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Publication numberUS3003305 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 10, 1961
Filing dateJul 10, 1958
Priority dateJul 10, 1958
Publication numberUS 3003305 A, US 3003305A, US-A-3003305, US3003305 A, US3003305A
InventorsIrwin Goldman
Original AssigneeSylvania Electric Prod
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clock
US 3003305 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 10, 1961 l. GOLDMAN cLocK 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 10, 1958 INVENTOR [RW/N GOLDMAN ATTORNEY l. GOLDMAN Oct. 10, 1961 CLOCK 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 10, 1958 mvan'on n los SOURCE MUR /Rw/,v aow/ww BY A'l'l'ORNEY 104 106 8 fzs Fig United States Patent ton, Del., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 10, 1958, Ser. No. 747,668 3 Claims. (Cl. 58-50) My invention is directed toward timepieces and more particularly is directed toward clocks.

It is -an object of my invention to provide a new type of clock employing a plurality of electroluminescent lamps.

Another object is wherein the passage liaht Still another object is to provide a new direct reading numerical clock.

An electroluminescent lamp comprises first and second spaced apart electrodes and an electroluminescent layer interposed between and electrically connected to the electrodes. The lirst electrode (or both electrodes) permits the passage of light therethrough. The lamp is en ergized by applying a voltage between the electrodes, the light thus produced passingthrough the appropriate elec trode or electrodes.

In accordance with my invention, I provide a clock face having at least one annular section. A plurality of electroluminescent lamps are secured to the clock face at corresponding discrete equidistantly spaced positiom along the annular section. The lrst electrodes of all the lamps are connected together to a trst terminal. A communtator rotating at a predetermined speed about an axis perpendicular to the clock face successively connects each second electrode in turn to a second terminal. A voltage is applied between the rst and second terminals. Consequently, as the commutator rotates, each electroluminescent lamp in turn is successively lit and extinguished.

By using an appropriate number of lamps and appropriately adjusting the speed of rotation, the passage of time at xed intervals can be indicated as hashes of light. For example, when sixty lamps are used and the commutator speed is adjusted to one revolution per minute or hour, the corresponding time intervals will be one second or one minute respectively. Further, when twelve lamps are used and the commutator speed is adiusted to one revolution per twelve hour period, the time interval will be one hour.

Consequently, by employing a clock face with first, second, and third concentric annular sections having respectively sixty, sixty and twelve equidistantly spaced electroluminescent lamps, and further =by employing first, second and third commutators rotating at corresponding speeds of one revolution per minute, one revolution per hour and one twelfth revolution per hour respectively, the passage of time can be indicated in seconds, minutes and hours simultaneously.

Further, the lamps can be so constructed that the patterns of the light emitted will del'lne the numbers, thus producing a direct reading numerical clock.

Illustrative embodiments of my invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein FIG. l is a front' view of one embodiment of my invention; t

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is another sectional view taken `along 3-3 in FIG. l;

FIG. 4 is a front view of a second embodiment of my invention: and

to provide a new type of clock of time is displayed as dashes of terminals 26 and 32 by source 'icc FIG.5 isacrosssectionalview ottheembodiment of FIG. 4.

Referring now to FIGS. l, 2 and 3, there is shown an electric clock wherein an hour hand 10 and a minute hand 12 arerotatedwithrespecttotheclockfaceuin conventional manner by a 110 volt, 60 cycle synchronous motor 16.

'I'he clock face 14 includes an annular section cornprising a glass ring 18; a transparent electrically conductive ring shaped coating 20; an electroluminescent phosphor layer, which can be continuous but, in this example, is constituted by sixty discretely spaced layer elements 22 detlning a circle; and sixty discretely spaced electrodes 24, each electrode being placed over a corresponding layer element 22. The structure consisting of electrodes' 24, layer elements 22 and coating 20 (which constitutes a common electrode) thus forms a plurality of electroluminescent lamps, in this example sixty lamps.

The purpose of these lamps is to indicate the passage of time at one second intervals as flashes of light. To this end, coating 20 is connected to a rst terminal 26. An electrically conductive ring 28 is insulatedly mounted about the shaft 30 of motor 16 and further is electrically connected to a second terminal 32. An electrically conductive arm 34 insulatedly secured to shaft 30 and driven thereby as a second hand, rotates brush 36 in a circular path at a rate of one revolution per minute. Brush 36 through arm 34 and brush 37 is in continuous contact with ring 28 and further successively contacts each electrode 24in turn.

Hence, when a suitable voltage is applied between momentarily and then extinguished in the manner previously described.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 and S, there is shown a direct reading numerical clock. The clock tace includes a lrst annular section 102 substantially identical to that shown in FIGS. 1-2 and adapted to indicate the passage of time in one second intervals. However, the clock face 100 also includes second and third separate annular sections `104 and 106 concentric with the lirst section.

These second and third sections are adapted to indicate the passage of time in minutes and hours, respectively.` Thus, the clock of FIGS. 4 and 5 indicates the passage of time in hours, minutes and seconds simultaneously.

The second or middle annular section 104 is substantially the same as the tirst section and contains sixty separate electroluminescent lamps. The transparent coating 22 of this middle section, however, is suitably masked with opaque paint so that each lamp in this section, when lit, displays a dilerent corresponding number from l to 60.

