US 2565635 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug- 28, 1951 H. A, THUERNAU I 2,565,635
ILLUMINATED OUTDOOR DISPLAY Filed sept'. 19, 1947 INVENTOR j HENRY A. THUERNAU,
BMM? ATTORNEY `v Patented Aug. 28, 1951 III UlVlllSTATEl) OUTDOOR DISPLAY Henry A,` 'lhuernau, Clayton, Mo, assigner to American Displays, Inc., St. Louis,v Mo., a corporation ofl` Missouri Application Scntemhcr 19, 1947, Serial No- '775,101
transparent lettering, suchY as glass letters, etc.,
principally and as far as is known to this aprilie canti in smaller portable interior displays, such as commercial counter displays or the like. Inn some of. these latter, certain novel illuminating effects are attained by edge illuminants and by refraction effects. There thus far apparently not been any successful combination utilizing light=transmitting letters, of means utilizing bothv transmitted light and reflected lighty for outlin-V ing the letter-forming elements in any such that they are attractively visible at great.
distancesv as is necessary with the larger types. of outdoor advertising installations. The present invention accordingly has as its principal object, the attainment of this. result in a low-cost, easily installed assembly of. parts including illuminante..
Yet another object of the present invention is attained in an unusually attractive and novel illumination effect in an. assembly for the noted purpose comprising a translucent or transparent charactereiormmg structure., this efiect being best realized in a combination including a chars acter illuminated as by transmitted lightJ and additionally, with a distinct. brightening and crilarging effect, lighted by reflected lightl A further highly important object of the in: vention is attained in increased possibilities for combining different colors of light actually emittedy by the display. The many possible com binations will be at once realized when it is noted that the background light reflecting surface be varied in color and nature; similarly the char-v acter element maybe varied as to the color of the translucent material from which itis formed,V and. the choice oi illuminant may consist oi any of various colors; thus providing by change any one or several or the noted factorsi an almost infinite possibility for color composition and. effect.
Yet an additional object of the invention is atetained an improved combination involving a special arrangement of elements. and using' a single illuminatingmeans, whereby there is 6 claims. (C1. ca -13o) realized a dual effect resulting from both the transmission and the reflection of light from the Same SOlll'Ce.
Additional objects` in improvement of general results, include an improved bracketing and supporting means consisting of units of a material possessing inherent electrical insulation properties, and which is transparent, or at least translucent, and is of such light-transmitting properties as virtually to eliminate the dark areas otherwise apparent from the face of the displays when using older types of support.
Yet another and important objective is found in the provision of. a. virtually weatherproof, shockproof construction,v thereby resulting inV vir. tually no loss of the transparent elements as by breakage either incident to erection or the display, or after same has been in service.
The foregoing and numerous other objects will more clearly appear from the following description of a presently preferred embodiment of the improvements, particularly when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which;
Fig. 1 is a front elevational view of one of the character-forming elements shown in the form of a letter! saine would appear when illumif nated;
Fig. 2 a fragmentary sectional elevation as viewed along 'rl-2. of ,Figl and;
Fig- 3 is a fragmentary sectional view along line 3 3 of. liigt l,i Figs` 2 and 3 being con# siderably enlarged for clarity of structural detail Referring now by characters ci reference to the drawing of one example selected 4for disclosure, it is contemplated that the display be erected in situ, utilizing as a primary support for the clee ments of the displayl a substantiauy vertical planar structure suoli as the wall W. 1t will be understood however, that suitable preferably planar member, such as the face structure of an outdoor advertising bulletin board, may be employed as the primary support.
The surface of structure W desired to be vis-A ible along with and as part of the illuminated portionsof the display by great preference, provided with a highly reflective coatingy identi fied as a reflecting surface las., this reflecting surface being provided uniformly over the member VV, or at least in any case where employedy over those areas rearwardly cf the characterfcrming elements or members, preferably enY tending somewhat beyond the letters., for reasons hereinafter appearing The individual character-forming elements,
generally at It, and in Fig. 1 is composed of the i vertical part II and horizontal part I2 to form the letter illustrated. It is contemplated as essential to present improvements that the character-forming elements be at least translucent, this term being herein employed as embracing those types of materials which are sometimes referred to as transparent, and sometimes designated as luciform, the term translucent being emu ployed in the sense that light may be transmitted directly through the material with or without a certain degree of either refraction or diffusion.
As a source of illumination, it is preferred that each character-forming element be provided with a light source individual thereto. In the example shown, one or more lines of neon tubing such as indicated at I3, are arranged in a pattern generally conforming to that of the character Ill. In the example of Fig. l, it will appear that the tubing lies rearwardly of the defining margins of the letter, and as viewed from the front or face of the character element, is spaced just inwardly of each margin. Although this arrangement makes for best results, the double line of tubing and eX- act spacing are not to be regarded as critical, since in some cases a single line of the tubing of any suitable linear form is sufficient to attain the results noted and later to be described in detail.
