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Publication numberUS3386590 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 4, 1968
Filing dateMay 13, 1966
Priority dateMay 13, 1966
Publication numberUS 3386590 A, US 3386590A, US-A-3386590, US3386590 A, US3386590A
InventorsCharles Gretz
Original AssigneeLife Like Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Construction kit
US 3386590 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 4, 1968 c. GRETZ 3,386,590

CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed May 13, 1966 I 5 sheets sheet 1 m WW INVENTOR CHARLES GRETZ ATTORNEY June 4, 1968 c. GRETZ 3,386,590

CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed May 15, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 98 99 107 II n umv 1 b 56 I I I o 8 P O I wanton CHARLES GRETZ ATTORNEY June 4, 1968 c. GRETZ 3,386,590

CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed May 13, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR 6 CHARLES GRETZ ATTORNEY June 4, 1968 c. GRETZ CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed May 13. 1966 39 FIG. I5

37 39 I I l n LIJ I I l w 40 38 38 3'8 '4 31 so F|G.4.

l I I FIG.5.

5 Sheets-Sheet 4 ENTOR CHARLES GRETZ ATTORNEY June 4, 1968 c. GRETZ 3,386,590

CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed May 13, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR CHARLES GRETZ Mp/ 7), Mu

ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,386,590 CONSTRUCTION KIT Charles Gretz, Calabasas, Calif., assiguor to Life-Like Products, Inc., Baltimore, Md., a corporation of Maryland Filed May 13, 1966, Ser. No. 550,019 8 Claims. (Cl. 211-177) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A construction kit is provided in the form of hollow tubular pieces of square cross section in various shapes and lengths. The tubular pieces are basic and comprise a channel which forms three sides and a panel which forms the fourth side. The panel is connected to the channel by interlocking members on the interior of the channel. The outermost of these interlocking members are recessed from the outer ends of the tubular pieces to form abutments for mating pieces. The pieces are made of a rigid plastic material, the surface of which is treated to simulate an artistic metal. These interlocking pieces may have two, three or more ends for various design configurations. Ancillary pieces are also provided, such as scrolls and plates, together with connectors for attaching them to the basic pieces.

This invention relates to construction kits and an object is the provision of a construction kit containing interlocking elements that can be artistically assembled as an ornamental object.

Another object is the provision of special elements for a construction kit to simplify the assembly of items therefrom.

A further object is the provision of a construction kit of a material that simulates conventional construction materials but which is cheaper to provide over the conventional materials and easier to fabricate.

A still further object is the provision of a kit having interlocking elements that can be loosely packed in relatively small boxes and sold with instructions for assembly into a given ornamental object or an object having utilitarian features or both.

A still further object is the provision of a construction kit for three dimensional ornamental objects which contains elements that permit individual variations in order to provide ornamental assemblies having a degree of uniqueness within the general framework of a particular design suggested by instructions furnished with the kit.

These and still further objects, advantages and features of the invention will appear more fully from the description which follows in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

The invention, in general, comprises a group of connectable pieces, including a basic hollow tubular piece in the form of a channel, connected to a cover panel. Interlocking projections are provided on the interior between the panel and the channel to hold them together and thus form a complete tubular piece. The outer projections are recessed from the ends to form abutments for connectable end pieces. The pieces are preferably made of a rigid plastic material surface-treated to simulate an artistic metal, such as wrought iron, brass, etc. Among the pieces are conventional scrolls and other elements with connectors for attaching them to the basic pieces.

In the drawing:

FIGS. 1a and b together illustrate a group of elements in perspective according to this invention from which selections may be made to provide particular kits for assembling specific items.

FIG. 2 is a specific item formed of elements selected from the group illustrated in FIGS. la and b.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view along line 4-4 of FIG. 2. FIG. 5 is a sectional view along line 5-5 of FIG. 2. FIG. 6 is a sectional view along line 6-6 of FIG. 2. FIG. 7 is a sectional view along line 77 of FIG. 2. FIG. 8 is a sectional view along line 8-8 of FIG. 2. FIG. 9 is a sectional view along line 9-9 of FIG. 2. FIG. 10 is a section similar to FIG. 8 illustrating a modified form of the connector adapted to hold three objects.

FIG. 11 is a section similar to FIG. 10 illustrating a further modified form of connector adapted to hold four objects.

FIG. 12 is a longitudinal sectional view of a typical hollow bar comprising one of the elements, partly broken away, showing the manner in which it is made in two parts held together and the relation of the holding means of these parts to the ends of the bar.

FIGS. 12 to 28, inclusive, are schematic views showing how various elements of the group are used in diiferent situations that may arise.

Referring with more particularity to the drawing, a typical specific item is the sconce shown in FIG. 2 which is constructed of elements selected from the group shown in FIGS. la and b. These pieces are identified by reference characters corresponding to those in FIGS. 1a and b.

Basic to the construction of most specific items, are bars that may be of any of various forms, such as the linear form 31, the elbow form 32, the circular quadrant 33 and the curved form 35, among others. The two part construction of these basic bars is illustrated in FIG. 12. One part comprises a U-shaped channel 36. The open side of the channel is covered by a fiat plate 37 which is interlocked with the channel by means of a series of spaced mating projections 38 and 39 integral with the channel and integral with the plate respectively. The two terminal projections of each bar are recessed from the respective ends 40 and 41 of the bars to limit the position of insert couplers 42. See FIG. 5.

Various tubular external couplers include a straight connector 43, a T-connector 44, a four way corner connector 45, and end cap 46, a three way connector 47, a cross connector 48 and an L-connector 49. These are for joining together two or more of the members, as shown in the various figures of the drawing. These figures also illustrate the use of special devices as follows:

A wall hanger 50 comprises a pair of parallel arms 51 and 52 adapted to straddle a bar 53 and frictionally engage its opposite sides as shown in FIG. 18. An integral part of the hanger comprises a diamond loop 54 which may be slipped over and supported by a nail 55.

A double U connector 56 is used for handling two bars 57 and 58 in parallel relation as shown in FIG. 19.

The cross connector 48 is also provided with a central opening 59 for engaging the nipple 60 of an end connector 61 or the nipple 62 of a rosette 63, or other decorative element. See FIGS. 20 and 21.

A decorative base member 64 is provided with a central socket 65 for receiving the end of a bar 66 in an upright position. See FIG. 28.

For use on objects that are designed to be suspended, such as by a hook at the end of a chain, different devices are provided. The loop member 67 is adapted to encircle a bar member, such as bar 68, whereupon a structure integral with it can be supported in suspended position by a hook 69 engaging its eye 70. See FIG. 14. A similar, but smaller loop member 71, having an eye 72 is provided for encircling inside coupling member 42. See FIG. 25.

A special connector 73 shown in FIG. 27, has one portion 74 similar to the loop member and is adapted to engage inside coupling member 42. A second portion '75 is in a form adapted to engage the inside of an end of a bar member 76.

An outer end cap member 77 is provided with a central aperture 78 for receiving a screw 79, such as where it is desired to mount a candlestick holder 80 and candle drip tray 81, for example. See FIG. 4.

A special bracket member 82 comprises a loop portion 83 for engaging the outside of a bar 84 and an offset arm 85 for supporting objects, such as a shelf 86. See FIG. 16. The loop portion 83 is preferably open and resilient to permit it to be placed in position transversely of the bar 83 and supporting the loop as shown in FIG. 15.

Another form of bracket 87 comprises a loop 88 adapted to engage a bar 89 from which loop an arm 90 extends. The arm 90 is provided with an outwardly projecting pin 91 adapted to engage the loop of an object to be supported, such as a chain, rope, wire or other object (not shown). See FIG. 17.

For the purpose of attaching special art objects such as scrolls 92, 93 and 94, designs of a leaf 95, rose bud 96 and lily 97, connectors 98, 99, 100 and 101 are provided. The connector 98 comprises an open resilient band adapted to be disposed about a bar, such as the bar 102, and having one one side an offset portion 103 forming a slot 104 adjacent the bar when it is snapped therein for receiving stub ends 105 of the stems of the special art objects or the body of a scroll. See FIG. 6.

The connector 99 is similar to 98, except that it is provided with two offset portions 106 and 107 forming slots 108 and 109, respectively, to hold two objects 110 and 111. See FIG. 8.

The connector 100 is similar except that it comprises three offset portions 112, 113 and 114 for holding three items 115, 116 and 117. See FIG. 10. Still another connector 101 has offset portions 118, 119 and 120 and, on the split side, offset portions 121 and 122 which together form a holding pair for a fourth item 123. See FIG. 11.

Where it is desired to hold two fiat objects together, such as two scrolls 93 and 94 at a given position, a small resilient U-shaped clamp 124 may be used to straddle the two adjacent parts. This is illustrated in FIG. 7 and also at a number of places in FIG. 2.

The parts of the kit are preferably made of a light weight plastic resin, such as polyethylene, polyvinyl, polystyrene, or any conventional material adapted to such usage.

The material may be made or painted in colors to simulate conventional art objects such as wrought iron, brass, copper, pewter, gold, silver, etc.

To provide an article in permanent form, all joints may be cemented or glued together.

Construction kits may be provided with directions for the assembly of different articles. However, various departures from such directions may be suggested for individual artistry within the creative talents of a person undertaking or directing the assembly.

I claim:

1. A construction kit comprising interlocking members, one of said members comprising a hollow bar and means for connecting the ends of the bar to a smaller bar, said means comprising a coupler insertable in the ends of the hollow bar, said hollow bar comprising an elongated channel part and a cover part for the open side of the channel, means on the interior of the channel for connecting the cover thereto, said last-mentioned means being disposed in positions recessed from the ends of the hollow bar to form abutments for coupling members conf0rming to and insertable in the ends of the bar.

2. A construction kit as defined by claim 1 in which the material of which the members are fabricated comprises a light weight plastic, the surface of which has been treated to simulate an artistic metal.

3. A construction kit as defined by claim 1 and a resilient clip adapted to be disposed on and to be carried by the bar, said clip having an offset portion forming a pocket adjacent a side of the bar when disposed thereon to receive and hold a part to be attached to the bar.

4. A construction kit as defined by claim 3 in which the clip comprises a plurality of oifset portions forming a plurality of pockets adjacent the sides of the bar.

5. A construction kit as defined by claim 1 comprising also a member having a portion adapted to embrace the bar and a loop extending from and integral with the portion.

6. A construction kit as defined by claim 5 in which the loop is in a diamond shape.

7. A construction kit as defined by claim 1 comprising also a bracket having a first portion adapted to embrace the bar member and a second portion integral with and offset from the first portion, said second portion comprising an arm adapted to support a shelf.

8. A construction kit as defined by claim 1 and a bracket having a first portion adapted to embrace the bar member and a second portion comprising an arm extending outwardly from the first portion, said arm having a peg projecting outwardly therefrom.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 460,876 10/1891 Kurth 21l177 X 656,275 8/1900 Streeter 211-482 X 770,308 9/1904 Parker 211-182 X 831,510 9/1906 Heimann 21l-182 X 1,034,338 7/1912 Beatty 287-108 X 1,369,198 2/1921 Slomer 287-108 1,770,852 7/1930 Hill 287108 1,790,798 2/1931 Davis 211-182 2,924,338 2/1960 Sharp 211l77 X 2,930,638 3/1960 Morrissey 2ll182 X 3,074,203 1/1963 Paksy 287-108 3,152,820 10/1964 Giampa 287-108 3,266,761 8/1966 Walton 24854 X CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Primary Examiner.

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U.S. Classification211/189, 431/126, 403/173, 428/24, 403/256, 403/171, D25/199, 403/391, 403/292, 403/176, 248/235, 403/172, 211/182, D06/702, D06/719
International ClassificationF21V35/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21V35/00
European ClassificationF21V35/00