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Publication numberUS3554473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 12, 1971
Filing dateApr 16, 1968
Priority dateApr 16, 1968
Publication numberUS 3554473 A, US 3554473A, US-A-3554473, US3554473 A, US3554473A
InventorsPeter W Rakov, Peter P Grad
Original AssigneePeter W Rakov, Peter P Grad
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Supporting base for reflectors and the like
US 3554473 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] inventors Peter W. Rakov, West Road, and

Peter P. Grad, 900 Yerry Hill Road, both of Woodstock, N.Y 12498 [21] Appl. No. 721,847 [22] Filed Ap 16, 1968 [45] Patented Jan. 12, 1971 [54] SUPPORTING BASE FOR REFLECTORS AND THE LIKE 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl 248/44 [51] Int. Cl G09f 17/00 [50] Field ofSearch 248/44, 38, 156, 346, 158; 116/63, 173; 47/47, 41, 44, 41.1, 41.1 1, 41.12, 41.13; 21 1/60, 62; 52/297 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 585,486 6/1897 Snow 248/156X 2,733,549 2/1956 Moore. 47/41 3,165,863 l/1965 Duran 248/44X FOREIGN PATENTS 9,938 12/1879 Germany 47/41. 1 3 679,403 9/1952 Great Britain 47/41. 1 3

Primary Examiner-Edward C. Allen Attorney-Brumbaugh, Graves, Donohue & Raymond ABSTRACT: A portable base is described for supporting driveway reflectors, signs, etc. mounted atop relatively thin standards. The base comprises a cylindrical container open at one end and adapted to stand in an upright position with its closed end resting on any generally flat surface. An interior frame including spaced apart, concentrically aligned inner rings through which the standard of the reflector passes is secured inside the container. With the standard inserted in the supporting rings, the container is filled with sand or other high density material to maintain it in an upright position, If struck by a vehicle, it will tip over without damage to the sign and can be righted easily. The base is easily moved to desired locations and can be readily stored when not in use.



The presentinvention relates to supporting devices and more particularly to a portable, self-contained supporting base for signs, reflectors, etc. Which is inexpensive, readily movable, and which will tipover if. struck with sufficient force, thereby preventing damage to the sign, and yet will firmly. support the sign in its desired position in the absence of such force. I

In dimly lit areas, or in regions where snow fall obliterates curbs, driveway edges, etc., it is common to employ markers to define the prescribed right of way. Reflectors, which are.

visible both day and night, are often used for this purpose. One form of such reflector consists of a reflecting glass button, usually red in color, mounted at the top of a slender'metal standard. The other end of the standard is generally pointed so that it may be driven into the ground a sufficient depth to maintain it in an upright position. While these devices function well to mark a driveway or path, their life expectancy is short as a result'of frequent contact by vehicles and the weight FIGS. 4A and 4B arepartial vertical cross sections through the supporting base showing modifications of the lower ends thereof; and Y FIG. 5 is an alternate embodiment of the frame member of the invention.

Turn now to FIG. 1, the supporting base of the invention is Finally, the container 12 maybe filled with a' relatively high of snow piled against them. Since the standards are generally firmly driven into the ground to maintain them in an upright position, such forces may bend or snap them and render thereflector unit incapable of further use.

Another shortcoming ofthesereflector devices is the dif-.

ficulty in installing themin frozen ground. Often they are incapable of withstanding the pounding necessary to drive them firmly into the'soil without damage. As a result, they may not be driven in deeply enough to-remain upright under normally expected strains of wind and snow. Furthermore, they cannot be used on concrete, macadam or other hard surfaces.

The present invention. avoids the shortcomings of these prior art devices and has for itsobject the provision of a portable, easily erected supporting base for presently available reflectors and the like which will effectively suliip'ort the density material such as sand, gravel, etc. A solidifying material, such as concrete, may also be employed, precautions being taken that the standard 11 is in placewhen the material is poured into the container. Where a particulate material is used, it may be desirable to provide drain holeslS at the-bottom of the container. i Y

The construction of the frame members 14 is shown'more clearly in FIG. 3. The member includes an outer ring 20 of a diameter such as to be snugly received within the container l2 and an inner'ringZZ whoseinner diameter is selected to freely receive the standard 11. The inner ring 22preferably is of sufficient diameter to accommodate a range of sizes of standard 1.1 while at the same time avoiding excessive play. 7 y The inner andouter rings are rigidly supported relative to 1 one. anotherv by radially extending spokes 24.'As shown, the

reflector standard on any surface, will be simple and inexpensive to manufacture and ship, and which will extend the life of the supported reflector. I

Briefly, the present "invention incorporates a cylindrical container open at one end and ad'aptedto stand'on its other,

closed end. Within'the' container 'is iuipported a frame com prising a plurality of members formed of a thick, strong material which define a pair of alignedrings through which the standard orr'od of o the reflector freely passes; The frame members are firmly supported within' the container so'that when the standard is inserted, it too is supported in an upright posi*- tion with a minimum of wobble- The container may be filled with sand or othersuitable high density material toprovide' the weight necessary to maintain thestr'ucture firmly in its upright position.

rings are disposed in coplanar relationship'with respectto each other, but any relationship that provides the necessary rigidity issuitable. The rings and spokes may be'formed of metal wire suitably formed and soldered or welded together.

although they can also be molded of plasticor other appropriate materials. 1

mounted within the container 12 at spaced points therealong,

the lowermost -rnernber being displaced an appreciable distance from the bottomof the container. If the container and membetare robe sold as a single unit,'the frame member may be soldered or welded to the interior of the container, if they are of metal, or theymay be heatstaked or Since the supporting baseis maintaitt id'iupright only by vir-. d tue of its weight, it may be employed on concrete, m: a'c ad'am or frozen ground where penetration by-a convention reflector standard would be irnpossible.{'l'he weight of the filled container is sufiicient-to withstand normal-forces of weather without'tipping. Should a'v'ehicl e run into it, it will be readily up ended without damage to the reflector or appreciable damage to the container, and. usually it may be rerighted immediately. Moreover, the reflectors may be removed and the entire 'unit stored for the summer, for example, when the reflectors are used to mark paths in the snow season.

If desired, a slight projection may be formed on the lower end of the container to permit slight penetration of the ground and thereby add resistance to lateral movement.

The foregoing and other objects features and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description thereof when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which: I 7

FIG. 1 is a pictorial representation of the supporting base of the invention with the reflector supported in place;

FIG. 2 is a cross section through thesupporting base of FIG. 1 taken along the lines 2--2;.

FIG. 3 is a horizontal cross section through the supporting member taken along the lines 33 of FIG. 2;

tacked if they are formedof plastic. Alternately, the container y andv frame may be integrallyformed, .such as by molding polyethylene plastics or similar materials.

The container shown in FIG. 'Zhas a relatively flat bottom which suits it for use on hard surfaces. Ordinarily, the weight [of the material 16 fillingthe containenwill be sufficient to prevent lateral movement or tipping in response to wind or other minor forces. When used on soil or turf, for example, re-

1 sistance to lateralmovement .and tipping may be increased by means-of the modifications shown in F lGS. 4A and 4B. ln the former view, the bottom of the container 12 is provided with a pointed protrusion 18 adapted to penetrate the soil a short distance, say several inches. in FIG. 4B, the closed end of the container has a hole 19 aligned with the inner rings of the frame members through which the end of the standard 11 passes. The latter then may be forced into the ground a matter of inches without subjecting it to damaging forces.

The frame means may be formed as a completely self-supporting structure as shown in FIG. 5. Here, each of the frame members 14 is formed as in FlGS. l to 3, but are assembled in parallel relationship to each other by space elements 26 which are welded or otherwise rigidly bonded to the respective outer rings 20 at their junctions with the spokes 24. The entire frame structure may be simply dropped into a container without further securing it to the inner wall, if desired. To keep the lower frame member displaced from the bottom of the con 'tainer, the interior wall of the container may be provided with an annular ridge spaced from the bottom, or the spacer ele- Referring' to'FlG. 2, the pairof frame members 14 are I thereby providing the advantages of the invention without the necessity of purchasing a container.

The advantages of the invention may also be enjoyed, in a manner similar to that discussed in connection with FIG. 5, simply by inserting a pair of separate support members 14 snugly into a suitable container. For example, certain forms of commonly used containers have a series of annular ridges formed on their inner walls, each of which could readily accept and firmly retain a suitably dimensioned outer ring 20. Two or more supporting members could be press fitted or wedged into such a can to provide the supporting base of the invention.

It will be seen from the foregoing, that the present invention provides a simple, inexpensive and effective supporting base for a reflector or the like which can be readily placed on hard or soft surfaces without any necessity for permanent fastening. The base provides the advantage of complete portability and may be readily put away and stored when it is desired to remove the supported indicator. Since the weighting material is generally added by the user at the site, rather than by the dealer supplying the base, the present arrangement enjoys the additional advantages of being lightweight and readily adapted for convenient warehousing and shipping. Moreover, the construction is such that the minor impacts normally received by such indicator devices will not permanently damage the indicator and its life is accordingly significantlyincreased it will be readily apparent that'many modifications of the structure disclosed will become apparent to those skilled in the art.

We claim: 1

1. For use in a supporting base (or tin-elongated vertical rod, which base includes a generally cylindricalfcontainer open at one end and adapted to stand on its other, closed end, and receive a quantity of relatively high density material, a frame for supporting said rod in an upright position within said container comprising a pair of support members, each of which includes an outer ring of a diameter to be snugly received in said container, an inner ring of diameter to freely receive said rod, and a plurality of radially extending arms interconnecting said inner and outer rings and supporting them relative to each other, a plurality of spacer elements fastened to the respective outer rings of said frame members to maintain said members rigidly spaced from each other with said inner rings in aligned relationship, said rings, arms and spacer elements being formed of a wirelike material of relatively small cross-sectional area.

2. The frame according to claim 1 wherein said spacer elements extend beyond the plane of one of said members wherebysaid element extensions maintain the adjacent frame member spaced from the closed end of said container when the frame is inserted therein.

3. The frame according to claim 1 wherein the diameter of said outer ring is such as to retain said member firmly in place within said container after. being wedged into desired position.

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US2733549 *Jan 16, 1953Feb 7, 1956 Combination table type and cemetery b
US3165863 *Aug 22, 1963Jan 19, 1965Jacqueline DuranTelescopic plant stake
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3900194 *Aug 15, 1974Aug 19, 1975Frederick Alfonso WardJumping stand with pivotally mounted horizontal bar
US4157210 *Jun 9, 1977Jun 5, 1979Olinkraft, Inc.Traffic channeling device
US4509289 *Nov 19, 1979Apr 9, 1985Seymour FogelsonApparatus for stabilizing plant support stakes in pots
US4671886 *Nov 25, 1985Jun 9, 1987The Procter & Gamble CompanyProcess for coloring granular product by admixing with pigment/diluent premix
US5088680 *Mar 11, 1991Feb 18, 1992Farmer Kenneth RWeighted sign base
US5207406 *Mar 9, 1992May 4, 1993Stine Janice MUmbrella stand
US5425203 *Jun 18, 1993Jun 20, 1995Scott; James H.Apparatus for supporting plants
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US6895713 *Aug 11, 2003May 24, 2005William Charles WarrenVertical plant stand
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U.S. Classification248/519, 29/460, 248/910, 248/469, 47/70, 47/47
International ClassificationE01F9/012
Cooperative ClassificationE01F9/0124, Y10S248/91
European ClassificationE01F9/012D