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Publication numberUS3068599 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 18, 1962
Filing dateNov 19, 1959
Publication numberUS 3068599 A, US 3068599A, US-A-3068599, US3068599 A, US3068599A
InventorsEdward J. Myerson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Menu card assembly for drive-in restaurants
US 3068599 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

13, 1962 E. J. MYERSON I 3,068,599

MENU CARD ASSEMBLY FOR DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS Filed Nov. 19, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENT OR [damn/J Myem'oh j la %%v- ATTORNEY 3,068,599 MENU CARD ASSEMBLY FOR DRIVE-IN RESTAURANTS Filed Nov. 19, i959 Dec. 18, 1962 E. J. MYERSON 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR ATTORNEYS I'll/l/IIl/I/I/I-II/I III I Ill/l II 3,068,599 MENU CARD ASSEMBLY FUR DJN RESTAURANTS Edward J. Myerson, 737 Lakeview Drive, Falls Church, Va. Filed Nov. 19, 1959, Ser. No. 854,101 1 Claim. (Cl. 40-132) This invention relates to menu card assemblies, and more specifically to menu card assemblies designed for use in drive-in restaurants.

The rapid development and use of electronic ordering equipment in drive-in restaurants, and, in fact, the rapid growth in the numbers of such restaurants, has brought a vital need for development of suitable accessories to the basic telephonic communications system.

The basic electronic ordering system includes a master control station or board in the restaurant and a plurality of customer stations. Each station normally includes a tray support, a two-way speaker on the support, and a menu housing displaying menu cards. Orders are given by the customer direct to the master control board, and a waiter does not actually contact the customer until he brings the tray bearing the filled order. Accordingly, the old system of printed card menus which are hand delivered by the waiter or Waitress to the customer before ordering is outmoded, and it is necessary to have a permanently displayed menu card. This has created certain problems in design and maintenance.

The permanently displayed menu assembly exists in a clearly hostile environment. It is subjected to the deterioration of rain or moisture, to sleet, ice, extremes of heat and cold, physical damage from vandals and the fading action of strong sunlight. There are, therefore, certain exacting requirements for a saleable menu assembly. The assembly must be fairly low in first cost, but of a quality and design which will insure a reasonable life in spite of the hostile environment. The menu card must be alternately capable of being read by incident light, arising from daylight or exterior illumination, or by transmitted light from within the menu housing preferred during the hours of darkness. The menu assembly must be impervious to moisture and resistant to physical damage. Finally, the menu card must be capable of revision as to text and prices without major expense. In the drive-in business, competition requires changes in menus and prices, and if the initial assembly is too costly or changes are too ditficult and costly, the owner is put to undue financial strain.

According to past practice and before the present invention, the menu card was prepared by printing the text by a silk screen or similar process; either by forming a large decalcomania, and then sliding or transferring the decalcomania onto a sheet of clear plastic, or by printing directly on the plastic. This fairly thick sheet was then supported in a suitable housing. This menu was very high in first cost. The decalcomania scratched easily, and these scratches showed up clearly in transmitted light. While fairly resistant to moisture, the decalcomania menus were not resistant to the power of the suns rays, and the printing faded and lost depth and clarity very quickly. Changing prices on a menu so formed was exceedingly expensive. It is a matter of fact that the cost of making a change in the menu card previously known in the art is five times as much as that which will be involved where the present invention is concerned. There was, therefore, not only a major problem in first cost but a substantial problem in menu revision costs.

The present menu card assembly, therefore, is designed to meet the severe demands of the highly hostile en- Patented Dec. 18, 1962 vironment in which it is used and to overcome the serious objections to the'card previously used.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a menu card assembly which is more simply manufactured and lower in first cost than any now known, and which can be revised at a more moderate cost than those presently known in the art.

Another object is to provide a menu card assembly which is impervious to moisture, prevents fogging, and which will not easily break when attacked or abused by vandals.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a menu card assembly in which the depth and clarity of the original printing is actually enhanced by the protective structure, and wherein the fading of printing caused by the suns rays is substantially eliminated.

A further object is to provide a menu card assembly which is not subject to bending or distortion or by warpage and which is equally clear to the reader in the incident light of daylight or transmitted light from the supported casing at night.

With the above and other objects in view, as will be presently apparent, the invention consists in general of certain novel details of construction and combinations of parts hereinafter fully described, illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and particularly claimed.

In the accompanying drawings, like characters of reference indicate like parts in the several views, and

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective view showing the menu card assembly in place in its supporting housing as it is actually used in a drive-in installation;

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view through the supporting housing taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1, showing the structure in which a pair of menu card assemblies is supported, and one possible relation to a light source;

FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal section taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1, showing the slots which receive a pair of menu card assemblies.

