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Publication numberUS3881257 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1975
Filing dateJul 16, 1974
Priority dateJul 16, 1974
Publication numberUS 3881257 A, US 3881257A, US-A-3881257, US3881257 A, US3881257A
InventorsChasen Lee Richard
Original AssigneeCoats & Clark
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Levelling device including merchandise dispensing means
US 3881257 A
Abstract
A levelling device includes a card to which a transparent plastic sheet is affixed. The plastic sheet has a region forming an arcuate cavity between the sheet and the card, and an indicating ball is provided in the cavity to be movable therein. The sheet is further provided with other formed regions defining one or more planes normal to the card, whereby the other formed regions may be held against an object to be aligned so that the position of the ball in the arcuate cavity indicates the alignment of the object. A merchandise dispensing cavity is defined by a further formed region of the plastic sheet. For dispensing an object such as picture wire, the further formed cavity may be generally annular, having a straight extension for directing the end of a coil of wire in the annular cavity to a dispensing aperture in the card.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Chasen May 6, 1975 [54] LEVELLING DEVICE INCLUDING MERCHANDISE DISPENSING MEANS Primary ExaminerRichard E. Aegerter [75] Inventor: Lee Richard Chasen, Port Chester, Assistant Exammer-charles Phllhps N.Y. [57] ABSTRACT [73] Assignee: Coats & Clark, Inc., New York,

NY A levelling device includes a card to which a transparent plastic sheet is affixed. The plastic sheet has a rel l Filed! y 16, 1974 gion forming an arcuate cavity between the sheet and [21] AppL N0: 489,052 the card, and an indicating ball is provided in the cavity to be movable therein. The sheet is further provided with other formed regions defining one or more u planes normal to the card, whereby the other formed 206/461 regions may be held against an object to be aligned so Int. that the position of the in the afcuate cavity indi- [58] Field of Search 33/365, 354; 206/225, 305,

[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,269,729 8/1966 Morrison 33/389 X 3,402,810 9/1968 Percelay 206/461 3,703,234 11/1972 Howard 206/461 X 3,754,643 8/1973 Foster 206/471 X cates the alignment of the object. A merchandise dispensing cavity is defined by a further formed region of the plastic sheet. For dispensing an object such as picture wire, the further formed cavity may be generally annular, having a straight extension for directing the end of a coil of wire in the annular cavity to a dispensing aperture in the card.

17 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures LEVELLING DEVICE INCLUDING MERCHANDISE DISPENSING MEANS This invention relates to so-called blister packages, wherein a formed plastic sheet is affixed to a card. The invention is particularly directed to an article of this type forming a disposable levelling device, and preferably also including a merchandise dispensing cavity.

The invention is particularly directed to facilitating the chore of hanging pictures, and for this purpose it is contemplated that merchandise held in the blister package will be related in some manner to the hanging of pictures. Consequently, the following disclosure will be directed to this application of the invention. It will be apparent, of course, that the invention is adaptable to many other uses.

It is a continual problem, especially in homes, offices, and the like, to mount pictures on walls, and to properly align the pictures. Suitable hardware is generally available to enable the mounting ofa picture on a wall, but various hit or miss techniques are usually employed in aligning the pictures, for example, so that the theoretically vertically extending edges of the picture frames are in fact vertical. In the normal procedure for aligning pictures, one generally adjusts the picture, then stands back to see if it appears satisfactory, and then repeats the procedure until the impression arises that no further improvement can be obtained. The use of a conventional level would of course simplify the whole procedure, but a level is frequently not available, and many levelling devices are too large to be used advantageously in the hanging of small pictures. One would not ordinarily consider the purchase of an expensive level merely for the purpose of aligning wall pictures and the like.

Briefly stated, in accordance with the present invention, a disposable levelling device is provided, in the form of a blister package." The levelling device includes a backing sheet or card, and a transparent sheet, for example of plastic, affixed to the front of the card in the usual manner for this type of package. An arcuate cavity is formed in the plastic sheet, and an indicating ball, such as a ball bearing, is provided within the arcuate cavity and movable therein. Indicating marks, for example also formed in the plastic sheet, indicate the center of the arcuate chamber. Suitable additional projections are provided in the plastic sheet, adapted to be held against the side or top ofa picture, whereby the picture will be level when the ball in the arcuate chamber is aligned with the indicating marks.

