US 2953866 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 27, 1960 E. J. KlES MOTION DISPLAY SIGN Filed Oct. 27, 1958 Kies INVENTOR EZZIJOZZ J ATTORNEYS United Patent v" MOTION DISPLAY SIGN Elliott J. Kies, Massillon, Ohio, assignor to The Massillon- Cleveland-Akron Sign Company, Massillon, Ohio, a corporation .of Ohio 7 Filed Oct. 27, 1958, Ser. No. 769,814
Claims. (Cl. 4039) This invention relates to a motion display sign and more particularly it pertains to a cylindrical airfoil sign or spinner actuated by wind.
Various types of sign-carrying windmill constructions have been known in the field of advertising. Usually, such constructions have included printed cards having advertising matter thereon, which cards are changed at frequent intervals. Most of such signs have been provided with exterior wind vanes to enable rotation of the device by the wind.
Most of the sign-carrying windmill constructions heretofore known have been objectionable for various reasons. A primary objection has been that the devices have not always been as easily readable as is desirable. Frequently the means for rotating the sign, such as the external wind vanes, have interfered with the readability of the advertising matter. Where wind vanes are used, it is necessary to compromise on the size of the vanes in order to obtain maximum continuous rotation as well as good readability. Moreover, such signs have been difiicult to read because similar advertising copy is disposed on a plurality of similar surfaces, at angles to each other, which surfaces are repeatedly interrupted by a change of angle during the rotation of the device.
Another disadvantage of most motion display signs is that they usually rotate too'fast to be readable. Indeed, all too often their slowest speed is too fast for easy reading and no means is provided for speed adjustment.
On the other hand, other types of motion display sign devices are not easily rotatable either because they are too heavy or unbalanced and lopsided, and are therefore diflicult for the wind to start in motion.
The device of the present invention overcomes the difliculties of the prior motion display signs by providing a wind-motivated sign having a cylindrical configuration. The device having such a shape is balanced on its axis of rotation and is therefore easily rotated. In addition, the balanced construction makes for longer coasting of the device when the wind dies down or subsides so that it seldom comes to a complete stop.
The device of the present invention also is provided with means for adjusting the amount of air acting on airfoils in order to increase or decrease the speed of rotation. For example, in a m.p.h. breeze the device can be adjusted for rotation between zero to 140 r.p.m.
In addition, the inner surfaces of the sign which are contacted by the wind for turning are preferably provided with a roughened surface whereby only a slight breeze is necessary to overcome friction to start the device to rotate as well as to maintain its rotation during periods of little or no Wind.
Finally, the device of the present invention has an exterior surface which is substantially completely useable for advertising purposes. The airfoils or vanes which turn the device in response to the wind are internal and completely out of sight and therefore do not interfere with the readability of the advertising matter.
It is a general object of this. invention to provide a external wind vanes.
2 motion display sign which has an outer surfacecompletely devoted to advertising space.
It is another object of this invention to provide a motion display sign which has no visible means of rotation and is easily readable without interference from It is another object of this invention to provide a motion display device having internal airfoils or wind vanes which are completely invisible and do not interfere with the reading of the advertising copy on the external surface.
It is another object of this invention to provide a motion display device which is balanced on its axis of rotation and is therefore easily rotated under the slightest wind.
it is another object of this invention to provide a motion display device which has roughened airfoil or wind vane surfaces which facilitate the start of rotation of the device under a slight wind.
' It is another object of this" invention to provide a motion display device having curved internal airfoils which keep the device rotating under slight wind conditions.
It is another object of this invention to provide a motion display device which includes air intake spaces which are adjustable to increase or decrease the amount and claims may be obtained, the stated results achieved,
' and .thedescribed difliculties overcome by the discoveries, principles, apparatus, parts, combinations, subcombinations, and elements which comprise the present'in vention, the nature of whichis set forth in the following statement, a preferred embodiment of which-illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has conten1- l platedapplying the principlesis set forth in the following description, and which is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims forming part hereof. I t
Generally, the improved motion display sign construction ofthe pruent invention may be stated as 'includ-' ing a cylindrical rotor having two side walls forming semicychndrical surface portions of the rotor, the rotor having end heads spaced from each other longitudinally of the axis of the rotor, the side walls extending between and connected to the end heads at opposite ends of the side walls, a shaft-receiving bearing in each' end head disposed on the axis of rotation of the rotor, a rotor support shaft extending through the hearings in the end heads, the side walls having an air slot at one edge 'of each side wall on diametrically opposite sides of the rotor, each side wall having an inturned spiral-like airfoil portion extending radially inwardly and spaced from the inner surface of the other side wall, the inturned spiral-like airfoil of each side wall forming with the other side wall an air passage means extending from the corresponding air slot in thesurface of, the rotor,
the walls of the airfoil portions being covered with a wind-engageable'coarse material, screw means extending between one side wall and the inturned spiral-like airfoil of the other for increasing and decreasing the size of the air passage means therebetween, and card-receiv ing flanges provided on each side wall, and a rotor sup port shaft extending through the bearingsin the end heads.
