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Publication numberUS2204868 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1940
Filing dateAug 15, 1938
Priority dateAug 15, 1938
Publication numberUS 2204868 A, US 2204868A, US-A-2204868, US2204868 A, US2204868A
InventorsMolby Richard V, Russell Robert L
Original AssigneeWilford B Russell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Elapsed time indicator
US 2204868 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

J1me 1940- v R. L. RUSSELL El AL 3 ELAPSED TIME INDICATOR Filed Aug. 15. 1938 I5 Sheets-Sheet 1 M .s/k a,


June 1940 R. L. RUSSELL ET AL ELAPSED TIME INDICATOR Filed Aug. 15. 1938 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEY. I

June 1 R. 1.. RUSSELL ET AL 2,204,368

ELAPSED TIME INDICATOR Filod Aug. 15, 1938 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTORS 3066M? L. Busae/ BY fifefiaro K/Vo/y 4 AEORNEY.

"I T w Patented June 18, 1940 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Mich., assignors of one-third to Wilford B. Russell, Birmingham, Mich.

Application August 15,

6 Claims.

This invention relates to elapsed time indicators, the object being to provide a mechanism of which may contain a considerable number of items marked on cards or paper carried by the plates and which plates are from day to day or other time period moved in respect to a series of numbers or other indicia so that at a glance y one may readily determine at any time period the amount of time elapsed since the initial placement of the items in the machine.

There are many items that require attention periodically and an item that requires attention at a certain period subsequent to a certain day or other time period is placed in the machine on the day of its date or on a certain number of days or time periods prior to its elapsing date or time so that, as the time period elapses, the plate or carrier of a certain item will be positioned adjacent the indicia of the day or other period of time at which the item requires attention.

It is an object and feature of the invention to provide an indicator including a series of vertically arranged plates hinged together and moved along the headers, the mechanism being arranged to move the carrier one step at a time in conjunction with which is an electrical means controlled by a clock whereby the series of hinged plates or carriers are all moved at any one period one step at a time.

There are various other novel features of our invention and various arrangements of parts as is more fully hereinafter described and claimed, and an apparatus embodying our invention is shown in the accompanying drawings in which- Fig. 1 is a plan view of the device.

Fig. 2 is a face elevation partly in section.

Fig. 3 is an enlarged sectional View taken on line 3-3 of Fig, 2.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged vertical section taken on line 44 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 5 is an enlarged vertical section taken. on line 5-5 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic view of an electrical controlmechanism for causing a step by step movement of the item carriers.

As previously stated, the purpose of the invention is to provide an elapsed time indicator having a series of flat strips hinged together as in a chain and arranged in vertical position and parallel relation and adapted to carry cards on which is indicated any character of item, the age of which is desired to be indicated. One form of the invention is shown in the accompanying 1938, Serial No. 224,898

drawings and in the form shown, there is a top eader member If and a similar bottom header member 2 which be formed of any appropriate material and is here shown as being trough-shaped each having its ends formed of a half hexagon as at 3, 4 and 5 in Fig. 1 and similarly at the opposite end.

The two header members I and 2 are spaced vertically as by means of the vertical members 6 and 1 shown more clearly in Fig. 1, each being attached at its ends to the respective upper and lower members I and 2 as by brackets 8. These headers I and 2 are shown more clearly in cross section in Fig. 5 and it will be noted that at the upper edge of the side walls of the lower header 2 and the lower edges of the side walls of the upper header i, ways 9 and I are provided at the edges of longitudinal side walls on the member 2 and ways it and I2 depending from. the edges of the side walls of the header l. Each of the ways provides track for rollers It at the upper end and M at the lower end provided on each item carrier l5. These item carriers l5, as indicated in section in Fig. 3, have inturned vertical edge flanges l6 and I! which serve to receive the opposite edges of an inserted card, paper, or other device bearing data relative to which elapsed time is required to be known as, for instance, time payments on an automobile, and these carriers are arranged in parallel vertical relation as indicated more clearly in Figs. 2 and 4.

