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Publication numberUS2137360 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 22, 1938
Filing dateDec 1, 1937
Priority dateDec 11, 1936
Publication numberUS 2137360 A, US 2137360A, US-A-2137360, US2137360 A, US2137360A
InventorsCharles Skelsey Alfred
Original AssigneeCharles Skelsey Alfred
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated advertising sign
US 2137360 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 22, 1938. A. c. SKELSEY' ILLUMlNATED ADVERTISING SIGN Filed Dec; 1, 1937 2 Sheets-Sheet l Nov. 22, 1938..

A. C. SKELS EY ILLUMINATED ADVERTISING SIGN 2 Sheets-Shet 2 Filed Dec. 1, 19:57

Patented Nov. 22, 1938 airl ne PATENT OFFICE.

ILLUMINATED ADVERTISING SIGN Alfred Charles Skelsey, London, England Application December 1, 1937, Serial No. 177,603 In Great Britain December 11, 1936 2 Claims.

This invention relates to illuminated advertising signs composed of units which are constructed and designed to enable any required character, such as a letter of the alphabet or a numeral to be depicted under the control of switch 'means located at a remote position, whereby'any desired message or sign can be portrayed by providing a sufficient number of the said units to compose the sign. The invention concerns sign units of the type incorporating a character-defining frame provided with divisions which; separate the frame into sections, any selected combination of which can be used in forming a character, and a plurality of lamps suitably I arranged to illuminate the said sections and adapted to be'switched on in selected combinations. Signs of this type areof special value for erection in positions where difficulty would be experienced in erecting and changing the sign units themselves, especially in cases Where frequent change is required.

The present invention provides improvements in a signof the foregoing type and more par ticularly aims at reducing to a minimum the number of lamps required to form a whole range of characters; further objects being to ensure, as far as possible, uniform intensity of illuminationthroughout the displayed character and to avoid the production of dark lines or spots where the frame sections meet one another so that the lighting of the character is continuous and even throughout.

According to the invention, an advertising sign of the type set forth is characterized in that, some of the lamps are positioned immediately behind divisions of the character-defining frame so as to be common each to two or more chara'cter-forming sections of the frame, whilst other lamps are individual to specified sections of the 40 frame.

In. order that. the invention may be readily understood, reference is directed to the accompanying drawings illustrating, by way of example, practical forms of sign units in accordance therewith, and wherein- Figure 1 is a face view of a unit according to one design, from which the front glass has been removed.

Figure 2 is a sectional view of the sign shown in Figure 1, on line II--II.

Figure 3 is a section on line IIIIII, showing the construction of the light-controlling chamber, the positions of the light-emission openings being indicated by dot-and-dash line.

Figure 4 shows a face view of a characterdefining frame of modified design that may be employed.

Figure 5' is a diagrammatic view showing a form of control switch that may be employed and the manner of wiring the lamps when such a switch is used; and,

Figure 6 is a perspective view of one key plate of a set and pertaining to a specified character.

Referring to the drawings, the sign unit comprises a rectangu ar metal box-like casing I having back plate 8 and diffusing and coloured front glasses 9. Within the casing there is provided a frame-like unit It which preferably is inserted from the front of said casing and readily detachable therefrom.

The said frame if comprises a front section B l in the form of a reticulated frame and this section constitutes a. character-defining section and is hereinafter referred to as such. The rear section H of the frame It also is in the form of a reticulated frame and constitutes a light-controlling chamber as hereinafter explained; it is hereinafter referred to by that term.

Upon the back plate 8 are mounted a plurality of lamps l3 which are arranged to enter the compartments of the light-controlling chamber 62 and which have predetermined positions in relation to the divisions of the character-defin ing frame as hereinafter explained.

The character-defining section ll of frame It incorporates a number of division strips M which are suitably arranged in any predetermined manner to form, between two substantially parallel strips, a character-defining channel. As shown in each of the two patterns (Figures 1 and 4) these channels include marginal channels which extend around the outline of the sign and other channels which intersect one another at the centre of the sign.

It will be understood that whatever the design of the character-defining section ll 'of frame Hi, there will be a number of points where strips thereof intersect other strips. This necessarily results in the formation of a number of small compartments. To provide each of these small compartments with its own lamp would necessitate the employment of a large number of lamps and complicated switching arrangements. The invention overcomes this difficulty by arranging that some of the lamps are common each to two or more character-formation sections of the frame. For example, the lamps l3a are common each to three or four different sections. By arranging these lamps at the positions of intersection of the strips, the

light emitted by such a lamp is able to illuminate each of the adjacent sections with consequent economy in lighting consumption. Further, this distribution of the light obviates the production of dark regions in the locality of the points of intersection thereby giving continuous character formation. Other lamps such as l3b are arranged to illuminate two sections at positions other than those of intersection and will be switched only when both sections are to be used. If not switched on, then certain of said adjoining sections can be illuminated independently of others.

