US 3804331 A
A decorative room air treating device in the shape of a flower pot or other aesthetically appealing container having a body portion with circular cross-sections, as for example, one constructed of a pair of concentric frusto-conical plastic containers dimensioned to fit closely, but rotatably one within the other. The top end of the inner container is closed by a transverse wall from which projects upwardly a plastic simulated horticultural item, such as a flower. A cake of an air treating substance is disposed within the inner container and the side walls of the two containers are so orificed that in one rotational position relative to each other, none of the orifices of the two containers fall into registry, but in a second rotational position, they are disposed in registry. In positions intermediate the two extremes, the orifices of the two containers may be disposed in various degrees of registry.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Levey DECORATIVE ROOM AIR TREATING DEVICE  lnventor: John S. Levey, Westlake Village,
 Assignee: Days-Ease Home Products Corp.,
North Hollywood, Calif.
 Filed: May 25, 1973  Appl. No.: 363,810
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 353,086, April 23, 1973, abandoned, Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 250,181, May 4, 1972, abandoned.
 US. Cl. 239/59, 239/60  Int. Cl. A24f 25/00  Field of Search 239/34, 57, 58, 59, 60
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,481,291 9/1949 Dupuy 239/59 X 2,708,595 5/1955 Ludwig 239/59 X 2,765,194 10/1956 Will 239/59 2,783,084 2/1957 Paxton 239/59 Primary E.\'aminerM. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant E.raminerMichael Y. Mar Attorney, Agent, or FI'rm-Smyth, Roston & Pavitt  ABSTRACT A decorative room air treating device in the shape of a flower pot or other aesthetically appealing container having a body portion with circular cross-sections, as for example, one constructed of a pair of concentric frusto-conical plastic containers dimensioned to fit closely, but rotatably one within the other. The top end of the inner container is closed by a transverse wall from which projects upwardly a plastic simulated horticultural item, such as a flower. A cake of an air treating substance is disposed within the inner container and the side walls of the two containers are so orificed that in one rotational position relative to each other, none of the orifices of the two containers fall into registry, but in a second rotational position, they are disposed in registry. ln positions intermediate the two extremes, the orifices of the two containers may be disposed in various degrees of registry.
15 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PAIENTED APR 1 6 1974 SHEEY 1 OF 2 PAIENTEUAPR 1 51014 3,804,331
sum 2 [1F 2 DECORATIVE ROOM AIR TREATING DEVICE PRIOR RELATED APPLICATION This application is a C ontinuation-in-part of my prior U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 353.086 filed 23. I973. now abandoned and which. itself, was a continuationin-part of my prior U.S. Pat. application, Ser. No. 250,181 filed May 4, 1972 which has been abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to room air treating devices in I general, such as room deodorizers, and in particular to such devices as have sought to obtain their effectiveness through evaporation of a gel or liquid type deodorizer.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART For a number of decades there have been offered to the public a number of different devices containing gels or liquids which. when exposed to the atmosphere, evaporate slowly into the environs and dissipate or counteract the presence of certain stale or otherwise offensive room odors. Examples of such devices which have been patented are illustrated and described in the following patents:
U.S. Pat. No. Date of Issue Invcntors 1.732.028 Oct. 15, l929 l H. M. Remer 2.247.600 .luly l, l94l F.C. Brennan. ct al. 2.4l2.32(1 Dec. I0. 1946 C.F..I. Dupuy 2.438.l29 Mar. 23.1948 lik lflch M" h 2.63.532 July l5. 1952 w.H. whc r galf 2.6 Iii''o" "071. 57. i933 George w. Meek 2.765.l)4 Oct. 2. I956 T. Will 2.783.084 Feb. 26. I957 W. Paxton 2.794.676 June 4. I957 V.F.DAgostino 2.878.060 Mar. I7. I95) A.D. Russo 2.927.055 Mar. 1. i960 Monroe Lanzct 3.400.890 Sept. l().l968 F.E. Gould 3.552.632 Jan. 5. I971 N.E. Wilson British Pat. No.
777.303 June l). 1957 Charles Wasmcr A principal problem with all of such .devices is that, despite efforts on the part of inventors. designers and manufacturers to provide the devices with an aesthetic appearance. they still look like cans. jars or other objects which are usually quite incompatible with the customary decor of a living room, den, bedroom or bathroom. Even the Gould patent device with its fragrance releasing simulated flower would seem to be quite artificial in its appearance.
