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Publication numberUS2130023 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 13, 1938
Filing dateNov 20, 1936
Priority dateNov 20, 1936
Publication numberUS 2130023 A, US 2130023A, US-A-2130023, US2130023 A, US2130023A
InventorsGeorge W Owen
Original AssigneeGeorge W Owen
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated sign
US 2130023 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 13, 1938. u G. w. OWEN 2,130,023

ILLUMINATED SIGN Filed Nov. 20, 1936 l INVENTOR a aeaflt flmw 16 qm y \ATTORNEY Patented Sept. .1 3,

ILLUMINATED SIGN George W. Owen, Forest Hills, N. Y.

Application November 20, 1936, Serial No. 111,758

Claims.

The present invention relates to illuminated signs and has for an object to provide a novel device which will give the appearance of a neon sign without involving a high first cost and a 5 heavy operating expense.

A further object of the invention is to provide a sign formed of transparent or translucent elements in the form of letters, numbers, or other indicia, and means for projecting light upon the same in such manner that they will glow as if they were self-illuminous.

Another object of the invention is to provide a sign which will also give a pleasing effect in the daytime when it is not artificially illuminated.

Another object of the invention is to provide a compact and inconspicuous housing for a source of light, such housing having a slot therein through which a beam of light is projected, together with means for detachably mounting separate advertising elements in position to intercept the beam of light. Since the elements are separate they may be assembled to spell any word desired and they may be shifted about and changed at will.

Another object of the invention is to provide means for adjusting the depth or thickness of the light beam in proportion to the height of the advertising elements, thereby confining the light substantially to said elements and reducing as far as possible any stray light that may be projected on a ceiling, wall, or other adjacent surface.

Another object of the invention is to provide means controlling the distribution of the light on the advertising elements so that the illumination of the latter will be substantially uniform.

With the above named objects in view and others which will appear hereinafter I shall now describe a preferred embodiment of my invention and certain modifications thereof and thereafter the novelty and scope of the invention will be set forth in the claims.

In the accompanying drawing:

Figure 1 is a view in front elevation of my improved illuminated sign;

Fig. 2 is an end elevation of the same with the light arranged to shine upon the rear face of the advertising elements;

Fig. 3 is a view in vertical section line 33 of Fig; 1;

Fig. 4 is a similar view in section showing a diflerent form of advertising element arranged to be displayed with the light shining on the front face thereof;

Fig. 5 is a view in section of a modification of taken on the my invention wherein a parabolic reflector is employed to direct the light beam upon the advertising elements;

Fig. 6 is an. end view partly broken away and showing a double sign having means along a 5 median line for casting light upwardly against an upper set of advertising elements and downwardly against a depending set of advertising elements; and

Fig. 7 is a view in perspective of a modified form of advertising element.

In the device shown in Figs. 1 to 3 inclusive, I employ an elongated, two-piece housing comprising a longitudinal body portion l0 and a reflector portion ll arranged to telescope laterally in the 15 body portion. The body portion comprises a vertical front wall l2 and a bottom wall I3 with end walls M. The reflector portion comprises a bottom wall l5 adapted to lie on the wall l3 and a semi-cylindrical rear wall i6 adapted to close 20 the rear and a part of the top of the housing. The reflector has end walls I! adapted to fit snugly between end walls ll. In order to hold the two parts together and yet permit adjustment of one with respect to the other, each end wall I1 is 26 formed with a slot l8 adapted to engage a screw or bolt 20 projecting from the adjacent end wall it. Thus, the reflector can be moved in or out as far as desired and then be clamped in place I by tightening the bolts 20. The body of the hous- 30 ing is formed with a narrow stepped top wall I 9 which does not extend to the curved rear wall of the reflector so that the gap 2| is left between the end of wall 86 and the stepped wall I 9. Seated in and secured to the stepped wall I9 is a channel rail 35 22 extending the full length of the housing. This channel is just wide enough to receive a set of letters 23, or other suitable display elements, with a friction fit so that the letters will stand upright on the housing.

Within the housing one or more electric lamps are mounted. If desired, a single long lamp may be provided which extends substantially from end to end of the housing, but,- in the particular 45 embodiment illustrated, a number of smaller lamps 24 are employed which are mounted in axial alinement, preferably on the axis of the semi-cylindrical wall i6. To this end, lamp sockets 25 are mounted in the reflector portion of the 50 housing and these are electrically connected by flexible leads 21 to a suitable source of electric current. If desired, the lamp sockets may be secured to the body portion l0 instead, as. indicated at 26 in Fig. 4, in which case the lamps 55 would bear a fixed relation to the letters 23 rather than to the reflector ll.

