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Publication numberUS1739954 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1929
Filing dateFeb 9, 1927
Priority dateFeb 9, 1927
Publication numberUS 1739954 A, US 1739954A, US-A-1739954, US1739954 A, US1739954A
InventorsPont Francis I Du
Original AssigneePont Francis I Du
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Instrument board for automobiles
US 1739954 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 1929. DU PONT 7 1,739,954

' INSTRUMENT BOARD FOR AUTOMOBILES Filed Feb. 9, 1927 Patented Dec. 17, 1929 PATENT OFFICE FRANCIS I. DU FONT, OF WILMINGTON, DELAWARE INSTRUMENT noAnn r03. AUTOMOBILES Application filed February 9, 1927. Serial No. 166,962.

My invention relates to an improvement in instrument boards for automobiles and more particularly to means whereby the instruments may be efficiently illuminated at night without the production of any glare tending to interfere with the vision of the operator.

As is well known the several instruments, as an oil gauge, ammeter, speedometer, etc., necessary for indicating conditions during the operation of an automobile, are usually mounted on an instrument board positioned in front of the operator, and it is quite customary to group the instruments, the group being positioned behind a pane or sheet of glass 5 let into the instrument board. In order that the instruments may be visible to the operator of an automobile at night, it is customary to provide a lamp so positioned as to throw light on the instruments. However, as is well known, the lamp, if positioned to effectively light up the instruments, also causes more or less glare with the result that the operators vision ahead is materially impaired.

Heretofore numerous efforts have been made to avoid the glar from the so-called dash light, but such have been substantially unsuccessful, it having been found that where glare has been reduced the uniform and effective lighting of the instruments has been correspondingly reduced.

Now it is the object of my invention to provide means whereby the instruments carried by the instrument board of an automobile may be uniformly and efficiently illuminated without the production of glare.

Having now indicated, in a general way, the nature and purpose of my invention, I will proceed to a detailed description thereof with reference to the accompanying drawings in which I have illustrated a preferred embodiment and in which 2- Fig. 1 is a front view of an instrument board embodying my invention, the end portions being broken away.

Fig. 2 is a sectional view on line 22, Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is a sectional view on line 3-3, Fig. 1.

In the drawings a indicates an instrument board such as is usually provided in an auto mobile. The board a is provided with a recess of any desired shape, for example, an

elliptical recess as shown in Figure 1, into which is fitted a sheet or plate I) of glass, suitable means heing provided for retaining the plate in place.

The plate of glass 1), preferably of elliptical shape and the edges of which are preferably silvered as indicated at m, Figs. 2 and 3, or otherwise made reflective, is provided adjacent its upper edge and midway between its ends with an aperture 0 in which is positioned an electric lamp 03, mounted in a socket 6, extending through a suitable aperture in and supported by the instrument board. The lamp is connected to an electric circuit through wires The wall of the aperture 0 may be cylindrical, though it is preferable that it be made tapering for a distance from the front and back of the plate, as shown at 11 Fig. 2, and cylindrical in the central portion, as shown at a, Fig. 2. The tapered portions 7 of the wall of the aperture 0 are at such an angle that rays from the lamp entering the body of the plate I) will extend indirections such that they will strike the face of the plate at angles of total reflection. The front of the aperture 0 is closed by means of a cover 9 pivotally attached to a casing it provided with spring lugs i adapted to extend into the aperture and engage the wall thereof to maintain the casing and cover in position.

In the rear face of plate 6 below the aperture c, is formed a relatively circular recess y', the walls of which are vertical and the bottom of which is convex, as shown at is, Fig. 2. On opposite sides of the aperture 0 are formed relatively small circular recesses j having vertical walls and convex bottoms is, while adjacent the recesses j are formed further circular recesses j having vertical walls and convex bottoms 7c". The recesses y' are made deeper than the recesses j, which are positioned between the recesses j and the aperture 0 in which is positioned the lamp d.

Various instruments extend through suitable apertures formed in the instrument board a in line with the several recesses and are supported by the board in line with the apertures and immediately adjacent the rear face of the plate I). For example, a speedometer Z is supported with its dial concentric with the recess j, while, for example, an oil pressure gauge at and a" clock a are supported with the dials in line with the recesses j and, for example, an amineter o and a gasoline gauge 2 are supported with their dials in line with the apertures j".

Against the rear face of the plate Z2 is positioned a mat g, apertured in line with the several recesses. The mat 9 may be of any desired material, a paper or cloth and is preferably black, or of a color which will contrast with the dials of the instruments.

