Title:
Personal paper holder and method of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A compact periodical holder that can be removeably mounted to a vehicle steering wheel. The periodical holder has a shelf on which the periodical rests. The periodical is held upright on the shelf by the steering wheel. The periodical holder is adjustable. It can unfold or can be telescoping. This allows it to be compact and portable.



Inventors:
Wesolek, James (Franklin Park, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/796876
Publication Date:
09/08/2005
Filing Date:
03/08/2004
Assignee:
WESOLEK JAMES
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B23/00; (IPC1-7): A47B23/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAWK, NOAH CHANDLER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ORUM & ROTH (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A periodical holder for a vehicle comprising: a shelf and at least one attachment device for removeably attaching the shelf to a steering wheel of the vehicle.

2. The periodical holder of claim 1 wherein the shelf comprises at least two shelf segments.

3. The periodical holder of claim 2 wherein the shelf segments telescope and there are a plurality of stops on the shelf segments.

4. The periodical holder of claim 1, further comprising a channel in the shelf.

5. The periodical holder of claim 2 further comprising at least one hinge, said at least one hinge hingedly connecting two shelf segments, said segments folding for compact storage.

6. The periodical holder of claim 2 further comprising at least one attachment device for rotably attaching said at least two segments.

7. The periodical holder of claim 2 wherein the shelf is made from a material selected from the group consisting of plastic, wood metal, fiberglass and combinations thereof.

8. The periodical holder of claim 2 wherein the at least one attachment device is selected from the group consisting of: a clamp, a clip, a hook and loop strap, cable, an elastomeric material, and combinations thereof.

9. The periodical holder of claim 8 further comprising at least one passage in the shelf for the attachment device to pass.

10. The periodical holder of claim 6 wherein the at least one attachment device is selected from the group consisting of: a clamp, a clip, a hook and loop strap, a cable, an elastomeric strap, and combinations thereof.

11. The periodical holder of claim 6 further comprising at least one passage in the shelf for the attachment device to pass.

12. The periodical holder of claim 1 wherein the shelf has an adjustable length.

13. The periodical holder of claim 11 further comprising at least two passages and at least two attachment devices, wherein a first passage is located at a first end side of the shelf and a second passage is located at a second end side of the shelf and said attachment devices are selected form the group consisting of a hook and loop strap and an elasticomeric strap.

14. The periodical holder of claim 13 further comprising a first pair of passages at a first end side of the shelf and a second pair of passages at a second end side of the shelf.

15. The periodical holder of claim 10 wherein the shelf has a contour and the contour is selected from the group consisting of contoured to mate with the shape of the steering wheel, curved, L-shaped, U-shaped and combinations thereof.

16. The periodical holder of claim 10 further comprising at least one accessory mounted on said shelf.

17. The periodical holder of claim 16 further comprising an aperature and at least one accessory, said at least one accessory having a projecting member that mates with said aperature to mount said accessory to said shelf.

18. A method of reading in a vehicle comprising the steps of: attaching the periodical holder of claim 10 to the steering wheel of the vehicle, placing reading material on the shelf, and leaning the reading material against the steering wheel.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the steps of passing an attachment device through a passage in the shelf, wrapping the attachment device around the steering wheel, and securing the shelf to the steering wheel.

20. The method of claim 19 further comprising the step of expanding the shelf before attaching the shelf to the steering wheel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to reading accessories. More particularly, it relates to a compact periodical holder that can be removeably mounted on a vehicle steering wheel.

2. Summary of the Related Art

In the past, to read the paper or a magazine in a car, one would hold the magazine in one's lap, hold it up or try to prop it on the steering wheel.

There are many occasions when a driver wants to read a magazine or newspaper in the car. For example, when a driver is waiting to pick someone up, they may read. A driver traveling salesman, or other worker who spends a lot of time traveling between jobs may want to read when on a break. A commuter on a car ferry or waiting for a train or bridge may want to read.

None of these prior art solutions adequately solves the problem of how to read in the car. Because the steering wheel is on the driver's side, it is uncomfortable and awkward to hold the book, magazine, newspaper, or other reading material on one's lap. To hold the reading material up is fatiguing on the arm.

Finally, to attempt to prop the reading material against the steering wheel does not work well since the reading material slides down and can buckle and fold.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a compact, lightweight transportable periodical holder for use in a vehicle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a periodical holder for use in a vehicle. The preferred holder attaches to the lower third of the steering wheel of a vehicle. The holder is a telescoping or folding shelf. The base serves as a ledge on which the reading material rests. The reading material can then be propped against the steering wheel for easy readability. The reader's arms are not fatigued and the steering wheel assists in holding the reading material rather than being an obstruction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the detailed description and upon reference to the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of one embodiment of the present invention in use.

FIG. 2A is a front elevation view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2B is a cross sectional view along line B-B of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2C is a top view of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A is a front elevation view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B is a cross sectional view along line B-B of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a front view of the embodiment of FIG. 3 in use.

FIG. 8A-8F are cross sectional views of alternative embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 9A is a first longitudinal sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 3.

FIG. 9B is an alternative longitudinal sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 3.

FIG. 10A-10B is an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 8C untelescoped.

FIG. 12A-C is an alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 13A-C is an alternative embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 14 is a longitudinal cross section of an alternative embodiment of FIG. 3.

FIG. 15A-F are cross sections of the periodical holder showing various attachment apperatures and devices.

FIG. 16 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of the shelf.

FIG. 17 is a clipboard for attachment to the shelf of FIG. 15.

FIG. 18 is a lamp for attachment to the shelf of FIG. 16.

While the invention will be described in connection with the preferred embodiment, it is understood that it is not intended to limit the invention. The invention is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a compact, lightweight, transportable periodical holder.

On occasion drivers have a need to read in the car. The driver may be waiting to pick someone or something up. The driver may spend a lot of time in the car commuting and want to read, for example as they are transported by ferry. The driver may spend his or her day traveling between jobs and as a result take his or her breaks in the vehicle. In each of these cases, as well as many others, the driver may want to read in the car while he is stopped.

People who read regularly in their cars find the drivers seat is not well suited for reading the paper or other periodical, such as a magazine. It is cramped, the steering wheel is in the way, and the periodical must be held in ones hand, limiting the ability to do other tasks. Other tasks might include eating, drinking, writing a note, talking on a cell phone and putting on make up.

Turning now to FIG. 1 a first embodiment of the periodical holder 100 is shown. The periodical holder 100 is a shelf 2 that is removeably mounted on a steering wheel 6 of a vehicle (not shown). A periodical 8 is placed on the shelf 2 leaving the driver's (not shown) hands free.

Steering wheels 6 are not all the same size. Further, drivers often drive more than one vehicle. Preferably, the periodical holder 100 is compact, lightweight and adjustable.

In the preferred embodiment, the periodical holder 10 telescopes allowing it to be used with a variety of steering wheels. Further, this allows the periodical holder to be compact and easily transportable.

Turning now to FIGS. 2A-B, one method of attaching the periodical holder 100 to the steering wheel 6 is shown. Shelf 2 may have one or more hooks 12 that hook on to the top lower edge 6a of the steering wheel 6. The hooks preferably are somewhat elastic to adjust for various steering wheels. Alternatively, the hooks 12 may be formed of rigid material. A rigid hook preferably has a flexible and/or stretchable connection to the shelf 2 to provide for adjustments.

FIG. 2B is a cross section along line B-B of FIG. 2A. The shelf 2 has a channel 28 to keep the periodical 8 in place. A periodical 8 set on the shelf leans against the steering wheel and remains upright.

Preferably, the shelf is wide enough to allow the periodical to lean against the steering wheel, but not so wide as to contact the driver. The periodical holder 100 of FIG. 2A is depicted in top view of FIG. 2C.

The periodical holder 100 of FIGS. 3 and 7 shows a telescoping shelf and the preferred hook and loop attachment device. The shelf 2 has at least two shelf segments 4. The shelf segments 4 nests within one another. Shelf segments 4 nest inside one another. The periodical holder 100 is attached to the steering wheel 6 by at least one and preferably two hook and loop ribbons 10. The ribbons 10 are preferably threaded through at least one passage 22 in the shelf 2. The ribbons are wrapped around the steering wheel. Alternatively, the attachment could wrap all the way around the shelf 2 as shown in FIG. 5. This is not preferred as it limits the size of the periodical 8 that can be placed on the holder 100.

Turning now to FIGS. 4A and 4B an alternative attachment device is shown. The attachment device 11 is an open sleeve 18 that snaps securely on to the steering wheel 6. Alternatively, a clamp (not shown) or other attachment device could be used.

Turning to FIG. 6 an alternative embodiment of the periodical holder 100 is shown. The shelf 2 is attached at an angle to the steering wheel 6. The periodical 8 rests in the space between the steering wheel 6 and the shelf 2.

Turning now to FIGS. 8A-F, cross sectional views several embodiments of the shelf 2 are shown. The shelf 2 has a base 20. The shelf optionally has a back 24. The back and/or edge of the base may have a contour 25 as seen in FIG. 14C.

The back 24 may be slanted as shown in FIG. 8E to help keep the periodical 8 leaning against the steering wheel. To help keep the periodical 8 in place it is preferable if the shelf 2 has a channel 28 or a lip 26. The channel can have many different profiles. For example, the channel could be v-shaped, curved, or u-shaped, or it could have a flat or angled sides, a flat bottom. Examples of profiles can be seen in FIGS. 8B and 8F. Alternatively, a curved shelf 30 can be used to help keep the periodical 8 in place.

The shelf 2 is preferably constructed of an inexpensive lightweight material such as plastic. Alternatively, it can be made with different materials such as metal, wood, fiberglass or a combination of materials.

Turning now to FIGS. 9A-9B, a telescoping shelf 2 is shown. In FIG. 9A-9B, the shelf 2 telescopes from both ends. The shelf 2 has five shelf segments 4, although it could have a larger or smaller number of segments 4. FIG. 10A-B shows a shelf that telescopes from one end and has three segments 4. The segments preferably have stops that prevent the segments 4 from coming apart. The stops also allow for adjustment of the length of the shelf 2.

The stops can be constructed by any known method. Preferably, the stop 40 is integral with the segments 4. For example, a tooth 42 could mate with an indentation 42 in the barrel of the segment 4 or a knob 46 could mate with a recesses 47. Alternatively, the stop could be separate from the segments 4. There could be aperatures in the segments and/or a key 49 could be inserted in the aperatures to keep two segments connected.

FIG. 11 is a cross section of a collapsed telescoping shelf 2.

FIGS. 12A-C show an alternative embodiment of the inventive shelf 2. The segments 4 are pivotably connected, such as by a pin 52. The segments 4 unfold to form the shelf 2. The shelf 4 can be maintained in folded position. Preferably, the hook and loop closure 10 is wrapped around the folded segments 4 while folded.

FIGS. 13A-C show an alternative embodiment of the inventive shelf 2. The shelf has two or more hinged segments 4. The hinge 50 allows the segments to be folded. Preferably, the hinges 50 provide stability when the shelf 2 is open. Alternatively, a strap (not shown) or other mechanism can be used to provide stability in the open position.

FIG. 14 is an alternative embodiment of the present invention. The shelf 2 both folds and telescopes to allow it to fold into an extremely compact form for easy transporting between vehicles. Also, this would allow the shelf to be stored in a glove box without taking up much space.

FIGS. 15A-F show cross section views of the shelf 2 with some exemplary passages 22 in the shelf for connecting the shelf to the steering wheel 6. The shelf preferably has at least two passages 22, each one closer to an end of the shelf 1 than the middle of the shelf 2. The hook 12, hook and loop ribbon 10, an elastic 11 or other attachment, including but not limited to string, robe, a belt, and tape can be threaded through the passage 22 and wrapped around the steering wheel 6.

In another embodiment, patches of hook and/or loop material are placed on the shelf. Hook and loop ribbons are wrapped around the steering wheel at any desired position. The shelf is then secured to the steering wheel by the hook and/or loop patches and the hook and loop ribbon. In another embodiment a snap or other mechanical attachment device is on the shelf. A strap, or pair of straps, with a mating piece is secured to the steering wheel. The shelf is attached to the steering wheel by snapping the snaps.

More preferably, the shelf 2 has a pair of passages 22 close to each end of the shelf 2. The hook and loop ribbon 10, the elastic 11 or other attachment device are threaded through the pair of passages, to provide a more secure connection to the steering wheel 6. The elastic may have a button and a slot through which the button passes. The elastic 11 provides enough give to allow the shelf to be secured to a variety of steering wheels. The elastic 11 may be any suitable elastic, rubber, or other stretchable material.

Turning now to FIGS. 16, 17 and 18, the shelf 2 may have an accessory slot 102 for attaching a variety of accessories such a clipboard 104, light 106, clock or timer. Preferably, the accessory has a support 108 that mates with the slot 102. Alternatively, the light 106 or other accessory could be clamped to the shelf 2. The shelf 2 could have a indentation (not shown) for a coffee cup or other drink.