US 2906047 A
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R. J cooKE COMBINATION NIGHT LAMP AND TRANSPARENCY ILLUMINATOR Filed April 14, 1958 Sept. 29, 1959 I F l G. 2
. I INVENTOR. ROBERT JAMES QOOKE ATTORNEY Unite States COMBINATION NIGHT LAMP AND TRANS- PARENCY ILLUMINATOR This invention relates to a combination night lamp and photographic transparency viewer, and more particularly to a decorative illuminated article of furniture, suitable for use in a home, for providing a pleasing and nonglaring. source of minimum light, while at the same time decoratively displaying photographic color transparencies therein.
There are many places in a home where a source of minimum but pleasing light is desirable. Such places may be, for example, in a nursery to provide suflicient light for a sleeping child. By means of the device of this invention, such light may be provided from photographs of scenes, objects, or people which may be favorites of the child, and thus help to put him in a happy frame of mind at bedtime. The device, according to the invention, is of such construction that a child of even very tender years may, without the use of tools, readily learn to remove and insert the photographic transparencies himself, and thus exchange the scenes illuminated in the device for new ones from time to time.
Another common place in the home where a source of minimum but pleasing light is useful is in darkened rooms wherein television is being viewed. Authorities recommend, for prevention of eye-strain and for safety purposes, an auxiliary source of light in the room, other than the television screen. The device according to the invention provides such an auxiliary source of light, preferably while resting on top of the television cabinet, without producing glare, while at the same time being a decorative article of furniture and conversation piece by showing easily exchanged groups of photographic transparencies portraying any desired subject. For example, as a child grows older, successive portraits of the child taken at various periods or in various moods may be simultaneously displayed in the device to illustrate his growth, and the portraits may then be easily changed again at a later date. Likewise, scenes or views photographed on recent vacations or hunting trips may be optionally inserted in the device and easily changed from time to time as new photographic subjects become of current interest. To help decorate a room in accordance with changes of season, photographic transparencies of snow scenes, blossoms, summer beaches, autumn forests, and the like, may be easily and readily interchanged in the device, at will.
Other useful applications of the device as a decorative and illuminated article of table-top furniture may be in various locations, such as in a sick room, in an otherwise dark hallway, vestibule, and the like.
.1 It is therefore an object of the invention to provide an article of furniture for giving off a minimum amount of non-glaring light in a pleasing fashion.
It is another object of the invention to provide a device for displaying and illuminating standard-sized photographic transparencies in an easily exchangeable and interchangeable manner.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a device for uniformly diffusing light through photographic atent transparencies and with circulation of air thereacross so as to prevent the formation of areas of concentrated light or hot spots therein, thus producing an extremely natural appearance of the photographic image on the transparency and also providing suflicient circulation of air to prevent heat damage to the transparency.
A further object of the invention is to provide a device for decoratively displaying photographic transparencies in which the procedure in replacing and exchanging the transparencies in the device may be readily performed without tools by a person of very limited mechanical knowledge or skill, such as a housewife or child.
Another object of the invention is to provide a device for illuminating photographic transparencies which device can be readily disassembled for exchange of transparencies or exchange of light bulbs without disturbing any wiring contacts or wiring circuits, thus resulting in an extremely safe device, free from danger of electric shock.
Still another object of the invention is to provide maximum safety in an illuminating device for photographic transparencies by controlling the relationship between the size of opening for the transparency and the relative position and distance to the light socket, to provide substantially foolproof prevention against the placing of a finger into the light socket, for example while changing light bulbs, or by a child.
These and other objects are achieved, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, by a closed box having a plurality of panels, and in which a source of light is suspended in a predetermined relationship to feltlined openings in the panels. Frictionally retained in these openings, in a manner for easy removal in a perpendicular direction from the panels, are a plurality of frames. Slidably and removably retained in grooves in each of the frames are a frontal transparent cover, a rear opalescent translucent cover, and a replaceable photographic transparency positioned between the front and rear covers.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages and features of this 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. l is a perspective view of a combination night lamp and transparency viewer according to the invention, with one of the front frames and side frames re moved to illustrate the interior of the box and the relative positions of a frame and panel opening;
Fig. 2 is a cross-section taken along line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a bottom view of the device of Fig. 1, with the bottom panel partially cut away;
Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view, partly cut away and partly in section, of a corner detail of the frame and panel opening, looking from the interior of the box, the section being taken substantially along line 4- -4 of Fig. 1; and
Fig.5 is a diagrammatic sectional view, taken along line 5-5 of Fig. 1, and illustrating the method of assembly of the transparency and covers into the frame.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown a box or enclosure 11 having a top 12, a front panel 13, a rear panel 14, and side panels 15, 16. Box 11 is preferably made of wood or plastic, and is smoothly finished as a piece of furniture on its outer surface to give a pleasing appearance, such as by staining and varnishing. The bottom of enclosure or box 11 is covered over by a removable bottom panel 17, which is fastened at thefour corners thereof by means of screws 29, engaging blocks 28 which are cemented or otherwise fastened into the inner corners Patented Sept 29, 1959 between the front, side and rear panels. Four legs 18 are fastened to the bottom panel 17 and. form supporting means for the enclosure 11.