In the operation of the embodiment of my invention above described, if the lamp d, which is positioned in the aperture 0 in the glass plate 6, be lighted, the rays therefrom will be prevented from extending forwardly by the cover 9 and from extending rearwardly by the'socket 6. Thus the effective rays emanating from the lamp will strike the wall of the aperture 0 in the plate and will pass therethrough into the body of the plate. Since the wall of the aperture 0 is tapered adjacent the frontand rear faces of the plate, those rays which pass through the wall of the aperture adjacent the faces of the plate will, due to the angularity of the tapered surfaces of the wall, pass into the body of the plate in a direction such that they will respectively strike the faces of the plate at an angle at which on tending to pass from a denser medium, the plate, to a lighter medium, the atmosphere, they will be totally reflected from the surface back into the body of the plate. Should any of the rays from the lamp tend to pass out of the sheet ad-' jacent the forward end of aperture 0, such will be masked by the casing h and the extension of rays from the front of the plate will be prevented. The rays from thelamp reflected from the faces of the plate will travel longitudinally through the body of the plate. being reflected from face to face. The rays from the lamp which strike the cylindrical central portion of the wall of the aperture will travel longitudinally of the plate. Thus the rays of light from the lamp entering the plate athrough the walls of the aperture 0 will travel in all directions from the aper-- ture 0 toward the edges of the plate. from which, since the edges are silvered, the rays reaching the edges will be reflected back into the body of the plate. If the edges be clear, the rays reaching them will pass out of the plate, but such will not cause any glare since the edges of the plate are masked by the walls of the recess in the instrument board in which the plate is positioned.

As explained above, rays of light from the lamp d are caused to travel through the body of the plate toward its edge, some directly and others due to reflection from face to face of the plate, the result of striking the faces at an angle of total reflection. Certain of the rays travelin directly. through the body of the plate wil strike the walls of the recesses j and j" and will pass out of the body of the plate and in passing from a dense to a lighter medium will by refraction' be directed toward the convex bottoms la, is of the recesses from which the rays will be reflected on to the dials of the instruments l, o and 32. Other rays reflectedv from face to face of the plate will reach the surface of the convex bottoms of the recesses I at an angle at which they will be refracted rather than reflected thereby and such rays will pass out of the bod of the plate and be directed toward the dials of the instruments, or pass back. into the body of the plate through the walls of the recesses. Those rays which pass out of the body of the plate from the walls or bottom of the recesses will be directed toward the dials of the instruments and will adequately and etficiently light them up, without causing any glare from the front of the plate through the front surface of which no rays pass out.

The walls and bottoms of the recesses 7' act to direct the light rays striking them in the same manner as do the walls and hot toms of the recesses j and j" and since the depth of the recesses 7' is greater than the depth of the recesses j, which lie between recesses j" and the light, ample light will pass through the body of the plate between the bottoms of recesses j and the front surface for an adequate lighting of the instruments at and a. Further light will reach the walls of the recesses j" by reflection from the edge of the plate, if it be made reflective, as by silvcring.

It will now be observed that by virtue of my invention, the instruments carried by an instrument board of an automobile may be efliciently and, if desired, brilliantly lighted without the production of the slightest glare from the surface thereof.

It will be understood that I do not intend that my invention shall be limited in scope to the details of construction of the embodiment thereof above described, since it will be obvious that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of my invention. It will be understood that the light rays may. be introduced into the body of the plate a at more than one pointv or through an edge thereof and that the several recesses in the plate may beof thesame depth or a single recess may be provided for the accommodation of a plurality of instruments, and it will also be understood that the angularity of the walls of the recesses and the form of the bottoms may be varied so long as variations does not result in the refraction of light from the front face of the plate.

Having now fully described my invention,

what I claim and desire to protect by Letters Patent is 1. In an instrument board for automobiles, in combination, a sheet of glass having a plurality of recesses of varying depth formed therein, instruments supported adjacent to and facing the open ends of said recesses, an aperture in said sheet the walls of which adjacent the front and back surfaces of said sheet extend at an angle to the intermediate ortion thereof, and a lamp positioned in said aperture.

2. In an instrument board for automobiles, in combination, a sheet of glass having a plurality of recesses of varying depth formed therein, instruments supported adjacent to and facing the open ends of said recesses, an aperture in said sheet the Walls of which adjacent the front and back surfaces of said sheet extend at an angle to the intermediate portion thereof, a lamp positioned in said aperture and means for masking said lamp to prevent rays of light therefrom from extending from the front face of said sheet.

3. In an instrument board for automobiles, in combination, a sheet of glass having a plurality of recesses of varying depths formed therein, instruments supported adjacent to and facing the open ends of said recesses, a circular aperture the wall of which is tapered outwardly from points spaced from the front and back faces of said sheet, a lamp positioned in said aperture and means for masking said lamp to prevent rays of light therefrom from extending from the front face of said sheet.

4. An illuminating means for an object, comprising a transparent sheet having its rear face placed in front of the object and through which the object may be viewed, a source of light, a transverse surface of said sheet positioned so that rays from said source of light may pass through said transverse surface'into the sheet and between the faces thereof, and means for directing some of said rays passing through said sheet upon the object.

5. An illuminating means for an object, comprising a transparent sheet through which the object may be viewed having its rear face in front of the object, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet and between the faces thereof at such angles that projected rays which strike the front face of the sheet in front of the object will be totally reflected into the sheet from said front face, and means for directing rays passing through said sheet upon the object.

6. An illuminating means for an object, comprising a transparent sheet through which the object may be viewed having its rear face in front of the object, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet and between the faces thereof at such an les that projected rays strike the front face of the sheet in front of the object at angles of incidence not substantially less than the critical angle, and means for directing rays passing through said sheet upon the object.

7. An illuminating means for an object comprising a transparent sheet through which the object may be viewed having its rear face in front of the object, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet and between the faces thereof, said sheet having a surface between the planes of its front and rear faces for directing rays passing through the sheet upon the object.

8. An illuminating means for a plurality of objects, comprising atransparent sheet through which the objects may be viewed having its rear face in front of the objects, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet in paths extending in the direction of its faces, said projecting means being located in alignment with the objects, intercepting means for directing some of said rays upon the object nearer to the projecting means, and means for directing rays not intercepted by the said intercepting means upon the object farther from the projecting means.

9. An illuminating means for an object, comprising a transparent sheet through which the object may be viewed having its rear face in front of the object, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet and between the faces thereof, and means located between the planes of the faces of said sheet to intercept rays passing through the sheet and direct them upon the object.

10. An illuminating means for an object, comprising a transparent member, through which the object may be viewed in front of the object, said transparent member having a plane front faceand a rear face, portions of which rear face in front of the object form acute angles with the plane of the front face, and means for projecting rays of light upon the portions of acute angle of said rear face whereby they are reflected upon the object.

I 11. An illuminating means for an object, comprising a transparent sheet through which the object may be viewed having its rear face in front of the object, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet and between the faces thereof, means located between the planes of the faces of said sheet to intercept rays passing through the sheet and direct them upon the object, and means for reflecting rays at transverse edges of the sheet back through the sheet.

12. An illuminating means for an-object, comprising a transparent sheet through which the object may be viewed having its rear face in front of the object and having'a transverse convex edge portion, means for projecting rays of light through the sheet and between the faces thereof, means located between the planes of the faces of said sheet to intercept rays passing through the sheet and direct them upon the object, and means for reflecting rays at the transverse convex edge portion back through the sheet.

In testimony of which invention, I have hereunto set my hand, at Philadelphia," Penna., on this 7th day of February, 1927.

FRANCIS I. DU PONT.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2430862 *Jul 7, 1945Nov 18, 1947CarscallenScope
US2507035 *May 16, 1945May 9, 1950Maynard Bert GPlastic instrument panel
US2518726 *Aug 8, 1949Aug 15, 1950Edwin A NeugassInstrument panel
US2537971 *Dec 19, 1944Jan 16, 1951Jr Ralph J DamesInstrument illumination
US2561756 *Oct 7, 1949Jul 24, 1951Shook Paul MRunning board light for automobiles
US2561885 *May 31, 1945Jul 24, 1951Gen ElectricIlluminated dial
US2562498 *Dec 13, 1946Jul 31, 1951Cons Vultee Aircraft CorpIlluminating means for indicating instruments
US2627837 *Mar 31, 1947Feb 10, 1953ff The Aro Equipment CorporationSheetsxsheet i
US2637802 *Feb 4, 1949May 5, 1953John M RoperLamp socket for instrument panel lighting
US2666842 *May 19, 1950Jan 19, 1954Bowman Hyman DIlluminated electric razor frame
US2672551 *Jun 9, 1949Mar 16, 1954Douglas Aircraft Co IncSelf-lighted control operating member
US2677045 *Oct 13, 1950Apr 27, 1954Cons Vultee Aircraft CorpEdge illuminated instrument panel
US2695354 *Dec 16, 1950Nov 23, 1954Edwin A NeugassInstrument panel lighting
US2737744 *Apr 9, 1952Mar 13, 1956Bendix Aviat CorpInstrument lighting
US2761056 *Feb 13, 1953Aug 28, 1956Lazo JohnInstrument illuminating means
US2830172 *Apr 23, 1954Apr 8, 1958Richard B StetsonPanel illuminator and indicator
US2855710 *Sep 11, 1956Oct 14, 1958Grimes Mfg CompanyIlluminated instrument panel
US2965749 *Feb 1, 1960Dec 20, 1960Edwin M HudsonCircularly symmetrical compound wedge assembly for illuminating instrument faces
US4903171 *Jun 12, 1989Feb 20, 1990Sfena CorporationPanel lighting
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US6379016Sep 26, 2000Apr 30, 20023M Innovative Properties CompanyLight guide with extraction structures
US6889626 *Nov 20, 2002May 10, 2005Yazaki CorporationMeter for motor vehicle
US7647881May 9, 2007Jan 19, 2010Visteon Global TechnologiesDimensional enhancement lens
DE1238815B *Nov 29, 1965Apr 13, 1967Autophon AgOptischer Zeichenmelder zur gleichzeitigen individuellen Anzeige von vier Zeichen
DE102007033568A1 *Jul 19, 2007Jan 22, 2009Volkswagen AgAnzeigeeinrichtung für ein Fahrzeug
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Classifications
U.S. Classification362/23.1, 359/440, 246/1.00C, 116/DIG.430, 180/90
International ClassificationB60K37/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S116/43, B60K37/02
European ClassificationB60K37/02