US 3719001 A
A doll house of rigid board material arranged to be supported from a wall by flexible hangers. The hangers are attached so as to participate in locking together the separable walls and floors of the doll house and are so located as to stabilize the doll house in the hung position by forcing it against the supporting wall. Removable floors are positioned in semi-rigid extruded plastic channels bonded to the walls of the doll house. Removable partitions are positioned in similar channels bonded to the floors. Walls and back are made separable through connections employing loose-pin hinges. A folding shelf to serve as a staging area for dolls and furnishings is provided at the bottom of the doll house. The walls and back are locked to the bottom floor by concealed catches to permit use of the doll house in the conventional bottom supported position without the flexible hangers. The preferred embodiment has three floors and eight rooms, is thirty inches high by thirty inches wide by nine inches deep, and is separable into flat panels of maximum dimensions of thirty inches by ten inches. All connections are such that the doll house may be assembled without the use of tools.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Archer March 6, 1973 DOLL HOUSE FOR CITY CHILDREN  Inventor: John C. Archer, 86 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY. 11215  Filed: Dec. 22, 1969  Appl. No.: 887,091
Primary Examiner-Louis G. Mancene Assistant Examiner-A. Heinz 5 7 ABSTRACT A doll house of rigid board material arranged to be supported from a wall by flexible hangers. The hangers are attached so as to participate in locking together the separable walls and floors of the doll house and are so located as to stabilize the doll house in the hung position by forcing it against the supporting wall. Removable floors are positioned in semi-rigid extruded plastic channels bonded to the walls of the doll house. Removable partitions are positioned in similar channels bonded to the floors. Walls and back are made separable through connections employing loose-pin hinges. A folding shelf to serve as a staging area for dolls and furnishings is provided at the bottom of the doll house. The walls and back are locked to the bottom floor by concealed catches to permit use of the doll house in the conventional bottom supported position without the flexible hangers. The preferred embodiment has three floors and eight rooms, is thirty inches high by thirty inches wide by nine inches deep, and is separable into flat panels of maximum dimensions of thirty inches by ten inches. All connections are such that the doll house may be assembled without the use of tools.
2 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTED "AR 6 375 SHEET 10F 2 FIGI FIG 4* FIG 3 FIG 7 FIG 8 INVENTOR fiiuflwc FIG 6 PATENTEBMAR 6m SHEET 2 0F 2 FIG IO INVENTOR fl? 4 DOLL HOUSE FOR CITY CHILDREN BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to devices for the recreation of children, is made of a plurality of separable parts for the purpose of assembly and disassembly and involves a particular form of such a device, the form being that of a dwelling and more particularly that of a dwelling made of sheet material.
2. Description of the Prior Art The principal problem to be solved if people who live in the limited space typical of city apartments are to be convinced to provide their children with doll houses is the occupation by the doll house of otherwise useful and needed space while in use and in storage. Transportability and economy are also of concern.
The most common solution of the prior art to these problems has been to provide doll houses of a severely reduced scale. However, doll houses not built to a sufficiently large scale to allow easy manipulation of dolls and furnishings are discouraging to young children and thus are unsatisfactory.
A partial solution in the prior art has been to provide folding doll houses. However, this does not solve the principal problem of space occupied during use if the doll house is built to a satisfactory scale. Such doll houses have further disadvantages in that providing foldability involves compromises with verisimilitude and intricacies costly to manufacture.
Another partial solution has been to provide unassembled doll houses which, after initial assembly, may subsequently be disassembled and reassembled. These also fail to solve the problem of space occupied during use if built to a satisfactory scale. Furthermore, such doll houses have been disassembled and reassembled through use of a multiplicity of bolts and clips requiring facility in the use of tools and the following of mechanical instructions frequently beyond the capability or patience ofcity people.
To the extent of the knowledge of the applicant, the principal problem of occupied space has been addressed directly only in U.S. Pat. No. 836,296, titled Hanging Doll-House, patented Nov. 20, 1906, by Harry Bitner. That disclosure, and this application, describe doll houses designed to be hung from a wall. With a childs personal play area in an apartment typically limited to the child's sleeping room, the most suitable space for such a doll house is the otherwise essentially unusable space at the wall above the childs bed, although any wall space within reach of the child and not otherwise occupied would be suitable.
The doll house disclosed in the specific prior art referenced comprises a series of floors and a roof attached at story height intervals to cords at each of the four corners with all doll house walls provided in the form of story high panels hinged to the underside of the floor above. Support is provided by attaching the connecting cords to the wall above the doll house. Each subassembly which consists of a horizontal panel and walls hinged to the underside of the panel, except the topmost such subassembly, hangs freely from the vertical cords.
