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Publication numberUS3831022 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 20, 1974
Filing dateAug 14, 1972
Priority dateAug 14, 1972
Also published asCA976133A, CA976133A1, DE2339974A1
Publication numberUS 3831022 A, US 3831022A, US-A-3831022, US3831022 A, US3831022A
InventorsD Bray, D Porter
Original AssigneeThomas Industries Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible chandelier
US 3831022 A
Abstract
This invention provides a prewired chandelier having a supporting stem with radially extended arms which arms are permanently hingedly connected to the stem to permit them to be folded into a more compact form without disturbing the prewiring which extends through the stem, the hinged connections and the arms. In the preferred form of the invention the hinges are disposed with vertical axes parallel to each other and to the supporting stem, and the arms are foldable from their radial positions to positions where they are substantially parallel to each other, that is, in planes substantially parallel to a plane, passing through the vertical axis of the stem. The arms being permanently hinged do not allow any substantial stress upon the prewired conductors beyond flexing sufficiently to allow the arms to swing from folded to unfolded position and vice versa. The chandelier in folded condition requires less space and packing for shipment. The invention employs a simple but effective locking means for rigidly holding the lamp arms in their radial positions. This locking means may be disengaged by a very simple operation to release the lamp arms for folding to their collapsed or folded form. It appears to be broadly new the present invention to fold the arms of a prewired chandelier, on permanent hinges, to reduce the space required for shipment or storage while at the same time maintaining continuously, in both folded and unfolded condition, functional mechanical hinge and electric flexible connections whereby the folded or collapsed condition of the chandelier may be converted with minimum effort into the completely expanded and electrically connected chandelier ready be installed. In brief, the mechanical and electrical connections are maintained in folded as well as expanded condition and through all intermediate positions.
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finite ttes atet 1191 Porter et a1.

[ Aug. 20, 1.974

1 1 COLLAPSIBLE CHANDELIER [75] Inventors: David 11. Porter; Douglas R. Bray,

both of Fort Atkinson, Wis.

[73] Assignee: Thomas Industries, Inc, Ft.

Atkinson, Wis.

[22] Filed: Aug. 14, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 280,251

52 us. ca. 240/78 1, 240/85 R, 248/324, 248/343 51 int. c1. IFZlv 21/00 [58] Field of Search..... 240/78 R, 78 F, 78 E, 85 R, 240/73 R, 73 BA; 248/342, 343, 344, 323, 324

Primary Examinerloseph F. Peters Attorney, Agent, or Firm,lohnson, Dienner, Emrich, Verbeck & Wagner [57] ABSTRACT This invention provides a prewired chandelier having a supporting stem with radially extended arms which arms are permanently hingedly connected to the stem to permit them to be folded into a more compact form without disturbing the prewiring which extends through the stem, the hinged connections and the arms. In the preferred form of the invention the hinges are disposed with vertical axes parallel to each other and to the supporting stem, and the arms are foldable from their radial positions to positions where they are substantially parallel to each other, that is, in planes substantially parallel to a plane, passing through the vertical axis of the stem. The arms being permanently hinged do not allow any substantial stress upon the prewired conductors beyond flexing sufficiently to allow the arms to swing from folded to unfolded position and vice versa. The chandelier in folded condition requires less space and packing for shipment. The invention employs a simple but effective locking means for rigidly holding the lamp arms in their radial positions. This locking means may be disengaged by a very simple operation to release the lamp arms for folding to their collapsed or folded form. It appears to be broadly new the present invention to fold the arms of a prewired chandelier, on permanent hinges, to reduce the space required for shipment or storage while at the same time maintaining continuously, in both folded and unfolded condition, functional mechanical hinge and electric flexible connections whereby the folded or collapsed condition of the chandelier may be converted with minimum effort into the completely expanded and electrically connected chandelier ready be installed. In brief, the mechanical and electrical connections are maintained in folded as well as expanded condition and through all intermediate positions.

11 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures COLLAPSIBLE CHANDELIER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There are a number of prior art constructions showing the different means for folding the anns of a chandelier.

