US 3102350 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
R. V. DIXON ANIMATED SIGN Sept. 3, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV- 25, 1960 f ay w mm M WW i Z my? R. V. DIXON ANIMATED SIGN Sept. 3, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 25, 1960 I as INVENTOR. #444 0A K am'alv United States Patent Filed Nov. 25, 1960, Ser. No. 71,808 1 Claim. (Cl. 40-'65) This invention relates to an improved construction for a sign of the type having at least two display panels which are movable relative to each other so that when operatedbyiiitable driving means the display panels are alternately v1s1 e.
In general, the improvements of the present invention relate to providing a construction for a sign of this type which can be easily fabricated and assembled from inexpensive materials such as paperboard; to providing a sign composed of two principal units, a display portion and a driving portion, the display portion being easily detached from the driving portion so that the display can be changed without discarding the driving unit, and in which the driving portion forms a support for the display portion when the sign is mounted on a surface; and, to providing an improved mounting and construction for the display panels of the sign.-
The present sign is made in two units, a display unit and a drive unit. The display unit consists of a suitable frame, preferably constructed principally of cardboard, in which a stationary display panel is mounted. This stationary panel consists of a series of individual overlapping panel members which preferably are removably secured to the frame. At least one movable display panel is also supported in the frame, this movable panel including a series of individual overlapping panel members each of which is interleaved between an adjacent pair of the stationary panel members. Means are provided for driving the movable panel between one position in which the panel members thereof lie behind the members of the stationary panel and another position in which the panel members thereof lie in front of the stationary panel members. This driving means consists of the drive unit which includes a suitable motor mounted in a housing, also preferably formed of an inexpensive material such as cardboard, and means for detachably connecting the display unit to the drive unit, this last named means including a driving connection between the motor and the movable panel, the elements of which are brought into driving relation with each other when the display unit and drive unit are connected together. The relationship between the two units is preferably such that when they are assembled, the drive unit functions as a pedestal or base for properly supporting the display unit when the sign is resting on a surface.
In signs of this type, a problem has existed in properly forming the display message carried by the individual panel members, particularly the stationary panel members which are mounted in overlapping relation. Unless the display indicia are also overlapped in some Way, the division between each adjacent panel member will appear sharply on whatever display message the panel members bear. All means for forming an overlapping of the indicia with which I am familiar involve expensive printing processes which greatly increase the cost of manufacture of signs especially when only a small quantity of a particular style of signs is required. In the present invention these difficulties are overcome by forming the individual panel members of the stationary panel from a pair of cards each of which is formed with suitable mounting means located at equal spacing along the length thereof. These mounting means are adapted to be engaged by cooperating mounting means carried by the frame at regular intervals less than the spacing between the means on each card. Each card is printed with the same indicia except that on one card of the pair the printing is offset relative to the printing of the other by a distance substantially equal to the interval between the mounting means on the frame. The cards are then cut into separate panels which are assembled on the frame alternating one panel from each card. The overall result is that the indicia is overlapped and appears smooth and unbroken, regardless of any separation caused between adjacent panels on the frame as a result of movement of the panels of the mov able display.
Other features and advantages will become apparent from the following description of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention disclosed in the accompanying drawings which consist of the following views:
FIGURE 1, an elevation of the sign with portions of the panels thereof being broken away to show the relationship therebetween;
FIGURE 2, a plan view of the sign assembly;
FIGURE 3, an elevation showing one of the pair of cards from which the individual stationary display panels are made;
FIGURE 4, an enlarged elevation of one end of the card shown in FIG. 3;
FIGURE 5, an enlarged elevation similar to FIG. 4 showing the same end of the other card of the pair;
FIGURE 6, an enlarged sectional plan view taken on the lines 66 of FIG. 1;
FIGURE 7, an enlarged sectional elevation taken on the lines 7--7 of FIG. 1;
FIGURE 8, a perspective view showing the relation between a few of the stationary panel members and a few of the movable panel members in the position where the movable members lie in front of the stationary members;
FIGURE 9, a view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the stationary panel members in front of the movable panel members;
FIGURE 10, a perspective view showing the motor unit housing and part of the drive connection; and
FIGURE 11, a perspective view showing a portion of the rear of the display panel and the other part of the drive connection.
Referring to FIGS. 1 to 6 and 7, l0, and 11, the sign assembly shown includes a display unit generally designated 20 and a motor unit generally designated 22.
Display unit '20 has a frame 24 formed from a single piece of material such as cardboard. This frame includes .a back panel 25, and .a pair of tubular sides, each of which is formed by portions 26, 27, 28 and 29 (FIG. 7) which extend respectively upwardly, inwardly, downwardly and inwardly from the rear panel, the portion 29 being secured thereto. Each end of the frame is formed by portions 30 and 31 (FIG. 6) which extend upwardly and inwardly of the back panel 25, the portion 31 overlying the side portion 27 and being secured thereto. Each of the inwardly facing side portions 28 is provided with a series of equally spaced holes 32.
A stationary display panel is mounted in the frame and is composed of a series of individual panel members 34, each of which is provided with a pair of projecting tabs 35 engageable in a pair of oppositely aligned holes 32 in the frame side member portions 28. Each individual panel member overlaps each adjacent panel member and the construction of this stationary display panel will be further described herein-after.
