US 20070248922 A1
A hidden message candle apparatus comprising a two part container divided into an inner portion and an outer portion, a candle, a message sheet, and a heat-activated covering in sticker form. The transparent top portion of the outer container forms a cylindrical gap, when the inner container is nested in the outer container, and a message imprinted sheet with the heat-activated covering is inserted therein. A candle or other heat source is disposed in the bottom part of the inner container. Upon activating the heat source, the heat from the heat source raises the temperature of the air in the cylindrical gap, and acts on the heat-activated ink sticker causing it to become transparent and reveal the message on the sheet.
1. An apparatus for displaying hidden messages, the apparatus comprising a transparent container; a heat source disposed in the container; a sheet with messages disposed in the container; a heat-activated covering over the sheet, the heat-activated covering being opaque at room temperature and transparent when heated to a temperature above room temperature; whereby messages on the sheet become visible when the heat-activated covering is heated by a heat source in the container.
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18. An apparatus for displaying hidden messages, said apparatus comprising a cylindrical lidless inner container, a cylindrical lidless outer container, wherein the outer container comprises a lower portion that abuts the sides and bottom of the inner container and an upper portion that encircles the sides of the inner container at a distance, leaving a cylindrical gap between the inner and outer containers which is covered by a lip projecting outward from the top of the inner container; a candle disposed in the inner container; a sheet with messages; a heat-activated sticker which is opaque at room temperature and transparent when heated above room temperature covering the sheet; the heat-activated sticker and sheet disposed in the cylindrical gap; wherein messages on the sheet are revealed when the candle burns and the heat-activated sticker becomes transparent.
19. A method of displaying hidden messages comprising the steps of; attaching a message sheet onto an opaque heat-activated sticker; placing the sheet and sticker in a cylindrical gap in a two-part transparent container; disposing a candle in a bottom portion of the container; lighting the candle; and observing the sheet as messages are revealed.
Portions of the disclosure of this patent document contain material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
The present invention relates in general to candles, more particularly to candles that display messages, and more particularly, to a candle apparatus that reveals hidden messages by using the heat produced from a burning candle or other source.
Candles that display messages are known in the art. Messages may be words, expressions or simply an ornamental design. In some instances, the messages to be delivered are directly visible on the candle. By using a transparent or translucent wax, messages can be directly displayed as the candle burns. Other candles include hidden messages disposed within or on the surface of the candle body. As the candle burns, the wax melts and the messages are revealed. Various methods and related structures have been used in conjunction with the candle to efficiently deliver the hidden messages.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,934 to Butler discloses a message display candle. Message characters or objects are embedded in combustible transparent gel in the candle body and are visible whether the candle is burning or not. The messages can be changed and the message characters can be wax characters in a gel matrix or formed as part of the bottom or wall of the candle body. The messages in the candle are not hidden however, and are visible whether the candle is burning or not.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,435,694 to Bell discloses a candle insert that includes an outer portion and an inner portion. The outer portion can be made of a gel composition and has a recess into which the inner portion is positioned. The inner receptacle is clear and is concealed by the outer portion. The inner portion may be formed from wax or gel or other suitable candle body material. The outer portion may contain a variety of decorative objects or may be designed to produce a variety of decorative effects. When a wick in the inner portion is lit, light from the inner portion passes through the outer portion of the candle and enhances decorative effects that are dispersed in the outer candle body. The lack of a hidden message feature, and the added second gel layer distinguish this candle from the present invention.
