US 2632270 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 24, 1953 D. Moss 2,632,270
CHARACTER BLOCKS FOR ILLUMINATED SIGNS Filed July 7, 1952 I 4 I I L 26 10 Z5 Z6 35 37 26 Z as! I I DONALD MOSS IN V EN TOR.
HUEBNER; BEEHLER, WOREE'L 8 HERZ/G 9 A TTORNEVS- Patented Mar. 24, 1953 CHARACTER BLOCKS FOR ILLUMINATED SIGNS Donald Moss, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to Moss Bros., Ltd., Los Angeles, Calif., a firm Application July '7, 1952, Serial No. 297,482
3 Claims. (01. 40-136) The invention relates to illuminated signs and has particular reference to the construction of blocks or panels adapted to contain individual letters, characters, numerals, punctuation marks, etc., constructed in such fashion that the blocks or panels may be aligned side by side on a suitable support to spell out letters or numerals for illumination from the rear, the blocks or panels being so constructed as to eliminate a line of demarcation between adjacent panels.
In the construction of illuminated sign letters heretofore employed various structures have been resorted to in order to provide a character through which light may pass and in order to illuminate the character to the exclusion of a surrounding background. In making such illuminated characters insufficient attention has been given to the edges of the panels, plates, or blocks carrying the character which has resulted in there being presented to view an illuminated sign wherein light streaks between the panels have detracted to a considerable degree from the attractiveness of the sign and the ease of reading the lettering spelled out by the individual letters and characters when joined together.
Character blocks heretofore presented have to a large extent been relatively expensive to manufacture with the amount of attractiveness necessary and desirable. Structures heretofore employed have also been such that on many occasions the attractiveness has not been lasting which has resulted in there being needed frequent and expensive replacements. On some occasions also in using the constructions previously employed, special racks or moldings have been needed in order to properly set off the sign letters when in place.
It is therefore among the objects of the invention to provide a new and improved sign letter or character which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, which is simple in its construction, and which when in place on a sign presents and maintains a particularly attractive appearance.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved sign character on a panel background wherein the background is particularly opaque thereby focusing attention on the character itself, the background moreover being so constructed that the opaque character extends to and beyond the lateral edges sufficient that when panels are joined side by side to spell out words and expressions, the line of demarcation between adjacent separate panels is, so far as all visual appearances are concerned, eliminated when the sign is lighted from the rear.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved sign character of relatively inexpensive manufacture which can readily be coated with an opaque surface on the rear face and also along abutting edges in such fashion that when the rear surface of the character delineation is cleaned of the opaque surfacing to render the character transparent,
the remaining opaque surface continues uninterrupted and undisturbed.
Still further among the objects of the invention is to provide panels for sign characters, the edges of which where one panel is joined to another are specially constructed so as to provide a light-tight fit even under circumstances where a certain limited clearance may become necessary in order to have the panels fill out the entire breadth of a sign.
With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the construction, arrangement and combination of the various parts of the device whereby the objects contemplated are attained, as hereinafter set forth, pointed out in the appended claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
Figure l is a front elevational view of two panels bearing sign characters and a spacer panel mounted in the manner in which they would appear in a sign.
Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line 2-2 if Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a front perspective view of the panel on the left-hand side of Figure 1.
Translucent or transparent sign characters, whether they be letters, numerals, punctuation marks or other appropriate characters, have been found particularly satisfactory when constructed of one oranother of the commercially available transparent plastics. On some occasions, even though not clearly transparent, translucent plastics which transmit a major portion of light are equally satisfactory. In constructing sign characters of such material, some means must be provided to render portions of the panel not occupied by the character effectively opaque. A commercially acceptable expedient is to paint or otherwise coat one surface of the panel with an opaque coating, this being preferable from an economic standpoint to molding or casting an opaque layer in the material itself. When the opaque coating is applied, however, considerable care must be taken in coating the line of junction between adjacent panels so that the line of junction will be light-tight. This means not only that the surface of the junction need be coated to prevent stray rays from being reflected or refracted at the joint, but also necessitates that the joint be of such configuration that it will minimize the refraction or reflection of light therethrough under circumstances where the joint may be slightly loose providing a clearance as well as circumstanceswhereinthe jointis abutted so that, the edges.- are tight onelagainst-gthe other.
In an embodiment selected for the purpose of illustration there are shown three panels Ill, II and I2, the panel hearing the character the panel H being a spacer panel, and the panell2 being one carrying the characterJIhpurely-by way of illustration. The panels are in the.;form
of plates usually rectangular with the long dimension vertically disposed. Moreoverfthepanels as, for example, the panel l0, may be de-.
raised a'subs-tantial distance outwardlyfromjthe frontface 2i) of the panel. Preferably the iront face "2 dis uncoatedwith any material asare also the bevelled sidei walls 2] and 22 of the character and thefront face 23; of the character.
' A' rear face 25 of the panel has traced thereon a1delineationit ofthe letter S; the breadthof Which is, however; greater' than the breadth of the-delineation on the front face- 20.
The left-hand verticalside edge EThasiJan opaque area 3e at right angles to the-frontface ill! extending rearwardlyfrom the front'face a distance less than half' thethickness 'of the plate. A siinilaropaquegarea 3! :extends' fromthe rear -iaceforwardly at-right angles also a distance-less "thancne half-thethickness of the plate. "doining the two opaque areasjustdescribedis an obliqueopaque area 32 The oppositeverticaledge 'I E is provided simi- 'larly' with an opaque area :33 extending at right angles forwardly fromthe rear faceZ ,an opaque W area 34 extending rearwa-rclly from the front face 2%? a distance less than half thethickness 10f the panel and an oblique opaque area35=joining the areas 33* and'34.
The spacer panel orpla-te 'l l; forexarnple, has
itsleft-hand vertical side edge 36 construct'ed in the same manner'astheleft-vertica1 side edge of the panel Hi so that itis complementary to the right-hand Vertical'sideedge of the panel lfl.
' Similarly a right-hand vertical side edge-31of the spacer'panel orplate l l is complementary to a left-hand vertical side-edge 33 of-the-panel=or plate !2. This relationship is carried on through all of the plates-or'panels which'may be used on one particular sign.
When theplate is initially.constructedthe con-' .figurations of the characters are customarilycast on .each. side i of thegplate; Thereafter therear plate and 'edge'smay have applied thereto some 1 suitable opaque surfacing.
. 1 After the ocating-has: been applied; -the-rear face of =thepanel maybe subjected-to a sanding operation and thereafter; if-desired, a'polishing operation in orderto remove the opaque surfacingma-terial Sfroni' the rear face ofthedelineation 4 26 of the character. Because of this delineation being raised very slightly above the rear face, the opaque surfacing throughout the remainder of the plate or panel and the edges remains intact and undisturbed. This sanding operation provides a path for light throughout the entire delineation of the character from the rear face to .the front face. .The same..s lu re, is also em- ;ployed in-thecharactenT ofi the panelor plate [2 as well as others which may be included in a par- .ticular set of letters or characters.
When adjacent panels or plates are lined up :side-byside to form words in a sign as exemplified in Figure 1, the vertical side edges are pushed -into contactwith each other. Such contacts are ",shown-in F igure 2. As they are brought into contact, the opaque edges, both the edges normal or perpendicular to the faces, and the oblique edges arennoved into position one adjacent the other. Under circumstances where both are coated with an opaguecoating, substantially light-tight 55 21 results. "Because of the changein -thedirection of the line defining the verticaledge, the tend: ency to reiract light-at this point is-minimized. Also because of the opaque surfaces being ina position facing each 'other light from the rear which might tend to leak through the joint'even though the faces are not-brought tight against each other tends to be absorbed; thereby making an effective opaque line of "demarcation between adjacent panels when the-signislighted from the rear. Although the opaque coating of bothcom plementary vertical side edgesis preferable it has been found that even when only o'ne edge is coated there is substantiallylittle transmission of light from the rear through a; devious path through the jointto the -eI-id that there still remains a substantially opaque line =of junction between adj-acent plates or-panels.
' There has according-1y; beenshown "and y described a character bearingpla-te or panel for rear-illumination which displays aparticularly attractive appearance in-which attention is necessarily -fo cused -upon-;thecharacter itself becauseot the exclusion of all transmitted light from other portions of -the surfaceof= the panel and also more particularly-from the line of junc- 'tionor demarcation between-any and all adjacent panels when the-panelswith-suitable charac- 'ters thereonarelined up side-bysideto form a 'sign.
While I have herein shown and describedmy invention in what I-have cencei-vedto bethe most practical and preferred embodiment; it 'is recognized that-departures r maybe 1 made therefrom within the scope of my invention-,which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the fullscope of the clairns so as to-embrace any and all equivalentdevices.
' Having described'my invention herein, what I la m as n w d esireto .secu e rLett rs Ba ent is:
s s v i eii .il umina ion byl sht passing 'therethrough comprising a rectangular inherently translucent I plate I having opposite faces, parallel vertical side edges, a raised translucent-character on one .face ofsaid plate, said other face having an opaque surface fand a raised translucent character on theotheriacesubstanly nc d new the first ide i d r is :character throughout the extent o f, its outline,
said last identified eharacter having opaque side joining said first identified areas, said other vertical side edge having areas complementary to the areas on the first identified side edge, the areas on at least one of said vertical side edges being opaque.
2. A sign letter adapted to illumination by light passing therethrough comprising a rectangular inherently translucent plate having opposite faces, parallel vertical side edges, a raised character on one face of said plate having translucent side walls and a translucent surface, said other face having an opaque surface, a character on the other face raised therefrom to a lesser extent than and substantially coinciding with the first identified raised character throughout the extent of its outline, and having opaque side walls and a translucent surface, one of said vertical side edges comprising an opaque area at right angles to each adjacent face and an oblique opaqe area joining said first identified areas, said other vertical side edge having opaque areas complementary to the areas on the first identified side edge.
3. A sign letter adapted to illumination by light passing therethrough comprising a rectangular inherently translucent plate having opposite parallel faces, parallel vertical side edges and parallel top and bottom edges at right angles thereto, a raised character on one face of said plate having translucent beveled side walls and a translucent surface, said other face having an opaque surface, a character on the other face raised therefrom to a lesser extent than and substantially coinciding with the first identified raised character throughout the extent of its outline, said second raised character being of greater breadth than the first identified character and having opaque beveled side walls and a translucent surface parallel to said other face, one of said vertical side edges comprising an opaque area at right angles to each adjacent face and having a breadth less than one-half the thickness of the plate and an oblique opaque area joining said first identified opaque areas, said other vertical side edge having opaque areas complementary to the areas on the first identified side edge.
REFERENCES CITED UNITED STATES PATENTS Name Date Kornicker Nov. 23, 1920 Number