US 2850824 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ffY -m Sept. 9, 1958 G. J. SEARLES DISPLAY DEVICE Filed Jan. 13, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATWRIIEY INVENTOR. I a J SEARLES G. J. SEARLES DISPLAY DEVICE Sept. 9,: 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 13, 1956 INVENTOR. 6. .1 SEARLES ATTORNEY i- DISPLAY DEVICE George Justin Searles, Dania, Fla.
Application January 13, 1956, Serial No. 558,979
4 Claims. (Cl. 40132) The present invention relates generally to signs, and more particularly to an illuminated, animated slgn.
The purpose of illuminated, animated signs is to catch the eye and get a message across. However, the conventional, illuminated, animated sign is costly.
One object of this invention is to provide a low cost, illuminated sign which is distinctive and which will readily attract attention.
Another object of this invention is to provide an illumlnated sign which has animation, yet has only a single light source.
A further object of this invention is to provide an illuminated sign in which the reflection and refraction of light is utilized to produce a completely new advertising effect from anything heretofore available.
Other objects of this invention will be apparent hereinafter from the specification and from the recital of the appended claims.
In the drawings:
Fig. l is a front elevation of an advertising device constructed according to one embodiment of this invention;
Fig. 2 is a vertical section through the device taken on the line 2--2 of Fig. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 3 is a horizontal section, on a reduced scale, through the device taken on the line 33 of Fig. l and looking in the direction of the arrows;
Fig. 4 is a rear elevation of the sign portion of the device showing fragmentarily the three colored sheets used; and
Figs. 5 to illustrate diagrammatically the action of the sign, Fig. 5 showing in front elevation the appearance of the letters of the sign when the letters on the laterally movable sheet are in registry with the letters on the front, fixed sheet, Fig. 6 being a corresponding section on the line 66 of Fig. 5, or on the line 66 of Fig. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, Fig. 7 being a front elevation similar to Fig. 5 but illustrating the appearance of the letters of the sign after the movable inside sheet has been shifted laterally with relation to the front sheet thereby moving the embossed lettering on the two sheets out of register, Fig. 8 being a section taken on the line 3-8 of Fig. 7 and looking in the direction of the arrows, Fig. 9 being a front elevation similar to Figs. 5 and 7 and illustrating the appearance of the letters when the letters of the inside and outside sheets are in register and when the pivotally mounted multi-colored third sheet of the sign is in operative position behind the laterally movable inside sheet; and Fig. 10 being a section on the line lit-it of Fig. 9 looking in the direction of the arrows.
Referring now to the drawings by numerals of reference, the illuminated advertising device illustrated comprises a housing 21 having a bottom 22, a top 23, side walls 25 and 26, a rear wall 28 and a front wall 30.
Front wall 30 is formed with a rectangular opening 31,
which is surrounded by a recatngular frame 32 that is Patented Sept. 9, 1958 secured to front wall 30 in any suitable manner. It is through this opening that the advertising matter is adapted to be displayed.
The frame has a groove 40 around the opening in which is mounted a sheet of plastic 41.
Plastic sheet 41 is smooth on its front face; and it has lettering 42 embossed on its rear face corresponding to the message which it is desired that the sign convey. The sheet 41 initially is transparent but its rear face is colored, for example with green ink, except for the embossing 42. The coloring affords a background contrasting with the uncolored, transparent lettering and makes the lettering stand out clearly and distinctly.
Mounted in the frame 32 behind and slightly spaced from sheet 41, for lateral movement relative thereto, is a second transparent plastic sheet 45. This sheet is slidable in a groove 46 formed in the rear face of the frame around opening 32. The width of the groove 46 at the left and right hand sides of frame 32 is suflicient to permit the desired lateral movement of sheet 45 relative to sheet 41. Sheet 45 is retained in groove 46 by cleats 48 secured by screws 49 to frame 32.
Sheet 45 is similar to sheet 41, having a smooth front face and lettering 50 embossed on its rear face. The lettering 50 is identical to the lettering 42 embossed on sheet 41. The rear face of sheet 45 is colored, for example with black ink, all except for the lettering 50 which is left free of ink. Therefore, the transparent lettering 50 shows through on the front of sheet 45 clearly and distinctly against the opaque black background.
Mounted within housing 21 in the upper rear corner is a lamp 52 connected to a suitable source of electric power. A reflector 53 behind lamp 52 directs light from the lamp toward the rear face of sheet 45. The rays of light from the lamp pass through the transparent lettering 50 and 42 of sheets 45 and 41 when the lettering of the two sheets are in register. Therefore, when lamp 52 is on and the sign is viewed from the front, the lettering is brightly illuminated, being made sharp and clear by the green background on the rear of front sheet 41.
The embossings on the plastic sheets present a curved surface to the rays of light from lamp 52. Therefore, the embossing has a lens-like action, and the light is refracted by the embossing, producing a magnifying and enhanced lighting effect.
