Title:
Portable holder for hand-held appliances
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable holder for use with hand-held appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, straightening combs and the like. The holder can be removably mounted to wall and medicine cabinet mirrors to allow the user to style their hair using the appliance while looking into a mirror. The holder includes two support members, wherein each support member has an upper hook, lower hook and an intermediate portion. The upper hooks are adapted so that the holder can hang from mirrors and the lower hooks are adapted to support hand-held appliances. The holder also includes at least one connecting member that attaches to both the first and second support members. One holder embodiment includes two adjustable connecting members that allow the holder's width to be reduced and conveniently stowed away. The holder may be manufactured using a metal alloy, synthetic material or wood.



Inventors:
Fertil, Bertha (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/244258
Publication Date:
04/05/2007
Filing Date:
10/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RAMIREZ, RAMON O
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNIGHT LAW SERVICES (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A holder for hand-held appliances comprising: a first support member and a second support member, wherein each support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects said upper hook member to said lower hook member, said upper hook members are adapted to be removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror and said lower hook members are adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance, said upper hook members are disposed in the downward position and said lower hook members are disposed in the upward position and said upper and lower hook members are invertedly disposed relative to each other; and a connecting member is coupled to said first support member and said second support member at each said lower hook member.

2. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said connecting member is adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance.

3. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said upper hook member includes a straight hooking portion.

4. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said upper hook member includes a straight hooking portion with a T-shaped end.

5. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said upper hook member includes a curved hooking portion.

6. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said lower hook member includes a curved end.

7. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said connecting member is coupled to said first support member and said second support member at said curved end of said lower hook member of each said support member.

8. The holder as recited in claim 1, wherein said first support member and said second support member are spaced 6 inches apart.

9. A holder for hand-held appliances comprising: a first support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects said upper hook member to said lower hook member; a second support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects said upper hook member to said lower hook member; a first connecting member is coupled to said first and second support members at said lower hook members, wherein said first connecting member further comprises at least two first interconnecting parts that slide in opposing directions so that the width of said first connecting member is adjustable; a motion limiter that restricts the sliding movement of said first interconnecting parts to a predetermined range; said upper hook members are adapted to be removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror and disposed in the downward position; said lower hook members are adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance and said lower hook members are disposed in the upward position; and said upper and lower hook members are invertedly disposed relative to each other.

10. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said first interconnecting parts further comprises a flange that controls the sliding movement of said parts.

11. The holder as recited in claim 9, further comprising a second connecting member that is coupled to said first and second support members at said intermediate portion of each said support member.

12. The holder as recited in claim 11, wherein said second connecting member further comprises at least two second interconnecting parts that slide in opposing directions so that the width of said second connecting member is adjustable.

13. The holder as recited in claim 12, wherein said second interconnecting parts further comprises a flange that controls the sliding movement of said parts.

14. The holder as recited in claim 12, wherein said second interconnecting parts further comprises a motion limiter that restricts the sliding movement of said second interconnecting parts to a predetermined range.

15. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said upper hook member includes a straight hooking portion.

16. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said upper hook member includes a straight hooking portion with a T-shaped end.

17. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said upper hook member includes a curved hooking portion.

18. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said lower hook member includes a curved end.

19. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said first connecting member is coupled to said first and second support members at said curved end of said lower hook member of each said support member.

20. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said first connecting member is adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance.

21. The holder as recited in claim 9, wherein said first support member and said second support member are spaced 6 inches apart.

22. A holder for hand-held appliances comprising: a first support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects said upper hook member to said lower hook member; a second support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects said upper hook member to said lower hook member; said upper hook members are adapted to be removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror and said lower hook members are adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance; said upper hook members are disposed in the downward position and said lower hook members are disposed in the upward position and wherein said upper and lower hook members are invertedly disposed relative to each other; a first connecting member is coupled to said first support member and said second support member at each said lower hook member, wherein said first connecting member is adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance and wherein said first connecting member having two first interconnecting parts that slide into and out from each other so that the width between said first support member and said second support member is adjustable; a second connecting member is coupled to said first support member and said second support member at said intermediate portion of each said support member and wherein said second connecting member having at least two second interconnecting parts that slide into and out from each other so that the width between said first support member and said second support member is adjustable; and wherein each said first and second interconnecting parts include a guide mechanism that controls the sliding movement of said first and second interconnecting parts.

23. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said upper hook member includes a straight hooking portion.

24. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said upper hook member includes a straight hooking portion with a T-shaped end.

25. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said upper hook member includes a curved hooking portion.

26. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said lower hook member includes a curved end.

27. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said first connecting member is coupled to said first support member and said second support member at said curved end of each said lower hook member.

28. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said second interconnecting parts further comprise a motion limiter that restricts the sliding movement of said interconnecting parts to a predetermined range.

29. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said first interconnecting parts further comprise a motion limiter that restricts the sliding movement of said interconnecting parts to a predetermined range.

30. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said guide mechanism is a flange.

31. The holder as recited in claim 22, wherein said first support member and said second support member are spaced 6 inches apart.

Description:

The present invention relates to a portable holder for use with hand-held appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, straightening combs and the like.

BACKGROUND

Hand-held electrical hair dryers, curling irons, straightening combs, crimpers and flat irons are commonly used hair styling appliances. These and other hair styling appliances are typically used alone or in conjunction with one another. It is often desirable to have these hand held appliances where they will be readily accessible for use. Frequently, hand-held hair styling appliances are used in household bathrooms. Bathrooms are chosen as a convenient place to use these appliances because bathrooms provide both electrical outlets to which the electrical hair styling appliances can be connected and a mirror for styling the user's hair. Various non-portable holders designed to hold hair styling appliances are known.

Some appliance holders have been designed to support hand-held hair dryers in operable positions so they may be used without being held by the user. Others have been designed to accommodate either a hair dryer or a curling iron but not both. Problematically, some holders are bulky and require excessive counter or wall space in the bathroom. Some holders have been designed to be permanently attached to walls. These holders are limited in that they do not allow for portability nor can they be stowed away when not in use. Such permanently affixed holders are often found in hotel bathrooms. Typically these types of hotel bathroom appliance holders are wall mounted, shelf-like stands in which a hair dryer can be placed. A user of this type of hair styling appliance holder is restricted because the holder cannot be use in any setting other than the bathroom where the wall mounted holder is attached. It is often the case that a user may desire to groom their hair in a location other than the bathroom. For example, the user may desire and find it very convenient to be able to style their hair using the holder in a bedroom, when away on vacation or while traveling for business. Additionally, a user may also find it desirable to have a holder that is compact in size and lightweight so that it may be easily transported from place to place.

In addition to the lack of portability, another disadvantage of permanently affixed holders is that right handed or left handed users may find these holders inconvenient to use because the permanent placement of the holder will inevitably favor either left or right handed users but not both.

For the foregoing reasons, it is desirable to have a hair styling appliance holder that is conveniently located, compact in size, light-weight, accommodates more than one styling appliance and is easily portable. It is also desirable to have a holder that can be stowed away when it is not in use. Further, it is desirable to have a holder that can be removably mounted to a variety of mirrors when those mirrors are attached to different types of surfaces. It is also desirable to have a holder that is equally convenient for both right and left handed people to use.

SUMMARY

Accordingly, the object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved holder for hand-held hair styling appliances that is portable, compact and that is equally convenient to be used by left-handed or right-handed users.

In the first embodiment of the present invention, the holder for hand-held appliances comprises a first support member and a second support member, wherein each support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects the upper hook member to the lower hook member. The upper hook members are adapted to be removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror and the lower hook members are adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance. The upper hook members are disposed in the downward position and the lower hook members are disposed in the upward position. The upper and lower hook members are invertedly disposed relative to each other and a connecting member is coupled to the first support member and the second support member at each lower hook member.

In a second embodiment of the present invention, the holder for hand-held appliances comprises a first support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects the upper hook member to the lower hook member and a second support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects the upper hook member to the lower hook member. A first connecting member is coupled to the first and second support members at the lower hook members, wherein the first connecting member further comprises at least two first interconnecting parts that slide so that the width of the first connecting member is adjustable. The holder further comprises a motion limiter that restricts the sliding movement of the first interconnecting parts to a predetermined range. The upper hook members are adapted to be removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror and disposed in the downward position, the lower hook members are adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance and the lower hook members are disposed in the upward position. The upper and lower hook members are invertedly disposed relative to each other.

