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Publication numberUS3394674 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 30, 1968
Filing dateSep 2, 1966
Priority dateSep 2, 1966
Publication numberUS 3394674 A, US 3394674A, US-A-3394674, US3394674 A, US3394674A
InventorsDonald M Downing
Original AssigneeDonald M. Downing
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Traffic sign
US 3394674 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 30, 1968 o. M. DOWNING 3,394,674

TRAFFIC SIGN Filed Sept. 2, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. DONALD M. DOWN/N6 A TTORNE Y3 July 30, 1968 D. M. DOWNING 3,394,674

TRAFFIC S IGN Filed Sept. 2, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. il- [6A g yfl' DONALD M. DOWN/N6 BY/M/W ATTORNEYS July 30, 1968 D. M. DOWNING 3,394,674

TRAFFIC SIGN Filed Sept. 2, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR. DONALD M. 00 WNING ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,394,674 TRAFFIC SIGN Donald M. Downing, 3737 W. 44th St., Tulsa, Okla. 74107 Filed Sept. 2, 1966, Ser. No. 577,088 Claims. (Cl. 116-63) This invention relates to an improved traffic control sign. More particularly, the invention relates to a sign for use for traffic control or the like including means whereby, upon actuation, the sign unfolds to display a traflic directory message and upon subsequent actuation folds to conceal the message or, in one embodiment, to display a different message.

The sign of this invention is particularly adapted for period traffic control. One example is the application for use at intersections where during peak traffic periods it is desired that no left turn be permitted whereas during nonpeak trafiic hours left turns are permitted. In this application the sign includes a message No Left Turn which is prominently displayed upon actuation of an electric time control signal at the beginning of peak traffic hours, and at the termination of the peak traffic hours the sign is again actuated by electrical control to obscure the sign, thus permitting left turns. Another example of an application of the sign of this invention is at school crossings wherein the sign unfolds to display a school crossing message during the time when children are on their way to or coming home from school. The sign folds to obscure the message during other hours.

A basic object of this invention is to provide an improved trafiic control sign characterized by extreme simplicity, dependability, and economy of construction.

Another more specific object of this invention is to provide a trafiic control sign including a center panel and two wing panels pivotally supported to the opposite vertical edges of the panel, the wing panels folding outwardly to provide a unified planar surface on which a message is displayed, and the wing panels folding inwardly into contiguous parallel relationship with the center panel to completely obscure the message.

Another and particular object of the invention is to provide an improved actuating means for a trafiic control sign.

These and other objects will be understood with reference to the following description and claims, taken in conjunction with the attached drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is an external isometric view of the traffic control sign of this invention in open position.

FIGURE 2 is a reduced scale external isometric view of the sign of this invention shown mounted on a post and showing the sign closed, obscuring the traffic control message.

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged isometric view of the sign of this invention shown partially opened and showing the upper cover removed revealing the actuating mechanism.

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view of the operating mechanism of the invention taken along the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged isometric view of the actuating mechanisms of the invention.

FIGURE 6 is a wiring diagram of the electrical actuating portions of the sign of this invention.

FIGURE 7 is an external isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the sign of this invention, including fixed side panels whereby a message may be displayed by the sign when in closed position.

FIGURE 8 is an external isometric view of the alternate embodiment of FIGURE 7 shown in open position.

Referring now to the drawings, and first to FIGURES 1 and 2, the sign of this invention is indicated generally by the numeral 10, the sign being supported on a post 12.

7 3,394,674 Patented July 30, 1968 The sign 10 consists basically of a rectangular vertically supported planar center panel 14 presenting a sign bearing face on one side thereof adaptable to have a portion of the traffic control message imprinted thereon, first and second rectangular planar wing panels 16A and 16B each pivotally supported at a vertical edge thereof to opposite vertical edges of the center panel, and an actuating mech anism contained in a covered enclosure 18 for pivoting the wing panels 16A and 16B to a first position, shown in FIGURE 1, wherein the wing panels are coplanar with the center panel 14 to display a traffic control message and pivoted in a second position illustrated in FIGURE 2 wherein the wing panels 16A and 16B are parallel and contiguous with center panel 14 obscuring the message.

Referring to FIGURE 3, the details of the improved trafiic control sign of this invention are better illustrated. In FIGURE 3 the wing panels 16A and 16B are shown pivotally supported to the vertical edges 20 of center panel 14 by means of piano type hinges 22. The use of piano type hinges 22 is optional as other type hinges may be utilized, such as the pivotation of the wing panels 16A and 16B at the upper and lower edges thereof.

Supported at the upper horizontal edge of the vertical center panel 14 is a base plate 23 which supports the actuating devices of the invention. Affixed to each of the wing panels 16A and 16B adjacent the intersection of the inner vertical edge 24 and the upper horizontal edge 26 is a wing shaft 28 by which the wings 16A and 16B are pivoted, the shafts 28 extending through openings in base plate 23. Affixed to the upper end of each of the wing shafts 28 is a sprocket 30.

A continuous chain 32 is received over the spaced sprockets 30, the chain being arranged in a figure 8 configuration. Intermediate the sprockets are two planar chain connecting links 34A and 34B which extend in parallel planes and overlap each other. The connecting links 34A and 34B are configured so as to receive chain 32 at each end thereof and serve to permit the chain to be transported a short length back and forth while retaining the chain in substantially a single plane. When the continuous chain is transported in one direction the wing paels 16A and 16B each are rotated a like amount and in corresponding directions, that is, when chain 32 is transported the wing panel 16A and 16B are each totated towards coplanar relationship with the center panel 14 or rotated towards parallel contiguous relationships With center panel 14, depending upon the direction of transportation of the chain 32.

As best shown in FIGURE 4, a motor 36 is supported to the bottom surface of the base plate 23, the motor having a shaft 38 extending vertically upwardly therefrom. Motor 36 includes a gear box 36A so that the shaft 38 rotates relatively slowly when the motor is energized. Affixed to the shaft 36 above the base plate 23 is a cam plate 40 which functions as a crank arm. A rocker arm 42 (see FIGURE 5) is provide-d having the inner end 42A pivotally supported to the base plate 23 and the outer end 42B affixed to the continuou chain 32. In the illustrated arrangement the end 42B is affixed to chain connecting link 34A. The method of fixing the end 42B of the rocker arm to the connecting link 34A can vary greatly. In the illustrated arrangement the planar chain connecting link 34A has an opening 44 therein receiving a cylindrical integral portion 42C of the rocker arm. A cotter key 46 retains the cylindrical portion 42 in opening 44.

It can be seen that the pivotation of rocker arm 42 results in the transportation of the continuous chain 32 to pivot wing panels 16A and 16B. A connecting arm 48 has one end 48A pivotally connected to the cam plate 40, such as by means of a screw 50. Affixed to the rocker arm 42 intermediate the ends thereof is a connecting block member 52 having an opening 54 therein which slidably receives the connecting arm 48. Received on the connecting arm 48 are cylindrical springs 56A and 56B, the springs being positioned to either side of the connecting block member 52. Pins 58 in the connecting arm retain the springs 56A and 56B in compressive relationship relative to the connecting block 52.

Positioned on the base plate 23 is a switch 60 which, as best shown in FIGURE 4, has an actuating plunger 62 extending therefrom. A switch arm 64 extends from one surface of the switch and engages the actuating plunger 62. Afiixed to the cam plate 40 is a switch actuating plate 66 which engages the switch arm 64. The switch actuating plate 66 is configured so that as the cam plate 40 rotates the switch actuating plunger 62 will be depressed through 180 and will be extended through the following 180 of rotation.

