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Publication numberUS3704366 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 28, 1972
Filing dateSep 3, 1971
Priority dateSep 3, 1971
Publication numberUS 3704366 A, US 3704366A, US-A-3704366, US3704366 A, US3704366A
InventorsLawrence J Korb, Joseph Soja
Original AssigneeJoseph Soja, Lawrence J Korb
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Outdoor lighted artificial christmas tree
US 3704366 A
Abstract
An outdoor, lighted, artificial Christmas tree decoration comprising a skeleton structure of tubular members having a vertical main support trunk and a plurality of horizontal tubular branch members radially extending outwardly from the main trunk, the trunk and the tubular branch members being detachably secured to an annular hub having included therein securing means for removably securing a plurality of downwardly depending support legs from the hub, whereby the artificial tree can be rigidly attached to a base by means of the support legs. Disposed at the upper end of the main trunk is an electrical junction box in which a plurality of downwardly-extending electrical wires are operably connected to an inlet line, the wires being removably attached at respective ends of the branch members which include clamping means fixed thereon, whereby the free ends of each wire extend horizontally to the adjacent branch member and are secured thereto. The electrical wires are provided with evenly spaced light sockets and lights which are lit when the inlet line is operably connected to a commonly used electric power source.
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United States Patent Korb et al.

[ OUTDOOR LIGHTED ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE [72] lnventors: Lawrence J. Korb, 251 Violet Lane, Orange, Calif. 92669; Joseph Soja, 8229 Ersking Green, Buena Park, Calif. 90620 [22] Filed: Sept. 3, 1971 [21] Appl. No; 177,791

Related U.S. Application Data [63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 67,980, Aug.

' 28, 1970, abandoned.

[52] U.S. Cl. ..240/10 T, 240/52, 240/81 C [5 l] Int. Cl ..F2lp 1/02, A47g 33/06 [58] Field of Search ..240/10 R, 10 T, 10.1, 52 R,

240/73 R, 73 BA, 81 R, 8l C, 8l BS, 81 BA,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,617,732 11/1971 Fisher ..240/1OT 3,603,780 9/1971 Lu ..240/10TX 3,118,618 11/1964 HOlbI'OOk ..240/10T 3,096,943 7/1963 Forrer ..240/10 T 3,036,206 5/1962 Halbrook ..240/10 T 2,708,324 5/1955 Wedden ..240 10 T x Nov. 28, 1972 Primary Examiner-Joseph F. Peters, Jr. AttorneyFrancis X. Lo J acono [57] ABSTRACT An outdoor, lighted, artificial Christmas tree decoration' comprising a skeleton structure of tubular members having a vertical main support trunk and a plurality of horizontal tubular branch members radially extending outwardly from the main trunk, the trunk and the tubular branch members being detachably secured to an annular hub having included therein securing means for removably securing a plurality of downwardly depending support legs from the hub, whereby the artificial tree can be rigidly attached to a base by means of the support legs. Disposed at the upper end of the main trunk is an electrical junction box in which a plurality of downwardly-extending electrical wires are operably connected to an inlet line, the wires being removably attached at respective ends of the branch members which include clamping means fixed thereon, whereby the free ends of each wire extend horizontally to the adjacent branch member and are secured thereto. The electrical wires are provided with evenly spaced light sockets and lights which are lit when the inlet line is operably connected to a commonly used electric power source.

12 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEU I973 3. 704,366

SHEET 1 BF 2 Lawrence A arA 4' Josepfi 5gb INVENTORS.

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of the following now abandoned application:

lnventors: Lawrence J. Korb and Joseph Soja Title: OUTDOOR LIGHTED ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE Serial No.: 67,980

Filed: Aug. 28, 1970 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to lighted Christmas decorations and relates more particularly to an outdoor, lighted, artificial Christmas decoration for use as an exterior Christmas display.