In a third embodiment of the present invention, the holder for hand-held appliances comprises a first support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects the upper hook member to the lower hook member and a second support member having an upper hook member, a lower hook member and an intermediate portion that connects the upper hook member to the lower hook member. The upper hook members are adapted to be removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror and the lower hook members are adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance. The upper hook members are disposed in the downward position and the lower hook members are disposed in the upward position and wherein the upper and lower hook members are invertedly disposed relative to each other. A first connecting member is coupled to the first support member and the second support member at each lower hook member, wherein the first connecting member is adapted to support at least one hand-held appliance and wherein the first connecting member having two first interconnecting parts that slide into and out from each other so that the width between the first support member and the second support member is adjustable. A second connecting member is coupled to the first support member and the second support member at the intermediate portion of each support member and wherein the second connecting member having at least two second interconnecting parts that slide into and out from each other so that the width between the first support member and the second support member is adjustable and wherein each the first and second interconnecting parts include a guide mechanism that controls the sliding movement of the first and second interconnecting parts.

Embodiments of the invention may include one or more the following features: One feature of the invention may include a second connecting member that is coupled to the first and second support members at the intermediate portion of each support member and wherein the second connecting member may have at least two second interconnecting parts that slide in opposing directions so that the width of the second connecting member is adjustable.

Other features of the invention may include an upper hook member that has a straight hooking portion, curved hooking portion or a hooking portion with a T-shaped end. Yet another feature of the invention may include a lower member that has a curved end. Still another feature of the invention may include a first connecting member that is coupled to the first and second support members at the curved end of the lower hook member of each support member.

Other features of the invention may include first and second connecting members that have first and second interconnecting parts, respectively, that include a guide mechanism that controls the sliding movement of the interconnecting parts. Another feature may include a motion limiter that restricts the sliding movement of either the first or second interconnecting parts or of both sets of interconnecting parts to a predetermined range.

The above advantages, aspects and features are of representative embodiments only. It should be understood that they are not to be considered limitations on the holder as defined by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the portable holder for hand-held appliances therefore will become apparent from the following detailed description, claims and accompanying drawings in which like references denote like or corresponding parts, in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a holder for use with hand-held appliances adapted to hang from mirrors that are attached to flat surfaces such as walls.

FIG. 1B is a front view of the holder shown in FIG. 1A.

FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a holder for use with hand-held appliances adapted to hang from cabinet mirrors.

FIG. 2B is a front view of the holder shown in FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of an adjustable portable holder for use with hand-held appliances adapted to hang from wall mirrors in the fully extended position.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view of the holder shown in FIG. 3A in the unextended position.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of an adjustable portable holder for use with hand-held appliances adapted to hang from cabinet mirrors in the fully extended position.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of the holder shown in FIG. 4A in the unextended position.

FIG. 5A is a rear view of the first connecting member shown in FIG. 3A and FIG. 4A, where the first connecting member is in the fully extended position.

FIG. 5B is the first connecting member shown in FIG. 5A in the unextended position.

FIG. 5C is the second connecting member shown in FIG. 3A and FIG. 4A, where the second connecting member is in the fully extended position.

FIG. 5D is the second connecting member shown prior to coupling to the first and second support members.

FIG. 6A is a front view of the adjustable portable holder shown in FIG. 3A and a hair dryer.

FIG. 6B is the holder shown in FIG. 6A with a hair dryer supported on the lower hooks of the holder.

FIG. 7A is a perspective view of the adjustable portable holder shown in FIG. 3A and an electric curling iron.

FIG. 7B is the holder shown in FIG. 7A with the curling iron supported by one of the connecting members in the holder.

FIG. 8A is a perspective view of the adjustable portable holder shown in FIG. 3A attached to a wall mirror.

FIG. 8B is a front view of the holder shown in FIG. 8A.

FIG. 9A is a perspective view of the adjustable holder shown in FIG. 8 supporting a hair dryer and a curling iron. The holder supported by a flat surface.

FIG. 9B is the front view of the holder shown in FIG. 9A.

FIG. 10A is a perspective view of the holder shown in FIG. 4A supporting a hair dryer and a curling iron. The holder is attached to a cabinet mirror.

FIG. 10B is the front view of the holder that is shown in FIG. 10A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

As is shown in the figures and description, the present invention has several embodiments that make it very useful. The portable holder can be manufactured using a variety of materials. Although certain embodiments of this invention are described, the spirit and scope of the invention is not limited to the description provided herein.

