US20030226782A1 - Container for edible and non-edible objects - Google Patents

Container for edible and non-edible objects Download PDF

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Publication number
US20030226782A1
US20030226782A1 US10165969 US16596902A US20030226782A1 US 20030226782 A1 US20030226782 A1 US 20030226782A1 US 10165969 US10165969 US 10165969 US 16596902 A US16596902 A US 16596902A US 20030226782 A1 US20030226782 A1 US 20030226782A1
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Prior art keywords
rod
accordance
vertical
holders
objects
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US10165969
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Roy Loughlin
Angel Alicea
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Loughlin & Son's Co Inc
Cookies By Design Inc
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Cookies By Design Inc
Loughlin and Sons Co Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F7/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials
    • A47F7/0021Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for long or non-stable articles, e.g. fishing rods, pencils, lipsticks or the like; Compartments or recesses as stabilising means
    • A47F7/0028Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for long or non-stable articles, e.g. fishing rods, pencils, lipsticks or the like; Compartments or recesses as stabilising means with one compartment or recess for each article
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F7/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials
    • A47F7/0071Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for perishable goods
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47FSPECIAL FURNITURE, FITTINGS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR SHOPS, STOREHOUSES, BARS, RESTAURANTS OR THE LIKE; PAYING COUNTERS
    • A47F7/00Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials
    • A47F7/0071Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for perishable goods
    • A47F7/0078Show stands, hangers, or shelves, adapted for particular articles or materials for perishable goods for plants or flowers

Abstract

A display assembly for edible and non-edible objects comprises a container having an interior bottom surface, at least one tubular holder mounted to the interior bottom surface for receiving a support member, the holder having walls extending substantially perpendicularly to the bottom surface and defining an area on the bottom surface having a minor dimension substantially less than a major dimension, and disposed along the major dimension of the holder at least two internal constrictions of the walls, the constrictions adapted so that the support member is movable between a first, second and third position to change the orientation of the support member out of the vertical.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to containers, and more particularly to display assemblies for edible and non-edible objects. [0001]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
  • Various companies manufacture and sell displays containing different objects. For example, florists sell arrangements of flowers with varying types, shapes, colors and numbers of flowers. Other companies sell arrangements of candy, chocolates or other edible items. Still other companies offer cookie “arrangements” to the public. Typically, the cookies are arranged like flowers in a container. Sometimes other non-edible items, such as toys or gift items are included in the arrangements. [0002]
  • There are various manufacturing methods used to create the display assemblies. In one manufacturing process, a container is lined with plastic film and plaster is poured into the lined container. Rods are inserted in various positions into the wet plaster. Later, after the plaster dries, the edible and/or non-edible objects are attached to the ends of the rods fixed in the plaster. [0003]
  • In an alternate manufacturing process, the display items are initially fixed to the end of a rod or some other object. Then the items are secured to the inside of the container using in some type of fastening means. For example, wire, netting or plaster may be placed in the bottom of the container. Thereafter, the rods with the attached items are inserted into holes in the wire, netting or plaster in a predetermined arrangement. The rods are sometimes secured to the wire or netting for additional support. Alternatively, the rods may be inserted into foam or clay positioned in the bottom of the container. Materials such as tissue paper or other paper products may also be distributed around the rods to secure them in the predetermined arrangement. The type of container used in the display assembly also varies. For example, the items may be displayed in wooden or straw containers. [0004]
  • While the above-described assemblies and manufacturing methods have merit, there are disadvantages associated with each. For example, if wire or netting is used, the wire or netting is usually not secured to the bottom of the container. Thus, the wire or netting may become dislodged following assembly. In addition, the wire/netting may be visible and must be disguised prior to presentation of the display assembly. Due to the weight of a particular display item on one end of a rod, the other end of the rod may slip out of position or otherwise become dislodged following assembly. Similarly, the foam or clay may become dislodged following assembly. Other materials that are used to secure the rods in place are not secured to the interior of the container and may also become dislodged following assembly. Moreover, the foam or clay must be covered to prevent its exposure during presentation of the arrangement. [0005]
  • The above-described assembly methods are also labor intensive. Container manufacture is subject to error, especially when numerous individual steps are required. For example, an assembler may have to insert the foam, clay, wire, etc.; determine how to arrange the rods in the container; and then position the rods in the selected arrangement. These steps require additional time and increase the cost of assembly. [0006]
  • The plaster manufacturing method has some disadvantages. The process of affixing the rods into the container using plaster may be messy. Plaster sometimes causes skin irritations or burns. The assembler must prepare the plaster mixture correctly or it will not “set.” The assembler must insert the rods quickly in the proper arrangement before the plaster hardens. In addition, after the rods are inserted into and affixed to the container, the containers may require significant amounts of storage space to maintain an inventory of various sized containers. [0007]
  • The type of container may also be problematic. Wooden and straw containers have certain disadvantages. Wooden container may be heavy even when empty, and their weight is increased by the addition of the display items to the container. In addition, the purchaser often discards the container following presentation of the arrangement. This affects the cost of the display assembly because wooden containers are typically more expensive than other types of containers. [0008]
