US 2095291 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. "12, 1937. G SCHNElDER @095,291
2| 20 7 Geor e Schnedev Patented Oct. 12, 1937 rLAs'no PATENT OFFICE* MATERIAL George Schneider, Montclair, N. J., assigner to Celanese Corporation of America,
'tion of Delaware Application December 18, -19`34,Serial No. 758,006
This invention relates to a nonbreakable illuminated device and more particularly to an alphabet illuminated by a neon-type of illumination,
each letter or group of letters being a separate unit readily exchangeable with other letters or groups of letters in the formation of illuminated signs. Y
An object of this invention is the economic and expeditious production of illuminated segments of a display or advertising device and to the product thereof. Other objects of the invention will appear from the following detailed description.
In the accompanying drawing wherein like reference numerals refer to the same or similar elements in the various figures,
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of assembled blocks containing letters and spaces.
Fig. 2 is an enlarged view partly in section of the rst block in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a side view in cross section of the first block shown in Fig. l and is taken on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a side view in section of the same block 25 as Fig. 3 with sections of the block separated and the gas tube removed. Fig. 5 is a side view in section of a modied form of block.
Fig. 6 is a side view in section of the same block 40 ing .upon the degree of transparency of the block relative to the intensity of the light.
A further advantage of this invention is that illuminated designs or letters may be changed easily without danger of breakage or damage.
45 This invention makes possible the use of neontype lights for describing or advertising motion pictures, etc., which require at times daily change in the lettering of the advertisement. Theatre canopies etc., as normally constructed, have a 50 slide way upon which metallic sheets that have transparent letters therein may be placed and by means of a light at the back of the sheets the letters are caused to beilluminated. The letters formed by this invention may be adapted to t l 55 these slide ways in the same manner as the metal (ci. io-'130) sheets and has the advantage of making a brighter sign as the letters themselves are the lights.
The individual letters or sections made according to the invention are relatively durable and are capable of standing extensive handling, storage, climatic changes, etc., Without danger of damage thereto. The various sections may be formed toA join and connect with other sections. A further advantage of this invention is that the advertisements, etc., may be readily changed or the parts rearranged Without the aid of a skilled mechanic or electrical expert.
The letters or designs are easily cleaned and are weatherproof i. e. they may be used in outdoor signs. The letters are substantially unaiected by atmospheric conditions.
In accordance with my invention, I enclose the tube of gas of a neon-type light in a transparent clear or colored block, translucent white or colored block or a block having an opaque or translucent reecting black or colored back and a transparent,
translucent, clear or colored front, said block being formed of any suitable artificial material and especially a material containing an organic derivative of cellulose. The arrangement of parts may be such as to include an entire word or sign in a single block, or segments, as individual letters, may be enclosed in separate blocks with connecting terminals so placed that a tight, yet'ready, connection between blocks may be made.
The blocks of articial material in which the illuminatable tube is to be embedded may be made in any suitable shape, manner and of any suitable material. The block, when each block contains only a segment of the entire design, is preferably a rectangular block or square block for readiness -of fitting the several segments together. However, as the sign does not depend upon a source of light from the back thereof, the segments may obviously be made as hexagonal or circular blocks or in any other shape. Where the whole sign or a particular part of a sign, such as a trademark, etc. is employed as a rather permanent xture, novel effects may be produced by forming the block in substantially the shape of the sign or mark, whether the same results in a letter, gure, statue or simulating the article to which the mark or sign refers. Whole words, emblems, marks,
etc. may be enclosed in spheres, ellipsoids, poly-A yseen a solid light, and the shape of the solid block when viewed from other angles the lettering, mark, etc. is seen distinctly while the luminosity 0f the block as a whole is reduced.
For general use, the block may c( nsist of two rectangular sections, i. e. a front and a back section. 'I'hese sections may be of similar or dissimilar material. A groove may be cut substantially in theshape and size of the tube, connecting wire, electron discharge devices, etc. in either section of the block or the groove may be cut half in each block. When employing opaque or reflecting material in the back block, the groove is preferably formed entirely therein, while in employing transparent blocks for both back and front the tube groove may be cut in either or both blocks. 'I'he groove, although preferably cut into the material, may nevertheless be cast in the block concurrently with its manufacture or formation. In
employing, as the material from which the blocks are formed, certain materials or solutions of same that are poured into a. mold and allowedl to harden, the gas tube, terminals and wires may be cast integral with the block. In cutting the grooves in the sections of formed blocks any suitable means may be employed, for instance, a rotating burr may be employed to grind out the material and this has the advantage that it may be manually operated to cut any depth, shape or size of groove.
Any suitable material may be employed for making the blocks, it being preferable, however, to employ an organic derivative of cellulose, such as an organic ester of cellulose or a cellulose ether. Examples of the organic esters of cellulose are cellulose acetate, cellulose formate, cellulose propionate and cellulose butyrate, while eX- amples of cellulose ethers are ethyl cellulose, methyl cellulose and benzyl cellulose. Although the organic derivatives of cellulose are preferred, other materials may be employed especially for the back part of the block such as synthetic resins, plasters and like materials. c
The material of the block, especially if it is an organic derivative of cellulose, may contain effect and/or modifying agents, by which terms is meant any substance that modifies its lustre, color, hardness, transparency and other physical or chemical properties. The effect and/or modifying agents may be pigments, filling materials, dyes or lakes, re retardants, plasticizers, sizes etc. For transparent articles any dye having anity for the material of the block may be employed. For translucent or opaque blocks there may be added to the material pigments and dyes for example the metal oxides, carbonates or other salts, organic materials for example lamp black, carbon black, sh scale, etc. which pigments and dyes may impart any color or tone of color to the material.
The two sections of the block may be of similar material, color, etc. or of diierent color, etc. The sections of the block may each be composed of laminations of diierent colors and/or transparency arranged in any suitable manner to form stripes, designs, inserts, shadow eiiects, etc. The back block may contain laminations, inserts, etc. parallel to or transverse to the surface of the block which laminations may consist of materials that give a fluorescence or reflective surface or surfaces such as imitation pearl, aluminum,
or thread or threads of other materials or mixture of these.
The gas tube is preferably of glass tubing bent to the desired shape or the gas tube may be a blown glass article, blown to the desired shape. These tubes or articles may be lled with any suitable gas for example neon, krypton, etc. or mixtures of same to give the desired color of light. The tubes may have attached thereto any suitable electron discharge devices or caps that have metal conductors leading to terminals at the outside of the block. 'I'he tube may be bent back upon itself in forming letters, etc., or be otherwise shaped and parts thereof blocked out by a coating of opaque paint or other suitable materials.
In the drawing forming a part of this application, with special reference to Fig. 1 is shown a sign to be used for advertising or other purposes comprising a plurality of sections or blocks I, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 each of which forms a part of the sign. If desired, these blocks may be supported on a slide or other suitable support. Each block may contain two sections 1 and 8 of any suitable material, preferably the front section being transparent or highly translucent. The back section I may be transparent, translucent or opaque while the front section 8 is preferably transparent and suitably colored.
In one section or between the sections 'I and 8 the block may contain a glass tube 9 adapted Yto be sealed and contain a gas which by the passage of electrons therethrough produces a colored light. Attached to each end of the tube is an electron discharge or receiver cap I0 of any suitable structure or type. These caps may be of any suitable commercial type. However, for obvious reasons those caps of the smallest volume are preferred. For each cap a metallic electric conductor I I may be provided running from each of said caps to terminals I2 and I3. The terminal I2 may be of the female type while the terminal I3 may be of the male type containing an expansible plug member I 4 adapted to iit tightly in the female terminal of an adjacent block or to a socket on a lead-in Wire. When employing unpigmented blocks of an organic derivative of cellulose the metallic conductor wires may be caused to be almost invisible by employing naked wires or Wires coated with a relatively thin coat. of enamel of a similar color to the section in winch they are embedded. l
Blank blocks 6 may be provided for forming spaces between a series of blocks containing letters. These blocks comprise a front and a back section; however, in place of containing a glass tube and electron discharge devices the conductor I5 may run straight through the block from one terminal to the other. In place of an absolutely blank block a short length of tube may be inserted to form a dash and at the same time cause the block to be lighted similar to the remaining blocks.
In such lettersvas R found in block 3 the tube may be blocked out as at I6 by applying an opaque paint thereto preferably of a color similar to the back section of the block.
Lead-in wires I1 and I8 connect the sign to any suitable transformer. These lead-in wires preferably contain the same type socket or terminal as the blocks such that quick connection may be made. Any number and size of transformers may be employed. For theatre front advertising signs several transformers may be employed generating for instance a voltage of 1,500 volts each in the secondary circuit. Each of such transformers `may be employed 'to operate through any normal length of metallic conductors and about feet of gas iilled tubing of 12 mm. diameter connected in series. The number oi' transformers and voltage on each of same may be increased or decreased according to the cross section and length of tube employed.
In Figs. 3 and 4 one method of embedding the gas tube, conductors, etc. is shown.' In each section I and 8 are cut matched grooves i9 and 2li of substantially the same shape as the tube 9 t0 be enclosed. Smaller groove 2l may be formed for the metallic conductor wires and recesses formed for the terminal. The tube may then be,
inserted in the section 'I and the cover section I' tted in place and the two sections caused to adhere or be welded toeach other. The` sections may be caused tol adhere to each other when they contain an organic derivative of cellulose by applying a solvent to one or both contacting surfaces and after assembling by applying pressure. Adhesives may be employed it desired. for instance, lacquers, glue, etc.
In Figs. 5 and 6 another method oi', embedding the gas tube, conductors, etc. is shown. This method comprises forming the entire groove 22 in the back section. 1 inserting the tube, etc. in the groove and applying the cover section l thereto. The groove 22 need not always conform-exactly to fthe shape of the tube 9 and the same may be formed to allow for an air space about av part of the tube. Although in the drawing the two sections 'Ivand 8 are shown of substantially the same thickness, any suitable thickness of either or both sections may be employed to produce the desired elect provided the tubes containing the gas are suill'ciently covered to reduce the possibility of breakage in handling. Very thin cover sheets 8 may be employed, using the method shown in Fig.
each alternation being of the same or diierent material' or the laminations may be in any sequence.
It is to be understood that the foregoing detailed description and drawing are merely given by way of illustration and many alternations may be made therein without departing from the spirit of my invention.
I-laving described my invention, what I desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l1. An illuminatable sign comprising an electric discharge tube of the neon-type encased in a support comprising a plurality of sections of a light-permeable material containing an organic derivative of cellulose, each of said sections having a complementary groove which, ywhen. said sections are combined, form a groove of the same conilguratlon and size as the discharge tube and the said sections being joined together to form a gasand water-tight support for the discharge tube.
2. An illuminatable sign comprising an electric discharge tube of the neon-type encased in a support comprising a plurality of sections of a light-permeable material containing cellulose acetate, each ot said sections having a complementary groove which, when said sections are combined, form a groove of the same configuration and size as the discharge tube and the said sections being` joined together to form a gasand water-tight support for the discharge tube.,