The third or inner annular section contains twelve separate electroluminescent lamps. The transparent coating 22 of this inner section is masked so that each lamp in this section, when lit, displays a diterent corresponding number from 1 to 12.

Coating 22 forms a ring electrode common to all three sections and is connected to a first terminal 26. A first electrically conductive ring 28 is insulatedly mounted about shaft 30 of motor 16 and further is electrically connected to a second terminal 32. A voltage source 38 is connected across terminals 26 and 32. Second, third and fourth electrically conductive rings 108, and 112, insulatedly secured to the shaft 30, make electrical conwith each other and with ring 28 by means of brushes A lirst electrically conductive arm 116 attached to the second ring 108 rotates brush 118 in a circular path at a rate of one revolution per minute. Brush 118 succesrsmted oet. 1o, rast 38, each lamp will be lit sively contacts each lamp electrode 24 of the first annular section 102 in turn and is therefore analogous to a second hand.

A second electrically conductive arm 120 attached to the third ring 110 rotates brush 122 in a circular path at a rate' of one revolution per hour. Brush 122 successively contacts each lamp electrode 24' of the second annular section 104 in turn and is therefore analogous to a minute hand. A third electrically conductive arm 124 attached to the fourth ring 112 rotates brush 126 in a circular path at a rate of liz revolution per hour. Hence, brush 126 is analogous to an hour hand.

However, brush 126 does not contact each lamp electrode 24" directly, but rather contacts corresponding oset inward extension 128 of each electrode 24". If these extensions were not used, each lamp would be successively lit and extinguished at improper times. More particularly, for example, the lamp numbered 12 would be lit at about 11:30 and extinguished at about 12:30. Use of the oifset inward extensions 128 corrects the timing s0 that, for example, the lamp numbered 12 will be lit at 12:00 and extinguished at 1:00.

It will be apparent that the voltage source 38 can be used to energize the clock motor 16. Alternatively,

motor 16 can be spring driven and source 38 can be a battery.

It will be further apparent that the operation of my clocks can be reversed so as to selectively extinguish lamps rather than selectively energizing lamps as herein shown. For example, the brush 36 of FIG. l can be shaped into a circular arc of almost 360 such that brush 36 is in continuous contact with 59 lamps and energizes same while the 1 lamp not in contact with brush 36 is extinguished.

What is claimed is:

1. In a clock, a clock face having an annular section, said section comprising an annular transparent electrically conductive electrode, an annular electrolumnescent layer, one surface of which is in contact with said annular electrode, and a plurality of separate electrodes in contact with the opposite surface of said electrolumnescent layer at equidistantly spaced positions, each of said separate electrodes having an offset inward extension.

2. In a clock, a clock face having an annular scction, said section comprising an annular transparent electrically conductive electrode, an annular electrolumnescent layer, one surface of which is in contact with said annular electrode, and a plurality of separate electrodes in contact with the opposite surface of said electrolumnescent layer at equidistantly spaced positions, each of said separate electrodes having an offset inward extension, said annular electrode being connected to a rst terminal; and a commutator for sequentially connecting each of said offset extensions in turn to a second terminal, said iirst and second terminals being adapted for connection to a voltage source.

l3. In a clock, a clock face having an annular section, said section comprising an annular transparent electrically conductive electrode, an annular electrolumnescent layer, one surface of which is in contact with said annular electrode, and twelve separate electrodes in contact with the opposite surface of said electrolumnescent layer at equidistantly spaced positions, each of said separate electrodes having an offset inward extension.

References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES Publication: Illuminating Engineering, November 1950, article entitled Blectroluminescence, appearing on pages 688-692.

Publication: Electrical Construction and Maintenance, February 1952, article entitled New Light Source, appearing on pages 82, 83 and 182.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US618646 *Feb 18, 1898Jan 31, 1899 Electric illuminated clock-dial
US1096778 *May 25, 1909May 12, 1914 Electric clock.
US2363763 *Sep 27, 1943Nov 28, 1944Werts Howard DClock
US2809316 *Dec 17, 1954Oct 8, 1957Egyesuelt IzzolampaElectroluminescent source of light
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3079748 *Jun 27, 1960Mar 5, 1963Sylvania Electric ProdIlluminated electronic time piece
US3194003 *Nov 13, 1963Jul 13, 1965Vogel And Company PSolid state electronic timepiece
US3258906 *Mar 4, 1964Jul 5, 1966Gen Time CorpSolid state clock
US3822545 *Dec 22, 1972Jul 9, 1974Data TimeElectromechanical digital readout clock
US5410520 *Jan 13, 1993Apr 25, 1995Stampfer; Noam R.Spatial/digital timepiece
US5726953 *May 14, 1996Mar 10, 1998Metro-Mark, IncorporatedElectroluminescent lamp with buried indiciae and method for making same
US6082867 *Nov 29, 1996Jul 4, 2000Chien; Tseng-LuLighting arrangements including a three-dimensional electro-luminscent element
US7505374 *Sep 22, 2006Mar 17, 2009Linda Q. HodgdonElectronic time keeping apparatus
WO1988002507A1 *Sep 23, 1987Apr 7, 1988Robert LukeschTime indicating device
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/240, 968/576, 40/544, 968/450, 968/564, 362/23.18
International ClassificationG04C3/00, G04C17/00, G04C17/02
Cooperative ClassificationG04C3/005, G04C17/00, G04C17/02
European ClassificationG04C17/02, G04C17/00, G04C3/00K4