The article is also preferably provided with one or more additional cavities formed in the plastic sheet, to enable the holding or dispensing of articles, especially articles of use in the hanging of pictures. For example, an annular cavity may be provided, for containing picture wire, the annular cavity having a straight portion extending therefrom and communicating with a hole in the card, to enable the reeling out of the desired amount of wire for hanging a picture.

When a levelling device in accordance with the invention is combined in a merchandise dispensing package, the purchaser of the merchandise receives at minimum cost a disposable level to facilitate the use of the merchandise. The combination thereby simplifies the task of the purchaser, and, for example, when the merchandise is related to the hanging of pictures, enables the more rapid and accurate alignment of pictures. The

levelling device may be provided on the merchandising package without an increase in the size of the package.

In order that the invention will be more clearly understood it will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. I is an exploded perspective view of one embodiment of a combined levelling device and merchandising package in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the asembled package of FIG. I, and illustrating the use of the package in the alignment of variously oriented objects; and

FIG. 3 is a rear view of a portion of the package of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an alternative embodiment of FIG. 2

Referring now to the drawings, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, a levelling device is comprised of a flat backing sheet or card 10. This card may for example be of a thin opaque cardboard or plastic, such as is conventionally employed in display packages, and may have imprinted thereon suitable advertising and instructional legends. If desired, the card 10 may be provided with a hole 11 adjacent its upper edge to facilitate hanging on a merchandising display rack. The card 10 is preferably rectangular, although it will be apparent that the invention is not limited to the use of any given shape of card.

A transparent sheet 12 is affixed by conventional means, for example by heat sealing or an adhesive, to one surface of the card 10. The sheet 12 is transparent, and may, for example, be of a conventional plastic material such as polystyrene, PVC, acetate or methacrylate.

The sheet 12 is provided with a plurality of recesses formed therein, which will be described in greater detail in the following paragraphs, so that a plurality of cavities are formed between the sheet 12 and the card 10.

For the formation of the levelling device, an arcuate recess 13 is formed in the sheet I2, so that a similar shaped cavity is provided between the card 10 and sheet 12. The axis (not shown) is normal to the plane of the card 10, and is preferably along an imaginary line 14 parallel and equidistant to the side edges 15 and 16 of the card. The center of the arcuate recess is also preferably aligned with the imaginary line 14, so that the recess extends an equal distance to either side of the line 14. In the arrangement of the package illustrated in the drawings, the recess 13 is disposed generally at the lower portion of the package, with its axis at a higher position along the line 14. In other words, the lowermost portion of the recess 13 intersects the line 14. This relationship is of course exemplary only.

The center position of the recess 13 is suitably marked. For example, one or more generally arrow shaped or triangular recesses I7 are provided in the plastic sheet, aligned with and pointing along the imaginary line 14. Alternatively, of course, suitable printed markings may be provided on the card 10 itself, although the use of the recesses 17 is preferred since the positions of these recesses may be fixed with respect to the cavity 13 in the molding or forming process, thereby obviating the necessity for aligning the cavity 13 with respect to any marks on the card 10.

An indicator member having a rolling surface, such as a disc or indicating ball 18 is provided within the recess 13, so that it can roll freely the rein. The ball 18, may, for example, be a conventional ball bearing. It will be evident that, with a vertical orientation of the card 10, the ball 18 is restrained to move along the bottom of the arcuate recess 13, whereby the alignment of the ball 18 with the markings 17 indicates a vertical orientation of the imaginary line 14 extending between the axis of the recess 13 and the markings 17.

While it is preferred that the recess 13 be arcuate, it will be apparent that it is only in fact necessary that the lower edge 19 of the recess 13 be arcuate, since the ball 18 rolls only along this surface in a levelling step. Consequently, the upper edge 20 of the recess 13 may have any other desired shape, serving only to define an edge of the recess to retain the ball 18 in the cavity of the complete package.

The plastic sheet 12 is provided with additional recesses 21 and 22. These recesses have flat lower edges 23 and 24 respectively which lie in a common plane normal to the card 10, and also normal to the plane perpendicular to the card and intersecting the card along the imaginary line 14. In other words, the plane in which the flat sides 23 and 24 lie is normal to the plane which is perpendicular to the card in which the axis of the arcuate recess 13 and the markings l7 lie.

A further recess 25 is provided, having a flat side 26, and the recess 23 has a further flat side 27 normal to the flat side 24 thereof. The flat sides 26 and 27, normal to the surface of the card 10, define a plane normal to the card 10, and parallel to the plane which is normal to the card 10 and passes through the axis of the arcuate recess 13 and markers 17.

