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Publication numberUS3017713 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1962
Filing dateJan 11, 1960
Priority dateJan 11, 1960
Publication numberUS 3017713 A, US 3017713A, US-A-3017713, US3017713 A, US3017713A
InventorsJoseph F Butler
Original AssigneeJoseph F Butler
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display device
US 3017713 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 23, 1962 J. F. BUTLER 3,017,713

DISPLAY DEVICE Filed Jan. 11, 1960 IO (PRINTING) 3 (MASK) Z (REFLECTIVE LAVER) T (BAsE) s (ADHESIVE) \4 (PROTECTIVE PAPER) 18 L w, INVENTOR. if, M. W" 7 JOSEPH F. BUTLER 7 BY l3 LMQMQ 7 M F54 ATTORNEH S 3,017,713 DISPLAY DEVlCE Joseph F. Butler, 544 Campbell, Kalamazoo Township, Kalamazoo County, Mich. Filed Jan. 11, 1960, Ser. No. 1,553 1 Claim. (Cl. 40-435) This invention relates to a reflective warning device and particularly to a type thereof adapted to present one message in ordinary daylight and a totally difierent message under directed illumination, such as from automobile headlights.

The discomfort and inconvenience to a driver caused by bright headlights on a car behind him is well known and many devices have been proposed in the past to deal with this problem. Some involve shutters over the back window of the car, others involve means for shading, tilting, or dimming a rearview mirror, both mirrors inside and outside of the car, but all these devices, while effective, are relatively expensive.

In considering this problem, it occurred to me that in many cases the maintaining of bright headlights by a fol lowing car is more often a matter of inattention on the part of the driver of such car than it is a deliberate intent to maintain headlights in such position, and experimental work in pursuance of this thought has shown that a reminder to the driver of the following car is usually all that is needed to cause him to turn his headlights into their lowered or passing position.

Accordingly, the objects of the invention are:

(1) To provide a sign adaptable for carrying on the rear of an automobile and capable of presenting a message to the driver of a following vehicle.

(2) To provide a sign, as aforesaid, capable of simultaneously carrying two messages, one visible under ordinary daylight and the second visible when illuminated by the headlights of a following vehicle.

(3) To provide a sign, as aforesaid, wherein the normally invisible sign includes material having highly lightreflective characteristics such that it will glow brilliantly when illuminated by a light source concentrated at a specific location, such as automotive headlights.

(4) To provide a sign, as aforesaid, which is capable of inexpensive production, particularly when produced in large numbers.

(5) To provide a si n, as aforesaid, which is capable of production by simple means and/or processes, such as either or both of silk-screening and printing processes and can be made from readily available and inexpensive materials.

(6) To provide a sign, as aforesaid, which can be readily adapted for a wide variety of purposes and uses as desired.

Other objects and purposes of the invention will be apparent to persons acquainted with devices of this general sort upon reading the following disclosure and inspection of the accompanying drawings.

in the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a sign made according to the invention.

FIGURE 2 is a schematic representation of the composition of the sign taken along the section line indicated by the numerals H-Ii in FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a schematic representation indicating a typical manner of use of the invention.

FIGURE 4 is a View, similar to FIGURE 2, showing a modification.

Referring further to the figures, there is provided a base panel 1 which in this particular embodiment is a sheet base of a suitable plastic material, such as cellophane, in view of its flexibility and inexpensiveness. Said base carries a reflective layer 2 which is preferably of the fee Well-known Scotch-Light material made by the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company but may be of any similar material capable of reflecting light through a wide angle in response to light received thereon from a concentrated source. Such material is found in a variety of products utilizing glass beads, particularly where said glass beads are held in place and/ or covered by a transparent plastic material.

An opaque masking layer 3 is placed to overlie the reflective layer excepting for certain areas through which the reflective layer is to be visible and said masking layer is of a color which matches as closely as possible the color of the reflective layer in ordinary daylight. Thus, in FIGURE 1 the masking layer is apertured to outline the letters indicated in FIGURE 1 by broken lines, said apertures further appearing at 4, 5 and 6 in FIGURE 2. The openings 4 and 5 indicate the two portions of the letter D cut by the section line 11-11 and the opening 6 indicates the portion of the letter I out by the section line II-il. It has been found that a light pearl-gray enamel-type masking material when used for the masking layer 3 will closely match in normal daylight the color of the particular Scotch-Light product known as Silver Scotch-Light.

Opaque letters of a highly contrasting color, such as black when the masking layer 3 is of a light color such as the pearl-gray above mentioned, may then be applied to the masking layer at locations thereon where they will not interfere or overlap the apertures through the masking layer. Thus, in FIGURE 1 where the device is designed for publicity purposes by a radio station, the call letters of the radio station here indicated by a W.A.B.C. may be printed on top of the masking layer with such letters interspersed with the letters of the word Dim as shown and the frequency of the radio station may be interspersed with the letters of the word Lights at the rightward end of the sign. The zones 7, 8, 9 and 10 appearing in FIGURE 2 indicate the portions of the letters W and A which are cut by the section line 2. The reflective letters and the printed letters are placed as closely as possible together and may in some instances even be actually somewhat nested. This has the combined advantages of making each message appear as naturally spaced as possible and insures that the brilliance of the Scotch-Light letters will, when same are illuminated by automobile headlights, render the adjacent non-reflective letters substantially invisible. It is desirable in many instances, as indicated in the drawings, that the two kinds of letters be substantially contacting each other as viewed by the observer.

In the form here illustrated, the base 1 carries a pressure-sensitive adhesive 13 on its under side which adhesive is normally protected by a protective material, such as paper, 14. The sign is thus applied to the outside of the rear window in a conventional manner by removing the protective layer and pressing the sign firmly against the glass of the window.