In the preferred form of my invention shown in Figs. 1-3 inclusive, the light issuing from the gap 2| shines upon the rear face of the letters. The letters may be made of clear glass or other transparent material, and may be suitably colored. If transparent material is used the illumination of the letters will be substantially uniform and will not betray the fact that the lower portion of the letter is nearer the source of light than is the top. There is a disadvantage in the use of transparent characters where the sign is to be displayed in daytime, as well as at night, because under daylight conditions the transparent letters do not stand out as prominently as would semi-opaque or translucent letters. Furthermore, since the letters are transparent itis possible to see objects through them, which tends to disturb the display. I prefer, therefore, to use translucent advertising elements which may be made of glass but are more conveniently and cheaply made of translucent phenol resins. The light produces a glow which seems to come from within the letter giving it the attractive appearance of a neon advertising sign. However, in translucent material the illumination of the letter is not as uniform. The letters are apt to show shadows or darkened areas at their upper ends which are most remote from the source of light. I flnd that this difllculty can be overcome by forming a shelf 28 on each letter, projecting rearwardly from the upper end thereof. This shelf may be of the same material as that of which the letter is made and it serves as an auxiliary reflector to catch the rays of light and reflect them back into the main body of the letter. The effect is enhanced if the under surface of the shelf 28 is slightly inclined toward the body of the letter so as to throw the rays against the body of the letter more directly. In certain letters two shelves 28 may be used as, for example, in the letter A, Fig. 1, or a curved shelf may be employed as in the letter S. The shelves do not show through the letter but collect suflicient light to illuminate the upper end of the letter to the substantially same extent as the lower end of the letter is illuminated, so that the letter does not betray the direction from which the light is projected. The gap 2| should be adjusted by moving the reflector inwardly or outwardly so that the beam of light will just reach the rear edge of the shelf 28. In other words, the taller the letter the wider the slot must be. If so arranged the only light that is wasted is that which passes between the letters. I have found that it is possible to obtain a very pleasing illuminated effect with letters of translucent phenol resin material employing a light of comparatively low candle power. The channel 22 stands up above the gap 2| and completely conceals from view the source of light and the letters seem to stand out as separate self-luminous bodies. Since the letters are retained in the channel 22 by friction they may-be withdrawn at will and replaced by others.

Another way in which a uniform illumination of the letters may be obtained is to provide each letter with a backing of some good light reflecting material. Such a letter is shown in Fig. 4 at 29 and on the rear face of this letter is applied a coating of white paint or a sheet of otherrefleeting material. The letter is inserted in the channel 22 in reverse position with respect to the letters in Figs. 2 and 3 so that the light shining through the gap 2| will play upon the front face of the letters, and such light as penetrates the letters will be reflected by the surface 30, therebyinsuring a substantially uniform glow over the entire letter. While this provides a simple means of obtaining substantially uniform illumination it obviously limits the sign to one which must be viewed from one side only.

In Fig. 5, I show a modified lamp housing. The body portion of the housing may be identical with that heretofore described and consequently it is indicated with the reference numeral Hi. However, the reflector is in the form of a parabola in cross-section, as indicated at 31. The lamp is suitably mounted at the focus of the parabola and the latter is set at such an angle that its rays will be inclined with respect to the element to be illuminated. Since the rays are projected in parallel lines there will be adequate illumination of the upper extremity of the letters and the shelves'may be dispensed with. Although the lower part of the letters will be somewhat more brightly illuminated by direct rays from the source of light, nevertheless, the effect will be substantially uniform throughout the letter. The lamp is mounted in the reflector and the latter is slidable in the body l0, being provided with slotted end walls 32 which engage the bolts 20 fixed to the end walls of the body portion l0. Thus, the parabolic reflector may be adjusted inwardly r outwardly, as desired, in order to adapt the thickness of the beam to the height of the letter.

It will be understood that although the sign is shown with the light directed upwardly it may also be used in inverted position with the letters depending. In such case, the source of light will not be apparent unless one happens to stand in the direct rays of the light showing from the gap 2|.

