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Publication numberUS3699697 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1972
Filing dateJan 19, 1970
Priority dateSep 21, 1965
Also published asDE1497278A1, DE1497278B2
Publication numberUS 3699697 A, US 3699697A, US-A-3699697, US3699697 A, US3699697A
InventorsClaude Arthur Painton
Original AssigneeUnited Gas Industries Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminating display for simulating a fire
US 3699697 A
Abstract
The effect of a wood or similar fire in a fireplace is simulated by the combination of an incandescent light bulb situated to illuminate discrete and separate areas of a rotatable blade or paddle assembly. The blade or paddle assembly is rotated and located behind the incandescent light source and both are enclosed within a shell having the shape, configuration and appearance of a bed of coals, a log fire or the like. The incandescent source or sources are mounted behind opaque portions of the shell and the blade or paddle assembly is rotated and is so constructed as to effect reflection of the incandescent source in such fashion that the reflected light on the interior of the shell moves upwardly and gives the appearance of flickering, thereby to simulate flames.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Painton 1 s] on. 24, 1972 [54] ILLUMINATING DISPLAY FOR SIMULATING A FIRE [72]' Inventor: Claude Arthur Painton, Solihull, En-

gland [7 3] Assignee: United Gas Industries Limited, London, England [22] Filed: Jan. 19, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 3,819

30 Foreign Application Priority'Data Great Britain....-...;..40,l98/65 Sept. 21, 1965 Jan. 31, 1966 Great Britain ..4,l36/66 [52] US. Cl. ..40/l06.53 [51] Int. Cl ..G09f 13/36 [58] Field of Search", ...40/106.52-l06.54

[56] References .Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,984,032 5/1961 Cornell ..40/106.52 3,526,984 9/1970 Nielsen et a1. ..'....40/l06.52 2,684,244 7/1954 Brooks ..40/ 106.53

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Great Britain 106.54

450,941 7/1936 Great Britain ..40/l06.53 405,528 .2/1934 Great Britain ..40/l06.54 314,649 7/1929 Great Britain ..40/l06.54

Primary Examiner- Robert w. Michell Assistant Examiner-Richard Carter Attorney-Imirie and Smiley [57] ABSTRACT The eflect of a wood or similar fire in a fireplace is simulated by the combination of an incandescent light .bulb situated to illuminate discrete and separate areasof a rotatable blade or paddle assembly. The blade or paddle assembly is rotated and located behind the incandescent light source and both are enclosed within a shell having the shape, configuration and appearance of a bed of coals, a log fire or the like. The incandescent source orsources are mounted behind opaque portions of the shell and the blade or paddle assembly is rotated and is so constructed as to effect reflection of the incandescent source in such fashion that the reflected light on the interior of the shell moves upwardly and gives the appearance of flickering, thereby to simulate flames.

3 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHBI 24 I91 3 699 597 SHEET 1 [IF 6 I nventor CLAUDE A. PAiN oN Attorneys P'ATENTEDHBI 2 912 3,699,897

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SHEET 5 0F 6 'INVEN'IOI 2 CLAUDE A. PAINTON ATTORNEYS PATENT ED I973 3.699.697

sum 6 or 6 FIG. l6.

l, nwsm'on {CLAUDE A. PAINTON M, ATTORNEYS ILLUMINATING DISPLAY FOR SIMULATING A FIRE CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is related to copending application, Ser. No. 827,113 filed May 16, 1969, a streamlined continuation of application, Ser. No. 578,586, filed Over the last few years a number of different schemes for simulating a coal, coke or log fire have appeared on the market, the simulated fires generally being formed as integral parts of electric heaters or gas heaters. Special attention has been directed in these simulated fires to obtaining a realistic flame effect, and in many cases a rotatable disc or the like is arranged to rotate in a horizontal plane above an orange or red lamp so as to produce a flickering light-pattern, the rotation of the disc being effected by convection currents caused by the heat of the lamp. The flickeringlamp pattern thus produced certainly increases the realism of the simulated fire, but it does not entirely suggest the dancing flames of a real fire.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention seeks to overcome the above noted disadvantages by housing an incandescent light source and a reflecting assembly in a shell which itself simulates a wood or log fire, for example, and wherein the reflecting assembly is rotated behind and above the light source. The reflecting assembly is rotatable about a horizontal axis and includes a series of horizontally spaced reflecting portions radiating from the axis of rotation and circumferentially spaced therearound. The reflecting surfaces present spaces between them along the length of the reflecting member and adjacent I rows or general levels of the reflecting surfaces are staggered so that during rotation of the reflecting assembly, the reflecting areas of various reflecting surfaces progressively interfere with one another so as to decrease the reflecting areas of the surfaces as such surfaces are angularly disposed to sweep the reflections upwardly on the shell thus giving a flickering effect to the simulated flames as they move upwardly from the bottom to the top of the shell.

