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Publication numberUS2043690 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 9, 1936
Filing dateDec 4, 1931
Priority dateDec 4, 1931
Publication numberUS 2043690 A, US 2043690A, US-A-2043690, US2043690 A, US2043690A
InventorsSamuel F Arbuckle, Guy H Coulter
Original AssigneeS F Arbuckle Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sign reflecting in predetermined direction
US 2043690 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 9, 1936. I s F, ARBUCKLE ET AL 2,043,690

SIGN REFLECTING IN PREDETERMINED DIRECTION Filed Dec. 4, 1951 v 2 sheetsfsheet 1 www TTORNEYS.

June 9; 1936. s F ARBUCKLE ET AL 2,043,690

SIGN REFLECTING IN PREDETERMINED DIRECTION Filed Dec. 4, 1931 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented June 9, 1936 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE SIGN REFLECTING IN PREDETEBJVIINED DIRECTION Application December 4, 1931, Serial No. 579,036

12 Claims.

Our invention relates to signs and particularly to signs having a surface from which impinging light rays are reflected in a predetermined direction and within a limited zone in which the indicia of the sign are viewed. l

Reflecting surfaces have been employed heretofore for the purpose of illuminating signs for appraising automobile operators of danger or directions. The light impinging on the sign was that emanating from the headlight of the operators automobile and when at reflecting surfaces were provided on the indicia of the sign, the reflection therefrom often never reached the vision of the operator or if it did a flash of the indicia was the limit of warning effected thereby.

In order to overcome this objectionable feature and to increase the range of visibility laterally of the indicia, embossed surfaces in the form of pyramids or like multi-sided figures were employed for the purpose of deflecting the light in all directions, so that a portion of the light would be reflected within the vision of the operator. This construction increased the duration during which the reflected light from the indicia reached the vision of the operator but owing to the plurality of deflecting surfaces the light was diused in all directions and the distance at which the reflected light was visible was substantially decreased.

Since the advent of improved road surfaces and high powered automobiles the warning signal should reach the operator a considerable distance ahead of the threatening danger and should continue to send out warning rays up to the time the danger zone is reached. In practicing our invention we considerably strengthen the intensity of the light rays reflected in the path of a vehicle operator, by providing embossed surfaces of such 'form and configuration that all of the light impinging thereon is deflected into a path in which the .vehicle travels when approaching the warning sign.

It will be readily apparent that when the horizontal dispersion of the light from the surface of the indicia is reduced from degrees to substantially 25 degrees that the reected light within the 25 degree zone is substantially seven times as intense as that of the same -light deflected over the 180 degrees. When lw consider that the light heretofore deflected upwardly and downwardly from the horizontal was likewise lost to the vision of the operator it is very apparent that if light is deflected backwardly in a zone approximately 25 degrees square that its intensity is increased approximately 50 times.

Accordingly, one object of our invention is to provide the indicia of a sign with embossed surfaces of such form and configuration as to defleet the impinging light from an illuminating source back into a zone encompassing the source. 5

Another object of our invention is to provide a sign of the above mentioned type with embossed surfaces which shall reflect the light impinging thereon in a direction to encompass the source at all times as the source approaches the sign.

A further object of our invention is to provide a sign having embossed reflecting surfaces thereon which uniformly reect the impinging light rays in a predetermined direction and which is incapable of deflecting rays in any other direcl5 tion in order that all the rays will be deflected in a zone from which the sign will be viewed.

A still further object of our invention is to provide the indicia of a sign of the above mentioned type with embossed surfaces some of which 20 shall deflect light from one source into a zone, others of which shall deflect light from another source into the same zone whereby either or both sources are available for illuminating the indicia within the zone from which the sign is to be 25 viewed.

