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Publication numberUS2062887 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 1, 1936
Filing dateSep 17, 1935
Priority dateSep 17, 1935
Publication numberUS 2062887 A, US 2062887A, US-A-2062887, US2062887 A, US2062887A
InventorsClarence E Karst
Original AssigneeBrunhoff Mfg Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Advertising sign
US 2062887 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



ATTORNEYS Patented Dec. 1, 1936 UNITED STATES ADVERTISING SIGN Clarence E. Karst, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignor to The Brunhoff Manufacturing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Application September 17, 1935, Serial No. 40,945

3 Claims.

This invention relates to illuminated signs and has particular reference to a display sign in which a novel means is used to secure the visual effect of so-called neon signs, whereby the utility of a neon 5 effect is secured without the special or additional electrical and mechanical equipment incident to such a sign.

Neon signs or display devices deriving their illumination from ionized gases contained in configurated transparent tubing, are relatively expensive to construct and, furthermore, require special electrical service accomplished through transformers or the like, to furnish the means for their operation. Their relatively expensive initial cost, aside from installation, is usually great enough to preclude their .adoption by manufacturers seeking to distribute such signs in the advertising of their wares and comomdities.

When a manufacturer contemplates advertis- 20 ing of his product through display signs forstorekeepers, shops and the like, it is conventional practice for such manufacturer to purchase arelatively large number of such signs and then, through the cooperation of individual storekeepers, procure their installation in stores where the particular products advertised are being merchandized, the manufacturer absorbing the cost of the sign and the cost of its installation.

Moreover, there are a great many shops and stores throughout the country seeking to advertise not particular manufacturers products, but commodities of a given nature, such as beer, books, candy and the like.

Another aspect of the general problem to which the invention relates lies in the fact that the usual neon signs are too brilliant for interior use and in some instances for exterior use when located to be viewed from close proximity. The light emanating from the neon tube is so brilliant and accentuated that an optical condition akin to blindness is produced, such as, for instance, the situation which arises when a neon sign is installed in a small store behind a counter.

The sign contemplated in this invention is characterized by lettering or indicia having the novel and unusual appearance of neon tube lettering but distinguished therefrom by a soft and diffused glow inducing notice from a potential customer rather than a harsh and brilliant light having the tendency to cause a person in close range to look away from the sign.

It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide a display sign which has the advertising appeal of the neon sign when it is viewed from a distance, but which is considerably lessto construct and install. i

Another object of the invention isto produce a expensive sign which is distinctly modern-in appearance and novel to a potential customer for that reasombut Which is adapted by reason of its inexpensiveness to be distributed by a particular advertiser free of charge to storekeepers, shopkeepers, and the like.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a sign in which the advertising indiciahas 1 visual appearance of a neontube sign, but which lacks the blatancy and harsh brillianceof the actual neon tube whereby thesign can-be eifectively used in locations where such lighting characteristics are preferred.

Another object of the invention is to produce a sign in which the. color of the indicia'is not limited to a few, but rather selectable from-a wide range of available transparency colors.

Other objects and further advantages willbe made more fully apparent by referencetothe following description and tothe drawing-in which latter Figure 1 is a face side view of the sign, showing the elements thereof in partial fragmentary manner with a portion of the advertising indicia 7' visible. r v

Figure 2 is a sectional view of the sign taken on the line 22 of Figure 1.. 4 V

Figure 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of Figure .1. I p e Briefly, the sign of this invention comprises a frontglass or indicia plate in which the display lettering is intaglioed by etching to a concave and relatively deep depression on the inwardside of the plate, a'color transparency behind the -indicia plate, .a light difiuser plate behind saidcolor transparency, and a. shadow box housing asuitiable light source for vitalizingthe, sign. 7 Referring particularly. to the drawing theindicia plate or front glass is generally indicated .at I. This plate comprises a piece of glass preferably clear and preferably relatively heavy gauge.

Into this plate is intaglioed the desired advertising lettering or design subject matter. To accomplish this step the desired. indicia laid out on the glass is bounded or outlined with a shielding substance such as ceresin Wax. The configuration of lettering for the design preferably simulates the face configuration of lettering constructed from glass tubing; vthatis to say, it is preferably of rounded form, typical of neon tube lettering although, of course, angular block lettering or other types may be used if desired, solely or in conjunction with neon tube lettering, as shown in the illustration, Figure 1.

An etching acid such as hydrofluoric acid is placed within the area confined by the shielding Wax to effect the desired lighting concavity into the glass. In this operation a few crystals or grains of sand scattered indiscriminately throughout the length of a given area by an etched surface to produce in the concave surface, after etching, an efiect serving to accentuate the roundness of the depression within the glass. The curvilinear concavities comprising the lighting indicia in this manner become crystalline in appearance in which the crystal lattice, being relatively large, is visible from a distance to create the effect of scintillance of light emanating from the sign. The concavity of the depression in cross section is shown in Figure 3 at 2.

