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Publication numberUS1254790 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 29, 1918
Filing dateJan 23, 1917
Priority dateJan 23, 1917
Publication numberUS 1254790 A, US 1254790A, US-A-1254790, US1254790 A, US1254790A
InventorsIda May Fuller
Original AssigneeIda May Fuller
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fire-illusion apparatus.
US 1254790 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



APPLICATION FILED IAN. 23. 1911- Patented Jan. 29, 1918.




Patented Jan. 29, 1918.




Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented J an. 29, 1918.

Application led January 23, 1917. Serial No. 143,900.

To all whom z't may concern.'

Be it known that I, losA MAY FULLER, a citizen of the United States, residing at New York, in the county of New York and State of New York, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Fire-Illusion Apparatus, of which the following is a full, clear, and exact specification.

This invention relates to theater appliances and particularly to appliances for the simulation of fire by the billowing and illumination of a fabric in air currents.

The object of the invention is to effectively produce a realistic illusion of fire, in which the flames constantly change in position and character without ever appearing twice alike in the same place and forni. I A further object of the invention is to provide fire simulating apparatus which will economize the use of air blast, and not necessitate an installation either excessive in size or 1n the power consumed, even for extensive scenic efl'ects.

The invention broadly resides in the combination of a colored fabric, representing the flame, with a normally invisible support or background, which controls the waving of the colored fabric, directs the air blast so as to produce a peculiar billowing of the fabric, and may also perform the function of scenery when the fire effect is not used. Y

The colored sheet is loosely hung so as to billow freely and easily; and the air currents passing between the sheet and the background need only be strong enough to gently billow the sheet in its suspended position, so that when roperly lightedh 1t produces a realistic e lect of anextensive lire. The normally invisible background not only directs the air blast, butalso is adapted to represent parts of scenery, such as buildings, draperies, window openings, etc., which are to be seemingly burned. The removal of the flame sheet and cutting ofi or change of the lighting can thus uncover a painted background which was previously invisible during the fire, so as to show an opening, or a distant landscape, or a charred wall, tree, etc. By this invention, much larger scenic fire effects can be produced without excessive apparatus, thanwith previouslyused lire illusion apparatus, and also this invention opens up a field for the use the buildings and trees.

of very large lire effects in` conjunction with ordinary scenery which has not heretofore been available.

in the accompanying drawings,

Figure lis a front view in perspective y0f a stage scene provided with apparatus einbodying this invention;

Fig. 2 is a sectional detail view;

Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view;

Fig. 4 is a plan View;

Fig. 5 is a perspective view of a special application for a window, and

Fig. 6 is a vertical sectional view of the same.

In the drawings, l is a stage on which is scenery such as buildings 2, and trees 3. In order to simulate lire within the buildings and behind the trees, openings l are left for doors and windows in the buildings, and spaces 5 show between the trees. Through these spaces can be seen flame sheets or curtains 6, representing a fire within or behind These flame sheets can be vertical, or horizontal, or inclined.

These flames sheets 6 are made of light colored silk and are fastened to battens 7, at top and bottom, and are positioned over an open-work base 8, to which currents of air blow upwardly from fans 9 to billow or flutter the sheets. l0 is the normally invisible background or partition piece located just to the rear of and close to the flame sheet, and spaced from the bottom of the latter so that air passing through the netting 8 will irregularly billow and wave upwardly between the background and sheet, as wellas in front, until it escapes at the top. rThis background can be power. Additional control of the air can be secured by the scenery in front ofthe flame sheet, see Fig. 3, thus further guiding and economizing the blast.

The Yflame sheets, Curtains, streamers oi" the like, 6, may be variously colored and shaded to coperate with the lighting in producing the illusion of flames and smoke. Where it is desired to give the appearance ot' sparks in the fire, bright reflecting spots'Ql Willi be fastened to the Vsheet to sparkle `in the rays of light. Sparks may alsogbe simu-` lated by introducing bright pieces of colored material into the front air blast, and it is apparent that the flame sheet of this invention may be combined in any desired manner with other fire simulating appliances such as fluttering streamers, etc.

`T he illumination for the curtain may be furnished by lights placed in anyrdesired manner withV relation to the curtain. In Figs. 1 to L1, the sheet iS lighted by lamps 11 below, and lamps 12 at the sides, all of which lamps are located near the plane of' the curtain so that thebillows and ripples will be accentuated and produce areas of light and shade which sweep across the curtain, like flames Vof fire. Means may be provided whereby the coloring of the lightswill be rapidly varied to indicate the chan'gingcolors in the flames. Additional lights4 may be used toaccentuaten certain local eflects and as shown in 3, the rays of lamp 13 in the wingsserve/to illuminate the trees and buildings silhouetted against, the `coiiflagration' behind them. u y, k ,Y

To indicate the spread of the fire theillumination'of the sheets may becarried on in a progressive Vmanner and Ythe sli'efet'v itself may be bodily moved with the sameeffect to extend the burning overthe scenery behind,

and to finally disappear entirely andun- Ycover, ab'ackground of the blackened and V"charred remains, represented preferably on fthe rearscree'n'or partition 10.

The rear/partition or background 10,'if

Vdesired Vto remain invisible after the fire, can

bea dull black. It maybe madeto representv an ordinary window frame or` door in connection with the burning of a curtain or drapery.vv TWhen not specially illuminated and billowed by the air, the sheet appears simply as'an ordinary curtain'or drapery.