The frame side portions 29 act as a pair of spacers for engaging a supporting member 36 of a movable display panel, member 36 being slidably carried. between the frame side portions 28 for movement longitudinally thereof. A series of overlapping individual panel members 38 are each secured to the movable supporting member 36, as by a strip of tape 39 (FIG. 9), and each of these panel members 38 is inserted between an adjacent pair of stationary panel members 34.
3 Motor unit 22 is also fabricated of cardboard. A motor housing 40 is formed from a pair of box-like cardboard members 42 and 43, each having side and end walls, which are assembled together in nested facing relation, forming an enclosure in which a suitable electric motor 45 is mounted with the drive shaft 46 of the motor extending through the face of the box member 43. A crank 44 and crank pin 47 are connected to the motor shaflt 46 and form one element of a driving connection between the motor unit 22 and the display unit 20. The motor housing 40 is secured to a generally U-shaped support member 48, having sides 49 and inwardly turned flanges 50. g
The rear panel 25 of the display unit has a window 52 cut in it approximately midway or its length as best shown in FIGS. 2 and 11, and this window 52 is bordered by a framelike member 54 secured to the rear panel and separated therefrom by spacer strips 55, thereby forming a pair of guideways 56 between the rear panel 25 and firame member 54 within which the flanges 50 of the motor unit are adapted to be slidably received. This establishes a detachable connection between the motr unit and the display unit.
Means for forming the other element or a driving connection are secured to the rear face of the movable display panel 36 as shown in FIG. 11, this means consisting of suitable cardboard members generally designated 60 which are glued to the panel member 36 and which are shaped to form a downwardly opening slot 62 for receiving the crank pin 47 of the motor unit 22 as shown in FIG. 2.
Assembly of the display unit to the motor unit is accomplished merely by placing the display unit above the motor unit, aligning the flanges 50 with the guideways 56 and the crank pin 47 with the slot 62, and relatively moving the two units until the bottom edge 64 of the motor unit is at the level of the bottom edge of the display unit.
Thus the motor unit structure forms an extension of the bottom area or base of the display unit and acts as the support or pedestal for the display unit to holdit upright on a supporting surface.
Indicia are formed on the stationary and movable panels in the following way: In the case of the movable panel, after the individual panel members 38 have been mounted on the member 36 in overlapping relation as previously described, any desired indicia are printed direotly on the overlapping panel members 38 by any suitable process such as screening. For example, the letter A appears on two adjacent panel members 38a and 38b as shown in FIGURE 8 and as shown for other letters in FIGURE 1, the indicia of the movable panel being indioated by cross-shading.
For the stationary panel, an overlapping of the indicia as well as of the panel members themselves is desirable. This is obtained in the manner best illustrated in FIG- URES 3, 4, and 5. FIGURE 3 shows a card 70 formed with a series of equally spaced projecting connector elements or tabs 35, the spacing between which is in excess of and preferably on the order of twice the spacing between the apertures 32 of the display unit frame. The
spacing between the tabs 35 determines the size of each individual panel member 34, as indicated by the broken lines 71 on the card 70. To prepare the indicia, card 70 is placed in a printing press and a printing operation performed, forming for example, a letter E which is spaced with reference to individual panel members 34a, 34b, and 34c 01 the card 70 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4.
After this operation has been performed, a second card 72 (FIG. 5) identical to the card is placed in the press and off-set relative to the printing plate a distance which corresponds to the spacing between the individual adjacent apertures 32. The printing operation is performed again forming the letter B in the position shown with relation to the last three panel members 34d, 34c and 34 of the card 72 as shown in FIG. 5. After the printing operation, the cards 7 0, 72 are each cut into individual panel members 34 which are assembled in the display unit alternately in overlapping relation taking first a panel member from the card 72 and then a panel member from the card 70 and inserting them in the frame from right to left as it appears in FIG. 1. Due to the difference in spacing between the tabs 35 and the apertures 32, the cards are mounted in overlapping or oir'set relation to substantially the same extent as was the offset used in the forming of the indicia. The indicia are overlapped but the overall appearance is of individual letters with no visible line of demarcation running across the letters caused by the line between adjacent panel elements 34. Desired continuity in the display carried by the stationary elements 34 is thus obtained in a relatively simple and inexpensive manner.
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the sign construction disclosed is one which can be manufactured at a very reasonable cost, one in which the display unit can be changed as desired to present a d-ifierent message and one in which a particular display unit can be reworked by changing the stationary and movable panel portions thereof.
While .preferred embodiments have been described above in detail, it will be understood that numerous modifications might be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the following claim.
In a changeable display sign of the type having a series of stationary overlapping display members and a second series of movable overlapping display members interleaved between the stationary members, means for sup porting and moving said second series of members comprising a frame having a back panel and a pair of side portions, means mounting said stationary members between said side poitions, a supporting member on which said second series of display members is mounted, said supporting member being positioned intermediate and retained by said back panel and series of'stationary display members for sliding movement relative thereto, an opening in said back panel exposing a portion of said sup porting member, and driving means engageable with said supporting member through said opening.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS