US 3929230 A
A set of units, for the construction of various types of stand, comprises holding units shaped to take articles such as candles and plants, connecting units for the detachable connection of said holding units arranged at intervals beside one another, and tubular plug-in units for the detachable connection of said holding units arranged at intervals above one another.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Luthi Dec.30, 1975 SETS OF UNITS FOR CONSTRUCTING VARIOUS TYPES OF STAND  Inventor: Hanspeter Luthi, Maurstrasse 58,
CH-8l l7 Fallanden, Switzerland  Filed: Nov. 12, 1973  Appl. No.: 415,195
 Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 10, 1972 Switzerland 16372/72  US. Cl. 211/177; 431/295; 46/26  Int. Cl. A47F 5/10  Field of Search 211/13, 177; 431/295;
46/26, 29; 52/DIG. 2
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1928 Herrschaft 46/29 10/1950 Curtis 431/295 12/1952 Schaefer 431/295 2,709,318 5/1955 Benjamin 46/29 X 2,722,772 11/1955 Steanes 3,695,458 10/1972 Nagel 211/177 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 411,748 11/1966 Switzerland... 431/295 971,534 l/l95l France 211/177 Primary ExaminerRoy D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-Peter A. Aschenbrenner Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Poll ock, Philpitt & Vande Sande  ABSTRACT A set of units, for the construction of various types of stand, comprises holding units shaped to take articles such as candles and plants, connecting units for the detachable connection of said holding units arranged at intervals beside one another, and tubular plug-in units for the detachable connection of said holding units arranged at intervals above one another.
8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures U.S.. Patent Dec. 30, 1975 Sheet 1 of2 US. Patent Dec.30, 1975 Sheet20f2 3,929,230
SETS 01F UNITS FOR CGNSTRUCTING VARIOUS TYPES OF STAND Various versions are known of unit construction sets for making any desired form of structure from units which can be plugged or joined together andare made of wood, plastics and metal. They are suitable as toys for children.
The present invention, however, concerns a set of units for constructing various types of stand. In accordance with the invention, it is characterized by the fact that it has holding units shaped to take candles and/or plants, connecting units for the detachable connection of holding units arranged at intervals alongside one another, and tubular plug-in units for the detachable connection of holding units arranged at intervals above one another.
The drawing shows one example of a version of the invention, in which: 7
FIG. 1 is a vertical section through a stand, part of which is shown, built with the units;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of a connecting unit;
FIG. 3a is a detail therefrom on a larger scale and FIGS. 4 to 9 show various stands built from the units.
The set for the construction of various types of stand to hold candles and decorative objects such as plants consists of three differently shaped units, i.e., the holding units 1, the connecting units 2 for linking the holding units arranged at intervals alongside one another, and the plug-in tubular units 3. The latter are for joining holding units arranged at intervals above one another. The holding units 1 have hollow spaces above and below, separated by partitions 8. The hollow spaces 4 in the central part of the holding units 1 and are to take the candles 21 or the plug-in units 3. The hollow spaces 5 of the holding units 1 are annular in shape and form rims 6 which are provided with grooves 7. Each of the plug-in units 3 is closed at one end by an end plate 3. If the plug-in units 3 are in an upright position, with the open end facing upwards, plants may be put in them. To keep the plants fresh, the tubular plug-in elements can be filled with water. The hollow spaces 4 and the end sections of the plug-in units 3 are slightly tapered.
The connecting units 2 are flat pats, each having an inner ring 11 and, at two opposite sides, webs 12. The ends of the webs 12 take the form of transverse shanks 13, the outer ends of which carry catches 14, while the inner ends form grips l5. Immediately below the transverse shanks 13, facing the inner rings 11, the webs 12 have, in each case, a notch 16, and the resultant necks 17 can be deformed in the plane of the inner rings 11 and can serve as pivots. If the grips 15 are pressed inwardly by hand in the direction of arrow a in FIG. 3, the transverse shanks 13 rotate around the necks 17. Parts 11, 12 and 13 of the connecting units 2 are made of plastic, and the notches l6 and the deformable necks 17 are necessary to enable the transverse shanks 13 to be rotated for insertion of the catches 14 into the grooves 7 or for their extraction therefrom. Because of the necks l7 and of the properties of the material of which the connecting units are made, the transverse shanks l3 always try to take" up the position shown in FIG. 3a. In each case, two grooves 7 are in line with one another and permit insertion of the catches 14. The webs 12 of the connecting units 2 rest, in the linked position, on the outer wall of the holding units 1, ensuring a secure and wobble-free connection. Removal of the connecting units 2 from the holding units 1 is effected simply by pressing the grips 15 inwardly in the direction of arrow a (FIG. 3, left-hand side in these drawings). The catches 14 then emerge from the relevant grooves 7. With the aid of the connecting units, it is possible to join together holding units I placed at intervals beside one another, and the plug-in units 3 permit the detachable linking of holding units I placed at intervals one above the other.
