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Publication numberUS3885336 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 27, 1975
Filing dateNov 5, 1973
Priority dateJan 5, 1973
Also published asDE2400365A1
Publication numberUS 3885336 A, US 3885336A, US-A-3885336, US3885336 A, US3885336A
InventorsDaniel H Olsen
Original AssigneeMidland Insta Change Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Photo frame and the like
US 3885336 A
Abstract
A frame for photos and the like is composed basically of two elements: a recessed back member, and a front member conformed to fit loosely within the recess of said back member. The front member has a photo aperture in its front face and is arranged for the insertion of a photo between the front and rear faces thereof. The front member is held in place within the recess of the back member by cooperating magnetic and metallic elements.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

o United States Patent [191 [111 3,885,336 Olsen May 27, 1975 [54] PHOTO FRAME AND THE LIKE 3,553,872 1/1971 Ebner 40/152 [75] Inventor: Daniel H. Olsen, Toledo, Ohio FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [73] Assignee; Midland Insta-Change Company, 157,620 12/1932 Switzerland 40/152 Cincinnati, Ohio Primar Examiner-Robert W. Michell 22 Fld: N .s 1973 Y 1 l 8 0V Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras PP 412,832 Attorney, Agent, or FirmMelville, Strasser, Foster &

Related US. Application Data Hoffman [63] Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 321,134, Jan. 5,

1973, abandoned. [57] ABSTRACT [52] U S Cl to/152' 4O/152 A frame for photos and the like is composed basically [51] b 1/12 of two elements: a recessed back member, and a front [58] Fie'ld 1 156 member conformed to fit loosely within the recess of 2 said back member. The front member has a photo aperture in its front face and is arranged for the insertion of a photo between the front and rear faces thereof. [56] References cued The front member is held in place within the recess of UNITED STATES PATENTS the back member by cooperating magnetic and metal- 652,675 6/1900 Hatton 40/152 li elements, 2,651,867 9/1953 Prew t 40/152 2,785,490 3/1957 Fabry 40/ 152 X 18 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures Pl/O TO MBBSBE'G PATENTEB MAY 2 7 [975 SHEET 0 3 OF PHOTO FRAME AND THE LIKE BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This application is a continuation in-part of an application Ser. No. 32l,l34 filed .Ian. 5, 1973 and now abandoned.

The present invention has utility for the display of all manner of items including leaflets, drawings, photographs, advertisements, and the like. It is particularly useful in situations where it is desirable to change the display at more or less frequent intervals. For purposes of illustration, it will be described herein particularly for use with photographs. Photography has become so popular with the improvement of cameras and film, particularly color film, that it has reached the status of a practically universal hobby. With certain cameras and film sizes, prints are made in standard sizes and photo albums are available which are tailored to such standard size prints. Similarly, photo frames are available in various standard sizes to accept practically any standard size print. Such frames may be provided with easel backs for display on a table or shelf, or they may be provided with means whereby they may be hung on a wall.

Such frames usually comprise a main frame element having on three sides a channel into which are inserted from the open end, first a sheet of glass, then the photo to be displayed, then one or more sheets of cardboard, and finally a back member which is provided with the easel prop or a wing for hanging. When it is desired to change the picture, it is necessary to remove the back member and sheets of cardboard before the photo can be removed; and then all these elements must be reinserted after the new photo has been placed in position. This operation is time consuming; and after several changes of photos, the back member becomes somewhat dog-cared so that insertion becomes progressively more difficult. It is easy to break the glass; and, as a matter of fact, the glass in such frames at the time of purchase often has jagged edges so that there is always a danger of cutting the fingers.

Frequent changing of photographs occur particularly in families having very young children or very young grandchildren. Young parents often photographs their babies at regular intervals of, say, one month, and they like to display the most current photograph. Similarly, grandparents are usually given photographs of their grandchildren and as the children grow, they like to change the photographs so as to keep the most recent one on display.

With the foregoing considerations in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a frame such that the operation of changing the photo or other matter to be displayed can be accomplished very quickly and easily without danger and without deterioration of the frame with usage.

