US 2496488 A
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H. A. OHMAN Feb 7, 1958 RADIO DIAL 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed. Nov. 8, 1945 H. A. OHMAN RADIO DIAL Feb 7 195@ 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 8, 1945 R m M R Z Z w 5 N m 7 Patented Feb. 7, 1956 RADIO DIAL Herbert A. Ohman, Geneva Heights, 111., assignor to The Meyercord 00., Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application November 8, 1945, Serial No. 627,437
This invention relates to improvements in radio dials and the like and aims particularly to provide such a functional instrumentality in the form of a decorative panel. Essentially, my invention comprises the making of such an instrumentality in such a way that when it is not in use performing its usual function it will appear as a decorative part of the associated radio receiver, thus enhancing the appearance of the latter from the artistic standpoint.
As is well known, much has been done by designers to improve the esthetic appearance of such common things as the ordinary home radio receivers particularly toward making their appearance such that they will represent pleasing articles of furniture and home decoration. But there has always been one drawback in connection with the design of radio receiver cabinets and that is in the incorporation of the usual dial or indicator by which the user is enabled to tune in the different broadcasting stations. In the ordinary type of home receiver, the dial is often located behind a glass or plastic panel which, in turn, is secured in the face of the receiver by a metallic frame, or the like. Such a dial is always readily visible through the glass panel and normally does not at all harmonize with the decorative features of the cabinet in which it is placed. Thus, the usual radio dial in the ordinary home radio receiving cabinet is not esthetically pleasing but represents merely a functional feature which often greatly detracts from the appearance south to be achieved by the designer.
Some improvement in this direction has been made in the larger and more expensive home radio receivers in that the dial is covered by ornamental doors so that it it not visible when the receiver is not in operation. But this type of cabinet is usually quite expensive and, besides, the doors have to stand open at least during the time that the user operates the various controls.
It is an object of my invention to provide a radio dial or the like which shall be so constructed that when not in use it will appear as a decorative feature harmonizing with the design of the cabinet in which it is placed and the functional features of which will appear only when the radio receiver is put into use.
Another object of the invention is to provide a radio dial or the like which, when not in use, appears as a decorative wood panel harmonizing with the cabinet work on the radio receiver and in which the functional features will appear only when the radio is put into use and the dial is illuminated from the rear.
Still another object of my invention is to provide a radio dial or the like which, when viewed by reflected light, appears as a decorative non functional panel and which, when viewed by transmitted light, appears as a functional dial indicator.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a radio dial or the like in the form of a decalcomania composed of a plurality of layers of material having different optical density so that the functional features of the dial are visible only by transmitted light.
A further object of the invention is to provide a radio dial or the like comprising a plastic material or transparent film upon which is applied a plurality of layers of materials having relatively different optical density whereby the functional features of my radio dial will be visible only when light is transmitted through it.
Other objects of the invention and the advantages thereof will be more fully brought out as the description of the invention proceeds.
In the accompanying drawings, I have illustrated a practical embodiment of my invention. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are illustrative merely and that I do not intend to limit myself to the details of construction therein shown. Once my invention has been made clear to those skilled in the art, it will be readily understood how its structural features may be modified without sacrificing any of the advantages of my invention or departing from the scope thereof as defined in the appended claims.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a front elevation of a decorative panel embodying my invention as it is seen by reflected light;
Fig. 2 is a similar view of the panel shown in Fig. 1 as it appears when light shines through it to reveal the functional features of a radio dial;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary rear view of the panel shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is an end elevation on a greatly enlarged scale of the radio dial of my invention with legends thereon indicating the component elements of the panel;
Fig. 5 is a front elevation of a radio receiving cabinet showing a panel embodying my invention in place; and
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially on line 6-6 of Fig. 5.
In one practical embodiment of my invention, the decorative panel which also serves the function of a dial or indicator comprises a decalcomania film applied to a plate of glass or suitable plastic material or acetate film. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other transparent, or at least highly translucent, materials may be employed for the support of the decalcomania film.
As is well known in the art, a decalcomania film is usually built up on a backing sheet of socalled decalcomania paper or other suitable material upon which has first been applied one or more layers of a suitable releasing agent which is generally water-soluble. In some cases, the releasin agent may also have adhesive properties and may subsequently serve to secure the film to any other surface to which it is applied. The other layers of material comprising the decalcomania film are then successively applied upon the releasing agent, the first layers carrying the character print or design intended to be produced. In some cases, one or more layers of a clear lacquer or adhesive may be applied first upon the releasing agent before the building up of the other layers. When a decalcomania thus made is moistened, the film may be removed from the backing sheet and affixed to another surface either by the adhesive property of the releasing agent or by another suitable adhesive.
In the illustrative embodiment of my invention, the decalcomania film comprises a printed layer I produced on a gravure press, or its equivalent, or by offset or direct lithography. In this illustrative embodiment, the said layer I0 appears as a faithful reproduction of a rained piece of wood. Decalcomania reproductions of wood grain have heretofore been produced and have been used to some extent in the decorative arts. Therefore, so far as the layer I0 is concerned, it may be produced in the usual manner of making decalcomania reproductions of wood grain.
