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Publication numberUS2095928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1937
Filing dateMar 19, 1930
Priority dateMar 19, 1930
Publication numberUS 2095928 A, US 2095928A, US-A-2095928, US2095928 A, US2095928A
InventorsFerguson Paul M
Original AssigneeAlbert A Rossman, Fred C Boltz
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Traffic signaling device
US 2095928 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

0ct. 12, "1937. P. M. I FERGUSN 2,095,928

TRAFFIC S IGNALING DEVIC Filed Marchas., 1930 Patented Oct. 12, A1937 UNITED STATES 2,095,928y A l TRAFFIC SIGNALING DEVICE -Paul M. Ferguson, Cleveland, Ohio, assignor ol `one-third to Fred C. Boltz and one-third to Albert A. Rossman, both of Cleveland, Ohio PATENT .oEicE Application March 19, `1930, seria11N0. 43e,959 s claims. (c1. 177-327 naling device which will bev self-contained and simple in construction. f v

Another object is to provide an improved signaling device in which different' periods of time may be provided for traiiic in different directions, and which will, at the same time, provide like signals for indicating when the signal is to` change.

Another object is to provide an improved-signaling device which may be used in conjunction with existing traffic controlling systems.

Other objects will hereinafter appear. i

The invention will be better understood from the description of two practical embodiments thereof, illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which;

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a complete signaling device;

` Figure 2 is a central longitudinal-sectional view thereof; ;A

Figures 3, land 5 are transversesections, taken on the lines IIL-III, IV-IV and V-V respectively, of Figure 2;

Figure 6 is a fragmentary view, in central longitudinal section, of a modiiication of the signal of the preceding figures, arranged tobe mounted upon signals such as are now in use; and

Figure 'I is a wiring diagram of the signal illustrated in Figures 1 to 5.

It is customary, in present trailic control systems, to place at congested street intersections a signal having two series of lights, one series being visible from each of the lintersecting streets.

These lights may consist merely of one green for suddenly from green to red, and traffic is sup-' posed to stopinstantaneously upon this change. This, of course, is not always possible, as vehicles just entering the intersection possess considerable momentum and the diiiculty of stopping suddenly is increased by slippinessfi-ofthe streets. In order to give the approaching vehicles a warning that the signal is about to changeA V and so to allow'their drivers vto prepare tostop, a third light of an amber color hasfrequently been provided which is illuminated during a time iwhile the change is made between the `-red and green lights, and -this amber light furnishes an intervening period when vehicles already within the crossing; or too close to it `to `stop before being within it, may proceedthrough the same.

/ This system was -not satisfactory, because of the habit which many drivers 'had vacquired 'of proceeding as long as the amber light was visible at all, so that theV signal which they used for stopping was thechange yfromv amber to red, and this necessitated as sudden stops as did vthe change from green to red. Also drivers who Were awaiting a signal to go were inclined to start their vehicles when the amber light appeared. In fact, this signaling system was so unsatisfactory'in the above regard that in many places the amber lights l have been replaced with red lights, so that there is a period during the change of the signal when it illuminates red on all sides.

Inthe illustrated embodiments of the present invention are provided signals having in each direction a red light and a green light to indicate, respectively, stop or go to the trafc, as has been customary heretofoieand, in addition, a third light operating inv conjunction with the go signal which will indicate a period of time before the fgo signal is to be discontinued, so that approaching drivers will have no reason for not being prepared Ito stop immediately upon the appearance of the stop signal.

This is done by providing a lighted'window closely adjacent the go signal, the area of which decreases as the time for change in signal approaches, becoming zero upon the instant of the change.

In Figures l to 5 a signal is shown carried in a housing which consists of a pyramidal top I, a rectangular upper portion 2 Isuspended immediatelyth'erebelom and a cylindricallower portion 3 beneath the rectangular portion. This casing is arranged to be suspended by an eye 4 Y above the intersection of two streets.

Through each side of the rectangular portion of the casing are two apertures 5, the upper of which is provided with a red lens 6 for indicating stop, and the lower of which is provided with a green lens 1 for indicating go. Within the casing behindeach lens is a reector 8 in which is positioned an incandescent bulb 9 forvilluminating the lens. The bulb is mounted` in a socket I of any desired type and is' operated by circuits which will'be hereinafter described.

The cylindrical portion of the casinghas four elongated rectangular openings II, one beneath each pair of lenses, and may be provided with Wings I2 so that, from any given line of tramo, only one of the openingsv is visible. 'Ihese openings are each covered bya glass- I3 which may be of any desired color as green to match the go signal with which it is intended to cooperate, or


Within each of the elongated windows thus formed is positioned a reilector I4 provided with a socket I5 which carries a bulb I6 so that opposite windows may be illuminated, and those between may be darkened as desired, by control of the circuits above referred to.

A shutter mechanism is'provided within the casing for decreasing the illuminated area of the rectangular windows as the time for change in signal approaches, so that traiilcmay readily estimate the time at which this change will occur and be governed accordingly.

