Title:
Uniform display case
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A uniform display case for displaying a uniform and uniform decorations is disclosed. The uniform display case comprises a viewing pane seated within a frame and a display area visible through the viewing pane. In addition, at least a portion of the uniform is visible in the display area, wherein the portion of a uniform is mounted to a back panel, wherein the portion of the uniform is mounted so that portions of back, top and front of the uniform are visible in the display area and are in a plane which is substantially parallel to a vertical plane of the back panel.



Inventors:
Fair, Gregory W. (Falls Church, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/440830
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
05/25/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/771
International Classes:
A47F3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
VERAA, CHRISTOPHER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREGORY W. FAIR (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A uniform display case comprising: a viewing pane seated within a frame; a display area visible through said viewing pane; at least a portion of a uniform which is visible in said display area, wherein said portion of a uniform is mounted to a back panel, wherein said portion of the uniform is mounted so that portions of back, top and front of the uniform are visible in the display area and are in a plane which is substantially parallel to a vertical plane of the back panel.

2. The uniform display case according to claim 1, further comprising: sleeve sections of the uniform which are separate from said at least a portion of the uniform and are attached to each side of the uniform.

3. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein said uniform comprises at least one of: a jacket, coat, shirt and vest.

4. The uniform display case according to claim 2, wherein the portion of the uniform and the sleeves are pre-flattened and affixed to the back panel.

5. The uniform display case according to claim 1, further comprising: at least one display bar located along at least one of the four sides of the display case.

6. The uniform display case according to claim 5, wherein the display bar is comprised of a material which awards and medals can be attached.

7. The uniform display case according to claim 1, further comprising: a collar insert set inside a uniform collar area.

8. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein said uniform is removably attached to the back panel.

9. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein said uniform is permanently attached to the back panel.

10. The uniform display case according to claim 1, further comprising: an internal lighting mechanism for illuminating said uniform.

11. The uniform display case according to claim 1, further comprising: at least one internal shadow box in said display area for displaying three dimensional objects.

12. The uniform display case according to claim 11, wherein said shadow box has a triangular shape.

13. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein the viewing panel is comprised of a transparent or a semi-transparent material.

14. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein the depth of the uniform from the viewing pane is variable.

15. The uniform display case according to claim 2, wherein the sleeve sections contain a filler material.

16. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein said back panel is attached to said frames using hinges.

17. The uniform display case according to claim 1, further comprising: a color accent piece surrounding the perimeter of the display area.

18. The uniform display case according to claim 1, wherein shoulder epaulets are fully visible in the display area.

19. A method for mounting a portion of a uniform in a display case, comprising the steps of: attaching the portion of a uniform to a back panel, wherein a portion of back, top and front of the uniform are visible in the display case and are in a plane which is substantially parallel to a vertical plane of the back panel; attaching the back panel to a frame wherein the frame has a viewing pane for observing the mounted uniform.

20. The method according to claim 19, wherein said portion of a uniform is a substantially two dimensional uniform which is used for displaying awards and decorations, wherein the substantially two dimensional uniform is created by cutting and reshaping an actual three dimensional uniform.

21. The method according to claim 19, wherein said portion of a uniform is a substantially two dimensional uniform which is used for displaying awards and decorations, wherein the substantially two dimensional uniform is created from scratch using fabric and other materials.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention related generally to a uniform display case. More particularly, the present invention relates to a method and apparatus for displaying a portion of a three-dimensional uniform in substantially two dimensions.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various professions require their personnel to wear a uniform. For example, professions such as; military, police, fireman, park service, etc. require their personnel to wear uniforms. The uniforms are comprised of at least jackets, coats, vests and/or shirts. Typically, these uniforms are adorned with a plurality of uniform decorations, such as rank, insignia, medals, awards, badges, patches, unit crests, name plates, etc. The awards are typically given in recognition for service in the field.

People are justifiably proud of their uniforms and awards and want to display them for other people to see. One known method of display is to buy a large shadow box and hang the uniform in the shadow box. The shadow box can then be mounted to a wall. Typically, the uniform hangs from a hangar which is attached to the shadow box in some manner. There are, however, several problems with displaying the jacket inside the shadow box. First, the shadow box will have to be quite large and will take up a large amount of wall space. In addition, when the uniform is hanging in the shadow box, any uniform decorations which are attached to the shoulder epaulets or sleeves of the uniform may be hard to see since the shoulder epaulets generally face toward the top of the shadow box and the sleeves face toward the sides of the shadow box. This is a particular problem for military personnel since various uniform decorations must be displayed in mandated positions on the shoulder epaulets and sleeves.

Another known method of display is to buy a simple shadow box with a plain blank material as the background, with the background usually being comprised of plain felt or felt covered cardboard. However, this method only allows for a random arrangement of the decorations that in no way relates to how they are actually worn on a real uniform.

Thus, there is a need for a uniform display case which displays at least a portion of a uniform in such a manner that uniform decorations can be attached in their proper position as they would appear on a real uniform while easily being visible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore a feature and advantage of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for displaying at least a portion of a uniform in such a manner that uniform decorations can be attached in their proper position while easily being visible.

