US3203052A - Viewing device - Google Patents

Viewing device Download PDF

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Publication number
US3203052A
US3203052A US18219462A US3203052A US 3203052 A US3203052 A US 3203052A US 18219462 A US18219462 A US 18219462A US 3203052 A US3203052 A US 3203052A
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Prior art keywords
plate
door
interior
building
exterior
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Expired - Lifetime
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Jr Joseph A Curtis
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Jr Joseph A Curtis
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E06DOORS, WINDOWS, SHUTTERS, OR ROLLER BLINDS IN GENERAL; LADDERS
    • E06BFIXED OR MOVABLE CLOSURES FOR OPENINGS IN BUILDINGS, VEHICLES, FENCES OR LIKE ENCLOSURES IN GENERAL, e.g. DOORS, WINDOWS, BLINDS, GATES
    • E06B7/00Special arrangements or measures in connection with doors or windows
    • E06B7/28Other arrangements on doors or windows, e.g. door-plates, windows adapted to carry plants, hooks for window cleaners
    • E06B7/30Peep-holes; Devices for speaking through; Doors having windows

Description

Aug. 31, 1965 J. A. CURTIS, JR 3,203,052

VIEWING DEVICE Filed March 26, 1962 FIG. 3

ATTORNEY INVENTOR. JOSEPH A. CURTIS, JR.

United States Patent 3,203,052 VIEWING DEVICE Joseph A. Curtis, Jr., Anaheim, Calif. (7940 Owensmouth, Canoga Park, Calif.) Filed Mar. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 182,194 1 Claim. (CI. 2039) The present invent-ion relates generally to the field of home accessories, and more particularly to a device that may be mounted in an entrance door of a residence to permit occupants of the residence to see those standing outside the door without themselves being seen.

On many occasions the occupants of a residence may be only women and children who are reluctant to open the entrance door until the identity of a caller has been determined. Frequently after the identity of a caller has been determined, it may be advantageous to simply converse with the caller rather than to open the entrance door. The danger of opening an entrance door to a residence without knowing the identity of a caller is particularly acute in the evening and at night, when such a person cannot be seen by looking through a window, making it possible for the caller, if the door is opened, to force an entrance and do bodily harm to the occupants or perhaps damage or steal valuable property.

Although various types of shutters and peep-holes have been installed in residential entrance doors heretofore, these devices, in the main, have not achieved the desired objective, for at best the field of vision has been limited and exposed the identity of the occupant of the residence to the person outside the door. Accordingly, such prior devices have decreased in popularity due to the scant protection provided the occupants of a residence.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a device that is particularly adapted for installation in an existing entrance door of a residence, and when so installed permit the resident to speak with those on the exterior of the door without divulging his identity or being visible to the caller.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a device that is of extremely simple mechanical structure, requires no maintenance, can be fabricated from standard commercially available materials and retailed at a sufficiently low price as to encourage its widespread use.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an accessory of the character described that is of strong and durable construction which would offer substantial resistance to anyone attempting to make a forcible entry into a residence in which it is installed, to the extent that in most instances they would be forced to resort to other means of entry.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a home accessory which provides the advantages described that is adapted to be installed in any entrance door, so long as it is of a thickness within the range normally encountered in such door structures.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of a preferred form thereof, and from the drawings illustrating that form in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a residence with the viewing device of the present invention installed in the entrance door;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical cross-sectional View of the device taken on line 22 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a rear elevational view of the viewer 3,203,052 Patented Aug. 31, 1965 taken from the interior of the residence illustrated in FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 4 is a front elevational view of the device when installed in a residence door.

Referring now to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing for the general arrangement of the invention, it is shown installed in an entrance door A hinged to a building structure B. The invention identified generally by the letter C, is disclosed in detail in FIGURE 2. Before installing the viewer C in a door A, a rectangular opening 10 is cut in the door at a convenient elevation to permit the occupants of the residence B to look therethrough.

The viewer C comprises an outer frame D that telescopically interlocks with an interior frame E. The frame D, as may best be seen in FIGURE 4, includes two side pieces 12 that are joined by end pieces 14. The outer edges of side pieces 12 and end pieces 14 develop into outwardly and'inwardly tapering extensions 12a and 14a respectively. The interior edges of side pieces 12 and end pieces 14 develop into a rearwardly tapering rectangular section 16, from which a rectangular box-like first flange 18 projects rearwardly.

