US 2543606 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 27, 1951 R. SOLOMON. ET AL 2,543,606
APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING SIMULATED SNOWSTORMS Filed April 5, 1949 4 Sheets-Sheet l (0 INVE" N ATORS RAN LPfl L M N MfiRY N R- LQMON Feb. 27, 1951 R. SOLOMON ET AL 2,543,606
APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING SIMULATED SNOWSTORMS Filed April 5, 1949 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 u INVENTORS RBN OLPfi SQLOM N MfiR R 5OLONON BY fwamw 2M2;
J XTT 0 RN EYS Feb. 27, 1951 R. SOLOMON ET AL I 2,543,605
APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING SIMULATED SNOWSTORMS Filed April 5, 1949 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 uvmvrozzs RA LPH S L M MFEQVIN R SO O OJ T am. z nz M Feb. 27, 1951 R. SOLOMON ET AL APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING SIMULATED SNOWSTORMS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 5, 1949 s m w, T M mmmm moo m W ml Dv M Nm/ mm Patented Feb. 27, 1951 APPARATUS FORPRODUCI-NG SIMULATED SNOWSTORMS Randolph Solomon, Washington, D. 0., and Marwin R. Solomon, Alexandria, Va.; saidlRandolph Solomonassignor of one-fourth to :Florence W. Solomon and said Marvin R. Solomon assignor of one-fourth to Martha L. :Solomon, both of Alexandria, Va.
Application April 5, 1949, Serial No. 85,666
7 Claims. 1
This invention relates toa display device which may be placed in or embodied *ina show window or a theatre, or which may be used at any other place and which will produce a simulated snow storm.
I-n accordamce with the invention, small particles of white paper or other material, which may beof a size and shape generally approximating snowflakes'a-re caused to fall slowly behind awindow. As the small particles simulating the snowflakes reach-the lower portion of the display device they are caught by a blast of air and conducted through'a closed duct or passage to the upper portion of the display device to again fall slowly behind the window. Thus, the snowsimulating particles constantly are in circulation with the result that a simulation ofa'continuing snow storm is .obtained as long as the blast of air continues.
The invention will be further-described in connection with the accompanying drawings which illustrate severalembod-i-ments of apparatus which may be used in producing the simulated snow storms. However, it-is to beunderstood that such further and detailed description is by way of examplification and the invention is not limited thereby.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of a display device embodying one form-of my invention,
Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view on line 2--2 of Fi 1:
Fig. 3 is a horizontal sectional view On line 3-'3 of Fig. 2,
Fig. 4 is a partial sectional view, similar to Fig. 2, of a modified form of the display device,
Fig. 5 isa horizontal sectional view on line 55 of Fig. 4,
Figs. 6, '7 and Bare detail views of features of the embodiment of the invention shown-in Figs.
4 and 5, i
Fig. 9 is a horizontal sectional view of a further embodiment of the invention taken on line 9-9 of Fig. 11,
Fig. 10'is a'verti'cal sectionalvi'ew taken on line Ill-ll] of Fig. 9, and
Fig. 11 is a horizontal sectional view taken on line Il-H of Fig. 9.
Referring first to Figs. 1 to 3, the display device comprises a housing I which encloses a display space? in which articles may be displayed and in which the simulated snow storm is produced. 'Thehousing may be a separate unit or it may form a part of or an entire display window of a store,-or the like.
The front of the display space is closed by a large window '3 hinged atone side, as at l, to give access to the space 2 for the arranging of displays and the like. 'The rear wall 5 of the display space 2 may be so formed as to depict a'ny desired scene. In the drawings it is shown as depicting a portion of the front of a house; and in order to make it more realistic is formed with window-and door simulationst and 1, respectively, having glass panes through which light from an illuminated space 8 in the rear of the wallfi may shine. Lamps 9 are placed in the space 8 for providing the necessary illumination. A simulated roof -9 and porch Hi contribute to giving a more realistic appearance to the depicted house, and the porch providesaspace on which displays may be made, if desired.
