US 2530404 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 21, 1950 R. u. SEARES 2,530,404
ANIMATED SIGN Filed Sept. 14, 1946 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 3 INVENTOR. ii Richard (1.5a res fitter/agg- R. u. SEARES .v
Nov, 231, 195% ANIMATED SIGN 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept 14, 1946 R w 0 a 9 V a W W Jo 10 U n a R R. U. SEARES ANIMATED SIGN Filed Sept. 1.4, 1946 v INVENTOR. Ric/Zara U; 0' m5 Patented Nov. 21, 1950 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ANIMATED SIGN Richard UT. Scares, Pasadena, Calif..
Application September 14, 1946, 'Serial No-. 697,034
7 Claims. (Cl. 40-139) The present inventionrelates. generally to displays; or signs of the type used for. advertising. purposes, andmore particularly to supporting and animating, mechanisms therefor by which motion is imparted to one. or more portions of the sign,.
signs of this type. being referred to generally as animated because the movement. of the various parts produces: the appearance of animation of the sign.
One of the general objects of my invention is. to. provide asupporting andoperating mechanism for signs. which produces; a pleasing. and novel motion or motions of. one or more portions of the. sign. in order to impart to the advertising copy motion which attracts. the eye and arrests the attention of members of the public.
Itis another object of my'invention to produce a. supporting and animating mechanism for a. sign. which is. adapted to produce a harmoniousv undulationv oi the letters or figures to the. end that there is produced the appearance. of rhythmic waves passing through the copy due to the successive imparting tov each letter of a motion. in. two components; namely, vertical reciprocae tion and rocking in the vertical plane ofv the front of. the sign about a. vertical axis.
Another object is to provide. a single flexible. supporting and animating means. for signs. which is. relatively inexpensive, rugged in. construction, and. simple to maintain- Another object of my invention is to provide a means of support ofminimum visibility forthe resilient. letter. supporting and actuating, flexible ribbon. This objective is attained by using a minimum practical number of inconspicuous supports. projecting through vertical slots in a panel which screens the operating mechanism from view. The slots are also covered at the rear by floating screens secured to the ribbon supports. If each ribbon support, panel screen, and floating screen be made a uniform dark, dull color in contrast to bright colors on the moving display; brilliantly illuminated, there is created the illusion that the undulating display is apparently floating inspace.
These objects of my invention have been at-- tained by providing a stationary supporting structure upon which are mounted movable-supports,
or inanother form, stationary as well as movablesupports, said movable supports being, preferably, connecting rods, the lower ends of which are moved circularly while the upper or wristpin ends are constrained to substantially vertical: paths. A horizontal. extension of a wrist pinsolidlyfixed to each connecting rod serves as a supportandaactuating: means for a. flexible ribbon.
orstrip' of resilientmaterial on-which are mount? ed letters or; characters: forming a display.
Movements in proper phase relationshipof the ribbon. supports. are obtained by some. suitable. drive means.- such as an electrical: motor: adapted; to. drive a speed reducer which in turnactuates suitable: linkages which: produce the desired operation: of the ribbon supporting and actuating; connecting: rods.
How. the above: as, well? as other objectives and advantages. of my invention. are attained. will: be more easily understood; by referring to the fol-- lowing description in connection with the draw-- ings,, in. which.
Fig. l is a front. view ofv one form. of. my: inven tion with trameand screen panel. partly broken awayto show the actuating. mechanisms;
Fig.v 2' is; a: top viewof Fig. 1-;
Fig. 3 is a vertical section. through. the view inFig. l on line 3--3;
Fig. l. isv a. front view of another form; of my invention with screen panel; partly broken away to reveal the concealed operating; mechanisms;
Fig. 5- is.- atopview of. Fig. 4-;
Fig. 6 is anend View of Fig.4.;
Fig- 7 rear view'of another formof my in vention with part. of movable truss panel cutaway for simplicity of illustration;
Fig. 8 is a top view.- of Fig. 7;.