However, it will be understood that instead of reproducing the appearance of grained wood the decalcomania film may carry the reproduction of a marble surface or it may be given any other desired decorative appearance.
Upon the back of the layer II] which comprises the character print is applied a layer H of any suitable translucent material. In the embodiment of my invention here illustrated as one practical form, this translucent layer is preferably of a relatively lighter color as compared to the color of the layer IIl so that when light shines through it and the decorative layer ID, the high lights of the reproduction of wood grain will more clearly be brought out. Also, the selection of the color for the layer II may be dictated by the color it is desired that the layer I0 shall reveal both when it is viewed by reflected light and by transmitted light.
Upon the back of the layer II of the translucent material is applied a layer I2 of a suitable masking material which is substantially opaque so that light is not readily transmitted through it. This masking material is applied in a predetermined pattern or design to only selected areas of the translucent layer II so as to leave certain areas thereof uncovered for the transmission of light therethrough. In this way the predetermined pattern or design formed by the application of the opaque masking material will appear upon the face of the panel when light is transmitted through it.
The material comprising the translucent layer II and the opaque layer I2 may be any suitable lacquer or any of the materials known in the trade as synthetics which range in composition from varnish to lacquer, as such.
Instead of applyin the several layers so described in the order above set forth, the layers may be applied in the reverse order. That is to say, the masking material I2 may be applied first to the backing sheet in such a way as to provide the predetermined pattern or design. Then the layer II of translucent material may be applied, to be followed by the layer III containing the character print or decorative matter.
Fig. 4 is a greatly enlarged end elevation of my new radio dial. In this figure the supporting glass plate is indicated by the reference numeral I3. As heretofore stated, this plate may also be made of a transparent plastic material, or it may be an acetate film, such as cellophane and the like, suitably stretched and held fast.
While the plate I3 is shown as a fiat panel, it will readily be understood that where the design of the cabinet in which the panel will be incorporated is such as to require a curved surface, then I may use a suitable curved glass or plastic support for the film. Where the film is secured to any of the synthetic films, such as cellophane or the like, it is equally clear that a curved surface may be provided.
The decalcomania radio dial of my invention is fixed to the plate I3 by the layer I4 of transparent adhesive and said dial comprises the printed layer ID, the layer II of translucent material, and the masking material I2, all as heretofore described.
It will be understood that the decalcomania dial of my invention is first produced in the usual manner of decalcomanias upon a suitable backing sheet of paper and the like and that by moistening the decalcomania film is removed from the paper and applied to the surface of the glass panel I3.
I have above referred to a layer I4 of transparent adhesive which serves the function of securing the decalcomania film to the supporting plate I3. It will readily be understood by those skilled in the art that in some cases a separate layer of adhesive will not be required. For example, the material composing the layer IO may be a lacquer or its equivalent which may be softened by a suitable solvent. In that case, there will be no separate layer of adhesive.
If the decalcomania film is to be aifixed to a support comprising plastic material or acetate film, or the like, again, a suitable solvent may be used so that a separate layer of adhesive will not be required.
The decalcomania film of my invention as heretofore described may be aflixed to the inside surface of the transparent supporting panel I3 or to the outside surface-thereof, as desired.
The layers II], II and I2 of the decalcomania are of different optical densities. Sufiicient coloring matter is used in the printing of the layer I 0 so as to make it relatively translucent and yet not to destroy the desired Wood grain appearance. The layer I I is a translucent material which readily permits the transmission of light therethrough and may be of substantially the same optical density as the printed layer I0. However, the layer I2 which is the masking material is opaque or sufiiciently so as to prevent any substantial transmission of light therethrough. The effect, therefore, of the entire arrangement is to provide a decalcomania composed of a plurality of layers having different 76 optical densities and thereby to produce the desired appearance of a predetermined design when light is transmitted through the decalcomania.
Instead of applying themasking material in such a way as to leave predetermined areas of the translucent material uncovered for the transmission of light therethrough to form the desired design, the reverse procedure may be followed. That is to say, the desired design may be imprinted with the opaque or masking material so that when light is transmitted through the decalcomania the design will appear dark instead of light. But this is an obvious reversal and is merely a matter of choice.
The advantages of my invention may be realized in other ways and in forms other than that of a decalcomania film heretofore described. For example, the layers comprising the character print and the translucent and masking layers may be applied directly to a transparent sheet of acetate film such as cellophane and the like. It is well known how to print on such materials and therefore I deem it unnecessary further to describe the procedure in that connection. In this way, I produce a radio dial comprising a highly transparent film having layers of relatively different optical densities applied thereto, the whole comprising a unit which may in turn be secured to a supporting panel by suitable adhesive or by the use of a solvent. Such a transparent film may also be supported on a framework which will hold it in the desired form.
There are available upon the market today a great many plastic materials which are very clear transparent substances, or which, at least, are highly translucent. The layers comprising my invention as heretofore described may be applied directly to a sheet of such plastic material. Such sheets may be sufiiciently rigid as to require no further support, or they may, again, be secured to a more rigid transparent support by any suitable adhesive or by the use of a suitable solvent.
It Will thus be understood that the radio dial of my invention comprises, essentially, a plurality of layers of material having relatively different optical densities, the said layers being so arranged in a predetermined pattern or design that when the assembly is viewed by reflected light it appears as a decorative panel and its functional features as a dial are revealed only when light is transmitted through the assembly.
Referring now to Fig. 5 of the drawings, I have illustrated a more or less conventional home radio receiving cabinet I5. This may be made of fine furniture wood having a pleasinggrain or it may be made of plastic material treated to produce the appearance of marble or the like, or anything else. Such a radio receiving cabinet will usually have a screened speaker opening l6. Above this opening I have indicated at I! a frame within which is enclosed the radio dial of my invention. This frame I! may be a nice piece of molding harmonizing with the frame around the opening it. The radio panel of my invention is indicated in this drawingby the reference numeral 13 and, as will be seen, it has the appearance of grained wood harmonizing with the rest of the cabinet structure. The actual appearance of the panel is well illustrated in Fig. 1 of the drawings which is a photographic reproduction of a specimen of my invention. In Fig. 2, the same specimen is shown as it appears when light is transmitted through it so as to make visible the functional features of the dial.
As is quite common in radio receivers, a source of light l8 (see Fig. 6) is provided and this source is usually illuminated when the control switch is turned to the on position. The radio cabinet here illustrated as embodying my invention has a pointer or indicator [9 which is operated by a suitable knob 20 projected from the face of the cabinet. When the radio receiver is in operation, the source of light l8 transmits light through my panel l3 and thus the radio dial shows up as in Fig. 2 of the drawings. The pointer or indicator [9 may be made of opaque material so that the pointer will appear as a relatively dark shadow across the face of the dial. However, the pointer may also be made of material of contrasting color so that it will readily be visible through the highly translucent areas of the dial. Regardless of how the pointer or indicator [9 is made, its movements by manipulation of the knob 20 may be readily followed.
The radio dial herein described is in one form a decalcomania film, the making of which is well known to those skilled in the art. Obviously, I do not limit myself to any number of layers of different coating materials so long as the general objective is achieved of providing a film having areas of different optical density. There is also in the art a form of film which, for my purposes, may be considered the equivalent of a decalcomania. I refer to What is known in the trade as a transparency which, generally speaking, comprises a sheet of transparent paper upon which printing is done somewhat in the manner of the usual decalcomania. Such a transparency might be produced and attached to a transparent panel and thus form a radio dial according to my invention. In addition, as hereinbefore mentioned, the dial may be produced by applying the several layers of materials directly to such transparent materials as acetate film or suitable transparent plastics.
So far as its decorative features are concerned, it will be understood that the decorative printed layer may be a reproduction of wood grain or may have other decorative form and characteristics so as to harmonize with the cabinet to which the panel will be afiixed.
It will also be apparent that my invention may be utilized to form other functional instrumentalities in addition to a radio dial. For example,-
instrument panels of various sorts may be provided with dials of my invention for any desired indicating purpose.
I claim as my invention:
1. In combination with a*c abinet having a source of illumination therein and having a wall at least a portion of which is capable of transmitting light, a decorative film applied to the exterior of said wall, said film comprising indicia in opaque material adapted to be viewed by transmitted light overlying a light transmitting portion of said wall, a plain translucent pigmented layer overlying said indicia, and a translucent layer bearing a design adapted to be viewed by reflected light overlying said plain translucent pigmented layer, said indicia being substantially invisible when said cabinet is illuminated from the exterior thereof and becoming clearly visible when said film is illuminated preponderantly by light from said source of illumination within said cabinet.
2. In combination with a cabinet having a source of illumination therein and having a wall at least a portion of which is capable of transmitting light, a decorative film applied to the exterior of said wall, said film comprising a design adapted to be viewed by transmitted light overlying a light transmitting portion of said wall, and a translucent layer bearing a design adapted to be viewed by reflected light, said design adapted to be viewed by transmitted light being substantially invisible when said cabinet is illuminated from the exterior thereof and becoming clearly visible when said film is illuminated preponderantly by light from said source of illumination within said cabinet.
HERBERT A. OHMAN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
Number UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date LeFebvre July 27, 1897 Sutphen Feb. 21, 1922 Shuman July 1, 1924 Collins Mar. 10, 1931 Hodgkin Oct. 4, 1932 Lawrence May 2, 1933 Mitchell Sept. 12, 1933 Wallach July 31, 1934 Dreyfus June 16, 1936 Amdur Dec. 1, 1936 Madan Sept. 28, 1937 Hardesty Aug. 30, 1938 Colvin Oct. 11, 1938 Blhr Apr. 24, 1945