The floor-of the space between the front of the porch H and the window 3, which also may be used 'for supporting articles to be displayed, is foraininous for the passage of artificial or simulated snowflakes in the manner hereinafter described and preferably is formed of :a relatively coarse screen 12 having open'ingsoi such sizethat the artificial snowflakes will readily pass therethrough. An inclined wall 13 is positioned beneath the screen 1-2, :and with the screen 42 and "a bafile M forms a downwardly and rearwardly inclined space 15 which extends the entire width of the display space 2 and opens at its-l'oWe-r'rear end into a :lower horizontal duct It which also is the full width of the displa space. 'The rear of the horizontal duct 16 communicates with a vertical duct which passes upwardly behind the illuminated space 8 and at its uper end connects With the rear side of a forwardly-extending upper horizontal duct 18. The upper horizontal duct l8, which also is the full width of the display space 2, is atia'level above the window 3 and .forms the ceiling of the display space. The forward or zfront end of the horizontal duct 3 is .open and terminates a substantialdistance from theiront of thehousin'g.
The display space 2, the inclined space 15, the lower and upper horizontal ducts l6 and 18, and the connecting vertical duct lIl :form a path for the continuous circulation oi simulated snowflakes I29, which preferably are formed of small pieces of light white tissue paper of a size .approximating the size of real snowflakes. If desired, the paper of which the simulated snowflakes are formed may beslightly crumpled toincrease its resistance to free -falling.
The space between the bottom wall of the housing I and the inclined wall 13 forms an air box 2| in front of the horizontal duct [6 extending the full width of the display device. The front wall 22 of the air box 2| is formed of wire mesh or otherwise made foraminous so that air from the outside will freely pass therethrough. A plurality of electric fans 23 provide means for pulling outside air into the air box and forcing it into the front end of the lower horizontal duct IE to cause the desired circulation of the simulated snowflakes through the aforesaid path.
Preferably the electric fans are mounted on a removable support 24 formed with a plurality of semicircular troughs 25 with their upper sides open. An electric fan is positioned in each trough. Each trough is provided with a wire or other screen 26 positioned between the fan therein and the lower horizontal duct [6. The screens extend to the top of the troughs and at their upper edges meet the rear end of the inclined wall I 3. The screens 26 are of sufliciently fine mesh that the simulated snowflakes will not pass therethrough and into the air box 2| when the fans are not operating. The fan support 24 extends rearwardly well beyond the rear of the inclined space l and into the lower horizontal duct l6. Thus, the simulated snowflakes dropping from the rear of the inclined space fall into the several troughs where they are caught by a blast from the fan in that particular trough and projected rearwardly in a restricted path so that a more uniform distribution of them is obtained.
A chimney or upward exhaust extension 21 of the housing extends entirely thereacross, above the display window 3. The chimney or exhaust extension 2'! has its upper or outlet side covered with a screen 28 of mesh sufficiently fine to prevent the passage of the simulated snowflakes while permitting the free passage therethrough of the air in which they are entrained. The cross-sectional area of the chimney or extension 2'! is relatively large compared to the crosssectional area of the upper horizontal duct l8 to ensure that the velocity of the air traveling therethrough will be sufficientl low that the simulated snowflakes will drop therefrom and fall back into the display space and not collect on the inside of the screen 28 where they not only would clog the screen, but also be ineffective for their intended purpose. To further ensure the suspended simulated snowflakes dropping out of the air before it is exhausted through the chimney 21 and their falling down behind the display window, a downwardly-extending bafile 29 is positioned at the upper forward edge of the upper horizontal duct I8.
In operation, the simulated snowflakes dropping through the screen |2 are sucked through the passage I5 by the blasts from the fans 23 and thenforced rearwardly along the lower horizontal duct or passage l6, upwardly through the vertical passage l1 and into the upper horizontal passage [8 through which they pass and from which they are discharged through the open forward end into the display space 2. The simulated snowflakes then fall slowly behind the window, giving the appearance of a natural snow storm. On leaving the upper horizontal duct IS, the air in which the simulated snowflakes were entrained, has its velocity greatly reduced, and at such reduced velocity passes upwardly through the chimney or exhaust extension 27 and discharges through the screened outlet 28. An of the simulated snowflakes which pass upwardly into the chimney or exhaust extension 2! drop out of the upwardly-moving air and join those falling slowly behind the window 3, as the velocity of the air in the chimney or exhaust extension is not sufiicient to hold them against the screen 28. Thus, the simulated snowflakes do not accumulate on the inside of the screen and block free passage of air therethrough. Hence, no back pressure builds up in the display space 2 which would interfere with the normal free circulation of the simulated snowflakes, as above described. As the simulated snowflakes reach the bottom or floor of the display space they again pass through the screen I2 for recirculation, so that the appearance of a snow storm continues as long as the fans 23 are operated.