It is to be noted from Fig. 5, that the roller members l3 are carried by the bracket l8 which is spaced inwardly of the carrier l to which they are attached and that at least the upper end of the carriers extend over the face of the side walls of the member I. On the said side walls, as indicated in Fig. 2, are a series of numbers from 1 to corresponding to the days of the month.

Thus a card placed in the carrier l5 which is aligned with the numeral 1 which is to be aged a thirty-day period will have reached its age at the opposite end of the device. This remains true of all the other carriers with items thereon. Thus if the date of the month be the 20th, the cards requiring attention on the 20th will be in the carrier aligned with the numeral 20 etc., and so on throughout the whole series of carriers. There are more than sixty of these carriers as extra carriers are required to turn about the hexagonal end members of the headers l and 2, the whole framework preferably being supported as by a standard 19.

To move the carriers about the headers, a vertical shaft 20 shown in full lines at the right of Fig. 2 and a similar shaft 20 at the opposite end of the device is provided. On the shaft 20 are upper pulleys 2| and lower pulleys 22 and similar pulleys ti and 22 indicated on the shaft 20 certain time interval.

at the left of Fig. 2. To drive the pulleys, we provide an electric motor 23 which may be conveniently carried on a bracket attached to the vertical supporting element .I at the right of Fig. 1. The shaft of the motor is provided with a screw 24 meshing with a gear 25 on the shaft 20 as will be understood more clearly from Fig. 3. The pulleys 2I and 22 and 21 and 22 are hexagonal in form and the hinge elements 26, which secure the item carriers I together, have the hinge point carried in the notch 21 at the meeting point of each of the side edges of the pulley.

The space of the hinge points is approximately exactly the distance between the notches so that as the pulley is rotated a step at a time the carriers turn onto the pulley as will be readily understood from Fig. 3 and pass from the front to the rear of the machine. The side face of the upper member I, which is shown in Fig. 2 as hav ing numbers with which the carrier members align. also may have similar numbers on the opposite face of the member I. Thus any items that may appear on the carrier I5 below the indicator numeral I therefor in Fig. 2 will have been in the machine f or a thirty-day period when it is aligned with the numeral I at the beginning of the row on that side.

As previously stated, the carrier members are hingedly connected and preferably are provided with an upper and lower row of hinges as will be understood more clearly from Fig. 2, the upper row being indicated at 26 and the lower row at 21 The rollers I3 and I4 attached to each of the vertical carrier members I5 support the carriers from material vertical displacement and are suiiiciently loose in the ways to provide for free movement therein.

It is necessary that the carriers be moved at a While we have above described the numerals 1, 2, 3 etc.. as indicating days of the month. they may as well indicate any other period of elapsed time enabling the device to be adapted for a great many uses.

To secure a step by step movement wherein each of the carrier members are moved one time indication at each step, we provide a clock indicated at 30 in Fig. 2 and diagrammatically in 6. The clock is electrically connected in the supply circuit 3i and 32 by a lead-in wire 33 and a wire 34 leading to the coil of the electromagnet 35, the opposite line 36 of which is permanently connected with the wire 32 of the input circuit. The electric motor 23 has input circuit wires 31 and 38, the wire 3'! being connected to the motor terminal and the other wire 33 ending to a contact 36. There is also a wire 39 connected to the other motor terminal and having a contact 40 aligned with the contact 38.

The shaft 20 carrying the sprocket wheels 2| and 22 has a gear 25 thereon, as previously stated, meshing with a worm 24 and when the motor is energized, the shaft is rotated and thus rotates the sprocket 22. In order that the sprocket shall rotate to move the carriers a step at a time, the following arrangement is provided:

On the closing of the circuit 34 and 36 to the olectro-magnet 35 by the clock, the armature 35 therefor, which is attached to the arm 4|, pulls the arm 4I to the left of the position shown in Fig. 6. It is to be understood that the arm 4I is pivoted at 42 and there is a coil spring 43 which tends to move the arm 4I to the right to the position shown. Pivoted to the lower end of the armature arm 4| is a trip arm 44 having a sustaining spring 44 A lug 45 on the arm 44 normally engages behind an arm 46 pivoted at 41 and normally held in the position shown for its spring 46 with the end of the arm 46 in engagement with the lug 45.

Carried by the swinging arm 46 is a contact plate 49 which is mounted on a rod 50 and is slidable on the rod to its outermost position against a pin 5I by a spring 52. On the directly opposite side of the arm 46 is a projecting pin 53 which, in the position shown, engages in a notch 54 of the timing wheel 55. Between these notches on the wheel are the raised or toothed portions 56. Also, on the wheel are a series of six pins 5? having a function hereinafter described.

Upon the closing of the circuit 34, 36 to the electro-magnet 35, the armature and consequently the arm 4! are swung to the left of the position shown. This causes the lug 45 to swing the arm 46 to the left of the position shown thereby forcing the armature contact plate 40 to engagement with the contact 38 and 40 and closing the circuit to the motor. The motor begins to rotate the shaft and the wheel 55 and, as the pin 53 is then. to the left of the position shown, the toothed portion 56 may extend thereunder and thus hold the contact plate 49 in position in engagement with the contact 38 and 40. As this occurs, a pin 51 of the series of six pins engages the curved end 58 of the arm 44 depressing the arm and thus withdrawing the lug 45 from behind the end of the arm 46. The arm 46, however. cannot immediately move by action of its spring 48 to the right of the position as it is held in its outermost position by the tooth 56 and the tooth 56 is of such length that the circuit to the motor will remain closed and the shaft 20 rotate to the degree necessary to move a carrier I5 about the wheel 22 one-sixth of a revolution or from the position at the bottom 60 to the position at the side indicated at 6|.

The closing of the line 33 and 34 by the clock element is momentary and this arrangement of the wheel 55 is provided to fix the exact extent of revolution of the shaft 20 to move the carrier members I5 exactly one space at a time to align with the numbers or time indicia on the header I. It will be noted that the contacts 38 and 40 will remain closed for the period that the tooth 56 is in engagement with the end of the pin 53 and the motor will continue to operate until the notch between the tooth 56 and the next tooth of the series is aligned with the end of the pin 53. Prior to this time, the clock having passed the point of closing the circuit 3334, the member M is released to action by its spring 43 which then moves the member 44 to the position shown in Fig. 1 with the lug behind the member 46. The arm 46 will swing back to the position shown when the pin 53 drops into the next notch of the wheel 55. The spring 52 permits the arm 46 to move to the left after the plate 49 engages the contacts 38 and 40.

We have described the invention as being embodied in a structure having elongated headers but other forms of headers may be utilized without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

In any of the possible forms of the headers, the carriers I5 are provided with the rollers and the headers provided with the ways for the rollers and the carriers are moved about the headers in the same manner as here described with the elongated headers and at least one of the headers bears numerals or other designations for elapsed time with the carriers are aligned in their step by step movement. By this means, the age of any item appearing on any of the carriers may be determined practically at a glance.

The term item as herein used is intended to refer to any character of matter that may be provided on the carriers I 5, either directly thereon or as by means of an inserted element bearing the data.

It is believed from the foregoing description that the various objects and features are attained by the structure described and by a simple and comparatively inexpensive mechanism that is automatic in operation.

Having thus fully described our invention, what we claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is-- 1. An indicator of the character described, comprising spaced headers, a series of item carriers extending in parallel vertical relation therebetween, a trackway on each of the said headers, means on the carriers riding the trackways, said carriers being hingedly connected one with the other in succession, a series of time indications in horizontal spaced relation on at least one of the headers with which the carriers respectively align, driving means for moving the carriers from one indication to the next in succession, and a clock controlled means for actuating the driving means.

2. An indicator of the character described comprising vertically spaced headers, a series of item carriers extending in parallel and vertical relation therebetween, a trackway on each of the headers, a pair of rollers in vertically spaced relation on each of the item carriers riding in the respective trackway, the carriers being hingedly connected one to the other in succession, a series of time indications in horizontal spaced relation on at least one of the headers and with which the carriers align, electrically controlled means including a shaft and sprocket members thereon engaging the chain of carriers, and a time controlled means for energizing the electrically controlled means at successive time intervals and limiting the operation of the electrical apparatus to movement of the indicators from one time indication to the next at each period of energization.

