US 2181613 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 28, 1939. J RT ETAII 2,181,613
HIGHWAY SIGNAL Filed m. 30, 1937 x TOR tdfi/ ATTOR Patented Nov. 28, 1939 UNITED STATES 2,181.01: mcnwar srcmr.
Andrew H. Stewart, Shields, and Peter Kuoera, Allison Park, Pa., assignors to The Phoenix Glass Company, Monaco, Pa" a corporation o West Virginia Application August 30, 1937, Serial No. 161,644
This invention relates to signals and more particularly to highway signals of the reflector type which are rendered luminous by reflecting light from an external source such, for example, as the headlights of a-motor car, and an object .of this invention is to provide an improved signal embodyin'g the reflector principle. This application is a continuation in part of our application Serial Number 62,444 filed February 5, 1936.
10, Heretofore, signals of this type have usually taken the form of light-reflecting buttons generally arranged in roadside signs to spell out words or form diagrams or the like for directing traflic. 'Efforts to use such devices on the surfaces of roadways to indicate dividing lines between the difierent lanes of trafflc have not produced completely satisfactory results.
A further object of this invention is to proyide a trafflc signal of the reflector type constructed and arranged to be effectively employed on the surfaces of roadways for indicating the dividing lines between traflic lanes, although it will be hereafter apparent that the invention is also adapted to a wide variety of other uses.
These and other objects which will be apparent to those skilled in this particular art are accomplished by the present invention, one embodiment of which is shown for the purposes of illustration in the accompanying drawing in which Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a signal constructed in accordance with one embodiment of this invention.
Fig. 2 is a transverse sectional view onthe line 2-2 of Fig. 1 showing the manner of applying 85 it to a roadway.
Fig. 3is a side elevation of the embodiment shown in Fig. 1, but with the guard member removed, and
Fig. 4 is a top plan view thereof.
The present invention provides a signal device which is particularly adapted, although not necessarily limited, to use on roadways for indicating dividing lines between difl'erent traihc lanes. In such use a plurality of devices are arranged in spaced relationship along the dividing lines. Each device is constructed and arranged to reflect light from the headlights of motor cars approaching from either direction and on either side of the dividing line so that the incident rays are reflected back. in the directionof an approaching car. Each device itself appears to be a brightly glowing light to the driver of an approaching car and the trailic lane formed by the line of lights compels the driver's attention. The arrangement is such that as the angle of incidence of rays changes with the approach of a car the angle at which the light is reflected is correspondingly changed with the result that the signal appears to the driver to glow brightly during the period of his approach from 5 a'considerable distance away until he is substantially on top of it. The'brightness of the signal results from the features of construction peculiar to the present invention.
The present invention comprises a unitary 10 transparent body, preferably of glass, having a light-refracting face of such formation as to refract incident rays of light frpm an external source such, for example, as automobile headlights, to a mirror surface located within the de- 15 vice and in turn so formed as to reflect the light received from said face back thereto in such a way that such face will refract or direct the reflected ray back in the direction 'of the external source. The construction and arrangement are 20 such thatthis function is fulfilled through relatively wide angles of incident rays. The device is preferably so formed as to be located in a bore tion comprises a unitary, transparent body portion 5, preferably of molded glass, adapted to be located in a bore formed in the surface 6 of a roadway as shown in Fig. 2. The top of the device may, if desired, be protected by a guard plate I having side arms 8 resting on the road surface and connected by a bridge member 9 extending across the center portion of the top of the glass 40 body 5 and formed with opposed cut away portions between the road engaging arms as shown in Fig. 1. For ease in shipping or handling, the guard and body portion may be connected together in any way desired. As illustrated, buttons 9on each side of the body portion 5 extend through perforations formed in the lower ends of lugs formed on the guardand extending downwardly on each side of the device, see Figs. 2 and 3. The arrangement is such, however, that in use the guard does not rest on the body portion. but is spaced slightly therefrom so as not to.contact directly therewith. The perforations in the downwardly extending lugs also serve to 55 anchor the guard in the roadway when the bore is fllled with grouting material.
On each side of a central axial plane passing through the body portion 5 is an outer, transparent, light-refracting face i adapted to be located in the path of light from an external source. Each face III is so curved as to refract incident rays to an inner mirror surface I I which, in the illustrated embodiment, is located on the opposite side of the axial plane passing through the body portion 5. Each mirror is so formed as to reflect such refracted rays back to the cooperating faces l0 where the emergent rays are again refracted and directed back in the direction of the external source of light.
The mirror surface can be formed in any of the various ways known to those skilled in the art. When the body portion is made of glass, we prefer to form the mirror surface by spraying metal, such as aluminum, on the glass body while it is still hot from the molding operation, in the manner described, for example, in Stewart Patent No. 2,053,923, September 8, 1936. The metal coating thus formed adheres to and forms an integral part of the body portion. It provides an efficient mirror surface while the outer face of the coating forms a metal oxide which serves to protect the glass body and the mirror surface. We prefer to spray the entire body portion 5 below the transparent light-receiving faces l0 as well as the top It between the faces iii, as the' coating forms a shock insulator when the device is placed in a roadway.