Located within at least the front and side panels 13,
15, 16, are one or more openings 19, each of which is lined around its inner periphery with a strip of resilient and preferably opaque material to provide a frictional resilient retaining means for insertion and retention of a frame 31. Although a strip of felt is preferred as the resilient retaining means 20, other suitable materials are cloth, sponge rubber, foam rubber, or even one or more leaf springs (not illustrated). The purpose of the resilient material 20 is to provide a soft retaining frictional force to maintain the frame 31 within the periphery of opening 19, and without excessive leakage of light therethrough. If frame 31 has an outer front peripheral lip sufliciently overlapping opening 19 so that it shuts off any light leakage, for example at 45 (Figs. 2 and 4), the resilient material 20 may cover only a portion or intermittent portions of the entire periphery of opening 19.
- Within the enclosure or box 11 is located one or more sources of light 21, which are preferably miniature electric light bulbs in candelabra-type light sockets 22. Sockets 22 are securely fastened to a supporting member 23 which is suspended from the inner surface of top panel 12 and braced laterally by means of two fastening blocks 24. An on-otf switch located in one of the panels, such as in rear panel 14, controls the current from a power source (not shown) through lead wire 27 to the sockets 22 and thus to the light bulbs 21. Connection caps 26 are preferably used in assembly of the wiring to minimize the danger of exposed contacts, but any other connection means which securely covers all exposed wiring in a fireproof manner is also suitable. 17 preferably fits into a recess 30 within the side and end panels and thus braces them, while being itself, as well as its fastenings 28, 29, hidden from view except when viewed from underneath, thus resulting in a pleasing and decorative finished appearance, while still maintaining sturdiness with an ease and safety of disassembly for replacement of light bulbs, etc.
Frame 31 comprises a pair of side rib members 32, a bottom rib member 33, and a top rib member 39, all joined at their respective corners, preferably in mitered joints. The two side rib members 32 and the bottom rib member 33 are similar in cross-section. The side rib members 32 each have a side wall flange 34 and a rear flange 35, and the bottom rib members have a bottom wall flange 34 and a rear flange 35. Each of the side rib members 32 and top rib members 39 have a front facing flange 36, and bottom rib members 33 have a front facing flange 36', all of the front facing flanges 36 and 36 forming the front outer peripheral face of the frame 31, bevelled on its forward face and flat on its rear face. A U-shaped inwardly open groove is thus defined around three-quarters of the inner periphery of frame 31, being formed as groove 37 at the sides by the flat rear face of front flange 36, side wall flange 34 and rear flange 35; and at the bottom of the periphery, as groove 38, it is formed by bottom flange 34' joining bottom rear flange 35 and front flange 36'. The upper or top rib member 39 is free from side or rear flanges and thus provides free access to the U-shaped recess 37 from above when the frame 31 is outside of the box 11.
As may best be seen in Fig. 4, the upper edges of rear flange 35 and side flange 34 are preferably sloped inwardly and downwardly at 40 and 44, respectively, to prevent sharp corners and to provide a passage for ventilation or air circulation through the upper portion of opening 19. A small amount of air can thus circulate through a passage defined at the sides by sloping sides 40 and 44, defined at the bottom by the top surfaces of transparency 42 and its covers 41 and 43, and defined at the top by material 20 lining the opening 19. A narrow space 45, communicating with the just-defined passage and located The bottom panelbetween the front face of the panel 13, 15, or 16, and
the rear of top rib member 39 permits suflicient flow of air behind member 39 without excessive leakage of light. Sloping portions 40, 44 of respective rear and side flanges 35 and 34 join and form an upper edge 46 which frictionally engages the upper strip of resilient lining 20.
