Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2480290 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 30, 1949
Filing dateOct 15, 1947
Priority dateOct 15, 1947
Publication numberUS 2480290 A, US 2480290A, US-A-2480290, US2480290 A, US2480290A
InventorsFein Maxwell J
Original AssigneeFein Maxwell J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Luminous time lapse traffic signal
US 2480290 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 30, 1949. M. J. FEIN y LUMINoUs TIME LAPsE TRAFFIC SIGNAL 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. l5, 1947 R. w m m mw. a. .u w. L tm r/ i. .m l Mw Aug. 3o, 1949. lM, EN 2,480,290

LUMINOUS TIME LAPSE TRAFFIC SIGNAL Filed Oct. 15, 1947 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 li- I gNVENToR.


Patented Aug. 30, 1949 LUMINoUs 'rma LAPsE TRAFFIC siGNAL Maxwell'v J. Fein, New vork, N. Y. Y Appncatin oet-ober 15, 1947, serial No. 779,958'

L This invention relates to new and useful improvements in trac-control signalling devices. Such devices are used at busy street androad intersections, and asnow generally employed incorporate Stop and Go signals, usually electrically operated from a control station centrally functioning relative to all the devices in the system. For predetermined periods or cycles of time, the Gofa'nd IStop signals, commonly respectively colored green and red, are alternatelydisplayed relative .to a certain path of traffic movement; andV in such manner that while the green signals, are giving the right of Way to traflic kheaded in either of the two directions in which such signals face, the red signals are displayed to arrest trail-lc which*4 otherwise would travel in the .two direc` tionsfaced by the red signals and Which intersect the two former directions.

Early in the development of such signalling (iek vices, a third. signal was used, this an amber or yellow one, to :signify caution. Following the termination of each giving of red or green signals relative to traffic at av road orY street intersection,

and beforereversal of the signals tochange the,

directions of ,traillc iloW, the caution signals Were displayed. Practice apparently proved, however, that. the use of Isuch caution signals wasy not advantageous. With signalling devices as now generally used and having only redvand green sig'- nals, the change-over from a G ro'to a Stop indication, and vice versa, is abrupt and sudden, and of considerable inconvenience andeven hazardous to pedestrians.

y.According to the present invention,` there is added to a signalling device havingv Go and Stop` signals, an rauxiliary signalling means for progressively changing' to give notification of thel time remaining before' said signals Will reverse; that is, to give notice, to pedestrians particularly, of the time remaining in Which to make asafe crossing. Its purposeis to reduce pedestrian accident hazard by enabling pedestrians to judge Whether or not there is. ample time for crossing before trailc resumes transverse to their intended.

path of crossing, and in this way to reduce the zciaims. (o1. 17T-33761 missible movement of a then prevailing .move` ment of traic will terminate.

.The cardinal objectof the present invention, however, isy tofprovide `an improved meansforj giving such a warning notification of relative time-elapse, and lone such that it' isv `not ,only luminous but of exceptionally high visibility, both day andy night, but also readily understood because it', is self-explanatory to all pedestrians and motorists. i ,Y ,i

Another object is to provide a relatively simple, highly eilicient and practicable governing meansY for the warning notification, yet a governing means practicably actuable from'the central station aforesaid.' i

A further object is to provide a Warning notifi-l cation without movingparts, and one the func-Y tioning elements of which comprisesolely a plulikelihood of being caught part way in such path,l

remaining `before a given cycle or period of per-- rality of incandescent bulbsior the like, in combination withdependable means for energizing the Vsame one after another in such ,manner that rst one of said lamps or thelike will be energized, nextsaidlamp and another will be energizedynextthree yof them will all be energized, and so on,'u`ntil allof them are energizedat the start 'of the'last predetermined fraction of the period orcycle of Stop and Go signalling which then prevails, f t I For further comprehension of the invention, and of the objects and advantages'thereof, reference will be had to the'following description and accompanying drawing, and to theappended claims in'Which the various novel features of the inventionare more particularly set forth. i

' Inthe accompanying drawing forming a material part of this disclosure: f 'i Fig. 1 is a yperspective 'View showing atraiiic signalling device'pursuant to the invention.

v Fig; -2 is a fragmentary vertical section, taken substantially on the `line 22 of Figjl.