Solving the space problem by hanging the doll house from a wall introduces new problems. Rigidity of the doll house and stability -in its supported position, essentials to satisfactory use, are inherent in conventional bottom supported doll houses but not so for hanging structures. A staging area for dolls and furnishings being moved about during play, inherent in bottom supported doll houses in the table or floor providing support, is an additional requirement for the most satisfactory hanging doll house. Furthermore, although intended to be normally supported by hanging from a wall, it would be desirable that the doll house be capable of being alternatively supported on a horizontal surface and being readily moved from the hanging position to the horizontally supported position.
The doll house comprising this invention is an improvement in hanging doll houses in that these problems, not solved in the prior art, are solved. It also incorporates an improvement in method and means of connection applicable to doll house construction.
The use of loose-pin hinges as a part of the means of providing for disassembly and reassembly is described in this application since this feature is a part of the preferred embodiment. Use of this device to provide for disassembly and reassembly of a doll house is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 1,343,065,. titled Doll House," patented June 8, 1920, by Kunisuke Suyehiro, wherein the loose-pin hinges are described as removable pins traversing alined eyes.
SUMMARY oF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a doll house of rigid board material arranged to be supported from a wall by hangers which should preferably be flexible. The hangers are attached in a manner and location such that the tension induced in the hangers by the weight of the structure acts to force the walls of the doll house against its floors and to force the doll house against the supporting wall. These forces provide for a rigid, stable structure firmly fixed in the hanging position.
The doll house is furnished with a staging area at ground level for dolls and furniture being moved about during play. This is achieved by attaching a shelf near the bottom of the doll house, a shelf which, being connected by hinges, may be folded to within the geometric limits of the doll house proper thus not infringing upon otherwise needed space when the shelf is not being used.
Through a simplifying improvement in method of connection, the doll house is of improved economy in manufacture and yet may be easily and repeatedly disassembled and reassembled, without the use of tools, for storage or transportation. This is accomplished by positioning removable floor panels in channel-shaped connections bonded to the wall panels such that the floors may be inserted in, or withdrawn from, slots formed by channels on opposing walls, and by positioning removable partition panels in similar channels bonded to the top of each floor and to the underside of the floor or roof above. The side walls are made separable from the back through connections employing loose-pin hinges. Since the geometry appropriate to a hanging doll house requires the back to be of a considerably greater dimension than the side walls or floors, the back is subdivided and the panels making up the back are interconnected through loose-pin hinges.
This doll house is intended normally to be supported by hanging from a wall but it may alternatively be supported on a horizontal surface and may be readily moved from the hanging position to the horizontally supported position. Rigidity of the structure when supported without the use of the hangers is assured by locking the side wall panels and the back panels to the bottom floor by cabinet catches mounted in a concealed position below the floor.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Of the figures described below: FIGS. 1 through 4, showing only the principal separable parts, are at a common small scale; FIGS. 8 through 10 are at a somewhat larger common scale to adequately show additional parts; FIGS. through 7 and 11 and 12 are enlarged details.
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the assembled doll house, hanging, and with shelf extended.
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the separated roof panels to illustrate these separable parts.
FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the separated side wall panels and back panels to illustrate these separable parts.
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the separated intermediate and top floor panels, the partition panels, and
the bottom floor and shelf subassembly, to illustrate these separable parts.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken, as indicated in FIG. 9, through the intersection of the two roof panels to illustrate the means of connection.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken, as indicated in FIG. 9, through the intersection of the bottom floor panel and a side wall panel to illustrate the supplemental connecting means to be employed at that location.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view taken, as indicated in FIG. 9, through the intersection of a side wall panel and a roof panel to illustrate the means of connection to accommodate the slope of the roof.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view taken, as indicated in FIG. 10, through the assembled doll house to show the shelfin the folded-under position.
FIG. 9 is a side elevation of the assembled doll house, hanging, and with shelf extended.
FIG. 10 is a vertical sectional view taken, as indicated in FIG. 9, through the assembled doll house.
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary isometric view of a typical intersection of floor and side wall panels to illustrate the method of assembly and means of connection.
