US 2348250 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
9, 1944- w. M. GARDNER -ETAL I 2,348,250
'DISPLAY a Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 17, 1941 INVENTORS May 9, 1944. w. M. GARDNER E' l'AL 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 DISPLAY Filed March 17, 1941 I '6I NVENTORS y 4- v w. M. GAFIQDNER ET AL DISPLAY.
3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March l'Z, 1941 INVZQTORIS Patented May 9, 1944 UNITED STATES RATENT OFFICE 2,343,259 I DISPLAY William Gardnerand Mary C. Gardner, Pittsburgh, Pa., assignors to Gardner Displays Company, a corporation of Pennsylvania APPlioation March 17, 1941, Serial No. 383,7l0.
8 Qlaims ll. 46 119) This invention relates to improvements in displays adapted for advertisement; amusement an other purposes.
One of the objects of our invention is, to pr vide a display which is animated and-is simple in, construction and operation.
Another object of the invention is to provide. a device which can be. animated or operated by an increase or. decrease of the air pressurelnside the device.
A further object is .thecproduction .of a display which may be readily moved into and out of view by a change in pressure of the airinside the device.
sun; another object of theinventionis in-x flatable figure which can be animated. without the aid of mechanical, devices inside the figure itself. Complicated and life-like movements can be imparted to a display by relatively simple apparatus. L
Other objects and advantages .of the. inventionwill be apparent during'the course 'of the fol lowing description.
In the accompanying drawings we have shown for purposes of illustration only certain exemplary embodiments. of our invention.
Figure 1 is a view partly in elevation andparte the inflated Wall of the device broken away to.
reveal a detail of structure,
Figure 6 is a view partly in elevation and partly in vertical section of the structure shown in Figure 5, a part thereof being in collapsed conditibn,
Figure '7 is a view partly in side elevation and partly in vertical section of another displa'ydevice, and
Figure 8 is a view in elevation of the front ofthe device shown in Figure '7.
In Figure 1 of thedrawings, there is shown a display device which simulates the upper portion of a human body. The'body consists of a hollow trunk portion 10, two hollow arms H, each terminating in a hand l2, and a hollow head 13 joined to the trunk by the hollow neck porportlon of 1ation It. The arms and head are in communication with the hollow space inside the trunk. The body is preferably made from a flexible airtight or substantially air-tight fabric or material. We prefer to use a fabric which is relatively non-extensible although various parts of the figure, such as parts of the head, may be made from an extensible air-tight material, e. g., rubber. To obtain desirable efiects, certain portions of the figure may be made from material which has a flexing quality differing from that possessed by the material from which other portions of the body is made. For example, each of the elbow portions I 5 of the arms H may be made from material which is more flexible or less flexible than the material from which the remainderof the arm is formed. The shoulder portion I6 and the neck 14 may likewise be'made of fabric having flexing qualities difiering from those possessed by the other material. So also the head l3- could be made flexible or inflexible and the features made of materials more flexible or less, flexible than the material of which the rest of the head is made. By a judicious selection and arrangement of materials it is possible to make a, figure to which attractive and y arrestin movements c n,v be impartedby con rol n and han ing he pre ure o e air in ide the fi ure.
The, base of the figure is secured in air-tight engagement to the top I! of a standv or base l8. A low pressure blower I9 is disposed inside the stand and, from the blower an air pipe 2 9 extends into the hollow trunk l0 and terminates just above the top I1. Leading from the inside of the figure to the stand l-8 is'a'f-ai-rl-y large circular opening 2| in which'is seated a valve 22 that is hingedly connected at 23 to the top H,
soas to open upwardly into the interior of the figure. The valve is operated by a lever 24 which is urged'so. as to close the valve by the spring 25 and ismov'ed in the opposite direction to'open the valve by the rotatable cam' 26. The cam 26 has lobes of varying height, spaced unequally apart. This gives what appears to be unpredictable and irregular movements to the figure. The valveis made, fairly large so that'a relatively small movement thereof will permit a fairly large 'amountof air -to rapidly escape and appreciably affect the pressure inside the figure and consequently the movement of the Parts. The cam 26 isdesigned so that the valve 22 is closed until the figure is inflated and thereafter the. valve isonene a d losed atnr det Imi-n d or intermittent intervals as desired; This permits the pressure to be relieved and reestablished and the change in air pressure causes movement of the various parts of the figure. After a. desired interval of time the valve may be opened widely enough to cause the pressure to drop to tions 29 and 28, respectively. In order to ensure that the trunk [0 will not, when collapsed,
foul the valve 22, or the discharge end of pipe- 20, a screen 30 is provided to overlie the valve and the end of the pipe and to project upwardlyinside the trunk I0.
When there is no air under pressure being supplied, the figure will be in a deflated or collapsed condition and will lie closely adjacent the top I! of the stand, where it can be readily hidden from view by an appropriate screen 3| (shown in dotted lines). Soon after the blower I9 is put in operation the figure will be inflated and asthe valve 22 is opened and closed the various parts of the'figure will be caused to move due to the relief and re-establishment of the air pressure.
Erratic movements can ,be imparted, say to an arm, by the provision of a shifting weight, the movement of which will change the center, of gravity of the arm. In Figure 2, we show an arm in which a metal ball 32 is placed. The arm Ila is shaped so that, when in the elevated position the elbow 15a is below the shoulder and the hand. A perforate flexible screen .33 adja cent the elbow extends across the hollow space in the arm. Asthe pressure is relieved the hand I2a will drop to a level below the elbow portion and the weight will shift toward the hand and hasten the dropping of the arm.
In Figure 4 there is shown a display simulating anelephant. The elephant has a hollow. body 34,.hollow legs 35, a hollow tail 36, a hollow head 31, hollow cars 38 and a hollow trunk 39. The displayis covered with a flexible substantially air-tight material, having portions of differing degrees of flexibility, e.ig., portions of the legs, tail, 'trunk, ears, neck,;etc.-
llrunderv the stand 41 supplies. air to the,.body thrqugh a. front leg; A. valve 42, .ope'rated by.a cgam l3, is located 111 one ,o: the. other. logs and controls the discharge of" air from tbe fig1zref after the figure is inflated the'valve is opened.
and closed at desired intervals, regular orirregular for a predetermined length of time. The
valve is then widely opened and the figure col-' lapses and drops behind the screen 45: The cam:
43 can be similar to cam 26 shown in Figure 3.
A blower The change in air pressure causes various parts of the animals body to move.
In Figures 5 and 6, there is shown a screen or.
shroud 4B which surrounds, when inflated, the
sides of an article 41, here a modern refrigerator.
When collapsed, the screen-drops into a space 48 around the bottom of the article displayed.
hollow air space 5I.' The front and sides of th shroud are decorated to represent the front and sides of an old fashioned refrigerator. At in-' tervals hoops 52 are s cured to the fabric walls.
to prevent bulging of the walls when the shroud is inflated.
The bottom of the shroud terminates in an enlarged portion or manifold 53 having walls of material less flexible than the material of which the walls of the shroud are made, or the material may be substantially rigid. A blower 54 forces air under pressure into the manifold 53 and thence into the hollow space between the walls. A relief or exhaust valve 55 similar to that already described (22) is also provided in the manifold walls. This valve is opened and closed by a cam 56, which at stated intervals opens and closes the valve. When the blower is in operation and the valve closed, the walls of the shroud 46 will be inflated and will rise and surround the refrigerator 4'! and give the appearance of an'old fashioned refrigerator on display. When the valve 55 is opened the air pressure will be decreased or relieved and the side walls 49 and 50 will drop down into the space 48 and the modern refrigerator 4'! will be revealed. In Figure 6 the walls of the shroud are shown collapsed, in which condition the walls are hidden.
In Figures 7 and 8 there is shown a display which consists of an article to be shown such as a modern refrigerator 51, the face 58 of which is on view behind, for example, a show window 59. A hollow screen 60 is arranged between the windowand the face of the article 51. The screen is made from flexible air-tight material having a space between the layers. The bottom of the screen connects with a manifold 6| into which air is blown at low pressure by means of a blower 62. A valve 63, similar to the re-' lease valve 22already described, is arranged in the manifold. The valve is opened by means of a cam 64 similar to cam 56 already described. Cross rods 65 extend horizontally across the screen inside the front wall and are secured thereto. The ends of the rods 65 are hooked to the guide rods 66 which extend from brackets 61 to a position below the top of the stand 68. This arrangement prevents undesirable billowing of the four walls of the'screen and positively guides the screen. In many instances it will be unnecessary-to'provide guide nieans'and anti-billowing devices. Similar rods 69 may be arranged to prevent'billowing of the rear walls if desired. CPO air}. in collapsing the screen, biasing means, such -as' a. metal bar 'lo; can. be attached to the screen. V K 7' The face of the screentfl is prepared to resemble, when extended, the face of an old fashionedarticle of the kind displayed, e. g., an old fash-z The screen is raised to exioned refrigerator. tended position by air from the blower 62, when the'va1ve.63 is closed.- Whenthe valve 63 is kept opened by the. action of the'cam 64 the.
A valve 18 controls the passage of air tothe duct 16 and branch 11. A valve 19 controls the passage of air through the duct 13 and branch l5. The valves are connected by an operatingv linkage to the hinged lever 80. By appropriatemovement of lever 80,'either manually or auto--.
matically, the valves 18 and, 19 may be settO form no part of this cause the blower to inflate or deflate the device connected to the manifold Bla.
We have found that a suitable pressure is from about two pounds per square inch to about flve pounds per square inch, but pressures smaller or greater may be employed. The pressure chosen will depend on the degree of flexibility of the material used and the size of the article to be inflated. In general the larger the article the higher the pressure, but it should be borne in mind that it is desirable from the standpoint of economy to utilize as low a pressure as possible.
While we have shown certain exemplary embodiments of our invention it will be apparent that the invention may be embodied in many other types of apparatus and that changes in the shape, size and arrangement of the apparatus may be made without departing from the scope of the claims.
We claim as our invention:
1. A device of the class described comprising a hollow inflatable unicellular body formed from substantially air-tight flexible material, portions of said material being ubstantially inextensible and other portions being extensible, means for continuously supplying air to the interior of the body and automatic means. separate from said air supplying means for relieving and re-establishing the pressure at intermittent intervals.
2. A device of the class described comprising a collapsible inflatable body, means whereby a substantial volume of air is continuously introduced into the body and tending to inflate the body, automatic means separate from said first mentioned means for intermittently varying the extent of inflation, and separate means secured to the body for controlling the shape of the inflated body.
3. A device of the class described comprising a collapsible inflatable body, means for continuously supplying a constant volume of low pressure air to the interior of the body, automatic means separate from said first mentioned means for intermittently varying the extent of inflation, and means for varying the center of gravity of a portion of the body.
4. A device of the class described comprising a collapsible inflatable body, means whereby a substantial volume of air is continuously introduced into the body and tending to inflate the body, automatic means for intermittently Varying the extent of inflation, and means secured to the body for urging a part of the body downwardly.
5. A device of the class described, including a hollow base, a collapsible inflatable body secured to the base, a blower in said base, a discharge pipe leading from the blower into the body and in constant communication with the body, said base having an pening of relatively large size between the base and the body a valve in said opening and means for opening and closing the valve at predetermined intervals.
6. A device of the class described, including a hollow base, a collapsible inflatable body secured to the base, a blower in said base, a discharge pipe leading from the blower into the body and in constant communication with the body, a valve interposed between the base and the body means for opening and closing the valve at predetermined intervals and means in said body overlying the valve for preventing the material of the body from fouling the valve.
7. A device of the class described, including a hollow base, a collapsible unicellular inflatable body secured to the base, a blower in said base, a discharge pipe leading from the blower into the body and in constant communication with the body, said base having an opening between the base and the body and means for opening and closing the opening at predetermined irregular intervals.
8. A device of the class described, including a hollow base, a collapsible inflatable body secured to the base, a blower in said base, a discharge pipe leading from the blower into the body and in constant communication with the body, a valve interposed between the base and the body means including a cam rotatatively driven for opening and closing the valve at predetermined intervals and means in said body overlying the valve for preventing the material of the body from fouling the valve.
WILLIAM M. GARDNER. MARY C. GARDNER.