US 3610175 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ralph P. Wilton Wrightsville;
John J. Fitzpatrick, Hellam, both of Pa. 830,598 1 June 5, 1969 Oct. 5, 1 97 1 Wilton Brass Company Columbia, Pa. 1
lnventors Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee PLAQUELIKE COVERING MEMBERS FOR SERVING PIECES 2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs. I
US. Cl 108/161, 3 1 2/ 140.3 Int. Cl A471) 113/00, A47b 96/18 Field of Search 108/90,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,174,893 3/1965 Church et a1. 108/161UX 234,028 11/1880 Grout et a1 312/1403 327,722 10/1885 Rodgers 108/90 X l,535 ,895 4/1925 Blackmore 108/90 X 3,277,541 10/1966 Wilton et al. lS6/90 X Primary Examinerlaul R. Gilliam Attorney-C. Hercus .lust
ABSTRACT: A combination ornamental and impervious protective cast metal plaquelike covering members for the top surface of serving pieces such as tables, bars and the like, and having an intaglio design of uniform height. Said members having a rim extending around the perimeter thereof. At least two opposite parallel edges of said members being adapted to abut each other, said edges being bevelled to receive plastic sealing material therebetween to render the assembly of members liquid-proof, and said members also being bowed upwardly at opposite edges.
PATENTEUUBW s an 3.610175 DRINK SWEEN BEER SALE H Ref reshes 28 And Quenches 1m my a a LimeLomb Its Fleqce us Whrte as 28 INVENTORS RALPH P. WILTON JOHN J. FITZPATRICK J A TORNEY PLAQUELIKE COVERING MEMBERS FOR SERVING PIECES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION For many years, it has been customary to manufacture serving tables and bars for taverns and the like from cabinet wood such as mahogany. The bars usually are provided with an elongated front arm rest rail or border member and at the rear edge of the bar, a narrow shelflike surface is provided which is several inches below the serving surface of the bar. Drinking vessels and shot glasses and the like normally are placed upon said shelflike surface. Similarly, in more recent years, serving tables in bars, restaurants and the line, where food and beverages are served, have been formed from wood but the upper surfaces have been covered with various types of resistant plastics of a synthetic resin nature, one commercial brand of which is sold under the trademark Formica. Such finishing surfaces have lent themselves to the inclusion of certain decorative patterns of an overall nature such as wood grain patterns, random flecks of reflective materials such as metal foil and mica or the like, as well as certain plaid patterns of conventional nature.
With respect to bars in particular, however, about the only improvements therein which,have been made in recent years over the long-standing conventional type of construction has even the addition of padded arm rests along the front edge of the bar surface, usually elevated above the serving surface of the bar, but said serving surface per se usually is still formed from wood which is highly varnished or lacquered.
As far as the prior art is concerned, there do not appear to be any recent patents directly pertaining to bars in particular. With respect to attempts at supposedly improving the physical characteristics as well as ornamental features, the only patents which have been developed thus far in regard to investigating the present invention are U.S. Pat. Nos. 234,028, dated Nov. 2, 1880, to Grout et al., and l,793,506, dated Feb. 24, 1931, to Moser. The first of these pertains to a rubber mat affording certain types of drainage means and the second one pertains to ornamental blocks arranged on the forward, vertical surface of a bar but nothing of any kind being disclosed with respect to the serving surface of a bar.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the fact that serving pieces such as bars, tavern tables and the like, upon which food and beverages are served usually are the scenes of personal good feeling and fellowship, the present invention was inspired for'purposes of promoting additional good feeling, conversation, laughter, as well as the inducement of playing games, including games of chance. Accordingly, it is the principal object of the present invention to provide covering members for such serving pieces as tables, bars and the like, which are plaquelike in nature, preferably of uniform size and overall thickness, and being both utilitarian as well as ornamental by the inclusion of intaglio-type designs on the upper surface thereof which are defined by background area within a common uniform plane at a lower level than the upper design surface, the design and background surface being formed by an etching process of the type comprising the subject matter of prior patent U.S. Pat. No. 3,277,541. All portions of said background surface are within a common plane at a lower level than the outermost intaglio design surface which, slmllarly, is also in a common plane so as to permit slldable movement of dishes and drinking vessels tbereover.
It is another object of the invention to form the designs on said covering members in such manner that the background area which define the design are sufficiently small that the uppermost design surfaces are capable of supporting footed drinking vessels and the like without tilting either while stationary or being slidably moved along said surface.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a rim around the periphery of the members, the upper surface of which rim is also substantially within the common lane of the upper surface of the intaglio design on the member and at least a pair of parallel opposite side edges of the members are adapted to abut corresponding side edges of adjacent members when mounted upon the upper surface of a serving piece to provide a substantially continuous protective arrangement for the upper surface of the serving piece.
It is still another object of the invention to provide said aforementioned pair of opposite parallel side edges of each member with beveled surfaces which flare downwardly and outwardly from the upper surface, whereby substantially V- shaped channels are formed between adjacent edges of similar members, said channels being filled with suitable sealing material such as mastic, or the like, to a level no higher than the upper surfaces of said rim of the members, whereby the entire overall protective means afforded by said members is rendered liquidproof to prevent the passage of any spilled food or beverage therethrough.
A still further object of the invention is to form said members so that at least a pair of the opposite edges of said member are bowed upward slightly from the intennediate portion, whereby when the members are affixed to the upper surface of serving pieces, such as by screws inserted through appropriate holes in the comers of said members, said upwardly bowed side edges will be drawn downward, into firm engagement with the upper surface of the serving piece and thereby very tightly and firmly affix the intermediate and all other lower surface portions of the members to the upper surface of the serving piece.
Still another object of the invention is to arrange the designs of at least certain members in a blocklike configuration, whereby the playing of games, including games of chance, is possible thereon such as by placing drinking vessels upon certain blocks and a winner being determined by a chance-determining means such as a paddle wheel, the throwing of dice, or the like.
Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing comprising a part thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a fragmentary top plan view of an exemplary bar surface to which covering members embodying the principles of the present invention are shown affixed in operative manner.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical elevation of the exemplary bar shown in FIG. I as seen on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a slightly exploded vertical sectional view including a somewhat exaggerated upwardly bowed covering member in engagement with the upper surface of a serving piece such as a table or bar top prior to the covering member being firmly affixed thereto by exemplary acres shown in the FIG.
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing the covering member in flat condition when finnly affixed to the upper surface of the serving member.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary portion of an exemplary block-type design which may be formed on a covering member made in accordance with the principles of the invention and also illus- I trating a rim around the periphery thereof as well as between the blocklike ornamental design.
FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view of the covering member shown in FIG. 5 as seen on the line 6-6 of said figure.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view on an enlarged scale, as seen on the line 7-7 of FIG. I, to illustrate an exemplary manner of applying sealing material between the edges of adjacent covering members when affixed to the upper surface of a serving piece.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In describing specific structures embodying the invention, it is to be understood that the plaquelike covering members comprising the principal feature of the invention are intended to be applied to the upper surface of various types of serving pieces and particularly serving and cocktail tables, bars and the like such as are used in taverns, restaurants and taprooms of various kinds. In order to minimize illustrations, however, an exemplary bar counter has been selected as a specific example of a serving piece to which such covering members may be applied. Accordingly, by referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 in particular, it will be seen that the bar counter 10 comprises an upright front panel 12, end panels 14, and the upper edges thereof support a counter member 16 which is horizontal and of appropriate thickness to resist warping. In conventional bars, at least the counter member 16 and usually the front and end panel 12 and 14 are formed from attractive cabinet woods such as mahogany and the like. Appropriate panelling 18 also frequently is employed to enhance the appearance of the bar.
Referring to FIG. 2 in particular, the counter member 16 usually is of a composite nature to provide substantial thickness for the main serving portion of the bar. This is illustrated in exemplary manner in said figure. Also, in relatively modern bars, a front, padded arm rest 20 extends longitudinally along the front rear edge of the bar is provided with a relatively narrow shelflike member 22 which frequently is covered with a folded towel or the like so as to be a convenient place to accommodate, for example, serving glasses 24 and shot glasses 26 in which beverages are measured.
In the use of conventional bars, beverages and food usually are served directly upon the upper surface of the counter member I6. In general, no ornamental design of any kind is formed upon the upper surface of the counter member. It usually only has the normal grain of the wood in evidence, generally varnished or lacquered to preserve the surface thereof.
In accordance with the principles of the present invention, the appearance of the bar counter is enhanced and the same also is protected by providing ornamental plaquelike covering members 28 which are afiixed to the upper surface of the counter member 16 in edge-abutting relationship. Said members are provided on the upper surface thereof with designs of an intaglio nature which preferably are cast directly into the metal members which might be considered tilelike in nature. The designs are both of ornamental nature as well as being conversation-invoking and amusing, as desired. Preferably, the entire upper sewing surface of the counter member 16 is covered with said covering members 28, as illustrated in an exemplary manner in FIG. 1. As also shown therein, the various kinds, advertisements, and as will be described hereinafter in greater detail, include blocklike configurations suitable for the playing of games of chance and the like.
The covering members 28 preferably are formed by a process such as that comprising the subject matter of U.S. Pat. No. 3,277,541, .I. Fitzpatrick. By using such process, it has been found that it is possible to readily manufacture, in a reasonably inexpensive manner, plaquelike or tilelike covering members which are cast from durable material such as nonferrous alloys of different kinds, some of which resemble pewter in appearance and all of which readily withstand use without deterioration over long periods of time. Further, sponging or mopping spilled food and liquid beverages from the upper surfaces thereof readily may be accomplished without damage being sustained by the members and while the actual wooden portions of the counter member 16, for example, are completely protected at all times.
By using the above-described method for forming said converging members, it is possible to manufacture custom-type designs selected by an individual customer, for example. It is only necessary to photograph such desired designs and by the photographic procedures and additional steps described in said patent, such custom-type designs are produced in desired sizes of covering members. For practical purposes, said members preferably are rectangular in plan view.
Also, as shown in somewhat exaggerated manner in FIG. 3, the member 28 may be cast in such fashion that the opposite end or side edges 30 thereof are bowed away from the center portion 32 so that, in edge view, the member 28 is curved to a limited extent. This is advantageous as is evident from the fact that when the members 28 are firmly affixed to the upper surface of the counter member I6, or a similar surface of a tavern serving table, for example, such as by screws 34 which extend through appropriate holes 36 in the comers or otherwise of the members 28, the bowed end, edge or comer portions 30 of the members 28 will be drawn down into a flat plane comprising the upper surface of the counter member 16 or serving table as is shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 4. This results not only in the center portion 32 but all portions being placcd in very firm flat engagement with the upper surface of the counter member 16.
Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, it will be seen that the plaquelike covering members 28 are formed with intaglio-type designs 38 the upper surfaces of which are within a common plane. The designs are defined by being surrounded by a background surface 40 which, similarly, preferably is entirely substantially within a common plane at a level below that of the design surfaces 38 but parallel thereto. Also, the background surfaces 40 do not extend to the rear or opposite surface 42 which is the surface that abuts the upper surface of the counter member 16 in use. Usually, a depth of about one thirty-second inch is fully adequate to clearly define a suitable design. Also, the intaglio design surfaces 38 as well as the complementary background surfaces 40 of the various designs are formed by casting durable material, such as appropriate nonferrous metal, in molds, such as sand molds.
The mold cavities are formed by patterns made in accordance with the invention comprising the subject matter of said aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,277,541. On said patterns, surfaces corresponding to background surfaces 40 in the members 28 are etched surfaces, thereby contrasting to the relatively smoother surfaces of the pattern corresponding to the intaglio design surfaces 38 of covering members 28. In such patterns, the intaglio design surfaces corresponding to surfaces 38 of the covering member 28 usually comprise the original surface of the sheet of metal upon which the intaglio design of the pattern is formed in accordance with the process of said relatively smooth and etches surfaces in the pattern are transferred at least to a limited extent to the corresponding surfaces formed thereby in the molds which, in turn, are at least somewhat formed upon the intaglio design surfaces 38 and background surfaces 40 of the cast metal covering members 28.
To facilitate the application of the covering members 28 to the upper surface of counter member 16, the invention contemplates that at least a pair of opposed, parallel side edges of the preferably rectangular covering members 28 be provided with beveled edge surfaces 44. Thus, when adjacent corresponding edges of a series of the members 28 abut each other as shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 7, a longitudinal groove, V-shaped in cross section, is formed which may be filled with appropriate sealing material 46 which may be of a rubberlike consistency. Any one of a number of commercial mastic preparations may be used which firmly adhere adhesively to surfaces against which they are applied and the exposed surfaces of which ultimately are rendered hard through contact with air. In addition to the opposite edges of the members 28 being provided with beveled edge surfaces 44, it also is preferred that all edges of the covering members 28 be provided with such beveled surfaces in order to enhance the appearance thereof.
