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Publication numberUS1961735 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 5, 1934
Filing dateAug 17, 1928
Priority dateAug 17, 1928
Publication numberUS 1961735 A, US 1961735A, US-A-1961735, US1961735 A, US1961735A
InventorsBraun Frank I
Original AssigneeGen Electric Vapor Lamp Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric sign
US 1961735 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

*June 5 1934 F. l. BRAUN 1,961,735

ELECTRIC SIGN Filed Aug. 17. 192B INVENTOR Patented June 5, 1934 UNITED STATES ELECTRIC SIGN Frank I. Braun, Orange, N. J., assigner to General Electric Vapor Lamp Co., HobokemN. J., a. corporation of New Jersey Application August 17,

8 Claims.

Special objects of this invention are to provide a sign or display of the neon or argon gas type, which can be changed or made up to spell different Words or form different gures or designs and in which the various interchangeable units of the device may be formed all alike and be made up, as required to form any desired luminous letter or gure.

These objects are attained by certain novel features of construction, combination and relations of parts as hereinafter described and claimed.

' In the drawing forming part .of the present speciflcation, several different possible embodiments of the invention are illustrated, but it should be understood that the structure may be modied as regards these particular disclosures without departure from the true spirit and broad scope of the invention.

Fig. 1 is a broken front view of a fourunit electric sign embodying the invention; Fig. 2 is a detached perspective view of one of the luminous sign units with the letter forming face plate removed therefrom; Fig. 3 is an enlarged horizontal broken sectional View of the sign structure as substantially on the plane of line 3 3 of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a broken rear View of the sign structure; Fig. 5 is a face View of the board on which the sign units are mounted; Figs. 6 and 7 are plan and cross-sectional views respectively of a form of the sign unit constructed for mounting in an ordinary lamp socket.

The sign shown in Figs. 1 to 5 consists of a back board or panel 8 carrying suitably spaced terminal sockets 9 and luminous interchangeable sign units in the form of blocks or slabs 10 having electrode terminals 11 on the backs of the same engageable in the sockets 9.

The blocks or slabs 10 are of glass, quartz or other suitable transparent, translucent or light passing material and have formed in them a continuous convolute passage 12 extending substantially throughout the body of the block from one electrode to the other.

In the present disclosure each sign block is made up of two molded or pressed glass front and back sections 13, 14 having matching portions of the convolute passage formed therein, these two sections being fused together at their meeting faces as indicated at 15 to form a unitary transparent block with a passage extending substantially throughout the entire area thereof between two different electrodes. This passage is filled with neon, argon, or other luminescent medium, suitable electrodes such as indicated at 16 being provided at the ends of the passage and connected with the external terminals l1.

' The terminal contacts are shown as arranged in diagonally opposite corners on the back of the slabs or plates and the sockets as correspondingly placed on the back board, the sockets for two ad- 1928, Serial No. 300,159

jacent characters being connected in series rela.- tion by suitable jumpers 1'1 and the end sockets of the board having external supply connections 18. This diagonal arrangement is desirable because of the bracing eiect on the sign plates, Vthe plates then being supported at the tcp and bottom and for ordinary sizes being held supported solely by the current carrying sockets and terminals.

As the gaspassage occupies practically the entire area of each sign plate and the discharge is through this continuous passage from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner, practically the entire area of the plate is made luminous. As shown in Fig. 3, the walls dening adjacent branches of the convolute tube can be made quite thin and so maintain the passage unidirectional without appreciably or seriously cutting down the light emission. If desired to give a somewhat ribbed effect, these partition walls may be left somewhat heavier. With the unit presenting when in use a substantially continuous or uniformly illuminated area, any or all portions of the surface may be covered or masked to form various illuminated shapes or designs. In Figs. 1l and 2, the substantially uniformly luminous units are shown as having face plates 19 applied as stencils thereover to form different letters, said plates being suitably secured, even by such simple means as gluing. In other variations of the invention, the designs may be painted over the faces of the luminous panels and the invention contemplates any means by which desired luminous areas may be made visible While other areas are left masked.