Referring to FIG. 1A, one embodiment of present invention is shown in a perspective view. Portable holder 100 is a light-weight device capable of holding one or more hand-held hair styling appliances. Portable holder 100 is specifically designed both to store the hair styling appliances when the appliances are not in use and to maintain them in a convenient location during use. Portable holder 100 includes a first support member 120a and a second support member 120b. Each support member 120 further includes an upper hook member 105 which is substantially U-shaped, lower hook member 115 that is also substantially U-shaped and intermediate portion 125 which is the straight portion and that connects upper and lower hook members 105 and 115, respectively. Upper hook members 105 are disposed in the downward position and lower hook members 115 are disposed in the upward position. Upper hook members 105 and lower hook members 115 are disposed invertedly relative to each other. In this and all other embodiments presented herein with respect to upper and lower hook members 105 and 115, the phrase invertedly disposed relative to each other means that the ends of hook members 105 and 115 which not connected to intermediate portion 125 are disposed on opposite sides of intermediate portion 125.

The length of first and second support members, 120a and 120b, respectively, range from 6 to 8 inches. In the holder embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 to 10, the length of the support members is 8 inches. The width or space separation between first and second support members, 120a and 120b, respectively, in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1A to 2B may also preferably range from at least 5 to at most 9 inches. Nine inches is the maximum desired width for these holder embodiments because any additional width may cause the user's view of the mirror to be obstructed. Although the width between support members 120a and 120b, is adjustable in other holder embodiments which are described below, the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1A to 2B have a width that is fixed and which is determined prior to the manufacturing process. The width of each support member itself preferably ranges from ¼ to ¾ of an inch. The width range of support members 120a and 120b is sufficient to provide the strength required to hold the appliances indefinitely. The thickness of each support member is approximately 1/16 of an inch. Upper hook members 105 enable holder 100 to be removably mounted or temporarily attached to a mirror. Upper hook member 105 each have sufficient space within its U-shaped area so that upper hook members 105 and 115 can easily fit over the top edge width of most mirrors. Typically, the thickness of the top edge of most mirrors that are attached to flat surfaces range from ¼ to ¾ of an inch. Therefore, upper hook members have a clearance of approximately an eighth of an inch which is sufficient to accommodate the thickness of most wall or cabinet mirrors. Holder 100 is considered to be removably mounted to a mirror because holder 100 is designed so that it may be easily removed from any mirror upon which it is mounted. Each upper hook member 105 includes hooking portion 110. FIG. 1 shows hooking portion 110 as being straight. Hooking portion 110 is straight so that it may be placed between a flat surface such as a wall and the mirror, where the mirror is mounted to the flat surface. The thickness of hooking portion 110 is approximately 1/16 of an inch so as to allow hooking portion 110 to be easily slide between the wall and the attached mirror. The length of hooking portion 110 may preferably vary between at least 3 to at most 4 inches. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, hooking portion 110 is 4 inches in length.

Upper hook members 105 may also each include T-shaped end 140. The cross length of T-shaped end 140 may preferably vary between at least 1 and at most 2 inches. When upper hook members 105 are removably mounted to the top edge of a mirror, T-shaped end 140 on each upper hook member provides additional stabilization to prevent holder 100 from falling from the top edge of the mirror. The additional stabilization is particularly useful when lower hook member 115a and 115b are supporting the weight of one or more hand-held hair styling appliances. Lower hook members 115a and 115b are adapted to support the size and weight of one or more hand-held appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons and the like. Specifically, lower hook members are designed to accommodate hair styling appliances, such as round blow dryers that may have diameters of 3 inches or more. Therefore, lower hook members 115 have a clearance of approximately 5 inches. Lower hook members 115 may each also include curved end 170. Portable holder 100 also includes first connecting member 130 that connects first support member 120a and second support member 120b at their respective lower hook members 115. Optionally, first connecting member 130 may connect first support member 120a and second support member 120b at curved end 170 on each lower hook member 115. FIG. 1B is a front view of portable holder 100.

Referring to FIG. 2A, a perspective view of portable holder 200 is shown. Portable holder 200 includes first support member 220a and second support member 220b. Each support member includes an upper and lower hook member 205 and 215, respectively. Portable holder 200 also includes intermediate portions 225a and 225b, which connects upper hook member 205 and lower hook member 215 in each support member 220. The width between first and second support members, 220a and 220b, respectively, in this embodiment is fixed and may be constructed to range from approximately 5 to 9 inches. Generally, portable holder 200 is similar to holder 100 shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B except that holder 200 includes hooking portion 210 that is curved instead of straight hooking portion 110 that is shown in FIG. 1A and 1B.

