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Publication numberUS1820086 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 25, 1931
Filing dateJun 28, 1929
Priority dateJun 30, 1928
Publication numberUS 1820086 A, US 1820086A, US-A-1820086, US1820086 A, US1820086A
InventorsNaylor James Priestnall
Original AssigneeNaylor James Priestnall
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1820086 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug.,25, 1931*. J. P. NAYLOR 1,820,086


Filed June .28, 1929 :5 sheets-sheer 1 I F/G. 3.

/N VEN TOR Aug. 25, 1931.

J. P. NAYLOR SIGN Filed June 28, 1929 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 /NVENTOE 1929 3 Sheets-Sheet F'/ G. lO.

`J. P. NAYLOR SIGN Filed June 28,

Aug. 25, 1931.

Patented Aug. 25, 1931 JAMES rnIEsrNALL NAYLOR, or LONDON, ENGLAND SIGN Application filed June 2S, 1929, Serial No. 374,574, and in Great Britain June 30, 1928.

This invention relates to illuminated signs such as letters, characters and other symbols of the kind'provided with a plurality of electric lamps, and has for its object to improve 5 the construction and arrangement of vsuch signs so as to increase the attractiveness and legibility thereof and obtain, without glare, a greater intensity of illumination with .relatively smaller current consumptionthan is possible with such signs asheretofore constructed, theilluminatio'n obtainable `being of sufficient intensity toenable the sign to be effectively displayed in bright sunlight.

According to this invention the` luminous elements of electric signs of the kind referred to comprise a group oflamps each provided with a short compact filament and a highly concentrative reflector, which luminous elements are either housed in the body of a cellular or of a glazedor translucent letter, symbol or thelike, or in a protective box or background, the front' of which carries a fixed or detachable glazed or translucent display letter or symbol.' f.

The luminous elements may each be arranged in a casing so as to form removable self-contained units thatcan be ,fitted into counterpart openings of a cellular letter or other symbol on whichelectrical contact members are arranged` so as to engage counterpart contacts on the unit casing, or the lamps and reflectors together with their electrical connections may be carried by a background, while the letter or symbol to be displayed is carried by a removable counterpartscreen, the lamps and reflectors being arranged on the background so as to register with openings in the screen and with the letter carried thereby so that when the screen is mounted upon the background the lamps and reflectors on the background are housed in the body of the letter. y

The background may also be in the form cfa trough or boX in whichv the lamps and refiectors togetherwith their electrical connections are arranged, thefront of the boX being corered by a screen which forms or carries the glazedor translucentfletter to be displayed. l 0 In a modiiied'construction the background may consist of a perforatedsupport whichl serves to carry upon one side the letter or othersymbol to be displayed, and on the opposite side the box or background in which the lamps and reflectors arearranged, so that l light from the lamps is directed through the perforated support and the letter or symbol mounted upon the facek thereof. For this purpose the perforated support may be stencilled soth'at the stencilled apertures register with lthe letter or symbol.`

.The lamps and reflectors maybe adjustably mounted in the boX or background so that the same may be set at any required angle according tothe direction of display required. For instance when the sign is arranged-.on a tall building in a relatively narrow thoroughfare the lamps and lreflectors may beset so as todirect the light downwards.

To-increasethe attractivenessv and widen 7U the-angle of display,the lamps-'and reflectors may be mounted so that motion-canl be -imparted thereto by cams and levers or other mechanism operated'by a suitable motor.

Instead of providing vseparate reflectors for eachlamp, parabolic or other concentrativereflecting surfaces may be formed in the face-of the letters or symbols, such reflecting surfaces'terminatingv in sockets to receive the lamps with compact filaments so that the-filaments lie in the aXis of the reflecting surface, while the front of the reflect-ing let-ter maybe glazed in any convenient manner either With a single glazing or with; a separate glazing for each socket' so as to prevent the lodgement of dustetc. on the lamps and -reliecting surfaces. l f i -lVhen the lamps having compact filaments are of low resistance the' same arefprefer'ably connected in'electrical series together with known means for automatically providing an alternative path forthe current so that the circuit'of the series is maintained in the event of failure of any lamp or lamps of the group, thus enabling the defective lamp or lamps toY be readily located. y a, 5

Various embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings wherein similar references indicate like parts. i

Figure 1 is a Vfront vieW and Figure 2 a vertical section on the line II-II (Figure 1) of a removable cellular letter T provided with luminous elements in accordance With the present invention, While Figure 3 is a detail sectional view further illustrating the construction of the luminous elements indicated at Figure 2. Y

Figure 4 is a front view and Figure 5 a vertical section of a glazed trough letter T provided With mechanically operable luminous elements in accordance With the present invention.