To give the device animation sheet 45 is reciprocated laterally to shift its lettering into and out of register with the lettering on sheet 41. Lateral, back and forth, movement of sheet 45 can be effected by any suitable reciprocating mechanism. In the device illustrated, an electric motor 57 is mounted on a support 54 to drive a shaft 55 (Fig. 3) which carries a crank plate 56 at its outer end. Plate 56 has a crank-pin 58 secured to it which drives a connecting rod 60 which is in turn connected to sheet 45 by pin 61. As shaft 55 rotates, therefore, sheet 45 will be moved back and forth, sliding in the groove 46 in frame 32, with its lettering going out of and then back into register with the lettering on sheet 41. As the lettering 50 on sheet 45 moves out of register with the lettering 42 on sheet 41 the black background of sheet 45 registers with the lettering 42 and largely shuts off the light from passing through lettering 42. The lettering 42 is, however, not blanked out completely, for some light will still pass through embossed letters 42, especially through those portions of the letters 50 that in the shifting movement of sheet 45 are brought into a registry with different portions of the letters 42 than they registered with initially. As the back sheet 45 moves back to its starting back into full register with lettering 42, the lettering 42 position with its lettering 56 coming grows brighter; and, when the lettering on both sheets is in full register, there is a light flash through the whole of lettering 42. The resulting display is somewhat similar to a neon sign fiashing on and off. However, instead of being completely illuminated and completely darkened, as cc rs in a neon sign, the lettering gradually darkens and then. gradually brightens.
To further enhance the attention-gaining features of the device, means is provided for varying the coloring of the lettering of the sign. To this end a vari-colorcd sheet of plastic 65 is positioned behind the laterally movable sheet 45 to be movable in and out of registry therewith. The sheet 65 shown has patches 76 that are red in color, other patches'77 that are green, others 78 that are yellow, etc. Sheet 65 is rigidly fastened at its lower end to a rod 66 which extends parallel to base 22 and is journaled adjacent its ends in blocks 68, that are secured to supports 54. Shaft 66 is rocked back and forth upon rotation of a shaft 70 that is driven by motor 57. Shaft '76 carries a crank plate 71 that is connected by a crank-pin 72, connecting rod 73, pin 74 and link 75 with shaft 66.
Sheet 65 is shown in solid lines in Fig. 2 in its upright position, in which it registers with sheet 45, and in dotted lines in this same Fig. 2 out of registry with sheet 45. When sheet 65 is in upright position, the light rays from lamp 52 must pass through it before reaching the embossed lettering 50 on the plastic sheet 45. Hence, when sheet 65 is in upright position, the lettering 42 is vari-colored.
The crank plates 56 and 71 are preferably synchronized to produce the display sequence shown diagrammatically in Figs. 5-10. In the position of Figs. 5 and 6 the embossing 42 and 50 on sheets 41 and 45, respectively, are in register and the vari-colored sheet 65 is in a retracted position. The lettering 2 is then brightly illuminated for the light rays from lamp 52 pass through the registering embossed lettering on the two plastic sheets 41 and 45. As the motor 57 operates, sheet 45 is first moved laterally to the right by crank plate 5'6, pin 58, connecting rod 66 and pin 61 to move the embossed lettering 56 out of registry with the embossed lettering 42. (Figs. 7-8.) Now the lettering 42 is darkened. As the crank plate 56 continues to revolve, sheet 45 is then moved back to its starting position, bringing the lettering on the two sheets 41 and 45 back in registry again. Simultaneously, sheet 65 is moved to an upright position by crank plate 71 and the connections to shaft 66 so that as the lettering on sheets 41 and 45 come back into register, sheet 65 comes to an upright position behind them (Figs. 9 and 10). Hence, the lettering 42 now appears vari-colored. Sheet 45 then moves to the left to move lettering 50 out of registry with lettering 42, and sheet 65 is rocked back to its inoperative position shown in dotted lines in Fig. 2. With sheet 65 retracted and sheet 45 moved laterally to the left, the lettering 42 is darkened again. Then sheet 45 again returns to its starting, in-register, position (Figs. 5-6), and another bright advertising display of lettering 42 results. Then sheet 45 is again shifted to the right to again darken the lettering 42. Then sheet 45 moves back again to its central, in-register position and simultaneously vari-colored sheet 65 swings up to its upright, operative position, so that when the lettering 42 and 50 are again in registry, lettering 42 appears vari-colored. This completes the cycle.
The foregoing sequence goes on and on, with the lettering on the front of the sign being illuminated, then darkened, then colored, then darkened, then illuminated, etc. Obviously other cycles can be used, however.
Since the advertising message presented by the lettering 42 is continually changing in color and brightness, it attracts the public eye to it, and the novelty of the display will hold the publics attention, sufliciently long to communicate the message as desired. Moreover, in-
stead of rocking multi-colored sheet 65, the multi-colored sheet can be positioned permanently in an upright position; and only sheet 45 need be moved. Lateral shifting of sheet 45 while sheet 65 is upright and with the light rays passing through it, gives each of the letters on the front of the sign, a barber-pole effect. The various colors of sheet 65 fall upon the embossed lettering on sheet 45 and pass through this embossed lettering to the embossings 42 on sheet 41. The lateral movement of sheet 45 causes the various colors falling upon curved embossed surfaces to be refracted. Therefore, the colored light on the lettering 42 on sheet 41 appears to roll around the letter. The effect produced is unusual, and eye-catching. Further, this colored, animated lettering is interrupted by intermittent darkening of the sign when sheet 45 is to the left and out of register with sheet 41.
In the drawing, sheet is shown vari-colored. Therefore, the letters appearing on the front of the sign will be vari-colored when sheet 65 is in position behind sheet 45. However, it will be understood that a transparent sheet of plastic having a single color may be employed if desired instead of vari-colored sheet 65.
It will also be understood that while the sheet 45 has been described as being laterally movable, it might instead be moved in any desired direction to shift it with reference to sheet 41. Thus, it might be given a circular eccentric movement. Also, it will be understood that the sheets 41 and 45 may be embossed on either face and smooth on either face. However, the two sheets must be mounted in the device so that their embossing faces in the same direction. Thus the stationary and the movable sheets must be disposed in the device with the embossing on both sheets either both at the rear, as shown in the drawings, or both at the front:
The advertising device described can be manufactured at very low cost. Moreover, the advertising device can be operated at low cost. It has a single light source which is constantly illuminated. Therefore, the cost generally associated with illuminating means is greatly reduced; and, the overall cost of the advertising is-very small. Further, the sign has great versatility.
While the invention has been described in connection with a particular embodiment thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention or the limits of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention What I claim is:
l. A display device comprising two plastic plates mounted one behind the other in parallel relation, said plates having indicia embossed on their rear faces, said indicia being identical on the two plates, said indicia having curved rear faces, said indicia and the portions of said plates directly in front of and in registry with said indicia being transparent, the portions of said plates surrounding said indicia being opaque, a light source mounted at one side of said plates to direct light toward said plates to be converged by said transparent indicia, and means mounted to move one of said plates laterally relative to the other plate to move the indicia on the moving plate into and out of registry with the indicia on the other plate, thereby intermittently to intensify the brilliance of illumination of said indicia when the indicia on said two plates are in registry.
2. A display device as claimed in claim 1 in which the two plates are colored except for said indicia and the portions of the plates directly in front of said indicia and registering therewith, and in which the colored portions of the two plates are, respectively, of different colors, and in which the indicia have convex rear faces.
3. A display device comprising two plastic plates mounted one behind the other in parallel relation, said plates having indicia embossed on their rear faces, said indicia being identical on the two plates, said indicia and the portions of said plates which are in front of said indicia and in registry therewith being transparent, said plates being otherwise opaque, a light source mounted on one side of said plate to direct light toward said plates to be converged by said transparent indicia, means mounted to move one of said plates laterally relative to the other plate to move the indicia on the moving plate into and out of registry with the indicia on the other plate, thereby intermittently to intensify the brilliance of illumination of said indicia, a multi-colored translucent plastic sheet, and means for moving said sheet periodically between said light source and the plate, which is nearer said light source, to vary the color of the light directed onto the transparent embossed portions of said plates.
4. A display device comprising a housing having a front wall formed with an opening, a first plastic plate secured in said housing across said opening, a second plastic plate mounted in said housing behind and parallel to said first plate for limited reciprocatory movement in a plane parallel to said first plate, said plates having indicia embossed on their rear faces, said indicia being transparent and being identical on the two plates, the portions of said plates in front of said indicia and in registry therewith also being transparent, the portions of said plates surrounding said indicia being opaque, a light source mounted within said housing behind said plates to direct light toward said plates to be converged by said transparent indicia, whereby the brilliance of illumination of said indicia is intermittently intensified by the movement of one plate relative to the other, and a multi-colored translucent plastic sheet pivotally mounted in said housing, and means for moving said sheet into and out of interposition between said light source and said second plate, to vary the color of the light directed through said indicia as said multi-colored sheet is pivotally moved about its axis.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 935,236 Saunders Sept. 28, 1909 1,114,267 Jones Oct. 20, 1914 1,387,631 Tibbles Aug. 16, 1921 1,851,216 Shipman Mar. 29, 1932 2,177,641 Evans Oct. 31, 1939 2,272,947 Hotchner Feb. 10, 1942 FOREIGN PATENTS 4,654 Great Britain Feb. 26, 1906 108,997 Australia Nov. 2, 1939