It is another objective of this invention to provide a dual picture frame structure wherein the two frames are retained in operative combination by magnetic means on juxtaposed front and rear faces of the frames, and a peripheral gap is established when the two frames are nested together, allowing the photo holding front frame to be easily received into and retrieved from the rear frames seat through the rear frames front face.

It has been still another objective of the present invention to provide a dual picture frame structure wherein a photo holding front frame is seated on a rear-- frame and held thereto by magnetic means, a portion of the front frames rear face being spaced from the rear frames floor in a manner that allows the front frame to tip relative to the rear frame when depressed adjacent one edge thereof, thereby allowing the front frame to be easily retrieved from the rear frame when the frames are assembled.

Essentially, the frame has two parts: a rigid rear member which may have on its rear face appropriate means for standing or hanging display and having on its front face a recess defined by a bezel; and a rigid front frame member of a size to fit loosely in said recess substantially within said bezel and with a distinct peripheral clearance between said bezel and said front frame member. A magnet is provided either in the bottom of the recess of the rear frame member or on the rear face of the front frame member, and a metallic piece is secured to the other of said frame members. Thus, the cooperation between the magnetic and metallic elements serves to hold the two frame members in assembly with the front frame member substantially within the bezel, but with no frictional contact between the peripheries of the two frame members. The front frame member has a picture aperture in its front face and a space between the front and rear faces for insertion of a photo. Preferably, the magnet will project somewhat from the surface to which it is secured and preferably the magnet will be centrally disposed with respect to the frame members. Thus, to change photos it is onlynecessary to depress the front member adjacent an edge thereof, whereupon it tilts slightly so that the opposite edge can be readily grasped for removal of the front frame member from the recess. Thereupon, the old photo is simply slipped out, the new one slipped in, and the front member can then be replaced in the recess, all without removing the rigid rear frame member from its display location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a frame according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of FIG. 1, showing the relationship of the several parts.

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the front member.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the rear member.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 1 showing how a frame according to the invention may be mounted on a wall or a display board.

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the front frame member of a slightly modified form similar to FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 5 of a modified rear frame member.

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view taken on the line 10-10 of FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 7 showing the modified photo frame mounted on a wall or display board.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 shows a general view of a typical dual frame structure according to the invention. The frame shown in the drawings is of square format and is of a size designed to accept standard prints from the Kodak Instamatic Camera. The rigid rear frame member is indicated generally at 10, the front frame member at 11. The picture aperture is indicated at 12. The rigid, nonflexible front frame member 11 comprises a front face 13 which has the photo opening or aperture 12 with the aperture 12 surrounded by a bezel 14. In the particular embodiment shown, the bezel 14 is a separate piece but it of course could be integral with the front face member 13. It will be understood that the separate bezel may be arranged to be snapped in place or it may be adhered in place with a suitable adhesive. The advantage of a snap-in arrangement is that the color of the bezel may be changed to harmonize with the decor of the room where the frame is to be displayed. The rear face is indicated at 15 and it has secured thereto, centrally of its external periphery 15a, a small metallic piece 16. The rear face 15 also has a small cutout 17 through which a finger may contact the photograph to be removed from the frame.

The front and rear faces are spaced slightly apart by means of a spacing member 18 which extends around all sides of the front frame member except that side in which the recess 17 is located, thereby allowing a photo (not shown) to be received between the faces 13 and 15 for viewing through the photo aperture 12.

