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Publication numberUS3888030 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 10, 1975
Filing dateJan 21, 1974
Priority dateJan 21, 1974
Publication numberUS 3888030 A, US 3888030A, US-A-3888030, US3888030 A, US3888030A
InventorsBradt Gordon E
Original AssigneeBradt Gordon E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Kinetic sculpture
US 3888030 A
Abstract
A kinetic sculpture having a generally tubular motion imparting device rotatably mounted on a base structure oblique to a vertical axis therethrough. The tubular device has a substantially closed bottom and a substantially open top and is rotated by a motor mounted on the base structure for rotation about its major longitudinal axis. One or more rod-like flexible members having diameters less than one-half the inside diameter of the tubular device are positioned in the tubular device so as to rest on the bottom thereof. The open top of the tubular device is irregularly shaped and the periphery thereof extends oblique to said vertical axis. The flexible rod members bear against the periphery of the open top and are moved thereby in response to rotation of the tubular device so as to cause swinging, bobbing, swaying, whipping and other movements to the rod members depending on the shape of the periphery of the open top of the tubular device. Figure objects may be mounted on the free moving ends of the rod members.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Bradt 1 KINETIC SCULPTURE [76] Inventor: Gordon E. Bradt, 828 Ashland Ave., Wilmette, 1]]. 60091 [22] Filed: Jan. 21, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 434,861

[52] US. Cl 40/126 R; 40/1063; 40/139; 46/245 [51] Int. Cl. G091 19/02 [58] Field of Search. 40/126 R, 126 B, 139, 106.42, 40/1063, 33, 30; 46/245, 243, 136, 137

Primary Examiner-Robert W. Michell Assistant Examiner-John F. Pitrelli Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Coffee and Sweeney .tlllllmi June 10, 1975 [57] ABSTRACT A kinetic sculpture having a generally tubular motion imparting device rotatably mounted on a base structure oblique to a vertical axis therethrough. The tubular device has a substantially closed bottom and a substantially open top and is rotated by a motor mounted on the base structure for rotation about its major longitudinal axis. One or more rod-like flexible members having diameters less than one-half the inside diameter of the tubular device are positioned in the tubular device so as'to rest on the bottom thereof. The open top of the tubular device is irregularly shaped and the periphery thereof extends oblique to said vertical axis. The flexible rod members bear against the periphery of the open top and are moved thereby in response to rotation of the tubular device so as to cause swinging, bobbing, swaying, whipping and other movements to the rod members depending on the shape of the periphery of the open top of the tubular device. Figure objects may be mounted on the free moving ends of the rod members.

14 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures KINETIC SCULPTURE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the art of kinetic sculpture.

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a device of the character described in the form of an action display mechanism providing a simple, low cost and reliable mechanism that imparts a variety of swinging, swaying and bobbing movements to various kinetic art or display objects when they are mounted on or attached to the device.

More particularly, the exemplary embodiment of the invention includes a base structure providing a housing for positioning on a table, desk top, or other appropriate support structurc. The base structure houses an AC motor having appropriate step down gears for rotating a tubular member journalled on the housing for rotation by the motor about its major longitudinal axis. The tubular member is mounted oblique to a vertical axis. The bottom of the tubular member is substantially closed and the top thereof is substantially open. The periphery of the open top of the tubular member extends oblique to the vertical axis and is irregularly shaped. One or more elongated flexible rod-like members are positioned in the tubular member so that the lower ends thereof rest on the closed bottom of the tubular member. The rod members bear against the irregular periphery of the open top of the tubular member and are caused to move in various swinging, bobbing, swaying, whipping and other movements in response to rotation of the tubular member depending on the irregularities formed at the top of the tubular member. Different objects such as kites, abstract flowers, a caricature head, or other figure objects may be mounted on the free moving end of the rod-like members for movement therewith.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a generally central vertical section through the kinetic sculpture of the present invention, with a substantial portion of the flexible rod member cut away;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, on an enlarged scale, of one form ofirregular open top for the motion imparting tubular member of FIG. I;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to that of FIG. 1 but showing a different form of open top for the tubular member, provided with a pair of diametrically disposed flat areas;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view, on a reduced scale, of a form of kinetic sculpture embodying the concepts of the present invention, employing a plurality of flexible rod members with abstract flowers formed on the free swinging ends thereof;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to that of FIG. 4, with a caricature head mounted on the end ofa singular rod member; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIGS. 4 and 5, with a simulated kite mounted on the end ofa relatively long flexible rod member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings in greater detail, and particularly FIGS. 1 and 4 through 6, the kinetic sculpture or action display mechanism of the present invention includes a base structure, generally designated 10 which has a generally flat base portion 12 on top of which is mounted a housing portion 14. The housing portion 14 is positioned within a recess 16 on top of the base portion 12. The housing portion 14 has an interior cavity, generally designated 18. The base structure 10 is adapted for positioning on a support structure such as a table, desk top or the like.