For the purpose of properly reflecting rays of light which are incident on the face ill from a relatively high angle, as when headlights are close to the device, the mirror surface Ii has a lower portion curved in the vertical plane on'a shorter radius than the upper portion thereof. This portion is illustrated as a mirror surface i2 which is offset from the main part of the mirror surface ii for ease in manufacture, although it will be apparent that it may be formed as a continuation of the upper mirror face. Obviously, the mirror surface can be formed without any oflset portions or with additional oflset portions, if desired. In the drawing, each face i0 is curved in the horizontal on a radius of approximately inch, and in the vertical on a radius of approximately 1 inch. Hence the faces i0 areformed about different centers in at least one plane. This provides a most compact, eflicient construction. The upper portion of the mirror surface II is shown as curved in the vertical on a radius of approximately 16 inches, while the lower portion I2 is curved in the vertical on approximately a 2 inch radius. In the horizontal, the mirror surface is curved on approximately a 2% inch radius.
The illustrated embodiment includes a base l3 which is merely provided for ease in molding but is not necessary to the successful operation of the device.-
As shown, the base has'an upwardly facing surface M which, together with the stepped construction of mirror surface, provide shoulders engaged by the cement or the like used to flll in the bore in the roadway to lock the signal in place.
In operation, when employed to indicate dividing lines between traffic lanes or the like, any desired number of devices are located in spaced bores formed along the dividing line in a roadway. Each device will be placed so that the light-receiving faces l0 face in opposite directions along the roadway. Incident rays of light from headlights approaching from either direction enter the signal through the light-refracting face 7 ill on the side facing the lights and are refracted downwardly to the opposite mirror surface i: or I! depending upon the angle of incidence. The mirror surface reflects the refracted ray back to the face II! where the emerging ray is again refracted and directed back in the direction of the approaching vehicle so as to be clearly visible to the driver. The face ill gives a brilliantlylighted effect. As the vehicle approaches and the angle of incidence changes, the angle at which the emergent ray is directed changes accordingly, due to the curvature and arrangement of the face ill and mirror Ii and i2. Of course, each face In and mirror Ii functions independently of the other so that the device operates equally with light from either side or from one side only.
It will be apparent that the invention can be variously modified and adapted within the scope of the appended claims.
l. A road marker comprising in combination a guard member and a light reflecting body member having flattened sides, the guard member extending across the top of the body member and having opposed cut away portions between outwardly extending road surface engaging arms and a pair of lugs extending downwardly from said arms and adapted to engage the flattened sides of the body member, the said body member being provided with two oppositely disposed light refracting faces positioned in the cut away .por-
tions of the guard member above the horizontal plane of the underside of the road surface engaging arms and arranged at an angle to said horizontal plane, and cooperating concave light reflecting surfaces formed in said body member below said horizontal plane, each said light refracting face being curved in two planes on different radii to refract and transmit light incident thereon at an acute angle to said horizontal plane downwardly and across the interior of said body member against an opposite and cooperating light reflecting surface which is also curved in two planes on diflerent radii to reflect the transmitted light toward and through the opposed cooperating light refracting face, and a coating of light reflecting material covering the reflecting surfaces and the flattened sides of the body member.
2. A road marker comprising in combination a guard member and a light reflecting body member, the guard member extending across the top of the body member and having opposed cut away portions between outwardly extending road surface engaging arms and a pair of lugs extending downwardly from said arms and adapted to embrace the sides of the body member, the said body member being provided with two oppositely disposed convex light refracting faces'positioned in the cut away portions of the guard member above the horizontal plane of the underside of the road surface engaging arms, and cooperating concave light reflecting surfaces formed in said body member below said horizontal plane, each said light refracting face being formed to refract a beam of light incident thereon at an acute angle to said horizontal plane and transmit it downwardly and across the interior of said body member against an opposite and cooperating light reflecting surface which is formed to reflect the transmitted light toward and through the opposed cooperating light refracting face, and a coating of light reflecting material covering the reflecting surfaces and the sides of said body member.
3. A road marker comprising in combination a' guard member and a light reflecting body memher, the guard member extending across the top of the body member and having a cut away portion between outwardly extending road surface engaging arms and a pair of' lugs extending downwardly fromsaid arms to embrace the sides of the body member, the said body member being provided with a. convex light refracting'tace positioned in. the cut .away portion of the guard member above the horizontal plane of the underside of the road surface engaging arms, and a cooperating concave light reflecting surface formed in said body member below said horizontal plane, said light retracting face being curved in two planes to retract and transmit light incident thereon at an acute angle to said horizontal plane downwardly and across the interior of saidbody member against said light reflecting surface which is also curved in two planes to reflect the transmitted light toward and through the opposed cooperating light retracting face.
4. A light reflecting element for a road maker tormed of molded glass with oppositeiydisposed light retracting faces separated by a central depression on the top tace adapted to receive the bridge portion of an associated road surface engaging guard member and having flattened sides adapted to be located between depending lugs on said guard member, said light retracting taces being so positioned on the element as to be above the horizontal plane of the road engaging surfaces of said guard member when the element is attached thereto, and inner oppositely disposed light reflecting taces so positioned on the element as to be below said horizontal plane, each said light retracting face being tormed to transmit and retract light incident thereon at an acute angle to said horizontal plane downwardly and across the interior of said element against an opposite and cooperating light reflecting surtace which is tormed to reflect the transmitted light toward andthrough the opimed cooperating light 90 retracting face, and a coating of light reflecting material covering said reflecting surfaces.
ANDREW H. STEWART. PETER KUCERA.