Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3073061 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 15, 1963
Filing dateAug 7, 1959
Priority dateAug 7, 1959
Publication numberUS 3073061 A, US 3073061A, US-A-3073061, US3073061 A, US3073061A
InventorsPearson Louis O
Original AssigneePearson Louis O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building block
US 3073061 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 15, 1963 L. o. PEARSON 3,073,061

BUILDING BLOCK Filed Aug. '7, 1959 Fig.2.

MIVf/VTUR LOUIS O. PEARSON I JY/MMCkW United states Patent Gfifice fimfihl Patented Jan. 15, T1963- 3,ti73,%1 EUKLDENG ELQCK Louis it). Pearson, 982 Purdue St, San Leandro, Calif. Filed Aug. 7, $59, No. 832,333 1 Qlaim. (till. 41-34) This invention is related to building blocks and the like, and is particularly directed to a building block which is adapted to the ready construction of highly decorative structures.

Prefabricated building blocks of masonry and the like have long been popular in the ready construction of garden or retaining walls, stairs, and various other structures, with a minimum of effort and in a minimum of time. Such known building blocks have generally been of rectangular configuration. Various structures of same are readily formed by stacking the blocks in tiers and securing same together with concrete reinforcing rods and the like. The various resulting block constructions are hence of substantially rectilinear configuration. Although utilitarian purposes are capably served by the construction, e.g., the retention of an earth bank by a Wall, the structure by virtue of its extreme regularity and starkness tends to be uninteresting to the eye. Consequently, it has been virtually impossible to construct utilitarian structures of conventional building blocks which in addition possess a high degree of eye appeal.

Heretofore, in order to construct decorative structures it has been necessary to employ other laborious time consuming techniques of construction usually within the capabilities of only a skilled artisan. For example, one extremely decorative retaining wall or other construction is formed by periodically recurving wall tiers with the curvature of alternate tiers in opposition. Hence the curvature of one tier is alternately concave and convex while that of the upper and lower adjacent tiers is alternately convex and concave. A plurality of curved niches are thus provided in staggered relation over the entire face of the wall. The niches are defined vertically by the concave portions of a tier and horizontally by the pockets respectively formed by the corresponding convex portions of the lower adjacent tier. With earth or other plant growth promoting material filling the pockets, plants may be grown in the niches of the wall to enhance the already highly decorative appearance presented by the irregularly curved portions of same. The foregoing construction by virtue of the extensive curvature of same has previously necessitated the prior construction of rather complex hard to construct curved forms which are then filled with concrete or equivalent material to produce the wall. Such form construction is usually beyond the skill of the average do-it-yourself enthusiast.

Previous difficulties and limitations encountered in the construction of walls and a host of other utilitarian structures to include a high degree of eye appeal are overcome by the present invention. More particularly, by the provision of, a prefabricated building block of unique recurving configuration, the simple rapid construction by even a novice of irregular extremely decorative Walls having planting niches therein, as well as other decorative structures, is facilitated.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a building block of unique recurving configuration which is adapted to the ready construction of highly decorative structures.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a cupped building block having marginal walls defining a substantially kidney configuration in plan whereby a plurality of the blocks may be variously arranged in rows and tiers and secured together to form a variety of utilitarian structures having substantial eye appeal.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a highly decorative garden wall as readily constructed of building blocks of the class described and having irregularly curved portions and planting niches over the entire face thereof.

The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which, with the foregoing, will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawing accompanying and forming part of the specification. It is to be understood, however, that variations may be adopted within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claim.

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a building block in accordance with the present invention.

FtGURE 2 is a sectional view of the block as taken along line 2r2 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of a section of one poss ble decorative garden wall construction of a plurality of the blocks of EZGURES l and 2.

FIGURE 4 is a frontal elevation view of this garden wall construction, and

FTGURE 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 4.

Referring now to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing, it is to be noted that a building block 10 of unique configuration in accordance with the present invention is depicted therein. The block ill is cupped, thus including a base 11 and marginal side Wall 12 projecting upwardly therefrom. The base is uniquely of a substantially kidney-shaped configuration with the side walls being hence curved to peripherally conform thereto. More particularly, the side wall 12 includes a convex face portion 13, a concave face portion 14 symmetrically spaced from the convex portion, and interconnecting smoothly curving corner portions 16 and i7 therebetween. A variety of specific configurations for the block it) are possible. However, to facilitate the utmost in flexibility and eye appeal, the convex face portion 13 is preferably in the form of a semi-ellipse. In addition, the concave face portion 14 in the preferred configuration is an elliptical section as the semi-elliptical portion 13. The elliptical section face portion 14 is uniformly spaced from the semi-elliptical portion 13 and is tangent to the major axis of same at its origin. In conjunction with the foregoing, moreover, the corner portions 16 and 17 are respectively interconnecting quadrants of are between the ends of the convex and concave face portions 13 and 14. To complete the unique building block Til, the base 11 thereof is provided with a substantially central preferably elliptical aperture 18. The aperture facilitates ready securance together of a plurality of the blocks It) to form a decorative structure as subsequently described.

As regards the material of construction of the block fit of the present invention, any one of many Well known structural materials may be employed therefor. The block, is advantageously fabricated, however, from masonry, preferably concrete, in the manner of a conventional building block. The eye appeal of structures constructed of the building blocks it? is of course enhanced where the blocks are of an appropriate color. Hence the provision of the blocks 10 in assorted colors is contemplated.

The building blocks 10 may be utilized to construct a variety of decorative structures heretofore only possible by the pouring of concrete into elaborate forms requiring substantial skill and labor to construct. With the blocks in decorative structures such as spiral Stairways, a variety of garden walls, and the like are easily and quickly erected by arranging a plurality of blocks in tiered rows with the blocks variously oriented relative to each other to present interestingly curved surfaces. The apertures 18 of the 3 blocks 10 in each stack thereof in the tiered rows have portions in vertical registry. The blocks 10 may, if desired, be anchored in their respective positions in the structure as by means of reinforcing rods extending through the registering apertures and rigidly imbedded in the ground surface, a concrete footing, or the like. Concrete may thereafter be poured through the registering apertures to thus form with the rods, reinforced concrete anchor posts extending through the apertures or the concrete may be used without the rods. In most instances, earth alone may be employed to anchor the blocks in the structure such as filling the hollowjinterior regions of the blocks with earth or other plant promoting material to provide planting areas in the structure. The combined Weight of the blocks and earth fill, coupled with the transverse extent of the blocks, will adequately resist normal forces applied to the Wall.

As an example of one possible extremely decorative structure which is readily formed of a plurality of the building blocks 10 in the manner described above there is depicted in FIGURES 3 to 5 an elaborate eye appealing wall 19. The wall 19 is formed of tiered rows 21 of theblocks with the blocks comprising each row alternately oppositely oriented relative to the convex and concave faces 13 and 1-4 thereof, In addition the rows 21 are alternately staggered such that the blocks in one row are oppositely oriented relative to the blocks in adjacent rows;- More particularly it will be noted that blocks 10a, 10b, and 10c of the lower row 21a of the wall are arranged as follows. Block 10a is oriented with its concave face 14 forward, block 10b with'its convex face 13 forward and tangent to the rearwardly facing convex face of block 1011, and block 10?: with its concave face 14 for= ward and its rearwardly facing convex face tangent to' the convex face of block 10b. Blocks MM, 106, and 111% of the next row 21b of thetw'all are similarly oriented relative to eachother but staggered with respect to the blocks of row 2111. Hence block 10d is oriented with its convex face 13 forward and at its tip directly overlying the center'of the depression in the concave face 14 of the lower block 10aas shown generally at 22. Block 10e, is oriented with its concave face forward, the center of the depression'therein in vertical alignment with the tip of the convex face of block'lOb as shown at 23. In like manner as blocks 10d and 1011, block 15] overlies block .100 in opposite orientation thereto, the convex face 13 of the former being forward and at its tip in vertical alignment with the center of the depression in the concave face of the latter as shown at 24.

With the blocks 10' arranged as described above portions of the apertures 18 of the blocks in each stacked column thereof in the wall are in registry. More particularly a vertical opening 26 extends through each column of blocks, e.g., the column including blocks 10a and 1011. The opening 26 is defined by opposite edge portions of the apertures 18 of alternate blocks in a collininas best shown in FIGURE 3. If desired, reinforcing rods may then be inserted vertically through the openings 25 through the respective columns of blocks in contacting engagement with the edges of such openings 26, i.e., edge portions of apertures 18, and imbedded in the ground surface 28. However, as previously explained, filling the voids with earth will anchor each column of blocks against transverse and longitudinal movement such that the blocks are efiectively locked in position relative to each other to thereby form a unitary wall structure.

The retaining wall 19 as formed from a plurality of building. blocks 15) has interestingly recurving face portionsand hence is extremely decorative. In addition, it is particularly important to note that each of the corner portions 16 and 17 of those blocks oriented with their concave faces 14 forward projects forwardly of the convex faces 13 of the respective underlying and overlying oppositely oriented blocks in the adjacent tiered rows.-

These projecting corner portions thus define a plurality of pockets 29 disposed in staggered relation over the en tire face of the wall. The pockets filled with earth or the like thus form the base of a planting niche 31 as defined vertically by the intersecting portion of the convex face of the correspondingly overlying block of the upwardly adjacent tiered row. Plants may be readily grown in the niches 31 to materially enhance the decorative appearance of the Wall. The aperture 18 in the blocks 15), moreover, facilitate the requisite drainage of the earth filled pockets 29.

What is claimed is:

A masonry building block for the ready construction of decorative structures comprising a base having a central aperture therein and a marginal side wall projecting from the periphery of said base, said side wall having a semi-elliptical convex face portion, a concave face portion conforming to an elliptical section of the semi-elliptical convex face portion and uniformly spaced therefrom while being tangent to the major axis of same at its origin, and interconnecting corner portions in the form of quadrants of arc interconnecting the face portions, said central aperture in said base being elliptical and positioned so that the edge of the aperture adjacent said convex face is substantially parallel to the latter.

References tCited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,168,909 Rook Jan. 18, 1916 1,456,498 Binns May 29, 1923 1,540,686 Ey June 2, 1925 2,239,930 Peebles Apr. 29, 1941 2,459,028 Hester Jan. 11, 1949 2,513,711 Cain July 4, 1950 2,514,536 Burney July 11, 1950 2,799,972 Teixeira July 23, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 534,878 'France Jan. 14, 1922 231,444 Switzerland June 16, 1944

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1168909 *Dec 23, 1913Jan 18, 1916American Sewer Pipe CompanyConstruction of tubular members.
US1458498 *Jul 2, 1919Jun 12, 1923Piel Paul MRoof and wall construction
US1540686 *Feb 14, 1925Jun 2, 1925Gustav EyBuilding tile
US2239930 *Dec 5, 1939Apr 29, 1941Gladding Mcbean & CoHollow brick building block and reinforced brick wall
US2459028 *Sep 5, 1946Jan 11, 1949Hester Rumsell PBuilding block
US2513711 *Jan 25, 1949Jul 4, 1950Cain Rupert SPlant grower brick
US2514536 *Aug 11, 1947Jul 11, 1950Burney Clyde DPlant growing block for a decorative fence construction
US2799972 *May 4, 1955Jul 23, 1957Pontes Teixeira MariannoSympodial orchids and other rhizomatous plants growing vessel
CH231444A * Title not available
FR534878A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3137095 *May 24, 1963Jun 16, 1964Pearson Harold EGarden planters
US3389499 *Oct 20, 1966Jun 25, 1968Ernest HailePlanting wall
US3686791 *Oct 2, 1970Aug 29, 1972Vernon & Co Pulp ProdWalls, screens and the like
US4521138 *Sep 9, 1982Jun 4, 1985Steiner Silidur AgBuilding blocks
US4658541 *Feb 5, 1986Apr 21, 1987Ernest HaileInterlocking planters, for use in erecting decorative walls or the like
US4798499 *May 15, 1986Jan 17, 1989Kensetsukiso Engineering Co., Ltd.Stabilizing a steep erathen slope
US5136807 *Jan 26, 1990Aug 11, 1992Gro-Max Systems, Inc.Arrangement for growing plants
US5277012 *Jul 22, 1992Jan 11, 1994Woolbright Mark ARetaining wall building block
US5502922 *May 4, 1994Apr 2, 1996N.C.A. Ltd.Plant holder
US6286251Dec 23, 1998Sep 11, 2001Bend Industries, Inc.Interlocking composite masonry edging or stepping block
US6604319Jun 29, 2001Aug 12, 2003Bend Industries, Inc.Interlocking composite masonry edging or stepping block
US8272812Aug 17, 2009Sep 25, 2012Smart Slope LlcRetaining wall system
US8745953Sep 21, 2012Jun 10, 2014Smart Slope, LlcRetaining wall system
U.S. Classification47/83, D25/155, 52/608, 47/33, 52/27, 52/604, D11/143
International ClassificationE04B2/14, E04B2/22
Cooperative ClassificationE04B2/22
European ClassificationE04B2/22