An AC motor 20 is mounted within the cavity [8 of the housing portion 14 by appropriate means such as screws or bolts 22. An appropriate electrical cord 24 leads from the motor 20 through an aperture 26 in the housing portion 14 and has a conventional electrical plug 28 on the outer end thereof for insertion into standard electrical outlets.

The motor 20 has appropriate step down gear means 30 leading to a drive shaft 32 forming part of the motive means of the present invention.

The motion imparting means of the present invention comprises a tubular member 34 which is operatively associated with the drive shaft 32 so as to be rotated thereby. As seen in FIG. 1, a cross rod 36 fixed to the drive shaft 32 protrudes through appropriate openings in the sides and at the bottom of the tubular member 34 for fixing the tubular member to the drive shaft 32 so as to be rotated thereby. The tubular member 34 is rotatable within a journal or bearing 38 which is fixed relativc to the housing portion within a bore 40. The tubular member, thus, is rotatable within the bearing 38 for rotation relative to the base structure 10.

As seen best in FIG. 1, the tubular member 34, its bearing 38 and the housing bore 40 are oriented so that the tubular member 34 rotates about its major longitudinal axis, with the axis being oblique to a vertical axis when the device is properly positioned on a support structure. The tubular member is substantially closed at its bottom by means of a plug member 42 fixed to the top of the drive shaft 32. The top of the tubular member is substantially open and is defined by a periphery 44 which is oblique to said vertical axis. As described in greater detail hereinafter, the periphery 44 of the open top of the tubular member 34 is irregularly shaped to define a cam means.

One or more elongated flexible rod-like members 46 are positioned with their lower ends into the tubular member 34 so that the bottom end 46a thereof rests on top of the plug member 42, while an area 46b of the rod members, spaced from the lower end 460, bears against the cam periphery 44 of the open top of the tubular member 34. The rod members 46 preferably have diameters less than one-half of the inside diameter of the tubular member 34. As the tubular member 34 is rotated by the motor 20, through the drive shaft 32, various swinging, swaying, bobbing and whipping movements are imparted to the rod members 46 depending on the irregularities in the periphery 44 of the open top of the tubular member 34.

More particularly, in operation, since the tubular member 34 is canted or oblique to a vertical axis, a rod member 46, being smaller in diameter than the tubular member 34, normally will rest further off vertical than the tube with the bottom end 46a of the rod member bearing against the top of the plug member 42 and the adjacent inside wall of the tubular member which is furthest above its axis. The area 46b of the rod member will bear on the periphery 44 of the open top of the tube on the portion of the periphery which is the lowest point thereof (see FIG. 1). As the tubular member 34 is rotated by the motor 20, the rod member 46 will seek, through gravity, the above described condition. However, due to the friction of the bearing points between the rod member and the tubular member at the area 46b of the rod member and the periphery 44 of the tubular member, the rod member will tend to move with the rotation of the tube until the bearing point 46b of the rod member is far enough above the lowest point of the periphery 44 such that gravity will overcome the friction and return the rod member back to the lowest point of the periphery about the tubular opening, and possibly proceed to move slightly up the opposite side of the tube due to the inertia of the rod member.

This sequence of the rod member 46 riding up away from the low point of the opening periphery 44 until gravity overcomes the rod member and slides or rolls the rod member back to the low point of the periphery, imparts various action to the rod member depending upon the shape of the periphery 44.

The periphery 44 of the open top of the tubular member 34, comprising a cam means as described above, may be irregularly shaped, by deforming off circular or cutting unevenly shaped edges to form an irregular driving surface so as to accentuate the action of the rod member by carrying it further from its low point and providing an uneven, bumpy surface upon which the rod member rides as it returns to its low point. Many different configurations are contemplated. FIG. 2 shows a cam configuration designed to impart substantial motion to a single rod member 46 once each revolution of the tubular member 34. To this end, a substantial portion of the periphery 44 is generally circular, as at 440. However, an interrupting recess area 44b is provided as a detent or smaller radius section. With this configuration, as the rod member 46 falls into the smaller radius section 44b, the rod member is carried farthest away from the low point of the periphery 44. As the shaft approaches the high point, it falls out of the section 44b and generates a substantial whipping motion to the rod member. The balance of the periphery 44 being circular and smooth, as at 44a, allows the whipping action to go undisturbed until the section 44b of the periphery again captures the rod member and moves it therewith.

Various objects, described in greater detail hereinafter, may be mounted on the free moving ends of the rod members 46. However, it should be pointed out at this time that various cam surfaces formed about the periphery 44 of the tubular member 34 can be tuned to the whippiness of a rod member and the mass and moment of its object on its outer end so as to achieve a va riety of motions most appropriate to the type of sculpture contemplated. For example, a simulated flying kite 50 (FIG. 6), having a tail portion 52, can be simulated. In addition, the nodding or shaking motions ofa caricature head 54 (FIG. can be simulated. In comparing FIGS. 5 and 6, it can be seen that various lengths of rod members 46 may be employed.

FIG. 3 shows a cam configuration about the periphery 44 of the tubular member 34 designed for a plurality of rod members 46, such as might be used for a bunch of abstract flowers 56 as seen in FIG. 4. The configuration of FIG. 3 employs flat areas 44(- which, in the exemplary embodiment, are diametrically disposed across the periphery 44. These flat areas impart a more gentle motion to the bundle of rod members 46 (FIG. 4). The bundle tends to roll and the highest shafts fall off the top side of the bundle which sets the whipping of that shaft into motion.

It should be noted that the angle of the tubular member 34 off vertical should be sufficient to prevent the rod members 46 from achieving a vertical mode, or else the rod members will rotate 350 rather than swing and sway in less than a 180 arc. However, the angle of the tubular member should not be so far off vertical that the bottom end 460 of the rod member 46 will not be maintained by friction against the plug 42. These angle limits of the tubular member 34 primarily are dependent on the relationship between the length of the tubular member, the inside diameter ofthe tubular member, and the diameter of the rod members 46.

The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom as some modifications will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

What is claimed is:

l. A kinetic sculpture, comprising:

a base structure adapted for positioning on a support structure such as a table top or the like;

motive means mounted on said base structure;

motion imparting means mounted on said base structure and operatively associated with said motive means to be driven thereby, said motion imparting means including means providing an elongated cavity having a substantially non-circular open top and a substantially closed bottom and being rotatable by said motive means about an axis extending generally longitudinally of said cavity; and

at least one elongated flexible rod'like member of a cross sectional size less than the inner cross dimensions of said cavity, said rod member being positioned at one end into said cavity so as to be freely movable therein whereby swinging, bobbing, swaying and other movements may be imparted to said rod member in response to rotation of said motion imparting means depending on the cross sectional shape of said cavity.

2. The kinetic sculpture of claim 1 wherein said motion imparting means is rotated about an axis extending oblique to a vertical axis through said base structure when properly positioned on the support structure.

