Title:
Banner display device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A banner display device includes an elongated housing containing a gripper roller which is used to grip and retain the edge of a banner in the housing. The housing includes tapered front and rear walls defining a chamber for the roller which is open at its lower end. When an edge of the banner is inserted into the chamber via the lower opening, the gripper roller presses the banner edge against the rear surface of the front wall to suspend the banner from the device.



Inventors:
Macsenti, Ronald (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
09/919176
Publication Date:
02/06/2003
Filing Date:
07/31/2001
Assignee:
MACSENTI RONALD
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/317, 211/45
International Classes:
A47F5/08; A47F7/14; A47F7/16; G09F15/00; G09F17/00; (IPC1-7): A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070251895Shoe hangerNovember, 2007Griffin
20080283477Merchandise security systemNovember, 2008Wamsley et al.
20050269274Mountable document holderDecember, 2005Costa
20050218090Hair accessory organizer and storage unitOctober, 2005Sepanek
20090095696Shelf storage system with an input stationApril, 2009Lang et al.
20040007549Wire basket construction for storage rackJanuary, 2004Klein et al.
20030160013Hanger device, in particular a hanger device for hanging up various types of containers such as tubes, plastic bottles and similarAugust, 2003Tellefsen
20090258127Container Rack of a Food Warmer and Method of UseOctober, 2009Holtz
20080290057Railway Car Loading RackNovember, 2008Zupancich Sr. et al.
20050035074Wall mountable display racks, hangers, and associated display methodsFebruary, 2005Mcgarry
20070170138Tray fastening devices for modular shelvingJuly, 2007Huang



Primary Examiner:
NOVOSAD, JENNIFER ELEANORE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael W. Goltry (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A banner display device, comprising (a) an elongated housing having a top wall and tapered front and rear walls depending therefrom to define a chamber having an open bottom for receiving an edge of the banner to be displayed; and (b) an elongated gripper roller arranged in said chamber, said gripper roller pressing the banner edge against one of said front and rear walls to retain the edge in said chamber, whereby the banner is suspended from the device.

2. A banner display device as defined in claim 1, and further comprising locking means for pressing said gripper roller against said one wall to lock the banner within the device.

3. A banner display device as defined in claim 2, wherein said locking means comprises a screw which passes through said top wall and having a lower end which abuts against said gripper roller.

4. A banner display device as defined in claim 2, wherein said gripper roller has a cylindrical configuration and a plurality of spaced flutes on the outer surface thereof, said flutes extending longitudinally of said gripper roller and being formed of a pliable material to assist in retaining the banner against said one wall.

5. A banner display device as defined in claim 2, wherein said rear wall has an inward longitudinally extending ledge portion which supports said gripper roller.

6. A banner display device as defined in claim 5, wherein said rear wall has a concave inner surface beneath said ledge portion to direct the banner edge toward a rear surface of said front wall, whereby the edge is gripped between said gripper roller and said front wall.

7. A banner display device as defined in claim 6, wherein said front wall inner surface has a concave configuration.

8. A banner display device as defined in claim 7, wherein said top wall, front wall, and rear wall contain opposed spaced projections defining opposed channels, respectively.

9. A banner display device as defined in claim 2, wherein said top wall contains opposed spaced projections defining opposed channels.

10. A banner display device as defined in claim 9, and further comprising at least one suspension fixture removably connected with said top wall channels.

11. A banner display device as defined in claim 10, wherein said suspension fixture comprises a C-shaped extension.

12. A banner display device as defined in claim 11, and further comprising a suspension rod supported within a pair of said C-shaped suspension fixtures.

13. A banner display device as defined in claim 10, wherein said suspension fixture comprises a pivotal hook.

14. A banner display device as defined in claim 2, wherein said housing is formed of one of synthetic plastic material, extruded aluminum and stainless steel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Banners are displayed as works of art, as promotional items, and as signage. It is often difficult to maintain a flexible banner in a generally planar, suspended position so that the content thereon is readily visible. Moreover, depending on the size and weight of the banner, it is difficult to adequately suspend it, adjust it, and yet quickly and easily remove it when display is no longer desirable. The present invention relates to a simple, versatile banner display device which effectively suspends a banner and which affords easy removal therefrom.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0002] One of the earliest suspension mechanisms for banners utilizes a pocket at the upper edge of the banner with a pole or rod arranged in the pocket. The rod is supported by a pole or suspended from ropes or cords attached to protruding ends thereof. A major drawback of such a mechanism is the time and effort required to disconnect the pole from its support, remove it from the banner pocket, and reasssemble the banner at another location.

[0003] The patented prior art contains a number of suspension systems for sheet-like material. For example, the Drain U.S. Pat. No. 4,693,443, Herrmann U.S. Pat. No. 3,168,954 and Goodman U.S. Pat. No. 3,399,429 disclose display devices including a frame having a clamping member therein. While these devices operate satisfactorily for suspending relatively lightweight sheets and films, they have not proven suitable for heavier weight banners or other graphics which can be considerably large in size.

[0004] The present invention was developed in order to overcome these and other drawbacks of the prior devices by providing a display device which is capable of suspending banners of various size, weight, and thickness in such a manner that the banner is readily retained in the device for display but quickly and easily removed from the device when desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Accordingly, it is a primary object of the invention to provide a banner display device including an elongated housing having a top wall and tapered front and rear walls depending from the top wall to define a chamber having an open bottom for receiving an edge of a banner to be displayed. A gripper roller having a fluted outer surface is arranged in the chamber and preferably extends along the length thereof. The roller grips and presses the edge of the banner within the chamber against the rear surface of the front wall to retain the banner edge in the housing with the remaining portion of the banner being suspended from the device.

[0006] The weight of the roller and gravity are sufficient to deliver enough force on the banner edge to press it against the front wall to retain the banner without slippage. However, when it is desired to securely lock the banner edge within the housing, the gripper roller can be wedged against the banner. In addition, a locking screw can be provided through the top wall and operated to press against the gripper roller, thereby increasing the retaining force on the banner edge.

[0007] According to a more specific object of the invention, the rear wall inner surface includes a longitudinally extending ledge portion which supports the gripper roller. Beneath the ledge portion, the rear wall inner surface has a concave configuration and extends below the lower extremity of the front wall to guide the edge of the banner toward the rear surface of the front wall. The front wall rear surface also has a concave configuration so that the banner edge is directed between the outer surface of the roller and the inner surface of the front wall.

[0008] According to yet another object of the invention, opposed longitudinal channels are provided adjacent to the outer surfaces of the top, front and rear walls to define receptacles for receiving fixtures and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0009] Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a study of the following specification when viewed in the light of the accompanying drawing, in which:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of the housing of the banner display device of the invention;

[0011] FIGS. 2 and 3 are end and perspective views, respectively, of a gripper roller of the invention;

[0012] FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the banner display device of the invention including a locking screw;

[0013] FIGS. 5a and 5b are front and side views, respectively, of a wall mounting bracket for the banner display device of the invention;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a universal fixture for the banner display device of the invention;

[0015] FIGS. 7a and 7b are top and front views, respectively, of a hook fixture for the banner display device of the invention;

[0016] FIGS. 8a and 8b are top and front views, respectively, of a C-hook fixture for the banner display device of the invention;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a banner display device of the invention showing various suspension fixtures; and

[0018] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a cable suspension mounting assembly for a banner display device of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0019] Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the banner display device 2 according to the invention includes a housing 4 having a gripper roller 6 arranged therein.

[0020] The housing 4 is elongated and includes a top wall 8, a front wall 10, and a rear wall 12 with the front and rear walls depending downwardly from front and rear edges of the top wall. The housing can be molded as a unitary member from any suitable material but synthetic plastic material is preferred. Alternatively, the housing is coextruded with the top wall being formed of clear plastic material and the front and rear walls formed of opaque plastic material which may be the same or different from the material of the top wall. The front and rear walls preferably have a limited degree of flexure, with the top wall being more rigid, although it may also flex as well.

[0021] The front 10 and rear 12 walls preferably taper toward one another and define a chamber 14 within the housing and an opening 16 at the bottom of the chamber. The housing thus has a generally triangular cross section configuration. The rear wall 12 preferably extends below the lower edge of the front wall as shown in FIG. 1.

[0022] The gripper roller 6 is also elongated and preferably extends continuously through the chamber along the length thereof. The roller has a two-piece construction including an inner core 18 and an outer cover 20 containing a plurality of spaced flutes 22. The inner core is formed of a rigid synthetic plastic material and the outer cover is formed of a softer, pliable synthetic plastic material. The core and cover can be coextruded. Alternatively, if the core and cover are formed of the same material, they can be extruded as a single piece.

[0023] Referring once again to FIG. 1, the housing rear wall 12 includes a ledge 12a which extends inwardly into the chamber toward the lower extremity of the front wall 10. The ledge defines the opening 16 and also provides a seat for the gripper roller 6 to prevent the roller from leaving the chamber. There is no other connection between the gripping roller and the housing, and gravity causes the roller to rest on the ledge. Beneath the ledge, the inner surface 12b of the rear wall has a concave configuration. Similarly, the inner surface 10a of the front wall has a concave configuration.

[0024] A banner 24 to be displayed by the display device 2 is connected with the device by inserting the upper edge of the banner through the opening 16. The rear wall concave surface 12b guides the upper edge around the ledge portion 12a and against the concave portion 10a of the front wall so that the banner edge is between the gripper roller and the front wall. Owing to the gravitational force on the roller, the weight thereof, and the pliable flutes 22 on the roller surface, the upper portion of the banner adjacent to the upper edge is gripped or wedged between the roller and the rear surface of the front wall. The gravitational force is sufficient to retain most banners, and release of the banner from the housing is quick and easy. For some banners, merely pulling on the banner will remove the upper edge thereof from the housing. For more securely gripped banners, inversion of the housing will cause the roller to move toward the top wall to release the banner.

[0025] For some banners, a greater gripping force is required, either because of the weight of the banner or its material. Silk and sheer fabrics, as well as some coated substrates require more of a gripping force than is provided by gravity. Accordingly, the housing top wall 8 is provided with one or more openings 26 along the length thereof through which a finger, rod, or the like may be inserted to press against the gripping roller. Such pressure wedges the roller against the ledge and between the rear wall 12 and the front wall 10 to provide a greater gripping force on the banner 24. If the top wall 8 is formed of a transparent material, the operator can view the interior of the housing to ensure that the banner is properly gripped. The banner can be released by inverting the housing to unwedge the roller.

[0026] In FIG. 4 is shown an embodiment of the invention including a locking mechanism for holding a banner in the housing. As shown in both FIGS. 2 and 4, the front 10 and rear 12 walls have portions 10c, 12c which extend above the top wall. These portions each contain a channel 10d, 12d which are opposite each other. A plate 28 is arranged in the channels and has a threaded opening through which a screw 30 passes. The screw can be formed of any suitable material such as synthetic plastic and can be a manually operated thumbscrew or be slotted for operation by a screwdriver. The screw passes through an opening in the top wall, such as the opening 26, and engages the gripper roller 6. As the screw is tightened, it increases the wedging force on the roller. Because of the slight flexure of the front and rear walls, they separate slightly as the roller is driven down by the screw toward the ledge portion 12a to lock the banner edge portion (not shown in FIG. 4) within the housing. Other locking devices such as an overcenter clamp or plunger arrangement can be used in place of the screw.

[0027] The display device with the locking mechanism as shown in FIG. 4 may also be used to retain the lower edge of the banner. By inverting the housing, the banner lower edge is inserted therein in the same manner as the banner upper edge as described above. With the screws tightened, the housing is clamped on the banner lower edge. This will assist in keeping a banner from furling or twisting, particularly where a separate display device is retaining the banner upper edge.

[0028] The locking mechanism of FIG. 4 prevents inadvertent release or slipping of the banner which may occur during installation, in windy conditions, or when the banner is contacted by another object.

[0029] The front and rear walls 10, 12 also include vertical opposed channels along the length thereof. The front wall includes upper channel 10e and lower channel 10f while the rear wall contains upper channel 12e and lower channel 12f. The channels 10e and 10f in the front wall 10 can receive graphic strips or other identification that complements the graphic sheet design or message on the banner being displayed.

[0030] If desired, the banner display device of the invention can be mounted on a surface such as a wall. In FIGS. 5a and 5b is shown a mounting bracket 32 for mounting the device on a wall. The mounting bracket includes openings 34 for receiving fasteners such as screws to attach the bracket to the wall. The bracket also includes upper and lower flanges 36 which are adapted to fit into the channels 12e and 12f of the rear wall of the housing, whereby the housing is mounted on the wall.

[0031] Various fixtures can be attached to the housing via the channels 10d and 12d above the top wall 8. In FIG. 6 is shown a universal fixture base 38 which is adapted to fit within the channels 10d and 12d as will be developed below. As shown in FIGS. 7a and 7b a hook 40 fits in an opening in the base 38 and pivots with respect thereto. The base 38 has opposed flanges 42 which are adapted to fit and be retained within the channels 10d and 12d. More particularly, the base 38 is arranged between the front and rear wall upper portions 10c and 12c with the flanges extending longitudinally. Rotating or twisting the base 90° (i.e. a quarter turn), causes the flanges to enter and be retained in the channels in a twist-and-lock manner. Rotation in the other direction enables the base to be removed from the housing. Once the base is connected with the housing, the hook 40 is pivoted upwardly and provides a mechanism to suspend the housing (and an associated banner) from a ceiling, cables, ropes, or the like. The hook 40 is oversize and protrudes over the front of the channel. In addition, depending on where the base is positioned along the top of the device, a hook can protrude over the end of the channel. This provides visibility of the hook portion to facilitate passing the hook through a cable loop for suspending the display device.

[0032] FIGS. 8a and 8b show another type of fixture for mounting in the channels above the top of the housing. This fixture includes a C-shaped hook 44 which is rigidly connected with a base 46 having flanges 48 which allow the fixture to be connected with the housing in the same twist and lock manner.

[0033] The versatility in hanging the banner display device according to the invention is shown in FIG. 9. The device 2 includes pivotal hooks 38 at either end which are connected with cables 50 suspended from a ceiling. A pair of C-hooks 44 are also connected with the display device and an adapter rod 52 is connected therebetween. The openings between the ends of the hooks are large enough to accept the rod but small enough to retain the rod within the hooks. The rod includes end caps 52a to prevent the assembly from sliding off the end of the rod. A pole 54 is detachably connected with the adapter rod 52 to raise the display device to place the hooks 38 through loops on the cables or to remove the hooks 38 from the loops when the banner display is to be taken down. This eliminates the need for a ladder or the need to climb a structure to mount or remove the banner display.

[0034] An alternate mounting assembly is shown in FIG. 10. There, a pair of cables 56 pass around pulleys 58 connected with the ceiling or beam in a room. One end of each cable is connected with a bar 60, and the other end of each cable is connected with the rod 52 from which the banner assembly is suspended. By raising or lowering the bar 60, either by hand or via a pole, the banner assembly is lowered or raised respectively.

[0035] While the preferred forms and embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes and modifications may be made without deviating from the inventive concepts set forth above.