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Publication numberUS2639528 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 26, 1953
Filing dateOct 2, 1947
Priority dateOct 2, 1947
Publication numberUS 2639528 A, US 2639528A, US-A-2639528, US2639528 A, US2639528A
InventorsRaymond B Ochsner
Original AssigneeRaymond B Ochsner
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display device
US 2639528 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 26, 1953 R. B. ocHsNER 2,639,528

DISPLAY DEVICE Filed oct, 2, 1947 2 sheets-sheet 1 R. B. OCHSNER DISPLAY DEVICE May 26, 1953 Filed Oct. 2, 1947 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented May 26, 1953 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE DISPLAY DEVICE Raymond B. Ochsner, Hinsdale, Ill. Application october 2, 1947, serial No. 777,391

The invention relates generally to a display device or the like, and more particularly to an illuminated display of moving or animated type.

The invention has among its objects the production of an illuminated display device of the inoving or animated type by means of which action may be imparted to the display elements, as for example, the appearance of writing script or imparting action to an object or figure, which device embodies a very simple construction having a minimum of moving parts and requiringr no switching arrangements or the like, whereby the device is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.

Another object of the invention is the production of such a device whereby, in addition to imparting the appearance of action, many novel effects may be achieved, as for example, varying the light color, and sensitivity, etc.

A further object of the invention is the pro" duction of such a device which, if desired, may be 1 illuminated from a single light source which may be relatively remotely positioned with respect to the visual portion of the device, as may the action and color producing means, providing ilexibility in design and application.

Many other objects and advantages of the construction herein shown and described will be obvious to those skilled in the art from the disclosure herein given.

To this end my invention consists in the novel construction, arrangement and combination of parts herein shown and described, and more particularly pointed out in the claims.

In the drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like or corresponding parts:

Fig. 1 is a top plan view of a display device embodying the present invention with the cover thereof removed;

Fig. 2 is a front elevational view of the device illustrated in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken approximately on the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a development of the drum employed to vary the color of the illuminable portion of the device;

Fig. 5 is a development of the action controlling member or shield which imparts action to the device;

Fig. 6 is a sectional view through one of the display elements taken approximately on the line 6-6 of Fig. 2; and

Fig. 7 is a diagram of the electrical circuit employed in the device illustrated.

The present invention, in the embodiment iln lustrated, contemplates the illumination of a 3 Claims. (lCl. 40-130) Cil word written in script, wherein such illumination takes place progressively, corresponding to the manner in which a script word would be written, so that the word to be illuminated appears to be written out in light. For example, taking the Vword Beer illustrated in Fig. 2, illumination would begin at the lower left hand corner of the letter "B progressing upward to form the vertical portion of the B, then curving to complete the rst letter, continuing to the second, completing the latter and thence to the third, and upon its completion, to the last letter, thus illuminating the entire word. Shortly after i1- lumination of the complete word it is completely darkened, all letters thereof being simultaneously darkened, after which the cycle of illumination will repeat. Provision is also made for changing the color of the illumination for each cycle of operation and if desired, other novel effects may be achieved, as for example, writing the first letter of the word in one color and the remainder of the word in another color, with the colors changing from cycle to cycle.

It will be apparent from the disclosure herein given that while the invention is illustrated in conjunction with a single word written in script, that the invention may readily be employed with a plurality of words, objects or gures or a combination thereof and that, if desired, the invention may be readily employed to give a visual impression of animation of a ligure or the like.

Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to Figs. 1 and 2, the device illustrated comprises a housing indicated generally by the numeral I, having a vertical front wall 2 and rear wall 3 connected at their side edges by curved end walls 4 and 5, respectively; the walls 2, 4 and 5 being formed from a single sheet of material and the rear wall 3 from another sheet of material. The side walls are suitably mounted upon a bottom or base member 6, and the top of the device is closed by a cover 1. As illustrated in Figs. 1, 2 and 3, the side walls are secured to the base 6 by screws 8, and the cover 'I is similarly fastened by screws 9 extending through the side walls which may be of any suitable material such as sheet metal or the like. The housing so formed is reenorced at the end wall 5 by an O- shaped member II having two vertical side legs I2 connected at their upper ends by a cross member I3, and -at their lower ends by the cross member I4, the side walls of the container being secured to the legs I2 of the member II by screws I5. Obviously, if the various components of the housing I are made of heavy material and have 'mountings 3 sufficient rigidity in and of themselves, the member I I may, if desired, be omitted.