Actually, the front frame member 11 by itself constitutes a complete frame. The rear frame member is slightly larger than the front member 11 and is recessed at 19 to accommodate the front member 10. The seat or recess 19 includes a floor 1% and an open front face defined by a bezel 19a. The peripheral geometry of the bezel 19a is the same as the peripheral geometry of the front frame member 11. The member 11 fits loosely substantially within the bezel 19a when the frame members are nested together, with a distinct peripheral gap or clearance 34 established between the external periphery a of the front frame member 10 and the adjacent periphery of the bezel 19a. Secured to the member 10 in the recess 19 is the permanent magnet 20. The magnet 20 is located centrally of the bezel 19a and is preferably magnetic rubber such as is commonly used in refrigerator doors. It is common knowledge that the magnetic effect of such magnetic rubber is enhanced if it is backed by a metallic element; and therefore a piece of metal 21 is secured to the rear face of the rear member. It is preferably recessed as best seen in FIG. 6. It will of course be understood that the locations of the metallic and magnetic elements may be reversed without departing from the spirit of the invention. The magnet 20 and metal piece 16 as shown in FIG. 7, also act as spacers to create a clearance C between the rear face 15 of the front frame member and the floor 19b of the rear frame member. In use, and when the edge 31 of the front frame member is depressed, the opposite edge 32 is raised up above the bezel 19a by virtue of the fulcrum point established as at 33, thereby allowing the edge 32 to be grasped easily for removal of the front frame from the seat 19 of the rear frame (see FIG. 7). This tipping feature, along with the open face of the rear frame defined by the bezel 19 and the peripheral gap 34 between the frames, makes it very easy to receive the front frame into, and retrieve the front frame from, the rear frame.

The presence of the metallic element 21 on the rear face of the rear member 10 makes possible a magnetic mounting of the whole frame on a backing element or wall as best seen in FIG. 7. A wall or other supporting surface is indicated at 22 and has adhesively or otherwise secured thereto a permanent magnet 23. As clearly seen in this Figure, the permanent magnet 23 may cooperate with the recessed metallic element 21 to hold the assembled rame on a backboard or wall. When the frame is to be secured to a backing member as shown in FIG. 7, it is desirable to provide a plurality of tab members 24 of rubber or plastic sponge type material to retain the frame in substantial parallel relation to the backing surface.

The modification shown in FIGS. 8 to 11 inclusive differs only slightly from that shown in FIGS. 1 to 7 inclusive and therefore like parts have been designated by the same reference numerals. Comparing FIGS. 9 and 10 with FIGS. 5 and 6, it will be observed that the magnet 20 and the metallic element 21 are mounted on a portion of the recess which is elevated slightly above the bottom of the recess. Furthermore, a series of studs are provided about the elevated platform 26 as indicated at 25. The elevation of the magnet 20 and the provision of the studs 25 makes it still easier to remove the front frame member from the recess because pressure along an edge of the front frame member produces a substantially greater degree of tilt with respect to the rear frame member, so that it is still easier to grasp the front frame member from the opposite edge to remove it from the rear frame member.

Comparing FIG. 11 with FIG. 7, it will be observed that the elevation of the platform 26 makes it necessary to use a thicker magnet at 23 when it is desired to secure the photo frame to a supporting surface.

Comparing FIG. 8 with FIG. 4, it will be observed that the notch 17 for finger access to remove a photo from the front frame element has been eliminated and instead the rear portion of the front frame element is configured as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 3. Thus, the photo slot is open at opposite sides of the front frame member so that a photo may be inserted from either side. Additionally, the edges 17a provide guides for marking a print which is longer than the front frame element so that it may be cut to proper size to fit within the front frame member as would be the case with photos which are not of square format.

A number of advantages derive from the construction above described. Both front and rear members may be made from plastic by conventional molding procedures; and as is now commonly known, such plastic may embody coloring material. Thus, the rear member 10 may be molded in one color while the front member 11 may be molded in a different color. If the bezel 14 is made separate, this bezel may also be molded in different colors.

The backing member indicated at 22 in FIG. 7 may itself be a decorative panel and may be covered with fabric if desired and one or more magnets 23 may be provided to hold a plurality of frames according to the invention. The rear members 10 of the frames may also be permanently affixed in a suitable arrangement on a backboard.

