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Publication numberUS3451681 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1969
Filing dateAug 29, 1966
Priority dateAug 29, 1966
Publication numberUS 3451681 A, US 3451681A, US-A-3451681, US3451681 A, US3451681A
InventorsAnthony M Rossetti
Original AssigneeAnthony M Rossetti
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated puzzle
US 3451681 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent O US. Cl. 273-157 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In general my invention contemplates the provision of a back-lit illuminated puzzle in which a receptacle has transparent intersecting walls forming a plurality of identical compartments in which respective elements of transparent material having shapes corresponding to the compartment shape are adapted to be assembled to form a picture made up of portions each carried by a corresponding surface of an element. I provide each element with extensions at edges of said surface for concealing the upper edges of the compartment forming walls. I dispose a source of illumination below a light diffusing partition placed above the bottom of the receptacle.

Background of the invention:

There are known in the prior art various forms of puzzles comprising a plurality of pieces adapted to be assembled in cooperating relationship to provide a picture of a scene or the like. One of the most popular forms of puzzle is the jigsaw puzzle in which a plurality of irregularly shaped pieces are assembled. In many instances the pieces are interlocking so that once a number of them have been assembled they will not readily become separated. Other forms of jigsaw puzzles are not provided with interlocking parts but the pieces have randomly irregular shapes so that edges of only two pieces can properly be fitted to form any particular part of the puzzle. It will be appreciated that the shape of the pieces assists in assembling the puzzle. Still another form of puzzle comprises pieces all of which have substantially the same shape and which must be assembled solely in accordance with the visual representation to be produced by the assembled puzzle.

In the first form of puzzle mentioned above no great difiiculty is involved in retaining the parts together after they have been assembled. While a puzzle of the second type may become disassembled in response to a shock or the like, it is relatively easily reassembled since the shape of the pieces, as well as the visual representation, assists the player in assembling the pieces. The last type of puzzle is not readily reassembled once it is disturbed. Moreover, the pieces more easily become dissassembled than is the case with a jigsaw puzzle.

It is desirable to illuminate the assembled puzzle in order to make it more attractive. Not only does it enhance the appearance of any puzzle, but it is more desirable in a puzzle which may be permanently assembled as a decorative piece.

I have invented an illuminated puzzle having pieces which are all of the same general shape. My puzzle has means for holding the pieces in assembled relationship while at the same time permitting illumination thereof without destroying the overall effect of the picture presented. The retaining means of my puzzle is concealed from view when the puzzle is assembled. It is simple in construction and inexpensive to manufacture.

Description of the invention One object of my invention is to provide an illuminated puzzle having means for retaining the pieces thereof in assembled relationship.

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Another object of my invention is to provide an illuminated puzzle in which a smooth, continuous picture is presented to the viewer when the puzzle is assembled.

A further object of my invention is to provide an illuminated puzzle having a piece positioner which is concealed from view when the pieces are assembled.

A still further object of my invention is to provide an iluminated puzzle which is simple in construction and which is inexpensive to manufacture.

Other and further objects of my invention will appear from the following description.

In the accompanying drawings which form part of the instant specification and which are to be read in conjunction therewith and in which like reference numerals are used to indicate like parts in the various views:

FIGURE 1 is an exploded view of a preferred form of my illuminated puzzle showing the :relationship of the parts thereof.

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary plan view of my illuminated puzzle in a partially assembled condition.

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view of by illuminated puzzle.

FIGURE 4 is a plan view of an alternative embodiment of my illuminated puzzle.

Referring now to FIGURES 1 to 3 of the drawings, the preferred form of my illuminated puzzle includes a box indicated generally by the reference character 10 of square or rectangular configuration including four sides 12, 14, 16 and 18 and a bottom 20. While I form the box of any suitable material, preferably I make the box from a suitable opaque plastic. By way of example, it might be formed of colored polystyrene or any other suitable material. I provide the box 10 with a horizontal partition or false bottom 22 spaced above the bottom 20 to provide a space 24 for receiving illuminating elements to be described hereinafter. I so form the partition 22 as to diffuse light coming from the space 24 so as to avoid bright spots in the assembled puzzle. This may be achieved by using a frosted polystyrene to form the partition 22.

The form of my puzzle illustrated in FIGURE 1 includes an insert indicated generally by the reference character 26 adapted to be set into the box '10 so as to rest on partition 22. Insert 26 is made up of respective side walls 28 and 30 as well as a plurality of walls 32 running parallel to the wall 28 and a plurality of walls 34 running parallel to the wall 30. Walls 32 and 34 intersect at equally spaced points therealong to form a plurality of piece receiving compartments indicated generally respectively by the reference characters 36. It will readily be understood that I may form the insert 26 in any suitable manner which will result in the compartments 36. The walls may, for example, be provided with slits in the manner of an egg crate receptacle. Alternatively, the inserts may be made as a unit in any manner known in the art. Preferably I make the insert 26 from a suitable transparent material such as a clear polystyrene.

