US 3762086 A
A drum is rotatably mounted to a fixture, preferably a transparent outer shell, so that the drum spins about its axis relative to the fixture. The fixture and drum are connected to a pivotal arm, such as to the handle of a draught beer tap. The drum is weighted off center with respect to its axis so that movement of the arm causes the drum to spin and continue spinning for some time after the arm is moved to a vertical position. Visually attractive indicia is applied to the outer faces of the drum to attract customer attention.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 Horbinski 1 1 Oct. 2, 1973 1 DISPLAY DEVICE WITH ROTATABLE MOTION  Inventor: Ronald T. I-lorbinski, Milwaukee,
 Assignee: Display Corporation International, Milwaukee, Wis.
 Filed: Feb. 11, 1971  Appl. No.: 114,548
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 56,462, July 20,
I52] U.S. Cl 40/332, 46/47, 16/123,
40/68  Int. Cl. G091 23/02  Field of Search 40/1, 51, 68, 106.25,
40/331, 332, 218; 46/47; 63/31; 161/1, 6, 7, l2, 16, 18; 156/579; 16/121, 122, 123; D8/l38; 74/573, 551.8; 222/23  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,039,228 6/1962 Mazzadra 46/47 2,761,232 9/1956 Garver 161/12 831,033 9/1906 Boismaure 63/31 955,435 4/1910 Reed 46/1 R 2,340,135 1/1944 Merritt.... 1,077,340 11 1913 Graham 46 47 2,301,506 11/1942 Bean 46/47 3,274,637 9 1966 Schulze 401 15 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS 238,357 8/1925 Great Britain 40/68 337,350 5/1959 Switzerland 63/31 Primary Examiner-Wm. H. Grieb Attorney-John W. Michael, Gerrit D. Foster, Bayard H. Michael, Paul R. Puerncr, Joseph A. Gemignani, Robert E. Clemency, Andrew 0. Riteris, Glenn A. Buse and Spencer B. Michael 571 ABSTRACT A drum is rotatably mounted to a fixture, preferably a transparent outer shell, so that the drum spins about its axis relative to the fixture. The fixture and drum are connected to a pivotal arm, such as to the handle of a draught beer tap. The drum is weighted off center with respect to its axis so that movement of the arm causes the drum to spin and continue spinning for some time after the arm is moved to a vertical position. Visually attractive indicia is applied to the outer faces of the drum to attract customer attention.
15 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDUBT '2 1 SHEET 1 BF 2 DISPLAY DEVICE WITH ROTATABLE MOTION CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 56,462 filed July 20, 1970, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a novel point of purchase display device having rotatablemotion and, more particularly, to a tap valve knob which includes a visually attractive spinning portion responsive to operation of the tap.
Knobs for draught beer taps and taps for dispensing other liquids have been made in various sizes and shapes in an attempt to achieve point of purchase promotion of a particular beverage. While these proposals have met with success, it is more desirable to provide some eye catching movement with the knob in order to attract customer attention. Proposals such as lights requiring an auxiliary power source are inadequate due to their complexity and cost.
A principal object of this invention is to provide an economical, as well as visually attractive, display device which includes an eye catching motion.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The display device of this invention, which is adaptable to an oscillatory member, such as the handle of a tap valve, includes a drum rotatably mounted to a fixture, preferably within a transparent outer shell. The drum is provided with a weight unbalance with respect to its axis of rotation. Forces imposed on the unbalanced drum by movement of the oscillatory member, such as when a tap is pivoted down and up for opening and closing, causes the drum to rotate. The drum is attached to the fixture with low-friction means so that the drum continues spinning for some time after the oscillatory member has been moved to a generally vertical position. The outer surface of the drum is provided with visually attractive indicia. As the drum continues to spin, a customers attention is attracted to this indicia, which may be in form of advertising.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tap knob according to one embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the tap knob shown in FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is a top view of the tap knob shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the plane designated 4-4 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 4 showing an alternative arrangement for the weight;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a tap knob according to another embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 7 is a side elevation, cross-sectional view of the tap knob shown in FIG. 6; and
FIG. 8 is a top, cross-sectional view of a drum similar to the one shown in FIG. 6 showing an alternate means for obtaining the weight unbalance.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Display devices embodying this invention will be described as knobs for a draught beer tap, however, it
should be appreciated that the devices can be adapted to a various apparatus where the required oscillatory motion can be applied and point of purchase promotion is desired. 7
Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a beer tap knob 10 mounted on a shaft 12 which is connected to valve 14 to open or close the valve for dispensing beer. The details of valve 14 are conventional and need not be described for purposes of the description of this invention. When knob 10 is generally in the vertical position, valve 14 is closed and when knob 10 is pivoted down towards the vendor, valve 14 is opened.
