Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2903805 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1959
Filing dateSep 12, 1958
Priority dateSep 12, 1958
Publication numberUS 2903805 A, US 2903805A, US-A-2903805, US2903805 A, US2903805A
InventorsArmentrout Edward L
Original AssigneeArmentrout Edward L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Promotionable name plate
US 2903805 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

. 2 Sheets- Sheet 1 Filed Sept; 12', .1958

$411 L fxaw axy INVENTOR. EDWARD L. ARMENTROUT p 1959 E. L. ARMENTROUT 2,903,805"

PROMOTJIIONABLE mm." PLATE Fil ed Sept 12, 1958 g PII-Il w III-u INVENTOR.

EDWARD L. ARMENTROUT United States Patent PROMOTIONABLE NAME PLATE Edward L. Armentrout, Hampton, Va.

Application September 12, 1958, Serial No. 760,755

2 Claims. (Cl. 4010) This invention relates generally to name plates or equivalent devices, that is, plates that are placed upon ones desk or at some other clearly visible location, for the purpose of providing information identifying the individual to visitors.

Ordinarily, a name plate is in the form of a relatively elongated block or similar means, on which the individuals name would be depicted in one of various ways. For example, the individuals name may be provided upon a metallic plate secured to a wooden backing block.

Such a name plate does not have a particularly attractive apperance, in most instances, being merely a plain device usually intended to show no more than the individuals name. In some instances, such a name plate may also includes identifying information as to ones rank, title, etc.

The main object of the present invention is to provide a generally improved name plate, which will be characterized by its particularly attractive appearance. Thus, the device is designed to draw attention to the same, stimulate conversation, and at the same time provide a holder for a photograph or photographs, a display device for attractive pictorial representations, and full identifying information as to the individual whose work place is provided with the name plate.

Still another object is to provide a device of the character stated which, in at least one form thereof, will include means not only providing identification of the individual, that is, the individuals name, but also, will provide supplementary identifying information, of any desired type. Thus, it is proposed, in accordance with the invention, in one form, to provide a separate location upon the name plate for displaying ones military rank or title, while at another location there may be displayed ones organization, that is, the particular branch of a military or civilian establishment in which the individual serves.

Another object is to provide means facilitating interchange of the plates on which the various items of identification are depicted, so that a single name plate is universally adapted for use by any of a great number of in dividuals, without requiring modification or redesign of the basic construction.

Another object is to provide, in the name plate, means for interchanging each identification plate element independently of the others of the same name plate. In this way, if for example the name plate identifies one holding a military rank, the plate element showing said rank can be interchanged with others to reflect promotion. In this way, on receipt of a promotion one need not discard the entire name plate, but need merely place in it a new rank-identifying plate, from among a set of inserts which can be furnished with the name plate.

Another object is to provide, in association with the panel on which the individuals name is displayed, a pictorial representation which will not interfere with or de tract from the clear representation of the individuals name. Said pictorial representation may, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, be a depth-in-perspective type of display, providing a three-dimensional quality to the pictorial representation.

Another object is to provide a name plate of the character stated which, at the back thereof, may be provided with removable photograph support means, in such a way that the name plate becomes a frame for photographs, with the photographs being displayed toward the rear so as to be in front of the individual, while the individuals name is displayed to visitors in the opposite direction, that is, at the front of the name plate.

Another object is to provide a name plate construction as described which can be made in a miniature form, so as to be usable as a toy.

Other objects will appear from the following description, the claims appended thereto, and from the annexed drawings, in which like reference characters designate like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

Figure 1 is a front elevational view of a name plate according to the present invention;

Figure 2 is a rear elevational view thereof;

Figure 3 is a side elevational view of the device as seen from the left of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a longitudinal sectional view substantially on line 4-4- of Figure 1;

Figure 5 is a fragmentary elevational view viewing the front wall of the device from the inside, showing in elevation one of the insert plate holders, portions being broken away, the door of the holder being shown in full and dotted lines in closed and open positions respectively;

Figure 6 is a sectional view of the insert holder of Figure 5, as seen from line 66 of Figure 5;

Figure 7 is a view of the insert holder as seen from line 7-7 of Figure 5; t

Figure 8 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a corner portion of one of the doors and an adjacent portion of the frame, illustrating the cooperating detent means of the door and frame;

Figure 9 is an enlarged transverse sectional view on line 99 of Figure 1, with the scenic display panels installed;

Figure 10 is a sectional view on the same scale as Figure 9, taken substantially on line 1010 of Figure 1, the scenic display panels being removed together with the backing plate, and a photograph being disposed in the backing plate grooves;

Figure 11 is an elevational view, portions being broken away, of the superimposed scenic panels per se;

Figure 12 is a reduced elevational view of one of said display panels per se;

Figure 13 is a view like Figure 12 of another one of said display panels; and

Figure 14 is a view like Figures 12 and 13 of yet another one of the scenic display panels.

