US 2811798 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 5, 1957 L. P. BROOKS 2,811,798
DISPLAY DEVICE Filed July 19, 1954 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN VEN TOR;
United States Patent DISPLAY DEVICE Lorimer P. Brooks, Tuckahoe, N. Y., assignor to Drum Fire, Ina, Tuckahoe, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application July 19, 1954, Serial No. 444,039
The terminal portion of the term of the patent subsequent to July 20, 1971 has been disclaimed 1 Claim. (Cl. 40-132) The present invention relates to advertising and display devices and particularly to such devices as have associated therewith moving apparatus for attracting the attention of prospective customers.
In the advertising of certain products it is sometimes desired to provide for store windows, etc., a display device which has, as a part thereof, apparatus for simulating the movement of water, such as a waterfall. For the advertising of other products, apparatus which simulates moving flames is desired. Both water and flames are fluids and thus such apparatus may be designated as apparatus for simulating fluid movement.
It has heretofore been suggested that apparatus for attracting the attention of prospective purchasers may include a rotating, irregular reflector having a good reflecting surface. However, such apparatus has not been suitable for the above-mentioned purposes because the surface of the reflector has not had the proper shape and the speed of movement of the surface has been much too slow to provide the necessary optical illusion. In addition, the reflector itself has not been of the proper shape or has not been moved in the manner required to produce the illusion or light-distorting screens have been associated with the reflector which, although providing the sensation of movement, do not give the appearance of moving water or flames.
For example, it has been suggested that a cylinder of foil having a wrinkled surface should be rotated in front of a light source. However, because of the fineness of such wrinkles and their lack of depth as well as because of the slow speed of rotation of the cylinder (i. e., 1-6 R. P. M.), 110 illusion of moving water or flames is obtained. Changing either the speed of rotation or the configuration of the surface of the cylinder is not sufficient to provide the desired illusion. A similar structure in disc form has been suggested but this structure is unsatisfactory not only for the above reasons, but also because the direction of movement of the surface of the disc is improper.
I have found that the appearance of moving water or flames may be provided with a member of generally cylindrical shape which has a mirror-like, reflecting surface, the member being mounted with respect to a light source so as to reflect the light to the eyes of an observer. I have also found that the configuration of the surface and the speed of rotation of the member are both critical and interrelated. Thus, the surface must be made up of a plurality of irregularly or randomly spaced and shaped mirror-like areas of a size and disposition within a predetermined range and the member must be rotated at a speed such that the individual areas are indistinguishable by the eye but also at a speed slow enough so that the sensation of movement is obtained.
Such a member may be disposed adjacent advertising material so that the surface thereof may be viewed either directly or through an optically good, i. e., optically perfect or at least good enough so that the effect is si1ni- 2,811,798 Patented Nov. 5, 1957 lar to that obtained with an optically perfect mask. Thus, for example, if it is desired to advertise fire insurance, the member may have its surface visible through the Windows of a simulated house, which windows are unobstructed or are covered with cellophane. If it is desired to advertise a cooling beverage, the surface of the member may form part of a waterfall.
Accordingly, it is an object of my invention to provide display devices which have as a part thereof a rotating member for simulating moving water or flames.
Other objects of my invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention, which description should be considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a front elevation view of a display device comprising a front marked to have the appearance of a house and a rotatable member for simulating flames;
Fig. 2 is a side elevation view of the device shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a display device comprising a front marked to have the appearance of a water scene and a rotatable member for simulating a waterfall;
Fig. 4 is a side elevation view partly in cross section of the device shown in Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is a side elevation view partly in cross section of a modification of the device shown in Figs. 3 and 4;
Fig. 6 is a front elevation view of the fluid motion simulator and its associated driving apparatus; and
Fig. 7 is a side elevation view partly in cross section of the fluid motion simulator shown in Fig. 6.
Referring to Figs' 1 and 2, the generally cylindrical member 10 of the fluid motion simulator is shown mounted adjacent a front member 11 which simulates a house. This type of front member may, for example, be particularly useful for advertising such things as fire insurance, the simulator being arranged to show flames through the aperture 12 in the form of a window and through an aperture 13 in the form of a window in a door. Reflections of the simulated flames will also be visible through the windows 14-17. The windows may be unobstructed openings or may be covered with a light-transparent material such as cellophane.
The front member 11 may be made from cardboard, wood, metal, etc., and is formed and marked, such as by printing, so as to present the appearance of the front of a house. The front member 11 has a supporting flap 18 which holds the member in the position shown in Figs. 1 and 2. The member 10, which is described hereinafter in further detail, is rotatably mounted on bearings, one of which is supported by the bracket 19 which in turn is mounted on a base 21 When simulated flames are desired, the member 14 is rotated in a clockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 2. Although light may be directed on the member 10 from a soruce mounted externally of the front 11, the simulator preferably is provided with a light source 21 also mounted on the base 24 A reflector 22 aids in concentrating the light from the source on the surface of the member 10. It will thus be apparent that, when the light source 21 is in operation and the member 16 is rotating, it will appear that at least a portion of the front member 11 is on fire. It will be apparent that, al-
though I have illustrated the front member in the form vided. However, the simulator has the unique property that, when the member 10 is rotated in the opposite direct1on and light of a different color is projected on the member 10 or the surface of the member 10 has the proper color, then the appearance of moving water is provided. Accordingly, the simulator is useful in connection with display devices intended to illustrate moving water. Thus, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the member 10 may be mounted adjacent a front 23 which is formed and marked to represent a water scene. Thus, it may give the appearance of stream banks 24 and 25, a stream of water 26 leading to a waterfall formed by the surface of the member 10, a turbulent mass of water 27 and a stream of water 28 leading away from the waterfall. In this device the supporting base 20 for the member 10 may be mounted on legs 29 and 30 so as to position the member 10 properly with respect to the aperture in the member 23. As mentioned above, the member 10 is rotated in a direction such that the surface thereof visible through the aperture in the member 23 moves in a downward direction, and therefore the member 10 is rotated in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed in Fig. 4.
When the member 10 is rotated as described and a surface thereof visible at the aperture in the member 23 is illuminated with light of the proper color, the surface of the member 10 presents the appearance of moving or falling water. The visible surface of the member 10 may be illuminated by external light sources 31 and 31a as illustrated in Fig. 4. Alternatively, the member 23 may be formed as shown at 23a in Fig. so as to have a pair of apertures at the sides thereof adjacent the ends of the member 10, one of the apertures being illustrated at 32 in Fig. 5. A pair of light sources 33 and 34 are mounted in back of the member 23a at each end of the member so that the surface may be illuminated without the use of external light sources 31 and 31a.
Although it is unnecessary to provide such a mask because direct observation of the surface of the member 10 will provide the effect of moving water, the member 23a may be provided with a mask 35 which is at least partially transparent. The mask 35 may, for example, be made of transparent cellophane and it may have markings thereon to represent falling water, the effect of movement of the water being provided by the moving surface of the member 10 which is visible through the light-transparent portions of the mask 35. In this way, a greater variety of effects may be obtained than it is possible when no mask 35 is employed.
The member 10 may be constructed in any one of several ways. It may, for example, be constructed by forming a supporting base of a synthetic resin and by subsequently silvering the base in a well-known manner. In this way, the member 10 is provided with a mirror-like, reflecting surface comprising a plurality of irregularly oriented, contiguous and mirror-like reflecting areas which extend around the member 10. Alternatively, the member 10 may be constructed as shown in Figs. 6 and 7 by mounting a hollow cylinder of a reflecting material having a mirror-like surface, such as polished aluminum foil, foil-coated paper. or polished stainless steel, on a pair of discs 36 and 37. Either prior to being mounted on the discs 36 and 37 or subsequent thereto, a plurality of indentations are formed in the surface of the member 10 so as to provide the appearance indicated in Figs. 6 and 7.
The discs 36 and 37 are mounted on the shaft 38 which is supported at its ends by bearings mounted on brackets 39 and 19, which are in turn mounted on the base 20. The discs 36 and 37 preferably are secured to the shaft 38 so as to be rotated therewith and the discs 36 and 37 and the shaft 38 are rotated as a unit by motor means 40 which may, for example, consist ofan electric motor and a suitable gear reduction drive. The shaft 41 of the motor means 40 is coupled to the shaft 38 by a coupler 42 which preferably is a flexible coupler.
Although as. mentioned above the portion ofv the member 10 which is visible through the aperture or apertures in the front member may be illuminated by external light sources, in the preferred form of the invention the light source is mounted on the base 20 as shown at 21 and a reflector 22 is provided on the opposite side of the light source 21 from the surface of the member 10 to be illuminated by the source 21. The light source 21 may be conventional incandescent lamps having a colored glass bulb. It has been found that, when it is desired to simulate. flames, the color which gives the most realistic and pleasing effect is. an orange color, but light sources of different color may be employed particularly if the surface of the member 10 is colored. Thus, for example, realistic appearing flames may be provided by using an orangecolored light source 21 and a member 10 having a silvercolored surface. Also, instead of a silver-colored surface, the surface of the member 10 may be colored red or orange and, if desired, the source 21 may be a source of yellow or red light. Of course, more than one light source 21 may be employed and mixtures of colors will provide pleasing results. If it is desired to produce novel effects rather than the colors of a real flame, light sources of other colors may be employed.
If the member 10 is to be used to provide the appearance of moving or falling water, the surface of the member 10 preferably is either silver, blue or green in color. With these colors the light source 21 may be white, blue or green if realism is desired. If novel effects are desired, other colors may also be employed.
As mentioned above, the shaping of the surface of the member 10 is an important factor in producing the appearance of moving flames or water. Thus, it has been found that the surface should be provided with a plurality of irregularly oriented, contiguous and mirror-like reflecting areas extending around the member 10. If the material from which the member 10 is made is self-supporting, the areas may be provided by suitably indenting the material. The indentations should have a substantial depth as well as spacing and sizings within predetermined ranges. It has been found that if the spacing and configuration of the indentations on the surface of the member 10 are varied without producing indentations of at least one-quarter of an inch in depth with respect to the surface of an imaginary cylinder co-axial with the member 10 and having a radius equal to the maximum distance found that. there must be a plurality of indentations so spaced as to produce reflecting areas between one-half and three inches in width and length. If the reflecting areas are too small, such as by spacing the indentations by too small an amount, then realistic flames or Water movements are not produced because thesurface is broken up in areas which are too small in size to give the desired impression. Preferably, the indentations are from one-quarter to one and one-half inches in depth and one to two inches in width and length, but the indentations may be deeper and longer, the length direction being in the direction of rotation of the member. 10. Also, preferably the walls of the indentations are substantially smooth (that is, the reflecting areas have an unbroken surface) and a plurality of the indentations have ends facing substantially in the direction of rotation which, when viewed in the aperture in the front member, have the shape of an inverted V, examples of such ends being designated by the numerals 43, 44 and 45 in Fig. 6.
The production of moving flames or. water depends upon the fact that when the. illuminated. surface of member 10 is moved at a slow enough speed, the eye not only sees individual areas of the surface but also light changes and portions of the light source and, when the surface is moved at a high speed, the eye sees only a substantially steady light pattern, but when the surface is moved at speeds between these two extremes, the eye does not see individual areas but does see moving light patterns. The indentations break the surface of the member up into small areas of irregular configuration and at any given position and instant the light reflected from the surface of the member is broken up into patches of light of irregular configuration and varying intensity. As the member 10 is rotated, the light pattern from the surface of the member varies and as the member moves the patches of light not only appear to move in the direction in which the surface of the member is moving but also their configuration changes. If the member is rotated very slowly, the individual reflecting areas on the surface of the member may be observed and, in fact, if the member is rotated sufliciently slowly, say 1 to 10 rpm, portions of the light source itself may be recognized. However, as the speed of rotation of the member is increased, the light sources become indistinguishable and the eye sees only moving patches of light of irregular and changing configuration. If the speed of the member is increased to a very high rate, then the motion of the patches is substantially lost due to persistence of vision. It has been found that when the diameter of the member 10 is approximately 8 inches and the surface of the drum has the configuration heretofore described, the speed of rotation of the member should be between 35 and 200 revolutions per minute and preferably the speed of rotation should be between 60 and 90 revolutions per minute. Also, it has been found that for a given effect members of larger diameter should be rotated faster than members of smaller diameter.
Thus, it will be seen from the above that the configuration of the flames or water areas is controlled by the indentations on the surface of the member 10 and the dancing effect or movement is in part determined by the configuration of the indentations and in part by the speed of rotation of the member 10. Accordingly, when a surface is prepared, the indentations are made in the size required to produce the desired flame configurations and the member speed is adjusted to produce the desired motion of the flames, provided, of course, that it is within the aforesaid ranges. If a slow, lazy fire is desired, the member 10 should be rotated at a relatively slow speed within the broad range indicated above and, if a brisk, roaring fire is desired, the member 10 should be rotated at a relatively high speed within the above-mentioned broad range.
Normally, the simulated flames or moving, lightreflecting water areas appear on the lower two-thirds of the member 10 if the light source is disposed as shown in Figs. 6 and 7. However, the configuration of the member 10 may also be altered to produce leaping flame and sparking effects. The leaping flame effect may be produced by providing a large area whose plane is substantially parallel to the axis of the member 10 and intersects a radial line extending to the outermost point of the area at a relatively small angle, such an area being indicated at 45 in Fig. 7. Such an area may be formed by an indentation two inches deep and four to five inches long if the member 10 diameter is eight inches and the member 10 length is approximately 12 inches. Light in an irregular strip is reflected from the upper wall of the indentation after this wall has passed the usual top level of the flames and this produces the appearance of a leaping flame.
The sparking effect may be provided by producing a few relatively long and narrow indentations around the periphery of the member 10. The length dimension of these indentations extends in the direction of rotation of the member and the indentations may be /2 to 2 inches long and only to of an inch wide. These indentations are not sufliciently wide to produce the appearance of flames, but do produce the appearance of sparks rising from the flames.
While the invention has been described with reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art, after understanding the invention, that modifications and changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims appended thereto.
Reference is made to my co-pending application Serial No. 293,696 filed June 14, 1952, now Patent No. 2,684,244, which discloses related subject matter.
What is claimed as new and what I desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
A display device comprising a first member simulating a water scene and having a light transparent aperture therein, a second member of generally cylindrical shape having a mirror-like reflecting surface, said second member being mounted with said surface visible through said aperture, said surface comprising a plurality of irregularly oriented, contiguous and mirror-like reflecting areas extending around said second member, said areas being between 0.5 and 3 inches in width and length and portions of a plurality of said areas being spaced at least 0.25 inches from the surface of an imaginary cylinder co-axial with said second member and having a radius equal to the maximum distance of the surface of said second member from the axis thereof, means for rotating said second member at a speed such that the individual reflecting areas are indistinguishable by the eye and for thereby moving said surface in a downward direction past said aperture at a predetermined speed and means for projecting light of a predetermined color on the por tion of said surface visible through said aperture.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,096,884 Dietlein Oct. 26, 1937 2,684,244 Brooks July 20, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 450,941 Great Britain A. D. 1936