An additional beneficial feature of the covering members 28 comprises the provision of an elongated rim 48 extending around the entire perimeter of the members 28. The upper surface thereof preferably is substantially within the common plane of the upper intaglio design surfaces 38, i.e., by a pattern made in accordance with the process of said U.S. Pat. No. 3, 277,541, and said pattern being used to produce a sand mold or the like in which the members 28 are cast from appropriate, preferably nonferrous metal alloys of a noncorrodable nature. The rim surfaces 48 therefore cooperate with the intaglio design surfaces 38 to aid in supporting dishes, drinking vessels and the like against tilting either when standing stationary or being slidably moved along over the design surfaces incident to the use thereof by customers and bartenders. If desired, the rim 48 may includes part of the design and merge therewith.
It is intended in accordance with the principles of the invention that the areas of the background surfaces 40 shall be relatively small or narrow in order that no extensive gaps be present in the upper design surface of the members 28 such as would make it possible to tilt drinking vessels such as tall glasses, stemmed ware and the like in which beverages are served. To this end, therefore, it also is preferred that individual designs, as shown in exemplary fashion in FIG. 5, shall be segregated by intermediate framelike rims 50, in either blocklike manner or otherwise, the upper surfaces of such rims also being within substantially the common plane of the intaglio design surfaces 38 and the elongated rims 48 around the perimeter of the members 28. As with rows 48, the rims 50 also may comprise part of and merge with the design.
Such blocklike arrangement of designs as illustrated in FlG. 6 also renders the covering members 28 susceptible to playing games, such as games of chance, by which, for example, a customer places a drinking vessel upon a selected block or square, followed by the use of change-selecting means such as a paddle wheel, throwing of dice, or otherwise and a winner is thereby determined, thus adding to the amusement potentials of the members 38 when applied to the upper surface of a serving piece such as a bar counter or tavern serving table.
From FIGS. 1 and 2, it also will be seen that the individual members 28 may be of substantial area so that the same may extend entirely between the arm rest and shelflike member 22 on the upper surface of a bar. However, smaller sizes of such members may be employed and arranged tilelike on any selected serving piece, as desired.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the same is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated an described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as shown and described.
1. A combination ornamental and protective cast metal plaquelike covering member of substantially uniform thickness and impervious between the opposite normally upper and lower surfaces thereof, said member being applicable to the top of a serving piece for food and beverages such as a bar or table and having an intaglio design molded into said member from the upper surface thereof to provide an upper surface which is planar and comprises a design defined by the background surface which is of substantially uniform depth below the upper design surface of the member and spaced from the opposite surface thereof, said opposite surface being adapted to be applied to the upper surface of a bar or table and also being slightly bowed upwardly at two opposite edges thereof, said member also having holes therein adjacent the corners to receive affixing members such as screws by which said members may be affixed to said surface of a serving piece as aforesaid and drawn by said affixing means into firm flat engagement against said surface, the member also being substantially rectangular in plan view and adapted to be mounted adjacent similar members to form a continuous covering of indefinite area and the edges of said members which are adapted to abut adjacent members being beveled downwardly and outwardly from the upper design-bearing surface thereof, whereby a channel is formed between such adjacent members to receive sealing compound, the design on said upper surface of said member being of a nature to inspire comment and conversation and also being blocklike in nature to adapt said member for playing games of chance such as by placement of a drinking vessel or the like on a selected block for determination of a winner by appropriate chance-determining means, and a rim extending around said design on said upper surface of said member and the upper surface of said rim being substantial] co lanar with the u per surface of said design, the areas 0 sm background su ace of said member being relatively small, whereby drinking vessels and dishes and the like may rest upon the upper surfaces of said intaglio design and rim and be supported adequately thereby against any a preciable tipping.
2. The covering member according to claim 1 in which said design comprises FIGS. of animal nature to provide designs which minimize the area sizes of the background surfaces of the design to facilitate adequate support of objects placed upon said upper surface of said member.