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Publication numberUS3650072 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 21, 1972
Filing dateApr 27, 1970
Priority dateApr 27, 1970
Publication numberUS 3650072 A, US 3650072A, US-A-3650072, US3650072 A, US3650072A
InventorsJoseph J Matvey
Original AssigneeJoseph J Matvey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Grave marking structure protective devices
US 3650072 A
Abstract
A protective device for grave marking structures including a unitary generally rectangular frame member having a generally rectangular inner opening. The frame member has two pairs of opposed substantially straight generally parallel sides. Each side is of substantially equal transverse width. Each side has an outer transverse section having a generally uniform thickness and an inner transverse section having an average thickness which is substantially less than the thickness of the outer transverse section. The outer transverse section having a greater transverse width than the inner transverse section. The outer transverse section may have a width of about 11/2 to 6 times the transverse width of the inner transverse section. The outer transverse section has a thickness of about 11/2 to 11 times the average thickness of the inner transverse section.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Q Unlted States Patent [151 3,650,072 Matvey 1451 Mar. 21, 1972 541 GRAVE MARKING STRUCTURE FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS PROTECTIVE DEVICES 1 2,530 2/1893 Great Britain ..52/403 [72] Inventgr; Joseph J, Matyey, 208 Orin Street, Pitt- 4i8,989 2/1966 Switzerland ..52/103 sburgh, Pa. 15235 Primary Examiner-Frank L. Abbott [22] 1970 Assistant Examiner-Leslie A. Braun [21] Appl. No.: 32,198 Att0rneyArnold B. Silverman 52 US. 01 ..52/102, 52/103, 52/105, [57] MSIRACT 52/ 169 A protective device for grave marking structures including a [51] Int. Cl. ..E02d 27/50, EO4h,13/00 unitary generally rectangular frame member having a [58] Field of Search ..52/102-105, 58, generally rectangular inner opening, The frame member has /1 0/ -5; two pairs of opposed substantially straight generally parallel sides. Each side is of substantially equal transverse width. 1561 References Cmd Each side has an outer transverse section having a generally uniform thickness and an inner transverse section'having an UNITED STATES PATENTS average thickness which is substantially less than the thickness 2,129,996 9/1938 Drucker ..52/403 of the outer transverse section. The outer transverse section 2,578,470 12/l95l Gorell et al.. .....52/403 having a greater transverse width than the inner transverse 3,373,942 4/1968 am nd 6t 81- 0/ 124.5 section. The outer transverse section may have a width of 1,139,515 5/19 about 1% to 6 times the transverse width of the inner trans- 3,477,181 11/1969 Robmson- 155 verse section. The outer transverse section has a thickness of 2,013,377 9/1935 D s about 1% to 11 times the average thickness of the inner trans- 2,095,290 10/1937 Roy ..40/124.5 verse section 2,154,966 4/1939 Vanderveer. .40/124.5 2,175,909 10/ 1939 Nelson ..52/403 6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 80 70 ill I III! A i /=T t\ L ll 78 94 u PATENTEDMARZ! 1912 3,650,072

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RICHARD ROE /900/970 4 -10 E 3- I .--4 1 I 7 L-\/0 I I0 a so as 32 VIIIIIIIIIIIII 1 24 INVENTOR. JOSEPH J. MATVEY awmuw Attorney PATENTEDMARZI I972 SHEET 2 BF 2 FIG. 5.

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JOSEPH J. MATVEY Attorney GRAVE MARKING STRUCTURE PROTECTIVE DEVICES BACKGROUND OF. THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention V This invention relates to vegetation inhibiting frames adapted to be positioned peripherally about grave marking structures, such as tombstones and metal memorial markers. More specifically, this invention relates to unitary frame structures which are provided with integral sealing means and suitable for use on various types of grave marking structures.

2. Description of the Prior Art In conventional cemetery maintenance procedures with respect to vegetation such as grass and weeds, power mowers are generally employed to the maximum extent possible. There is, however, a limit as to how close to an upstanding grave marking structure, such as a tombstone, a power mower can cut. This limitation is imposed, in part, by thesupporting frame, wheels, and blade guard on the mower. Also, a factor of safety must be allowed in order to minimize the risk of damaging contact between the mower and the tombstone. This results in the need to manually trim around each stone in order to avoid intolerable unsightly overgrowth of grass and weeds around the stone. As the cost of such manual labor is increasing rapidly, maintenance by this method becomes both very expensive and time consuming. Yet-an unsightly overgrown appearance is not acceptable.

With respect to flat platelike metal marking devices, many are so positioned in the earth as to permit ready passage of mowers thereover. Difficulties have been encountered, however, in that surrounding grass and weeds tend to grow over and impair the appearance of such markers. Another problem is that erosion of adjacent soil onto the marker obliterates the marker and serves as a vehicle for supporting further vegetation expansion through root expansion as well as individual plant elongation. Effective manual control of these two problems is quite difficult and time consuming. Finally, such installations have a tendency to sink into the earth, either uniformly or irregularly under the influence of the weight of their supporting bases coupled with the freeze-thaw cycle of the earth.

It has been known to provide vegetation inhibiting protective frames for positioning about the periphery of tombstones. Similarly protective devices for flat metal markers have been known. These structures seek to inhibit the growth of vegetation immediately surrounding the periphery of grave marking structures and thereby reduce the amount of time consuming and expensive memorial maintenance required. One such structure for tombstones is shown in U.S. Pat.'No. 3,477,l 8 1.

It has also been known to provide protective surrounding structures for platelike markers. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,082,559 and 3,378,942. Another form of protective structure is shown in applicants copending U.S. application Ser. No. 847,610.

The requirements for successful functioning of such devices are substantial and differ slightly with respect to frames for tombstones and frames for platelike markers. In addition to the above-identified problems, the devices must be sufficiently strong to withstand the loads imposed by power equipment such as mowers and human beings passing thereover. Also, these devices must be capable of physically withstanding wide variations in weather without suffering structural impairment or the loss of effective performing characteristics. It must, in addition, be of attractive, aesthetically pleasing appearance so as to comply with the high standards imposed by cemeteries and meet the desires of relatives and other loved ones who are vitally concerned with the grave site appearance. Finally, the device must be produced of such materials and in such a manner to be economically priced and relatively inexpensive to install.

In general, the prior art structures have been intended to serve a single, limited purpose. They have been intended either for use solely for tombstone type grave marking structures or flat memorial marking structures. This absence of versatility has necessitated the manufacture of two distinct lines of products for the two distinct types of marking structures.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The protective device of this invention has solved the above enumerated problems and offers numerous structural and aesthetic advantages. It provides a single structural design adapted for effective use with both tombstones and platelike markers.

It provides a unitary frame member having a generally rectangular configuration and defining a generally rectangular inner opening. The frame member has opposed pairs of substantially straight generally parallel sides. Each of the sides may be of equal transverse width. Each side has an outer transverse section of generally uniform thickness and an inner transverse section having an average thickness which is substantially less than the thickness of the outer transverse section. The outer transverse section has a greater transverse width than the inner transverse section. The frame may be economically and conveniently molded as a unit or may be fabricated by joinder of extruded side sections.

The frame is adapted to function effectively as a protective guard which establishes a resiliently maintained seal continuously about the periphery of a tombstone base. The frame is also suitable for protective placement and support of a platelike memorial marker element. In both usages, growth of vegetation under the frame and between the frame and marking structure are effectively prevented.

The sealing element which engages the grave marking structure may have a generally rectangular cross section but is preferably feathered toward its inner end and integrally formed within the frame.

It is an object of this invention to provide a unitary frame member adapted to use for both tombstones and platelike memorial markers to effectively inhibit vegetation growth immediately surrounding the marking structures and eliminate the need for manual vegetation trimming.

It is another object of this invention to provide such a frame member which will eliminate the'need for hand trimming while preventing unsightly overgrowth by grass and weeds.

It is another object of this invention to provide a unitary frame member having an integral sealing portion which is adapted to establish a resiliently maintained seal against the base of a tombstone.

It is another object of this invention to provide a protective frame member which incorporates a platelike marker receiving receptacle.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a protective frame which may be economically manufactured and yet will provide an effective vegetation barrier which is both aesthetically pleasing and durable under various weather conditions and under mechanical loads such as power mowers and humans passing thereover.

These and other objects of this invention will be more fully appreciated from the following description of the invention on reference to the illustrations appended thereto.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective representation of a tombstone having a form of vegetation controlling protective device of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a protective device of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 2 taken through 3-3.

FIG. 4 is a partial sectional elevation of the structure shown in FIG. 1 taken through 4-4.

FIG. 4a shows a modified form of seal.

FIG. 5 shows a form of device of this invention employed as a grave marker protector device of this invention.

FIG. 6 shows the form of device of FIG. 5 recessed into the earth.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now more specifically to the drawings with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a tombstone 2 of the conventional variety. A vegetation inhibiting protective frame device 4 peripherally surrounds the tombstone base and provides a barrier to vegetation growth thereunder. This limits vegetation growth to regions exterior of the frame device 4. With a device of suitable width, this permits mowing solely by a power mower and eliminates unsightly weeds and grass immediately around the tombstone 2. It also eliminates the need for expensive time consuming manual trimming around the stone.