While undoutedly skilled designers could, if engaged especially for this purpose, produce works-of-art embodiments of such devices, there arecertain practical problems which have inhibited such efforts. In the first place, the device should be adjustable in order that one may vary the rate of evaporation of the deodorizing gel, depending upon the extent of the need therefor in the room or space in which the device is placed. Should there be little need therefor, the evaporation rate should be minimized in order to prolong the useful life of the device; but where the room may have been subject to heavy smoking or other offensive order producing activities, it may be desirable to increase substantially, for at least a brief period, the evaporation rate of the gel and the dispensation of the vapor into the room.
Secondly. the device should be adapted to fit'in with the decor of any of the rooms in which it is to be placed. e.g. bathroom. bedroom. den. living room. dining room. kitchen or family room. Whatever design is adopted. therefore. must have a rather universal adaptability to many different room decors.
Thirdly, the container for the gel must be able to be fabricated and sold so cheaply that when the useful life of the gel has ended, the householder may afford to throw the container away. Alternatively, it might be desirable to provide a container in which a new cake of gel could conveniently be inserted to replace the one which has evaporated.
In addition, despite the desirability of extreme economy in manufacture, a device of the type herein contemplated must be carefully and specially designed to be easily operated by the average householder and to avoid leakage of the gel and sticking of rotatable parts.
These objectives have not hitherto been attained by any prior room deodorizing device.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a room air treating device which may in the form of an attractive flower pot from which protrudes a plastic flower, such as a daisy, with or without additional greenery. or other aesthetically appealing container. The flower pot may be constructed as a double-walled vessel with an inner wall portion or vessel which fits closely but rotatably' within the outer-walled vessel. The inner-walled vessel serves as a container for a cake of deodorizer gel and is orificed at a plurality of locations about its frustoconical or cylindrical side. The outer-walled vessel is so orificed that in one angular position of the inner-walled vessel relative to the outer walls. non of its orifices falls into registry with any of the orifices in the inner-walled vessel. but in other positions, such registry occurs in varying degrees up to complete registry of all orifices of both the inner and outer vessels.
The top of the inner-walled vessel may be closed by a removable transverse wall from which may extend one or more plant or greenery stems. In one embodiment of the invention, the transverse wall may have an overhung knob onto which a receptable of the lower end of a flower stem may be snapped. In another embodiment of the invention, the transverse wall may have molded into it at least one downwardly extending receptacle into which may be stuck the stem of a plastic plant or other simulated greenery stem. In still another embodiment, the first two greenery arrangements may be combined. All components of the deodorizer container may be readily molded of a plastic material such as polystyrene or high-impact polyethylene. at a mini mum of expense. Alternatively, the deodorizer may be in the form of any other type of vessel having circular cross-sections and formed to provide an aesthetically attractive appearance.
Thus, the deodorizing substance is contained in a decorative simulated potted plant or other attractive container which may be placed appealingly anywhere in the house, and deodorization may be effected by rotating the outer wall of the flower pot vessel or other form of container to a position relative to its inner wall wherein the orifices of both vessels are placed in the desired degree of registry.
When the deodorizer cake is completely evaporated, it may be replaced by simply removing the transverse top wall on the inner-walled vessel and dropping a new cake into the latter.
In another embodiment of the invention, the inner walls of the inner container may be provided with ribs, veins or other projections to hold the cake away from most of the inner wall surface, thereby to improve the air circulation about the cake and hence to permit better evaporation and dispensing of the cake vapor through the registering orifices in the container walls.
To facilitate the rapid molding of both the inner and outer containers with their respective orifices the upper edges of the orifices are preferrably sharply bevelled inwardly, thereby permitting the containers to be more easily ejected from the molds without the necessity of providing expensive camming ejecting equipment.
While it is desirable on the one hand that the inner and outer containers rotatably fit closely enough to prevent leakage of the gel through the orifices in the outer container when those of the inner container are not disposed in register with the orifices of the outer container, it is important that the two containers not fit so closely together that relative rotation of them is made difficult. To this end the inner walls of the outer container between the orifices may be at least slightly recessed thereby minimizing the contacting surfaces between the inner and outer containers through which surfaces friction may develop.
Desirably some guide means should be provided to enable the user to known when he or she has rotated the inner container relative to the outer container either to provide full orifice registry or to fully close the outer orifices. For this purpose an interrupted annular beadmay be provided to extend slightly radially outwardly from the rim of the outer container. The upper end of the inner container extends beyond the rim of the outer container and preferrably is provided with an annular overhanging flange which extends radially beyond the rim and bead of the outer container thereby providing an annular recess rototatably receive said rim and its bead. However, stop means may be provided within the annular recess so that rotation of the containers is permitted only to the extent of the interruptions of the bead. These interruptions should be of such arcuate distance as to just slightly exceed the width of the outer container window orifices and so disposed as to allow rotation of the inner container from a first position wherein none of the orifices of the inner container is in registry with any of the orifices of the outer container, to a second rotational position wherein all of the orifices of the inner container are in registry with those of the outer container.
Provision should also be made for secure but removable seating of the upper transverse wall which closes the upper end of the inner container. This may be accomplished by providing slight radially inwardly extending projections past which the edge of the transverse wall may be snapped and held until pried out from the seating.
Lastly, in order to enable the inner and outer containers to be automatically assembled by machines, projections may be provided in the bottom wall of the outer container to be caught by the portion of the machine tool which is rotated to cause the interruptions in the annular bead on the rim of the outer container to receive the stop means within the annular recess formed by the overhanging flange of the inner container rim.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a section taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the container of FIG. 4 which view also shows a part of the machine tool used to assemble the container.
FIG. 7 is a horizontal section taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings, the decorative room treating device 10 may be comprised of an outer vessel 12, preferably conical in configuration as a flower pot, and inner vessel 14 of similar configuration, but dimensioned to fit closely but rotatably within the outer vessel 12. The top of the inner vessel is closed by a transverse wall 16. In the embodiment shown, this wall 16 is provided with a plurality of wedges 18 on its underside which wedges with the periphery of the wall 16 seat within the inner surface 20 of the inner vessel 14. The latter includes an upwardly extending angular conical segment 22, an annular horizontal rim 24 and a downwardly extending annular wall 26. The transverse wall 16 itself may be provided with a centrally disposed raised overhung knob 30 and a plurality of downwardly extending receptacles 32.
Each vessel 12, 14 is orificed at a plurality of locations 12a, 14a respectively in its conical side wall 12b and 14b, respectively. Orifices 12a areso disposed relative to orifices 140, however, that in one angular rotational position of vessel 14 relative to the outer vessel 12, none of the orifices 14a fall into registry with orifices 12a, but in another position, all of them are brought into registry.
The underside 28 of the inner vessel 14 is preferably provided at its center with a bearing 34 which may be seated in a mating recess 36 in the bottom wall 38 of the outer vessel 12. This bearing 34 not only serves as a means about which the inner vessel 14 may be rotated within the outer vessel 12, but it also supports the inner vessel 14 sufficiently upwardly to prevent the conical wall 141) of the inner vessel 14 from being jammed against the inner surface 20 of the conical wall 12b of the outer vessel 12.
The device is completed by first inserting within the vessel 14 and before the wall 16 is placed inside the wall 14b, a cake 36 of an evaporable deodorizing gel, as for example, one of the type disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,927,055 issued Mar. 1, 1960 to Airkem, Inc., as assignee of Monroe Lanzet, although many other types of such gels obviously could be utilized. The transverse wall 16 is then placed inside the conical wall surface 20 l and seated therein where it is supported by the wedges 18. A simulated plastic flower 38 is then mounted on the knob 30 by forcing the gripping receptacle 40 at the base of the flower stem 42 onto the overhung knob 30. Stems 44 of additional greenery 46 may then be inserted into the receptacles 32.
All components of the device, with the exception of the gel cake, may be molded of plastic materials. The vessels l2, l4 and transverse wall 16 may be made of polystyrene or high-impact polyethylene, while the flower 38 and greenery 46 may be molded of polyethylene.
