US 3256629 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 21, 1966 R. WHITMAN 3,256,629
SIGN STRUCTURE Filed May 6, 1964 INVENTOR 52 ROBERT L WHITMAN .FIG. 7 FIG. 8 ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,256,629 SIGN STRUCTURE Robert L. Whitman, Jackson, Mich., assignor to Handley Industries, Inc., Jackson, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed May 6, 1964, Ser. No. 365,317 3 Claims. (Cl. 40125) This application is a continuation-in-part of my United States application Serial No. 225,705, filed September 24, 1962, now abandoned.
The invention pertains to sign structure, and particularly relates to sign structure of the type which is portable and usually temporary, employed at the site of highway construction and maintenance projects to warn motorists of unsafe conditions, control traffic, and the like.
To be effective, a highway sign, even though used for temporary purposes, must be of a relatively large size so that it may be readily visible. Such signs are transported to and from the location of use and are subjected to considerable abuse during transportation and handling. Also, this type of sign is usually placed close to the path of vehicular traffic and, thus, is subject to air currents produced by rapidly moving automobiles and trucks. As this type of sign is often accidentally tipped over by such air currents, the impact of striking the ground tends to damage the sign and the bracket attaching the sign to a barricade or similar supporting structure.
This type of temporary sign often consists of a metal panel which is mounted on barricades or similar supporting structure. Normally, the signs are of a square or rectangular configuration and employ a bracket rigidly attached tothe back of the sign to attach the sign to the support. As the signs are usually of a single sheet construction, their large size makes transportation, handling and storage ditficult, and the indicia-receiving face of the sign is often damaged during handling and transport.
It is an object of the invention to provide a sign structure which is capable of producing a relatively large indicia surface, yet is foldable to a concise and portable size conducive to handling and transportation.
A further object of the invention is to provide sign structure which is rugged, lightweight and capable of withstanding considerable abuse without adversely affecting the indicia-receiving face of the sign. This feature is of particular importance wherein the indicia-receiving sign sideis coated with light reflective material as is particularly desirable in highway signs.
Another object of the invention is to provide sign structure consisting of a pair of panels interconnected by a hinge wherein the pivot axis of the hinge is so related to the sign supporting means that the unfolded sign panels, when supported, are rigidly related.
A further object of the invention is to provide a yieldable supporting bracket wherein excessive forces imposed on the bracket will cause the bracket to yield without damage occurring to the bracket or the device associated therewith.
Another object of the invention is to provide a yieldable supporting bracket employing torsion portions adapted to resiliently yield when predetermined forces are applied thereto, whereby the application of such forces does not harm or deform the bracket.
Another object of the invention is to provide sign structure which may be attached to an indicia-receiving sign face to modify the indicia on the face.
These and other objects of the invention arising from the details and relationships of the components of an embodiment thereof will be apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a sign, in accord with the invention, as mounted on a barricade,
FIG. 2 is an elevational, enlarged, detail view of the back side of a sign, in accord with the invention, as mounted on a barricade,
FIG; 3. is an elevational, sectional, enlarged, detail view of the sign panel and associated bracket as taken along section IIIIII of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3, illustrating the relationship of the barricade and sign bracket componentsupon the barricade being tipped backwardly and the upper corner of the sign engaging the ground, wherein the bracket is yieldably deformed to prevent damage to the bracket or sign,
FIG. 5 is an elevational view of the yieldable bracket,
FIG. 6 is anelevational, sectional view of the bracket of FIG. 5 taken along section VIVI thereof,
FIG. 7 is an enlarged, detail, elevational, sectional view of the auxiliary. sign structure as taken along section VIIVI'I of FIG. 1,
FIG. 8 is another enlarged, detail, sectional view of auxiliary sign structure taken along section VIII-VIII of FIG. 1, and
FIG. 9 is a sectional, elevational view of the signstructure in the folded or closed position.
In the described embodiment, the sign in its fully operative or open position is of a square configuration, as will be apparent from FIGS. 1 and 2. Of course, the
concept of the'invention may be employed with signs of other than a square configuration. The disclosed embodiment of the sign structure consists of a pair of panels 10 and 12 of equal rectangular dimensionand configuration.
;Each panel is provided with a pair of parallel, longi- .tudinal, side edges 14 and a pair of parallel end edges 16 intersecting the longitudinal side edges of the associated panel at the radiused corners. The panels are interconnected by hinge structure 18 along one longitudinal edge closed embodiment, it will be appreciated that the panels 10 and 12 are of a length twice that of their width, whereby the complete configuration of the sign will be square.
The panels 10 and 12 are preferably of a planar sheet configuration constructed from a lightweight, rigid material, such as that marketed under the name Masonite, which has been weatherproofed or otherwise treated for exterior use. The panels include a rear or back side 26 and a front face 28 constitutes an indiciareceiving surface on which light reflecting paint or other suitable sign material may be affixed. As shown in FIG. 1, the front indicia'panel faces include the words form and lane." Also, the panels include a horizontally disposed'line 30 of a relatively uniform width which constitutes the body of a direction-indicating arrow, as will be later described.
The hinge structure 18 interconnecting the panels along a longitudinal edge of each panel includes a pair of spaced hinges. Preferably, the hinges are of such construction that the pivot axis thereof will be located slightly above the sign indicia face surface 28 when the panels are in the unfolded or open position. The hinges are so formed that the shorter leg of the hinge strap is substantially equal to the thickness of the panels, whereby the panels will be in a coplanar relationship when opened, and an abutting engagement takes place between the short portions of the hinge straps disposed between the adjacent longitudinal side edges 14 of the panels. Thus, pivoting of the sign beyond the coplanar relationship is not possible, and rigidity between the panels is obtained when the are encased within an extruded aluminum edging 32 of channel configuration, note FIG. 9. The legs 34 of the edging extend over the front and rear surfaces of the panels and project beyond the planes of the surfaces 26 and 28. Thus, when the panels are folded to the closed position, as shown in FIG. 9, the legs of the edging will engage to maintain spacing between the face surfaces 28 of the panels, as will be apparent. The spacing between the folded sign panel indicia surfaces protects the front surfaces from being scratched or marred and insures an effective protection therefor.
The sign is supported by brackets 20 attached to the back side of the panels. A single support bracket 20 is affixed to each panel, as will be apparent from FIG. 2. The brackets are preferably of a yieldable type whereby should the sign be accidently tipped over, either forward or backward, due to the air turbulence created by a passing vehicle, or the like, the bracket will resiliently release its grip on the barricade cross member 22 to prevent damage from occurring to the sign.
The brackets 20 each include a base member 36 which, in the disclosed embodiment, is formed of extruded aluminum having a cross section as will be apparent from FIG. 6. The base member 36 includes upstanding portions 38 defined adjacent the longitudinal edges thereof from which inwardly depend flange portions 40 parallel to and spaced from the planar portion 42 of the base member. Ribs 44 are also defined on the base member extending from the portion 42 and of a height substantially equal to that of the wire hanger diameter, as will be apparent from FIG. 6.
The bracket hanger 46 is preferably defined by a spring wire and is formed in the shape as will be apparent from FIGS. 3 through 6. The hanger 46 includes spaced parallel anchor portions 48 adjacent the ends of the wire and the central region of the Wire is formed with a hairpin bend at 50. The hanger portions 52 are disposed at substantially right angles to the adjacent anchor portion 48 and constitute torsion bars, or torsion portions, due to their transverse relationship to the anchor portions. The hanger portions 54 depend from portions 52 and are of a planar configuration adapted to lie adjacent the bracket portion 42, as will be apparent from FIG. 6. Supportengaging hanger portions 56 depend from the hanger portions 54 at substantially right angles thereto in a direction away from the base 36. Hanger portions 58 depend from the portions again at substantially a right angle, and the portions 58 are interconnected by the arcuate portion 50.