As seen in FIG. 2, the frame 4 has a pair of parallel substantially straight sides 6 and a pair of connecting spaced substantially straight sides 8. In the form shown, the sides 6, 8 have been joined at mitered corners 10. The sides 6, 8 may conveniently be made by an extrusion process, be cut to the desired length and joined at the corners 10 by hat welding or by a suitable adhesive. If desired, however, the frame may be molded as a unit. The term unitary frame member" as used herein shall refer to a frame which is of a fixed outer dimension and may be formed by either joinder of independent elements or molded as a unit. It is noted that in the form shown, the sides 6 and 8 are of substantially equally transverse width.

FIG. 3 shows a cross sectional illustration of one side 6 which is typical of the cross sectional configuration of the frame defining sides 6, 8. It is seen that the side has an outer transverse section and an inner transverse section 22. The outer transverse section 20 has a generally uniform thickness. The inner transverse section 22 is shown with a preferred tapered or feathered shape, but it may have a generally uniform thickness such as that provided by a generally rectangular cross section. The average thickness is substantially less than the thickness of the outer transverse section 20. The outer transverse section 20 in the form shown has a greater transverse width than the width of the inner transverse section 22.

The inner transverse section 22 is adapted to provide resiliently maintained sealing engagement with the tombstone surface. While the inner transverse section 22 may be of rectangular cross sectional configuration or other generally uniform thickness, it is preferred to provide a feathered edge which facilitates more effective sealing engagement and flexibility to conform to irregularities in tombstone face.

The frame device 4 has a fixed configuration and has a rectangular outer peripheral configuration. The inner edge 24 of inner transverse section 22 defines a rectangular opening which will have an enlarged dimension as edge 24 is moved transversely outwardly when resilient sealing engagement is effected with the tombstone 2. V

The outer transverse section 20 has asubstantially flat base surface 28 which is generally flat and an upper surface 30 which is also generally flat and disposed parallel to base surface 28. A transitional outer peripheral wall 32 is disposed generally vertically and connects surfaces 28 and 30.

The inner transverse section 22 has a lower surface 34 and an upper surface 36 which may be considered a continuation of upper surface 30. In the form shown in FIG. 3, surfaces 34, 36 converge toward inner edge 24.

In order to provide the most efficient stable ground engagement and vegetation retardation coupled with effective resilient sealing engagement of the base of the tombstone or monument, it is preferred that the outer transverse section have a transverse width of about 1% to 6 times the transverse width of the inner transverse section 22. It is also preferred that the outer transverse section have a thickness of about 1% to 11 times the average thickness of the inner transverse section 22.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and 4a, it is seen that a monument 40, which may be made of conventional materials such as granite or marble, has a peripheral vertical face 42. Frame member 44 has an outer transverse section 46 in surface-tosurface contact with the underlying earth 48 and in spaced peripheral surrounding relationship with respect to monument 40. Inner transverse element 50 is in contact with peripheral face 42 and has been bent upwardly. In this position the seal between inner transverse section 50 and peripheral face 42 of I monument 40 is effectively maintained as a result of the resilient material of inner transverse section 50 as well as the shape, length and thickness of the same. In this manner vegetation such as weeds and grass are prevented from growing in the region underlying both sections of frame member 44. Also, the outer section 46 provides solid support for mower wheels, humans and other intended or accidental loads. In addition, the thickness of outer peripheral section 46 is preferably such that a power mower or other device for cutting grass 54 can readily pass thereover without any interfering contact therebetween.

FIG. 4a shows a modified form of sealing engagement between frame member 44 and peripheral face 42 of monument 40. In this form, in lieu of establishing a seal with the inner transverse section being upwardly deformed, it is downwardly and reversely curled, but nevertheless provides the resilient maintenance of an effective seal substantially continuously about the periphery of the monument 40. It is noted that vegetation growth between peripheral face 42 and outer peripheral wall 52 of frame 44 is, therefore, effectively prevented. It is also noted that lower surface 56 of outer transverse section 46 is in substantially continuous surface-to-surface contact with the underlying earth 48.