Fig. 9 is an end view of 7; and:
Fig. 10 is. a vertical section through the View in Fig.7. atline Ill-4.0..
In. the form. of" my invention illustrated in Figs. 1,2,. and: 3.- there: are two actuating supports, one fixed; and one: leversupport for; the resilient. ribbon which: carries. spaced characters and when. actuatedbysaid two. moving, supports produces a wave-like: motion ot the ribbon andithe characters; supported by theribbon.
This; sign is composed of abuse l on which is mounted a panel. 2? containing an. opening; 3; through which. the display is revealed; Conceal? ing the; operating mechanism is. a second panel 4 containing slots-5: and 5a through. which are; extended:connectingrods I26fi/I1di'1 which support and actuate a flexible strip 25. The-spacing be.- tween the. support points: will determine the na-- ture andwavelength of the. wave produced by the device.
Aslow speed drive-.means-is produced bymotor 6- and speed reducer-1- which: drives.- crank. disc 8. carrying crank pin 9 which imparts a circular; motion to shuttlebar Htmounted on crankshafts. I1; and Ma. The crank shafts. are-.- supported; in;
bearings 12 and produce the rotation of crank throws l3 and i4, these being 180 out of phase from each other. The crank throws carry connecting rods 16 and i1. Crank shaft H has an extension crank arm 14a which is connected to crank throw [4 by shuttle bar l5. The bar [5, being 90 out of phase with shuttle bar 10, permits constant operation of the whole assembly without any common dead center position of shuttle bars H3 or 15. Connecting rods 16 and I1 have afiixed to them floating screens 23 and 24 which prevent any view through the slots 5 and 5a. The upper extremity of connecting rods l6 and 11 are bent at right angles at l8 and i9 and split in order to receive in the slit thus provided and firmly hold ribbon 25, the ends of which are mounted at stationary support 25 and lever support 21 pivoted at bearing 28. Rotation of crank shaft 1 l, for example, at approximately 20 R. P. M., imparts through the connecting rods 16 and I1 a sinuous wave-like motion to ribbon 25 and letters or figures 25a mounted on the ribbon. One end of the ribbon is fixed at 26 and the other end at the rocking support 21 which oscillates the support point at 21 about an axis perpendicular to the vertical oscillation of the supports I8 and 19. The ribbon supports 18 and'l9 move in a vertical path in the same plane and perpendicular to the plane of the ribbon with their ends 180 out of phase; that is, 19 is on the upstroke when 18 is on the downstroke, and vice versa, and at the ribbon a rotation of the rods is produced which is clockwise on the upstroke and counter-clockwise on the downstroke of the rods. This causes a flexure in the ribbon 25 to establish an advancing wave from left to right when the display is viewedfrom the front, as in Fig. 1.
Figs. 4, 5, and 6 show, respectively, a front View, a top view, and an end view of a second form of a moving display, in which letters or figures mounted on a resilient, ribbon-like strip are so actuated as to produce a wave-like motion of the display. This form differs mainly from the first in that all ribbon supports are movable and in that the ribbon supports are constrained to a vertical path by means of a combination of linkages. This sign is comprised of a base 29 to which is secured a panel 36 in which are slots 38, 45, and 45a. Motor 3| and speed reducer 32 drive crank disc 33 carrying crank pin 34 which extends to crank arm 39 which carries a second crank pin 40 at equal radius but 180 out of phase from crank pin 34. Crank pin 48 imparts a circular motion to a shuttle bar 41 which is mounted on lower bearings 42 and 46 of connecting rods 43 and 41. Rods 43 and 41 at their upper ends pass through bearing sockets 5!, one each mounted in vertical links 49 and 63, and extend through slots 45 and 45a. These bearing sockets are constrained to a straight-line vertical path by reason of links 49 and 63 being pivoted at their extremities to levers53, 56, 68, and 65 by means of pins 52, 55, 62, and 64. On the vertical reciprocation of the rods 44 and 48, they are also caused to rock in the bearings 5|, so as to rotate clockwise on the upstroke and counterclockwise on the downstroke. Crank pin 34 carries connecting rod 36 mounted in bearing 35, the upper end 31 of which extends horizontally through slot 38.
