US 2679635 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 25, 1954 M H T SIGNAL SYSTEM WITH SIGN AND ALTERNATING FLASHING LAMPS Filed May 15, 1951 INVEN TOR. AQW/N M. HART ATTORNEY Patented May 25, 1954 SIGNAL SYSTEM .WITH SIGN AND ALTER- NATING FLASHING LAMPS Irwin M. Hart, Lorain, Ohio, *assignor to .The .Winko-Matic Signal Company, Lorain, Ohio Application May 15, 1951, SerialNo.-226,356
1' Claim. 1
".This invention .irelates to roadesi'de 'itraific .signs and particularlytto an :activated warning 5.1
Conducive .to a better understanding of this invention,. it may be 'wellto point'out that. roadside signs bearing information for-the guidance :and safe operation of vehicles 'usingthehighway have long been used. "Suchisigns areusually imade ofJsheet metal and-bear 'indicia on1the face thereof conveying information as to .the nature of the .road ahead such-as-Curve"-- Hill-Railroad crossing.Dea'd end etc. Other signs 'convey'orders as'to the. manner'of operating the vehiclesuch as--S1ow-Stop- 20 mile zone etc. Overthe-years such signs have become standardized and the. motorist has .cometoibe relatively oblivious-of them. Furthermore, such still: signs are: not readable until the motorist is: relatively close-.and,.unless he is looking directly at them, are'.usually;passed.by unnoticed.
The obedience of a motorist toa warning sign .is in directproportion'to .thevisibility and attention value of the sign.
The attention getting value ofia flashinglight and especially the combination of two-synchronized alternately flashing lights has-longbeen appreciated by the'ra-ilroads, which-use .suchxa device to mark their highway crossings.
The primary object of this invention,..therefore, is to provide a road-side traffic .warning .sign that has action andmovement inithe form of alternating light flashes that instantly draw attention to the sigI -bothday'and night under adverse as well as-good weather conditions.
Another object is to, provide an actiondevice .that can be easily combined with anyexisting road-side warning sign at a minimum .cost of time and money.
Still other objects .areto'provide a device of "the typedescribed that is relatively inexpensive :to manufacture, rugged in constructionand re liable in operation.
These and other objects of the invention will become apparent from a reading ofthe following specification andclaims, together with the accompanying drawing wherein like parts are referred to and indicated by like reference characters andwherein:
Figure 1.is a perspective view of the activated road-side warning sign, which is the subjectrof this invention, showing .the flasher: andqindicia :bearing members separated and :with the flasher vFigure :2 1 is ea :front :elevation 'of (the :device as it appearsrmounted 'on'a-road-sideqiolemr stanchion;
Figure 3is a rearaelevation. of the signal-light and motor panel; and
:Figure 4 is a top plan view of the dSViCGFShOW- ing the housing cover in its open position.
Figure 5 is aschematic layout of theelectric flasher system for alternately energizing v"the w incandescentlamps of .thedevice.
Referring more particularly ?to "the "drawing, reference numeral N] indicates --a weather-tight sheet metal housing havingza hingedxcover-ls. The housing H) has "two vertically spaced-.bullfseye lenses l8 and t9 mounteddntheiront wall thereof, as shown in thez-Fig-ure *1. A louvered air intake openinglZ islocated at'the.loWer -;end of the housing side wall and two louveredheat vents Hare located ..on therfront wall between the bulls-eye.Ienses-iB-aIId l9. .Twoiacingivertically extending metal: channels 29 are mounted on the inner side walls, spaced rearwardlyof the front wall,. as-showniin thezF-igures 1 and4. Laterally extending semi-circular brackets 14 and I amounted-on .thefront wall above each bulls-eye lensuserve: .as supports for the hereinafter described indicia bearing member :and also as shades. for .thetlensesagainst outside. light.
.'A. rigid. sheet.metal,panel .25 .having flanged bi) te'dgesiaiis .Islidablymounted between the .two
:member: housing :partly ibrokenaaway F to disclose :theinner construction thereof;
channels 29. Two openings .21 and, 28:.are cut in thepanel. Eheseopeningsare spacedsim- 'ilarlyto thespacingrof.thelensesl8 and Hand are aligned with .thelenses when the panel'is place.
Incandescent electric lamps .2l and .22 ..are mounted onthe, panel .behind each of the openlings 21and28respectively. The light. source .of each 'lampbing aligned with the "optical 'axis ofjits associatedrbull'seeyelens. The apre- .ferred L type of lamp is the rregularrso-called. 60 :watt tra'fliclbulb, although other .wattages maybe used to suit particular conditions.
Referencenumeral 2|] indicates apackage unit "containing'an electfic-motor-operated two po- "sition switchlthat alternately closes the circuit toeach incandescent lampzl and'.22. This .unit is"oftheconventional type readily availableto 'thepublicarid includes means 'for varyingthe.
*time'interval between'the alternate closing and opening of the'two circuits which in turn determinesthetime' between flashes.
