US 3885865 A
Kaleidoscope for automatically projecting images upon a horizontal surface such as a ceiling. A hollow wheel having transparent side walls, and containing particulate material, is mounted on a horizontal axis in a lamp housing. Images projected from the wheel as it rotates travel along a horizontal kaleidoscope mirror trough, and are deflected by reflecting means into a vertical external path toward the ceiling. Heat from the projecting lamp supplies the energy for rotating the kaleidoscope wheels; thus a separate motor is not required for rotating the wheel.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Stern et al.
[451 May 27, .1975
[ AUTOMATIC KALEIDOSCOPE 22 Filed: Nov. 14, 1973  Appl. No.: 415,782
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 411,350 7/1921 Germany ..35 3/2 362,566 12/1931 United Kingdom 353/2 Primary ExaminerJoseph F. Peters, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Alan Mathews Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Alfred W. Vibber  ABSTRACT [1.8. CI- K l p f automatically p j g images 353/4 upon a horizontal surface such as a ceiling. A hollow CI- wheel having transparent side nand containing  held of Search 350/4 240/101 353/1 particulate material, is mounted on a horizontal axis in 353/2 4 a lamp housing. Images projected from the wheel as it rotates travel along a horizontal kaleidoscope mirror  References C'ted trough, and are deflected by reflecting means into a UNITED STATES PATENTS vertical external path toward the ceiling. Heat from 1,690,584 11/1928 Jones 353/1 X the projecting lamp supplies the energy for rotating 1,780,969 11/1930 Brunner 353/1 X the kaleidoscope wheels; thus a separate motor is not 2,475,930 7/1949 Wesley 350/5 X required for rotating the wheel. 2,553,005 5/1951 Regan 350/5 x 2,607,269 8/1952 Elsaesser 350/5 x 7 Claims, 5 Drawlng g res 34 J a. I 5 32 3i /9 5---: 5 4 Z/ 27 7 /5 A I I l I l l AUTOMATIC KALEIDOSCOPE This invention relates to a kaleidoscope for automatically projecting images upon a horizontal surface such as a ceiling. The kaleidoscope may be used, for example, for the entertainment and instruction of a small infant lying in a crib.
The invention has among its objects the provision of a kaleidoscope of the type above indicated wherein the projected images constantly change, and wherein the changing of the images is effected by movable means powered by the heatof the projecting lamp of the kaleidoscope. More particularly, a hollow wheel having transparent side walls, and containing particulate material, is mounted on a horizontal axis in a lamp housing, and is rotated by the air heated by the lamp bulb in the housing. The images formed by the passage of light through the rotating wheel are transmitted to a kaleidoscope mirror trough, and thereafter are deflected into a vertical, external projecting path toward the ceiling.
The above and further objects of the invention will be more readily apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the'kaleidoscope in accordance with the invention. It is to be expressly understood that such embodiment housing 19. Outwardly of the rail 15, that is, to the left in FIG. 2, the housing is providedwith a bottom horizontal wall portion 26 through which there extend a plurality of grille openings 27 for the passage of air upwardly into the housing. Mounted upon and secured to the housing portion 26 there is a lamp bulb socket 29 in which there is mounted a lamp bulb 30. Bulb 30 is shown as being powered through an electric supply cable 31. It is to be understood that other sources of electric current may be employed if desired, such as a battery mounted within the housing, the lamp bulb 30 being modified accordingly.
Beyond the outer edge of the housing portion 26 the housing rises in a vertical wall 32, upon the inner surface of which there is mounted a part-spherical projecting mirror 34, as shown. Disposed inwardly of the lamp bulb 30 there is a vertical transparent, heat-resistant plate 35; the housing wall portions 26, 32, 36, and the plate 35 form a space which is closed at its ends byside walls 33, as shown in FIG. 3. The upper end of the housing portion 36 is curved to merge with an upper horizontal housing portion 37. A vertical portion 39 of the housing, connected to the forward end of housing is illustrative only, and that the invention is not limited through the kaleidoscope, certain of the parts being shown in elevation;
. FIG. 3 is a view in vertical section through the kaleidoscope, the section being taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a view-in vertical section through the kaleidoscope, the section being taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is a view in vertical section through the mirror trough of the kaleidoscope, the section being taken along the line 55 of FIG. 2.
Turning now to FIG. 1, the illustrative embodiment of the kaleidoscope of the invention, which is generally designated by the reference character 10, is shown mounted upon a crib 11, specifically by being clamped to the top rail of one of the side guards 12 of the crib. The crib has ends 14 between which the spaced parallel guards 12 extend, the device in FIG. 1 being shown clamped to the upper rail 15 of the guard 12 nearer the reader. As thus mounted, the device 10 continuously projects changing images, indicated at 16 in FIGS. 1 and 2, upon the ceiling 17. It is to be understood that the kaleidoscope can be mounted on any suitable support, such as a table, other than upon a bed or crib.
The specific construction of the illustrative embodiment of the kaleidoscope is shown in FIGS. 2 5, inclusive, particularly FIGS. 2 and 3. The kaleidoscope has a housing 19 which in the embodiment shown is attached to the rail 15 of the crib by a clamp generally designated 20, the clamp having a first clamp jaw 21 and a second clamp jaw 22 spaced therefrom, the two clamp jaws being drawn together by the screwing up of a wing nut 25 on a machine screw 24 extending be tween the jaws. In the embodiment shown the jaws 21 and 22 form lower depending parts of the forward and rear walls of the lamp housing of the kaleidoscope portion 37, completes the projecting lamp end and kaleidoscope wheel-containing portion of the housing. Housing portion 39 is provided with a plurality of holes 40 therethrough to provide for the escape from such portion of the housing of air heated by the lamp bulb 30.
Within the portion of the housing between the housing wall 39 and the heat-resistant transparent plate 35 there is journaled a wheel 41 for rotation about a horizontal axis. The wheel 41 is composed of spaced parallel disc-like forward and rear walls 42 and 44, respectively, such walls being connected at their edges by a circumferential band 45. A plurality of equally angularly spaced radially. outwardly projecting blades 44 are secured to the circumferential band 45, the blades being so contoured and angularly oriented that air passing upwardlyand then to the right (FIG. 2) through the housing acts upon the blades before passing out of the openings 40 to cause the wheel 41 to turn slowly around its axis of rotation. The wheel 41 is so located that a horizontal line passing from left to right through the effective lightemiting center of the light bulb 30 passes through the wheel 41 at a location substantially midway between its axis of rotation and the lower edge of its circumferential band 45. A substantial amount of particulate matter 47 is contained within the wheel 41, such particulate matter tumbling over into repeatedly differently oriented heaps as the wheel rotates.
The wheel 41, in the embodiment of the device shown, is supported by and rotates upon a supporting means generally designated 49 which is in the form of a wire bent generally into an inverted U-shape. The bight of such U-shape is welded or soldered to a strap 51 which in turn is similarly connected to the inner surface of the wall portion 37 of the housing. The lower ends of the wire forming means 49 are oppositely bent inwardly to form stub shafts 52 which pass into central holes in the walls 42 and 44 of the wheel 41 and thus journal the wheel for free rotation.
Forwardly of the lamp and wheel-containing portion of the housing and integral therewith is a horizontal trough-shaped extension 54. The main portion of extension 54 is in the form of a triangle (FIG. 5) the two lower sides of the triangle being of the same dimensions and being oriented at an angle of 60 with respect to each other. An elongated mirror 55 is disposed within the housing extension 54 to lie against each of the lower, sloping walls thereof, as shown. The housing portion 54 is closed by an upper flat horizontal wall 56. The mirrors 55, 55 transform the single image received by the passage of light from the lamp bulb 30 through the wheel 41 into multiple identical images, as is well known in the kaleidoscope arts.
The forward, free end of the housing part 54 terminates in a formation which supports therein means for turning the multiple, identical kaleidoscopic images through an angle of 90 thereby projecting them upon an upper horizontal surface, such as a ceiling. Thus the lower forward end of the housing portion 54 is bent upwardly and forwardly at an angle of 45 with respect to the horizontal. Inwardly of such slanting portion 57 and resting thereon there is disposed a flat mirror 58, likewise disposed at 45 degrees with respect to the horizontal. Mirror 58 therefore turns the multiple kaleidoscope images through 90 into an upwardly directed path. A vertically projecting circular tubular housing 59 is affixed to the upper free end of housing portion 54, such tubular portion 59 bearing an objective or projecting lens 60, as shown.
For simplicity of illustration the housing of the device has, in effect, been shown as being of one integral part. It will be understood, however, that it will actually be provided with access doors or ports to permit the introduction and removal of various elements therewithin, such doors or ports being provided with suitable closures and means for fastening them on the housing.
Whereas we have shown and described a preferred embodiment of the automatic kaleidoscope of the invention, it will be understood that such embodiment is illustrative only, and that the invention is capable of numerous variations as to detail. The invention, therefore, is defined by the scope of the claims appended hereto.
What is claimed is:
1. Automatic kaleidoscope, comprising a lamp housing, a lamp in the housing, the housing having air inlet means to admit ambient air into the housing and air outlet means to permit the exhausting from the housing of air heated by the lamp, a rotatable hollow disc-like wheel having spaced transparent opposite sides and a peripheral rim mounted in the housing, the wheel having vanes mounted thereon and positioned in the path of heated air being exhausted from the housing to turn the Wheel thereby, a quantity of particulate material disposed in the wheel to be tumbled repeatedly as the wheel rotates, and a kaleidoscope mirror trough disposed to receive light from the lamp after it has passed through the wheel from side to side at the location of the tumbling particulate material.
2. Kaleidoscope as in claim 1, wherein the housing is disposed generally vertical, the air inlet means is disposed adjacent the bottom of the housing, the air outlet means is disposed adjacent the top of the housing on a first side wall thereof, the wheel is disposed to rotate on a generally horizontal axis, the vanes extend radially outwardly from the rim of the wheel, and the vanes on the wheel at the top thereof are interposed in the path of the heated air passing toward the air outlet means.
3. Kaleidoscope as in claim 2, comprising a vertical transparent plate interposed between the lamp and the wheel and substantially dividing the housing into a lamp-containing space and a wheel-containing space, the two such spaces communicating adjacent the top of the housing to permit the flow of heated air from the lamp-containing space to the wheel-containing space in the housing.
4. Kaleidoscope as in claim 3, wherein the housing has a second side wall in the upper portion thereof remote from the wheel, said second side wall being inclined upwardly and toward the first side wall of the housing and the air outlet means thereon, whereby to direct heated air rising from the lamp-containing space generally horizontally to the wheel-containing space in the housing.
5. Kaleidoscope as in claim 1, wherein the wheel is mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis, and the kaleidoscope trough extends horizontally laterally from the housing in a direction parallel to the axis of rotation of the wheel.
6. Kaleidoscope as in claim 5, comprising lens means on the kaleidoscope trough for projecting the beam of light containing kaleidoscopic images from the trough upon a surface spaced therefrom.
7. Kaleidoscope as in claim 6, comprising means for turning the beam of light containing kaleidoscopic images through a right angle in advance of the lens means, and wherein the said lens means is disposed at with respect to the longitudinal axis of the kaleidoscope trough so as to receive and project the beam of light containing kaleidoscopic images received from the means for turning such beam.
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