US 3863876 A
An upright support comprising three interlocking leg members each having a leg section and a cup forming flange at a connecting end thereof. The cup forming flange defines a front face and opposed arms projecting angularly forward and one on each side of the leg section. Interlocking means are further provided on the free end of the cup forming arms and adapted to interlock with the interlocking means on a cup forming arm of an adjacent leg member to form a hollow central cup between the front face of the cup forming flange of the three interlocking leg members.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1451 Feb.4, 1975 UPRIGHT SUPPORT  Inventors: Laurence Stephen Finkelstein;
Gabor Gellert, both of Montreal, Quebec, Canada  Assignees: Cantreco Ltd., Montreal,Quebec,
Canada  Filed: Feb. 1, 1973  Appl. No.: 328,689
 U.S. Cl 248/188.7, 248/48, 248/158, 248/165  Int. Cl. A47c 7/00  Field of Search 248/158, 159, 165, 188.7, 248/48  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 140,054 6/1873 Lomas 248/l88.7 582,973 5/1897 Beaman 248/158 668,522 2/1901 Jolly 248/158 X r-D 4 Z? 680,771 8/1901 Fuller 248/158 1,263,160 4/1918 Travers..... 248/188.7 1,394,070 10/1921 Diffany 248/158 3,719,340 3/1973 Norton 248M887 X Primary Examiner-Roy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-Robert W. Gibson, Jr.
 ABSTRACT An upright support comprising three interlocking leg members each having a leg section and a cup forming flange at a connecting end thereof. The cup forming flange defines a front face and opposed arms projecting angularly forward and one on each side of the leg section. Interlocking means are further provided on the free end of the cup forming arms and adapted to interlock with the interlocking means on a cup forming arm of an adjacent leg member to form a hollow central cup between the front face of the cup forming flange of the three interlocking leg members.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures /7 /i J /i a M111 1. 1111; 111. 111. 11111111111" 111111111 111 11 1-11111111 1111 1 41111 M1111 H m 1.111111 11. 1112 PATENTED B SHEET 10F 2 FIG.
PATENTED FEB SHEET 2 OF 2 UPRIGHT SUPPORT BACKGROUND OF INVENTION a. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an upright support and more particularly to an upright support made of releasably securable parts.
b. Description of Prior Art Heretofore, various forms of construction of upright supports have been provided. Some of these are constructed of metal parts hinged together for folding the support into a storage position. These types of structures are difficult to repair when parts thereof are broken, are subject to rust which further damages the operating parts of the article and its aesthetic appearance.
Interlocking upright supports have also been provided where a plurality of leg members interlock in the outer wall of a central cup member. The present invention relates to an improved upright support of this type particularly, but not exclusively, adapted to support the central pole of an artificial Christmas tree.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION It is therefore a feature of the present invention to provide an improved interlocking upright support which has very few interlocking parts and which is economical to manufacture.
According to this feature, from a broad aspect, the present invention relates to an upright support comprising three interlocking leg members each having a leg section and a cup forming flange at a connecting end thereof. The cup forming flange defines a front face and opposed arms projecting angularly forward and one on each side of the leg section. Interlocking means are further provided on the free end of the cup forming arms and adapted to interlock with the interlocking means on a cup forming arm of an adjacent leg member to form a hollow central cup between the front face of the cup forming flange of the three interlocking leg members.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS A preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is an isometric view of the upright support;
FIG. 2 is a section view along section lines II-Il of FIG. 3 showing an interlocking leg section;
FIG. 3 is a fragmented plan view, partly in phantom lines, illustrating the interlocking leg sections;
FIG. 4 is a section view along section lines IV-IV of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the interlocked cup forming flanges; and
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a cup forming flange.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is shown, generally at 10, the upright support of the present invention, and comprising essentially of three interlocking leg members 11 interlocked at a common end to form a hollow central cup 12. In this interlocked position, the leg members 11 extend radially from the central cup 12 and are equidistantly spaced apart.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is shown the detail construction of the leg members 11. Each leg member herein shown is molded of a plastic material and comprises a hollow elongated leg section 13 having an integrally molded end support 14 at one end thereof and an integrally molded cup forming flange 15 at the opposite end thereof herein referred as the interlocking end. The leg section 13 is of substantially retangular cross-section, and angulated upwardly from the support end to the interlocking end. Also, as herein shown, the heightof the side walls 17 and the width of the top wall 18 of each leg section 13 tapers from the cup forming flange 15 to the end support 14. One or more vertical reinforcing ribs 16 are also formed in the hollow leg section 13 to reinforce the side walls 17.
As can be seen in FIG. 3, the integrally molded cup forming flange 15, of each leg section 11, comprises two opposed, arcuately extending, interconnecting arms 19 having vertical flat end faces 20 on which there is provided interlocking means in the form of a longitudinal vertical tongue 21 on one arm 19 and a longitudinal vertical groove 22 on the other arm 19. The planar axis of each flat face 20 is disposed at an angle of from the longitudinal central axis of the leg section 13 whereby the tongues and grooves, 21 and 22, of three leg members 11 interlock to form the hollow central cup 12 between the cup forming flanges 15.