After the insert 26 has been formed it is inserted into the box 10 so as to rest on platform 22. When the insert has thus been positioned in the box, all of the compartments 36 are open for the reception of the pieces of the puzzle. Each of the puzzle piece 38 has a shape which conforms to the shape of the receptacle compartments as so as to form a relatively close fit therewith. That is, While the pieces may readily be inserted into and removed from the compartments, there is relatively little motion permitted once a piece 38 has been inserted into a compartment 36. I form the pieces 38 from a transparent material which again may be polystyrene. While they could be solid, for economic reasons and for simplicity preferably I make them hollow.

It will readily be appreciated that with the insert 26 placed in the box not only are the compartments 36 open for the reception of pieces, but also the upper edges 40 of the walls of the insert are exposed. 1 so form my pieces 38 as to conceal these wall edges 40 when they are properly assembled in the compartments 36. Each piece 38 has a top or upper surface 42 carrying a portion of the picture to be represented. As will be apparent from the following description, the picture itself is translucent so as to permit illumination of the same from the underside.

Each of these tops of the pieces 38 carries a pair of flanges 44 and 46 extending along two edges thereof and forming continuations of the surface 42 of the piece. I so construct the flanges 44 and 46 as to extend beyond the sides of the piece 38 for a distance corresponding to the thickness of the walls of the insert 26, For example, a piece 38 which is to be assembled in the compartment 36 located at the corner at which walls 28 and 30 meet has flanges 44 and 46 at the sides of the piece adjacent the walls 28 and 30. Thus, when that piece is properly assembled the portions of the edges 40 of walls 28 and 30 at that corner are concealed. Though the portions of the edges 40 of the walls 28 and 30 at that corner are concealed, there remain portions of the edges 40 of two walls 32 and 34 forming that compartment which are exposed. These wall portions will be covered by flanges 44 and 46 of pieces assembled in compartments adjacent the corner compartment. This operation continues throughout the assembly operation until finally the entire puzzle is assembled to provide a continuous picture having no outstanding discontinuities and with all of the edges 40 concealed from view. Pieces 38 may have a height corresponding to the depth of the compartments 36. Alternatively the pieces may be shallower than the compartments so that the flanges 44 and 46 support the pieces in the compartment 36 on edge 40.

It will thus be appreciated that the insert 26 performs its function of holding pieces 38 in the compartments 36 in which they have been assembled while at the same time not detracting from the appearance of the finished puzzle.

As has been explained hereinabove, I provide my puzzle with means located in the space 24 for illuminating the puzzle from the underside thereof. I mount a plurality of bulb receptacles or sockets 48 at suitably spaced locations on the bottom below partition 22. Respective bulbs 50 are carried in the sockets. A battery 52 in the space 24 is connected by a switch 54 mounted in wall 14 below partition 22 to conductors 56 and 58 leading to the lamps. I so arrange switch 54 as to be accessible from outside the space 24 to permit the lamps to be lit. Partition 22 may be made removable in any manner known to the art to permit access to the space 24 for replacement of parts as required.

While I have shown a plurality of bulbs 50 and a battery 52 as being the source of illumination, it will readily be appreciated that I may use any suitable means known to the art. For example, fluorescent or other type bulbs might be employed and I could arrange my system so as to permit it to be plugged into a suitable wall receptacle.

In the form of my invention thus far described, I have shown generally square pieces 38 adapted to fit into square compartments 36 formed by an insert 26. It will readily be appreciated that I may alternatively form my pieces in any shape so as to fit into compartments of a correspondingly shaped insert in a suitably shaped box. Referring to FIGURE 4, I have shown a hexagonal box indicated generally by the reference character 66 having an insert formed by a plurality of walls 62 and adapted to receive pieces 64, each of which has flanges 66 and 68 along two edges thereof so as to conceal the upper edges of walls 62 when the pieces are properly positioned. While it is within the scope of my invention to employ this or other configurations, preferably I employ an arrangement wherein all the pieces are identical in that each has its flanges along the same sides.

For purposes of simplicity and for clarity in exposition I have not shown the picture formed by my puzzle in most views. By way of example, the picture might be a design, a part of which is illustrated in FIGURE 2. It will be further be understood that any portions of any of the surfaces 42 which are not covered with the design are made translucent.

