Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3529374 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 22, 1970
Filing dateDec 27, 1968
Priority dateDec 27, 1968
Publication numberUS 3529374 A, US 3529374A, US-A-3529374, US3529374 A, US3529374A
InventorsSpertus Maurice
Original AssigneeIntercraft Ind Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connecting and hinge means for photo frames
US 3529374 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 22, 1910 M. SPERTl JS 3,529,374

CONNECTING AND HINGE MEANS FOR PHOTOFRAMBS Filed Dec. 27, 1968 INVENTOR MAURICE SPERTUS F166 BY a -w ATTORNEY United States Patent Int. Cl. G09f 1/12 US. Cl. 40-452 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Photo frames made of molding strips of metal or the like are formed with aligned slits or slots in the rear wall segment of parallelly adjoining sides. Connecting members of various types having enlarged end portions with intermediate connecting portions of reduced-diameter are fitted into the slits with the enlarged end portions bearing against the inner closed ends of the slits. The connecting members are retained in position by other members of the framed photos and said connecting members serve to join together a plurality of framed photographs for hanging display purposes or serve as hinge connectors for two or more of said framed photos.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to improvements in means for connecting a pluralty of framed photographs, one to the other, so that they may be readily hung or displayed in groups. It further relates to embodiments of said connecting means which enables the same to be used to connect said photo frames in hinged relationship, one to the other.

It is well known that framed photographs and pictures are often-times displayed or hung in various groups or arrangements on a wall or similar surface. Sometimes they are hung or displayed in spaced vertical or horizontal rows or groups. Similarly, said frames, pictures or photographs may be hingedly connected together in pairs or larger numbers displayed in upright position on a horizontal surface, such as a table, shelf or mantelpiece.

Heretofore, in hanging or arranging framed pictures and photographs on vertical surfaces in groups, such as for example, vertical rows, it was necessary to hang each picture with separate hanging means for attaching the same to the wall or vertical surface. In some instances they were individually mounted on boards and then the boards were hung on the wall; and in still further instances various makeshift means were employed to connect frames and photographs together.

For use in displaying photographs and pictures in upright positions on horizontal surfaces, pairs, trios or other plural arrangements of photo frames were provided with hinges connecting each photo frame to its adjoining mate so that by opening the hinges the framed photographs could be displayed at various angles with relation one to the other, as for example, 30, 45 60, 90, etc. Obviously, the hinged photo frames were specially constructed and sold as units, i.e., pairs, trios, etc.

Metal photo frames are usually made of channelshaped molding strips mitered and bent or cut to afford frames of various shapes such as, for example, rectangles. The connecting and hinging means of the subject invention comprises slits formed in the rear and side wall segments of one or more of the molding strip sides, said slits opening to the inner ends of said rear wall segments and extending inwardly usually to the side wall segment of the moulding strip. Connecting means of various types, shapes and sizes, including for example, ball-chain means such as are sometimes used for making key chains or the like, are inserted into the slits so that the end ball abuts the inner surface of the side wall segment of the molding strip. The molding strip of the adjacent picture is similarly formed with slots or slits, and the other end of the connecting member as, for example, the ball-key chain, is inserted therein. The slot is then closed by the marginal portions of the other members of the framed photograph as, for example, the backing member, the glass, etc., thereby retaining the connecting means in position. Two or more of such connecting means enables a plurality of framed pictures or photographs to be connected together in either hanging relationship or in hinged relationship.

It is therefore an important object of this invention to provide metal picture or photo frames having means incorporated therein for readily connecting a plurality of said frames together in hanging relationship or in hinged relationship.

Another object of this invention is to afford connecting means which may be readily incorporated into conventional photo frames of existing design for connecting two or more of said frames together in hanging or hinged relationship.

Yet a further object is to provide connecting means for photo frames for joining the same together in flexible relationship.

Yet another object is to afford means for inflexibly connecting two or more photo frames together.

Still a further object is to provide connecting means for photo frames which will permit two adjacent connected photo frames to be positioned upright in planes of various angles one with the other.

Finally, a further object is to provide photo frames with connecting means which are simple, inexpensive, may be incorporated into conventional photo frames and may be utilized or not, as desired.

With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, arrangement and a combination of parts hereinafter fully described, illstrated in the accomanpying drawings and particularly pointed out in the appended claims; it being understood that various changes in the form, proportions, size and minor details of the structure may be made without departing from the spirit or sacrificing any of the advantages of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of my invention, I have illustrated in the accompanying drawings a preferred embodiment thereof from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, my invention, its mode of construction, assembly and operation and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.

Referring to the drawings, in which the same characters of reference are employed to indicate corresponding or similar parts throughout the several figures of the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a pair of photo frames having incorporated therein connecting means comprising the subject matter of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a pair of photo frames in upright position connected together by means comprising the subject matter of this invention wherein the same serve as hinges connecting the two frames together;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary rear elevational view of the photo frames illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings with a portion broken away to facilitate illustration of the construction and assembly of the same;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view taken on the plane of line 4-4 in FIG. 3 of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the plane of line 55 in FIG. 3 of the drawings and viewed in the direction indicated;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but showing another embodiment of the connecting means; and

FIGS. 7, 8, 9 and 10 are perspective views of various forms of connectors which may be used as a part of the connecting means.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the several figures of the drawings, reference numeral 12 indicates generally a pair of picture or photo frames made of metal channel-shaped molding strips 14 miter cut and bent to afford a rectangular-shape frame such as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings. Thus, each of the frames comprise a top member 16, a pair of side members 18 and 20, and a bottom member 22.

The cross-sectional shape of the molding strips may vary but generally include a front inclined segment 24 (see FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings), a straight side segment 26 integrally formed with segment 24, and all except one member (usually the bottom member 22) have an integrally formed rear segment 28 positioned in a plane at right angles to the side segment 26. The bottom member, or the member without the rear segment, is provided to facilitate insertion and assembly of the photo or picture and the other members comprising the assembled framed photo or picture.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings, the foregoing members of the assembled framed picture may comprise a pane of glass 30, the photo or picture itself 32, a filler or photo-backing member such as 24, and the rear beasel or final backing member 3'6. The member 36 usually has an easel (not shown) hingedly connected thereto for enabling the single picture frame to be supported in upright position on a flat, horizontal surface.

The picture or photo frame described hereinabove to this point comprises the usual well-known metal photo frame which ordinarily is sold and used individually. However, the same may be readily converted to incorporate therein connecting means enabling two or more of said frames to be connected together in flexible or inflexible, hanging relationship, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 ofthe drawings, or in hinged relationship, as shown in FIG. 2 of the drawings. For this purpose, the rear segment 28 and/or the side segments 26 of the molding strips comprising certain sides or members of the photo frame are formed with slots or slits 38, as shown in the various figures of the drawings. The slots 38 of the rear segments 28 and the side segments 26 are aligned, as shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 6 of the drawings. When the slots are positioned in the member which has no rear segment 28, said slots are made only in the side segments 26.

The aforesaid slots 38 are adapted to receive therein connecting members indicated generally by reference numeral 40, which may be of various types and shapes such as shown, for example, in FIGS. 7 through 10, inclusive. Any suitable connector may be used so long as it has enlarged end portions connected together by reduceddiameter portions. For example, the connector 40 of FIG. 7 may comprise a ball-chain type comprising balls 42 linked together by short lengths of wire 44 to afford a flexible connecting means. Chains of the proper length are selected and inserted into the slots 38 at the reduceddiarneter portions which comprise the wires 44. The end balls 42 of the chain connectors are larger in diameter than the width of the slot 38, hence bear against the inner surfaces of the adjacent molding strip segment and are retained in position thereby. To insure that they are retained and do not fall out of the slots the marginal edges of the framed photo assembly, such as, for example, the beasel or backing member 36, the filler member 34, and the photo 30, bear against the balls 42 and retain the same within the slot preventing their ready removal therefrom.

In FIGS. 1 and 3 of the drawings it will be noted that the connecting chain is of a sufficient length to afford a flexible connection such as for hanging purposes. In FIG. 2 of the drawings the length of the connector is limited so that only one ball is positioned between the two adjacent picture frames. This makes the connection less flexible and in effect provides a hinge-type connecting means.

In FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 of the drawings other forms of connectors are shown which are primarily of the inflexible type. Thus, for example, in FIG. 8 of the drawings the connector 40a comprises two balls 42a immovably connected by a stiff wire member 44a.

In FIG. 9 of the drawings an inflexible connector member gflb is shown which is generally of I-shape and include short end legs 46 connected by a central web 48.

Finally, in FIG. 10 of the drawings, still another embodiment 400 is illustrated. In this embodiment the connector is channel-shaped with end leg members 50 integrally formed with a side web member 52 connecting the end members.

It should be obvious that when framed photographs or pictures are connected together with the connecting means described hereinabove, only one hanging or mounting member (hook, nail or the like) associated with the top frame is necessary to hang a whole assembly or plurality of connected frames on a wall or the like.

From the above description and drawings it should be apparent that I have provided a simple, inexpensive but effective means for connecting a plurality of photo frames together for purposes of either hanging display on vertical walls or surfaces or upright display on horizontal surfaces. The means may readily be incorporated into conventional standard photo frames of a type now available and popular.

It is believed that my invention, its mode of construction and assembly, and many of its advantages, should be readily understood from the foregoing without further description, and it should also be manifest that while preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described for illustrative purposes, the structural details are nevertheless capable of wide variation within the purview of my invention as defined in the appended claims.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A photo frame of the character described comprising at least one strip of substantially channel-shaped molding material miter cut and bent to form an enclosure having a plurality of sides;

a plurality of members including a photograph or picture adapted to fit within said enclosure with at least some of the marginal edges of said member positioned in the channels of said molding strip;

at least one of said sides having slots formed therein;


connecting means associated with said slots for joining together a plurality of said photo frames.

2. The photo frame of claim 1 in which some of said sides have an inclined front segment, an integrally formed side segment and an integrally formed rear segment;

at least one of said sides has said slots formed transversely in said side segment and aligned slots formed in said rear segment.

3. The photo frame of claim 2 in which at least one of said sides is formed without a rear segment.

4. The photo frame of claim 1 in which said connecting means comprises members having intermediate sections of a cross-sectional dimension enabling the same to readily be inserted in said slots; and end section so shaped or sized as to insure the retention of said end segments within said slots.

5. The photo frame of claim 4 wherein the marginal edges of some of said members bear against the end sections of said'connecting means to retain the same within said slots.

6. The photo frame of claim 5 wherein said connecting means comprises a plurality of balls connected one to the other by short lengths of wire.

7. The photo frame of claim 5 wherein said connecting means comprises an I-shape member having a pair of end legs integrally formed with a central web.

8. The photo frame of claim 5 wherein said connecting means comprises a member of substantially channelshaped cross-section.

9. The photo frame of claim 5 wherein said slots are formed in the adjacent upright sides of said frames and said connecting means serve as hinges enabling said photo frames to be displayed in upright position on a horizontal surface.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 715,376 12/1902 Harper 40152 3,132,432 5/1964 Yee 40--152.1 3,460,282 8/1969 Swirsky 40--152 3,471,959 10/1969 Seger 40-452 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner W. J. CONTRERAS, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US715376 *Jul 23, 1902Dec 9, 1902Nelson E HarperPhotograph-holder.
US3132432 *Jun 22, 1961May 12, 1964Elbert YeeFrame assembly
US3460282 *Mar 30, 1967Aug 12, 1969Gordon L SwirskyPhotograph device
US3471959 *Sep 6, 1967Oct 14, 1969Seger Ben JModular sign combination
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3673723 *Mar 12, 1971Jul 4, 1972Intercraft Ind CorpInterconnected hanging picture frames
US3676942 *May 20, 1970Jul 18, 1972Elrod Daniel WRecord display device
US4283870 *Feb 18, 1976Aug 18, 1981Stetler Peter JFrame device
US4319419 *Jul 31, 1980Mar 16, 1982Traill Gerald LMolded picture frame with attachable displays
US4624067 *Dec 7, 1983Nov 25, 1986Kristofich John FFrame assemblies
US4653207 *Oct 25, 1985Mar 31, 1987J & K Sales Co., Inc.Photo frame assembly
US5167085 *Mar 31, 1992Dec 1, 1992Yang H JPicture frame assembly
US6095226 *Jan 11, 1999Aug 1, 2000Chen; Hong-JenStructure multipurpose partition
US6230428 *Oct 31, 1996May 15, 2001Stephen D. AlbinPicture frame connector
US6338215Apr 7, 2000Jan 15, 2002Umbra, Inc.Parallel plane picture frame array
US6705034Feb 9, 1999Mar 16, 2004Snap Dragon Displays LtdDisplay system
US6776281 *Oct 9, 2001Aug 17, 2004Joseph OvadiaCombination display and storage box and picture frame
US7237757 *Sep 14, 2001Jul 3, 2007Wayo Co., LtdArticle support
US20030066765 *Oct 9, 2001Apr 10, 2003Joseph OvadiaJewelry storage box
US20040232304 *Sep 14, 2001Nov 25, 2004Hiroshi WakuraArticle support
US20070234621 *Mar 22, 2006Oct 11, 2007Integrated Id Systems, Inc.Display apparatus
US20120256061 *Mar 22, 2012Oct 11, 2012Kenneth Lloyd WainionpaaScale Model Wildlife Trophy Display System
US20130104434 *Oct 16, 2012May 2, 2013Carla Yvonne TaylorDisplay, storage and transport arrangement for art
U.S. Classification40/730, 40/733
International ClassificationA47G1/06, G09F1/00, G09F1/12
Cooperative ClassificationA47G1/065, G09F1/12
European ClassificationA47G1/06F, G09F1/12