US 2637926 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 12, 1953 w. J. ANDERSON 2,637,926
ILLUMINATED SIGN Filed. Nov. 28. 1947 1-I, l
Patented May l2, 1953 UNITED STATES TENT OFFICE ILLUMINATED SIGN William J. Anderson, Springfield, Ohio, assigner. by mesne assignments, to Albert E. Payne,
Springfield, Ohio 3 Claims. 1
rlhis invention relates tol signs, and particularly to illuminated signs capable of being adjusted to different sizes.
In connection with most signs, such as are employed in drygoods stores, restaurants, and other merchandising establishments, it is necessary to have a separate sign for each article which it is desired to advertise or which it is desired to indicate by the sign. This is especially true in connection with illuminated signs because of the d'iculty encountered in arranging the sign so that the base thereof or the legend carried thereby can be altered at will. This condition requires the user of such signs either to purchase a great number thereof, or to forego the advantages to be obtained by utilizing signs of this nature.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a sign, especially an illuminated sign, which can be changed in length and text whereby any sort of legend can be carried by the sign and the base thereof will be exactly the proper length.
Another object is to provide a sign capable of being adjusted for different lengths whereby it can carry aplurality of legends and which presents a pleasing appearance regardless of the arrangement thereof.
Another object is to provide a sign composed of a plurality of independent components which can be connected together to form a sign of any size and carrying any text.
These and other objects and advantages will become more apparent upon reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure l is a plan view of a sign constructed according to my invention;
Figure 2 is a front elevational view partially in section of the structure of Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a vertical section taken on line 3;-3 on Figure 2;
Figure 4' is a sectional view taken on line 4 4 on Figure 3;
Figure 5 is a view showing some of the different components which may be employed in making up the sign of invention;
Figure 6 is a view .showing another `form of electrical connector which may be utilizedin the structure of invention;
Figure 7 is a vertical section view taken through a slightlyl modified form of letter adapted for being used in a sign according tofthis invention;
Figure-8 is a sectional View showing a modied Fig. l, a sign constructed according to this invention comprises a base It having detachably mounted thereon a plurality of letters or indicia l2, which letters or indicia form the text of the sign. It will be understood that both letters and numbers may be employed if desired.
Referring now to Figures l and 2 it will be observed that the base Il) is comprised of a plurality of components which are placed together end to end to form an integral base of the proper length for mounting the text of the sign.
For example, in Figures l and 2 there is a member I4 at the left end of the sign to which is connected the electric lead i6 terminating in a plug i8 which is adapted to be connected with a suitable source of electric power. Adjacent the part hi are a plurality of base parts 2Q each of which support a single letter.
The letters supported by the base part 2l form a complete word and accordingly the next adjacent base part is a spacer member 22. Following the spacer member 22 is another base member 2t which is adapted for supporting a pair of letters as at 26. Adjacent the member 24 is another base part 28 which similarly to base parts iii mounts a single letter and at the extreme right end of the sign is an end block or terminal part 3l) having the same general conguration as the plug of part ld but which faces in the opposite direction therefrom.
Regarding the manner in which the letters or other indicia are supported on the base, reference may be had to Figure 3. In Figure 3 it will be noted that the base part shown therein has a recess 32 in its upper face which receives a base portion 34 of the` letter or indicia 25 therein.
it will be noted that the letter 2t is hollow as at '26 and that supported within the recess t2 so as to extend within the recess 3i is a light bulb 33. The bulb 3S has a base 4B thereon extending into Va socket or bore 112 in the sign base so as t0 malte Contact with a pair of terminals IU- and llS. The terminals dfiand 46 .are connected to a pair oi wires i3 and iid extending longitudinally along the sign base.
The arrangement of the wires and. contact members will clearly be seen in Figure 4 wherein it will be observed that the wires 43 and) terminate at one end of the base part in the male electrical connectors 5.2 and at .the other :end ofthe Figure '1 illustrates? that .this .arrangement is common for each of the base parts so that as many or as few thereof may be connected together as desired.
It will also be apparent that the electrical connectors provide, at one time, the mechanical means by which the several base parts are retained together and in alignment and the connectors provide also the means for supplying electric current to the several light bulbs carried thereby.
The letters, numbers, or other indicia employed for the sign are preferably a translucent material such as glass or plastic so that the light 38 placed at the base thereof causes the entire area of the said indicia to become illuminated.
Due to the fact that the light will be most brilliant at the base of the indicia it may be preferable to form the said indicia as indicated in Figure 7, wherein it will be seen that the walls of the indicia taper from the bottom thereof as at 55 to the top thereof as at 58. By this means the indicia will give oif substantially the same intensity of illumination over its entire surface.
Furthermore, in order to prevent a bright spot at the base of the indicia, the said base is preferably coated, either externally or internally, as at Eil, with an opaque coating. This is preferably applied to the outer surface of the base of the letter and is of the same color as the base of the sign thereby blending therewith.
Since the text to be carried by any given sign will vary greatly, it is desirable that there be provided a plurality of different sized base parts for the sign. Thus, in addition to the end parts as indicated at I4 and 3@ in Figures l and 2, the single indicia base type as shown at 30, the spacer part as shown at 22, and the double indicia part as indicated at 24, the sign may also include the multiple base part 62 as shown in Figure 5 and a member as indicated at 64 which consists of a single or double socket base part of such a length as to act as a spacer block on either side thereof. This permits the easy installation of single indicia in the text of a sign without employing separate spacer blocks on each side thereof.
The base part shown in Figures 3 and 4 is of a type which is formed in two parts and thereafter secured together either by cementing, or by screws, or the like. If desired to form the base parts in one operation, the construction illustrated in Figure 8 may be used.
In Figure 8 the base part is shown as cast, preferably of plastic material, in a single part and the contact members M and 46 are cast in the base part by supporting them within the mold as inserts.
In the Figure 8 construction the conductors t8 and 5G are carried in grooves extending longitudinally along the bottom of the base part and into which the aforementioned contact members also extend. Connection between the contact members and wires can readily be made by soldering or other equivalent means.
With both of the forms of base part illustrated there is preferably a layer of felt or other soft thick pile fabric secured to the bottom thereof as indicated at 66. This permits the sign to be used on any type of surface without scratching the said surface and also tends to hold the sign in position.
As a modified form of electrical connector to be employed in connection with the base parts of the sign, the device illustrated on Figure 6 may be employed. This connector is merely a twoprong electrical connector of any standard type and comprises the male part 68 and female part 1D, one of which is secured in each end of each of the base parts. The advantage of the connector shown in Figure 6 is that the placing thereof in the base parts is somewhat simpler than the connectors illustrated in Figure 4.
In most instances, the light bulbs 38 will be of the 6 or 8 volt type and electric power will be supplied thereto from commercial lighting mains through a step-down transformer. It will be understood, however, that the particular manner of supplying electric power to the lead-in I6 is subject to wide variation and forms no particular part of the present invention.
In any case, it is preferable to mount in the lead-in base part I4, an arrangement of an on-oif switch such as the toggle switch indicated at T2 in Figure 1. This permits the sign to be illuminated for night time or to attract greater attention, or to be employed as an unilluminated sign when such use of the sign is satisfactory.
In Figure 9, there is shown a solid letter 10 having a base part 'i2 positioned in the recess containing the light bulb lll.
The letter in Figure 9 is formed of a solid translucent material and, when the bulb 14 is illuminated, emits light from over its entire surface. Any well known substances can be employed for this purpose and in the case of letter formations similar to the letter O the solid type of construction may be preferable to the hollow.
It will be understood that this invention is susceptible to modification in order to adapt it to different usages and conditions and, accordingly, it is desired to comprehend such modifications within this invention as may fall Within the scope of the appended claims. For example, the recesses may be of other configuration than square as for example rectangular as illustrated in Figure 5.
1. In a sign of adjustable length, a base comprising a plurality of individual base parts and having a recess opening upwardly in at least some of said base parts, individual illuminating means entirely enclosed within the recess of each base part and positioned wholly below the upper surface thereof, upstanding indicia of light conducting media having the entire upper configuration portion above the base which upper portion emits light over its entire surface, said indicia being detachably mounted to a said base part by means of a lower portion having a Width as viewed in end elevation of not less than that of said upper portion and adapted to seat over said illuminating means and close the top of an individual recess, electrical conductors extending through said base parts and conducting to said illuminating means and connectors in the ends of said base parts for making continuous electrical connections between said conductors.
2. In a sign of adjustable length, a base comprising a plurality of individual base parts and having a recess opening upwardly in at least some of said base parts, individual illuminating means entirely enclosed within the recess of each base part and positioned wholly below the upper surface thereof, upstanding indicia of light conducting media having the entire upper configuration portion above the base which upper portion emits light over its entire surface, said in- .dicia being detachablyy mounted to a said base; part by means of a lower portion having a widthy as viewed in end elevation greater than that oi said upper portion and adapted to seat over said illuminating means and close the top of an individual recess and each of which illuminating means extends into a said lower portion, electrical conductors extending through said base parts and conducting to said illuminating means and connectors in the ends of said base parts for making continuous electrical connections between said conductors, and switch means in one of said base parts for selectively interrupting the supply of energy to said electrical conductors.
3. In a sign of adjustable length, an extensible base comprising a plurality of individual base parts and having a recess opening upwardly in at least some of said base parts, sockets seated within each said recess for receiving small electric light bulbs, an electric light bulb entirely received within each recess, detachable indicia of light conducting media having a lower portion 2 adapted to seat over said bulb and wholly within said individual recess to close the top thereof, an upper configuration portion extending upwardly from the lower portion which upper portion emits light over its entire surface when said light bulb 2 is illuminated, said lower portion as viewed in iront and end elevation having 4a dimension greater than the corresponding dimension of said upper portion, electric lines extending through said base parts, electric terminals at each end of said base parts and on the ends of said end parts facing the base parts therebetween and con nected with said electric lines, said terminals forming detachable electrical connectors for connecting the lines in one `base part with the corresponding ones in the next and also serving as means for aligning the said base parts and said end parts when placed together and for retaining them in assembled position.'
WILLIAM J. ANDERSON.
References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,075,767 Crane, Jr. Oct. 14, 1913 1,844,097 Luhman Feb. 9, 1932 1,959,616 Derrah May 22, 1934 2,365,076 Haywood Dec. 12, 1944 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 447,844 Great Britain May 27, 1936- 809,671 France Aug. 19, 1936