In use of my illuminated puzzle, insert 36 is placed in box 10. The pieces 38 are then inserted in the compartments 36 so that the flanges 44 and 46 rest on and cover the edges 40 formed by a pair of walls. At the same time, the pieces are so placed as to form the picture to result from the assembly. When the picture has properly been assembled, switch 54 may be operated to illuminate the puzzle. The resultant picture has substantially no visible discontinuities therein since the upper surface 42 of the pieces fit closely and the flanges 44 and 46 conceal the upper edges of the insert.

It will be seen that I have accomplished the objects of my invention. I have provided an illuminated puzzle having means for retaining the pieces in the compartments in which they have been placed. My retaining means does not detract from the picture resulting when the puzzle is assembled since its edges are concealed from view. When illuminated, my puzzle presents an attractive, substantially visibly uninterrupted picture. My puzzle is simple in construction and is inexpensive to manufacture.

It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcornbinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of my claims. It is further obvious that various changes may be made in details within the scope of my claims without departing from the spirit of my invention. It is, therefore, to be understood that my invention is not to be limited to the specific details shown and described.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:

1. An illuminated puzzle for presenting a pictorial representation including in combination, a box having walls and an open top, a light transmitting partition in said box dividing said box into upper and lower spaces, an open framework supported in said upper space, said framework comprising walls forming a plurality of like compartments of regular configuration open at the top, said compartments having peripheral upper wall edges, a plurality of removable light transmitting inserts having configurations nestable within the respective compartments, said inserts having configurations conforming to that of said compartments, said inserts having tops with upper surfaces carrying respective portions of said representation, each of said inserts having a lateral flange approximately as wide as an upper compartment wall edge extending round approximately half its periphery and over approximately half the upper wall edge of the corresponding compartment to conceal the same, and illuminating means disposed in said lower space to light up said representation.

2. An illuminated puzzle as in claim 1 in which said compartments have a certain depth from the upper edges thereof to said partition, said inserts being shallower than said depth whereby said flanges support said elements in said compartments.

3. An illuminated puzzle as in claim 1 in which said upper edges of said compartment walls are spaced below the edge of the box walls by a distance approximating the thickness of said insert tops whereby said upper surfaces are flush with said wall edges.

4. An illuminated puzzle as in claim 1 in which said compartments have a certain depth from the upper edges thereof to said partition, said inserts being shallower than said depth, whereby said flanges support said ele- 5 ments in said compartments, said upper edges of said compartments being spaced below the edge of said box walls by a distance approximating the thickness of said insert tops whereby said upper surfaces are flush with said wall edges.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,902,787 9/1959 Cook 40152.2 3,178,332 4/1965 Box 273-157 X 2 149 363 3/1939 Rivkin,

6 FOREIGN PATENTS 982,137- 1/1951 France. 424,870 3/1935 Great Britain. 633,951 12/1949 Great Britain. 5 123,245 11/1927 Switzerland.

ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2149363 *Feb 18, 1936Mar 7, 1939Menahem RivkinAdvertising and educational device
US2902787 *Dec 23, 1957Sep 8, 1959Cook Vernon HTransparency supporting and illuminating device
US3178332 *Jan 23, 1961Apr 13, 1965Box Robbert De La RiveMosaic comprising a plurality of permanently detachable mosaic elements
CH123245A * Title not available
FR982137A * Title not available
GB424870A * Title not available
GB633951A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3884476 *Apr 19, 1974May 20, 1975Sanders Carl DPuzzle table
US4077154 *Sep 7, 1976Mar 7, 1978Hermann MullerToy building block set
US4165576 *Dec 9, 1977Aug 28, 1979Joselevich Eduardo JAdvertising or decorative sign for representing images
US4244317 *Mar 15, 1979Jan 13, 1981Canadian Marconi CompanyBargraph light guide
US4874176 *Mar 31, 1987Oct 17, 1989Seymour AuerbachThree-dimensional puzzle
US4986756 *Dec 28, 1988Jan 22, 1991Nichigan Co. Ltd.Artistic toy
US5390093 *Feb 18, 1994Feb 14, 1995K.C.C. Shokai LimitedIlluminating display device for use with a mosaic panel
US7278241 *Aug 22, 2003Oct 9, 2007Wirawan Margaretha HWindow assembly
US20050000174 *Aug 22, 2003Jan 6, 2005Wirawan Margaretha H.Window assembly
DE3024863A1 *Jul 1, 1980Jan 21, 1982Prestofix Wilhelm KuhnMosaic inserting game with grid plate - has translucent game pieces with stems sufficiently long for lamp socket insertion
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/157.00R, 40/573, 52/307, 428/117, 40/452, 446/85
International ClassificationA63F9/00, A63F9/10, A63F9/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/1044, A63F2009/2451, A63F9/10, A63F2009/0615
European ClassificationA63F9/10