An aim of the present invention to provide a simulated fire which imitates in a more realistic way than hitherto the dancing flames of an actual fire, and according to the invention a simulated fire comprises a shell or panel through the whole of which or through one or more portions of which light can pass, and a rotatable, motor-driven, light-reflecting element arranged to reflect light from one or more lamps on to the shell or panel so as to give the effect of flames, the light-reflecting element being of open-work construction so that light can pass through it and being provided with a number of light-reflecting surfaces at different angles to each other.

In one formof simulated fire in accordance with the invention, the light-reflecting vanes made of metal foil,

thin sheet metal or synthetic plastic material coated with a light-reflecting material, the vanes being disposed radially around a central spindle or shaft. Each vane or series of elements forming a vane is of zigzag shape along its length so that at least its outer edge or, in some instances, both its longitudinal edges are of saw-tooth formation. When the inner longitudinal edges of the vanes are of saw-tooth form, they are spaced away from the spindle or shaft, thus leaving a central open space in the element through which light can pass. In a preferred embodiment, each vane assembly is formed by a series of separate paddles, each of generally triangular form so that open spaces are provided near the shaft between each adjacent pair of paddles. The shaft extends horizontally and is connected to a small electric motor which rotates the element in such a sense that light falling on the element from one or more orange or red lamps positioned close to it is reflected in an upwardly moving pattern on to a shell in the form of a simulated fuel-bed which covers the element and which has translucent, transparent or cut-away portions to allow for the passage of light through it. Some of the light will of course be directly received from the lamp or lamps, but the fuel-bed will also receive flame-shaped upwardly moving reflections from the vanes resulting from their zig-zag construction and the open-work construction of the element as a whole. Rotation of the assembly varies the light reflecting area of vanes or paddles due to their continually varying angularities with respect to the light source and to their mutual interferences. In this way the dancing or flickering flames of real fire are simulated in a most realistic manner.

Running tests which have been made on simulated fires constructed in accordance with the invention have emphasized the importance of using a rotatable lightreflecting element which is of open-work construction so that light can pass through it. Thus, it has been found that the dancing flames of a real fire are simulated much more realistically if the light is-reflected off the surfaces of the vanes of the light-reflecting element not only when they are close to the source of light but also when they are on the opposite side of the rotational axis of the light-reflecting element from the light. The openwork construction of the element has the additional advantage that at least some of the light from the source of light is able to pass through the element so as to fall on a stationary background or reflector which will normally be placed behind the rotatable element.

Preferably the individual teeth in each of the vanes which form the light-reflecting surfaces of the rotatable element are of curved or shallow V section so that they reflect light falling on them from different directions. Where the teeth are of shallow V-section, it has been ascertained that, for best results the angle of the V: should be about or greater, as a blurred effect can be obtained if the angle is much less than this. Arising out of this, it will be seen that other possibilities exist for concentrating the light reflected from the rotatable element. For example, the individual teeth on the vanes can each be provided with one or more cheap lenses made of synthetic plastic or glass in the manner of catseyes which reflect and concentrate the light in a manner calculated to enhance the dancing flame effect of the fires. It is also possible to give the vanes a mirror surface by making them for example out of thin brass or copper sheet and coating them with a highly reflective chromium surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a typical heating appliance to which the invention is applicable;

FIG. 2 is-a front view of the light-reflecting element of a simulated fire in accordance with the invention with certain parts omitted for the sake of clarity;

FIG. 3 is an end view of the light-reflecting element shown in FIG. 2;

. FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of a detail of the light-reflecting element;

FIG. 5 is a simplified plan view of part of the lightreflecting element shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a portion of FIG. 2 on an enlarged scale;

FIG. 7 is an end view similar to FIG. 3 of a lightreflecting element mounted behind a shell which is shaped and colored so as to resemble a log-fire;

FIG. 8 is a front view of the simulated log-fire shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an end view similar to FIGS. 3 and 7 of a light-reflecting element mounted behind a shell or panel of simple curved shape;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an alternative form of light-reflecting element during the constructional stage;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged perspective view of part of the light-reflecting element shown in FIG. 10 in its finished condition;

