US 3604673 A
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United States Patent Inventor Robert I. Klein 3 Beachwood Drive, Lawrence, N.Y. l 1559 Appl. No. 876,873 Filed Nov. 14, 1969 Patented Sept. 14, 1971 PICTURE STRAIGI-ITENER 7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
U.S. CI 248/467 Int. Cl A47f 7/14, A47q 1/17 Field of Search 248/467, 477, 496, 206 A, 205 A, 494; 335/285-287, 302,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 999,961 8/191 1 Colas 248/496 X 2,643,840 6/1953 Lanman 248/494 2,879,018 3/1959 Pence.... 248/477 X 3,239,178 3/1966 Pompa 248/205 FOREIGN PATENTS 785,519 5/1935 France 248/494 Primary Examiner-William H. Schultz Attorney-Amster & Rothstein ABSTRACT: A two-part picture straightener, each part of which is attached respectively by a pressure-sensitive adhesive to the rear of a picture frame and the wall on which it is hung. Lateral displacement is prevented by a mating ridge and groove on respective elements. Also the two elements attract each other magnetically.
PICTURE STRAIGHTENER This invention relates to picture straighteners, and more particularly to picture straighteners which can be mounted with a minimum of effort and measurement.
A common household chore is the straightening of pictures, mirrors, etc. (As used herein, the term picture" includes mirrors and any other similartype of object which is hung by a wire or hook from a wall.) Ordinary household vibrations are often sufficient to cause a picture to move such that it no longer hangs straightly.
A number of picture straighteners have been proposed in the prior art. Generally, such a picture straightener consists of two parts, one for attachment to the wall and the other for attachment to the rear of the picture. The two parts engate each other in a way such that they cannot move relative to each other in the horizontal direction. Because one of the two parts is fixed to the wall, the picture is maintained in a straight orientation after it is first placed in that position.
There are a number of shortcomings of the prior art picture straighteners, and it is for this reason that they have not had widespread use. It is apparent that it is exceedingly difficult to attach one element to the wall and another to the rear of the picture frame (before or after it is hung) and to expect perfect engagement of the two elements after the picture is placed in the desired hanging position. Unless precise measurements are taken, it is found that in many cases the two elements are mounted such that they do not maintain the picture in a straight orientation.
A necessary feature of a picture straightener is that it allow the picture to be moved simply. It may be necessary to move the picture to gain access to the wall supporting it (e.g. in the case of an electrical outlet in back of the picture), or even to remove the picture for cleaning or painting of the wall. If the two elements engage each other in a way such that their connection cannot be broken simply, the picture straightener may present disadvantages which outweigh the advantage of not having to periodically straighten the picture.
In many cases it is found that very small lateral movements may be necessary, especially if the hanging operation has not been perfect. Prior art picture straighteners have not permitted this slight movement at the same time that the picture is held in place after setting.
It is a general object of my invention to provide a two-part picture straightener which can be attached to a wall and picture frame in a very short time and which does not require any precise measurements in connection therewith.
It is another object of my invention to provide a picture straightener which allows the picture to be removed simply from the wall when necessary.
It is another object of my invention to provide a picture straightener which allows small lateral adjustments to be made.
In accordance with the principles of my invention, I provide two engaging elements, each having a pressure-sensitive adhesive backing. Initially, each adhesive backing is provided with a protective paper or plastic facing. In order to'mount the picture straightener, both protective facings are removed and the two elements are attached to each other on their nonadhesive faces. The first element is pressed against the rear of the picture frame and adheresto it. The second element remains attached to the first. The picture is then hung and when it is determined that it is in a straight orientation the picture is pressed against the wall. At this time the second element adheres to the wall and the picture-hanging operation is complete.
One of the elements has a series of vertical grooves and the other has at least one ridge which mates with a selected one of the grooves. The mating of the ridge with one of the grooves prevents relative lateral movement between the two elements. The grooves and ridge (or ridges) are preferably triangularly shaped. This permits small lateral adjustments to be made after hanging, that is, the picture can be moved angularly if it was not hung straight initially. Such smalllateral adjustments are not possible, for example, if the grooves and ridges have identical rectangular cross sections.
Preferably, one of the two elements is made of iron and the other is a magnet. (Alternatively, both elements may be magnetized.) The force of attraction aids in preventing lateral movement of the two elements.
