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Publication numberUS2708711 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 17, 1955
Filing dateSep 20, 1950
Priority dateSep 20, 1950
Publication numberUS 2708711 A, US 2708711A, US-A-2708711, US2708711 A, US2708711A
InventorsMcginty William K, Procknow Joseph J, Warner Stanley W
Original AssigneeThomas Industries Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated valance
US 2708711 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 17, 1955 2,708,711

W. K. M GINTY ETAL ILLUMINATED VALANCE Filed Sept. 20. 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR5- ATIOENE v5 May 17, 1955 mam-TY ETAL 2,708,711

ILLUMINATED VALANCE Filed Sept. 2Q, 1950 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 6 INVEN;ORS y K. Ma 1N7 .1. Peazxwon JrBA/LEV w. WRENEQ miiub M14414 Arraexvs May 17, 1955 w, K. MOGINTY ETAL ILLUMINATED VALANCE 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 20. 1950 M JOJEPH J.

A Ii! 0 AM, Ma h-Z0444 United States Patent ILLUMINATED VALAN CE William K. McGinty, Joseph J. Procknow, and Stanley W. Warner, Fort Atkinson, Wis., assignors to Thomas Industries Inc., a corporation of Delaware Application September 20, 1950, Serial No. 185,772

11 Claims. (Cl. 240-2) This invention relates to an illuminated valance.

The invention uses a few standardized parts assembled in different combinations to fit window or door openings or to use for other decorative purposes in a wide range of sizes. Lamp units, desirably of the electric discharge type, each of which includes a supporting housing with lamp socket fittings, are individually mounted on the window or door frame or wallin end to end relationship and in electrical connection so that the lamp tubes mounted in the respective sockets are aligned and provide a nearly continuous source of light. The housing portions of these units are, in turn, used to support brackets in which valance panels are interchangeably mounted in length corresponding to the lengths of the various housings so that a wide variety of effects is produced by substituting one or another type of panel in the resulting fixture.

The housings of the lamp units may also be employed to support drapery fixtures of any desired type, whereby the draperies or curtains suspended therefrom will receive soft illumination from the lamps which are shielded by the valance from direct observation.

The objects of the invention will more fully appear from the following disclosure.

In the drawings: 7

'Fig. 1 is a view in perspective of a completely assembled illuminated valance embodying the invention.

Fig. 2 is a view in perspective showing fragmentarily the upper end of the window casing to which some of the lamp and housing units and drapery fixtures are applied, the valance proper and one of the lamp housing units being omitted.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary detail view in enlarged perspective showing the rear face of one of the lamp housing units to illustrate the simple mounting which is preferred.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged detail view taken in cross section through the assembled device shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary detail view in horizontal section through an end portion of the device shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary detail view similar to a portion of Fig. 5 and showing a different relative adjustment of the parts.

Fig. 7 is a fragmentary detail view in perspective on an enlarged scale showing in relatively disassociated positions two of the component parts which are assembled to make up the valance proper.

Fig. 8 is a fragmentary view similar to a portion of the cross section of Fig. 4 taken in cross section through the assembled unit of Fig. 1 in a plane to show the drapery fixture supports.

Fig. 9 is a view in perspective fragmentarily illustrating an adaptation of my valance unit to corner installations.

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary detail view in plan showing a portion of the cross connection between the valance units shown in Fig. 9.

. Fig. 11 is a fragmentary detail view in perspective show- Fig. 13 is an enlarged detail view in section on the line 1313 of Fig. 12.

Fig. 14 is a view in transverse section through a panel embodying the invention.

Fig. 15 is a view in transverse section through a modified panel construction.

Fig. 16 is a view in transverse section through a further modified panel construction.

Fig. 17 is a view in transverse section through a further modified panel construction.

As shown in Fig. 1, the assembled device comprises a plurality of lamp housing units 9, 10, 11 attached to the upper end of a window or door casing 12 and serving to support therefrom a valance unit which shields from direct view the lights carried by the units 9, 1G and 11, the valance being made up of sections which are collectively designated by reference character 15.

The manner in which the lamp and housing units are made and mounted, and the manner in which the valance 15 is assembled and supported will presently be described.

The lamp and housing units 9, 10 and 11 differ only in length, the units 9 and 11 being identical, and the unit 10 somewhat longer. With only a few diflferent lengths of units, assembled in various combinations of two or three or more units, illuminated valance assemblies of almost any desired length may be achieved. In practice, three lengths have sufficed to date (the 20 watt, 24"; the 25 watt, 33"; and the 40 watt, 48" lengths), but a greater number are available if needed.

