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Publication numberUS2587325 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 26, 1952
Filing dateJun 11, 1947
Publication numberUS 2587325 A, US 2587325A, US-A-2587325, US2587325 A, US2587325A
InventorsSt. Joseph
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 2587325 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


Patented Feb. 26, '1952 UNITEo snr-Ams PATENT 4-oJFFics =SIGN Harry Busted, St.s Joseph, Mich., "a's's'ig`nor to 'A. T. Tebbe, Si?. JOSeDh,Mich.

vide a sign in which the lettersfnu'mbers and other characters thereonare clearly' discernible 'and easily distinguishable'at -considerable'di'stances at night aswell vas indaylight.

Ancther object of `tlie inventin'is 'to provide fsuch a sign comprising asheetjne'tal fpanelf'or base plate Vprovided with uniformclsely'arranged, integrally fcprnied protuberancs which 'strengthen andrigidify the' si'g'nzand provide re'- ecting and light diiusing lele'ments-defining"the 'sign background orfieldwhich-'setsffuand' accentuates the numbers, letters, and'thr characters on the sign with r'iaxirnnrnY clarit`yand-fdistinctness.

Such sign characters'may comprise `any arrangement of 'numbersfa'ndor letters together or other creation for ornamental or artistic purposes. It is to be understood, accordingly, that any reference in this disclosurel to sign characters in generall applies-to' any matter whatsoever which may be carried by'a sign in accordance with the present invention re'gardless'of the specific formation thereof or the method by which 'suhcharacters .mayfbefpiovided ,onl the sign. 4It

affluiy encemplted; further; than such *sign cha'cn'ersbe defined'-Wtneshpef-thjsignfitself as, for example, lin thecase of'road signs. in the form of curved arrow indicatinga curve in theroad, or in the form of a crossdesig'nating an intersection.

A further object of the invention is to' provide a sign of the kind described v'invvhicH the erting and light diffusing 'protubei'ances "comprising the background 'of' the signfa're 'integrally sharp contrast to the characters 'on the 'sign which are painted Vor 'otherwisemadenoni'eflective in any suitableway so that the'cont'iast 'isf at a 'maximum for 'most effective 4Igibility- 'noth'er f obj 'ct of the'invnts" to"rr`vide awsign wccinstruction"'sch`as" described 'in" which the sign .characters arev presented in relief "r 'in .2 raised projecting 'relation to vth'e iiell'l or 'background 'of the-'sign to Aincrease the 'clarity -au'd visibility 'of I'the Jsign characters.

A further Yolojec'tof :the invention is to provide such a sign constructin in which the sign characters in any vform are outlined -by contrasting marginal portions which 'set v'out and emphasize the sign characters in sharp distinction to the background 'of the sign.

Still another object of the invention is to provide various improvements -in signs 'embodying the foregoing features, individually and severally, and the method of `maling such signs in :aminimum 'number of operations depending 'on-"the specic form of the sign characters provided, and

which method, in anyins'tance, is admirably suited for the economicaliuaiitity production of the signs 'at cmparatively'low cost.

Further objects and advantages-of the invention and othernevv :and 'useful features `in the construction 'and arrangement thereof will be readily appar'ent as the following description proceeds with reference 'to the accompanying drawings, for purposes `'of illustration bu't not of limitation, 'in which like :reference 'characters designate like parts zthrOiIghl'Jut, 'and in 'which Figure lis 'fa iront-view o'f a ssign provided in accordance with the invention in the manner of an automobile license "plate, or the like, for example;

Figure 2 is Aa frontvewfon an-'enlarged scale ofa marginahportion ofthe sho'vvn in Figure 1;

'Figure 3 is anl enlarged'sectional view of Figure 1 taken on line '3-3'looking :in 'the direction of che arrows; "anu,

Figure`4 is'an enlarged sectional view of Figure 1 'taken on line 'df-llookingl'in the direction of mean-uws.

Figures 5, 6 'and 'ares'ectional'views illustrating thesev'er'al steps inthe method of marking the sign Vs'liownin "Figures 1`4` i'n'clusive, with Figure 5 rlres'nting the-'initial 'step whereby the panel is provide-d "with 'a surface ofbright, lustrous'material;

'Figure '7 vdiscloses `the Lfollowing step in 'the 'irtlio'd'whereby'the sign is.'p1"ovided with the closely arrange d integrally l"f ormed 'protuberances which`rigidifythe panel and deinethe backgrpundortpesign.

Figr illustrates`a"igncnstruction similar to `that of Figures 1 4 inciusive in which the. sign rcharacters are raised in relation to the iieldor background'of the sign;

Y Figure 9 represents another form of raised sign characters which arek employed in the improved sign construction and,

Figure 10 shows a further form of raised sign Y -k characters which are lprovided in a,v sign inV acn cordance With the invention.

Referring now, more particularly, to the drawings, Figure 1 discloses theV invention as embodied in avehicle license plate, or the like, by way of an example only of one vform or application of Ivery'many to which the invention maybe put,

as for instance, Vhighway. signs, vehicle warning j signs and signals, and commercial and advertising signs of any purpose or nature. The invention comprehends, further, the provision of various sign :constructions in accordance with the instant disclosure which arel suitable for fastening or attachment to signs already in use as aneconomical procedure for providing such existing signs with reflective properties and other qualities con- ,Y

o Aforming to a uniform standard or code.

7 lThe panel, Vblank or base plateV ofjthe sign, designated generallyY ID, preferably is of light to permit ready stamping thereof ,in providing the; sign with the desired reflecting and'light diffusing elements in accordance with the invention. The finished Ypanel or plate must be stiff 4and relatively rigid in` most instancesand to this end, the integrally formed protuberances or refleetingY elements which are vstamped thereon,

add tothe stiffness and rigidity of thepanel in a completed sign structure. l

The front or' outer face Vof the panel which is exposed to view in a completed sign is provided 1 with,- a bright, lustrous surface that may be providedin any desired manner as by a coating Y oi' luminous paint or by a suitable plating operation. Preferably, the panel IU is of stainless steel which may be readily and cheaply electroplated to provide the bright lustrous surface on `the panel. It isV also preferable that Vchromium plating'be employed to provide such `a bright lustrous surface Yand nickel plating also maybe used butnickel does not maintain its luster and *brilliancy .as Well as chromium. As represented in Figure 5, the base plate I0 of the sign is plated lnits initially fiat form to provide the bright, plated surface I2. The use of stainless steel for the base panel I0 is in that it is weather resistant and not subject to corrosion.V In any case, the metal plate or blank'l and the bright surface I2` thereon should'be non-corrosive and other-V wise weather resistant in order to adapt the sign =for exposure Vwithout the needfor a protective covering to protect the same from weather effects. After the initial procedure off providing the panel V,IIIV inits at 'form with thebright plated surfaceV I2,V thefsign characters are provided. thereorrin any suitable manner as bypainting or printing thev same through theV medium. of a stencil, silk screen, prlntingrollers Vand the like.

As previously indicated, the sign characters may comprise any arrangement of numbers and/orV weight stainlesssteel but may be of any other suitable sheet metal of suiliciently light .gauge assiomi Figure 7 illustrates the next step in the method whereby the entire blank, panel or base plate IIJ, provided with the painted sign characters I5 and I5', is subjected to a stamping operation, `i i either by a die press or roller dies, to form the integral protuberances 2li which cover the entire face of the blank or panel, asv shown in Figure l.`

As illustrated in detail in Figures 2, 3 and 4, the

protuberances 20 are generally diamond-shaped.

blunt elements which are arranged in uniform geometrical design over the entire area of the blank or panel I0. The diamond shaped elements 270 are of the same size and configuration and are closely arranged together in substantially" edgeV to edge formation in projecting relation to2 the'front face of the blank orL panel I0. Accordingly, the front face of the blank is predominated by the saidprotuberances 20 rather than by thegslight adjoining plane areas therebetween.

As seen in Figures l andi2, the diamond-shaped protuberances '20 arev disposed in diagonal I Vparallel rows in edge to edge Yrelation to each other. The protuberances also are arranged in horizontal rows with the elements in each hori- ,zontal row in StaggeIedneSted, relation tothe elements of the immediately adjacent horizontal row of protuberances on either side thereof.

The invention fully contemplates the provision V of the protuberances in any similar or equivalent design .wherein such elements are relatively blunt and `little or nospace exists between adjacent protuberances.. However, the diamond-shaped design of the protuberances 20. as shown, has.

been found highly satisfactory and mostpractical in that the' stamping thereof may be readily performed without cracking or breaking the o bright, lustrous surface I2 orany of the painted areas rsuch as I5, I5.. To this end, the diarnond-V I shaped protuberance are made relatively shallow in relation to their size but suilciently ydeep to provide a well dened curved cross section having' p its convex contour extending in projecting relation to the outer or front face of the blank ,or` i i i panel. The protuberances 20 otherwise areY all stamped rearwardly out of the plane of the front L or'outer face of the panel I0 to provide comj plete surface of closely arrangedconvex-concave letters I5 -with or without a border I5 -or .other creation or design for ornamental" or vartistic purposes. Figure 6 illustates .this step in method whereby the initiallyflat'blank. or panel IB havvingl the bright lustrous surface IZ` is provided with suchv painted sign characters I5 and the border I5', Figure land 2, or otherpainted design.

or ornamental creation` elements which are integrallyformed on the frontY face of the blank. Y

As stated, thefront or outer face of the sign Vprovides the outer face thereof with much. great-` erbrilliance and luster than a surface `which is merelyat. Because of'the outer convexcon- Y* 'tour of theprotuberancesil, any light impinging on each VprotuberanceY isV reflected as` adiflused fseries of diverging rays and, as a result, thein- K tensity of the .reflection andthe brilliance ofthe reecting surface is considerably increased. Aco .if

cordingly, in the areas which .are not covered by `tliepain'ted sign characters such as I5, I5', for

example, the exposed protuberances 20 present abright overall surface 2| by reason ofthe relao tively'smallsize of said, protuberances and the Such bright surfaces` 2I close spacing thereof. are extremely brilliant when light from any source impinges thereon and for all practical pur- I poses, are asfbrilliant at night as during the day,`

timeL... .n It will be understood, accordingly, that the unpainted bright surfaces 2| outline and clearly dene the painted sign characters such as I5, l5' which are relatively dull and nonreiiecting, and consequently a sharp contrast is provided. This, of course, sets out the painted sign characters against the background or field defined by the bright surfaces 2| such that the outline of said characters is clear, distinct and easily discernible.

A sign (construction in accordance with the foregoing preferably is provided with the painted sign characters I5, l5 applied to the plate or blank in its fiat condition as described with reference to Figure 6 inasmuch as the paint may be most easily controlled and precisely applied under such conditions. However, if desired, the sign characters may be applied after the sign plate has been stamped with the protuberances but in this procedure care must be taken to insure application of the paint into the valleys and narrow surfaces between the adjacent protuberances 20 and also, to guard against undesired flowing of the paint beyond the intended design.

Figure 8 illustrates a further form of the improved sign Which is generally similar in construction and the method of making the same to that described with reference to Figures 1-7 inclusive. In this embodiment, a further step in the stamping operation is effected to raise the sign characters above the field or background defined by the bright surfaces 2 l. This serves to make the sign characters even more distinct and outstanding. By reason of the raised relation of the sign characters 25, the painted surfaces 26 thereon may be applied either when the plate is fiat'as described with reference is Figures 1-7 inclusive, or, after said raised characters have been formed. This latter procedure is readily accomplished by means of a paint wheel or paint roller adapted to brush the top surfaces of said characters to deposit the layer of paint 25 thereon without contacting or marring the bright surfaces 2| forming the field or background of the sign. In a similar relation, the tops of the raised sign characters may Abe subjected to a polishing wheel to increase the natural luster and brilliance of the plated protuberances 20 to a higher degree than that afforded by the bright surfaces 2| forming the background or field of the sign. In this way, the raised sign characters 25 would have a distinct contrast and an inherent greater brilliancy differing from that of the sign background or field 2|.

Figure 9 represents a further embodiment of the invention in which the top surfaces of the raised sign characters have a substantially fiat contour and are provided with a coating of paint 36 by means of a paint roller or'wheel as described with reference to Figure 8. In addition, fiat marginal portions 31 are provided which surround the raised sign characters thus provided, and these flat marginal positions have a painted surface 38 contrasting to the color of the paint 38 on the top of the fiat surfaces of the said raised sign characters 35. The fiat surfaces on the tops of the raised sign characters 35, and also the flat marginal portions 38 bordering the same may be readily provided for in the same operation by which there are stamped the protuberances 20 defining the bright surfaces 2| of the sign background. The iiat surfaces on the tops of the sign characters may be either painted or polished in the same manner and for the same purposes described with reference to the form of the invention shown in Figure 8.

Figure 10 illustrates another form of the invention in which the raised sign characters 45 are provided in a manner generally similar to that described with reference to Figures 8 and 9, and in which the raised sign characters are outlined by fiat marginal portions 41 having painted surfaces 48. The tops of the raised characters 45 may be painted a contrasting color to the painted areas 48 on the flat marginal portions 41 when the plate is in its initially flat condition as described with reference to Figures 1-7 inclusive, or by means of a painting roller or wheel applied to the tops of such raised sign characters after they have been formed. Similarly, the tops of the raised signed characters may be subjected to a polishing wheel to enhance the brilliance of the plated protuberances 20' to contrast sharply against the painted marginal portions 48 and the Abright surfaces 2l defined by the plated protuberances 20 forming the background or field of the sign.

While the invention has been described in detail with specific examples, such examples are intended as illustrations only, since it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other modifications in the construction, arrangement and general combination of parts thereof may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. 'I'he present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, with all changes falling within the scope, meaning and range of equivalency of the claim intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:

A sign comprising a metal panel having a bright surface area provided throughout with diamond-shaped protuberances, a painted sign character painted over a part of the diamondshaped protuberances in said area, whereby the unpainted diamond-shaped protuberances in said area serve as light reflecting elements defining the outline of said painted sign character, said diamond-shaped protuberances being arranged in closely positioned rows with the diamondshaped protuberances in each row being in staggered and nested relation to those in the adjacent rows. whereby any light striking a face of one of said diamond-shaped protuberances will be reflected against a face of an adjacent diamond-shaped protuberance to provide a brilliant contrast to said painted sign character.


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

France May 11, 1932

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2702440 *May 1, 1952Feb 22, 1955George MarchandDevice for illuminating paintings
US3590509 *Jul 25, 1969Jul 6, 1971Minoru FukumitsuLight-reflective display device
US3877786 *Jun 28, 1973Apr 15, 1975Yankee ArtistsMulticolored reflective article and its manufacture
US3895987 *Aug 3, 1972Jul 22, 1975Swarovski & CoIdentification plate and method for its manufacture
US4406045 *Jul 3, 1980Sep 27, 1983D. Swarovski & Co.Warning reflector
US4722158 *Dec 18, 1984Feb 2, 1988Urdaneta Enrique ASystem of individual modules which can be fitted together to form decorative or artistic panels
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US8726551 *Jan 10, 2006May 20, 2014Avery Dennison CorporationRetroreflective film
US20060097888 *Nov 5, 2004May 11, 2006Omoregbee Morgan UHigh intensity plastic reflective plates for houses, signs, roads and vehicles
US20080092418 *Jan 10, 2006Apr 24, 2008Peck John DRetroreflective Film
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U.S. Classification40/208, 359/542, 40/616
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/16