As will best be seen from Figs. 2 and 3, the line or lines of the linear illuminants are spaced forwardly or outwardly of the reflective surface RS, and are located about an equal distance rearwardly of the character forming element. Thus the reflecting surface RS, the shaped or patterned illuminant I3, and the letter-forming member Il] are located in three spaced parallel planes. It is preferred that the spacing of RS and I0, be about the same as the width of the outlining portion of the letter, e. g. part II.
It will now have become apparent that it is desirable for best results to avoid any occlusion of the illuminants as seen or viewed by light transmitted through the letters. But for some such provision, there would appear in the bracketing f zones a series of darkened areas, resulting from the uneven illumination of the letter elements. Any such result is avoided in the present assembly by the use of transparent of translucent U- shaped brackets arranged in spaced relation behind the letter elements, and in front of the support W. Each such bracket, indicated generally at I4, consists of a pair of spaced parallel planar portions I5 and I6, the former being secured as by a suitable plastic cement (not shown) to the material forming the character I0, and the planar portion IB supported from structure W as by screws, bolts, expansion bolts or otherwise as indicated according to the nature of the support to attain the requisite anchorage thereto.
In the interest of simplification of erection and assembly, it has been found advantageous to support the gaseous discharge tubing or other form of linear illuminants directly from the U- shaped brackets I4. This is accomplished irl the example selected, through a series of studs or posts Il, such elements being attached to the center or bight portion of each of the U-shaped brackets III. These studs may each consist of a transparent or translucent center body of a special glass or of a suitable light-transmitting plastic. Each post or stud I'I carries a screw element 20, and the opposite end carries a U -shaped spring clip 2I, adapted releasably to grip the glass tubing of the illumnant I3.
The manner` of erection and assembly of the elements described, is thought to have been reasonably apparent from the foregoing description, but it may be noted for completeness as being usually desirable as a, rst step, after selection and formation of the characters such as I5, to attach thereto the U-shaped brackets lli. rIhe dimensions-of the legs and bight of each of these are such that the outer leg such as I5 of each of the brackets, may be located flush with the outer margin of the letter-forming element, as indicated by Fig. 3. The U-shapecl brackets I4 may be thus located on and attached to the individual character elements prior to erection or nal assembly, attachment to the elements I9 being made in a manner best suited to the nature of the plastic material of which the letters are made. In some cases, the plastic of brackets and letters may be warmed, and the brackets fused to the letter elements, thus becoming in effect, integral parts thereof. In other cases, a suitable plastic cement is employed between these parts, preferably being an adhesive of clear or so-called white character, so as to obviate any shadow eects otherwise possibly resulting from the layei` of adhesive.
The posts or studs II may be attached to the U-shaped brackets at the time of manufacture, or on the job. In either case the line of glass tubing of the gaseous discharge illuminant is inserted between the jaws of, and firmly yet releasably held by the several sets of spring clips Zi. Following electrical connections the assembly is then in operative form, each now complete letter being attached to the vertical support such as board or wall W, as through screws, bolts or the like 22.
It will have appeared that the combination of the U-shaped brackets I4 and translucent studs or posts I'I serves to locate the tubing I3 in a definitely aligned relation to the outer margins of the elements IB. This distance inwardly of the letter margins is such that the angle of incidence of a considerable proportion of the light from the tube, considering the surface RS as a reflector, results in an angle of reflection such that the reflected light component is emanated forwardly and just outside of the letter margins. This results in a halo effect or halation, creating a striking illusion of a character of considerably greater than actual size, and presenting a softened outline.
In addition to the reflected light component as described, a considerable proportion of the light from the illuminant I3 is directly transmitted through the translucent or transparent character-forming member lll. It is to be noted as a preference and as shown, that the tubing of itself outlines the letter or other character, and is in substantial registry with the member Ill.
The present arrangement affords an unprecedented opportunity for a wide selection of combinations of different colors and for composite color composition, due to possible changes in color of the gaseous discharge illumination, change in color of the character-forming element, and in the color of the reiiecting background. It. is greatly preferred. of course, that the reflecting surface RS be of some light color, the principal opportunities for color selection being found in the variation of illumination and the transparent letter characters. These combinations may" con.- sist of the saine color or may be varied according to choice and desired effect, for "example, the character-forming member l may be red in color with a white gaseous discharge. illuminant and a White background, merely to state one ofthe many possible examples.
It will now have appeared that the device as described by selection Vof a preferred example, serves fully to attain each of the vseveral objectives above specifically set forth, as well as others implied from the more extended description; Although the device has been described by particularizing a single embodiment, no restriction is thereby intended, inasmuch as numerous variants may be made within the fair scope of the claims hereunto appended.
I claim as my invention:
1. In an illuminated advertising display of outdoor type, a planar support especially provided with a highly reflective surface, illuminants arranged to delineate a. predetermined character such as a letter, and located in substantial parallelism to, but spaced outwardly of said surface, and being of elongate or linear form, one or more light-transmitting elements each shaped to dene a character such as a letter and arranged in spaced relation forwardly of, and substantially in registering relation to the illuminants, and a series of light-transmitting members of channel section, located marginally of the light-transmitting elements, the sides of each such channel being attached to the reflective surface and the transmitting element, with the illuminant attached to the base of the channel.
2. As an article of manufacture, a bracket for attachment and support of light-transmitting letters as in an outdoor display, the bracket being of a generally U shape and formed of a lighttransmitting material of a type to resist impact, and further characterized by a translucent stud element carried by and projected from the bight portion of the U shaped element, the stud element adapted as a support for a tubular type of electric illuminant.
3. An illuminated outdoor advertising display including a planar structure such as a wall or board, coated to provide thereon a highly lightreflective surface, a series of translucent character-forming elements each consisting of a substantially heavy sheet-like body outlined to provide the letters or other characters and spaced from the vertical support, a series of spaced brackets consisting of three connected portions, two of the portions being of planar form and secured respectively to the vertical support and to a marginal portion of the character forming element, a third such portion consisting of a bridge or distance piece connecting the rst two said portions, each said bracket being formed of a single piece of translucent, impact and weather resistant plastic material, an arrangement of electric illuminants of tubular type entirely rearwardly of each character-forming element and spaced intermediate the element and the planar structure,
Y the illuminants being arranged in a pattern conforming generally to the outline of each of the said character-forming elements, and in substantial registry therewith in such manner that when the illuminated character-forming element is vviewed from its, face, me lines of illuminatil tubing appear to lie just inwardly of the margins of the character-forming element, and a plurality of transparent posts or studs, carriedv by the U shaped brackets and serving therewith to provide a substantially shadowless support for the tubing of the illuminants, said tubing being thereby arranged so that light therefrom is transmitted directly through marginal portions of the several character-forming elements, and portions of the light therefrom are reflected from the coated planar structure to provide an halation eiiect marginally of each of the character-forming elements.
' 4. An illuminated outdoor advertising display including a substantially vertical planar structure such as a Wall or board, coated to provide thereon a highly light-reflective surface, a series of translucent plastic character-forming elements each consisting of a substantially heavy sheet-like body outlined to provide the letters or other characters, and spaced from the vertical support a distance of the order of the width of the outlining portion of the character, a series of spaced brackets, each of a substantially U shaped form and each consisting of three connected portions, two of the portions being of planar form and secured respectively to the vertical support and to a marginal portion of the character forming element, a third such portion consisting of a bridge or distance piece connecting the first two said portions, each said bracket being formed of a single piece of translucent, impact and Weather resistant plastic material, an arrangement of electric illuminants of tubular gaseous discharge type entirely rearwardly of and beyond each characterforming element and spaced intermediate the element and the planar structure, the gaseous discharge illuminants being arranged in a pattern conforming generally to the outline of each of the said character-forming elements, and in substantial registry therewith in such manner that when the illuminated character-forming element is Viewed from its face, the lines of illuminant tubing appear to lie just inwardly of the margins of the character-forming element, and a plurality of transparent posts or studs, carried by the U shaped brackets and serving therewith to provide a substantially shadowless support for the tubing of the illuminants; said tubing being thereby arranged so that light therefrom is transmitted directly through marginal portions of the several character-forming elements, and portions of the light from said tubing are reflected forwardly from the coated planar structure to provide an halation effect marginally of each of the character-forming elements.
5. As an article of manufacture, a bracket for attachment and support of light-transmitting letters in an outdoor display, the bracket being of a distinctly angulate U shape including a planar element for attachment to a supporting surface, a second planar element parallel to the first such element and spaced outwardly thereof, together with a third planar portion transversely of and marginally connected to the first and second planar elements, each of said planar elements being formed of a lighttransmitting material of a character to resist impact, the article being further characterized by a translucent stud element projected outwardly from the third said planar portion of the bracket, and a metal' clip at the outer end of the stud element, the stud and clip being adapted as a support for a tubular type of electric illumi- 7 nant, the stud element being located substantially intermediate the rst and second said planar elements.
6. An outdoor illuminating display structure for supported attachment to a member provided with planar reflecting surface, said structure including a transparent letter-forming element, a U-shaped bracket of channel form and of transverse section, the bracket being formed of a lighttransmitting material of a type to resist impact, one of the sides of the bracket channel being attached to and forming a direct support for the letter element, the other side of the channel of the bracket being attached to the reecting surface structure, and a translucent stud element carried by and projected from an intermediate part of the bottom element of the U shaped channel bracket, the stud element being adapted as a support for a tubular type of electric lluminant.
HENRY A. THUERNAU.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,079,714 Nauth May 11, 1937 2,092,508 Hammer Sept. '7, 1937 2,106,238 Deans Jan. 25, 1938 2,138,013 Perr Nov. 29, 1938 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 37,334 Denmark Apr. 11, 1927