3. The kinetic sculpture of claim 2 wherein the major longitudinal axis of said cavity is generally coincident with said oblique axis of rotation.

4. The kinetic sculpture of claim 1 wherein said motion imparting means comprises a generally upright tu bular member rotated by said motive means generally about its major axis.

5. The kinetic sculpture of claim 4 wherein said tubular member is disposed on said base structure oblique to a vertical axis through said base structure when properly positioned on the support structure.

6. The kinetic sculpture of claim 5 wherein the periphery of said open top of the tubular member is disposed oblique to a vertical axis through said base structure when properly positioned on the support structure.

7. The kinetic sculpture of claim 6 wherein the periphery of said open top of the tubular member is irregularly shaped to cause various motions to the free end of said flexible rod-likc member depending on the irregularities of said periphery.

8. The kinetic sculpture of claim 7 wherein said periphery is provided with flat areas.

9. The kinetic sculpture of claim 7 wherein said periphery is substantially circular with an interrupting recessed area for capturing and moving said rod-like member a portion of each revolution as the tube rotates.

10. The kinetic sculpture of claim 1 including a figure object mounted generally on the free end of said rodlike member for movement therewith.

11. The kinetic sculpture of claim 10 wherein said figure object is formed in the shape of a kite.

12. The kinetic sculpture of claim 10 including a plurality of said rod-like members disposed in said cavity and including a figure object on the end of each rodlike member formed in the shape of an abstract flower.

13. A kinetic sculpture, comprising: a base structure; a generally tubular motion imparting device rotatably mounted on said base structure oblique to a vertical axis therethrough, said tubular device having a substantially closed bottom and a substantially non-circular open top; means for rotating said tubular device about a longitudinal axis thereof oblique to said vertical axis; and a flexible rod-like member freely positioned in said tubular device with one end of said member resting on the bottom of the tubular device, said rod-like member having a diameter less than one-half the inside diameter of said tubular device whereby swinging, bobbing, swaying and other movements may be imparted to said rod-like member in response to rotation of said tubular device depending on the shape of said open top of the tubular device.

14. The kinetic sculpture of claim 13 wherein the open top of said tubular device is irregularly shaped and the periphery thereof extends oblique to said vertical axis.

Patent Citations
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US2817916 *Jul 23, 1953Dec 31, 1957Betts & Betts CorpOscillatory display device having bimetallic actuator
US2922253 *Jan 13, 1958Jan 26, 1960Alvie CarterBee simulating toy
US3039615 *Apr 14, 1961Jun 19, 1962Schlitz Brewing Co JAdvertising display
US3494058 *Jun 17, 1968Feb 10, 1970Bjorksten Research Lab IncFirefly simulator
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4009534 *Dec 17, 1975Mar 1, 1977Bradt Gordon EKinetic sculpture
US4180932 *May 12, 1976Jan 1, 1980Millard Irving IAnimated plant display
US4229895 *Dec 18, 1978Oct 28, 1980Byers Thomas LOscillating plate animated motion display machine
US4901458 *Sep 7, 1988Feb 20, 1990Martin Paul, Inc.Simulated winged insect or the like for advertising display
US4949486 *Feb 3, 1989Aug 21, 1990Martin Paul, Inc.Display unit comprising simulated flying object driven by automatically reversible electric motor
US5045014 *Nov 13, 1990Sep 3, 1991Harkins William FBattery operated toy
US5393578 *Mar 24, 1993Feb 28, 1995Yang; SteveChristmas motion ornament
US5823844 *Aug 17, 1994Oct 20, 1998Markowitz; EliInteractive vibrating toy
DE19520654C1 *Jun 9, 1995Oct 31, 1996Heinz FriedrichsAdvertising hoarding with housing, perforated cover and vertical guide rod
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/411, 40/614, 446/484, 428/542.2
International ClassificationG09F19/00, G09F19/02
Cooperative ClassificationG09F19/02
European ClassificationG09F19/02