The recesses 21 and 22 are preferably formed so that their flat sides 23 and 24 respectively are further from the axis of the arcuate recess 13 than the lower side 19 of the arcuate recess, whereby an object may be freely placed in contact with the two flat sides 23 and 24. Similarly, the flat sides 26 and 27 of recesses 25 and 22 respectively are positioned so that an object may be placed without hindrance against the flat sides 26 and 27. As an example, the flat sides 23 and 24 may lie adjacent the lower edge 28 of the card, and the flat sides 26 and 27 may lie adjacent the side edge of the card.

The recesses 21, 22 and 25 are preferably of relatively small size, in order to physically support their respective flat sides in relatively fixed positions with respect to the card, so that the flat sides 23, 24, 26 and 27 may be employed for alignment purposes.

The package illustrated in the drawings is also adapted for the dispensing of wire of the type conventionally employed in the hanging of pictures. For this purpose, a generally annular recess 30 is provided in the sheet 12. The axis 31 of the recess is normal to the card 10, and is also preferably along the imaginary line 14. A generally straight extension 32 extends, preferably tangentially, from the recess 30, for example, parallel to the top of the card, the straight portion 32 having lesser depth than the annular portion of the recess 30. Perforations 33 in the card 10, preferably defining a small circle, are aligned with the end of the straight portion 32 away from the annular portion of the recess 30. The circular area 34 defined by the perforations 32 may be readily separated from the card, to provide an aperture 35 through the card as illustrated in FIG. 3.

A spool 36 of wire to be dispensed is fitted within the annular recess 30, with the end 37 of the spool extending through the straight portion 32.

As will be apparent in the following description, the annular recess 13 is employed as a component of the levelling device, and the accuracy of the levelling indication is improved by increasing the radius of the recess. The radius of the arcuate recess may thus be sufficiently large that the circle, of which the arcuate recess is a part, would be larger than the card 10. The annular recess 30 must of course be small enough to fit on the card, and hence the outer radius of the annular recess 30 will generally be less than the radius of the lower side 19 of the arcuate recess 13. The annular recess 30 is further preferably positioned above the marking recesses l7 and hence above the arcuate recess 13, so that it does not extend through the planes defined by the flat surfaces of the recesses 21, 22 and 25.

The extension for dispensing the wire may alternatively extend from the recess 30 in any other desired direction. For example, the extension for dispensing the wire may extend radially inward from the annular recess 30 with the dispensing aperture at the center of the recess 30. r

In operation, if it is desired to obtain wire for hanging a picture, the end 37 of the wire spool 36 is withdrawn from the back of the card through the hole 35. If it had not been done previously, the center portion 34 defined by the perforations 33 must be removed to enable withdrawal of the wire. Alternatively, of course,the card may be provided with an open hole. Due to the circular configuration of the recess 30, the spool 36 will be enabled to turn within the recess, thereby facilitating the removal of as much wire as desired. When a sufficient amount of wire has been withdrawn through the hole 35, the wire may be cut, whereby the remainder of the spool 36 remains within the recess for further use. If the wire withdrawn from the package is to be employed in the hanging of a picture, it is then affixed to the back of a picture in the conventional manner.

When it is desired to align a picture with the package in accordance with the invention, in accordance with one technique the card 10 is held vertically with the flat sides 23 and 24 of the recesses 21 and 22 engaging the top of the picture. Thus, FIG. 2 illustrates a portion 40 of the top frame of a picture to be aligned. The picture is then adjusted until the indicator ball 18 becomes aligned with the indicating marker recesses 17. At this time, the top edge of the picture will be horizontal. Alternatively, the card 10 may be held vertically, withthe flat faces 26 and 27 engaging the side frame of the picture, a portion 41 of which is illustrated in FIG. 2. In this case, the picture is also adjusted until theindicating ball 18 becomes aligned with the indicating marker recesses 17, at which time the side frame of the picture will extend vertically. It is apparent that the levelling device in accordance with the invention may be formed in the conventional manner as a blister package. The transparent material forming the sheet 12 must be generally rigid, so that the alignment of the flat faces of the recesses 21, 22 and 25 is maintained, and so that the ball 18 can roll freely within the arcuate recess 13.

