US 3771247 A
A framing system for mounting art objects includes a shell having an outer inflatable compartment and an inner compartment. The inner compartment is adapted to receive an art object and may include a pocket having an elongated pouch for receiving the object to be mounted. Valve means may be located in the outer compartment for inflating the compartment.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 De Harak 5] Nov. 13, 1973 INFLATABLE ART FRAME  Inventor: Rudolph De Harak, New York, NY.
 Assignee: Corchia, de Harak, Inc., New York,
221 Filed: June 19, 1972 211 Appl. No.: 264,347
 U.S. C1 40/152, 46/87, 40/212, 40/16  Int. Cl. G091 1/12  Field of Search 40/152, 154, 155, 40/10, 16, 212; 46/87  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,593,188 4/1952 Rikelman 46/88 X 2,804,123 8/1957 Kling 46/87 X 3,234,685 2/1966 Harrowe 3,686,782 8/1972 Erickson 40/152 Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao .1. Contreras Attorney-David S. Kane et a1.
 ABSTRACT 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures FATENIEDNHV 13 ms 3 771.247
F/G. FIG. 2
1 INFLATABLE ART FRAME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to an inexpensive, lightweight, easily assembled, protective frame for art objects, and particularly pictures, photographs, charts or the like.
Framing art objects can be a difficult, time consuming and expensive adventure. Previously, the layman has had to struggle with cumbersome and complicated framing systems in order to mount his objects dart and, particularly, pictures, in order to avoid the delay and expense of a professional framer.
Recently, amateur framers have been able to take advantage of so-called do it yourself lightweight metal and plastic framing systems. However, even these frames must be laboriously assembled from a package of individual frame segments and hardware. Alayman must still employ hand tools, such as pliers and screwdrivers, to assemble such do-it-yourself type frames. Frame members can bend or break during assembly by the unskilled amateur. Furthermore, the lightweight frames formed, for example, from aluminum or acrylic resin are relatively expensive and therefore, discourage broad use.
Accordingly, there exists a need for an inexpensive lightweight, easily assembled framing system free of the defects and deficiencies of the prior art. The system should be adapted to frame paintings, pictures, photographs, charts, lightweight mirrors and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The above and other objects are met in a framing system for mounting objects including a shell having an outer inflatable compartment and an inner compartment. The inner compartment is adapted to receive an object in mounting relation.
Such framing system may include an envelope formed from a pair of parallel sheets sealed at their outer peripheries and sealed internally thereof to form an enclosure of a predetermined shape, whereby an outer inflatable compartment is formed between the said inner and outer seals. The outer compartment has a valve for inflating the compartment and'the inner compartment has a slit passing through one of said sheets to form a pocket for receiving art objects and the like.
The foregoing inflatable frame system provides substantial advantages. Inexpensive and lightweight materials, such as vinyl plastics can be employed in the framing system, thereby reducing costs and weight substantially. Further, to assemble the framing system, the outer compartment need only be inflated and a picture or object inserted into the pocket of the inner compartment.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The accompanying drawings illustrate a somewhat preferred embodiment of the invention in which:
FIG. 1 is a front plan view of an inflated framing system having a picture mounted therein;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front plan view of a second embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a front plan view of a third embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention is adapted to frame artwork including pictures, photographs, charts, mirrors-plain or decorativeas well as any other object dart. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, framing system 10 has an outer inflatable compartment 12 and a central object receiving compartment 14. A valve 16 is provided in the outer compartment 12 to permit the compartment to be inflated.
As shown in FIG. 2, framing system 10 is preferably formed from a pair of parallel, lightweight flexible sheets 18 sealed about their outer perimeter 20. Inner object receiving compartment 14 is formed by sealing an enclosed area centrally of outer compartment 12. The inner seal line 22 can be of any predetermined shape,,whether regular or irregular. As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the inner compartment 14 can be triangular 26, square 28, as well as any other planar geometrical configuration.
To facilitate mounting an object in the framing system, an elongated slot 24 is provided across the inner compartment 14 as shown in FIG. 1. A picture or the like may be readily inserted through slot 24 into picture receiving compartment 14.
The framing system is preferably formed from lightweight, flexible material that can be sealed in an airtight manner. This includes flexible, inflatable plastics, such as vinyls, including; polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene and polyethylene. Other suitable flexible materials include natural or synthetic air impervious fibers, such as canvas and natural elastomers, such as rubber.
In the preferred embodiments, at least the central picture receiving compartment 14 is formed from a translucent and preferably a transparent material to allow for easy viewing when the picture, mirror or the like is inserted. For manufacturing convenience, it may be desirable and preferable to fabricate the entire framing system from a transparent material.
As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 the framing system can be formed into a rectangular, circular, triangular or other free form shape. The inner'and outer compartments may be the same or different shapes. It is within the scope of the invention to employ an inflatable outer compartment formed from a pair of sealed sheets in combination with a single sheet forming an inner compartment. In such an embodiment, the frame material may be opaque, with the art work, picture or mirror mounted to the front surface of the inner compartment by means of adhesives or the like.
If desired, the inflatable outer compartment can be painted or printed in any desired design or motif on the interior or exterior surfaces by conventional processes. A hanging system or stand can be formed as part of the framing system or as an independent attachment thereto.
To fabricate the frame system as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a pair of vinyl sheets are placed coextensive with each other (not shown). The outer edge 20 of the sheets is thereafter heat sealed employing conventional sealing mechanisms. An adhesive sealer could be employed as well as an ultrasonic sealing unit. Next, an interior compartment or pocket is formed by heat sealing a second enclosed strip 22. The interior compartment is then slit across either its length or width to provide a pocket for receiving an art object or the like. Finally, a valve 16 is provided in the compartment formed between the outer and inner seals. If desired, the valve could be eliminated and replaced by a suitable chemical composition. The composition can be activated when it is desired to inflate the outer compartment to provide a sufficient supply of a suitable nontoxic gas. Such gas producing containers, capsules and compositions are well known in the art.
It is within the scope of the invention to provide an external compartment which is preinflated. By this expedient, one eliminates the need for a separate inflating means such as a valve or the like in the outer compartment. There are certain advantages, such as the ability to store the uninflated frame in a reduced space which are waived by the elimination of the inflating means. However, such an inflated frame would still be reasonably economical and highly useful.
To use the uninflated framing system valve 16 is opened and outer compartment 12 is inflated by mouth, pump or other means. The inner compartment remains uninflated as a flat space or pocket in which or upon which the work to be framed and protected is inserted or mounted. As shown in FIG. 1, after inflation of the outer compartment a picture may be inserted through slit 24 into the inner compartment.
The above-described framing system therefore provides substantial advantages over contemporary frames. For example, by employing inexpensive framing materials, the framing system may be disposed of after one use. Such a disposable system would be highly practical for use in childrens or infants rooms. They would also be useful for open air art exhibits wherein a picture could be protected from the elements.
it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various modifications of the invention can be made in terms of shape, size and materials and the like. The invention is not to be limited except as set forth in the following claims.
1. A framing system for artwork such as paintings, pictures or photographs comprising:
a. a closed shell having an outer inflatable compartment and a central artwork receiving compartment, said shell formed from a lightweight, flexible material;
b. valve means in said outer compartment for inflating said compartment; and
c. an elongated entrance opening in said central compartment for receiving said artwork, said central compartment adapted to protectively pocket said artwork.
2. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein said shell is formed from a lightweight, flexible transparent material.
3. The invention in accordance with claim 2 wherein said material is a vinyl resin.
4. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein said shell is formed by sealing a first endless strip adjacent the perimeter of a pair of plastic sheets and sealing a second endless strip interiorly of said first strip wherein the area between said first and second strips is said outer compartment and the area interiorly of said second strip is said inner compartment.
5. A framing system for mounting objects, such as art work, pictures, paintings, photographs, charts, mirrors and the like comprising:
a shell having an outer inflatable compartment and an inner compartment;
said inner compartment adapted to receive an object in mounting relation; and
a slot in said inner compartment for receiving said objects.