Referring to the drawings in detail, the device constituting the present invention has been generally designated 20 in the several figures of the drawings. It includes a horizontally elongated frame or housing which has been similarly designated at 21 in the various figures of the drawings, and which is so designed as to provide a base, together with upstanding front and back Walls. In accordance with the invention, the front wall is transparent, above the base, to permit viewing of a plurality of superimposed scenic panels, with the individuals name being displayed at this location. Below said front wall, in the forward wall of the base, there are, in a preferred embodiment, means for displaying the rank or business title, and the organizational component in which the individual serves or works. In some embodiments, as will presently appear, the last two items of identification may possibly be omitted, or perhaps one only of these last mentioned items of identification may be incorporated in the name plate.

At the back of the housing, there are provided doors providing access to the interior of the housing, and in back of said doors there may be displayed one or more photographs, which obviously may be photographs having a personal significance to the individual who is using the name plate. Various modifications of this basic arrangement can of course be resorted to, and it will be understood that said arrangement is merely typical of one of many that can be employed without departure from the basic principles of the invention;

In any event, the housing 21 could be of molded plastic, metal, or other material. If of molded plastic, it might well be molded in a single piece, rather than in a plurality of pieces as shown. It is known to provide an integral molded article, of plastic, portions of which are transparent and other portions of which are opaque. Such a construction lends itself well to the present invention, as will be apparent.

At this point, it will be noted that hereafter, the specification of particular materials will be avoided to the maximum extent, since the invention does not reside in the exact materials used, but rather, in the form and relative arrangement of the several components of the device. This remark applies with equal force to the matter of dimensions, which will not be specified herein in detail, since again, they may be varied according to the desires of the manufacturer.

Housing 21 includes an elongated base 22 having a fiat top surface, a vertical back wall 24, vertical end wall 26, and a front wall 28 inclined slightly from the vertical so as to be slanted in a manner such that it can be conveniently viewed by one approaching the name plate, in a standing position.

Formed in the front wall 28 of the base, at locations spaced longitudinally thereof, are rectangular viewing openings 30, 32 (Figures 1 and 4). In back of the viewing openings there are insert plate holders 34, 36 respectively. These in some embodiments of the invention might be molded integrally with the wall 28, as will be readily apparent.

The insert plate holder 34 has been shown to particular advantage in Figures -7 and 9. In a typical arrangement, such as that shown in Figure 1, wherein the name plate is in use by one in the military service, the holder 34 would be designed to support a plurality of insert plates 38, each showing a different rank. Thus, as the individual progresses through the various ranks in the military service, an appropriate insert plate can be selected from among the full set and moved to the display position where it will be seen through the window 3%.

The holder 34 is closed at its top, bottom and at one end, though being open at the other end. Referring to Figures 5-7, holder 34 at its open end has a door 35 swinging upon a pin 37 between the closed and opened positions shown in full and dotted lines respectively in this figure of the drawing. At this end of the holder 34, the end edge of the holder may be beveled as at 39 to provide a clearance space facilitating the insertion and removal of the plates 38.

Referring to Figure 9, an important characteristic of the holder 34 resides in the fact that at the front thereof, it has a front wall 33. This is: set rearwardly from the plane of the wall 28 a distance just sufficient to permit the insertion of a single one of the plates 38, this being the plate that is seen through the opening 30 (Figure 1). In this way, the exposed plate 38 is held against movement within the viewing opening, being positioned up against the wall 28 without looseness. Within the main portion of the holder 34, that is, in back of the front wall 33, of course, the stored plates 38 can be kept in a somewhat loose condition.

The holder 36 is much shallower than the holder 34, since it need support only a single plate 40, showing the organization in which the individual works or is serving. The door 35 could thus be eliminated in this: form of the invention, with the holder 36 being merely open at one end and having a finger-receiving recess or similar clearance space, to permit one to grip the plate 40 or exert pressure thereon sufiiciently to move it into and out of the plate.

It may be noted that the door 35 is kept in a normally closed position, by means of a latching hook 41 (Figure 6) the hook end of which engages about a protrusion 31 formed upon the lower or free end of the door 35.

Referring to Figure 4, offset inwardly from the end walls 26, and extending upwardly from the flat top surface of the base 22 in vertical planes, are extension end walls 42. These at their upper ends are connected to the opposite ends of the top wall 43 of the housing, and as will be noted, on the inner surfaces of the top wall 43 and of the walls 42 there are formed ribs, providing a back frame 44 that has a continuous, inwardly facing groove 45.

