US 2806314 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 17, 1957 J. G. MORAN CHRISTMAS DECORATION Filed Nov. 29, 1954 INVENTORQ Y M44155 6*. Mae/4N BY a arr
CHRISTMAS DECORATION James G. Moran, Burbank, Calif.
Application November 29, 1954, Serial No. 471,569
7 Claims. (Cl. 41-10) This invention relates to a Christmas decoration, and more particularly to a suction cup means for securing Christmas tree balls, lights, garlands, etc., to surfaces such as mirrors and Windows.
It is common practice during the Christmas season to decorate not only the Christmas tree but also mantle pieces, walls, mirrors, etc., in the living room and other places in the home. Heretofore, however, such decoration has been difficult to perform satisfactorily since the use of nails, tacks, and similar fastening devices to secure ornaments in the Various desired places requires a'considerable amount of time and effort and furthermore results in defacing marks after removal of the ornament. The problem of room ornamentation has been particularly troublesome with relation to mirrors and windows, since it is very diflicult and impractical to secure ornaments to glass elements yet not result in defacing marks.
To eliminate the difliculty of mounting decorations on plane surfaces of the type indicated, and without any danger of creating defacing marks or other undesired results, the present invention contemplates the use of suction cup means for mounting Christmas tree balls, lights, garlands, and other ornaments. The use of such suction cup means has, however, resulted in certain problems relative to the fastening of the ornament to the cup. Thus, it is essential that the fastening between the suction cup and the ornament be of a type which may be made very rapidly and economically at the factory, yet which will nevertheless be very secure. In the latter connection it might be supposed that the fastening means between the suction cup and ornament may be relatively weak and still be satisfactory, since ornaments are conventionally light in weight and do not require much strength to support them. This, however, is not the case, because of the common tendency of unskilled persons to attempt to remove the suction cup from the supporting surface by merely pulling on the ornament instead of by turning up the cup lip to release the vacuum as should be done. Such pulling will, unless the ornament is tightly secured to the suction cup proper, cause the ornament to separate from the cup with the result that the purchaser will believe the products to be defective.
In view of the above factors characteristic of Christmas ornamentation of objects other than Christmas trees, it is an object of the present invention to provide suction cup means which may be formed entirely of a suitable elastomer and which may be rapidly and economically assembled with various types of Christmas ornaments, yet which when so assembled provide such a close grip to the ornaments that it is very diflicult to separate them when in mounted position on a supporting surface.
Another object of the invention is to provide a suction cup and Christmas ornament so related that the gripping action between the cup and ornament is greatly enhanced by mounting of the cup on a supporting surface.
These and other objects and advantages of the inven tion will be more fully set forth in the following specification and claims considered in connection with the attached drawing to which they relate.
In the drawing:
- Figure 1 is a side elevational view showing an ornamental Christmas tree ball and reflector as mounted on a suction cup constructed in accordance with the invention, portions being broken away to better illustrate the neck and head of the cup;
Figure 2 is an enlarged fragmentary central sectional view taken along line 22 of Figure 1, both Figure 2 and Figure 1 showing the suction cup in its normal position prior to mounting on a supporting surface;
Figure 3 corresponds to Figure 2 but shows the cup in flattened or mounted position on a supporting surface;
Figure 4 is a plan view of the cup and reflecting ornament shown in Figure 1, and as mounted on a supporting surface to provide a decorative effect and to serve as a support for a garland; and
Figure 5 illustrates a use of the suction cup of the invention in mounting the shell of an ornamental light.
Referring to the drawing, and particularly to Figures 1-4, the suction cup is indicated generally at 10 and is shown as employed in mounting an ornamental reflector ball 11 and a star reflector 12. Ball 11, conventionally formed of colored glass, is constructed with a cylindrical or tubular neck 13 over which the base 14 of reflector 12 is. mounted, the reflector being of any suitable type and being conventionally formed of foil or thin reflective metal.
The suction cup 10 is formed entirely of a suitable elastomer such as natural or synthetic rubber, and comprises a body portion 16, a neck 17 adapted to be inserted within the neck 13 of ball 11, and an enlarged head 18 integral with neck 17 and adapted to be positioned within the body of the ball. Suction cup body 16 is generally convex in shape when in its natural or unflattened posi tion shown in Figures 1 and 2, being formed with a recessed lower wall 19' defining the suction chamber. Wall 1? is spaced a considerable distance from the exterior wall'21 of body 16 but tapers or converges toward wall 21 to form a relatively thin annular lip 22 adapted to engage a supporting surface such as is indicated at 23 in Figure 3. The body 16 being of considerable thickness except at lip 22, it follows that it will have relatively high strength sufficient to enable it to perform the gripping and sealing function to be indicated hereinafter.
Formed in the cup body 16 above wall 19, and concentric with the axis of the cup 10, is a relatively deep annular groove 24 having a normal width (Figure 2) only slightly greater than the thickness of neck 13 of ball 11. The cylindrical outer wall of groove 24 forms the inner wall of what may be defined as an annular ridge portion 26 of'cup body 16. In addition, the cylindrical inner groove wall, which is of substantially the same diameter as the inner surface of ball neck 13, defines the outer wall of cup neck 17. The bottom groove wall is located relatively adjacent the recessed lower wall 19 of the cup In a preferred form of the invention, the neck 17 extends for a considerable distance above cup body 16, so that the combined depth of groove 24 and the extension of cup neck 17 above the cup body is at least as great as the length of ball neck 13. Head 18 preferably includes a frusto-conical portion 27 which diverges in the direction of body 16; A passage 23 is provided axially of head 18 to permit compression thereof during insertion into the ball neck 13; i
In the asesmbly and operation of the decoration, the
reflector 12 is first assembled over neck 13 of ball 11.
