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Publication numberUS3302909 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 7, 1967
Filing dateOct 18, 1965
Priority dateOct 18, 1965
Publication numberUS 3302909 A, US 3302909A, US-A-3302909, US3302909 A, US3302909A
InventorsGlassman Martin Walter
Original AssigneeGlassman Martin Walter
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Staff-type base support
US 3302909 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb 1967 M. w. GLASSMAN v 3,302,909

STAFFTYPE BASE SUPPORT Filed Oct. 18, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 W WVE/VTUH 2a Z8 MA/QW/V w. GLASS/WAN 5 YGOLOVEM/(LE/NBERG P75. 3

ment of the bottom of the base member.

United States Patent C ice Filed Oct. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 497,014 7 Claims. (Cl. 248-44) This invention relates to devices for supporting objects having elongated base members in a vertically balanced position, and more particularly to stands for supporting artificial and cut natural trees in a stable, vertical position.

Devices for supporting objects having elongated base members in a stable, vertical position are not uncommon. Their usefulness is particularly apparent during the Christmas season when out natural trees, particularly of the pine family, and artificial trees are displayed in a great number of homes and other locations. In the past, however, such supporting devices have been characterized by complexity of assembly and disassembly, and high economic costs of fabrication, out of proportion to their usefulness.

In addition, the typical Christmas tree support is so lacking in esthetic qualities that it is generally hidden from view by a facade, tending to increase cost still further. When a natural tree is displayed, it is desirous to maintain the bottom of the trunk in a water reservoir for preservation and fire prevention purposes. The cost of such a feature is usually added to the purchase price of the stand.

The present invention accomplishes the function of supporting objects with elongated base members in a stable, vertical position, withthe added advantage of simplicity of assembly and disassembly. The concept of support involved allows the device to be esthetically pleasant even when unadorned in addition to allowing the device to be inexpensively fabricated from light-weight K materials. Furthermore, a water reservoir is inherent to the design of the device, eliminating the cost and inconvenience of an independent reservoir when a natural tree is supported.

The concept of support utilized by the present invention is based upon wedging actions provided by the invention in cooperation with the elongated base member of the object to be supported and the weight of that object. A vessel having an interior surface which is symmetrical in relation to an axis intercepting the apex of the vessel, is supported in such manner that its axis is perpendicular to the plane describing the bottom of the supporting structure. When the bottom of the supporting structure is placed upon a bearing surface, the elongated base member is placed into the vessel in such manner that the object is substantially balanced with its weight bearing upon the surface of the vessel substantially symmetrically about the axis.

The vessel is made of a somewhat resilient material, and the weight of the object against the vessel surface produces a wedging action which prevents lateral move- Three or more Wedging members, placed symmetrically about the elongated base member of the object and in contact with the surface of the vessel, hold the base member at some distance above its bottom. These centering forces at the bottom of the base member and at some distance above the bottom support the object in a stable, vertical position. The larger the diameter of the elongated base member, the further apart will be the centering forces, providing the object with better resistance to tipping.

The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the invention, together with further advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be 3,302,309 Patented Feb. 7, 1967 expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration and description only, and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a preferred embodiment of the invention, in combination with an elongated object, for example the trunk of a tree;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of an embodiment of the invention, in combination with an elongated object, for example the trunk of a tree;

FIG. 3 is a side sectional view of the device of FIG. 1 taken along the line of 3--3 in the direction of the appended arrows;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a bracket which is included in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the bracket of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the bracket of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a front elevation view of the bracket of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of .a wedge which is an alternative to the bracket of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a top view of an alternative preferred embodiment of the invention, in combination with an elongated object, for example, the trunk of a tree;

FIG. 10 is a wedge which is included in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a top view of another alternative preferred embodiment of the invention, in combination with an elongated object, for example, the trunk of a tree;

FIG. 12 is a wedge which is included in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 11.

With reference to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, a preferred embodiment of the invention, in combination with the trunk 20 of a tree. A vessel 22, made of a resilient material, for example a high impact styrene, is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 to have an interior surface 24 generally describing an inverted right cone. A support structure, shown generally at 26, supports the vessel in a position such that its axis is perpendicular to the plane describing the bottom 28 of the support structure 26.

A plurality of brackets 34 are shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 cooperating with the trunk 20 and the surface 24 of the .vessel 22. These brackets, shown in greater detail in FIGS. 4-7, are made from an elastic material and have two flat sides 36, 38, the ends of which are curved, having radii of curvature at the extremities 40, 42 smaller than the radius of curvature of any right section of the vessel 22 which these extremities may contact. The intersection .of the two sides, 36, 38 form an included angle b. The

length of the sides 36, 38 relative to each other, to the included angle 12, and to the surface 24 of the vessel 22 is such that when the extremities 40, 42 are placed in contact with the surface 24 at points which form a straight line with the apex 30 of the conic surface 24, the line which describes the intersection of the sides 36, 38 is tangent, at the center of that line, to a circle which is concentric with a right section of the conic surface 24. In the preferred embodiment shown, the included angle b is a right angle and the angle c is determined by the above relationship of the sides 36, 38, which angle 0 becomes one-half of the angle a at the apex 30 of the conic surface 24, i.e.,

If the trunk 20 of the tree is placed into the vessel 22 such that the bottom of the trunk touches the conic surface 24 while the tree is vertically balanced, the trunk 20 of the tree becomes approximately centered in the vessel 22, and the weight of the tree bears upon the surface of the vessel at points along the periphery of the bottom 32 of the trunk 20 are in constact with the surface of the vessel. The combination of the forces produced thereby, creates a wedging reaction at the bottom 32 of the trunk 20 at the points of contact. In this manner, lateral movement of the bottom 32 of the trunk 20 is prevented.

The brackets 34 are then approximately symmetrically positioned about the trunk 20, such that the extremities 40, 42 are in contact with the surface 24 at points of con tact which form a straight line with the apex 30 of the conic surface, with the side 38 against the surface of the trunk 20. Lateral forces on the brackets 34 may cause the brackets to be distorted in a manner as shown in FIG. 3. The brackets 34, however, are restrained from movement at their contact points with the surface 24 of the vessel 22. The combination of the forces on the trunk 20 provided at the brackets 34 and at the bottom 32 of the trunk 20, prevents movement of the trunk 20 with respect to the support structure 26. The tree is thereby supported in a stable, vertical position.

The same result may be accomplished by replacing the brackets 34 by wedges 44 as shown in FIG. 8, the wedge 44 having a right angle b and a wedging surface 45 which is curved convex in cross-section, the radius of curvature of the curved side 45 being smaller than the radius of curvature of any right section of the vessel 22 which the side 45 may contact. If the wedge 44 is made of a resilient material, the acute wedging angle c is greater than the angle described by the intersection of the axis of the vessel 22 and the generatrix of the conic surface 24. If the wedge 44 -is made of a non-resilient material, the acute wedging angle c approximates the angle included by the intersection of the axis of the vessel 22 and the generatrix of the conic surface 24.

An alternative preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. In this embodiment, the interior surface of the vesse1-is not conic, but rather is an inverted right pyramid 46. The wedges 48 shown in FIG. 9, and in greater detail in FIG. 10, have a right angle b.

If the wedges 48 are made of a resilient material, the acute wedging angle is greater than the angle included by the intersection of the axis of the vessel 22 and a line passing through the center of one of the sides of the inverted pyramid 46. If the wedges 43 are made of a nonresilient material, the acute wedging angle c approximates the angle included by the interscetion of the axis of the vessel 22 and a line passing through the center of a surface of the inverted pyramid 46.

In this alternative embodiment, the wedges are placed approximately along the center line of the sides of the inverted pyramid 46 and in contact with the surface of the trunk 20 of the tree.

Another alternative embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. Here, the surface of the vessel describes an inverted pyramid 46, but the wedges 50 are tetrahedrons and are placed in the corners formed by the intersection of two adjacet sides of the pyramidal surface 46.

The tetrahedral member 50 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 12. Each of these members has two sides 52, 54, which are similar triangles, and which intersect at a common edge. The angle d formed by the intersection of the two sides is equal to the included angle between two adjacent sides of the pyramidal surface 46. The angle b, formed by the intersection of the top side 56 and the side which is hidden in FIG. 12 is a right angle. If the tetrahedral members are made of a resilient material, the angle c formed by the intersection of the common edge and a line on the opposite surface of the tetrahedron which passes through the center of that opposite surface is greater than the angle included by the intersection of the axis of the vessel 22 and the line of intersection of two adjacent surfaces of the pyramidal surface 46. If

4 the tetrahedral members are made of a non-resilient material, the angle 0' approximates the angle included by the intersection of the axis of the vessel 22 and the line of intersection of two adjacent surfaces of the pyramidal surface 46.

Thus, there has been shown in several embodiments, apparatus for supporting an object having an elongated base member such that the object is maintained in a vertically balanced stable position with respect to its weight distribution. This invention is of particular usefulness for the supporting of Christmas trees in a stable, vertical position.

Other embodiments of the present invention and modifications of the embodiments herein presented may be developed without departing from the essential characteristics thereof; for example, the interior surface of the vessel may describe the generation of a moving non-infiectional line passing through a fixed vertex. Accordingly, the invention should be limited only by the scope of the claims appended below. I

What is claimed as new is:

1. In combination with an object having an elongated base member and a longitudinal axis, a device for supporting the object at the base member such that the object is in a stable position, vertically balanced with respect to its weight distribution, said device comprising:

(a) a vessel having an interior surface describing an inverted right cone;

(b) a plurality of brackets, said brackets each having two flat sides, the ends of said sides being curved convex, having radii of curvature at their extremities smaller than the radius of the curvature of any right section of said vessel which said extremities may contact, and an included angle,

the length of said sides relative to each other, to

said included angle, and to said interior surface of said vessel being such that when said extremity of each side is placed in contact with said interior surface at points the connection of which form a straight line with the apex of said conic surface, and a second line which describes the intersection of said sides is tangent at the center of said second line to a circle concentric with a right section of said conic surface; and

(c) support means for supporting said vessel in a fixed position with respect to a bearing surface;

whereby, when the elongated base member is approximately centered in said vessel in a vertically balanced position with respect to its weight distribution, and said brackets are approximately symmetrically positioned with respect to the longitudinal axis of the elongated base member and contacting the surface of the base member so that the extremities of said brackets are restrained by being in contact with said interior surface of said vessel, thereby restricting motion of the object at the points of contact of the surf-ace of the elongated base member, and further when motion is restricted near the bottom of the base member by contact with said interior surface of sald vessel, the object is supported at the elongated base member in a stable, vertical position.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said vessel has an interior surface describing the generation of a moving non-inflectional line passing through a fixed vertex.

3. In combination with an object having an elongated base member and a longitudinal axis, apparatus for supporting the object at the base member such that the object s in a stable position vertically balanced with respect to its weight distribution, said device comprising:

(a) a vessel having an interior surface describing an inverted right cone;

(b) a plurality of brackets, each said bracket having two fiat sides ending in convex curves having radii of curvature at their extremities smaller than the radius of curvature of any right section ofsaid vessel which said extremities may contact, and an included right angle,

the length of said sides relative to each other and to said interior surface of said vessel being such.

that when said extremity of each side is placed in contact with said interior surface at points the connection of which form a straight line with the apex of said conic surface, a second line which describes the intersection of said sides is tangent at the center of said second line to a circle concentric with a right section of said conic surface, and one side is on a plane perpendicular to the axis of aid vessel; and

(c) support means for supporting said vessel in a fixed position with respect to a bearing surface;

whereby, when the elongated base member is approximately centered in said vessel in a vertically balanced position with respect to its weight distribution, and said brackets are approximately symmetrically positioned with respect to the longitudinal axis of the elongated base member and contacting the surface of the base member so that the extremities of said brackets are restrained by being in contact with said interior surface of said vessel, thereby restricting motion of the object at the points of contact of the surface :of the elongated base member, and further when motion is restricted near the bottom of the base member by contact with said interior surface of said vessel, the object is supported'at the elongated base member in a stable, vertical position.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, above, wherein the length of said sides of said bracket relative to each other is such that a line connecting said extremities of said sides includes an angle with one of said sides, said angle being equal to the angle formed by the intersection of said axis of said vessel and the generatrix of said conic surface.

5. The apparatus of claim 3, above, wherein the angle describing the intersection of said axis of said vessel and the generatrix of said conic surface is 20, and the length of said side of said bracket relative to each other are such that a line connecting said extremities of said sides includes angles of 20 and 70, respectively, with said sides.

6. In combination with an object having an elongated base member and a longitudinal axis, apparatus for supporting the object at the base member such that the object is in a stable position, vertically balanced with respect to its weight distribution, said device comprising:

(a) a vessel having an interior surface describing an inverted right pyramid;

(b) a plurality of resilient tetrahedral members, each 6 of said members having two sides which are similar triangles, said two sides having a common edge, and the angle formed by the intersection of said two sides at said common edge is equal to the included angle between two adjacent sides of the inverted pyramid, the remaining two sides intersecting at a right angle, and the angle formed by the intersection of said common edge of said similar sides and a line on the opposite surface of said tetrahedron passing through the center of said surface is greater than the angle included by the intersection of said axis of said vessel and the line of intersection of two adjacent sides of the inverted pyramid; and (c) support means for supporting said vessel in a fixed position with respect to a bearing surface; whereby, when the elongated base member is centered in said vessel such that the object is in a vertically balanced position with respect to its weight distribution, and when said tetrahedrons are approximately symmetrically positioned with respect to the longitudinal axis of the elongated base member, contacting the surface of the base member and the corners formed by adjacent sides of said inverted pyramid, and further when motion is restricted near the bottom of the base member by contact with said interior surface of said vessel, the object is supported at the elongated base member in a stable, vertical position.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, above, wherein said tetrahedral members are non-resilient and said angle included by the intersection of said common edge and a line on said opposite side of said tetrahedron passing through said center of said opposite side approximates the angle included by the intersection of said axis of said vessel and said line which is the intersection of two sides of said inverted pyramid.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 417,815 12/1889 Diek 24844 558,433 4/1896 Stoddard 248-44 X 1,351,007 8/1920 Shepard 248-44 1,598,016 8/1926 Runser 24844 1,750,367 3/1930 Smith 248-44 1,769,127 7/1930 Finnegan 248-48 2,337,914 12/1943 Meldrum 248-44 2,609,169 9/1952 Kroeger 2 248-48 FOREIGN PATENTS 13,265 12/ 1911 Great Britain.

CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US558433 *Mar 20, 1895Apr 14, 1896 Test-tube holder
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US1598016 *Dec 10, 1923Aug 31, 1926Byrne Mfg CompanyStand
US1750367 *Dec 31, 1927Mar 11, 1930James C SmithChristmas-tree holder
US1769127 *May 29, 1929Jul 1, 1930Finnegan Wilfred ASocket reducer
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3747268 *Nov 10, 1971Jul 24, 1973At & M CorpSectional easyup planter
US4222545 *Sep 15, 1978Sep 16, 1980Patton Roy DArtificial Christmas tree stand
US4261138 *Oct 17, 1979Apr 14, 1981St George Syms John GChristmas tree holder
US4571881 *Aug 5, 1983Feb 25, 1986Lathim Industries, Inc.Christmas tree stand
US4972642 *Jan 3, 1990Nov 27, 1990Strobl Jr Frederick PFootings for post or beam construction
US4976411 *Nov 2, 1989Dec 11, 1990Gordon Ian AChristmas tree stand
US6572069 *Oct 4, 2000Jun 3, 2003Hans KotthausReleasable fastening device
US6681519Oct 24, 2002Jan 27, 2004Donald F. MitchellSelf-clamping christmas tree stand
US7264878Mar 3, 2006Sep 4, 2007Ucar Carbon Company Inc.Includes a core formed of carbon foam having a ratio of compressive strength to density of at least about 7000 psi/g/cc; at least 90% of the pore volume has a diameter of 10-150 microns and at least 1% of the pore volume has a diameter of 0.8-3.5 microns.
US7413793Feb 9, 2006Aug 19, 2008Graftech International Holdings Inc.Induction furnace with unique carbon foam insulation
US7527855Oct 21, 2004May 5, 2009Graftech International Holdings Inc.Includes a core formed of carbon foam having a ratio of compressive strength to density of at least about 7000 psi/g/cc; preferably at least 90% of the pore volume has a diameter of 10-150 microns and at least 1% of the pore volume has a diameter of 0.8-3.5 microns.
US7597304Jun 30, 2006Oct 6, 2009Daniel GrayChristmas tree stand
US7776430Jun 12, 2007Aug 17, 2010Graftech International Holdings Inc.Carbon foam tooling with durable skin
US7892636May 1, 2007Feb 22, 2011Graftech International Holdings Inc.Carbon foam with supplemental material
US8016113 *Sep 16, 2008Sep 13, 2011Plastic Systems, Inc.Storage system with improved pole securement system
US8080127Apr 15, 2007Dec 20, 2011Graftech International Holdings Inc.Carbon foam evaporator
US8372510Feb 4, 2009Feb 12, 2013Graftech International Holdings Inc.High strength monolithic carbon foam
US8671613 *Mar 3, 2009Mar 18, 2014Michael G. CrillyTree slide
US20120235012 *Mar 16, 2011Sep 20, 2012Dale AndrassyStand for a vertically extending object having a pole-like bottom portion
EP0369633A1 *Oct 30, 1989May 23, 1990Ian Alexander GordonChristmas tree stand
EP0763340A1 *Sep 14, 1996Mar 19, 1997Bernd-Martin KochChristmas tree stand with positioning means
WO1991010015A1 *Jan 2, 1991Jul 4, 1991Frederick P Strobl JrFootings for post or beam construction
Classifications
U.S. Classification47/40.5, 248/524
International ClassificationA47G33/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47G33/12, A47G2033/124, A47G2033/1286
European ClassificationA47G33/12