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Publication numberUS3564740 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 23, 1971
Filing dateJun 6, 1968
Priority dateJun 6, 1968
Publication numberUS 3564740 A, US 3564740A, US-A-3564740, US3564740 A, US3564740A
InventorsVirgil T Calfee
Original AssigneeL C Burch Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid novelty device
US 3564740 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 23, 1971 v.1 CAL'FEE I 3,564,740

' FLUID bvmm DEVICE Filed June a. 1968 s Sheets-Sheet 1 PK} INVENTOF VIRGIL T. CALFEE V. T. CALF'EE FLUID NOVELTY DEVICE Feb. 23, 1971 Filed June 6. 1968 S'Sheets-Sheet 2 RED PLASTIC PURPLE (RED+ BLUE YELLOW PLASTIC BLUE LIQUID I I 3/ BLUE LIQUID AIR BUBBLES ll H 1 ii- .1.

WEE EE M DI 3+3 i1 Li a I03 I'l I GREEN (YELLOW+BLUQE) FIG, 4

INVENTOR VIRGIL T. CALFEE V. T. CALFEE Feb. 23, 1971 FLUID Nuvmcrw um ww. r

3 SheetsSheet 3 Filed June 6. 1968 P D U L F E m RED FLUID F2 BLUE FLUID F 208 YELLOW PLASTIC RED FLUID F FIG. 5.

ullllm FIG. 7

m T E m WL A C n 6 m V FIG. 6

FIG. 8

United States Patent 3,564,740 FLUID NOVELTY DEVICE Virgil T. Calfee, Dallas, Tex., assignor to L. C. Burch, Jr., Dallas, Tex. Filed June 6, 1968, Ser. No. 742,472 Int. Cl. G091? 13/24 U.S. Cl. 40-10621 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE -A multicompartment display device wherein fluids of individually distinct specific gravities produce a decorative effect by movement of the fluids, and in which the gravity flow of one fluid occurs simultaneously with the upward flow of another in a reversible mechanism through a symmetrical porting arrangement that requires no mechanically moving parts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (1) Field of the invention This invention relates generally to novel display devices, and more particularly to a novelty device which visibly displays a moving colored fluid medium.

(2) Statement of the prior art Prior art Pat. No. Re. 23,612 to Abel discloses a fluid novelty device that utilizes water and air to turn a rotary wheel. This device is not symmetrical, requires an elongated vent pipe, and makes no provision for using two liquids.

Prior art Pat. No. 516,946 (Germany) also discloses a novelty device that utilizes water and air to turn a rotary wheel. This device requires a mechanically moving trap door for operation, does not contain symmetrical porting, and it makes no provision for using two different specific gravity liquids.

The present invention overcomes the above limitations and provides symmetrical porting that requires no mechanically moving parts and provides an impressive display of two different specific gravity liquids.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A principal object of this invention is to provide a visible unitary compartmented housing of a device of this type wherein the adjacent compartments are joined by a unique and symmetrical porting arrangement. Another object is to provide a device of the character described wherein the porting arrangement consists entirely of stationary parts. A further object in the device described is to provide a housing of multicompartment units employing different colors for different units and employing still another color in the operating fluid or fluids employed.

An object of another embodiment of this invention is to provide a device having a plastic housing having a clear visible compartment containing a movable object and having colored transparent compartments adjacent thereto, and wherein the operation of the device and its function is completely reversible, and wherein the device itself is symmetrical.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a novel porting arrangement having identical openings therein which are related to the surface tension of the fluid passing therethrough in such a way that mechanically operated valves are not required.

And another object is to provide a water filled plastic toy that is hermetically sealed so that no water need ever be added, and no water can spill from the toy, and wherein no harmful ingredients are used in the water or in the coloring thereof.

3,564,740 Patented Feb. 23, 1971 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 represents a front elevational view of one embodiment of the novelty device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the device of FIG. 1;

. FIG. 3 is a fragmentary detail view of the novel portmg arrangement of this invention; and

FIG. 3A is an enlarged fragmentary detail crosssectional view of the funnel structure of the conical ports employed.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing an embodiment of this invention that utilizes colored fluid and compartments of different colors.

FIG. 5 is an elevation view of the elementary embodiment of this invention.

6 is a cross sectional view of the circular embodlment C of FIG. 5 showing the special valve arrangement of this embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the valve arrangement of FIG. 6 detached from its housing.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the sleeve portion of the valve arrangement of FIG. 7.

