US 2979990 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1961 J. E. ALEXANDER 2,979,990
KNEE VANITY Filed March 31, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. J MI. E. ALEXANDER April 1961 J. E. ALEXANDER 2,979,990
KNEE VANITY Filed March 31, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. JAcK E. ALEXANDEQ AT TO RHEYS nited States Patent KNEE VANITY Jack E. Alexander, Falls Church, Va., assignor to Xela Corporation, Annandale, Va., a corporation of Virginia Filed Mar. 31, 1959, Ser. No. 803,277
3 Claims. (Cl. 88-101) This invention relates to a knee vanity, that is, the invention has reference to a compact assemblage of components so formed and relatively arranged as to cause the entire device to be supported upon ones lap, in a position in which it will be clampably engaged between the knees, in an arrangement such as to conveniently dispose in position for use a mirror anda recess or pocket holding various small articles, such as hairpins, tweezers, eyebrow pencil, mascara, etc.
By way of background, it may be noted that various home permanent waving lotions, hair cosmetics, and related preparations are finding increasing commercial favor. Accordingly, oneimportant object of the present invention is to provide a device which will be particularly useful in the application of home permanent waves, as well as in the use of any of various other preparations for the hair..
Another important object is to provide a knee Vanity which will be useful during the performance of the nightly chore which many women have, of pinning up the hair.
Further, there arises a general need for a compact, readily portable device of the character described above. For example, when one is traveling by train, airplane, or automobile, there arises, from time-to-time, the need for renewing makeup, fixing ones hair, or the like. In these circumstances, a full size mirror, vanity table, or other accessories may not be available. Therefore, another broad object of the present invention is to obviate the difficulties that would arise in circumstances such as these, through the provision of a highly inexpensive, compact article, that can be readily packed in a suitcase, or can be kept among ones personal eiieets, ready for use at any time and in any situation of the type referred to.
A more specific object is to provide a particular form of support, in a device of the character stated, designed to permit manufacture of the device at a minimum cost, through readily obtainable and inexpensive materials, such as molded or sheet plastic.
Still another object is to so form the base as to embody therein means adapted to extend between the knees, a horizontal, article-supporting top plate having a recess or pocket for small articles, and upwardly projecting arms adapted to provide a support for an adjustable mirror.
Another object is to embody in the mirror and in the supporting arms mentioned above cooperating means for pivotally connecting the mirror to said arms, in an arrangement such as to facilitate the assembly of the mirror 'with the arms, without requirement of tools, or of special skills, with the connection of the mirror to the arms being nevertheless designed to insure positively against accidental separation of the mirror from the arms.
Still another object is to provide, in a device of the character stated, an arrangement such that the supported small articles will be disposed immediately in front of the mirror, in an arrangement such as to cause said articles to be conveniently located, with the articles nevertheless being completely out of the way of the mirror, during the adjustment and the regular use of said mirror.
Other objects will appear from the following description, the claims appended thereto, and from the annexed drawing, in which like reference characters designate like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a knee vanity according to the present invention, as it appears when in use;
Figure 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the vanity per se;
Figure 3 is a transverse sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on line 33 of Figure 2;
Figure 4 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially on line 4-4 of Figure 2, on the same scale as Figure 3, the mirror being shown in full and dotted lines in two different positions of adjustment;
Figure 5 is a still further enlarged detail sectional view showing the connection of the mirror to one of the supporting arms, taken on line 5-5 of Figure 2; and
Figure 6 is a perspective view, on approximately the same scale as Figure 2, showing a modified form of the invention.
Referring to the drawing in detail, the knee vanity comprising the present invention has been generally designated 10 in the form shown in Figures 1-5, and includes a base generally designated 12, so designed as to be clampably engageable between ones knee, when the device is in use as shown in Figure 1.
The base 12 can be formed from a single piece of plastic material, which can be suitably colored or finished according to the desires of the particular manufacturer. In any event, in one embodiment of the invention shown in Figures l-S, said base includes a rectangular, flat top plate 14, formed medially between its respective side edges 15 with a depression, pocket, or recess 16 designed to receive any of various small articles, such as hairpins, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, mascara, tweezers, etc. Further, the base is so proportioned as to define, at opposite sides of the pocket 16, flat, relatively wide support surfaces 17 on which may be supported various other small articles, such as jars of cold cream or the like, durthe use of the device.
The pocket 16, as will be noted, is so shaped as to cause all the articles deposited therein to gravitate to a centered position, where they can be grasped with case. To this end, the pocket is formed with vertical end walls 18, and with a bottom wall 19 having oppositely sloped, downwardly convergent front and back sloped portions 20, 22 respectively, disposed at a wide obtuse angle to one another and meeting along a juncture line 21 that extends longitudinally of the recess fully from one end wall 18 to the other.
