US 3901496 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Chambers Aug. 26, 1975  PICTURE FRAME 2.071010 2/1937 Webcrling 267/160 3,185,428 5 1965 F b' h l. 267 l  Inventor: Marshall R. Chambers, 927 Spring am dug ct a l 60 NO' Troy Mlch' 49770 Primary ExaminerJames B. Marbert  Filed: Oct. 30, 1974 Attorney, Agent, or FirmMcGlynn and Milton  Appl. No.1 519,088
 ABSTRACT Related US. Application Data  Division of Scr NO 393912 p 4 1973 A spring member for a picture frame assembly for Continuatiommp'an Ser 24 maintaining a planar member in the frame. The spring 1973 member includes an arcuate portion having extension means at each end thereof. The extension means in- 52 us. 01. 267/160 cludes a Pair diverging ears which engage a Portion 51 Int. Cl. Fl6f 1/26 of frame. to hold it in Place Furthermore, the  Field Of Search 267/160, 164; 248/488, Spring memhhr includes Openings for receiving a 248/491, 316 hanger wire or the like and a barb for engaging and anchoring with the planar member to prevent slip of  References Cited the spring member in either the lateral or vertical di- UNITED STATES PATENTS recnon' 1,538,338 5/1925 Hodny 248 488 4 Claims, 12 Drawing ig r s PATENTED AUBZ 8 I975 SHEET 1 OF 2 PICTURE FRAME This application is a divisional patent Application of Ser. No. 393,9l2, filed Sept. 4, I973, which in turn is a continuation-in-part of the patent application Ser. No. 333,244 filed Feb. 16, 1973.
This invention relates to picture frames, and more specifically, to a picture frame which may be sold in kit form and is quickly and easily assembled by the purchaser.
The best known teaching of a picture frame of the type referred to is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,613,280, issued to Tuchinsky.
l-Ieretofore, picture frames of this type have not been provided with any convenient or handy device for hanging the picture frame after it has been assembled. Furthermore, relatively elaborate connecting members have been employed to connect or join the wall sections of the frame together, such as the threaded member used in the assembly taught by Tuchinsky.
In picture frame assemblies of this type, it is desirable that the elements of the frame be easily assembled yet, once assembled, the elements must be substantially permanently joined together. Since, in the larger picture frames, the weight of the picture glass and the display item exert large forces which tend to pull the picture frame elements apart, it is apparent that the connecting members which join the wall members together must provide a substantially permanent connection.
Additionally, means must be provided for holding the picture glass, display item, and other such elements in the picture frame. For this purpose, various clips or the like have been suggested, such as in the patent to Spertus 2,651,129. As will hereinafter be described, the instant invention provides an improved clip member or spring member for holding the elements in the picture frame.
It is therefore an object and feature of the instant invention to provide a frame assembly for mounting a planar member, including a peripheral wall comprised of a plurality of interconnected wall sections, connecting members for interconnecting the wall sections, and hanger members for supporting the frame assembly; each of the wall sections including a first channel and a second channel, the first channel being adapted to receive the connecting members and the second channel being adapted to receive the hanger members.
It is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide a frame assembly which includes connecting means disposed in the channels of the wall sections for interconnecting the wall sections, wherein the connecting means includes integral protrusion means thereon for frictionally engaging the walls of the channels.
In accordance with the foregoing object and feature of the instant invention, it is another object and feature of the instant invention to provide integral protrusion means which comprise tabs or depressed areas, singly or in combination, which are conveniently formed integrally with the connecting means for frictionally engaging the walls of the channel to hold the wall sections tightly together.
Other objects and attendant advantages of the instant invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a preferred embodiment of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 2 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a broken away cross-sectional view taken generally along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a broken away cross-sectional view taken generally along line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a broken away cross-sectional view taken generally along line 55 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a-spring element constructed in accordance with the instant invention;
FIG, 7 is an alternate embodiment similar to FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of an alternate embodiment of a connecting member;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the element shown in FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a side elevational view broken away and partly in cross-section of an alternate embodiment of a hanger member;
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along line 1111 of FIG. 10; and
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the hanger member shown in FIG. 10.
Referring to the drawings, a frame assembly for mounting a planar member, such as a picture or the like, is generally shown at 10.
The frame assembly 10 includes a peripheral wall generally indicated at 12 which is comprised of a plurality of interconnected side wall sections 14 and end wall sections 15. In the preferred form of the invention, all of the wall sections 14 and 15 are structurally identical in cross-section, such that they may be manufactured by a relatively simple extrusion process. The wall sections are, therefore, most economically and reasonably made by aluminum or plastic extrusion or molding processes. The size of the frame assembly 10 may be varied by changing the lengths of the wall sections 14 and 15. To provide a finished and attractive appearance, the mating edges of the side wall sections 14 and end wall sections 15 are mitered such as at 16, thereby forming angles between the wall sections.
Each of the wall sections 14 and 15 includes a first longitudinal channel 18 and a second longitudinal channel 20 formed therein. The longitudinal channels 18 and 20 have inwardly extending flanges 22 along each of their lateral edges which partially enclose the channels 18 and 20. The frame assembly 10 also includes an inwardly extending flange 24 which is adapted to engage the planar members held within the frame assembly 10.
As best shown in FIG. 2, the planar members held within the frame assembly 10 may comprise those elements which are normally held in a picture frame, to wit, a piece of glass 26, a picture or painting 28, and a sheet of backing material 30. The picture frame assembly 10 may also include a decorative-like extension or rim such as at 32 which extends outwardly to provide a trim or border around the flange 24.
The frame assembly 10 includes connecting members 34 for connecting the side wall sections 14 to the end wall sections 15. Each of the connecting members 34 includes a first leg member 36 and a second leg member 38, which leg members extend into the-first channel 18 of two adjacent wall sections. The leg members 36 and 38 include integral protrusion means disposed thereon for frictionally engaging the walls of the first channel 18. The protrusion means in one embodiment of the frame assembly includes depressions 40 which are stamped in the leg members 36 and 38 such that they protrude from the surface of the leg members 36 and 38 to frictionally engage the walls of the channel. It is noted that the depressions 40 are integral with the connecting member 34 and are easily and economically formed therein by a simple stamping operation.
An alternate embodiment of the connecting member 34' is shown in FIGS. 7 through 9. The connecting member 34 includes generally triangular-shaped tabs 42 which are cut from the lateral edges of the leg members 36' and 38' and are bent outwardly such that they protrude outwardly from the plane of the leg members 36' and 38. Additionally, depressed areas 44 are provided which extend inwardly from the plane of the leg members 36' and 38'. When assembled, the tabs 42 force the depressed areas 44 into frictional engagement with the flanges 22 of the first channel 18 in which they are disposed. Moreover, the pointed ends of the tabs 42 tend to dig into the adjacent surface of the channel, thereby further anchoring the connecting member 46 to the wall sections. As in the case of the first embodiment of the connecting member 34, the protrusion means, comprising the tabs 42 and depressed areas 44, are easily provided in the leg members 36' and 38' by any well-known metal-working procedure such that an inexpensive and reliable connecting member is provided to hold the wall sections 14 and securely together.
The frame assembly 10 also includes hanger members, generally indicated at 46, for supporting the frame assembly 10. In other words, the hanger members 46 are provided to receive a length of picture wire for supporting the picture frame assembly 10 on a wall or other vertical support surface. Each hanger member 46 includes a first portion 48 slidably disposed within the second channel of the wall sections 14 and a second portion 50 extending substantially perpendicularly from the first portion 48. The second portion 50 includes eyelet means comprising an aperture 52 for securing a flexible cable such as a length of picture wire thereto. The hanger members 46 are adapted to be disposed in the side wall sections 14 of the picture frame assembly 10 such that the attached wire will extend transversely of the frame 10 in the normal fashion. Additionally, positioning means comprising a rectangular strip 54 made of a stiff material is also disposed in the second channel 20 of the side wall sections 14 to space the hanger members 46 from the top of the picture frame assembly 10.