FIGURE 4 is a perspective of the menu card assembly of the present invention, showing one end open and the other end sealed;

FIGURE 5 is an end view of the outer cover of the menu card assembly;

FIGURE 6 is a view of the inner printed sheet and its protective plastic cover, just prior to trimming and placement in the outer casing;

FIGURE 7 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIGURE 4;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary view showing a modified form of closure for the ends of the outer cover;

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary view taken on the lines 99 of FIG. 10 of an outer cover showing a modification wherein the cover is provided with a desiccant pocket;

FIGURE '10 is a fragmentary perspective view of the modification of FIGURE 9;

FIGURE 11 is a fragmentary view showing one alternate method of sealing in which the open ends of the outer cover are sealed with a thermosetting tape;

FIGURE 12 is a fragmentary section showing the manner in which desiccant is placed in the outer cover in the principal form of the invention; and

FIGURE 13 is an exploded perspective view of a further modification of the menu card assembly.

The menu housing structure shown in FIGURES l, 2 and 3 of the drawings is not novel in itself as to detail, but the structure shown is highly significant in combination with the specific menu card assembly of the invention as disclosed in FIGURES 4 through 12.

The reference numeral it; indicates the menu card assembly housing. The housing is open at opposite sides, and the strips 11 define grooves 12 at the marginal edges of the openings into which the menu card assemblies slide. A cover 13 for the housing is put into place after a pair of menu card assemblies have been slid into place to till the two openings. The numeral 14 represents a fluorescent bulb or any other type of light which is lighted at night by the customary electrical system. It is seen, therefore, that in the preferred form during daylight hours the menus are read by incident light from the sun, and at night the cards are read by light from the bulb 14 transmitted through the menu card assemblies.

The menu card assembly, as disclosed in FIGURE 4, and succeeding figures, has the relative thicknesses of the various components shown considerably exaggerated for the purposes of clearer disclosure. An inner card 15 carries the printed text 16 of the menu. The text and illustrations may be printed on the card, as by a silk screen process, in bold colors.

One important aspect of the invention is that the card 15 should be made of paper of specified porosity, this paper having a porosity in the range of from to 65 cc. of air per minute. A preferred porosity is 50 cc. per minute. It further possesses a specified degree of whiteness in the range of 80.0 to 90.0 based upon the standard brightness test. There must also be present a high degree of translucence with the opacity or contrast ratio being in the range of 8 percent to 20 percent, and an even grain. A preferred translucence is 12 percent. The porosity has a purpose to be later described in detail. The specified whiteness was found necessary for proper reading in incident daylight or incident exterior illumination. The translucence specified is necessary to provide proper transmission of the light rays from the housing when back lighting is used.

When formed and printed, the inner card 15 is then encased by placing on the opposite faces thereof layers 17 of mylar plastic, approximately one mil thick. These layers are bonded to the card by heat and pressure, and to accomplish this the inner face of each of the mylar layers is lined with a thin layer of polyethylene plastic. It has been found that by use of a paper of the specified porosity, the polyethylene plastic when melted is forced into the pores, forming an excellent bond, and, further,

- that this absorption of the polyethylene plastic by the pores actually enhances the depth and brilliance of the printed matter. This is a significant part of the invention, and has resulted in a much improved product. The paper and printed matter are protected against moisture, as evidenced by tests involving direct submergence in water for long periods, and at the sametime the quality and boldness of the printing is enhanced. When the inner card 15 is encased, the ends of the encasing layers 17 are allowed to overlap the card as at 18, and the edges are then trimmed at the trim line 19. a It is to be pointed out that the resulting encased card is relatively very thin, with out stiffness, and has a tendency to curl. It is permanently and completely waterproofed, and moisture cannot reach the printed card even with deterioration of the housing, or cover, in which the encased card is placed.

The encased card 15 is slipped into a stiffening and protective cover 20. This cover is made of a relatively hard, stiff, clear, transparent plastic. While any clear plastic may serve the basic combination of the invention, it was found that a significant and further improvement was obtained by using a plastic capable of adsorbing ultraviolet rays. An example of such plastic is a clear acrylic plastic, sold as Plexiglas G. This is a poly-urethylmethacrylate which absorbs most of the ultra-violet rays of the sun, and materially reduces fading of the colors on the printed matter of the menu card.

The cover 2! has the front and back panels 21 and 22 joined by the strip 23 and 24 at the side edges. The ends are left-open until the plastic encased card 15 is inserted.

The preferred manner of sealing the cover is to place and set a moisture-proof thermoplastic tape at both ends. This prevents moisture from getting into the cover 20, and then condensing to form a fog on the plastic. It has been found that the suns heat, while the card is in use, actually enhances the seal by further setting the bond.

A significant improvement was found when particles of dessicant 26 are placed in the cover before it is sealed with the tape 25. This adsorbs What moisture remains in the cover and the sealing tape prevents further access of water vapor.

In a modification shown in FIGURE 9, if desired, a desiccant pocket 27 may be placed over an opening 28 in the side wall 22 of the cover. This, by use of the plug 29, permits a larger quantity of the desiccant to be used and also permits changing of the desiccant when necessary or desirable.