Hingedly connected to the opposite sides of the back frame are transparent doors 46 (Figures 2, 9 and 10), the outer ends of which are hinged at 48 on the sides of the back frame 44. The doors, along their free side edges, are in closely spaced relation in the closed position of the doors, and adjacent said free edges have knobs or pulls 50. The free side edges of the doors bear against a stop strip 52 fixedly connected between the top and bottom portions of the back frame medially between the opposite sides of the back frame. Referring to Figures 2 and 8, each door has at its bottom and top edges protrusions or lugs 54 adapted to snap into complementary recesses or cavities 55 formed in the top and bottom portions of the frame. Thus, the doors have detent means cooperating with the back frame to normally hold the doors in closed positions.

Designated at 56 is a removable backing plate, and said plate is adapted to be engaged at its side and top edges in the side and top grooves of the back frame 44. The bottom edge of the backing plate may be disposed in contact with the supporting surface 50 as to prevent the backing plate from sliding downwardly out of the frame 44. The backing plate 56, adjacent its bottom edge, has a projection 57 adapted to snap into a complementary recess formed in the bottom portion of the frame 44 (see Figure 8). Thus, when the backing plate is being inserted, it is merely moved upwardly within the backing frame to the Figure 9 position, and when in said position, its lug 57 will snap into the complementary recess of the backing frame.

Although the backing plate 56 is of a thickness substantially equal to the width of the groove, there would still be room for photographs 58 (see Figures 2 and 10), said photographs being engaged at their edges in the groove of the back frame, and being in the space between the plate 56 and the doors 46, so as to be framed in the device as in Figure 2. The user of the name plate may thus keep personal photographs within the device, which photographs will be displayed on his desk, in position to be seen by him in the same manner as framed pictures. The name plate thus has the dual function of being both a picture frame and identification device or name plate.

In Figure 10, the photograph 58 is shown engaged in the groove 45 of the back frame 44, without the back plate 56. However, unless the photograph has an inherent stiffness or thickness, it would not ordinarily be engaged alone in the groove 45, but generally would be held in the groove by the backing plate 56, which would also be engaged in the groove.

Projecting forwardly from the lower and top portions of the backing plate are elongated lower screws 60, and somewhat shorter upper screws 61. The several screws are in a rectangular series as shown in Figure 11, and support, forwardly of the backing plate 56, a plurality of closely spaced transparent panels 62, each of which is of rectangular configuration as shown in Figures 11, 12, 13 and 14. The panels are supported in parallel, inclined planes that are parallel to the plane of a transparent, inclined front wall 64 of the housing 20, projecting upwardly from the top surface of the base 22 and offset inwardly from the correspondingly inclined front wall 28 of the base.

The arrangement is one in which each panel 62 has a particular portion of a picture painted thereon. For example, the plate 62 shown closest to the back plate in Figure 9 could be that illustrated in Figure 12, having a blue sky with clouds painted thereon. Immediately in front of this plate there could be in closely spaced relation thereto a transparent plate such as shown in Figure 13. This plate might have an airplane painted thereon. In front of this plate there would be another plate such as shown at 14. This one might have a guided missile, as for example, a ground-to-air rocket, headed on a collision course with the airplane. Other panels may have different segments of the same scenic or pictorial representations. In this way, one looking at the front wall 64 sees in back of it a picture which is in actuality almost three-dimensional, that is, the picture has a very definite impression of depth, as distinguished from a conventional, flat, two-dimensional picture such as the photograph 58.

The forwardmost one of the panels 62 would also be transparent but would be clear of all scenic representations, having instead the names 66 of the individuals. This name could be applied to the back surface or to the front surface of the panel 62 in any of various ways, as for example, by a stencil method, the application of adhesive characters, etc. Since all lettering is applied to the interior surfaces, the exterior surface of the window or front wall 64 will create the general impression that all lettering and pictorial representations are inlaid, with all exterior surfaces being completely devoid of lettering and pictorial representation.

Of course, the provision of the picture in back of the name 66 does not interfere with immediate observation and reading of the name. Further, the name does not interfere with the viewing of the depth-in-perspective assemblage of pictures provided on the panels 62 in back of the forwardmost panel.

To maintain the panels in the desired spaced relation, there could be provided upon screws 60, 61 a plurality of spacer sleeves. Between adjacent panels there would be narrow spacer sleeves 67, while there could be, at least on the lower screw, a long main spacer sleeve 65 between the plate 56 and the rearmost panel 62.