Figure 6 is a front view and Figures 7 and 8 detail sectional (views drawn to a larger scale illustrating one application to a cellular letter ofV self-contained removable luminous units in accordance -vvithv the presentA invention. x y y Figure 9 isa front view, and Figure 10 a vertical section of a removable translucent letter E'provided With luminous elements constructed in accordance with the present invention. y w J Y l1-Figure 11 is a diagram illustrating the manner of connectinga'group of lamps in series together With automatic devices for providing an alternative path f-or the current' onfailure of=any lamp orflamps in the grOuP- A Y L l Figures 1 and 2 illustrate one construction ofremovable cellular letter T adapted for4 illumination by a group of luminous elements mountedin 4a'relatively Xed background.

The letter T show-n is formed in metal, Wood or other suitable material `with a pluralityy of cellsor perforations lthrough the body thereof, such letter being mounted upon a screen or panel 2 in Vwhich slots or perforations are formed so as to register Withfthe cells orjperforations 1 through theletter. The screen-orpanel 2 is adapteditozbe screwed or otherwise detachably secured to the face of 'a perforate'd'box or background4 3 which carries a group ofluminous elements presently referred to. J p The bon or background is furnished With a! plurality of perforations 4 so that the group of luminous elements can-be arranged therein according tothe configuration lof the letter to -bel displayed. Thus .as illustrated the group of luminous elements are arranged in the perforated background to' form the outline of a letter T.

' Each luminous element consists of an incandescent electric lamp 5 provided With a short compact'lament Gand a parabolic re- -Hector 7 which is mounted upon the lamp socket 8 andcarries a lenz` 9 Which serves to protect the vreflecting surface and lalmp from dust etc., and also serves to diffuse 'the' light fromthelampsfy f As illustrated. at Figure 3 the lampsockets 8; arev internally screw-threaded- =to receive a threaded lamp cap.v 19, andarefsec'ured in the background 3 by an insulating block 11 which carries the usual lamp contact 12 and terminal 13.

The lamps 5 and their reflectors 7 project from the face of the background 3 and register with the cells or perforations 1 in the letter and the apertures in the detachable screen 2 so that when the screen is assembled to the background 3 the lamps and reflectors pass into the cells or perforations of the letter so that their glazing 9 is substantially Hush with the display face of the letter, While the perforations 4 in the background are masked by the detachable screen which carries the letter. l

Figures 4 and 5 illustrate another construction of letter T in which the background 3 is in the form of a T-shaped trough or box wherein the lamps 5 and the reflectors 7 are mounted While the display face of the lette-r 7- is formed by a removable counterpart glazed cover 14 which is flanged so as to fit over the front of the trough-like background 3 as indicated at Figure 5.

The Vparabolic reflectors 7 together with their lamps 5 are pivotallyrmounted in bearings 15 and are connected by a sliding rod` 16 that Works in guides 17 tooneend yofa lever 18, the opposite end of which is ypivoted to a bracket 19.` The lever 18 is controlled by a spring 20 and bears on ak cam 21 mounted upon a shaft 22 that is rotated in l any convenient manner by a motor so as to impart an oscillating movement to the lamps andreilectors, thus increasing the field and attractiveness of the luminous display.

Figures, 7 and 8 illustrate a cellular let'-4 ter I in which the luminous elements are de-V tachably mounted in the body of the letter instead of being carried on a separate background.-

As illustrated in Figure 7, each of the lamps 5 together with its parabolic reflector 7' and glazing 9 is Ymountedin a cylindrical 'casing 23 that is adapted to fit into one of the cells or perforations 1 in the body of the letter.

As shown the cylindrical casing 23is fur-k nished with a perforated diaphragm 24 whichv carries the lamp socketi8, While the adjacent end of the casing 23 carries a pair of spring contacts 25 mounted upon insulating blocks 26 and furnished ivith terminals 27 to which the leads 28 are'respect'ively connecte-d.

The rear surface of the cellular letter I is furnished with spring contacts 29 mounted upon insulating blocks 30 arranged at the rear ends of the cells or perforations 1 so that when the cylindrical casing 23 is inserted into'one orotherof the cells or perforationsl and then rotated the spring con! tacts 25 thereon engage the contacts 29 on the rear face ofthe letter, thus holding the cylindrical ycasing in position and also conf necting the lamp therein to a sourceolf cur-A renonceY rent through the conductors 3l (Figure 6) connected to the contacts 29.

