US 2669705 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 16, 1954 w w co s 2,669,705
PROTECTIVE SIGNAL DEVICE Filed Sept. 19, 1951 FIG.2
REY-HQ W I INVENTOR.
J! William Joseph Wheorlond Collins Da an? JAMUQ ATTORNEY Patented Feb. 16, 1954 UNlTfi STATES i JiENT OFFICE William Joseph Wheatland Collins, New York, N. Y.
Application September 19, 1951, Serial No. 247,212
4 Claims. It
My invention is an improved protective signal device; and particularly a portable unit for use by drivers of motor cars and others, on traflic thoroughfares, such as streets and highways, to give warning to approaching vehicles at points where care and caution are necessary to avoid damage to person and property.
An important object of this invention is to provide a portable device that can easily be stored within a motor vehicle in readiness for use; and is adapted to be set up behind the vehicle or at some other well chosen point, in case the vehicle is stopped and kept motionless for a time in a street or roadway, or to one side; while other cars continue passing. When engine trouble occurs, for instance, or a tire goes flat, the person at work attending to the engine or replacing the tire is in imminent danger of injury as cars go by him, especially if he has to stand at the left or near side of his vehicle. displays one or more conspicuous signals and thus causes the driver of an oncoming car to be watchful and move on in safety. Thus accidents are avoided.
The objects and advantages of the improvement are fully described hereinafter, and the characteristics are defined in the appended claims. In the drawings I illustrate a preferred embodiment of my invention, but changes in structural details may be adopted without deviation from the essential design that contains the invention.
On said drawings:
Figure l is a front view of the signal device as it appears in use;
Figure 2 an enlarged vertical section on line 2-2 in Figure 1;
Figure 2c shows a detail on an enlarged scale;
Figure 3 is a detail in section on the line 3-3 in Figure 2;
Figure 4 shows the signal in use to protect a stationary vehicle; and
Figure 5 is a rear view of the device as shown on Figure 1.
The numeral i indicates a stanchion of suitable height, carrying at its upper end an elongated horizontal casing 2. The post or support 5 is preferably tubular, and may be in one piece, or comprise telescoping sections with fastening elements, so that the unit can be set up with the casing at a higher or lower level, as may be desired. i'vithin the casing are lamp bulbs 55, one end and one in the middle of the casing. These lamps are supplied with electric current flowing through circuits to be presently described,
This improvement l and controlled by a switch operated by a knob or member 4 on theexterior of the casing 2. One side 5 of the casing has Window openings 6, I and 8, that are covered on the inside of the casing by a pane of glass 9 or the like with appropriate warning indications thereon registering with said openings. For example, the pane may bear in the middle the words Caution or Detour or both exposed through the central openings, the pane at an end of the casing may bear the word Pass with the word Left or an arrow pointing outward to show at the opening 1, and the part of the pane at the opposite opening 8 may be similarly marked for passing on the right. One lamp bulb is of course mounted adjacent each opening 6, l and 8. In use the post and casing are placed to the rear or beside a motor vehicle which has been forced to stop temporarily to change a tire or for any other cause, on a street or highway or at one side thereof, as shown in Figure 4. The casing presents the light-transmitting windows to the rear of the vehicle and the drivers of oncoming cars will see the signal and give said vehicle a wide berth. The glass 9 can be held in place by retainers or in any other suitable manner. At the lower end the stanchion has three legs it. The casing 2 can be of metal or plastic or any suitable material, and the aforesaid side 5 can have the openings formed therein as described, or the entire side 5 can be of glass or the like, with an opaque coating except on the portions adjacent the lamps 3 which bear the signals above described.
At the upper end of the post I is a gooseneck coupling H, one end, of which telescopes within a circular boss 12 on the opposite side of the casing 2. In line with the boss the casing has an opening filled by a plate of insulation [3, on the inner face of which is mounted an arc-shaped conductor terminal it, above which are three stationary switch terminals l5, to which can be connected the terminal I l. Each of the terminal studs I5 is coupled by a conductor to the central insulated terminal in an ordinary lamp socket it in the casing for mounting one of the bulbs 3, the other terminal of said socket being a ground terminal connected to the body of the casing 2 if the latter is of metal, or to some other metal part to complete the return circuit. The side 5 of the casing bearing the signals can be hinged to the top of the casing I, as indicated at H, with gripping lugs 13 at its lower edge to hold the side ii closed. Thus access to the interior is afforded; or another part of the casing can be detachably mounted for the same purpose.
On the inner face of the plate I3 is an insulator arm IS on a pivot 20. This arm bears a conductor strip 30 held to said arm by screws 22 on the side facing the plate I3 to bridge the terminal strip I i and the terminal studs I5. The upper end of the arm I8 is united to the member or knob 4, and the casing has a slot 23 to permit movement of the arm I9; and the member 4. The slot 23 is preferably in the side of the casing opposite the side 5, above the plate I3.
The arc-shaped terminal It is secured to a stud 2 that is mounted on the plate I3 and has a round projecting end exposed on the face thereof in the coupling II. Within the coupling is a metal conductor strip 25 which engages the stud 24 at one end. The other end makes contact with the positive central pole of a dry cell 26, several of which are arranged in series and enclosed in the lower end of the coupling I I. The cells rest on a spring strip 27 at the upper end of the post I, held in position by a binding screw or rivet 28. Each cell has the usual insulating sleeve enveloping it, so that only the metal bottom of the cell and positive pole at the top are exposed. The circuit is thus established from the cells to the strip 25, the switch terminal 24 in the casing, the lamp bulbs 3, and by way of the sockets IE of said bulbs to the metal of the post back to the cells 28.
The movable conductor 38 will connect all three fixed terminals I 5 at once to the curved terminal I4 when the arm I8 is in mid-position; or with the arm IE1 at the extreme end of its throw in either direction one fixed terminal I5 at either side can be in circuit alone. Also the arm I9 can be so manipulated to one side of its midposition so that the middle stud or terminal Id and the terminal I5 at either side of the middle can be connected in circuit. Thus, all three bulbs can be illuminated at once to display the Caution and both Pass signals simultaneously; or either Pass signal can be displayed by itself alone, or the Pass signal at either ide in conjunction with the Caution signal in the center can be illuminated. if the vehicle has to come to a stop in the middle of the roadway, while a Pass signal by itself or with the Caution may be employed as circumstances require.
Thus whenever the switch arm I9 closes the circuit to one or more of the bulbs 3, the signal is illuminated accordingly. The casing 2 is maintained in horizontal position on the post but can be rotated through a quarter turn to be in line with the post for convenient storing in the baggage compartment or other space within the vehicle. To this end the boss I2 carries a binding screw 3! to hold the boss I2 and casing rigid with the coupling I I, but the screw has a reduced inner end 32 that enters a transverse slot 34 having a length of 90 degrees in the coupling I i The casing can thus be secured in transverse position or aligned position with respect to the post I as indicated by broken lines in Figure 1.
Further the stud 213 is not at the center or axis of the boss I2, but is below the center of the plate I3. Therefore when the casing 2 is swung into alinement with the post I, the plate I3 rotates and the circuit to the lamp bulbs is opened, for all positions of the switch arm IS, because the stud 25 then breaks contact with the strip 25. Waste of current when the device is not needed is thus avoided. Also the spring terminal strip 25 is set so that its ends will always engage the pole of the uppermost battery 2E and the ter- I All signals are advisable minal stud 24. It can be mounted upon insulation 36 and affixed within the coupling II by screws having insulator sleeves and washers indicated at 3? to prevent grounding of the strip 25, the screws being received in threaded openings in the coupling I I.
At the bottom of the stanchion I are lugs 38 to which the legs III are pivotally connected at their upper ends by pins 39. At the lower ends of the lugs the post carries a rigid flange 40, which serves as a stop for the legs when they are extended. The legs can be folded up against the standard I, and their upper ends are then engaged by the rim of a cup-shaped sliding collar 4| on the post I. This collar has a binding screw 42 in a boss 43. When the legs are lowered and extended, the collar is slipped down into contact with the tops of the legs adjacent the pivots 39 and secured by the screw 42. The legs are thus held in position to bear the weight of the post I and easing 2. When the device is not in use, the legs are lifted and laid along the post, and the rim of the collar encircles the outer ends of the legs to hold them in, as indicated by broken lines in Figure l. The screw again keeps the collar in place.
To enable the device to be utilized without dry cells 26 or in case the dry cells are found to be exhausted, I adapt the signal device to be operated on current supplied by the battery on the vehicle. A suitable conductor cord will suffice to join the conductor strip terminal in the coupling IE to the socket of the cigarette lighter plug in the vehicle, or some other outlet to which the storage battery is connected. Therefore the coupling I I has a hole 44 in line with the terminal strip and this strip has spring fingers 46 on its inner end in line with the opening 44. The conductor cord will be of any suitable make and need not be shown, but it will have at one end a jack 4': to enter the opening 4 5, the other end of the cord also having asuitable plug for connection with an outlet on-the car as aforesaid. The jack carries an insulated metal ring 48 which fits the opening id snugly, and the stem of the jack projects far enough beyond the ring 48 to enable it to be fitted snugly between the fingers 4-8 on the strip 25. See Figure 2a showing the jack 4'! and ring 4 8 enlarged. The positive conductor wire ii! of the cord is joined to the stem 50, and the negative wire 5| is joined to the ring 48, so that the return circuit to the framework of the vehicle can be completed. The body of the jack is a tubular piece of insulation 52 enveloping the ends of the conductors joined to the stem 58 and ring 58.
Hence if no dry cells are in the post I, or if such cells are too weak, the cord is resorted to, and the circuit to the lamps can be established as before from the battery by way of the stem of the jack, and the lamp or lamps to the coupling II. the ring 48 and back to ground on the vehicle by way of the wire 5|.
This signal device can be easily stowed away in any passenger automobile, and in case a tire has to be changed, or a stop must be made from another cause, the post will enable the driver to work in safety beside the car. The device can also be used in repair work on streets and roads or overhead wiring along thoroughfares to protect the workmen.
The side 5 of the casing 2, the windows 6, I and 8 also carry three red reflectors 53 secured in position by any suitable means. At night these reflectors will glow in the light of the headlamps U of an approaching car and give further insurance against accident.
The studs I in the insulation I3 have nuts 59 to hold fast the wires 55 leading to the lamps. The pivot 29 for the arm i9 is a screw mounted in the plate 13.
The post I and coupling H are preferably of metal and the post has a collar 55 to engage the lower end of the coupling H. A binding screv. 51 holds the coupling and post detachably together.
The side of the casing having the boss i2 has openings 58 at each side with panes 59 on the inner face over each opening. The panes 59 each bear the word Danger. The panes can be red in color and the letters white, or other colors can be employed. When a vehicle is tied up under very hazardous conditions the device can be set up in a thoroughfare and both front and back can be employed.
The invention is therefore well adapted to afford security to a vehicle at a standstill, and its occupants. It can be stored conveniently, especially if the post consists of extensible sections, and called into service at once when needed. It can also be utilized by road repair gangs and operated on either batteries as described by con nection through step-down transformers and other means to nearby power circuits.
Figure 4 shows the signal device enlarged. Ordinarily it will be four or five feet in height and should be stationed well to the rear of the vehicle to be safe-guarded.
Having described my invention, what I claim to be new is:
1. A signal device comprising a post, a casing on the upper end of said post, signal members carried by said casing, a curved coupling between said casing and said post, the casing having a boss receiving one end of said coupling, a binding screw on said boss, the coupling having a slot receiving said screw so that said casing may be maintained in transverse position or swung into alinement with said post, an insulator in said boss, an electric switch on said insulator, the switch comprising a fixed terminal, an electric lamp bulb at each end of said casing and in the middle thereof, light transmitting signal members carried by the one side of the casing adjacent each bulb, additional fixed terminals mounted on said insulator, an electric conductor connecting each lamp bulb to one of said additional terminals, a movable arm on said insulator to connect the first-named terminal to one or more of the additional terminals, and means in the coupling for conducting current to said first-, named terminal.
2. The signal device according to claim 1 wherein said means comprises a conductor strip insulated from the coupling and in contact at one end with said first-named terminal, and dry cells in said coupling connected to the opposite end of said strip.
3. The signal device according to claim 1, wherein said means comprises a conductor strip in said coupling and insulated therefrom, said strip having one end in contact with the firstnamed terminal, said strip having its opposite end divided and in line with an opening in said coupling to be engaged by a terminal at the end of an external conductor inserted in said opening.
4. A signal device comprising a post, a coupling on said post, the upper end of the post being enveloped by said coupling, a casing at the other end of the coupling, electric lamp bulbs and indicator members carried by the casing, battery cells in said coupling, an insulated conductor in the coupling in circuit with said cells, an insulated terminal in the casing in contact with said conductor, and switch means between said terminal and said bulbs.
WHIIIIAM JOSEPH WHEATLAND COLLINS.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,475,024 Morgan Nov. 20, 1923 1,558,906 Milliken Oct. 27, 1925 1,756,144 Ames Apr. 29, 1930 2,375,121 McClellan May 1, 1945 2,409,957 Reynolds Oct. 22, 1946 2,491,888 SteiTen Apr. 8, 1952 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 110,403 Australia May 2, 1940