Fig. 3, partially 'an electrical diagram, shoWsa now favored arrangement of mechanisms and associated electric circuit connections for operatingv the device according to the invention. f Fig.4v 4 is an' enlarged fragmentary View, illustrating more clearly certain ofthe parts of Fig;v 3,"and particularly a sticking magnet in self-lock; ing condition. "1

Fig. 5 is a similar View, illustrating more clearly certain other parts of Fig. 3, these parts identical in nature, with the parts of Figml, but-with the magnet deenergized. j v I Fig. 6 is a development of the circuit-modifying circumferential periphery'oi one of a pair of like commutators shown in perspective in Fig. 3.

Referring to the drawing in detail, and first to Figs. 1 and 2, the illustrated device is shown as conventionally including a signal box I0 at the top of a pedestal or column II, such box having four sides in planes 90 apart; each such side, as shown in the case of the two thereof seen in Fig. 1, having an upper signal I2 or I2 which when operative signifies Stop and a lower signal I4 or I4 which when operative signies Go.

In the type of signalling device illustrated, the four Stop signals are flashed on by the energization of an incandescent bulb for each, behind a pane of red glass; and when such red signals are olf, the four Go signals are ashed on by the ener` gization of an incandescent bulb for each, behind a pane of green glass. Thus, in said'box are eight incandescent bulbs, each suitably pocketed from the others; these bulbs being shown in Fig. 3, where those for giving Stop signals are marked R and those for giving Go signals are markedvG.

The' lapsed-time signalling means of the invention is shown as in an auxiliary vertically elongatdcoating I5, secured by brackets I6 to the column I I. Said casing, like the box I0', is shown Similarly, the current supply through the wire 21 is for energizing the two R lamps and the two G lamps in the lower group thereof in Fig. 3, and for eifectuating during this period of energization of said four R and G lamps the same sequence of progressive energization of more and more of the lamps of the Y series as explained in the paragraph preceding.

Interposed in the wires 26 and 21 are, respectively, a solenoid 2 9 and asole'noid 29', each served by a spring 3|] or 30 for restoring its armature 3l or 3l to the position shown for the latter when such solenoid is deenergized (immediately, as hereinafter explained) following energization thereof by change of current supply from the wire 26 to the wire 21 or vice versa.

Like inexpensive clockwork timers 32 and 32 are of a familiar type, such, for instance, as are multiply used in the are of coin-operated amusement4 apparatus; each having a lever 33 or 33 as square in horizontal section; so that said casi1'- intora plurality of sections one above another. In

th present case, there are, for example, at veacli of the four sides of thecasin'g I5, seven of said.sec' tiens au aiike iii size, and` marked I l, la, lei, zo, 2|, 22 and 23 in the CaSe Of th Signalling area t0 the left inrFig..1. i l

A Said signalling-area sections, and simultaneoislythecorresponding ones at the otherthre sidespf the casing I5, are effective whenilliiinihated `to show, for instance, an amber or yellow edler, by virtue of the casing is being subdivided by horizontal partitions 2a inte Aseven compari;- rnents one above anothr, with each of the four sides of.,each compartment carrying as indicated in Fig. 2 a pane of yyello/w glass s'uitzibllr secured in place, and by virtue lofthere being in each siich compartment an incandescent bulb`25r. As will be iinderstod, there are seven of such bulbs, these indicated respectively at Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Yv and YY in Fig. 3.

Referring now tosaid Figl, a systerri for automaticallyL operating the four lights R, the four lights G, and the seven lights of the Y series, in accordance with mere reversals of a master controller of smple-switchutype (not shown), at

some central station forthevarous signalling devices in the tracvcontrolsystem. i

From such central stationmerely threewires 25,( 21 anc- 1 28, extend to each signalling device. The wire `2B is a return wire, while the wires 26 and 21 are for alternate use in supplying current. ,.Suchrcurrentthrough the wire 25 is lfor ener-A gizing the two R lamps and the two G lamps in the upper group thereof in Fig. 3, and for effecf tuating a cycle of operations during the period `of energiaation of said four R and G lamps, these operations being relative to the lamps of the Y series, and in such manner that during the first one-seventh of the time interval allotted for ehergizatien of said R and G lamps, the lamp Yi win be energized, during the next ene-seventh er said time interval, the Y1 and Y2 lamps will be energizjeu, arid so eri, until, during the isst ene-seventh of said time interval, all the lamps of the Y 'series will be energited.

which, when released after being forcibly quickly fractionallyhrotated in a direction to wind up a spring in the timer, is by said spring slowly rotated in the reverse direction back to normal position.

The lever 33 is shown as in Said normal position, while the lever 33 is shown as having just completed its forcibly effected fractional rotation, by thrust of the armature 3l consequent upon energization of the solenoid 29. i A

Now the energization of solenoid 29 or 29 is merely for a fraction of a second, consequent upon change of current supply from the wire 26 to the wire 21or vice versa, and this despite continued current flow through the wire responsible for said energization, will be, as just said, `ex plained later; the means for accomplishing this being the holding relays M and M' of Figs. 3, 4 and 5. n y

l At an end of each lever 33 or 33' is a gear segment 34 or 34', meshing with a pinion 35 or 35 xe'd to a suitably journalled shaft 36 or 36 on which also is fixed a controller drum 31 or 31';

, the parts being so proportioned and arranged that duringslow timer-,spring effected movement of a lever 33 or 33 from the position shown for trie fermer te the pesitiensiiewri fer melatten the `controller drum 31or 31' rotate through 360.

The solenoids, the timers, and the operative connections between the latter and the commutators are duplicates,` as are the controller drums. Therefore, it will suce to describe only the controller drum 31, in which connection attention is directed to Fig. 6.

In Fig. 6, the eight vertical dotted lines 38 sube divide the circumference of the controller drum into seven equal parts. The two upper contact rings 39 and 4D are each unbroken and continuous all around the controller drum. Below the ring 40, each of six contact segments 4i, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 4S, as they progress downward, is shorter than the segment immediately above by one-Seventh of such circumference.

VSeparate brushes 41, 48, 49, 5U, 5I, 52, 53 and 54 engage, respectively, the contact rings 39 and 40 and the contact segments 4I, 42, 43, 44, 45 and 4S.

The coil of the solenoid 29 at one end is cnnected to the wire 26, and through the contacts of holding relay M by a lead 55, and its other end is connected by the lead 56 to' the return wire 28. The corresponding connections, for the solenoid 29', are a lead 55' from the wire 21 an'd throughthe contacts of holding relay M', and'av lead 56'v to said return wire.

Also from'the wire 26 a lead 58 goes to a rilxed contact y59, the corresponding lead andy contact in the case of the supply wire 21 being respectively marked 58' and 59'. The contact 59 or 59'y is for engagement with a contact 60 or 60', being these on the lower ends of the armatures of the solenoids'29 and 29. From the contact 60 a lead 6| extends tothe brush 41 for the contact ring 39 of the controller drum 31; while from the contact 60 a leadvVextends tothe corresponding brush of the controller drum 31'.

1 In the case of the solenoid 29, for instance, the energization thereof to snap the lever 33 to the position shown, although this is effective to` rotate the commutator-81 in a direction opposite to that ofvthe arrow marked thereon, is ineiective to energize the' brushf41,v because the contacts 5,9A

and 60 are separated. However, immediately on Y ginning of current supply throughwthe wire 26,

and f substantially simultaneously with the beginning of rotation of the controller drum 31 in the direction ofthe arrow marked thereon, a circuit for the Y series lamps is closed.; such circuit including the wire 26, the leads55 and? 58the contacts 59/and 60, thelead 6|, the brush 41, the contact ring 39, a conductive bridge 64 inside the commutator from said ring to the segmentr40,

said segment, the brush 48, alea'd 65, the lamp Y1, anda leadv66 to-the return'wire 28.