Referring to the drawing in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown by way of example:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of the motion display device as viewed from above its top surface;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the device with signs attached, looking toward the under surface thereof;
Fig. 3 is a plan view with a portion of the top cover broken away;
Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 3; and
Fig. 5 is an enlarged horizontal sectional view taken on the line 55 of Fig. 4.
Similar numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawing.
In the drawing a motion display sign or spinner is generally indicated at 1. It includes a rotor 2 and support means 3. The rotor 2 is mounted on the support means 3 for rotation about it axis, with which the support means 3 is aligned due to air motion or wind. Although the rotor 2 is mounted on a vertical axis, it may be mounted on a horizontal axis.
As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, the rotor 2 includes a plurality of side walls 4. The preferred number of side walls 4 is two. Each side wall 4 is arcuate and is disposed primarily in a circle so that the outer surface of the rotor 2 is substantially cylindrical in shape.
The rotor 2 also includes an end cover 5 at the upper end and an end cover 6 at the lower end, which covers are spaced from each other on the axis of rotation of the rotor by a distance equal to the vertical length of the side walls 4. As shown in Figs. 3 and 4, each side wall 4 includes a number of spaced flanges 7 turned radially inwardly, which are apertured for receiving screws 8 that extend through aligned apertures in the end covers 5 and 6. Each screw 8 is retained in place by a tinnerman nut 9 which is attached to each flange 7.
In Fig. 4 the support means 3 comprises an elongated shaft that extends through the lower end cover 6 to a point below the inside of the upper end cover 5 and in the axis of rotation of the rotor. The shaft 3 is maintained in place with respect to the rotor 2 by a bearing 10 in the lower end cover 6 and a bearing 11 in the upper end cover 5. The upper end of the shaft 3 is tapered at 12 and is seated in a similarly shaped aperture in the bearing 11. The bearing 11 is retained in place by a cotter pin 13 that is spaced from the inner surface of the end cover 5 by a washer 14. Likewise, a cotter pin 15 is provided on the shaft 3 immediately above the bearing 10 on the lower end cover 6. The lower end of the shaft 3 is provided with attachment means 16, such as a threaded end, for securing the lower end of the shaft in a rigid manner.
As shown more particularly in Fig. 3. each side wall 4 includes an inturned curved portion 17, which portion is spaced inwardly of the rotor 2 behind and within an adiacent side wall 4 and spaced therefrom. Thus the side walls 4 overlap each other so that the greater portion of each side wall is disposed in the cylindrical outer surface of the rotor, providing a cylindrical-like con figuration.
Between the overlapping portions of the side walls 4 an air opening or slot 18 is provided for the entry and exit of moving air or wind. Each slot 18 serves as an air passage means between the exterior and interior of the rotor. The slot 18 extends vertically between the end covers 5 and 6 and the covers are provided with peripheral flanges 19 and 20, respectively, for reinforcing the extremities of the side walls 4.
As shown more particularly in Fig. 5, each end wall 4 includes an edge portion 21 which, with the inturned curved portion 17 of the adjacent side wall 4, forms the space 18 which extends inwardly between spaced portions of the adjacent side walls into the interior of the rotor 2.
As shown in Fig. 3, the portion 17 of each side wall 4 is curved inwardly, with a spiral-like shape, to form an air vane or airfoil whereby moving air strikes the inner portion 17 and causes the rotor to turn on the shaft 3. Accordingly, when a current of air strikes the spinner 1, the air, moving in the general direction of the arrows 22, enters one slot 18 and continues into the interior of the rotor along the inner surface of the particular side Wall 4a by which the air is directed circularly around the cylindrical surface of the side wall, as shown by arrows 23, until it strikes the spiral-like inner curved portion 17 of the side wall, causing the rotor 2 to turn. Thereafter, the air moves substantially in a direction of arrows 24 until the air leaves the rotor via the opening or slot 18 on the opposite side of the rotor from which the air entered. As the rotor turns, the first opening or slot 18 by which it entered the rotor is moved out of position for entry of the air currents 22 and the other opening or slot 18 is brought into such position, whereby the foregoing phenomenon occurs with the air entering the other opening.
When the rotor 2 is turning, one air opening or slot 18 serves as an air inlet and the other slot serves as an air outlet for the air to maintain normal air pressure condition within the rotor. As each opening 18 turns into the wind it serves as an air inlet. If no air outlet means were provided, a partial air pressure would be created within the rotor 2 and thereby prevent air currents from entering the rotor and performing the rotating operation.
To adjust the speed of rotation of the rotor 2, the size of the openings or slots 18 may be varied by adjustment screws 25, one of which is provided for each slot 18. As shown more particularly in Fig. 5, the adjustment screw having a head 26 extends radially inwardly from and through the outer edge portion 21 of the side wall 4 and across the space 18 to and through the inner portion 17 of the adjacent side wall 4. Each screw 25 is provided with a nut 27 and a tinnerman nut 28 so that the screw 25 may be turned to either increase or decrease the opening of the space 18. Thus each opening 18 may be varied from a very small opening to a relatively large opening. It has been found that the speed of rotation of the rotor 2 can be adjusted from zero to about rpm.
In addition, each side wall 4 has a U-shaped flange 29 at the leading end of each portion 21, which flange receives the edge of an advertising card 30. As shown in Fig. 3, the card 30 extends around the outer surface of each side wall 4 to a similar U-shaped flange 31 where the opposite edge is seated. The U-shaped flange 31 is a portion of a vertical member 32 which is secured to the side wall 4 by rivets 33 (Figs. 1 and 4) at a location near the spacing 18. Each side Wall 4 is externally covered with an advertising card which extends from the air opening or slot 18 on one side of the rotor 2 to the opening 18 on the other side thereof, thereby providing an advertising surface which substantially completely covers the entire cylindrical surface of the rotor 2.
The upper and lower edges of each card are seated within the flanges 19 and 20 of the end covers 5 and 6, respectively.
In order to facilitate the starting and maintaining of rotation of the rotor, the inner surfaces of the side walls 4 are coated with a roughening material 34 having many coarse lumps, such as vinyl plastic, which material serves as miniature air baffles which, upon being contacted by a stream of air entering the rotor, cause the rotor to move. The material 34 is contacted by the stream of air and partially slows it down and thereby helps to maintain the rotor in motion. In this manner, the rotor 2 is maintained in motion almost continuously where only a small air movement or wind exists.
The device of the present invention avoids prior art difliculties and it operates in a smooth, noiseless manner with all visible means of rotation concealed and internally provided where they do not interfere with the reading of the advertising cards. Moreover, the device provides a maximum of advertising surface area with a minimum of said area devoted to means for moving the sign.
The operating parts of the sign include two or more spirally-shaped vanes which extend inwardly from the outer circumference of the sign in order to provide airfoils or vanes which are contacted by air currents. Each vane prevents air current from interfering with the other vane. Finally, the inner surface of each side wall and spirally curved portion is covered with a rough or coarse material that facilitates starting and maintains movement of the sign under low air current conditions. Adjustment for speed of rotation of the sign is provided by controlling the size of the air openings or slots.
In the foregoing description certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness and understanding, but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirements of the prior art, because such words are used for descriptive purposes herein and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the embodiments of the improved construction illustrated and described herein are by way of example, and the scope of the present invention is not limited to 'the exact details of construction shown.
Having now described the features, construction and principles of the invention, the characteristics of the motion display sign and the advantageous, new and useful results provided; the new and useful discoveries, principles, parts, elements, combinations, subcombinations, structures and arrangements, and mechanical equivalents obvious to those skilled in the art are set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A motion display sign actuated by wind, including a cylindrical rotor having two side walls forming semicylindrical portions of the rotor, the rotor having end heads spaced from each other longitudinally of the axis of the rotor, the side walls extend between and connected to the end heads at opposite ends of the side walls, a shaft-receiving bearing in each end head disposed on the axis of rotation of the rotor, a rotor-support shaft mounted in the bearings, the side walls having an air slot at 6 one edge of each side wall on diametrically opposite sides of the rotor, each side wall having an inturned spiral-like airfoil portion extending radially inwardly and spaced from the inner surface of the other side wall, the inturned spiral-like airfoil of each side Wall forming with the other side wall an air passage means extend ing from the corresponding air opening slot in the surface of the rotor, the inner walls of the airfoils being covered with a rough coarse material, screw means extending between one side wall and the inturned spirallike airfoil of the other for increasing and decreasing the size of the air passage, and card-receiving flanges provided on each side wall.
2. A motion display sign actuated by wind including a rotor having a cylindrical outer surface, consisting of two cylindrically arced side walls, each sidewall having an inturned airfoil vane extending between the adjacent side wall and the axis of rotation of the rotor, each airfoil being inside the cylindrical outer surface, each side wall providing an air slot with an end of the adjacent side wall, each side wall providing air passage means with the air foil vane of said adjacent side wall, the air slots providing a minimum spacing both radially and peripherally between the adjacent side walls, and means mounting the rotor for rotation about its axis.
3. The construction set forth in claim 2 in which the air slots communicate with each other through the interior of the rotor.
4. The construction set forth in claim 2 in which means for opening and closing the air slots are provided References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 237,072 De la Torre Jan. 25, 1881 830,399 Young Sept. 4, 1906 963,165 Meyers July 5, 1910