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United States Patent m
[ii] 4,382,572  May 10, 1983
 MOUNTING APPARATUS FOR REAR-VIEW MIRRORS AND THE LIKE
 Inventor: William E. Thompson, R.R. 1, Box 89, Middletown, Ind. 47356
 Appl. No.: 226,622
 Filed: Jan. 21, 1981
 Int. C1.3 B60R 1/02
 U.S. CI 248/484; 248/224.1;
403/56; 403/334; 403/344
 Field of Search 248/484, 481, 483, 482,
248/73, 223.4, 224.1, 224.2; 403/333, 334, 56;
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
240,843 5/1881 Pontius .
408,278 8/1889 White .
409,893 8/1889 Wray .
1,787,734 1/1931 Rowline 248/73
2,681,249 6/1954 Zabilka 248/73 X
3,131,251 4/1964 Ryan 248/224.1 X
3,367,616 2/1968 Bausch et al. .
4,019,298 4/1977 Johnson 52/594
4,225,258 9/1980 Thompson 403/56
4,254,931 3/1981 Aikens et al 248/483 X
Primary Examiner—William H. Schujtz
Assistant Examiner—Ramon O. Ramirez
A rear-view mirror mounting apparatus for attaching a rear-view mirror to a windshield includes a substantially flat, receiving member and a hollow, inserting member which is slidably received within the receiving member. The receiving member includes a tapered, dovetail-like receiving channel which is symmetrical about the longitudinal centerline of the receiving member. The inserting member is contoured at one end with a spherical element suitable for receipt by a pivot mechanism or similar interconnection means and the opposite end is contoured with a flared, conical shape. The bottom edge of this flared, conical shape includes a leading edge portion, a trailing edge portion and two side edge portions. The two side edge portions are disposed in a first plane and the leading and trailing edge portions are disposed in a second geometric plane parallel to the first, the two side portions are suitably sized and spaced so as to fit beneath the undercut side edges of the receiving channel. Thus, as this inserting member is advanced downwardly in the direction of narrowing taper, the two side edge portions as well as the leading and trailing edge portions make contact with the receiving member at four primary points of contact interference which are approximately 90 degrees apart.
6 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures
U.S. Patent May 10, 1983 Sheet 2 of 2 4,382,572
MOUNTING APPARATUS FOR REAR-VIEW
MIRRORS AND THE LIKE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates in general to mounting devices and apparatus which entail the assembly of two component parts. More particularly, this invention relates to rear-view mirror mounting apparatus wherein one part is bonded to the inside surface of the windshield and the cooperating part is attached to the back side of the rear-view mirror.
The mounting of rear-view mirrors into automobiles presents to designers an interesting combination of re- 15 quirements. The component part which is bonded to the inside of the windshield needs to be fairly thin so that windshields can be efficiently stacked for shipment. Next, the connecting assembly between the windshield and the mirror needs to be adjustable in a conical sweep 2o or zone in order for different drivers to focus the mirror to their particular viewing preferences. The mounting apparatus needs to be easily and positively assembled and thereafter remain secure for the life of the automobile. Finally, if there is a failure of the mirror or a need 25 to replace the mirror, the component parts of the mounting apparatus need to be separable without significant difficulty and without causing damage to either the mirror or to the windshield.
The patents listed below disclose various attachment 30 and mounting concepts, many of which involve two mating parts, wherein one part is configured to slidably receive the other part. However, none of these disclosed concepts anticipate nor render obvious the present invention. 35
Pontius discloses a fencepost construction wherein the lower portion of the fencepost is shaped as a partial four-sided pyramid. The base member for the fencepost 50 has an opening with a compatible dovetail-like shape suitable to receive the part pyramid-shaped end of the post.
White discloses a concept for knock-down furniture wherein cylindrical dowel-like cross bars are config- 55 ured with a conical end portion which fit within recessed keyhole-like depressions. The keyhole-like depressions are undercut along their lower portion so as to receive the conical end of the cross bars after these conical ends are inserted into the larger opening of the 60 keyhole-like shape.
Wray discloses a lock joint for beams wherein the end of a beam is shaped with a dovetail protuberance and the portion into which the beam is locked is adapted to engage and rest on the beam and includes a dovetail 65 socket open at the top. The dovetail socket tapers inwardly as it extends downwardly so as to provide a locking concept for the beams and thereby accepts
tolerance variations within the dovetail socket and the dovetail end of the beam.
Gass discloses an interlocked joint construction for structures such as drawers and cabinets and includes a dovetail protuberance on a first member and a similarly shaped dovetailed receiving channel in the mating member. This particular construction concept is somewhat similar to the structure of the Wray patent with the exception that in Gass, the recessed and dovetailshaped receiving channel is not tapered.
Berko discloses a bathroom fixture wherein an undercut channel receives a mating member, and although a dovetail attachment is illustrated in FIG. 2, this particular disclosure is only believed to be of limited relevancy to the present invention.
Pulsifer discloses an infant feeding device which includes a receptacle member and means for holding the receptacle member in proximity to the infant. The receptacle member includes an opening whereby the bottle can be introduced therein and a slotted end wall portion in which slot the neck portion of the bottle rests, the slot width being less than the diameter of the main body portion of the bottle. The coupling element attached to the bottle holder has a generally dovetail configuration and is somewhat uniform so as to approximate a four-sided pyramid. The coupling member includes a tapered receiving channel and functions similarly to a dovetail joint.
Johnson, IV discloses a dual-tapered dovetail-shaped mortise which is formed within a joist to receive a dualtapered dovetail-shaped tenon extending from a beam. Laterally oriented cavities are disposed within opposite faces of the mortise to receive corresponding configured ridges formed integral with the mating tenon. The resulting frictional interlock between the mortise and the tenon, created by two forces acting in opposition to one another, rigidly secures the beam to the joist without play therebetween. The dovetail-shaped end of the beam is conventionally just that, but is tapered to correspond to the dovetail shape and taper of the receiving channel. The resulting frictional fit is established between the ridges and cavities and not necessarily between the dovetail end and the dovetail channel.
Bausch et al. discloses a support for rear-vision mirrors which is believed to describe a fairly standard and fairly typical construction within the automotive industry. A diecast metal base member is secured to the windshield and locked within this member is the stem end of a first ball. The ball is received within a cylindrical member and is spring loaded so as to exert a proper tension for adjustment of the mirror. The opposite end of the cylindrical member also includes a ball whose stem portion attaches to the back side of the mirror. The disadvantages with this construction concept are of course the plurality of pieces required in order to make the overall assembly, and the awkwardness of the sliding and pivoting motion between the cylindrical center member and the two ball ends. There is also a lack of durability and rigidity with this construction concept and the overall device of Bausch.
Thompson discloses a pivot mechanism concept which is believed to overcome several of the disadvantages with the Bausch et al. support apparatus for rearvision mirrors. While the particular concepts set forth in this patent have widespread applicability, one application is in the automotive industry for mounting rearvision mirrors. Nonetheless, there remain concerns with the mounting apparatus for such mirrors, namely an