If the holding units 1 are not made of heat-resistant material, and it is desired to put. candles in the hollow spaces 4, cups 18 of fire-proof material such as ceramic or metal are placed therein, as shown in FIG. 1. The insides of the cups 18 have ribs 19 protruding inwards, which help to grip candles placed therein. The cups 18 can be of such a size that they project upwards out of the holding units 1.
The set described permits the construction of various types of stand, as may be seen from FIGS. 4 to 9.
The holding units 1 can, as shown in FIG. 4, be used by themselves as candlesticks and plant holders. A plug-in unit 3, containing a plant 20, is inserted in the left-hand holding unit 1. However, the right-hand holding unit 1, contains a candle 21.
FIG. 5 shows two stands arranged one beside the other. The left-hand stand corresponds to that in FIG. 4. The right-hand stand is however built in the form of a column, with several holding units 1 arranged at intervals one above the other and detachably connected to one another by connecting units 3. The candle 21 is placed in the hollow space 4, in which a cup 18 (FIG. 1) can be inserted, of the topmost holding unit.
FIGS. 7 to 9 show other candlesticks, having a decorative effect, which can be constructed with the aid of the units 1, 2 and 3.
The set which had been described permits the construction of stands, which can be taken apart, to hold candles or plants, or both together, in any desired form, suitable for table decorations, especially for festive occasions. The set comprises enough units 1, 2 and 3 to permit the construction of several stands of different types, as shown, for example, in FIGS. 4 to 9.
I. A set of units including holding units, plug-in units, and connecting units for the construction of various types of stands comprising:
each said holding unit defining on opposite sides thereof receptacles for selectively receiving an article such as a plant, candle or the like or for alternatively receiving a tubular plug-in unit,
each said tubular plug-in units [having an end portion and means for retention of said plug-in unit in said receptacle of a respective holding unit to permit thereby the detachable connection of a plurality of I said holding units in stacked relation one above the other, each said holding unit further defining on its said opposite sides recesses adjacent its periphery for receiving a portion of one of said connecting units,
each said connecting unit including opposed web portions each of which is adapted to lie against an outer surface of a respective holding unit, each said web portion at its ends supporting transverse shanks having catches on one side of the web for fitting into said recesses on the opposite sides of a holding unit, and grips on the other side,
3 whereby said transverse shanks are resiliently pivoted on said grips to permit said catches to engage said recesses to engage a holding unit so that a plurality of said holding units can be interconnected in a generally coplanar relationship.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein notches are formed in said webs of said connecting units adjacent their junction with a relevant shank to form a flexible pivot.
3. A plurality of modular units for assembly in a variety of ways into various types of stands for holding flowers, candles, and the like comprising:
holding units having a supporting means to support an article such as a candle or flower, each said holding unit comprising a first inner annular portion and a second annular outer portion concentric with said first annular portion which portions are joined by a disc-shaped member, the space within the first annular wall portion forming the said supporting means,
connecting units for connecting a plurality of said holding units in substantially the same plane, each of said connecting units being connected between two of said holding units and having resiliently supported catch members at each end of said connecting unit for engaging the said outer annular portion of a holding unit,
and plug in supporting units each fitting into either end of said supporting means on a respective hold- 4 ing unit and extending along the axis of said annular portions to thereby permit the coupling of a plurality of said holding units in the direction of said axis.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein each said holding unit defines a plurality of circumferentially spaced radial grooves for receiving said catch member of a relevant connecting means.
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein each said connecting unit includes a ring-shaped member supporting diametrically opposed tangential arms on each end of which is supported a pivotable transverse shank having at an end thereof a respective one of said catch members.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein each said transverse shank has on its opposite end a grip portion for pivoting said transverse shank.
7. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein each said plug-in supporting unit is of generally hollow tubular configuration and has one axial end wall closed and the other end open so that it can hold water when inserted into said supporting means with said open end uppermost to thereby permit said plug-in supporting unit to support flowers.
8. The apparatus of claim 3 which further includes a cup-shaped member fitting within said supporting means in said holding means for supporting a candle.