Title:
ARTIFACT HOLDER AND DISPLAY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape includes a front portion having a frame and a display area surrounded by the frame. A back portion is coupled to the front portion and includes a support portion positioned to support the front portion and the back portion in a display position. A first window is coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the back portion to define a first display space. The first window has a non-planar shape similar to the artifact shape such that the first window and the back portion hold the artifact in a display position within the first display space. A second window is coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the back portion to define a second display space. The second display space is substantially cubical and sized to receive a substantially planar rectangular object to display a first side of the object.



Inventors:
Seckinger, Edwin A. (Delafield, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/545548
Publication Date:
02/25/2010
Filing Date:
08/21/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F3/00
View Patent Images:
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20070216268Desk with two desk platesSeptember, 2007Chen
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20070069614Wall-mountable workstation with articulating armMarch, 2007Waugh et al.



Primary Examiner:
SILBERMANN, JOANNE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP (Mke) (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape, the artifact holder and display comprising: a front portion including a frame and a display area surrounded by the frame; a back portion coupled to the front portion and including a support portion that at least partially supports the front portion and the back portion in a display position; a first window coupled to the front portion and cooperating with the back portion to define a first display space, the first window having a non-planar shape similar to the artifact shape such that the first window and the back portion hold the artifact in a display position within the first display space; and a second window coupled to the front portion and cooperating with the back portion to define a second display space, the second display space being substantially cubical and sized to receive a substantially planar rectangular object to display a first side of the object.

2. The artifact holder and display of claim 1, wherein the display area includes a first aperture sized to receive a portion of the first window and a second aperture sized to receive a portion of the second window.

3. The artifact holder and display of claim 2, wherein the display area defines a plane and wherein the first window and the second window extend outward beyond the first plane.

4. The artifact holder and display of claim 1, wherein the back portion connects to the front portion via a hinge.

5. The artifact holder and display of claim 4, wherein the hinge is a living hinge.

6. The artifact holder and display of claim 1, wherein the first window and the second window are formed as a single piece.

7. The artifact holder and display of claim 1, wherein the first window and the second window are formed from a different material than the front portion and are chemically or thermally bonded to the front portion.

8. The artifact holder and display of claim 1, further comprising an electronic display disposed within the second display space and operable to display an image visible through the second window.

9. An artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape, the artifact holder and display comprising: a front portion including a frame and a display area surrounded by the frame; a window portion coupled to the front portion to cover the display area, the window portion including a first window having a shape similar to the artifact shape and a second window; a back portion coupled to the front portion and cooperating with the window portion to define a first display space and a second display space, the back portion movable with respect to the front portion between an open position in which the artifact may be inserted in a display position and a closed position in which the artifact is held in the display position; and an electronic display positioned adjacent the second window and operable to display an image that is visible in the second window.

10. The artifact holder and display of claim 9, wherein the display area includes a first aperture sized to receive a portion of the first window and a second aperture sized to receive a portion of the second window.

11. The artifact holder and display of claim 10, wherein the display area defines a plane and wherein the first window and the second window extend outward beyond the first plane.

12. The artifact holder and display of claim 9, wherein the back portion connects to the front portion via a hinge.

13. The artifact holder and display of claim 9, wherein the first window and the second window are formed as a single piece.

14. The artifact holder and display of claim 9, wherein the first window and the second window are formed from a different material than the front portion and are chemically or thermally bonded to the front portion.

15. An artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape, the artifact holder and display comprising: a front portion including a frame that surrounds a display space, a first aperture formed in the display space and a second aperture formed in the display spaced and spaced apart from the first aperture; a first window connected to the front portion and having a non-planar portion that extends through the first aperture to at least partially define a first display space; a second window connected to the front portion and having a portion that extends through the second aperture to at least partially define a second display space; and a back portion movably coupled to the front portion and cooperating with the first window and the second window to define the first display space and the second display space, the back portion movable between an open position in which the artifact is insertable into the first display space and a closed position in which the artifact is enclosed and supported for display by the first window and the back portion.

16. The artifact holder and display of claim 15, wherein the back portion connects to the front portion via a hinge.

17. The artifact holder and display of claim 15, wherein the first window and the second window are formed as a single piece.

18. The artifact holder and display of claim 15, wherein the first window and the second window are formed from a different material than the front portion and are chemically or thermally bonded to the front portion.

19. The artifact holder and display of claim 15, further comprising an electronic display disposed within the second display space and operable to display an image visible through the second window.

20. The artifact holder and display of claim 15, wherein the first window has a portion shaped similar to the artifact shape.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

This application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. Section 119(e) of co-pending U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/090,652, filed Aug. 21, 2008, which is fully incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to an artifact holder and display. More particularly, the present invention relates to an artifact holder and display that is formed for the particular artifact.

Artifacts such as bottle corks, golf balls, gun shells, etc. are often kept to remember an achievement or other historic event. Displays built for any particular artifact do not properly display the artifact and often are not able to properly support and protect the artifact.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides an artifact holder configured to hold a particular artifact. The holder includes a front portion having a first window configured to display the artifact and a second window configured to display an item. A back portion is coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the front portion to enclose the artifact and the item and to support the front portion for display.

In one construction, the invention provides an artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape. The artifact holder and display includes a front portion having a frame and a display area surrounded by the frame. A back portion is coupled to the front portion and includes a support portion that supports the front portion and the back portion in a display position. A first window is coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the back portion to define a first display space. The first window has a non-planar shape similar to the artifact shape such that the first window and the back portion hold the artifact in a display position within the first display space. A second window is coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the back portion to define a second display space. The second display space is substantially cubical and sized to receive a substantially planar rectangular object to display a first side of the object.

In another construction, the invention provides an artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape. The artifact holder and display includes a front portion having a frame, a display area surrounded by the frame, and a window portion coupled to the front portion to cover the display area. The window portion includes a first window having a shape similar to the artifact shape and a second window. A back portion is coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the window portion to define a first display space and a second display space. The back portion is movable with respect to the front portion between an open position in which the artifact may be inserted in a display position and a closed position in which the artifact is held in the display position. An electronic display is positioned adjacent the second window and is operable to display an image that is visible in the second window.

In yet another construction, the invention provides an artifact holder and display for holding an artifact having an artifact shape. The artifact holder and display includes a front portion including a frame that surrounds a display space, a first aperture formed in the display space and a second aperture formed in the display space and spaced apart from the first aperture. A first window is connected to the front portion and has a non-planar portion that extends through the first aperture to at least partially define a first display space and a second window is connected to the front portion and has a portion that extends through the second aperture to at least partially define a second display space. A back portion is movably coupled to the front portion and cooperates with the first window and the second window to define the first display space and the second display space. The back portion is movable between an open position in which the artifact is insertable into the first display space and a closed position in which the artifact is enclosed and supported for display by the first window and the back portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an artifact holder configured to hold a bottle cork;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the artifact holder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the artifact holder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an artifact holder configured to hold a ball;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the artifact holder of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an end view of the artifact holder of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the artifact holder of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the front portion of the holder of FIG. 4 without a first window and a second window;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the first window and the second window of the holder of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a center face of a back portion of the holder of FIG. 4;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an outer frame of the holder of FIG. 4;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another artifact holder adapted to support an artifact such as a shotgun shell;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another artifact holder adapted to support an artifact such as a champagne cork;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of another artifact holder adapted to support an artifact such as a rifle shell; and

FIG. 15 is an exploded perspective view of a portion of the artifact holder of FIG. 1 including an electronic display.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including,” “comprising,” or “having” and variations thereof herein is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items. Unless specified or limited otherwise, the terms “mounted,” “connected,” “supported,” and “coupled” and variations thereof are used broadly and encompass direct and indirect mountings, connections, supports, and couplings. Further, “connected” and “coupled” are not restricted to physical or mechanical connections or couplings.

FIGS. 1-3 illustrate one arrangement of an artifact holder 10 and FIGS. 4-7 illustrate a second arrangement of a similar artifact holder 10a. With reference to FIG. 1, the artifact holder 10 is configured to hold a cork from a bottle (e.g., Champaign bottle, wine bottle, etc.). Bottle corks are sometimes saved to commemorate special events such as the formation of a corporation, the completion of a merger, a wedding, etc. Of course, the artifact holder can be configured to hold other artifacts as will be discussed. For example, FIGS. 4-7 illustrate an artifact holder 10a configured to hold a golf ball. Other holders could be configured to hold a gun shell, such as a shotgun shell, a baseball, a softball, a tennis ball, a wine bottle label and cork, or other artifact that one would want to keep.

Returning to FIG. 1, the holder 10 includes a front portion 15 and a rear portion 20. The front portion 15 of the arrangement of FIGS. 4-7 is illustrated in FIG. 8 and includes a frame 25 that surrounds a display area 30. The frame 25 can be a raised planar frame 25, or as illustrated in FIG. 8, the frame 25 can include an angled surface that focuses the viewer toward the display area 30. Many variations of frame arrangement can be employed if desired. In addition, a logo or other symbol could be formed into the frame 25 to identify where the artifact was collected. For example, a cruise line logo or ship name could be formed in the frame 25 to identify where the bottle was opened to further enhance the memory. In the construction of FIG. 4, the name of the resort or golf course, the crest, or other symbol representing the location could be formed in the frame 25 to identify where the memorable shot occurred.

The display area 30 is surrounded by the frame 25 and includes a first aperture 26 and a second aperture 27. The first aperture 26 is sized to receive the desired artifact while the second aperture 27 is sized to receive another item such as a photograph, a label, an LCD display, and the like.

A window member 28, illustrated in FIG. 9 includes a planar portion 29, a first window 35, and a second window 40. In preferred constructions, the first window 35, or artifact window, is sized and shaped to hold the desired artifact. For example, in constructions such as the one of FIG. 1, the first window 35 is an elongated partial cylinder sized to support a cork. In the construction of FIGS. 4 and 7, the first window 35 is a portion of a sphere that is sized to hold a golf ball. In preferred constructions, the first window 35 is sized to closely hold the artifact to inhibit unwanted movement of the artifact. Thus, the first window 35 has a shape that is similar to the artifact shape. More specifically, the first window 35 has an outer surface that substantially matches the shape of the portion of the artifact that is intended to face the viewer and be displayed. Corks and golf balls often include a name that identifies the ball or bottle from which the cork was extracted. It is desirable to display this logo or name. The close fit between the first window 35 and the artifact reduces unwanted movement of the artifact to assure that the name or logo faces outward.

The second window 40 is positioned adjacent the first window 35 and provides a display area for another item. Typically, a photograph of the event or a plaque commemorating the event would be positioned behind the second window 40. The first window 35 and second window 40 are sized to fit through the first aperture 26 and the second aperture 37 respectively. Thus, the window member 28 and the frame 15 cooperate to define a cover that has transparent windows 35, 40 for viewing objects positioned behind the windows 35, 40. In some constructions, additional windows similar to the second window 40 or the first window 35 may be provided to display additional objects, images, or artifacts. In addition, while a single window member 28 is illustrated herein, other constructions may include multiple window members 28 that include one or more of the windows 35, 40.

In one construction, illustrated in FIG. 15, a circuit board 100 fits within the outer frame 50. Short standoffs 105 separate the circuit board 100 from the bottom surface of the outer frame 50. A microprocessor 110 or other control electronics are positioned on the circuit board 100 and are configured to control and provide power to a LCD screen 115 or other display. The LCD screen is supported above the circuit board 100 by a plurality of long standoffs 117 that are sized to position the LCD in the desired position. Memory 120 is also placed on the circuit board to allow for the storage of image files, video files, and or sound files. The LCD 115 is positioned behind the second window 40 (or defines the second window 40) and is operable to display one or more images commemorating the event. One or more power sources 125 are also positioned on or near the circuit board 100 to provide power to the electronic devices. In the construction illustrated in FIG. 15, two batteries are employed to provide power the display 115 and other electronics. In some constructions, an AC power source is employed. In these constructions, power control electronics (e.g., inverters, power regulators, etc.).

The front portion 15 is preferably formed as a single component without the window member 28 using a plastic material as illustrated in FIG. 8. However, other constructions may include multiple pieces that are joined or attached to one another to complete the front portion 15. No matter the construction method employed, the first window 35 and the second window 40 should be formed from a clear (transparent) material to provide minimum distortion for the viewer. Suitable materials include but are not limited to glass and plastic as they provide clear viewing of the artifact and item behind the first window 35 and the second window 40.

In some constructions, the frame 25 and the display area 30 (minus the first window and the second window) are formed from an opaque material or a colored material to provide differentiation between the first window 35 and the second window 40. For example, one construction employs a black plastic material to form the frame 25 and the display area 30 and uses clear plastic for the first window 35 and the second window 40. In still other constructions, the color of the frame 25 is selected based on the location of the event. For example, a cruise line may have a color associated with it. The frame 25 could be formed or colored to include that color to further identify where the event occurred.

In some constructions, the front portion 15 is formed from a plastic material without the first window 35 and the second window 40. The material is colored as desired to provide the desired look and finish. The window member 28 is then attached to, or formed into the frame 25 and display area 30. The windows 35, 40 could be attached using an adhesive, or the frame 25 and display area 30 could be formed or co-molded with the window member 28 if desired.

The back portion 20 includes a center member 45, an outer frame 50, and a support portion 55. The center member 45 can be a substantially planar member that is positioned behind the display area 30 to provide support for the artifact and the item displayed in the first window 35 and the second window 40. In preferred constructions as illustrated in FIG. 10, the center member 45 includes a planar portion 46 and a first indentation 60 that is sized and shaped to enhance the support of the artifact. As such, an elongated partial cylinder may be formed into the center member 45 to enhance the support of a cork or shell, while a portion of a sphere may be formed to enhance the support of a golf ball or other ball.

In addition, a second indentation 65 may be formed to enhance the support of the item behind the second window 40. For example, a shallow rectangular indentation may be employed to support a photograph or plague directly behind the second window 40. In still other constructions, the LCD is supported by the center member 45. The LCD could be embedded into the planar portion 46 or could be mounted to the planar portion 46 such that it sits above the planar portion 46. In preferred constructions, the center member 45 and the window member 28 cooperate to fully enclose two display spaces that are sized and shaped to closely match the size and the shape of the item or artifact being displayed in the particular space.

The outer frame 50 of the back portion 20, illustrated in FIG. 11, is sized to provide the desired rigidity to the display and facilitates attachment of the back portion 20 to the front portion 15. In some constructions, the front portion 15 and the back portion 20 are formed together and include a living hinge or other hinge connection therebetween. However, in other constructions a snap fit or other attachment means is provided between the front portion 15 and the back portion 20.

In some constructions, the outer frame 50 includes a support member 55 in the form of holes or apertures positioned to facilitate the hanging of the display 10, 10a on a wall. In these constructions, the outer frame 50 would typically include two holes that are positioned to allow the display to be hanged in a landscape position or a portrait position.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, the outer frame 50 includes a plurality of standoffs 51 formed as part of the outer frame 50. The standoffs 51 are sized and positioned to support the center member 45 at the desired elevation. In addition, the outer frame 50 includes a channel 52 that receives the front portion 15 such that the windows 35, 40 and the center member 45 are sandwiched and firmly held between the front portion 15 and the outer frame 50.

In constructions that employ an LCD 115 or other electronic display, the outer frame 50 may include a battery compartment if batteries 125 are employed to power the display 115. The electronic components needed to drive the display would preferably be positioned within a cavity formed in the outer frame 50 or would be attached to the outer frame 50. In constructions that utilize AC power, a power cord would extend from the outer frame 50.

The support portion 55 extends from the outer frame 50, or is formed as part of the outer frame 50 and is formed to aid in supporting the display on a desk or other flat surface. As with the hanging apertures, preferred constructions include two support portions 55 to facilitate the positioning of the display in a landscape or a portrait orientation. In the constructions illustrated in FIGS. 1-7, the support portion 55 includes a tapered surface that engages a flat surface to support the outer frame 50 in a display position.

In the illustrated construction, the support portions 55 are formed as part of the outer frame 50. However, other constructions may employ separately formed legs that are attached to the outer frame 50. Additionally, some constructions may employ legs that are movable and can be moved from a retracted position in which they provide no support to an extended position in which they aid in supporting the display. In addition, some constructions may employ one leg or one set of legs that are arranged to support the display in either the landscape or portrait position.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, some constructions include corner holders 53 arranged to engage the corners of a card such as a business card.

In some constructions, the outer frame 50 and the support portion 55 are formed from a plastic material as a single piece. Typically, the same opaque plastic used to form the front portion 15 is used to form the components of the back portion 20. However, in some constructions, different material or different color materials are employed for the components of the back portion 20 when compared to the front portion 15. In preferred constructions, the outer frame 50 and the front portion 15 are formed from a similar material and the center member 45 and the windows 35, 40 are formed separately and are inserted between the front portion 15 and the outer frame 50.

It should be noted that while a rectangular second window 40 has been illustrated herein, other constructions may employ square, circular, oval, elliptical, or other shaped windows 40. In addition, larger windows or smaller windows could be employed for the second window 40 if desired. In addition, in the illustrated constructions, the first window 35 and the second window 40 are separate from one another. However, other constructions as illustrated in FIG. 9 may employ a single window that provides for the display of the artifact and the item. In some constructions, the single window defines a single space. However, the preferred construction includes a single piece of material that partially defines two separate spaces as illustrated in FIG. 9.

To manufacture the display 10, 10a, the various components are first formed. In preferred constructions, the frame 15 is injection molded or otherwise formed from a plastic material. Preferably, an opaque or colored plastic is employed. The window member 28 is also formed from a plastic material via an injection molding or other suitable process. In one construction, the window portion and the frame 15 are co-molded. In these constructions, the window member 28 is first formed from a transparent plastic material. The frame 15 is then injection molded around the window member 28 to form a single component. In other constructions, an adhesive is used to attach the window member 28 to the frame 15 or the window member 28 is not permanently attached to the frame 15.

The center member 45 is formed from a suitable plastic material and can be opaque or transparent. In one construction, the center member 45 is injection molded with drawing and other manufacturing process also being suitable. Similarly, the outer frame 50 is formed from a plastic material using suitable manufacturing techniques. In preferred constructions, the same material is used to form the frame 15 and the outer frame 50.

In constructions that include an LCD or other electronic device, the power source and control electronics are next positioned within the outer frame. The LCD is supported in the desired position above a bottom of the outer frame 50. The center member 45 is then positioned to cover the electronics, while providing a display space for the artifact and while allowing for the passage or viewing of the LCD. In constructions that do not employ any electrical components, the center member 45 is positioned on the standoffs 51 to position the center member 45 in the desired position.

The frame 15 and window member 28 are coupled to the outer frame 50 to complete the assembly and define two display spaces.

To use the display 10, 10a the user first opens the display 10, 10a or removes the frame 15 and window member 28. In constructions in which the frame 15 is hinged to the outer frame 50 to allow the frame 15 to move with respect to the outer frame 50. In constructions in which the frame 15 is not connected to the outer frame 50, the user simply removes the frame 15 and the window member 28. The user then positions the desired objects in the display spaces and repositions the window member 28 such that the planar portion 29 of the window member 28 is in contact with the planar portion 46 of the center member 45. The frame 15 is then connected to the outer frame 50 (or connected when the window member 28 is positioned as described) to complete the placement of the items to be displayed. The display is then positioned by the user for display.

As discussed, FIGS. 1-3 disclose a display 10 suited for use in displaying a cork while FIGS. 4-7 disclose a display 10a suited for use in displaying a golf ball. FIG. 12 illustrates another construction of a display 10b that is well-suited to the display of a shotgun shell. FIG. 13 illustrates a display 10c arranged to display a champagne cork and FIG. 14 illustrates a display 10d arranged to display a rifle shell.

Thus, the invention provides, among other things, a new and useful display for use in displaying an artifact. The display includes two or more windows with one window sized and shaped to hold and support an artifact for display.