US 3856592 A
Embossed studio photographs of life-like appearance are produced under pressure in a hydraulic press with a vacuum attachment using a special shapable laminate of which a dry photoprint of the subject is the top layer and polyvinyl plastic is the bottom layer with canvas between the layers. The finished contoured photograph is hollow on its rear side and characterized by merging multilevel convexities on its face which correspond to the natural curvatures of the human or other photographic subject. The finished photograph can be mounted on a support or the hollow cavity filled with molding material and thereby providing means for replication in case of loss or destruction of the original mold.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,856,592 Giorgi Dec. 24, 1974 METHOD OF MAKING AN EMBOSSED 1,604,319 10/1926 Rozgonyi 156/59 TRIDEMENSIONAL PHOTOGRAPH BY A 3,736,200 5/1973 Abildgaard et al. 156/285 X 3,748,202 7 1973 lisaka et al 156/59 DRY PROCESS 3,756,888 9/1973 'Kuroda 156/209 x  Inventor: Lewis A. Giorgi, 286 Main St.,
Yonkers, NY. 10701 Primary Examiner-Philip Dier 2 F] d: N .3 ,1972 [2 1 W 0 57 ABSTRACT ] Appl' 3l0699 Embossed studio photographs of life-like appearance are produced under pressure in a hydraulic press with 1  U.S. Cl 156/59, 156/209, 156/220, a acuum attachment using a special shapable lami- 161/19, 161/120, 161/DIG. 3, 264/245, nate of which a dry photoprint of the subject is the top 264/293, 264/322 layer and polyvinyl plastic is the bottom layer with  I t, Cl 1144f 7/00, [3286 11 /03, 1332b 3/00, canvas between the layers. The finished contoured 1344 1/24 photograph is hollow on its rear side and character-  Field of Search 156/58-59, ized y g g multilevel co exities on its face 156/285, 209, 219, 220; 161/19, 119-120, which correspond to the natural curvatures of the DIG. 3; 264/245, 293, 322 human or other photographic subject. The finished photograph can be mounted on a support or the hol-  References Cit d 10w cavity filled with molding material and thereby UNITED STATES PATENTS providing means for replication in case of loss or de- 576,640 2/1897 Weimann 156/59 Structlon Ofthe Ongmal mold 972,174 10/1910 Erdbruegger 156/59 5 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures X/QJ m] ,-1|I 111] 11H 11 -11 j; AZfrf// 54W/ fix/t fapaa (/Jdzi j M 72/70/- /4/4f 5/ y (37 .1, IL 1 1 "pk/ 6235 PATEWEU N mm 1 0F 2 METHOD OF MAKING AN EMBOSSED TRIDEMENSIONAL PHOTOGRAPH BY A DRY PROCESS This invention relates to embossed or relief studio photographs having a natural and life-like contoured appearance and which are capable of being produced by a dry process to obtain photographs of a sculptured nature which may be hollow on the rear side whereby they can be replicated, if desired.
In my co-pending application Ser. No. 170,433, filed Aug. 10, 1971, now US. Pat. No. 3,772,106 the contents of which are hereby made a part hereof, I have described a proce'ssfor making a tridimensional colored photograph with a sculptured natural life-like appearance by following a sequence of steps using a wet colored photograph and a moldable impasto over a black and white print of the same subject. That process although involving several steps has been found to work quite successfully. I have now discovered that the procedure of that application can be materially simplified and carried out more quickly and economically in a 12 ton or greater embossing registration vacuum press while avoiding the use of a wet color photograph, linen emulsion or the like film and thereby further avoiding the risks of a wet photograph becoming torn or wrinkled, thereby also adding more flexibility to the production of oil paintings, velvet art litho prints where water can create dry spots or other defective problems that may arise.
According to the present invention, an embossed generally concavo-convex photograph is produced which takes the contours of a pre-shaped mold in a special embossing registration press and which embossed photograph can, if desired, be filled or covered on its rear side with support material. At the same time, the process of producing the present embossed photograph is carried out in an essentially dry state through the use of a certain novel laminate to be described and which with the photograph or print as its top layer is put into the press into which the pre-shaped molding material on a support is added below the laminate while preventing the trapping of air and the consequent pulling away of the photograph from its registration to the mold. Provision is further made for evacuating air from the press which might interfere with a smooth closely fitting photoprint and hence a pump-driven suction arrangement first only partially withdraws air until the press closes and makes contact through the upper and lower levels of the press, thus completing suction and conforming the photoprint and laminate to the preshaped molding material. In the accompanying drawmgs:
FIG. 1 is a transverse sectional view through the preshaped molding material and its support and showing passageways for withdrawing air under suction;
FIG. 2 is an elevational end view, partly in section, of the press within which the molding takes place;
FIG. 3 is a transverse section similar to FIG. 1 but showing the association of underlying elements and the connection to the press;
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view of the photographic print laminated with canvas and a polyvinyl plastic;
FIG. 5 is a composite view in transverse elevation showing how the laminate of FIG. 4 is assembled in the press with the subjacent and supe rjacent components in the order in which they are arranged in the press of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view through a finished embossed photograph showing the rear side thereof hollow; and
FIG. 7 illustrates in face view a completed embossed photograph of a human subject.