Numerous other objects and features of novelty of our invention will be either specifically pointed out, or will become apparent when referring. for a better understanding of our inven- 30 tion, to the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

Figure 1 is a front View, in elevation, of a sign bearing indicia` which embody features of our invention,

Fig. 2 is a reduced perspective view of the sign shown `in Figure 1, disclosing the area in which the light rays'of an approaching automobile is reflected,

Fig. 3 is an enlarged broken view of a portion 40 of the surface of an indicia illustrated in Fig. 1,

Fig. 4 is a sectional view of the structure shown in Fig. 3, taken along the lines 4 4 thereof,

Fig. 5 is an enlarged view of a portion of the structure shown in Fig. 4,

Fig. 6 is a sectional view of the structure shown in Fig. 3, taken along the lines 6 6 thereof,

Fig. '7 is an enlarged view of a portion of the surface of an indicia embodying a modified form of our invention,

Fig. 8'is a sectional view of the structure shown in Fig. 7, taken along the line 8 8 thereof,

Fig. 9 is a sectional view of the structure shown in Fig. 7, taken along the line 9 9 thereof,

Plz. 10 is a face view, in elevation of a name 55 plate bearing indicia which embodies a modified form of our invention,

Fig. 11 is a sectional view of the plate shown in Fig. 10, mounted on a light supporting bracket,

Fig. 12 is an enlarged broken view of a portion of the surface of an indicium shown in Figs. 10 andli,

Fig. 13 is a sectional view of the structure shown in Fig. 12, taken along the lines |3-l3 thereof,

Fig. 14 is a sectional view of the structure shown` in Fig. 12, taken along the lines I4--I4 thereof,

Fig. 15 is a sectional view of the structure shown in Fig. 12, taken along the lines |5-I5 thereof,

Fig. 16 is a reduced broken view of a modified form of structure which our invention may assume,

Fig. 17 is a view of structure similar to that of Fig. 16 showing a further modified form thereof, and

Fig. 18 is an enlarged sectional view of the structure illustrated in Fig. 17, taken on the line lil-I8 thereof.

Our invention comprises in general a stop sign 20 which is mounted at a' street intersection for the purpose of warning a vehicle driver that the approaching street is for through traffic and that a stop must be made before proceeding across the intersection.

It is readily apparent that if the stop sign is not properly illuminated that serious accidents will y result during the night time when such a sign is invisible to an approaching automobile driver. Reflecting surfaces have been employed heretofore, as above mentioned, for reflecting light from the indicia of the sign but due to the large area over which the light was diffused the reflecting surfaces for stop signs never prove satisfactory. To assure adequate lighting of the sign at night, it has been the practice to provide the sign with a box like structure in Which electric lamps illuminate the indicia during the night time. This practice however proved extremely expensive because of the large number of streets intersecting main thoroughfares.

In practicing our invention we employed a sign similar to those heretofore utilized and preform the surfaces of the indicia thereof in such manner that substantially all of the light falling upon the indicia is uniformly dispersed within a small area on one side of a vertical planev through the sign, which area encompasses the source of the light rays. The surfaces are so formed that as the source of light approaches the sign the area of reflected rays changes position therewith to encompass the source of light a substantial portion of its approach.

The stop sign is herein shown as being mounted on a post at a street intersection facing the approaching portion of the street and it is to be understood that the particular mounting or positioning of the sign forms no part of our invention as the 'reflecting surfaces may be placed at any angle to thereby reflect light in a predetermined direction and zone.

As the driver of an approaching vehicle is required to occupy the right hand portion of the streeft, the area. in which the light need Abe reiecteilisquite small and if all the light striking the indicia is reflected within this area the inv tensity of the reflected light will be sufdcient to Warn the driver a considerable distance from the intersection.- By having all the reflected rays concentrated within the above mentioned limited area we provide a reflected light of an intensity substantially fty times that of the same light when reected in all directions.

The curvature of the raised surfaces on the indicia are arranged in predetermined relation to each other and are herein disclosed as being provided in rows which facilitates the polishing of the surfaces by allowing a polishing wheel to reach downwardly between the adjacent surfaces to thereby strike and polish all portions of the surfaces of the indicia. By arranging the surfaces in this manner the very limiteddispersion of the light from each of the surfaces is sufficient to permit the light from one' suurface to overlap that from another which thereby constitutes a continuous source of reflected light which radiates substantially from the entire surface of the indicia.

Referring to Figure 1, the through-traffic stop sign 20 is shown as being ofconventional form having indicia embossed therein and having the surface of the indicia of the word thru tramo painted a different color from the bodyr portion of the sign. The embossed letters stop have reilecting surfaces thereon of such form and configuration as to embody the features of our invention, which will now be described.

As pointed out hereinabove the surfaces on the indicia are formed to reflect the impinging light rays from a source which is approaching on one side of a vertical to the stop sign, back in a restricted area toward and including the source on the same side of the vertical form which the source is approaching. Such an area of reflected light is disclosed in Fig. 2 wherein the stop sign 20 is positioned on one corner of an intersection facing along one side of the street backwardly away from the corner. The light is shown as being reflected in a rectangular area which substantially reaches to the center of the right hand portion of the street and is of sufficient height to encompass the approaching vehicle from which the light rays emanate. The surfaces are formed to reect the light toward the source in al1 positions of approach in order that the area of refiected light follows the source throughout a substantial portion thereof.

An enlarged sectional view of a portion of surfaces 2I of an indicia as illustrated in Fig. 3, wherein the surfaces are arranged in rows both vertically and horizontally in a somewhat similar manner to the positioning of the rows of embossed reecting surfaces provided on the indicia disclosed and claimed in our co-pending application, Serial Number 456,786, led May 28, 1930. The purpose of arranging the surfaces in geometric relation is to provide a continuous band 'of dispersion of the reected rays ensues to provide a beam rather than a point or line of light. A plurality of rays 23 are shown in the lower portion of the figure having arrows 24 thereon, indicating the direction of approach of the rays 0f light to the surfaces 22. As the rays impinge upon the surfacesthey are reflected backwardly in a manner disclosed by the arrows 25 in aA75 plurality of overlapping parallel beams which encompass the source of the rays 23.

It will be noted that each of the surfaces 22 reflects the light in a similar manner and in a zone 26 of substantially less than fifty degrees in width, which zones overlap each other to prof vide a continuous band of horizontally reflected light. 'Ihe beam of light is reected to include the source from which the rays 23'emanate which assures that the warning signal will be visible to the operator of an approaching automobile during a substantial portion of its distance of approach. Sinceall of the impinging rays are reilected in the restricted area which encompasses the source it is very apparent that the intensity of the reflected rays is quite considerable and that the indicia will be visible to the operator a substantial distance before an intersection is reached.

A portion of the Structure shown in Fig. 4 is illustrated in Fig. 5 to disclose more specically the curvature of the surface 22. 'Ihe surface is provided with substantially the same contour as that of one-half of the surface described and illustrated in my above mentionedl co-pending application, having substantially all of the surface between the centrally disposed bracket 21 of a plane or slightly arcuate contour while the upper and lower end portions thereof are respectively of greater curvature or slightly convexed.

This particular formation limits the dispersion of the impinging light rays to a predetermined width and enables the reflected beams to slightly overlap to effect a continuous zone of reflected light.

A downwardly extending surface 28 is a supporting rather than a reflecting surface and is therefore provided as perpendicular as is possible and at the same time to permit the egress of the die from the inwardly pressed recess beneath the raised surface. The height of the surface 23 is chosen in relation to the distance the stop sign is to be mounted from the street intersection to regulate the pitch of the curved reflecting surfaces 22 so that the beams of light therefrom are reflected into an area on the right hand portion .of the street when facing the sign.

We have shown a vertical .section through the surfaces 22 in Fig. 6, for the purpose of illustrating the vertical slope or curvature of the surface 22. The surface is shown as sloping rearwardly at its -upper portion for the purpose of reflecting rays upwardly a height equal to or somewhat ls than the width of the reflected zone.

The slope of the surfa`ces thus described is utilized when the stop sign is positioned below i the vision of the automobile operator so that the area of reflected light is of a height suicient to reach the vision of the operator. It is to be understood that when the stop sign is raised above the vision of the operator that the curvature will be in the opposite direction, curving inwardly at its bottom portion to thereby reect the light downwardly into the operator's vision. When the sign is placed exactly on a level with the operators vision the vertical curvature of the surfaces may be slight and substantially flat to refleet a band of light'of a width sufficient only to span the vision of the operator.

We have shown a modified formof our invention in Figs. 7, 8 and 9 wherein the embossed surfaces on the indicia are shaped to have a form of substantially one-half that of the semi-frusto pyramidal shape provided on the embossed reflecting surfaces disclosed in the above mentioned copending application. Referring to Figs. 8 and 9, it will be noted that the surfaces 3|, 32 and 33 thereof are provided with a curvature which is similar to that of the surface 22 above mentioned and illustrated in Fig. 5 wherein the reflected light 5 is retained within a predetermined limited area.

, A stopsign provided with embossed surfaces of the form disclosed in Fig. 7, reects light in a restricted zone from the surface 32 and a portion from the surface 3| to warn the driver of the apl0 proaching automobile of the danger at the intersection. If the sign is of arcuate or semi-cylindrical shape, the light rays from the same source impinging on and reecting from the surface 33 and a portion of the surface 3| in a narrow zone i3 would warn an operator of a car on the through street that danger is present on his left at the intersection. The upper surface 34 which would reflect light upwardly and out of the vision of the two approaching automobiles, has been formed 20 substantially perpendicular to the base to thereby increase the intensity of the reflected light from the surfaces 3|, 32 and 33.

We have shown a license plate '39, in Fig. 10, on which the indicia have the reecting surl5 faces above described embossed thereon in such manner that an approaching automobile from the `rear of the one bearing the license plate is warned both by its own reflected light and by that from a tail light which also illuminates the plate. We have shown an enlarged section of the indicia bearing the embossed surfaces in Fig. 12, disclosing the alternate rows of the two forms of surfaces.

` A section of the surfaces is illustrated in Fig. 35 I3 wherein a row of surfaces 40 are provided. adjacent to a row of surfaces 4| which are alternately disposed throughout the length of the indicia. The surfaces 40 ar'e similar to the surfaces disclosed in Fig. 7 having three sides 42, 43 43 and 44 which bear a similar relation to each other as the sides 3|, 32 and 33 above mentioned. In this construction the light from the surfaces 40 of the name plate is reflected to the left and slightly above and below the center line thereof. 45

The surfaces 4| are similar to the surfaces 22 disclosed in Figs. 1 to 5 inclusive and are provided in a plane disposed at substantially 45 degrees to the vertical for the purpose of reflecting a downwardly directed ray horizontally within a restrict- 53 I ed area. The horizontal contours of the surfaces are illustrated in Figs. 14 and 15 wherein the surface 40 is disclosed of such shape as to reect the impinging ght ray over a restricted area slightly to the le t of the vertical so that the driver of an automobile who is passing the vehicle bearing the license plate, will have the light from the indicia reflected into his vision when approaching the vehicle from its left.

It will be noted that substantially none of the C0 rays are reflected to the right of the vertical since the driver of the approaching vehicle occupies its left hand side and always passes a vehicle on its left so that there is no need of the light being reflected in any other direction except to the c5 rear and left within a predetermined area. In this arrangement the reflected light will be considerably more intense than when surfaces are employed which diffuse the rays in all directions.l

In Fig. 15 a section is disclosed of the surfaces 4| wherein the surfaces are of such contour that the light is reflected in an area substantially rearwardly of the indicia. As pointed out hereinabove and illustrated in Fig. 6, the surfaces may have a slightly greater curvature for thepurpose of broadening the horizontal dispersion of the light, or may have the surface slope inwardly at the left hand portion to increase the width of the zone to the left for the purpose above mentioned in regards to the surfaces 42.

Referring to Figure 1l, a tail light 48 is supported on a bracket 4l which is the supporting means for the license plate 39. In this arrangement the light rays 48 from the tail light strike upon the surfaces d@ and 4l embossed upon the indicia ofthe name plate 39. The rays striking the surface 40 are deflected downwardly into the roadway while the rays striking the surfaces il are reflected substantially horizontally being dispersed somewhat in a restricted zone which is directed rearwardly and preferably to the left to encompass the vision of an approaching vehicle operator.

The lights of the approaching vehicle striking against the surface l5@ is, as noted above, deflected rearwardly in such manner as to be cumulative with the light reected from the surface di to strike the vision of the operator and to thereby intensely illuminate the indicia. In this construction the embossed surfaces provide a reflected light to the vision of an approaching automobile operator which is available when either the tail light or the headlight of the approaching vehicle, is out and is of considerable intensity when both of the lights provide a source of rays which impinge upon the indicia.

We have illustrated in Fig. 1l, a dot and dash line view of the license plate 39 showing the plate disposed at substantially degrees to the vertical which is the maximum allowable tilt of the plate. In this construction-the surfaces fl@ and 4l are changed relative to the plate 39 to be disposed relative to the vertical in the same manner as they are disposed thereto when the plate is in a vertical plane. The same reflection of the light rays from predetermined sources will obtain for any disposition of the plate when the position of the surfaces are retained the same relative to the vertical.

While we have designated hereinabove and illustrated in Figs. 5, 7 and 12 reflecting surfaces provided in vertical and horizontal rows for the purpose of effecting the polishing of all points thereof with a greater ease. it is to be understood that the surfaces may be otherwise disposed. In Fig. 16 we have illustrated reecter surfaces 50 of semi-spherical shape disposed in diagonal rows but otherwise similarly related while in Fig. Al'I we have illustrated semi-spherical surfaces 50 and adjacent partially semi-spherical surfaces 5| in nested relation to each other. In Fig. 18 we have shown a section through the structure illustrated in Fig. 17 to disclose the similarity between this construction and that of Figs. 12 and 13. In any construction the light is reected in a predetermined direction within a predetermined area regulated by the slope of the surfaces and their disposition relative to a light source.

It will thus be seen that we have provided surfaces for reflecting light in a restricted area and in a predetermined direction whereby substantially all of the light from a source, impinging upon the indicia is reflected in a limited area on one side of the vertical to thereby provide a directed reflected light beam of considerable intensity. By providing surfaces of predetermined curvature and by mounting the surfaces in angularly related planes, the light from several sources may be reflected to within a single restricted area to thereby intensely illuminate the indicia when viewed therewithin. In this construction the failure of light from any one source does not render our deilecting surfaces inoperative since the light from another source will still be eective. 5

While we have described and illustrated several embodiments of our invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes, omissions, additions and substitutions may be made therein without departing from the lo spirit and scope of our invention, as set forth in the accompanying claims.

We claim:

1. A plate having indicia. the top faces of which are provided with a plurality of like embossed sur- 15 faces, each of which slopes in two directions for reflecting substantially all of the impinging light rays from a source in a limited area in a predetermined direction, the said surfaces being disposed to have the areas of reflected light overlap to effect 20 a continuous zone of predetermined height and width.

2. A plate having indicia, the topfaces of which are provided with a plurality of like embossed surfaces, each of which slopesin two directions for 2 reflecting substantially all of the impinging light rays from a source in a limited area in a predetermined direction, the said surfaces being disposed to have the areas of reflected light overlap to effect a continuous zone of predetermined height and width, which is conned to a position at one side only of a vertical plane perpendicular to the plane of the sign.

3. An indicium having a plurality of similarly formed reecting protuberances provided with two sides substantially perpendicular to the plane of the base of the sign, the reflecting side sloping in two directions for reflecting impinging light rays in an area of predetermined height and width, the dimensions of which may be varied by changing the contour of said slopes, the direction of which may be varied by changing the height of the perpendicular sides.

4. A sheet metal plate having indicia embossed thereon and provided with a plurality of curved surfaces each of which is inclined to said plate whereby substantially all of the impinging light rays are dispersed in a zone of limited dimensions in a predetermined direction, the said surfaces being positioned relatively close to each other 5o whereby said zones overlap to provide a continuous area of reflected light.