It is to be noted, particularly from Figures 4 and 9, that when the backing plate 56 is inserted, it cooperates with the front wall 28 in defining therebetween, within the housing, a front compartment. In this compartment the insert plate holders 34, 36 are mounted. Further, in this compartment the transparent panels 62 would be supported. Of course, removal of the backing plate 56 in a downward direction, viewing the same as in Figure 9, to shift the same out of the grooves of the back frame 44, will cause the backing plate, the means projecting forwardly therefrom that carries the plates 62, and the plates 62, to be removable through the bottom of the housing as a unit. In this connection, it is to be further noted that the backing plate cooperates with the doors 46 in defining therebetween a rear compartment, within which the photograph or photographs previously described herein would be mounted. The backing plate thus is coactively related both to the front wall and to the door means, in defining the front and rear compartments that are an important characteristic of the device.

Due to the arrangement illustrated and described, the name plate comprising the present invention has a de cidedly attractive appearance, and a multiplicity of functions. Not only does it discharge the usual function of identifying the individual, but also, it identifies the individual by rank or title, and by organization. In some instances, the device might be made without the holders 34, 36. In such cases, there would be merely the identification by name such as shown at 66. This, however, would be merely one variation of the device, and there could of course be many other possible variations.

For example, the device might be made in a miniature form, for use by children as a toy. Then again, the device would not necessarily be adapted for use only in the military services, but also could be well adapted for use in private industry. The device could be even made identically to that shown in Figure 1 when in use by industry.

It is also to be noted that the device could be made of various materials, and in addition its particular configuration could be varied, so that it does not have the exact shape and appearance illustrated by way of example. In every instance, of device has the basic principles of the invention, even though individual elements of the invention may be left off in various commercial embodiments.

It is believed apparent that the invention is not necessarily confined to the specific use or uses thereof described above, since it may be utilized for any purpose to which it may be suited. Nor is the invention to be necessarily limited to the specific construction illustrated and described, since such construction is only intended to be illustrative of the principles of operation and the means presently devised to carry out said principles, it being considered that the invention comprehends any minor change in construction that may be permitted within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A name plate comprising a housing formed open at the back and including a front wall having a transparent window panel; means for displaying an individuals name through said panel; a backing plate removably mounted in and normally closing the open back of the housing; means visible through said window panel providing a pictorial representation in the front of the housing, comprising a plurality of panels some at least of which are transparent, each of the last named panels having a portion of a complete picture thereon, the several portions when superimposed providing a complete pictorial representation, said last named panels being all disposed in back of the name-displaying means, said last named panels being disposed in closely spaced relation, in parallel planes, said planes of the last named panels being parallel to the plane of said window panel; and a plurality of support elements projecting forwardly from the backing plate, the last named panels being provided with corner openings receiving said elements to support the last named panels upon and in front of the backing plate.

2. A name plate comprising a housing formed open at the back and including a front wall having a transparent window panel; means for displaying an individuals name through said panel; a backing plate removably mounted in and normally closing the open back of the housing; means visible through said window panel providing a pictorial representation in the front of the housing, comprising a plurality of panels some at least of which are transparent, each of the last named panels having a portion of a complete picture thereon, the several portions when superimposed providing a complete pictorial representation, said last named panels being all disposed in back of the name-displaying means, said last named panels being disposed in closely spaced relation, in parallel planes, said planes of the last named panels being parallel to the plane of said window panel; a plurality of support elements projecting forwardly from the backing plate, the last named panels being provided with corner openings receiving said elements to support the last named '7 7 panels upon and in front of the backing plate; and spacer 2,565,553 means carried by said elements to maintain the last named 2,577,320 panels in spaced relati6n.-

References Cited in'the file of this patent 5 249,963


1,388,010 Watson Aug. 16, 1921 8 Foley Aug. 28, 1951 Fenyo Dec. 4, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS 7 Great Britain Apr. 8, 1926 Great Britain Nov. 19, 1931

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1388010 *May 21, 1921Aug 16, 1921Edgar WatsonDisplay-rack
US2565553 *Nov 10, 1948Aug 28, 1951Foley Adrian LThree dimension picture device
US2577320 *Mar 23, 1948Dec 4, 1951Fenyo JuliusPerfume containing painting
GB249963A * Title not available
GB361114A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4500088 *Jun 28, 1983Feb 19, 1985Trans-World Manufacturing Corporation3D Display
US4613128 *Jan 29, 1985Sep 23, 1986Trans-World Manufacturing Corp.3D display
US6655064Sep 13, 2000Dec 2, 2003Gregg C. DodsonPicture frame with picture and shadowbox mat system
U.S. Classification40/615, 40/770, 40/721, D20/15
International ClassificationG09F15/00
Cooperative ClassificationG09F15/0087
European ClassificationG09F15/00E