Further objects, features, and advantages of my invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 depicts a first illustrative embodiment of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view showing the manner in which the two elements of FIG. 1 serve to maintain a picture in a vertical orientation;
FIG. 3 depicts an alternative element for one of the elements of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 depicts the manner in which a picture is held straight utilizing a pair of elements, one of which is of the form shown in FIG. 3;
FIGS. 5A and 5B depict two components of a single element having combined characteristics similar to those of the element shown in FIG. 3; and
FIGS. 6A and 6B depict another two components of a single element having combined characteristics similar to those of the elements shown in FIG. 3.
Referring to FIG. 1, the picture straightener consists of two elements 10 and 12. Element 10 includes a metal section or plate 16 having a plurality of vertical grooves 14 therein. The grooves are triangularly shaped in cross section. To the rear of the metal element is a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive material 18. Initially, the pressure-sensitive adhesive surface is covered by a protective paper or plastic sheet 20.
The second element 12 consists of a plate magnet 22 having a vertical ridge 24 along its center. To the rear of the magnet is a layer of pressure-sensitive adhesive 26, protected with paper or plastic sheet 28.
It is apparent, of course, that section 16 could be the magnet and section 22 could be a nonmagnetized iron element. Alternatively, both elements could be magnetized such that they attract each other. Similarly, the ridge (or ridges) and grooves can be interchanged on the two elements. In fact, two elements such as element 10 could be used together.
In order to mount the picture straightener to the picture frame and wall, the two elements are brought to bear against each other as shown by arrow 30, with ridge 24 being inserted in one of grooves 14, preferably in the center groove of element 10. Both protective backings 2'0 and 28 are then removed and element 12' is centered and pressed against the bottom of the rear of the picture frame. The picture is then hung, for example, by wire 36, on wall 32 as shown in FIG. 2. The picture frame 34 is initially hung with its bottom edge held away from the wall. It is then positioned in a straight orientation and slowly allowed to fall against the wall. When contact is made with the wall, the pressure-sensitive backing l8-of element 19 adheres to the wall and the picture-hanging operation is complete.
The mating ridge and groove together with the magnetic attraction of the two elements prevent large relative lateral displacement of the two elements. Small adjustments can be made due to the fact thatif the picture is rotated slightly the ridge meshes with an adjacent groove. In such a case, the ridge and groove will not be parallel with each other and the picture will be forced slightly away from the wall. Of course, in the case of extreme vibration it is possible that the picture will be jarred from its straight position. All that is required to correct the condition, however, is to straighten the picture and to then allow it to fall against the wall. The magnetic attraction, together with the ridge-groove-locking configuration, is sufficient to prevent jarring of the picture under ordinary conditions. The magnetic attraction is not sufficient, however, to prevent removal of the picture when it is desired to do so.
Elements l and 12 of FIG. 1 are relatively easy to fabricate. However, reference to FIG. 2 shows that as a result of the angle at which the picture is ordinarily hung, only the lower portions of the two elements engage each other. In order to allow complete mating of ridge 24 with one of grooves I4 along the vertical dimension of the elements, element 60 of FIG. 3 can be substituted for element of FIG. 1.
Element 60 includes iron section 70 having a plurality of grooves 62 in the forward face thereof. The element is also provided with a pressure-sensitive adhesive backing 64, initially protected by paper or plastic sheet 66. The major difference between element 60 of FIG. 3 and element 10 of FIG. 1 is that grooves 62 are not parallel with the rear face of the element. When element 60 is used, as shown in FIG. 4, the rear face of the element is vertical since it is attached to the wall. However, the front face containing the grooves is at an angle relative to the wall, this angle being as close as possible to the angle at which the picture is hung. (Elements 60 having different angles can be used for different sized pictures whose angles of hanging are necessarily different.) It is apparent that in such a case ridge 24 of element 12 will mate with one of the grooves 62 all along the vertical dimension of the two elements.
It will be apparent that element 12 can be attached to the wall and element 60 can be attached to the picture frame, with the two elements still mating with each other all along their vertical dimension. It will also be apparent that the front and rear faces of both elements can be at an angle relative to each other, as long as when the elements mate with each other the two rear faces are at an angle approximating the angle which the picture makes with the wall.
