US 3829349 A
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Aug. 13, 1974 T. HERMANSON COLLAPSIBLE ARTIFICIAL TREE Filed July 17, 1973 United States Patent Oihce 3,829,349 Patented Aug. 13, 1974 3,829,349 COLLAPSIBLE ARTIFICIAL TREE Terry Hermanson, New York, N.Y., assignor to Mr. Christmas, Incorporated, New York, N .Y. Filed July 17, 1973, Ser. No. 379,969
Int. Cl. A47g 33/06 U.S. Cl. 161-24 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A collapsible artificial tree arrangement particularly adapted for Christmas decoration in which simulated branches are freely foldable substantially parallel to the trunk thereof in one direction for storage and freely pivotable to an erected condition for display. The arrangement including an elongated trunk core and a plurality of sectional trunk portions disposed therearound with some of said trunk portions having branch holding sockets and other of said trunk portions serving as spacing members.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an artificial tree construction and more particularly to an assembled but col lapsible artificial tree construction.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART In the previously known artificial tree arrangements elongated trunk elements are provided with perforations into which individual branch elements are inserted. More recent arrangements include elongated trunk members having means for hingedly securing branch elements which may be selectively adjusted to a collapsed storage condition or to an erected display condition as exemplified by the Hermanson Patent (3,639,196), Abramson (3,115,435) and Lu (3,603,780). As is inherent in any design, the use of an article results in the knowledge of limitations of the article not previously contemplated. Thus with knowledge of the limitations of the prior art, applicant has developed the present invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprises a new and improved collapsible artificial tree arrangement. It is a primary object of the present invention to provide an artificial tree which can be readily collapsed and stored in the assembled condition or erected from the storage condition thereof to a display condition.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an artificial tree which may be sold according to selective length or height and yet inexpensively manufactured.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide a plurality of sectional trunk portions which may be assembled around an elongated trunk core of any desired length.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide an artificial tree arrangement in which the vertical spacing between branches may be selectively altered.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide an artificial tree arrangement in which the branch members may be securely attached to the trunk over an indefinite period of time.
It is moreover another object of the present invention to provide a collapsible artificial hinge tree arrangement requiring a minimum of parts.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and a fuller understanding of the present invention may be had by referring to the following description and claims, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 represents a view in perspective of the tree atrangement of the present invention in erected display condition;
FIG. 2 represents an enlarged elevational view of a portion of the tree of FIG. 1 with a part of a trunk portion broken away for clarity of detail;
FIG. 3 is a view of the tree portion of FIG. 2 taken along the line 33;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged view in perspective of a branch element of the tree of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a view of the tree portion illustrated in FIG. 3 along line 55; and
FIG. 6 is a further enlarged view of a tree portion taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now more particularly to the drawings it is seen in FIG. 1 that the artificial tree arrangement 10 according to the present invention is illustrated in the erected display condition on a base B, which may be of any convenient form. The tree arrangement 10 includes a plurality of sectional tubular portions 14 and 16 with branch members 24 provided with any desirable type of foliage 26 as the occasion may warrant. It is clear that the present tree arrangement 10 may be in the form of a Christmas tree or any other type of tree uch as bamboo or the like, as may be desired for any particular motif.
It is seen in FIG. 1 that the sectional tubular portions 16 are provided with branch members 24 having foliage 26 at the free ends thereof. The sectional tubular portions 14 are merely spacing members of the trunk without branches thereon. Although the tubular portions 14 and 16 are vertically arranged in alternate relationship along the length of the tree 10, it is clear that two or more of the tubular portions 14 may be disposed in succession if desired.
Looking now at the details of the tree 10 as illustrated in FIGS. 26, it is seen that the tree arrangement 10 comprises an elongated trunk core 12 which may conveniently be of aluminum tubing or of any other suitable material and form. Disposed around the core 12 are at least two sectional tubular trunk portions 14 and 16. As mentioned above the tubular trunk portions 14 are not provided with branches and serve merely as spacer members. The tubular portions 16 on the other hand are provided with a plurality of hollow sockets 18 in which the branch members 24 are hingedly disposed. Each socket 18 extends from the tubular portions 16 upwardly at an incline therefrom. Along the upper side of each socket 18 a longitudinal slot 20 extends for the length thereof. Communicating with slot 20 is a notch 22 formed along the inner surface of tubular portions 16 at substantially to slot 20 at the inner end thereof.
Each branch member 24 as thus seen in FIG. 4 comprises foliage 26 at the free end thereof and a reduced diameter shank portion 28. The shank portion 28 may have at one end thereof an extension 30 with a trunnion portion 31 at substantially 90 thereto in the form of the letter T.
Each sectional trunk portion 14 includes an outer exposed surface 32 and an outer hidden surface of reduced diameter 34. Each sectional trunk portion 14 also comprises a two-dimensional bore including a portion 36 and a reduced diametrical dimension portion 38. Similarly, each sectional trunk portion 16 comprises an outer exposed surface 40, an outer hidden surface 42 of reduced diameter, and a two-dimensional bore including a first portion 44 and a reduced diametrical dimension portion 46.
ASSEMBLY OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In order to assemble the tree arrangement 10 according to the present invention the trunk core 12 is first inserted into one of the sectional trunk portions 14 or 16 depending upon which of these trunk portions should be situated at the lower end of the trunk. Assuming that it is desired to have a section 14 (without any branch members 24 thereon) adjacent the base B, the trunk core 12 is inserted into a sectional trunk portion 14 first. It is seen in FIG. 2 that the sectional trunk portion 14 is disposed with the reduced diameter portion 38 as the lower end thereof. The reduced diameter portion of the bore of sectional trunk portion 14 is made so that it may be slipped over core 12 with a slight amount of force. Next the trunk core 12 may be inserted into a sectional trunk portion 16 in such a manner that the core 12 enters the reduced diametrical dimension portion 46 which provides a snugly slidable fit with core 12. When the core 12 is fully inserted into sectional trunk portion 16, the outer hidden surface portion 42 is disposed within the portion 36 of the bore of sectional trunk portion 14.
A branch member 24 may now be inserted into each socket 18 by lining up the trunnion portion 31 with a notch 22 and the shank portion 28 with the slot 20 associated therewith. By applying a slight downward pressure through the shank portion 28 and against the slot 20 to spread the sides thereof, the branch member 24 may be properly seated within the socket 18. When the desired number of branch members 24 are seated in the sockets 18 of the sectional trunk portion 16, the trunk core 12 may then be inserted into a further sectional trunk portion 14 or 16 until the outer hidden surface 34 or 42 thereof is seated within the portion 44 of the bore to securely lock the branch members 24 from accidental removal.
With the sectional trunk portions 14 and 16 and branch members 24 assembled as described above and illustrated in FIGS. 2 and it is clear that the branch members 24 are then indefinitely, but securely mounted and adaptable to being hinged from the solid line display condition in the direction of the arrows in FIG. 5 to the folded or collapsed storage condition (in phantom).
In carrying out the above invention it is noted that in the preferred embodiment the sectional trunk portions 14 and 16 are of molded polyethylene having outer exposed surfaces with bark-like appearance. The branch members 24 may also conveniently be of molded polyethylene. Further in this connection the branch portions 30 and 31, as disclosed, are of relatively rigid wire material with a portion of the wire 30 embedded within the shank portion 28.
However, portions 30 and 31 of the branch members 24 What is claimed is:.
1. In an artificial tree, an elongated core over which are disposed two or more sectional trunk portions, characterized in that at least one of said trunk portions comprises one or more branch-holding sockets, each of said sockets including a longitudinal slot extending the length thereof and having a notch at its inner end, extending axially thereof and communicating with said slot from within the interior of said one of said trunk portions.
' that said trunk portions are formed from a yieldable plastic material whereby said branch member may be snugly held within said slot and yet be pivotally hinged into and out of said slot to an erected condition or a collapsed condition.
5. The structure as defined in claim 4 characterized in that each of said trunk portions includes an exposed outer trunk surface and a hidden outer surface of reduced diametric dimension with said hidden outer surface being disposed within an adjacent one of said trunk portions.
6. The structure as defined in claim 5 wherein each of said trunk portions includes a two-dimensional bore with one portion of said bore being disposed in sliding relationship around the hidden outer surface of an adjacent one of said trunk portions and a reduced dimensional portion thereof being disposed around said core in frictional relationship therewith.
7. The structure as defined in claim 4 characterized in that said yieldable plastic material is polyethylene.
8. The structure as defined in claim 3 wherein said trunnion member extends from the inner end of said shank portion and is integrally formed therewith.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,495,695 5/1924 Karr l6l24 3,115,435 12/1963 Abramson l6l24 3,131,112 4/1964 Abramson 161-'24 3,603,780 9/1971 Lu 24010 T 3,639,196 2/1972 Hermanson 161--24 WILLIAM E. SCHULZ, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. D29l A