It will be clear that numerous modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. No limitation not expressly set forth in the claims is intended and none should be implied.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A photo frame and the like, comprising:

a. a rigid rear frame member having a flat-bottomed recess in its front face defined by an upstanding bezel,

b. a rigid front frame member configured to fit loosely in said recess substantially within said bezel with a distinct peripheral clearance, for ready insertion thereinto, and removal therefrom, and having spaced front and rear faces providing a slot for the insertion of a photo therebetween, said front face having a photo aperture, and

c. cooperating permanent magnetic, and metallic elements, one secured substantially centrally of the bottom of said recess and the other secured substantially centrally of the rear surface of said front frame member, to hold said front frame member releasably within said recess, one of said elements projecting above the surface to which it is secured, whereby pressure on said front frame member adjacent an edge thereof causes said front frame member to tilt with respect to said recess to raise the opposite edge above said bezel so that it may be grasped for easy removal.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein a plurality of abutments are provided in said recess, spaced about said element secured in said recess, said abutments being substantially of the same height above the bottom of the recess as the surface of said element.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein said permanent magnetic element is secured in said recess, and said metallic element is secured to the rear surface of said front frame member.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein a second metallic element is secured behind said magnetic element.

5. The device of claim 4, wherein said second metallic element is recessed in said rear frame member, and is in contact with said magnetic element.

6. The device of claim 5, wherein pad members are secured to the rear face of said rear frame member adjacent the edges thereof.

7. The device of claim 6, in combination with a backing surface, said backing surface having a permanent magnet secured thereto, and cooperating with said second metallic element to secure said structure removably to said backing surface.

8. The device of claim 1, wherein said front frame member has a bezel surrounding said photo aperture, said last named bezel being a separate piece and secured in said aperture.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein the said front and rear faces of the rigid front frame member are spaced apart by spacing elements along opposed edges thereof, leaving the remaining opposed edges open for insertion of a photo between said faces.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein the said rear face is configured along said open edges to provide marking guides for cutting oblong photos to square configuration to fit said front frame member.

11. A picture frame structure comprising a rigid front frame having front and rear faces, means to maintain said front and rear faces in parallel spaced relationship to releasably receive a photograph between those faces for viewing through an opening in the front face thereof,

a rigid, nonflexible rear frame having a floor and an open front face defined by a rim that cooperates to establish a seat for said front frame, the external periphery of the. front frame and the rim of the rear frame being sized so that a distinct peripheral gap is established therebetween when the frames are nested together, thereby allowing the front frame to be easily received into and retrieved from the rear frame through the front face of the rear frame because of the peripheral gap established when the frames are nested together, and

magnetic means mounted substantially centrally of the rear face of said front frame and substantially centrally of the floor or said rear frame, said magnetic means retaining said frames in operative combination, one of said means projecting above the surface on which it is mounted, whereby pressure on said front frame adjacent an edge thereof causes said front frame to tilt with respect to said seat to raise the opposite edge above said rim so that it may be grasped for easy removal.

12. A picture frame structure as set forth in claim 11 hwerein said rigid front frame is in the form of a onepiece envelope open along at least one side edge, and wherein said magnetic means includes a, magnetic element and a metallic element, one of said elements being secured to the floor of said rear frame and the other of said. elements being secured to the rear face of said front frame.

13. A picture frame structure as set forth in claim 11 wherein the peripheral geometry of the rim of the rear frame is substantially the same as that of the external periphery of the front frame.

14. A picture frame structure as set forth in claim 13 wherein the depth of the seat defined by the floor of said rear frame and rim is sufficient to prevent said front frame from sliding laterally off said rear frame, and to prevent the photograph in said front frame from falling out of said front frame.

15. A picture frame structure comprising a front frame, means on said front frame for releasably retaining a photograph, said front frame having a rear face and side edges,

a rear frame having an open front face, said rear frame defining a seat having a floor on which said front frame is mounted, said open front face at least partially enclosing said side edges of said front frame when said front frame is mounted on said floor, and means to space at least a portion of the rear face of said front frame from the floor of said rear frame in a manner that allows said front frame to tip relative to said rear frame when said front frame is pressed adjacent one side edge thereof, and

magnetic means fixed to the rear face of said front frame and to the floor of said rear frame to retain said frames in operative combination,

16. A picture frame structure as set forth in claim 15,

said magnetic means being raised out of the plane of at least one of the rear face of the front frame and the floor of the rear frame to space the back face of the front frame from the floor of the rear frame when said frames are operatively combined.-

