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Publication numberUS3661385 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1972
Filing dateAug 3, 1970
Priority dateAug 3, 1970
Publication numberUS 3661385 A, US 3661385A, US-A-3661385, US3661385 A, US3661385A
InventorsSchneider Henry
Original AssigneeSchneider Henry
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Optical-illusion device
US 3661385 A
A device for creating optical illusions comprising a transparent sheet, a plurality of fresnel screens spaced apart and in a regular array on the sheet, a condensing lens formed by each of the fresnel screens and a reflecting surface juxtaposed with the sheet.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

see less smell 535 United Statr Schneider OPTICAL-ILLUSION DEVICE Henry Schneider, 221 East 32nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10016 Filed: Aug. 3, 1970 Appl. No.: 60,702


US. Cl ..272/8 M, 350/202, 350/21 1, 40/106.51, 40/34 Int. Cl. ..A63j 15/00 Field of Search ..272/8 R, 8 M, 8 D, 13; 40/l06.51, 106.52, 135, 137; 350/202, 211, 167,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1965 Miller ..350/l67 UX 51 May 9, 1972 3,340,765 9/1967 Herriott ..350/2l l UX 1,987,357 1/1935 Bergen et al. ..40/l35 X 2,875,543 3/1959 Sylvester ...350/127 X 3,545,854 12/1970 Olsson ..350/ZP X Primary E.\-aminer-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Emminer-R. T. Stoufi'er Attorney-Karl F Ross [5 7] ABSTRACT A device for creating optical illusions comprising a transparent sheet, a plurality of fresnel screens spaced apart and in a regular array on the sheet, a condensing lens formed by each of the fresnel screens and a reflecting surface juxtaposed with the sheet.

1 Claim, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEBMAY 9 I972 sum 1 [IF 4 S wt v wI Henry Schneider VEN TOR l R Attomey PATEN-TEB MAY 9 m2 SHEET 2 OF 4 Henry Schneider INVENTOR R ss Rl' ttomey PATENIEDMM 9 m2 v 3,661,385

SHEET 4 BF 4 Henry Schneider INVENTOR.

Attorney OPTICAL-ILLUSION Device The present invention relates, in general, to optical-illusion devices and, more particularly, to optical-illusion devices employing light-condensing and light-reflecting means, both moving and stationary.

I-Ieretofore, illusion devices of the above-mentioned type consisted mainly of kaleidoscopes, using a system of angled mirrors and multi-colored, translucent inserts and image-projection devices.

It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide an optical illusion device for creating a plurality of stationary, upright images.

Another object of the invention is to provide an optical illusion device for creating a plurality of orbiting, up-right images.

The above-mentioned objects and others, which will become apparent hereinafter, are achieved by forming, on a transparent sheet, a plurality of fresnel screens, preferably comprised of concentric grooves, centered on the geometric center that the particular screen outline defines.

The fresnel screens, which act, in the system of the invention, as condensing lenses, are arranged in an array across the transparent sheet, which is juxtaposed with a reflecting surface, such as a mirror. The array may comprise orthogonal rows of spaced condensing lenses.

According to a more specific feature of the invention, the transparent sheet and mirror are adjacent and closely juxtaposed, and are held in a common frame, which is manually movable or is provided with a motor for rotating the sheet.

A viewer, juxtaposed with the sheet and mirror arrangement, will see his reduced, up-right image formed on each of the screens, after his image has passed through, and been reduced by, the condensing fresnel screens and reflected back from the mirror to the screens. A conventional lens (without the fresnel screen) will merely pass light in either direction and display images at its surface.

If the transparent sheet is rotated, the viewer will see his upright images orbiting about a central point.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. I is a perspective view of a device according to the invention;

FIG. 1A is a section taken along line IA in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are plan views of FIG. 1 in different positions;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of still another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is another perspective view of yet .a further embodiment ofthe invention; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view of yet another embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 9-12 are sectional views of different embodiments according to the invention.

The embodiment of the optical illusion device 10, shown in the drawing of FIG. 1, has a rectangular, transparent sheet 1, made of a synthetic resin having a series of fresnel screens 2 formed in the surface 1.

