US 3757445 A
A collapsible picture frame has a central panel for displaying a picture and is defined by four fold lines, a rectangular panel integrally connected with the central panel, one side of each rectangular panel being provided by one of said fold lines, and four trapezoidal panels, each integrally connected through another fold line to a rectangular panel. Cut-out portions at each corner of the picture frame provide mating notched tabs and notched openings along adjacent nonparallel sides of the trapezoidal panels, whereby when the picture frame is erected the rectangular panels are substantially perpendicular to the central panel and the trapezoidal panels are locked together and lie flat or flare outwardly.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ilited States atent 91 Stilwell 51 Sept. 11, 1973 COLLAPSIBLE PICTURE FRAME  Appl. No.: 164,628
 11.3. CI. 40/154, 40/155  Int. Cl. G091 l/l2  Field of Search 40/124.1, 155, 154,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,293,900 8/1942 Horr 40/154 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Art Supplement to the Boston Globe" dated Sunday,
April 2, 1905.
Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras Attorney-Jacobs & Jacobs  ABSTRACT A collapsible picture frame has a central panel for displaying a picture and is defined by four fold lines, a rectangular panel integrally connected with the central panel, one side of each rectangular panel being provided by one of said fold lines, and four trapezoidal panels, each integrally connected through another fold line to a rectangular panel. Cut-out portions at each corner of the picture frame provide mating notched tabs and notched openings along adjacent nonparallel sides of the trapezoidal panels, wherebywhen the picture frame is erected the rectangular panels are substantially perpendicular to the central panel and the trapezoidal panels are locked together and lie flat or flare outwardly.
6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEU SEP! 1 I975 SHEET 1 0F 2 INVENTOR fiws d ff/z 4/5 4 4 PATEN TED SEP 1 1 I973 SHEET 2 BF 2 ATTORNEYS COLLAPSIBLE PICTURE FRAME This invention relates to picture frames which may be erected from a flat blank simply and quickly, with a minimum of manipulative steps. In particular, the present invention relates to a simplified, collapsible picture frame having a minimum of fold lines so that the picture frame can be erected from the flat blank quickly and accurately, even by children, who may have difficulty in folding the complicated picture frames of the prior art and/or who may have difficulty in reading the complicated directions normally associated with such prior art picture frames.
In general, the blank of the present invention comprises a central rectangular or square area on which the picture or other art work is to be mounted, a square or rectangular panel member integrally connected with each side of the central area by means of a fold line, the panel members preferably being of rectangular Shape, and a trapezoidal outer frameforming member integrally connected with each panel member by means of a fold line, the smaller base of the trapezoidal member being adjacent the panel member. Interlocking notch means is provided on the frame-forming members so that, when the blank is erected to form the frame, adjacent frame-forming panels may be interlocked together and securely held in position.
In contrast to the prior art devices, the erection of the blank requires only the folding along eight fold lines, two of which can be folded at a time, thereby requiring a minimum of four folding operations, and the interlocking and securing of the frame in an erected position is accomplished by means of relatively large interlocking members, which can be easily handled by children and can be rapidly assembled by adults.
The present invention is illustrated in terms of the following disclosure taken in connection withthe accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a plan view of the flat blank of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the blank of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view of a portion of the blank to which a picture has been attached;
FIG. 4 is a view in section along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG.5 is an enlarged view of the upper right hand comer of a frame erected from the blank of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a view from the rear of the upper right hand corner of a frame erected from the blank of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, fragmentary view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG; 6;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the frame erected from a blank of the present invention,
FIG. 9 is a view in section along lines 9-9 of FIG. and
FIG. 10 illustrates a modification of theinvention.
Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the flat blank 1 of the present invention, which may be formed from a square or rectangular sheet of flexible, yet stiff paper or cardboard or the like. In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, a rectangular blank having a rectangular picture-receiving area 2 (FIG. 9) is illustrated. However, it may be readily understood that the blank 1 may be square and have a square picturereceiving area.
The central portion 2 (FIG. 9) of blank 1 carries an adhesive 29, which is protected by backing paper 3, which may be removed from the blank by lifting the paper from the backing paper 3 from the adhesive 29, such as by lifting comer 3a away from the blank in the direction of arrow A(FI G. 2). The picture or other art work 30.(FIG. 3) is then securely fastened to the blank by means of the pressure-sensitive adhesive 29. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the adhesive 29 and backing paper 3 may be omitted completely and the purchaser of the blank may secure any desired art work or photograph or the like to the central area 2 by means of conventional paste, mucilage or the like or by means of adhesive tape carrying a layer of adhesive on both sides thereof. Alternatively, adhesive 29 and backing paper 3 may themselves take the form of a plurality of adhesive strips (not shown) carrying adhesive 29 on both sides thereof arranged around the perimeter of central portion 2, each such strip carrying an associated backing paper 3.
Central portion 2 is defined by fold lines 4, 5, 6 and 7, which are pre-creased to enable panels 16, 17, 18 and '19 to be folded upwardly from the plane of the drawing at substantially right angles to the central portion 2. Fold lines 8, 9, 10 and 11 separate rectangular panels 16-19 from outer trapezoidal panels 12,13, 14
and 15, fold lines 8-11 being pre-creased to enable panels 12, 13, 14 and 15 to be folded at substantially right angles to panels 16, 17, 18 and 19, respectively. Panels 12-15 are folded along associated fold lines 8-11, respectively, in the opposite direction that panels 16-19 are folded along their associated fold lines 4-7, respectively. It may be seen that both the inside fold lines 4-7 and outside fold lines 8-11 may be folded by the user in only four operations, by moving one of the outer trapezoidal panels, e.g., panel 12, inwardly toward central portion 2 so that the small rectangular panel, e.g.,-panel 16, is folded flat against central portion '2.
Adjacent trapezoidal panels 12-15 are secured to one anotherby means of the interlocking notches 20a and 21a. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, one pair of opposite outer panels 12,14 is shown as having notches 21a while the otherpair of opposite outer panels 12,15 is shown as having the notches 20a and tab 20. It isimportant merely that each adjacent pair of outer panels 12-15 have a pair of interlocking notches 20a and 21a and associated tab 20, and if desired the notches 20a and 21a can be provided for by having each outer panel 12-15 carry tab 20 and its associated notches 200 at one end and the notches 21a at the other end.
The interlocking means of the blank of the present invention is provided by tab 20 and notches-20a formed by edges 20b and 200 in outer panels 13 and '15. Notches 20a are designed to interlock with mating notches 21a which are in turn formed by edges 21b and 21c of outer panels 12 and 14. The notches 21a efiectively form between them an opening 21 into which tab 20 is inserted, and locking tabs 22 on either side of slot 21 aid in securing tab 20 in opening 21 (FIG. 7). The distance between notches 21a is identical to or slightly larger than the distance between the apexes of notches 20a, so that tab 20 is securely and snugly held in opening 21 and notches 21a. As can be most clearly seen in FIGS. 5-8, tab 20 is inserted into opening 21 to cause notches 20a and 21a to mate, and
the locking tabs 22 cooperate with the notches a and 21a and tab 20 to give the erected frame a clean and crisp appearance. The erection of the blank of FIGS. 1-9 to form the frame is carried out simply and quickly by folding along the precreased fold lines 4-11 and interlocking the tab 20 and notches 20a with the associated mating notches 21a by first mating one pair of notches 20a and 21a and then bending tab 20 to permit the mating of the other pair of notches 20a and 21a.
The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 9 creates a shadow box effect wherein the outer panels 12-15 flare outwardly from the central panel 2. Depending on the angle of the sloping sides of the trapezoidal outer panels 12-15, the flare can be quite pronounced, or the outer panels can lie flat (no flare). The maximum flare is caused when the outer panels are rectangular, and this may be considered as the limiting case. It is preferred to have the outer panels 12-15 flare outwardly only slightly or to lie flat.
In the modification of the invention shown in FIG.
10, the outer panels l2'-l5 of the frame are flat, i.e.,
they lie in a plane parallel to the plane containing the central portion 2'. Thus, while in FIG. 9 the outer panels make an obtuse angle with their integrally connected inner panels (e.g., 12 and 16) when the blank is erected, in the modification of the invention shown in FIG. 10, the outer panel 12' makes an angle of 90 with its integrally connected inner panel 16 so that the outer panel 12' is in a plane parallel to the central panel 2'. In this way, the frame formed from the blank 1 does not have outwardly flaring outer panels, but rather the outer panels lie flat.
What is claimed is: r
1. A collapsible display frame consisting of a onepiece flat blank of flexible, stiff sheet material, having cut-out portions, one at each corner of the blank, said blank having:
a. a right parallelogram central panel defined by four first fold lines;
b. four, right parallelogram wall panels, each integrally connected to said central panel, one side of each said wall panel being providedby one of said first fold lines, the side of each said wall panel opposite said one side being provided by a second fold line, and theother two sides of each said with panel being provided by edges of said blank defining part of a said cut-out portion;
c. four trapezoidal outer panels, each integrally connected to a said wall panel, the shorter base of each trapezoidal panel being provided by a said second fold line and the longer, parallel base of each trapezoidal panel being provided by an outermost edge of the blank;
d. each pair of adjacent trapezoidal panels having means in the adjacent non-parallel sides thereof for locking said adjacent panels together when the blank is erected and forming a corner of the frame; said locking means having:
i. a first large tab projecting from one of said adjacent non-parallel sides of said pair of adjacent trapezoidal panels and a pair of first notches disposed on either side of said tab with the openings of said notches facing away from each other; and
ii. slot means in the other of said adjacent nonparallel sides of said pair of adjacent trapezoidal panels, said slot means comprising a pair of notched locking tabs immediately adjacent each end of said other non-parallel side and projecting therefrom, the notches in said notched locking tabs being spaced apart with their openings facing each other, said locking tabs defining therebetween a cut-out area forming part of a said cutout portion, the cut-out area having an entrance slightly smaller than the length of the first large tab, the slot means being effective to lock both ends of said first large tab between said locking tabs with the notches of said first large tab mating with the notches of said locking tab;
e. adjacent non-parallel sides of two adjacent trapezoidal panels together with adjacent said other two sides of adjacent wall panels defining a said cut-out portion at each corner of the blank; and
f. the first and second fold-lines being effective, when said blank is erected, to enable each wall panel to be substantially perpendicular to said central panel and to enable each trapezoidal panel to extend away from said central panel transverse to its connected wall panel.
2. The frame according to claim 1, wherein the trapezoidal panels, when the blank is erected, flare slightly outwardly of the central panel.
3. The frame according to claim 1, wherein the trapezoidal panels, when the blank is erected, are parallel to the central panel.
4. The frame according to claim 1, wherein the central panel is square.
5. The frame according to claim ll, wherein the central panel is rectangular.
6. The frame according to claim 1, wherein said blank is made of flexible, stifi' cardboard.