Title:
Curling Iron Utility Case
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A novel system for storing, organizing and safe-keeping of curling irons and other hair-styling accessories. The system offers unfettered access to these instruments when styling the hair, while providing neat and organized storage when not in use. It can safely store hot irons after use without waiting for the irons to cool down.



Inventors:
Pittman, Gregory L. (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/757988
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
06/04/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D1/04
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Primary Examiner:
RALIS, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEST & ASSOCIATES, A PC (WALNUT CREEK, CA, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. An apparatus for managing and storing a plurality of curling irons, comprising: a case with a generally rectangular shape, a plurality of receptacles situated on an exterior surface of the case, each receptacle capable of receiving a curling iron by passing the barrel of said curling iron through the receptacle into an interior space of the case, a panel on said case exterior that can be opened to allow access to the interior space of the case, a power strip integrated with an exterior surface of the case, said power strip comprising a plurality of electrical outlets, a circuit breaker and an power switch to turn the power strip on and off, wherein power cords of curling irons can be plugged into the electrical outlets of said power strip.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the interior space of the case is coated with a heat-resistant material.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the case is constructed of a heat-resistant material.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of receptacles have different size diameters ranging from small at one distal end to large to the other end, said receptacles capable of receiving different sized barrels of curling irons.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a hook for hanging a blow dryer.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a shelf structure in the interior space, said shelf structure serving to partition the interior space and for holding curling irons in the receptacles at a desired height.

Description:

STATEMENT OF PRIORITY

The following application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/810,821, filed Jun. 5, 2006, the complete contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The current disclosure relates to storage and management system for curling irons.

BACKGROUND

Curls can add an alluring bounce, fuller body or subtle glamour to a person's hair. The heat from the curling iron, acting in conjunction with the natural moisture in the hair, causes certain protein bonds that give the hair its structure to break. When the hair is curled around a curler or the round mandrel of a curling iron, new bonds between protein chains are re-established to hold the hair in a curled condition. Modern electrical curling irons have high power and can heat up very quickly for consistent, dependable results on any type of hair. Butane curling irons heats up near-instantly and can steam the hair for long-lasting hold.

Although curling irons are a frequently used by a lot of female users, they are not without their drawbacks. Designed to quickly heat and style the hair, a hot curling iron can easily burn countertops, dressing tables and other surfaces in a matter of seconds. Because of this, most users have to allow their curling irons to cool before storing them away. A hot iron after use can take up to 10-15 minutes to completely cool, and it is easy for a user to forget to put it away after it cools. Further, a hot curling iron can be a fire hazard, igniting plastics, make up, tissues or other flammable objects on the countertop, even if left unplugged after use. A hot iron can also easily scorch a small child or pet if left unattended, and butane irons in particular should be kept out of a child's hands.

Left on a countertop, curling irons will create unattractive clutter which can detract from the bathroom decor. In addition, the electrical cords utilized to power electrical irons can be both unsightly and potentially dangerous. Dangling on countertops and hanging onto flooring, the tangled cords of curling irons and similar hair care accessories not only create a mess, but can also present a household hazard. The exposed cords can easily become tangled, possibly resulting in accidental trips and falls.

What is desired, then, is a system that can offer consumers a practical solution to the aforementioned problems. The system should store and organize a plurality of curling irons safely and conveniently, even when the curling irons are hot after use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A novel system for storing, organizing and safe-keeping curling irons and other hair-styling accessories. The system offers unfettered access to these instruments when styling the hair, while providing neat and organized storage when not in use. It can safely store hot irons after use without waiting for the irons to cool down. An integrated power strip can organize and supply power to the irons' power cords.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts an isometric view of a Curling Iron Utility Case according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 depicts a view of the inside of the Utility Case with the side panel open.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 depicts a isometric view of a Curling Iron Utility Case 100 (hereinafter “Utility Case” or “Case”) according to one embodiment of the invention. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, the Utility Case 100 comprises an upright, enclosed case 101 configured specifically for storing curling irons for hair. Generally rectangular in shape, the case 101 could be manufactured of heavy duty and heat resistant plastic material. In other embodiments of the Case, the Case can be manufactured of any heat resistant and durable material, including crafted metals, tempered glass, wood, or any material known or convenient. A thin layer of silicone insulation material would encompass the interior of the Case, preventing the conduction of heat and ensuring the exterior of the Case stays cool to the touch, even when curling irons stored within the Case are hot (i.e., turned on and heating up, or turned off and cooling down). In further embodiments, any insulation material known or convenient, including fiberglass, rock wool, polystyrene or polyurethane foam, may be used.