Knob 10 includes a transparent outer shell 16 and an inner drum 18 which rotates within the outer shell. Drum 18 is generally non-transparent and includes various eye-appealing or message-bearing indicia on its outer surfaces for purposes of advertising.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, shell 16 is comprised of two identically shaped square pyramidal frustums 20, 22. The frustums are inverted with respect to each other and joined along their bases. Drum 18 is likewise formed oftwo identically shaped pyramidal frustrums 24, 26, drum 18 being dimensionally smaller than shell 16 to permit rotation of the drum within the shell. Preferably, the shell and drum are coaxial, and the major width A of the drum is less than the minor width a of the shell to permit rotation of the drum within the shell.
Drum 18 is mounted for rotation within shell 16 by a shaft 28 extending through the center of the drum,
I which acts as the rotational axis for the drum. Needlepoint ends 30, 30 on shaft 28 engage jeweled bearings 32, 32 anchored in the opposite ends of shell 16 to provide minimal bearing friction for the drum within the shell and allow easy rotation of the drum relative to the shell.
As shown in FIG. 2, drum 18 is provided with a weight 34 positioned off center with respect to the rotational axis of the drum. As knob 10 is moved down and up to open and close valve 14,'kinetic forces acting on weight 34 cause drum 18 to rotate about its axis. When knob 10 is moved down towards the vendor to open valve 14 (as shown in outline in FIG. 1), gravity causes a portion of drum 18 carrying weight 34 to seek a bottom position. If the weight happens to be located on the bottom side as knob 10 is moved downward, there is little or no rotational movement of drum 18. On the other hand, if weight 34 happens to be located on the top side as knob 10 is moved downward, there is rotational movement of drum l8, i.e. primarily a rocking motion, as the weighted portion seeks a bottom position. As knob 10 is returned to the vertical position to close valve 14, the inertial forces, primarily centrifugal forces, imposed upon weight 34 by this movement causes drum 18 to spin. After tap knob 10 has been moved to a vertical position momentum causes the drum to continue spinning for some time. Since shell 16 is transparent, the customers attention is attracted to the advertising indicia on the outer surface of the spinning drum.
The rate at which drum 18 will spin is primarily dependent upon the location and size of weight 34. By increasing the mass of weight 34 and/or increasing the lateral distance between the axis of rotation and the location of weight 34, the rate at which drum 18 rotates is increased. Of course, speed at which tap knob 10 is moved back and forth also affects the rate at which drum 18 spins. The type of indicia used on the outer surface of the drum dictates the best rate of rotation for any particular application. For example, if the advertisement is a symbol with a color scheme, a high rate of rotation may have the optimum eye appeal to a customer, whereas a slower rate of rotation would be more desirable when the indicia is printed matter.
In order to obtain the maximum rate of drum rotation with a minimum-sized weight, weight 34 is preferably mounted at the mid point of drum 18, e.g. at joint 38 between frustums 24, 26. Weight 34 includes two portions 40, 42 so that it is unbalanced with respect to the rotational axis of the drum. As a result of gravitational effects of this unbalance, drum 18 will come to rest as shown in FIG. 4 in outline when knob is moved to the open position as shown in FIG. 1. Hence, drum 18 is in a cocked position to insure that the inertial forces produced by movement of knob 10 to the vertical position imparts a spin to the drum.
The unbalance of weight 34 also insures that drum 18 moves to the proper orientation when knob 10 is moved down to open valve 14. Even though drum 18 should come to rest with weight 34 on the top side, gravity acting on portion 40, as knob 10 is moved downwardly, causes drum 18 to rotate so that weight 34 seeks a bottom position. In addition, the unbalanced weight provides a braking effect on the rocking motion of the drum when knob 10 has been moved to the open position, as it is rapidly urged into the bottom-most position by the uneven forces imposed thereon.
FIG. 5 shows an alternative arrangement for the weight. In place of a multi-portioned weight, a slender rod 44 is mounted transversely and off center with respect to the drum axis. Preferably, rod 44 is mounted along but spaced from joint 38. A sliding weight 46 is mounted on the rod so that as the knob is pivoted, centrifugal force acting on the weight will cause the drum to begin spinning and weight 46 will slide to one end of rod 44 thereby unbalancing the weight arrangement providing the same effect provided by the fixed weight 34 described above.
Tap knob 50 according to an alternate embodiment shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 includes a transparent, spherical outer shell 52 and a spherical inner drum 54 rotatably mounted within shell 52 via axle assembly 56. Diametrically opposed needlepoints 58, 58 positioned inside shell 52 engage jeweled bearings 60, 60 located on the opposite ends of axle assembly 56 to provide a rotational axis for drum 54. Shell 52 is composed of two identically shaped hemispherical sections 53, 55 which are joined together in a suitable manner. Drum 54 is similarly composed of two hemispherical sections 57, 59 rotatably joined. Preferably, axle assembly 56 is comprised of two sections with upper section 62 being slidably mounted within lower section 64. Spring 66 interposed between sections 62, 64 urges bearings 60 into engagement with needlepoints 58 to insure proper bearing loading and smooth rotation of the drum. This arrangement permits the accommodation of relatively broad manufacturing tolerances. Without the spring, there could be an insufficient engagement between the needlepoints and bearings because of a build up of manufacturing tolerances, and the drum would wobble during rotation. I
Shell 52 is mounted to the upper end of arm 68 which is arranged to accommodate the spherical shape of the shell. Am 68 is attached to the actuation mechanism of the tap valve in a suitable manner. Shell 52 is positioned on arm 68 so that a rotational axis of the drum is generally in the vertical position when the tap valve is closed.