The hanger anchor portions 48 are each received within a retainer portion of the base member defined by a flange 40, portion 38 and base portion 42, FIG. 6. The flanges 40 are deformed downwardly at 60 to maintain the anchor portions in position within within the associated bracket retainer portion, and the ribs 44 are notched at 62 to receive the torsion portions 52. The hanger portions 56 are of such a length that the portions 58 will be spaced from the outer surface 64 of the flanges 40, FIG. 6, a distance slightly less than the horizontal width of the barricade crossbar 22, whereby when the barricade crossbar is received within the hanger, as shown in FIG. 3, the hanger 46 will resiliently grip" the crossbar.
As will be apparent from FIG. 3, the weight of the sign will bear on the hanger portion-s 56, thereby being trans- .ferred to the upper surface of the barricade. The hanger portions 56 of the two brackets define a sign-supporting edge when'the sign panels are opened, and it will be appreciated that this edge is obliquely related to the pivot axis of the hinge structure 18 when the sign is in the operative or open position, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. This relationship maintains the sign in the open position when it is placed on the barricade and imparts a rigidity to the opened sign panels which would not be present if the pivot axis were vertically or horizontally disposed.
Should the sign, as mounted on a barricade, be tipped backward, the upper corner of the sign will engage the 4- ground and tend to twist the sign relative to the barricade cross member. Such action would normally place very high stresses on the bracket and tend to pull the bracket from the sign. However, due to the yieldable nature of the hanger 46, relative to the base member 36, the hanger is capable of springing outwardly, as shown in FIG. 4, whereby the torsion portions 52 permit the hanger portions 54, 56 and 58 to move relative to the hanger anchor portions 48. Of course, should the sign fall forwardly any tendency for the sign to twist relative to the crossbar will likewise be relieved due to the yieldable nature of the hanger. The resilient yielding of the hanger 46 relative to the'base member 36 prevents the rivets 66, which mount the brackets to the associated panel, from being pulled from the sign panels, and thereby prevents serious damage from occurring to the sign, or the bracket, should the barricade 24 be tipped over either ina for ward or backward direction.
If desired, U-shaped brackets 68 may be attached to the back of the panel 12 adjacent the upper corner whereby a flag 70 may be inserted therein.
Another feature of the invention is shown in FIGS. 1, 7 and 8 whereby removable auxiliary indicia panels may be attached to the primary panels 10 and 12 to modify the wording and direction of the indicia on the sign and render the indicia more versatile than is possible with a sign of conventional form. The indicia panel 72 may be in the form of an arrowhead, FIG. 1, and is provided with a hole 74 disposed above the center of gravity thereof.
Holes 76 are defined in the panels 10 and 12 above each end of the line 30 whereby the panel 72 may be attached to the sign adjacent either end of the line 30 to indicate the pointing direction of the arrow formed by the panel 72 and the line 30. The panel 72 is uniformly colored on each side and may be attached to either the panel 10 or 12 by means of a nut member 78 cooperating with a screw member 80 adapted to be inserted through the hole 76 in the associated panel through the back side of the panel. By forming the hole 74 within the panel 72 above the center of gravity thereof, only a single opening need be associated with the panel 72 to produce the desired orientation to line 30.
The indicia initially formed on the sign panels 10 and 12 may indicate that only one" lane is to be formed. If more than one lane is to beformed, an auxiliary panel 82 may be aflixed to the sign to overlie the numeral 1 between the words Form and Lane and have an indicia greater than the numeral 1, such as the 2 shown in FIG. 1, located thereon. The panel 82 is provided with a hole 84 adapted to align with a hole 86 defined in the panel 12 whereby the panel 82 may be aflixed to the sign structure by means of the nut 88 and the screw 90, which are similar to those employed with the panel 72. As the panel 82 is pivotally connected to the sign structure by the single nut 88 and bolt 90, the panel does not interfere with folding of the sign, in that it will pivot out of an interfering position with the panel hinge axis during folding of the sign panels to the closed position of FIG. 9.
It will, therefore, be appreciated that the objectives of the invention are produced by the described embodiment and the sign structure of the invention permits a relatively large sign to be folded to a concise configuration for handling and transportation. Furthermore, the sign structure, by the use of the yieldable bracket, is much less susceptible to damage than similar sign devices employing a rigidtype bracket.
It is to be understood that various modifications to the disclosed embodiment may be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and it is intended that the invention be defined only by the scope of the following claims.
1. A yieldable supporting bracket comprising, in combination, a base member having a support engaging surface defined thereon, spaced holding elements defined on said base member, a resilient hanger having support engaging portions defined therein, said support engaging portions including a first portion disposed in spaced opposed relation to said base member support engaging surface and a second portion transversely disposed to said first portion in the direction toward said base member and defining a load bearing shoulder with respect to said first portion, anchor portions defined on said hanger received within and afiixed to said holding elements, and torsion portions defined on said hanger intermediate said anchor portions and said support portions permitting said support portions to be resiliently biased away from said base member.
2. A sign structure comprising, in combination, a sign board having a front indicia-receiving face and a back side, a pair of spaced supporting brackets mounted on the back side of said sign board, each of said brackets including a base member having a support engaging surface defined thereon, spaced holding elements defined on said base member, a resilient hanger having support engaging portions defined thereon, said support engaging portions including a first portion disposed in spaced opposed relation to said base member support engaging surface and a second portion transversely disposed to said first portion in the direction toward said base member and defining a load bearing shoulder with respect to said first portion, anchor portions defined on said hanger received within and affixed to said holding elements, and torsion portions defined on said hanger intermediate said anchor portions and said support portions permitting aid support portions to be resiliently biased away from said base member.
3. A sign structure characterized by its ease of handling and resistance to damage comprising, in combination, a pair of planar panels each having first and second planar sides and a linear edge, hinge structure interconnecting said panels at the linear edges thereof whereby said panels may be folded open about said linear edges to a coplanar relationship and folded to a closed position wherein said first sides thereof are disposed in opposed adjacent relationship, a supporting bracket having a base member affixed to said second side of each of said panels, each of said bracket base members having a support engaging surface defined thereon, spaced holding elements defined on said base members, a resilient hanger having support engaging portions defined therein, said support engaging portions including a first portion disposed in spaced opposed relation to said base member support engaging surface and a second portion transversely disposed to said first portion in the direction toward said base member and defining a shoulder with respect to said first portion, anchor portions defined on said hanger received Within and afiixed to said holding elements, and torsion portions defined on said hanger intermediate said anchor portions and said support portions permitting said support portions to be resiliently biased away from said base member, said hanger second portions each defining a load bearing supporting edge, said bracket supporting edges linearly aligning upon coplanarly relating said panels, said aligned supporting edges being diagonally related to said linear edges and binge axis.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 304,188 8/1884 Eastman 24-261 X 448,967 3 1891 Leistner 24-261 620,522- 2/ 1899 Williams 40-128 730,188 6/1903 Ek 24-26 11 X 747,222 12/ 1903 Reynolds 24-261 X 1,138,265 5/1915 Vaslurgh 40-102 X 1,258,730 3/1918 Wood 40-125 X 1,403,772 1/ 1922 Hannah 40-125 1,417,519 5/ 1922 Hannah 40-125 1,476,898 12/1923 Lewis 40-125 1,727,336 9/1929 Cooper 40-102 1,774,721 9/ 1930 Morris 40-102 1,832,941 11/1931 McNabb 40-125 2,065,624 12/1936 Summers 40-102 2,120,418 6/ 1938 Sorenson 40-68 2,432,928 12/1947 Palmquist 40-135 2,757,469 8/ 1956 Knudsen 40-125 2,975,539 3/1961 Anderson 40-125 2,995,847 8/1961 Carpenter 40-125 FOREIGN PATENTS 653,259 11/ 1928 France.
864,211 1/1953 Germany.
506,697 12/1954 Italy.
EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner.
JEROME SCHNALL, HERBERT Fv ROSS,