US 3059363 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 23, 1962 v. R. MACK CHANGEABLE LETTER SIGNS Filed Nov. 2. 1959 INVENTOR. V/cfor 2. Mac/f BY Ma 3,059,363 CHANGEABLE LETTER SIGNS Victor R. Mack, Plexine Manufacturing (10., 1202 E. Sprague, Spokane, Wash. Filed Nov. 2, 1959, Ser. No. 850,152 1 Claim. ((31. 40-440) My invention relates to changeable letter signs wherein a number of display forming elements such as letters, numerals, and the like are removably mounted on supports to form a desired display. An example of such signs is the present theater marquee sign.
It is the purpose of my invention to provide a mount for the removable display forming elements which is adapted to support a plurality of sizes and types of elements and retain them firmly in a common plane, but allow them to be snapped off and on readily.
More particularly it is the purpose of my invention to provide a simple means for removably supporting display forming elements upon and spaced from a background element for the display elements which means embodies spaced, curved jaws yieldable toward and away from each other, strips integral with and carrying the jaws and mounted on one of said elements, usually the background element, and stops on the strips and jaws for limiting the rocking movement of an element received by the jaws.
Other objects and advantages of my invention will appear from the following description and the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred form of the invention is disclosed. The drawings and description are illustrative only, however, and are not intended to limit the invention except insofar as it is limited by the claim.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary face View of a part of a changeable letter sign embodying my invention;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 22 of FIGURE 1, illustrating how a channelled display forming element is removably attached to the background element by the mounting means; and
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1, showing how a flat display forming element is removably attached to the background element by the mounting means.
My invention is shown in a changeable letter sign wherein a background element 5 supports the display forming elements 6, a mounting means 7 being affixed to the element 5 and removably carrying the several elements 6. In such signs it is essential that the elements 6 be held in line with each other; that is, in the same plane or in parallel planes. They are also usually parallel to the background element 5. The background element 5 is commonly made of sheet material such as glass and may be translucent for lighting from behind the surface thereof. The elements 6 customarily used are either silhouette display elements 6a, which are channel shaped in cross section and notched for mounting, or flat display elements 6", formed from sheet material, and having projections for mounting them.
According to my invention I provide a mounting means 7 in combination with the display forming elements that readily mounts and holds the elements in proper position with respect to their support. The mounting means comprises a pair of spaced apart jaws 8 and 9 which are concave on their facing surfaces and convex on their outer surfaces. These jaws 8 and 9 are carried by resilient strips 10 and 11 which extend to and are anchored to the support 5. Each strip carries a rib 12 or 13 that projects at right angles to the strip and is set back a short distance from the jaw 8 or 9.
I prefer to make the jaws 8 and 9 integral with the 3,059,353 Patented 0st. 23, 1962 strips 10 and I1 and the ribs 12 and 13. A transparent resilient plastic composition is ideal for my purpose.
The strips 1t) and 11' are affixed to a mounting bar 14 which is aflixed to the background and support element 5. The particular manner of mounting the strips 10 and 11 to the element 5 is, however, dependent upon the nature of the display construction. In some instances there may be no background sheet, in which case, the support may be only the bar 14 suitably mounted.
As shown in section in FIGURE 3 of the drawings the preferred way of mounting the flat display forming elements -6 is to aflix a transparent rod 15 to the element 6, using cement to bond them together. The rod 15 is preferably rounded to fit snugly between the jaws 8 and 9 by spreading them slightly. The tips 8a and 9a of the jaws are forced by the resilience of the strips 10 and 11 and the contour of the rod 15 into egagement with the back surface of the element 6 and serves to keep the element 6 parallel to the background 5 and aligned with the other elements 6. The elements 6 may be small like the letters in the lower row of FIGURE 1, so they engage only one pair of jaws 8 and 9. They may also be large enough to bridge the gap between two or more vertically adjacent pairs of jaws 8 and 9, as illustrated by the numeral 6b at the right hand end of FIGURE 1. The large display elements, of course, carry two properly spaced rods 15.
The silhouette or channelled type of display element 6a readily mounts on the jaws 8 and 9 in the manner illustrated in FIGURE 2 of the drawings. The flanges 16 of the elements 6a are provided with concaved notches 17 that are made to fit the outside convex surfaces of the jaws 8 and 9 and compress the jaws toward each other. The notches 17 are deep enough to seat the notched flanges 16' against the ribs 12 and 13, which keep the several elements 6a aligned with each other. The ribs 12 and 13 serve also as fulcrum bars for prying the elements 6a off of the jaws 8 and 9.
The mounting means 7 provide a simple effective way of removably securing display forming elements such as 6, 6a and 6b upon a support such as the background element '5. The entire mounting means 7 is preferably transparent so as to be substantially invisible when viewed from a distance of several feet. The mounting means 7 may extend the entire length of a display area and be spaced apart uniformly from top to bottom of the display area. Various sizes of display forming elements of both the silhouette and fiat types can be arranged on the mounting means.
Having described my invention, I claim:
In a changeable letter sign:
a display element having a channel shaped cross section including rearwardly extending flanges, said flanges being provided with a plurality of concave notches opening rearwardly and aligned across the back of said display element;
a vertical supporting element having a planar outside surface;
a pair of continuous vertically spaced longitudinal jaws formed of resilient material, said pair of jaws being secured respectively along one longitudinal edge to the planar outside surface of said supporting element, the free edges of said jaws terminating in outside convex cross-sectional surface configurations adapted to resiliently grip the inner surfaces of said notches; and
a pair of continuous longitudinal ribs fixed respectively to the outwardly directed surfaces of said pair of jaws adjacent the convex cross-sectional surface configurations of said jaws, said ribs each including an outside planar surface facing said convex cross-sec- U .tional surface cenfigurations and parallel to the planar outside surface of said supporting element, the planar surfaces of said ribs being adapted to abut the flanges of said display element when secured upon said jaws.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Williams Feb. 7, 1933 Hammar Sept. 7, 1937 Hinr Sept. 3, 1940 Rochester, Feb. 19, 1952 Staaf July 14, 1953 Staaf May 20, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS Denmark July 5, 1912