The exterior edges of the extensions 12a and 14a are of such dimensions that they grip the portion of the door A adjacent the opening 10, as illustrated in FIG- URE 2. Each of the side pieces 12 has two longitudinally spaced bosses 20 projecting rearwardly therefrom. The interior frame E is defined by two cross pieces 22 and end pieces 24 from which outwardly and forwardly tapering extensions 22a and 24a respectively project, as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. The side pieces 22 and end pieces 24 develop into a forwardly tapering section 26 that has a second box-like flange 28 projecting forwardly therefrom.

The interior surface of the first box-like flange 18 and the exterior surface of the flange 28 are of such dimensions that the first and second flanges telescopically engage (FIGURE 2) to permit the viewer C to be installed in any door having a thickness lying within a predetermined range. Extensions 22a and 24a are of such dimensions that the outer edges thereof engage the rear portion of the door surrounding the opening 10. The second box-like flange 28 has a lip 30 projecting inwardly from a forward edge thereof. Four openings are formed in side pieces 22, as best seen in FIGURE 3, through which four screws 34 extend to threadedly engage tapped bores (not shown) formed in the bosses 20.

A rigid plate F is provided that is of such dimensions as to be slidably insertable within the confines of the second box-like flange 28 and permit the forward edge surface thereof to abut against the interior edge surfaces of the lip 30. After the plate F is so disposed, the flange 28 is either deformed to provide dimples 36 (FIGURE 2) just to the rear of plate F, or a material is adhered to the interior surface of flange 28 to define the dimples. The dimples 36 and lip 30 serve to hold the plate F in the position within flange 28 as shown.

The plate F is a commercially available reversible twoway mirror manufactured by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company, Nicholas Building, Toledo, Ohio, sold under the trademark Mirropane, and is polished plate glass having a coating of an evaporated chromium alloy on one side thereof. When plate F is installed as shown in FIGURE 2, it permits an occupant of the building B to see a caller on the exterior thereof if the light intensity on the exterior of the building adjacent plate F is greater than that in the interior of the building adjacent plate F. I In other words, the plate F is a reversible, two-way mir-- ror that only permits one-way vision therethrough, and that from the darker side of the mirror to the lighter side.

It will be apparent that when the viewer C is in stalled in a door A as shown in FIGURE 1, it would be desirable for the occupant of the building B to communicate with a person outside the building in the area G Without opening the door A. Communication in this manner is effected by forming an elongate slot 38 in the uppermost section 16 that is preferably in horizontal alignment with another elongated slot 40' formed in the upper horizontal portion of the section 26. If desired, a second horizontal slot 42 may be formed in the lower horizontal portion of the section 16 that is preferably in the lower horizontal portion of section that is preferably in horizontal alignment with another horizontal slot 44 formed in the lower portion of section 26. By speaking into either of the slots 40 or 44, or both if desired, an occupant (not shown) in the building B may easily converse with anyone standing in the area Gv without opening the door A. 7

As previously mentioned, the structure of the plate F permits viewing therethrough from the darker to the lighter side. Thus, if the viewer C is installed in a door A of a building B, it is necessary that the area adjacent the exterior surface 46 to be lighter to illuminate the exterior 46 of plate F with a greater intensity than the illumination on the rear surface 48 of the plate. Normally, a porch light will cast a diffused light, and it is quite possible that a porch light (not shown) would fail to illuminate the exterior surface 46 of plate F to a greater degree than the rear face 48 of the plate which is exposed to the illuminated interior of the building B. Accordingly, it is desirable to provide one or more incandescent bulbs 50 or other electrical light means that are preferably located within the confines of the opening 10, as shown in FIGURE 2, and supported from a fixture 52 that includes a light reflector 54.