In use, the two vessels 12, 14, with the gel cake 36 inserted into the bottom of the inner vessel 14 closed by the wall 16, and with their respective orifices 12a, 14a entirely out of registry, may be shipped and sold in a carton also containing a packet with the flower and greenery. After removing the vessels from the carton and the flower and greenery from the packet and mounting them on the wall 16, the householder needs only to rotate the room 24 of the inner vessel 14, until the latters orifices 14a fall intoregistry with the orifice 12a of the outer vessel 12, to the degree necessary to provide the desired rate of evaporation of the gel cake 36 into the room in which the deodorizer is placed. When the room shall have been sufficiently deodorized, the rim 24 may be again rotated to place the orifice 12a, 14a out of registry, thereby blocking further evaporation of the gel cake 36 and preserving its useful life. Alternatively, the orifices 12a, 14a may be placed only partly in registry to provide a lesser rate of evaporization and hence deodorization. When the gel cake 36 shall have been dully evaporated, it may be replaced simply by removing the transverse wall 16 and dropping a new cake into the bottom of the vessel 14.
The preferred embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in FIGS. 4-7 includes certain features which are important from production and operation standpoints. Thus, it will be observed that upper edges 48, 50 of the orifices 12a and 14a are beveled at 52, 54 inwardly from the outsides of their respective walls 121) and 14b so that the upper edges 48, 50 are almost razor thin. This enables the vessels l2, 14' better to be ejected from their respective molds without the necessity of expensive cam ejecting mechanisms.
In addition, in order to minimize the friction which develops between the abutting walls 12b, 14b when vessel 14' is inserted into vessel 12', the inside surface of the wall 12b of vessel 12' may be recessed between orifices 12a. These recesses also effect a saving of the plastic material required to mold.vessel 12'.
It will also be noted that an interrupted arcuate bead 56 is provided to extend radially outwardly from the upper rim 58 of the outer vessel 12'. Through the interruptions, the bead 56 is actually broken up into a series of discrete arcuate segments 56a, 56b, 560, etc. which are separated by spaces 58a, 58b, 580, etc. The annular horizontal rim 24 and downwardly extending annular wall 26' are so dimensioned and the latter is so spaced from the wall 14b as to rotatably receive the thus beaded rim 58 of the outer vessel 12'. However, in order to limit the rotation of the inner vessel 14 within the outer vessel 12' a position where the orifices 12a, 14a of the vessels 12', 14' are in registry and a position where they are not so in registry, a series of stop members 60 may be provided within the annular recess 62 define by the downwardly extending wall 26' and the upper rim of the wall 14b. These stop members 60 will block relative rotation of the vessels l2, 14 at the points where the ends of the arcuate segments 56a, 56b, 56c, etc. strike the stop members 60. By providing such stop members, not only will the housewife or other user be guided in setting the orifices 12a, 14a into either registering or non-registering positions, but the devices may be machine assembled, since the two vessels may be moved together co-axially and then twisted into a non-registering position of the orifices. For this purpose gripping means 64 may be provided on the underside of the outer vessel 12 so that a machine tool head 66 may be moved in against such means 64 to effect the desired twisting to where all orifices 12a, 14a are placed entirely out of registry.
In the FIGS. 4-7 embodiment, the transverse wall 16' which closes the top of the inner vessel 14' is snapped over a plurality of small radially inwardly extending projections 68 and held in an annular seat formed by the intersection of the horizontally extending flange 24 with the inner wall of the upwardly extending rim portion of the vertical flange 26'. With this construction the lid 16' may be securely seated to close the top of the inner vessel, yet it may be pried out in order to enable the user to replace the gel cake after it has evaporated. Also in this embodiment, a single plastic flower stem 69 is inserted in a downwardly projecting receptacle 70, this flower stem having extending laterally from the point where the stem protrudes from the lid 16', plastic supports 72 from which extend upwardly a plurality of flower greenery leaves or stalks 74.
In order to improve the air circulation around the cake and hence to increase evaporation of the cake vapors into the area surrounding the FIGS. 4-7 deodorizer, the inside of the wall 17b may be provided with radially inwardly projecting ribs of projections 76 which support the cake 36' away from the inner surface of the wall 14b.
Thus, the foregoing embodiments of the present invention not only provide very useful and functional deodorizing devices, but devices which, because they so resemble a flower pot with a blooming flower or other decorative device, are aesthetically attractive enough to fit with the decor of most rooms of the average house. Further, since the entire containing units may not be fabricated of plastic, they may be made and sold at relatively low prices. In addition, since such devices need not be thrown away when their evaporative gel cakes have been dissipated, but each may be renewed with the insertion of a new gel cake, the present invention will not only appeal to the economic housewife, but also to all persons who are interested in promoting ecology by decreasing the number of throw-away items which they use and must dispose of.
1. A decorative room air treating device, said device comprising:
An inner container and an outer container, said containers both having side walls with circular crosssections about a common axis and both said containers being so dimensioned that the inner container fits closely but rotatably within the outer container, at least one of said containers being closed at its bottom by a transverse wall, the side walls of each of said containers being provided with a plurality of orifices spaced thereabout, the orifices of the inner container being so disposed that,
in a first rotational angular position relative to the outer container, none of the orifices of the inner container falls in registry with any of the orifices in the outer container, and, in a second such relative rotational angular position, a plurality of the orifices of the inner container falls into registry with those of the outer container;
The inner container being provided with an upper portion which extends above the upper rim of the side wall of the outer container, said upper portion extending radially outwardly over said rim and flanged downwardly and annularly and to circumscribe said rim, which upper portion may be grasped by one hand of a person and rotated relative to the side wall of the outer container when the latter is held by the persons other hand, thereby to change the rotational angular position of the inner container relative to the outer container from the said first position to the second position, and viceversa;
an evaporative air treating substance disposed within the walls of the inner container; and
a transverse wall closing the upper end of the inner container.
2. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 1, wherein the side walls of the inner and outer containers are frusto-conical and are inverted to appear as a flower pot.
3. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein at least one upwardly projecting plastic simulated horticultural item is provided to project upwardly from the transverse wall which closes the upper end of the inner container.
4. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein at least one upwardly projecting plastic simulated horticultural item is provided to project upwardly from the said transverse wall which closes the upper end of the inner container, the both of said inner and outer containers are provided with transverse bottom walls.
5. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein a bearing is interposed between said transverse bottom walls.
6. A decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein the upper portion of the inner container includes an annular radiating extension having an annular downwardly extending flange which, with the outer wall of the inner container, defines an annular recess into which is received the rim of the outer container, both containers are closed by transverse bottom walls, and a bearing projection is interposed between the last said walls to prevent such engagement between the side walls of the inner and outer containers and the rim of the outer container in said recess as would inhibit rotation of the inner container within the outer container.
7. A decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein the transverse wall which closes the upper end of the inner container is molded of a plastic material and includes, molded integrally therewith, at least one downwardly projecting receptacle into which a simulated plastic horticultural item may be inserted to project upwardly from said wall.
8. A decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein the transverse wall which closes the upper end of the inner container is molded to a plastic material and includes, molded integrally therewith, an upwardly extending overhung projection, and the simulated horticultural item includes an overhanging plastic mating female receptacle at the base of the stem of such item, whereby the item may be mounted on said projection by snapping said receptacle onto said projection.
9. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 1, wherein the transverse wall closing the upper end of the inner container is removable from the inner container.
10. The room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein the evaporative air treating substance is in the form of a firm cake and the inside of the side wall of the inner container is provided with a plurality of radially inwardly extending projections, said projections serving to support said cake away from most of the inner surface of said side wall of the inner container, thereby exposing a greater area of the cake to the atmopshere for evaporation thereinto and passage through the orifices in the side walls of both containers when the inner container is disposed in its second angular position relative to the outer container so that a plurality of the orifices in the inner container are in registry with those of the outer container.
11. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein at least one of the abutting walls of the inner and outer containers between the orifices in such wall is recessed to minimize the actual abutting surfaces of the walls and thereby to decrease the friction which develops as the containers are rotated relative to each other.
12. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 1, wherein the upper portion of the inner container extends radially outwardly beyond the rim of the outer container and includes an annular radiating extension having an annular downwardly extending flange which, with the outer wall of the inner container defines an annular recess into which is received the rim of the outer container, whereby said annular extension may be grasped in one hand to effect rotation of the inner container relative to the outer container.
13. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 6, wherein the rim of the outer container includes at least one arcuate recess extending for the distance between said first and second rotational angular positions, and stop means are provided in the annular recess defined by the outer wall of the inner container and said downwardly extending flange, whereby when said stop means is disposed in said arcuate recess in the rim of the outer container, relative rotation of said two containers is limited to said distance between said first and second rotational angular positions.
14. The decorative room air treating device as described in claim 2, wherein portions of the container side walls which define the upper edges of the orifices are bevelled inwardly from the outsides of the walls.
15. The decorative room air freshening device as described in claim 2, wherein means are provided on the bottom of the outer container to be gripped by a tool for twisting the outer container relative to the inner container, thereby to enable said containers to be assembled by machine means.