US 3182420 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 11, 1965 l.. BENDER PORTABLE AND STORABLE DOLL HOUSE OR DISPLAY Filed Dec. 31, 1962 A Trae/Vix to amuse a `child on trips.
United States Patent O "ice 3,182,420 PORTABLE AND STORABLE DLL HQUSE R DISPLAY Louis Bender, Plainfield, NJ., assigner of one-half to Leo Miller, Plaineld, NJ. Filed Dec. 31, 1962, Ser. No. 248,668 1 Claim. (Cl. 46-1'2) This invention relates to a portable and storable representation such as a childs doll house or a presentation display.
There are a number of situations where various port- `able and storable representations are useful. For exam- ,ple when traveling with children it is often a problem to keep them from becoming bored while en route or While staying in unfamiliar surroundings, `after they have left behind the friends and toys they are accustomed to playing with. 1In particular a doll house, often a standard item in a childs collectio-n of toys, is generally considered too bulky and inconvenient to carry along on trips. Moreover the numerous loose items of miniature furniture in a `doll house take time to retrieve, arrange, and put away, and can easily be mislaid and lost by the child. It is therefore likely that many of the pieces taken on a trip would become separated from the doll ho-use `and thus would not return. Even as to those which could be located, finding them might become a source of lannoyance. It would therefore be desirable to provide a doll house which is easily portable :so that it can be taken alo-ng It would also 4be 'desirable to provide a doll house which, even at home, would be easy to put away land store. Such a doll house should be compact and able to fold 4into a rugged and easily carried form. It should also preferably have the miniature furniture permanently secured thereto -and enclosed ine side the Vdoll house when the latter is folded into storing or carrying form. Yet it is also desirable that the furniture, |althou-gh permanently emplaced, be movable to some extent so as to provide more interest; for example a chair could be rotatable to simulate a swivel chair.
It is therefore an object of the invention to 4provide a doll house having the features Eof lcom-pactness, portability, easy storability, ruggedness, and permanent -attachment of furniture -W-ith ya cert-ain amount of movement permitted.
Briefly, the invention is carried out by providing a rugged, `convenient-sized closable carrying case adapted for easy portability and storability, and placing miniature furnishings therein. The .carrying case, when open, represents a room in which the furnishings, such as furniture 'and the like, are placed and peferably permanently attached. When closed, the carrying case forms a compact and rugged enclosure for the furniture which makes storing and transportation easy and prevents loss of any loose contents.
An additional lobject of the invention is to provide a doll house which is inexpensive to manufacture. This maybe achieved by molding the Ifunriture and other furnishings from a unitary sheet of plastic, and cementing this sheet to `an inside surface of the carrying case, thus also achieving the object of permanent, loss-proof emplacement.
A more detailed explanation of the invention follows, making reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. l is a perspective view of a portable 4doll house in accordance with this invention, with the carrying casev opened to set up the doll house for play; Y
And FIG. 2 is a sectional View 4of the doll house of FIG. l, taken along the lines 2-2 thereof, revealing details of the construction.
FIG. 1 shows an openable and closeable carrying case SZZ Patented May ll, 1965 in which the doll house is contained, the case being Iopened to reveal -a typical yarrangement of the furniture therein. The case, which has the usual carrying handle 6 and cooperating clasp members 8 and 9, includes two hinged-together upper and lower halves 10 and 12. Each of these includes a main side wall (eg. the side Wall 14, FIG. 2, of the lower half 12) and rim walls 16 at the edges of the main side walls. The lower half 12 is hinged to one of the rim walls 16 of the upper half 1t) along the ilexure line 18. Inside the case, secured to and projecting `from the interior surfaces of the main side walls, are three-dimensional shapes `simulating furnishings of a typical living room. ln the specic arrangement shown these furnishings include a chest of drawers 20, a bench 22 on which is placed a television receiver 24, and a window 25 against the main side Wall of the upper half 1t). On the main side wall of the lower half l2 are a cabinet 28, a swivel cha-ir 30, a coffee table 32, ya love seat 34, a dresser 36, an end table 3S, and a couch 40. The window 26 and television set 24 are provided wi-th pictures, either drawings or photographs, representing what might actually lbe -seen through the window or on the screen. Thus, in the open position as illustrated, the interior of the case represents a room. The upper half 10 of the case stands upright -on one of its rim walls `i6, so that the main side wall thereof rises vertically to establish a plane against which the wall of the room is represented. The lower half 12 of the case lies flat, so that the main `side wall thereof is horizontal to establish a plane on which the :floor of the room is represented.
The actual Wall-representing surface Sti, the -floorrepresenting surface 52, land the various furnishings 20-40 are best molded from single sheets of plastic S1 and S2. A preferred material for these sheets is polystyrene, which is easily formed to the required shapes. Good results have been achieved in molding these sheets by the vacuum-forming process. The polystyrene sheets, which `are relatively rigid at ordinary temperatures, are heated to a moldable consistency and then placed over vacuum molds which have the required shapes formed therein. For example, one mold would have all the Z1-dimensional shapes 2tl-26 formed therein for molding these shapes in the sheet S1, `and another mold would be similarly ladapted for forming all the shapes 28-40 in the sheet S2. Suction is then applied to draw the hot, pliable plastic sheets against the molds. They are thus formed to the desired shapes 'and subsequently retain these shapes upon cool-ing.
The carrying case closes insuch a manner that the rim walls 1o of the upper half 10 fit inwardly of the rim walls 16 of the lower half 12. Therefore there are certain differences in the way the sheets S1 and S2 are formed. The main portion of the upper sheet S1 extends out to the rim walls 16 of the upper half y1t), and its edges are turned perpendicularly to form a set of lips 60 encompassing the entire vertical wall-representation. 'The edges of the lower sheet S2, on the other hand, extend horizontally to form flanges 62 (FIG. 2) encompassing `three sides of the horizontal floor-representation and spacing that representation from the rim walls 16 of the carrying case lower half 12. The space thus provided immediately above the flanges 62 forms 1a channel to receive the upper rim walls 16 when the carrying case is closed.
As seen in the sectional view of FIG. 2, the plastic sheets (sheet S2 being used as an example) are molded in such manner that the furniture-simulating shapes such as the cabinet 23 and love seat 34 project from the outer surface thereof, leaving corresponding concavities such as 28ay and 34a opposite them on the inner face. This method of mol-ding uses considerably less material and is therefore more economical than molding the desired shapes in a solid block. Between the furniture-simulating shapes are flat locations 52 which represent `the floor aisaaao of the room as it appears betwen items of furniture. The opposite dat locations 52a on the inner face of the plastic sheet, together with the at locations 62a on the inner face opposite ,the flanges-62, provide a flat base along which the plastic sheet S2 issecured to the interiory face` 14a of the lower half side wall 14, preferably by the use a manner to leave corresponding concavities on the inner face thereof. Between these molded projections are at locations 50 on the outer face of thesheet S1 representing f the wall of the room, and opposite these are corresponding lat locations on the inner face which actas a base along which the sheet is secured, e.g. cemented, to the interior face of the side wallof the upper carrying case half 1t). Further, -the outside faces of the lips 60 of the upper sheet S1 abut against the interior faces of the upper half rim Walls 16 and are likewise cemented thereto to contribute tothe solidity of the assembly.
Returning to FIG. 1, there are certain other features of'construction which should benoted. Near the margins of `the door-representing sheet S1, for example, between the various furniture-simulating shapes and the flange 62, is a representation 80 of thewalls of the room (other than the wall 50-which is represented bythe sheet S1). This representation is a partial one `in that it includes only so much of the wall up to a certain height and no more. In designing this display the upper edge Sila of the partial wall representation Si? and the outer edge 69a of the lips i'may mark the farthest extent of the lower and upper sheets S2 and S1 respectively. Then these edges 80a and 60a may be designed to meet when the carrying case 10, 12 is closed, thus assuring that the various upper and lowerobject-simulating projections Ztl-26 and 28-40 respectively do not impinge on each other. Alternatively, some of lthe projections 2li-4d may project beyond each other if they are :laterallyv offset -in such a way as to occupy diiferentspaces when the carrying case is closed. In either event, the height of any oneprojection must be related to `the interior thickness ofthe carrying case in sucha way that the contents of the closed case are accommodated therein. Y
Special techniques may be used to form the swivel chair 34) Yand coffee table 32. The plastic sheet S2 is formed witha pair of dat-topped bosses 86 and 83, leaving corresponding concavities 86a and 88a on the opposite side. These bosses 86 and 88 form pedestals 'for the swivel chair 30 and coffee table '32 respectively. The seat member 90of the chair 36 is formedfrom a ,separate body of material, again'preferably vacuum-formed ipolystyrene. The member 90 includes a generally cylindrical sleeve the lower part of which forms` a dependingskirt Y v 90a, and the upper part 90b of which projects to a suitable height at the rear and sides ofthe chair 32.k to formthe backrest and arms thereof. A central transverse web Stic in the interior of the sleeve forms the seat cushionl portion. The entire member 9d is supported on the boss $56, with the-'seat cushion portion 90C resting on the iiat top of the boss, and being rotatably secured thereto. Vby a pivot pin 94, which may be rivetor similar fastener. 1
This construction permits the -chair-simulating member w 90 `to rotate about it spedestral'boss 86 in the manner of pedestal boss Se and extends down almost', but notquite,H
.to oorileveL Thus it partially hides the boss 86, and
consequently on a casualinspectionV the'depending skirtl 90a itself appears to befthe'base of the chair.. This in-l vests thedoll` house with a certain :further interest inthe 4' which forms the table top; Again, cement 100 represents a preferred method of fastening.V In this way a relatively greatwidth of the table top 9S in comparison toits narrow pedestal 88 in vahieved without introducing any particular difculties into the molding process. By the use of a pedestal boss plusa separate member as described, fairly diicult shapes may be formed with ease and at little expense, and a rotatable raction and other additional interest may bey provided.
Based on the specific example of the drawings, it will be appreciated thata great variety of doll house arrangements may be provided within the scope of this invention. As an example, among the objects simulated by a shape molded into the plastic sheet S1' may beY a picture hung on the wall, and this may be provided with an actual picture of some kind as in lthecase of the window 26 and television set 24. Furthermore, the .concept has wider application than the specicfdoll house example used 'for illustration. The represented sceneneed not be indoors. The molded shapes may represent outdoor furniture in a garden or patio setting, with the vertical wall 50 representing an adjacent exterior wall of a building, e.g. the back of a house. Or anatural scene devoid of Ibuildings may be represented by the molded shapes, including such natural objects as bushes, trees, rocks, animals, terrain features, etc. The vertical wall ofthe carrying case upper half, instead `of representing an adjacent vertical wall, might then be entirely Voccupied .by a picture of a scene stretching away yinto the distance.. Thus the picture would provide a backdrop acting as a continuation of the represented scene. Such Vdisplays might .also -be quite useful outside" the realm of childrens toys. They might be used, for example, as. portable presentations by landscape architects. Indoor representations might similarly ,have utility as interior decoratorpresentationk models, or
as model stage settings, each conveniently portable and storable inits own case. It will alsobe appreciated that the method of construction and emplacement of furnishings which is disclosed herein is applicable aswell to an otherwise conventional doll house of the type which is not constructedzwithin a carrying case. Y
What has been described Vis .a .preferredembodiment and is believed to. bethe bes-tmode of practicing the invention,.but it will be elearto those skilled vin.V the art that modifications may `be made therein without departing from the principles of the invention. VAccordingly'Zzthis description is intended just as: an example, lthe .scopeof mind of the child who wondersvhow the.` chair isV thus rotatably supported. As for the coifeeitable 32, this Ymay be formed ,by securing to the flat top .of the pedestalboss 88 a separate at sheet'S (this too may be polystyrene) the invention being stated in the appended claim. I :claim: Y A kportable representation :comprising: Y an openable and closeable'carrying case; Y
saidV case including a rst half and a secondv half, each of said casefhalves havinga side wall vandrimrwalls projecting therefrom; vthe-side Wall of said iirst halffestablishing a planeo whichto represent the floor'of a room; a unitary sheet ,of mol-dable material having a plurality of spaced-apart threefdimensional shapes4 integrally `moldedtherein Vand projecting from vone 'face v thereof-g the opposite faceof said sheetbeingformed'withsubstantially at areas; Y said'shapes simulating the shapes, on-a reduced scale,
Vof, articles rof a human environment ,including at least 'i part ofthe walls of said-room, vandy articles offurniture situated onsaid oor between said'iwalls; said sheet being further formedwith asubstantially flat ange :at the .marginy thereofv outside saidzzwallrepresenting projection; 1 said opposite vface of said'fsheet Vabut-ting'v and :being fastened to the interior :surface :ofV said: side wall Vof saidiirstcarrying casehalf at said atfareas and at saidV Vilange; said carrying casehalves being -adaptedfto close with Y eachother insuch manner that said rimgwalls of said,V
5 6 second half are disposed over said ange and t 2,716,335 S/55 Gallowhur 46-12 X between said rim walls of said rst half and said 2,872,753 2/59 Fenton 46-12 .wall-representing projection; 3,116,954 1/64 Orenstein 46-14 X said carrying case having suifcnt. mterlor room to FOREIGN PATENTS accommodate said article-slmulating shapes. 5
8,5811 1903 Great Britam. References Cited bythe Examiner 263,312 11/ 49 Switzerland- 1,012,556 4/52 France. UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,218,468 12/59 France. 243,873 7/81 Dorn et al. 46-11 2,127,047 s/ss Pinney 46-14 X 10 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.