FIG. 12 is a front view of a variable speed drive which can be applied to the rotatable light-reflecting element;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a modified stationary reflector;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a preferred simulated fire assembly according to this invention;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14 but showing the shell removed;

FIG. 16 is an enlarged vertical section taken along the plane of section line l6-16 in FIG. 15 and illustrating the disposition and relationship between the light source, the reflecting assembly and the shell;

FIG. 17 is an exploded perspective view showing a portion of the reflecting assembly of FIG. 15; and

FIG. 18 is a sectional view taken through the reflecting assembly of FIG. 15.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONOF THE INVENTION The heating appliance shown in FIG. 1 is typical of the commercially available appliances which have means simulating a solid-fuel fire. In this particular instance the fuel bed 10 comprises a shell of synthetic plastic material which is shaped and colored so as to resemble a coal fire, but it could just as well be made to simulate a log-fire or a coke-fire. The heating appliance shown has electric heating elements 12 arranged above the simulated fuel-bed, but it is equally possible for the invention to be applied to a gas-fire.

Concealed beneath the shell 10, as shown in FIG. 3, is a lighting assembly 14 which throws light on to the undersurface of the shell and on to the back surface 16 behind the shell. To allow this light to pass at least partially through the shell, the latter is provided with translucent, transparent or cut-away portions in its surface. The lighting assembly 14 includes one or more orange or red electric lamps 18 (see FIG. 2) which throw light directly on to the under-surface of the shell 10, thus lighting up the translucent, transparent or cut-away portions between the coals of the shell with a red or orange glow. This gives the effect of a glowing fire but does not of itself produce a moving flame effect. It is in fact very difficult to produce a realistic flame effect with the lighting assemblies hitherto used in heating appliances of the kind shown in FIG. 1, but the lighting assembly 14 is so constructed as to produce an upwardly moving light-pattem which simulates the dancing flames of a real coal fire in a most realistic manner. This is achieved by providing a rotatable light-reflecting element 20 of open-work construction so that light from the lamps or bulbs 18 can pass through it as well as being reflected from it, the element 20 being formed of a number of light-reflecting vanes 22 which are disposed radially around a spindle or shaft 24 forming the axis of rotation of the element. The vanes are made of metal foil, thin metal sheet (for example, aluminum or copper foil) or synthetic plastic material with a lightreflecting surface, and are of zig-zag shape along their lengths so that the longitudinal edges of each vane are of saw-tooth construction. As shown in FIG. 2, the inner longitudinal edges of the vanes are all spaced away from the spindle or shaft 24, thus leaving a central open space 26 in the element 20 through which light from the bulbs 18 can pass.

The element 20 is supported by two brackets 28 and 30 so that the shaft 24 lies horizontally, the shaft being driven at a speed of between 10 and 50 r. p. m. by a small electric motor 32 which is coupled to the shaft 24 by a rubber sleeve 34 so as to take up manufacturing tolerances. The shaft rotates in an anticlockwise direction as seen in FIG. 3 so that the light reflected by the moving vanes 22 travels upwards in a moving pattern over the under-surface of the shell 10. Because of the zig-zag construction of the vanes and because of the open-work construction of the element 20, the moving light-pattem thus produced closely resembles the flames of burning coal. The resemblance to real flames is enhanced by giving the vanes a slight helical twist as shown in FIG. 5 and by staggering the teeth of adjacent vanes in the manner shown in FIG. 6. It is also advantageous to mount a vertically corrugated stationary reflector 36 behind the element 20 (see FIG. 3). The reflector 36 in this instance is generally flat (except for the corrugations) and an even better result can be obtained by using a curved reflector 38 as shown in FIG. 13.

The manner in which the vanes 22 are arranged around the shaft 24 is illustrated in FIG. 4. From this it will be seen that a disc 40 is provided at each end of the shaft and that the ends of the vanes are formed with turned-over tongues 42 which pass through slits in the discs. The particular light-reflecting element shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 has six such vanes, but a smaller or greater number of vanes can be used instead. It is however preferable for there to be an even number of vanes in order that they may be staggered in the manner shown in FIG. 6.

As will be seen from FIG. 5, the individual teeth in each of the vanes 22 are of shallow V section so that they reflect light falling on them from both lamps 18. The angle of the V section is about or greater, as a blurred effect can be obtained if the angle is much less than this.

