made between the adjacent glasses. The larger holder provides the ability to print much more information relating to the eyeglasses and in larger type, such as including information as to their use and an eye-chart that can be used to select which diopter strength lenses the purchaser needs. In addition, the large holder assembly can include a compartment in which eyeglass cases are provided further adding value to the purchaser of the eyeglasses via the large eyeglass hanger and, providing significant sales advantages over competitive eyeglasses using the smaller card-type hangers. Also, in one form, the arm holding portion secures eyeglasses to the hanger by having one of the temple arms secured thereto with the other free to allow the eyeglasses to be pivoted either to the folded condition for display, or to the open condition for allowing the eyeglasses to be tried on without having any portion of the hanger covering the front facial area of the user. With the eyeglasses being sampled, the temple arm will keep the holder assembly attached to the eyeglasses extending alongside the potential purchasers' head. Thus, despite the large size of the hanger herein, it still allows a potential purchaser an unimpeded view of how the glasses look on their face when trying them on unlike the Magnavision® hanger, for example.

[0011] In a preferred form of the invention, the eyeglass hanger includes a large holder assembly having a generally rectangular configuration including a predetermined width and length thereof with perimeter edges extending thereabout. An opening in the holder assembly extends adjacent one of the perimeter edges along the width of the holder assembly for receiving a support therethrough for eyeglass display with the length of the holder assembly extending downwardly. An eyeglass securing portion of the holder assembly keeps eyeglasses secured to the large holder assembly within the perimeter edges thereof during eyeglass display. Accordingly, unlike the prior hangers where the eyeglasses are supported in such a manner that they extend or hang spaced from the main card member thereof so that adjacent glasses supported for display on the support rods of display carousels, for example, can engage each other, the present eyeglass hanger keeps the eyeglasses within the perimeter of the holder assembly so as to ensure that when the hanger is supported on the display rods, adjacent displayed eyeglasses will not be in contact with each other, and thus minimizing potential damage thereto via such contact.

[0012] In one form, the eyeglass securing portion includes one of a compartment for containing eyeglasses therein and a raised portion for attaching a temple arm of the eyeglasses thereto.

[0013] The holder assembly can include a sheet slightly smaller than the perimeter or rectangular configuration of the holder assembly for providing a large area on which printed matter can be received. In a preferred form, the sheet has a rectangular configuration with a length of approximately 7.5 inches and a width of approximately 4.5 inches.

[0014] In another form of the invention, an eyeglass display assembly is provided including eyeglasses having a pair of lenses which are laterally spaced apart for viewing therethrough with the spaced apart lenses having a predetermined footprint. An eyeglass holder is provided having a relatively large predetermined configuration with outer edges thereof. An opening in the holder allows a support to extend therethrough for hanging of the holder therefrom. An eyeglass securing portion of the holder keeps the eyeglasses secured in a predetermined position relative to the holder for display such that the footprint of the lenses does not extend beyond the outer edges of the holder.

[0015] The eyeglass display assembly can have eyeglasses that take on a number of different forms. In one form, the eyeglasses are of conventional construction in that they are to be worn supported by the ears and nose of the wearer and have a pair of pivotal temple arms such that the glasses have open and folded conditions thereof. With these types of conventional eyeglasses, only one of the temple arms is attached to the holder securing portion so that the temple arms can be pivoted to the open condition for sampling of the eyeglasses by a user with the eyeglasses still attached to the holder, as previously described. In another form, the eyeglass lenses are held in a small thin card member. In yet another form, the eyeglass lenses are mounted to arms that can pivot to allow the lenses to shift from being laterally spaced apart to overlap each other in a stowed position thereof. With both the reading card member and the eyeglass lenses that pivot to the overlapping, stowed position, the holder securing portion can take the form of a compartment in which the eyeglasses are carried.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an eyeglass hanger in accordance with the present invention showing a holder for mounting the eyeglasses within outer edges thereof and having a compartment in which a case for the eyeglasses is carried;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the eyeglass hanger of FIG. 1 showing the relatively large rectangular configuration thereof;

[0018] FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the eyeglass hanger showing a sheet of the hanger having printed matter in the form of an eye chart received thereon;

[0019] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the eyeglass hanger taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2 showing a stand-off or raised portion of the hanger to which one of the temple arms of the eyeglasses is secured via tie-downs;

[0020] FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the hanger similar to FIG. 2 with the eyeglasses removed showing apertures in the eyeglass securing portion for the tie-downs;

[0021] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a person sampling the eyeglasses while the hanger is still attached thereto;

[0022] FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing the eyeglasses and the case therefor removed from the hanger;

[0023] FIG. 8 is a perspective of an eyeglass hanger in accordance with the present invention adapted for use with low-profile eyeglasses and a case therefor;

[0024] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another hanger for another type of eyeglasses where the lenses are embedded in a card member which is carried in a compartment of the hanger;

[0025] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another adaptation of the eyeglass hanger for use with compact folding eyeglasses having a nose-bridge that pivots so that the lenses can be folded into overlapping relation with each other;

[0026] FIG. 11 is a rear elevational view taken along line 11-11 of FIG. 10 showing the reading chart and illustrations providing instructions for folding of the eyeglasses; FIG. 12 is a perspective view of yet another eyeglass hanger adapted for use with another pair of eyeglasses having lenses that pivot into and out from a housing and which are carried in a compartment formed on the hanger; and

[0027] FIG. 13 is a rear elevational view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 12 showing the reading chart for the eyeglasses and illustrations providing instructions on how to pivot the lenses into and out from the housing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0028] FIGS. 1-3 show an eyeglass hanger 10 including a large holder assembly 12 to which eyeglasses 14 are secured to provide an eyeglass display assembly 15. These eyeglasses 14 can be of conventional construction as shown, or be of a more specialized type of reading glasses, as well be described hereinafter. As can be seen, the illustrated and preferred large holder assembly 12 has a rectangular configuration with shorter parallel ends 16 and 18 extending along the width of the holder 12 and longer parallel sides 20 and 22 extending along the length of the holder 12. Other configurations for the large holder 12 such as square or a holder with curved edges, for example, are also contemplated.

[0029] The ends 16 and 18 and sides 20 and 22 together can define the outer perimeter edges of the holder assembly 12. As best seen in FIG. 2, the eyeglasses 14 are secured to the holder assembly 12 for display in such a way that they are maintained within the perimeter edges 16-22 of the holder assembly 12. In this manner, when the holder assembly 12 is in its proper display orientation with the front face 24 thereof facing forwardly, the adjacent hangers 10 and their associated eyeglasses 14 carried therewith will be separated from each other via the holder assembly 12 of the forward hanger 10. In other words, the large holder assembly 12 herein is effective to secure the eyeglasses 14 thereto such that with the eyeglasses 14 in their folded condition as will be described more fully hereinafter, the foot print thereof will not project or extend beyond the outer edges 16-22 of the holder 12. With this arrangement, engagement between adjacent displayed eyeglasses 14 will not be possible as in prior hangers where the eyeglasses are substantially exposed below the card member thereof increasing the chance for damage to the eyeglasses caused by contact therebetween.

[0030] For display of the eyeglass hanger 10, the holder assembly 12 is provided with an opening 26 adjacent the upper end 16 thereof. This opening 26 can take on many forms and configurations different from that shown and described herein. In the illustrated form, the opening 26 has a wide bottom portion 28 having a generally oblong configuration extending along the width of the holder 12 with a semi-circular extension 30 extending upwardly intermediate along the length of opening portion 28. Accordingly, the opening 26 is adapted to receive supports such as rod or rods 32 extending therethrough with the eyeglass hanger 10 supported thereby and hanging downwardly therefrom. As shown in FIG. 2, the opening 26 can receive a pair of horizontally aligned support rods 32 at either end of the oblong opening portion 28, or as shown in FIG. 3, it can receive a single support rod 32 aligned with the semi-circular extension 30 of the opening 26. Alternatively, the opening 26 can vary as mentioned as by having a pair of slots (not shown) cut into the holder assembly 12 from either side 20 and 22 thereof for receiving the pair of support rods 32.

[0031] The large holder assembly 12 is preferably of a clear, plastic material so as to allow an indicia receiving sheet member 34 of the holder assembly 12 to be visible during display of the eyeglasses 14. Because of the large size of the holder assembly 12, the sheet member 34 can also be of a relatively large size so as to allow a significant amount of information to be printed thereon relating to the eyeglasses. This point of sale advertising is particularly valuable in generating sales of the preferred magnifier eyeglasses herein as it allows the manufacturer to focus their potential purchasers attention on the advantages associated with purchase of the eyeglasses 14. As the displays 10 preferably carry magnifier eyeglasses 14, it is contemplated that they will be provided with lenses 36 and 38 of a particular diopter strength rating with each style of eyeglasses having a range of diopter ratings available for selection, e.g. from 1.25 to 3.0 in 0.25 increments. The large sheet 34 allows for a reading chart 40 to be printed thereon, such as on the back surface 42 thereof.