5. Raised surfaces for an indicium sloping in three directions from a surface disposed substantially perpendicular to the plane of the sign and so interrelated as to present reflecting surfaces to an approaching source which encompasses said source by a majority of its own reected rays and by rays from another direction of approach.

6. A sign having indicia provided with a plurality of reflecting surfaces, each of said indicium formed with a plurality of surfaces, substantially perpendicular to the plane of the sign, and with a plurality of surfaces curving therefrom, said surfaces being so interrelated that light from a 65 source on one side of the perpendicular to the plane of the sign will be reflected from said curvedl surfaces, said light being reflected in overlapping zones.

7. An indicium provided with a plurality of reflecting surfaces, at least one surface disposed substantially perpendicular to the plane of the indicium, and surfaces curving therefrom, said curved surfaces being so interrelated that light from a source on one side of the perpendicular to 75 scosso@ the plone of the indlcium will loe reected from said curved surfaces in overlapping zones.

o. A sheet motel indicium provided with em hossed reectlug surfaces, portions of which reect light ross from o source in s. ted orco thereeoout, in comlolinetion with additional embossed reectins surfsces sloping from sur-feces disposed substentisily perpendicular to the plone of the lndicium for reecting light roys from e second source in substontislly the some orco as that which the mst source encompasses.

Si. A plete haring indicio, the top foce oi which is provided with s olurolity of like embossed surfeces, eoch of whichces in two directions from at leest one surface which is disposed substantially perpendicolari' to the' plone of the sign for reflectlosr suustontiy ell oi the implng light rsys from o source to o limited eres about sold source.

i0. An indicium llovido surfaces oi such congurotiou tiret s portion of said surfaces ore so shaped ond interrelsted es to reect iight roys from on approaching source, While smother portion oi seid soces oi' dlereut pe and rela.- tlon reects iight rays from s, source xed relative to said indoium, the reflected rays from both sources encom A seid epprosching source during e, substantial portion of its approach.

l1. in indicium having raised surfaces oi such. congurstion and so interrelated tiret s portion oi' said surfaces reect light rays from an epproocliing source within on eres, encompassing said source while another portion of seid surfaces reiiect light rays from s. second source within seid encompsssing eres, said surfaces sloping from e, third surface which is disposed substantially perpendicular to the plone of said indicium.

12. An indicum provided witii e, plurality oi embossed eres-s each formed with at leest one side disposed substantially perpendicular to the plone of the sigo and o plurality of surfaces curving therefrom, seid surfaces being so related as to have the light reected from one surfoce overlap that reected from en adjacent surface and so disposed as to direct such. reected light over s 20 predetermined limited ores at one side ol. e perpendicular to the plane of said indicium.

S ii 0f' v F. ARBUC. GUY H. commes..

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2481757 *May 23, 1945Sep 13, 1949Jungersen Thoger GOptical reflecting material
US2524794 *Dec 22, 1945Oct 10, 1950Mary Sheehan ZumsteinLight reflecting material
US2587325 *Jun 11, 1947Feb 26, 1952 husted
US3173985 *Jun 22, 1961Mar 16, 1965Clifford A WendelMethod of reflection for producing a pleasing image
US3983652 *Dec 17, 1973Oct 5, 1976Elinore BeatyIlluminated display having remote light source
US5351153 *Feb 24, 1992Sep 27, 1994Masayuki WakatakePseudo-luminous panel, substrate therefor, and display element and device using the pseudo-luminous panel
US5416637 *Jul 28, 1993May 16, 1995Masayuki WakatakePseudo-luminous panel, substrate therefor, and display element and device using the pseudo-luminous panel
US5422757 *Jun 30, 1994Jun 6, 1995Masayuki WakatakePseudo-luminous panel, substrate therefor, and display element and device using the pseudo-luminous panel
US5432642 *Jul 28, 1993Jul 11, 1995Masayuki WakatakePseudo-luminous panel, substrate therefor and display element and device using the pseudo-luminous panel
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/582, 40/208, 359/547, 359/548
International ClassificationB60Q1/34
Cooperative ClassificationB60Q1/34
European ClassificationB60Q1/34