Alternatively however, the adhesive can readily be applied to the upper side of the sign so that the sign can be applied to the inside of the Window. This, while desirable from the standpoint of protecting the sign from the weather, it is relatively expensive inasmuch as it requires adhesive to be applied after the application of both the masking layer and the printing material.

FIGURE 3 illustrates one normal manner of using a sign of the character shown in FIGURES l and 2. The sign is placed as indicated by the letter S in the rear window of an automobile. Under ordinary daylight conditions only the letters printed in the contrasting color are readily visible, namely, the legend including the letters W.A.B.C. appearing in FIGURE 1. Thus the advertising, or other, message desired is displayed as the automobile travels about during daylight. At night when a following car F has its headlights in lowered, or passing position wherein the upper edge of the beam is indicated by the line 11 in FIGURE 3 there is no appreciable illumination of the sign S and the driver of the following car sees nothing of the sign S. However, if his lights are in upper or driving position so that the upper edge of the beam, indicated by the line 12 in FIGURE 3, strikes the sign S, then the light is reflected by the exposed portions of the reflective layer and the letters formed thereby become visible. In the example here shown, the letters so made visible form the message Dim Lights so that the driver of the following car has attention called to the desirability of his adjusting his headlights into passing position.

It is of course possible also to apply first a masking layer 16 to a base 17 then apply a printing 18 to the masking layer 16 as desired. This will be followed by applying cut-out letters of light-reflective material, such as Scotch-Light, also on the masking material and interspersed between the printed letters 18. This has an advantage of adapting itself well to situations where it is desirable to place the printed material on the sign at the time of manufacturing same and leaving the customer to apply his own individual message at the time of purchase by simultaneously purchasing pre-cut letters of reflective material. However this has the disadvantage that it will be more expensive than ordinary manufacturing operations (other than where the customer applies his own reflective message) and where the sign is applied on the outside of the window the letters so applied may suffer from weather conditions.

Although a particular preferred embodiment of the invention has been disclosed above for illustrative purposes, it will be understood that variations and modifications of such disclosure, which lie within the scope of the appended claim are fully contemplated.

43. What is claimed is: In a laminated, selectively reflective advertising and high-light signalling device for use on the rear of automotive vehicles, the combination comprising:

(a) a relatively narrow base strip,

(b) a continuous, coextensive layer of highly light reflective material on said base strip,

(0) a coextensive layer of opaque masking material of substantially the same color under ordinary daylight conditions as said reflective material overlying said reflective layer,

(d) said masking material being shaped to provide spaced openings exposing such portions of said reflective material as will define desired first signalling indicia in readable continuity along said strip,

(2) means providing a second indicia in readable continuity along said strip on said masking material,

(f) said second indicia being disposed between the openings in said masking layer which define said first signalling indicia,

(g) said second indicia further being of a material having a highly contrasting color under ordinary daylight conditions with respect to said masking material,

whereby under ordinary daylight conditions said first signalling indicia will be substantially invisible and said second indicia will be highly visible, but under conditions of point-source illumination, such as from automobile headlights, said first signalling indicia will become highly visible as a high-light signalling indicia and said second indicia will be unnoticeable.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2882631 *Sep 5, 1952Apr 21, 1959Boone PhilipDisplay materials, devices and systems
US2882632 *Oct 25, 1955Apr 21, 1959Prismo Safety CorpMarker material and method
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3212949 *Jun 8, 1961Oct 19, 1965Westinghouse Air Brake CoIdentification medium
US3547515 *Sep 26, 1968Dec 15, 1970Glass Lab CoCombination protective and decorative edge trim
US3547516 *May 19, 1969Dec 15, 1970Glass Lab CoColored light reflective composite molding
US4154504 *Feb 22, 1978May 15, 1979Mohs Bruce BSafety reflective seal trim strip
US4245888 *Apr 18, 1979Jan 20, 1981Ministerstwo Komunikacji Department Komunikacji Drogowej Of Ul.ChalubinskiegoUniversal warning strip
US4245889 *Nov 13, 1978Jan 20, 1981Hoffman Robert OHigh beam warning apparatus
US4555161 *Feb 16, 1984Nov 26, 1985Reflexite CorporationEncapsulated retroreflective material and method of making same
US4659111 *Sep 23, 1985Apr 21, 1987Lawrence CreditMirror message label
US5073005 *May 2, 1988Dec 17, 1991Hubbs Machine & ManufacturingRetro-reflective photogrammetric target
US5152089 *Oct 23, 1990Oct 6, 1992Burson-MarstellarMulti-image sign display employing photographic type images
US5703703 *Jun 7, 1995Dec 30, 1997Central Glass Company, LimitedHolographic ornament
US5971556 *Sep 24, 1997Oct 26, 1999Chrysler CorporationInstrument panel having cover with reflection-reduction layer and method of making cover
US6425342 *Oct 23, 1997Jul 30, 2002Dale E. HohmanMethod of cautionary warning on vessels and a removable cautionary warning device
US7559673 *Jan 10, 2007Jul 14, 2009Barco N.V.Method and device for shading in a display system
US7698826Jan 28, 2008Apr 20, 2010Hubbs Machine & Manufacturing Co.Refurbishable retro-reflective photogrammetric target
US20070165162 *Jan 10, 2007Jul 19, 2007Karim MeersmanMethod and device for shading in a display system
US20080192371 *Jan 28, 2008Aug 14, 2008Hubbs William ORefurbishable retro-reflective photogrammetric target
U.S. Classification40/615, 40/582, 359/549, 40/900, 73/290.00V
International ClassificationG09F13/16
Cooperative ClassificationY10S40/90, G09F13/16
European ClassificationG09F13/16