Weight 70 positioned on the inside wall of drum 54 provides a weight unbalance so that the down and up movement of arm 68, as the tap valve is being opened and closed, causes drum 54 to rotate. Drum 54 of this embodiment has a circular cross section so there is no advantage of providing weight 70 with an unbalance, i.e. portions 40 and 42 and 46, as described above in connection with the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-5. As described above, the outer surface of the drum is provided with visually attractive indicia which can be observed through shell 52.
FIG. 8 shows an alternate arrangement for providing the weight unbalance of the drum. Instead of using a weight, drum 72 is provided with a thickened wall section 74. When this arrangement is used, the hemispherical parts of the drum can be fabricated with different wall thicknesses.
Although preferred configurations of the shell and drum have been described in detail, it should be appreciated that either can have a wide variety of configurations so long as the drum is provided with the necessary weight unbalance and can rotate with respect to the shell. Instead of a shell, the drum-holding fixture can be of any form which is capable of rotatably holding the drum and is adaptable to an oscillatory member. For example, the drum holding portion of the fixture can be in a C-shape with the drum rotatably mounted between the outer ends of the C.
I. A knob for a tap valve comprising a transparent shell;
means for connecting said shell to said tap valve;
a rotatable member rotatably mounted inside said shell, said rotatable member being weight unbalanced with respect to its axis of rotation by a small weight spaced radially outwardly from said axis so that movement of said knob during opening and closing of said tap valve causes said rotatable member to rotate and continue to rotate after said tap valve is closed; and
indicia on the outer surface of said rotatable member.
2. A knob according to-claim 1 wherein said weight has portions of unequal size to provide unequal distribution of said weight with respect to said axis of rotation.
3. A knob according to claim 1 including a transverse rod mounted on said rotatable member and spaced radially outwardly from said axis of rotation, said weight being slidably mounted on said rod so that, when said rotatable member begins rotating, centrifugal force moves said weight toward one end of said rod.
4. A knob according to claim 1 wherein said rotatable member is wider at an area intermediate the ends of said axis of rotation and said weight is located at said wider area.
5. A knob according to claim 1 including opposed pivot point means carried by said fixture;
an axle assembly providing said axis of rotation centrally located in said rotatable member and including separate sections, one of said sections being movable axially with respect to the other of said sections and each of said sections having a bearing on the outer end which is in rotatable engagement with respective of said pivot point means; and
a spring interposed said sections urging said bearings into engagement with said pivot point means.
6. A display device comprising a fixture pivotally mounted on a pivot means for movement through a preselected arc of a substantially vertical plane from a substantially vertical, normal position to a non-vertical position; and
a rotatable member rotatably supported on said fixture, having an axis of rotation which is substantially vertical when said fixture is in said normal position, and being weight unbalanced with respect to its axis of rotation so that, in response to movement of said fixture from a non-vertical position to said normal position, said rotatable member is caused to spin about its axis of rotation and continue to spin for sometime after said fixture has been moved to said normal position.
7. A device according to claim 6 wherein said weight unbalance is provided by a weight mounted on said rotatable member and spaced radially outwardly from said axis of rotation.
8. A device according to claim 7 wherein said fixture includes a transparent shell affixed thereto with said rotatable member being positioned within said shell and being rotatable relative to said shell.
9 A device according to claim 8 including indicia on the outer surface of said rotatable member.
10. A device according to claim 8 wherein said shell and said rotatable member have corresponding shapes.
11. A device according to claim 7 wherein said weight has portions of unequal size to provide uneven distribution of said weight with respect to said axis of rotation.
12. A device according to claim 7 including a transverse rod mounted on said rotatable member and spaced radially outwardly from said axis of rotation, said weight being slidably mounted on said rod so that, when said rotatable member begins rotating, centrifugal force moves said weight towards one end of said rod.
13. A device according to claim 7 wherein said rotatable member is wider at an area intermediate the ends of said axis of rotation and said weight is located at said wider area.
14. A device according to claim 7 wherein said fixture is connected to a tap valve, is operable to open and close said valve when in the non-vertical and said normal position, respectively, and is adapted to be grasped by hand so that said device acts as a knob for said valve.
15. The device according to claim 7 including opposed pivot point means carried by said fixture;
an axle assembly providing said axis of rotation centrally located in said rotatable member and including separate sections, one of said sections being movable axially with respect to the other of said section and each of said sections having a bearing on the outer end which is in rotatable engagement with respective of said pivot point means; and
a spring interposed said sections urging said bearings into engagement with said pivot point means.