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Publication numberUS3267805 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 23, 1966
Filing dateFeb 21, 1962
Priority dateFeb 21, 1962
Publication numberUS 3267805 A, US 3267805A, US-A-3267805, US3267805 A, US3267805A
InventorsAckerman George H
Original AssigneeMissouri Rolling Mill Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Light reflectors for elongated post-like members
US 3267805 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug' 23, 1956 G` H. ACKERMAN 3,267,805

LIGHT REFLECTORS FOR ELONGATED POST-LIKE MEMBERS Filed Feb. 2l, 1962 GEORGE H. ACKERMAN FIG.5 .-BY; lp

ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,267,805 LIGHT REFLECTQRS FOR ELONGATED POST-LIKE MEMBERS George H. Ackerman, Webster Groves, Mo., assignor to Missouri Rolling Mill Corporation, St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of Missouri Filed Feb. 21, 1962, Ser. No. 174,866 6 Claims. (Cl. 88-82) This invention relates in general to certain new and useful improvements in light reflectors for elongated postlike members and, more particularly, to a reective cap adapted for disposition upon steel fence posts or similar elongated post-like members.

Along the less traveled roads in rural areas, many landowners desire to delineate the marginal lines of the roadways for the safety of the traffic using such roads and for the further reason that occasionally a driver will accidentally veer olf the road and tear down a .section of roadside fencing. Apart from the hazards to the occupants of a vehicle under such circumstances, the replacement of the fence is both costly and ltime consuming. In addition to this, many farmers and other landowners who erect lines of fencing along a road have a certain sense yof pride in the .fencing and derive an aesthetic satisfaction from attaching to the fencing some means for reflecting light at night from the headlights of passing vehicles so that the line of fencing will be sharply delineated.

Some efforts have been made to achieve these -results by dipping the upper end o-f a farm fence post to similar device, to a depth of several inches, in phosphorescent or luminescent paint, but the optical results achieved in this manner have not been wholly satisfactory. Such paint materials do not weather particularly well and soon lose light reflective properties. Moreover, most farmers and landowners have no interest in using reflectorized fence posts on the interior boundaries of their land, but rather, merely use such reectorized fence posts along the portion of their land which borders `on a road or highway. O-f course, a great many farmers do not wish to use rellectorized posts under anyk circumstances. Consequently, the farm supply dealers who handle fencing, fence posts, and similar materials are called upon to stock both types of fence posts and this creates an undesirable inventory problem, inasmuch as steel fence ports are relatively low priced and bulky.

The dipping of the top of the fence posts in a light reflective paint material is also unsatisfactory for the reason that steel fence posts must be driven into the ground either with a Sledge-hammer or a tool known as a fence-post driver. Both the Sledge-hammer and fencepost driver strike forceably against the top of the posts and batter the light reective paint materials with which the upper end of such fence posts may be coated. This breaks the lilm and accelerates the damage resulting from weathering.

It is, therefore, the primary object of the present invention to provide a light reflective device which can be applied to farm fence posts and, more particularly, 'fence posts of the so-called studded-T type which device is simple, economical, and optically ellicient.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a light reective device in the nature of a cap which can be slipped over the rupper end of a fence post after the fence post is driven and the fence fully installed, thereby making it possible to reilectorize existing lines of fencing or newly installed lines f fencing in any desired manner.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a light reflective device of the type stated which will seat itself rmly and in a substantially Weather tight manner upon the upper end of the fence post.

Patented August 23, 1966 It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a light reflective device of the type stated which will fit snugly upon the upper end of a studded-T fence post regardless of the positions of the studs with respect to the upper end of the post.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a light reflective device -of the type stated which the dealer or supply house can stock readily in any desired quantity, and possibly in any desired range of colors, without having to change or increase the regular inventory of fence posts.

With the above and other objects in view, my invention resides in the novel :features of form, construction, arrangement, and combination of parts presently described and pointed out in the claims.

In t-he accompanying drawing- FIG. l is a fragmentary perspective view of the upper end of a studded-T fence post equipped with a light reilective cap constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken i along line 2 2 of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3, 4, .and 5 are transverse sectional views taken alcig lines 3 3, 4 4, and 5 5, respectively, of FIG. 2; an

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 6 6 of FIG. 2.

Referring now in more detail and by reference characters to the drawings which illustrate 1a preferred embodiment of the p-resent invention, A designates `a studded- T fence post of the conventional type which integrally includes a web 1 and an outwardly presented flange 2 which extends symmetrically across the web 1 so that the fence post thas a cross-sectional shape somewhat resemfbling a T. Formed integrally along the central portion of the web 1 and projecting outwardly from the forwardly presented face thereof is a uniformly spaced series of studs 3 having somewhat trapezoidal shape. This type of fence post must be rolled with a long continuous section :from hot bars Iof steel and then, while still relatively hot, cut to length in a guillotine shear. Obviously, it is impossible to maintain an extremely high degree of accuracy or tolerance. Indeed, considering the low price at which farm fence posts must be produced and the circumstances of use thereof, it is entirely unnecessary to maintain tolerance more accurate than plus-or-minus one inch. In addition to this, the various lengths in which farm fence posts are customarily sold are not convenient happen to be running. This is :a common and accepted characeristic `of the studded-T fence post and in no way impairs the usefulness or commercial acceptability of the product. However, it is a fact that, in any group of studded-T fence posts of the same length, the distance between the top of the fence post and the rst full stud may vary considerably.

Provided for disposition upon the upper end of the fence post A is a cap B which is preferably molded from a polyvinyl plastisol or other similar synthetic resin of somewhat rubbery consistency, having a cross-sectional shape substantially similar to the cross-sectional shape of the fence post A so that it will lit telescopically thereon and snugly envelope the upper end thereof. Thus, the cap B integrally includes a web-encasing portion 4 and a flange encasing portion 5 integrally .connected across the top by a top closure-wall 6. Formed in and projecting forwardly from the ange encasing portion 5 is an elongated channel-like portion 7 which extends Ifrom the top closure-wall 6 downwardly and terminates a short distance above the lower transverse margin 8 of the cap B. Internally the channel-like portion 7 is shaped so as'to fit snugly around and encase the studs 3, and it is of sufficient length so as to encase at Ileast the first full stud 3 at the upper end of the :fence post A, all .as best seen in FIG. 2. Below the channel-like portion 7, the cap B is of such shape that it will snu-gly engage the outwardly presented surfaces of the fence post A around the entire cross-sectional perimeter thereof, substantially as shown in FIG. 5, thereby materially protecting the upper end of the fence post A from theweather.

Embedded in the outer surface of the cap B are tiny light refiective glass beads b which preferably are cornpletely contiguous so that a substantial portion or even the entire outer surface of the cap B is preferably studded with them. These beads b will protrude slightly above the normal level of the surface of the cap B so as to act as a myriad of tiny light refiectors in such surface. In normal daylight, the basic color of the plastic from which the cap B is fabricated will be visible, but at night, the beads will become highly efficient optical elements when exy posed to the incident rays of light emanating from an automobile headlight. Consequently, the rays of light from the headlight will be very efficiently reflected back to the view of the driver over substantially long distances. If desired, the synthetic resin from which the cap B is fabricated can be clear and transparent or it can be pigmente'd in various colors such as orange, yellow, red, and the like. As long as the surface thereof is studded with vtiny glass beads, the cap B will be an efficient light reflector by night. If the cap B is made of clear resin, it will, during the daytime, take on the color with which the fence post is painted, or if made of pigmented resin, will possess its own independent color. Of course, on sunny days, when the suns rays strike the cap B at the proper angle, it will also refiect light very much in the same manner as it reflects light from automobile headlights at night.

In use, a farmer or landowner can slip a plurality of caps on the upper ends of the fence posts in la line of fencing along a road or highway once the fence has been installed. This can be done very quickly and conveniently, and the caps B will not only protect the upper ends of the fence posts from weathering, but will also retain light reflective properties for many years and, in fact, will ontlast the fence post itself. Because the cap B is made of somewhat rubbery consistency, it Will hug the upper end of the fence post tightly and securely so that it can not be readily removed either accidentally or by vandals, once it has been firmly pressed down in place. Thereafter, the cap B will expand and contract with the fence post as it is subjected to extremes of heat and cold resulting from changes in the weather, and will not tend to crack, blister, or peel off, as is the case with applied paint materials.

It should be understood that changes and modifications in the form, construction, arrangement, and combination of the several parts of the light reflective device may be made and substituted for those herein shown and described without departing from the nature and principle of my invention.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. For use with T-shaped fence posts and similar structural members adapted to extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in a substantially free upper end portion, said T-shaped fence posts having an upper surface and a series of studs spaced downwardly at equal intervals from the upper surface, the distance from the upper surface to the first full stud varying between different T-shaped fence posts; a flexible resilient hollow cap having a downwardly presented T-shaped bottom-opening -and a closed top, said -cap also having a plurality of side walls marginally connected to form the T-shaped bottom opening, said side walls being contoured to fit snugly and conformably around said upper end portion, said cap further having an outwardly projecting axially elongated chamber which opens inwardly to the hollow interior of said cap for accommodating the studs and for retentively engaging said upper end portion to prevent unauthorized removal of the cap from the post, said axially elongated chamber having a vertical length sufficient to cover the first full stud irrespective of its distance from the upper surface, and a myriad of minute light refiective elements being embedded in the outwardly presented surface of at least one of the side walls.

2. For use with T-shaped fence posts and similar T- shaped structural members adapted to extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in a substantially free upper end portion, said T-shaped fence posts having an upper surface and a series of studs spaced downwardly at equal intervals from the upper surface, the distance from the upper surface to the first full stud varying between different T-shaped fence posts; a fiexible resilient hollow cap having a downwardly presented T-shaped bottomopening and a closed top, said cap also having a plurality of side walls marginally connected to form the T-shaped bottom-opening, said side walls being contoured to fit snugly and conformably around said upper end portion, means formed integrally with the side wall of the cap for retentively engaging said upper end portion to prevent unauthorized removal of the cap from the post, said means having a vertical length sufficient to cover the first full stud irrespective of its distance from the upper surface, and a myriad of minute light reflective elements being embedded in the outwardly presented surface of at least one of the side walls.

3. For use with T-shaped fence posts and similar T- shaped structural members adapted to .extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in a substantially free upper end portion, said T-shaped fence posts having an upper surface and a series of studs spaced downwardly at equal intervals from the upper surface, the distance from the upper surface to the first full stud varying between different T-shaped fence posts; a flexible resilient hollow cap having a downwardly presented T-shaped bottomopening and a closed top, said cap also having a plurality of side walls marginally connected to form the T-shaped bottom-opening and an internal T-shaped cross section for fitting snugly and conformably around said upper end portion, said cap further having an outwardly projecting axially elongated chamber which opens inwardly to the hollow interior of said cap for accommodating the studs and for retentively engaging said upper end portion to prevent unauthorized removal of the cap from the post, said axially elongated chamber having a vertical length sufficient to cover the first full stud irrespective of its distance from the upper surface, and a myriad of minute light refiective elements being embedded in the outwardly presented surface of at least one of the side walls.