The sign shown in Fig. 6 comprises two lines of advertising elements, one projecting upwardly from the lamp housing and the other downwardly therefrom. In this case the housing comprises a sheet metal casing 35 in which are mounted one or more lamp supports 36 for a lamp, or, a set of lamps 31. A reflector 38 is secured between the end walls of the housing. An upper gap 39 is provided between the reflector 38 and the main body of the housing and a similar gap 40 is provided along the under side of the housing. A channel rail 4| is mounted adjacent the gap 39 and a similar channeled rail 42 is mounted adjacent the gap 40. Letters 43 and 44 are mounted in the channels 4! and 42, respectively, and it will be observed that the light from the lamp or lamps 31 shines upwardly through the gap 39 upon the letters 43 and downwardly through the gap 40 upon the letters 44. These letters are preferably provided with means such as shelves 45 at their outer extremities to catch the light and provide uniform distribution of the illumination.

While the letters are preferably flat, being cut out of sheets, they may also be modeled on one face, preferably the rear face, by cutting grooves 46 therein, as clearly shown in Fig. '7. The grooves produce slight shadows giving the letter a somewhat more rounded effect when it is illuminated.

While I have described a preferred embodiment of my invention and certain modifications thereof it will be understoodthat these are to be taken as illustrative and not limitative of my invention, and that I reserve the right to make various of the slot and thereby adjust the depth of changes in form, construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention as set forth in the following claims.

I claim:

1. A device of the character described comprising an elongated housing, means for supporting a light-permeable display element edgewise with respect to the housing, a support for an electric lamp within the housing, the housing being formed of two parts with an elongated cut-out portion between the parts on the side adjacent ,the display element to form a slot through which a beam of light from the lamp may be cast diagonally against a side face of said element, one of the housing parts being adapted to telescope laterally within the other so as to vary the width the beam in accordance with the height of said display element.

2. A device of the character described comprising an elongated housing, means on one side of the housing for supporting a light-permeable display element edgewise with respect to the housing, a support for an electric lamp within the housing, the housing being formed of a body portion and a reflector portion adapted to telescope laterally within the body portion, the housing being also formed with a slot between said portions on the side adjacent said element through which a beam of light from said lamp may be cast diagonally against a side face of said element, the width of said slot being adjustable by telescoping the reflector portion within the body portion, and means for securing said portions at any desired adjustment.

3. A device of the character described comprising a housing, a translucent display element,

means on the housing for supporting said element edgewise with respect to the housing, an electric lamp enclosed in the housing, the housing being formed with a slot through which a beam of light from said lamp may be cast against the rear face of said element, and a shelf-like reflector on the upper end of the element and projecting from the rear face thereof to catch a part of the light and reflect the same into the upper part of the body of said element.

4. A device of the character described comprising a housing, a translucent display element, means on the housing for supporting said element edgewise with respect to the housing, an electric lamp enclosed in the housing, the housing being formed with a slot through which a beam of light from said lamp may be cast against the rear face of said element, and a translucent shelf-like projection formed on the upper end of the element and projecting from the rear face of the element to catch a part of the light and reflect the same into the upper part of the body of said element.

5. A device of the character described comprising a housing, a translucent display element, means on the housing for supporting said element edgewise with respect to the housing, an electric lamp enclosed in the housing, the housing being formed with a slot through which a beam of light from said lamp may be cast against the rear face of said element, and a translucent shelf-like projection formed on the upper end of the element and projecting from the rear face of the element, said shelf-like projection being slightly inclined toward the body of said element to catch part of the light and reflect the same into the body.

- GEORGE W. OWEN.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2596614 *Mar 29, 1948May 13, 1952Stepien William JohnIlluminated wall bracket
US2613465 *Nov 30, 1950Oct 14, 1952Kolite IncUltraviolet light fixture
US2672836 *Sep 15, 1949Mar 23, 1954Ohio Commw Eng CoBlankholder arrangement for presses
US2736974 *Feb 20, 1953Mar 6, 1956Jaye CorpAdvertising display sign
US6481130 *Aug 11, 2000Nov 19, 2002Leotek Electronics CorporationLight emitting diode linear array with lens stripe for illuminated signs
US20070247856 *Apr 4, 2007Oct 25, 2007Wang Shih CLighting unit reflector
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/563, 40/618, 362/812
International ClassificationG09F13/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/812, G09F13/02
European ClassificationG09F13/02