Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS1743569 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1930
Filing dateNov 16, 1927
Priority dateNov 16, 1927
Publication numberUS 1743569 A, US 1743569A, US-A-1743569, US1743569 A, US1743569A
InventorsWilliam W Purdom
Original AssigneeWilliam W Purdom
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of making neon electric signs and neon signs
US 1743569 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 14, 1930. w w Q M 1,743,569


This invention relates to improvements in display signs and the like and more particularly to electrically sensitive color-giving gas contained signs.

One of the objects of my invention is to provide a simple, eflicient, and inexpensive device of this character.

Another object of my invention is to provide an electrically illuminated sign characterized by the feature of intense luminosity obtained at a minimum expense.

A further object of my invention is to provide a color illuminated sign capable of giving a maximum amount of illumination with a minimum amount of current.

Another object of my invention is to provide a colored sign wherein the letters are individually rendered transparent thru the instrumentality of gas as the source of illumination and of prismatic surfaces as the refiectory medium. 7

A still further object of my invention is to provide a colored sign where the color is furnished to the characters of the sign thru the instrumentality of an electrically sensitive gas, means being provided forhousing said, gas in a prismatic glass letter-shaped body in a manner consistent with the formation of a weather-proof, air tight seal.

Another object of my invention is to provideinterchangeable prismatic characters for making up any desired sign, each equipped with an internal channel holding neon gas or its equivalent, with means for furnishing the gas-with electrical current whereby to impart! color to the gas.

And another purpose of my invention is to provide a sectional prismatic character, whether letter,,design or legend, with complemental grooves, designed, when the sections are united to give shapeto a continuous channelshaped to the outlineiof the same letter, design orlegend, and showing to good advantage thru the transparent surface of the prismatic character, so that when neon gas or the like is introduced and sealed in said channel and electrically energized by approved means, said gas becomes colored and makes the entire prismatic character luminous at night or day resplendent in this color.

A still further object of my invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive background for each separate color-illuminated letter, with means for connecting the letter to this background in an insulated manner, and in amanner entirely impervious to atmospheric or climatic changes and influences.

Another object of my invention is to render the color-illuminated sign more durable in construction than as made at the present time, less liable to breakage, cracking, dcterioration, repairing, leakage, and separation of its component parts.

With the above and other objects in view my invention consists in the combination, arrangement and details of construction disclosed in the drawings and specifications, and then more particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

In the drawings, which are merely illustrative of my invention and in which similar reference characters designate similar parts throughout the respective views,

Figure 1 is a front elevation of a sign equipped with the parts of my invention,

Figure 2 is a vertical elevation of one sign character,

Figure 3 is an elevation of the metal background for the character,

Figure 4 is a vertical sectional elevation of the parts of my invention,

Figure 5 is a perspective view of a rubber gasket ring to be described,

Figure 6 is a cross sectional view of the prismatic sections,

Figure 7 is a perspective view of two p'i-ismatic sections, gigure 8 is a front'elevation of a character an Figures .9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, are end elevations of various prismatic formations of letters or characters.

In the drawings, 10 indicates the particular letter, device, character or legend to which definite outline is given. Prismatic glass is the material from which this letter is to be formed altho any material imparting the desired transparency to the letter will answer the same purpose. The glass letter 10 is shaped to the outline of this device and is letter, making the turns that the letter. itself and character and provided, at the does so that it may be shaped in similitude" to the configuration of this letter.

A second prismatic section 21 made of transparent material is provided to cooperate with the first prismatic section 10 to complete the outline of the glass character, and it may also, if desired, have'a groove or channel of the same size and shape as the other groove 11, so that when the two prismatic sections 10 and 21 are secured together to provide a unit, the two grooves will register and provide a duct of the same shape as the letter. However in Figure 4 the channel is shown to open out of the section 10 0nly, but this arrangement is optional.

It will be seen that the channel would ordinarily intersect the coinciding faces of thetwo prismatic sections forming the completed-character; as a means of introducing the electrically sensitive color-giving gas such as neon, argon, helium, etc. into the chan- -nels, there are provided ofiset ducts com-' municating with the main channel 12, and

'is highly polished, so as to have a mirrored reflectory surface as. at25. The central nipple serves as the filling nipple and when the gas has been introduced into the letter this lling nip 1e will be stopped up or plugged. The, gas. lling occurs after the prismatic letter has been completed.

I aim to provide an individual background member, preferably of metal, for each separate letter or character made in accordance with my inven'tion. This takes the form of a rectangular sheet 24 opaque in appearance roper spaced apart points with a plurality of open ings or holes corresponding in size and number to the sleeves 14, 15 and 16, these holes being desi nated 14", 15", and 16. There are prefera ly three such holes and their. dis- Egsition upon the insulator background memr 24 varies in accordance with the shape of the letter or design.

p The nipples or sleeves 14, 15, and 16 will pro ect snugly thru .theholes 14", 15", and 16". of the metal background, which background has its front face silvered to produce a mirror surface. which throws its refiectory power thru the front of the glass letter. In this manner the letter-is properly set into a frame and given support so that the several 7 letters may be brought into alinement by. se-

curing the background plates by means of fasteners .upon a common frame or sign board.

The connecting portions 11, 17 and 13 of the channels may taper from large atvthe outer face of the letter to small at the inner face thereof, as shown in Figure 4. Electrodes of any approved design and construction as may be best suited for the purpose, are caused to project into the counterbores 19 of the sleeves, for the purpose of bombardin with high tension current the gas enclose I in the channels. These electrodes are preferably of copper and have glass inserts 20 to minimize oxidation of the inert gases filling the latter. 2O designates the ,leads extending from the electrodes which are in an electrical circuit as is also a transformer enabling the device to be connected directly to the circuit line of buildings.

1 The electrodes also function to close up the sleeves, two electrodes being shown preferabl closing the endmost sleeves of the letter or esign. After the electrodes have been installed and connected in relation to the sleeves rubber rings or askets 29 are employed and shrunk around t e'sleeves so that their front faces overlap and engage the rear face of the background; the natural resiliency of the rubber. gaskets serve to prevent displacement of the letter with respect to the background board or member 24. I

The central or intermediate sleeve 15 functions as the filler portion for supplying thechannels which internally compose the letter sections with the proper illuminating gas. To this end the hose thru which issues the as under pressure, as from a vacuum pump, 18 fitted tightly around this neck or sleeve 15, and any desirable and effective electrically sensitive color-giving gas such as neon, argon, helium and similar inert gases, may be forced into the channels; when the proper volume of gas has been let into the channel so as to fill the available dimensions thereof, a glass plug of desirable formation 18, is designed to plug up the sleeve 15, thereby retaining the gas wholly within the channel.

hermetically seal the enclosed gas in their channels. The completed letter must, to get the best results, in winter as well as in summer, or at other seasons, exclude dirt, cold, heat, moisture and other foreign elements, this being also necessary in order to prevent a the cracking, splitting or deterioration of the material of the letter. It is designed to have only the front faces of each letter shine with.

ceous content, upon all the edges of the letter except the front side, seeing that the rear side is rendered impervious to light by overlying the background; inthis manner the edges of each letter are rendered not only opaque but impervious to atmospheric conditions, thereby sealing the letter in all places Where the gas might leak, or foreign elements enter the sign.

When the several letters or characters of the signs are painted with the paint 19" the letters are ready for use. When the electrical circuit is closed, the electrons discharged from the electrodes bombard the inert gas in the channels of all the letters, as the latter are or may be connected in series with the circuit. The gases now assume a colored brilliancy, and as the gas assumes the shape of a letter the letter itself shines and adopts the color of the gas; the mirrored surface 25 reflects the color to advantage so that the effect of the letter is to radiate an effulgence of colored light visible at great distances day or night.

Various prismatic effects may be obtained upon the exterior surfaces of the prismatic sections as may be adapted to enhance ornamentation and luminosity thru radiation. In

Figure 12 is shown the device in the form of plain glass having the polished surface usually found in planes; in Figure 9 the prismatic section is shown ribbed as also in Figure 7; in Figure 13 the prismatic section has facets; in Figure 11 this section is latticed; in Figure 13 the section is streaked or porcupined.

Neon signs as now made called for the expert services of a glass blower to shape the delicate tubes for housing the gas. The present invention employs no tubag e except the short sleeve or nipple sections. needed to connect the electrodes. The painted edges of the letters help to focus towards the front the colored rays, the mirror also contributing towards this result; and also prevents that efliuvium of color or overflow of light from one letter to another. The background boards function to individualize the letters or designs and may be unscrewed from the super frame of the sign or design holder for adjustment, or reconnection to the power line. The mixture of glass used in forming the letter bodies should contain a sufficiency of lead to insure a close grain of glass to form the prisms. The letters may have borders extending about or around them on the completed sign board and may be of any scrip or design.-

From the foregoing it will be seen that I have devised an improvement. in neon signs or the like. I do not mean to limit myself to the exact details of construction disclosed herein but intend tocover all variations falling within the purview of the appended claims.

What 11* desire to claim and seek by Letters Patent ist- 1. A sign having individual characters, each character being a prismatic body having a highly polished reflecting surface on one side, and having an internal hermetically sealed channel shaped to the outline of the character and containing an electrically active gas exuding a definite color, and means for charging said body channel with said gas.

2. A sign having individual letters, an electrical circuit including a transformer, each letter composed of two prismatic sections hermetically sealed together to exclude atmospheric conditions and influences, each letter having an internal channel shaped to the same outline as the letter and containing a color-giving electrically sensitive gas, and electrodes projecting from said channel and included in said transformer circuit.

3. A sign consisting of interchangeable letters each composed of prismatic sections, a metallic background to which said letters are individually attached, the surface of each letter engaging the background having a polished reflectory surface, an electrical circuit including a transformer, each letter having an internal channel shaped to the configuration of the letter and containing neon gas or the like, electrodes plugging outlets from said channels and connected to said electrical circuit, and a cementitioussubstance lining the exposed surfaces of the 1nd1vidua-l respective letters except the front side thereof.

4. A sign composed of glass letters having mirror surfaces at their rear portions, a source of colored light following the direction of the letter/and electrical meansfor Wholly retainingthe source of colored light within the letters.

5. A sign composed of transparent characters, meansrendering each letter opaque upon all butits front and lateral surfaces, a mirror surface on the rear side of each letter, a source of colored illuminat on in each character and shaped to the outline of this character, a support for all the letters forming also a background for the letters, and means for removing the source of colored illumination from said letters individually.


6. In combination a frame, a plurality of interchangeable letters removably secured to said frame, each. letter having a transparent front surface and having an internal channel shaped to the same configuration as the letter and containing neon gas, an electrical circuit including a transformer, meansforconiiecting all letters in series to said circuit, means for introducing the gas into the several letters, and painted linings on all sides of each letter except the front and rear.

7. In combination a frame, a plurality of glass letters each sectionally held together and providing complementarily an nternal channel shaped to the outline of said letter,

a plurality'of integral sleeves carried byeach letter at its rear and projecting thru the frame, electrodes closing some of said sleeves, means establishing communication between each channel and the sleeves of the letter, an electrically sensitive and color-emitting gas I contained in said channel and introduced thru other sleeves, plugs closing the lastmentioned sleeves, and means for electrically energizing all the letters thru the medium of said gas.

8. A prismatic letter composed of two mating sect-ions having flat surfaces designed to be cemented transparently together with a hermetically tight joint, either or both sections providing an internal channelfor the passage therethru and retention of neon gas,

nel, and means sealing said gas in said channel against escape.

10. A prismatic letter composed. of two sections cemented together to form a unit, said sections providing an internal bore shaped to the outline of the letter itself, an electrically sensitive color-giving gas housed in said channel for rendering the same luminous, the rear face of the letter having a reflectory surface, the edges of the letter being rendered opaque, leaving the front side transparent to display the color of the internal channel, under' the reflection of said reflectory surface.

1 1.In combination a metal having several holes, a glass letter having on its rear surface three sleeves projecting thru the holes of the backgroundto juxtapose the letter in overlapping relation to the background, the glass letter having an internal gas-filled channel shaped to the outline of the letter and communicating with allof said sleeves, one of said sleeves serving as the inlet background of the letter and containing neon gas, electrodes transmitting electrical energy to said gas and also sealing the end sleeves of the letter, and a closure means for stop ing up the central sleeve thru the latter of w ich the neon gas is introduced into the letter.

13. A metal sheet having a plurality of holes, an all-glass letter having an internal channel shaped similarly to said letter and being itself letter-inclined, integral nipples formed so as to project outwardly from the rear of said glass letter, and projecting thru the holes of said background, means preventing the displacement of said letter from said background and'also providing an air-tight seal thereabout, said channel communicat ng with sa1d sleeves, electrical means pro ecting into said sleeves for energlzing gas contalned in said channel, a glass plug closing one of for introducing the gas into the letter, and

electrodes plugging the other sleeves and havlng ducts for transmitting electrical energy to said gas to render the latter color-giving.

12. In combination a metal background rismatic glass letter having upon its rear si e several sleeves projecting thru said holes, the metal background member overlying the rear side of the letter, the surface of' the letter engaging said backg'roundbeing mirrored, rubber gaskets embracing said sleeves and binding against the rear sides of said background to position said glass letter in proper registration with said background, said letter having an internal channel shaped to the outline

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4703574 *Dec 3, 1985Nov 3, 1987Michael GarjianLuminous sign
US4852285 *Dec 31, 1984Aug 1, 1989Kimoto Sign Co. Ltd.Luminous gas-discharge sign panel
US4928414 *Nov 4, 1988May 29, 1990Saunders-Roe Development LimitedSelf luminous characters and signs incorporating same
US5892326 *Oct 15, 1996Apr 6, 1999Electro Plasma, Inc.Low profile electrode assembly for luminous gas discharge display and method of manufacture
US6362568 *Jul 29, 1999Mar 26, 2002Corning IncorporatedElectrode assembly and discharge lamp comprising the same
US6452323Sep 20, 1999Sep 17, 2002Omnion Technologies, Inc.Luminous gas discharge display having dielectric sealing layer
US6836072Nov 2, 2001Dec 28, 2004Electro Plasma, Inc.Low voltage high efficiency illuminated display having capacitive coupled electrodes
EP0944110A2 *Mar 16, 1999Sep 22, 1999Electro Plasma, Inc.Luminous gas discharge display
WO1989004531A1 *Nov 2, 1987May 18, 1989Michael GarjianImproved luminous sign
WO1996018987A1 *Dec 11, 1995Jun 20, 1996Myong C KimLuminescence display device for signs
U.S. Classification40/545, 313/587, 313/111
International ClassificationG09F13/26
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/26
European ClassificationG09F13/26