US 3928712 A
A post terminal covered by an upright conical housing having a wire support frame secured externally thereto and in turn mounting simulated foliage so as to conceal the housing and terminal. In a variation, a metal support frame, also mounting simulated foliage, is configured so as to mount over and be secured to an existing terminal enclosure.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ 1 Dec. 23, 1975 United States Patent 1191 Sears 1 TERMINAL ENCLOSURE WITH ARTIFICIAL FOLIAGE ,647,605 Spiege1.............
 Inventor: James C. Sears, Tonawanda, NY.
Marks et al.. Steiber.........
[73'] Asslgnee E'Q Buffalo 5/1974 Voegeli.......................:::....... 174/38 m"- 1974 Primary Examiner-George F. Lesmes [21 pp No 45 44 Assistant Examiner-l-1enry F. Epstein  Filed:
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Clarence A. OBrien; Harvey B. Jacobson  ABSTRACT A post terminal covered by an upright conical housing 7; Z HMCZ /O/ a 00/3 1 231195 WW HMm BA OMB 4 7 a 1 H65, d G 65 k M 8 C A 42 m m me n H m n m v 6/ having a wire support frame secured externally thereto and in turn mounting simulated foliage so as to conceal the housing and terminal. In a variation, a metal support frame, also mounting simulated foliage, 1s configured so as to mount over and be secured to an existing terminal enclosure.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,170,587 2/1965 Beeber.............................. 161/31 x 2 Chin, 5 Drawing Figures 3,443,820 5/1969 Baker 220/17 x U.S. Patent Dec. 23, 1975 SheetZ 0f2 3,928,712
TERMINAL ENCLOSURE. WITH ARTIFICIAL FOLIAGE The present invention generally relates to above ground terminals, and is more particularly concerned with the provision of means for concealing such terminals through the use of simulated foliage.
From the viewpoint of installation and servicing, the provision of above ground terminals for utility company wiring is highly desirable as can readily be appreciated. However, from an aesthetic viewpoint, the provision of an upright metal box on ones front lawn is undesirable and found highly objectionable by the homeowner. In addition, there is always a likelihood of damage-thereto, either accidentally or as the result of intentional vandalism.
Accordingly, it is a primary intention of the present invention to allow the use of an above ground terminal through the use of means whereby the terminal is disguised by artificial foliage so as to inconspicuously blend into the environment.
In conjunction with the above object, it is significant that the invention contemplates the concealing of both conventional terminal boxes and additionally contemplates the provision of a complete unit, including the terminal post, enclosure and foliage cover.
Other advantages of the invention include its structural simplicity, economical construction and ease of installation.
In addition, the invention can be manufactured in various sizes with the foliage varied in accordance with the locale and particular landscaping.
In one form, an elongated channel-shaped terminal post is provided with a lower ground engaging stabilizing ring and an upper smaller diameter enclosure mounting ring. A mounting board is affixed to the post between the rings with the entire post being enclosed by a waterproof conical housing. A mounting frame is affixed to the housing completely thereabout with this frame in turn mounting the artificial foliage.
In another form, a conventional rectangular terminal enclosure receives a rectangular mounting frame thereover. The frame including upper and lower enclosure encircling rectangular collars, at least the lower end one of which is locked to the terminal box or enclosure.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the concealed terminal of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal cross-sectional view through the terminal and housing;
FIG. 3 is a transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 3-3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the components of the construction of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modified form of terminal concealing unit in exploded position relative to a conventional terminal enclosure or box.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, the construction, illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 includes a terminal mounting unit 10, a housing 12 therefor, and a foliage mounting frame 14. The terminal mounting unit includes a vertically elongated channel-shaped post 16 terminating in a pointed ground piercing lower end 2 18. A flat terminal mounting board 20 is fixed to the central portion of the post 16 and will preferably be predrilled or punched to accommodate stock terminal blocks and grounding lugs. A transverse cable support bar 22 can be provided affixed across the post 16 just below the board 20.
In order to stabilize the post in an upright position, an enlarged annular anchoring collar 24 surrounds the post above the ground piercing lower end thereof. This collar 24 is affixed to the post by radially projecting brace plates 26 with, as will be best appreciated from FIG. 2, the lower portion of the collar 24 as well as the lower portions of the brace plates 26 being embedded within the ground providing a broad stabilizing base for the terminal mounting unit 10.
A similar annular collar 28, also mounted by radially extending brace plates 30, is affixed to the upper end of the post 16. This upper collar 28 is of a substantially lesser diameter than the lower collar 24 and acts as a stabilizing means for the full height conical housing 12. This housing 12, preferably formed of plastic, is seamless and completely waterproof, the lower end thereof telescoping over at least the exposed upper portion of the lower collar 24.
Telescopically fitting over the housing 12 is the foliage mounting frame 14. This frame 14 includes upper and lower annular collars 32 and 34 interconnected by peripherally spaced vertically elongated rods or rodlike members 36. These rods 36 will preferably be spirally twisted and welded to the respective collars 32 and 34. As noted in the drawings, the upper collar 32 is of a substantially lesser diameter than the lower collar 34 so as to provide for a generally conical configuration to the mounting frame 14.
This mounting frame 14 fits closely over the terminal housing 12 and extends the full height thereof, preferably being riveted or otherwise permanently affixed thereto.
The mounting frame 14 mounts a plurality of artificial branches 38 formed in any appropriate manner, normally by plastic leaves on a wire limb. The inner end portion of each of the branches or limbs is twisted or otherwise affixed to the frame rods 36, the spiral configuration thereof tending to assist in maintaining the branches in a fixed position. In order to provide for a complete concealment of the terminal structure, it will be appreciated that a substantial number of branches will be required with these branches simulating foliage contemplated to complement the particular environment of the terminal.
The housing 12 with the foliage supporting mounting frame 14 affixed thereto is telescopically positioned over the terminal mounting unit 10 as illustrated in FIG. 2, extending downwardly to at least mid-height on the bottom collar 24 with this housing 12 being releasably locked thereto by appropriate setscrew means 40 threaded through the metal bottom mounting frame collar 34 into engagement with the anchor ring 24.
Referring now to FIG. 5, a conventional rectangular terminal enclosure or box 42 has been illustrated. In order to conceal such conventional enclosures or boxes 42, a support frame 44 is provided.
The support frame 44 includes upper and lower collars 46 and 48, each of a rectangular configuration so as to telescopically slide over the terminal enclosure 42 in relatively close relation therewith. Each collar 46 and 48 is formed of angle iron orientated with one flange thereof directed vertically and orientated inward so as to engage closely adjacent the terminal enclosure or box 42. The second flange extends outwardly from the lower edge of the vertical flange thus providing, at
least with regard to the lower collar 48, a flat base.
The collars 46 and 48 are interconnected by elongated rods or rod-like members 50 twisted or spiralled so as to help position the foliage 52 attached thereto by a winding of the foliage wire stems about the rods 50. It is contemplated that the lower ends of the rods 50 project through and below the horizontal peripheral flange of the bottom collar 48 so as to define short projecting portions 54 which can embed within the surrounding ground to provide an anchoring feature for the support frame 44. In addition, appropriate setscrews 56 are utilized to lock the lower collar 48 in particular to the terminal box 42 so as to releasably retain the support frame 44. The artificial foliage 52 is such so as to completely conceal the enclosure 42 and complement the surrounding environment.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a unique system for disguising an above ground terminal has been devised, This in turn makes the use of such above ground terminals readily acceptable in that such terminals can now be inconspicuously blended into the landscape.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. In combination, an above ground utility terminal oriented in relation to a building, lawn, or other area such that the utility terminal is normally observable and represents a permanently installed unsightly above ground projection, and concealing means for the above ground terminal for concealing the utility terminal from a point adjacent ground surface to a point above the terminal, said utility terminal being in the form of a hollow enclosure enclosing the terminal components with the enclosure extending above ground and including a waterproof peripheral wall and top for protecting the terminal components, said concealing means including a pair of vertically spaced collars conforming generally in peripheral shape to the enclosure and mounted thereon in vertically spaced relation with the lower collar adjacent the ground surface and the upper collar adjacent the upper end of the enclosure, setscrew means extending through the lower collar for securing said collars removably to the enclosure, each of said collars including a peripheral outwardly extending flange, a plurality of spirally twisted rods extending between the flanges and rigidly secured thereto with the twisted rods being oriented in circumferentially spaced relation outwardly of the enclosure, a plurality of artificial foliage branches mounted on each of said rods for completely covering and concealing the rods, collars and enclosure to simulate foliage, each of the branches including a wire member attached to the twisted rod by wrapping the wire member around the twisted rod with the spiral twist in the rod serving to retain the branches in predetermined orientation on the rod thereby maintaining the continuity of the concealment of the terminal enclosure with the collars, rods and branches being removable from the enclosure as a unit to enable access to the enclosure and access to terminal components therein.
2. In combination, an above ground utility terminal oriented in relation to a building, lawn, or other area such that the utility terminal is normally observable and represents a permanently installed unsightly above ground projection, and concealing means for the above ground terminal for concealing the utility terminal from a point adjacent ground surface to a point above the terminal, said utility terminal being in the form of a terminal unit including a ground inserted post, a rigid lower collar on said post and a rigid upper collar on said post, a terminal mounting board fixed to said post intermediate the collars with the terminal mounting board adapted to receive terminal blocks and other terminal components having connection with underground utility lines, said concealing means including a waterproof housing having a peripheral wall and a top wall with the peripheral wall telescoping over the collars attached to the post and terminating adjacent ground level to form a housing for and protection for the terminal board and the terminal blocks or other utility connections mounted thereon, a foliage mounting frame mounted on said housing, and a plurality of artificial foliage branches mounted on the frame adjacent the external surface of the housing for concealing the housing and concealing the post and terminal board and simulating foliage to enable the terminal to be an integral part of the landscape, said mounting frame including an upper collar and a lower collar, a plurality of twisted rods rigidly interconnecting said collars, the lower collar on the post being larger than the upper collar on the post and said housing being generally conical in configuration with the lower frame collar having a larger diameter than the upper frame collar thereby forming a generally conical configuration to the simulated foliage.