To adapt the invention to ordinary electric light sockets, 'a form of construction such as illustrated in Figs. 6 and 7 may be employed where the back section 14 of the luminous plate is shown as having a molded stem 20 carrying a screw shell contact 21 connected with one electrode 16a and an end contact 22 connected with the other electrode 16h, said two electrodes being arranged in cavities 12a and 12b forming the terminals of the convolute passage 15', which in this case is of a convolute generally circular form.

The last form of the invention presents a substantially circular luminous disc which may be left as a bright area of light or be masked to form various figures and designs asin the case rst described. By the screw socket terminal form of construction the interchanging of the units can be very quickly effected and standard sockets, with the proper external connections, may be employed.

,The luminous sign panels may bemade of such sizes and shapes, such as square or rectangular as shown in Figs. 1 and 4, that they will fit closely together and appear as a continuous sign board. The sign characters may be quickly interchanged to spell different words and the same luminous units may be quickly altered to form diiferent letf ters or characters, for instance, by painting dif-4 ferent shapes or by substituting diierent stencil plates over the faces of the same. The latter feature enables a relatively small number of the luminous units to be used at dierent times to form an infinite variety of sign eects.

The previously molded front and back plates of the panels may be secured together in various ways, for instance, by fusion or by the use of a suitable permanent transparent cement. panel also may be made in a single piece with the tortuous passage molded or otherwise formed therein. The neck or necks at the back of the panel in which the electrodes are located and which carry the outside terminals may be made as integral extensions, substantially as shown.

Where the luminous units are to be used for the letters of the alphabet, they may be made up in two sizes a narrow size to be used for letters such as I and J and a double width size for the wide letters such as M and W, etc., and in such a case the sockets 9 will be spaced to take the terminals of the narrow panels, alternate sets of the sockets being used where the wider panels are placed. The back board 8 may be made of bakelite or other insulating material and the sockets which are mounted on this plate may be arranged in series or parallel relation. If in series relation, special jumpers may be provided between successive sockets to carry the current, Yfor instance across the spaces between diierent words of a sign. These jumpers may simplybe conductor wires carried by blank or dummy panels inserted between the live panels at the ends of different words. If stencils are employed as in Fig. 2, these may be provided with clips or the like, s0 that they may be easily removed and quickly snapped into place. These clips, for instance, being in the form of spring fingers engaging over the edges of the luminous panels. The internal electrode and external terminal may be made up as a single unit and be fastened in place by having the glass or other material molded about the same. The gas passage is of the proper crosssectional area to give the desired illumination and is of a length with folds placed close enough together to provide the desired continuous luminosity of the panel.

What is claimed is:

1. An electric sign comprising a base-board, electric terminals on said base-board and luminous sign units interchangeably mounted on the board in engagement with selected terminals and each consisting of an internally illuminated body having a continuous convolute gas passage therein with the turns of the same in immediate juxtaposed relation to form a substantially uniformly luminous area when filled with luminous gas, a gas in said passage luminous under the discharge of an electric current therethrough and electrodes for said gas located at the ends of said convolute passage.

2. A construction as in claim 1, with means for masking all but certain shaped areas of said luminous fields.

3. A construction as in claim 1, with removable means for variably masking all but certain predetermined shaped sections of said luminous fields.

4. A substantially continuously luminous electric sign unit comprising front and back plates having complementary portions of a continuous convolute gas passage arranged with the suc- The cessive turns of said passage in immediately adjoining relation to provide a substantially continuous uniformly luminous field when filled with luminous gas, said plates being secured together to complete said continuous convolute passage, electrodes carried by the back plate' at the ends of said passage, external contacts for said electrodes and a conducting gas in the continuous convolute passage.

5. In electric signs of the gas illuminated type, transparent panels of interchangeable form and having electrodes with terminals on the backs of the panels and by which the panels may be mountedinterchangeably on a suitable supporting base, each of said panels having a luminous gas passage therein of closely adjacent turns outlined at the face of the panel to form a desired design, said passage being in connection at its ends with the terminal electrodes, and an illuminating gas in said passage in communication with the electrodes, a base board having sockets for the electrode terminals spaced and arranged rin accordance with the spacing and arrangement of the electrode terminals on the panels.

6. In electric signs of the gas illuminated type, transparent panels of interchangeable form and having electrodes with terminals on the backs of the panels and by which the panels may be mounted interchangeably on a suitable supporting base, each of said panels having a luminous gas passage therein of closely adjacent turns outlined at the face of the panel to form a desired design, said passage being in connection at its ends with the terminal electrodes, and an illuminating gas in said passage in communication with the electrodes, the electrode terminals on the panels being spaced diagonally of the panels and sockets provided for said terminals similarly spaced in diagonal relation.

7. In electric signs of the gas illuminated type, transparent panels of interchangeable form and Lhaving electrodes with terminals on the backs of the panels and by which the panels may be mounted interchangeably on a suitable supporting base, each of said panels having a luminous gas passage therein of closely adjacent turns outlined at the face of the panel to form a desired design, said passage being in connection at its ends with the terminal electrodes, and an illuminating gas in said passage in communication with the electrodes, the electrode terminals on the panels being spaced diagonally of the panels, sockets provided for said terminals similarly spaced in diagonal relation and certain intermediate sockets of a series being directly connected independently of any panels.

8. A luminous electric panel, comprising complementary front and back plates secured together in face to face relation, one of said plates having a continuous convolute depression in the face of the same with adjacent convolutions in immediately contiguous relation separated by thin walls to provide substantially uniform illumination throughout the field of said contiguous convolutions, the other plate engaging with said thin walls to form the complementary portions of said contiguous convolutions and one of said plates being transparent to light, .a luminous medium in said convolute passage and electrodes carried by the panel in electrical connection with the medium in the convolute passage.

FRANK I. BRAUN.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2445012 *Oct 29, 1946Jul 13, 1948Orden Clarence H VanLuminous electrical discharge device
US2448937 *Jul 3, 1945Sep 7, 1948Walter George LNeon light
US2501376 *Feb 25, 1946Mar 21, 1950Gen ElectricElectric discharge lamp
US2875539 *Dec 13, 1957Mar 3, 1959Gladd Monroe JIlluminated license plate
US3309806 *Apr 30, 1962Mar 21, 1967Ronald W SheppardIlluminated sign apparatus
US4584501 *Jun 27, 1984Apr 22, 1986Cocks Franklin HFlat plate luminous display device
US4953314 *Feb 28, 1986Sep 4, 1990Moulton Herbert FInert gas lighting system and means therefor
US5497048 *Sep 12, 1994Mar 5, 1996Burd; David M.Multiple triangularly shaped concentric annular fluorescent tubes for reflective lamps
US5911613 *Mar 16, 1998Jun 15, 1999Byrum; Bernard W.Luminous gas discharge display
US7789725Oct 19, 2007Sep 7, 2010Science Applications International CorporationManufacture of light-emitting panels provided with texturized micro-components
US8043137May 13, 2009Oct 25, 2011Science Applications International CorporationLight-emitting panel and a method for making
US8246409Aug 18, 2011Aug 21, 2012Science Applications International CorporationLight-emitting panel and a method for making
US20040063373 *Jun 26, 2003Apr 1, 2004Johnson Roger LaverneMethod for testing a light-emitting panel and the components therein
US20050095944 *Nov 3, 2004May 5, 2005Science Applications International CorporationDesign, fabrication, testing, and conditioning of micro-components for use in a light-emitting panel
US20060097620 *Dec 22, 2005May 11, 2006Science Applications International Corp., A California CorporationSocket for use with a micro-component in a light-emitting panel
US20070015431 *Sep 27, 2006Jan 18, 2007Science Applications International CorporationLight-emitting panel and a method for making
US20090275254 *May 13, 2009Nov 5, 2009Albert Myron GreenLight-emitting panel and a method for making
DE4232743A1 *Sep 30, 1992Mar 31, 1994Wolfgang Dipl Ing TopfEnergy-saving design for light source - has two or more oblong layers with recesses in mating surfaces that form internal gas discharge space
DE4312744A1 *Apr 20, 1993Dec 22, 1994Kuemmerling AndreasExtruded multi-chamber glass profiles
WO1984004416A1 *Apr 30, 1984Nov 8, 1984Lorentz AnderssonLight sign
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/545, 439/226, 313/634
International ClassificationG09F13/00, G09F13/26, G09F13/06
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/06, G09F13/26
European ClassificationG09F13/06, G09F13/26