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Publication numberUS2141139 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1938
Filing dateJun 5, 1937
Priority dateJun 5, 1937
Publication numberUS 2141139 A, US 2141139A, US-A-2141139, US2141139 A, US2141139A
InventorsPaul J Howe, Jr Clement H Wyss
Original AssigneeWestern Union Telegraph Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interiorly illuminated sign
US 2141139 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 20, 1938.

P. J. HOWE ET AL INTERIORLY ILLUMINATED SIGN Filed June 5, 1957 V INVENTORS. I

FIG. 6

s W S Y O Y .70 W H w R in o. P c m Patented Dec. 20, 1938 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Wyss, Jr.,

New York, N. Y., assignors to The Western Union Telegraph Company, New York, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application June 5, 1937, Serial No. 146,672 12 Claims. (cram-132 This invention relates generally to illumination and more specifically to the lighting of signs or similar objects.

The primary object of the invention is to provide illumination from behind a translucent panel which will have a uniform intensity over the surface of the panel when viewed from the front.

Another objectis to attain the aforementioned object by using a single source ,of light.

A further object is to utilize a portion of this light to provide a good degree of illumination for the counter or other surface upon which the sign is placed.

While the prior art has sought to attain the first of these objects in a number of different ways withvarying degrees of success, none of these attempts have been completely satisfactory. A common device was the use of a plurality of relatively low powered light sources, also often employed in conjunction with a panel having an opaque field and translucent indicia. The former arrangement was productive of a non-uniform illumination of the panel and the latter, while instrumental in reducing the non-uniformity, made very inefficient use of the available light.

By a noval arrangement of instrumentalities, this invention makes possible a sign in which these defects are obviated and, in addition, one which supplies a quantity of light useful for other purposes hereinafter disclosed. A better understanding of the invention will be obtained from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof taken in connection with the bezels 26 attached to the front and rear edges of accompanying drawing, of which:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation ofthe sign with a portion of one panel broken away toshow some of the interior details thereof;

Fig. 2 is a vertical section taken through the center of the sign on the line 2-2 of Fig. 1 and illustrating the mechanical structure thereof;

Fig. 3 is a horizontal section of the sign taken on the line 3-3 of Fig. l and affording a plan view of the floor details;

Fig. 4 is a partially sectional view taken on the line 44 of Fig. 2 and shows in some detail the ceiling reflector and panel positioning members;

Fig. 5 illustrates an alternate form of light distributing member comprising a mesh of varying density; and a Fig. 6 is an end view of the mesh light distributing member of Fig. 5.

Having reference first to Fig. 1, there is shown a framework In carrying the sign panels H and itself supported on a pedestal comprising a base l2 and an upright column member I3. A lamp I4 is mounted in the pedestal and is screened from the panels H by serrated light distributing 7 members l5.

of which is a hollow cylindrical member 12 open on its under side and provided with a circular inwardly threaded bossed portion It on its upper surface. Closely fitting around the boss It, its end resting on the upper surface of the base 12, is the tubular upright member l3 which is fitted with an inwardly threaded disk ll near its lower extremity. The column [3 is secured to the base I2 by a pipe 18, one end of which is threaded through the disk l1 and the boss 16 and locked in position with a fixture hickey IS on the under side of the base I2. Forming a unitary structure with the upper end of the column I3 is a funnelshaped supporting member 20. The top of this support 20 is extended outward to form a fiange 2|. and the inner surface of the support is provided with a light reflecting surface 22. By a light reflecting surface, as used in this description and in the claims, is meant one which not only-will reflect and direct light but also will disperse it appreciably. The pipe l8 extends upward from the base I2 within the column 13 and carries on its upper end a lamp socket 23.

Thesign sup-porting framework IE3 has the general form of an elongated box resting with one of its long narrow sides on the flange 25 A shell 24 for-ms the'top, the two ends and enough of the bottom of the framework It to partially enclose this side of the structure. The remainder of the bottom is not enclosed, having the openings 25 disposed on both sides of the flange 2|.

,(See Fig. 3). Forming a unitary structure with the shell 24 are two substantially rectangular I protrude into the light chamber. Set behind each bezel 26 is a panel H which may be of glass or other suitable material on which the sign is inscribed. A preferred embodiment is one in which the field or background for the sign is translucent and the indicia 21 or other matter comprising the sign is opaque. For best results this conditioning of the panels I I should be done on their inner surfaces.

Each panel H is set in the framework it with its bottom edge in the-channel formed by the inner surface of the bezel 26 and a longitudinal rib 28 fastened to the floor of the framework. 1 The panels are held near their top: edges against the bezels 26 by two positioning members 29.

These members consist of bowed sheets of spring material arranged to be attached to the ceiling ofthe framework IE by the screws 30 (Fig. 4)

passing through holes at or near their centers. By tightening the screws 30, the positioning members 29 tend to be flattened against the ceiling and thereby cause their extremities to exert the desired pressure against the panels ll. exposed surfaces of these positioning members 29 are conditioned so as to be light reflective.

Also removably attached to and at the center of the ceiling of the framework Ill is a reflector 3!. The exposed, or under, surface of this reflector presents four flat faces 32 all of which meet at a central point and each of which is set in a different plane. Thus the composite surface resulting therefrom simulates one which is convex downward. The composite surface of the reflector need not be limited to one having four faces, but may be comprised of a virtually unlimited number of facets, each disposed so as to reflect and direct a portion of the light outwardly downward to the sign panels.

The lamp M is mounted in the socket 23 and extends upward through the support 20 and far enough into the sign enclosure to bring its filament, or other light emitting source, substantially into the plane of the floor of the framework IB. Preferably, the bulb or envelope of the lamp is frosted or provided with any suitable means for diffusing the light emanating from the source. Electrical energy is supplied to the socket 23 by a double conductor cord 33 passing through an opening 34 in the base 12 and upward on the inside of the pipe 18.

Mounted on the floor of the framework on either side of the lamp I 4, between it and the panels I! and in planes parallel to the panels, are two serrated light distributing members Hi. It will be noted in Fig. 1 that the serrations are the longest and the closest spaced atthe midpoints of these members and are of diminishing lengths and more widely spaced as the ends are approached.

Fig. illustrates another form of light distributing member 35. Such a member may be constructed from wire mesh of the type commonly used for window screens. It consists of a number (in this case three) of substantially semicircular pieces of the same, although not necessarily, size mesh, each piece being different in outside dimensions from the others. Several strands 36 of the largest piece 3'! are allowed to extend substantially radially from the curved edge so as not to present a sharply defined edge to the light rays, the effect of which would be to produce a corresponding line on the sign panels. The pieces of mesh 31, 3B and 39 are mounted upright by being clamped between a mounting angle 49 and a clamping member 4|. The screen members 3?, 38 and 39 are superimposed upon one another so that the meshes of no two coincide, thereby producing a light distributing member, the density of which is greatest at the bottom central portion thereof and which is decreased in graduated steps radially outward.

The reflecting surface 22 of the support 20, the under surface of the positioning members 29, the surfaces of the reflector 3i and the light distributing members it all cooperate to provide a uniform illumination of the panels ll. Specifically, the light emanating downward from the lamp I4 is redirected upward into the sign enclosure by the reflecting surface 22. The direct light emanating upward from the lamp, together with some of the light reflected from the surface 22, is redirected downward and outward by the reflector 3| in four different directions to the inner sur- The H faces of the panels II. The distributing members l5 are instrumental in so dispersing the light emanating laterally from the lamp l4 and from the reflecting surface 22 that there are visible on the surfaces of the panels II no areas of greater or lesser light intensity than that of the rest of the panel. By being characterized as hereinbefore described, these members efiect an even distribution of light over the panel even though the density of the light impinging on unit areas thereof varies as a function of the distance by which any given unit area is removed from the light source. However, the light rays which are thus prevented from reaching one panel are redirected by the inner surfaces of the distributing members to the opposite panel, thereby contributing to its uniform illumination.

As noted hereinbefore, there are two openings 25 in the floor of the framework I0, and through these openings a substantial quantity of light is directed downward and thereby illuminates a considerable portion of the surface on which the base I2 rests.

It will be noted that the lamp I4 may be re moved and replaced without dismantling the sign in any way. For this purpose, access to the lamp may be had through either of the openings 25. In addition to the lamp M, the light distributing members Hi, the positioning members 29 and the reflector 3| may also be reached and removed through one of the openings 25. Then if it is desired, the panels ll may be removed. It will also be appreciated that the reflecting surface 22 serves primarily to increase the efficiency of the device, and may be omitted if desired.

It will be obvious that the novel features of this invention may be embodied in signs having other shapes than the one illustrated. For example, a sign which is similar to the one shown, but longer, may have a plurality of light sources, each suitably recessed in the floor, and a light distributing member interposed between each light source and the panels. Also the sign may be multi-sided with translucent panels forming the sides thereof which may be arranged concentrically about a light source. In this case, a distributing member is interposed between the light source and each panel.

Hence, in a sign which is arranged to be interiorly illuminated, it is seen that by the suitable positioning of one or more light sources and by the use of appropriate light distributing and reflecting members, the sides of the sign may be effectively and uniformly illuminated. At the same time illumination is also provided for the counter, desk or other surface upon which the sign is placed. Since the only light absorbing surfaces present in a sign of this nature are the relatively small areas comprising the ind-icia, a high degree of efflciency is obtained. Also, this invention provides a sign of the class described above, which may be very easily serviced.

The nature of the invention is determined from the foregoing description of a preferred embodiment thereof, and it is obvious that various modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit thereof. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is defined by the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In an illuminating device, a panel to be lighted, a light source, and means interposed between said panel and said light source to provide a uniform illumination of said panel, said means having light transmitting openings varying in 76 size according to their respective displacements from the light source.

2. In an illuminating device, a panel to be lighted, a concave reflector having its opening disposed in a plane perpendicular to said panel, a light source associated with said reflector, and means interposed between said panel and said light source to distribute the light emanating directly from said source and reflected from said reflector uniformly over said panel, said means having light transmitting openings varying in size according to their respective displacements from the light source.

3. An interiorly illuminated sign, comprising a pedestal support, a light source carried thereby, a framework having a base mounted on said support, a plurality of translucent panels demountably positioned in said framework and bearing thereon indicia adapted for interior illumination, a light reflecting surface characterized by multiple facets and mounted in said framework above said light source, openings in the base of said framework to provide exterior illumination below the sign, and a plurality of light distributing members suitably interposedbetween said light source and said panels to cooperate with said reflecting surface in uniformly illuminating said panels, said members being characterized by light transmitting openings varying in size according to their respective displacements from the light source.

4. An interiorly lighted sign, comprising a pedestal support, a recessed portion in the topthereof adapted for reflection of light rays, a light source carried by said support and located within said recessed portion, a framework having an enclosed top and open bottom and mounted on said support, a plurality of translucent panels mounted vertically in said framework and disposed substantially concentrically about said light source, said panels bearing indicia adapted for interior illumination, a reflector having a plurality of facets adapted for angular reflection of light rays and mounted directly above said light source on the under side of the top of said framework, and a plurality of serrated light distributing members suitably interposed between said light source and said panels to provide for the uniform impingement of the light rays upon the surfaces of said panels.

5. An interiorly lighted sign, comprising a pedestal support, a generally concave recessed portion in the top thereof adapted for reflection of light rays, a light source within said recessed portion and carried by said support, an upright supporting framework having enclosed top and ends and open sides and bottom and internally adapted for reflection of light rays, said framework being centrally mounted on said pedestal support, translucent panels bearing indicia adapted for interior illumination and positioned in said framework forming the sides therefor, a reflector centrally mounted on the inside of the top of said framework and having four facets adapted for angular reflection of light rays, and serrated members interposed between said light source and said panels in planes substantially parallel to the panels, the depth and breadth of the serrations of said members being varied, the depth in inverse proportion and the breadth in direct proportion to the displacement of the serrations from said light source, said panels being uniformly impinged by light rays distributed by said serrated members and reflected from the aforementioned reflecting surfaces.

6. An interiorly illuminated sign comprising a pedestal support, a light source carried thereby, a framework having a base mounted on said support, a plurality of translucent panels demountably positioned in said framework and bearing thereon indicia adapted for interior illumination, 2. light reflecting surface mounted in said framework above said source, openings in the base of said framework to provide exterior illumination below the sign, and a plurality of screen meshes having a varied density and being suitably interposed between said light source and the panels to cooperate with said reflecting surface in uniformly illuminating said panels.

