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Publication numberUS3490694 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 20, 1970
Filing dateDec 5, 1967
Priority dateDec 5, 1967
Publication numberUS 3490694 A, US 3490694A, US-A-3490694, US3490694 A, US3490694A
InventorsAshby Leo G
Original AssigneeAshby Leo G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3490694 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 20, 1970 L. G. ASHBY 3,490,694

FOUNTAIN Filed Dec, 5, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Lee G. Ashby 2a 29 2? BY ATTQRNEY L. Gv ASHBY Jan. 20, 1-970 FOUNTAIN 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec.


Y V E A V/W O Q T in? m A L W Wm W United States Patent 3,490,694 FOUNTAIN Leo G. Ashby, 146 N. 9th Ave., Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada Filed Dec. 5, 1967, Ser. No. 688,221 Int. Cl. B05b 1/28 U.S. Cl. 239-18 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A decorative and audibly-pleasing fountain through which liquid may be continually recycled and which is provided with at least one deflector plate suitable for conveying the liquid into a centrally-located return pipe at a rate sufficient to maintain the water content on the deflector plate at a minimum and to maintain a liquid-tosolid, rather than a splashing sound, in the vicinity of said fountain.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Throughout mans history a considerable amount of imagination and engineering effort has been devoted to the development of various aesthetically-pleasing water-display devices. For example, in U.S. Patent 1,939,803 to Vasco Cataldi, a hydraulically-actuated rotary fountain is disclosed. More recent patents are U.S. Patents 3,071,326 and 3,008,646 to F. C. Benak. These latter patents disclose fountains which may be operated under conditions of multi-chromatic illumination. Still another relatively recent patent in this art is U.S. Patent 3,022,010 issued to J. W. Barnett and employing a succession of upwardlydischarging sprays which overlap one another. In all of these aforementioned inventions there is a common denominator: the provision of a visually-pleasing spectacle to viewers of the fountain.

From an engineering standpoint there is a further common denominator. All of the aforesaid patents disclose fountains in which the downwardly-falling water falls into pools of liquid; thus all of the fountains provide a dominant splashing action of liquid against liquid. Moreover, all of these fountains require sufficient structural strength to support pools of water at the various levels thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the instant invention to provide a novel fountain which dispenses with the necessity for maintaining heavy pools of water at various elevated levels thereof.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a fountain which is operable to provide a pleasing liquid-tosolid, or rain-on-the-roof, sound audible to onlookers.

Another object of the invention is to provide a fountain with a decorative circulating feature in a reservoir thereof.

Another object of the invention is to provide a fountain adaptable for use as a humidifying and/or temperature regulating apparatus.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel means for operating a fountain.

Another object of the invention is to provide a multistage recirculating fountain which may be constructed of relatively weak load bearing members.

Other objects of the invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art on reading the instant specification.

3,490,694 Patented Jan. 20, 1970 ice The above objects have been substantially achieved with a novel fountain apparatus comprising a plurality of liquid outlets positioned for discharge into deflector plates which deflector plates serve as liquid-conducting surfaces for carrying the liquid back into a liquid recirculating system. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the liquid-recirculating system comprises a centrally-positioned liquid supply pipe and a centrally-positioned liquid return pipe with the latter pipe having sufficiently large apertures to allow the passage of liquid falling onto said deflector plates into said return pipe at a rate suflicient to avoid any substantial accumulation of liquid in the deflector plates.

The foregoing structure not only meets the objects of the invention as described above, but because of its adaptability to relatively light construction methods, has been found to be highly suitable for such special purposes as humidification of air in a house or a room. Such utility is enhanced when a hydrophilic substance such as sponge or the like is coated on one or more of the deflector plates to provide a high surface area for evaporation of water, or when fins are mounted on the liquid contacting members to provide heat transfer means. Apparatus for such special uses advantageously comprises deflector plates of light metallic construction, for example copper or aluminum sheet materials.

Specific example of a preferred embodiment of the invention FIGURE 1 is an elevation, partly in section, of a fountain constructed according to the instant invention.

FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the ring spacer utilized in the apparatus of the invention.

FIGURES 3a, 3b, and 3c are schematic diagrams showing the position of the water-spouts on the fountain of FIGURE 1.

Referring to the drawing, it is seen that fountain 10 comprises a base 12, a reservoir 14, a fountain display section 16, and a lighting assembly 18. Base 12 comprises a compartment 20 having assembled therein a motor 22 operably connected for driving pump 23 with drive belt 25. Both motor 22 and belt 25 are bolted to a support sheet 26 and mounted on a vibration dampening means 27 consisting of a neoprene foam pad 28. Base 12 is mounted on legs 29.

'Pump 23 is connected to an inlet conduit 30 and outlet conduit 32. Conduit 30 provides means for withdrawing liquid from reservoir 14; conduit 32 provides means for supplying liquid to centrally located liquid supply pipe 34 and conduit 36. A control valve 38 is positioned in conduit 32 forming means to regulate the flow of water to pipe 34. A second pressure control valve 40 is positioned in conduit 36. Valve 40 is used to regulate the flow of 'water through conduit 36 to a nozzle 42, tangentially mounted in reservoir 14 for imparting a controlled amount of rotary circulation of the liquid in reservoir 14. A novelty object 43 such as a boat or colored ball floats on the liquid stored in reservoir 14.