This embodiment of the portable holder has curved hooking portion 210 to allow holder 200 to be removably mounted to mirrors that are attached to cabinets. An example of such a mirror is a bathroom mirror that is mounted to a medicine cabinet. Often, these types of mirrors may have larger perimeters than the cabinets themselves and as a result there is no flat surface such as a wall to vertically support hooking portion 210 when holder 200 is mounted on top of the mirror. Therefore, curved hooking portion 210, when optionally provided enables holder 200 to be easily mounted to this type of mirror. Additionally, curved hooking portion 210 acts to further stabilize holder 200 when it is supporting the weight of the hand-held appliances on lower hook members 215 or connecting member 230. The downward force of the weight of the appliances is counterbalanced or stabilized by curved hooking portion 210 so that the weight of the appliances does not cause holder 200 to become unbalanced and as a result dismounted from the mirror. Below, FIG. 10B shows a portable holder having curved hooking portion 210 that is removably mounted to the top edge of a bathroom cabinet type mirror. Lower hook members 215 may also include curved end 270. FIG. 2B shows a front view of portable holder 200. All embodiments of the portable holder are designed to be easily dismounted from one mirror and remounted onto another. Additionally, the compact size of the portable holder enables it to be conveniently stowed away in a suitcase or its own carrying case to be taken on a business trip or vacation. Unlike permanently affixed holders this portable holder can be used under a variety of different circumstances and in various locations outside of the user's own bathroom.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view of an adjustable embodiment of the portable holder. Similar to versions of the portable holder discussed above, 100 and 200, holder 300 is also designed to be used with one or several hand-held appliances. Holder 300, like holder 100 is adapted to hang from mirrors that are attached to flat surfaces such as walls using upper hook members 105 that include straight hooking portion 110. Unlike holder embodiments 100 and 200 that were discussed previously, however, holder 300 has added features that allow that width between support members 120a and 120b to be adjusted. First and second connecting members, 330 and 350, respectively are included to provide width adjustability between support members. FIG. 5 provides a more detailed discussion regarding first and second connecting members.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view of holder 300 which is shown in FIG. 3A in the unextended or collapsed position. The width between first support member 120a and second support member 120b is reduced from the extended width shown in FIG. 3A. In this and other adjustable holder embodiments, the width between first and second support members, 120a and 120b, respectively, is adjustable and may range from preferably at least 3 to 4.5 inches at minimum length and at most 6 to 9 inches at the fully extended length. This width adjustability feature not only allows holder 300 to be reduced in size and easily stowed away in a suitcase for travel but it also enables a variety of different size hair styling appliances to be supported.

FIG. 4A is a perspective view of adjustable portable holder 400. Holder 400 is similar to holder 300 in that the width between support members 220a and 220b is adjustable and because both holders may have the same dimensions. Holder 400, however, is also similar to holder 200 because hooking portion 210, which is part of hooking member 205 is curved and is specifically adapted to hang from cabinet mirrors. Holder 400 is shown in its fully extended position. FIG. 4B shows a perspective view of holder 400 in the unextended position.

FIG. 5A is a back view of first connecting member 330 that is shown in FIG. 3A on holder 300. First connecting member 330 is also shown in holder 400 in FIG. 4A and provides the same function in both adjustable holder embodiments 300 and 400 as is explained below. First connecting member 330 includes at least two interconnecting parts, 330a and 330b that are designed slide into and out from each other so that the width of first connecting member 330 itself and consequently the width between first support member 120a and second support member 120b in holder 300 are adjustable. Specifically, part 330a may be constructed slightly wider than part 330b. Part 330a may also include flanges 330c and 330d that control the lateral sliding movement of part 330b into part 330a allowing for width adjustability. Generally, either interconnecting part 330a or 330b may be constructed to be slightly smaller than the other to allow the parts to slide into and out from each other. Similarly, either part 330a or 330b may include flanges such as 330c and 330d or the like that control the lateral movement of parts 330a and 330b. Similarly, the width adjustability is the same in holder 400. FIG. 5B shows first connecting member 330 in its unextended or minimum width state.

