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Publication numberUS1594464 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 3, 1926
Filing dateNov 29, 1921
Priority dateNov 29, 1921
Publication numberUS 1594464 A, US 1594464A, US-A-1594464, US1594464 A, US1594464A
InventorsLightner Eugene O
Original AssigneeLightner Eugene O
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1594464 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 3 1926. 1,594,464

E. o. LIGHTNER SIGNAL Filed Nov. 29, 1921 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Invenfor:

Eigene 0 L W/nner,

Patented Aug. 3, 1926.



Application fled Rovcmber 2a, 1921. Serialno. 518,727.

My present invention relates to an elec-' trical signal device which is adapted to various uses, such as with vehicles, where a predetermined action on the art of the driver of the vehicle is desire to be communicated to a following or approaching driver or pedestrian. This device is also admirably adapted for use as an automatic trafiic signal which could be operated from either a booth remotefrom the signal proper, or in proximity thereto. Another use of the device is as an advertising medium in store windows or outside.

While I have chosen a vehicle signal as the embodiment of my invention best adapted for illustration, it is understood that I do not wish to be limited thereto as obviously the principle described herein can be adapted to var1ed uses other than a vehicle signal.

The primary object of my invention is to supply a device of the character described which will indicate all the necessary' signals and yet be as compact as possible and with the-minimum number of moving parts.

Another object of my invention is to provide a device which will be automatic in its action, as far as possible, thus eliminating the necessit for predetermined thought on the part of the vehicle operator, although readily adaptable to manual control.

Still another object of my invention is to provide means whereby a single word may be, by a certain construction, transformed automatically into another, or a series of' different words.

To this end 1n invention consists in a suitable housing aving a transparent or translucent face and carrying within the housing a series of lighting mediums operable in any desired manner and having means between the lighting medium and the transparent or translucent face for casting shadows upon the said face whereby certain words or symbols may be'made visible through the transparent face. I

In the accompanying drawings which are merely illustrative of one particular form of my device, as obviously many from ma be desi ed according to the needs of eac articu ar case, I have shown a satisfactory orm which may be readily applied to any automobile.

In these drawings:

Figure 1 is a front elevation of the signa Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view through the center of Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic view of a satisfactory combination of automatic and manually controlled switches for completing the circuits to the lamps.

Fig. 4-is a diagrammatic view of a menu-- ally controlled switc'h' more in detail than Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is a plan view of the switch of Fig. 4 with the cover removed.

Fig. 6 is a sectional elevation of the switch of Fig. 5.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings wherein like numerals refer to -like parts throughout the several views, I

have shown a casin or housing 1 of any desired material or ape, carrying a transparent or translucent medium 2 such as ground glass. Insertable within the casing 1, I .have provided a stencil 4 having a series of letters 5, symbols 6, and aperture 7 therein. Suitably mounted upon the stencil are partitions 8 dividing the letters 5 and symbols 6 into certain groups.

A plate 10 is provided having aplurality of openings therein into which are suitably secured lamp sockets 12 provided withelectrical connections 13. Lamps 14 are adapted to be insertable within the sockets 12, the plate and its associated parts adapted to be held in proximity to stencil 4, the artitions 8 abutting the plate 10, thus hol in the same in spaced relation to the stenci Stencil 4 may carry a projection 15 adapted to ride in slot 15 in the plate to properly place the lamps in relation to the letters, symbols and aperture on the stencil.

Casing lis provided with a cover 16 having therein an a" rture 17 through which I may lead off t e wires for the electrical circuit although this is merely shown for convenience. Cover 16 may have suitably secured to its inner face s ring members 18 adapted to bear against t e rear portion of plate 10 which will securely hold the parts in their desired relation and prevent In the form of device illustrated, have utilized six electric light bulbs arranged in a certain series in order-to give the varied signal effects. I have also found that a very satisfactory combination of letters are those which spell the word Storn. It will be noticed in Fig. 1 that one of the partitions referred to extends between the upper part of the R and the N taking a right-angular turn towards the long vertical portion of the R, then extending downwardly alongside the same which has the effect of eliminating the short foot of the R and the entire N when lamps A are lighted. The horizontal partitions above and below the letters prevent the light from these lamps reaching the symbols above or the aperture below the letters.

Another partition extends between the horizontal partitions and also between the S and theT thereby cutting off the light from the letter S when the lamps B are lighted. A similar artition shown at X between the upper vertical portions of the 0 allows light from the lamps A to pass beneath this partition, thereby completely lighting the letter 0 while cutting off light from lamps B which has the effect of transforming the O to a U.

Above the horizontal partitions is situated lamps C and D separated by a vertical partition, each lamp lighting one of the symbols, the partition preventing light from that lam from reaching the opposite symbol.

It will thus be seen that by lighting the lamps A the word Stop is flashed and by lighting lamps B the word Turn is illuminated witheither a right or left arrow as lamps D or G are included in this latter circuit.

Figure 3 shows diagrammatically a satisfactory wiring which will now be described more in detail. The foot brake pedal of an automobile is diagrammatically shown at 20, having an arm 21 extending through the usual floor board 22, and being provided with a lug 23 hearing transversely upon a vacuum tube 24 which is pivotally spring hinged as at 25 to the floor board 22, the tube 24 assuming a substantially vertical position when the foot brake is not in use. Tube 24 is provided with two electrodes at each end which are out of contact with each other. A proper amount of mercury is placed within the tube and upon tilting of the tube the mercury will close the circuit of either set of electrodes but never both.