The construction illustrated in Figures 9 and l0 is generally similar to that described with reference to Figures l and 2 except that the letter E shown is hollow and is formed of transparent material such as glass, the letter beingl moulded integrally with the detachable screen 2.

The lamps 5 together with their reflectors 7 are mounted and arranged in the box or background 3 so as to follow the contour of the letter E.

The lamps and reflectors project from the front of the perforated background so that when the removable screen and letter are assembled to the background the lamps and reflectors project into the body of the hollow transparent letter, as indicated.

The letter E may be made of frosted or opal glass, and may be provided with clear sections which register with the lamp reflectors, or with a clear front so as to increase the brilliance of the luminous display, while the remaining portions of the letter are less brilliantly illuminated by the diffused light from the lamps.

`When the letters comprise a translucent or transparent front as described for example with reference to Figures el and 5 or Figures 9 and l0, the lamps and reflectors may be arranged so as to focus the light upon the translucent letter as a series of separate rings or discs of light, or the lamps and refiectors may be arranged so as to form a continuous band of light upon the translucent letter.

Vhen low resistance lamps having compact filaments are employed the lamps of each letter or symbol are arranged in electrical series together with means for automatically providing an alternative path for the current, as illustrated diagrammatically at Figure l1 in which 5 indicates the lamps arranged in series with a source of electrical supply, indicated by the references plus and minus, together with substitutional resistances S2 and coherers 33 which may each consist of a glass tube containing flaked aluminium coated with oxide and provided with a conductive cap 34 at each end.

In the event of failure of any of the lamps 5 in the series group, the corresponding coherers 33 are exposed to the full main pressure which breaks down the insulating oxide so that the coherers become a conductor and allows the current to flow through the corresponding resistance 32, thus short-circuiting the defective lamp and maintaining the series circuit.

The construction illustrated may be modified by omitting the substitutional resistances 32 so that a defective lamp is short-circuited by the corresponding coherer 33, the consequent slight rise in the electrical pressure being distributed through the remlaining lamps in the series.

The coherers and substitutional resistances may be arranged in known manner in the lamp caps when' the sign is operated with small currents, but in the case of signs operated with rrelatively heavier currents the coherers and substitutional resistances may be arranged in any convenient manner and position in the lamp circuits so as to dissipate the heat generated by the passage of current therethrough.

To prevent the letters or symbols becoming over-heated provision is made for the adequate circulation of air about the lamps and reflectors and the enclosures in`which they are mounted. Thus, as indicated at Figures 8 and 7, the reflectors 7 may be perforated as indicated at 35 to allow air tol circulate about the lamp and reflector behind the glazing 9, the heated air escaping freely through the clearance about the enclosure.

I claim zl. In an illuminated sign of the kind referred to a group of luminous elements each comprising an incandescent lamp having a compact filament and arranged in combination with a concentrative reflector the front of which is glazed with a light diffusing screen, each of said lamps and reflectors being mounted in a casing so as to form removable self-contained units'that can be fitted into counterpart openings in the body of the sign, said casing being furnished with contact members connected to the lamp mounted therein, which Contact members are adapted to engage counterpart contact members on the body of the sign.

2. In an illuminated sign kthe combination of a perforated background carrying a group of incandescent lamps each having a compact lament and a concentrative reflector provided with a glazing, with a removable front comprising a perforated panel that carries a cellular display face which is adapted to register with and form a housing for the luminous elements carried by the background when the removable front is assembled to the latter.

3. In an illuminated sign having a translucent display face, the combination of a perforated background carrying a group of .incandescent lamps each having a compact filament and a concentrative reflector, with a removable front comprising a panel formed integrally with the hollow translucent display face of the sign, said hollow Adisplay face being in registry with and forming a ven-` tilated housing for the luminous elements when assembled to the background carrying the latter.

4, In an illuminated sign of the kind referred to the combination with a cellular sign body, of a plurality of self-contained luminous elements'each consisting of an incan-

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4254453 *Aug 25, 1978Mar 3, 1981General Instrument CorporationAlpha-numeric display array and method of manufacture
US4953066 *Aug 28, 1989Aug 28, 1990Mike SchifferLight assembly for liquid environment
US5779351 *May 2, 1995Jul 14, 1998Daktronics, Inc.Matrix display with multiple pixel lens and multiple partial parabolic reflector surfaces
US9222645Mar 8, 2013Dec 29, 2015RTC Industries, IncorporatedLED lighting assembly and method of lighting for a merchandise display
U.S. Classification40/550, 345/73, 315/122
International ClassificationG09F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/00
European ClassificationG09F13/00