FIG. 5C shows a view of second connecting member 350. Second connecting member 350 is shown in FIG. 3A and FIG. 4A in holders 300 and 400, respectively. In holders 300 and 400 second connecting member 350 provides the same function. Like first connecting member 330, second connecting member 350 includes at least two interconnecting parts 350a and 350b that are designed to laterally slide into and out from each other so as to adjust the width between first support member 120a or 220a and second support member 120b or 220b and also to adjust the width of second connecting member 350 itself. Also similar to interconnecting part 330a, part 350a may be constructed to be slightly wider than part 350b so that part 350b can slide into and out from part 350b. Interconnecting parts 350a and 350b each have a width that is approximately 3 inches. Therefore, the minimum and maximum widths or distances between the first and second support members when second connecting member 350 is in its unextended and extended positions are approximately 3 and 9 inches, respectively. Correspondingly, the minimum and maximum width of the second connecting member itself is also approximately 3 to 9 inches across. Interconnecting parts 330a and 330b are the first interconnecting parts because they are associated with first connecting member 330 and parts 350a and 350b are the second interconnecting parts because they are associated with second connecting member 350.

Part 350a may also include a guide mechanism. The guide mechanism may be constructed using flanges 350c and 350d. Flanges 350c and 350d control the slide of parts 350a and 350b relative to one another and in the opposing directing. This movement of parts 350a and 350b along with the movement of parts 330a and 330b allows the width between first support member 120a and second support member 120b to be adjusted. Alternatively, instead of using a guide mechanism that includes flanges to restrict the movements of parts 350a and 350b, a guide mechanism may be constructed to include a track upon which the parts may slide into and out from each other.

FIG. 5C and FIG. 5D show that interconnecting parts 350a and 350b may further include motion limiters, 350e and 350f, that prevent parts 350a and 350b from being disconnected from each other in the extended position. Motion limiters may be designed by adding at least one protrusion on the end of both parts 350a and 350b. For example, at least one protrusion 350e on part 350a may be pointing downward and at least one protrusion 350f on part 350b may be pointing upward so that when second connecting member 350 is assembled and fully extended protrusions 350e and 350f make contact with each other to prevent further extension of second connecting member 350. In addition to preventing further extension of second connecting member 350 the separation of parts 350a and 350b from one another is also prevented. Motion limiters may also be added to the outer ends, ends that are coupled to the support members, of parts 350a and 350b so that motion towards the unextended position is similarly restricted to a particular range. Motion limiters may be constructed using protrusions as described above or any suitable means for restricting the lateral extension of the connecting members.

Similarly, interconnecting parts 330a and 330b in FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B may include also one or more motion limiters to prevent the support members from being disconnected from each other at the lower hook members when the support members are moving in opposing directions relative to each. Additional motion limiters may also be included on the outer ends of parts 330a and 330b to restrict movement of parts 330a and 330b in the unextended direction.

The portable holder may be assembled by coupling interconnecting parts 350a and 350b to first and second support members, 120a and 120b, respectively, either on the front or back surface of intermediate portions, 125a and 125b, respectively. Alternatively, interconnecting parts 350a and 350b may be coupled to the inner surface of intermediate portions 125a and 125b, respectively. The inner surface of intermediate portion 125a is the surface that directly opposes the inner surface of 125b. The width adjustability feature of portable holder 300 enables it to be reduced in size allowing for enhanced portability. Similarly, interconnecting parts 350a and 350b may be coupled to intermediate portions 225a and 225b in the same manner as described above.

FIG. 5D shows second connecting member 350 prior to being coupled to first and second support members. For assembly, part 350b may be slide inside part 350a prior to parts 350a and 350b being coupled to the first and second support members. Alternatively, part 350b may be manufactured using a material that has sufficient elasticity which enables part 350b to bend without braking. An elastic part 350b may be deformed or squeezed inward on the top and bottom edges to allow part 350b to be positioned within guide flanges 350c and 350d of part 350a. Such an elastic part may result in a simplification of the holder assembly process as well as allow the outer edges of parts 350a and 350b to be coupled to first and second support members prior to being interconnected to each other and assembled into second connecting member 350.

First and second connecting members may be alternatively constructed using any suitable means that includes at least two interconnecting parts that laterally sliding into and out from each other in opposing directions causing the width between the first and second support members to be adjustable within a predetermined range.