Head 18 and neck 17 of suction cup 14 are then pushed or inserted into ball neck 13. During the insertion process, the head 18 is compressed and the frusto-conical portion 27 is deformed inwardly so that it may pass through neck 13 despite the fact that it is of larger diameter. After the portion 27 has passed completely through the neck 13 and enters the body of ball 11, it snaps outwardly to the position shown in Figures 2 and 3 to provide a locking action tending to prevent the ball and suction cup from being pulled apart. In addition to this action of the portion 27, the friction of ball neck 13 on cup neck 17 also has the desired effect of tending to prevent separation of the elements. The resulting locking force is completely adequate to prevent separation of the ball from the suction cup during shipment, display, etc., of the decoration, but it may not be ade quate to prevent separation by a person pulling on the ball in an attempt to dislodge the suction cup from an underlying surface 23 on which it is flattened.
Referring to Figure 3, the decoration is mounted upon the surface 23 merely by pushing the ball 11 to flatten cup body 16 and expel the air from thechamber defined by wall 19 and surface 23. Flattening of cup body 16 not only effects the tight engagement of the suction cup with surface 23, but it also provides a very strong gripping action between the annular ridge portion 26 of body 16 and the neck 13 of the ball. Stated otherwise, the flattening action decreases the width of. groove 24 and presses ridge 26 into very tight continuous engagement with neck 13, so that a strong frictional grip is provided to effectively prevent separation of ball 11 from cup 10.
The described gripping action is so tight that an air seal is effected between ridge 26 and neck 13, so that any tendency toward separation of the ball from the cup will result in the creation of a vacuum between the lower end of ball neck 13 and the bottom of groove 24. The resulting air pressure difference will tend to hold ball neck 13 in groove 24 and create an additional retaining force.
The construction of cup body 16 with the convex exterior surface 21 is important to the described gripping and sealing action, it being noted that upon flattening of the body 16 from the Figure 2 to the Figure 3 position the wall 21 becomes relatively conical instead of convex, and strong support is afforded for pushing ridge 26 against neck 13.
Advantageously, a number'of the ornaments are sold in a single package together with a garland 31 such as is illustrated in Figure 4. The ornaments may then be mounted on a window or mirror, for example, in a decorative arrangement and the garland 31 draped over the cup bodies 16 to provide a highly ornamental and attractive effect. Because of the use of the suction cup of the invention, the ornaments may be applied in a very short period of time and removed without leaving any defacing marks, and any pulling on the balls 11 will not normally result in their dislodgment from the cup 10 due to the strong gripping actions discussed above.
The suction cup 10, which is preferably colored a Christmas color such as green or red, may be employed not only with balls 11 but also with any Christmas decoration having a neck or plugtype mounting portion. Thus, and referring to Figure 5, the suction cup 10 is illustrated as mounted on a tubular mounting portion 34 of the shell of a decorative Christmas light 36.
It is to be understood that the suction cup 10 may be employed not only to mount ornaments such as ball 11 and light 36, but also to mount a wide variety of other objects. For example, the cup may be employed in a stall shower to support a soap dish, or on the dashboard of an automobile to support an ash tray. The invention is therefore not restricted to the use of the suction cup in supporting a Christmas ornament or any ornament.
While the particular device herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.
1. A device for securing a Christmas ornament on smooth surfaces, said ornament having a relatively small tubular projection thereon; which comprises a suction cup formed of elastomeric material and having a recessed bottom wall and a surface engaging lip, said cup being formed above said bottom wall with an annular groove shaped to receive said projection, the portion of said cup defining the side walls of said groove being adapted to press said side walls tightly against said projection upon flattening of said cup against a supporting surface.
2. A -Christmas decoration, comprising an ornament having a relatively small thin-walled projection thereon, and a suction cup formed of elastomeric material and having a recessed bottom wall and a surface engaging lip, said cup being formed above said bottom wall with a recess shaped to receive said thin-walled projection with a sliding fit, the portion of said cup defining the side wall of said recess being adapted to press said side wall tightly against said projection upon flattening of said cup against a supporting surface, thereby frictionally clamping the thin-walled projection of said ornament in assembled position relative to said suction cup.
3. The invention as claimed in claim 2, in which said ornament is a decorative glass ball having a tubular neck, and said recess is an annular groove shaped to receive said neck.
4. A device for securing a Christmas ornament on mirrors, windows, and other relatively smooth plane surfaces, said ornament having a relatively small tubular projection formed thereon; which comprises a relatively thick elastomeric suction cup body having a recessed bottom wall encompassed by a surface engaging edge, said body also having a relatively deep annular groove formed axially therein above said bottom wall and of a size to receive said projection, said groove defining a neck interiorly thereof and which is inserted into said projection, and also defining an annular ridge exteriorly thereof and which is automatically clamped tightly and sealingly against said projection upon flattening of said surface engaging edge against a supporting surface.
5. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said suction cup body has a convex exterior surface when in normal unfiattened condition, and a generally conical exterior surface when in flattened condition.
6. The invention as claimed in claim 4, in which said neck has a head formed integrally thereon for insertion into said projection, said head being compressible and being larger in diameter than the internal diameter of said projection.
7. The invention as claimedin claim 6, in which said head is formed with a frustoconical exterior wall diverging toward said body, and with an axial bore permitting said compression.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,478,279 Henne Dec. 18, 1923 2,190,283 Eckelberg Feb. 13, 1940 2,221,238 Johnson Nov. 12, 1940 2,501,942 Hueter Mar. 28, 1950 2,516,311 Ganz July 25, 1950 2,597,543 Suben May 20, 1952