The screens 2 have a rectangular outline and are arranged in vertical and horizontal rows which are spaced apart, leaving clear strips 3 surrounding the screens 2.

As can best be seen in FIG. 1A, the fresnel screens 2, which act as condensing lenses, are formed in the surface 1 of sheet 1 by pressing or stamping with a heated die.

The screens 2 are comprised by concentric circular grooves 2 separated by ridges 2", the grooves 2' being somewhat wider than the ridges 2", the grooves 2' and ridges 2" being concentric with the axis of the screen 2.

The sheet 1 is adjacent a reflecting surface, such as a mirror 4, the sheet 1 and the mirror 4 being held in place by a frame which surrounds them, the frame 5 having a groove 5 into which the sheet 1 is fitted and a further groove 5" into which the mirror 4 is fitted, the sheet 1 and the mirror 4 being held in a fixed, spaced-apart relationship by the grooves 5' and 5".

In operation, an object, such as the pencil 6, is held in front of the sheet 1. The light reflected from the pencil 6 passed through the clear strips 3 surrounding the screens 2, forming an image 6' on the mirror 4, as can best be seen in FIG. 2, which is reflected back through the clear strips 3, to an observer juxtaposed with the device 10, beyond the pencil 6. The light reflected from pencil 6 also passes through the screens 2, where the light from the pencil 6 is condensed and passes on to the mirror 4 where areduced image 6" of the pencil 6 is formed and reflected back through the screens 2, where the reflected light is further condensed, the twice reduced image 6" appearing on the fresnel screens 2 which, in addition to acting as a condensing lens, provides a surface on which an image can be formed. 7

The images 6" formed on the screens 2 are upright and remain so when the device 10 is rotated, as seen in FIG. 3, giving an illusion of a multitude of independently rotating images 6", revolving about a central image 6'.

In FIG. 6, an optical device 11, specifically designed for rotating, comprises a circular transparent sheet 41 having an array of circular condensing fresnel screens 42, formed in the surface 41 The sheet 41 is rotatably held by a frame 45, adjacent to a mirror 44, the sheet 41 being driven by a motor 12 and a toothed wheel 13, engageable with teeth 14 provided along the periphery 15 of sheet 41.

The embodiments shown in FIG. 4 and 5 are similar to that of FIG. 1 except for the mirror 24, which is convex in one plane and the mirror 34, which is concave in one plane. If either or these embodiments is rotated as a unit, the images formed will appear to pulsate as the plane of distortion rotates, in addition to the other illusions earlier mentioned.

In FIG. 7 the sheet 1 forms one wall of an infinity box 50, having pairs of parallel walls 52, 52 and 53, 53', the pairs set at right angles to one another, and an end wall 51, perpendicular to the walls 52, 52', 53, 53' and parallel with the sheet 1. The walls 51, 52, 52', 53, 53' are internally reflective within the box 50, so that any images formed on the screens 2 will be reflected from the mirrored surfaces back and forth, giving a viewer looking through the sheet 1 an illusion of an infinite number of repeating images.

The rotating spheres 100, shown in FIG. 8, comprise an outer transparent sphere 101 having an array of condensing fresnel screens 102 formed about the surface. An inner sphere 104, having a mirrored surface, is concentrically supported within the sphere 101 by a shaft 113, connected to a drive motor 112.

When the spheres are rotated by the motor 1 12, an illusion of images moving toward and away from a viewer is created.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 9, the illusion device 20 has a triangular configuration with the legs of the triangle comprised by the mirrors 4 and 4 and the base by the transparent lens sheet I, through which theillusion is viewed.

The device 30 illustrated in FIG. 10 is another triangle arrangement in which the legs of the triangle are comprised by the lens sheet 1 and the mirror 4 and the base by a clear, transparent sheet '31. The illusion created by the device 30 can be viewed through either the clear side 31 or the lens sheet 1.

FIG. 11 shows an illusion device 60 having a rectangular configuration with the mirror 4 arranged parallel with the lens sheet 1 and spaced from it by the clear sheets 31.

In FIG. 12, the device comprises the flat mirror 4 with a pair of stacked lens sheets 1 abutting the reflective surface of the mirror 4.

To create still further illusions, the clear areas 3 which surround the screens 2 can be masked and the screens provided in colors which are the same or different from each other.

I claim:

1. A device for creating optical illusions, comprising a rectangular planar transparent sheet, a plurality of rectangular flat Fresnel screens formed in said sheet, said screens being spaced apart from each other in a rectangular matrix array,

reflecting surface adjacent to and parallel with said sheet, said surface being substantially coextensive with said sheet, and a frame surrounding said sheet and said surface for holding said sh eta ds 'dsurface'nafix r lati ns i the space between said screens defining a lattice of mutually 5 e n a! 1 ed e o h p to each other orthogonal clear strips, a rectangular planar continuous t i t

Patent Citations
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US1987357 *Jan 8, 1932Jan 8, 1935Bergen William VReflector
US2875543 *Sep 4, 1957Mar 3, 1959L E Carpenter & Company IncSurface ornamentation of flexible sheet materials and method of making tools for producing such ornamentation
US3191495 *Mar 14, 1963Jun 29, 1965Miller Wendell SProjection screen
US3340765 *Jul 27, 1964Sep 12, 1967Bell Telephone Labor IncProjection system
US3545854 *Jun 17, 1966Dec 8, 1970Gen ElectricSemiconductor mask making
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3861785 *Nov 15, 1973Jan 21, 1975Cryton Optics IncWide angle mirror assembly
US3943648 *Mar 5, 1975Mar 16, 1976Optical Sciences GroupTransparent sign display for superimposing transparent sign with printed message on background display
US3972593 *Jul 1, 1974Aug 3, 1976Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyLouvered echelon lens
US4082433 *Jan 14, 1976Apr 4, 1978Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyLouvered echelon lens
US4117615 *Feb 10, 1977Oct 3, 1978Johnstons & Associates, Inc.Viewing panel for producing multiple images of a design
US4130346 *Oct 3, 1977Dec 19, 1978Zenith Radio CorporationSuper imposed fresnel lenses for channel indicators
US4315671 *Oct 3, 1977Feb 16, 1982Bunch Jesse CLenticulated lens
US5168646 *Nov 20, 1991Dec 8, 1992Ncm International, Inc.Visual effect graphic and method of making same
US5311357 *Dec 3, 1992May 10, 1994Image Technology AssociatesDevice for the creation of three-dimensional images
US5412625 *Feb 5, 1990May 2, 1995Duchek; DonnaStructural graphic display
US5552934 *Mar 18, 1994Sep 3, 1996Spm CorporationBackground reflection-reducing plano-beam splitter for use in real image projecting system
US5886818 *Nov 2, 1994Mar 23, 1999Dimensional Media AssociatesMulti-image compositing
US5886837 *Jun 26, 1998Mar 23, 1999The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Air ForceSegmented fresnel lens frame
US6318868Oct 1, 1999Nov 20, 2001Larussa Joseph A.Interactive virtual image store window
US6857963 *Apr 20, 2004Feb 22, 2005Tenyo Co., Ltd.Conjuring tool for performing card trick
US7298533 *Mar 22, 2004Nov 20, 2007Wavefront TechnologyOptical films for creating unique optical effects
US8385640 *Jul 13, 2011Feb 26, 2013Eastman Kodak CompanySystem for controlling dynamic optical illusion images
US20040196516 *Mar 22, 2004Oct 7, 2004Petersen Joel M.Optical films for creating unique optical effects
DE2857061C2 *Oct 2, 1978Apr 11, 1985Jesse C. Silver Spring Md. Us BunchTitle not available
EP0886150A2 *Jun 22, 1998Dec 23, 1998WERKHAUS - DESIGN + PRODUKTION GmbHFly eye lens magnifying glass
U.S. Classification472/63, 40/427, 359/726, 40/435, 359/742
International ClassificationA63F9/06, G09B23/00, G09B23/22, A63H33/22
Cooperative ClassificationG09B23/22, A63F2009/0633, A63H33/22
European ClassificationA63H33/22, G09B23/22