The protective device of this invention may be manufactured from a number of functionally suitable and economically practical materials. In view of the unitary nature of the structure, it is preferred that the entire protective device be composed of a single homogeneous material. In order to provide the desired sealing capability, the material should be of such a nature as to yield when placed in contact with the grave marking structure and yet maintain sufficient resilience to provide a tight effective seal. Among the preferred materials are vinyls such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene and polypropylene. The material may be provided with an attractive color compatible with the surroundings.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the use of the frame device of this invention in connection with a horizontal generally platelike memorial marker will be described. In general, the protective device 70 is in inverted position with respect to the position shown in FIGS. 1 through 4. The memorial marker 72 is received within the protective device 70 which in the form shown in FIG. 5 is resting upon the surface of earth 74. A conventional type of underlying support element 76 may be secured to marker 72 by means of fasteners 78. The protective device 70 has an outer transverse section 80 and an inner transverse section 82. Each of these sections in the form shown has generally parallel upper and lower surfaces. Upper bearing surface 84 of inner transverse section 82 cooperates with transition wall 86, which in the form shown is substantially vertical, to define a receptacle for receipt of marker 72. The rectangular opening defined by the inner edge 88 of inner transverse section 82 is smaller than the peripheral dimensions of platelike marker 72. The rectangular opening defined by transition wall 86 is slightly larger than the peripheral rectangular dimensions of platelike marker 72. This provides for underlying support of the marker 72 and an outer peripheral surround for the vertical periphery of marker 72. This device 70 not only prevents the growth of grass and weeds thereunder, but also it resists growth of vegetation onto the marker 72 and flow of soil onto the same. The device 70 is of sufficiently small thickness that power mowers and other equipment may readily pass thereover. In addition, it is of uniform attractive aesthetically pleasing configuration.

In the form shown in FIG. 6 the assembly has been recessed so that upper surface 90 of outer transverse section 80 is substantially coplanar with earth surface 92. Also, anchoring means 94, which in the form shown are fasteners extended through outer transverse section 80 and into the earth 74, may be provided where more firm securance is desired. The device 72 is of sufficient width and strength to resist downward displacement of support element 76 into the earth. Such movement, if not resisted, would generally cause the marker to list unattractively or be partially submerged.

It will therefore be appreciated that the structure of this invention provides a protective device for grave marking structures which effectively and preferably substantially continuously inhibits the growth of vegetation around the grave marking structures. This eliminates unsightly overgrowth of grass and weeds without manual trimming. The same structural device will function effectively for both monument or tombstone type structures and platelike grave marking structures. The frame may be made from economic materials which may be fabricated in long lengths and subsequently cut to establish a fixed dimensioned frame or maybe molded as a unit. The frame is so configurated as to provide a firm structure which may be effectively secured to the underlying ground and also provides an integral sealing portion which resiliently effects a seal with the grave marking structure.

All of these advantages directlyresult from the structural and functional properties of the unitary frame member of this invention which permits economical fabricating techniques and the use of relatively inexpensive materials. Also of great consequence is the fact that simplicity of design contributes to a pleasing aesthetically desirable appearance and economical grave maintenance which are of importance to both the cemetery and those loved ones or others who are uniquely interested in the appearance ofa specific grave site.

Whereas specific embodiments have been disclosed for purposes of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of the specific preferred teachings may be made while retaining the benefits of this invention.

1 claim:

1. A vegetation inhibiting grave marking assembly, comprising a platelike grave marker having a generally rectangular outer periphery,

a grave marker supporting structure disposed under said grave marker,

fastener means securing said grave marker to said grave marker supporting structure, a unitary frame member having a generally rectangular configuration and defining a generally rectangular opening,

said frame member receiving said platelike marker within said rectangular opening and being in substantially continuous contact therewith,

said frame member having two pairs of opposed substantially straight generally parallel sides with each being of substantially equal transverse width,

each said side has a weblike outer transverse section having a generally uniform thickness and a weblike inner transverse section,

said outer transverse section having a transverse width of about 1% to 6 times the transverse width of said inner transverse section,

said outer transverse section having a thickness of about 1% to l 1 times the average thickness of said inner transverse section,

said inner transverse section extending between said grave marker and said grave marker supporting structure,

said outer transverse section in surface to surface contact with the underlying earth or other supporting medium material, and

anchoring means secured to said outer transverse section.

2. The grave marking assembly of claim 1 including a transition wall connecting the transverse inner edge of said transverse outer section with said inner transverse section,

said transverse inner section having an upper bearing surface disposed between said transition wall and the transverse inner edge of said transverse inner section,

said transition wall and said upper bearing surface of said sides cooperating to define a receptacle for receipt of said platelike marker,

the rectangular opening defined by the inner edge of said transverse inner section being smaller than the peripheral rectangular dimensions of said platelike marker,

ing

the rectangular opening defined by said transition wall being larger than the peripheral rectangular dimensions of said platelike marker, and

said platelike marker disposed within said receptacle in overlying contact with said transverse inner section upper bearing surface and having a portion of its periphery disposed adjacent said transition wall.