3. An elapsed time indicator, comprising a series of item carriers, the age of which requires to be determined, said carriers being connected together in a chain like arrangement, a supporting means therefor including a trackway and means on at least some of the carriers riding the trackway, a series of time indications on the supporting means with which the carriers are aligned, and means for moving the carriers to alignment with the successive time indications at predetermined time intervals whereby the elapsed time from the dating of an item on any of the carriers may be determined.

4. An elapsed time indicator comprising vertically spaced headers of a desired form in plan and having flanges, means for sustaining the headers in spaced relation, a series of item carriers consisting of plate like members having flanges for receiving an item such as a dated card, a trackway on each of the headers, rollers mounted on each of the carriers in spaced relation and engaging in respective trackways, said carriers being hingedly connected and providing an endless chain, indicia on at least one of the header members spaced apart a distance equal to the distance between the vertical centers of the plates and indicating successive periods of time, means for moving the carrier chain to advance each of the carriers successively a step at a time corresponding to the time period indicia whereby from the date of the card and its position in respect to the indicia on the header, the age of the item may be readily determined.

5. An elapsed time indicator comprising vertically spaced headers, a series of item carriers extending in parallel vertical relation therebetween, the carriers being hingedly connected one to the other in succession to form an endless chain, each of the carriers having at its upper and its lower edge a roller secured thereto by a bracket, the headers having at the opposite edges, open ended trackways for the rollers, said trackways having a longitudinal slot in the edge faces thereof to permit the bracket members to extend therethrough with the rollers positioned to ride in the trackways, the said chain of carriers encircling the heads and at least one'of the heads having a series of time period indications with which the carriers are aligned, means for periodically moving the chain of carriers one time period at each operation, and means for actuating the said carrier moving means at timed intervals.

6. An elapsed time indicator comprising vertically spaced headers of materially greater length than width and having flanges, means for sustaining the headers in spaced relation with the flanges thereof in opposed relation, said flanges at each of the ends of the respective headers being half hexagonal in form, a series of item carriers consisting of flat plate like members to which a dated item may be secured, the said carriers on at least one end overlying the flange of the respective header member, cooperating means on the flanges of the upper and lower headers and on each of the item members for sustaining the same in vertical position, the carriers being hingedly connected together and the width of each carrier being approximately the same as a side of the half hexagonal end portions whereby when the chain of carriers is in position there are carrier members about the entire circumference of the headers, a shaft at each end of the headers, a hexagonal sprocket member on each of the shafts and engaging the carriers whereby, through rotation of the sprockets, the carriers are moved, means for rotating the shafts a distance to move a carrier member from position in engagement with one face of the hexagonal end to the next, and indicia on the side faces of one of the headers corresponding to successive time periods of equal length, the spacing of the indicia being equal to the distance between the vertical center lines of the adjacent carriers whereby as the sprockets are moved the carriers move one step at a time whereby the age of a dated item on a carrier may be determined by the position of the carrier therefor in respect to the time period indicia.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2964370 *Sep 17, 1956Dec 13, 1960Butler Edward JAutomatic reminder
US4203094 *Sep 7, 1977May 13, 1980Nippon Soken, Inc.Apparatus for selectively displaying a plurality of indication panels
US4827644 *Jun 22, 1987May 9, 1989Everbrite Electric Signs, Inc.Tambour-type sign
US5933990 *May 13, 1996Aug 10, 1999Keyser; William W.Rotatable sign
US7412791Dec 20, 2004Aug 19, 2008Lsi Industries, Inc.Adjustable menu panel
US20050231103 *Mar 17, 2005Oct 20, 2005Samsung Electronics, Inc.Flat panel display device and method for manufacturing the same
US20060130383 *Dec 20, 2004Jun 22, 2006Lsi Industries Inc.Adjustable menu panel
U.S. Classification368/42, 968/551, 368/108, 40/472
International ClassificationG04C13/12, G04C13/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04C13/12
European ClassificationG04C13/12