US 3387397 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E T/I/I/I/I/I/I/I/ June 11, 1968 w. v. BUCHANAN ET AL 3,387,397
GHANGEABLE DISPLAY DEVICE Filed Oct. 23. 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 RICA/4P0 0, Mil/f? 5Y7 A ORNEY June 11, 1968 w. v. BUCHANAN ET AL 3,387,397
CHANGEABLE DISPLAY DEVICE 2 Sheets -Sheet :2
Filed 001;. 23, 196
INVENTORS WILL/AM BUCHANAN F/Cf/ARD 0. All/ll? A TORNEY United States Patent 3,387,397 CHANGEABLE DISPLAY DEVICE William V. Buchanan and Richard D. Muir, both of 429 Main SL, Newfield, N.Y. 14867 Filed Oct. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 503,595 2 Claims. (Cl. 40-440) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A changeable display device which is assembled by snapping a plurality of characters into an elongated channel-like transparent holder where they are positively retained by channel flanges. The transparent holder is in turn mounted in a frame-like opaque channel structure having inturned lips.
This invention relates generally to changeable display devices, and is especially concerned with such devices as are adapted to display selected characters of print and the like.
While the device of the present invention has been primarily developed and employed for use as a nameplate, and will be described and illustrated hereinafter with particular reference thereto, it it understood that the device is capable of many varied applications, all of which are intended to be comprehended herein.
It is an important object of the present invention to provide a changeable display device of the type described, wherein characters may be more quickly and easily inserted and removed for instant change, as desired.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a changeable display device of the type described which is neat and highly attractive in appearance, durable and reliable throughout a long useful life, and which can be economically manufactured for sale at a reasonable price.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a changeable display device having the advantageous characteristics mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, wherein the characters may be economically mass produced by injection molding or other inexpensive means, and wherein the remaining components may be manufactured by economic extrusion procedures.
Other objects of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification and referring to the accompanying drawings, which form a material part of this disclosure.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangements of parts, which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter described, and of which the scope will be indicated by the appended claims.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevational view showing a changeable display device constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.
FIGURE 2 is a transverse sectional view taken generally along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1, enlarged for clarity.
FIGURE 3 is a front perspective view showing the device of FIGURE 1 in an intermediate condition of assembly.
FIGURE 4 is a series of sectional views illustrating successive stages in the assembly of a display character with a holder element of the instant invention.
FIGURE 5 is a partial sectional view similar to FIG- URE 2, showing a slightly modified embodiment.
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view showing the device of the instant invention employed as a desk nameplate, or the like.
3,387,397 Patented June 11, 1968 ice FIGURE 7 is a perspective view showing another embodiment of the present invention wherein the device presents the appearance of a picture frame.
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 88 of FIGURE 7, but illustrating the device in its fully assembled condition.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, and specifically to FIGURES 1-4 thereof, a changeable display device of the present invention is there generally designated 29, and includes an inner generally channelshaped character holder 21, containing characters 22, and an outer enclosure or case 23.
The outer member or case 23 is of elongate, generally channel-like configuration, having a constant cross section throughout its length, and may include a normally upstanding back wall 25, and upper and lower forwardly projecting flanges 26 and 27 extending longitudinally along and coextensive with the upper and lower edges of the back wall. The forwardly projecting flanges 26 and 27 are respectively provided with inturnecl upper and lower marginal portions or lips 28'and 29, which may also be coextensive with the flanges and back wall 25. The lips 28 and 29 extend toward and terminate short of each other, as best seen in FIGURES 2 and 3. Thus, defined within the space between the lips 28 and 29 is a forward opening 30.
The holder 21 may also be of channel-like configuration having a constant cross section throughout its length. The holder 21 may include a horizontally elongate, generally vertically disposed front wall or web 32, which is provided at its upper and lower edges with longitudinally extending, rearwardly projecting upper and lower flanges 33 and 34. The flanges 33 and 34 are longitudinally coextensive with the front wall or web 32, and the flanges are provided along their rear edges with inturned lips 35 and 36. The lips 35 and 36 are longitudinally coextensive with the flanges 33 and 34, and extend inward toward each other, terminating short of each other to leave a rear opening 37. The lower pil 36 may be of substantial vertical extent and advantageously inclined slightly rearwardly, while the upper lip 35 is of lesser vertical extent and advantageously formed with a camming surface 38 for entry of characters 22, as will appear more fully hereinafter.
In practice, the outer member or case 23 may be generally opaque, or at least the front lips 28 and 29 may be opaque. However, the inner channel-like member or holder 21 may advantageously be fabricated of transparent material, or at least the front wall 32 may be of a light-permeable nature. The front opening of case 23 and the light-permeable nature of holder front wall 32 provide a window for visual access to the interior of the holder. Further, the outer case 23 may be relatively stiff or rigid, while the inner member or holder 21 may be of a resilient character, or at least the flange 33 may be resilient for deflection of the lip away from the lip 36.
