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Publication numberUS1782564 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1930
Filing dateMay 21, 1927
Priority dateMay 21, 1927
Publication numberUS 1782564 A, US 1782564A, US-A-1782564, US1782564 A, US1782564A
InventorsJoseph F Coufal, Harry A Smith
Original AssigneeJoseph F Coufal, Harry A Smith
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric sign
US 1782564 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 25, 1930.


, ELECT'ItIG SIGN Application 'filed ma 21, 1937. Serial "No. 193,214. L

d This invention relatesgenerally to signs, and more especially to advertising display signs illuminated by electricity; andhas for its main object means whereby a sign maybe g made up from separateunits, of interchangeable 'parts, each unit containing one or more characters, and adapted to be changed as macy berequired. her objects will appearas the'd escription proceeds.

These objects are obtained by themethods and meanshere described, and illustrated in the accompanying'drawing, in which- Figure '1 is a partly cut-out perspective View of two of the pluralityof the separable units co mprisin g the sign, arranged in operative relation their common support; and F1g.2,-a multiple cross-sectional new from ab0ve, 1n somewhat reduced scale, showmg further details of construction-ewe base details at the left, and the container wall details at the right.

Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the'several views. i i s The part numbered l'is a common supporting membe rffor a plurality of the sign units- 2. It consistsof a troughshaped mem;

her ofsuitable materialfusually non-corrosive metal, cut "on; to a length toholdj any desired number of the sign units 2.

The individual units 2, being all alike, are} interchangeabla and they are madejto have electrical contact with each other, to make.

acircuit forlightingthe electric light bulbs coiitairiedin each one, by merely positioning. them; in the holder 1 adj acent each other.

This is, accomplished by the construction of the unit b se, which consists of an insulated I member {deformed to a shape somewhatas l0 shown',fandhavingalong its, opposite sides two parallel recesses, into which conducting bars or contactfpieces" 4, are positioned. These'cont-act pieces have their ends project;

" inglfromflone end of base 3, and are bent at their opposite ends, as shown inFig. 1, to

form a resilient. recess E-to retain and make elettrical contact with theprojecting ends of adjoining sign unitsf Contact pieces 4 are formed with. an inwardly-projectingcen trally disposed armwhich', in one case, ends in an essentiallysemi circularshaped contact 5,shown in the cross sectional View at theleft of Fig. 2, while that of its companion barhas its projection consisting simply of asti a ght arm 6 ,positioned as shown; Thus the positive current isconducted throughone of the contact bars, and thenegative current through the other, and the light bulb 7 is arranged to be positioned in series across the line by having the two terminals of its base make contact, respectively, with the contact arm 6 and the semi-circular arm 5.

The threaded base of bulb 7 is screwed into lating material, suchtas fibre, fittingdown over thebase, andcontaining an opening through whichprotrudes the projecting part of the base which surrounds the bulb a fiat metallic sheet or cap. member 10, with The side wall member 13 of the container l consists 1 of a piece of fiat metalliematerial, in the present, embodiment bent sofas to form this consists of apiece 9 ofseparatinginsm flanged-down sides,also similarly positioned,

the two sidewalls, and having an arched portion which serves as the top of the container. Lugs are struckout of thelower side of member. 13, and these, when the unitis completely assembled, rest beneath the nuts 12, thus holding memberl3rigidly uptight on base 3. The upright edges of member 13" have a slnall right angle flange as clearly! shown in the sectional view atthe right of Fig.2. The'font and back'faces ofthe complete unit 2 consist essentially of an interchangeable slid e frame 14, having a large aperture andshaped in outlineas shown in Fig. 1', and in section-asshown at theright in Fig. 2,this

section being of channel shape. It is also usually formed from sheet metal, plated or otherwise coated for the sake of appearance. Its bottom end is open so that it is adapted to slide up and down the flanged edges of side members 13, and be removed therefrom. Sufiicient space is provided so that there can be positioned within the channel section of slide 14 a fiat colored screen or plate 15, and a glass plate 16, on one face of the unit. Plate 16 may be transparent or translucent over one portion of its surface to designate a letter or other character, such as the X shown in Fig. 1, the remaining area of the plate being opaque, to exclude the passage of light. Thus the plate serves as a sign, the illumination only coming through to show the desired character.

The back slide 1 1 usually encloses only a back plate 17. This may be perforated, as shown at 18, for purposes of ventilation. However, in lieu of the back plate, a sign plate may be used here also, thus forming aplural-faced sign. Again, this back plate may hold merely the color screen to give a footlight effect to the sign background. 7

As a means of retaining the adjacent sign units rigidly in an upright position in their common support 1, a separating member 19, Fig. 1, is positioned between adjacent sides thereof, this member being U-shaped in crosssection, the U being reversed so that the connecting lower part is the upper part ofythe member, as shown. This member is of suffi cient width ,to fit between the adjacent side members 13 of the sign unit, and of suiiicient depth to slide between the front and back slide members 14 of each unit.

The screen member 15, as here used, consists of a flexible piece of wire gauze with a coating of translucent coloring material.

The operation of the device is as follows:

A plurality of these sign units 2 are slid into their trough-shaped support 1 and forced into adjacent position with each other so that electrical contact is made, one with the other, as previously explained. Separating members 19 are then put in position. The end contacts are then connected to a suitable source of electrical current to light up all the bulbs. lVith each set of sign units is a plurality of glass plates 16, having, for instance, the various letters of the alphabet, figures, and other designations as needed. These are sufiicient in number to make possible, by changing them in adjoining units, any series of words, with proper spaces, to form a complete illuminated advertising sign, as. for instance. to advertise the program of a theatre. The reading of the sign may be changed at will by merely sliding out the slides l t in each unit, removing sign plates 16, and substituting therefor other plates with different letters or characters to form different words with the adjoining units. Moreover, the sign may be shortened or lengthened as needed, by buildin it up with less or more units, thus effecting advantages such as economy in current consumption. In the event of accidental breakage, the broken unit only need be taken out and replaced, and as each unit consists of many separable and interchangeable parts, the damaged parts requiring replacement may be further limited. Different color combinations in adjacent units maybe effected by using different color screens. Thus the initial letters of all words may be in red, or the most important word in a sign in yellow. The units may be instantly disassembled and assembled without the use of tools, or without making any electrical contacts whatever,

the mere positioning of the units side by side accomplishing this automatically.

It is to be understood thatthe present disclosure is for the purpose of illustration only, and that the invention is not limited thereto. To those skilled in the art, many modifications of the invention will be readily apparent, and it will also be obvious to such skilled persons that part of the device may be used without other parts thereof, many such combinations of the parts readily suggesting themselves. Therefore, it should be, and is to be distinctly understood that for a definition of the limitations of the invention, reference must be had to the appended claims.

Having now described theinvention, what is new and for which it is desired to obtain Letters Patent of the United States, is:

1. In combination in a sign unit, an insulated base, a plurality of conducting members positioned therein, inwardly extending projections on said members co-acting to make contact with the terminals of an electric light bulb, and a container surrounding the bulb and having a replaceable sign ele ment, the contact elements projecting from oneend of the base, and recessed into its other end, and adapted to form electrical contact with adjoining units by their mere juXta-positioning.

2. In combination, a base, contact elements therein, insulating means projecting from the upper surface of the base and surrounding the base of light means, a cover plate over the base and surrounding the light means, and an enclosing member therearound and secured to the base, including sliding front and'back plates on said surrounding member, one of said plates being opaque, to outline a transparent character.

3. In combination, a channeled base and a plurality of sign units demountably held therein, each unit comprising a unit base, a light source secured thereto, an enclosing frame surrounding the light source and secured to the unit base, and a slidable holding member positioned along one side of the frame, and adapted to hold a transparent sign plate, and within it, a colored light fes screen, both of which help to inclose the light source, there being a separating element between adjacent sign units, adapted to make contact therewith at a plurality of points above the base, to prevent misalignment longitudinally and laterally.

4. In combination a channel member, a

plurality ofsign units adapted to slide therein and to make electricalcontact with each other, a light source in each sign unit, a slidable frame around the light source, and a spacing member adapted to slidebetween adjacent sliding frames to maintain them in alinement. i-

Signed at New York, inthe county of New York and State-of N ew York, this 16th day of May, A. D. 1927. n



Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4532579 *Apr 13, 1984Jul 30, 1985Bill MerrymanIlluminated interconnectable sign module
US4951405 *Mar 23, 1988Aug 28, 1990Sabala Edwin KApparatus for interchangeable outdoor illuminated signs
US5778579 *Jun 27, 1996Jul 14, 1998Yuen; Shu WingIlluminated house number
US6019486 *Jul 20, 1995Feb 1, 2000Stewart, Jr.; Clyde E.Lighting device
U.S. Classification40/552, 362/812
International ClassificationG09F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/00, Y10S362/812
European ClassificationG09F13/00