17. A picture frame structure: as set forth in claim 16 wherein said magnetic means includes a magnetic element and a metallic element, one of said elements being fixed to the floor of said rear frame centrally of said rim and the other of said elements being fixed to the rear face of said front 7 8 frame centrally of said front frames external peis such that one edge of said front frameis raised above riphery. said seat of the rear frame when said front frame is 18. A picture frame structure as set forth in claim 17 tipped relative to said rear frame by depressing the opwherein the clearance established between the rear posite edge of said front frame. face of said front frame and the floor of the rear frame

Patent Citations
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US652675 *Oct 6, 1899Jun 26, 1900Millard F HattonMedallion picture and frame.
US2651867 *Sep 1, 1950Sep 15, 1953Pru Lesco IncPicture frame holder
US2785490 *Jan 18, 1956Mar 19, 1957Robert J FabryPicture frame
US3553872 *Sep 20, 1968Jan 12, 1971Foto Cube IncInterchangeable display
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4184278 *Feb 21, 1978Jan 22, 1980Fournet Richard SCombination mirror and display device
US4333253 *Dec 26, 1979Jun 8, 1982Cooper Andrew KDisplay sign
US4578886 *Jun 1, 1984Apr 1, 1986Lofredo Raymond ACombination holder for displaying a phonograph and a decorative wall display frame
US4583309 *Aug 21, 1984Apr 22, 1986Kane Graphical CorporationTamper-proof display assembly
US5303487 *Nov 9, 1992Apr 19, 1994Olson Heidi SWindow display card
US5662447 *Aug 25, 1995Sep 2, 1997Jiun Wey Industrial Co., Ltd.Frontcover mountable with a photograph for books and its manufacturing method
US5676444 *Dec 12, 1995Oct 14, 1997Liao; Chun-ChiNeon light box
US5918400 *Jun 12, 1997Jul 6, 1999Schonberger; MiltonKit for shaping and mounting photographs and the like
US6209248Mar 17, 1997Apr 3, 2001Donald FarnsworthPicture frame
US6354030Dec 30, 1999Mar 12, 2002Alan M. HarrisNested magnetic picture frame pieces
US6868630Aug 4, 2003Mar 22, 2005Paul T. KimPicture holding system
US6889458 *Aug 29, 2002May 10, 2005John S. CopleyFlexible artwork display system
US7802390Sep 28, 2010Reis Richard CConfigurable modular picture frame
US8104208 *Jan 31, 2012Margarete SchymuraFrame assembly mountable to an object
US8397411Mar 19, 2013Kelley M. RussoMagnet-based mounting systems for frames
US8522464Feb 10, 2011Sep 3, 2013Margaret L. RehnbergMagnetic blocks with images thereon, systems and methods of making the same
US20050028417 *Aug 4, 2003Feb 10, 2005Kim Paul T.Picture holding system
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US20090064555 *Sep 8, 2008Mar 12, 2009Margarete SchymuraFrame assembly mountable to an object
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US20100229442 *Mar 12, 2010Sep 16, 2010Snow Lori LInterchangeable Art Tiles System
US20110042542 *Feb 24, 2011Russo Kelley MMagnet-based mounting systems for frames
US20150208835 *Apr 3, 2015Jul 30, 20153M Innovative Properties CompanyRemovable Wall Decoration Kits, Systems and Methods
USD739149Apr 24, 2014Sep 22, 2015Tricia L. Shay-PuetzerFrame for displaying an object
USD739661 *Mar 6, 2014Sep 29, 20153M Innovative Properties CompanyDecorative display
USD741069 *Mar 6, 2014Oct 20, 20153M Innovative Properties CompanyDecorative display base
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USD751831Apr 24, 2014Mar 22, 2016Tricia L. Shay-PuetzerTransparent frame for displaying an object
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USRE45475 *May 18, 2012Apr 21, 2015Margarete SchymuraFrame assembly mountable to an object
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/711, 428/900, 40/775
International ClassificationA47G1/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S428/90, A47G1/06
European ClassificationA47G1/06