3. The grave marking assembly of claim 2 including said transition wall is substantially vertical,

said frame molded as a unit from a material selected from the group consisting of vinyl, polyethylene, and polypropylene.

4. A vegetation inhibiting grave marking assembly, comprisa grave marking structure having a generally rectangular outer periphery, said grave marking structure is a tombstone structure, a unitary frame member having a generally rectangular configuration and defining a generally rectangular opening, said frame member receiving said grave marking structure within said rectangular opening and being in substantially continuous contact therewith,

said frame member having two pairs of opposed substantially straight generally parallel sides with each being of substantially equal transverse width,

each said side has an outer transverse section having a generally uniform thickness and an inner transverse section having an average uniform thickness which is substantially less than the thickness of said outer transverse section,

said outer transverse section has a greater width than said inner transverse section,

said outer transverse section in surface to surface contact with the underlying earth or other supporting material,

each said side having a substantially flat upper surface disposed generally parallel to said base surface within said outer transverse section and extending transversely across said inner transverse section,

said inner transverse section terminating in an inwardly directed end which defines a substantially rectangular opening smaller than said tombstone structure, and

said inner transverse section is composed of a resilient material and is in resiliently deformed protective contacting relationship with respect to said tombstone structure to establish a sealed relationship with said tombstone structure, whereby said surface to surface engagement between said outer transverse section and said earth and said sealing engagement between said inner transverse section and said tombstone structure resist growth of vegetation under said frame member.

5. The grave marking assembly of claim 4 including said unitary frame having a fixed outer peripheral dimension,

said outer transverse section having a transverse width of about 1% to 6 times the transverse width of said inner transverse section,

said outer transverse section having a thickness of about 1% to l 1 times the average thickness of said inner transverse section,

said protective device is molded as a unit from a material selected from the group consisting of vinyl, polyethylene, and polypropylene, and

said inner transverse section is upwardly resiliently displaced through contact with vertical sidewalls of said tombstone structure in order to establish a resiliently maintained sealing relationship between said inner transverse section and said vertical sidewalls.

6. A vegetation inhibiting grave marking assembly, comprising a tombstone structure having a generally rectangular outer periphery,

a unitary frame member having a generally rectangular configuration and defining a generally rectangular opening,

is substantially less than the thickness of said outer transverse section,

said inner transverse section is resiliently deformable and is in deflected contact with said tombstone structure,

said outer transverse section has a greater width than said inner transverse section, and

said outer transverse section in surface to surface contact with the underlying earth or other supporting material.

Patent Citations
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US2013377 *Dec 10, 1934Sep 3, 1935John MandasGrave marker
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US2154966 *Jun 27, 1938Apr 18, 1939Erie Malleable Iron CoMarker
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US2578470 *Jul 12, 1950Dec 11, 1951Aluminum Fabricating Company OSeal for an auxiliary window frame and a main window sash
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3758999 *Aug 4, 1972Sep 18, 1973Matvey JGrave marker protective structure
US4129743 *May 6, 1976Dec 12, 1978Telephone Utility Terminal Co., Inc.Terminal box for underground electrical conductors
US4673034 *Jan 6, 1986Jun 16, 1987Hansen Donald JCased water wells having flexible pad
US5236166 *Mar 27, 1992Aug 17, 1993Darling Gary EBase support for a flag support for sprinkler systems on golf courses
US6571439 *May 25, 2001Jun 3, 2003Sheila L. SensCinerary urn device
US6729078Aug 30, 2002May 4, 2004James Richard VrhelTombstone repair frame
US7144201Mar 25, 2004Dec 5, 2006Dearmond Jr Thomas HStructure and method for supporting headstones and other stonelike objects
US8561363Oct 1, 2010Oct 22, 2013Thomas H. DeArmond, Jr.Apparatus and method for stabilizing headstones
US8763318 *Nov 16, 2010Jul 1, 2014Gary BobbittGrave marker assembly
US20110010956 *Mar 25, 2009Jan 20, 2011Toshiba Plant Systems & Services CorporationBenchmark marking tool and benchmark marking method
US20140069033 *Sep 10, 2012Mar 13, 2014Daniel MorningFlora barrier member for a grave marker
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/102, 52/105, 52/103
International ClassificationE04H13/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H13/003
European ClassificationE04H13/00B