US 3310023 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 21, 1967 D. F. LINSLEVY 3,310,023
ANIMATED REMINDER DEVICE Filed Aug. 25, 1965 INVENTOR. DO ZGS FLmsZey United States Patent Office 3,310,023 Patented Mar. 21, 1967 This invention relates to reminder devices, and more particularly to devices of this type which have movable parts the movements of which are intended to attract the attention of the user.
An object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved reminder device for use in vehicles, wherein a continuous animation or movement of the device is effected as a consequence of the travel of the vehicle or operation of the engine, such movement serving the useful purpose of attracting and holding the users attention to remind him or her to carry out a necessary act, chore or procedure, such as the obtaining of gasoline at the next opportunity. On a throughway, or on remote, seldom travelled roads, the exhausting of the gasoline could be a serious matter.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved reminder device which utilizes the vehicle movement or travel to effect the animation as above set forth, which may be easily and quickly set or conditioned to either place it in operation or else render it inoperative.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved reminder device in accordance with the foregoing, which is of the utmost simplicity and economy of manufacture, thereby rendering it so low in cost that it may be readily'considered in the nature of a give-away item.
Other features and advantages of the invention reside in the reliability of operation of the device, effectiveness in attracting and holding the users attention, compactness and relatively small size, ease of installation, and ease of operation.
Still other features and advantages will hereinafter appear.
In the drawings accompanying this specification, similar characters of reference are used to designate like components throughout the several views, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the reminder device, showing mainly the underside thereof.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary longitudinal section taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the reminder device in operative position on the dashboard of a vehicle.
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view of a reminder device made in accordance with a modification of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a view partly in section and partly in elevation, of a reminder device constituting yet another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a view partly in section and partly in elevation, showing yet another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the invention, wherein the base member is secured to a supporting surface by a pressure sensitive adhesive and is normally fixed to the supporting surface against movement thereon.
Referring first to FIGS. 1-3, the reminder device comprises a stationary or supporting structure which may be considered as a base, such base comprising when considering FIG. 3 a vehicle dashboard 12.
The reminder device also comprises as oscillatory signal member 14 and a base member 10. Both the members 10 and 14 may be economically molded of plastic material so as to have identical configurations. That is, but a single mold need be employed for producing either the base member 10 or the signal member 14.
The observable difference shown in FIG. 1 between the finished contours of the members 10 and 14 involves a permanent magnet or mounting device 16 which is attached to the base member 10 in any suitable manner, as by cementing, use of a pressure-sensitive adhesive, etc.
The molded base member 10 (compare with the molded signal member 14) is shown as comprising a flat disk shaped body 18 having a small projection 20 extending radially from one point of its periphery, the said projection preferably being provided with opposite sets of teeth 22 whereby the projection 20 may have secured to it and retain one end of a helical coil spring 24.
In the case of the signal member 14, the disk-like body is designated 26, such body having a radial projection 28 with opposite sets of teeth 30, similar to the projection 20 and teeth 22.
It will be noted that the base member 10 and signal member 14 are molded each with an annular or ringshaped bead, designated 32 for the member 10 and 34 for the member 14. The beads 32 and 34 are of a size to snugly receive the circular magnet 16, although it will be understood that only the base member 10 is provided with the said magnet, the member 14 having a finished configuration which is identical to its original molded shape. The raised bead 32 constitutes a positioning means, by which the magnet 16 may be easily and quickly secured to the base member 10, 18, as with cement or by a pressure-sensitive adhesive, etc.
As seen in FIGS. 1 and 3, the helical coil spring 24 is attached at its ends to the projections 20, 28 and thereby resiliently connects the signal member 14 with the base member 10.
The base member 10, magnet 16 and spring 24 are considered as a connector means including a resilient mounting (the springs 24) between the base 12 and signal member 14, such means being for the purpose of maintaining the member 14 either in an operative position remote from the base 12 and providing for substantially free oscillation, or else in a stationary and inoperative position juxtaposed to the base and restrained thereby against movement.
With such organization, it the base member 10 is held substantially stationary in a vehicle and only subjected to the jouncing or travelling movement of the vehicle, or idling of the engine, and if the signal member 14 is free to move, the latter will oscillate in all different directions and will constitute an effective attention-attracting reminder for the driver or other occupant of the vehicle, which reminder can be readily seen out of the corner of the eye, without requiring direct vision.
As seen in FIG. 3, the base member 10 is held to the the steel dashboard 12 by means of the magnet 16, and the signal member 14 in extending rearward and free of the dashboard, will have an oscillating movement as a consequence of travel of the Vehicle.
If it should be desired to discontinue the signal or reminder, the user merely swings the magnet and device so that the signal member 14 rests on or is engaged with the dashboard 12, as indicated by the broken outline designated by the numeral 38. The proximity of the dashboard 12 to the signal member '14 for such an inoperative position effectively prevents any attention-attracting oscillation of the signal member whereby the device is inoperative for all intents and purposes.
It will be understood that while FIG. 3 shows a horizontal mounting of the device, a vertical mounting is possible on the front face of the dashboard or on any other suitable vertical surface.
In the use of the device, the driver when glancing at the gas gauge will at times note a low indication. The
driver will then wish to be reminded that he or she should obtain gasoline at the next filling station. To do this, the driver merely swings the reminder device to the fullline position shown in FIG. 3, whereby the oscillating movements of the signal member 14 will constitute a continual attention-getter preventing the driver or other occupant from forgetting to stop for the necessary servicing.
It will be understood from an inspection of FIG. 3 that the dashboard 12 cooperates in preventing oscillation of the signal member 14 when the device is rendered inoperative as indicated by the broken outline. Thus, the dashboard 12 may constitute a part of the operative or functional combination, by which the device has utility.
In the appended claims, the specifying of a base may thus be understood as including the supporting surface for the reminder device, whether this be the dashboard of an automobile, the panel board of a boat, or any other supporting object on which the reminder device is carried.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 4, wherein a base member 40 and signal member 42 in the form of disks, are secured together by an integral thin tie web 44 which is tapered with its largest dimension adjoining the base member 40. The member 40 is hollow with a molded retainer bead 45, and has snapped into its cavity a permanent disk magnet 46 for the purpose of securing the device to a magnetic supporting surface. The members 40, 42 and 44 may be economically molded of a single piece, as of resilient plastic substance having the desired degree of stiffness to provide a spring action for the tie web 44 whereby the signal member 42 will oscillate in the manner of the signal member 14 already described above.
The base member 40 is secured to a metal dashboard, indicated at 47 in FIG. 4. In this embodiment the connector means including the resilient mounting comprises the parts 40, 46 and 44.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 5, wherein there is a base member 48 and a signal member 50 connected together by a flexible tie web 52. A permanent magnet 54 is secured in the cavity of the base member 48, and the latter also has a protruding pin 56 adapted to be received in a cooperable opening 58 of the signal member, as indicated by the broken line showing of "FIG. 5. When the signal member 50 is thus held captive by the pin 56, the device is inoperative and no oscillation of the signal member 50 can occur. The hole 58 is preferably substantially larger than the pin '56 to facilitate applying the member '50 to the pin, and to permit an angularity in the position of the member when on the pin as shown, whereby sharp edges on the hole 58 tend to bite into the pin and prevent inadvertent release of the member. To place the device in operation, the user merely releases the signal member 50 from the pin 56, so that the signal member can assume the full or solid line position shown and oscillate freely in response to movements of the vehicle. In this embodiment the connector means including the resilient mounting comprises the parts 52, 56 and the hole 58. The base is 48.
Yet another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 6-, wherein a metal magnetic (steel) base member 60 in the form of a shallow cup contains a permanent magnet 62, such base member also having a central stud 64 under which there is secured one end of a helical metal spring 66. The cup 60 provides for a complete magnetic circuit between north and south poles, making for a stronger mounting on a metal dash. The other end of the spring 66 is received in the hollow boss 68 of a signal member 70, such member having an opening 72 adapted to receive the pin 64 of the base member 60 as indicated by the broken line showing in FIG. 6. 'For such captive position of the signal member 70, it cannot oscillate and the reminder device is thus in its inoperative position.
When the user desires to avail himself of the reminding action of the device, he merely loosens the signal member 70 from the pin 64 whereupon the said member will occupy the full-line position of FIG. 6, and will be free to oscillate in response to the movements of the vehicle. In this embodiment the connector means including the resilient mounting comprises the parts 64, 66 and the hole 72. The base is 60 and the mounting device 62.
It will be understood that in all of the embodiments of the invention a relatively stationary base structure has resiliently mounted on it a signal member in such a manner that the latter may oscillate in response to travelling movements of the vehicle having the base member. When it is desired to halt the oscillations of the signal member, the latter is brought into close proximity or connected to the base structure whereby it is no longer free to oscillate.
With the embodiments of FIGS. 1-4, the signal member is prevented from oscillating by the dashboard itself, which now constitutes a portion of the supporting base structure of the device. With the embodiments of FIGS. 5 and 6, the signal member is prevented from having oscillation by virtue of being impaled on a protruding pin which is carried by the base member itself of the device.
The reminder device is seen to be especially simple in construction and economical to fabricate whereby it may readily constitute a give-away item. Indicia may be placed on the signal member, as for example Get Gas, as well as other designations.
The device may be quickly applied to any vehicle at a moments notice, and has been found to be especially effective as a reminder to the driver or other occupant of the vehicle. The device readily lends itself to large volume production, and serves a distinctly important reminder purpose.
Another embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 7. As shown therein, a base member 76 in the form of a disk is afiixed to the dashboard 78 by pressure sensitive adhesive 80. The base member 76 has a notched, radial lug 82 at its periphery, and also has a central boss 84 on which there is pivotally mounted the spring 86. The signal member 88 is identical to the base member 76, being disk-shaped with a radial lug 90 and a central boss 92. The spring '86 is forced over the lug 90 to mount the signal member on the base member, and the operative and inoperative conditions are attained by merely pivoting the spring 86 around the boss 84, as permitted by the eye 94 at the end of the spring. The other end of the spring is cut 'ofi straight, with no eye formation, as will be understood.
The spring 86 .may have an initial slight bow in it, so that the signal member8-S firmly rests on the dashboard 78 when in the inoperative position and does not chatter or make noise. Such inoperative position is similar to the broken line position shown in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, the connector means including the resilient mounting comprises the pin 84 and spring 86 which can be swivelled about the pin.
Variations and modifications may be made within the scope of the claims, and portions of the improvement may be used without others.
1. A reminder device comprising, in combination:
(a) a base,
(b) a signal member, and
(c) manually operable connector means including a resilient mounting between said base and signal member, for maintaining the member either in an opera tive position remote from the base and providing for substantial attention-arresting oscillation of the member in air, or else in a stationary and inoperative position juxtaposed to the base and restrained thereby against movement.
2. A device as in claim 1, wherein;
(a) the connector means includes:
(1) a base member and a mounting device carried thereby,
(2) said base member having a protruding prong,
(3) said signal member having a hole adapted to receive the said prong for securing the members together against movement when the device is to be inoperative.
3. A device as in claim 2, wherein:
(a) the hole in the signal member is substantially larger than the prong and has sharp edges tending to bite into the prong when the signal member is carried by the prong in an angular position thereon.
4. A device as in claim 2, wherein:
(a) the base member, signal member and resilient mounting are of molded plastic and constitute a single integral piece.
5. A device as in claim 1, wherein:
(a) the connector means includes a base member and a mounting device carried thereby,
(b) said base member and signal member comprising identical molded plastic pieces,
(c) said base member and signal member having projections,
(d) said resilient mounting comprising a coil spring having its ends extending around and secured to said projections.
6. A device as in claim 5, wherein:
(a) the said projections have notches to retain the spring thereon.
7. A device as in claim 5, wherein:
(a) the base member has a shallow recess,
(b) said mounting device comprising a permanent magnet secured in the recess of the base member.
8. A device as in claim 5 wherein:
(a) the base member comprises a flat piece,
(b) said projection of the base member projecting from one side of the piece,
(c) said coil spring having an eye at one end, in which the base projection is received,
(d) said spring being pivotally movable about the base projection.
9. A device as in claim 8, wherein:
(a) said signal member has a projection jutting out from one side of the piece,
(b) said side projection of the signal member engaging the base when the signal member is in inoperative position.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,144,747 6/ 1915 Abert 273-209 1,587,144 6/1926 Bur-k 116-118 X 2,226,159 12/ 1940 Hoffman 88-81 2,570,108 10/1951 Gallot et al 116-34 2,681,633 6/1954 Basso 116-28 2,977,082 3/ 1961 Harris 248-206 3,072,093 1/1963 Lanius 116-132 3,118,207 1/1964 Breslow 24-214 3,141,253 6/1964 Bartram 116-28 3,147,824 9/1964 Henderson 116-114 3,161,174 12/1964 Harrison 116-132 FOREIGN PATENTS 2,792 1931 Australia.
LOUIS I. CAPOZI, Primary Examiner.