It will be further apparent that the combination levelling device and dispensing package, in accordance with the invention, may be arranged for the dispensing of other merchandise, preferably related to a procedure in which the levelling device may be employed. Alternatively, of course, the level indicating device may be provided on a card without the additionof a merchandise containing cavity, in which case any recesses in the sheet 12 for containing merchandise may be omitted. The package in this case forms a disposable inexpensive levelling device of small dimensions.

In the modification of the invention illustrated in FIG. 4, the end 50 of the straight portion 32 away from the annular portion of recess 30 is enlarged, for example to be circular in outline with a diameter greater than the width of the straight portion 32. The ends 52 of the picture wire extending into the enlarged end portion 50 is bent, for example to form a hook or other suitable shape so that the end of the wire defines a shape that cannot be easily retracted through the linear portion 32. The end 50 of the wire is thereby inhibited from being withdrawn either accidentally or intentionally into the straight portion 32 or the annular portion 30, so that the end of the wire will always be readily accessible at the hole defined by the perforation 51 in the card. The perforations 51, in this case, may be shaped to define a hole substantially the same size as the enlarged end 50 of the recess portion 32.

Following the removal of a section of wire, the provision of the enlarged end 50 enables the user to bend the new cut end of the wire in the same manner, to prevent its withdrawal into the straight portion 32 or annular portion 30.

While the invention has been disclosed and described with reference to a single embodiment, it will be apparent that variations and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention, and it is intended in the following claims to cover each such variation and modification as falls within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A levelling device comprising a flat backing sheet, a transparent layer affixed to said backing sheet, said transparent layer having a portion thereof formed to extend from the surface of said backing sheet to form a cavity having an arcuate side between said layer and said sheet, said cavity having an axis normal to the plane of said sheet, said device further having recesses formed by a portion of said layer extending from the surface of said sheet to define two surfaces of one plane which is normal to the surface of said sheet, an indicator member having a rolling surface and being movably located in said cavity, and means on said device for indicating a centrally located annular position of said indicator member on said arcuate side of said cavity, whereby alignment of an object is indicated by displacement of said indicator member to said angular position when said sheet is vertically held with said formed portion means held against said object.

2. A levelling device comprising a flat backing sheet, a transparent layer affixed to said backing sheet, said transparent layer having a plurality of portions formed to extend from the surface of said backing sheet to form a plurality of respective cavities between said layer and sheet, said portions of said layer comprising a first portion shaped to form an arcuate cavity having an axis normal to the plane of said sheet, means on said device for marking a determined central angular position on said arcuate cavity, said portions further comprising second and third portions having flat sides normal to said sheet, said sides having a determined angular position with respect to a plane which is normal to said sheet and includes said axis and passes through said means for marking, and a movable indicator ball in said arcuate cavity, whereby orientation of an object to be aligned is indicated by displacement of said ball to said angular position when said sheet is vertically held and said flat sides of said second and third portions of said layer are held against said object.

3. The levelling device of claim 2 wherein said second and third portions are further displaced from said axis than said first portion, said flat sides of said second and third portions being on the respective sides thereofaway from said axis and defining a common plane normal to the plane defined by said axis and said means for marking.

4. The levelling device of claim 3 wherein said portions further comprise a fourth portion having a flat side normal to said sheet, said third portion having a second flat side normal to said sheet and normal to said common plane, said fourth portion being positioned so that its flat side and the second flat side of said third portion define a further plane normal to said sheet and parallel to said plane defined by said axis and said means for marking.

5. The levelling device of claim 3 wherein said layer has a further formed portion defining a merchandise display cavity between said layer and sheet, said further cavity having a circular perimeter with an axis normal to said sheet that lies in the plane defined by the axis of said arcuate cavity and said means for marking, the axis of said circular perimeter being between said arcuate cavity and the axis of said arcuate cavity.

6. The levelling device of claim 5 wherein said further cavity is substantially annular, and further defines a straight cavity extending tangentially from said circular perimeter, said sheet having an article dispensing aperture aligned with the end of straight cavity away from said circular perimeter.

7. The levelling device of claim 5 wherein the radius of said circular perimeter is less than the radius of said arcuate cavity.

8. The levelling device of claim 2 wherein said means for marking comprises at least one arrow shaped recess formed in said transparent layer and directed to said angular position.

9. The levelling device of claim 2 wherein said transparent layer has a further formed portion defining a cavity between said layer and sheet for holding merchandise.