The opposite end of the housing I, adjacent the end wall 4 is provided with a vertically extending semi-cylindrically shaped wall I6 connected at its rear edge to the end wall 4, and at its opposite edge to the front wall 2 by screws I'I, the Wall I6 and end wall 4 in eiect, forming a cylindrical chamber I6. Positioned in the chamber I8 is a light bulb I9 carried by the lamp base 2l mounted on a bracket 22 adjacent the bottom 6, the bracket being secured to the walls of the housing by screws 23 or other suitable means passing through the vertical legs 22 of the bracket. A bracket 24 positioned adjacent the top 'i of the housing and secured to the side Walls of the latter by screws 25, passing through the parallel legs 26 of the bracket, supports a small synchronous electric motor 21, the latter being mounted on the bracket by screws 28 passing through the anges 29 extending from the motor casing and threaded into the horizontal portion 3l of the bracket. The driving shaft 32 of the motor 2'! is substantially axially aligned With the bulb I9, which in the construction illustrated is of the type used in movie projectors or the like, having a long vertical filament F.

Rigidly connected to the shaft 32 of the motor 21 is an opaque sleeve or shield 33 operatively connected to the shaft 32 through a perforated disc 315 downwardly flanged at its periphery as indicated at 35, the sleeve being secured to the flange by rivets 35 or other suitable means, with the disc 3d rigidly connected to the shaft 32 by means of the nut 3l threaded upon the stein 3E extending from the free end of the shaft 32, the stem t8 being of lesser diameter than the sleeve to form a shoulder upon which the disc may seat and be clamped between the same and the nut 31.

The development of the sleeve 33 is illustrated in Fig. 5, and it will be noted that the sleeve in development is generally triangular in shape and when mounted on the disc 34, the ends 33a and 33h are overlapped and. secured together by rivets or other suitable means.

Concentrically arranged around the sleeve 33 and lamp I9 is a color drum 4I constructed of transparent or translucent material and secured to an apertured disc 42 having a plurality of downwardly extending nngers 43 adjacent the periphery-thereof, the fingers i3 each terminating in outwardly extending projections 44 passing through apertures 45 in the drum 4I. Referring to which illustrates a development of the drum 4I, it will be noted that the latter is divided into six diagonally extending sections Ma., b, c, d, e and f, respectively, each of which may be of a different color, as for example, section 4Ia transparent or white, and the remaining sections blue, orange, purple, green and red respectively.

The disc 42 is secured to a gear 45 by studs 46 and nuts 4'1 threaded on the ends of the respective studs, whereby the disc 42 and drum 4l will rotate with thel gear 45, the latter being freely rotatable on the shaft 32 and supported by the collar 41 encircling the shaft 32. The gear 45 is operatively connected to the driving pinion 48, rigidly mounted on the drive shaft 32, by idler gears 48 and El which are suitably supported from the horizontal portion 3l of the bracket 24 and are each freely rotatable on their respective In the construction illustrated, the shaft 32 is adapted to be rotated by the motor 22 approximately six revolutions per minute, and the respective gearing between the drum 4I and shaft 32 is so designed that the drum 4I will rotate one revolution for every six of the shield 33, the latter, in other words, rotating at six times the speed of the drum.

Referring to Figs. l, 2 and 6, the iiluminable display for illustrative purposes comprises the word Beel written in script, and in the present embodiment of the invention comprises a flat ccntinuous strip 52 shaped in the form of the letters B e e r, and formed from a suitable transparent or translucent material, such as acrylic resin or the like. The outer surface and edges of the element 52 may be partially or totally roughened as indicate-:.1 at 53, or polished depending on the efleots desired. The iront wall 2 of the housing i is provided with an opening 54 corresponding in shape to that of the display element 52, with the width o the opening E4 being slightly less than the width of the member 52 as clearly il lustrated in Figs. 2 and 6, so that the member 52 overlies the edges of the opening ile.