The effectiveness of the simulated fire shown in FIGS. 1 6 is enhanced by so shaping the shell and so positioning it relatively to the rotatable element that there are one or more window portions 44 of the shell which lie about one inch or less from the circular path of the outer edges of the vanes 22, the portion or portions 44 being translucent so as to transmit an appreciable proportion of light from behind the shell. It has been found that these translucent portion or portions of the shell should preferably be made of a transparent synthetic plastic material such as polyester resin which has a roughened, brokenup, scratched or scoured surface which thus renders it translucent. Further details of these window portions are given below in the description of FIGS. 7 and 8.v

The two simulated fires shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 and FIG. 9 both have a rotatable light-reflecting element 20 of the same construction as that shown in FIGS. 2 6. However, the shells 10 of the fires are somewhat different from what is shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, and these will now be described in detail.

The shell 10 shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 is shaped and colored so as to resemblev logs, the material out of which the shell is made being a clear synthetic plastic such as .clear polyester resin. Translucent windows 46 and 48 are provided between the logs logs 50 of the shell. These windows are rendered translucent by reason of their roughened surface and lie about 1 inch or less from the circular path of the outer edges of the vanes 22 on the light-reflecting element 20. The result is that, while the outline of the light-reflecting element 20 cannot be clearly seen through the translucent windows 46 and 48, the windows receive and transmit sufficient light from the bulbs 18 and from the rotatable element 20 to make the whole shell glow very brightly with stationary and upwardly moving rays of light. It should of course be understood that, although the fire shown in FIGS. 7 and 8 has two such windows, any

other reasonable number of windows can be provided.

FIG. '9 illustrates a simulated fire with an even more simple form of shell 10. Here the shell takes the form of a part-cylindrical panel of clear synthetic plastic such as polyester resin which has a roughened, brokenup. scratched or scoured surface so as to make it translucent. The curvature of the shell is such that it is roughly concentric to the rotatable light-reflecting element 20, the inner surface of the shell being spaced away from the circular path of the outer edges of the vanes on the element 20 by a distance of between one and three inches. As in the constructions shown in FIGS. 1 8, the outline of the light-reflecting element 20 cannot be clearly seen through the translucent shell. On the other hand, the shell receives and transmits sufficient light from the bulbs 18 and from the element 20 to make the whole shell glow very brightly with stationary and upwardly moving rays of light.

A number of modifications can be made to the simulated fires shown in FIGS. 1 9. Thus, although the flame effect is enhanced by the use of vanes 22 formed of corrugated foil or sheet metal so that each of the teeth is of shallow V or curved section, it may be satisfactory to use flat vanes in some instances. A further modification is for the vanes to be joined together as a result of being cut from a single sheet, an example of this form of construction being shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. Here a thin metal sheet 52 is first folded into a-concertina shape as shown in FIG. 10, and then has parts cut away or punched out over the areas A and B while it is still folded. The sheet is then expanded so as to have a star-shaped cross-section as shown in FIG. 11.

The electric motor 32 which drives the rotatable light-reflecting element 20 will generally be of fixedspeed type. Should it be desirable however in any specific instance for the speed of rotation of the element 20 to be variable, a simple variable-speed drive of the construction shown in FIG. 12 can be used. This consists of a friction sleeve 54 which is movable along the shaft 24 of the element and a friction cone 56 driven by a motor 58. By moving the sleeve 54 along the shaft 24, a wide range of different driving speeds is attainable.

With reference now more particularly to a preferred embodiment shown in FIGS. 1418, the reference character 10 indicates in general a housing or shell having an appearance such as is indicated in FIG. 14 and which may be provided with portions of varying degrees of opacity and translucency. For example, the portions 12' and 14' may be relatively opaque whereas the portions generally indicated by the reference character 16' may be so colored and varied as to translucency as to simulate red glowing portions of the fire whereas discrete portions, as for example indicated by the lines 18', may be provided to indicate and be configured as to simulate logs arranged in the fire.

The shell 10' forms a canopy or closure housing one or more light bulbs indicated by the reference character 20' in FIG. 16 and the reflecting assembly is designated by the reference character 22. As shown in FIG. 15, two such light sources may be provided, each mounted on a suitable socket 24' secured to the upstanding portions 26' of a bracket fixed to the base plate 28, the light sources being horizontally disposed as illustrated and each having its filament portion 30 disposed in front of the reflecting assembly 22' and to overlie the reflecting, masking and reflecting blade 32. This blade may be struck upwardly from the base plate 28' as is indicated more clearly in FIG. 16. The angular disposition of the reflecting blade 32' tends to concentrate a steady glow or reflected light in the lower or base portion of the shell 10' as is indicated in general by the area 34' in FIG. 16.

