US 3647283 A
A mirror for producing a multiplicity of similar images, has a multiplicity of convex reflective faces disposed in an overall concave or dish-shaped array. The convex faces and the overall dish shape are preferably portions of spheres, with the radius of curvature of the overall dish shape being desirably from about 12 to 1/8 times that of the faces. The faces may have outlines of various shapes, e.g., hexagonal, circular, etc. A planar or slightly concave surface may be disposed in the array, as in the center thereof, to provide a conventional vanity or shaving mirror portion.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Castanis 1 Mar. 7, 1972  MULTIIMAGE MIRROR  Inventor: George Cmtanis, 444 Sixth Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10009  Filed: Nov. 16, 1970  Appl. No.: 91,578
Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 758,736, Sept. 10, 1968,
 US. Cl. ..350/293, 272/8 M, 350/289,
 Int. Cl. 02b 5/ 10  Fieldofsearch ..350/4, 105, 106, 109, 288,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,605,676 8/1952 Couch ..350/293 3,044,359 7/1962 Zanetti-Streccia .....350/293 1,919,561 7/1933 Kogel ..350/292 X 2,866,971 12/ 1958 Kelleher .350/296 X 3,022,709 2/1962 Duggan ..350/ 305 3,263,561 8/1966 Jackson ..350/293 UX FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,101,490 4/1955 France ..350/289 1,146,684 5/1957 France ..350/293 Primary Examiner-David Schonberg Assistant ExaminerJohn W. Leonard Attorney-Hubbell, Cohen and Stiefel  ABSTRACT A minor for producing a multiplicity of similar images, has a multiplicity of convex reflective faces disposed in an overall concave or dish-shaped array. The convex faces and the overall dish shape are preferably portions of spheres, with the radius of curvature of the overall dish shape being desirably from about 12 to 1/8 times that of the faces. The faces may have outlines of various shapes, e.g., hexagonal, circular, etc.
A planar or slightly concave surface may be disposed in the array, as in the center thereof, to provide a conventional vanity or shaving mirror portion.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures MULTIIMAGE MIRROR CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation of US. Ser. No. 758,736, filed Sept. 10, 1968, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention The present invention relates to mirrors and more particularly to a decorative mirror for producing a multiplicity of similar images.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION generally pleasing. Alternatively, the mirror may be rotated about a central axis, as by an electric motor, causing the images to appear to wheel about the axis and present a striking effect.
Preferably, each of the faces is spherically convex. The convex surfaces of the faces are arranged, preferably in substantially edge-to-edge relation, in an overall concave array, which overall array is preferably a portion of the surface of a second sphere, generally having a radius of curvature different from those of the faces from which it is formed.
The mirror presents a view positioned near the center of curvature of the overall array with a multiplicity of similar reflected images of himself, preferably one in each face. The images produced by the convex faces are smaller than that which would be produced by a planar reflecting surface, so that a face of, e.g., 1.5 inches in diameter, in a preferred embodiment produces an image of at least the entire face of the viewer. The term diameter," when used herein with respect to a noncircular shape, refers to the diameter of the circle in which the shape would be inscribed.
The concave shape of the array of convex faces ensures that a viewer is presented with his reflected image in a large number of faces, preferably in every face in the array. It should be noted that the viewer need not be precisely at the center of curvature of the dish-shaped reflecting element for the mirror to produce the effect of multiplicity of similar images. Instead, there results from the overall concave curvature the effect of depth of field so that the viewer may continue to observe the multiple images of himself as he moves toward and away from the mirror for substantial relative distances. I
It is to be understood, however, that the present invention includes the use of shapes for the curvature of the faces and the overall array which are substantially spherically curved though not absolutely so. That is, a small portion of the surface of, e.g., an ellipse or a parabola will approximate quite closely a portion of the surface of a sphere.'Thus, such surfaces may be said to have a radius of curvature and are appropriate for defining the curved shape of the faces or of the overall dished shape of the mirror of the present invention.
The dimensions of the convex and concave surfaces may vary greatly. In general, it is desirable that the radius curvature of the convex faces be between about one-twelfth and about eight times the radius of curvature of the concave dish. For smaller mirrors, where the dish is on the order of a foot in diameter, the radius of curvature of the convex faces is preferably smaller than that of the concave dish; for example,
fourth that of the overall sphere, so that if a IZ-inch-diameter mirror is constructed, the dish may be curved to form a portion of a sphere having a diameter of 48 inches. Alternatively, a large sphere may be constructed, in the form of a room having a reflective multifaced interior, as for special effects at an exposition or fair. In such event, the mirror would then form the entire surface of the corresponding sphere rather than a dished surface corresponding to a small part of the sphere.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG 1 is a front elevational view of a preferred form of the present invention wherein the convex faces are hexagonal;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIG.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing an alternative form of the present invention, which is rotated by an electric motor;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 5 wherein the central face is planar;
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention wherein the faces are circles of varying sizes and the central face is planar;
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of the present invention wherein the faces are generally circular; and
FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention wherein some of the faces are generally octagonal and others are square or diamond shaped.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIG. 1 a mirror I0 embodying the present invention is shaped in the form of a hexagon. Naturally, and as will become apparent hereinafter, the perimetral form may be any desired form such as a circle, a square etc. A frame I2, which may be of a material such as wood, plastic or metal, encloses a concave reflecting element 14 having a plurality of convex faces 16.
Each of the faces 16 forms a small portion of a spherical surface, the outline of each convex face 16 being of some convenient and pleasing perimetral form such as, for example, hexagonal as in FIG. I, though octagons and squares (FIG. 7), circles (FIGS. 5 and 6) and other perimetral shapes may be used. The faces 16 are disposed in an overall concave array so that the overall shape of the reflecting element 14 is that of a dish, as best seen in FIG. 2.
The reflecting element 14 may be formed, as by injection molding in one piece, from a transparent plastic such as polymethyl methacrylate or polystyrene. A reflective coating 18 may be placed on the rear or front of the reflecting element 14, but preferably on the rear surface so that it is protected from abrasion. The reflective coating 18 may be, e.g., silver or aluminum and may be deposited by conventional methods such as vapor deposition. In an alternative embodiment the reflective element may be made of multiplicity of individual face pieces which are fixed to a suitable concave support. Such an embodiment is shown in FIG. 3, wherein a hexagonal frame forms the border of the reflective element 114 comprising a plurality of separate convex glass faces 116. The glass faces may be fabricated separately, coated with a reflective coating 118, and assembled on a supporting backing as by gluing.
In another embodiment, a flat reflecting element may be interposed in the concave array, as to provide a vanity or shaving mirror portion which produces an image of undiminished size. For example, FIGS. 4 and 5 show a mirror 210 having a reflecting element 214 which comprises a flat, circular face 228 at the center thereof and a plurality of convex circular faces 230 and 232 disposed thereabout.
It is to be noted that the convex faces of a mirror embodying the present invention need not all be of the same size or peripheral shape. Thus, in FIG. 5 the circular convex faces 230 adjacent the ,central faces 228 are of larger diameter than the circular convex faces 232 disposed about the periphery of the mirror 210. Similarly, in FIG. 7, the octagonal faces 434 are larger than the square, or diamond-shaped, faces 436.
In addition, the periphery of the reflecting element, that is of the overall array of faces, may be of any desired shape. Thus, the periphery of the reflecting element may be hexagonal (FIGS. 1 and 6), octagonal (FIG. square (FIG. 7), circular, etc. As illustrated, a suitable frame is desirable, but is of course unnecessary to the present invention.
In general, the various convex faces may have differing radii of curvature. Inasmuch as a convex face having a smaller radius of curvature produces a smaller reflected virtual image, it is often desirable for the smaller convex faces to be of smaller radii of curvature. Thus, in FIG. 5, the outer faces 232 desirably have smaller radii of curvature than the faces 230; and similarly in FIG. 7, the square faces 436 desirably have smaller radii of curvature than the octagonal faces 434.
A particularly striking effect is obtained when a mirror embodying the present invention is rotated slowly about a given axis. The images remain upright in each face but appear to wheel about the axis as the mirror rotates. To achieve this effect, for example as illustrated in FIG. 3, the mirror may be provided with a motor means, such as a clock motor 122 and gearing 124, terminating in a drive shaft 126 secured, as to the support backing 120, to rotate the reflecting element 114. Ohviously, if an integrally case reflecting element is employed, e.g., the element 14 shown in FIG. 2, then the drive shaft would be secured in another manner to the reflecting element, e.g., by spokes (not shown), secured to the frame 12.
In use, the artistically pleasing and psychologically satisfying effect of viewing a multiplicity of images of oneself is easily obtained by approaching the mirror embodying the present invention and looking at the images reflected therein. As indicated hereinabove, this effect is obtained whenever the 1 viewer is at or near the center of curvature of the concave array, there being a relatively substantial depth of field at which one may be positioned to view the reflected images of himself. Furthermore, if one views the mirror from a position displaced substantially sideways from the central axis of the concave array, one alternatively obtains the intriguing effect of viewing a multiplicity of images of other objects in the room reflected in the convex faces.
Variations can, of course, be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention according to the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A mirror for producing a multiplicity of reflected images, said mirror comprising a reflecting element which comprises a multiplicity of convex reflecting faces which are convex along two mutually perpendicular axes, said faces being disposed in substantially edge-to-edge relation in an array that is concave along two mutually perpendicular axes, so that each reflecting face reflects a substantially identical image to a viewer disposed along the central axis of the array.
2. The mirror of claim 1 wherein the radius of curvature of said concave array is between A and 12 times the radius of curvature of each of said convex faces.
3. The mirror of claim 1 wherein said concave array of said reflecting element is substantially less than a hemisphere.
4. The mirror of claim 1 further comprising a substantially flat reflecting surface interposed in said concave array of convex reflecting faces.
5. The mirror of claim 1 wherein each of said convex faces is a separate piece of transparent substance having a reflective coating on the back surface thereof, said mirror further comprising means for supporting said faces in said concave array.
6. The mirror of claim 1 wherein said reflecting element is an integral piece of molded plastic having a reflective surface.
7. The mirror of claim 1 wherein the shape of the periphery of each of said convex faces is hexagonal and the shape of the periphery of said mirror is hexagonal.
8. The mirror of claim 1 further comprising motor means having an output shaft, means for connecting said mirror on said shaft for rotating said mirror about its central axis, and means for mounting said mgtozme ans onto a wall.