In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, a uniform display case for displaying a uniform and uniform decorations is disclosed. The uniform display case comprises a viewing pane seated within a frame and a display area visible through said viewing pane. In addition, at least a portion of the uniform is visible in said display area, wherein said portion of a uniform is mounted to a back panel, wherein said portion of the uniform is mounted so that portions of back, top and front of the uniform are visible in the display area and are in a plane which is substantially parallel to a vertical plane of the back panel.

In accordance with another embodiment of the invention, a method for mounting a portion of a uniform in a display case is disclosed. The portion of a uniform is attached to a back panel, wherein a portion of back, top and front of the uniform are visible in the display case and are in a plane which is substantially parallel to a vertical plane of the back panel. The back panel is attached to a frame, wherein the frame has a viewing pane for observing the mounted uniform.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein, as well as the abstract, are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 2(a)-2(c) illustrates how the uniform is mounted on a backing material according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention, and

FIG. 8 illustrates a uniform display case according to one embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a uniform display case which contains a substantially two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional uniform for the purpose of displaying uniform decorations. In the present invention, uniform decorations comprise, rank, insignia, medals, awards, badges, patches, unit crests, name plates, belts, etc. and the invention is not limited thereto.

FIG. 1 illustrates a uniform display case 100 according to a first embodiment of the invention. The uniform display case 100 comprises at least a portion of a uniform 102. The substantially two-dimensional representation of a uniform can represent any variety of uniform, for example, military uniforms (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, etc.) both domestic and foreign, para-military uniforms, National Guard uniforms, police uniforms, fireman uniforms, park service uniforms, school uniforms, uniforms for service organizations and fraternal organizations, civil servants, security, airlines, etc., or any other organization that uses a uniform shirt, jacket, coat and/or vest as a platform for displaying additional decorations, badges, medals and/or awards, and the invention is not limited thereto. In addition, the uniform may be a representation of a uniform no longer in production or in active use or future uniform designs. Finally, the uniform may be a representation of a uniform used in a fictitious production such as a movie, book, etc.

The simulated uniform may be a portion of a jacket, coat, shirt, vest or any combination thereof. In addition, the uniform may be any color, but the typical colors are varying shades of green, brown, blue, black, white, red, etc. The uniform may be made out of a wide range of materials, for example, wool, cotton, polyester, etc., or any combination thereof.

The simulated uniform may comprise any combination of elements described below and the invention is not limited thereto. The uniform body may include decorative stitching, embroidery, additional padding, loops and mechanisms for attaching other decorations. The uniform may also comprise any number of buttons. The buttons may vary in size and color and may be comprised of metal, plastic, wood, composite, etc., or any combination thereof. The uniform may also comprise any number of pockets. The pockets may be with or without pleats, may be simulated or actual pockets, with or without buttons, and with or without additional decorations or embroidering. The uniform may also have epaulets of various size which are with or without buttons, loop and/or additional decorations or embroidering. The epaulets may comprise a decorative shoulder board attached to the epaulet that hangs over the shoulder. The sleeves of the uniform may comprise additional stitching, fabric decorations, embroidery, stripes, buttons, pockets, etc.

The simulated uniform may have a lapel which varies in size and style and may include button holes, other attachment mechanisms and/or additional decorative stitching or embroidery. The uniform may comprise a simulated or actual belt of varying size and composition (typically leather or fabric), and with or without a decorative buckling mechanism. The uniform may include a shoulder strap varying in size and compositions (typically leather or fabric). The shoulder strap may be displayed diagonally from one shoulder to the waist and may be attached to an accompanying belt. In addition, the uniform may include fabric loops to support belts, shoulder straps and/or epaulets.

FIGS. 2(a)-2(c) illustrate how a regular three-dimensional uniform is transformed into a substantially two-dimensional uniform. As illustrated in FIG. 2(a), the uniform 202 has a front 204, a back, 206, a top 208, epaulets 214, sides 210, and sleeves 212. As illustrated in FIG. 2(b), the sleeves 212 and the sides 210 are removed from the uniform 202. In addition, most of the back 206 except for a top section of the back 206 is removed and a lower section of the front 204 is also removed. Finally, the remaining section of the back and top are rolled forward so that they are in substantially the same plane as the front of the uniform as illustrated in FIG. 2(c). In the illustrative example of a uniform illustrated in FIG. 2(a), shoulder epaulets 214 are located on the top 208 of the uniform 202. Once the remaining back and top of the uniform has been rolled forward, the epaulets 214 now appear to be on the front of the uniform 102 as illustrated in FIG. 2(c). The portion of the uniform 102 is then mounted flat to the backing 104 using tape, glue, Velcro or any other means for attachment. It will be understood that the portion of the uniform 102 can be created by cutting and reshaping a full uniform as illustrated in FIGS. 2(a)-2(c) or by creating the portion of the uniform 102 from scratch using a bolt of fabric and other materials and the invention is not limited thereto.

