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 numberUS2557383 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 19, 1951
Filing dateMay 2, 1946
Priority dateMay 2, 1946
Publication numberUS 2557383 A, US 2557383A, US-A-2557383, US2557383 A, US2557383A
InventorsKerwer Fred
Original AssigneeDouglas Leigh Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display device
US 2557383 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

F. KERWER DISPLAY DEVICE June' 19, 1951 2 sheets-sheet 1 Filed May 2, 1946 INVENTOR. Freo? )fermer June 19, 1951 F. KERWER 2,557,383

DISPLAY DEVICE Filed May 2, 194e 2 sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. f77/'eel Karma? Patented June 19, 1951 DISPLAY DEVICE Fred Kerwer, Little Neck, N. Y., assignor to Douglas Leigh, Inc., New York, N. Y.

Application May 2, 1946, Serial N o. 666,670

2 Claims.

This invention relates to a display device for use on display surfaces such as bill boards or other rigid and non-rigid surfaces, and including the flexible envelopes of dirigibles and other lighter-than-air vehicles.

Advertising devices for use on the above mentioned surfaces have previously been provided. There have been serious disadvantages however in making practical use of these devices for several reasons including their weight and their cumbersome and expensive construction. Furthermore, the inherent rigidity of the former devices have rendered them unsuitable for use in connection with non-rigid surfaces such as are possessed by balloons and dirigibles.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a display device which can be easily assembled on a surface, whether rigid or nonrigid, with low cost and speed of assembly and disassembly, and with relatively great reduction in the weight of the device compared with modern previous installations.

It is further an object to provide a device which has the above advantages and is especially suitable for attachment to flexible nonrigid envelopes of air-ships and dirigibles.

A further object is to provide a device which can be attached to a surface without the use of the usual heavy and cumbersome supporting frame-work hitherto required.

A further object of this invention is the provision of a display device of the character described which may be mounted directly upon the envelope of lighter-than-air aircraft, without the necessity of having to interpose a frame- Work between said device and the envelope or the frame of the envelope.

Still another object of thisv invention is the provision of a display device of the character described which may be constructed of standard readily available equipment, which need not in any way be altered or modified to adapt it for the purposes set forth.

Preferred embodiments of this invention are shown in the accompanying drawing in which- Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of an anchored display balloon incorporating the display device herein claimed;

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary section on the line 2 2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the lamps shown in Figs. 1 and 2, showing how they are fastened to the envelope of the balloon;

Fig. 4 is a sectional view on the line 4 4 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a sectional view on the line 5-5 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary prospective view of one of the lamps used in this device;

Fig. 7 is a side elevational view of a small.

dirigible or blimp embodying this device;

Fig. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a device of the character described which may be used as a travelling or changing sign; and

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary view of a second embodiment of this invention.

The device herein claimed comprises a plurality of electric light bulbs l0 mounted in sockets l l and connected to each other and to a source of electric current by means of Wire conductors I2. These conductors are relatively flexible and are insulated in the usual manner. The bulbs are relatively small and of low voltage. They are arranged on the envelope i3 of the balloon shown in Fig. 1 and on the envelope M of the dirigible shown in Fig. 7 in accordance with any predetermined pattern. 'I'hus in Fig. 1 they are arranged to spell the name Doe and in Fig. 7 they are arranged to spell the name John Doe. It will be understood that any other arrangement is herein contemplated whether a name or a word is spelled out or a symbol or a picture is represented.

Bulbs I 0 are held in place by means of ilexible patches 2S which afx the conductors I2 to the envelope. Patches 2!! are made preferably of the same kind of sheet material or fabric of which the envelope itself is made. They made be circular or rectangular or of any other shape. These patches are affixed to'the envelope by means of an adhesive in the same manner as conventional finger patches 22 are affixed to the envelope.

It will be seen from the foregoing that no frame is required on which to mount bulbs I0. Instead the conductors I2 themselves constitute the necessary framework or supports for mounting the bulbs.

As is well known, the envelope of a balloon and of a dirigible constitutes a non-rigid element. It vibrates and flexes and engages in other forms of distorting movement. 'I'he patches 2D being made of substantially the same material as are the envelopes i3 and Hl are inherently adapted to engage in the same kind of vibratory or other movement. Consequently, neither a distortion of the overall shape of the .air aircraft. shown on the dirigible in Fig. 7 may stand vas balloon envelope in a high wind,` nor a series of minor distortions such as waves in the envelope of the dirigible will have any adverse eiect upon the structure supporting the bulbs. The nature of this structure furthermore adapts it to conform to the curvature of the side of the envelope. Thus it is immaterial whether the bulbs are to be mounted on a relatively flat surface or on @a sharply curved surface. The samesupportingstructure is used in either case without modification or change.

It will be understood that the feeder wires in the balloon may be connected to a .source of electric current situated on the ground. 1nsofar as the dirigible is concerned, abcttcr practice is to provide the source of 4currentin .the form of a battery or generator.carried within the cabin.

It is important to note at this point that by reason of the construction hereinabove described, letters and characters as well as --pictures may be reproduced in a form several times larger than has heretofore ,been considered possible in connection with lighter-than- Thus for example, .the letters much as 24 feet high in contrast to the letters of only v.4 feet in height previously used. Furthermore, -the 24-foot characters of the present device weigh less than the 4-foot characters of .the signs now and previously invuse.

A,In Fig. 8 an arrangement of bulbs is shown which may be used for travelling or changing sign purposes, as for flashing news bulletins or producing animated pictures. These bulbs are fastened to the envelope in the manner rpreviously described and by the same means. They are hooked up by means of cables 30 to a selecting mechanism and source of electric current 3|. This hook-up and this mechanism are conventional and are not herein claimed. .Any type of control mechanism which may be used in conventional travelling signs may be `Aused in the vpresent display device. There is ka -weight limitation however and the preferred ,forms of this type of mechanism are those which ,weigh the least. Fig. 8 is not intended to dis- Vclose an actual wiring diagram. It is intended rather, merely to indicate that the ybulbs in ,question are hooked up in the usual manner to a conventional control mechanism.

The device disclosed in Fig. 8 is the only de- Yvice known to applicant which provides Itravel- -ling signs and animated pictures Von lighter- .than-air aircraft. This has heretofore been deemed impossible of practical attainment.

A .modified form of this invention -is shown `in Fig. 9 where the bulbs I0 are -aixed -to va substantially rectangular sheet of Iflexible material such as fabric 40 in the same manner as above described in connection with the envelope proper. A character such as a letter .E is painted or otherwise applied to sheet 40. The `bulbs I are arranged tooutlinesaidcharacter. The painted character will be seen during the day and the character as outlined by `the bulbs will be seen at night. rlhe sheet 40 :connected lto a source of electric current by 4vmeans of a-plug-in connectionfor by any other conventional means.

It will thus be clear that I have provided a simple, light-weight, economical device which will permit symbols or words, or letters to be displayed `and illuminated upon a surface,

whether -rigidvor non-rigid, which can be easily L`arranged to present a wide variety of letters and symbols, which can be easily and quickly attached, removed, and modified at will and greatly reduces the cost of the usual installation.

Preferred embodiments only of the invention herein claimed have above been described and it will be understood that changes and variations may be incorporated therein without departing from the basic principles and spirit of the invention.

1. A display device which comprises a supporting surface, an electrical conductor disposed thereon and shaped in the form of a symbol to be displayed, light sockets disposed at intervals along said conductor, and means disposed between the sockets to adhesively fasten the conductor to the surface.

2. A display device which comprises a supporting surface, an electrical -conductor thereon and disposed in the shape Vof a symbol to be displayed, light sockets disposed at intervals along said conductor to receive light bulbs therein, and cement patches disposed over the conductor between the sockets to firmly adhere the conductor to the surface.


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

UNITED 'STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 927,018 Ammen July 6, 1909 1,292,596 Gammeter et al. Jan. 28, 1919 1,398,303 Mitchell Nov. 29, 1921 1,612,643 Mulholland Dec. 28, 1926 1,701,204 Glatzner Feb. 5, 1929 1,726,585 Propp Sept. 3, 1929 1,923,725 Haines Aug. 22 1933 1,953,489 Kolb Apr. 3, 1934 1,974,039 Bohannon Sept. 18, 1934 1,981,663 Pollock Nov. 20, 1934 1,993,414 Respess Mar. 5, 1935 2,107,641 Malcornson Feb. 8, 1938 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 198,739 Great Britain June 1, 1923

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US927018 *Feb 8, 1908Jul 6, 1909Francis D AmmenElectric sign.
US1292596 *Oct 16, 1918Jan 28, 1919Goodrich Co B FStay-fastener for balloons.
US1398303 *Oct 21, 1920Nov 29, 1921Lucien C MitchellParachute and process of folding the same
US1612643 *Aug 27, 1925Dec 28, 1926Mulholland James FBalloon toy
US1701204 *Jan 13, 1926Feb 5, 1929 glatzner
US1726585 *Mar 21, 1925Sep 3, 1929M Propp Co IncDecorative device
US1923725 *Jun 18, 1931Aug 22, 1933Goodyear Tire & RubberDisplay in aircraft
US1953489 *Mar 16, 1933Apr 3, 1934Kolb GeorgeAdjustable electric light for a bed or the like
US1974039 *Apr 21, 1934Sep 18, 1934Bohannon William AAerial banner
US1981663 *May 11, 1933Nov 20, 1934Leo PollockDecorative article
US1993414 *Mar 7, 1932Mar 5, 1935Respess Aeronautical EngineeriAerial signal device
US2107641 *Mar 2, 1935Feb 8, 1938Malcomson Gilbert CuppsDisplay device
GB198739A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2816378 *Dec 2, 1953Dec 17, 1957Royal Electric Company IncIlluminated display device
US2957978 *Feb 5, 1958Oct 25, 1960Joseph A SopraniIlluminated display devices
US4179832 *Dec 29, 1976Dec 25, 1979Lemelson Jerome HInflatable displays
US4601120 *Nov 9, 1984Jul 22, 1986Levin William JFlexible illuminated display
US4709307 *Jun 20, 1986Nov 24, 1987Mcknight Road Enterprises, Inc.Clothing with illuminated display
US4901456 *Nov 21, 1988Feb 20, 1990Peter CotutscaMagnetically supported display
US5016145 *Oct 12, 1989May 14, 1991Singleton Kent AIlluminated display vehicle ornament
US5075830 *Mar 18, 1991Dec 24, 1991Rafael PerezIlluminated balloon
US5117344 *May 6, 1991May 26, 1992Rafael PerezIlluminated balloon assembly
US6312141 *Oct 6, 1999Nov 6, 2001Limin LiuSimulated fireworks lamp assembly
US6672748Jan 4, 2001Jan 6, 2004Eric Dean BaldwinBack lighted display unit
US6749154 *Oct 29, 2002Jun 15, 2004Don Scott JohnsonAircraft advertising system
US7173649May 29, 2002Feb 6, 2007Shannon Thomas DVideo airship
US20150097761 *Oct 9, 2013Apr 9, 2015Tait Towers Manufacturing, LLCInflatable display device
U.S. Classification40/214, 116/DIG.900, 40/620, 362/812, 40/550
International ClassificationG09F21/10
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/812, G09F21/10, Y10S116/09
European ClassificationG09F21/10