In Figs'. 5 and 6' the flame sheet 16 is shown suspended to represent window curtains or draperies in front of the background painted to represent the charred remains of a burned window. TheV sheet 16 while billowing and fluttering is illuminated and then lowered to uncover the background 17.

"This-is done by raising counterweights 18 and dropping or raising the sheet. The effeet produced is that of a progressing fire which leaves behind Va blackenedwindow casing. To heighten the illusion the top of th'esheet 16 is'extende'd beyond its points of suspensionand released in loose ends 20ct curtains,'c'an be applied to the sails of a ship, or a whole buildingor tent can be built ofsheets which when set in motion will represent a conflagration seemingly consuming the whole structure. Sections'of Ythe curtain itself may be cut away to show parts of the background behind.

The apparatusof this invention provides for a largevariety of stage effects in which the simulated conflagration acts in a most realistic manner.y Inthe lire kproduced by the waving4 curtain, the flames 4constantly shift in Vlocation and in never endingsuccession, their height and cliaracterbeing conf trolled by the illumination and the air blast. The height and moyen'ient of the flames are not limited by fixed lengths of streamers,

or by the loose edge of a 4fabric simply flap.- pin gba ck and forth within a restricted compass, VThe invention while Apractically unlimited Yin its Yscope,isat,the saine time economical of air and'lpower, because the air isnot required to support as well asflutter the flame sheet, and the movement is more irregular u as compared vwithprior arrangef mente.' Y ,Y ,Y ,i

Aein,.additional,use of this invention is to represent av riverof (fire, flowingflava, or

Otheriaoltii.matfal'ethe in iQlsv 01"' HOW'- ing, can be produced by causingthe flame sheet Vto billow` downward on a slightlylin-l clined background] by. air currentsirom fabove,the background being painted to repuresent a volcanoor mountain 'fastening the sheet loosely Vat all sides, While forcing the air through at one end and illuminating from beneatlior above, theinasswould appeartovbubbleand boil; Alprairie iirecould 'i be simulated in a similar manner with aflat sheet having holesthrough. which bunches of grass would project, vso that the sheet would billow aroundl the wavingl grass and seemingly consume it by blending with it. yThe red colored lights would tintjtheV grass the proper color. i Y

It will' be understood, of course, that'in adjusting'the,apparatus to produce the desired effect, the operator will suitably adjust ythespeed'of the fan motorsand the direction ofthe blast,in the manner best adapted. to

meet individuall conditions.

The details of the apparatus may be changed to accommodate it to various scenes,

nation with asheet supported tobe billowed by air currents, of anair guiding surface placed in proximity thereto so as to leave a compact space between said sheet and said surface, means for illuminating said sheet, and means for directing air currents between said sheet and said surface to billow said sheet in a manner simulating flames of tire.

2. In fire illusion apparatus, the combination with a suspended sheet arranged to be loose and full in all directions, of an air guiding surface placed in proximity thereto so as to leave a compact space between said sheet and said surface, means for illuminating said sheet, and means for directing air currents between said sheet and said surface to billow said sheet in a manner simulating flames of fire.

3. A stage apparatus comprising a sheet, curtain or the like, a normally invisible background behind said curtain representing a surface exposed to fire, means for forcing air between said partition and said curtain to billow it, means for illuminating said billowing sheet to produce an illusion of fire,

said curtain being removable to expose said background and represent the after edect o1 fire. y

4. In stage apparatus, the combination of a loosely suspended sheet, means for directing air currents along said sheet to billow it in a manner imitating the movement of llames, means for illuminating said sheet to produce an illusion of lire, a background behind the sheet representing a burned surface corresponding to the ame area of said sheet, and means Jfor removing said sheet to'expose said background representing the charred remains seemingly caused by the sheet of flame.

5. In fire illusion apparatus, the combination with a sheet suspended to loosely billow, means for directing air currents along said sheet to billowit, means for illuminating said sheet to produce areas of light and shade which sweep across the sheet and simulate flames, and pieces of reflecting material scattered over said sheet and attached thereto in position to receive said illumination and intermittently glitter and represent flying sparks of fire. 4

In testimony whereof I affix my signature, in -presenee ot' two witnesses.



Copies ot this patent may be obtained for ve cents each, by addressing the Commissioner ot Intenta,

Washington, D. C.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2474472 *Mar 20, 1945Jun 28, 1949Doyle Charles CDomestic electric heater
US3321859 *Feb 3, 1964May 30, 1967Frost & Company Ltd HElectrical illumination devices
US3742189 *Sep 20, 1971Jun 26, 1973Meyer F Of CaliforniaSimulated fireplace assembly
US5989128 *Jan 8, 1998Nov 23, 1999Universal Studios, Inc.Flame simulation
US6944982Sep 27, 2002Sep 20, 2005Napoloen Systems And Developments Inc.Flame simulating apparatus
US7080472Nov 23, 2004Jul 25, 2006Napoleon Systems And Develpements Inc.Flame simulating apparatus
US20050086841 *Nov 23, 2004Apr 28, 2005Napoleon Systems And Developments Inc.Flame simulating apparatus
U.S. Classification472/65
Cooperative ClassificationA63J5/023, A63J5/10, A63J5/028
European ClassificationA63J5/10, A63J5/02F