US 3611605 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 12, 1971 J. N. BAKER LICENSE PLATE FRAME Filed April 23, 1970 iNVliN'l ()R. JEFFREY N. BAKER FIG.
UnitedStates Patent 3,611,605 LICENSE PLATE FRAME Jeffrey N. Baker, 26 Laguna Place, Long Beach, Calif. 90803 Filed Apr. 23, 1970, Ser. No. 31,217 llnt. Cl. G09f 7/00 11.8. 40-209 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A rectangular frame with transversely concave sides has two spaced tabs extending from a long side toward the frame center. Both tabs diverge from the plane of the frame from to 30 degrees, depending on the frame material. Each tab has a fastener hole extending through the tab at an angle commensurate with tabdivergence. Whetf the frame is fastened to a license plate by fasteners passing through the frame tabs, the plate and a conventional plate support bracket, tightening the fastener distorts the tabs toward the plane of the frame, loading the frame against the side of the plate opposite the tabs to dampen plate-frame vibration contact.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to frames for plates, and more particularly to frames secured to license plates by the same fasteners by which the plates are secured to their respective supports.
Most license plates are fastened at either top or bottom by fasteners which pass through spaced holes in the margin of the plate and into or through the support means to which the plates are secured. In some instances the plate is secured at top and bottom but in most instances only one margin of the plate is secured, with retainers being provided on the other margin to hold the attached ornamental plate frame about the plate. The retainers have been bolt tabs or projecting edge retainers extending from the back of the frame. Such projections on a second margin of the frame have required expensive die equipment and have not prevented some noise because of intermittent contact between the frame and the plate at the loose margin. Such devices as cenventionally used are effective but expensive in terms of manufacture and assembly time. The plate frame of the invention obviates the necessity of such arrangements by providing means for positive, continuous contact between the plate and the frame along the common unsecured edges thereof.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention contemplates a license plate frame to be fastened to the plate with threaded fasteners extending through the frame and the plate into a conventional plate support. The frame is comprised of parallel long sides and parallel short sides which connect to define a rectangular channel. A pair of spaced fastener tabs protrude a short distance from a long side of the frame toward the center thereof. The tabs protrude at an angle to the plane of the rectangle and each has a fastener hole. The angle by which the tab deviates from the rectangle plane is such that the binding force of the threaded fastener distorts the frame and the tab to load the frame against the opposite long side of the plate.
The angle of deviation of the tabs varies with the material of the frame. Tabs on a relatively resilient material like ABS plastic have an angle of deviation greater than do tabs on a frame which is metallic.
Preferably the plate frame has sides which are concave with respect to the outer face of the plate. The outer and inner faces of the frame sides differ in transverse extent so that the outer margin surrounds the edges of the plate to guard against accidental harm from contact with the edges of the plate.
Preferably the fastener holes in the tabs pass through the tabs at an angle commensurate with the angle of divergence of the tabs from the rectangle plane. Reinforcing ribs may extend from each tab radially with respect to the fastener hole and be integrally formed with the plate frame sides and the tabs.
It is an object of the invention to provide a license plate frame free from movement with respect to the plate such that no noise occurs under vibration.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a plate frame in which the securing tabs deviate from the plane of the frame such that tightening of the fasteners passing through the tabs, the plate and the plate support, loads the free opposite side of the frame against the margin of the plate.
The resultant license plate frame not only surrounds the plate to protect against injury and to provide a pleasing aspect but may be economically fabricated from commonly used materials and by present manufacturing techniques.
These and other advantages of the invention are apparent from the following detailed description and drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a preferred embodiment of the license plate frame of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an edge view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a transverse section taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional elevation taken along line 44 of FIG. 1 and showing the plate support and the plate and its fastener in broken lines;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional elevation similar to FIG. 4 showing the plate, support and fastener in full lines; and
FIG. 6 is a transverse sectional elevation similar to FIG. 3 showing an alternate embodiment of the invention.
In the various figures like parts are given like reference characters. The plate frames shown approximate 12% inches by 6% inches in outside dimensions. The frame width in the embodiment of FIG. 1 is approximately inch.
FIGS. 1-5 show a frame 10 having parallel long sides 11 and 12 connected by parallel short sides 14 and 15. The sides are all similar in transverse configuration, having a long exterior rim 17, a short interior rim 18, and a convex frontal face 19 (see FIG. 3).
The configuration of FIG. 3 is a preferred one, although the benefits of the invention are not limited to such a configuration, and the particular configuration of the channel defining the frame sides is not a part of the invention.
The sides define a continuous channel of rectangular configuration about a central opening 21 through which the license plate is visible.