Referring to FIGS. 2 to 6, it can be seen that each flange 15 further defines a concave arcuate end wall 23 having a bottom wall section 24 extending from the lower edge thereof. The end wall 23 has a slight taper extending upwardly rearward from the central vertical axis 26 of the central cup 12. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the bottom wall section 24 of each leg member 11 is cut angularly in line with the end faces 20 of the arms 19 to abut with the bottom wall section 24 of adjacent leg members 11 to form a central cup bottom wall having a hole 25 at the center thereof.
The slight taper in the end wall 23 is selected to provide, in relation with the end walls 23 of the interconnected leg members 11, a hollow central cup 12 which will receive the end of a particular pole 30 (shown in phantom lines on FIG. 4) which will frictionally engage the side walls 23 and come to rest slightly above the bottom wall 24. Thus, theadvantage of the taper is that it will frictionally engage poles of diameter varying within predetermined tolerances or of which the outer end is-slightly worn by wear and tear. As the surface end of the pole wears, the pole will penetrate deeper into the cup 12 until the end 31 of the pole 30 rests on the upper surface of the bottom wall. The purpose of the hole 25 is to prevent pressure build up between the end 31 of the pole and the bottom wall 24 when the pole is inserted in the cup 12.
Referring now more particularly to FIGS. 3, 5 and 6 there is more clearly illustrated the interlocking means formed integrally with the flat faces 20 of each arm 19 of the cup forming flange 15. The tongue 21 extends above the face 20 and defines a flat end wall 32, parallel to the face 20, and inwardly sloping side walls 33. The groove 22 is formed within the face 20 and defines a flat bottom wall 34 and tapering side walls 35 adapted to slideably receive the tongue 21 of an adjacent leg section. The bottom edge 36 of the tongue 21 is aligned with the upper surface of the bottom wall 24 whereby it can rest on a stop post 37 which may be molded integrally in the lower edge of the groove of two leg sections to prevent the tongue 21 from sliding through the groove 22 of its interconnected leg member and to prevent vertical misalignment. However, one of the three interconnected leg members does not have such a stop post to permit assembly of the upright support. Other means of preventing vertical misalignment may be provided by providing a tight fit between the tongue and groove. Also, a nail or screw (not shown) may be inserted in the end 31 of the pole 30 through the hole engaging the leg members in friction with the pole and in alginment with each other. Further, to facilitate assembly of the upright support, markings (not shown) may be provided on the bottom face of the bottom wall sections 24 along the edges thereof to match with the markings on adjacent edges of the bottom wall sections of adjacent interlocking leg members 11.
It can be seen that the upright support of the present invention can be manufactured very economically as there is one basic part, the interlocking leg member 11, and all the parts can be manufactured from a single mold. If the stop post 37 is required a plug may be removed from the bottom edge of the mold section forming the groove 22.
It is also within the ambit of the present invention to provide an upright support where more than three leg members may be interlocked. Further, if the leg end supports extend laterally the upright support could be formed of two leg members having a semi-circular cup forming flange for interlocking with another leg member, as described above.
1. An upright support comprising three interlocking leg members each having a leg section and a cup forming flange at a connecting end thereof, said cup forming flange defining a front face and opposed arms projecting angularly forward and one on each side of said leg section, each of said arms having a substantially flat vertical end face, an elongated vertical tongue molded along one of said end faces of one of said arms of said opposed arms, an elongated vertical groove formed in the end face of the other of said arms, said tongue and groove each having a transverse cross-section of a configuration to permit said tongue to be slideably received and retained in a groove of an adjacent leg member to interlock therewith, and a stop post in the lower portion of only two of said grooves to limit the sliding movement of a tongue therein to provide vertical alignment of said three leg members, said three leg members when interlocked together forming a hollow central circular cup between the front face of each cup forming flange.
2. An upright support as claimed in claim 1 wherein said tongue has a flat end wall and inwardly sloping side walls, said groove having a flat bottom wall and tapering side walls to slideably receive a tongue of an adjacent leg member to interlock thereto.
3. An upright support as claimed in claim 1 wherein there is further provided a cup bottom wall section extending substantially perpendicular to said front face of said cup forming flange.
4. An upright support as claimed in claim 3 wherein said bottom wall section of each of said three leg members defines a hole therebetween when said leg members are interlocked.
5. An upright support as claimed in claim 1 wherein said hollow central circular cup has a bottom wall and a side wall formed by said concave surfaces, said side wall tapering angularly outwards from said bottom wall to frictionally retain the end of a circular pole in a major portion thereof.
6. An upright support as claimed in claim 1 wherein said leg section defines a support end at the end opposite said connecting end, said leg section being angulated upwardly from said support end to said connecting end to support said hollow central cup above ground when said three leg members are interconnected.
7. An upright support as claimed in claim 1 wherein said front face of said cup forming flange slopes angularly upwards away from the vertical axis and wherein the end face of each of said arms extends substantially parallel to said vertical axis.