US 2624141 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 6, 1953 c, F, MARTlN 2,624,141
ILLUMINATED SIGN STRUCTURE Filed March 11, 1950 ll, Il h Illl W unsatisfactory from Patented Jan. 6, 1953 UNITED STATES TENT OFFICE 2,624,141 ILLUMINATED SIGN STRUCTURE.
Clarence F. Martin, Lombard, 111. Application March 11, 1950, Serial No. 149,103
This invention relates to illuminated signs; in particular, it concerns a simple, inexpensive illuminated sign particularly adapted for use as a street number sign for private residences.
Illuminated house-number signs are not bro-adly new, since such signs, designed for operation from door bell circuits, have been available in the past. The prior-art structures, however, have been complicated, relatively expensive, and the maintenanc viewpoint. Prior-art structures have been particularly obj ectionable for their tendency to accumulate within the sign structure refuse, dirt, insect bodies, and other litter.
My invention provides an illuminated sign structure which is wholly enclosed, so that foreign matter can not enter the compartment which encloses the light source. To provide such an illuminated sign is one of the principal objects of my invention.
Another object of my invention is to provide an illuminated house-number sign providing universally interchangeable numerals formed on very thin plastic sheets which may be cheaply made in mass quantities. Still another object of my invention is to provide for such thin plastic numerals a holding mechanism comprising a pair of plastic sheets receiving the numerals sandwichfashion, which, when assembled, are bent to provide an attractive convex surface for display of the numerals and at the same time elastically to hold the numerals in position.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from this specification and the appended drawing.
I have illustrated, in the accompanying drawing, an illustrative embodiment of my invention; of the drawing, Figure 1 is a perspective view of a fully assembled house number sign embodying my invention; Fig. 2 is a sectional view of the sign of Fig. 1, taken along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1; Fig. 3 is a sectional view of the sign of Fig. l, the section being at right angles to that of Fig. 2 and being taken along the line 3-3 of Fig. 1; Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a numeral plaque suitable for employment in my invention; Fig. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the sign of Fig. 1, the various layers of plastic therein being broken away to bring out clearly the manner of construction of my sign; and Fig. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view, on an enlarged scale, bringing out the details of my assembly method wherein I employ a water film as a temporary adhesive agent to secure the plastic numerals to the backing sheet.
As shown in Fig. 1, the frame III of my'sign is made fro-m a single piece of metal-preferably aluminum or other non-rusting metal; the stock from which frame I0 is formed may be essentially rectangular in shape; the frame consists of a back portion intended to be secured to the wall which is to carry the sign, and a pair of forwardly extending wings, denoted Illa and Illb respectively, which are formed by bending the frame In forward at right angles to the back portion along lines which are parallel to one another and equally distant from the top and bottom edges of the sheet from which frame I0 is formed.
While I have, in the illustrated drawing, shown frame II! as substantially rectangular in shape, it will be understood that any desired shape may be adopted; I like, for esthetic reasons, the shape shown, but other shapes may be adopted with equally good functional performance so long as the top and bottom wings are sufficiently large to enclose wholly the space above and below the light source to be described presently. I
A plate II, which may be formed of the same type of metal employed for frame I0, is symmetrically disposed along the forward face of frame It; the outer ends of plate II are bent inward at an acute angle to form a pair of ears or restraining flanges Ila and III) respectively.
To facilitate mounting of my sign on a wall, a pair of mounting holes I2 may be provided as shown in the ends of frame ID.
A small light socket I3, adapted to receive a bulb I4, is mounted on plate I I near the midpoint thereof; in the illustrated embodiment, I have placed light socket I3 at the exact midpoint of frame In and plate II; I have shown socket I3 supported on a bracket I5 and have shown a rivet It used to securely join together frame I0, plate II, and bracket I5. This type of construction has the advantage of great simplicity; it will be understood that other apparatus for holding the various parts of the sign together may be substituted.
It is interesting to note that a single rivet will effectively hold frame I0 and backing plate II together, since relative movement of plate I I and frame Ill in either rotational direction can not occur, because plate I I abuts wing IIlb at the top and wing Illa at the bottom, along its entire length.
My sign is formed from a plurality of plastic numeral or letter rectangles I1, held securely in position by being clamped between a pair of elastic plastic sheets I8 and I9 respectively. Sheet I8, being the outer of the two elastic plastic sheets, will normally be formed of clear plastic. Sheet [9, the inner of the co-operating pair of elastic sheets, will normally be formed of a milky, translucent material, colored white or some other light hue.
The length of the plastic sheet-s l3 and I9 is substantially greater than the longitudinal dist-ance between restraining flanges Ha and Ho. Accordingly, when sheets I! and I3 are bent sufficiently to permit their insertion between flanges Ila and lib, they are held in an arcuate shape, as shown, and the plastic letters or numerals I! between them are held tenaciou-sly in place by substantial elastic forces.
A typical numeral plaque I1 is shown in Fig. 4. In my sign, those numeral plaques are formed of very thin plastic sheets-about .005 of an inch or less in thickness. The numerals or letters may be placed thereon by any desired process; I have found silk screening to be a highly satisfactory means or marking the numeral plaques l7.
Plaques I] may be of any desired shape, although I have found a rectangular shape to be quite useful, since a sign with rectangular letters, when once properly assembled, will hold the let tors in place indefinitely without any possibility of their being shifted in position, rotated, or otherwise knocked askew.
' The manner of assembly of my sign is shown clearly by Figs. 5 and 6; a sandwich is formed of the back sheet IS, the plastic numeral plaques ll (which are normally formed of transparent plastic), and the front plastic sheet i8, also usually formed of transparent plastic. The
sandwich, once assembled, is then bent into an arcuate shape and slipped between flanges I la and l l b. It thereby provides, within the space bounded by the sign proper, plate H, and wings la and 3b, a completely enclosed chamber which houses light source I l. The elements can not reach either light source l4 itself or the metal plate II which, in most cases, will be polished to provide a good, reflecting surface, and insects and other foreign matter are wholly excluded from the illumination chamber.
It should be noted that the letters or numerals, painted or lacquered on thin plastic sheets I1, are likewise fully protected from the weather, since they are tightly clamped between the relatively thick plastic sheets 1 8 and I9.
I have found that much labor and time can be saved in the formation of the plastic -s;andwich" just described when the back he t l9 and the num r s 1.1 are, b fore assembly, wett d ther Due -11y.- Sh ts 17, b ing ext mely thin, a h ld Quite securely to sheet 1 9 by the film of water 26 which is thus formed between them, and it is accordingly very easy to arrange the numerals iniany desired order and position on back sheet Hi. The upper sheet l8 can then be placed over sheet! and numerals l1, and the plastic sandwich is :then ready to be bent and inserted between fianges Ila and Nb. In a short time the water film 20 evaporates and disappears, but the numerals are then securely held against possibility of movement by the strong elastic forces set up in plastic sheets l8 and 19 by reason of their having been bent into an arcuate shape.
Wires 2| may be connected to socket l3 and introduced into the illumination chamber through a small aperture in wing lfla, said aperture being preferably provided with an insulating grommet While I have in this specification described in considerable detail an illustrative embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that many variations and changes therein can be made by persons skilled in the art without departing from the spirit'of my invention. Accordingly, I desire it understood that the embodiment herein described is exemplary only, and that the scope of rnyinyention is to be determined primarily by reference to the appended claims.
1- .An illuminated sign structure ccmprisingan integral frame having back portion and top and bottom portions substantially perpendicular thereto, a pairof restraining flanges on the back portion, a light source mounted on said back portion, and a translucent plastic sign comprising a pair of substantially rectangular plastic sheets having secured between them, sandwich-fashion, a plurality of Sign .indicia carried on thin rectangles of flexible translucent material, said plastic sheets being bent into an arcuate shape and secured between said flanges to form, within said frame, a closed chamber.
2. An illuminated sign structure comprising a frame having a back portion and top and bottom portions substantially perpendicular thereto, a pair of restraining fl nges on the back portion, a light source mounted within said frame, and a translucent plastic sign comprising a-pair of substantially rectangular plastic sheets having ,secured between them, sandwich-fashion, a Plurality of sign indicia carried on thin sheets of flexible translucentmaterial, said plastic sheets being bent into an arcuate shape and secured between said flanges to form, within said frame, a closed member.
CLARENCE F. MARTIN.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS