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Publication numberUS2147748 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 21, 1939
Filing dateAug 22, 1935
Priority dateSep 7, 1934
Publication numberUS 2147748 A, US 2147748A, US-A-2147748, US2147748 A, US2147748A
InventorsMiller Brian Edward Merriman
Original AssigneeCelanese Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sign, ornamental device, and the like
US 2147748 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 2l, 1939. B. E. M. MILLER 2,147,748

SIGN, ORNAMENTAL DEVICE, AND THE LIKE Filed Aug. 22, 1935 Patented Feb. 21, 1939 UNITED STATES 2,147,748 SIGN, ORNAIVIENTAL DEVICE, AND THE LIKE Brian Edward Merriman Miller, London, England, assignor to Celanese Corporation of America, a

corporation of Delaware Application August 2z, 1935, serial No. 341,312

In Great Britain September 7, 1934 15 Claims.

This invention relates to signs, ornamental devices, and like devices (hereinafter referred to as signs"), for advertising, ornamental and other purposes. r According to the present inven-tion such a sign comprises a base of light-transmitting material .carrying a film of reflecting material said lm being disposed so as to display the desired inscription or ornamental or other matter, and being of such thickness as to have good reflecting power, coupled with an ability to transmit a considerable proportion of any incident light. For example, a sign may comprise a sheet of transparent material, for instance, of a cellulose acetate plastic, carrying a thin film of gold, silver or other highly reflecting metal, the sheet being disposed behind, and in contact with, an opaque stencil sheet in which is cut the required inscription. Viewed by reflected light the inscription appears in gold or other metal on a dark background. On the other vfhand. when viewed by transmitted light the sign exhibits a bright inscription on a dark ground, the colour depending upon the colour of the illuminating light. In the case of a film of silver, for instance, very good results may be obtained when the illuminating light is of a red co1our. such as that given by a neon lamp. With gold lms yellow or green illuminating light is very satisfactory.

By forming the inscription in relief on the transparent sheet, for example by embossing, and permitting the raised portions to project through the above-mentioned opaque stencil sheet, a sign of very greatly enhanced appearance and utility may be obtained. The characters of the inscription then have the appearance of being formed of a substantial mass of metal and yet are sumciently transparent to light to permit them to be satisfactorily illuminated from the rear.

Referring to the drawing, Figure 1 shows in elevation a device in accordance with the invention, and bearing a single character. Figure 2 shows a vertical section of the same. It comprises a sheet of light-transmitting cellulose acetate plastic or other material I having portions 2 raised in relief by embossing so as to form the desired character and carrying on the rear side a reecting metal film I3 of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light. The embossed sheet I is provided with a backing 3 of translucent matt sheet material, preferably colored, fixed thereto by metal clips 4.

Figure 3 shows in elevation and Figure 4 in vertical section through the line 4-4, a sign compris- (Cl. lIIL-133) ing an assembly of characters of the type illustrated in Figures 1 and 2. The characters are mounted behind an opaque stencil plate 5 with the embossed portions 2 projecting therethrough. Portions oi the stencil such as those indicated at 5 l, which of necessity must be separate from the main portion of the sheet d, may be fixed to the corresponding parts t of the sheet l, for example by means of rivets. Il? desired portions of the stencil such as those indicated at` i may be dislo penseel with and the parts t oi the sheet I merely given a coat oi opaque varnish or the like'.

'llhe stencil sheet t forms the iront of a substantially light-tight box having a back t and a top id in which are fixed lampholders il carrying electric lamps l2. The hinged portion t facilitates access to the interior of the box.

Instead of using the separate opaque stencil sheet 5 to form the desired opaque ground, the latter may be secured by applying a coating of an opaque varnish, paint or the like. Again the ground may not be opaque; for instance it may be semi-transparent and/or coloured.

The reflecting coating I3 is preferably of gold, silver, or other metal of high reflecting power. It is further particularly advantageous to employ metals such as do not tarnish readily upon exposure to the atmosphere. As indicated above, it is necessary that the reflecting iilm I3 should be so thin as to transmit a` considerable proportion of light incident thereon. A most satisfactory method of forming such films is to utilize the ne spray or stream of particles of metal which can be produced by applying, in a high vacuum, a high electric potential between electrodes of the metal to form the coating. By placing the article to be coated between such electrodes, the article may be given coatings of metal which are highly satisfactory for the purpose in view. For example, such coatings may be of great uniformity and firmly adherent to light-transmitting materials which it is convenient to employ inthe construction of the signs and other devices of the invention. In this manner very satisfactory gold or silver films may be obtained at comparatively small cost.

The reecting film I3 may be deposited either on the back of the light-transmitting material I or upon the front of the same, that is, upon the side from which the sign or the like is in50 tended to be viewed. 'I'he latter method in gen- I eral affords the most brilliant appearance, but on the other hand deposition of the lm upon the back of the material has the advantage that the film can be much more eifectively protected from mechanical damage or from the action of the atmosphere. to which the sign may be subjected. The reflecting film It may very advantageously be given a coating of a protective varnish, e. g. a clear nitro cellulose.

Variousmaterials may be employed as the light-transmitting base I upon which the reflecting film Il is carried and on which the desired characters or other matter 2 are formed in relief. From the practical point of view it is highly advantageous to utilise light-transmitting thermoplastic materials as these materials are very easily embossed or otherwise worked. Particular mention may be made of cellulose acetate or other cellulose ester or ether plastics. Cellulose acetate plastics are particularly useful, more especially in view of their non-inflammable properties. Other thermoplastic materials may, however, be used. for example, lighttransmitting synthetic resins, e. g. light-transmitting polymerised vinyl compounds or the light-transmitting condensation products obtainable from urea or thiourea and formaldehyde. The desired characters may, for instance, be formed in relief by embossing a sheet o.e the cellulose acetate plastic sold under the registered trade-mark Celastoid". -This material lends itself particularly well to such an operation. Any other desired methods of forming the requisite characters in relief may, however, be employed.

A transparent base material is generally to be preferred. If a semi-transparent material is employed the reflecting film I3 should be on the front surface if the most brilliant effects are desired.

The base material I may be coloured if desired. 'I'he colour preferably should not be of any great depth, at least when the reflecting film is on the rear of the base material. In the latter case it is possible, by tinting the base material to modify the appearance of the nlm when viewed from the front by reflected light.

It has been found that most satisfactory results are obtained when the reflecting nlm I3 of silver, gold, or other metal is formed upon a highly polished surface. Sheets of cellulose acetate plastic, as commercially available, do not in general have a polish sufiiciently high for the purpose. To this end it is very advantageous to subject the material to a polishing operation, preferablyafter any embossing or other shaping operation which may be necessary. This polishing should be such as to eliminate the knife lines exhibited by commercial cellulose acetate sheet material when the latter has been prepared by cutting from a block in the customary manner. A polished flnish may, for example, be given to cellulose ester or other materials by a short treatment with suitable solvents therefor.

For viewing the signs by transmitted light various sources of illumination may be employed,l

coloured light being usually more effective than white light. .The colour of the light may be inherent in the source, as in the case, for instance, of a neon lamp, a mercury vapour lamp or some other forms of gas or vapour discharge lamp. If desired, however, other forms of illumination may be employed; for example, white light, e. g. from incandescent electric lamps I2, may be passed through suitable screens or nlters .as 3 in Fig. 2 in order to yield illuminating light of the desired colour. Where the renecting film is carried on the rear side oi' the light-transmitting support I and is protected by a coating o! varnish as described above, such coating oi' varnish may be coloured, thus avoiding the necessity for any further coloured screen or filter. Again if the reflecting nlm is on the front, the light-transmitting support I may be of coloured materials and serve as a light filter.

In order to secure even illumination of the sign it is frequently advantageous tolnterpose a semi-transparent screen between the source of light and the light-transmitting material carrying the reflecting film. There may be employed. for instance, a sheet of ground glass or a sheet of cellulose acetate plastic which has been rendered matt by sandblasting or otherwise. Preferably the light-diffusing screen should be placed at a short distance behind the iighttransmitting material carrying the reecting film. In the case where the characters of the sign are raised in relief upon a sheet of lighttransmitting material, the light-diffusing screen may conveniently be attached directly to, and in close contact with, the light-transmitting sheet I, as at I in Fig. 2.

If desired the light-diffusing screen may be itself coloured and the necessity for separate light-filtering means avoided.

Signs and the like in accordance with the invention, may be `constructed in various ways. Thus, a sign may conveniently be constructed by embossing the desired characters 2 in a sheet of thermoplastic material I and then applying a thin coating of gold or silver Il to the back thereof by the method referred to above. A matt sheet of cellulose acetate plastic 3 is attached to the back of the embossed and goldor silver-coated material I, for example, by means of meal clips I disposed along the edges. 'I'he matt sheet 3 may be coloured according to the nature of the source of light to be used and the appearance desired when the sign is illuminated from the back. Such an article forms an inexpensive yet very effective sign when mounted behind a suitable opaque stencil 5 with the embossed characters 2 projecting through corresponding apertures cut in the stencil.

In the case of a small sign it may conveniently be made from a. single piece of light-transmitting material, the characters being embossed therein. In the case of such a unitary sign, the ground may be rendered opaque or of a low degree of translucency by a stencil or coating either on the front or on the back. By the latter construction a sign may be prepared which appears to be formed of solid metal having characters in relief when viewed by reflected light but shows a bright inscription on a dark ground when viewed by transmitted light. For larger signs it is more convenient to emboss comparatively small pieces of material with single characters, each piece bearing a. character being provided if desired with its own matt and/or co1- oured backing in the manner and for the purpose indicated above. A number of such characters may then be assembled to form the desired sign, preferably by mounting in a suitable stencil with the embossed portions projecting through' the apertures of the stencil.