2. Description of the Prior Art There are various kinds of lighted Christmas decorations being used. However, these decorations do not solve many problems associated with those that are placed outside of a house and exposed to various structural and weather conditions. The average outdoor Christmas decoration is not capable of being supplied with electrical current and those that are consist, generally, of the home-made, do-it-yourself type that cannot be used a second time, or cannot withstand adverse weather conditions which include sun, rain, snow and, particularly, high winds without danger of structural or electrical failure. Other problems are also inherent with a large decoration because simple erection of the structure becomes a long, tedious and dangerous job involving many and various hardwares and tools which the average individual does not possess nor has the ability to use. In addition, many of the large complicated structures are designed to be erected on the roofs of houses or other buildings,- requiring the use of ladders or other elevating devices. Also, these elevating devices provide hazardous conditions which should be eliminated where possible.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention comprises an ornamental Christmas tree, said tree being designed for erection outside buildings rather than indoors. The tree includes a vertical main tubular trunk or mast made from one or more interconnecting tubular sections which are removably attached at their ends. There is also demountably secured to the lower end of the trunk an annular hub member having a plurality of radial bores within the hub member to receive corresponding tubular branch members, said branch members being removably secured therein. However, the upper, free end of the mast or trunk member is provided with an electrical junction box in which a plurality of electrical wires are affixed therein to an inlet wire having a typical male plug adapted to be received in a typical 1 volt outlet. Each wire connected therein extends downwardly and outwardly to a corresponding radially extending tubular branch and is clamped thereto by a clamping means. The wire is then horizontally extended, whereby the free end thereof is secured in the adjacent clamping meansof the adjacent branch member, forming a somewhat rectilinear, triangular configuration of a Christmas tree.

In addition, the hub member is also provided with a plurality of inclined bores for fixedly receiving leg support members therein, which when mounted therein 'project downwardly and outwardly to a point of termination that provides complete stability for the entire structure supported thereon. Each leg is provided at its terminating end with means for securing the structure to a base member or to the surface of the ground.

Disposed along the length of each strand of electrical wire are a multiplicity of equally spaced light sockets with lights secured therein, the sockets and lights being of any conventional type that is designed to be operated outdoors.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an artificial, lighted Christmas tree that is readily displayed outdoors and that can be erected at an elevated position or on ground level.

It is another object of the invention to provide artificial, lighted Christmas tree that comprises a rigid, lightweight. structure capable of withstanding high winds, sun, rain, sleet, ice and snow, as well as sub-zero and elevated temperatures, without danger of structural or electrical failure.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus of this character wherein the structure is simple to erect without the need for hand tools, in a relatively stable, non-tipping structure.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus of this character which permits the stringing and attaching of lights from the ground, thereby avoiding the need for a ladder or some other elevating device and the danger resulting therefrom.

Another object of this invention is to insure that all lights are visible from all angles, unlike artificial or natural trees wherein the trees shield the lights on the backside from view.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an outdoor, ornamental, lighted Christmas tree decoration that is lightweight in structure and suitable for easy handling with maximum simplicity of manufacturing and assembling.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an artificial tree having various sizes up to feet, said tree to be erected based on truss-type design features.

Other characteristics, advantages and objects of this invention can be more readily appreciated from the following description and appended claims. When taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, this description forms a part of the specification wherein like references and characters designate corresponding parts in several views.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring more particularly to the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention attached to a base support;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, partial, sectional view taken on line 2-2 ofFIG. l:

yet results FIG. 3 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

. FIG. 4 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view of the electrical junction box disposed at the upper end of the tree;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged, cross-sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 66 of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on line 7--7 of FIG. 1 and illustrating means for inter-connecting sections of the main trunk of the tree.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated an or namental, lighted, artificial device or apparatus formed to represent a Christmas tree, indicated generally at 10. The artificial Christmas tree comprises a mainsupport trunk, generally indicated at 12, having one or more sections of a tubular structure of suitable material such as lock-seam or welded carbon steel tubing (corrosion protected as desired, such as with paint or tin plate) or aluminum tubing. Preferably, the trunk consists of three sections, 14, 16 and 18, as shown in FIG. 1. The

lower end of said tubular section 14 is mounted to the upper end of said section 16 and the lower end of said section 16 is mounted to the upper end of section 18. This mounting of each section is accomplished by inserting a wood dowel pin 20 in each opened end of each respective tubular member, such as seen in FIG. 7. The dowel pins 20 are provided with the same diameter as the inner diameter of the tubular members and are removably secured therein by various means. However, for simplicity of construction cotter pins 22, or the like, are used and are disposed within bores 24 of dowels 20, said bores being aligned with holes 26 which are oppositely disposed and positioned on each end of each sectional piece, l4, l6 and 18, respectively. It should be understood, however, that other means for connecting the sections together, such as swagging, crimping or tapering of the ends to fitsnugly together, may be used.

When the plurality of sections are fitted together the lowermost section 18 of the support trunk is demountably attached to a support body, indicated generally at 28 in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. Said support body 28 comprises a hub 30 having a central, vertical plug 32 formed as an integral part thereof for reception within the lower end of tube 18 and therein attached by cotter pin 34 which is disposed in openings 26 and the aligned bore 36 of plug 32.

