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Publication numberUS3050891 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 28, 1962
Filing dateApr 27, 1959
Priority dateApr 27, 1959
Publication numberUS 3050891 A, US 3050891A, US-A-3050891, US3050891 A, US3050891A
InventorsMartin Wesley G, Thomsen Richard N
Original AssigneeMartin Wesley G, Thomsen Richard N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Artificial tree branches
US 3050891 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1962 R. N. THOMSEN ETAL 3,050,891

ARTIFICIAL TREE BRANCHES Filed April 2'7, 1959 Katy 1 3 1/5 Fla-64rd )V. Thomsen F 9 BY Wes/e 6. Mai f w Afforn e y rates 3,950,891 ARTHICIAL TREE BRANCIES Richard N. Thornsen, 923 N. 12th St., and Wesley G. Martin, 1346 N. th St, both of Manitowoc, Wis. Filed Apr. 27, 195?, Ser. No. 803,989 2 Claims. (Cl. 41-15) ficial trees has been their lack of aesthetic beauty due to the stiifness in their appearance.

The primary object of the present invention resides in the provision of a new and improved artificial tree branch and the process of making the same.

Another object resides in the formation of an artificial tree-branch utilizing a strip of metal foil that is provided with closely spaced parallel slits with the material disposed between the adjacent slits simulating the appearance of foilage on the branches.

Another object resides in the use of a suitably formed metal foil strip, such as a super shiny, bright aluminum foil, having a thickness of approximately .002" which results in the formation of an artificial branch having a multiplicity of relatively narrow shiny surfaces which serve to pick up and reflect light rays to produce a highly desirable soft and shimmering eifect.

Another object resides in the turn upon turn winding of the metal foil, in cylindrical form, adjacent one end of a stilt Wire which forms the body of the artificial branch to conserve packing space and insure against damage to the branch in normal handling prior to its being prepared for use.

Another object resides in the method of forming the artificial branch which comprises the axial movement of the free end of the cylindrically wound metal foil along the body of the wire and the simultaneous rotation of the wire to effect the closely associated spiral winding of the solid portion of the metal foil tightly upon the wire which forms the body of the branch.

Another object resides in the use of a suitable binding tape, preferably of transparent polyester film, provided with a permanent type of adhesive by which one end of metal foil strip is attached to the wire which forms the body of the branch.

Another object resides in the provision of a second binding tape having a slightly heavier body than that of the first mentioned tape and provided with a semi-permanent adhesive adapted to provide the means by which the free end of the metal foil stri is releasably secured adjacent the other end of the wire to retain the metal foil strip in tightly wound position on the wire.

Another object resides in the formation of closely adjacent parallel slits normally extending perpendicular to one longitudinal edge of the metal foil strip. and terminating adjacent the opposite longitudinal edge thereof to provide a solid continuous strip of material adapted to be closely wound, turn upon turn, onto the wire which forms the body of the branch adjacent one of its ends.

Another object resides in the provision of closely arranged angularly disposed parallel grooves, creases or crimping formed in the solid portion of the metal foil are strip to facilitate the ultimate spiral positioning of the strips on the rod when the outer portion of the cylindrically wound strip is drawn axially along the wire and the wire simultaneously turned to effect the overlapping spiral winding of the successive turns of the metal foil strip along the length of the wire.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description of an illustrative embodiment of the present invention.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is a schematic view of an artificial tree provided with branches constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational View of the body member of a branch, in the form of a stiff wire;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary top plan view of a strip of metal foil that forms the covering for the body portion of each branch;

FiG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a portion of the body of the branch showing the application of the metal foil strip thereto;

FIG. 5 is fragmentary side elevational View of a branch showing the foil strip partially wound, turn upon turn in cylindrical form, on the wire;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a branch showing the foil strip completely wound, turn upon turn in cylindrical form, on the wire;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a branch showing the method of extending the foil strip along the wire in spiral formation to provide a covering for the major portion of the body of the branch;

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a completely formed finished branch;

FIG. 9 is an end elevational view of the finished branch shown in FIG. 8; and

FIG. 10 is an enlarged detail sectional view taken on the line 1010 of FIG. 3, showing the application of a binding tape to the solid grooved portion of the metal foil strip.

Before entering into a detailed description of the embodiment of the present invention, chosen for illustrative purposes in the accompanying drawing, it is to be understood that while the present device is intended primarily for use in conjunction with the assembly of an artificial Christmas tree, that device may be utilized for other purposes.

The present device forms a simple and eifective means whereby an artificial Christmas tree may be easily assembled or dismantled by an unskilled person, even a child, with a minimum of direction and time. The resulting artificial Christmas tree has great aesthetic beauty in addition to being durable, fire proof, and relatively inexpensive. A further advantage of the present method of forming artificial tree branches resides in the fact that the required parts for a seven foot tree may be packed as a do-it-yourself kit contained in a carton having overall dimensions of approximately two and one-half feet in length, one foot in Width and one-half foot in thickness.