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary isometric view of a typical intersection of a side wall panel and adjacent back panel to illustrate the method of assembly and means of connection.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawing, the principal parts of the doll house are shown assembled in FIG. 1 and as separate parts in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4. These principal parts forming the doll house floors, side walls, back panels, partitions, roof, and shelf are to be thin but rigid panels. For their manufacture, I find plywood of a thickness of three-sixteenth inch to be the most suitable although other thicknesses and other materials could be used. The panels, designated on the drawing by reference numerals are: Side walls 28 & 29; Back panels 30, 31 & 32; Partitions 33, 34, 35, 36 & 37; Roof panels 26 & 27; Top floor 23; Intermediate floor 22; Bottom floor 21; Shelf 24; Vertical bottom-floorto-shelf closure panel 25.
Access to the interior of the doll house is provided by the open side away from the supporting wall. A closure, removable or hinged, could be provided, however, I consider the open furnished and occupied doll house mounted on the wall to be an attractive decoration for a childs room and for this reason find it unnecessary to provide such a closure.
Consistent with the objective of not infringing upon otherwise useable space and in order to implement the hanging arrangement, I have allocated room areas within the doll house so as to minimize projection of v the structure from the wall on which it is to be hung.
This is done, as may be seen in FIGS. 9 and 10, by providing more than the usual number of floors, three was selected for the preferred embodiment, and by making the plan dimension parallel to the supporting wall much greater than that normal to the wall, 30
inches and 9 inches respectively were selected for the preferred embodiment.
In order to more fully and clearly describe the suspension arrangement, it is useful to depart from the real three dimensional structure discussed above and consider a two dimensional representation of the structure, employing FIG. 9 for this purpose. To define the external forces acting on the doll house, it is convenient and adequately representative to postulate two roller supports between the supporting wall in FIG. 9 and the back of the doll house adjacent to the supporting wall, one at the extreme top, one at the extreme bottom. Such supports have the capability of transmitting horizontal compressive force between the doll house and the wall. The hanger can transmit tensile force between the wall hook 47 and the doll house. The direction of the tensile force in the hanger is defined by its two end points, in FIG. 9, hook 47 and opening 49. The force which, for equilibrium, must be balanced is the weight of the doll house, a vertical force which may be considered to act through the center of gravity of the structure and the point identified in FIG. 9 by reference numeral 53.
Consistant with the principle that for stability the summation of forces in the vertical direction must equal zero then there must be a tensile force in the hanger such that its vertical component is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the weight of the doll house, the rollers I have postulated as equivalent to the supporting wall being incapable of exerting vertical force.
Consistant with the principle that for stability the summation of moments about any point must equal zero, I may equate to zero the moments about the point identified in FIG. 9 by reference numeral 53. So doing I find no moment exerted by the force representing the weight of the doll house and no moment exerted by any horizontal force through the roller I postulate at the supporting wall at the bottom of the doll house. Given that a tensile force exists in the hanger and given its direction, both as defined above, it will be seen that the hanger imposes a moment about the selected center of moments, point 53, in a counter-clockwise direction as seen in FIG. 9. Thus stability requires a compressive reaction at the roller I postulate at the supporting wall at the top of the doll house. That roller, and the condition it represents, can transmit compressive force thus the structure is stabilized in the hanging position flush with the supporting wall.
In the previous discussion of the real three dimensional structure l stated that the points at which the forces in the hangers are imposed on the doll house must be more distant from the supporting wall than is the plane defined by the locations indicated by reference numerals 47, 48 and 53. In the two dimensional representation, and referring again to FIG. 9, that plane is defined by the line passing through the cations indicated by reference numerals 47 and 53. The point of support, opening 49, as shown in FIG. 9, satisfies the requirement of the invention regarding its location.
Were l to relocate the point of attachment of the hanger, opening 49, such that it is at a lesser distance from the supporting wall than is the imaginary line through the points identified by reference numerals 47 and 53, which is contrary to the invention, then it will be seen that the hanger imposes a moment about the selected center of moments, point 53, in a clockwise direction as seen in FIG. 9. Thus stability requires a tensile reaction at the roller I postulate at the supporting wall at the top of the doll house. That roller, and the condition it represents, cannot transmit tensile force thus the structure would be unstable and the unsatisfactory condition of its being tilted away from the wall at the top would ensue.
The hangers, when attached as described below, will firmly fix the doll house in its hanging position, will provide additional rigidity to the structure, and yet will allow the doll house to be easily removed from the supporting wall. The hangers 38 & 39, shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, should be flexible and of a moderate tensile strength; a VB inch brass chain is effective without detracting from the appearance. They are to be attached to a floor of the doll house through openings 49 & 50 in the side walls 28 & 29. Attachment to the supporting wall is by means of two hooks 47 & 48 in the wall. By applying the principles of engineering mechanics, it will be seen that a tensile force which will press the doll house against the supporting wall will be induced in the hangers by the weight of the doll house if the hangers are so arranged as to provide support to the doll house at points which are at a greater horizontal distance from the supporting wall, in the direction normal to the supporting wall, at the elevation of the point of supportive contact with the doll house, than is a plane passing through the locations indicated in FIGS. 9 and 10 by reference numerals 47, 48 and 53. Reference numerals 47 and 48 represent, as stated above, the hooks which are the points of attachment of the hangers to the supporting wall; reference numeral 53 indicates the point representative, in the view of FIG. 9, of the line of intersection of two planes, one horizontal at the elevation of the lowest point of contact between the doll house and the supporting wall, the other a vertical plane parallel to the supporting wall and passing through the center of gravity of the doll house. Points of support closer to the back of the structure than this plane would result in unbalanced forces causing the top of the doll house to tilt away from the supporting wall. Points of support more distant from the back than this plane will increase the tensile force in the hangers causing a reaction force between the back of the doll house and the supporting wall. This reaction force will in turn mobilize a frictional force between the doll house and the supporting wall which will have the desired effect of holding the structure in a stable position.
This hanger arrangement allows a wide tolerance on accuracy in horizontal location of the hooks 47 & 43; they need to be as far apart as the width of the structure but may be separated several inches more and still function satisfactorily. Attachment of the hangers to a floor of the doll house rather than to its walls permits this tolerance in that in passing through the openings in the walls, the hangers impose forces tending to press the walls of the doll house against the floors thus providing additional rigidity to the structure. Connecting the hangers to the walls of the doll house would have the opposite effect; a greater separation of the hooks in the supporting wall would increase forces tending to separate the doll house walls from the floors. Considerable tolerance in vertical location of the hooks is also available since, although thetwo hooks should be at the same level, as much as a few inches of inaccuracy in this respect can be compensated for simply by shortening one of the hangers. Although other dimensions may be used, the 30 inch width of the doll house is consistant with books in the supporting wall at 32 inches apart, a multiple of the standard stud spacing of 16 inches. Removal of the doll house from the wall is accomplished by lifting the structure slightly to relieve tension on the light chain hangers and then disengaging the chains. Flexible hangers are selected for the preferred embodiment, however, with some sacrifice of the convenience of tolerance in location of the hooks in the supporting wall, rigid hangers, for example 1/16 inch diameter metal rods, could serve the purpose of achieving a balance of forces resulting in the structure being pressed against the supporting wall. The hangers are attached to a common floor in the preferred embodiment to provide a continuous tensile force resisting linkage between the points of attachment to the supporting wall. However, with some sacrifice in appearance or ease of disassembly, this linkage could also be provided by substituting, for the two hangers, one continuous hanger such as a chain or rod from wall hook to wall hook passing through the doll house, or, alternatively, by attaching hangers to the doll house walls and providing connections between the doll house walls and floor adequate to transfer the tensile force thus providing the desired continuous linkage. Thus a functional embodiment of the invention is achieved if a continuous tensile force resisting linkage is provided extending from one supporting wall hook through properly located points of supportive contact with the doll house and thence to another supporting wall hook. The linkage may or may not incorporate by attachment one or more parts of the doll house, as is done with a floor in the preferred embodiment, and may be flexible or rigid or a combination of flexible and rigid members.
inasmuch as this doll house is not intended to be normally supported on a table or other horizontal surface, an important additional feature of the invention is the shelf I provide at approximately the level of the bottom floor to serve as a staging area for dolls and furnishings being moved about during play. The shelf 24, shown in FIG. 9 in the extended position ready for use, is connected to the doll house proper through hinges 52 which permit effective removal of the shelf when not in use by folding it under the bottom floor as shown in FIG. 8. Shelf hangers 40, which may be 54: inch brass chain, the same as described above for the doll house hangers, connect the front corners of the shelf to the side walls of the doll house to provide support when the shelf is in the extended position. The hangers are connected at either or both ends by hooks so that they be disengaged. A standard catch 51, of the type normally manufactured for use on cabinet doors and preferably of the magnetic type, holds the shelf in place when in the folded under position.