Conduits 32 and 36, and electrical conduit 44 all join centrally-located supply pipe 34 at X-fitting 45.

Reservoir 14 comprises an outlet port 46 in the bottom thereof. Port 46 is covered by a cap 47 constructed of corrosion-resistant metal and a filter screen 48, thereby providing means to avoid gross contamination of the liquid stream being circulated through conduit 30 to pump 23.

Liquid supply pipe 34 protrudes above reservoir 14 to terminate at cap member 49. Concentrically mounted outside pipe 34 is liquid return pipe 51, segmented into pipes 51a, 51b, and 510. Concentric spacing between pipes 51 and 34 is maintained by cylindrically-shaped guide rings 53. See FIGURE 2 for more detail on the construction of the guide ring wherein spaced prongs 54 are seen to achieve the spacing function without interfering unduly with the flow of water downwardly in pipe 51.

Apertures 56 provide means for liquid descending in pipes 51 to enter reservoir 14. Cap member 49 provides screw means for tightening pipes 51a, 51b, and 510 against deflector plates 77 when assembling the fountain.

Liquid distribution pipes 58a and 58b join supply outlet pipes 60a and 60b, respectively, with supply pipe 34. A plurality of discharge spouts 61a and 61b are spaced, along distribution pipes 58a and 58b respectively at 60 angles from each other. Spouts 61a are additionally set off by about 30 from spouts 61b. Spouts 610 are, however, in angular register with spouts 61a. Liquid supply to spouts 610 is achieved by inserting them directly into cap member 49.

Upper decorative dish-shaped member 63 performs no water-deflection function in the illustrative fountain. Nevertheless apertures 64 are cut in member 63 to provide means to transmit any liquid condensate dripping from spout 610 to return pipe 51. Moreover apertures 64 assure that atmospheric pressure will be maintained in the higher levels of return pipe 51.

'Cap member 49 is tapped for receiving a hollow support shaft 66 through which electrical conduit 44 is guided and upon which a lighting means 68 is supported. Lighting assembly 68 comprises a decorative cap 69, a light reflector 70 and bulbs 72 mounted in pivotally-moveable sockets 73.

In operation, the fountain of the invention functions as follows:

Reservoir 14 is filled with liquid to a suitable height to prevent cavitation of pump '23. Thereupon motor 22 is actuated initiating a flow of liquid through inlet conduit 30, outlet conduit 32 and thereupon into liquid supply pipe 34. If desired, valve 40 is partially open during this startup step so that liquid also flows through conduit 36 and discharges from tangentially-mounted nozzle 42 thereby causing a circular motion to be imparted to the liquid in reservoir 42. This circular motion in turn causes novelty object 42 to be swirled about the centrally-located piping system 75 as shown by the arrows in the drawing.

Once flow is initiated in pipe 34, control valve 38 can be set to provide the desired pressure level. Liquid going up pipe 34 discharges through outlet pipes 60a, 60b, and spouts 61c. Liquid flows from outlet pipes 60a and 60b into distribution pipes 58a and 58b, respectively, thence into spouts 61a and 61b respectively. Spouts 61c and 61b discharge directly onto deflector plates 77b and 77a, respectively. Flow is so regulated that the amount of liquid deflected onto 77b and 77a does not exceed the flow capacity of apertures 56, and apertures 57 in deflector plates 77, thereby assuring that deflector plates 77 will run without any substantial amount of liquid hold-up therein.

Deflector means 77a is illustrated specially to depict two useful modifications to the apparatus of the invention. On the right of centrally-located piping system 75 is shown a coating 78 of hydrophilic sponge material 79. Typically the material may be cloth fabric, or an absorbent polymeric material. On absorbing water this sponge coating 78 serves as a humidification means during operation of the pump in dry areas.

Another alternate modification is shown for convenience only on deflector pate 77a at the left of centrallylocated piping system 75. These are fins 80, radially spaced and circumferential in relation to system 75. It has been found that where the area in which the fountain is to be displayed requires auxiliary heating and where there is a source of waste heat which may be used to keep the liquid warm in reservoir 14, that fins 80 pick up a considerable amount of heat from water flowing down deflector plates 77 and can radiate this heat into the fountain display area. It is to be noted that heat transfer to fins 80 is greatly facilitated by the fact that the warm water on the upper side of deflector plate 77 is running rather than stagnant, thus reducing the heat transfer-resisting boundary layer film on plates 77. Of couse, when such heat transfer uses are contemplated for the fountain, materials of construction such as light aluminum sheet or the like are preferably chosen.

What is claimed is:

1. In a fountain of the kind wherein liquid is discharged from a plurality of vertically-spaced outlets and ultimately returned to a reservoir for recycling by pump through said outlets, the improvement comprising (a) a centrally-positioned liquid supply pipe for carrying liquid from said reservoir to said outlets, said outlets being downwardly directed,

(b) a pump forming .means to deliver said water under pressure through said supply pipe and downwardly through said outlets,

(c) a plurality of dish-shaped deflector plates mounted below said outlets, said plates forming means to convey said water inwardly toward said centrally-positioned liquid supply pipe,

(d) a centrally-positioned liquid return pipe for carrying said liquid from said deflector plates to said reservoir,

(e) and ports communicating between said deflector plates and said liquid return pipe, and forming means for transmitting said liquid under static pressure, into said liquid return pipe from said liquid receiving .means, said port means being sized to prevent buildup of water in said deflector plates.

2. A fountain as defined in claim 1 wherein said supply pipe and return pipe are in concentric relation one to another.

3. A fountain as defined in claim 1 wherein a said deflector plate has fins mounted on the bottom thereof.

4. A fountain as defined in claim 1 wherein a said deflector plate has fins mounted on the bottom thereof. thereon.

5. In a fountain of the kind wherein liquid is discharged from a plurality of vertically-spaced outlets and ultimately returned to a reservoir for recycling by pump through said outlets, the combination including (a) a centrally positioned liquid supply pipe for carrying said liquid from said reservoir to said outlets,

(b) a plurality of deflector plates mounted below said outlets forming means for conveying said water inwardly toward said centrally-positioned liquid sup- P y P p (0) a centrally positioned liquid return pipe for carrying said liquid from said liquid receiving means to said reservoir,

(d) port means communicating between said liquidconveying means and said liquid return pipe, said forming means for transmitting said liquid under static pressure, into said liquid return pipe from said liquid-conveying .means,

(e) a liquid by-pass line mounted between the outlet of said pump and said reservoir and terminating in a nozzle mounted in tangential relation to the liquid surface in said reservoir, thereby forming means creating a circular flow pattern on said liquid surface and a decorative floatable object circulating in said flow pattern.

6. The fountain as defined in claim 5, wherein said outlets are downwardly-directed, thereby directing streams of liquid directly on said deflector plates.

7. A fountain as defined in claim 5 wherein said supply pipe and return pipe are in concentric relation one to another.


References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Sink 23922 Briesen 23922 Keith 23917 Merigold 23920 Brown 23953 Cataldi 23917 Cullison 23923 Benak 23920 Barnett 23917 Benak 23923 Oberto 239129 FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain. Great Britain.

EVERETT W. KIRBY, Primary Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US127651 *Jun 4, 1872 Improvement in pumps and fountains
US151003 *Apr 27, 1874May 19, 1874 Improvement in parlor-fountains
US763614 *Dec 9, 1903Jun 28, 1904James KeithOrnamental water-fountain.
US1549204 *Nov 5, 1921Aug 11, 1925Merigold John LElectric fountain
US1880758 *May 28, 1931Oct 4, 1932George C BrownHumidifying apparatus
US1939803 *Oct 20, 1932Dec 19, 1933Vasco CataldiRotary fountain
US2045898 *Apr 12, 1935Jun 30, 1936Texas CoAdvertising display device
US3008646 *May 31, 1960Nov 14, 1961Lighting Specialties IncColor changing illuminated fountain
US3022010 *Jun 6, 1960Feb 20, 1962William Barnett JamesFountain
US3071326 *Jul 27, 1961Jan 1, 1963Lighting Specialties IncChanging color illuminated fountain
US3382603 *Jun 30, 1966May 14, 1968Burgess VibrocraftersMethod and apparatus for vaporizing material
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US5005762 *Jul 8, 1988Apr 9, 1991Alain CacoubDecoration or utilitarian water-using equipment for atmosphere or leisure
US6416197 *May 16, 2001Jul 9, 2002Fu ChangFountain water lamp
US7118045 *Jan 27, 2006Oct 10, 2006Sephra LlcFountain that flows with fluidic material
US7182269 *Oct 19, 2005Feb 27, 2007Sephra LlcFountain that flows with fluidic material
US7383764Aug 23, 2004Jun 10, 2008Sephra LlcFountain that flows with fluidic material
US7743698May 5, 2006Jun 29, 2010Sephra L.P.Fountain that flows with fluidic material
US8636227 *Jun 11, 2012Jan 28, 2014Bruce JohnsonLaminar flow water jet with illumination enhancer
US20050013664 *Apr 6, 2004Jan 20, 2005Boylan Delmer R.Fish ladder for passing dams
US20050092853 *Aug 23, 2004May 5, 2005Muir Richard B.Fountain that flows with fluidic material
US20130008976 *Jun 11, 2012Jan 10, 2013Bruce JohnsonLaminar Flow Water Jet With Illumination Enhancer
EP0298853A1 *Jul 4, 1988Jan 11, 1989Alain CacoubUtilitarian or decorative equipment using water for habitation or recreation
U.S. Classification239/18
International ClassificationB05B17/00, B05B17/08
Cooperative ClassificationB05B17/08
European ClassificationB05B17/08