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Publication numberUS3486260 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 30, 1969
Filing dateDec 26, 1967
Priority dateDec 26, 1967
Publication numberUS 3486260 A, US 3486260A, US-A-3486260, US3486260 A, US3486260A
InventorsThomas E Ward
Original AssigneeThomas E Ward
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Activator for display or advertising
US 3486260 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 30, 1969 WARD 3,486,260

ACTIVATOR FOR DISPLAY OR ADVERTISING Filed Dec. 26, 1967 INVENTOR. Thomas E. Ward Attorneys United States Patent 3,486,260 ACTIVATOR FOR DISPLAY 0R ADVERTISING Thomas E. Ward, 75 Stratford Drive, San Francisco, Calif. 94132 Filed Dec. 26, 1967, Ser. No. 693,642 Int. Cl. G09f 19/02; A6311 33/26 US. Cl. 40-106.31 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for use in displaying bottles, ornaments, statutes, commercial products and the like for advertising and similar purposes. A hollow article to be displayed is mounted on a flat circular base. A mechanism which may include a battery and motor for rotating a concentric shaft is located inside the article where it is invisible from the outside. The shaft protrudes through the bottom or base and connects to a pivot which is off center thus causing the article to tilt or incline. Rotation of the shaft causes the article to rotate and oscillate or wobble about the pivot. The base may be concealed from the eye thus attracting attention to the unusual motion without revealing its source. Variations in the shape of the pivot permit the article to walk around a confined area while it wobbles, thus further adding to the unusual and mystifying effect and increasing its ability to attract attention either to the general vicinity or to the article itself, which may be advertised.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Rotating devices have long been used in connection with signs, merchandise, ornamental items and distinctive displays in order to attract attention. These have been employed to advertise a given product or service represented by the rotating article or to attract attention to a window or display case where other items are offered for sale.

All previous devices have employed a purely rotating or simple motion. The power source for the rotation is usually concealed so as not to be apparent to the naked eye thus making the display intriguing, thereby attracting more attention.

I have discovered a device for producing a combined rotating, oscillating, and translating motion in an object by means of a concealed mechanism and power source. I am able to make my object rotate, wobble, and walk around a given area at the same time. I have discovered further that this results in great fascination to observers and results in attracting far greater attention than any previous devices used for this general purpose.

SUMMARY Essentially my device consists of a fiat circular base arranged to travel on a fiat surface at an angle to the horizontal in the novel manner described below. I mount a hollow article to be displayed on this base and the former, of course, takes an inclined or tilted position to the vertical.

Inside the article I place a source of energy such as a battery and this is connected to a prime mover such as an electric motor. The motor drives a shaft which is generally concentric or axial with respect to the long dimension of the article. The shaft protrudes through the base and has mounted on its bottom end a pivot which is eccentric to or offset from the longitudinal center line of the shaft. When resting on a horizontal surface, therefore, this causes the article to tilt or incline to one side. A point on the outer circumference of the circular base supplies the other point of contact with the horizontal surface.

3,486,260 Patented Dec. 30, 1969 "ice As the shaft rotates the circular or disc-like base wobbles about the pivot as does also the article displayed. By providing the pivot with a spherical bearing surface the combined action of shaft, base and pivot is such that the article not only wobbles but actually moves around or walks on the fiat surface. A suitable barrier wall may serve the double purpose of concealing the bottom of the article so as not to reveal the propulsion means and confining the travel of the article to a given area.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an elevation partially cut away showing an embodiment of my invention in which the article displayed comprises an empty bottle from which the bottom has been removed.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1, there is seen the body 1 of a hollow bottle which in this embodiment is the article to be displayed. It should, of course, be opaque in order to conceal the internal driving mechanism. The bottom of the bottle is preferably previously removed to permit it to rest in a circular groove 16 in the top surface of a Wobbler base or disc 2 which may be of wood, plastic, sheet metal or similar material.

The pivot 3 which may be pointed or have a spherical outside surface, and whose function is described more fully below, rests on a flat surface 4 and causes base 2 to assume an angle with flat surface 4. A point on the lower outer circumference of base 2 provides the other point of contact with surface 4. The latter may be the floor of a store window, display case, shelf, bar, or similar object open to the public view. A barrier wall 5 rests on flat surface 4 and acts as an enclosure. This may serve the purpose of shielding from view the base 2 and pivot 3, thus further concealing the method and means of producing the unusual propulsion of my invention. The wall 5 which may also be of Wood, plastic, sheet metal or other material may serve as a fence or bumper to limit the travel of the bottle 1 and base 2 to a given area where this particular type of movement is employed as described below.

Inside bottle 1 is located a frame structure 6 for support of the innards or the propulsion plant for my invention. This may be fabricated from a light weight material such as aluminum.

On the upper level of structure 6 there is mounted an electric battery 7 which may be of any well known commercial type. Below this on the structure 6 there is mounted an electric motor comprising a stator or field 8 and a rotor or armature 9. The latter is mounted on concentric vertical motor shaft 10 which is equiped with thrust collar 10a. The upper end of shaft 10 runs in bearing 11 ad lower end connects to speed reducer 12. The latter is of any standard commercial straight line type and is needed where a relatively high speed motor is used and a relatively slow speed movement of the article is desired. I have discovered that a speed of output shaft 13 of 610 rpm. is most satisfactory for most purposes. Speed reducer 12 may also serve as a coupling between shafts 10 and 13 as is well known to those skilled in the art. Shaft 13 runs in lower bearing 14 which may be positioned in base 2 or supported from frame 6. Lower collar 10b is provided for shaft 13.

A rotary crank or eccentric member 15 is fixedly positioned on the bottom end of shaft 13 and may actually form an integral part thereof.

Circular groove 16 mentioned above must, of course, provide a sufficiently tight fit between bottle 1 and base 2 to prevent relative movement between them. Frame 6 in turn is securely fastened to base 2 by means of any suitable fasteners 17.

Connection between battery 7 and motor stator 8 is made by terminals 18. Any suitable type of disconnect switch 19 may serve to make and break this connection. Manual operation of switch 19 may be facilitated by means of operating link 20 and link knob 21, the latter being positioned inside removable bottle top cap 22.

OPERATION It is evident from the foregoing that base 2 and frame 6, with all its innards mounted thereon, form an integral unit or assembly. To put it in operation I first insert bottle 1 in slot 16 of base 2. I next remove cap 22 and then I press knob 21. This starts rotor 9 and hence shaft 13, as well as crank 15 rotating. I then set the entire assembly on flat surface 4 inside barrier wall and my article, in this application the bottle 1, starts its weird and mystifying wobbly motion.

If I employ a pointed pivot for 3 the bottle will rotate and wobble about due to the combined action of shaft 13, crank 15, and lower outer circumference of disc 2, the pivot point serving as a fixed axis.

If, on the other hand, I employ a spherical surfaced pivot, as disclosed above, an even more weird phenomenon takes place. The rotation of shaft 13 and crank 15 cause rotation of disc 2 and its wobbly motion about its lower outer circumference as in the preceding example. I have found, however, that the spherical surface of 3, in this embodiment will not restrain the device in one position as in the case of the pointed pivot above, but will permit it to move in a horizontal plane across the fiat surface 4 at a speed and direction which will vary with the varying friction between the flat surface 4 and spherical surface 3. Movement will generally not follow a definite pattern but will be haphazard until base 2 strikes the interior of Wall 5 from which it will rebound and take off in another direction, wobbling or staggering around as it goes.

Instead of a hollow bottle, of course, I may use other articles in connection with my device. Thus a figure of Santa Claus has been found to be very effective. A figure of a man with top hat and cane or of a hobo imbibing from a bottle while staggering around, have been found to be very amusing and to attract strong attention to a window or other display.

It is evident that my device remains essentially the same as that disclosed herein regardless of what articles I choose to display or exhibit. In that connection I need only adapt any given article so that it would fit into groove 16 in base 2 described above. Thus a great many articles of merchandise may be displayed and advertised either singly or in groups.

While I have described preferred embodiments of my invention, I do not limit myself to those disclosed herein except as I do so in the claims which follow.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for activating an article for display purposes comprising:

a base of generally circular configuration disposed to rest upon a horizontal surface;

an article to be displayed positioned on said base;

a vertical shaft rotatably mounted within said article and passing through said base;

a pivot support for said base fixedly positioned on the lower end of said shaft beneath said base;

said pivot being ofiset from the longitudinal axis of said shaft, whereby said article assumes an inclined position with respect to a horizontal surface;

means for rotating said shaft mounted within said article whereby combined motions of rotation and oscillation are imparted to said article.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 including a vertical barrier Wall disposed to rest upon a horizontal surface and to enclose said base; said barrier wall being further disposed to conceal said base and said pivot from the view of an observer whose line of vision commences a relatively short distance away from said article; said barrier wall being further disposed so as not to impede the said combined motions of rotation and oscillation of said article.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said pivot has a generally spherical bearing surface whereby the combined action of said shaft, said spherical bearing surface and the outer bottom edge of said base imparts a movement of translation of said article in a horizontal plane.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 including a vertical barrier wall disposed to rest upon a horizontal surface and to enclose said base; said barrier wall being further disposed to limit the area of said movement of translation of said article.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said means for rotating said shaft comprises:

an electrical battery;

an electric motor;

said motor comprising a field and an armature;

means for supplying electric current from said battery to said field of said motor;

means for coupling said armature of said motor to said shaft.

6. An apparatus for displaying a moving object for advertising purposes comprising:

an empty opaque object from which the bottom has been removed;

a fiat circular base;

a groove in the upper surface of said base adapted to receive the bottom end of said object;

a structural frame fixedly positioned on said base inside said object;

an electric battery fixedly positioned on said frame:

an electric motor fixedly positioned on said frame;

means for conducting electric current from said battery to said motor;

a shaft coupled to said motor and rotatably mounted on said frame, the lower end of said shaft protruding through said base;

a crank fixedly positioned on the lower end of said shaft;

a pivot positioned on the bottom side of said crank;

said pivot being disposed to bear on a fiat surface thereby supporting said base and said object in an inclined position;

means for interrupting the flow of current from said battery to said motor.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1959 Faville et al. 40-10631 5/1966 Calderon.

US. Cl. X.R. 46-243

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2875538 *Aug 18, 1955Mar 3, 1959Reuhl Products IncAdvertising display
US3253365 *Jul 12, 1963May 31, 1966Motorola IncSelf-propelled top
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4182077 *Nov 21, 1977Jan 8, 1980Wagner Clyde MSolar powered electric toy top
US5134796 *Apr 4, 1990Aug 4, 1992Takara Co., Ltd.Simulated novelty container capable of movement
US5221224 *Jun 20, 1991Jun 22, 1993Takara Co., Ltd.Movable article having expanding-contracting and revolving motion
US5303491 *Jul 31, 1992Apr 19, 1994Takara Co., Ltd.Simulated novelty container capable of movement
U.S. Classification40/415, 446/236, 446/264
International ClassificationG09F11/23, G09F19/10
Cooperative ClassificationG09F19/10, G09F11/23
European ClassificationG09F11/23, G09F19/10