Title:
Formal tablecloth for round banquet table having disguised reference indicators for place settings
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth for arranging place settings around a round banquet table. The tablecloth includes a decorative design that is angularly arranged around the center of the tablecloth. The decorative design is position on the tablecloth at such a location that the design will be located near the perimeter of the table when the tablecloth is placed on a round banquet table. Functional place setting location indicators are embedded within the decorative design. A first series of reference indicators are embedded in the design and are equally spaced angularly around the center of the tablecloth. Each of the first series of reference indicators provides a reference point for placing one of the place settings.



Inventors:
Alford, Joseph Wade (Tallahassee, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/606249
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAM, CATHY FONG FONG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pennington, Moore, Wilkinson, Bell & Dunbar, P.A. (Tallahassee, FL, US)
Claims:
Having described my invention, I claim:

1. An arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth for arranging a plurality of place settings around a round banquet table having a table surface with a center and a circular perimeter, said tablecloth comprising: a. a center; b. a decorative design angularly arranged around said center, said decorative design positioned proximal said circular perimeter of said table surface when said center of said table cloth is placed above said center of said table surface; c. a first series of reference indicators embedded in said decorative design and equally spaced angularly around said center of said table cloth, each of said first series of reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said plurality of place settings.

2. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, wherein said first series of reference indicators comprises eight individual reference indicators for setting eight individual place settings around said table, each of said eight individual reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said eight individual place settings.

3. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, wherein said first series of reference indicators comprises ten individual reference indicators for setting ten individual place settings around said table, each of said ten individual reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said ten individual place settings.

4. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, further comprising a second series of reference indicators embedded in said design and equally spaced angularly around said table cloth, each of said second series of reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said plurality of place settings.

5. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 4, wherein said first series of reference indicators comprises eight individual reference indicators for setting eight individual place settings around said table, each of said eight individual reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said eight individual place settings.

6. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 5, wherein said second series of reference indicators comprises ten individual reference indicators for setting ten individual place settings around said table, each of said ten individual reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said ten individual place settings.

7. The arranging-assistive, formal table cloth of claim 1, wherein each of said first series of reference indicators is angularly spaced apart from adjacent reference indicators by approximately 45 degrees relative to said center of said table cloth.

8. The arranging-assistive, formal table cloth of claim 1, wherein each of said first series of reference indicators is angularly spaced apart from adjacent reference indicators by approximately 36 degrees relative to said center of said table cloth.

9. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 7, further comprising a second series of reference indicators embedded in said design and equally spaced angularly around said table cloth, each of said second series of reference indicators providing a reference point for placing one of said plurality of place settings, wherein each of said second series of reference indicators are angularly spaced apart from adjacent reference indicators of said second serried of reference indicators by approximately 36 degrees relative to said center of said table cloth.

10. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, wherein each of said first series of reference indicators is provided at a location on said tablecloth for placing a fork.

11. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, wherein each of said first series of reference indicators is provided at a location on said tablecloth for placing a knife.

12. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, wherein each of said first series of reference indicators comprises a common element of said design.

13. The arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth of claim 1, wherein each of said first series of reference indicators is disguised within said design.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the field of formal table coverings. More specifically, the present invention comprises a formal table cloth for a round banquet table having disguised reference indicators for arrangement of place settings.

2. Description of the Related Art

In the hospitality industries, it is common to arrange place settings on many different round banquet tables for large dining parties. Banquet tables typically come in standard sizes and it is customary to arrange either 8 or 10 place settings at each banquet table. The number of place settings that are needed for a dining party is often subject to change depending upon how many invitees attend the dinner. It is particularly difficult to predict the attendance rate for large dining parties. This often requires one or more banquet tables to be set “on the fly” as guests arrive.

Arranging formal place settings on a round banquet table can be a time-consuming and frustrating task. To properly set a formal table, the place settings should be arranged at equal distances around the table. A measuring device is often employed to insure that the place settings are equally spaced. Often settings must be iteratively adjusted around the table until perfect spacing is achieved. In addition, adding or removing settings from a “preset” banquet table creates the same frustrations. Most of the previously arranged settings must be moved to new locations to accommodate the added or removed setting. Accordingly it would be desirable to provide a new device that would allow for the quicker and easier arrangement of place settings.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention comprises an arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth for arranging place settings around a round banquet table. The tablecloth includes a decorative design that is angularly arranged around the center of the tablecloth. The decorative design is position on the tablecloth at such a location that the design will be located near the perimeter of the table when the tablecloth is placed on a round banquet table. Functional place setting location indicators are embedded in the decorative design. Thus, the place settings are placed on the design. A first series of reference indicators are embedded in the design and are equally spaced angularly around the center of the tablecloth. Each of the first series of reference indicators provides a reference point for placing one of the place settings.

In the preferred embodiment, the first series of reference indicators includes eight reference indicators radially arrayed at intervals of approximately 45 degrees. These reference indicators mark the spot on the table where the fork, knife, or other part of the place setting is to be placed when the table is set for eight diners. A second series of reference indicators is also provided on the tablecloth. The second series of reference indicators includes ten reference indicators radially arrayed at intervals of approximately 36 degrees. These reference indicators mark the spot on the table where the fork, knife, or other part of the place setting is to be placed when the table is set for ten diners.

The reference indicators must be embedded within the decorative design in a manner which is not readily discernible by a diner. In other words, the reference indicators should appear to be part of the decorative pattern. In the preferred embodiment, the first series of reference indicators are a common element of the design, such as a leaf, flower, or other design element. The second series of reference indicators also have a common design element, but the design element used for the second series is different than the design element used for the first series (e.g., if a leaf is used for the first series then a flower should be used for the second series). This allows the place setter to easily differentiate the reference indicators. It is important that the reference indicators are disguised within the design so that it is not readily apparent to the diners that the design serves a place-setting function.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1-8 are plan views, showing an arranging-assistive tablecloth.

REFERENCE NUMERALS IN THE DRAWINGS
10tablecloth12perimeter design
14center166 o'clock position
1812 o'clock position20knife reference
22fork reference24fork reference
26knife reference28fork reference
30knife reference32sectors
34fork reference36fork
38fork40plate
42knife44spoon
46sectors48fork reference

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An arranging-assistive, formal tablecloth for arranging place settings around a round banquet table is illustrated in FIG. 1. Tablecloth 10 includes perimeter design 12 which is angularly arranged around center 14. Perimeter design 12 is position on tablecloth 10 at such a location that the design will be located near the perimeter of the table when tablecloth 10 is placed on a round banquet table. When arranged in this manner, the place settings are placed over portions of perimeter design 12.

Multiple series of reference indicators are embedded in perimeter design 12. The reference indicators provide reference points for placing one of the place settings. In the current example, flowers and curls on a vine are used as reference indicators. Flowers and curls are good choices for reference indicators because they are easily disguised in the overall design. As such, the reference indicators will not be readily recognized as place-setting indicators by the diners. They are easy to locate, however, for the person setting the table.

For better illustration, 6 o'clock position 16 and 12 o'clock position 18 are labeled in FIG. 1. In the present example, these seating positions are common whether the table is arranged to seat 8 diners or 10 diners. Fork reference 22 (a flower in the current example) indicates where the dinner fork is to be placed for the place setting at 6 o'clock position 16. Knife reference 20 (a flower) indicates where the dinner knife is to be placed for the 6 o'clock place setting.

When setting the table for 10 diners, the place setter uses curls of the vine as place setting reference indicators. The first vine curl adjacent to 6 o'clock position 16, fork reference 28, indicates where the dinner fork is to be placed for the diner sitting adjacent to the diner sitting at 6 o'clock position 16. Continuing around the table, the next vine curl, knife reference 30, indicates where the dinner knife is to be placed.

When setting the table for 8 diners, the place setter uses flowers on the vine as place setting reference indicators. The flower adjacent to 12 o'clock position 18, knife reference 26, indicates where the dinner knife is to be placed for the diner sitting adjacent to the 12 o'clock diner. Continuing around the table, the next flower, fork reference 24, indicates where the dinner fork is to be placed. The reader will note that once the dinner fork and dinner knife are placed, the balance of the place setting is relatively easy to arrange.

FIG. 2 provides a useful guide for designing tablecloths having the properties of the present invention. Specifically, FIG. 2 illustrates how to set the locations of reference indicators for a dining party of eight. The tablecloth is divided into eight sectors 32, in which each sector has the same angle A relative to the center of the table. Here, angle A has a value of 45 degrees. The reader will note that a pair of flowers is provided at the same location in each sector. Those that are skilled in the art will appreciate that, when arranged in this manner, each fork reference is spaced angularly apart for adjacent fork references by angle A as well. The same holds true for each of the knife references. As illustrated in FIG. 3, the distance between knife reference 20 for one place setting and fork reference 34 of the adjacent place setting, D, is the same around the table.

FIG. 4 illustrates how the reference indicators are used to arrange the place settings for a party of eight. Fork 38 and knife 42 are first set on their respective reference indicators. Fork 36, a salad fork, is then placed at its appropriate location next to fork 38. Likewise, spoon 44 is placed next to knife 42. Plate 40 is then placed between fork 38 and knife 42, and the glasses or stemware are placed at their appropriate setting locations. Those that are skilled in the art will appreciate how much easier it is to set a perfect table with the provided reference indicators than without the assistance of reference indicators.

FIG. 5 illustrates how to the set the locations of reference indicators for a dining party often. The tablecloth is divided into ten sectors 46, in which each sector has the same angle B relative to the center of the table. Here, angle B has a value of 36 degrees. The reader will note that a pair of vine curls is provided at the same location in each sector, except for at 6 o'clock position 16 and 12 o'clock position 18 where the same flowers are used for both the eight person and ten person configurations. Similar to the eight person configuration, each fork reference is angularly spaced apart from adjacent fork references by angle B as well. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the distance between knife reference 20 for one place setting and fork reference 48 of the adjacent place setting, L, is the same around the table.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the place settings are then placed around the table using the same method as described with respect to FIG. 4. Those that are skilled in the art will now appreciate that the tablecloth of the present invention may be used to quickly set place settings on the fly. Likewise, the table may be quickly adjusted to support eight or ten diners if more or fewer invitees attend the dinner than anticipated.

Although the preceding descriptions contain significant detail they should not be viewed as limiting the invention but rather as providing examples of the preferred embodiments of the invention. Many different design elements may be used as reference indicators in accordance with the present invention. Additional reference indicators may also be provided at other locations on the table cloth for customary table setting elements such as centerpieces, and salt and pepper shakers. Those that are skilled in the art will appreciate that reference indicators may be easily integrated into almost any design using the present disclosure. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined by the following claims, rather than the examples given.





 
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