To permit the lamps to be arranged in the above way, they are mounted wholly behind the plane of the character-defining section II of frame I0, and those which are to illuminate two or more frame sections each are disposed immediately behind a-division strip of the frame H, e. g. the lamps I3a and HI) shown in Figure 2. Other lamps are individual to sections of the character-defining frame.

The divisions of the light-controlling chamber l2 serve to prevent the light rays from the lamps passing to sections of the frame H other than those which they are intended to illuminate.

In order further to control the light entering the character-defining frame H, the unit In is fitted with a plate l5 where the character-defining section II meets the light-controlling chamber l2, said plate being formed with apertures [6 through which the light passes into the character-defining section. Said plate can be arranged to obscure parts of the lamps as shown at H.

The lamps can be controlled according to required permutation by switch means of any suitable form which can be operated either manually, mechanically or otherwise and can be situated at any convenient remote position.

One example of a manual switch which I may employ is shown in Figure 5 and comprises a holder l8 adapted to receive as a sliding fit any selected one of a set of insulator key plates I9, the inside face of the member l8 being fitted with an insulator plate 20 to which is attached a metal circuit-closing plate 2| having its edges set back. A base member 22 of insulating material is fitted with a plurality of spring-pressed plungers 23 which are electrically connected to the various lamps, and a similar live plunger 24. Any suitable provision is made to advance the holder l8 towards said plungers, with the result that those plungers which coincide with holes I9a in the selected key plate I 9 will pass through said holes and come into contact with the circuitclosing plate 2|. The permutation of holes in a key plate will depend upon the lamps to be lit up.

If desired, provision may be made for adjusting the positions of those lamps which are common to two or more sections of the characterdefining frame so as to correctly position said lamps with respect to the divisions of said frame.

Further, if difficulty is likely to be experienced in nesting the lamps of different compartments sufficiently close together, the lamps therefor may be situated well back from the characterdefining frame and be spaced-apart further than are the front openings of the compartments of the light-controlling chamber which they are to illuminate, the walls of said compartments being suitably inclined to convey the light rays from the lamps to the said front openings of the compartments.

Any of the light channels of the characterdefining frame may be sub-divided as required, provision being made in the manner above explained for independent illumination of the sections thus formed.

As will be understood, a plurality of units made in accordance with the invention will be assembled together or be otherwise arranged in a row or rows for the display of notices and the like.

I claim:

1. An advertising sign including a plurality of lamps arranged within compartments in a light controlling chamber, a frame having character defining strips forming character sections and arranged in front of said compartments, and a plurality of lamps positioned in the compartments immediately behind certain strips of the character defining frame so as to be common each to two or more character forming sections of the frame, While other lamps are individual to specific sections of the frame. I

2. An advertising sign unit adapted to exhibit changeable reading characters including, a light controlling chamber having a plurality of lamp compartments arranged respectively in intramarginal vertical, horizontal and diagonally crossing relation, an illuminating lamp in each compartment, and a character defining section arranged in front of the light controlling chamber and comprising a plurality of spaced major character forming strips also arranged in intramar-ginal, vertical, horizontal, and diagonally crossing relation to conform substantially with the arrangement of the lamp compartments, said strips being joined at intervals by relatively short minor strip sections arranged to intersect the plane of the major strips, opaque portions filling the gaps between the non-character forming areas of the character defining section, certain of said major character forming strips and their minor strip sections being arranged out of obstructing relation to some of said lamps to permit such lamps only to flood-light the area between two major strips, and other of said major character forming strips and their minor strip sections directly overlying other of said lamps whereby such lamps will flood-light a plurality of compartments simultaneously.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2953776 *Apr 26, 1956Sep 20, 1960Eli BlutmanPhotographic digital readout device
US3210876 *Jan 10, 1964Oct 12, 1965Dialight CorpLuminous devices
US3405468 *Mar 28, 1966Oct 15, 1968Pilkington Brothers LtdSigns
US4702479 *Mar 5, 1986Oct 27, 1987Miniature Electronics, Inc.Display apparatus for playing card suits
US4724629 *Apr 16, 1986Feb 16, 1988VCH International LimitedIlluminated display board
US5497171 *Feb 14, 1995Mar 5, 1996Asulab S.A.Electronic display arrangement
US5707081 *May 13, 1996Jan 13, 1998Luna; Roberto F.Alphanumeric quick symbol guide
U.S. Classification40/451
International ClassificationG09F9/307
Cooperative ClassificationG09F9/307
European ClassificationG09F9/307