The prior art foldable chandelier constructions are generally quite complicated and require careful handling in assembling to avoid damage during the folding and unfolding of the lamp arms. Furthermore, their hinged construction generally detracts from the aesthetics of the design and as a consequence detracts from the beauty of the chandelier.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a chandelier having a plurality of lamp arms pivotally supported on its base plate such that the lamp arms can be selectively folded and unfolded between a radial mounting position and a parallel plane stored position on opposite sides of the base plate. This invention includes a unique and novel locking means for selectively holding the arms in a radial mounting position, which locking means may be readily released to free the arms for rotation to the straight plane stored position.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS For a better understanding of this invention, reference may be made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. I is a side elevational view of the first embodiment of our invention in assembled form;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view showing the hinged connection of the lamp arms on the base of the lamp fixture illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are modified versions of FIG. 3 showing, respectively, three sided and six sided lamp arm arrangements;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of a lamp base similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the second embodiment of my invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 7 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing a third embodiment of our invention;

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view taken along the line I0I0 of FIG. 9 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. II is a partial sectional view showing the base portion of a chandelier to illustrate the fourth embodiment of our invention;

FIG. I2 is a bottom plan view of FIG. II;

FIG. I3 is a cross sectional view showing the base portion of the fifth embodiment of our invention;

FIG. 14 is a side elevational view taken along the line 14-14 of FIG. 13 and looking in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 15 is similar to FIG. 14 with the base portion shown spread apart for releasing the lamp arms to be moved to their stored position;

FIG. 16 is a sectional view of a base portion for the sixth embodiment of our invention; and

FIG. I7 is a side elevational view taken along the line I7I7 of FIG. I6 with a portion of the base shown in cross section.

FIRST EMBODIMENT The first embodiment of our invention is shown in side elevation in FIG. I. In use, the chandelier would be suspended to a ceiling hook or the like (not shown) by means of an ornamental chain 20, with which there is usually interwoven the electrical wire which extends through the vertical support conduit 22 into the base 24 of the chandelier. The ehandlier of the first embodiment is provided with five lamp arms 26 which are pivotally mounted on the upper base plate 28 of the base 24. Electrical sockets 30 are mounted at the outer end of each lamp arm for receiving lamps 32. The sockets may be provided with fittings of known character such as a bobeche 25.

The base 24 of the chandelier has a hollow housing 34 provided for storing and connecting the electrical wires to the five lamp arms, and its base plate 28 has a circular flat form on which each of the lamp arms 26 is mounted by virtue of pivot pins 36. The pivot pins 36 are arranged on a concentric circle about the center of rod 22 in an equal spaced relationship. An upstanding lug 38 is provided adjacent the outer edge of the circular plate 28 and positioned to function as a stop means for properly orienting the lamp arms 26. Pivot pins 36 are formed with a central wireway 27 for passing the electrical wires to the arm from the interior of housing 34.

To hold the arms 26 in their normal mounted position, a lock means 40 is provided in the form of a fivesided block 42 having a pentagon shape with a central opening 44 of a diameter slightly larger than the outer diameter of support conduit 22.

To prepare the chandelier for shipping, the stop member 40 is lifted to the dotted position of FIG. 4 freeing the arms 26 to be pivoted to the dotted line positions of FIG. 2. In this collapsed or folded position, the chandelier can be shipped in a carton having a width one-fifth the normal size required.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate two modified versions of the above described lock means 40. In FIG. 5, there is illustrated three pivotally mounted lamp arms 26 which would be mounted on a base in the same manner as shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, and a triangular shaped block 42 is slidably mounted on rod 22. Likewise in FIG. 6 there is shown six lamp arms 26 and a six-sided block 42" for holding them in position.

SECOND EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, there is shown a second embodiment of our invention. Only the base 50 of the chandelier and the inner hinged portion of the lamp arms 52 are illustrated. The remaining portions of the chandelier would be similar to that illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2.