The invention specically includes such single characters whether provided with a matt or coloured backing or not and in association or not with a suitable stencil.

'Ihe light-transmitting material I bearing the `reflecting illm I3. together with the associated stencil l if such is employed, is conveniently mounted in one side of a light-tight box-like structure adapted to contain the desired illuminating means. Such a construction enables the rear illumination to be reduced to a minimum at will, a most desirable feature when the device is being viewed by reflected light.

The signs or the like may be used in conjunction with a front and a rear illuminating means, one or both of which are operated intermittently. For instance the front and rear of the reflecting film I3 may be illuminated alternately, thus causing .a periodic change in the appearance of the sign.' A similar effect may be obtained by illuminating one side continuously and the other side intermittently if the intensities of the illumination on the two sides are suitably proportioned.

What I claim and desirev to secure by Letters 1. A sign comprising a base f transparent material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, the portions in relief bearing a regularly reflecting film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light.

2. A sign comprising a base of transparent material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, the portions in relief bearing a regularly reflecting film substantially conforming in shape to the front surface of said portions in relief and of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light.

3. A sign, comprising a base of transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing a reflecting metal nlm substantially conforming in shape with the front surface of the portions in relief and of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light.

4. A sign, having the desired matter displayed by visible portions of substantially non-reflecting opaque surface and visible portions of transparent material standing in relief from the opaque surface, said transparent material bearing a reflecting metal film substantially conforming in shape with the front surface of the portions in relief and of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light.

` 5- A sign, comprising a base of transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear a reflecting metal film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, and means for illuminating the translucent sheet from the rear.

6. A sign, comprising transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear a reecting metal film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident iight, and a sheet of coloured lighttransmitting material attached to the back of said sheet bearing matter in relief.

'1. A sign, comprising transparent sheet material having the, desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear areiiectingmetalnlm ofsuch thickness as tobe capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, and a sheet of translucent light diffusing material attached to the back of said sheet bearing matter in relief.

8. A sign, comprising transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear a reflecting metal film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, and a sheet of coloured translucent light diffusing material attached to the back of i said sheet bearing matter in relief.

9. A sign, comprising transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear a reflecting silver lm of such thickness-as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, and a sheet of red translucent light diffusing material attached to the back of said sheet bearing matter in relief.

10. A sign, comprising transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portion in relief bearing on the rear a reflecting metal lm of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, a substantially non-reflecting opaque covering over the portions not in relief, and means for illuminating from the rear the portion in relief. Y

1i. A sign according to claim 10, wherein the non-reflecting opaque covering forms part of a substantially light tight box containing the illuminating means.

12. A sign, comprising transparent sheet material having the desired matter formed thereon in relief, said portion in relief bearing on the rear a reflecting silver lm of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of` incident light, a substantially non-reflecting opaque covering over the portions not in relief, and means for illuminating from the rear with red light the portions in relief.

13. An element adapted to form part of a sign, comprising a sheet of transparent material having a single character raised thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear a reflecting metal film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, and a sheet of coloured lighttransmitting material attached to the back of said sheet.

14. An element adapted to form part of a sign, comprising a sheet of transparent material having a single character raised thereon in relief, said portions inrelief bearing on the rear a reflecting metal film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, and a sheet of coloured translucent light diffusing material attached to the back of said sheet.

15. An element, adapted to form part of a sign, comprising a sheet of transparent material having a single character raised thereon in relief, said portions in relief bearing on the rear a reiiecting silver film of such thickness as to be capable of transmitting a substantial proportion of incident light, anda sheet of red translucent light diffusing material attached tothe back of said sheet.

BRIAN EDWARD MERRIMAN MILLER.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2424677 *Oct 26, 1942Jul 29, 1947Allan L BrownleeApproach protective apparatus
US2524294 *Sep 25, 1947Oct 3, 1950Sun Oil CoSign letter
US2694270 *Mar 27, 1950Nov 16, 1954Ina Jean B SpitzerIlluminated sign
US2756528 *Jan 19, 1952Jul 31, 1956Joseph R SilverAdvertising or like signs
US2772497 *Nov 30, 1953Dec 4, 1956Price Brothers IncIlluminated display sign
US4891896 *Aug 15, 1988Jan 9, 1990Gulf Development CorporationSimulated neon sign
US5345705 *Aug 2, 1993Sep 13, 1994Lawrence Gary LLightweight, three-dimensional sign
US20020166272 *May 17, 2002Nov 14, 2002Gaymon Robert EarlHouse address number sign
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/564, 40/619, 40/577
International ClassificationG09F13/04
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/04
European ClassificationG09F13/04