Referring more particularly to FIGURE 1 of the accompanying drawing, it will be noted that an artificial Christmas tree 10, schematically illustrated, comprises a trunk 11 formed of a plurality of individual sections 12, preferably in the form of dowel pins slidably assembled in end to end relationship to form the trunk of the tree. A suitable stand 13 is applied to the lower end of the trunk 11 to provide a support for the tree.

A plurality of tiers of holes 14 are drilled in varying axially spaced relationship in the several sections 12 of the trunk 11 of the tree. In the present instance, there are three holes 14 in each tier and the holes are disposed in equal circumferential spacing. in order to obtain the desired uniform fullness of the tree, the holes 14 of the next adjacent higher tier are circumferentially offset ap proximately 45 in a counter-clockwise direction. The result of this arrangement of holes produces three sets of spirally arranged holes which combine to produce a tree having excellent aesthetic properties. It should also be noted thatthe angles of these holes increase with V respect to the axis of the trunk 11 progressively in pro portion to their distance from the top of the trunk 11. A plurality of stiff wires 15 all having substantially the same length form the body of the respective branches of the tree. The covering for each of the Wires d comprises a strip of metal foil 16, preferably super shiny, bright aluminum foil having a thickness of approximately .002. In its initial form, the strip 16 forms a part of a roll from which it is withdrawn and processed. The processing of the strip comprises the withdrawal of a measured length of the strip from the coil. The measured length of the strip is then provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced parallel slits 17 which extend substantially perpendicular from one longitudinal edge of thestrip-16 and terminate at a uniform distance from the other longitudinal edge of the strip. leaving a solid marginal portion 18 along one longitudinal edge of the strip. Simultaneously with the slitting of the strip, creases, grooves or corrugations 19 are provided in the solid marginal portion 18 of the strip 16. These creases, grooves or corrugations 19 are disposed in closely arranged parallel relationship and preferably at an angle of approximately 45 with the edge of the solid marginal portion 18 of the strip :16. A piece of binding tape 21 is applied to the solid marginal portion 13 adjacent one end of the strip 16. One side of the binding tape is provided with a permanent type of adhesive that provides themeans by which the tape 20 is applied to the strip 16. The end of the strip 16 to which the binding tape it) is applied is fixedly attached adjacent the upper end of one of the wires 15 in such a position that the slitted edge of the strip 16 is approximately even with the end of the wire 15. The free end of the binding tape 29 provides the means by which one end of the strip 16 is secured in proper position on the wire 15. The remainder of the strip '16 is then wound turn upon turn in cylindrical form adjacent one end of the wire 15. When the entire length of the strip 16 has been tightly wound, turn upon turn in cylindrical form, on the wire 15, a binding tape 21 provided with a semi-permanent adhesive is applied to the solid marginal portion 18 adjacent the end of the strip with a portion overlying the prior turn of the strip to releasably. retain the cylindrically wound strip in two and one-half feet and constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. A six foot tree would have approximately ninety branches each having a length of approximately two feet, while a four foot tree would have approximately sixty branches each having a length of approximately a foot and a half and a two foot tree would have approximately twenty branches each having a length of approximately one foot.

The production of the individual branches, in the previously described manner, affords a simple and effective means by which the individual branches may be compactly received in a shipping carton to afford a material saving in space and also to provide adequate protection against damage or injury to the individual branches.

After the several sections 12 of the trunk 11 of the tree have been assembled and suitably mounted on the stand 13, the individual branches may be withdrawn from wound strip 16 leaving the portion attached to the end of the strip 16 in position thereon. The free end of the cylindrically wound strip 16 is then slowly drawn axially along the body of the wire 15 with one hand while the other hand eifects the clockwise rotation of the wire.15.

The combined axial movement of the strip 16 and clockwise rotation of the wire 15 effects the uniform spiral winding of the solid portion 18 of the strip 16 along the body of the wire 15. This spiral winding of the solid portion 18 of the strip 16 is greatly facilitated by the angular disposition and cooperating relationship between the creases or corrugations 19.

In practice, it has been found that the length of the foil strip 16 required to produce a full branch should be approximately twenty percent greater than the length of the wire 15 to which it is applied. This relationship between the length of the wire 15 and the length of the strip 16 produces a branch having a full and uniform coverage that adds materially to the aesthetic beauty of the branch. When the above directions are followed, the ultimate spiral positioning of the strip 16 on the wire 15 will terminate a short distance from the other end of the wire to permit the ready insertion of the exposed end of the wire 15 into one of the holes 14. The free end of the strip 16 is then secured to the wire 15 through the medium of the free end of the binding tape 21. The finished branch may then be positioned on the trunk of the tree and the remaining branches similarly formed and positioned on the trunk of the tree.

When all the branches have been applied to the trunk V of the tree, a very full and symmetrical artificial tree will.

of foliage, are disposed in a spiral arrangement along the length of the wire 15 and the exposed bright shiny surfaces 22, which are disposed at many difierent angles, serve to pick up and reflect light in a manner to give the tree a highly desirable shimmering effect.

While the above described preferred embodiment of the present invention has disclosed the use of a relatively thin metal flexible foil strip as a covering means for the stiff body portion of the branch, it is to be understood that a flexible strip of any other suitable material may be 'similarly employed.

The stiff nature of the body of the branch, is such that, 7

if desired, ornaments and lights may readily be applied to the tree to enhance its beauty.

From the foregoing description of an illustrative embodiment of the present invention, it will be readily seen that a new and improved artificial branch for trees has been provided which is artistically beautiful, durable, the proof and relatively inexpensive. It will be further noted that the method of forming the branches is such that the entire unit may be compactly packed in a carton of relatively small size which may be easily merchandised and handled. The compact nature of the packaging of the device provides an artificial Christmas tree in a kit from which it may be readily assembled in a comparatively short time by an inexperienced person without requiring the use of tools of any form.

While the invention has been described in detail in the foregoing specification it is to be understood that various changes may be made in its embodiment without departing from or sacrificing any of the advantages hereinafter claimed.

We claim:

1. The process of forming an artificial tree branch which comprises the securing of one end of a metal foil strip to a still Wire body member adjacent one end thereof, said metal foil strip having a solid longitudinal marginal edge portion, a plurality of parallel slits interrupting the other marginal edge of said foil strip and extending to said solid marginal portion of said strip to form a plurality of relatively long and narrow surfaces on said metal foil strip, forming closely associated creases in said solid marginal portion of said metal foil strip, said creases being disposed in parallel relationship at an angle extending upwardly and inwardly from said solid longitudinal edge of said strip, Winding said metal foil strip turn upon turn in cylindrical form on said stiff Wire member adjacent one end thereof, slidably moving the free end of said cylindrically wound metal foil strip axially along said wire body member and simultaneously turning said Wire body member to permit the cooperating engagement between 'said creases formed in the adjacent abutting surfaces of 20 the turns of said solid marginal portion of said metal foil b strip to facilitate the spiral Winding of said solid longitudinal marginal portion of said strip in partially overlapping relationship, and releasably securing the free end of said foil strip on said stifi wire body member to retain said foil strip in tight spirally Wound position on said stiff wire member.

2. The process as defined in claim 1 wherein said parallel creases are disposed at an angle of substantially 45 with respect to said solid-longitudinal edge of said strip to thereby facilitate the ultimate spirally Wound position of said metal foil strip on said stifi wire body member.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,810,977 Barry Oct. 29, 1957 2,889,650 Hankus June 9, 1959 2,893,149 Reece et al July 7, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 799,729 Great Britain Aug. 13, 1958

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2810977 *Aug 9, 1950Oct 29, 1957Barry Harold EPompon
US2889650 *Dec 12, 1956Jun 9, 1959Revlis CompanyArtificial tree
US2893149 *Sep 29, 1958Jul 7, 1959Modern Coatings IncArtificial tree
GB799729A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3356597 *Feb 18, 1965Dec 5, 1967Gen ElectricMethod and apparatus for measuring electrofinishing stresses
US3917150 *Nov 15, 1974Nov 4, 1975Rolls Royce 1971 LtdSeals and method of manufacture thereof
US4020201 *Feb 11, 1976Apr 26, 1977Jeanne Marylyn MillerArtificial tree
US4057665 *Apr 21, 1976Nov 8, 1977Szulewski John WArtificial tree structure
US4230657 *Apr 30, 1979Oct 28, 1980Keene CorporationMethod and apparatus for producing artificial greenery
US4274575 *May 30, 1979Jun 23, 1981Flower Ralph F JMethod of manufacturing brush seals
US5306366 *Jun 30, 1992Apr 26, 1994Shattan Marcia JMethod of manufacturing an illuminated artificial tree
US6712058 *Dec 28, 2001Mar 30, 2004Porter Norman CCamouflage and cover apparatus
US20120171395 *Feb 6, 2012Jul 5, 2012Sam SuttonThree-dimensional branching structures and methods for making and using same
USRE30206 *May 10, 1977Feb 5, 1980Rolls Royce (1971) LimitedSeals and method of manufacture thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification228/155, 156/61, 428/182, 428/18
International ClassificationA47G33/06, A47G33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47G33/06
European ClassificationA47G33/06