An alternate method of sealing the ends of the cover is shown in the modification of FIGURE 8. A strip 30 carries a reduced projecting strip 31, which has a length equal to the/length of the opening 32 in the end of the cover, and a thickness equal to the width of the said opening 32. This strip 31 slips tightly into the opening. A silicone grease may be applied to the strip 31 to efiect a tight seal.

In FIGURE 13 there is disclosed still another possible modification of the menu card assembly. In this case the protective cover 35 is formed so that it is U-shaped in cross section, and before final assembly is open at one side and both ends. This cover can be made by the folding of a single elongated sheet of plastic or by extrusion of a long strip which is U-shaped in cross section, this strip then being cut into segments to form the separate cover units. If extruded, the leg 37 may be made thicker than the leg 36, this arrangement providing stiffness and protection, while holding down the total thickness of the unit. This reduces first cost and also provides easier spreading of the unit for insertion of an encased card. The bight 38 of the U is preferably made slightly bulbous so as to provide an interior pocket running the length of the cover. This holds a quantity of desiccant 39, as shown, providing for a relatively large capacity of desiccant without projections on the cover which complicate the mounting of the cover in the housing.

For sealing the cover, afterran encased menu card has been inserted, tapes 40 and 41 are applied with thermosetting adhesive to the ends and open side respectively of the cover 35. 7

Again, it may be noted that for the purpose of clearer disclosure, the thickness and relative spacing in the view of FIGURE 14 have been considerably exaggered. It will be understood that the encased menu card 15 fits tightly into the cover 35. The advantage in the modification of FIGURE 13 lies in the ease of insertion and removal of an encased menu card and the greater available space for desiccant powder, without complicating projection on the cover.

The combination of the present invention has significant advantages when in actual operation and use. The combination of the particular menu assembly disclosed with the housing involved a new and useful result. The printed matter is supplied with either incident light or with artificial transmitted light, is read equally well under both conditions, and has great depth, brilliance and clarity. It may be read without strain, glare or reflection.

With reference to the highly improved menu card assembly in itself, the art work for each customer is done on a surplus of the cards 15, and these are held by the supplier. When a restaurant specifies changes in text in its particular menu, such changes may be made on the card by printing-over. The plastic surfaces 17 are then applied to the card as composed or changed, and the covered card is slipped into a protective cover 20. Desiccant is added and the openings of the cover are sealed,

The completed assembly is then placed in the protective housing. The covers 20 may be used over and over again, and the relatively cheap plasticized card is the only part of the assembly that need be replaced for price or text changes.

While there is herein shown and described the preferred embodiments of the invention, it is nevertheless to be understood that minor changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.

What is claimed is:

A menu card assembly for drive-in restaurants, including a printed menu card, a relatively thin clear plastic waterproof envelope permanently encasing said card and being bonded thereto, whereby said card is moistureproofed, and a sealed stiff transparent plastic cover holding, protecting and stiffening said encased card, said cover comprising a body of clear plastic which is U-shaped in cross section and open at one side and both ends for simplified insertion and .removal of said encased menu card, and sealing tapes closing said open side and ends, said cover being slightly bulbous at the bight of the U to define an interior pocket capable of holding a quantity of desiccant material therein.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,848,951 Haynes Mar. 8, 1932 1,937,339 George Nov. 28, 1933 1,967,602 Young July 24, 1934 2,039,998 Hollister May 5, 1936 2,237,355 Ludwig Apr. 8, 1941 2,330,292 Knight et al Sept. 28, 1943 2,389,843 De Fonseca Nov. 27, 1945 2,725,913 Horwin Dec. 6-, 1955 2,849,817 Krayer Sept. 2, 1958

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3414999 *May 4, 1967Dec 10, 1968Leonard MasonIlluminated sign
US3680238 *Aug 20, 1970Aug 1, 1972Arnold John LSign display apparatus
US3703779 *Nov 14, 1969Nov 28, 1972Goldman AllanTranslucent sign
US4070779 *Aug 30, 1976Jan 31, 1978Claude Neon Industries LimitedDisplay sign
US4136474 *May 11, 1977Jan 30, 1979Belokin Jr PaulIlluminated overhead advertising display
US5217088 *Sep 30, 1991Jun 8, 1993Dallman Ernest RSatellite banking unit for drive-through bank
US6161318 *Mar 29, 1999Dec 19, 2000Cunningham; William B.Drive-by restaurant order stand with illuminated rotating menu
US20070245608 *Apr 25, 2006Oct 25, 2007Ahmadi William YLED internaly illuminated sign
US20090172983 *Mar 16, 2009Jul 9, 2009Lighted Promotions, Inc.Display Framing Systems And Related Methods
U.S. Classification40/572, 40/615, D20/41, 40/575, 40/667
Cooperative ClassificationG09F13/04