A'schematielayout'o-f a typicaliunit of the type indicated isseen' initheFigureii. Reference numeral illindicates'an electro conductivedrum,
made of brass or other suitable metal, mounted on the shaft; 48 of a fractional horsepower motor 46 having a speed reducing gear system enclosed in its case so that the speed of rotation of its shaft 48 is reduced to between 60 and 120 R. P. M. The speed of the motor may be further controlled by the variable resistance 41. The drum 40 has an insulating insert 4| covering one-half of its surface. A flexible contact 45 carries current to a slip ring 44 on the drum to make the drum a part of one side of the electric circuit of the plug 23. The other side of the circuit being connected to the two incandescent lamps 2| and 22. Flexible contacts 42 and 43, electrically connected to the lamps 2| and 22, respectively, ride on the periphery of the drum 40, alternately contacting the insulated segment 4| thereof, as the drum rotates. The electric circuit to the lamps being completed when the contacts ride on the metallic surface of the drum and being interrupted when the contacts ride on the insulated segment 4|. Thus the lamps 2| and 22 are alternately illuminated, the length of the illuminated and dark periods being determined by the speed of rotation of the drum 40.
The panel 25, with the flasher bulbs and switching mechanism mounted thereon, is slid into the housing It by fitting its edge flanges 26 between the channels 29 as shown in the Figures 1 and 4. This leaves a space H between the panel and the front wall of the housing which acts as a flue for air entering the louvered opening l2 which is warmed by the heat generated by the operation of the incandescent lamps 2| and 22 and the electric motor of the flasher switch contained in the package 20. The warmed air rises in the flue l1 and passes out through the vents A socket 24 to which the outside feeder line It is attached is mounted on the inside of the housing. The plug 23 of the flasher circuit is screwed into the socket 24 after the panel 25 is in place. Thus the panel 25 can be removed from the housing I0, if desired, after the plug 23 is unscrewed from the socket 24, Without disturbing 'the weather-tight electrical connection through the Wall of the housing.
Reference numeral 30 indicates a conventional sheet metal traflic warning sign bearing indicia 3| on the face thereof. The sign 30 may be newly manufactured for the particular assembly or it may be an existing sign that is easily converted to this novel use by boring two holes 32 and 33 therethrough, one being above the indicia 3| and the other below it. The spacing of the holes 32 and 33 is made similar to that of the lenses I8 and I9 and the diameter of the holes matches that of the semi-circular brackets l4 and l 5. The sign 30 is mounted on the front wall of the housing I over the heat vents II by slipping the brackets l4 and I through the holes 32 and 33 respectively, as shown in the Figures 1 and 4. The openings 32 and 33 are aligned with the lenses l8 and 9 so that the lenses are visible through the openings 32 and 33 when the sign is mounted on the housing M, as described. The sign 3!), so supported and located by the brackets I4 and I5, which interfit the upper edges of the holes 32 and 33, is further secured to the housing by bolts or other suitable fastening means.
The entire assembly is then mounted on a road-side pole 34 facing on-coming traffic, as illustrated in the Figure 2. The alternate flashing of the incandescent lamps 2| and 22 causes the bull's-eye lenses l8 and I9 to be alternately illuminated. Due to the so-called persistence of visio phenomenon of the human eye, this creates the illusion of a vertically swinging line of light that instantly attracts attention to the warning sign. The metal sign 3|! is warmed by the heat escaping from vents II. This prevents the accumulation of sleet and ice on the face of the sign, which often makes the conventional sign useless during stormy weather when the need for it is the greatest.
The activated warning sign just described is visible at least a mile away so that it is impossible for the most inattentive driver to avoid noticing it.
The unit is self contained, requiring no skilled labor in its installation and maintenance. In the event of mechanical or electrical failure, the panel 25 bearing all the flashing mechanism can be easily and quickly replaced by a new unit without the use of any tools whatsoever. The expense of installing activated warning signs is greatly reduced by the fact that existing still signs can be converted to this improved form by merely boring two holes on either side of the indicia thereon, whose spacing and diameter match that of the lenses I8 and I9 and the bracket supports I4 and I5.
In locations where it is desired to control traiiic in two directions, it is possible to do so with a single unit by boring spaced holes in the rear wall of the housing It] in alignment with the electric lamps 2| and 22. Bulls-eye lenses r similar to those identified by reference numerals I8 and I9 are mounted in said spaced holes, together with a second pair of brackets. A second sheet metal sign having properly spaced holes is then mounted on the rear wall, facing on-coming trafiic in the opposite direction to that faced by the warning sign 30.
It will now be clear that there has been provided a device that accomplishes the objectives heretofore set forth. While the invention has been disclosed in its preferred form, it is to be understood that the specific embodiment thereof as described and illustrated herein is not to be considered in a limited sense as there may be other forms or modifications of the invention which should also be construed to come within the scope of the appended claim.
A traffic sign, comprising in combination, a flasher member including a weather-tight sheet metal housing having front, rear, top, bottom and side walls and also having two spaced bull'seye lenses mounted in the front wall thereof and a heat vent positioned therebetween, a baffle plate mounted within the said housing spaced rearwardly of said front wall and forming therewith a fine, the said plate having holes therethrough aligned with each of said lenses, for the passage of light and heat, the said housing also having air inlets positioned in the side walls between the bafile and the rear wall near the bottom thereof, incandescent lamps mounted behind the bafile plate in alignment with each of the baffie holes and the optical axis of its associated bulls-eye lens, means within the housing for alternately energizing each of said incandescent lamps momentarily, and a conventional sheet metal road-side warning sign having traflic guiding indicia on the face thereof, the said sign having openings therethrough on either side of said indicia spaced the same as the signal lenses, the said sign member being mounted on the front mulation of sleet and snow thereon during the 10 winter season.
6 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date Acton Oct. 3, 1933 Meehan Mar. 20, 1934 Munch June 21, 1938 Reynolds Oct. 22, 1946