US 2261940 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 11, 1941. J. E. PALMER SAFETY DEVICE Filed March 22, 1941 l ghe/a INVENTOR'Z E" @66a A TTORNEYS Patented Nov. Il, i943 STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,261,940 SAFETY DEVICE .lames E. Palmer, Albany, N. Y. Application March 22, 1941, Serial No'. 384,751
My invention relates to new and useful improvements in signalling devices.
l An important object of my invention is to provide a signaling device of the .type adapted to be mounted on automotive vehicle in advance of the driver that includes mirrors adapted to reflect the rays of light projected thereon by -a vehicle travelling at or substantially at right angles to the direction of travel of the vehicle on which the device is mounted, the mirrors being uniquely arranged to reect the mentioned rays of light toward the driver of the vehicle as he approaches the intersection to apprise him of the fact that another vehicle is also approaching the intersection.
Anotherobject of my invention is the provision of a signalling device of the above-mentioned character that may be mounted on a suitable stationary support located at one side of an intersection to warn the drivers of vehicles approaching the intersection from any direction that 'another vehicle is also approaching the intersection. The reflection is effected by mirrors, as hereinabove-described, andv I have provided a unique organization wherein the mirrors are adjustable to permit the device, as a unit, to be installed at any particular intersection regardless of the angle at which the highways intersect.
Still another object of my invention is the provision of a signalling device that will perform its duties with equal emcacy in either the day or night time. In the day time the image of the approaching vehicle will be reected by the mirrors and in the nighttime the light rays projected by the head lamps of the approaching vehicle will be reflected to immediately apprise the driver of any other vehicle approaching the intersection of its proximity.
Other objects and advantages of my invention, will be apparent during the course of the following description.
In the drawing, forming a part of this specication, and wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,
Figure 1 is a transverse, longitudinal sectional view of a device embodying my invention,
Figure 2 is a vertical sectional view takenon the line 2-2 of Figure 1,
Figure 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 3 3 of Figure 1,
Figure 4 is an end elevation of the device looking in the direction of the arrows 4--4 in Figure 3, and
323 and 21,
Figure 5 is an end elevation thereof looking in the direction of the arrows 5-5 of Figure 3.
In theaccompanying drawing, wherein for the purpose of illustration, is shown a preferred embodiment of my invention, the numeral I0 designates a housing adapted to accommodate the reflective mirrors II and I2. The housing comprises vertically spaced parallel top and bottom walls I3 and I4 held in-xed association with each other by the front and rear walls I5 and I6. The end walls I'I and I8 extend through vertical slots I9 in the front and rear walls and the upper and lower edges thereof are slidably received within the grooves 20 in the confronting faces of the mentioned top and bottom wall. Each of the end walls Il and I8 is provided with an essentially large opening 2| and 22, respectively, through which rays of light are admitted into the housing and each of the end walls may be securely held in a selected adjusted position by the set screws 23 extending through the ends of the rear Wall I6.
The mirrors II and I2 have the forward vertical edges thereof pivotally connected to the front wall I5 of the housing by suitable hinge connections 24 and 2'5. As best illustrated in Figure 1, the hinges areV located adjacent the end walls I'I and I8 and the mirrors extend angularly inwardly and rearwardly whereby the light rays entering the openings 2| land 22 will be reflected through the openings 26 and 2l in the rear wall f I6. Tubes 28 and 29 are fitted into the openings and the ends of the tubes projecting beyond the housing being ared outwardly to permit observation through the tubes of objects reflected in the mirrors. I prefer that the last-mentioned endsy of the tubes be inclined angularly inwardly to permit the person facing the rear wall to better observe the reflections as will be readily understood. Each of the mirrors is provided with a peripheral frame 3| and 32 and each of the frames is provided at the lower inner corner thereof with a projecting lug 33 which carries a set screw 34 having the projecting end thereof seating within a selected one of the sockets 35 formed in the bottom wall of the housing.
Figure 1 best illustrates the manner in which the mirrors may be adjusted to properly reflect the light rays entering the end-openings 2l and 22 from varying directions;l It is a fundamental rule of physics that the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of4 incidence and, therefore, if the mirrors are arranged at an angle* of 45 the inner ends of -the tube being flared* Vthrough the tubes to the front and rear walls of the housing. Thus, the mirrors may be placed in any selected adjusted position to properly light rays travelling in. a, direction parallel with the front and rear .-walls of the housing will be reiiected through the openings 26 and 21 in a direction normal to the front and rear Walls. Similarly, if the swinging ends of the mirrors are moved in the direction of the rear wall I6, rays of .light projected angularly rearwardly through the end openings will impinge against the mirrors and be reflected through the tubes 2B and 29 in a direction normal to the front and rear walls. Also, if the swinging ends of the mirrors are moved in a direction away from the rear wall of the housing, rays of light projected angularly forwardly through the end openings 2l and 22 will impinge against theI mirrorsI and be reflected 28 and 29 in a direction normal reflect rays of light entering the housing from any desired direction. Let us assume that the housing is mounted on an automotive vehicle forwardly of the driver. As hereinabove stated, an important object of the invention. is to apprise the driver of the vehicle approaching an intersection that another ear -moving in a direction at right angles to his direction of travel is also approaching the intersection. It is desirable that the driver be warned of this fact as soon as possible before he enters the intersection in order that the margin of safety be materially increased. If the view of the driver is obstructed, as by a clump of trees or a high bank, the light rays projected by the head lamp of the other vehicle will enter one of the end openings 2| or 22 in the housing and be reiiected through therespective opening 26 or 21. This action will cause the light rays to be reflected in the direction of the driver in a manner to immediately apprise him of the fact that the other vehicle is approaching the intersection. Obviously, if the above happening occurs in the day time when neither of the vehicles are using .their head lamps, the image of the approaching vehicle will be reflected in one of the mirrors to immediately apprise the driver of the fact that this vehicle is approaching the intersection. It is important to note that this reflection may be seen by the driver substantially in advance of the .time when the two vehicles would move to a relative position permitting each to see the other in the conventional manner. This difference in time would, in all probability, give the driver sufiicient warning to permit him to apply his brakes or otherwise act to avoid a collision at the intersection. The additional time thus provided is particularly valuable in situationswhere the roads intersect at a relatively sharp angle and Where a clear view between the roads is obstructed. Where the vehicles approach the intersection in acute angular relation with each other, it is often extremely difficult for either driver to ascertain the proximity of the other. If, however, either or both of the vehicles are provided with the safety device herein-above described, or if the device is mounted on a support located at the juncture of the roads, all possibility of collision will be avoided.
If the housing is permanently located at the intersection, it may be mounted on 4any suitable support and the mirrors permanently adjusted so that rays .of light projected by the head lamps of vehicles approaching the intersection on either road will reflect in the mirrors and be projected down the other of the roads vto immediately apprise the driver of one vehicle of the fact that another vehicle is approaching the intersection.
The device may also be used to advantage at railroad crossings where conditions are such that the driver approaching the from seeing in either direction along the track. The above condition may arise where a high bank or growing shrubbery obstructsthe visionof the driver or under any condition where the track and highway approach each other in such a manner that the driver of a vehicle traversing the highway may not see for any substantial distance along the track. Under these conditions, the housing may be mounted to reflect the light rays or image of a train in the direction of the driver of theA vehicle and the housing may be uniquely mounted to permit the driver to be apprised of the approaching train when he is yet a substantial distance from the crossing.
In certain localities it may be desirablethat lenses 36 be provided in the tubes 28 and 29. If desired, these lenses may be suitably tinted to avoid glare. f
Also, the openings 2i and 22 may be of a different size and shape, as illustrated in Figures 4 and 5. In Figure 4, the opening 2l is illustrated as being of essentially square formation and in Figure 5 the opening 22 is illustrated as being of essentially circular formation. When this construction is used, both the' openings 26 and 21 and the tubes 28 and 29 are preferably of a shape similar to the shape of their respective opening 2i or 22, and these diierentially shaped openings permit the driver of the vehicle to immediately ascertain the direction from which the vehicle ortrain is' approaching the intersection.
It is to be understood that the form of my invention, herewithV shown and described, is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, vmd that various changes in the size, shape and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of my invention, or scope of the appended claim.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
A'signalling device comprising a housing having an aperture in the rear wall adjacent each end thereof and movable end walls adjustable transversely of the front and rear walls, means. for holding the end walls in a selected adjusted position, a reflector arranged within the housing adjacent each end-thereof, each of said reflectors being mounted for pivotal movement about a vertical axis and being adapted to reflect rays of light entering the housing through one of the apertures in the side wall through a respective one of the apertures in the rear wall and means for holding each of the reflectors in 'a selected adjusted position.A
JAMES E. PALMER.
crossing is prevented-