FIG. 6A shows a front view of holder 300 and hair dryer 500. FIG. 6B shows holder 300 with hair dryer 500 supported on lower hook members 115b. Hair dryer 500 may be fully supported on both lower hook members 115a and 115b or predominately on either hook member as is depicted in FIG. 6B. FIG. 7A shows a perspective view of adjustable portable holder 300 and electric curling iron 600. FIG. 7B shows holder 300 with electric curling iron 600 being supported in an upright position by first connecting member 330.

FIG. 8A is a perspective view of adjustable portable holder 300 mounted to wall mirror 700. Hooking portion 110 of each upper hook member 105 is inserted between the wall or other flat surface and mirror 700 so that holder 300 is removably mounted to the top edge of mirror 700. FIG. 8B is a front view of holder 300 that is shown in FIG. 8A.

FIG. 9A is a perspective view of adjustable portable holder 300 supporting hair dryer 500 and curling iron 600. The hair styling appliances are conveniently positioned in front of the mirror on holder 300. The convenient location of the appliances makes styling one's hair using such appliances easier. Use of holder 300 eliminates the need for the user to find a place near the mirror on which to set the hair styling appliances. Moreover, each embodiment of this portable holder is designed so that it requires minimal space in front of the mirror so as not to obstruct the user's view. Mirror 700 represents a mirror that is mounted to a flat surface such as a wall. Holder 300 is removably mounted to the top edge of mirror 700. The user can be positioned in front of mirror 700 and style his or her hair having all of their hand-held appliances conveniently located within arms reach. Additionally, holder 300 and the other holder embodiments disclosed herein may be conveniently positioned on the left or right side of mirror 700 to accommodate left or right handed users. When the user has finished using the hair styling appliances the appliances and holder 300 may be stowed away or optionally holder 300 and the appliances may remain removably mounted to mirror 700. FIG. 9B is the front view of holder 300 as shown in FIG. 9A.

FIG. 10A is a perspective view of adjustable portable holder 400. Holder 400 is adapted to be removably mounted to cabinet mirror 900. FIG. 10B is the side view of holder 400. Hooking portion 210 is curved so that upper hook member fits over the top edge of mirror 900 and holds on to the back of the mirror. The curve provides holder 400 with additional stability. Hooking portion 210 may be designed to accommodate mirrors of varying thicknesses.

The portable holder may be manufactured using a light-weight, durable synthetic material such as plastic, polypropylene or the like. Use of a synthetic material allows the holder components to be produced using molding techniques that may simplify the manufacturing process. The portable holder may also be constructed using a light-weight, durable metal alloy or wood. The holder may also be manufactured in various colors or decorative designs. Moreover, the holder may be constructed using one piece of material or it may be constructed having first and second support members, and the first and second connecting members as separate pieces. The connecting members may be soldered or connected to the support members using fasteners if the holder is constructed from a metal alloy. If the holder is manufactured using a synthetic material, the connecting members may be connected to the support members using an adhesive material or connected during the molding process that produces the support member components.

The compact size of the portable holder allows it to fit easily in its own specially designed carrying case. The carrying case may be made of any type of suitable natural or synthetic material. One advantage of the portable holder presented is that its compact size and optional width adjustability provides for enhanced portability. This width adjustability feature is achieved using adjustable connecting members that allow the width of between the support members to be reduced. This width reduction enables the user to conveniently travel with the holder on vacation or to various other locations either within or outside of the user's home.

Another advantage of the portable holder presented is that it may be either permanently or temporarily mounted to a mirror without requiring the use of any fasteners such as screws, nails or the like. Yet another advantage of the portable holder presented is that it may be conveniently positioned on a mirror so that the user is able to style their hair with one or more readily accessible hair styling appliances. Yet a further advantage of the portable holder presented today is that it may be removably mounted to mirrors that are attached to flat surfaces such as walls or removably mounted to mirrors that are attached to cabinets like those cabinets which are typically found in household bathrooms. The removability feature may be achieved using substantially U-shaped upper hook members that allow the portable holder to be attached or detached from most mirrors with relative ease and without the necessity of tools. Still a further advantage of the portable holder presented is that it requires a minimal amount of area on the mirror and no counter space. Another advantage of the portable holder is that it is sufficiently compact to be packaged along with hair styling appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons.

The present invention does not require all of the advantageous features and all of the advantages to be incorporated in every embodiment of the invention. Moreover, although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain embodiments, other embodiments are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the embodiments contained herein.





 
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