10. A combined level indicator and merchandise dispensing package comprising a flat card, a transparent plastic member having a fiat surface affixed to said card and a plurality of formed regions defining cavities between said card and plastic member, one said formed region being shaped to form an arcuate cavity having an axis normal to said card, second and third formed regions having flat sides normal to said card that define a common plane normal to said card and further displaced from said axis than said arcuate cavity, said common plane having a determined angular relationship with a plane normal to said card which includes said axis and passes through a central angular position of said arcuate cavity, means for indicating said angular position, an indicator ball in said arcuate cavity and movable therein, and a further formed region defining a merchandise dispensing cavity between said plastic member and said card, whereby orientation of an object to be aligned is indicated by displacement of said ball to said angular position when said card is vertically held and the flat sides of said second and third formed regions are held against said object.

11. The combined level indicator and merchandise dispensing package of claim 10 wherein said second and third regions are positioned whereby said common plane is normal to said plane defined by said axis and said angular position, and further comprising a further formed region having a flat side normal to said card, said third region having a second flat side normal to said card and to said first mentioned flat portion thereof, the flat side of said further region and said second flat side defining a plane normal to said card and parallel to said plane defined by said axis and said determined angular position.

12. The levelling device of claim 10 wherein said merchandise dispensing cavity is a substantially annular cavity having an axis normal to said card, the axis of said annular cavity lying in said plane defined by the axis of said arcuate cavity.

13. The levelling device of claim 12 further comprising a straight cavity portion extending tangentially from the perimeter of said annular cavity, and a dispensing in said annular cavity, and having an end extending through said straight cavity portion into alignment with said dispensing aperture.

17. The levelling indicator and merchandise dispensing package of claim 10 wherein said means for marking comprises a raised pointer indicating region on said plastic member and directed toward said angular position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3269729 *Feb 24, 1964Aug 30, 1966Morrison Tom RPosition control apparatus with flexible level indicator and mounting strap
US3402810 *Jun 27, 1967Sep 24, 1968New England Twine & Cordage CoTwine dispensing device
US3703234 *Jul 27, 1970Nov 21, 1972Howard Hardware ProdDisplay packages for drills, bits and similar boring tools, providing means to test if proper size for a given bolt, screw or dowel
US3754643 *Jun 9, 1972Aug 28, 1973Northrup King & CoSeed tape dispenser
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4232786 *Apr 10, 1979Nov 11, 1980Kiyoshi OguraCase for a tape
US4546879 *Jan 2, 1985Oct 15, 1985Velcro Espanola, S.A.Tape dispenser
US4613038 *Oct 4, 1985Sep 23, 1986American Cycle Industries, Inc.Method and apparatus for modular packaging of bicycle cables and locks
US5138134 *Dec 22, 1988Aug 11, 1992Ellison Mearl EDecorative wall hanging heater
US5699913 *Nov 30, 1995Dec 23, 1997Cellstar, Ltd.Unitized package assembly
US5875893 *Dec 29, 1995Mar 2, 1999Monster Cable International, Ltd.Product display package
US6554131Sep 7, 2000Apr 29, 2003Black & Decker Inc.Thermoformed header package for tool belt accessories and related products
US6615986 *Apr 18, 2001Sep 9, 2003Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Battery package
US6769567Jan 3, 2003Aug 3, 2004Eveready Battery Company, Inc.Product dispenser
US7621405Jun 20, 2007Nov 24, 2009Eveready Battery Co., Inc.Lithium battery package
US20040129717 *Jan 3, 2003Jul 8, 2004Gauthier Jonathan C.Product dispenser
US20060096887 *Nov 1, 2005May 11, 2006Morrison David JStorage and display package for batteries
US20060254066 *Dec 10, 2003Nov 16, 2006Yoel LangLevel-determining adhesive patch
US20070209955 *Mar 13, 2006Sep 13, 2007Ming-Te WuPull-type ribbon object packaging structure which is convenient for collecting without unpacking
US20080314791 *Jun 20, 2007Dec 25, 2008Schweitzer Andrew CLithium battery package
WO2004053009A2 *Dec 10, 2003Jun 24, 2004Lang, DiklaLevel-determining adhesive patch
WO2004053009A3 *Dec 10, 2003Sep 2, 2004Yoel LangLevel-determining adhesive patch
Classifications
U.S. Classification33/354, 206/305, 33/365, 206/461
International ClassificationG01C9/10, G01C9/00
Cooperative ClassificationG01C9/00, G01C9/10
European ClassificationG01C9/00, G01C9/10