With the controller drum 31 rotating in the direction of the arrow shown thereon in Fig. 3, the development of Fig. 4 may be considered as moving in the direction of the arrowr61 there shown. rotation, by way of the circuit just detailed, only the lamp Y1 will be energized. During the neXt seventh part of commutator rotation, the brush 49 interposes a parallel circuit including a lead 68 going to the lamp Y2, and so during this part of the cycle of current supply to the wire 26, both y the lamps Y1 and Y2 will be energized. Similarly,

and by progressive coming into play of the brushes 5|) through 54, the lamps Y3 to YV, inclusive are successively and cumulatively energized, each through its own parallel circuit including one of the leads through 14, respectively, during the succeeding seventh parts of said cycle, rst the three lamps Y1, Y2 and Y3 being energized, neXt the four lamps Y1 through Y1, next the ve lamps Y1 through Y5, next the six lamps Y1 through Y6, and next all the seven lamps of the Y series.

If the period during which both the upper group of two R. lights and two G lights of Fig. 3, and the lower group of such R and G lights in that View, are to be alternately energized, is, for instance, two -minutes and twenty seconds, then the Y1 lamp only will be energized during the iirst twenty seconds of said period, while the other lamps of the Y series will seriatim be energized, the energization of each starting twenty seconds later than the last one thereof previously energized.

During the rst seventh part of suchA 1 When throw-over of current supply from the Wire 26 to the wire 21 is effected, the operation of the -parts associated with the wire 21, having the same reference. characters as the parts associated with the vwire 26 except for the addition f of primes, should be clear from what has already are as aforesaid for terminating energization of a.

solenoid 29 01u29.' vimmediately vfollowing energization rthereof by'athrow-over as above, the arrangements auxiliary to and the circuit connections for the relayM only will `be described, as the corresponding elements in regard to the relay M' will' then be readily understood from the` drawing. Y

The relay M is for breaking the supply of current to the solenoid 29, instantly Yupon full down stroke of the latters armature 3| on each initiation of current supply from the wire 26. This is effected by the closing of two normally spaced contacts and 15, momentarily brought together by a non-magnetic-metal lower exten.- sion fromsaid armature; thereby to energize the relay M throughr a 'circuit including the wire 2B, a lead v11, the said contacts 15 and16, a lead 18,

' the coil of the relay, and a lead 19 to the return This energization of the relay M breaks the current supply to the coil of the solenoid 29, by attracting, as the armature ofthe magnet, the movable member of a switch interposed in the lead-55, suchl switch being normally held closed by a spring 80'.

The relay M is a holding relay, there being between the same and the member 88 a spring metal blade 8|, having a resilient set such and being so mounted that normally it lies as indicated in the case of the corresponding blade 8|'. On energization of the relay M, however, the parts associated therewith corresponding to the parts associated with the relay M', normally arranged as the latter parts are shown in Fig. 5, become arranged as in Fig. 4; that is, the blade 8| is brought against the contact 82.

Instantly when this occurs, even though at about that instant the contacts 59 and 68 separate due tordeenergization of the solenoid 29, and thereby to break the above described energizing circuit for the relay M, a substitute energization circuit for said relay is established; said substitute circuit including the wire 26, the lead 11, a lead 83, the contact 82, the blade 8|, a lead 84 to the coil of the magnet, and the lead 19 to the return lead 28.

'I'he relay M similarly operates, on the start of an impulse of current from the wire 21; as will be clear when it is noted that the parts of Fig. 5 corresponding to those shown Vin Fig, 4 are given the same reference characters but with primes added.