Each of the several units disclosed comprises a housing member such as that shown at 16 from the ends of which project forwardly the lamp socket posts 17, 18. As is conventional, the ballast and starting switches, if any (not shown), for the discharge lamps 19 will be mounted within or upon the respective housings. The wiring within the housing includes electrical connections to the sockets 17, 18, and the receptacle 20 adjacent one end of the housing and the supply cord 21 with plug 22 adjacent the other end of the housing, the arrangement being such that when the several housings are mounted end to end as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the plug 22 at the end of the supply cord 21 of'one housing will be plugged into the receptacle 20 of the next, and so on to the end of the series, where the final plug 21 is exposed to receive connection with an extension cord from a convenience outlet.

For mounting the respective housings, we desirably provide each of the housings with a slot 23 in its back Wall (Figs. 3 and 4) to receive the outwardly offset end portion 24 of a mounting plate 25 screwed to the window casing or other supporting surface. The slots 23 may be elongated to assure of enough range of adjustment of the respective housings so that these may be set up into end abutment as shown. The mounting is extremely easy and effective and involves no change except as to the spacing between the mounting clips 25, whether the housing and lamp units to be supported are long or short.

Adjacent the ends, the top and bottom walls of the respective housings are provided with threaded studs 26, 27, the studs 26 projecting upwardly, and the studs 27 downwardly. To the respective studs 26, 27 at the end of any series of lamp and housing units are attached end caps 30 of the valance as shown in Figs. 1, 5 and 6.

Laterally projecting arms 33 such as thatv outwardly to the length of the slot 34 when, as shown in this view, the mounting hangers are applied directly to a. wall surface instead of to a window or door frame, as in Fig. 5. Reference to Fig. will show that, with the parts mounted on the frame, the slots provided in the arms which support the end cap permit the end cap to be slid backwardly around the margins of the frame into engagcment with the contiguous wall. Where the hangers are mounted directly on the wall, without the intervention of the window frame, as in Fig. 6, the valance necessarily must be located at a slightly greater spacing from the hangers, this being accommodated by the slots in the arms. The outer extremity of the end cap turns toward the center of the window frame and in parallelism to the top frame member to receive the ornamental panels hereinafter to be described. It is provided at 37 with inwardly projecting studs for mounting the interchangeable panels.

Wherever two of the lamp and housing units meet, a

bracket 39 is used as best shown in Figs. 4 and 5 to sup- 11 port an intermediate valance cap 40. The bracket comprises upper and lower legs 41, 42 and an intermediate portion 43 which is welded to the inner face of the intermediate cap 40. The arms 41, 42 of the bracket have parallel slots 44, 45 which are engaged over the upstanding studs 26 at the contiguous ends of consecutive units such as those shown at 9 and in Fig. 5. The arms 41, 42 of the brackets have suflicient resilience so that they are readily engaged over the studs. When so engaged, they cooperate with the studs to hold the ends of the lamp and housing units in abutment. The parts are anchored in the indicated assembly by means of the Wing nuts 47 on the respective studs, the wing nuts being tightened against the bracket arms as shown in Fig. 4.

Each of the intermediate valance caps supported in the manner just described is provided on its inner face with threaded studs 48, 49 located at opposite sides of bracket 39 as shown in Figs. 5 and 7.

The arrangement of bracket-supported intermediate caps is obviously universal in the sense that a separate intermediate cap is located at each juncture of lamp and housing units, regardless of the length of the series of such units, and regardless of the length of the individual units comprising such series. Thereupon, it becomes necessary only to insert decorative valance panels between the end and intermediate caps to complete the valance, each such panel corresponding in length to the particular lamp and housing unit opposite which it is used. It will further be apparent that a wide variety of effects may be achieved according to the choice of panels inserted between the cap elements.

In a preferred construction, panel mounting frames 50 are employed as particularly shown in Figs. 1, 5 and 7. Each frame desirably comprises an upper channel member 51 and a lower channel 52, these channel members being connected at their ends by upright straps 53 as most clearly shown in Fig. 7. The offset end portions 54 of the respective straps may conveniently be welded to the upper and lower channels 51, 52. Each of the straps has apertures at 530 registrable with the studs 48 of the intermediate caps and the studs 37 of the end caps of the valance assembly. The intermediate cap, like the end caps, may have upper and lower channelled portions 55, 56 which not only give the effect of molding, but telescopically receive the ends of the channels 51 and 52 of the panel frames 50. Each of the caps is further desirably provided between its upper and lower channels 55 and 56 with inwardly turned flanges 57, 58, which fit to the interchangeable panels mounted in such frames to exclude light leakage.