The member 52 is operatively connected with the light chamber I8 by a plurality of transparent rods 55, only several of which are fully illustrated in Fig. 1, and as illustrated in Figs. 1 and 3, the rods 55 each terminate at one of their corresponding ends 55 in the chmber I8, the rods passing through a slot 5T in the Wall I5, the slot 5? extending diagonally across the Wall IS in substantial alignment with the edge 33o of the shield sleeve 33 and the color sections Ma to 4I f inclusive. The opposite ends of the rods 55 terminate in Wedge shaped tapering portions 55 which pass through the opening 54 in the front wall 2, and are secured to the back face of the display element 52. As illustrated in Figs. l and 2, the rod 55a is the rst or lower rod extending through the slot 51 in the Wall I@ and is secured to the element 52 at the beginning of the letter B as it would be Written in script; namely, the bottom of the vertical portion of the B, with the portion 5&0; of the rod 55a extending upwardly along the element 52. In like manner, the rod 55h is secured to the element 52 directly adjacent the end 59a of the portion 58e, with the wedge shaped portion 58h extending upwardly as indicated in Figs. l, 2 and 6. In like manner, the rod 55o is secured to the element 52 at the end of the wedge shaped portion 53h of the rod 55h with the portion 58C extending forwardly along the element 52, the respective portions 53 being shaped to conform to the configuration of the element 52. In similar manner. the rest of the rods 55 all shaped in generally the same manner are secured to the element 52 in consecutive order with the last rod 551 and its wedge shaped portion 58o forming the tail of the letter r. Referring to Fig. 3, it will be noted that the opposite end of the rod 551' is the last or upper rod in the slot in the wall IG.

The rods 55 may be formed of any suitable material, such as acrylic resins, which have the property of transmitting light from one end of the rod to the opposite end, the side edges of the rods being polished to prevent dispersion of light traveling through the same to the exterior. The rods may be secured to the wall I8 and to the element 52 and front wall 2 of the housing by any suitable means such as vcement EI or the like. taking care when forming the rods to nt into proper position with respect to the element 52 and slot 51 in the wall I6, that the rods are not curved or bent on too short a radius as rods of this type have an inherent critical curvature, depending upon the particular composition thereof, resulting in loss of light to the exterior if bent or curved on a radius less than the critical. Consequently, for example, it maybe necessary, with respect to the rods 55p, q and 1', not to run these rods directly to the element 52, instead looping the rods out from the wall I6 and then back to the element 52 about a larger radius than could be employed if the rods were run directly from the wall i6 to the element 52. Increased intensity of illumination may be obtained, if desired, by increasing the area of the ends 56 of the rods as, for example, by increasing the width or thickness of the rod in one or both transverse dimensions, either uniformly throughout the length of the rods or merely at the ends 55 and tapering back to the square cross section illustrated.

Referring to Fig. 3, it will be noted that the shaft 32 and gear 45 rotate in opposite directions so that if the shaft 32 and with it the shield 33 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed in Fig, 1, the drum 4I will be rotated in a clockwise direction. Assuming the edge 33dl of the shield 33 has not quite uncovered the end of the rod 55a, no light will be transmitted from the filament F and bulb I9 to the ends of the rods 55 and the element 52 will be dark. However, as the shaft 32 and shield 33 rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, the end of the rod 55a will 'be uncovered. At the same time, the drum M will be rotating in a clockwise direction, whereby, for example, the transparent or white portieri dla will be interposed between the light source IS and all or the rod ends so that as the shield 33 continues to rotate the ends of the rods will be consecutively exposed to the light source I9 through the portion dla. As each rod end is exposed, light will be transmitted through the rod to the end Asecured to the element 52, thereby illuminating that portion of the element 52 backed by the respective rod, and as a result of the continuous uncovering of each respective rod end, illumination will take place rst adjacent the heavy end of the wedged shaped portions 58 of each rod, diffusing outward to the extreme end of the portion 58 when the entire end of the rod is exposed. Thus, when the shield begins to uncover the end of the rod 55a, the lower end of the vertical portion of the letter B will begin to be illuminated, the light traveling upward towards the juncture of the rod 55h with the element 52 and reaching the same when the end of the rod has been completely exposed. In like manner, the portion of the letter B backed by the rod 55h will become illuminated, starting at the juncture of the rod 55h with the tapered portion 58h and traveling upward until the entire portion 58h is illuminated, this action continuing as additional rod ends are uncovered by the shield 33, until the entire word is illuminated. The visual effect thus achieved is similar to that obtained from writing the word in script but using light instead of ink or lead, the impression being one of continuous action from the start of the letter B to the conclusion of the letter r. During this operation, the drum 4I continues to rotate in a clockwise direction with the clear or transparent portion lla being interposed between the light source and the ends of the rods 55 so that the word has been written, so to speak, in white light. The entire word will continue to be illuminated until the edge 33C cuts across the rod ends and as the edge 33e is aligned with the rod ends, it will cut across all of the ends simultane- 6, ously thereby darkening the entire word at one time.

One-sixth revolution of the drum 4| having taken place while the sleeve 33 has been rotated through one revolution, a succeeding colored section, which in this case would be 4 if, is interposed between the light source I9 and the rod ends, so that when the edge 33d of the sleeve 33 again uncovers the rod ends, the word during this cycle of operation will, in effect, be written in a different color of light, and as the sleeve 33 completes its second revolution, the section Hf will have traveled across the ends of the rod 55 so that upon the third cycle of operation, the section Me of the drum 4l will be interposed to illuminate the element 52 in another color.

The drum 4l may be provided with as many colors as desired, either more or less than that shown and the relative speeds of the drum and the shield proportioned to give the desired colored eiects. Likewise, by varying the shape of the colored sections on the drum fil, the element 52 may be illuminated in a plurality of colors, as for example, the first letter B may be illuminated in one color and the remaining letters in a second color, the colors of the respective letters changing during each cycle of operation.

The light I9 and motor 2l, as diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. '7, may be connected in parallel across the electric power line L by conductors 62 and B3 connected to opposite sides of the line L. Obviously', if direct current is to be employed the motor 21 may be suitably constructed for such operation` It will be noted that in the construction illustrated, provision is made for a circulation of air through the light chamber l 8, in the form of two openings 64 and 65 in the rear Wall 3, the opening $4 being located adjacent the bottom of the housing and the opening 65 adjacent the top thereof. Thus, air is free to enter the lower opening into kthe light chamber I5, pass along the light bulb I9 and motor 21 and be exhausted through the upper opening, the apertures 56 in the disc 33 and apertures 'l in disc 42 permitting free air iiow around the bulb I9.

It will be noted that while I have illustrated the invention in connection with the illumination of a word, the invention is equally applicable to the animation of a figure or object by suitably Aconnecting the light transmitting rods to portions of the figure in diiferent positions similar to that done in animated movie cartoons and the like. Obviously, in such case, the light uncovering means would preferably be rotated at a suflicient speed to give the impression of continuous action of the figure or object. It will be apparent that a display element embodying the present invention could be constructed, if desired, with a plurality of light control elements corresponding to the shield 33 as well as color drums corresponding to the drum 4|, whereby different portions of the display element or elements would be controlled by separate mechanisms.

It will be apparent from the above disclosure that I have provided a novel display device, whereby novel light effects and actions may be achieved which in the embodiment illustrated may employ merely one or two moving elements other than the power source, requiring only a single light source with no complicated switching arrangements or the like, and in which many novel and ornamental eiects may be achieved.

Having thus described my invention, it is obvious that various immaterial modifications may be made in the saine without departing tfrom the spirit of my invention; hence, I do not wish to be understood as limiting myself to the. exact i'orm, construction, arrangement and combinan tion of parts herein shown and described or uses mentioned.

What I claim is new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

l. In adisplay device, the combination of a light source, a plurality of elongated light trans mitting members oi substantially uniform rectangular cross section throughout their length having one of their corresponding ends operatively related to said light source for receiving light therefrom and transmitting the same to the opposite ends of the respective members, each of said last mentioned ends being provided With a substantially fiat rectangular end surface, the plane o which extends at an acute angle to the axis of the end portion of such member, with said end surfaces being arranged in substantially a common plane to form indicia illuminable by the passage of light through said members, an opaque surface associated with and forming a background for said indicia, and means for controlling the admission of light from said source into the adjacent ends or" said members in a predetermined sequence to successively illuminate adjacent indicia forming ends of certain of said light transmitting members and to impart a visual sensation of movement to portions of the display device.

2. In a display device, the combinatie-.1.1 oi an illuininable display element, a light source, a plurality of' elongated light transmitting members, each of substantially uniform cross-section throughout their length and having one of their respective ends operatively related to said element, said ends each being tapered to provide a substantially planar lie-ht transmitting surface related to said element, greater in area than the cross-sectional area of their respective members, and with said end surfaces lying substantially in a common plane, their other ends operatively related to said light source for transmitting light from the latter to said element, and a movable opaque light shield adapted to be interposed between said light source and the adjacent ends of said light transmitting members for controlling the admission of light to said members in a predetermined sequence, the indicia forming ends of said members being so arranged relative to each other that adjoining ends of certain of said members are successively illuminated to impart a visual sensation of movement of light along the :face of the display element,

3. In a display device, the combination of a housing having an opening in a wall thereof, an illuminable display element positioned in said opening, said element comprising a plurality of indivdually illuminable sections, each of said sections having an elongated lighttransmitting member of rectangular cross-section, the adjacent end face of which is operable to illuminate said section, the area of said end faces being greater than the cross-sectional area of the respective members, said last mentioned end faces lying substantially in a common plane, a light source, a Wall positioned adjacent said light source, each of the opposite ends oi said inembers extending through the last mentioned Wall and adapted to be exposed to said light source for transmitting light therefrom to their respective sections of the display element, a cylindrically shaped opaque sleeve rotatable about said light source and having portions adapted to be interposed between the light source and said ends of the light transmitting members during rotation of said sleeve, the forward moving edge of said sleeve being shaped to simultaneously shut out light to all of said ends, and the trailing edge of said sleeve being shaped to consecutively expose said ends to light from said source, said member being so constructed that light is admitted in a predetermined sequence to certain of said light transmitting members forming adjoining illuminable sections of the display element, whereby such adjoining sections are successively illuminated to impart a visual sensation of movement in such display elements.


References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,741,748 White Dec. 31, 1929 2,227,861 Petrone Jan. 7, 1941 2,286,014 Rowe June 9, i942 2,354,367 Ford July 25, 1944 2,430,232 Lynch Nov. 4, 1947 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 372,857 Great Britain May 19, 1932 397,547 Great Britain Aug. 28, 1933

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3164918 *Mar 30, 1961Jan 12, 1965American Optical CorpDisplay apparatus
US3184872 *Dec 31, 1962May 25, 1965Mobilcolor IncMoving pattern simulator
US3210876 *Jan 10, 1964Oct 12, 1965Dialight CorpLuminous devices
US3384986 *Jul 25, 1966May 28, 1968James F. DavisProgressively illuminated sign
US3399476 *Feb 1, 1965Sep 3, 1968James F. DavisAnimated sign
US4279089 *Sep 6, 1979Jul 21, 1981Tatsuo MurakamiOptical illumination device
US4417412 *Aug 6, 1981Nov 29, 1983Sansom William LFiber optic display device
US4860475 *Aug 4, 1987Aug 29, 1989Zubin LevyFiber optic pictorial display kit
US4917448 *Oct 27, 1988Apr 17, 1990Oppenheimer M DavidLighted display device
US4961617 *Jul 19, 1989Oct 9, 1990Ferrydon ShahidiFibre optic waveguide illuminating elements
US5021928 *Oct 8, 1987Jun 4, 1991Maurice DanielFlat panel illumination system
US5040320 *Feb 10, 1986Aug 20, 1991Tru-Lyte Systems, IncorporatedIlluminated information display assembly
US5165187 *Jan 30, 1987Nov 24, 1992Fiber Sense & Signals Inc.Edge illuminated sign panel
US20050135102 *Oct 4, 2004Jun 23, 2005Allan GardinerIlluminator with peak wavelength variation
U.S. Classification40/547, 40/502, 362/812
International ClassificationG09F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/812, G09F13/00
European ClassificationG09F13/00