U.S. Pub. No. 20050079465 to Tillieux discloses a candle containing a secret message, which is displayed as the candle is consumed. A non-burnable plate with inscribed message is placed substantially horizontal in the candle. The non-burnable plate includes an orifice for a wick to pass through. Messages can be added and the plate is placed on the stock candle. Following which, more wax is added to cover the plate and the messages are revealed as the candle burns down. Although this candle reveals hidden messages, the method used to achieve this by using a plate and pouring the wax on the plate is different from the present invention.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,696,640 to Pitchford discloses a candle that includes a personalized message disposed in a fire and leak proof container. The message may be a fortune, words of endearment, a game token, or a coupon redeemable for a prize or price discount on a product. The container is initially hidden from the viewer. The candle is consumed until such time as the container or token is revealed. Alternately, the candle can have a strip extending along the longitudinal axis. Messages on the strip will be readable as the candle burns. The candle relies on melting wax to display the hidden messages.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,304,547 to Buzil discloses a candle that includes a plurality of tabs securely positioned with a heat sensitive adhesive on the outside of the candle. The tabs are positioned at various levels. When the candle is burning at a level where a tab is located, the tab becomes detachable and may be pulled away from the candle for revealing a message previously hidden by the tab. Although the application of the heat sensitive adhesive appears to be similar, the heat sensitive adhesive is used to physically remove the tab, rather than reveal a message automatically.
Although candles that reveal messages are known in the art, there is a need for a more simple, efficient, and convenient means of revealing a hidden message on a candle. Furthermore, there is a need for a secret message that can be revealed and exposed repeatedly, and that can present customized messages. These and other objects of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the appended Summary, Description and Claims.
The present invention is directed to a candle apparatus that reveals hidden messages. The candle apparatus mainly includes two cylindrical containers, namely, an outer container and a transparent inner container nesting in the outer container. The outer container comprises a bottom portion and a transparent top portion. The inner dimensions of the bottom portion of the outer container are adapted to abut the bottom and lower sides of the inner container. The inner diameter of the top portion is more than that of the bottom portion, and therefore a cylindrical gap is created between the inner container and the top portion of the outer container. A candle or other suitable heat source is disposed in the inner container.
A sheet or paper printed with an image is covered with heat-activated ink, which is opaque at room temperature and becomes transparent when heated to a certain temperature. Pictures, messages, or any image can be imprinted on the sheet and then covered with the heat-activated ink, rendering it opaque when at room temperature. The sheet covered with the heat-activated ink is placed in the cylindrical space of the apparatus and the candle is lit. Gradually, the heat from the burning candle raises the temperature in the containers, and acts on the heat-activated ink sticker causing it to turn transparent, thereby revealing the image on the sheet.
Referring to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of an improved candle apparatus is illustrated in
The heat-activated ink is opaque at room temperature and becomes transparent when heated by a candle in close proximity. In one embodiment, the heat-activated ink is made in a sticker form that can be applied to an image created by a user. The heat-activated ink sticker 15 is placed on the backing paper 16 before usage. After messages are imprinted on the sheet 14, the heat-activated ink sticker 15 is applied to the sheet 14 covering the messages. As seen in
The inner container 12 has a lip 20 disposed around its rim, which extends outward to a distance sufficient to cover the cylindrical space 19 between the inner and outer containers. The cylindrical space 19 is wide enough to receive the sheet 14 covered by the heat-activated ink. The width of the cylindrical space should be carefully chosen such that it facilitates minimal loss of heat to reveal the messages effectively. The outer container 11, especially its top portion, and inner container 12 can be made of glass, acrylic, fiberglass, or another transparent and heat-resistant and heat conductive material.
The candle 13 disposed at the bottom of the inner container is used as a heat source. Alternately, wax or gel can be poured in the bottom of the inner container 12 and a plurality of wicks placed in the wax or gel. The heat source can also be electric, which is powered either by a battery or by a cord that extends through the apparatus 10 and connected to a power supply.
When the candle 13 is extinguished, the air inside the apparatus 10 cools down. The heat-activated ink sticker 15 regains its opacity and the messages on the sheet 14 disappear. When the candle 13 is completely consumed, a user can place a new candle in the bottom portion or pour wax and place a plurality of wicks the wax. When the new candle is lit, the messages are revealed again. In this way, the apparatus can be used repeatedly. Users may easily replace an existing message sheet with a new message sheets.
All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.
Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6.
Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.