The upper and lower channels 51, 52 comprising each of frames 50 are desirably provided with a clip 5% welded thereto and having an inwardly offset arm at 60 acting as a retainer for an interchangeable panel 61 which may be made of glass or plastic or metal or any other suitable material, and which may be decorated in any desired manner. Ordinarily, the panels may be made of light diffusing opal or ground glass or opalescent plastic with designs etched or molded in them as indicated at 610 in big. J, or they may be made as shown in Figs. 14, 15 or 16. 17 or otherwise.

Fig. 14 shows the glass panel 611 having a translucent coating 612 on its inner face with clear areas between the coated areas in a predetermined pattern. In Fig. 15, the panel comprises a hollow wire frame 613 across which is stretched a web of cloth 614 which may be the drapery material, the light shining through the fabric. Fig. 16 shows a panel molded from translucent plastic at 616, the design representing a pattern molded in its face as shown at 617. Fig. 17 shows a panel 618 wherein the decoration involves suitable apertures 619 in predetermined patterns and through which the light may pass, this panel being otherwise opaque.

It will be understood that in reference to translucency herein, we are using the word in its broadest sense to.

indicate the fact that the panel is capable of transmitting light, whether due to its partial transparency, or to theprovision of apertures as in Figs. 15 and 17, or due to.

the provision of clear areas as in Figs. 9 and 14.

When the interchangeable panel 61 is mounted in a panel frame 50, the frame and panel may be handled as a unit for mounting between any of the various valance caps by simply engaging the apertures 530 of the respective upright straps 53 with the studs 37, 49 or 48, as thecase may be, and applying wing nuts to the studs to clamp the parts in assembly.

The undersides of the housings 16 of units 9, 10, 11 are provided with tapped openings for screws 63, 64 which hold any desired fittings 65, 66 for curtain or drapery rods 67, 68 and drapery traverse panels 69 as shown in Fig. 8.

Thus the entire valance and all of the equipment for the support of curtains and other draperies can be hung by means of the lamp mounting housings from the wall or any suitable window or door casing and, by the use of a few standardized parts, an attractive valance assem-- bly fitted to occupy any desired extent can be put together and hung.

The lamps used may be tubular incandescent lights but those shown are electrical discharge type lamps, either fluorescent or cold cathode. They flood light the draperies, as well as the wall and ceiling above the valance, the valance desirably making the lighting source:


Not only does the described invention facilitate the assembly and mounting of an illuminated valance but, in addition, it will be observed that a complete change of decorative scheme is made readily possible by simply replacing the panels 61 and, if desired, by also replacing the end of intermediate caps and the panel frames.

The improved valance readily lends itself to corner in-.

stallations as shown particularly in Figs. 9 and 10. Two complete valance installations, minus their respective end caps at the points where they join, are mounted on the contiguous walls at the corner with their respective intermediate caps 40 in substantial abutment. The gap between them is spanned by an angle plate 70 which carries a diagonal bolt 71 for which an aperture is provided in the strap 72 which spans the inside of the gap between the end caps and is connected with their respective studs 48. The wing nut 73 on bolt 71 tightens the bolt to draw the angle plate 70 snugly into the angle.

For special installations, where it is desired to providc'i a spotlight either to accentuate some feature of decoration, or to provide light for reading, we may employ the special end cap 309 shown in Figs. 11, 12 and 13, this end cap having an interior pocket 74 for the spotlight 75.

The socket 76 for the spotlight is mounted on a shield 77:

having its lower periphery supported by a tiltable ring 78 which is carried by trunnions 79 from another ring 80. This ring has trunnions 81 disposed on an axis at right angles to the axis of trunnion 79 and carries the brackets 82 from the bottom wall 83 of the end cap 300. By means of this arrangement, the spotlight can readily be adjusted universally within a range of about forty-five degrees from vertical, to throw its light downwardly upon a drapery or outwardly to illuminate a statue or a vase or to provide light for reading. The internal friction in the electric cord, and the friction of the trunnions in their ring bearings is relied upon to hold the spotlight in any position to which it is adjusted.