There are, also, a plurality of radial, horizontal bores 38 extending inwardly from the annular wall 39 of the hub 30, said bores being shown as six equally spaced bores (See FIG. 2.) adapted to receive corresponding tubular branch members, indicated at 40. Each branch member 40 is removably mounted to the hub 30 by inserting the end of said branch having a wooden dowel pin 42 disposed therein. When a branch 40 is received in each radial bore 38 it is secured in place by means of a cotter pin 44 which is inserted through aligned holes 45'and 46 of the hub and branch member, respectively, and through bore 48 of said dowel pin. The tubular branches are made in a similar fashion and of similar materials of the tubes of said trunk.

After the main trunk and branches are fixed in place, support legs 50 are secured to the lower side of hub 30, each leg being secured in such a manner as to radiate downwardly and outwardly, providing a stable support over a predetermined area for a particular height of a tree to be supported. There are three equally spaced bores 52 disposed within the hub 30 for fixedly securing each corresponding leg 50. The bores are drilled at an angle downwardly and outwardly from that of the central, vertical axis a-a of the hub, whereby said legs 50, when secured therein, will project downwardly and outwardly, as shown in FIG. 1. A means for securing said leg is illustrated in FIG. 3, wherein the leg is formed from a tubular member having in its upper end a wood plug or dowel 54 in which a screw 56 is secured therein through a hole 58 in the annular wall 39 of the hub 30. Each leg 50 is also adapted with an opening 59 which aligns with the hole 58 when the leg is in its proper position for support of the tree.

Provided at the free terminating end of the legs 50 is a flattened shoe-like area 60 having an aperture 62 disposed therein to receive various fastening means for securing the tree to a base member 64, as shown in FIG. I, or to the ground surface. In FIGS. 1 and 2, screws 65 are shown as the means by which the tree is secured to the base member 64. However, when the tree is to be erected on a soft ground surface such as the front yard of a home, anchor rods (not shown) can be used in place of the screws 65.

Strings of outdoor Christmas tree lights, indicated generally at 70, having the typical even-spaced sockets and bulbs 71, are strung from the top of the tree to the free end of each branch member 40. This is accomplished by means of an electrical junction box 72 (See FIGS. 1 and 4.) adapted to fixedly receive the electrical connecting ends of each string of wire 74. In this case 6 strings and l inlet wire 75 are used, said inlet wire being provided with a male plug 76 secured thereto for electrical engagement to a standard 1 10 volt outlet which is not shown. Said junction box 72 comprises a two-part housing that has an upper half 77 and a lower half made of suitable plastic. On the bottom of the lower half 78 there is provided a base plug 79 for insertion into the upper end of tubular section 14. The plug fits snugly into the uppermost tubular member but, as shown in FIG. 4, can also be pinned if necessary, as at 80. The upper half 77 is provided with a centrally disposed, cutlike jacket 82 having therein electrical contacts 83 and 84, whereby a Christmas light decoration 85, such as a star or an angle can be inserted and lit.

Said input wire 75 and the plurality of wire strings 74 are attached to electrical terminals 85 and are capable of accepting gentle mechanical tension without danger of disconnection from said electrical terminals 85 within said housing. A locking means is provided by the coupling of both housings together with bolts 86 which cause a pinching action to occur on the wires between lugs 88 and 89 of the upper and lower housings, respectively, since they overlap each other when the two housing members are brought together.

Thus, eachstring 74 is stretched outwardly from said junction box and downwardly to each respective free outboard end of said radially extended tubular branches, forming a somewhat rectilinear, triangular configuration with that of the center, vertical trunk 12.

Said wires 74 are fastened to each branch end by means of a fork clamp 90 (See FIG. 5.) having an enlarged outer end 91 and a reduced-diameter end 92 which fits snugly within the free end of each tubular branch 40, said enlarged portion 91 forming a shoulder 93 to butt against the tube end. Said electrical wires 74 are passed through a longitudinal slot 94 and are extended to an adjacent clamp, at which time the wires are looped through the slot 94, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, and then clamped tightly by means of a bolt and nut 95 and 96, respectively. Said bolt is received in apertures 97 of clamp 90. Thus, proper tension can be easily applied to each individual electrical wire to provide the proper structural tie between the maintubular trunk 12 and the radiating branches 40. However, due to adverse weather conditions, particularly with large trees and high winds, truss wires 98 are employed to form a wire and tubular truss network to give the tree stability, wherein the several electrical strings and the truss wires are provided with a slight tension while said trunk and radial tubes are in compression. The truss wires are formed at each free end with loops 99, whereby one end of the loop is disposed in the slot 94 of the fork portion of clamp 90 while the opposite end is fastened toa hold-down hook 100, as seen in FIG. 1.

The invention and its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of parts of the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof or sacrificing its material advantages, the arrangement hereinbefore described being merely by way of example, and I do not wish to be restricted to the specific forms shown or uses mentioned, except as defined in the accompanying claims.

