US 3400890 A
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F. E. GOULD FRAGRANCE RELEASING DEVICE Filed Dec. 7, 1966 Sept. 10, 1968 lla.
United States Patent 3,400,890 FRAGRANCE RELEASING DEVICE Francis E. Gould, Princeton, N.J., assignor to National Patent Development Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 7, 1966, Ser. No. 599,911 30 Claims. (Cl. 239-36) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A-n ornamental article simulating natural fragrant flora fabricated from synthetic material including at least in part a hydrophilic hydrogel.
This invention relates to decorative structures for simulating products of nature such as floral objects and including the capability of releasing fragrant aromas.
One object of the invention is to take advantage of the capability of certain synthetic chemical compositions to absorb liquid solutions of fragrances and aromas and to store the solid elements of these fragrances for an indefinite period of time so that upon the later addition of solvent the fragrance may be released to the surrounding atmosphere.
Compositions having these characteristics are disclosed in US. Patents Nos. 2,976,576 and 3,220,960, issued to Otto Wichterle on Mar. 28, 1961, and Nov. 30, 1965, and also in the copending application Ser. No. 567,856, filed July 26, 1966, by Thomas H. Shepherd and Francis E. Gould.
Other objects and advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art after reading the following specification in connection with the attached drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a cross-sectional elevation of one form of the invention in accordance with this application which simulates a potted plant;
FIGURE 2 is a modified form of the invention which also simulates a potted plant;
FIGURE 3 is still another form of the invention which simulates a flower and can be adhesively applied to a surface for ornamentation;
FIGURE 3a is a side view of the article shown in FIG- URE 3, and;
FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 disclose alternative means for attaching or supporting a simulated flower made in accordance with this invention.
It is therefore one object of this invention to utilize the characteristics of the material disclosed in the aforementioned patents and application to fabricate articles in the shape of natural fragrant flora constructing at least a portion of the simulated article of one of the said materials, said material having been treated to absorb the solids contained in a fragrant essence solution, so that when it is desired the fragrance may be released by the addition. of the appropriate solvent.
However, in the case of hydrogel material disclosed in the Wichterle patents, and the Shepherd and Gould application, the dissolved fragrances or essences are prefera-bly absorbed into the article after it has been formed, although it may be added prior to forming.
In FIGURE 1 of the drawings, there is shown an article which simulates a potted plant, indicated generally by numeral 10, comprising a container 11, which can be any type of liquid tight vessel fabricated to resemble a conventional flower pot. This vessel is provided with a cover 12 which could be made of sheet metal, or plastic, having a central opening from which there depends into the vessel a tubular support 13 for an upright tubular column 14 which would be made to resemble the stem of a fra- 3,400,890 Patented Sept. 10, 1968 grant flower and which supports at its upper end a series of simulated petals 15 surrounding a stamen 16. In the form of the invention shown the stamen has been formed of the hydrogel material in accordance with the teachings of the aforementioned patents and patent applica tion, while the petals may be formed of any other material such as plastic or could also be formed of the hydrogel material. Contained within the column 14 is a wick 17 which contacts the hydrogel material of the stamen at its upper end and extends downwardly into the vessel so that when the appropriate solution 18a is added, the solution will be continuously supplied by capillary action of the wick to the hydrogel material of the flower, or by in situ polymerization with essence.
As previously stated, the article may be fabricated in one of two ways. Either the portion which is to carry the fragrance may be first molded toshape then immersed in a solution of the fragrance or essence until saturated. Then the solvent is removed, such as by air drying, after which the solid constituents of the solutions remain absorbed within the hydrogel material indefinitely.
This method can be used with all of the hydrogen materials previously mentioned but in the case of the material disclosed in the Shepherd and Gould application the powder may be immersed in a solution of a fragrance and dried to remove the solvent material prior to the actual molding step, the solid material being capable of release by applying the appropriate solvent to the material after it has been molded into the appropriate shape.
For example, if the flower simulated were to be a violet, the stamen 16 shown in FIGURE 1 would have incorporated therein the solid material of violet essence, or fragrance, and would remain therein indefinitely so long as no solvent were applied to it. However, if the liquid 18:: in the vessel were the appropriate solvent, such as alcohol, the wick would transmit that solvent to the hydrogel material so long as any liquid was present in the vessel and thereby the fragrance would be liberated from the stamen so long as any such solid constituents remain therein.
In the form of the invention shown in FIGURE 2, the fragrance is not carried by a portion of the flower itself but is supplied from material immersed in the solution proper. In this case the vessel 11a containing the solution 18a is provided with a cover 19 having a series of per forations 20 therein to support a stem 14a having petals 15a and stamen 160, all of which articles may be fabricated of any suitable material such as plastic, fabrics, metal and so forth.
Depending from the central opening in the cover is a disc 21 which has been formed from the hydrophilic hydrogel material disclosed in the aforementioned patents and application and which material has been treated with a fragrance or essence such as violet essence as described in connection with the modification shown in FIGURE 1. The solid constituents of the essence will of course remain in the material when in a dry state; however, when it is immersed in the solvent 18a the solid material will be gradually released into the solution and the fragrance will be transmitted to the atmosphere through the perforations 20 in the cover.
FIGURES 3 through 6 illustrate several forms in which a simulated flower can be made in accordance with this invention for use as a small ornament for application to a surface or to be applied to the clothing or worn on the person. In these modifications of the invention the petals 22, resembling a flower such as a violet, may be formed of any suitable material such as plastic or paper, etc., or one or more of these petals might be composed of hydrophilic hydrogel disclosed in the patents and application reterred to above. The ornament may be completed by the addition of a simulated stamen portion 23 which may be formed of the hydrophilic hydrogel material if none of the petals have been formed of this material. Similarly, the entire flower may be formed of the hydrogel material.
In the form of the invention shown in FIGURES 3 and 3a, the rear surface of the stamen portion may be coated with an adhesive or a small disc 24 may be attached to the back thereof, the surface of the disc being coated with an adhesive or having a pressure sensitive. adhesive covering it so that the simulated flower may be attached to a surface such as a package or a bottle by means of the adhesive coating.
In FIGURE 4 another method of supporting the simulated flower is shown. In this case one of the petals 22 may have an aperture 25 therein to receive a link 26 for supporting the simulated flower from a chain 27 such as would form a necklace or a bracelet to permit the flower to be worn as an article of personal adornment. In FIG- URE 5 the simulated flower is shown as having a U- shaped clamping device 28 secured to the back of the stamen to enable the simulated flower to be worn as an earring, whereas in FIGURE 6 the device is shown as being provided with a safety pin 29 to enable the flower to be attached to a dress or other fabric article.
It will be realized that many other configurations and simulations of natural flowers may be constructed in accordance with the teachings of this invention. It should also be understood that the use of the words petals and stamen are illustrative only and that the configuration shown in the drawings are representative of only a ceratin class of flower since not all flowers have their different constituent elements arranged in the same fashion.
It will be realized that the invention teaches that a simulated article may be produced having a portion of that article fabricated of the hydrophilic hydrogel mate rial disclosed in the aforementioned patents and application and that this hydrogel material may be treated to absorb a quantity of the solid constituents of a fragrance or essence, which solids, when the liquid solvent has been removed, will be retained therein indefinitely until it is desired to release them by the application to the hydrogel of the appropriate solvent. In the case of the articles shown in FIGURES 3 through 6, they may be immersed in the appropriate solvent for a short period of time to liberate the fragrance.
Having disclosed several modifications of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications and changes may be made which would come within the scope of the annexed claims.
1. A decorative article of commerce comprising a plurality of elements fabricated from synthetic materials to simulate the petals and stamen of a natural flower, at least one of said elements being composed of hydrophilic polymeric material having soluble fragrant essence absorbed therein for release in response to absorption of an appropriate solvent.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein the stamen are composed of hydrophilic polymeric material.
3. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said article of commerce also includes means for supplying liquid to said hydrophilic material to release said fragrance.
4. The invention as defined in claim 3, wherein said means for supplying water includes a container for liquid and a wick having one end in contact with the hydrophilic polymeric material and the other end within the container.
5. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said simulated flower also includes a stern means composed of synthetic material and a container for a liquid, said stem means having one end supported in the container, said petals and stamen being supported at the other end of the stem means.
6. The invention as defined in claim 5, wherein the stem means includes a wick for conveying liquid from the container to the hydrophilic polymer by capillary action.
7. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein a portion of said petals are coated with adhesive material for attaching the simulated flower to another surface.
8. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said petals are composed of a semirigid synthetic plastic material, at least one of said petals bein provided with support means for suspending the simulated flower from another object.
9. The invention as defined in claim 8, wherein said support means is a clasp.
10. The invention as defined in claim 8, wherein said support means is a pin for engagement with a fabric material.
11. The invention as defined in claim 8, wherein said support means is a clasp for engagement with the lobe of a human ear.
12. In an ornamental article, the combination including a simulated natural fragrant flora fabricated from synthetic material, at least a portion of said synthetic material comprising a hydrophilic hydrogel.
13. The invention as defined in claim 12, wherein said hydrogel material contains absorbed solid fragrant material.
14. The invention as defined in claim 12, wherein said a;ticle includes support means for displaying said artic e.
15. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes means for suspending said article.
16. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes a coating of adhesive material.
17. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes a link received through an aperture provided in the article.
18. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes a clamp for attaching the device to an ear lobe.
19. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes a pin.
20. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes a simulated natural stem for the flora comprised of synthetic material.
21. The invention as defined in claim 20, wherein said support means includes a pot shaped container for supporting said stem upright.
22. The invention as defined in claim 14, wherein said support means includes a container for solvent for the solid fragrant material, and means for conducting solvent from the container to the hydrogel material.
23. The invention as defined in claim 22, wherein said means for conducting solvent includes a length of capillary material.
24. The invention as defined in claim 23, wherein said means for conducting solvent includes a length of stiff material simulating the stem of a flora.
25. The invention as defined in claim 24, wherein said capillary material is tubular and surrounds said stiff material.
26. The invention as defined in claim 24, wherein said stiff material is tubular and contains said length of capillary material.
27. The invention as defined in claim 24, wherein said container simulates a flower pot and includes means for supporting said stiff material upright.
28. The invention as defined in claim 27, wherein said means for supporting the stiff material comprises a horizontal member supported by the container, said member having a tubular socket for the stiff material.
29. The invention as defined in claim 12, wherein said simulated flora includes a simulated flower pot, a simulated stern, said pot including means for supporting the 5 stem uprightin the pot, said hydrophilic hydrogel material comprising a portion of the pot.
30. The invention as defined in claim 29, wherein said pot comprises a container for solvent and said hydrophilic hydrogel is supported in Contact with a solvent in the pot.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Roberts 23936 Woiwode et a1 23936 Osti et al. 239-54 Scott 239-36 Smith 23960 Wichterle 260-2.5 Sellers 239-36 Kohl 16794 Wichterle 2602.5
EVERETT W. KIRBY, Primary Examiner.