Spaced evenly across the top surface of the Case 101 are series of circular shaped openings 102, 103, 104, 105 which form receptacles for the barrels of curling irons. In a preferred embodiment of the Case, the diameters of the openings 102-105 should measure _″ (one-quarter inch), _″ (three-quarters inch), 1″ (one inch) and 1½″ (one and one half inches), respectively. Each opening 102-105 can receive and hold the barrel 107 of a curling iron 106, which is slid vertically through the opening into the case 101. The different sizes of the openings 102-105 are to accommodate different sized barrels 107 of different curling irons. Larger openings configured for large barrel curling irons, as well as rectangular shaped openings for flat irons and crimpers could optionally be included in further embodiments of the Utility Case.

Refer to FIG. 2, which shows the Case with its side panel 108 open and showing an interior storage space 201. A series of shelf-like attachments 202 would be incorporated into the interior 201 of the case, on which the bottoms of the curling iron barrels 107 would rest. Positioned on one side of the unit would be a durable hanging hook 203, on which the user can conveniently hang a blow dryer.

Positioned on an exterior surface of the Utility Case is a surge protector power outlet strip 109 featuring outlets 110, 111, 112, 113 for each curling iron receptacle 102-105. A standard power cord (not shown) would be attached to the base of the surge protector, which would be plugged into a standard wall electrical outlet. An on/off switch 114 would be positioned on the base of the surge protector, enabling an user to turn of all instruments plugged into the various outlets 110-113 simultaneously. Overloading may be a problem with any sort of power distribution adaptor, and this is especially likely if multiple curling irons are turned on. It is essential that the power strip incorporate a circuit breaker or fuse to prevent overloading the household electrical circuit.

Installation and use of the Curling Iron Utility Case is very simple and straight forward. The user would simply place the case 101 on a countertop, the back of a toilet tank, or any suitable flat surface. The user would then plug the elongated power cord of the surge protector, located on the exterior of the Case, into any standard wall outlet. Next, the user would load the Case with their favorite styling tools. Sliding the barrel of their curling irons into the individual storage receptacles 102-105, the user can utilize the interior storage spaces 201, 201a of the case 101 to store brushes, combs and other styling tools in appropriate holders. The individual power cords 115 of each styling tool would then be plugged into each surge protector outlet 110-113. Activating the on/off switch 114 on the power strip 109, the user would turn on and heat the styling instruments stored within the Case. Once heated, a curling iron or styling tool can be removed from the storage receptacle for use as normal, and returned to the receptacle for storage after use without the need of waiting for the iron to cool down.

There are many significant benefits and advantages associated with the Curling Iron Utility Case. Foremost, this cleverly designed storage case would provide consumers a simple and efficient means of safely storing hot curling irons. An insulated case configured to hold several curling irons, the Utility Case would provide a heat-resistant barrier between the hot irons and other surfaces. In this manner, use of the product would enable consumers to protect expensive countertops, delicate wooden dressing tables, cupboards and drawers from the dangerous heat of the iron. Another important feature to this product is that the Utility Case enables consumers to neatly organize dangling power cords, freeing up valuable space within the bathroom or dressing room. Further, the Utility case is equally versatile in a home environment or for professional use by professional stylists and salon owners.

Although the system has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the apparatus as described and hereinafter claimed is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.