Once the uniform 102 has been mounted on the backing 104, the backing 104 is affixed to a back panel 106. It will be understood that the backing 104 and back panel 106 may also be a single panel instead of two separate panels. Sleeves 108 are then attached over the uniform 102. The sleeves 108 may be attached using, for example, Velcro, tape and/or glue. The sleeves 108 may contain sleeve fillers 110 which are shaped to give the arm-sleeves 108 some shape and extra dimension. The thickness of the sleeve fillers 110 and the type of materials used can vary and the invention is not limited thereto. Furthermore, a collar insert 103 may be inserted into the collar area of the uniform 102 so as to hide the backing 104 from view. The collar insert may be constructed of various fabrics in various colors.

A display bar 112 may then attached over the uniform 102 and/or sleeves 108. The display bar 112 may be attached using, for example, Velcro, tape and/or glue. The display bar 112 can be constructed out of any material, for example, cardboard, which allows for medals and other decorations to be pinned or attached to the display bar 112. In addition, the display bar 1 2 may be covered in fabric such as felt or velour. While the display bar 112 is depicted as being at the bottom of the display case 100, it will be understood that the display bar 112 can be located along any edge or multiple edges of the display case 100.

The back panel 106 and everything attached thereto is then attached either permanently or non-permanently to or within a frame 114. The frame 114 can be constructed out of any material but is preferably constructed out of wood or metal. There is also a viewing pane 116 mounted in the frame 114 to protect the uniform 102 and allow for the uniform to be viewed. It will be understood that the viewing pane 116 may consist of any type of transparent or semi-transparent material, for example, glass, Plexiglas, plastic, UV protected museum glass, etc. In addition, the depth of the frame can vary depend on how much space is needed between the uniform 102 and the viewing panel 116 so as to provide enough space for the uniform decorations to be attached to the uniform and display bar. The uniform display case 100 may also be equipped with an internal lighting mechanism (not illustrated) in order to enhance the display of the uniform and uniform decorations. Furthermore, a color accent, for example gold, may be attached to the inside perimeter of the frame 114.

FIG. 3 illustrates a uniform display case with a decorated uniform 140. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the uniform 140 is covered with a plurality of uniform decoration 142 which are attached in their proper position as they would appear on a real uniform. In addition, the display bar 112 is also illustrated and is covered by a plurality of medals 144.

According to the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1, when a person receives the uniform display case, the person removes the back panel 106 from the frame 114 so that the person can attach the uniform decorations to the uniform 102 and display bar 112. The back panel is then re-attached to or within the frame 114. According to another embodiment of the invention, the back panel 106 and the frame 114 may be connected together by hinges which allows the back panel 106 and the frame 114 to open and close. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the frame 114 is connected to the back panel 106 by hinges 124. The hinges 124 may be mounted on any of the four sides of the frame. In addition, a locking mechanism 126 may be located on at least one side of the frame which does not have hinges so as to keep the frame 114 and back panel 106 connected together. The hinges 124 allow for the display case 100 to be opened so that uniform awards may be placed on the uniform 102.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the frame 114 may have a removable section 118 as illustrated in FIG. 5. In this embodiment, the frame section 118 can be removed so as to allow the viewing pane 116 to slide out so as to provide access to the uniform 102 and display bar 112. While the frame section 118 is depicted at the top of the frame 114, it will be understood that the frame section 118 can also be located on either side of the frame or on the bottom of the frame.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the frame 114 may be a split frame as illustrated in FIG. 6. The split frame is divided into a front frame 120 and a rear frame 122. The front frame 120 includes the viewing pane 116 while the back panel 106 is attached to or within the rear frame 122. The front frame 120 and the rear frame 122 are connected together using, for example, hinges 124. The hinges may be mounted on any of the four sides of the frame. In addition, a locking mechanism 126 may be located on at least one side of the frame which does not have hinges so as to keep the front and rear frames connected together. When access to the uniform 102 and display bar 112 is required, the front frame 120 is simply opened to provide access to the uniform 102.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a shadow box or boxes may also be incorporated into the uniform display case 100. As illustrated in FIG. 7, a shadow box 128 may be attached along one side of the frame 114. The shadow box 128 is provided for displaying three-dimensional objects which may or may not be uniform decorations. For example, guns, knives, bullets, badges, etc. may be placed in the shadow box 128. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, the shadow box is attached to the frame 114 in a known manner. In addition, the back panel 106, backing 104, uniform 102, sleeve filler 110 and sleeves 108 have been shortened so that the back panel can sit on top of the shadow box 128 but the invention is not limited thereto. This design allows for the depth from the uniform 102 to the viewing pane 116 to vary.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a flag case 130 can be included in the uniform display case 100. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the flag case 130 has a triangular shape but the invention is not limited thereto. A folded flag 132 may be inserted into the flag case 130. As illustrated in FIG. 8, the flag case 130 is attached to the frame 114 in a known manner. In addition, the backing 104, sleeve filler 110 and sleeves 108 are cut to accommodate the triangular shaped flag case 130 so that the backing 104 can sit on the flag case 130 but the invention is not limited thereto. For example, the flag case 130 may be simply placed in front of the uniform 102. Furthermore, the flag case 130 may be attached to the back panel 106 rather than the frame 114.

The many features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed specification, and thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention which fall within the true spirits and scope of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and variations will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation illustrated and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.