The license plates throughout the United States are fairly standard dimensionally, as is the spacing of the marginal holes by which the plates are fastened to their supports. Therefore, fastener tabs 23, 24 extend into central opening 21 from upper frame side 11 at a standard center to center distance of about 7 inches. The tabs, as viewed in FIG. 1, are substantially disc-like in configuration with the periphery of the disc being faired at 26 into the inner rim 18 of the side 11. While side 11 with the fastener tabs has been referred to as the upper side, the term is relative, and side 11 may become the bottom of the frame should the frame be inverted to be fastened to a plate support adapted to support the license plate from its bottom margin.
Each tab has a central hole 27. The holes penetrate the tabs at an angle to the face 29 of each tab. The angle which the holes make to face 29 depends upon the angle of divergence which the tab normally has to the plane of the frame rectangle. This latter angle is shown in FIG. 3 at A with respect to the vertical front face of the frame. The relative position of the fastener 31 is shown in broken lines, as is a license plate 32, a plate support 33 and a fastener nut 34.
The plate frame is shown in FIG. 4 to a larger scale. A reinforcing rib 36 extends radially with respect to the tab hole across the channel defined by rims 17, 18 and face 19. Each tab has a pair of such ribs (shown in FIG. 1 in dotted lines 36 and 37). While two ribs have been shown, one or more ribs may accomplish the reinforcing purpose, depending upon the material used.
The illustrative embodiment of FIGS. 1-5 may be of ABS plastic. Preferably No. 1 quality high-impact ABS is used. The resilient characteristics of such a material are such that, to accomplish the desired loading, angle A (FIG. 3), representing the divergence of the tab from the frame rectangle plane, is approximately 25. The solid lines of FIG. 4 show the tab 24 in its relaxed state. As fastener 31 is tightened, the tab pulls inwardly, as indicated by the arrow 41, toward the position 24A shown in broken lines. The fastening force is transmitted through the distortion of the tab into a rightward motion (arrow 42) loading the unsecured bottom side 12 of the frame against the bottom edge of plate 32.
In FIG. 5 the fastener is tightened sufficiently to secure the plate and the frame to support 33 such that the frame is secured to the plate both top and bottom. No relative motion of the frame and plate is encountered under normal vehicle vibration conditions. Therefore, the frame and plate define a quiet union.
In the embodiment of FIG. 6 a metallic plate frame '51 has long sides 11, 12 and parallel short sides, like side 14, similar to those shown in the embodiment of 'FIG. 1. One of the two fastener tabs is shown at 52 projecting inwardly from the side rim 18. The tab is similar in configuration to the tabs 23, 24 of FIG. 1, but diverges from the plane of the frame rectangle at an angle B which is in the range of 5 to 9". This angle differs from the angle of the previous embodiment because of the metallic material from which the frame of the embodiment of FIG. 6 is made. Metallic frames are conventionally diecast from a material which has less resilience than a comparable strength plastic material and therefore the angle of divergence of the tab need not be as great in order to 4 impose the same loading of lower rim 18 against the unsecured margin of the license plate within the frame.
The configuration of the license plate frames maybe changed in outward appearance and finish from those shown and the tab angle may differ from the illustrative embodiments, depending upon frame material utilized. Since the embodiments shown are illustrative only, it is desired that the scope of the invention be defined by the appended claims.
1. A license plate frame to be fastened to the license plate with threaded fasteners extending through the frame and the plate into a support, the combination comprising: parallel long sides and parallel short sides connecting to define a rectangular channel, a pair of spaced fastener tabs protruding inwardly from a long side toward the center of the rectangle at an angle to the plane of the rectangle, and a fastener hole in each tab, the angle of divergence of the tab being such that the binding force of the threaded fasteners distorts the frame and the tab to impose the frame against the opposite long side of the plate.
2. A plate frame in accordance with claim 1 wherein the angle of the tab to the plane of the frame rectangle is in the range of 5 to 30.
3. A plate frame in accordance with claim 2 wherein the frame is metallic and the angle is approximately 7.
4. A plate frame in accordance with claim 2 wherein the frame is plastic and the angle is approximately 25 5. A plate frame in accordance with claim 1 wherein integral ribs extending radially with respect to the fastener hole connect between the frame side and the extending tab.
6. A plate frame in accordance with claim 5 wherein each fastener hole extends through the tab at an angle to the face of the tab commensurate with the angle of divergence of the tab to the plane of the frame rectangle.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,201,786 10/ 1916 Willwerscheid 209 X 2,758,400 8/1956 Shutf 40209 2,765,553 10/ 1956 Audette 40-209 3,134,565 5/1964 T rifiletti '248466 ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner W. J. CONTRERAS, Assistant Examiner