Base 50 includes a hollow bell-shaped housing 54. A ring nut 56 threaded onto the lower end of support conduit 58 supports bell-shaped housing 54, and when tightened raises it toward the upper circular base plate 60. Ring 62 is fixed on conduit 58 and holds base plate in place. The lamp arms 52 are pivotally mounted on base plate 60 by means of pivot pins 64 which are fastened in a circular path about its center and arranged in an equal spaced relationship.

The arms 52 can be held in their normal spread apart position by means of a lock means 66 comprising a plurality of U-shaped slots 68 provided around the upper edge of cylindrical side wall 70 of bellshaped housing 54. To release the arms 52 from their locked position, the ring nut 56 is unscrewed until it lowers the bellshaped housing 54 to the dotted line position of FIG. 8, at which position the arms 52 are free to be swung about their pivot to a straight plane stored position as shown in FIG. 2.

THIRD EMBODIMENT The third embodiment of our invention illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, wherein only the chandelier base 100 and inner end of the pivotally mounted lamp arms 102 are illustrated.

The base 100 comprises a bell-shaped housing 104 having a threaded cavity formed in its innermost end for threaded engagement with the support conduit 108. Circular base plate 110, which closes the upper end of the bell-shaped housing 104 when the housing is tightened to the full line position of FIG. 10, is held in a fixed position by a retainer washer 112 fastened on the support rod 108.

The lamp arms 102 have a tubular construction for providing an internal passageway for the electrical wires 114 between the base and the lamps at the outer end of each arm. As shown in FIG. 10, pivot pin 116 connecting the inner end of each lamp arm 102 is provided with a central opening 120 for passing the electrical wires therethrough. Each of the lamp arms 102 is provided with a locating finger portion 118 on its bottom surface adjacent the inner pivotal connection which cooperates with a slot locking means in the manner to be described below.

Slot locking means 120 comprises a plurality of arcuate recesses formed at equal spaced intervals around vertical circular flange 122 of bellshaped housing 104 for the purpose of locking the arms 102 in their proper hanging position. Thus, in the FIGS. 9-10 embodiment there are five such locking slots 1211 spaced 72 degrees apart around the circular flange 122 and shaped to receive the locating fingers 118 upon the bell-shaped housing 104 being screwed inwardly on the support rod 108 to the solid line position of FIG. 18.

FOURTH EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 11-12 there is shown the fourth embodiment of our invention. As before, only the chandelier base 130 and the inner end of lamp arms 132 are depicted. In this embodiment the chandelier base 130 has a hollow disc-shaped housing 134 which is secured to the hook chain 136 by means of a collar 138 fastened at the center of its upper surface.

The relationship of the lamp arms 132 to the base 130 differs from previously described embodiments in that the lamp arms are pivotally connected to the bottom surface of the base. These lamp arms 132 are of tubular construction for carrying the electrical leads to the lamps at the outer end of the lamp arms and are pivotally connected to the lower base plate 140 of the disc-shaped housing 134 by means of pivot pin 142 which has a central opening to provide a wireway for the electrical leads from the housing 134 into the lamp arms 132.

The inner end of each lamp arm 132 is fastened to the pivot pins 142 to permit the arms to turn relative to base plate to hold the lamp arms 132 in a proper mounting position as depicted in FIG. 12. A lock means 148 is provided in the form of a pentagon shape block 150 having a central circular opening of a size sufficient to fit over the shank portion 152 of a clamp bolt 154. The clamp bolt 154 is threadingly engaged in a bracket 156 mounted in the center of the disc-shaped housing 134 and can be selectively moved between the dotted and solid line positions of FIG. 11. Each of the lamp arms 132 is provided with a flattened flange portion 160 which is perpendicular to the plane of tubular arms 132 and engages one of the sides of pentagon block 1511 whenever the lamp arm is moved to the proper mounting position. Thus, by placing the lamp arms in their proper mounting position the clamp bolt 154 can be tightened to raise the pentagon block 150 into locking engagement with the lamp arms.