Referring now more particularly to the characters of reference on the drawing it will be observed that the assembled device of the embodiment shown in FIGS. l3 s indicated generally by reference letter A. Device A is comprised basically of a housing 1 which may be constructed of glass or other transparent and/0r translucent materials such as plastics. This housing may be made in two or more parts subsequently joined to provide a unitary integral housing. For example a rectangular enclosure 2, having five sides 3-7 and including two internal partitions 8 and 9 may be formed in one operation by injection molding. The remaining large side 10, which serves as a cover, may be formed by a similar molding process for subsequent joinder with enclosure 2, by well known means.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, the housing enclosure 2, and the cover side 10 are made of clear transparent plastic so that the entire operation may be easily seen by an observer. By virtue of partitions 8 and 9, the interior of enclosure 2 and housing 1 is divided into upper, center and lower compartments, numbered consecutively as 12, 13 and 14.

In the center compartment 13, there is situated a revolving paddle wheel 15 having a plurality of radially extending arms 16 which each contain a cup-shaped member 17 so situated that all of the cup portions open in the same direction as shown. The members 17 may be described as having a concave side 17A and a convex side 17B. Paddle wheel 15 includes an axle 18 which may be a separate piece, or may be formed integral with the center disk 19. The outer ends of axle 18 are tapered at 18A to engage bushing members 20 for support and rotary movement.

A unique feature of this invention is seen in the symmetrical character of the porting arrangement which comprises identical, but oppositely facing conical ports or funnels 22 and 23 on partition 8 and corresponding conical ports 24 and 25 on partition 9. The specific dimensions of the funnel structure of these conical ports 22-25 are the same and only their directions are opposite where appropriate. This structure is shown in enlarged detail in FIG. 3A, where it is seen to be a hollow frusto-conical configuration having a relatively large internal base diameter d and a smaller internal top diameter d and an overall height dimension 11 between d and d A typical set of dimensions for these dimensions are: one-eighth inch for h; one-eighth inch for d and one-fourth inch for d The actual dimensions may vary from this typical set, however the permissible variation is determined by the density and surface tension of the fluid medium F selected. This unique construction utilizing two identical but oppositely facing ports that have no moving parts and wherein the exit port will pass the heavier medium and the vent port will pass the lighter medium, is believed possible because of the following theory. The balance between the surface tensions of the fluid medium engaging the small diameters al that would prevent passage of the medium through either diameter is overcome in the exit port (23 of FIG. 1) because this port is subjected to an additional weight due to the additional heighth of fluid medium. In tests conducted to support this theory it was found that if the two ports (22 and 23 of FIG. 1) were faced in the same direction, no fluid would pass through either, but if the housing 1 were tilted counterclockwise (FIG. 1) until a greater helghth (and weight) of fluid was above the exit port 23, then fluid would begin to drip through this port and air bubbles began to rise through the vent port 22 (water and air were the mediums in this test).

FIG. 4 discloses an embodiment B to take advantage of the color phenomena that permits two colors to be combined to produce a third and diflerent color. This embodiment includes a housing 101 having an enclosure 102 having a back side 104, a top 105, a bottom 103, interior walls 108 and 109, lateral side walls 106 and 107, and a front cover 110.

The interior of the housing 101 is filled with a colored liquid L which is a blue fluid, such as colored water. Portions of the outer walls of housing 101 are colored also. For example, the top half, indicated at 111A may be made from red plastic or may be colored red by painting or other known means. The bottom half of the sides may similarly be colored yellow as indicated at 111B. The center portion 111C is clear and colorless.

When the blue liquid L is in the top compartment 112, this compartment will show red above the top of the liquid and will show purple (red plus blue) therebelow. Then when the liquid drips through port 123 onto the lower interior wall 109 it will show its true color blue in this clear center section. Then after it passes through port 125 into the lower compartment 114 this compartment will show green (yellow plus blue) at and below the liquid level, and will show yellow above this level. As in the first embodiment, the action of the blue liquid drops passing through ports 123 and 125 results in a comparable amount of air bubbles passing upward through ports 122 and 124. And also paddle wheel 115 will rotate similarly to paddle wheel in the embodiment A.

-In the embodiment C shown in FIG. 5, the housing 201 includes a cylindrical enclosure 202, end walls 203 and 205 and a single interior wall 208 separating the top compartment 212 and the lower compartment 214. The upper compartment is filled completely with a blue liquid or other fluid P of one specific gravity and the lower compartment is filled completely with a red fluid P of another specific gravity. The exterior of the top compartment is colored red and the exterior of the lower compartment is colored yellow.

The use of two different colored fluids, wherein one has a different specific gravity from the other will produce a quite unique array of different colored sections, all visible at the same instant. For example if the two fluids F and F are colored blue and red and the two vertical compartments are red and yellow, then when the fluids are in the process of transition, there will be a purple section, followed by a red section and then a green section and a brown section. This arrangement is achieved because of the complementary action of the combined colors.

The entire housing 201 may of course be made of clear plastic, so that at the starting condition, the red fluid F will completely occupy the upper compartment 212 and the blue liquid F will completely occupy the lower compartment 214. In one embodiment the specific fluids F and F are water with a water soluble color or dye (for example cake coloring), and mineral oil with an oil soluble color or dye (for example oil paint). Since in this instance the oil is lighter (has a lower specific gravity) than the water it tends to rise to the surface, whereas the water being heavier will fall by gravity to the bottom of the lower compartment.

In the embodiment of FIG. 5 it has been found that a single valve is suflicient, and this single valve may be modified in a way to control the size of the drops transferred in both directions. The improved valve arrangement 230 for this embodiment is identified as port 222 and sleeve 223 as shown in detail in FIGS. 6 and 7. For this valve arrangement 230, the port 222 comprises a rectangular opening in internal wall 208 and the sleeve 223 comprises a U or C-shaped channel. In a practical structure sleeve 223 may be a thin semirigid strip of plastic material about one inch long that is bent and slipped into the onehalf inch square opening that forms port 222.

The above described valve arrangement 230 permits a unique effect to be achieved in the cooperative action of the liquids named. The red water F will form into large (approximately one-half inch in diameter) spheres in the sleeve portion 223 and will drop slowly through the blue oil F until it rests at the lower end of the oil F in compartment 214; and at nearly the same time one or more drops (usually smaller than the one-half inch sphere) will rise above the water F in the upper compartment 212.

In addition to providing a very attractive novelty this device may also function as a toy for children and may also be used as a timer for telephone calls and the like. The entire unit 201, as well as the units 1 and 101, is sealed to prevent any loss of fluid, and in addition, both the fluids and the coloring used are harmless, so that just in case the toy gets broken there will be no danger to children.

In FIG. 8 the sleeve portion 223 of the valve arrangement 230 is seen to include a groove 231 to permit the retention of sleeve 223 in the square port 222. After sleeve 223 is compressed and inserted in port 222, it is allowed to expand until groove 231 directly engages the internal wall 208. This action provides a set position of the sleeve in relation to the port, and prevents its movement in response to liquid moving therethrough.

It is understood that in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 14, the valves 22 and 23 may be replaced by the single valve 230 of the embodiment of FIG. 5 at a location to accomplish the same result as the two valves. Similarly, the valves 24 and 25 may be replaced by valve 230 at the desired location, such as the present location of valve 24. In this manner it is seen that valve 230 may be used as a replaceable part in the structure of embodiments A and B.

From the foregoing description it will be readily seen that there has been produced a device which substantially fulfills the objects of the invention as set forth herein. The invention is not limited to the exemplary construction herein shown and described, but may be made in many ways within the spirit of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a device of the character described,

(a) a housing,

(b) a plurality of compartments in said housing,

(c) porting means between adjacent compartments for transferring a fluid medium from one compartment to another,

((1) said porting means comprising symmetrical parts,

(e) at least one interior wall separating at least two compartments,

(f) said porting means extending both directions from said wall and being symmetrical about a horizontal line in said interior wall,

(g) said porting means further comprising two identical parts extending in opposite directions from one another and each of said parts being laterally disposed from each other relative to said one interior wall.

2. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said porting means comprise frusto-conical ports.

3. A device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said frustoconical ports are supported in pairs by each said interior wall.

4. A device as set forth in claim 3, wherein one of each pair of ports points in a direction opposite to that of the other port.

5. A device as set forth in claim 4 wherein said plurality of compartments is three, and wherein the uppermost and lowermost compartments are colored and wherein the center compartment is clear.

6. A device as set forth in claim 4 wherein said plurality of compartments is three and wherein the center compartment contains a rotatable paddle wheel operable when fluid passes through certain of said ports.

7. A device as set forth in claim 6 wherein said center compartment comprises a pair of aligned internally mounted bushing members and wherein said paddle wheel comprises an axle engaging and rotatable and terminating in said bushing members.

8. A novelty device comprising:

(a) a housing of a material selected from the group of transparent and translucent materials,

(b) a plurality of compartments in said housing,

(c) each said compartment being separated by an internal wall,

(d) single two-way porting means in said internal wall and between adjacent compartments for transferring liquid in both directions from each compartment into the next adjacent compartment.

9. A novelty device as set forth in claim 8 wherein said compartments contain at least two different liquids insoluble in each other having differing specific gravities.

10. A novelty device comprising:

(a) a housing of a material selected from the group of transparent and translucent materials,

(b) a plurality of compartments in said housing,

() each said compartment being separated by an internal wall,

(d) porting means in said internal wall and between adjacent compartments for transferring liquid from each compartment into the next adjacent compartment,

(e) said compartments containing at least two different liquids, insoluble in each other and having differing specific gravities,

(f) said porting means comprising a valve arrangement having means for forming spheres of each liquid in the vicinity of said valve arrangement to permit their transfer through the other liquid,

(g) said means for forming spheres comprising a tubular sleeve passing through a much larger opening in said internal wall.

11. In a device of the character described,

(a) a housing,

(b) at least two compartments in said housing,

(0) porting means between adjacent compartments for transferring a fluid medium from one compartment to another,

(d) said porting means comprising symmetrical parts,

(e) at least one interior wall separating said at least two compartments,

(f) said porting means extending in both directions from said wall and being symmetrical about a horizontal line in said interior wall,

(g) said porting means further comprising a single tubular valve extending in each direction from said interior wall for transferring said fluid medium in both directions,

(h) said fluid medium is comprised of two different colored liquids, insoluble in each other and each having a different specific gravity.

12. A device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said housing is transparent and is comprised of colored portions on opposite sides of said interior wall.

13. A device as set forth in claim 12 wherein the fluid medium is colored with a color that is complementary to the color of each colored portion.

14. A novelty device as set forth in claim 13 wherein one of said compartments initially contains water and another of said compartments initially contains mineral oil.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 23,612 1/1953 Abel 46-41 2,029,183 1/1936 Mukasa 40106.21 2,589,757 3/1952 Williams 40-106.21X

FOREIGN PATENTS 651,596 11/1962 Canada 46-41 50 1,127,822 12/1956 France 4641 ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner R. CARTER, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3738036 *Feb 19, 1971Jun 12, 1973Mattel IncGlobule display toy
US3898781 *Nov 17, 1969Aug 12, 1975Bruno FacchiniTransparent paving tile structure
US4006902 *Mar 19, 1975Feb 8, 1977Dynavision CorporationAmusement device with a bubble movable in a liquid having means for controlling the size and movement of the bubble
US4034493 *Oct 29, 1975Jul 12, 1977Wham-O Mfg. Co.Fluid novelty device
US4085533 *Nov 24, 1975Apr 25, 1978Alfred EwaldDevice for producing aesthetic effects
US4206565 *Feb 9, 1978Jun 10, 1980Goldfarb Adolph ELiquid activity toy
US4419283 *Jul 20, 1981Dec 6, 1983Schneider Ronald ALiquid compositions for display devices
US5154917 *Sep 11, 1990Oct 13, 1992Beecham Inc.Color change mouthrinse
US5223245 *Aug 11, 1992Jun 29, 1993Beecham Inc.Color change mouthrinse
US5255460 *Aug 13, 1992Oct 26, 1993Lee Vincent K WDiagrammatic indicator plate assembly
US5353667 *Apr 23, 1993Oct 11, 1994Wilner David WCombination tool and fastener
US5600907 *Jul 19, 1993Feb 11, 1997Eigenmann; HelmutMethod and system of generating a visual pulsation effect distributed across a visual or display surface
US5687497 *Jan 2, 1996Nov 18, 1997Moore; Steven JeromeFluid vessel amusement
US6508022Feb 28, 2001Jan 21, 2003Kiu Hung International Enterprises, Ltd.Liquid-filled ornament
US6681508Mar 14, 2002Jan 27, 2004Massachusetts Institute Of TechnologyVisual display device
US7115297Sep 16, 2002Oct 3, 2006Suzanne Jaffe StillmanNutritionally fortified liquid composition with added value delivery systems/elements/additives
US7121025 *Sep 28, 2005Oct 17, 2006Marc Chase WeinsteinPromotional display with liquid interactions
US7892586Mar 21, 2007Feb 22, 2011Suzanne Jaffe StillmanWater containing soluble fiber
US8178150Jul 2, 2007May 15, 2012Suzanne Jaffe StillmanWater containing soluble fiber
US8257762Jan 7, 2011Sep 4, 2012Suzanne Jaffe StillmanWater containing soluble fiber
US8663721May 7, 2012Mar 4, 2014Suzanne Jaffe StillmanWater containing soluble fiber
US20110076910 *Sep 25, 2009Mar 31, 2011Steve JohnstonWater vessel using self-propelled water wheel
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/406
International ClassificationG09F13/24, G09F11/23
Cooperative ClassificationG09F11/23, G09F13/24
European ClassificationG09F11/23, G09F13/24