[0032] As best seen in FIG. 11, the reading chart 40 includes a column 44 of diopter ratings with each diopter rating having text of a particular size associated therewith so that for higher diopter ratings, the associated text is larger than for lower diopter ratings. Thus, if a person has trouble reading the text across from the diopter rating of, for example, 2.5 but can read the text for the diopter rating of 2.75, then they know to select eyeglasses 14 with lenses 36 and 38 having the 2.5 diopter rating. In practice, the reading chart 40 will have instructions thereon including the distance at which the person is to read the chart 40. As stated, starting with the largest text, and progressing upwards, the first line a person has trouble reading will have the lens strength to the right thereof that is the persons correct strength for the particular reading glasses 14 being displayed on the hanger 10.

[0033] Another advantage of the large eyeglass hanger package 10 herein is the ability to mount an eyeglass case 46 thereto for the eyeglasses 14. As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the case 46 can be carried in a compartment 48 of the holder assembly 12 so that it is visible to the consumer making their purchase decision. The compartment 48 is shown as being formed from the front member 50, although it should be also understood that it can be provided on the rear of the holder 12 and thus be formed from the back member 52, as well. When it is located on the front of the holder 12, this leaves the entire back surface 42 of the sheet 34 open for printed matter such as to receive the aforedescribed chart 40 thereon. Obviously, the case 46 provides another sales advantage over glasses that are displayed via the prior, small card-type hangers which require that the cases for their displayed glasses be sold separate from the eyeglasses as the small cards do not provide any place for the cases to be conveniently mounted.

[0034] Turning to more of the details, the eyeglass hanger 10 herein preferably has a bubble-pac construction including front and back plastic members 50 and 52 that can be attached together at their peripheries, as best seen in FIG. 4. As shown, each of the front and back members has a lowered, flanged foot portion 54 and 56, respectively, at their peripheries and a main raised flat pedestal portion 58 and 60 connected to the respective peripheral flanges 54 and 56 via vertical wall portions 62 and 64, respectively.

[0035] The vertical wall portion 62 of the front plastic member 50 can be slightly longer than the corresponding vertical wall portion 64 of the back plastic member 52 so that when they respective peripheral flanges 54 and 56 are engaged flush against each other, there is a small gap between the main pedestal portions 58 and 60 in which the sheet member 34 can be captured. As this gap extends across the entire extent of the pedestal portions 58 and 60 to their respective vertical wall portions 62 and 64, the sheet member 34 can be sized to the full extent of the pedestal portions 58 and 60, and thus can be substantially the same size as the holder assembly 12 less the peripheral flanges 54 and 56 thereof. By way of example and not limitation, the holder assembly 12 can have sides 20 and 22 sized at approximately 8 inches in length and ends 16 and 18 sized at approximately 5 inches in length, and the sheet member 34 can have a length of approximately 7.5 inches and a width of approximately 4.5 inches. As is apparent, the surface area of the present sheet member 34 is significantly larger than that of the card members of the prior hangers, thus allowing for significantly greater amounts of information to be printed thereon. Also, the information can be printed in larger type, which can be of significance to people shopping for glasses who are trying to read this information, perhaps without the glasses that they need to comfortably read.

[0036] As previously mentioned, the eyeglasses 14 can be of conventional construction including a pair of laterally spaced lenses 36 and 38 that can include vision enhancement or correction portions 66 and 68 of plastic or glass material that are configured to provide the viewing enhancement or magnification with a particular diopter strength rating for the glasses 14. Alternatively, these portions 66 and 68 can have a bifocal configuration so only their bottom half is used for reading. The glasses 14 can also include frames that have portions 70 and 72 extending about the glass/plastic lens portions 66 and 68, respectively, and which are interconnected by a nose bridge portion 74. Respective temple arms 76 and 78 are pivotally attached at the outer ends of the frame portions 70 and 72 so that they can be folded to extend lengthwise along the frame portions 70-74, as is known. These eyeglass frame portions 70-74, and the temple arms 76 and 78 can be formed from a variety of different materials, such as plastic or metal. Because the in eyeglasses 14 are generally formed from hard, durable materials as discussed above, it is possible that contact between adjacent pairs of eyeglasses 14 on display racks can cause damage, such as by marring the finish of the frame portions and/or scratching of the lens portions 66 and 68. However, with the present hanger 10, adjacent eyeglasses 14 mounted to the hanger 10 will be kept separated from each other via the large holder assembly 12, as previously described.