Within the grooves 37, 38, are positioned a frontal clear transparent glass cover 43 and a rear translucent glass cover 41, and their thicknesses are predetermined in relationship to the grooves 37, 38, so that sufficient clearance is left for a photographic transparency 42 to be positioned between the front and rear covers 43, 41, and for the assembled three pieces 41, 42, 43, to slide easily into and out of side grooves 37 and drop down into bottom groove 38. For the front cover glass 43, I prefer to use a thin clear transparent glass, for example ,4, or less in thickness, and although transparent plastic may also be used, it has the disadvantage of being suceptible to being easily scratched, and therefore might tend to adversely affect the natural appearance of the colored or other transparency to be displayed. For the rear glass 41, I prefer to use an opalescent glass, such as that known as White Opal or Milk Glass, for maximum diffusion of light before it passes through the transparency. The opalescent glass 41 is preferably thicker than that of the front cover glass 43, so as to help diffuse the light, to prevent heat from the light bulb 21 from adversely affecting the emulsion of the transparency, and to form a proper and firm backing for the transparency. I prefer not to use ordinary types of ground glass as a substitute for the opalescent rear cover glass 44, since the diffusion of light therethrough is not sufficient to eliminate localized concentration of light or hot spots in the immediate vicinity of the light source when viewed directly from in front of the frame 31. However, translucent plastic or other materials which sufficiently diffuse the light through the transparency without causing bright, concentrated or localized spots of light or heat may also be used for rear cover glass 44.
The ease with which transparencies 42 may be inserted into the frames 31 and the frames assembled into the enclosure 11 is illustrated in Figs. 5 and 1, respectively. The transparency 42 is sandwiched between rear cover glass 41 and front cover glass 43, and then moved in the direction of arrow A until the combined sandwich is located immediately above frame 31; it is then moved downward in the direction of arrow B to slide into the two side grooves 37 until the lowest portion of the sandwich rests within the bottom groove 38. As is best seen in Fig. 4, a slight space Will then remain between the top of the sandwich" and a horizontal plane through the uppermost edges 46 of the side flanges 34. The assembled frame 31, with the transparency 42 and cover glasses 41, 43, is then inserted in a direction perpendicular to the respective panel into one of the openings 19 until the peripheral flange lips at the rear of front frame flanges 36 and 36', rest substantially flush against the respective panel wall 13, 15, or 16. Removal of the frames 31 for exchange or replacement of the transparency 42 is the reverse of the above steps. It will be particularly noted that the frames 31 are inserted and removed in a direction substantially perpendicular to the respective panels because of the frictional resilient means 20 by which they are retained within panel openings 19.
Placement of the light bulbs 21 with relationship to their nearest respective frame openings 19 in the front and end panels is determined so that the filament of the light bulb 21 is substantially centered perpendicularly with respect to the frame or frames 31 which it is to illuminate. This placement contributes to an even and efficient diffusion of the light to all transparencies equally, and consequently effects a more natural appearance in the transparencies. The sockets 22 are each preferably located far enough back from the openings 19 so that the bulb 21 is removable through an opening 19, but so that the fingers of a normal-sized hand cannot reach through opening 19 into the socket 22. This arrangement is for added safety purposes. The size of openings 19 is dependent on the size of frames 31, which in turn depends on the size of the transparencies to be used. Therefore, the distance which the socket 22 is located back of the respective panels will depend upon the size of transparency 42 to be used. I have found that for standard 2%" x 2%. transparencies placed in the end frame of panels 15 or 16, a distance of approximately 3 inches from the front of the panel to the bulb end of the socket 22 provides the desired conditions of safety. It should be understood, however, that these dimensions are given merely by way of example and are not intended to restrict or limit the arrangement or size of any of the individual parts or of the combination, or the distance between them, other than as defined in the appended claim.
It should further be understood that the foregoing disclosure relates only to a preferred embodiment of the invention, and that it is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the examples of the invention chosen for the purposes of the disclosure which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claim.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:
A combination night lamp and photographic transparency illuminator, comprising a plurality of panels defining an enclosure, a source of light within said enclosure, at least one of said panels having an opening therein, means forming a flat felt lining around at least a portion of the periphery of said opening, and a frame for said transparency, said frame comprising a pair of side rib members, a bottom rib member, and a top rib member, each of said rib members having a front flange forwardly bevelled and rearwardly flat, each of said side rib members having also side flanges and inwardly projecting mutually opposed rear flanges, said bottom rib member having a bottom flange and a rear flange, said side flanges of said side rib members and said bottom flange of said bottom rib member being joined to the respective forward flanges of said frame and spaced inwardly from the outer periphery of said front flanges, whereby an inwardly open U-shaped groove is defined by said side rib members and bottom rib member, said frame being of a shape and size removably positionable in said opening in a direction perpendicular to the respective panel forming said opening and frictionally retainable therein by said felt lining means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS