US 3135488 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States, Patent 3,135,488 TUBE SUPPORTS Edward J. Leonard, Marlton, NJ. Vernon E. Turner, 200 Du Bois Road, Glassboro, N.J.), assignor of one-half to Vernon E. Turner, Glassboro, NJ.
Filed Nov. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 239,970 6 Claims. (Cl. 248-50) This invention relates to tube supports.
Difficulties have been encountered with the devices and procedures now available for mounting neon tubes and the like for light display purposes. It has been necessary to drill holes at the desired locations on a mounting plate, then mount a bolt or the like with access required to both sides of the mounting plate. The elevated and relatively inaccessible locations at which neon tubes and the like are used has made the problem of mounting the tubes difiicult because of the necessity of working on a ladder.
The prior available devices in many instances have involved possible shock hazards, particularly for replacements.
It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a tube support, for neon tubes and the like, which can be quickly and easily mounted for use with a saving of time and material.
It is a further object of the present invention to pro vide a tube support which is free from corrosion in the presence of salt air and acid fumes, which is free from static electricity and which is resistant to heat and cold.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tube support which can be made of transparent material and will not adversely afiect the visibility of the tube in use.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tube holder which can be easily installed by the operator, only one hand being needed.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a tube holder which can be removed, if desired, and reused.
Other objects and advantageous features of the invention will be apparent from the description and claims.
The nature and characteristic features of the invention will be more readily understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings forming part thereof, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective of a tube holder in accordance with the invention in position on a mounting plate;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view, enlarged, taken approximately on the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view, still further enlarged, taken approximately on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
It should, of course, be understood that the description and drawings herein are illustrative merely, and that various modifications and changes can be made in the structure disclosed without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings a mounting plate is shown which serves as a back reflector, sign plate, or merely as a support, as desired, for a gas tube such as a neon tube a fragmentary portion of which is illustrated at 11.
The plate 10 may be varied in thickness in accordance with the requirements of a particular installation and merely by way of specific illustration can be in the range from 0.060 inch to 0.120 inch.
At each of the locations on the plate 10 at which a support is desired, a hole 12 is drilled through the plate 10, say with a three sixteenths inch drill. The size of the hole 12 will be varied to accommodate the dimensions of the specific tube support but the size stated has been found to be satisfactory.
The tube holder 15 to be described is advantageously made of synthetic plastic material, which preferably is resistant to corrosion in the environment in which it is used, is free from the tendency to collect or generate static electricity, is transparent, is strong and free from likelihood of shattering, is resistant to changes in temperature and capable of functioning without change in atmospheric temperatures, and is relatively rigid but possesses adequate resiliency at both ends. The tube holder 15 is preferably made in a plurality of parts and includes a tapered stem 16 with resilient fingers 17 extending therefrom, interiorly curved as at 18 for resilient gripping engagement with the tube 11. The spacing at 19, at the ends of the fingers 17 facilitates the entry of the tube 11 between the fingers 17 for mounting or the withdrawal of the tube 11 if desired.
The stem 16 has a shank 20 coaxial therewith terminating at a shoulder 21. The shank 20 is adapted to re ceive the central boss 22 of a spider 23 having resilient arms 24 with terminal projections 25 extending normal to the ends thereof. The boss 22 has a central opening 26 through which the shank 20 extends. The projections 25 preferably have rounded ends 27 for engagement with the plate 10.
The shank 20 has an extension 28 of reduced diameter from which a frusto conical end section 29 extends. An end piece 30 extends over and is permanently secured to the end section 29. The end piece 30 has a tapered skirt portion 31 with bendable resilient spaced holding strips 32 of predetermined thickness and length extending therefrom with slots 33 therebetween and terminal ends 34.
The diameter of the extension 28 taken with the thickness of the strip 32 is such as to permit movement thereof through the hole 12 in the plate 10.
The mode of application and of use will now be pointed out.
When it is desired to mount a tube 11 on a mounting plate 10 a plurality of holes 12 are drilled at locations at which tube holders 15 are to be mounted.
A spider 23 is then applied to the shank 20 with its terminal projections 25 pointed away from the fingers 17.
The shank 20, with the end piece 30 in place, is advanced to and inserted through the hole 12.
As the inserting action is commenced the tapered skirt portion 31 facilitates the insertion. The holding strips 32 in their passage through the hole 12 are flattened to positions engaging the shank 20 and after they have passed completely through the hole 12 spring outwardly so that their terminal ends 34 engage the plate 10 to retain the stem 16 in holding position.
The resiliency of the arms 24 of the spider 23 permits the insertion and accommodation to plates 10 of diflerent thicknesses without the necessity for using different sizes of holders. The temporary distortion of the arms 24 upon insertion is indicated in broken lines in FIG. 2.
The tube 11 can then be snapped into position for retention.
It will thus be seen that a simple but effective structure has been provided by which the objects of the invention are attained.
1. A support comprising a stem having a shoulder thereon with a shank of reduced diameter extending therefrom, a spider having a boss with a central opening through which said shank extends with said shoulder in engagement with the spinder, said spider having a plurality of resilient arms extending outwardly from the shank with terminal projections at the ends of said arms, said shank having an end member thereon with outwardly projecting resilient strips collapsible to positions of reduced diameter.
2. A support as defined in claim 1 in which said end Q3 member has a skirt of smaller diameter at its terminal end for facilitating insertion through an opening.
3. A support as defined in claim 1 in which said projections have terminal portions for engagement on one side of a mounting plate and said terminal projections are engageable with the opposite side of a mounting plate.
4. A support as defined in claim 1 in which said stem at the end opposite said shank has opposed resilient gripping fingers.
5. A support as defined in claim 1 is movably mounted on said shank.
6. A tube support for retaining a tube in position on a supporting plate and said plate has an opening therethrough comprising a stem, said stem having tube engaging and retaining portions at one end and a shoulder contiguous to the other end with a shank of reduced diameter extending from said shoulder, a spider having a central boss with a central opening through and beyond which said shank extends, said spider having a pluin which said spider References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,330,835 Miller Oct. 5, 1943 2,885,538 Mahon et a1. May 5, 1959 2,937,834 Orenick et al May 24, 1960.
FOREIGN PATENTS 459,970 Italy Oct. 11, 1950