US 3413458 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ORNAMENTAL ELECTRICAL NOVELTY Filed May 27, 1966 xii-aw.
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ATTQRNEY United States Patent 3,413,458 ORNAMENTAL ELECTRICAL NOVELTY William E. Barefoot, 1434 Whiteford Road, York, Pa. 17402 Filed May 27, 1966, Ser. No. 553,479 7 Claims. (Cl. 240--10) This invention pertains to an ornamental electrical novelty of the type using low powered electrically energized bulbs.
Various types of electrically illuminated objects have been devised heretofore, either for ornamental or amusement purposes, as well as for utilitarian purposes, some of these comprising religious objects and others comprising simulated animals having eyes comprising electric bulbs, for example. Still other articles of a utilitarian nature, for example, comprise ash trays having low powered illumination so that the same readily can be located in an otherwise dark room.
It is the principal object of the present invention to provide primarily an ornamental electrical novelty essentially embodying a plurality of low powered electric lamp bulbs and, more specifically, low capacity neon tubes capable of being energized momentarily, preferably in various sequences so as to produce a twinkling effect and thus call attention to the novelty, while the same, at least to a certain extent, serve the purposes of producing at least a very small amount of light in the area within which the novelty is located.
Another object of the invention is to provide an ornamental electrical novelty of the type referred to above which operates continuously and automatically without requiring the use of switches or the like and the source of electrical energy preferably comprises battery means mounted in the base of the novelty which otherwise preferably is block-like and formed from suitable insulating material such as an appropriate synthetic resin.
A further object of the invention is to provide an ornamental electrical novelty of the type referred to above in which the plurality of electrically energizable neon tubes are mounted in the upper portion of a body of synthetic resin which is sufficiently transparent or translucent as to permit the twinkling of the neon tubes to be observed therethrough, while the lower portion of the body preferably is of an opaque nature so as to mask the circuit control means and the battery means contained therein at a level below that wherein the neon tubes are mounted.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a reflecting surface in the base means comprising the novelty of the type referred to above at a level below the neon tubes and preferably being of an opaque nature so as to aid in shielding the control means and battery means mounted below the reflecting means.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an ornamental electrical novelty of a type which may serve without further additional elements as a paper weight or, if preferred, may serve as a base for supporting objects such as pens and pencils, calendar pads, and the like.
Details of the invention and of the foregoing objects thereof, as well as other objects of the invention, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing comprising a part thereof.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of ornamental electrical novelty incorporating the principles of the present invention and being illustrated as a base for an exemplary pen or pencil receiving socket.
3,413,458 Patented Nov. 26, 1968 FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the novelty shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an end elevation of the novelty shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view showing details of the novelty shown in the preceding figures.
FIG. 5 is a wiring diagram of the circuit employed in the novelty illustrated in the preceding figures.
Referring to the drawing, and especially FIGS. 1-3, the electrical novelty comprising the present invention embodies preferably a block-like body 10, which is formed from suitable insulating material such as an appropriate synthetic resin. The upper portion 12 of body 10 preferably is either transparent or at least translucent, while the lower portion 14 preferably is opaque for purposes to be described.
Mounted within the upper portion 12 is a series of electrically energizable lamp bulbs 16 which, specifically and preferably, are low powered neon tubes capable of being energized so as to produce readily visible light. Without restriction thereto, but to serve as an example of a suitable type of bulb for the intended purpose, small neon tubes of watt capacity have been used very successfully. Preferably, a series of the bulbs 16 are employed, the same being illustrated in the exemplary row, but it is to be understood that any other arrangement may be employed, if desired.
Lamp bulbs 16 are mounted within appropriate cavities formed the upper portion 12 of the body 10, such cavities preferably being formed by forming the body .10 in a suitable mold, the normally upper portion 12 thereof being formed in an inverted mold and being lowermost therein. This may be accomplished by utilizing a mixture of polymer and monomer of, for example, a self-curing synthetic resin such as methyl methacrylate which may contain a suitable accelerator to promote the curing thereof. After an appropriate depth of the resin mixture is poured into the mold in adequate amount to form the upper portion 12, for example, the lamp bulbs 16, which may be mounted in a suitable jig, for example, are disposed within the liquid resin mixture and held there until the resin at least commences to set, following which the jig may be removed. The bulbs 16 are disposed within the resin in the desired final pattern and suitable electrical connectors project from the uppermost ends of the lamp bulbs when inserted in said liquid resin.
In accordance with the preferred construction of the invention, s-ufiicient additional resin which has, for example, been pigmented so as to be of a light color, or even white, and preferably opaque, is poured on the top surface of the resin originally placed in the mold for purposes of forming the upper portion 12 of body 10 so as to form a reflecting surface 18, the same preferably being adjacent the base portions of the lamp bulbs 16, as viewed in FIGS. 1-3. Preferably, upper portion 112 is transparent.
After the reflecting surface coating 18 has been disposed in the mold and either substantially or completely cured, electrical circuit control means comprising pairs of resistors 20 are either supported in an appropriate jig or otherwise are arranged for mounting in a preliminary portion of additional resin which is poured into the mold to form the lower portion 14 thereof. For example, an adequate amount of the additional resin is poured on top of the reflecting surface coating 18 and permitted to commence to cure adequately to retain the resistors and capacitors in suitable position within what ultimately will be the completed lower portion 14 of the body 10. Preferably, the resin used to form all parts of the lower portion 14 is colored suitably to render it highly opaque, such as by employing black pigment, or pigment of any other color, such as the primary colors, for purposes of masking the electrical circuit control members and 22.
It is to be understood that a resistor 20 and capacitor 22 is provided for each of the lamp bulbs 16. They are arranged in circuit with each other as well as with the lamp bulbs in accordance with the circuit diagram shown in FIG. 5. Appropriate small sized and relatively inconspicuous wire conductors comprise the circuit and these also are placed within the partially cured resin within which the resistors .and capacitors 20 and 22 have been positioned, whereby the circuitry, the resistors 20, the capacitors 22, and all of the lamp bulbs 16 ultimately will be molded in situ within the composite body 10 comprising the upper and lower portions 12 and 14.
After placing the circuit wires in the resin material and arranging them so as to be compact, additional resin to form the lower portion 14 is poured into the mold in an :adequate amount to permit the insertion of a block of the desired size and shape to form a battery cavity or compartment 24 in the lower portion 14 and otherwise fill the mold to the desired limit to produce a desired height for the body 10. Said block, not shown, will be maintained within the poured resin for the lower portion 14 until the resin has set adequately to permit removal of the block, following which the block is removed to produce the compartment 24. Preferably associated with one end of the block, however, is an electrical terminal assembly 26, see FIG. 2, whereby when the block is removed, the terminal assembly 26 will be disposed within the compartment 24 which is of suitable size to accommodate battery means 28. Preferably the terminals of the battery are connected with a snap-action to the terminal assembly 26.
The battery means 28 may very conveniently comprise a pair of B-batteries each of 45 volts capacity, for example, connected in series to produce 90 volts potential. When utilizing an exemplary series of five lamp bulbs 16 each of watt capacity, and employing capacitors of .25 microfarad and 100 volts capacity, and resistors of 2.2 megohms capacity, the circuit illustrated in FIG. 5 is capable of operating continuously for a period of approximately 2 years, following which the batteries may be replaced with new batteries. The capacitors 22 cause the lamp bulbs 16 to flash only momentarily about 1 to 4 times a second. Capacitors of the type employed are not precisely of the same capacity, whereby they will function slightly differently from each other and thereby produce a highly intermittent flashing or twinkling of the low capacity lamp bulbs 16. This is all accomplished automatically without the aid of switches or any additional control means other than those explained above and illustrated in the drawing, requiring only the use of the preferred type of battery means described hereinabove.
After the composite body 10 has been molded in the manner described above and has been completely cured, it will be understood that the upper .and lower portions 12. and 14 will be integrally united with each other and all of the electrical components, with the exception of battery 28, will be embedded in the synthetic resin comprising the composite body 10. The exterior of the same then is suitably polished and otherwise finished as desired.
As part of the finishing operation, the bottom surface of the body 10 is drilled and suitably tapped at desired locations to accommodate a series of screws 30 by which an appropriate cover sheet 32, formed from suitable pressboard, cardboard, resin, or the like, is secured to the bottom of body 10 and serves to maintain the battery means 28 in operative position within the compartment 24. Further, in the preferred construction, a layer of adhesive 34 is applied to the lower surface of the cover sheet 32 for purposes of securing a sheet of felt 36 or similar nonscratching material which will comprise the actual base surface of the body 10, whereby the ornamental electrical novelty comprising the present invention may be placed upon any type of supporting surface such as an article of furniture and regardless of the finish thereon, without injuring such supporting surface.
The novelty comprising the invention, without further addition thereto, is capable of serving the intended purpose of being an interesting novelty and so-called conversation piece, suitable for use in homes, offices and the like. No attention of any kind is required to cause the same to function in the manner described above. Further, it may be disposed in any desired position and still function to provide the novel blinking light arrangement. Under the circumstances, the device is highly suitable for use as a paper weight. However, it also is capable of serving in both an ornamental and a utilitarian capacity by having other additions applied thereto such as the illustrated receptacle 38 which may serve as a pen or .pencil holder, for example. Similarly, the body 10 may be used as a suitable base for holding a small flag, calendar pad, or many other objects. Any additional supporting means such as the receptacle 38 may be secured by appropriate cement or the like to any desired surface of the body 10.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that the present inve-ntion provides a very simple but pleasing electrical novelty having an intermittently blinking series of low capacity lamp bulbs capable of operating for very substantial periods of time, automatically, without any attention of any kind, in any position of the body which contains the lamp bulbs. Upon the battery means, mounted obscurely within the body, becoming exhausted, new battery means readily may be disposed therein simply by removing the bottom cover sheet 32 and substituting a new battery means for the exhausted one.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other Ways falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. An ornamental electrical novelty comprising in combination, a block-like body formed from synthetic resin, cavities within the normally upper part of said body, low capacity electrically energizable lamp bulbs mounted respectively in said cavities, said resin in at least said normally upper part of said body being sufficiently transparent to transmit the glow of said lamp bulbs therethrough and the normally lower part of said body having a relatively large cavity extending thereinto from the bottom of said body, battery means mounted within said battery cavity, means masking said batteries from view Within said bottom cavity, and current control means mounted within said body in circuit with said lamp bulbs and battery means and operable automatically to continuously and intermittently cause said lamp bulbs to flash momentarily out of sequence with each other and such flashing being observable as a blinking of said bulbs through the normally upper part of said body.
2. The ornamental electrical novelty according to claim 1 in which said resin body is provided with an opaque reflecting means below said lamp bulbs.
3. The ornamental electrical novelty according to claim 1 in which said lamp bulbs are neon gas bulbs and said control means comprise a capacitor and resistor electrically connected in series with each gas bulb and in parallel with said battery to receive current therefrom, said capacitors being of suitable capacity to cause sequential interruption of voltage to said gas bulbs, thereby causing them to produce a blinking sensation.
4. The ornamental electrical novelty according to claim 3 in which said gas bulbs are molded in situ into the upper part of said resin body.
5. The ornamental electrical novelty according to claim 4 in which said capacitors and resistors and the circuit therebetween and to said gas bulbs also are molded in situ into the resin of the intermediate portion of said body.
5 6 6. The ornamental electrical novelty according to claim References Cited 5 in which leads from the circuit molded in situ in said UNITED STATES PATENTS resin body extend into said bottom battery cavity and v including snap-type connectors on said leads .attachably gfi 240 10 connectable to the terminals of said battery means. 5 7 eppard 240*11'2 7. The ornamental electrical novelty according to claim FOREIGN PATENTS 3 in which the resin of said body below the upper portion 5 7 075 10/1945 Great Britain containing said lamp bulbs is rendered opaque to mask the control means and battery means therein below the NORTON HER, Przmary Exammer.
level of said bulbs. 10 D. B. WEBSTER, Assistant Examiner.