Consequently, upon unscrewing the clamping bolt to lower the associated pentagon block 150, the lamp arms are free to rotate and can be turned to the dotted line position of FIG. 12 for storage in a relatively thin packing carton.

FIFTH EMBODIMENT The fifth embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 13 through 15 and comprises a plurality of tubular type conduits 1711 pivotally mounted inside a hollow base member 172. The base member 172 comprises two cup-shaped or bell-shaped members 174 and 176, which face each other to define a hollow chamber therein. A central conduit member 178 extends down through the housing 172 and has an ornamental nut 181) threaded upon its lower end for carrying the weight of the lower cup member 176 and associated lamp arms 170. The upper cup member 174 is held in a fixed position on conduit 178 between a pair of ring retaining members 182 and 184 which are fastened on the conduit 178. A circular cover plate 186 is integrally formed across the lower edge of upper cup member 174 and serves as a base plate for the lamp arms which are pivotally mounted thereto by virtue of pivot pins 188.

The lower cup-shaped member 176 is provided with lock means 190 in the form of a plurality of vertical cut outs 192 formed in cylindrical wall portion 194 in an equal spaced relationship therearound. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 13 through 15, there would be five cut outs since there are five lamp arms and these cut outs would be separated by a 72 degree angle.

There is shown in FIG. 14 the lamp arms 170 extending outwardly through the cutouts 192. To prepare the chandelier for shipping, the knob would be unscrewed to the position of FIG. 15 such that the arms 170 would be free to swing, and the packer would rotate them to the parallel plane dotted line position of FIG. 13.

SIXTH EMBODIMENT There is shown in FIGS. 16 and 17 another embodiment for providing a collapsible chandelier using the principles of our invention. The base 200 of the chandelier comprises upper and lower cup-shaped members 202 and 204 which coupled together to provide an enclosed chamber. A circular mounting plate 286 extends across the lower open end of the upper cup member 202 to provide a base plate for the lamp arms 208.

The lower cup member 204 is interconnected to the upper cup member 202 by means of the interconnection between C-shaped bracket 210, threaded rod 212 and ring nut 214. A bottom font 216 is provided below the ring nut 214 on rod 212 and is supported thereon by an ornamental nut 218.

Each of the lamp arms 208 comprise a tubular portion 220 having an internal wireway leading to the outer end for electrical connection with a lamp socket, and a stern portion 222 extending between pivot pin 224 and tubular portion 220. As depicted in FIG. 17, a lengthwise extending slot 226 is provided in the stem portion 222 for the purpose of providing a channel for an electrical supply wire leading from the base into the conduit portion 220.

The lamp arms 208 are adapted to be held in a proper mounting position by virtue of lock means 230 in the form of a plurality of cut outs 232 provided around cylindrical wall portion 234 in the equal space relation. Thus, the stem portion 222 of arms 208 extend through these slots as shown in FIG. 17.

To disassemble the chandelier knobs 214 and 218 must be unscrewed until lower cup member 204 frees the lamp arms 208 for rotation.

In each embodiment above disclosed the chandelier is physically transformable .or collapsible into a more compact form for storage and/or shipment. To expand the chandelier to its useable form it is necessary only to release the folded arms, swing them into their predetermined radial positions and apply the locking means where such is needed and/or provided. Spring detents can serve the same purpose. The significance of the device and the invention which it embodies resides in the concept that the prewired chandelier can be folded or collapsed into much smaller space without releasing or disturbing the electrical connections and without releasing the mechanical connections which provide for and permit unfolding of the mechanical parts and locking them into place by simple, manual operations without in any wise affecting the prewired electrical connections.

We claim:

1. In a chandelier having a base supported by a vertically extending conduit, said base including a circular base plate for supporting a plurality of lamp arms, and a cup-shaped housing having its open end facing towards said base plate, said base plate supported in a fixed relation to said vertical conduit, pivot means disposed in circular arrangement about the center of said base plate for rotatably mounting the inner end of each lamp arms on said base plate allowing the free end of said arms to be swung laterally between a radial mounting position and a position in which said arms are substantially parallel, said cup-shaped housing being provided with cutouts in its cylindrical side wall from said open end, said cutouts equal in number to said lamp arms and spaced to align with said arms when placed at said radial mounting position and adjustable means for moving said cup-shaped housing towards and away from said base plate for selectively locking said arms in said cutouts.

2. The combination of claim 1, in which said vertical conduit has a threaded portion at its lower end extending through an opening formed in the center of the closed end of said cup-shaped housing, and said adjustable means comprises a ring nut in threaded engagement with said threaded portion.

3. The combination of claim 1, in which each of said lamp arms comprises a flattened stem portion at its inner ends and a tubular portion outwardly of said circular base plate, said flattened stem portion having a lengthwise slot in communication with the inner passageway of said tubular portion to provide a wireway from said base.

4. A prewired foldable chandelier having a vertical stem; a horizontal arm supporting plate on said stem; a plurality of hollow lamp support arms; means for pivotally securing the inner ends of said support arms on the plate for movement of said arms about vertical axes between folded and unfolded positions, said arms in the unfolded condition of the chandelier radiating out from the plate; insulated wires extending down said stem and branching into said hollow arms; lock means for retaining said arms in substantially radial extended position, said arms when released from said latter position being foldable into positions substantially parallel to each other.

5. A chandelier having a stem, a base member maintained on said stem, a plurality of lamp arms extending radially from said base member, permanent hinge connections between the inner ends of each of the arms and the base member, said hinge connections allowing folding of the arms to predetermined positions where they require less space than in the unfolded positions, said stem, base member and anns being prewired, and means for locking said arms in the unfolded position.

6. A foldable chandelier comprising a vertical tubular suspension stem serving as a conduit for electric conductors, a horizontal frame plate supported transversely of, and on, the stem, a plurality of lamp bracket arms, hinge means fixedly securing said arms on said frame plate on axes, at right angles to said frame plate, electric conductors extending through said stem and branching into said lamp bracket arms, and releasable holding means releasably holding said lamp bracket arms in substantially radial extended positions, said arms when released from said holding means being swingable into and out of substantial parallelism with a vertical plane extending through the axis of said tubular stem, the branch conductors to said arms being flexed but remaining integral upon movement of the arms from the extended radial position to the folded position, and vice versa.

7. The foldable chandelier of claim 6 wherein the holding means comprises a detent movable relative to said plate into and out of the path of folding movement of said arms.

8. The foldable chandelier of claim 6 wherein the holding means is a spring metal detent.

9. The foldable chandelier of claim 6 wherein the holding means is rigid blocking means movable into and out of the path of movement of the foldable arms.

10. The foldable chandelier of claim 6 wherein the frame plate has permanent stops to limit the angular movement of the arms to a radial position.

11. The foldable chandelier of claim 6 wherein the normal angular position of the arms is maintained by resilient stop means yieldable to permit swinging movement of the arms into parallelism with a common plane. =l

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3979584 *Jan 22, 1975Sep 7, 1976George FossatiModular chandelier
US4441282 *Apr 21, 1982Apr 10, 1984Hunter Douglas International N.V. Rooi CatootjeSuspended ceiling
US4748549 *Aug 14, 1987May 31, 1988Lamparas EuropaCollapsible light fixture with resilient mounting
US6283619 *May 16, 2000Sep 4, 2001The L.D. Kichler Co.Lighting fixture assembly having locking arm components
US6688759 *May 15, 2002Feb 10, 2004Andrew HadjimichaelPlant growth-enhancing lamp device
US7086762Jan 12, 2005Aug 8, 2006The L.D. Kichler Co.Collapsible chandelier
US8491149 *Jul 15, 2011Jul 23, 2013Exhart Environmental Systems, Inc.Battery powered decorative light with timer
US20030228190 *Jun 5, 2002Dec 11, 2003Keen HsuConnecting structure between lamp rack and switch box
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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/406, 248/343, 248/324, D26/82
International ClassificationF21S8/06
Cooperative ClassificationF21S8/065
European ClassificationF21S8/06M