Assuming that the brake pedal is not in use and the spring pivot 25 forces the tube 24 to a substantially vertical position, thereby closing the circuit between electrodes 26 and 27. This closing of the circuit connects the battery through wires 30 and 31 to terminal 32 on a manually controlled switch located in any position convenient to the vehicle operator. When handle 33 of the switch member is thrown either to the right or the left a complete circuit is made to either lamps B and C through their respective wires, or B and D through their wires, which has the effect of lightning Turn with either the right or left arrow. If, however, it is found necessary to stop the vehicle, the service brake foot edal is naturally depressed thereby causing mercury tube 24 to lower the end opposite the pivot, which breaks the Turn circuit and causes electrodes 28 and 29 to be closed, thereby connecting the battery to Stop signal or lamps A. It will be noticed that the word Stop is flashed automatically regardless of the position of the manually controlled Turn switch, and that if the handle 33 is contacting with either C or D circuits and the brake pedal is depressed to flash Stop, upon the brake pedal assuming its normal position Turn will again be flashed with either the right or left arrow as before. It will be readily apparent that it is not possible to illuminate both Stop and Turn at one time.

I have shown a diagrammatic circuit in which both the words Stop and Turn are manually controlled by a switch located convenient to theoperator. This switch is shown to consist of a housing 34 suitably secured to an insulated base 35 upon which is mounted an operating handle 36 secured to a spring member 37 which is in turn pivotally mounted on base 35 as by screw 38. Terminals 39 are positioned on each side of the member 37 being electricallv connected together. Additional terminals and 41 insulated from each other, are provided in line with terminals 38 and 39. so that when the handle 36 is moved to either extreme right or extreme left position. an electrical contact will be made between terminals 38, 39. 41 or 38. 39. 40. respectively. Terminal 38 is connected by wire 38 to a battery 42. terminal 39 by wire 39 to lamps B or the lamps illuminating the wordTurn. terminal 40 by wire 40" to lamp C or left arrow. and terminal 41 by wire 41' to lamp D or right arrow. The terminals 39. 40. and 41 are preferably of a form which will extend upwardly from base 35 and then toward member 37. having a depending portion at the end thereof slightlv below the upper plane of member 37. With such a construction the resilient nature of member 37 will normally cause this part to contact with both terminals 39 and 40 or 39 and 41 as the lever is swung to either left or right position respectively. A member 42 situated above the resilient member 37 and held in place by screws 43 embedded in the insulated base 35 is utilized to lock member 37 in neutral or extreme right or left positions.

An additional contact 44 is provided heneath the member 37 of an extreme length equal to the arc formed by the extreme right no and left movement of member 37, and electrically connected b wire 44 to lamps A right or left position will illuminate Turn' with the right or left arrow respectively; when the lever occupies a space midway between thesetwo positions no illumination of the lamps is caused, thereby creating a' neutral zone; and yet capable in any of these or any other positions of instantly illuminating the word Stop by mere depression of the handle 36.

It will be obvious that I have devised a signal in which I secure two words in the space of one, thereby allowing the letters of each word to be of a substantial size and yet keeps the device of a compact form. Various changes and modifications may be made in this device without departing from the spirit of my invention as various combinations of-words or letters will occur to those skilled in this art, and I therefore do may be made of 0010 I a suitable color such not wish to be limited to the letters S-T-O-R-N, or to the construction shown.

arious manufacturers may desire to change the configuration of the device or to have the letters and symbols blown into the glass instead of utilizing a stencil, such glass to be of amagnifying nature in order that the signal may be readily observed in the sunlight, and colored if desired. Also various types of switches may beu-tilized to actuate the device, and I do not wish to be limited to the mercury or manually controlled switch shown which is merely illustrated for convenience in showing an operative device. It may be found desirable to have both Stop and Turn made automatic, and it will be apparent that as both an automatic and a manually controlled switch is illustrated, I do not wish to be limited to either t pe.

If desired the am glass or may be dyed as red and the lamps s illuminating Stop illuminating Turn and the arrows treated likewise with such a color as green which would more strikingly display the signal and make the predetermined action on the part of the ehicle operator instantly apparent, although if color alone resides in the glam, the words Stop and Turn must of necessity be displayed in only one color, as several letters are common to each word.

It may be found desirable to incorporate the ordinary tail light into this fixture which could readily be done, as this light would be controlled from the usual dash switch, and be displayed through aperture 7 in the device provided for this purpose.

I claim:

1. A signal device adapted to display indicia, including a plurality of letters, lighting means to illuminate certain complete letters and a part of another, means to prevent illumination of certain of said letters by this lighting means, and additional means to illuminate that part of the indicia not illuminated by the first mentioned lighting means.

2. A signal device adapted to display a letter or the like, lighting means to illuminate the entire letter, and additional lighting means to illuminate a part of the letter, thereby forming another letter, and means to prevent light from the second lighting means from illuminating that part of the original letter dissimilar tothe new letter.

3. A signal device adapted to display the Word Storn, lighting means to illuminate that part of the word formed by the letters STO and that part of the letter R which is similar to the letter P, means to prevent illumination by this lighting means of the letter N, and that part of the letter R dissimilar to the letter P, and additional lighting means to illuminate the letters TRN and that part of the letter 0 similar to the letter U, and means to prevent illumination by this lighting means of the letter S and that partPof the letter O dissimilar to the letter 4. In an electric signal, a case provided with a series of pockets of irregular shape, a lamp in each pocket, and a stencil letter plate covering the pockets, said plate having letter-forming openings and some of the openings for different letters registering with a single pocket.

In testimony whereof I afiix my signature.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5073768 *Dec 23, 1988Dec 17, 1991Nolan UlmerAuxiliary signal lights
U.S. Classification40/580, 200/61.89
International ClassificationB60Q1/26, H01H21/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60Q1/2607, H01H21/00
European ClassificationB60Q1/26B, H01H21/00