As shown in FIG. 11, I provide the capability of disassembly and reassembly principally through the use of a channel-shaped connection 42. Although other materials could be used, I find semi-rigid extruded plastic to be the most suitable. As shown, a length of plastic channel 42 is bonded, with an adhesive suitable for the materials selected, to the inside face of the side wall 28 at the desired elevation of the floor 22. Similarly, but opposite hand to FIG. 11, an identical channel is bonded to the inside face of the opposite side wall 29 at the same elevation. These channels on opposite walls provide slots for insertion, and withdrawal, of the floor panel much as a drawer in a desk. The other floors are connected to the side walls in the same manner. The interior partitions are supported in position similarly; the channels for the partitions are bonded to the top of one floor and to the underside of the floor above, the two channels being placed in vertical alinement, to form the slots into which the partition panel is inserted. Special channels 43 & 44 to compensate for the slope of the roof are provided at the side wall to roof, and partition to roof, intersections and at the roof peak. A typical sectional view through a side wall to roof intersection is shown in FIG. 7. A typical partition to roof intersection would be the same. The roof peak is shown in FIG. 5. If plastic channels are used, only one of these special channels need be extruded; the double channel 44 at the roof peak can be fabricated by solvent welding of two lengths of the other special channel 43. Special channels 43 are bonded to the roof panels 26 & 27 so as to be in alinement with the intended locations of the side walls and the partitions. In assembling the doll house, the individual roof panels are lowered into position onto the previously assembled side wall and back panels. The special double channel 44 is slipped onto the abutting edges of the two roof panels 26 & 27 after the panels are in final position. The top story partitions are inserted as previously described for the partitions between floors.
Ijoin the side walls to the back by hinges as shown in FIG. 12. In order to obtain the most compact package of disassembled panels, I find it advantageous to employ loose-pin hinges 45 which allow complete separation of adjoining panels. The hinge leaves are permanently attached to the panels; in FIG. 12, to the side wall panel 28 and to the back panel 30; and the connection is made by fitting the matching leaves together and dropping the loose pins into place, without the use of tools. Also for compactness of the disassembled doll house, I subdivide the back wall into panels 30, 31 & 32 comparable in size to the side wall panels and floor panels. The panels making up the back are also connected through the use of loose-pin hinges in a manner similar to that described above.
In order that the floor and partition panels may be easily inserted and withdrawn as discussed above, the channels 42 must be of a size in relation to the thickness of the panels such that they exert only a moderate clamping force. Thus the channels maintain proper alinement of the several parts of the doll house but do not positively lock them together. The hangers 38 & 39 previously described provide sufficient pressure to preclude separation of the side walls from the floors while the structure is supported by the hangers. However, I wish to have a stable structure with only bottom support to permit use of the doll house while it is resting on a table or other horizontal surface. For this reason I provide an additional connection positively clamping the side wall panels and the back panels to the bottom floor. The connection is to be a mechanical locking device, preferably one employing a spring or wedge to hold the panels in close contact, such as a standard catch of the type normally manufactured for use on the inactive leaf of pairs of cabinet doors. An enlarged view of the installation of the catch 46 is shown in FIG. 6. A number, preferably four, of these catches is to be located as indicated in FIG. 10. While the locking devices could be attached to any floor, they are attached to the bottom floor in the preferred embodiment in order that they may be concealed behind the vertical bottom-floor-to-shelf closure panel 26.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention is as set forth in the preceding description and in the drawing, it will be appreciated that variations such as in scale, proportions, number of floors, and number and position of partitions are possible. It will also be appreciated that the addition of decorative or ancillary features such as doors, windows, stairs, and removable or hinged front closure panels is possible. Such possible variations and additions have been omitted from the description as nonessential to the disclosure but the claims are to be regarded as including such possible variations and additions as do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.
l. A rigid doll house structure:
proportioned so as to make feasible the use of the doll house when said doll house is supported by hanging from a vertical supporting wall;
having at least three walls of which two are opposite side walls, a roof, removable floors of which one is selected for attachment of supporting flexible members, and removable partitions; oriented so as to place opposite side walls of the doll house normal to the supporting wall from which the doll house is to be hung;
supported, and held in a stable position through the mobilizing of a frictional force between the doll house and the supporting wall, by a tensile force resisting linkage consisting of two flexible members and the selected floor of the doll house,
the two flexible members to be attached to the supporting wall at different points having a common elevation above the level of the selected floor and adjacent to the opposite side walls of the doll house and passing through the opposite side walls of the doll house, openings in the opposite side walls being provided for this purpose essentially at the elevation of the selected floor and at a distance from the supporting wall such that a plane defined by the two points of attachment of the t0 flexible members to the supporting wall and the center of gravity of the doll house vertically ex-