4. For use with T-shaped fence posts and similar T- shaped structural members adapted to extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in a substantially free upper end portion, said T-shaped fence posts having an upper surface and -a series of studs spaced downwardly at equal intervals from the upper surface, the distance from the upper surface to the first full stud varying between different T-shaped fence posts; a flexible resilient hollow cap having a downwardly presented T-shaped bottom-opening and a rclosed top, said cap also having a plurality of side walls marginally connected to form the T- shaped bottom-opening and a reduced bottom portion having a T-shaped cross section, said side walls being contoured to fit snugly and conformably around said upper portion, said cap further having an outwardly projecting axially elongated chamber which opens inwardly to the hollow interior of said cap, for accommodating the studs and for retentively engaging said upper end portion to prevent unauthorized removal of the cap from the post, said axially elongated chamber having a vertical length sufficient to cover the first full stud irrespective of its distance from the upper surface, and a myriad of minute light reilective elements being embedded in the outwardly presented surface of at least one of the side walls.

5. For use with T-shaped fence posts and similar structural members adapted to extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in a substantially free upper end portion, said T-shaped fence posts having an upper surface and a seriesof studs spaced downwardly at equal intervals from the upper surface, the distance from the upper surface to the rst full stud varying between different T-shaped fence posts, a flexible resilient hollow reflector having an outwardly presented T-shaped opening, said reflector also having a plurality of side walls marginally connected to form said T-shaped opening, said side walls being contoured to t snugly and conformably around said upper end portions, said Walls in the vicinity of said opening being adapted to embrace the post intermediate the studs whereby to prevent unauthorized removal of said reector from the post, said reflector further having an outwardly projecting axially elongated chamber which opens inwardly to the hollow interior of said reflector for accommodating the studs and a myriad of small catoptric beads partially embedded in the outwardly presented surface of said resilient hollow reilector.

6. For use with fence posts and similar structural members adapted to extend upwardly from the ground and terminate in a substantially free upper end portion having an irregular cross-sectional shape; a hollow cap formed of a resilient rubbery polymerized resin Which is a polyvinyl plastisol, said cap having continuous side walls contoured to fit snugly and conformably around said upper end portion, said cap also having a downwardly presented bottom opening and a closed top, means formed integrally with said side walls for retentively engaging said upper end portion to prevent unauthorized removal of said cap from the post, and a myriad of small catoptric beads partially embedded in the outwardly presented surface of said cap.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES In re The Pollak Steel Co., October 19, 1961.

JEWELL H. PEDERSEN, Primary Examiner.

D. J. HOFFMAN, T. L. HUDSON,

Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
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US2192817 *Jul 21, 1937Mar 5, 1940SangerReflector signal
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3319328 *Sep 24, 1962May 16, 1967Millmont Ind IncMethod of installing a protective cap on an exposed wooden pole
US3319332 *Nov 22, 1965May 16, 1967Millmont Ind IncMethod of applying a protective cap on a wooden pole
US3926141 *May 31, 1974Dec 16, 1975Taylor IndustriesModular wire guard
US4516756 *Jun 13, 1983May 14, 1985Beatty Gary LPlastic sheath for fencing
US4520231 *Dec 15, 1983May 28, 1985Hubbell Leslie ASafety cap for fence posts
US5085409 *Feb 11, 1991Feb 4, 1992Teixeira Franklin WWire holding cap for post
US5149060 *Dec 5, 1989Sep 22, 1992Boes Roger TMethod of fabricating an ornamental fence post or fence column structure
US5956875 *Aug 25, 1997Sep 28, 1999Aughenbaugh; Timonthy A.Post sleeve
US6286450 *Oct 12, 1999Sep 11, 2001S&B Technical Products, Inc.Cap assembly for right of way line marker
US6543750Nov 13, 2001Apr 8, 2003Ronald J. CalzoneProtective cap for the top of metal fence posts
US7500653 *May 23, 2005Mar 10, 2009Galen HartmanT-post extension
Classifications
U.S. Classification359/538, 40/582, 52/301, 40/607.3, 174/158.00F
International ClassificationE01F9/011, E01F9/015
Cooperative ClassificationE01F9/015
European ClassificationE01F9/015