An alternate embodiment of the hanger member is generally indicated at 46. The hanger member 46 includes a generally rectangular base portion56, a flange portion 58 extending substantially perpendicularly from the base portion 56, and a tab portion 60 having an aperture 62 therein extending angularly outwardly from the flange portion 58. The hanger member 46 is adapted to be inserted in either the first channel 18 or the second channel 20 of the side wall sections 14, depending upon the size of the base portion 56 selected. As shown in FIG. 10, the base portion 56 of the hanger member 46 is smaller than the first channel 18, such that it may be slipped endwise into the channel. The base portion 56, however, has a diagonal dimension greater than the width of the channel 18, such that when the base portion 56 is twisted or cocked in the channel, such as when the tab 60 is pulled upwardly, the base portion 56 and, therefore, the hanger member 46 is wedged into place. This arrangement is best shown in FIG. 10. To remove the hanger member 46 the base portion 56 is turned until it is square with the sides of the channel, in which position it may be removed past the flanges 22.
The frame assembly 10 also includes spring means comprising a spring generally indicated at 64 for holding the planar members 26, 28 and 30 within the frame assembly 10. The spring 64 is made of a resilient material, such as metal, and includes an elongated arcuate portion 66. Extension means which include first and second ear portions, 68 and respectively, are adapted to engage the inwardly extending flange 22 of the first channel 18. The first car portion 68 is longer than the second ear portion 70 and is adapted to extend into the first channel 18 such that the flange 22 extends into the slot 72 between the ear portions 68 and 70 to hold the spring 64 firmly in place. The arcuate portion 66 engages and resiliently holds the planar members 26, 28, and 30 in abutting engagement around their periphery with the flange 24 to hold the planar members securely in place. The ears 68 include an upwardly turned end 68a for defining an end surface which is adapted to engage the lateral wall supporting the flange 22.
The arcuate portion 66 of the spring 64 includes a pair of holes 67 adjacent the ends thereof for receiving a suitable hanger wire for hanging the frame on a support wall. The holes 67 provide an alternate method for hanging the frame which may be employed in lieu of the hanger members 46 or 46' described above. Two holes 67 are provided in each spring so that the spring may be used on either the right or left side of the frame. In other words, since the spring 64 must be turned around end for end when changed from one side to the other, two holes 67 are provided so that when used on either side of the frame, a hole 67 is disposed adjacent the top of the spring. This construction permits the use of identically formed springs on either side of the frame and is, therefore, economically advantageous.
The spring 64 also includes a protrusion, or barb 69, which extends outwardly from the arcuate portion 66 near the apex thereof. The barb 69 is adapted to dig into the backing member 30 when the spring 64 is set into place to prevent slip or movement of the spring 64 in either the lateral or vertical direction. In this way, the spring 64 is held securely in place and is prevented from slipping out of engagement with the elements held in the frame, thereby ensuring that the elements will remain therein.
It is noted that any number of spring members 64 may be used, depending upon the size of the frame assembly l0 to hold the planar members 26, 28, and 30 within the frame. It is also noted that the spring members may be easily removed, in order to remove the planar members 26, 28, and 30, by pressing down on the arcuate portion 66 near the ear portions 68 and 70 and moving the ear portion 68 out of alignment with the first channel 18. The springs 64 are replaced by reversing the procedure. Furthermore, the spring members 64 may be inserted in either of the two channels 18 or 20 depending upon the thickness of the planar members disposed in the frame. The spring members 64 may also be used in similar frame assemblies which have only a single channel.
When sold in kit form, the above described members are sold in a disassembled condition. To assemble the picture frame 10, an end wall section is secured to two side wall sections 14 by means of two connecting members 34 or 34. A rectangular strip 54 and a hanger member 46 are disposed in the second channel of each side wall section 14 after the planar members 26, 28, and have been secured in place by the springs 64. The other wall section 15 is secured to the side wall sections 14 by means of two connecting members 34 or 34. If it is desired, the second embodiment of the hanger members 46 may be used in placed of the first embodiment of the hanger members 46, or the holes 67 in the springs 64 may be employed to hang the frame.
The invention has been described in an illustrative manner, and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.
Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described, yet remain within the scope of the depending claims.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
l. A spring device for holding one or more display elements within a frame comprising: an elongated, resilient arcuate portion and extension means disposed at each end of said arcuate portion for engaging a portion of the frame; said arcuate portion including at least one opening therein for receiving support means for supporting the frame.
2. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said arcuate portion includes two openings therein disposed generally at opposite ends thereof.
3. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said arcuate portion includes barb means protruding therefrom from anchoring engagement with one of the display elements held within the frame.
4. A device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said extension means includes a pair of diverging ear portions wherein a portion of the frame is adapted to be received therebetween.