The display elements 22 are shown as characters of print, each having a body 40' configured to represent a desired character and provided on the upper and lower ends of the body with horizontal runners 41 and 42. The runners are each defined by a pair of oppositely projecting, aligned lateral extensions for end engagement with the runners or lateral extensions of the adjacent character. This end engagement of the runners of adjacent characters insures proper spacing of the characters to present the proper appearance to an observer, and is determined by the lengths of the runners. Further, as best seen in FIGURE 3, the runners 41 and 42 are each formed on an outer side with a notch or cutout, as at 43 and 44, respectively. In particular, the upper runner 41 is formed on its upper side with a notch or cutout 43, while the lower runner 42 is formed on its lower side with a notch or cutout 44. The notches or cutouts 43 and 44 enable the runners to be economically mass produced by injection molding, or other suitable means, whereby a sprue may be broken off without the remains thereof projecting beyond the adjacent outer surface of the runner.
In assembly, the selected characters 22 may be inserted in the holder 21, as shown in FIGURE 4. The lower runner 42 of the character 22 is engaged into the space between the front holder wall 32 and lower lip 36, and the upper runner 41 is moved forwardly to ride over the entry surface 38 of lip 35 and snap engage into position between the latter lip and front wall 32. With the desired characters inserted transversely into the holder 21, in the manner described above, the characters may be slid toward each other to engage the runners of adjacent characters for proper spacing therebetween.
The thus assembled characters 22 and holder 21 may then be inserted into the case 23, as by endwise insertion of the holder into the case in the manner illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3. The runners 41 and 42 of the several characters are then concealed behind the lips 28 and 29 of the case 23, and the bodies 40 of the several characters are exposed through the light-permeable front holder wall 32 and opening 30.
In order to change the display of the device 20, it is only necessary to remove the holder 21 from the case 23, slide the characters 22 from the holder, and insert newly desired characters in the proper order.
In FIGURE 5 is shown a slightly modified embodiment, wherein an outer case 23a may be substantially identical to the outer case 22, and the numerals or characters 22a may be substantially identical to the characters 22. The inner channel-like member or holder 21a of FIGURE 5 may include a front wall or web 32a and upper flange 33a substantially identical to the web and flange 32 and 33 of the first-described embodiment. However, the inturned lip 35a on the rear edge of flange 33a may have a rounded entry surface 38a facilitating snap engagement thereby of the character 22a.
In the embodiment of FIGURE 6 is shown an outer member or case 2312 which may be essentially similar to the case 23, except that it is provided on its rear side with a prop or strut 46 for engagement with a supporting surface when the lower edge of the case rests on a desk, table top or the like. Thus, the case 23b defines an easel for displaying the contained holder 21b and its display characters 22b.
In the embodiment of FIGURES 7 and 8, the outer member or holder 23c includes a frame-like arrangement of inturned lips, upper and lower lips being designated 28c and 290, and a pair of end lips being designated 48. Thus, the lips 28c, 29c and 48 serve to bound and define an opening 300, in the manner of a picture frame. The case 23c is provided in its upper side with a slot 49 opening downward to the interior of the case for vertically slidably receiving the character holder 21c, in the position of FIG- 4 URE 8. Of course, the holder 210 is insertable and removable vertically through the slot 49, and characters are engageable in and removable from the holder 21c in the same manner as described hereinbefore.
While the inherent flexible resiliency of the holder 21 enables the characters 22 to be snap engaged transversely into the holder, it will also 'be appreciated that the notches or cutouts 43 and 44 of the runners 41 and 42 afford a degree of resiliency to the runners enabling the characters to be snapped into the holder with minimum deflection of the holder. In addition to the spacing function of the runners 41 and 42, it will, of course, be apparent that the runners serve to maintain the characters in their proper upright disposition.
From the foregoing, it is seen that the present invention provides a changeable display device which fully accomplishes its intended objects and is well adapted to meet practical conditions of manufacture, distribution and use.
Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes and modifications may be made within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A changeable display device comprising an elongate front wall of transparent material, rearwardly projecting longitudinal flanges on said front wall, at least one of said flanges being resiliently deflecta'ble away from the other flange, inturned lips on said flanges, a plurality of separate characters of print, a pair of laterally extending upper and lower runners on each character, said characters each being removably disposable facing the rear face of said front wall with said runners interposed between said front wall and respective inturned lips upon resilient deflection of said one flange, said runners being of a length for engagement with the runners of adjacent characters to properly space the characters, and a case removably receiving said front wall, flanges and lips and having an opening exposing said characters thorough said front wall.
2. A changeable display device according to claim 1, at least one of said inturned lips being configured to ride over a runner for snap insertion of said characters forwardly into said facing relation with said front wall.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,285,760 11/1918 MacDonagh 40-64 X 1,787,308 12/1930 Furlong 4016 FOREIGN PATENTS 671,450 9/1929 France. 334,210 8/1930 Great Britain.
EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner. R. CARTER, Assistant Examiner.