US 3829998 A
A three-dimensional item that is foldable to a flat condition to facilitate mailing, storing and shipping thereof and is adapted to be opened to its three-dimensional condition in which the housing or container of the item constitutes a frame for elements which are comprised of one or more decoration-bearing transparent panels that are retained in parallelism to and between the front and rear faces of said housing. When arranged in open viewing condition, said item is retained in said condition by end flaps extending between the front and rear sides of the item and is supported in said condition by a support bent rearwardly from the rear face.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
iJnited States Patent [191 Flax [ Aug. 20, 1974 THREE-DIMENSIONAL DECORATIVE ITEM  Inventor: William E. Flax, 1633 W. 11th St.,
Los Angeles, Calif. 90015  Filed: Aug. 21, 1972  Appl. No.: 282,126
 US. Cl. 40/l24.l, 40/160  Int. Cl. G09f l/00  Field of Search 40/126 A, 124.1, 155, 160
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,565,553 8/1951 Foley 40/124.1 X 2,742,723 4/1956 Klein et a1. 40/126 A 2,984,920 5/1961 Acosta et a1 40/124.1
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATlONS France 40/155 Primary ExaminerWm. l-l. Grieb Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras  ABSTRACT A three-dimensional item that is foldable to a flat condition to facilitate mailing, storing and shipping thereof and is adapted to be opened to its threedimensional condition in which the housing or container of the item constitutes a frame for elements which are comprised of one or more decorationbearing transparent panels that are retained in parallelism to and between the front and rear faces of said housing. When arranged in open viewing condition, said item is retained in said condition by end flaps extending between the front and rear sides of the item and is supported in said condition by a support bent rearwardly from the rear face.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures THREE-DIMENSIONAL DECORATIVE ITEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention In the field of greeting cards and gift items to provide an,attractive item that presents views in depth and is more likely to be retained by the recipient than to be discarded.
2. Description of the Prior Art Within the knowledge of the applicant, threedimensional items of the instant character are unknown. In the field of greeting and gift cards and especially those branches thereof that cater to children, flat-folded pop-up decorative as well as cartoon-like items are known. Common among the latter are singlefolded devices that cause transversely creased elements to assume perpendicular positions when such devices are opened.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The provision of three-dimensional items that are flat-folded when sent through the mails, and when shipped and stored, and, in a facile manner, are opened to comprise a frame having a decorative inner face on its rear wall seen through the frame opening, as well as one or more transparent panels interposed, in front of said rear face, spaced therefrom and from each other, said panel or panels having decorative elements applied thereupon, the same combining with said decorative inner face of the rear wall of the frame to create an illustion of depth to the scene thus created.
An object of the present invention is to provide an item of the character above referred to that is adapted to be assembled of paper, paperboard, transparent sheet plastic material of the nature of cellophane convertible to a flat condition for mailing, shipping, storing and is readily converted from its flat condition to an opened, decorative item of the type hereinabove discussed to present the framed, three-dimensional item, as contamplated.
This invention also has for its objects to provide such means that are positive in operation, convenient in use, easily installed in working position, economical of manufacture, relatively simple, and of general superiority and serviceability.
The invention also comprises novel details of construction and novel combinations and arrangement of parts, which will more fully appear in the course of the following description, which is based on the accompanying drawings. However, said drawings merely show, and the following specification merely describes a pre ferred embodiment of the present invention, which is given by way of illustration or example only.
In the drawings like reference characters designate similar parts in the several views.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS item being slightly opened for clearer illustration of the parts.
FIG. 5 is a similar cross-sectional view, partly broken, with the item fully opened in viewing condition and in position upon a flat support for viewing thereof.
FIG. 6 is a further enlarged fragmentary view of a detail of construction.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In this specification and in the claims the terms decorations and decorative are intended to include indicia, signs and other markings that may be used alone or in connection with decorations.
The present item comprises, generally, an outer housing enclosure 10, preferably formed of cardboard, pasteboard, or other like material that, while flexible, is form-retaining, said enclosure being shown as of parallelepiped form, which is preferred, but may vary in shape, as desired; panel mounting means 11 comprising members of similar material and disposed in opposed relation in opposite portions of said housing; and at least one transparent panel 12 but, preferably a second such panel 13, extending between and connected to said means 111.
Said housing 10 is formed to have a front wall 15, a rear wall 16 of the same size and shape, upper and lower portions 17 and 18 connecting the respective upper and lower portions of the front and rear of the housing, the enclosure thereby having a tubular form, as shown in FIG. 5. It will be noted that said front has an enlarged opening 19 therein so that the same forms a frame around said opening. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the front wall 15, along the edges thereof extending between the portions 17 and 18, is provided with end flaps 20 of a front to rear width similar to that of the portions 17 and 18, said flaps having tabs 21 extending therefrom, as shown in FIG. 3.
It will be clear that when the portions 17 and 18, from their flattly arranged positions, as in FIGS. 3 and 4, are bent rearwardly along the fold lines 22 and 23, the front wall 15 and the rear wall 16 will be spaced apart, as in FIGS. 1 and 5, and when the flaps 20 are bent rearwardly on the fold lines 24 and the tabs 21 are bent on the fold lines 25 and tucked in front of the rear wall 16, the enclosure housing 10, will have a parallelepiped form that encloses a hollow space 26.
It will be seen from FIGS. 1 and 3 that the ends of portions 117 and 18 are provided with tabs 27 that are folded in at the corners of the above-described housing to cover said corners.
The means 11 comprises upper and lower members 28 and 29 that are formed as tubular members having a width to fit in the front to back depth of the space 26. The face 30 of each of said members defines the upper and lower limits of space 26. Each of said faces is provided with a set of slits 31 nearer the front wall 15 of the enclosure 10 and, optionally, with a similar set of slits 32 that is located between the set of slits 31 and the rear wall 16 of the enclosure.
With the members 28 and 29 securely glued in place to the inner faces of the enclosure portions 17 and 18, the slits 31 and 32 in both members 28 and 29 are vertically aligned, as shown in FIG. 5.
When two transparent panels 12 and 13 are used they are of the same rectangular size, i.e., of the length and height of the space 26. They may differ, however, in the location of hooking tabs 33 and 34, the former being provided on the lower edge of each panel 12 and 13 and the latter on the upper edge of each said panel. Said tabs are so spaced along said edges as to agree with the locations and spacing of the respective slits 31 and 32 so they may be fitted in said slits, as shown in FIG. 6 to thereby retain said panels in parallelism.
It will be seen from FIG. 1 that the inner side of the rear wall 16 of the housing is provided with decorative or scenic markings 35 and that the respective panels 12 and 13 are marked, painted or otherwise provided with related material 36 and 37 that, together with the markings 35, produce a three-dimensional scenic effect as contemplated herein.
The part 38 constitutes a support that when bent away from the rear 16, from which it is bent, retains the item in the viewable position of FIG. 1.
While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is now contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
Having described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
l. A three-dimensional decorative item comprising:
an outer housing having parallel front and rear walls, the front wall having an enlarged opening therein,
said housing having parallel edge portions foldably connecting said front and rear walls whereby the housing is adapted to be converted from an open condition with the front and rear walls spaced apart to a flattened condition with said walls closer to each other, and from the latter condition to the former, said front and rear walls retaining their parallelism when in open condition, in flattened condition, and in all conditions between open and flattened conditions, at least one transparent panel disposed between and in parallelism with Said front and rear housing walls, said transparent panel bearing decorative markings and the like that are visible through the mentioned enlarged opening in the front wall of the enclosure,
means carried by the housing for mounting said transparent panel, said means having engagement with opposite edges of said transparent panel to retain the latter parallel to the housing walls when said walls are in all spaced relations when the housing is in open condition and when the housing is in flattened condition, and decorative material on the inner surface of the rear wall of the housing and which is visible through said transparent panel and combines with the decorative markings on the latter to produce a threedimensional scene viewable through said opening in the front wall of the housing. 2. A three-dimensional decorative item according to claim 1 in which a second transparent panel, parallel with the first transparent panel and having decorative markings, is disposed between the first transparent panel and one of the walls of the housing, the decorative markings on the two transparent panels combining with the decorative material on the rear wall to produce a scenic effect visible through the opening in the front wall of the housing.
3. A three-dimensional decorative item according to claim 1 in which, the mentioned opposite edges of the transparent panel are provided with projecting portions, and
the transparent panel-mounting means means that are carried by the housing are formed to have slits in which the above-mentioned projecting portions of the panel are engaged to retain the transparent panel in parallelism with the front and rear faces of the housing.
4. A three-dimensional decorative item according to claim 1 in which, the ends of the housing, normal to the mentioned edge portions of one face of the housing are provided with flaps that engage the other face of the housing to retain the latter in the mentioned open condition.
5. A three-dimensional decorative item according to claim 4 in which a portion of the rearward side of the rear face of the housing is rearwardly bendable to form a support for the item to hold the same so the decorative portions thereof are in viewable position.