Electrical energy to the bulb 50 or other lighting means is supplied through two conductors 56 and 58 connected to the two terminals of the bulb 50. Conductor 56 is electrically insulated and terminates in a contact point 60 of a switch 62. When a movable portion 64 of switch 62 is moved to engage the contact point 60, the portions of the electrical circuit previously described cooperate with a conductor 66 to supply electrical energy to the bulb 50. Light from the bulb 50 is directed downwardly by the reflector 54 to illuminate the exterior face 46 with a light intensity that is greater than that of the illumination on the interior surface 48 of plate F. Thus, by closing the switch 62, the occupant of a building B may look directly through plate F to determine the indentity' of a caller standing in the area G, without the caller being able to look through the plate F to determine the identity of the occupant in the building.

A darkened plate 65 is preferably provided that is of such dimensions as to be removably support adjacent the rear surfaces of the cross pieces 22 and end pieces 24 as best seen in FIGURE 2. The sheet 65 can, of-

course, be held from the cross pieces 22 by a number of different means, but it has been found desirable to employ two members 68 of L-shaped transverse cross section. When a sheet of darkened material 65 is used, the light intensity of the illumination on the interior surface 48 of plate F is less than on the exterior surface 46 thereof and consequently the occupant of a building B can see through the plate F to determine the identity of a caller in the area G. The sheet 65 permits the viewer to be used even though the interior of the building B may be brightly illuminated by sunlight and the area G is shaded. It is highly desirable that the sheet 65 be removable from the viewer, for it may be advantageous to substitute an additional sheet therefor that either filters a greater degree of light from the interior of the building B to the rear surface 48 of the plate F or permit a greater quantity of light to pass from the interior of the building to the rear surface 48, depending upon the prevailing lighting conditions.

Should it be desired to be able to use the viewer C at night in the manner described without the use of the incandescent bulb, but with some illumination in the area G, two hooks or other supporting means 70 may be provided on the upper member 68 or other upper rear portion of the viewer, with these hooks being used to move and pivotally support an opaque sheet 72. The sheet 72 is provided with a knob or handle '74 on the lower rear portion thereof to permit the sheet to be disengaged from the hook 70, when the weight of sheet 72 is such that it will normally hang parallel to the tinted sheet 66. The sheet 72 has a relatively small aperture 76 formed in the central portion thereof. When the sheet 72 is hanging parallel to the sheet 66, the viewer may be used even when the interior of the building B is brightly lighted and with a minimum of illumination in the area G. By placing his eye close to the 46, and the occupant of the building may look through the aperture and plate F to see the person standing in the area G.

The operation of the invention has been described in detail hereinabove and need not be repeated.

Although the present invention is full capable of achieving the objects and providing the advantages hereinabove mentioned, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments thereof and I do not mean to be limited to the details of construction herein shown and described, other than as defined in the appended claim.

I claim:

A device adapted to be installed in a single opening in a door of a structure to permit a person inside said structure to see and converse with a person adjacent the exterior of said door without being seen, including:

(a) first and second frames having edge portions that contact the exterior and interior surfaces of said door adjacent said opening;

(b) first means for guiding said first and second frames in telescopic adjustment to permit the same to be installed in a door of any thickness lying Within a predetermined range;

(0) second means for moving said first and second frames towards one another to cause said edge portions to pressure contact said interior and exterior surfaces and frictionally hold said first and second frames at a fixed position on said door;

(d) third means for transmitting speech through said first and second frames from the interior of said structure to the exterior thereof;

(e)a plate that acts as a two-way mirror held within the confines of said first and second frames, which plate permits viewing therethrough from the darker to the lighter side thereof, with said plate acting as a mirror when an attempt is made to look from the lighter side to the darker side thereof;

(f) a first sheet of transparent tinted material disposed in alignment with said plate but rearwardly spaced therefrom, with the tinting of said material being suflicient to cut down the light transmitted from the interior of said structure to the surface of said plate to the extent that said interior surface is illuminated to a lesser extent that the exterior thereof; and

(g) an electric bulb;

(h) fourth means for holding said bulb between said flanges and edge of said opening, with the light References Cited by the Examiner tromsaid bulb passing through an aperture formed UNITED STATES PATENTS 1n sa1d first frame to fall on the exterior surface f said plate; 593,160 11/97 Jones 20-39 a ource of electric power; 5 Lalbach (j) a normally open circuit extending from said source 2,064,963 12/36 Wheeler of ower to aid bulb; and Bloom a manually operable switch forming a part of said circuit, which switch is so disposed relative to said HARRISON MOSELEY Prlmary Examiner frame as to be operable from the interior of said struc- 10 CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Examiner. ture.

US3203052A 1962-03-26 1962-03-26 Viewing device Expired - Lifetime US3203052A (en)

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Cited By (28)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3310794A (en) * 1963-12-27 1967-03-21 Amy L Lusebrink Cabinet with door having a viewing area covered with semi-transparent reflective material
US3375364A (en) * 1965-10-21 1968-03-26 Donnelly Mirrors Inc Visor-mirror assembly
US3799650A (en) * 1972-04-12 1974-03-26 Research Frontiers Inc One-way light valve
US3871434A (en) * 1974-01-24 1975-03-18 Allen P Hance Security screen for window
US3969857A (en) * 1975-10-15 1976-07-20 Anemostat Products Division Dynamics Corporation Of America Tamper-proof window unit
US4021967A (en) * 1975-11-10 1977-05-10 Odl, Incorporated Door light fastener
US4082047A (en) * 1977-04-04 1978-04-04 Southern Business Systems Of Greensboro, Inc. Modular visitor station
US4241556A (en) * 1978-11-09 1980-12-30 Pease Company Door light assembly
US4509301A (en) * 1982-04-23 1985-04-09 Head Robert L Modular shooting range
US4550542A (en) * 1984-08-09 1985-11-05 Jack La See Vision panel frame
EP0163374A1 (en) * 1984-04-26 1985-12-04 THERMOFORM a/s A double-glazed window
US4571901A (en) * 1984-03-16 1986-02-25 Acorn Engineering Company Vandal-resistant security view port
US4726162A (en) * 1986-11-18 1988-02-23 Jarvis Jr Wilfred A Police car shield system
US4763444A (en) * 1987-06-30 1988-08-16 Ritchie Ruben R Viewing and oral communications assembly for doors
US4839989A (en) * 1988-03-31 1989-06-20 Mcconnell Dale K Door light
WO1990009506A2 (en) * 1989-02-16 1990-08-23 Associated Western Limited Viewing assembly
GB2256891A (en) * 1991-06-18 1992-12-23 Agnes Mcgifford Mellors Frame structure for covering a window area
US5175970A (en) * 1990-06-22 1993-01-05 Pease Industries, Inc. Molded panel door with integral raised trim
WO1994017277A1 (en) * 1993-01-29 1994-08-04 Hubert Juillet Safety porthole
US6182402B1 (en) * 1998-07-08 2001-02-06 Duco Van Aalst Confinement-cell window attachment
GB2373810A (en) * 2001-03-24 2002-10-02 Diane Rushbrook Security apparatus
US20020194786A1 (en) * 2001-06-25 2002-12-26 Hincher William M. Illuminated security gate with optional audible alarm
US20030230958A1 (en) * 2002-06-12 2003-12-18 Yoshinobu Katori Overhead stowage bin on aircraft
US20050150079A1 (en) * 2002-10-23 2005-07-14 Lothar Ginzel Hinge for a glass door
US20060092378A1 (en) * 2004-10-29 2006-05-04 Marsden Andrew W Illuminated security gate unit
US20070175117A1 (en) * 2006-01-03 2007-08-02 Brown Amos D Storm shutter look out
GB2480099A (en) * 2010-05-07 2011-11-09 Jennifer Anne Taviner Peep hole with hinged cover
US8220951B2 (en) 2010-11-18 2012-07-17 Privacy Light International Company, Llc Privacy light

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US593160A (en) * 1897-11-02 Subdoor
US1287349A (en) * 1917-11-03 1918-12-10 Franz Laibach Lookout or door-peep.
US2064963A (en) * 1934-12-06 1936-12-22 Charles E Wheeler Observation device
US2581234A (en) * 1947-09-03 1952-01-01 Westin Inc Door wicket

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US593160A (en) * 1897-11-02 Subdoor
US1287349A (en) * 1917-11-03 1918-12-10 Franz Laibach Lookout or door-peep.
US2064963A (en) * 1934-12-06 1936-12-22 Charles E Wheeler Observation device
US2581234A (en) * 1947-09-03 1952-01-01 Westin Inc Door wicket