After the front glass is intaglioed to the desired extent the non-design or non-lettering areas are rendered opaque through the application of paint or like substance as shown at 2a in Figure 3, preferably dark in color to lend contrast to the optical effect. In this respect additional interest can be imparted to the sign by bounding the edges of the lettering with a stripe of paint, preferably different in color from the color of the opaque background of the front glass.

The desired three dimensional effect of the lettering is greatly aided by the superposition behind the front glass of a light diffuser plate 3. In this manner the partial rounded effect produced by the concavity of the lettering as disclosed in Figure 3 is advanced to the optical illusion of complete roundness and creates the effect of a neon tubing imbedded in a sheet of glass. The light diffuser plate 3 can be an ordinary plate of glass frosted in the usual manner either over its entire surface or at the areas directly behind the areas which are transparent in the front glass.

Between the light diffuser plate tube and the front glass I is disposed a color transparency, generally indicated at 4, adapted to impart to light passing through the diffuser plate color of a desired hue. If desired, instead of a single color being used, each word or design appearing from the front glass can be given an individual color by the use of separate transparencies behind the separate words. These transparencies are made of the usual colored gelatin, celluloid, or like substances, and are preferably simply laid between the front glass and the diffuser plate.

Separate transparencies are indicated in the drawing at Figures 1 and 2 by the numerals 5, 6 and 1.

The composite sign comprising the etched front glass I, the color transparency 4, and the diffuser plate 3 is mounted within frame 8. To this frame is secured, by means of screws 9, appropriately placed, a shadow box It]. This shadow box comprises a sheet metal casing preferably tapering to the rear in cross section. The sides I l| l of the shadow box are ventilated as at l2. The back wall is preferably provided with a hand hole opening and a door l3 covering the same. The shadow box is provided with a top l4 and a bottom 15.

Upon the bottom plating I5 of the shadow boX are mounted a plurality of electric light bulbs l6 preferably wired in parallel circuit whereby one or more of the lights may be in use at a given time, thereby affording control of the brilliance of the sign. An electric cord I1 passes through the back wall of the shadow box. The shadow box, on its interior, is coated preferably with a dull white paint.

Upon lighting,-the lettering of the sign optically assumes a rounded three dimensional shape, creating the appearance of neon sign lettering disposed within a block of glass. In this manner an extremely interesting effect is obtained.

Having described my invention, I claim:

1. As a new combination a sign composite adapted for use in conjunction with a shadow box, said composite comprising a front glass into which on the rearward side thereof deep etched configurations concave in cross section and crystalline in surface are provided, said front glass rendered opaque in the non design areas, a color transparency disposed behind said plate, and a frosted transparent medium behind said color transparency adapted to diffuse light in its passage therethrough, the said composite sustained in its mounted relationship by a suitable frame for engagement with a shadow box.

' 2. In a shadow box sign a front transparent plate rendered opaque except for area bearing design, said latter area bearing deeply etched concavities generally curvilinear in cross section, a rear transparent plate frosted to render it light diffusive, a color transparency disposed between said rear plate and the etched side of said front plate, and a shadow box housing incandescent light sources and sustaining said plates in their mounted relationship.

3. In a shadow box sign including a housing and a source of light, a luminous front assembly exhibiting indicia which is three dimensional in appearance, said luminous assembly made up of plate elements laminated in relation to one another in comprising a frosted back glass diffusive with respect to light passing therethrough, a color transparency disposed adjacent thereto and a front glass plate having deep etched cavities configurated to provide design indicia, said front glass rendered opaque in the non design areas with the etched side of said glass facing the source of light.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4891896 *Aug 15, 1988Jan 9, 1990Gulf Development CorporationSimulated neon sign
US4976057 *Jul 21, 1988Dec 11, 1990Bianchi Dennis RSimulated neon sign
US5207495 *Jul 8, 1991May 4, 1993Vemco CorporationGraphic arts light box
US5251392 *Feb 8, 1991Oct 12, 1993Vemco CorporationArtificial window
US5253051 *Mar 5, 1991Oct 12, 1993Mcmanigal Paul GVideo artificial window apparatus
US5537297 *Jul 21, 1994Jul 16, 1996Editha S. ShemkeImage reflecting light guide
US6060838 *Nov 21, 1995May 9, 2000Creative Concepts And Consulting CorporationIllumination device
U.S. Classification40/564
International ClassificationG09F13/26
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/26
European ClassificationG09F13/26