US 2079230 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
2 Sheets-Sheet l ATTORNEY J. J. SHIIVVELY4 ILLUMINATED SIGN May 4, 1937.
Filed July 25, 1935 May 4, 1937. J. J; sHlVELY ILLUMINATED SIGN Filed July 25, 1935 2 Sheets-Sheet l2 ATTORNEY Patented May 4, 1937 PATENT OFFICE ILLUMINATED SIGN John J. Shively, New York, N. Y., assigner, by
mesne assignments, to Service Devices, Incorporated, New York, N. Y., a corporation of New York Applicaties July 25, 1935, serial No. 33,026
This invention relates to illuminated signs oi the type more fully described in the copendng application Serial No. 22,333, filed May 20, 1935, entitled Illuminated signs and has for an object the provision of character forming means whereby the characters such as letters, gures and the like in such signs may be easily and cheaply changed.
Another object is to provide signs of the type' described with a font of letters, figures` and the like, from `which the user can make up a panel for use in such signs, the letters and gures being reusable from time totime as the sign is changed.
The invention consists substantially in the construction, combination, location and relative arrangement of parts, all as will be more fully hereinafter setforth and as shown by the accompanying drawings and finally pointed out in the appended claims.
In illuminated signs of the type to which this invention applies, it has heretofore been the prac- Cil tice to paint the indicia on the transparent panel or glass forming the front of the sign, or to place in front of said glass a transparent panel of glass, Celluloid, cellophane or the like on which the indicia are carried. Such arrang-ements are open to the objection that in the first instance the whole sign must be taken out of service to have the indicia on the glass changed and usually the services of a sign painter are necessary. In the second instance an entire transparent sheet must be used each time the sign is changed and this is often not at hand, is expensive and these sheets cannot be used except for the display marked thereon.
The present invention eliminates these and other diiculties and permits the user, without any artistic skill, to change the sign at will. The character forming means used can` be used over and over again, expense is avoided and the utility of the illuminated sign greatly increased.
In the accompanying drawings:
Figure 1 is a front View of a sign embodying y the invention;
Figure 2 is a cross sectional View of the sign,
i Figure 1;
. Figure 3 is a detail view of one end of the sign, Figure 1,showing one of the vertical rails for supporting and locating the horizontal carrier strips 2| that extend across the face of the sign;
Figure 4 is a side view of the rails ll;
Figure 5 is a cross sectional viewy of .a rail .Il
and strip 2| Figure 6 is a cross sectional View of a center Figure 9 is a iront view of a complete frame that can be used in the sign, Figures 1 and '7 instead of the arrangement therein shown;
Figure 10 is a vertical fragmental detail View of a side rail showing the end of across rail located therein;
Figure ll is a horizontal sectional View of the same;
Figure l2 is a vertical sectional View of an alternative form of side rail and cross rail fasten- Figure 13 is a front View of the same; and
.Figure 14 is a front View of a complete frame embodying the structures shown in Figures 12 and 13".
Figure 2 is a View partly in section of the sign disclosed in the copending application previously mentioned. It consists, briefly, ofv a casing or frame i0 having a transparent front panel or glass against the inner surface of which is placed the grid l2 of neon tubing or the like. A reflector I3v is placed behind the grid and the latter and reflector are supported by the rubber pads lli carried o-n the support I5 which also supports the transformer IS having a primary windingconnected to a suitable source of current and a secondary winding connected to the terminals of the grid |2.
When suitable current is supplied to the transformer the tube will glow and the front of the device will, because of the combined action of the grid and the reiiector, have the appearance of a solid sheet of neon light or glow.
The casing Ill is provided at each end with the vertical rails Il, I8 which extend outwardly over glass a short distance on each end of the sign.
These rails, as shown in Figures 3 and 4, have a main body portion il provided with a series of depressions 2|) arranged to take the ends of the carrier strips 2|y or cross rails which are formed as shown in Figure 5 on their ends 22 sothat the strips will lie flat against the glass and the ends 22 of the strips-will t into the depressions 2|) in the rails and lie at with the upper surface Ila thereof.
The strips 2| are bent to form a double channel as shown in Figure 6, the upper channel being indicated at 2|a and the lower by 2lb. In the alternative form of carrier stripI 2|c as shown in Figure '7, the upper and lower channels Zld and 2 le are formed with a flattened S-bend and consequently overlap each other.
The strips 2| are placed in the sign as shown in Figure 1, if only the extreme top and bottom strips are used, the changeable characters to be presently described would span the space between the strips. If it is desired to have three lines of reading matter, then the strips are arranged as shown in Figure 1. The depressions Z permit a number of vertical arrangements of the strips so that one or more horizontal lines of reading matter can be formed.
The changeable characters shown in Figure 8 form an important part of the character forming means for the sign. These consist of a blank 23 of suitable transparent material such as` celluloid. This blank has an opaque background 24 through which light from the tube l2 cannot pass but the indicium or character 25 is transparent.
These blanks may be assembled by springing them into place between strips 2|, the adjacent Vertical edges of the blanks being overlapped as shown at 26 to prevent light escaping from the sign.
The character forming means being put into position as just described, a front glass panel 21 may be put in the open front of the sign and secured therein in any suitable manner such as that shown in the aforesaid copending application. As the surface lla of the rails I1 is substantially smooth (the ends 22 of the strips being level therewith, as shown in Figure 5) this glass is easily located and lies iiat over the blanks 23. When the sign is illuminated, the effect is similar t0 that of a true neon sign, where each character is made of the neon tubing itself and consequently cannot be changed; but in the present sign the letters and figures are displayed in true neon red as the actual gas glow in the tube I2 is directly viewed by the eye through the transparent portions 25 of the blanks 23 and not indirectly viewed by reflection or otherwise. The background of the sign being formed by the opaque portions 24 of the blanks, the fact that the sign is built up out of blanksone for each character-is not apparent. There is no apparent difference to the eye between this improved sign herein disclosed and the conventional type in which the characters are formed of neon tubing, except this improved sign is more easily read from an angle. The user can easily rearrange the improved sign as desired. By providing blanks 23 of various heights and changing the position of the horizontal strips 2| in their supporting rails Il, I8,-
characters of different heights can be used.
The frame 28 shown in Figure 9 provides means by which a complete set of characters may be assembled and placed in the sign as a whole. This frame 26 comprises side rails 29 and 3l) permanently secured to top and bottom rails Si and 32, and one or more carrier cross strips 33 removably attached to the side rails 2S and 36.
Figures 10 and l1 are enlarged views showing the manner in which the cross strips 33 may be properly located and held in position. The side rails 2S and 36 are bent in the form of channels, and have formed on their inner portions 34 a series of inwardly directed bosses 35 adapted to engage slots 36 in the ends 3l of the carrier strips 33. The space 38 between bosses 35 and the front portions` 39 of the side rails is smaller than the thickness of the ends 3l, which latter in assembly are inserted in the side rails above or below the bosses, then forced over the bosses into the position shown, the metal of the side rails springing suiciently to allow the passage and thereafter holding the cross strips in position.
If desired a short cross strip 46 having a vertical supporting strip 4i attached thereto may be inserted in the frame 28, thus providing a space 42 for large characters such as price figures.
The frame 43 shown in Figure 14 has the vertical side rails 44 and 45 made of liat metal having stamped forward thereon a series of upwardly directed hooks 46. The cross strips 2lc, which are of the form shown in Figure 7, are pushed downward over the hooks 46 and are held in position thereby as shown in Figures 12 and 13.
While in the drawings the thicknesses of material and the details of construction have been exaggerated for the purpose of clarity, it will be understood that the entire frames are made thin enough to be placed in the space 41 between the front and rear glasses 21 and Il of the sign shown in Figures 1 and 2.
When the completely removable frames are to be used, the sign need not be provided with the notched rails Il.
While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described, it will be understood that this is merely by way of illustration, the gist of the invention being the combination with a sign of the class described, of changeable character forming means including individual blanks, each carrying indicia and together adapted to form the sign proper, all as covered by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a sign of the character described, a plurality of character blanks of substantially transparent material having indicia outlines thereon and having opaque backgrounds to prevent light from escaping from the sign, and means for holding said blanks overlying the face of the sign comprising side rails having top and bottom rails secured thereto and forming. therewith a frame, and carrier strips supported on said side rails, said carrier strips comprising channels I adapted to engage said character blanks.
2. A sign comprising a casing having a luminous grid therein and a transparent panel overlying said grid and forming the front of the casing, supporting means in front of said panel cornprising a frame including vertically adjustable horizontal members supported on said casing and removable therefrom as a unit, a plurality of character blanks supported on the horizontal members of said frame, and a front panel of transparent material supported on said casing and overlying said frame.
3. In a sign of the character described having a casing including a recessed front, and a frame adapted to fit said recessed front and removable therefrom as a unit, said frame adapted to support a plurality of character blanks and including horizontal strips and means on said frame for supporting said strips in various positions thereon.
4. In a sign of the character described having a recessed front, a frame adapted to lt within said front and to be supported thereby, said frame comprising vertical end rails and a plurality of horizontal carrier strips supported by said rails and shiftable to various positions thereon.
5. A frame for use in an illuminated sign comprising side rails having top and bottom rails secured thereto and forming therewith a frame, and a carrier strip removably supported on said side rails, said carrier strip comprising a channel.
6. The frame as claimed in claim 5 having a vertical supporting strip adapted to be removably supported by the carrier strip.
JOHN J. SHIVELY.