US 3684882 A
A decorative unit having a transparent or translucent solid form mounted on a base. Encased in the solid form is a light source which projects light beams through the form. The base is hollow and is constructed into two compartments in which one has the wire connections therein and the other houses the power supply.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Mininno et a1.
 TRANSPARENT OR TRANSLUCENT DECORATIVE UNIT HAVING AN ENCASED LIGHT SOURCE AND A SELF CONTAINED POWER ARRANGEMENT Inventors: Anthony Mininno, 185 W. Houston St., New York, N.Y.; John Slattery; Mildred Shulman, both of 165 Christopher St., New York, NY. 10014 Filed: Aug. 21, 1970 Appl. No.: 65,877
US. Cl. ..240/10, 40/130 K, 240/10-B Int. Cl ..F21p 1/02 Field of Search ..240/6.4, 8.16, 8.1, 10, 10 B, 240/10 C, 10 F, 10 P, 10 S, 10 T, 100, 11.2; 116/124.4;313/110,112,114,116, 220,
[151 3,684,882 [451 Aug. 15, 1972  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,170,600 8/1939 V011 ..240/8.l 2,905,863 9/1959 Martin et a1. ..240/6.4 X 3,283,136 11/1966 Dinkler et a1 ,.240/l0 3,310,670 3/ 1967 Sheppard ..240/] 1.2 3,344,545 10/1967 Strianese ..40/130 K 3,413,458 11/1968 Barefoot ..240/10 3,435,286 3/ 1969 Kayatt ..240/10 C 3,488,485 1/1970 McGann ..240/1 Primary Examiner-Louis J. Capozi Attorney-Alfred E. Miller  ABSTRACT A decorative unit having a transparent or translucent solid form mounted on a base. Encased in the solid form is a light source which projects light beams through the form. The base is hollow and is constructed into two compartments in which one has the wire connections therein and the other houses the power supply.
4 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUB 15 I972 sum 2 OF 3 FIG. 4
ANTHONY MININNO JOHN SLATTERY MILDRE D SHULHAN WW W ATTORNEYS rArEmanwcl wrz 3.684.882 SHEET 3 OF 3 INVENTORS ANTHONY MININNO JOHN SLATTERY MILDRED SHULMAN ATTORNEYS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Decorative units employing the use of light are known for both outdoor and indoor use, for example, the use of external lighting, such as spot lights or floodlights projected on transparent of translucent panels or blocks are known. Moreover, this unit requires the use of conventional power outlets, such as 110 volt AC, and therefore, requires a line cord connection. The latter, of course, is unsightly and therefore is undesirable. In addition, internal light rays in a transparent or a translucent material have a more pleasing decorative effect than is the case with an external light projection system. I
It is an object of the present invention to provide a transparent or translucent decorative unit having an internal encased light source as well as a self-contained power arrangement. Thus, the entire unit is portable and may be carried or taken from place to place and is especially desirable as a table decoration.
It is also an object of the present invention to enlarge the proportions of the decorative unit to any suitable scale to form an outdoor sculpture in which the internal components thereof are waterproof.
It should be apparent that the present low voltage, battery-operated unit is safe to operate in all environments since there is no high voltage power supply. In addition, inasmuch as the bulb is enclosed in a solid transparent or translucent structure, the bulb itself becomes unbreakable. Moreover, the bulb may be so encased in a transparent or translucent material to render the same moistureproof.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a translucent or transparent decorative unit constituting specially designed shapes such as solid blocks, spheres, tubes and the like. The light source may be a permanently encased neon bulb, and the particular blocks, spheres or specially designed shapes may be made of polyester resin, lucite glass, polyethylene or plexiglass. In some instances, it is desirable to lightly color the particular forms in order that the internal light source gives off different shades of light.
It is another object of the present invention to encase the neon bulb or bulbs within the particular form selected, but permitting the wire or pigtails to project therefrom. In the alternative, the bulbs may be encased within the particular form having a metal base, or screw-in base or metal plug-in base. The wiring or metal type base is then attached in parallel wiring arrangement in a support taking the form of a generally rectangular or oblong-shaped base, or a free standing panel.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a unit which is attractive in appearance and is easily portable, attachable, hangable and when miniaturized and sealed in a watertight container, is floatable.