We claim:

1. An artificial, ornamental Christmas tree comprising, in combination:

an annular hub member;

a vertical trunk removably attached to said hub member;

a plurality of horizontal branch members removably secured to and radially extending from said hub in a horizontal relationship to said vertical trunk;

a plurality of support legs removably secured to and depending downwardly from said hub member;

an electrical junction box disposed on the upper end of said trunk;

a clamping means disposed in the free end of each branch member;

a plurality of electrical wires radiating downwardly and outwardly from said junction box, one end of each of said wires being operably fixed therein, each opposite end thereof being clamped within said clamping means; and

a plurality of electric lights evenly spaced along said wires.

2. The combination as recited in claim 1, wherein said annular hub is provided with a central plug for receiving said vertical trunk thereon, said hub including a plurality of horizontal bores disposed therein to receive and support said branch members therein.

3. The combination as recited in claim 2, including means for securing said branch members within said bores of said annular hub.

4. The combination as reclted in claim 3, wherein said wires extend radially outwardly and downwardly from said junction box to respective branch members, said wires being clamped in a first clamping means and extending horizontally therefrom to adjacent branch members, wherein the free ends of each of said wires are clamped in the adjacent second clamping means, whereby each wire terminates in each adjacent, succeeding clamping means.

5. The combination as recited in claim 4, wherein said annular hub includes a plurality of downwardly inclined bores adapted to fixedly receive said legs therein for support of said tree, said legs depending downwardly and outwardly from said hub, and wherein each leg is provided at one end thereof with a fiat shoe whereby said tree can be secured in a stationary manner.

6. The combination as recited in claim 5, wherein said trunk comprises a plurality of tubular sections removably connected to each other and to said annular hub, said trunk including means for securing said tubular sections together at their ends.

7. The combination as recited in claim 6, wherein said means for securing said tubular sections of said trunk comprise a dowel pin inter-disposed within the ends of said tubular section and removable pins which pass through said tubular sections and said dowel pin.

8. The combination as recited in claim 6, wherein said clamping means comprise a forked clamp having an enlarged-diameter, free end provided with a slot therein to receive said wire, a reduced-diameter portion for reception within the corresponding inner diameter of the free end of said tubular section, and means compressing said forked end in a clamped position.

9. The combination as recited in claim 8, including truss wires having looped ends, one of said looped ends being disposed within said slot of said forked clamp, the opposite end thereof being secured to a stationary base.

10. The combination as recited in claim 9, wherein each of said legs is formed of tubular members having a wood dowel fixedly disposed in the end which is received in said downwardly inclined bores of said hub.

11. The combination as recited in claim 6, wherein said junctionbox comprises a housing having an upper half and a lower half, said upper half being provided with receiving means centrally positioned thereon, and having electrical contacts disposed therein, said lower half being provided with a base plug for reception in the upper end of said vertical trunk, and locking means disposed within said housing, whereby said wires are locked into an operable position, permitting tension to be applied to said wires without damage thereto.

12. The combination as recited in claim 11, wherein said locking means is defined by a first lug depending from said upper half of said housing and a second lug projecting upwardly from said lower half of said housing, said lugs being ofiset from each other when said housing is assembled, thereby locking said wires therebetween.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2708324 *May 26, 1952May 17, 1955James Wedden MurdockArtificial christmas tree
US3036206 *Jan 26, 1960May 22, 1962Robert S HolbrookDecorative electrical lighting system
US3096943 *Oct 24, 1961Jul 9, 1963Edward E ForrerA tree lighting fixture
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US3603780 *Jan 26, 1970Sep 7, 1971Lu Kenneth CArtificial tree structure
US3617732 *Nov 19, 1969Nov 2, 1971Royal P FisherArtificial tree with an electrical illuminating system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3967019 *Nov 29, 1974Jun 29, 1976Audra Fay MageeOrnamental artificial tree
US4404621 *Sep 10, 1981Sep 13, 1983Mauro Louis DMethod and device for mounting lights to Christmas trees
US4612219 *Sep 26, 1985Sep 16, 1986Tengs Anthony MInvisible Christmas tree
US4620270 *Jun 17, 1985Oct 28, 1986Laakso John KDecorative simulated tree lighting apparatus
US4968541 *Nov 6, 1989Nov 6, 1990Mccrory Vernon DArtificial tree
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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/123, 362/249.1, 362/410, 428/18
International ClassificationF21S4/00, F21S8/00, A47G33/06, F21W121/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47G33/06, F21S4/001, Y02B20/72, F21W2121/00, F21W2121/04
European ClassificationF21S4/00E, A47G33/06