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Publication numberUS1970080 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 14, 1934
Filing dateMay 31, 1932
Priority dateMay 31, 1932
Publication numberUS 1970080 A, US 1970080A, US-A-1970080, US1970080 A, US1970080A
InventorsOrlando V Edgerton
Original AssigneeOrlando V Edgerton
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automobile signal
US 1970080 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1934- O. v. EDGERTON 1,970,080

AUTOMOBILE SIGNAL Filed May 31, 1932 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 szw m www- 7] 0 I: zaga'a rion.

1934. o. v. EDGERTON 1,970,080

AUTOMOB ILE S I GNAL Filed May 31, 1932 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented Aug. 14, 1934 UNITED STATES P TENT OFFICE One object of this invention is to provide a compact device whereby the operator or an automobile may apprise, approaching motorists or pedestrians of his intention to turn to one side or to back the vehicle or to stop the same. An-

other object of the invention is to provide a novel form of license plate which is especially adapted for use in connection with the trafiic signal, and a further object of the invention is lib to provide a sign or signal whereby the operator may make known his identity and indicate his need for help. Other objects of the invention will appear incidentally in the course of the 01- lowing description, and the invention resides in certain novel features which will be particularly defined in the appended claims. U

In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is an elevation, partly broken away, of an apparatus embodying the invention, gig Fig. 2 is a section on the line 22 of Fig. 1,-

Fig. 3 .is'a view similar to Fig. 1 with the door or cover in open position,

Fig. 4 is a section on the line 4-4 of Fig. 1,

Fig. 5 is a diagram.

In carrying out the present invention, there is provided a box or case 1 which is preferably of rectangular form and is intended to be secured upon the vehicle in any convenient manner, it being understood that the device will be provided in duplicate to be secured upon the front as well as the rear of the vehicle. Within the box or casing 1 are horizontal partitions 2 which extend from end to end 01' the box and define a large central chamber 3 which is intended to be covered by the license plate. Extending between the upper partition 2 and the top of the case are vertical partitions 4. which define a central chamber 5 and end chamber: 6, as shown in Fig. 3. A vertical partition '1 extends between the lower partition 2 and the bottom of the box or case and thereby defines a large chamber 8 and a smaller chamber 9. The box or case has one open side, as will be understood, and a lid or cover 10 is hinged at its upper edge to the top of the box, as indicated at 11, and is adapted to extend over the entireopen 'side of the box, the free or lower edge 0! the lid being provided with a flange 12 which is adapted to engage under the bottom or lower. side of the box, as shown in'Fig. 4. Spring latches 13 are provided upon the bottom of the box and are adapted to engage over the lower edge of the lid so as to retain the same in the closed position, as will be understood upon reference to Fig. 4. The lid or cover has openings formed therethrough which are adapted to register with the several compartments or chambers of the box and these several openings are given forms indicative of intentions of the operator in steering the vehicle. As shown most clearly in Fig. 1, an opening 14 in one upper corner of the lid has the form of an arrow pointing toward the adjacent end of the box and in'the opposite upper corner of the lid is a similar opening 15 which has the head of the arrow directed in the opposite direction. Between the openings 14 and 15 are a series of openings 16 which are shaped to form letters and spell the word Stop. Similarly, the lower portion of the lid is provided with openings, 1'7 forming letters to spell the word Back, and, adjacent the opposite edge of the lid, openings 18 forming the letters to spell the word G0 are shown. The respective arrow openings 14 and 15 will be disposed over the chambers 6 when the lid is in closed position while the'word Stop. will-be in position over the chamber 5 and the words Back and will be disposed over the chambers 8 and 9, respectively. The central opening 19 of the lid is reiatively large and is approximately co-extensiw with the area of the central chamber 3 in the box, it being intended that a. license plate 20 shall be secured firmly to the lid and cover the chamber 3 when the lid is in closed position. As distinguished from the usual practice of forming raised letters and figures upon license .plates and giving said letters and figures colors contrasting with the background of the plate, I form openings 21 and 22 through the license plate which are so shaped as to form the numerals designating the registration num-- ber of the car to which the plates are applied and the State or other jurisdiction granting the license as well as the year forwhich the license is issued. In daylight, the openings in the license plate will naturally contrast with ,the darker area of the chamber 3 so that the legends upon the plate maybe easily read, and at night the chamber 3 will be illuminated by a lamp 23 disposed therein, the light shining through the legend-forming openings in the plate, as will be understood. Lamps 2%, 25, 26 and 27 are mounted within each of the chambers 6, 5, 8 and 9, respectively, so that these chambers may be illuminated when the car is traveling at night, current being supplied to the lamps through a cable 28 entering-through the back or closed side of the box and connected with the battery of the can-as indicated at 29. fUpon referring to Fig. 3 more particularly, it will be noted that the lamps are not locatedat the centers of the respective chambers but each lamp is mounted at one side or one end of the chamber so that the light from the lamp will not pass directly through the openings in the lid to cause a glare in the eyes of an observer but will be difiused and pass laterally through the openings so that while the illumination will be complete, it will not be so dazzling as to be liable to cause accidents. The chamber 3 contains a lamp 30 which is smaller than the lamp 23 in said chamber and may be utilized as a parking light when the vehicle is left in a street or roadway, after dark, this parking lamp being of sufilcient capacity to amply illuminate the license plate and give notice of the presence of the vehicle so that it will not be apt to be struck by other motorists or possibly block pedestrians seeking to cross the road or street. Upon referring to Fig. 5, it will be noted that a switch 31 is interposed in the circuit for each lamp and therefore the several lamps may be illuminated or extinguished at the will of the operator, it being understood that the several switches are located upon the instrument board of the vehicle or placed otherwise in a position in which they may be conveniently reached and manipulated by the driver of the vehicle. Conducting wires extend from the several switches to the respective lamps, as

will be understood upon reference to Fig. 5, and

the lamps have a common grounded return.

It sometimes happens that the operator of an automobile encounters troubles in the operation of the car when he is upon a road at some distance from a repair station and finds himself unable to remedy the difficulty without assistance. As other motorists are now fearful. of injury from evil disposed persons and for that reason are inclined to drive past motorists who may be stopped at the side, of a road or street, it is desirable that a motorist who may be in trouble have means for establishing his honesty and good intentions so that other motorists may be induced to stop and render such aid as is in their power or proceed to a point where help can be obtained and sent to the distressed operator. For this purpose, I provide a supplemental sign consisting of a box 32 which may be placed upon the box or casing 1 and has openings 33 in one side which are'so shaped as to form letters and words giving the name of the motorist who desires aid and also the word Help. This box or sign is of suitable size to rest upon the top of the box or casing l and is equipped at its lower side with resilient clamps 34 which are a ted to extend across the top of the box or casing 1 and engage the front and rear sides thereof, as indicated in Fig. 4, and thereby retain the sign in proper position. In

one end of the box 32 is mounted a lamp 35' which is fed through a cord 36 provided at its opposite end with a plug 37 adapted to be engaged in a socket 38 provided in one end of the chamber 3, as clearly shown in Fig. 3. The socket38 is adapted to facilitate the use of a trouble lamp with which many motorists are now equipped and the socket is fed by a strand or conductor carried in the cable 28, as will be understood. The supplemental sign orindicator 32 may be easily removed when its use is not necessary and placed in the vehicle where it will occupy very little room. When its use becomes necessary, it may be quickly placed upon the signal casing and the cord 36 connected there-' with so as to furnish the needed illumination.

The lamp 35 is at one end of the sign 32 so that the light therefrom is fed through the legendforming openings in a difiused manner and glare is avoided.

When the vehicle is being driven straight ahead, and is to continue driving straight ahead, the several chambers 5, 6, 8 and 9 are unilluminated, but, if the operator intends to turn to one side, he closes the proper switch 31 so that the opening 14 or the opening 15 will be illuminated and other motorists and pedestrians will be thereby apprised of his intention to turn and also in what direction the vehicle will proceed. As soon as the turn is made, the switch is opened and the illuminated chamber again is darkened. Should the operator intend to stop, he will close the switch controlling the lamp in the chamber 5 so that the word Stop will be illuminated and motorists at his rear will be enabled to avoid collision. Should the car be parked and theoperator desire to notify other motorists or persons near the car of his intention to move he will manipulate the switch controlling the chamber 3 or the chamber 9 accordingly'as it is his intention to travel backwardly or go ahead. After nightfall, the chamber 3 will be constantly illuminated while the car is moving but, if the car is to be parked, the smaller light will be energized and the larger lamp will be extinguished so that sufiicient light will be emitted to show the presence of the car while unnecessary wear upon the battery will be avoided.

It is to be particularly noted that the openings formed through the lid of the signal box and through the license plate are not mere perforations but are openings cut entirely through the plate or the lid, as the case may be, and, consequently, are not apt to be completely covered or obliterated by mud thrown onto the same when traveling over soft roads .or in rainy weather. The same formation is employed in the openings in the supplemental sign box. The device is light, compact and simply constructed notwithstanding that it provides a signal for every contingency which may arise in operating an automobile, and it may be produced and applied to the vehicle at a reasonable cost. By securing the license plate directly to the cover of the signal box, the loss of the license plate is not apt to occur, and it may be reduced in size without losing any of its visibility.

Having thus described the invention, I claim:-

1. In a signal apparatus for automobiles, a direction signalbox including a horizontally hinged front plate, a plug-receiving socket extending outwardly through one end wall of the box, a distress signal box disposed above the direction signal box, an electric bulb in the distress signal box, spaced clips secured to the bottom of the distress signal box and provided with curved portions engaging the horizontal hinge of said front plate and depending lips engaging the rear wall of said direction signal box, a plug-receiving socket extending outwardly through one wall of the distress signal box, an electric circuit for said direction signal box, means for operatively connecting the inner end of the direction signal socket with said circuit, and means for connecting the distress signal bulb with the inner end of its socket.

2. In a signal apparatus for automobiles, a direction signal box including a horizontally hinged front plate, a distress signal box disposed above the direction signal box, and clips on the intense the distress signal box to the direction signal box;

a. plug-receiving socket extending outwardly through one end wall of the distress signal box, an electric circuit for said direction sigal box, means for operatively connecting the inner end of the direction signal socket with said circuit, means for connecting the distress signal bulb with the inner end of its socket, and a, conductor arranged on the outside of the direction signal box and the distress signal box and provided with terminal plugs adapted to detachebly engage the outer ends of said sockets.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3631391 *Mar 3, 1969Dec 28, 1971Hans A EckhardtElectric system for lighting a parked vehicle
US5008783 *Apr 14, 1989Apr 16, 1991World Auto Plate Ltd.Number plate including luminous characters
US5073842 *Jan 25, 1990Dec 17, 1991Monroe Gary WAnti-theft illuminated display device
US5105179 *Jun 28, 1990Apr 14, 1992Smith J WiseElectronic display license plate
U.S. Classification340/472, 40/205, 362/812, 362/293, 362/367, 362/499
International ClassificationB60Q1/34
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/812, B60Q1/34
European ClassificationB60Q1/34