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Publication numberUS3220130 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 30, 1965
Filing dateOct 3, 1962
Priority dateOct 3, 1962
Publication numberUS 3220130 A, US 3220130A, US-A-3220130, US3220130 A, US3220130A
InventorsGustave F Falkenberg, Gilbert T Nimmer
Original AssigneeDimensional Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated display
US 3220130 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 30, 1965 G. F. FALKENBERG 3,220,130

ILLUMINATED DISPLAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Oct. 5, 1962 INVENTOR GUSTAVE F. FALKENBERG BYM47V/M ATTORNEY Nov. 30, 1965 G. F. FALKENBERG ILLUMINATED DISPLAY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 5, 1962 INVENTOR GUSTAVE F. FALKENBERG ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,220,130 ILLUMINATED DISPLAY Gustave F. Falkenberg, Brookfield, and Gilbert T. Nimmcr, Milwaukee, Wis., assignors to Dimensional Products, Inc., Milwaukee, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Oct. 3, 1962, Ser. No. 228,054 1 Claim. (Cl. 40-130) This invention relates to illuminated displays, and particularly to an illuminated display in which a unitary dome-shaped light reflective back panel is secured to a light transmitting display panel with provision for mounting a bulb within the cavity formed by the dome-shaped back panel so as to reflect and direct light over the interior surfaces of the display panel. This invention may further reside in the provision of a stand fixture formed integrally into the back panel for receiving a stand to provide a free standing display.

Displays which include light transmitting display panels that are illuminated from the rear have found considerable use as point-of-sale displays. Such displays normally include printed indicia and are often textured or or sculptured, the purpose being to attract the attention of the consumer to the product being advertised. Since such displays must be able to stand out in discordant environments, a principal requirement is that the lighting be used as efiiciently and as effectively as is possible. Ideally, the display panel should be illuminated uniformly over its entire extent and stray illumination should be eliminated, so as not to detract from the display.

In prior illuminated displays it has been common to provide a back for the display panel which is formed of a heavy cardboard or fiberboard suitably scored, tabbed and folded to enclose the back of the display panel, and also to provide a housing for a receptacle and an incandescent bulb which illuminates the display panel. The use of such backs has resulted in incomplete enclosing of the rear of the display panel with the result that a considerable amount of light is permitted to escape through the rear of the display where it performs no useful purpose and may detract from the. impact of the display. Furthermore, non-uniform illumination of the display panel results from the inability of such backs to direct light over the entire surface of the display panel and often the irregularly shaped backs completely block the light from reaching areas of the display panel. The fiberboard backs have normally been provided to the retailer in a knocked-down condition which requires that the retailer perform considerable final assembly before the display is in condition for use.

Illuminated displays are often desired to be free standing rather than hanging or leaning and therefore provision must be made for a stand for the display. When the cardboard or fiberboard backs are employed, the stand is also formed of cardboard or fiberboard and this has resulted in unstable support. Again, the retailer is normally required to form or mount the stand.

In the illuminated display of the present invention, the back is a unitary dome-shaped light reflective member which may extend to the peripheral limits of the illuminated area of the display panel, and it permits the mounting of a bulb within the cavity of the dome like configuration to obtain direct light and reflected light off the interior surfaces of the back panel which evenly illuminate the display area of the panel up to its peripheral limits. This results in the elimination of shadows and produces greatly improved uniformity of illumination. An opening for mounting the bulb is formed integral into the back panel as may be a fixture for a removable stand. Thus, the retailer need only place a preformed stand into the fixture provided in the back panel and mount a bulb through the opening and into the. in-

3,220,130 Patented Nov. 30, 1965 terior of the back panel. Provision is also made for a simple bulb fixture which can be removably secured within the opening. The final assembly operations that must be performed by the retailer are practically eliminated.

According to a preferred embodiment of this invention the back panel is formed by thermoforming a sheet of a light reflective thermoplastic into the desired dome shape and with the stand fitting formed integral therewith. Provision is also made for reinforcing the thin shell back panel at the point of the stand fitting and this reinforcing is accomplished by a member which also acts as the forming pattern for the stand fitting.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an illuminated display having a dome-shaped back panel providing improved uniformity of illumination.

It is another object of this invention to provide an illuminated display having a unitary back panel which extends to the peripheral limits of a display panel to contain substantially all light within the display.