The reflecting assembly 22' is carried by a pair of stands 26' and 38' and it includes a horizontally disposed shaft 40' rotatably received in such stands and rotated above and behind the light sources 20'. The shaft, as may be seen in FIG. 18, receives a series of sleeves 42, each of which is provided with a series of pegs arranged in sets of three as indicated in FIG. 17 and as illustrated by reference characters 44', 46' and 48 The center peg of each set is provided with a laterally projecting pin 50 and associated with each set of pegs is a blade member 52 in FIG. 17. Each blade may be circumferentially constructed as a thin sheet of highly reflective material such as aluminum and each includes a base portion 54' provided centrally with an aperture 56' and with end wings 58' and 60' and, in addition, an upwardly tapering tip portion 62'. These blades maybe initially flat and each is bent so that the wings 58 and 60 thereof lie on one side of the end pegs 44 and 48' while the center peg 46 lies on the other side of the blade with the aperture 56' receiving the pin 50'. In each case the widths of the base portions 54 are greater than the lengths of the sleeves 52 so that each blade extends beyond its .sleeve as is illustrated in FIG. 18. Thus, each sleeve and its associated blades may be accommodated on the shaft with the wings 58 and 60' of adjacent blades being overlapped. The opposite ends of each sleeve are notched in planes which cross each other but are not perpendicular, i.e. the notches are circumferentially staggered so that each line or row of blades 52' will have a slight twist or helix. In this way, rotation of the shaft from the drive shaft (not shown) and through the flexible coupling sleeve 42" to the shaft 40 will cause rotation of the entire series of blades even though the sleeves 32 are loosely engaged on the shaft 40'.

The shaft with its sleeves and blades is rotated by any suitable electric motor and gear reduction assembly as indicated by the reference character 62' in FIG. so as to rotate in the direction of the arrow 64. Thus, as may be seen in FIG. 16, considering the blade 66 as shown therein, same will, in the position shown, reflect light from the source onto the interior of the shell 10' which will tend to progress upwardly with respect to the shell due to the rotation of the reflecting assembly. However, as the blade 66 rotates toward a position in which it.points toward the light source 20,

its area of reflection will diminish until it disappears at that point. Continued rotation of the assembly will now cause the rear side of the blade 66 ultimately to pick up and reflect the light which once again sweeps from the bottom to the top of the shell first increasing in total reflected area due to the changing angular disposition of the blade and then decreasing in reflected area until the reflection appearing on the interior of the shell 10' fades into nothing. The gaps between blades in any one row and the fact that each row is arranged on a helix enhances this effect inasmuch as they are rotated as an assembly, the reflecting areas of the rows encroach upon and intercept the light from each other, thus enhancing the dancing and natural flickering effects of the flames so simulated.

A back reflector indicated by the reference character 70 may be provided in the form of a plate having an upstanding portion 72' and an angled roof portion74', the back reflector being secured in position by suitable brackets 76 fixed to the stands 36' and 38' as illustrated. The rear side of the shell 10 may be open as indicated by the reference character 78' in FIG. 16 so as to allow effective heat dissipation and the entire assembly may be provided with a base 80' upon which the plate 28' is removably mounted and to which the opposite ends of the shell 10 are secured as by the fasteners 82.

Several aspects of the construction are responsible for the natural flame simulating effect and distinguish the present invention from devices which tend to create an obviously artificial flame simulating effect. First of all, each vane assembly in all forms of the invention is "disposed at an included angle of less than 90 with respect to the vane assembly on either side thereof so that there are simultaneous reflections onto the translucent portions of the shell from any one vane assembly and from at least one other vane assembly, the latter being permitted by virtue of the fact that the stated any one vane assembly presents gaps through which transmitted light may reach an adjacent vane assembly. The next important configuration is the fact that the translucent portions of the shell are at different inclinations relative to each other so that as the reflecting device rotates, the speeds of movement of the reflected light across these different translucent portions have different rates. For example, in FIG. 16, the nearly vertical translucent portion T obviously will be swept very rapidly by the light whereas the nearly horizontal translucent portion T will be swept much more slowly, and so on for various portions throughout the entire body of the shell through which the reflected light may pass.

Additionally, the curvatures or veeing of the vane assemblies, whether they be in the form of separate blades or integral sheets, enhance the randomness of the reflected flame areas. Further, the generally triangular configurations of the reflecting portions of the vane assemblies taken in conjunction with their continually varying angular disposition with respect to the light source causes the reflected light areas to change in size and shape, diminishing as the blade or vane in question nears a position in which it points directly at the light source and then the opposite effect is obtained during subsequent movement of the vane assembly or blade when it moves to the position where it further reflects to a position where it is completely masked by the other vane assemblies and as it approaches a position directly away from the light source.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 14-18, it will be appreciated that although each sleeve 42' carries only three blades, there are six vane assemblies provided by the arrangement shown. This can be seen in FIG. 16 wherein the near blades a, b and c are overlapped by the next successive series of blades d, e and f while the next successive blades effect continuations of the vane assemblies onto blades a, b and c respectively and are designated by reference characters a, b and c. thus, there are six vane assemblies in total and, as can be seen in FIG. 18, successive blades a and a form part of one helical vane assembly are mounted on sleeves separated by an intervening sleeve whereas the intervening sleeve mounts the blades d, e and f.

Further improvements can be made to the simulated fire of the present invention by giving due attention to the character of the source of light and the speed of the motor which drives the rotatable element. Dealing first with the light source, it is evident that the orange or red electric lamps which will normally be used in the fire can be supplemented or replaced by one or more lamps of a different color to give a particular flame effect. For example, a blue bulb can be used in conjunction with one or more orange bulbs to give a blue-flame effect which is a characteristic of many coke fires. Alternatively, one or more of the electric light bulbs can be provided with two or more colors on its surface, say, orange, blue and white. Yet another possibility is to use a white bulb which shines onto certain portions of the vanes which are painted or anodized blue.

As for the speed of the motor, it will normally drive a rotatable element having six vanes at a speed in the region of 20 r.p.m. However, it could be as low as 10 relatively to the rotatable element that there are one or more portions of the shell which lie close (i.e. about one inch or less) to the circular path of the outer edges of the vanes, the said portion or portions of the shell being translucent so as to transmit an appreciable proportion of light from behind the shell. It has been found that the above-mentioned translucent portion or portions of the shell should preferably be made of transparent material which has a roughened, brokenup, scratched or scoured surface which thus renders it translucent.

What is claimed is;

l. A simulated fire assembly comprising, in combination, a stationery shell having substantially opaque portions simulating combustible fuel and having other portions which are translucent for the transmission of light therethrough,

a light source disposed beneath said stationery shell behind one of said opaque portions to illuminate said shell steadily from below to simulate a glowing fire,

an elongate, generally horizontally disposed light reflecting device disposed behind said light source beneath said shell,

means for rotating said light reflecting device about a centrally disposed generally horizontal axis thereof,

said light reflecting device comprising a series of longitudinally extending vane assemblies projecting outwardly of said axis and disposed in circumferentially spaced relation to each other, each vane assembly presenting a series of discrete, geometrically symmetrical and series-wise geometrically similar longitudinally spaced triangular reflecting portions, the said series of triangular portions defining a series of V-shaped gaps between members thereof, the reflecting surfaces of said portions being smooth and specularly reflecting, the triangular reflecting portions of successive vane assemblies being staggered with respect to each other and the included angle between successive vane assemblies being less than-, whereby light may be reflected simultaneously onto the interior of the shell by anyone vane assembly and by the preceding vane assembly by the passage of light through the gaps between the reflecting portions of said any one vane assembly,

said other portions of the shell through which light may be transmitted being at varying angular orientations with respect to said light source, whereby movement of reflected light thereacross due to rotation of said reflecting device is different for different one of said other portions, and

said reflecting device including a shaft defining said axis, at least one sleeve on said shaft and having at least one line of radially projecting pins thereon, a generally triangular blade held by said line of pins having a base approximately twice as long as said sleeve and overlapping in both directions the sides of said sleeve.

2. A simulated fire assembly as defined in claim 1 comprising a plurality of said sleeves with a line of pins on each sleeve, the lines of pins of every other sleeve being in substantial alignment so that the respective blades held thereby form a vane assembly.

3. A simulated fire assembly as defined in claim 2 wherein there are three lines of pins on each sleeve whereby every other of the sleeves support blades defining three vane assemblies while the remaining sleeves support blades defining three further vane assemblies.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification40/428
International ClassificationF21S10/04, F24C7/00
Cooperative ClassificationF21S10/04, F21W2131/406, F24C7/004
European ClassificationF21S10/04, F24C7/00A2