The invention will now be more fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a view partly in side elevation and partly in section of the construction embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view thereof, partly in cross-section and partly in elevation;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view, having part of the construction removed for purposes of clarity;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one of the forms of the present invention; and
FIGS. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are perspective views of alternate designs employing the principles of the present invention.
Referring to the drawings, and especially to FIGS. 5 9 thereof, there are shown several embodiments of the 0 present invention, in which a base 10 mounts the solid shape or form of transparent or translucent material 12. The base 10 may be wood or metal, plastic, fiberglass orthe like; however, configuration 12 may take the form of clear or translucent colored polyester resin, lucite, polyethylene, glass, plexiglass, or any other synthetic compound or resin that lends itself to permanent shape or form, and in which, neon bulbs 14 or the like, may be embedded.
FIG. 4 shows a series of blocks 16 of graduated sizes, each holding a taper 18. Each of the blocks 16 has a permanently encased neon bulb therein when the bulb is lit and as the candle burns, a desirable effect is created.
FIG. 5 illustrates a tubular configuration 12 having a series of neon bulbs 14 therein, while FIG. 6 shows a single rectangular block with a neon bulb 14 therein.
FIG. 7 shows a combination of a single block 12 and two generally round transparent or translucent struc tures 12 all mounted on base 10.
FIG. 8 illustrates a simulated article of fruit 12 illuminated by an internally encased neon bulb 14, while FIG. 9 illustrates a series of mushroom-like configurations 12 mounted on base 10 and illuminated by bulb 14.
Thus, it should be apparent that a multitude of configurations can be made within the spirit and scope of the present invention, the only requirement being that the configuration be of permanent shape or form and constituted of translucent or transparent material.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 3, it should be noted that the present invention discloses a hollow supporting base 10 being partitioned at 20 in order to form a compartment 22 for a battery source 24 and a separate compartment 26 to house the parallel wiring arrange ment of the present invention. The partition 20 is preferably permanently fixed in place, while the cover 38 at the bottom of the base 10 is slidable in order to expose the battery compartment 22. Thus, ready access can be obtained to the battery compartment, but not to the chamber 26 housing the parallel wiring.
The parallel wiring system 30 may be in the form of a hand-wired circuit or a printed circuit and constitutes parallel connecting wires 32 and 34 in series with the lamps 14, each having a resistor 36, secured between parallel wire 34 and the adjacent neon bulb 14. It should be noted that the neon bulbs 14 each are encased in their respective shapes or forms with the ends or wire leads 38 and 40 projecting therefrom, so that the latter may be easily connected. to the parallel wiring system 30 by means of soldering or the like. Spaced holes are drilled in the top of support base 10 at 42 and 44 in order to permit the wire leads to be inserted therethrough and connect to the parallel wiring system 30 as shown in FIG. 2. The parallel wiring system 30 also includes a conventional on-off switch 46 in the base member 10. The battery 24 is provided with a connector element 48 which in turn is directly connected to the parallel wiring system. Accordingly, when the on-off switch is operative in the ON position, the parallel wiring system delivers current to the multiplicity of neon bulbs 14. In this manner, the particular shape or form is internally lit and the rays of light projecting through the forms create a pleasing aesthetic effect. The entire unit is compact and portable and therefore lends itself to use as a table decoration such as a centerpiece. Moreover, units of this type may be altered in particular design configuration to be used, for example, in connection with a wedding cake decoration, or any other type of decoration in which the use of internally projected light within a translucent or transparent solid form is desirable.
What is claimed is 1. A decorative unit comprising a supporting hollow base member, a plurality of spaced transparent or translucent solid forms mounted on said base member each having at least one light source encased therein with the electrical leads extending freely therefrom,
said hollow base member being provided with a top surface having spaced holes therein, said base member including a fixed partition dividing said base member into two chambers, a removable closure for said base member, a power source in one of said chambers, and electrical connections in the other of said chambers for operatively connecting said light source to said power source, said electrical leads passing through said spaced holes in the top surface of said base member and being connected to said electrical connections.
2. A decorative unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein a plurality of light sources are provided, and said electrical connections constitute a parallel wiring system for said plurality of light sources.
3. A decorative unit as claimed in claim 2, wherein said unit is constituted of a plurality of rectangular blocks of different dimensions, and a single light source in each of said blocks.
4. A decorative unit as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least part of said solid form is curvilinear.