It is a further object of this invention to provide such an illuminated display including a stand fitting formed integral in the back panel and accommodating a removable stand for the display.

It is also an object of this invention to provide an illuminated display which requires only minor final assembly before use.

The foregoing and other objects of the invention will appear in the description to follow. In the description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and in which there is shown by way of illustration a specific form in which this invention may be practiced. This form will be described in detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice this invention but it is to be understood that other embodiments of the invention may be used and that structural changes in the embodiment described may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true scope of the present invention. Consequently, the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense and the scope of the present invention is best defined by the appended claims.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a viw in perspective as viewed substantially from the rear of the display of this invention,

FIG. 2 is a view in vertical section taken in the plane of the vertical center line of the display of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a view in horizontal section taken in the plane of the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and

FIG. 4 is a view in horizontal section taken in the plane of the line 44 of FIG. 2.

Referring to the drawings, the display includes a display panel 10 which may be provided with indicia on its interior or exterior surfaces or both, and which is formed from a light transmitting material. Preferably, the display panel 10 is formed from a sheet of a translucent thermoplastic, specifically polystyrene, and may be formed with a sculptured surface which provides a three dimensional representation of a desired subject. The particular subject in the drawings is that of a man in overcoat and hat, with a box held across his front, and this accounts for the irregular outline shown in FIG. 2 for the panel 10. This display panel 10 has a peripheral edge 11 (best shown in FIG. 1) which, in the display illustrated, lies in a common plane. The peripheral edge 11 is formed into a flange portion 12 and a lip portion 13 normal thereto and extending rearwardly of the display panel.

A light reflective back panel 14 is formed into a dome shape with side wall surfaces 15 which slope generally concavely inwardly, as viewed from the front of the display, from all points on a peripheral edge 16 towards a central vertical crest portion 17. The dome-shaped back panel 14 thus defines a cavity 18 andthe shape of the back panel 14 is illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. All points of the peripheral edge 16 of the back panel 14 lie in a common plane and such edge 16 is secured contiguously against the flange portion 12 and within the lip portion 13 of the peripheral edge 11 of the display panel 10. The back panel 15 is preferably formed of white opaque polystyrene sheet material which is light reflective.

At the upper limits of the crest 17, a generally circular cylindrical collar 19 is formed in the back panel 14 and extends rearwardly therefrom. The collar 19 is provided with a central opening 20 to permit access to the cavity 18. The crest 17 is formed into a fiat vertical portion 21 which extends downwardly from the bottom of the collar 19 and terminates in a stand fitting. The stand fitting is comprised of a pair of undercut ways or grooms 22 which are formed integral with the back panel 15, and a reinforcing member 23 is disposed between the interior surface of the flat portion 21 and the opposing interior surfaces of the ways 22.

A cup-shaped light fixture- 24 is provided with a flexible flange 25 which engages the outer surface of the collar 19, and the flange 25 has formed therein a plurality of detents 26 which cooperate with protuberances 27 formed into the collar 19 to releasably retain the light fixture 24 in place upon the collar 19. The light fixture 24 has a central opening 28 which receives a light socket 29, and a pair of rubber O-rings 30 are disposed about the periphery of the socket 29 on either side of the light fixture 24to hold the socket 29 in place. A bulb 31 for illuminating the interior of the display is provided in the socket 29.

A stand 32 is formed of a heavy gauge wire suitably bent to form at its ends a pair of rod members 33 which are inserted in the ways 22 and which extend downwardly to terminate in a horizontal foot support portion 34 which is spaced rearwardly of a bottom horizontal section 35 of the peripheral edge 11 of the display panel and cooperates therewith to support the display in an upright position. A tie bar 36 is secured across the rod members 33 to retain the same in proper dimensional relation with the distance between the undercut ways 22 andalso rests against the exterior of the back panel 14 to inhibit bending of the stand inwardly.

The back panel 14 may be advantageously formed by the drape vacuum thenmoforming method in which the thermoplastic sheet material is first softened by heating and is then forced to conform to the contours of a mold by pulling a vacuum. The undercut ways 22 are then formed about the reinforcing member 23 which further functions as a pattern. That is, the reinforcing member 23, which may be a rectangular piece of cardboard or fiberboard, is placed between the thermoplastic sheet material and the mold. When the vacuum is pulled, the softened sheet material flows around the sides 37 and bottom 38 of the reinforcing member 23. The material flowing about the sides 37 form the undercut ways 22.

To accomplish final assembly of the display of this invention, it is only necessary to attach the light fixture 24 about the collar 19 and to slide the rod members 33 of the stand 32 upwardly into the undercut ways 22. Thus, when the display is to be employed as a point-ofsale display, the assembly operations required of the retailer are nominal. With the display assembled and current supplied to the bulb 31, light is directed against the interior surface of the display panel 10 both directly and by reflection from the interior surface of the back panel 14. The direct and reflected light illuminates the entire display panel since light is directed to all portions of the interior surface of the display panel 10. The member 23 reinforces the thin shell of the back panel 14 at the stand fixture so that the display will not be accidentally deformed or ruptured by the stand 32 and further provides greater stability by stiffening the back panel 14.

It will be seen from the above description that the display of this invention results in effective and efi'icient total illumination of the display panel, and the display is easily assembled due to the provision of a unitary back panel which includes an integrally formed light opening and an integrally formed stand fixture.

I claim:

In an illuminated display the combination comprising: a translucent display panel having a peripheral edge in cluding a horizontal bottom edge; a molded thin-shell light reflective back panel formed from a thermoplastic sheet material which has a peripheral edge secured contiguously to the peripheral edge of said display panel and from which the sheet material recedes rearwardly to form a cavity with generally concave sloping wall surfaces running inwardly from such edge to a central vertical crest, said crest provided at its upper limits with an opening and having a flat downwardly extending portion beneath said opening and including vertically disposed external undercut grooves on opposite sides thereof, said undercut grooves being open along the outer lateral sides of said flat portion and being open at the bottom of said flat portion; a stand having a pair of spaced rod members for insertion in said undercut grooves for gripping engagement of said crest, a tie bar means joining said rods at their lower ends to rest against said back panel beneath said grooves, said stand having side members extending downwardly from said lower ends of said rods and terminating in a foot support portion spaced rearwardly from the horizontal bottom edge of said display panel for upright support of the display; a reinforcing member on the interior of said flat portion retained between said flat portion and the opposing inwardly extending interior surfaces of said undercut grooves; and means disposed within said opening for mounting a bulb within the cavity formed in said back panel to direct light over the interior surface of said back panel and to substantially the entire peripheral edge thereof.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 660,171 10/1900 Snell 248-37 1,349,374 8/1920 Gruenfeld 40126 X 1,659,871 2/ 1928 Hartman 24837 1,810,289 6/1931 McPhillips 240-10 X 1,949,551 3/1934 Somervell 40126 X 2,025,478 12/1935 Sirca 24836 2,186,564 1/1940 Thiberg 40130 X 2,223,685 12/1940 Herberger 40130 2,773,175 12/1952 Levy 240-10 2,778,134 1/1957 Willey 40130 2,816,378 12/1959 Levinson 40130 3,056,221 10/1962 Brienza 40136 FOREIGN PATENTS 26,804 2/ 1908 Great Britain.

JEROME SCHNALL, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3711697 *Mar 10, 1971Jan 16, 1973Corlite CorpApparatus for displaying colored light patterns
US5099592 *Feb 5, 1991Mar 31, 1992Noma Inc.Illuminated sign
US5436817 *Dec 23, 1993Jul 25, 1995Sun Hill Industries, Inc.Recessed lamp socket system for illuminated decorative figures
US5523741 *Aug 19, 1994Jun 4, 1996Cane; ThomasSanta Claus Detector
US5566483 *Aug 24, 1994Oct 22, 1996Ogren; Andrew R.Illuminated sign
US5613764 *Apr 12, 1995Mar 25, 1997Cristofell Group Ltd.Internally illuminated decorative objects
US5911501 *Dec 23, 1996Jun 15, 1999Empire Industries, Inc.Home decoration system
US6143381 *Sep 22, 1998Nov 7, 2000Hawkins; Victor J.Backlighting apparatus for a light transmissive ornament
US6345457 *Feb 7, 2000Feb 12, 2002William P. BradleyDecorative article for simulating a snow scene
US8234804May 31, 2005Aug 7, 2012Janet RushLaser etched article with illuminable housing
U.S. Classification40/564, 40/540, 362/808, 362/310, 362/307, 248/688
International ClassificationG09F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/808, G09F13/00
European ClassificationG09F13/00