By reason of this arrangement, even the smallest articles dropped into the recess will gravitate to the juncture line 21, and due to the wide or shallow obtuse angle defined by the sloped portions 20, 22, one can readily pick up any small article that may be disposed in the recess.
Rearwardly a short distance from the back edge 23 of the pocket or recess, the top plate is formed with an elongated slit24, disposed in parallel relation to the back edge 23 of the recess and also disposed parallel to the rear edge 25. of the top plate.
- In the manufactureof the device, the material between back edge 25 and slit 24 is bent upwardly to define support arms 26, said arms being directed upwardly by bending of the'top plate material along lines 28 disposed at opposite ends of the slit 2 4 and extending fully from the slit to the back edge 25. I
It will be understood that the plastic material used to provide the base is a hard sheet plastic that nevertheless fore, the arms 26, though substantially immovably disposed, may nevertheless flex resiliently away from one another from their Figure 3 positions, during the assembly of the mirror of the device with the base in a manner to be described hereinafter.
In any event, the arms 26 are formed in close proximity to their upper ends with small, circular openings 29 (see Figure and immediately above the openings the arms are curved outwardly to provide outwardly turned upper or distal portions 3% thereon.
The base further includes downwardly convergent side plates 32, which are regularly inwardly bowed fully from their top to their bottom edges, in a direction toward one another, so as to define on opposite sides of the base below the top plate outwardly and downwardly facing, wide, arcuate recesses 33 adapted to conform to the shape of the confronting inner surfaces of the knees, and of the adjacent portions of the thighs.
Side plates 32 are integral at their upper ends with the side edges of the top plate 14, and as will be seen to particular advantage from Figures 2 and 3, are in -face-to-face contact with the side edge portions of the top plate 14, for a short distance inwardly from the side edges 15, over areas 33 of the under side of the top plate 14. Then, the side plates curve downwardly out of contact with the top plate, but at locations spaced a short distance from the areas 33, are in contact with the lower ends of the end walls 18 of the recess, thus rigidifying or bracing the plates 32.- against flexure in a direction toward each other out of their assigned, curved paths.
The side plates 32 move into face-to-face contact immediately adjacent their lower ends, and are integrally connected at their lower ends as at 34. As a result, the base may appropriately be considered as having a flat, approximately horizontal top portion and as having downwardly convergent side surfaces converging to form a point or apex on the base, in the form of the invention shown in Figures 1-5.
Generally designated at 36 is a reflector assembly, which in a preferred embodiment includes a backing plate or frame 38 (see Figure 4), having a forwardly opening recess 39 in which is seated a reflective panel 40, which can comprise an ordinary mirror element of glass material. The reflective panel is adhesively or otherwise secured within the recess 39, and the provision of the recess 39 in the backing plate or frame 38 defines, about the reflective panel, a rectangular frame member 41.
The reflector assembly 36 is mounted between the arms 26, and in a preferred embodiment, the connection between the reflector assembly and the arms is one that will facilitate the assembly of the reflector assembly with the base in minimum time, and without the requirement of special tools.
To this end, and referring particularly to Figure 5, the backing plate or frame 38 is integrally formed, at opposite sides thereof, with outwardly projecting lugs 42, having relatively large diameter bases 44 merging into neck portions 46 of circular cross section, said neck portions, in turn, merging into conical tip portions or heads 48.
Formed in the arms 26, about each opening 29, are radial slits St). A series of said slits is provided, angularly spaced about and communicating with each of the openings 29.
The provision of the slits defines, between the slits, tongue portions 52, which are capable of being resiliently flexed outwardly, during assembly of the reflector assembly with the arms 26.
It is also to be noted that the outwardly curving distal portions 3%) are so located relative to the bases of the heads 48, that in assembly of the device, a straight downward movement of the reflector assembly 36 will cause the base parts of the heads 48 to engage the inner surfaces of the outwardly curving distal portions of the arms 26. As a result, they will exert a cam action against readily available.
said distal portions 30, resiliently biasing the arms 26 outwardly from one another during the continued downward movement of the reflector assembly.
Ultimately, the smaller outer ends of the heads 48 will align with the apertures 29, and will move into the same due to the tendency of the arms 26 to spring back toward each other.
One now simply shifts the arms 26 toward each other to an extent sufficient to cause the tongue portions 52 to be biased outwardly by the conically shaped heads 48. The heads 48 will thus move through the apertures 46, and the tongue portions will snap back into place in back of the heads, thus to hold the reflector assembly assembled with the arms 26.
In this connection, the diameter of the openings 29 is so selected relative to the diameter of the neck portions 46, as to produce a frictional engagement between the neck portions and the edges of the openings 29. The result of this frictional engagement will be such that on rocking of the reflector assembly to selected positions of adjustment, as for example, to the dotted line position shown in Figure 4, the assembly 36 will be retained in the selected position due to the frictional engagement between the lugs and the edges of the openings 29.
In the modification shown in Figure 6, the device has been generally designated 10a, and it should be noted immediately that the modified form is identical in every respect to the first form of the invention, with the exception that the side plates 32a, secured to the side edges 15a of top plate 14a of base 12a, do not meet at their lower ends. Rather, the lower ends of the side plates 320. are spaced a substantial distance apart, through the provision of a flat connecting portion 34a disposed in a plane parallel to the plane of the top plate 14a.
In this arrangement, the downwardly convergent side plates 32a are still adapted to be clamped between ones knees, and thus the device can be used exactly in the manner shown in Figure 1, except that the knees will be spread rather than brought together. The modification, however, has an additional manner of usage that is not possessed by the first form. In this additional way of using the device, it can be simply positioned upon a table, not shown, and will rest flat thereon, due to the provision of the flat bottom position or connecting portion 34a.
Apart from the above, the modified construction is like that of the first form and accordingly, further description thereof is unnecessary.
In both forms of the invention, there is the desirable characterstic wherein the device can be manufactured at a very low cost, and will be of compact construction. Nevertheless, the device is decidedly useful, in circumstances in which one does not have a full vanity table Of course, the device can be used in any of various other situations, this being mentioned merely as one examplev in which the knee vanity comprising the invention can be employed advantageously.
Further, the construction is designed to conveniently locate not only a mirror, but also a receiver for small articles, so that one can keep handy, during the actual use of the device, the articles necessary.
Apart from the above, the device is characterized by the low cost for which it can be made, while still being possessed of a high degree of durability and attractiveness.
It is believed apparent that the invention is not necessarily confined to the specific use or uses thereof described above, since it may be utilized for any purpose to which it may be suited. Nor is the invention to be necessarily limited to the specific construction illustrated and described, since such construction is only intended to be illustrative of the principles of operation and the means presently devised to carry out said principles, it being c nsid red that the invention comprehends any changes in construction that may be permitted within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is: a
1. A knee vanity comprising a base including a top plate and side plate secured thereto, said side plates converging downwardly so as to be adapted to be clamped between ones knees, said top plate being formed with an upwardly-opening article-receiving depression, and a mirror assembly mounted upon said top plate, said depression including vertical side walls and a bottom wall having sloped portions converging downwardly.
2. A lap-supported mirror and small article holder comprising: a flat, generally rectangular top plate having an upwardly opening, article-receiving depression.
bounded on at least two sides by flat supporting ledges constituting article-support surfaces; a pair of side plates extending downwardly from and generally coextensive in width with the top plate, said side plates having top edges rigidly connected to the respective, opposite sides of the top plate and having bottom edges provided with a rigid connection to each other, the side plates extending inwardly and downwardly from the respective sides of ;the top plate and being arcuately bowed inwardly toward each other over their full lengths, thus to define thereon outwardly facing surfaces converging in a downward direction and arcuately, concavely shaped so as to generally complement the configuration of and lie substantially in face-to-face contact with confronting portions of the legs of a user; arms rigid with and projecting upwardly from the top plate at locations spaced equidistantly from the respective sides of the top plate; and a reflective panel supported by and between the arms in positions extending along said depresion rearwardly thereof.
3. A lap-su ported mirror and small article holder comprising: a one-piece base of sheet material including a fiat, generally rectangular top plate having an upwardly opening, article-receiving depression bounded on at least two sides by fiat supporting ledges constituting article-support surfaces and integrally connected to the top edges of a pair of side plates, said side plates extending downwardly from and being generally coextensive in width with the top plate, and having bottom edges integral with a connecting portion extended therebetween, the side plates extending inwardly and downwardly from the respective sides of the top plate and being arcuately inwardly bowed toward each other overtheir full lengths, thus to define thereon outwardly facing surfaces converging in a downward direction and arcuately, concavely shaped so as to generally complement the configuration of and lie substantially in face-to-face contact with confronting portions of the legs of a user, said base further including support arms formed out of the material of and projecting upwardly from the top plate at 10- cations spaced equidistantly from the respective sides of the top plate; and a reflective panel supported by and between the arms in position extending along said depression 'rearwardly thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Olson Feb. 16,