It will be understood that the foregoing illustrations are, so far as particular panels and installations are concerned, peculiarly illustrative of the flexibility of the invention and the numerous possibilities as to the manner of its use. In practice, illuminated valances according to the present invention have been installed not only over window and door frames, but also over sinks, beds, mirrors, and Wash basins and across alcoves, and are of general application as a means of illumination, as well as for the support of draperies.

We claim:

1. An illuminated valance comprising the combination with separate mounting clips each comprising a plate with an offset upper end, of an elongated housing provided at its ends with forwardly-projecting, laterally-opening lamp socket means, said housing having top, end and rear walls, said rear wall being apertured to receive the offset upper ends of the respective plates of said clips, said end walls being blank and adapted for abutment with like walls of corresponding housings, said top wall having near one of its ends a receptacle, and near the other of its ends a cord provided with a terminal plug, said cord, plug and receptacle being exposed for manipulation at the top of the housing when it is assembled in end to end abutment with like housings, the said receptacle and cord being in electrical connection to said housing with each other and with said socket means, whereby to provide for the operative connection of the socket means of said housing with the socket means of a corresponding housing, said housing being further provided with connections to which a valance may be coupled to conceal said lamp socket means, receptacle, and cord.

2. An illuminated valance comprising a plurality of pairs of mounting clips mounted directly on a supporting wall, a plurality of elongated housings each provided with lamp socket means and each independently supported directly upon a pair of clips from said wall, the housings being substantially aligned and with their ends substantially in abutment, brackets comprising arms connected with the ends of the respective housings and independent of the wall, valance caps independently mounted on the respective brackets to be supported thereby through the housings from said clips whereby removal of the housings from the clips removes the valance caps therewith, and interchangeable panels extending between the several caps in spaced relation to the several housings and supported from said caps to provide a continuous valance supported from said housings and screening the lamps mounted in said socket means.

3. The device of claim 2 in which each of said panels comprises a frame and a panel insert supported therein,

said frame having means mechanically connecting its respective ends with spaced caps, each frame having means for mounting respective panel inserts.

4. The device of claim 3 in which the respective caps and the respective frames have nested upper and lower channels positively locating the caps and frames in alignment.

5. The device of claim 4 in which the said frames further comprise upright straps connecting the upper and lower channels of the frame and provided with apertures for which the respective caps are provided with studs, together with nuts on the studs holding the frames to the respective caps.

6. The device of claim 2 in which said panels comprise translucent plates.

7. The device of claim 2 in which said panels comprise frosted glass plates.

8. The device of claim 2 in which said panels comprise frames having fabric coverings.

9. The device of claim 2 in which said panels comprise translucent plates having design patterns molded therein.

10. The device of claim 2 in which the respective housings are angularly related to each other, the respective caps supported therefrom being in immediate proximity and having an angle plate spanning the angle between them.

11. An illuminated valance structure comprising an elongated housing provided with lamp sockets, mountings directly supporting the housing from a wall, said housing having near its ends upwardly and downwardly extending studs, and valance caps mounted at the ends of said housing independently of the wall, said caps having substantially parallel apertured arms embracing the housing and engaged with said studs, a panel frame engaged with the valance caps and spanning the space between said caps, and panel inserts mounted in the frames, said panel inserts, panel frames, and valance caps being supported by said studs and valance cap arms from the housing and removable from the wall as a unit with said housing.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 18,482 Doane et al. May 31, 1932 1,074,683 Zietlow Oct. 7, 1913 1,210,146 Canfield Dec. 26, 1916 1,641,041 MacPherson Aug. 30, 1927 2,167,383 Arenberg July 25, 1939 2,233,280 Barnes Feb. 25, 1941 2,250,276 Rutherford et al. July 22, 1941 2,288,941 Curtis July 7, 1942 2,337,685 Schepmoes Dec. 28, 1943 2,346,779 Muehling Apr. 18, 1944 2,365,614 Winkler et al. Dec. 19, 1944 2,376,363 Kloner May 22, 1945 2,465,141 Wakefield Mar. 22, 1949 2,478,699 Lange Aug. 9, 1949 2,528,132 Gibson et al. Oct. 31, 1950 2,557,129 McDaid June 19, 1951 2,569,518 Deutsch et al. Oct. 2, 1951 2,572,720 Goodman Oct. 23, 1951

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Referenced by
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U.S. Classification362/151, 248/265, 160/19
International ClassificationF21V33/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V33/0016, A47H2023/006, F21Y2103/00
European ClassificationF21V33/00A3B