The embodiment of the invention shown in Figs. 4 to 8 differs from the embodiment of Figs. 1 to 3 only with respect to the manner in which the simulated snowflakes are returned to the lower horizontal duct or passage [5 and returned to the upper portion of the display space 2. In those figures, like parts are designated with the same reference characters as the corresponding parts of Figs. 1 to 3.
In this form of the invention the screen l2 which forms the bottom or floor of the display space extends substantially horizontally from the front wall of the display device to the porch ll. Likewise, the wall [3' which forms the lower wall of the space l5 also extends horizontally except for the rear edge portion l3a which slopes slightly towards the lower horizontal duct or passage IS.
The front of the air box 2i is closed by an air impervious wall, and in place of the electric fans of Figs. 1 to 3, the air blasts for causing the circulation of the simulated snowflakes emanate from a series of rearwardly-directed, fish-tail nozzles 3| each threadedly connected to a compressed air manifold 32. As shown in Fig. 5, the nozzles are so positioned along the compressed air manifold that their adjacent edges almost touch one another; also, as disclosed in Fig. '7, each nozzle tapers to a narrow slit-like discharge opening 33. Thus, the air is discharged from the group of nozzles in the form of a sheet-like blast directed into the forward end of the lower horizontal duct or passage I6.
Each nozzle 3| has a perforated partition plate or baffle 34 extending across the rear portion thereof with the perforations therein diverging outwardly at each side of the center so that the blast of air emanating from the compressed air manifold will be spread out substantially uniform across the entire width of each of the nozzles and thereby better provide the sheet-like blast referred to above.
In order to facilitate passage of the simulated snowflakes through the space 15, a series of spaced compressed air pipes 35 extend crosswise of that space. Each pipe 35 is connected to a header 36 which in turn is connected to and receives compressed air from a supply pipe 31. Each pipe 35 is provided with air outlet perforations 38 spaced along the rear side thereof so that the jets of air issuing from the perforations will be directed rearwardly towards the lower horizontal duct IS. A deflector plate 39 is welded or otherwise secured to each of the pipes 35 and inclines rearwardly so that the simulated snowflakes which pass through the screen l2 and fall on the deflector plates will be deflected into the air blasts emitted from the perforations 38 and be carried rearwardly through the space l5 into the forward portion of the lower horizontal duct I6 where they are caught by the sheet-like blast e tates "rations 38 will be less than'the intensity of the blasts from the nozzles 3|. It is only necessary that the intensityof the blasts from the perforations 38 be such as to ensurepassage of the simulated snowflakes rearwardly through the space 15' to the duct t6 w'herethey willbe caught by the circulating blast from the nozzles 31.
A screen 26 extends entirely across the lower horizontal duct 16, just rearwardly of the nozzles to prevent the possibility of the simulated snowflakes passing backwardly into the air box 2| when thedisplay device is not in operation.
The embodiment of the invention shown in Figs. 9, 10 and 11 is similar to that of the preceding forms but includes means for circulating the simulated snowflakes'upducts or passages at each side of the display device into the display space as we'll as-up a duct or passage at the back thereof.
In this form of the invention, "the display device comprises a housing! having a large front window 4] through which the display space 42 is visible. The window I! may be hinged "to give access to the display space in a manner similar to that in which the window 3 of Fig. 1 is hinged to the housing. The rear wall of the display space 42 is formed with simulated windows 43 through which, if desired, light from an illuminated space therebehind may shine.
As in the embodiment of the invention shown in Figsni to 8, the bottom or floor of the display space is formed of a coarse screen through which the simulated snowflakes pass into'a space 45 through which "they are directed rearwardly and into the forward or front end of a lower horizontal duct or passage 46 by jets of air discharged through perforated pipes 41 similar in all respects to the perforated pipes 35 shown in Figs. 4 and 8. Each of the perforated pipes 41 also has a downwardly-inclined deflector plate 48 welded or otherwise secured thereto to assist in directing the simulated snowflakes rearwardly through the space and into the blasts of air discharged through the perforations of the pipes 41.
The partition wall 49 separates the space 45 "from an air box 5| in which a compressed air manifold 52 is located. A seriesof fish-tail nozzles 53, identical with the nozzles 3|, are threadedly connected to the compressed air manifold 52 and collectively discharge a sheet-like blast I of air into the forward or front end of the lower horizontal duct or passage 46 where it entrains the simulated snowflakes and carries them rearwardly through said duct or passage into the vertically-extending duct or passage 55 at the rear of the display device. The simulated snowflakes are blown upwardly through the passage 55 and into the rear of an upper horizontal duct or passage 56 through which they pass and from which they are discharged at the open front end thereof into the display space 42, through which they fall slowly behind the window 4|. A downwardly and forwardly inclined respective sides, are attached. manifold 52 has extensions52 and 52 extendbaiiie'tiassists in directing the simulated snowflakes downwardly behind the window 4|.
As so far described, the display device does not differ from the display device of Figs. 4 to 8. However, unlike the display device of those figures, the opposite lateral sides of the space openas at 45 and 45 into vertically-extending side ducts or passages 58 and 59, and each of the perforated pipes 41 has extensions 4'! and 41 extending rearwardly at its ends to which deilector plates 48* and 48 inclined towards the Also, the air ing rearwardly :at its ends, with series of fishtail nozzles :53 and 53 threadedly connected to them.
-=Compressed air for the manifolds 52, 52 and "52 28.5 well :as for the perforated pipes 41, 41"
and 41 is supplied through a main supply pipe '6]. Pipes 52, 62 and 52 extend from the main supply pipe 6| to the compressed air manifolds 52, 52 and 52 and a pipe 63 connects the sup- .ply pipe. 5| to each of the perforated air pipes "41, 4?! and 41 To prevent possible passage of the simulated snowflakes into the air box 5| from the lower horizontal duct 46 when the display device is :not .in operation, a wire screen :64 having a mesh sufficientlysmall to prevent passage of the simulated snowflakes therethrough closes the rear side of the air box between the rear edge of the partition wall 49 and the bottom of the housing,
and .has its open upper side closed with a wire screen 68 through which the simulated snowflakes will not pass. The cross-sectional area ofthe chimney or exhaust extension is relatively large compared to the cross-sectional area of the upper horizontal duct 56 so that the air stream on discharge from the open forward endof the 1 upper horizontal duct wiil have its velocity reduced sufliciently that the simulated snowflakes '11 is similar to that of the preceding figures.
The simulated snowflakes falling upon the .for- .aminous floor 44 pass therethrough into the space 45. However, only those falling in front of the several perforated pipes 41 are directed rearwardly into the forward end :of the lower horizontal duct 46 where they are caught by the sheet-like blast from the nozzles 53 and caused to pass through that duct, the vertical duct 55 and the upper horizontal duct 56 to be discharged into the upper portions of the display space 41-2. Those-simulated snowflakes which .fall .in front-of the lateral perforated pipes 4'! are'blown directly into the lower end of the ver- 'tical :left-hand side duct '58 where "they are caught :bythe blast from the nozzles 53 which carries them upwardly through that duct until they are deflected by the inclined baffle 59 at the upper end of that duct into the upper leftvhand side of the display space 42. Likewise, those simulated snowflakes which fall in front of lateral perforated pipes l! are blown into the lower-end of the'right-hand side duct 59 and carried by the air blast from "nozzles 53 upwardly through that duct until the deflector plate H at the upper end thereof deflects them into the upper right-hand side of the display space.
All of the simulated snowflakes enter the display space above the level of the show window 4| and slowly fall behind it, giving the appearance of a snow storm as long as compressed air is supplied to the nozzle to the nozzles 53, 53 and 53 The air stream from which the simulated snowflakes have fallen exhaust through the screen 68 at the top of the exhaust passage 6'1. The relatively large area of the exhaust passage ensures a suflicient reduction in the velocity of the air stream before it is exhausted that the simulated snowflakes readily fall therefrom into the display space and are not carried upwardly in the exhaust passage to collect on the inside of the screen 68 where they would clog the screen and cause a back pressure to build it up in the display space which would interfere with proper operation of the device.
The heaviness of the simulated snow storm which is produced in the display space in any of the embodiments of the invention may be controlled by the amount of the simulated snowflakes which are put in the display device for circulation as previously described and by controlling the intensity of the circulating air blasts, and consequently the rate at Which the simulated snowflakes are circulated.
In each embodiment of the invention, the simulated snowflakes have been described as passing directly into the upper portion of the display space. However, if desired, they may first be deposited from the flowing air stream into a suitable receptacle above the display space and then permitted to pass from it into the top of the display space to fall slowly behind the show window. Also, changes may be made in the details of the display devices above described without departing from the spirit of the invention or sacrificing any of the advantages thereof.
1. A snow-storm simulating device comprising a casing at least in part enclosing a display space through which simulated snowflakes are adapted to fall, a duct extending from adjacent the lower portion of said display space to adjacent the upper portion thereof, means whereby air from outside of said casing may be forced through said duct from the lower portion to the upper portion thereof, a passageway from the lower portion of the display space to the lower portion of said duct through which simulated snowflakes may pass for entrainment by air moving through the duct, a passageway from the upper portion of the duct to the upper portion of the display space, and means for separating suflicient of the air from the entrained simulated snowflakes and exhausting the separated air after the air and entrained snowflakes have been discharged from the upper end of the duct and before they have passed through the display space that the simulated snowflakes from which the air was separated will fall substantially freely through the display space.
2. A snow-storm simulating device as defined in claim 1 in which said air exhaust means has a cross-sectional area greater than the cross-sectional area of the outlet from the upper portion of the duct, whereby the velocity of the air passing from said outlet is reduced before being exhausted through said air exhaust means.
3. A snow-storm simulating device as defined in claim 1 in which the display space has a floor and the passage from the lower portion of the display space to the lower portion of the duct extends through th floor.
4. A snow-storm simulating device comprising a casing at least in part enclosing a display space, a floor for said display space, an air box beneath the floor, a space between the air box and the floor, said floor having openings therethrough through which simulated snowflakes may pass into the space between the air box and the floor, a duct having a lower end communicating both with said air box and the space bev tween the air box and the floor and an upper end communicating with the upper portion of the display space, means for forcing air from said air box into the end of the duct with which it communicates to create a flow of air in said duct which will suck simulated snowflakes from the space between the air box and the floor into the duct for delivery to the upper portion of the display space, and means for separating suflicient of the air from the entrained simulated snowflakes and exhausting the separated air after the air and entrained snowflakes have been discharged from the upper end of the duct and before they have passed through the display spac that the simulated snowflakes from which the air was separated will fall substantially freely through the display space.
5. A snow-storm simulating device as defined in claim 4 in which the air box has openings communicating with the atmosphere exteriorly of the casing, a plurality of electric fans are located in the air box and are positioned side-byside for forcing air into and through the air duct, and means are provided for maintaining the air blast from each fan substantially separate from the air blast from each other fan until it enters the air duct.
6. A snow-storm simulating device as set forth in claim 4 in which a compressed air manifold is positioned in the air box and has a plurality of nozzles positioned to direct air blasts therefrom into the lower end portion of the duct.
7. A snow-storm simulating device comprising a casing at least in part enclosing a display space through which simulated snowflakes are adapted to fall, a floor for said display space having openings therethrough for the passage of simulated snowflakes, an air space beneath said floor for receiving simulated snowflakes passing through said openings, separate air ducts communicating with said air space beneath the floor and extending vertically at opposite sides and at the back of the display space, respectively, the upper ends of said vertical air ducts communicating with the upper portion of th display space, means for causing an upward draft of air in each of said ducts, at least one generally U-shaped compressed air pipe having perforations in the base thereof directed towards the vertical air duct in the rear of the display space and perforations in the legs thereof directed towards the respective vertical air ducts at the sides of the display space to cause simulated snowflakes falling into the air space beneath the floor to pass into said vertical ducts and to be entrained by the upwardly-moving drafts of air in them and to be carried thereby into the upper portion of the display space to fall therethrough, and means for separating sufiicient of the air from the entrained simulated snowflakes and exhausting the separated air after the air and entrained snowflakes have been discharged from the upper end of the ducts and before they have passed through thedisplay space that the simulated snowflakes from which the air was separated will fall sub- The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
1O UNITED STATES PATENTS stantially freely through the display space. Number Name Date 177,585 Stoddard May 16, 1876 RANDOLPH SOLOMON. 1
s LOMON 1,101,422 Fleldmg June 23, 1914 MARVIN O 5 1,882,030 Pennington Oct. 11, 1932 2,181,635 Tull Nov. 28, 1939 REFERENCES CITED 2,332,174 Shreve Oct. 19, 1943