[0037] As best shown in FIG. 2, the eyeglass lenses 36 and 38 including the portions 66-74 together define a footprint for the glasses 14. As can be seen, when the glasses 14 are secured to the holder assembly 12 via eyeglass securing portion 80, this footprint for the eyeglasses 14 will not extend beyond the outer edges 16-22 of the holder assembly 12 so that no portions of the eyeglasses 14 can potentially contact an adjacent pair of eyeglasses 14 being displayed with the hanger 10 herein. Depending on the particular construction, ear-engaging ends 82 and 84 of the respective temple arms 76 and 78 may project beyond the lenses 36 and 38 when the eyeglasses are in their folded condition for display. Even so, the holder assembly 12 is of sufficient size so that even with this extended footprint as created by the projecting temple arm ends 82 and 84, there will be no portions of the eyeglasses 14 extending beyond the outer, perimeter edges 16-22 thereof. In any event, what is important is that the footprint defined by the laterally spaced lenses 36 and 38 does not extend beyond the periphery of the holder 12 so as to keep the lens portions 66 and 68 safe from being scratched or otherwise damaged by contact with adjacent hung eyeglasses 14.

[0038] Continuing reference to FIG. 4, the eyeglass securing portion 80 of the holder assembly 12 is preferably in the form of a standoff or raised portion 80 formed from the front member 50 of the holder assembly 12. In particular, the standoff portion 80 has upstanding walls 86 projecting generally at right angles to the flat pedestal portion 58 of the front member. As best seen in FIG. 5, the standoff portion 80 can have an elongate configuration extending along the length of the holder 12 such as adjacent side 20 thereof intermediate the holder ends 16 and 18. To this end, the upstanding walls 86 can include parallel long walls 88 and 90 and shorter transverse end walls 92 and 94 interconnecting the long walls 88 and 90. These walls 88-94 extend a predetermined distance, e.g. approximately 0.40 inch, from the front member main flat portion 58 to a raised wall 96 that extends parallel to the pedestal portion 50.

[0039] One of the temple arms 76 and 78 of the eyeglasses 14 is secured to the raised wall 96 via sets of apertures 98 and 100 and tie members 102 that are spaced along the length thereof. In this manner, the standoff portion 80 holds one of the temple arms 76 or 78 thereto with the other temple arm free so that the eyeglasses 14 can be pivoted from their folded, display condition to their open condition allowing a potential purchaser to sample the eyeglasses 14 while the hanger 10 is still attached, as shown in FIG. 6. During display, the support rods 32 will extend through the horizontally extending opening 26 with the eyeglasses 14 extending vertically along the length of the standoff 80.

[0040] To keep the eyeglasses 14 from shifting and being held in a predetermined position relative to the arm holding portion 80, one of the temple arms 76 or 78 has the tie members 102 wrapped therearound several times before the free ends 104 of the tie members 102 are inserted through respective apertures 98 and 100 in the raised wall 96. The free ends 104 are then twisted about each other to draw the temple arm 76 or 78 tightly against the raised wall 96 with the twisted ends 104 residing in the space 106 of the standoff portion 80 between the raised wall 96 and the underlying section of the sheet member 34 that extends between the upstanding walls 86 thereof. The tie members or wraps 102 can be nylon with PVC covering to provide a high friction twist tie therewith that cannot be pulled apart, and which instead needs to severed as with a cutting tool to release the eyeglasses 14 from the hanger 12 if the display package members 50 and 52 are not detached from each other.

[0041] To try on the eyeglasses 14, a user pivots the secured temple arm 70 or 78 about the associated one of the pivots 108 and 110 between the respective temple arms 76 and 78 and the lens frame portions 70 and 72, and then pivots the free or unsecured arm 76 or 78 so that the glasses 14 are in their open condition. Because of the spacing provided by the standoff raised wall 96, the user can sample the eyeglasses 14 with the holder assembly 12 now extending sideways along side their head with sufficient clearance therebetween for such sampling to occur. Further, as can be seen in FIG. 6, the eyeglass hanger 10 does not have any portion that obstructs the front facial area 112 of the potential purchaser when they are trying the eyeglasses on, thus providing them with a clear view of how the glasses 14 will look when worn, albeit with the hanger 10 extending along the side 114 of their head 116.

[0042] Referring next to FIG. 7, there it can be seen that the eyeglass case 46 can be a soft case that is folded over into a square configuration for being received in the substantially square shaped compartment 48. The compartment 48 includes four equal length upstanding walls 118, e.g. 2.5 inches in length, extending at substantial right angles to the flat pedestal portion 58 and a raised cover wall 120 that closes off the compartment 48. As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, the compartment 48 is disposed adjacent the corner of the holder assembly 12 at the juncture between the side edge 22 and the end edge 18 which is the lower edge of the holder assembly 12 when it is on display and hung on the supports 32 extending through opening 26 such that the case 48 is near one of the bottom corners of the hanger 10. In the areas underlying the case compartment 48 and the standoff 80, the sheet 34 would be free of printed material as they are not readily visible during display of the glasses 14 and case 46 still leaving a relatively large portion of the remainder of the front surface 81 of the sheet 34 to receive print thereon.

[0043] FIGS. 8-10 and 12 show variations of the present eyeglass hanger 10 modified for eyeglasses of more specialized construction than the eyeglasses 14. As can be seen in each, the holder assemblies 12 are of the same general large configuration and thus, provide the same benefits that the aforedescribed holder assembly 12 shown in FIGS. 1-6 provides in terms of protection to those eyeglasses that are exposed on the hanger 10 similar to glasses 14 as will be described hereinbelow, as a theft deterrent, and the enhanced ability to provide a potential purchaser a significant amount of information relating to the glasses that they carry via the large sheet member 34 used therewith. Accordingly, the following description of these hangers 10 will focus only on the differences as occasioned by the use with the different eyeglasses over the previously described eyeglasses 14.

[0044] In FIG. 8, the eyeglass hanger 10 is adapted to display a low-profile pair of eyeglasses 122 substantially the same in terms of construction and operation as that of conventional eyeglasses 14 except for the fact that the lenses 36 and 38 are substantially smaller or more narrow in terms of the distance between upper and lower portions 124 and 126 thereof. The lateral spacing between the outer ends of the lenses 36 and 38 is also slightly smaller, and the temple arms 128 and 130 are also slightly shorter and lack the curvature to their respective ends 132 so as to allow the folded low-profile eyeglasses 122 to fit in a much smaller, slimmer eyeglass case 136 therefor. In this regard, instead of the square compartment 48 which receives the larger folded soft eyeglass case 46 therein, the eyeglass case 136 is received in an elongate compartment 138 that extends adjacent to and along the length of the holder assembly side 22 opposite to the standoff portion 80 extending adjacent to and along the eyeglass holder side 20.

[0045] With both the eyeglasses 14 and 122, it is relatively important that the potential purchaser be able to try them on to see how they look when worn. With the eyeglasses 14, it is contemplated that the lenses 36 and 38, and particularly the lens portions 66 and 68 thereof may be tinted so as to protect the wearer's eyes when reading outdoors, such as to filter harmful UV radiation from reaching the eyes. As these glasses 14 are akin to sunglasses, it is apparent that the aesthetic look they provide to the wearer will be of particular importance in the purchasing decision. Similarly, the low profile eyeglasses 122 will also be purchased with an eye toward their fashionability. In addition, potential user's will want to know that when worn, they will be able to see through the relatively small, narrow lenses of the eyeglasses 122. Accordingly, both of these eyeglasses 14 and 122 are exposed for sampling by being secured to the standoff or arm holding portion 80 of the holder assembly 12 via one of the temple arms 76 or 78, or 128 or 130 thereof leaving the other temple arm free so as to allow the user to try them on, as previously described and depicted in FIG. 6 with respect to eyeglasses 14.

[0046] In contrast, for those eyeglasses that will not be worn or where the ability to let the potential purchasers try them on is not as important or is undesirable, the holder assembly 12 can incorporate a compartment for these eyeglasses so as to contain the eyeglasses therein. More specifically, FIG. 9 shows a reading card 140 as described in applicant's co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 09/797,398. This reading card 140 is preferably of a small rectangular shape akin to that of a credit card and has a pair of small, low-profile lenses 142 and 144 spaced laterally from each other and along one of the long sides of the card 140 and held in correspondingly shaped openings provided therein. Along the other long side of the card 140, an arcuate notch 146 is formed to allow a user to place the card member 140 with the notch 146 resting on their nose and the lenses 142 and 144 in front of their eyes for viewing therethrough.

[0047] As is apparent, the reading card 140, however, is not designed to be worn or be fashionable in any conventional sense, and thus does not need to be accessible to a potential purchaser for being sampled. Accordingly, the holder assembly 12 for the reading card 140 incorporates a low-profile rectangular compartment 148 in which the reading card 140 is contained. This compartment 148 preferably has a rectangular configuration generally matching that of the reading card 140 and is constructed from the front plastic member 50 in a manner similar to that of the previously described case compartments 48 and 138 with upstanding walls and a cover wall, which are not described in detail herein. As shown, the compartment 148 is disposed generally in a central region of the holder assembly 12, although it will be manifest that the compartment 148 could be placed in a wide variety of other positions on the holder assembly 12 without departing from the invention herein.

[0048] In FIG. 10, the hanger 10 is adapted for use with compact folding eyeglasses 150 which allow the lenses 36 and 38 thereof to be folded into an overlapping position with each other via an additional pivot 152 of nose bridge 154 extending between the lenses 36 and 38. To maintain the compact folded form for the eyeglasses 150, the temple arms 156 and 158 are reduced in size in terms of their length so as not to extend too far beyond the pivoted bridge portion 154 when the glasses 150 are folded. Thus, when pivoted to its open condition, the temple arms 156 and 158 will not extend to the users ears and instead are designed to tightly grip along the side of the users head.

[0049] Because of the greater number of pivots and the compact folding form of the eyeglasses 150, they are more likely to be damaged or broken if potential purchasers are allowed to continually unfold them for sampling. Accordingly, the holder assembly 12 includes a compartment 160 formed therefor which can have a rectangular configuration to substantially match that of the footprint of the eyeglasses 150 when pivoted to their compact folded form. A case 162 for the eyeglasses 150 can also be provided in compartment 164 of the holder assembly 12. The case 162 can also have a rectangular configuration, albeit slightly larger than the folded eyeglasses 150 so as to allow them to be fit therein. In this regard, the compartment 164 also can take on a rectangular configuration, albeit slightly larger than the rectangular eyeglass compartment 160. Both compartments 160 and 164 can be positioned as shown in FIG. 10 on the holder 12 with their lengths extending transverse to the length of the holder assembly 12 itself, although as will be appreciated the position of the respective compartments 160 and 164 can be widely varied from that shown herein.

[0050] Because of the somewhat unusual construction and operation of the eyeglasses 150, the large size of the sheet member 34 can be used advantageously to include printed instructions generally designated 166 thereon. These printed instructions 166 can include diagrams or pictorial representations of the different steps of how a user can pivot first the bridge 154 about the pivot 152 thereof, and then the temple arms 156 and 158 before sliding the compactly folded eyeglasses 150 into their case 162. Since the back plastic member 52 is clear like the front plastic member 50, and there preferably are no compartments or standoffs formed therewith, such as with the front plastic member 50, the entire back surface 42 of the sheet member 34 is available for printed matter, and serves as a good location for the instruction diagrams 166 described above, such as below the reading chart 40, as shown in FIG. 11.

[0051] The holder assembly 12 shown in FIG. 12 is adapted for use with eyeglasses 168 similar to those described in applicant's co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 09/772,022. These eyeglasses 168, like the reading card 140 are not designed to be worn and instead utilize a housing 170 that can function as a handle when the lenses 36 and 38 are pivoted to their open, use position where they are laterally spaced apart from each other and out from the housing 170. These lenses 36 and 38 of the eyeglasses 168 are mounted to arms 172 pivotally attached at one end 170a of the housing 170 so that they can be pivoted into the housing 170 and into overlapping relation to each other via opposing side openings 174 in the housing. When the lenses 36 and 38 are pivoted to their use position spaced laterally on either side of the housing 170 via detent actuator button 176 at housing end 170b, the eyeglasses 168 will have a general T-shaped configuration.

[0052] Accordingly, the holder assembly 12 can have a similarly T-shaped compartment 178 therefor so that when the eyeglasses 168 are displayed with the hanger 10, they will be displayed in their use position so that a purchaser can see the lenses 36 and 38 thereof. The eyeglasses 168 are small enough to allow a user to attach them to their key ring by way of a pendant 180 and ring 182 extending therethrough located at housing end 170b opposite the pivoted open lenses 36 and 38. The compartment 178 can be provided with a small lateral extension 184 in which the key ring 182 can be received. Also, similar to the eyeglasses 150, because of the unusual construction of the eyeglasses 168, printed instructions in the form of pictorial representations of how a user is to pivot the lenses 36 and 38 open and closed can be provided on the backside 42 of the sheet member 34, as shown in FIG. 13.

[0053] While there have been illustrated and described particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be appreciated that numerous changes and modifications will occur to those skilled in the art, and it is intended in the appended claims to cover all those changes and modifications which fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention.