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Publication numberUS3435909 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 1, 1969
Filing dateOct 23, 1965
Priority dateOct 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3435909 A, US 3435909A, US-A-3435909, US3435909 A, US3435909A
InventorsUrch Harvey M, Wenger Jerry A
Original AssigneeWenger Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sound reflecting structure
US 3435909 A
Images(5)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

- April 1, 1969 J, AQVQENGER ET AL .SOUND REFLECTING STRUCTURE Filed Oct. 23, 1965' lofS 311% A Sheet INVENTORJ JERRY/4. WENGER By flqkver/l l. URcH' April 1, 1969 A YWENGER ET AL. 3,435,909

SOUND REFLECTING STRUCTURE Filed Oct; 23, 1965- Sheet Q 015 fi w 5 M v m a a s$ a.

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a. Z W max M v T NwM T [.Y z m @fi Y B I April 1, 1969' WENGER ET AL 3,435,909

SOUND REFLEC'IING STRUCTURE Sheet 5 of 5 Filed. 0M2. 23, 1965 QW t IN VENTORS JERRY/i. VVENGER BY hhRvEr/M. l/RCH 1M Arron/v5 Y:

April 1, 1969 WENGER ET AL. 3,435,909

SOUND REFLECT ING STRUCTURE Sheet 4 015 Filed Oct. 23, 1965 INVENTORJ JZERR YA. WENGER y //ARVE'YM URcH I April 1, 1969 v Filed Oct. 25, 1965 J.QA .WENGER ETAL 3,435,909

SOUND REFLECTING STRUCTURE INVENTORS ERRYAWENG R BY flARVEYMK/RCH I ATTORNEYG Sheet ,1 bf 5 United States Patent SOUND REFLECTING STRUCTURE Jerry A. Wenger, Owatonna, and Harvey M. Urch, West Concord, Minn., assignors to Wenger Corporation,

()watonna, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Filed Oct. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 503,020 Int. Cl. 1304b 1/99 US. Cl. 181-30, 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An acoustical tower having a plurality of identical panel units located in side-by-side relation in a generally upright plane. Frame assemblies are pivotally mounted on the back side of each panel to support the tower. The frame assemblies have cooperating structures for securing adjacent portions of the frame assemblies together to build the tower. The relative positions of the frame assemblies are held by a strut which extends between adjacent frame assemblies. The lower frame asemblies are mounted on a support adapted to receive caster hoists used to raise the frame assemblies and panels so that they can be moved to a new location.

This invention relates to an acoustical tower having sound reflecting surfaces for blending sounds of a performing group such as musicians, dramatists, orators or the like and reflecting the sounds out toward an Observing audience. More particularly, the invention relates to a movable acoustical wall structure which can be disassembled into module panel units.

Briefly stated, the acoustical upright wall structure of this invention is a movable acoustical tower constructed from a plurality of identical module panel units. The panel units are detachably secured to each other so that the tower can have any desirable height. Each panel unit has adjustable side panels which fold over onto a center panel to protect the sound reflecting faces. Pivotally mounted on the back of each panel unit are folding frame assemblies which provide vertical support for the panel unit. The folding frame assemblies on adjacent panel units are releasably connectable to each other providing upright frames for the acoustical tower. The frame assemblies of the bottom panel unit are secured to supports having horizontal tubular members which rest on the stage floor.

The acoustical tower can be moved on a stage floor by the use of caster hoists connected to the opposite ends of the horizontal tubular members. The towers can be placed relative to each other in numerous floor plan designs, as arcuate and U-shaped, in accordance with the stage and acoustical requirements. The acoustical towers are substantially identical. Each tower has substantially identical module panel units making the towers versatile and usable with a wide variety of arrangements of stage floor plans as well as rugged and stable when erected, economical in cost and effective in use. The sound reflecting surfaces of the panel units are movable and adjustable tosimulate a music shell so that all members of the performing group hear each other clearly and distinctly and the sound of the entire ensemble is unified and blended. The sound reflecting surfaces also project a large portion of the blended sound into the audience area.

FIGURE 1 is a floor plan of a stage area equipped with the acoustical towers of this invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged front elevation view of one of the acoustical towers of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged rear elevation view partly broken away of the acoustical tower of FIGURE 2 with parts of each panel unit omitted;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged rear view of one of the panel units of the acoustical tower of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a top view of the panel unit of FIG- URE 4;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of adjacent panel unit showing the method of assembly of adjacent panel units;

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of a locking pin used to connect the panel units together;

FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a hanger used to connect the top panel unit to a batten of stage rigging;

FIGURE 10 is a perspective view showing one of the releasable clasps holding adjacent panel units together; and

FIGURE 11 is a side view of caster hoists in assembled relation with a horizontal support of the acoustical tower.

Referring to the drawing, there is shown in FIGURE 1, a stage area 15 separated from the audience by an upright wall 16 having a proscenium opening 17 facing the audience. A plurality of identical acoustical towers indicated generally at 18 each constructed according to this invention are located in the stage area 15 in a U-shapcd arrangement. The open portion of the U is facing the audience exposing a sound reflecting face 19 of each tower to the audience. Portions of each tower are angularly adjustable to control the reflection and diffusion of sound toward the audience.

As shown in FIGURE 2, upright acoustical tower 18 has four identical module panel units 21, 21A, 21B and 21C positioned in side-by-side relation on top of each other to form an upright Wall having a sound reflecting face 19. The space between the lower panel 21C and floor 22 is closed with a filler panel 23 thereby making theface 19 continuous to the floor 22. The height of the tower 18 may be increased or decreased by mounting additional panel units on top of panel unit 21 or removing one or more of the panel units.

As shown in FIGURES 4 and 5, panel unit 21 has a flat rectangular shaped center panel 24 located between a flat right door or side panel 26 and a flat left door or side panel 27. Panels 24, 26 and 27 are formed from sheet material, such as plywood, sheet plasticor the like, having mass or thickness and sound reflecting faces 19 which are smooth and hard to provide optimum sound reflecting characteristics. The face or surface 19 on each panel may be flat, curved, sculptured, or of other non-linear shapes. Hinges 28 and 29 pivotally secure the right side panel 26 and the left side panel 27 to opposite sides of the center panel 24. The right side panel 26 and left side panel 27 can be adjusted to change the angular position of the sound reflecting faces of side panels 26 and 27 relative to the sound reflecting face of center panel 24. Hinges 28 and 29 permit the side panels 26 and 27 to be folded forwardly as shown in broken lines in FIGURE 5 to cover the sound reflecting surface 19 on the center panel 24 as well as the sound reflecting surfaces, of side panels 26 and 27. This protects the sound reflecting faces during transportation and storage of the panel unit.

The peripheral edge of center panel 24 is protected by a metal angle member 31 positioned over the peripheral edge and the back peripheral portion of the panel. Fastening members, as wood screws, bolts, rivets and the like, secure angle member 31 to the center panel. The center panel 24 is longitudinally reinforced by a pair of parallel beams 32 and 33 secured to the back side of the panel. The peripheral edges of the side panels 26 and 27 are protected by angle members 34 and 36, respectively. Horizont al angles 37 and 38 fastened to the center areas of the side panels 26 and 27 are used in the adjustment of the angular positions of the side panels 26 and 27 with respect to the center panel 24.

As shown in FIGURES 3, 4 and 5 upright identical frame assemblies indicated generally at 39 and 41 are located adjacent opposite ends of the back side of panel 24. Hinges 42 pivotally mount the frame assemblies 39 and 41 on the back panel 24. As shown in FIGURE 5, bolt and nut assemblies 43 secure the hinges 42 to panel 24. Frame assemblies 39 and 41 are rotatable from a folded position adjacent the back side of the center panel 24 to a position substantially normal to the center panel 24 as shown in FIGURE 3.

The following description is limited to frame assembly 39. As shown in FIGURE 7, frame assembly 39 is of tubular rectangular construction having a pair of upright sides 44 and 45 connected to a U-shaped member or channel 46 having transverse holes 47 projected through opposite ends of the flanges of the U-shaped member. The bottom wall of channel 46 is in the plane of the top edge of panel 24. The lower ends of the sides 44 and 45 are integral with a base 48 having a bottom side lying in the plane of the bottom edge of panel 24. The opposite ends of the base 48 have transverse holes 49 which are in alignment with the holes 47 allowing base 48 to fit into a channel of an adjacent frame assembly and secured together with locking pins 56. A transverse member 51 extends between and is secured to the mid-portions of the upright sides 44 and 45.

A strut or brace 52 is used to hold the frame assemblies 39 and 41 substantially perpendicular to the center panel 24. Secured to the opposite ends of the strut 52 are inverted U-shaped members or channels 53 and 54 positioned about the transverse members 51. The forward ends of the channels 53 and 54 are located adjacent upright frame sides 44. Lock pins 56 are used to secure the channels 53 and 54 to the transverse members 51. As shown in FIGURE 8, lock pin 56 has a straight leg 57 integral with and projected normally from one end of a straight back 58. Integral with the opposite end of the back 58 is an arm 59 terminating in a normally disposed finger 61. In use, the leg 57 projects through aligned holes in channel 53 and transverse member 51 to lock the channel and member together. Ann 59 extends over the top of the channel 53 with the finger 61 projected downwardly adjacent the opposite side of the channel. With finger 61 in this position leg 57 is prevented from moving axially out of the aligned holes in the transverse member 51 and channel 53.

Referring to FIGURE 7, side panel 26 may be angularly adjusted with respect to center panel 24 by the use of a rod 62 pivotally mounted at one end to the transverse member 51 and projected outwardly toward the angle 37. A connecting member indicated generally at 65 secures the rod to angle 37. Member 65 is illustrated as a U-shaped clamp 63 secured to the outer end of rod 62 and positioned about the rearward flange of the angle 37. A thumb screw 34 threaded through one side of the U- shaped clamp 63 is adjustable to hold clamp 63 on angle 37 and thereby fix the angular position of side panel 26 with respect to center panel 24. Side panel 27 is adjustable with a rod and connecting member identical with rod 62 and connecting member 65. As shown in FIGURE 5, side panel 26 is adjustable in any angular position in a semicircle starting from about adjacent the frame assembly 39. Usually panel 26 is adjusted within 45 degrees of the full line position shown in FIGURE 5. Side panel 27 is adjustable in the same manner as panel 26.

As shown in FIGURE 3, the entire acoustical tower 18 is mounted on and stabilized by a pair of horizontal supports indicated generally at 66 and 67 resting on the stage fioor. Horizontal supports 67 and 66 are identical in construction and receive the lower portions or bases of the frame assemblies of bottom module panel unit 21C. Referring to FIGURE 11, support 66 comprises a longitudinal tubular beam or member 68 having a rectangular cross-section. A horizontal channel 69 extends parallel to beam 68 and is secured at its opposite ends to downwardly projected legs 71 and 72. The lower ends of the legs 71 and 72 are secured to the top of beam 68. Upright channel 73 is secured to the rear side of leg 72 and projects upwardly from channel 69. The forward end of channel 69 has a transverse hole 74 aligned with the hole in the base of frame assembly 41C. The mid-portion of channel 73 has a transverse hole 76 positioned to align with a hole in the base of frame assembly 41C. Lock pins similar to pins 56 are used to secure frame assembly 41C to the channel 69. In a similar manner lock pins 56 are used to secure frame assembly 39A to support 67.

In the assembly of the acoustical tower the module panel units are removed from a storage truck, which may be a four wheel hand truck storing the panel units in upright positions. Panel unit 21 is elevated by the use of stage rigging which normally includes a horizontal batten 77 secured to cables 78. The cables may be operably connected to a winch or other power device. The batten 77 is connected to the frame assemblies 39 and 41 by hook structure shown as identical hangers 79 and 81. Additional panel units are attached to the bottom panel unit by raising panel unit 21 and attaching the adjacent frame assemblies of a new panel unit to the bottom panel unit.

FIGURE 9 shows hanger 79 as having a horizontal base member 82 having transverse holes in the opposite end which align with the holes 47 in frame assembly channel 46. Lock pins 56 project through the aligned holes securing the base member to the channel. A hook 84 projects upwardly from one end of the base member 82 and is secured to the base member by a gusset 86. The upright position of the hook 84 is reinforced with a diagonal top member 87 which extends over the downwardly curved portion of hook 84 and to the opposite end of base member 82. A latch 88 pivotally mounted on the gusset 86 functions to prevent the accidental removal of the batten from the hook. The latch 88 must be depressed or pivoted forwardly before the hook 84 can be removed from the batten.

The module panel units 21-21C are assembled together placing the base 48 of the frame assemblies 39 and 41 in the adjacent channels 46 and securing these members together with locking pins 56. Fasteners 89 are used to attach mid-sections of the center panels and end portions of the side panels 26 and 27. As shown in FIGURE 10, fastener '89 comprises a hook 91 secured to the upper panel 24 and a cooperating lock device 92 secured to the lower panel 24A. The lock device is operable to releasably attach to the hook 91 and thereby hold adjacent panels in abutting relationship. The tower 18 is completed by placing the filler panel 23 over the members '67 and 68. As shown in FIGURE 2, filler panel 23 has two hinged side doors and cutouts to receive members 67 and 68 to complete the sound reflecting surface 19 to the floor 22.

The completed acoustical tower 18 can be moved to different locations on the stage without separating the panel units 2121C. Caster hoists, indicated generally at 92 in FIGURE 11, connect to the ends of the tubular members 67 and 68 and operate to raise the entire tower so that the tower can be moved to the desired stage location. Four identical caster hoists are used to move each tower. After the tower is moved to its new location the caster hoists are removed from members 67 and 68 and used to move another tower. The towers can be stored in side-by-side nested relative relation on the stage area. As shown in FIGURE 11, the caster hoists 92 have a height which allows the hoists to move under the lower panel unit of a tower when the filler panel 23 is removed from the tower. This permits the towers to be stored in back-to-back pairs with the frame assemblies overlapped up to the struts 52. A minimum stage area is utilized when the towers are stored in this manner.

Caster hoist 92 comprises a horizontal beam 93 secured to a downwardly projected yoke 94, A wheel 96 is mounted on the yoke for rotation about a transverse axis. A right angle arm 97 projects downwardly from the mid-section of beam '93. Transverse pivot member 98, as a pin, pivotally connects the upper end of arm 97 to beam 93. The horizontal portion 99 of arm 97 has a rectangular cross-sectional shape slightly smaller than the cross-sectional shape of beam 68 so that portion 99 can be telescoped into beam 68. Portion 99 projects away from wheel 96. The rear side of arm 97 engages a transverse stop 101 secured to rear side of arm 97 to fix the horizontal position of portion 99. When arm 97 is coupled to support member 68 the forward portion of beam 93 is located above and in the vertical plane of beam 68. A bell crank lever 102 pivotally mounted by transverse pivot member 103 to the forward end of beam 93 is used to angularly raise beam 68 thereby lift support member 68 off the stage floor. Lever 102 has a short downwardly projected arm rotatably connected to a small roller 104 which rides on the top of member 68.

In use with support member 68 resting on the stage floor bell crank lever 102 is raised to the broken line position and the arm portion 99 is inserted into the end of member 68. Lever 102 is then forced to the horizontal full line position moving roller 104 along the top of member 68. As roller 104 moves along member 68 hoist beam 93 moves in an upward direction raising member 68 off the floor. Lever 102 is rotated until it engages a stop 106 on top of member 93 positioning roller 104 in an over center location relative to pivot member 103. This locks the caster hoist in the raised position and frictionally holds extension 99 in engagement with member 68. Lever 102 moves beam 93 into engagement with stop 101 and applies a rotational force to arm 97. This distorts extension 99 located in the end of member 68 thereby frictionally holding extension 99 in engagement with member 68. Support member 68 can be lowered by rotating lever 102 in an upward direction indicated in broken lines.

The preferred embodiment of the invention has been shown and described. It is understood that changes in material, changes in form and design can be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. The invention is limited only by the prior art considered with the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An acoustical tower comprising a plurality of identical panel units positioned in side-by-side relation in a generally upright plane, each panel unit having a back side and a sound reflecting surface, a plurality of frame assemblies projected from and secured to said back side, means securing adjacent portions of the frame assemblies together, strut means releasably attached to the frame assemblies for holding the frame assemblies generally normal to the panel unit, and support means attached to the frame assemblies of the bottom panel unit for holding the tower in an upright position.

2. The acoustical tower defined in claim 1 wherein each panel unit has a sheet member and at least one sheet unit pivotally connected to one side of the sheet member so that the sheet unit is angularly movable relative to the sheet member and means operably connected to the sheet unit to adjust the angular position of the sheet unit.

3. An acoustical tower comprising a plurality of identical panel units positioned in side-by-side relation in a generally upright plane, each panel unit having a backside and a sound reflecting surface, a plurality of frame assemblies projected from and secured to the back side, means securing adjacent portions of the frame assemblies together comprising a channel member on one frame assembly positioned about a linear portion of an adjacent frame assembly and locking pin means to maintain the channel member in assembled relation with the linear portion and support means attached to the frame assemblies of the bottom panel unit for holding the panel in an upright position.

4. The acoustical tower defined in claim 1 wherein the support means includes a plurality of tubular members and means secured to the tubular members attachable to the frame assemblies of lower panel unit whereby the Support means holds the tower in an upright position.

5. The acoustical tower defined in claim 1 including hook means releasably attached to the frame assemblies of the top panel unit connectable with a horizontal batten used to raise the panel unit.

6. The acoustical tower defined in claim 1 including hinge means for pivotally connecting the frame assemblies to the panel units whereby the frame assemblies may be moved to folded positions adjacent the back sides of the panel units.

7. The acoustical tower defined in claim 1 including wheel means connectable with the support means whereby the entire tower can be moved on a stage floor.

8. A sound reflecting panel comprising a sheet mem ber having a back side and a sound reflecting surface, a plurality of frames positioned adjacent the back side of the sheet member for holding the sheet member in a generally upright position, means articularly connecting the frames to the back side of the sheet member for movement from a first position adjacent said back side to a second position substantially normal to said back side, strut means releasably cooperating with the frames for holding said flames in the second position, each of said frames having first means and second means adapted to coact with additional sound reflecting panels to secure adjacent panels together.

9. The panel defined in claim 8 wherein said frames comprise -a pair of frame assemblies pivotally connected to opposite end sections of the sheet member, said first means on the frames comprising a channel member on each frame assembly adapted to receive a portion of the frame of an adjacent panel.

10. The panel defined in claim 8 further characterized by sheet units having back sides and sound reflecting surfaces located adjacent opposite ends of the sheet member, means pivotally connecting adjacent edges of the sheet units and the sheet member whereby the sound reflecting surfaces of the sheet units can be angularly disposed with respect to the sound reflecting surface of the sheet member and means connected to the sheet units operable to selectively adjust said angular positions of the sheet units.

11. A sound reflecting panel comprising: a sheet member having a back side in a sound reflecting surface, a plurality of frames positioned adjacent the back side of the sheet member for holding the sheet member in a generally upright position, means articulately connecting the frames to the back side of the sheet member for movement from a first position adjacent said back side to a second position substantially normal to back side, means cooperating with the frames for holding the frames in the second position, each of said frames having first means and second means adapted to coact with additional sound reflecting panels to secure adjacent panels together, a side sheet unit having a sound reflecting surface located adjacent one side of the sheet member, means articulately connecting adjacent portions of the sheet unit and sheet member whereby the sound reflecting surface of the sheet unit can be angularly disposed with respect to the sound reflecting surface of the sheet member and means operably connected to the sheet unit to adjust the angular position of the sheet unit.

moved to folded positions adjacent the back sides of the panel units.

(References on following page) References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Woodrufi. 160351 Weil.

Goldhahn 160135 XR 5 Bassett 27221 White et a1 160-135 XR Jagemann 5270 XR Wilson 52-71 XR 8 3,232,370 2/1966 Jaffe 181-30 3,316,999 5/1967 Jaffe et a1. 18130 FOREIGN PATENTS 346,792 4/ 1931 Great Britain. 645,759 11/ 1950 Great Britain.

ROBERT S. WARD, JR., Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Wenger 10 52 70, 71, 143, 144; 160135, 351; 272 21; 352-3

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3630309 *Jun 10, 1969Dec 28, 1971Wenger CorpPortable shell
US3908787 *Oct 9, 1974Sep 30, 1975Wenger CorpPortable acoustical shell and riser structure
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US5524691 *Nov 18, 1994Jun 11, 1996Wenger CorporationPortable panels for a stage shell
US5530211 *Dec 27, 1994Jun 25, 1996Stageright CorporationSound reflecting shell tower and transporter structure and methods of erecting and storing the towers
US5875591 *Feb 7, 1997Mar 2, 1999Wenger CorporationPortable panels for a stage shell
US6085861 *Oct 8, 1998Jul 11, 2000Wenger CorporationCollapsible portable acoustic tower
US6675932Sep 7, 2001Jan 13, 2004Harman International Industries, Inc.Speaker housing configured to minimize standing waves and resonate above the frequency range of transducers
US7565951 *Aug 4, 2006Jul 28, 2009Joab Jay PerdueWall mountable acoustic assembly for indoor rooms
US7815011 *Jun 20, 2008Oct 19, 2010Holzman Moss Architecture, LlpMovable acoustic shell assembly
US8028791 *May 19, 2008Oct 4, 2011Owens Corning Intellectual Capital, LlcSound reflective acoustic panel
Classifications
U.S. Classification181/30, 160/351, 52/144, 52/143, 52/70, 352/3, 52/71, 472/75, 160/135
International ClassificationE04B1/82, G10K11/20, G10K11/00
Cooperative ClassificationG10K11/20, E04B1/8236
European ClassificationE04B1/82E1, G10K11/20