Cited By (34)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3310794A (en) * 1963-12-27 1967-03-21 Amy L Lusebrink Cabinet with door having a viewing area covered with semi-transparent reflective material
US3375364A (en) * 1965-10-21 1968-03-26 Donnelly Mirrors Inc Visor-mirror assembly
US3799650A (en) * 1972-04-12 1974-03-26 Research Frontiers Inc One-way light valve
US3871434A (en) * 1974-01-24 1975-03-18 Allen P Hance Security screen for window
US3969857A (en) * 1975-10-15 1976-07-20 Anemostat Products Division Dynamics Corporation Of America Tamper-proof window unit
US4021967A (en) * 1975-11-10 1977-05-10 Odl, Incorporated Door light fastener
US4082047A (en) * 1977-04-04 1978-04-04 Southern Business Systems Of Greensboro, Inc. Modular visitor station
US4241556A (en) * 1978-11-09 1980-12-30 Pease Company Door light assembly
US4509301A (en) * 1982-04-23 1985-04-09 Head Robert L Modular shooting range
US4571901A (en) * 1984-03-16 1986-02-25 Acorn Engineering Company Vandal-resistant security view port
EP0163374A1 (en) * 1984-04-26 1985-12-04 THERMOFORM a/s A double-glazed window
US4550542A (en) * 1984-08-09 1985-11-05 Jack La See Vision panel frame
US4726162A (en) * 1986-11-18 1988-02-23 Jarvis Jr Wilfred A Police car shield system
US4763444A (en) * 1987-06-30 1988-08-16 Ritchie Ruben R Viewing and oral communications assembly for doors
EP0297755A1 (en) * 1987-06-30 1989-01-04 Richard Ruben Ritchie Viewing and oral communications assembly for doors
WO1989000234A1 (en) * 1987-06-30 1989-01-12 Richard Ruben Ritchie Viewing and oral communications assembly for doors
US4839989A (en) * 1988-03-31 1989-06-20 Mcconnell Dale K Door light
WO1990009506A3 (en) * 1989-02-16 1990-11-15 Ass Western Ltd Viewing assembly
WO1990009506A2 (en) * 1989-02-16 1990-08-23 Associated Western Limited Viewing assembly
US5175970A (en) * 1990-06-22 1993-01-05 Pease Industries, Inc. Molded panel door with integral raised trim
GB2256891A (en) * 1991-06-18 1992-12-23 Agnes Mcgifford Mellors Frame structure for covering a window area
WO1994017277A1 (en) * 1993-01-29 1994-08-04 Hubert Juillet Safety porthole
US6182402B1 (en) * 1998-07-08 2001-02-06 Duco Van Aalst Confinement-cell window attachment
GB2373810A (en) * 2001-03-24 2002-10-02 Diane Rushbrook Security apparatus
US20020194786A1 (en) * 2001-06-25 2002-12-26 Hincher William M. Illuminated security gate with optional audible alarm
US6691467B2 (en) * 2001-06-25 2004-02-17 William M. Hincher, Sr. Illuminated security gate with optional audible alarm
US20030230958A1 (en) * 2002-06-12 2003-12-18 Yoshinobu Katori Overhead stowage bin on aircraft
US6802478B2 (en) * 2002-06-12 2004-10-12 Yoshinobu Katori Overhead stowage bin on aircraft
US20050150079A1 (en) * 2002-10-23 2005-07-14 Lothar Ginzel Hinge for a glass door
US20060092378A1 (en) * 2004-10-29 2006-05-04 Marsden Andrew W Illuminated security gate unit
US7318298B2 (en) 2004-10-29 2008-01-15 Cosco Management, Inc. Illuminated security gate unit
US20070175117A1 (en) * 2006-01-03 2007-08-02 Brown Amos D Storm shutter look out
GB2480099A (en) * 2010-05-07 2011-11-09 Jennifer Anne Taviner Peep hole with hinged cover
US8220951B2 (en) 2010-11-18 2012-07-17 Privacy Light International Company, Llc Privacy light

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