Patent application title: Hardware Item For Picture Frame
Sheridan G. Tucker (Meridian, MS, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G106FI
Class name: Card, picture, or sign exhibiting picture frame picture retainer
Publication date: 2012-09-06
Patent application number: 20120222341
A picture frame is provided with L-shaped fasteners that assure that the
picture or image is held in place within the frame. Each fastener has a
projecting leg abutting the backing and a generally rearwardly extending
second leg secured to the frame to prevent displacement of the front
glass and assure that the backing is held in place.
1. In a picture frame: a transparent plate and a backing element behind
the plate for receiving an image between said plate and said element,
said frame receiving said plate and said element and having frame members
for supporting said plate and said element, and a plurality of spaced,
generally L-shaped fasteners secured to at least two of said frame
members and each having a first leg engaging said backing element, a
second leg engaging an adjacent frame member, and means securing said
second leg to said frame member with said first leg engaging said backing
element to sandwich the image between the transparent plate and the
backing element, whereby the image is securely held in the frame.
2. In the picture frame as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first leg presents a generally flat surface in contact with said backing element to thereby hold the backing element in engagement with said image.
3. In the picture frame as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first leg has a rectangular configuration presenting said surface in engagement with said backing element.
4. In the picture frame as claimed in claim 2, wherein said first leg has an arcuate configuration presenting said surface in engagement with said backing element.
5. In the picture frame as claimed in claim 1, wherein said means securing said second leg to said adjacent frame member projects from said second leg and is embedded in said adjacent frame member.
6. The picture frame as claimed in claim 1, wherein each of said frame members presents a frontal lip engaged by said transparent plate, and wherein said backing element and said fasteners hold said image between said plate and said backing element.
 This invention relates to improvements in picture frames and, in
particular, to the securing of a picture or print within the frame.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Frames for pictures, documents, certificates and similar items are commonly held and preserved in a frame that, for display or decorative purposes, is hung on a wall or other vertical surface where it may be readily viewed and enjoyed. Typically, the picture or print is secured against a transparent glass or plastic plate by a backing such as cardboard that holds the picture against the glass plate. However, over time, the backing may loosen and not firmly hold the picture or image, resulting in a degrading of the appearance of the picture assembly as the picture is no longer firmly held against the transparent front plate. This can also seriously affect the condition of the picture or display itself as it is no longer firmly held in place against a flat surface.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In an embodiment of the present invention the aforementioned problem is addressed by providing a backing element behind the transparent outer plate, the picture or other image being sandwiched between the plate and the backing element. A number of spaced, generally L-shaped fasteners are spaced around the back of the frame, and each has an inwardly projecting leg engaging and holding the backing element to assure a snug fit and sandwich the picture or other image between the transparent front plate and the backing element, thereby securely holding the image in the frame.
 In another aspect of the invention, the inwardly projecting leg of each of the fasteners presents a generally flat surface in contact with the backing element to hold the backing element in engagement with the backside of the image.
 Another aspect of the invention is the provision of spaced fasteners as aforesaid having an L-shaped configuration presenting a rearwardly extending leg that overlies a frame member of the picture frame and is secured thereto by a fastener such as a nail, for example, that projects from the second leg and is embedded in the frame member to preclude separation.
 Other advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of the present invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is an elevational view of an L-shaped fastener of the present invention, as seen from the rear but detached from the frame.
 FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the fastener of FIG. 1 rotated 90 degrees.
 FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the fastener from the opposite side.
 FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the fastener of FIGS. 1-3.
 FIG. 5 is a rear view of a picture frame showing the backing element thereof held in the frame utilizing the fasteners of the present invention.
 FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, enlarged, vertical cross-sectional view taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5 and showing in detail the components of the present invention.
 FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 4 but illustrating a alternative form of the L-shaped fastener of the present invention.
 Referring to the drawings, FIG. 5 shows the backside of a picture frame 10 of rectangular configuration to which a wire 12, for example, extends from side-to-side for the usual purpose of hanging the frame 10 on a vertical surface such as a wall (not shown). As seen in the enlarged, fragmentary cross-sectional view of FIG. 6, a lower frame member 10a of frame 10 is inset from the rear at 14 to receive and support the lower edge portion of a front transparent plate such as glass 16 and a parallel backing element 18 between which a picture or image 20 is disposed and held. Specifically, in the present invention the picture 20 is disposed between the backing element 18 and the front glass 16 of the picture frame and held in place due to pressure applied by a number of L-shaped fasteners 22 shown in detail in FIGS. 1-4 in a first embodiment thereof, eight such fasteners being shown in FIG. 5 spaced around the inside of the frame 10. Although the frame 10 illustrated is rectangular, it should be understood that the present invention may be utilized with frames having three or more sides as dictated by the nature of the display.
 Each of the fasteners 22 has an inwardly projecting first leg 24 presenting a flat rectangular surface and a shorter, generally horizontally extending second leg 26 at a right angle thereto, thereby presenting an L-shaped configuration as seen in FIG. 2. A nail 28 extends downwardly from leg 26 and into the frame 10, as illustrated in FIG. 6 where lower frame member 10a is shown in cross-section. Accordingly, in assembly it may be appreciated that the picture or image 20 is sandwiched between the glass plate 16 and the backing element 18, the latter being held securely in place by the L-shaped fasteners 22 spaced around the periphery of the backing element 18 as illustrated in FIG. 5. This holds the assembly comprising glass 16, backing element 18 and image 20 securely in the frame 10 against an inwardly extending lip 30 circumscribing the front of the frame 10.
 From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that, with respect to each of the fasteners 22 or 22a, the surface presented by the upright leg 24 or 32 thereof bears against the inner face of the backing element 18 and, in cooperation with the lip 30 on the outer side of the frame 10, holds the picture or image 20 securely against vertical or lateral movement and thus maintains the integrity of the picture frame. Although the flat surface presented by the rectangular upright leg 24 of each of the fasteners 22 maximizes the applied contact area, the semi-circular bearing surface 32 may be employed for the fastener as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 7, as well as other shapes that present the desired surface contact
 Furthermore, it may be appreciated that a picture or print is secured within a picture frame by a snug fit against the transparent outer plate 16 to preclude the shifting of the picture or image 20 within the frame. The L-shaped fasteners 22 and 22a of the present invention permit easy hammering of the nails 28 into the frame members, assuring that the upright leg 24 (or 32) will bear firmly against the backing element 18 and preclude shifting of the picture frame components.
 It should be understood while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims.
Patent applications in all subclasses Picture retainer