7. A device for uniformly illuminating a panel, comprising a source of diffused light, reflecting members disposed adjacent to the edges of said panel, and a light distributing member interposed between said source and said panel, said member being provided with light transmitting openings varying in size directly as their respective displacements from the light source.

8. A device for uniformly illuminating a plurality of panels, comprising a source of diffused light, reflecting surfaces disposed adjacent the edges of said panels, and a plurality of light distributin members interposed between said source and said panels, said members having serrations varying in length and spacing whereby the ratio of the quantity of light transmitted through unit areas thereof to the quantity of light impinging upon said areas varies inversely as the quantity of light impinging upon said areas, the interrupted light rays being redirected to another of said panels.

9. In combination, a member having a surface to be illuminated, a source of light disposed adjacent one edge thereof, and a serrated lightdistributing member disposed intermediate said surfaced member and said light source.

10. In combination, a member having a surface to be illuminated, a source of light spaced from said surface adjacent one edge thereof, and a member having a plurality of notches interposed between said surfaced member and said light source for transmitting predetermined quantities of direct light to said surface.

11. In an illuminating device, a surface to be uniformly lighted, a source of light disposed adjacent one edge thereof, a serrated light-distributor disposed intermediate said surface and said light source for transmitting predetermined quantities of direct light to said surface, and a light-reflector disposed in spaced relation to said light source for supplying said surface with predetermined quantities of reflected light.

12. In an illuminating device, a member having a surface to be uniformly lighted, a source of light spaced from said surfaced member, a toothed light-distributing member interposed between said surfaced member and said light source for intercepting a predetermined number of light rays emanating from said source, and a plurality of refleeting surfaces including the surfaces of said light-distributing member adjacent said light source for supplying reflected light to portions of said surfaced member deficient in direct light.

PAUL J. HOWE. CLEMENT H. WYSS, JR.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2483681 *Jul 14, 1947Oct 4, 1949 van der neut
US2515844 *Jul 18, 1946Jul 18, 1950Bausch & LombIlluminating device
US2567561 *Jun 24, 1947Sep 11, 1951Gen ElectricUniform intensity illumination for viewing boxes
US3074313 *Dec 27, 1960Jan 22, 1963Rca CorpPhotocopier apparatus
US3279110 *Aug 2, 1965Oct 18, 1966Lelicoff JhonPortable warning device
US3516187 *Jun 17, 1968Jun 23, 1970Adrian O EspinosaHouse number receptacle
US5381324 *Dec 23, 1992Jan 10, 1995Marketing Displays, Inc.Illuminated canopy system
US5537302 *Nov 17, 1994Jul 16, 1996Marketing Displays, Inc.Illuminated sign with patterned openings on light dispersion member
US5588742 *Jun 29, 1994Dec 31, 1996Holophone CorporationInternally illuminated sign
US5613763 *Jun 7, 1995Mar 25, 1997Marketing Displays Inc.Method for installing illuminated canopy system
US5664878 *Sep 25, 1996Sep 9, 1997Holophane CorporationInternally illuminated sign
US5746503 *Oct 5, 1994May 5, 1998Marketing Displays Inc.Illuminated canopy system
US5931564 *Sep 22, 1995Aug 3, 1999Hillstrom; David U.Illuminated canopy system
US5947589 *Oct 15, 1997Sep 7, 1999Hillstrom; David U.Illuminated lightbox structure with light dispersion members
US20130170223 *Jul 5, 2012Jul 4, 2013Miva FilosetaLight Diffusion Mechanism
USRE36039 *Nov 29, 1995Jan 12, 1999Marketing Displays, Inc.Illuminated canopy system
WO1994015141A1 *Dec 23, 1993Jul 7, 1994Marketing Displays IncIlluminated canopy system
WO1996011357A1 *Oct 27, 1994Apr 18, 1996Marketing Displays IncIlluminated canopy system
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/563, 362/346, 362/297, 362/290, 362/812, 362/343, 362/410
International ClassificationG09F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/812, G09F13/00
European ClassificationG09F13/00