Referring first to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the press, indicated by numeral 10, is provided with a framework including vertical walls 11 and horizontal top closure member 12 on which is disposed a pressure gauge 13 having a pipe 14 leading to a pedestal or cylinder 15 supported on member 16 and within which rod 17 is adapted to move upwardly and downwardly under the influence of pressure changes. O n rod 17 there is a plate 18 secured as at 19 to a flooring member 20 which is adapted to move upwardly and downwardly with rod 17 as pressures change but not lower than brackets 25, and flooring member 20 is mounted for such vertical movements responsive to a vacuum pump to be described. Above flooring member 20 is a solid base member 21 centrally of which there is a flexible hollow tubing 22 communicating with the chamber in the press, the upper end of which is flush with the upper surface of member 21 and the lower end of which is connected into a vacuum pump 23, the housing of which is mounted on upright 11 as shown and secured in position by brackets 24 secured to the lower surface of the pump housing and to the said upright 11. Brackets 25 serve the purpose of stopping the lower movement of the press from exceeding the desired extent of hydraulic pumping action.
It will be observed that there is a chamber 26 between electric blanket member 28 and the synthetic (neoprene) rubber element 27. Member 28 is cushioned for heat insulation on its innerside with absorbent blotters 28'. The synthetic rubber, which is preferably neoprene, is glued or otherwise adhesively secured at 29.
As will be seen from FIG. 3, the configured impasto 30 on the presswood 30" is placed on a heav foraminous screen 39 fitting into tray 40 having an upturned edge flange 41. The arrangement prevents air or moisture from being trapped and centers the group of elements. The impasto and presswood have spaced openings 30' therethrough.
As will be best seen from FIG. 5 which shows the order of arrangement of the various components, molding material 30, such as the impasto of my aforesaid copending application, on a support of presswood 30" is placed on member 21 and manipulated by hand or otherwise into the desired configurations. The laminate of FIG. 4 is then placed on the molded material 30 and this laminate is made up of an uppermost layer which is a photographic print member 31 and a lowermost layer 33 of polyvinyl or other plastic and between which is sandwiched the canvas layer 32. This laminate acts as a unit because the three layers thereof are glued or otherwise adhesively secured together and such a laminate has been found to be an important part of the present invention and contributes to the simplicity and economy of the process as a whole.
Still referring to FIG. 5, it will be seen that above the laminate there is a layer 34 of Teflon (a tetrafluoroethylene resin (Du Pont)) and thereabove is the neoprene rubber element 35 and the electric blanket 36 is between synthetic rubber 27 and neoprene rubber element 3S and is of known construction and is connected to a suitable source of heating current (not shown) and the temperature thereof is at all times indicated by the temperature gauge 37 atop the press as shown in FIG. 2. Since these elements are well known, they have only been illustrated diagrammatically, but it will be readily understood that they are provided with the usual electrical connections.
The members described above are assembled within the chamber 26 of the press in the order illustrated in FIG. 5 and then suitable temperature and vacuum or pressure conditions are created, as will be understood, until the molding material has acquired sufficient hardness to become durable and self-supporting so that when the press is subsequently opened there is obtained the embossed photograph of FIG. 6 preferably with a hollow rear into which can be placed, if desired, impasto orany other support material or merely a canvas or wooden backing member 38. The photo print which is now contoured and of a sculptured appearance may be coated with transparent vinyl or any other transparent protective coating material just so long as that material does not materially change dimensionally so as to alter the smoothness and configuration of the embossed photograph. FIG. 7 shows a finished photograph in face view and wherein the various features of the depicted subject are contoured convexly and concavely so as to impart a life-like appearance to the photograph which takes on the characteristics of a professional studio photograph of sculptured nature. It will be understood that during the time the impasto is in the press, particularly at the beginning of the pressure period, one or more apertures 30 extend through the impasto, as shown in FIG. 1, which serve in conjunction with the vacuum pump 23 and tubing 22 already described to draw excess or undesired air or moisture from the impasto or other molding material and/or from the chamber of the press itself since it has been found that excess or unnecessary air or moisture may cause bubbles or wrinkles or other irregularities to form in the photograph being processed. In this way, the use of special heating tools, as shown in my aforesaid application, are eliminated.
It is to be understood that the press prior to the forming process is pre-heated to 325F for minutes and that the vinyl laminate is pre-heated in the press while the vacuum is on for registration which is then slowly closed manually or automatically for additional heating under pressure of at least 5,000 p.s.i. during operation. The vinyl layer is peferably approximately 0.015 inch thick.
By making use of the present invention and the various steps and components herein described, photographers will be able to produce embossed studio photographs effectively and economically thereby increasing the range of utility of my previous process which requires greater skill and care. It will, of course, be also understood that while the present invention, like that of my co-pending application, is indicated for making embossed studio photographs of highly professional nature and with a sculptured natural appearance, the procedure and devices are equally applicable to black and white photographs, velvet painting, canvas paintings and litho prints, especially those of stretchable paper content.
What is claimed is:
1. A dry method of producing an embossed photograph of life-like appearance which comprises introducing a pre-heated laminate having as its top layer a dry photograph of a subject on a canvas layer with a plastic lowermost layer into a pre-heated hydraulic press on supported contoured hardenable molding material conforming to the subject of the photograph and shaping the laminate to conform to the contoured molding material by actuation of the press, and thereafter removing the contoured laminate and finishing the same into the desired embossed photograph.
2. A method according to claim 1, wherein air is withdrawn through the contoured molding material while the laminate is in the press.
3. A method according to claim 1', wherein the laminate is composed of a layer of polyvinyl plastic with canvas secured thereon upon which the photograph is superimposed and secured.
4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the laminate is shaped in the press at a pressure of at least 5,000 p.s.i. and at a temperature of 325F for 15 minutes.
5. A method according to claim 2, wherein air is withdrawn through spaced holes provided in the contoured molding material and its support.