Within the top of the casing and secured thereto is a shelf I1 on the upper surface of which is supported an electric motor I 3 carrying in its shaft a worm I9 which rotates a worm wheel 20 carried by a vertical shaft 2| supported in bearings 22 and 23 attached to, respectively, the top I and the bottom 24 of the casing. A pinion 25 is' keyed tothe shaft adjacent its lower end and meshes with a gear 26 carried by a vertical shaft 21 arranged centrally the casing and supported in bearings 28 and 29 carried, respectively, by the lower side of the shelf I1 and the upper side of the bottom 24. Upon the -upper surface of gear 26 are provided two shutters 30 which are cylindrical in shape concentric the shaft 21 and extend for substantially 90. These shutters pass between reflectors I4 and windows I3, the space between the reflectors and windows being merely suilicient for the passing of the shutters, and, if desired, flexible strips 3| may be provided to prevent the leakage of any light through the slit A between the shutter and reflector, so that no light can reach the window which it is desired to have darkened. These strips, ofcourse, can be of rubber, felt or any other desired material.

Carriedby the shaft 21 is acommutator drum 32on which are positioned segmental contact` rings 33 which are brought, by rotation of thev shaft,`into contact with brushes 34 to control the circuits for illuminating the lights.

These circuits areillustrated in Figure '1. which shows the manner in which the motor I 8, commutator 32 and lights 9 and I6 are connected. Electricity is supplied by power lines 35 and operates motor I8 to rotate, through the gearing illustrated, the shaft 21 which carries with it the commutator 32. As the commutator rotates it alternately connects circuits 36 and 31 with the power lines 35 and, 'as will be readily seen from this figure, when circuit 31 ,i's connected to the 'source of power the first and third bulbs behind the .fstop lenses will be illuminated, these being, for instance the north and south red light bulbs; while the second and fourth stop bulbs, or those facing east and west, will be extinguished.

At the same time, the second and Afourth or east and west greenlight bulbs will be illuminated', and the flrst and third, or north and south green light bulbs will be extinguished; and the second and fourth or east and West timing window illuminating the bulbs will be illuminated, while' the first and third, or north and south, will be darkened. During this time the shutters 30 will be traveling across the east and westwindows I3, decreasing their illuminated area until they are completely covered, at which instant the commutator has reached a position to break the circuit 31 and close circuit 36, and the shutters are in position to travel across the northand south windows. Upon closing of circuit 36, the lights which were previously illuminated are all darkened and the others illuminated, lso that the direction of traillc is changed, the shutters now traveling across the north and south windows below the illuminated north and south go lenses.

In Figure 6 a modification of the invention is illustrated which is adapted to be entirely mount ed beneath the red and green lights in a separate casing which may be attached to the bottom of the casings already installed. 'The casing iis shown as consisting of a top |0| secured to the bottom of the present Acasingl |02, depending side walls |03, and a bottom |04. The sides are provided with elongated windows |06 having panes |01 and within these windows are'reilectors |08 carrying the sockets |00 and provided with bulbs ||0. A motor III is suspended from top |0| and drives through a worm and wheel II2, a vertical shaft I I3 provided at its lower end Vwith a pinion III meshing with a gear H5 carried by a central vertical shaft I|6. This shaft is provided with shutters I I1 similar to those above described, and with a commutator I I0 also similar to that above described, which controls the circuits of the lamps within the housing, and also those'in the casing to which it is attached.

In Figure 'l two commutator segments are shown, these being interposed in one side only of In this form the circuit to the various lamps. the lamps I 6 are shown connected inparallel with the circuits of lamps 9., If it is desired, at times, to operate lamps without lamps I6 or vice versa, duplicate commutator sectors may be used and the ends of the circuits from lamp I6 may be provided with their own individual brushes. In Figures 2 to 6 thecommutators with duplicate sets of 'sectors which may be used in this manner are illustrated. Also, the duplicate sectors mightbe connected into the opposite sides of the circuit if it be desired that the lamp circuits be broken on both sides simultaneously. 1

Whilethe signal has been illustrated as a complete sczli-contained unit, it is obvious that it may v nated time-indicating windows may be positioned in any place desired, either above or below the go" signal or either between or above or below the go and "stop lenses; or that the illuminated window itself may constitute the go" signal. y

While I have described the illustrated embodiment of my invention inl some particularity, obviously. many other embodiments will readily oc cur to those skilled in this art, and I theefore do not limit myself to the precise details shown and described herein, but claim as my invention all embodiments, variations and modifications coming within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Atraflic signal having stop" and g0 indications in four directions, means for the routinedisplay of said indications, a cylindrical 'housing having its4 r axis vertical, substantially quadrantal elongated windows in the exterior of said housing, a separate compartment to the rear of each of said Windows of substantially the same extent and spaced therefrom, illuminating means in each compartment, means to illuminate the illuminating means, two diametrically opposite parti-cylindrical opaque shutters each of substantially the same extent as a window and disposed in the space between the windows and the compartments, means for continuously and uniformly rotating the shutters, and means for timing the rotation of the shutter and the illumination of the illuminating means whereby illumination of a window is obtained at the instant of a change of indication and whereby the shutter begins to obliterate the illumination of the window at the beginning of an indication and completes the obliteration substantially at the end of the last-named indication.

'2. A traflic signal comprising a casing having a plurality of windows in the lateral'sides thereof facing in different directions, a plurality of sources of light one for leach window, means to direct a light from each sourcel to its corresponding window only, a light shutter, means to support sai-d shutter within the casing for rotation to successively intercept the light passing from each source to its respective window, timing means controlling the said sources and positively connected to said shutter to illuminate only the source the light from which the shutter is intercepting, additional signaling means comprising signal lights facing in the same directions as the windows, the illumination of said signal lights being controlled by said timing means.

3. A traffic signal comprising a casing having a plurality of windows in thelateral sides thereof facing in different directions, a plurality of sources of light, one source of light for each win-` dow,.means to direct the light from each source to its corresponding window only, a plurality of rotary shutters within the casing arranged to pass between said windows .and sources, each shutter being sufficient in extent to cover one of said windows, means for moving said shutters 'to pass said Windows successively, timing means connected to said shutters and arranged to control the'sources of light of the windows over l which the shutters are passing only, and additional signaling means facing in the same directions as the windows and controlled by said timing means.

4. A traffic signal comprising a casing having a plurality of windows in the lateral sides therethe shutters are passing only, and' additional signaling means facing in the same direction as the Windows and. controlled by said timing means 4to change atthe instant the shutters completelyv cover the windows over which they are passing. 5. A traic signal comprising a casing, windows through the sides thereof in substantially horizontal alinement, a central vertical shaft journalled within the casing, a plurality of sources of light, one source of light for each window, means to direct thelight from each source to its corresponding window only, the sources being positioned between the Windows and the shaft, two oppositely disposed curved shutters carried by and concentric with the shaft and arranged to intercept the light from said sources, and timing means carried by the shaft controlling the sources, so that only the windows over which the shutters are passing are illuminated.

, 6. A traic signal comprising a casing, windows through the sides thereof in substantially horizontal alinement, a central vertical shaft journalled within the casing, a plurality of sources of light between the windows and shaft, one source of light for each window, means to direct the light from each source to its corresponding window only, two oppositely disposed curved shutters carried by and concentric with the shaft `and arranged to intercept light passing from the -illuminating meansto the windows, the shutters being as great in extent as the width of the windows, openings through the casing, a plurality of sources of light one for each opening, timing means carried by the shaft 'and controlling the sources for both the windows and openings, whereby the Windows which are being covered by the shutters only are illuminated.

7. A traiiic signal comprising a vertically elongated casingthe upper portionof which is rectangular in cross-section and the lower portion of which is cylindrical in cross-section, two openings in-each side of the upper portion of the casing, one'beneaththe other, separate reflectors behind the openings, an incandescent bulb carried within each reector so that its light when illuminated is directed to the corresponding window only, a colored lens covering eachopening, four windows in horizontal alinement through the cylindrical portionof the casing, one beneath eachv pair of omnings, a plurality of reflectors 1 and concentric with the shaft and arranged to -pass -between the windows and their reflectors,

and a commutator carried by the shaft controlling the circuits by which the bulbs are illuminated, so that only the windows which are being covered by the shutters are illuminated, one of said openings above each window being il1u. minated when the window is illuminated-and the other illuminated when the Window is darki cned,

8. A traffic signal comprising a casing provided with a plurality of windows in substantially horizontal alinement and facing in different di- .A rections, a plurality of sources of light, each window being in front of one of said sources,` light obstructing elements confining the light from each source to its respective window, timingr means selectively in repeating cycles controlling the illumination ofsaid sources of light, a curved shutter supported to rotate about a vertical axis and arranged to intercept light passing from said sources to said Windows, driving' means rotating said shutter about said axis, and synchronized positive driving connections between said shutter and said timing means.


CERTIFICATE oF CORRECTION. Patent 1qr .2,o95,`92f3. october 12, 1957.


It is hereby certified that error 'appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows: In the draw1ng*str1ke ont Figure ?,snd insert instead the following:

and that the said Letters Patent should be read vwith this correctiontherein that the same may conform to the record of the. casein the Patent Office.

signed and sealed' this '5th any QfApril, A. D. 1958.v4

Henry Van Arsdale,4 (Seal)` Acting Commissioner of Patents.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3234506 *May 16, 1962Feb 8, 1966H P Hodge JrSafety light informer
US5988838 *May 30, 1997Nov 23, 1999Rudenberg; MurrayRemotely activated high-candle power illumination
US6443604Jan 21, 2000Sep 3, 2002Murray RudenbergRemotely activated high-candle power illumination
U.S. Classification340/929, 362/35, 116/63.00R, 362/286, D10/115, 362/284
International ClassificationG08G1/096
Cooperative ClassificationG08G1/096
European ClassificationG08G1/096