Instead of constructing the element of FIG. 3 from a single piece of metal 70, it is possible to make the element from two components as shown in FIGS. 5A and 53. FIG. 5A depicts a plastic holder section 40. The rear of the holder is coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive 44 protected by backing 46. The front face 54 of the holder is at an angle to the rear face, which angle is the same as the angle between the front and rear faces of the element of FIG. 3. Holder section 40 includes two guides 48 along the inner faces of the two side sections. The grooves are parallel with the front face 54.
Element 56 (FIG. 5B) is shown in cross section. It is made of iron, has a plurality of grooves 48, and further includes two extensions 58 along its side edges. These two extensions fit into guides 48 of element 40 and allow element 56 to be slipped into the holder section. Although the front and rear faces of element 56 are parallel with each other, because guides 48 are at an angle relative to the rear face of element 40, it is apparent that when element 56 is slipped into the holder the front face of element 56 will be at an angle relative to the rear face of element 40.
FIGS. 6A and 6B depict a still further embodiment of the invention. Holder 80 has parallel front and rear faces. As in the case of holder 40, a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer is included on the rear face of the holder. The holder includes a central cutout having a width L in the horizontal direction, and a width D in the direction facing away from the wall. At the front of the holder are two upstanding frame sections 82.
Element 86 of FIG. 6B is similar to element 56 of FIG. 58, except that it is thicker. The maximum width of element 86 has a dimension L, and the total thickness of the element is greater than dimension D. The rear plate section of the element has a dimension D, smaller than the dimension D. When element 86 is placed into the cutout in element 80, it is apparent that element 86 can be moved toward and away from the wall within the holder. Because dimension D is greater than dimension D, there is a considerable range through which element 86 can be moved toward and away from the wall within holder 80. What is more important is the fact that element 86 need not be moved in a given orientation within holder 80. If the bottom edge of the element is held against the inner face of the rear section of element 80 and the upper edge of element 86 is pulled forward, it will be apparent that grooves 84 will be at an angle relative to the wall, which angle can be varied.
The major advantage of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B is that the angle of grooves 84 relative to the wall can be adjusted. No matter how the picture has been hung, ridge 24 of element 12 (FIG. 1) will mate all along its length with one of grooves 84. The same is not true if the element of FIGS. 3 or 5 is used unless the angle between the picture and the wall is the same as the angle between the front and rear faces of the element. Although element 86 can move within holder in the embodiment of FIGS. 6A and 6B, lateral movement cannot take place. It is the prevention of the lateral movement which insures that the picture remains straight after it is hung.
Although the invention has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the application of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications may be made therein and other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A picture straightener comprising a first element having two faces one of which is coated with an adhesive for attachment to the rear of a picture frame, and a second element having two faces one of which is coated with an adhesive for attachment to a wall, one of said elements having on the other face thereof at least one triangularly shaped ridge and the other of said elements having on the other face thereof at least one triangularly shaped groove, with said at least one groove and said at least one ridge arranged to mate with each other, wherein at least one of said first and second elements is magnetized such that said first and second elements are attracted magnetically to each other, and further wherein the two faces of one of said first and second elements are at an angle relative to each other which is approximately equal to the angle at which said picture is to be hung from a wall.
2. A picture straightener in accordance with claim I wherein said element having said two faces at an angle relative to each other includes a first part having said adhesive on one face thereof and a second part for mating with the other element, said second part and said first part having mating means for maintaining said second part within said firstpart.
3. A picture straightener in accordance with claim 2 wherein said mating means permits said second part to be moved within said first part in a direction away from the plane of said adhesive and prevents movement of said second part in other directions.
4. A picture straightener comprising a first element having two faces attachable to the rear of a picture frame, and a second element having two faces attachable to a wall, one of said elements having on one face thereof at least one triangularly shaped ridge and the other of said elements having on one face thereof at least one triangularly shaped groove, with said at least one groove and said at least one ridge arranged to mate with each other, wherein one of said first and second elements includes a first part having an adhesive on one face thereof and a second part for mating with the other element, said second part and said first part having mating means and magnetic means for maintaining said second part within said first part.
5. A picture straightener in accordance with claim 4 wherein said mating means permits said second part to be moved within said first part in a direction away from the plane of said adhesive and prevents movement of said second part in other directions.
6. A picture straightener in accordance with claim 5 wherein the two faces of one of said first and second elements are at an angle relative to each other which is approximately equal to the angle at which said picture is to be hung from a wall.
7. A picture straightener in accordance with claim 6 wherein at least one of said first and second elements is magnetized such that said first and second elements are attracted magnetically to each other.