  • Straw containers also have disadvantages. They are often manufactured in foreign countries. Weather related problems in such countries often decrease the availability of straw and therefore, straw containers. This is particularly a problem during peak selling seasons such as holidays. [0009]
  • A different methodology of gift basket assembly is taught by U.S. Pat. No. 5,755,325, which obviates some of the disadvantages of prior methods. The labor intensive and difficult to control manufacturing steps in the prior art are replaced by an insertion of dowels or rods into a molded plastic bottom element at predetermined locations and predefined orientations. This simplifies and regularizes the gift-basket assembly process. Unavoidably however when eliminating the older artisan-style technology which inserts rods into plaster, netting or other amorphous supporting material, a certain flexibility of design must be forgone to accommodate the methods of mass production. The rods bearing items to be displayed can hereafter only be inserted in a certain pattern, and a variety of bottom elements must be kept in stock to allow the sale of various patterns of display, thereby obviating some of the advantage obtained by eliminating stocks of set plaster preforms. [0010]
  • A particular difficulty relating to flexible placement of items in the prior art assembly is the question of how to expand the display while maintaining flexibility of use. Two principal uses of decorative displays are as displays designed to be optimally viewed from one side or a narrow range of angles, which might be displayed on a shelf or in a way that the back of the display is not visible, or as a centerpiece, where all sides of the display must be aesthetically pleasing in a full 360 degree arc. These are somewhat conflicting requirements, and might militate against the use of a single base element for both functions. In a single sided display, it is optimal that the faces of all objects be visible from a common viewing angle, and that the displayed objects have only minimal overlap. For a centerpiece arrangement it is optimal that the display overall have a front to back and side to side symmetry, so that all views of the object are equally attractive. It is also desirable that viewers from many angles perceive the faces of at least the nearest display objects turned in their general direction. [0011]
  • This difficulty with these varying requirements on one base will be seen in that a front to back symmetrical display will of necessity obscure the faces of some objects in the back, even when turned around, when used as a single-sided display. This is because a front to back symmetry implies some objects are at the same height, and hence will overlap. This difficulty can be partially overcome by the use of different length support members when a common display base is used in a single-sided mode: a vertical separation of otherwise overlapping objects can then be achieved. This approach may rapidly become unwieldy when a display is increased beyond approximately nine display objects, as shown in the prior art, as the required number of vertical levels or varying support extensions may make the display top heavy and unstable relative to the width of its base, as well as requiring a larger inventory of different length supports to be kept in stock. [0012]
  • One method of overcoming this problem is to vary the predetermined angles at which supports are inserted so that those objects otherwise occluded are revealed by angular separation. This is less than optimal for use in a centerpiece, where it is desirable both that angles around a periphery of the centerpiece be kept uniform, and that no object displayed around this periphery with an outwardly pointing face depart too far from vertical. It thus may appear that for larger displays than those contemplated in the prior art, a variety of bases may have to be kept in inventory, thereby complicating a stocking problem and increasing expense, and partially obviating an advantage of reducing complexity over previous techniques in the art. [0013]
  • Related to flexibility of use is an ultimate cookie capacity. The '325 patent teaches a form holding up to nine cookies all facing in one direction. It would be advantageous in a more flexible device to hold a greater total number of cookies in varying directions, lessening the fraction of orders for which a custom made plaster base need be produced. A utilization of plastic molded baskets adapted to hold a greater range of styles and sizes of displays would represent a savings in freight, labor and material. Further, it may be noted that the existing art uses a two piece construction formed from a basket core and basket base. While this design may produce a broader base than would otherwise be possible with a given volume of molded plastic, it necessarily increases manufacturing and shipping costs. A one piece design could entail overall savings in shipping, inventory and production expense. Finally, relative to the prior art, it would be advantageous to offer the consumer a product with a more aesthetically pleasing finish. [0014]
  • In summary it would be advantageous to improve the technology of U.S. Pat. No. 5,755,325 in a way which restores to the assembler a greater freedom in placement of items while not sacrificing the advantages of that invention over the prior art. [0015]
  • OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
  • It is an object of the invention to provide a method and article of manufacture for securing items in a display. [0016]
  • It is a further object of the invention to provide a method and article of manufacture for securing items in a display, which is easy to use. [0017]
  • Yet a further object of the invention is to provide an article for securing items in a display, which is simple of manufacture. [0018]
  • More particularly it is an object of this invention to provide an article of manufacture for securing items in a display which is of unitary or one-piece construction. [0019]
  • Another object of the invention is to provide an article which is simple of manufacture which is capable of securing objects for a display in a variety of patterns. [0020]
  • A more particular object of the invention is to provide an article which variously allows a centerpiece style or single directional style to be displayed on a common base. [0021]
  • Another object is to provide an article variously allowing centerpiece or single directional style displays on a common base which allows more displayed objects per base than the prior art. [0022]
  • Still another object of the invention is to provide an article capable of securely holding objects for a display wherein a final display assembly step is simple for an assembler. [0023]
  • These and other objects of the invention will become clear upon examination of the accompanying specification, claims and drawings. [0024]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides an improved display assembly for edible and non-edible objects. The assembly comprises a single-piece or monolithic container or base adapted to manufacture by a molding process. The container has an inside surface including a bottom inside surface and an outside surface, and the container is generally in the form of a well-known pot for holding flowers, or a basket. A preferred material for construction is a thermally molded plastic. [0025]
  • Multiple elongated tubular holders are integrally and perpendicularly mounted to the interior bottom surface of the container in a predetermined pattern. The internal cross section of the tubular holders may take one of several forms, including circular and racetrack or oval. The holders of circular cross-section are adapted to hold a rod or other shaped elongated support member adapted to be inserted into the holder in a vertical orientation. The holders of oval or racetrack cross-section have additional structure integrally molded into their substantially vertical side walls. This additional structure takes the form of at least one vertical ridge of protruding material molded into an interior surface of the sidewall. These ridges may be grouped singly, on a single inside surface of the sidewall, or in parallel pairs disposed on opposite facing portions of the interior surfaces of the sidewall. The ridges cooperate with a rod or other shaped elongate support member which is be inserted into the holder in order to secure the rod in one of a predetermined number of orientations by means of a detent action. [0026]
  • During assembly of the display a support member is generally first inserted into a holder in a substantially vertical orientation, and will then be rotated out of the vertical about a pivot point at the end of the member, while the end contacts the bottom inside surface of the holder. Because of the plurality of ridges or pairs of ridges the rotation passes through a plurality of stable holding positions. By means of this plurality of stable holding positions a variety of reproducible display designs may be produced on the same base or bottom member while still maintaining an advantage of simplicity and reproducibility of final assembly of the display. [0027]
  • In oval holders having a single ridge or a single cooperating pair of ridges disposed on opposite interior surfaces of the walls, a rod initially inserted in a substantially vertical orientation relative to the base and near one of the vertical end walls of the holder is then rotated by an assembler about a pivot point at the inserted end of the rod, and in a vertical plane defined by the major or long axis of the oval cross-section. During the course of such rotation the rod will be found to engage a stable or detent position at a predetermined angle, this angle occurring when the rod is lying athwart the tubular holder, so that the inserted end of the rod rests on the bottom of the holder against a first vertical end wall, and a proximate portion of the rod rests at the top of the holder against a second vertical end wall. The rod is thus held athwart the tubular holder at a stabile predetermined angle, and is secured in this position by a clamping action of the ridge or pair of ridges, together with a frictional fit of the rod end in a bottom of the holder. [0028]
  • At least some tubular holders of oval or race track cross-section have a second set of opposing ridges or a second single ridge disposed on the interior walls along the major axis of the oval. This second set of ridges creates a second detent position for an inserted rod or other elongate member so that a rod first inserted into the holder in a substantially vertical position during assembly and subsequently rotated about the inserted end of the rod and in a vertical plane further defined by the major axis of the holder will engage a first detent position, and then subsequently engage a second detent position. The first detent position will occur when a proximate section of the rod engages but does not enter a clamping region formed by the second ridge or opposed set of ridges, being already clamped by the action of the first ridge or opposed set of ridges. The rod will now lie as previously described for the case of a single ridge or set of opposing ridges, with the second ridge or set of ridges taking the role of the second end wall. Upon further pressure being applied by an assembler the rod or elongate supporting member will then press apart a second clamping region formed by the second ridge or set of ridges, until finally engaging the second end wall, and being clamped at a predetermined angle athwart the holder with an end of the rod disposed at a bottom of the first end wall, and a proximate section of the rod disposed against a top of the second end wall. [0029]
  • By means of this multiplicity of detent positions an added advantage of design flexibility is added by the present invention, having at least some locations on a bottom member of a container for edible and non-edible objects whereon an assembler or user may affix a rod in at least two various angles to the vertical, without thereby losing any of the advantages over the prior art previously enumerated: that the assembly is still standardized and simple, reduces labor and material costs, and the enabling element; the container or base of the display; is still capable of manufacture by molding as a monolithic body. [0030]
  • Additional unique advantages are enjoyed by the present invention over the prior art. For example, a center post or holder of prior display assemblies is replaced by a unique three position holder. The three position holder permits, in a case where the invention is used to create a display of cookies, that a single cookie be placed in the center of a display, as in previous displays. However, for use of the same base member in a centerpiece display, for placing at the center of a table so that cookie faces are visible in a 360 degree arc, two stems or posts may be inserted in the outermost positions of the central holder, with cookies facing in opposite directions. By using three instead of two positions for this central holder, a problem is solved of having two cookies displayed in essentially central positions without the backs thereof interfering, as they are spaced apart by the width of the central slot, and still permitting an exactly centered placement for displays in which the cookies are to face all in the same direction. [0031]
  • An additional advantage of the present invention relative to flexibility between centerpiece and single direction displays is achieved by use of the unique dual position holders as described above, simultaneously permitting practical placement of a greater number of cookies in a single display. In a preferred embodiment, the present invention can hold up to thirteen cookies facing in one direction, or fourteen when arranged as a centerpiece; as opposed to nine cookies facing in one direction, without a capability for use as a centerpiece.[0032]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a display assembly according to the prior art, illustrating a display following assembly. [0033]
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of the display assembly of FIG. 1. [0034]
  • FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a container of the prior art, illustrating a spatial arrangement of the holders. [0035]
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the container of the prior art of FIG. 3. [0036]
  • FIG. 5 is a top view of a container of the present invention. [0037]
  • FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the container of FIG. 5 taken along line [0038] 6-6.
  • FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the container of FIG. 5 taken along line [0039] 7-7.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring now to the Drawings, and first to FIGS. 1 and 2, a display assembly of the prior art is designated generally by the numeral [0040] 10. Display assembly 10 includes a container 20, multiple holders 40, multiple rods 50, a base 60 and edible and/or non-edible objects 70. Display assembly 10 may be used to display various edible items such as cookies, candy or chocolates. Alternatively, the display assembly may display non-edible items, such as toys, baby and/or gift items. A combination of edible and non-edible items may also be used. Container 20 is constructed of plastic or another lightweight material known in the industry.
  • As best shown in FIG. 3 of the prior art, holders [0041] 40 are of varying shapes. Container 20 includes a plurality of first holders 42 having a circular cross section. First holders 42 have an inside diameter substantially equal to the outside diameter of rods 50. Thus a rod 50 inserted into a first holder 42 extends perpendicularly outwardly from interior surface 24 of bottom member 22, as shown in phantom in FIG. 4.
  • Container [0042] 20 also includes a plurality of second holders 44. Second holders have an oval or race-track inside cross section having a minor axis with a length substantially equal to the inside diameter of the first holders 42, and a major axis with a length preferably about twice the inside diameter of first holder 42. Second holders 44 each include an integrally formed detent 45, which acts to hold rod 50 firmly in place. During assembly, a rod 50 is inserted into a second holder 44 along its inside edge and perpendicular to bottom member 23. Rod 50 is then snapped outwardly to a non-perpendicular angle with respect to bottom member 23, as shown in phantom in FIG. 4.
  • Container [0043] 20 finally includes a plurality of third holders 46. Third holders 46 have an oval inside cross section having a minor axis with a length substantially equal to the inside diameter of the first holders 42, and a major axis with a length preferably about three times the inside diameter of first holder 42. Third holders 46 each include a pair of integrally formed detents 47, which acts to hold rod 50 firmly in place. During assembly, a rod 50 is inserted into a third holder 46 along its inside edge and perpendicular to bottom member 23. Rod 50 is then snapped outwardly to a non-perpendicular angle with respect to bottom member 23 that is greater than the angle of the rods 50 inserted into second holders 44, as shown in phantom in FIG. 3. Thus in the prior art, by inserting rods of the same outside diameter but of different lengths into holders 40 an arrangement as shown in FIG. 1 maybe formed.
  • Referring now to FIG. 5 illustrating the present invention, a container or base member is generally shown at [0044] 100, including an upper basal surface 102, a base or core 103, and a side wall 104. FIG. 5 may be understood as analogous to the view of FIG. 3 of the prior art. In contrast to the prior art, base member 100 integrally combines functions of container 20 and base 60 in a single-piece construction, reducing manufacturing costs and complexity relative to a two-piece construction. The base or core 103 of the monolithic container 100 can be seen by comparison with FIG. 4 to be substantially thicker and heavier than corresponding elements of the prior art, thus yielding greater stability while simplifying manufacture and storage, at a small cost in additional molded material. Container 100 includes at least a species of holder 110, and also in a preferred embodiment holder species 120, 130 and 140, whose functions will be more fully described below.
  • Holders [0045] 110 may be understood in reference to the prior art as being substantially vertical and preferably integrally molded tubular projections of the basal surface 102. A holder 110 has a sidewall 112 and an inside surface 114. The inside surface 114 of holder 110 has at least two constrictions or throats being generally indicated at 116, 118. In the illustrated embodiment the throats are formed by opposing pair of projections or detents 115, 117 of inside surface 114. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the detents or constrictions may vary in form from those shown.
  • A function of detents [0046] 115, 117 may be understood by reference to FIG. 6 regarding the present invention and comparison to FIG. 4 in reference to the prior art. FIG. 6 shows a holder 110 a in phantom cross section, including three positions of a rod 150, respectively designated as 150, 150′ and 150″. During an assembly operation rod 150 is first inserted vertically, as shown by that reference numeral. As a first subsequent step in assembly, rod 150 is rotated out of the vertical in holder 110, deforming and creating a clamping action in constriction or detent 117, until the rod contacts the second detent or constriction 115, assuming an orientation shown by reference numeral 150′. Since the rod is now resting against undeformed detent 117, application of a uniform amount of torque to rod 150, just sufficient to overcome clamping friction with detent 117, will now be insufficient to urge the rod past detent 115. The rod will then sensibly and naturally come to a stop in the position designated by 150′, which will be referred to as the first detent position or orientation. In an optional second assembly step, additional sufficient torque is applied to rod 150 to urge it past second detent or constriction 115, and creating a second clamping action. The rod will then continue to rotate out of the vertical when supplied with sufficient torque to overcome the combined clamping action of detents 115, 117, until it comes to a stop resting against an outer wall of 119 of holder 110 a, thereby assuming a second orientation or detent position designated by reference numeral 150″. At all times following a start of rotation, a bottom end of rod 150 (not separately designated), is resting against a foot of an inner wall 113 of holder 110, as seen in the figure.
  • A similar pair of rod orientations or detent positions may be seen in FIG. 4 illustrating the prior art, in which various positions assumed by a rod [0047] 50 are shown. It will be understood however that in distinction to the present invention, the angled orientations of a rod 50 are illustrated with respect to two separate rod holders 44 a and 46 a, each of which is adapted to supporting a single orientation of a rod rotated out of the vertical. In the holders of the prior art it will be understood that each holder has a single detent structure or constriction; whether represented by a single ridge or opposing pair of ridges; with a sole function of clamping a rod 50 when the rod is rotated out of a vertical insertion position into an assembly position. A final angle of the rod in then determined by the geometry of opposite end walls of a rod holder. In the present invention however a second detent or constriction within a single rod holder functions both as a stop to motion and as a second clamping element, allowing a final assembly of a rod into two distinct detent positions or orientations within a single rod holder. This dual function of a single holder 110 in the present invention affords greater flexibility of finished design.
  • Another innovative feature of the present invention is seen in FIG. 5 and FIG. 7 generally at reference number [0048] 140. A central rod holder 140 is by partitions 142, 144 to form slots 146, 147, 148. Optionally other rod holders may be disposed on base 100 in forms shown in the prior art, including vertical rod holders 130 and single angled detent position holders 120. A typical arrangement is shown in FIG. 5, although it will be understood that other arrangements are possible. It will also be understood that while it is advantageous for rod holders 110, 120, 130 and 140, and such other variations of holders as may be added to base 110, to accept a common diameter of rod for convenience in stocking and assembly, it is by no means necessary that they do so: it may be advantageous for certain applications to have varying diameter rods such that a display cannot be assembled incorrectly, or to achieve this same effect by other keying mechanisms as will be understood in the art, so that a certain variety of rod may only be fixed in a certain variety of holder. It is indeed not necessary that the rods by circular in cross-section, although it may be convenient to make them so, since primary features of the present invention could be achieved by rods of square or other cross-section.
  • A special cooperative utility of rod holders [0049] 110 and 140 in conjunction with an arrangement of other rod holding shapes as are shown in the prior art will now be discussed. It is this special cooperative utility which gives the present invention much of its advantage over the prior art, beyond a mere provision of alternative positions.
  • A substantially vertical holder with a single detent and single non-vertical detent position, as shown in the prior art figures included in this patent, may be understood to answer a particular manufacturing problem, which may now be regarded as solved: how to allow non-vertical orientations of mounted rods or extended members on a single molding. Walls of projections on a molding must either be vertical or relieved from vertical in a positive way—that is, without overhangs—to allow removal of the mold. By means of vertical detents however it is possible to support and clamp a rod in a non-vertical positions by means of substantially vertical features on a molding. It is not anticipated however in the prior art that more than a single stable detent position shall be used in connection with each substantially vertical rod holder, nor is it clear how to go about doing so; since detents in the prior art only serve to clamp a rod in a non-vertical orientation whose geometry is defined by end walls of an associated holder. This limits a variety of displays which can be constructed on a single molded part design, and while a substantial improvement over previous technologies using plaster, for example, with respect to holding bases ready for quick final assembly in inventory, still may require multiple bases be kept in stock for even minimal numbers of designs. [0050]
  • For example, two common classes of design for a basket like display of edible or non-edible objects are displays suitable for viewing from a single range of arc from a front perspective, suitable for display or decoration in a context where only one side of a display can be seen, and alternatively displays suitable for use as center pieces in table settings, where observers from all angles of a horizontal arc must be presented with a pleasing view of a display, and not see an evident back view of the display. These various classes or types of design may be called the diorama type and the centerpiece type respectively. [0051]
  • These two display classes place varying requirements on a general purpose molding or assembly base for display of objects mounted on rods or rod-like extensions. For in a display for viewing from a single perspective, or diorama, it is desirable that the objects displayed may all be seen without substantial overlap, an in particular for objects having identifiable frontal aspects or faces, such as the face of a cookie or a figurine, that the frontal aspects of the objects may all be seen from a single perspective and without substantial overlap. This latter condition may be achieved partially by varying length of rods, as shown in the prior art in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, and also by varying angles of the rods, again as shown in these two figures. But a conflicting requirement arises in utilization of a base for a center piece, however. In this case it is desirable that a display appear substantially uniform as seen from all angles, and that at least some faces or frontal aspects of objects be visible from all angles of view. [0052]
  • Although different collections of rod lengths may be utilized on a common base in achieving these alternate types of display, accommodating the centerpiece style of display militates against excessive variation in angles of mounting the rods; as a resulting centerpiece employing these same mounting angles would either require that some items be mounted at an angle on their support rods, or else be unattractively depending with their faces turned down. [0053]
  • If we are limited to a single display angle in a given mounting or holder, these disparate requirements would apparently require an inventory of at least two bases for a final assembler wishing to offer both a centerpiece type display and a narrow viewing angle or diorama type of display. The requirements are however reconciled in the present device by a special arrangement which includes holders [0054] 110 along with other holders shown in the prior art. In particular it will be seen from an examination of FIG. 5 that a first detent position of a rod 150 in holder 110 a, shown as 150′ in FIG. 6, is aligned along a concentric circular arc of the circular base with a sole non-vertical detent position or rod orientation of holder 120 a, and that a similar alignment obtains between holders 110 b and 120 b (where “concentric” means sharing a common center with the circular bottom, hence at a uniform distance to the circumference of that bottom). By use of this first detent position in a centerpiece type display holders 110 function analogously to holders 120.
  • However, by use of the second detent position or orientation of holders [0055] 110, shown as 150″ in FIG. 6, holders 110 now function analogously to holders 46 in FIG. 3 showing the prior art; in this case clamping a mounting rod at a greater departure from vertical so that a mounted object may be substantially visible from behind other mounted objects in a display most visually appealing from a single front side, similar to that prior art display of FIG. 1. (In FIG. 6 holders 120 c, 120 d, otherwise visible from this perspective, have been omitted for clarity).
  • In this connection holder [0056] 140 also cooperates with a flexibility of application. Central mounting post 42 only allows a single object to be mounted in a center position, necessarily, in case that object has a single decorated face, like a cookie, being less than attractively displayed to viewers located in a rearward arc. Holder 140 however permits two such single-faced objects to be displayed back-to-back in this context, so that all viewers may see a face of a centrally displayed object (except of course those position directly perpendicular to the faces). The purpose of a three-slotted central mount 140 rather than only a two position mount is to provide clearance for objects which may have significant thickness beyond a mounting pole.
  • It will thereby be perceived that through an improvement in a substantially vertical type of moldable rod holder, utilizing a second constriction or detent both as a clamp and as a motion stop, permits a novel type of flexibility in a display mount, combining to allow two fundamentally different types of displays with seemingly disparate requirements to be conveniently assembled upon a single type of base. [0057]
  • ADVANTAGES OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • The present invention thus displays a variety of advantages: [0058]
  • It is an advantage of the invention that it provides a method and article of manufacture for securing items in a display which is easy to use. [0059]
  • It is a further advantage of the invention that it provides an article for securing items in a display which is simple of manufacture. [0060]
  • Another advantage of the invention is that it provides an article which is simple of manufacture which is capable of securing objects for a display in a variety of patterns. [0061]
  • A more particular advantage of the invention is that it provides an article which variously allows of centerpiece style or diorama style displays on a common base. [0062]
  • Yet another advantage is to provide an article variously allowing centerpiece or single directional style displays on a common base which allows of more displayed objects than the prior art. [0063]
  • Although a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated in the accompanying drawing figures and described in the foregoing Description of the Preferred Embodiment, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed, but is capable of numerous rearrangements, modifications and substitutions of parts and elements without departing from the spirit of the invention. [0064]

Claims (25)

    What is claimed is:
  1. 1. A display assembly for edible and non-edible objects, comprising:
    a) a container having an interior bottom surface;
    b) mounted to said interior bottom surface at least one tubular holder for receiving a support member, said holder having walls extending substantially perpendicularly to the bottom surface, said walls defining an area on the bottom surface having a first major dimension and a first minor dimension, said first minor dimension being substantially less than said first major dimension; and
    c) disposed along said major dimension at least two substantially vertical internal constrictions of said walls of said tubular holder, said constrictions adjacently reducing said first minor dimension, the various constrictions adapted so that said support member is movable between a first, second and third position to change the orientation of the support member from vertical to one of two predetermined angles with the vertical.
  2. 2. The display assembly in accordance with claim 1, wherein at least one of said constrictions comprises a ridge on one of two opposing inside surfaces of said walls at a position of the constriction.
  3. 3. The display assembly in accordance with claim 1 wherein at least one of said constrictions comprises ridges on both opposing inside surfaces of said walls at a position of the constriction.
  4. 4. The display assembly in accordance with claim 1 including a plurality of tubular holders mounted to said bottom surface, said plurality of tubular holders having walls extending substantially perpendicularly from the interior bottom surface.
  5. 5. The display assembly in accordance with claim 4, wherein at least some of said plurality of tubular holders individually define a substantially circular area on said bottom surface.
  6. 6. The display assembly in accordance with claim 4, wherein at least some of said plurality of tubular holders individually define a substantially oval area on said bottom surface.
  7. 7. The display assembly in accordance with claim 6, wherein at least some of said plurality of tubular holders individually define a substantially circular area on said bottom surface.
  8. 8. The display assembly in accordance with claim 7, wherein some of the plurality of tubular holders respectively define substantially oval areas on the bottom surface having said first major dimension and first minor dimension, and some of the plurality of tubular holders respectively define substantially oval areas on the bottom surface having a second major dimension and second minor dimension, said second major dimension being substantially less than the first major dimension.
  9. 9. The display assembly in accordance with claim 8, wherein the tubular holders defining areas on the bottom surface having a second major dimension and a second minor dimension include a single vertical internal constriction, said single vertical internal restriction reducing said second minor dimension.
  10. 10. The display assembly in accordance with claim 9, wherein said second minor dimension is equal to said first minor dimension.
  11. 11. The display assembly in accordance with claim 1 including at least a second tubular holder mounted to said interior bottom surface, said second tubular holder having walls extending substantially perpendicularly to the bottom surface and defining an area on the bottom surface having a second major dimension and a second minor dimension, said second major dimension being substantially less than said first major dimension.
  12. 12. The display assembly in accordance with claim 11, wherein said second tubular holder includes disposed along said second major dimension at least one substantially vertical internal constriction of said walls of said second tubular holder, said constriction adjacently reducing said second minor dimension, the constriction adapted so that said support member is movable between a first and second position to change the orientation of the support member from vertical to a predetermined angle with the vertical.
  13. 13. A method of displaying edible and inedible objects comprising:
    a) providing a substantially horizontal base having a plurality of substantially vertical tubular holders adapted for substantially vertical insertion of extended support members, at least one of said holders further adapted for holding one of said support members in a first angled detent position and a second angled detent position;
    b) providing a plurality of extended support members for the mounting of edible or inedible objects for display;
    c) inserting said plurality of extended support members into said holders respectively in generally vertical orientations; and
    d) after insertion rotating at least one of said extended support members out of a vertical orientation through said first angled detent orientation and into said second angled detent orientation.
  14. 14. The method in accordance with claim 13 including the step of mounting at least some of said edible or inedible objects on said extended support members.
  15. 15. The method in accordance with claim 14, wherein said extended support members are cylindrical.
  16. 16. The method in accordance with claim 14 further comprising a step of rotating at least some of said support members about a longitudinal axis of the support members to vary a final orientation of the displayed objects.
  17. 17. A method of assembling displays of edible and inedible objects, comprising:
    a) providing a set of substantially identical base moldings having respectively a plurality of integrally formed and substantially vertical rod holders;
    b) providing a group of predetermined designs for displays assembled with said moldings, said group of predetermined designs including rod-mounted objects secured in said rod holders; the set of predetermined designs including at least a first design in which essentially all displayed objects in a single design are substantially visible in a front presentation from a particular observer perspective, and a second design in which at least some displayed objects are visible from every observer perspective in a complete circular arc;
    c) assembling a set of displays according to said group of designs, including the steps of:
    (i) inserting mounting rods of said rod-mounted objects in initially substantially vertical orientations in said rod holders;
    (ii) rotating at least some of the rods of step (i) about horizontal axes to a first secure detent angle in said substantially vertical rod holders; and
    (iii) further rotating at least some of the rods of step (ii) about said horizontal axes to a second secure detent angle in said substantially vertical rod holders;
    d) assembling at least some displays according to said first design and at least some displays according to said second design on a set of substantially identical base moldings.
  18. 18. The method of in accordance with claim 17, wherein the objects have faces, including a step of rotating some of the rods about a longitudinal rod axis in coordination with said inserting in order to adjust an orientation of the faces of the displayed objects in accordance with said first design and said second design respectively.
  19. 19. The method in accordance with claim 17 including a pre-selection of rod lengths in accordance with said first design and said second design respectively.
  20. 20. The method in accordance with claim 19, wherein the objects have faces, including a step of rotating some of the rods about a longitudinal rod axis in coordination with said inserting in order to adjust an orientation of the faces of the displayed objects.
  21. 21. The method in accordance with claim 20 including steps of for at least one integrally molded and substantially vertical rod holder having a series of three in-line vertical slots,
    (i) for displays assembled according to said first design inserting a mounting rod of a said rod-mounted object in a single vertical slot so that a face of said object is visible from said particular observer perspective, and
    (ii) for displays assembled according to said second design inserting mounting rods of a pair of said rod-mounted objects so that said pair of rod-mounted objects are back-to-back, with faces visible from observer perspectives varying by 180 degrees.
  22. 22. A display for edible and inedible objects, comprising:
    a) a molded container base;
    b) a plurality of substantially vertical rod holders integrally formed with said molded container base;
    c) a plurality of rod-mounted edible and inedible objects;
    d) a first sub-set of said plurality of substantially vertical rod holders adapted to securely hold a rod in a single substantially vertical orientation;
    e) a second sub-set of said plurality of substantially vertical rod holders adapted to securely hold a rod in an angled detent orientation departing significantly from the vertical; and
    f) a third sub-set of said plurality of substantially vertical rod holder adapted to securely hold a rod in a first angled detent orientation departing significantly from the vertical and a second angled detent orientation departing more significantly from the vertical.
  23. 23. The display in accordance with claim 22, wherein said angled detent orientation of said second sub-set includes a plurality of angled detent orientations for respective members of the sub-set.
  24. 24. The display in accordance with claim 22, wherein said molded container base has a substantially circular bottom, and at least some of said third sub-set of substantially vertical rod holders are adapted so that a rod in said first angled detent position lines up along a concentric arc with a rod inserted into some element of said second sub-set in a respective angled detent position of the second sub-set.
  25. 25. The display in accordance with claim 22 including at least one element of said first sub-set with a triple vertical slot, wherein three rod-holding positions are disposed in-line.
US10165969 2002-06-11 2002-06-11 Container for edible and non-edible objects Abandoned US20030226782A1 (en)

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US10165969 US20030226782A1 (en) 2002-06-11 2002-06-11 Container for edible and non-edible objects
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US20090200200A1 (en) * 2008-02-13 2009-08-13 Cvs Pharmacy, Inc. Dump bin insert
US20160192789A1 (en) * 2015-01-05 2016-07-07 Deflecto, LLC Convertible Baked Goods Display

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US3131511A (en) * 1962-04-23 1964-05-05 Leland D Deaner Flower holder and arranger
US3711048A (en) * 1970-09-25 1973-01-16 D Thalenfeld Display holder for artificial flowers and the like
US3712465A (en) * 1970-11-24 1973-01-23 Sherwood Medical Ind Inc Tray for use in sealing capillary tubes
US4998320A (en) * 1988-11-03 1991-03-12 Albert Schulte Sohne Gmbh. & Co. Apparatus for movably supporting beds and the like
US5509540A (en) * 1994-09-20 1996-04-23 Pomerantz; Carl Display holder for balloons, flowers or the like
US5683765A (en) * 1984-05-22 1997-11-04 Southpac Trust International, Inc. Article forming system
US5683762A (en) * 1992-08-07 1997-11-04 Banschick; Kenneth A. Centerpiece assembly simulating floral arrangement
US5755325A (en) * 1995-08-21 1998-05-26 Mgw Group, Inc. Display assembly for edible and non-edible objects
US6561363B1 (en) * 2001-10-23 2003-05-13 Mgw Group, Inc. Display assembly for edible and non-edible objects

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3131511A (en) * 1962-04-23 1964-05-05 Leland D Deaner Flower holder and arranger
US3711048A (en) * 1970-09-25 1973-01-16 D Thalenfeld Display holder for artificial flowers and the like
US3712465A (en) * 1970-11-24 1973-01-23 Sherwood Medical Ind Inc Tray for use in sealing capillary tubes
US5683765A (en) * 1984-05-22 1997-11-04 Southpac Trust International, Inc. Article forming system
US4998320A (en) * 1988-11-03 1991-03-12 Albert Schulte Sohne Gmbh. & Co. Apparatus for movably supporting beds and the like
US5683762A (en) * 1992-08-07 1997-11-04 Banschick; Kenneth A. Centerpiece assembly simulating floral arrangement
US5509540A (en) * 1994-09-20 1996-04-23 Pomerantz; Carl Display holder for balloons, flowers or the like
US5755325A (en) * 1995-08-21 1998-05-26 Mgw Group, Inc. Display assembly for edible and non-edible objects
US6561363B1 (en) * 2001-10-23 2003-05-13 Mgw Group, Inc. Display assembly for edible and non-edible objects

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20090200200A1 (en) * 2008-02-13 2009-08-13 Cvs Pharmacy, Inc. Dump bin insert
US20160192789A1 (en) * 2015-01-05 2016-07-07 Deflecto, LLC Convertible Baked Goods Display
US9839304B2 (en) * 2015-01-05 2017-12-12 Deflecto, LLC Convertible baked goods display

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