The pin 34 carries a crank arm 39 connected to a shuttle bar 41 at a pivot pin 48. The connecting rod 41 is connected to the shuttle bar 41 at bearing 46. I nected to the shuttle bar 4| at bearing 42. The
A like connecting arm 43 is conupper ends 44 and 48 of the crank arms 43 and 41, respectively, pass through slots 45 and 45a.
The wrist pin 31 passes through a bearing 5la mounted on link 58 which in turn is pivotally connected to link 68 at pins 59 and to link 59 at pin 51. The levers 53, 56, 60, and 65 are pivotally mounted on the panel 30 by means of pins 54, 51a, 6|, and 66, respectively. The ends 31, 44, and 48 of the three connecting rods 36, 43, and 41 are split. The flexible ribbon 61, on which are mounted letters 61a, is inserted in said slits and fixed therein. Crank pin 34, being out of phase from crank pin 40, produces a simultaneous and opposite motion to the two outer connecting rods 43 and 41 as contrasted to the motion of center connecting rod 36. The supporting arms 31, 44, and 48 impart to the ribbon at these supporting points a motion which is a combination of rocking and vertical reciprocation perpendicular to the plane of the ribbon.
As a result of this construction the ribbon and support points 44 and 48 are given a vertical inphase motion, 1. e., they move up and down together. They are also given a simultaneous rocking motion about the axes of 44 and 48 in phase, causing an in-phase up-and-down motion of the ribbon ends and an in-phase fiexure of the ends of the ribbon, which, for both 44 and 48, is clockwise on the upstroke and counter-clockwise on the downstroke. The ribbon support 31, which is positioned at a point midway between support points 44 and 48, i. e., at the half wave position, has a vertical motion 180 out of phase with 44 and 48, i. e., it is upon its downstroke when 44 and 48 are on the upstroke. Likewise, the support 31 rocks on its axis clockwise on its upstroke and counter-clockwise on the downstroke, causing a fiexure of the ribbon at the point of support in 31. This rocking is clockwise on the upstroke of 31 and counter-clockwise on the downstroke of 31.
The compounding of these motions causes the ribbon to flex in a manner substantially like the fiexure in the form shown in Fig. 1 to produce a wave-like motion in the ribbon which advances from left to right ifthe display is viewed from the front, as in Fig. 4.
I may omit rod 36 and crank assembly 34 and 35 and connect the shuttle bar 41 to the crank disc 33 and support a rod such as 31 to pivot freely in 5la. Flexing of ribbon 61 by outer supports 44 and 48 causes a rocking of the rod 31 in 51a. and carries the wave-like distortion across support 31 in a similar manner.
In Figs. 7 to 10, inclusive, the display is 'comprised of a base 58 supporting a panel 59 in which there are vertical slots 81, 82, and 83. A slowspeed drive means, such as motor 18 and. speed reducer H, causes crank plate 12 to be rotated, for example, at about 20 R. P. M. in a clockwise direction if viewed from the front. Crank pin 13 supports and imparts a circular movement to shuttle bar 14. Bearings 15 and 16 are positioned at the extremities of the bar 14. In the bearings are mounted the crank end of connecting rods 11 and 18. The upper or wrist pin ends of connecting rods Hand 18 pivot in bearings [83 and I84 in end blocks 91 and 98 which are afiixed to truss panels 99 and [08. Blocks 91 and 98 and panels 99 and I86 comprise a movable truss assembly which is constrained to reciprocate in a vertical path while always remaining parallel to the supporting base 68. The movable truss assembly 91, 98, 99,-and 108 is shided-in. its motion; by the tact or the nner vertical fac sof blocks 91 and 9e agaihstth rcular ends. of rocker. levers 9! and 9.2 which are pivoted at 9.3. and 8.4, on pivot support blocks l! and. H32 which are fixed solidly to panel 69 by screws-109, Rocker levers 9 I, and 9.2 are pivotally connected by link 95. on pivot pins 95a, and 95b and are constrained to moyein unison. The levers 9i and 92 are connected to. and support the movable truss assembly 97., E38, 99, and its. by linksxtii and Qucarried in bearings 1% and H18 in levers 92 and 9|, respectively, and bearings Hi5 and L0! in blocks 91 and 93, respectively. This permits the truss to have only a vertical. degree of freedom in a vertical plane without change of horizontal relationship to-the supporting base 69. Connecting rods Ti and 18 extend as wrist. pinsthrough panel slots BI and 82 to provide ribbon supports 7-9- and 8%.
Likewise mounted to rotate freely in link 95 is a center ribbon support 96 extending through panel slot 83. Ribbon Bl of resilient material, such as steel or plastic, is firmly aflixed in the slots in the three suports I9, 85, and 9B, and carries, affixed to its outer edge, block letters or figures 68 which may be slotted to provide their suitable fixing to the ribbon 81. Behind slots 8|, 82, and 83 are thin floating screens 84, 85, and 86- which are fixed solidly in a vertical plane to. ribbon supports 19, 89, and 96. These conceal. a view of the actuating mechanism through slots 81, 82, or 83.
Ribbon SUDDOIts 7t and 8B rising and falling in a vertical path, perpendicularly to the plane of the ribbon, in phase, i, e., together up and down, are at the same time rocked inv phase due to the circular motion of and 16 moving in unison, rotating each clockwise on their upstroke and counter-clockwise on their downstroke. This causes a flexure in corresponding direction and an up and down motion of the center of the ribbon, moving in a vertical path 180 out of phase from the motion of 19 and 80, i. e. moving downward as the support 96 moves upward.
The support 95, which is midway between the support points 19 and 80, i, e,. at the half wave position, being free to rotate in the link 96 clockwise on its upstroke and counter-clockwise on its downstroke, and the ribbon passing through a slot in the support 85, as in the case of all other ribbon supports illustrated in the drawings, causes the supports to rotate freely in the link 96 as the ribbon is flexed by the motion and flexure of the ribbon ends. The vertical motion thus imparted to the ribbon ends by the supports 19, 8G, and 96 and the flexure imparted to the ribbon ends by the rotation of the supports l9 and 80 causes ribbon 81 to be distorted progressively in the form of waves running from one end to the other, most appropriately from left to right when viewed from the front of the display, i. e., from the left of Fig. 8.
Although no views in the drawings show more than three moving supports for the resilient ribbon, these may be increased to any desired number with accompanying actuating mechanisms of similar nature to those shown. In this way, where three supports, as employed in the forms illustrated in Figs. 4 to '7, inclusive, provide display of only one wave length from crest to crest of a moving wave, the full wave being established between the end supports, supports may be added with the intermediate support at the half wave points. In the case of such more than three supp rt. pomp. the intermediate suppcrtaneed; be. given. only a v rtica mo i n, as; Fig- L. o ether with a vertical motion of both end supportses in Eigs. 4. and '7... However, th cndsupportsall Such. cases must; be given the rockin mo ion. described above.
Where more than there movable supports are employed, the outer or and supports are. desirablv providedwith both. rotary and: reciprocating; means, for example, such. as, illustrated in Figs. 4 to. 10, inclusive.
The displaymounted on. the flexible ribbonmay be of steel, plastic, or other material having av sufliciently high modulus of elasticity and resist"- ance to fatigue to permit itto be flexed and assume theWave-like-motion for a prolonged'period of time. The display may consist of a plurality of individual units, such as letters or numbers, or other units which are mounted on the ribbon in slots in which the ribbon is mounted where the length of the slot will not unduly distort the wave; The characters may, however; be mounted on a bracket which has a substantially high support point on the ribbon or a suflicientlyshort'slot. The characters are moved up and down and rock to and fro as the ribbon is flexed in the advancing wave to follow the wave, and the row of characters assumes and appears to be in the form of an advancing wave.
Instead of individual characters, I. may em;- oy y d play which will. follow he w v as, for example, any display mounted on the ribbon which will flexinunisonwith the ribbon to appear to follow an advancing wave.
hi e I have. described a particular, embodie ment of my invention for the purpose of illustration, it should be understood that various modifications and. adaptations thereof may be made within the spirit of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
1. A device for producing a progressive wave in a flexible ribbon, comprising a flexible ribbon, spaced supports for said ribbon said ribbon being firmly attached at said supports, an intermediate support between said spaced supports, means for moving said supports relative to each other, and means for flexing said ribbon to produce an advancing wave in said ribbon.
2. A device for producing a progressive wave in a flexible ribbon, comprising a flexible ribbon member, spaced supports for said ribbon said ribbon being firmly attached at said supports, an intermediate support between said spaced supports, means for moving said supports relative to each other, means for flexing said ribbon to produce an advancing wave in said ribbon, means for vertically reciprocating said spaced supports in unison, and means for reciprocating said intermediate support out of phase relationship to the reciprocation of said spaced supports and for simultaneously rocking said supports, whereby said ribbon is repeatedly flexed to produce an advancing wave in said ribbon.
3. A device for producing a progressive wavelike motion in a flexible strip, which comprises a flexible strip, means for holding one end of said strip in a fixed position, means for holding the other end. of said strip to impart a rocking motion therein and a repeated fiexure at the end of said ribbon intermediate supports for said ribbon, means for reciprocating said intermediate supports in a direction perpendicular to the plane of said ribbon in out of phase relation to each other, and means for rocking said intermedlate supports to repeatedly flex said ribbon to produce an advancing Wave-like motion in said ribbon.
4. A device for producing a progressive wave in a flexible ribbon, comprising a flexible ribbon, a rod positioned at each end of said ribbon, said ribbon being attached to each of said rods, a rod attached to the ribbon at an intermediate point between said first-mentioned end supports, bearings for said rods, means for reciprocating said bearings in a vertical path perpendicular to the plane of said ribbon with said bearings for said intermediate point moving 180 out of phase with the other bearings, and means for rotating said rodsin said bearings to flex said ribbon to produce an advancing wave in said bearings.
5. A device for producing a progressive wave in aflexible ribbon, comprising a flexible ribbon, a rod positioned at each end of said ribbon, said ribbon being attached to each of said rods, a rod attached to the ribbon at an intermediate point between said first-mentioned end supports, bearings for said rods, means for reciprocating said bearings in a vertical path perpendicular to the plane of said ribbon with said bearings for said intermediate point moving 180 out of phase with the other bearings, and means for rotating said rods in said bearings clockwise on their upstroke and counter-clockwise on their downstroke to flex said ribbon to produce an advancing wave in said bearings.
'6. A device for producing an advancing wave in a flexible ribbon, which comprises a flexible ribbon, a fixed end support for said ribbon, a plurality of rods spaced at intermediate points of said ribbon and attached thereto, a bearing for each rod, means for moving said hearings in a path perpendicular to the plane of the ribbon out of phase to each other, means for rotating said rods in said bearings clockwise on the upstroke of said bearings and counterclockwise on the downstroke of said bearings, and a rocking support for the other end of said ribbon rotatable about an axis perpendicular to saidreciprocation of one of said bearings to produce an advancing Wave to said ribbon.
7. A device for producing an advancing wave in a flexible ribbon, which comprises a flexible ribbon, a fixed end support for said ribbon, a plurality of rods spaced at intermediate points of said ribbon and attached thereto, a bearing for each rod, means for moving said bearings in a path perpendicular to the plane of the ribbon 180 out of phase to each other, means for rocking said rods in said bearings, and a rocking support for the other end of said ribbon rotatable about an axis perpendicular to said reciprocation of one of said bearings to produce an advancing wave in said ribbon.
RICHARD U. SEARES.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS