Title:
Life event memorializing system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method for creating a graphical representation of the major life events that occur in a person's life or within a predetermined period of time. The graphical representation is created using a jigsaw puzzle. The jigsaw puzzle has corner pieces and a plurality of border puzzle pieces that interconnect corner puzzle pieces and form the peripheral frame of the puzzle. A plurality of central puzzle pieces are provided that are connected to the puzzle within the limits of the peripheral frame. At least some of the central puzzle pieces depict different common life events. The puzzle pieces are joined together and the central puzzle pieces are added to the puzzle only after the life event depicted on the various central puzzle pieces occur. This creates a life puzzle of a person's life story.



Inventors:
Smith, Dorothea R. (Glenolden, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/700425
Publication Date:
05/05/2005
Filing Date:
11/05/2003
Assignee:
SMITH DOROTHEA R.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/10; A63F3/04; (IPC1-7): A63F9/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAMORTE & ASSOCIATES P.C. (YARDLEY, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A method of creating a graphical depiction of a person's life, comprising the steps of: providing a first plurality of puzzle pieces that represent different major life events, including birthday, graduation day and wedding day that may, or may not, occur in a person's life; and joining puzzle pieces together that correspond to events that have actually occurred in a person's life to create a puzzle assembly that is a graphical depiction of life events of that person.

2. The method according to claim 1, further including the step of providing a second plurality of puzzle pieces that correspond to life principles.

3. The method according to claim 2, further including the step of creating a puzzle framework with said second plurality of puzzle pieces.

4. The method according to claim 3, wherein said puzzle assembly of said first plurality of puzzle pieces is assembled within said puzzle framework of said second plurality of puzzle pieces.

5. (canceled)

6. The method according to claim 1, wherein said first plurality of puzzle pieces are identical in configuration.

7. The method according to claim 1, wherein at least some of said first plurality of puzzle pieces have blank spaces upon which dates of said major life events can be recorded.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein said second plurality of puzzle pieces depict different virtues and life principles.

9. (canceled)

10. (canceled)

11. A method of assembling a jigsaw puzzle; providing a puzzle framework that defines an interior; providing a plurality of puzzle pieces that correspond to different commonly occurring life events, including birthday, graduation day and wedding day, that may or may not occur in a person's life; connecting a puzzle piece from said plurality of puzzle pieces to said puzzle framework that corresponds to a life event that has occurred.

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein said step of providing a puzzle framework includes providing and assembling puzzle framework pieces into said puzzle framework.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein said puzzle framework pieces contains an indication of a life principle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

In general, the present invention relates to graphic display systems for displaying various life events that have occurred in a person's life. More particularly, the present invention relates to systems where separate mementos are obtained for different life events and the mementos are displayed in an organized fashion.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Many people collect pictures and other mementos from various important moments in their lives. Often these mementos are kept in scrapbooks or picture albums of a particular theme. For instance, many people save their wedding pictures in a wedding album. Many parents have scrapbook albums dedicated to each of their children, where they save pictures and artwork from their children. However, each of these scrapbook albums or picture albums only contains a small part of the owner's life. Rarely does a person maintain a single scrapbook album or picture album that chronologically arranges the entire life of that person including all the important events that have occurred in that person's life.

There are many metaphors for life. One such metaphor is that life is like a puzzle where each event and each person in our lives interconnect to complete the canvas of our lives. The present invention is a system and method for embodying this life metaphor in the form of a graphical display.

There are many types of graphical displays that are also puzzles. In the generic sense, every jigsaw puzzle of a picture or painting is a graphical display. However, in such prior art puzzles, the end result of the puzzle is known. The puzzle, when completed, will look like the picture on the puzzle box. However, when metaphorically applied to life, the end result of life's puzzle is unknown and cannot be ascertained by looking at a box. Rather, with each new day and each new life event, life's puzzle grows and changes.

In the prior art there are puzzle pieces that can be used to represent life's events in a graphical form. U.S. Pat. No. 5,588,240 to Zilliox, entitled Interlocking Picture Frame shows picture frames that can be interlocked like puzzle pieces. However, any picture can be placed into the picture frames. Furthermore, the frames randomly fit together and have no framework limits. The frames are at least as large as standard photograph. As such, in order to provide an assembly of frames that represents all of the major events in a person's life, a very large number of frames would have to be interconnected in a disorderly display. Picture frames are, therefore, poorly suited for creating a graphical representation of a person's life.

A need therefore exists for a system where the major events of person's life can be graphically displayed in an organized system that has many parts, yet can be assembled within a conveniently confined space. This need is met by the present invention as described and claimed below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a system and method for creating a graphical representation of the major life events that occur in a person's life or within a predetermined period of time. The graphical representation is created using a jigsaw puzzle. The jigsaw puzzle has corner pieces and a plurality of border puzzle pieces that interconnect corner puzzle pieces and form the peripheral frame of the puzzle. A plurality of central puzzle pieces are provided that are connected to the puzzle within the limits of the peripheral frame. At least some of the central puzzle pieces depict different common life events.

The puzzle pieces are joined together and the central puzzle pieces are added to the puzzle only after the life event depicted on the various central puzzle pieces occur. This creates a puzzle assembly that is a graphical depiction of life events for that person.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following description of exemplary embodiments thereof, considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention assembly;

FIG. 2 is an exemplary embodiment of a life puzzle in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is an exemplary embodiment of a specialty puzzle piece assembly that can be added to the present invention system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Although the present invention system can be used to graphically represent any event or period of events in a person's life, such as a person's high school years or college years, the present invention system is particularly well suited in graphically representing the entire life of an individual. Accordingly, by way of example, the present invention system is being illustrated as representing the major life events of a person's entire life in order to set forth the best mode contemplated for the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, it can be seen that the present invention system 10 is a type of jigsaw puzzle. For the purposes of this description, the jigsaw puzzle, when completed, is referred to as a “life puzzle”. The life puzzle is sold as a set of puzzle pieces in a puzzle box 12. Extra puzzle pieces can be separately purchased and added to the life puzzle as will later be explained.

The puzzle pieces of the life puzzle come in three types. The puzzle piece types include corner pieces 14, border pieces 16 and central pieces 18. On most all of the puzzle pieces there is printed a text and/or graphics identifying a life event or a guiding principle. All of the initial puzzle pieces of the life puzzle are provided in a puzzle box 12.

The purpose of the present invention system 10 is to provide a graphical representation of the major events in a person's life. Using the corner puzzle pieces 14 and the border puzzle pieces 16, a puzzle framework is created in which a plurality of central puzzle pieces 18 can be added. As will be later explained, the central puzzle pieces 18 identify different events in life. As such, when a certain major life event occurs, the central puzzle piece 18 corresponding to that event can be added to the life puzzle. By the end of a person's life, a large puzzle display can be had, where most of the puzzle pieces provided are used. The life puzzle will then graphically and chronologically arrange all of the major events that have occurred in that person's life.

Referring to FIG. 2, it can be seen that four corner pieces 14 are provided. Each of the four corner pieces 14 are identical in dimension to the others. Each of the corner pieces 14 has two flat edges 19 that identify the piece as a corner piece 14. Four corner pieces 14 are provided in the initial life puzzle 20. On each of the corner pieces 14 is printed text or an indicia that identifies a particular virtue or guiding life principle, such as love, patience, wisdom and the like. Since these virtues or life principles are part of every person's life, any person assembling the life puzzle 20 will instantly qualify to use the corner pieces 14.

In the shown embodiment, there are two different configurations 21, 22 for the border pieces 16. However, the use of two configurations 21, 22 of border pieces 16 is merely exemplary and it should be understood that one configuration or any number of configurations for the border pieces 16 can be provided.

Each border piece 21, 22 has one flat edge 24 that defines the puzzle piece as a border piece 16. The two configurations 21, 22 of border pieces 16 shown alternately interconnect to form a peripheral edge for the frame 26 of the life puzzle 20. Any even number of border pieces 16 will alternately interconnect and will form an edge of the life puzzle 20 that can join to the corner pieces.

The border pieces 16 represent the framework of a person's life and therefore contain graphics and/or text that identifies the various virtues and guiding life principles that frame our lives. Such virtues and guiding life principles may include self-esteem, goals, passion, education and the like.

The corner pieces 14 and the border pieces 16 interconnect to create the peripheral frame 26 of the life puzzle 20. Four corner pieces 14 and at least six border pieces 16 are needed to complete the periphery of a full frame 26. However, every time four new border pieces 16 are added to the life puzzle, the size of the peripheral frame 26 can be increased in length and/or width.

The central pieces 18 are all identical in dimension. As such, any central piece 18 can be placed anywhere within the frame 26 of the life puzzle 20 depending upon the preferences of the person assembling the life puzzle 20.

The central pieces 18 contain graphics and/or text identifying life events. Many of the central pieces 18 have blank areas 28 where specific dates and names can be entered. The life events depicted on the central pieces 18 are common life events, such as birthday, first kiss, date of engagement, wedding day, high school graduation and the like. These events are only exemplary and it should be understood that many puzzle pieces corresponding to many of life's milestones can be used. Not all users will use all the puzzle pieces that are provided and some people will need special pieces that are not provided in the original life puzzle 20.

On all pieces, there can be lines provided on the backside of the puzzle pieces. The lines enable a person to write on the back of the puzzle pieces and secondary thoughts, reflections or facts they associate with the life event or virtue exemplified by the puzzle piece.

In the original life puzzle box 12 (FIG. 1), blank central pieces can be provided that can be customized by a user. For instance, if a person becomes a doctor and passes a state board exam, that person may want to chronologically arrange this event with a customized puzzle piece.

Another way to customize the life puzzle is to purchase a package of special event puzzle pieces. Such a package of special event puzzle pieces is shown in FIG. 3. The illustrated package of special event puzzle pieces 30 contains life events specific to a doctor and would be purchased by a doctor. The package of special event puzzle 30 pieces would include life events that would only pertain to a doctor. For instance, applying to medical school, graduating medical school, finishing internship, obtaining a residency, passing state boards, seeing first patient and the like. The package of special event puzzle pieces 30 includes central puzzle pieces 18 but may also contain border puzzle 16 pieces so that the peripheral frame of the life puzzle can be expanded to make room for all the new special event puzzle pieces 30.

Special event puzzle pieces can be made for many different vocations and situations. For instance, special event puzzle pieces can be made for clergymen, firefighters, lawyers, and most all other specialized professions.

Individual puzzle pieces can also be sold. For instance, special puzzle pieces can be sold at tourist destinations. For example, in Hawaii a special puzzle piece can be bought that says, “visited Hawaii” or show some graphic relating to Hawaii.

It will be understood that the embodiments of the present invention that are described and illustrated herein are merely exemplary and a person skilled in the art can make many variations to the embodiment shown without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, the shape of the various puzzle pieces can be changed in many different ways. What is important is that the puzzle pieces interconnect to create a life puzzle. The configuration of how the puzzle pieces interconnect is not important. Furthermore, the images, text and other layout of the various puzzle pieces can also be changed provided the puzzle pieces provide for life's events within a puzzle framework. All such variations, modifications and alternate embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.