As will be noted from Fig. 3, the brushes 48 through 54 of the commutator 31 are, by way of the leads 85, 86, 81, 88, 89, 90 and 9|, in parallel connection with the brush 41" and the other brushes of the commutator 31'; so that whether the current supply is from the wire 26 or fromv 7. the Wire 21, with a consequent functioning of the controller drum 3l or 31', the Y series of lamps will be progressively lighted as above described, and will remain so this during continued energization of the upper or lower group of R and G lamps in Fig. 3, according as current supply is then from the wire 26 or the wire 21.

While I have illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the precise constructions herein disclosed and the right is reserved to all changes and modifications coming within the scope of the invention as dened in the appended claims.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new, and desire to secure by United States Patent is:

1. In a trafiic signal control system, a set oi electric main signal lamps, a bank of auxiliary signal lamps in parallel with the main signal lamps, a supply conductor and a return conductor, the latter being connected to one side of both the main signal lamps and the auxiliary signal lamps, a controller drum having a plurality of brushes connected individually to the other side of the auxiliary signal lamps, a conductor from the other side of the main signal lamps to the supply conductor, a switch connected o'n one side to the conductor from the main signal lamps and on the other side to the controller drum, an electro-magnet having a coil and an armature for operating said switch, biasing means for returning said armature to normal position, a holding relay having sets of normally open and normally closed contacts, an operating circuit for the coil of said electro-magnet from the supply conductor, through the normally closed contacts of said holding relay to the return conductor, a second switch closed by the armature of said electro-magnet in its operated position, and a holding circuit for said holding relay from the supply conductor, through the second switch, the normally open contacts of the holding relay to the return conductor.

2. In a trac signal control system, two sets of electric main signal lamps, a bank of auxiliary lamps in parallel with the sets of main signal lamps, two supply conductors and a return conductor, the latter being connected to one side of both sets of the main signal lamps and to the auxiliary lamps, a conductor from the other side of the first set oi main signal lamps to the rst supply conductor, a conductor from the other side of the main set of signal lamps to the second supply conductor, a pair of controller drums each having a plurality of brushes, the respective brushes of one drum being connected in parallel with the brushes of the other drum and individually to the other side of the auxiliary signal lamps, a rst switch connected on one side to the conductor from the rst bank of main signal lamps and on the other side to the first controller drum, an electro-magnet having an armature for operating said iirst switch and its coil connected across the first supply and return conductors, a second switch connected on one side to the conductor from the second bank of main signal lamps, a second electro magnet having an armature for operating said second switch and its coil connected across the second supply and return conductors.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file o this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,866,899 Minier July 12, 1932 2,238,510 Stewart Apr. l5, 1941

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1866899 *Mar 15, 1929Jul 12, 1932Minier William HTraffic signal
US2238510 *Jul 13, 1939Apr 15, 1941Stewart Fred BTraffic signal
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2588739 *Oct 7, 1949Mar 11, 1952Main Flo Control Traffic LightTraffic light accessory
US2604525 *Mar 28, 1949Jul 22, 1952Laerte Zannettos PierreTraffic control system
US2720637 *Nov 3, 1954Oct 11, 1955Hastings Norman RTraffic signal with time lapse indication
US2842627 *Feb 15, 1956Jul 8, 1958Tobias WagnerTraffic time signal device
US3550076 *Jan 26, 1967Dec 22, 1970Ruth L KentColor zone system of traffic speed verification
US4167001 *Jul 15, 1977Sep 4, 1979Gilmore Ralph WStepping switch controlled traffic signal devices
US5726648 *Dec 12, 1996Mar 10, 1998Soon; Min TetTime indicating traffic light
US6175313 *Apr 28, 1999Jan 16, 2001Yefim BerezovskyAttachment to traffic light apparatus for visual indication of traffic light duration
US6552668 *Nov 27, 2000Apr 22, 2003Yefim BerezovskyAttachment to traffic light apparatus for visual indication of traffic light duration
US20090135024 *Mar 16, 2007May 28, 2009Park Jin-GuDisplay control system of traffic light and display method
U.S. Classification340/929
International ClassificationG08G1/096
Cooperative ClassificationG08G1/096
European ClassificationG08G1/096