Operation FIGURE 6 is a schematic electrical diagram illustrating the manner in which the sign is controlled. A period control switch 68 will be connected to the sign. Switch 68 is not illustrated as part of the sign although obviously it could be easily incorporated with it although in a typical application the period control switch 68 will be mounted elsewhere for utilization to regulate other traffic control devices. When the switch 68 closes energy is applied through contact 60B to motor 36. This energizes the motor, rotating the cam plate 40 (see FIGURE 5). The rotation pushes the connecting arm 48 thereby pivoting the rocker arm 42. The pivotation of the rocker arm transports the endless chain 32 pivoting the wing panels 16A and 168. The direction of pivotation of the wing panels will be towards the position opposite that which the panels occupied before the energization of the motor. As the cam plate 40 continues to rotate, and after 180 of rotation, switch 60 will be actuated breaking contact with point 60B and making contact with point 60A. This will de-energize motor 36. The sign will then have been moved from one position to another. The sign will remain in this position until the period control switch 68 moves the switch contact to point 68A as illustrated. When this occurs continuity will have been made with switch point 60A so that a completed circuit will again be provided to energize the motor 36 to cause the cam plate 40 to rotate 180, again moving the wing panels 16A and 168 from one position to the other. Thus, each time the period control switch 68 is moved from contact point 68A to 68B, or vice-versa, the sign is actuated from one position to another to either display the message imprinted thereon or to conceal the message.

The provision of springs 56A and 56B received on the connecting arm 48 permits a degree of over travel of connecting arm 48 in each direction. Thus, the springs 56A and 56B serve to resiliently retain the wing panels in their proper position.

Alternate embodiment FIGURES 7 and 8 illustrate an alternate embodiment of the invention. These figures disclose a sign as previously described, but with additional fixed panels 16C and 16D which parallel the center panel 14 and are of the same width and height as wing panels 16A and 16B. This arrangement provides a sign capable of displaying two separate equal size messages. FIGURE 7 illustrates a message displayed when wing panels 16A and 16B are closed, a portion of the message being imprinted upon the back side of the wing panels. FIGURE 8 shows the sign having the wing panels extended, displaying a message in the same manner as is displayed in the arrangement of FIGURE 1. Fixed panels 16C and 16D may be supported to center panel 14 or panels 14, 16C and 16D may be a single panel with wing panels 16A and 16B pivoted to the front surface thereof. Obviously many arrangeinents can be made incorporating the principles of the alternate embodiment.

The sign of this invention is, as previously indicated, distinguished by its ultimate simplicity, economy of construction and dependability. A minimum number of parts are utilized and the principles of the invention result in a sign which, when properly constructed, has substantially unlimited life and is, for all practical purposes, failproof.

While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity it is manifest that many changes may be made in the details of construction and the arrangement of components without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure.

What is claimed:

1. A traffic control sign comprising, in combination:

a rectangular vertically supported planar center panel presenting a sign bearing face on one side thereof having a portion of a trafiic control message thereon;

a first and second rectangular vertical planar wing panel each pivotally supported at a vertical edge thereof to opposite vertical edges of said center panel, said wing panels being of substantially onehalf the width of said center panel, each of said wing panels having a sign bearing face on one side each having a portion of a trafific control message thereon whereby when said center and said wing panels are aligned a traffic control message is presented, and wherein when said wing panels are pivoted to paralleled juxtaposed relation to said center panel said traflic control message is obscured;

an electric motor supported to said center panel, said motor having a shaft extending therefrom;

a wing shaft extending from each of said wing panels adjacent their pivotally supported vertical edge, the rotation of said wing shafts pivoting said wing panels;

a sprocket affixed to each of said wing shafts;

a continuous chain looped over each of said sprockets in a figure 8 configuration;

means coupling the rotation of said motor shaft to transport said chain whereby said sprockets and thereby said wing shafts are rotated, pivoting said wing panels; and

means of controllably starting and stopping said motor wherein upon energization of said motor in one instance said wing panels are rotated to align with said center panel to display a traffic control message and upon subsequent energization of said motor in a second instance said wing panels are rotated to paralleled juxtaposed relation with said center panel obscuring said traffic control message.

2. A traffic control sign according to claim 1 including:

first and second fixed panels of height and width substantially equal to said wing panels, each of said fixed panels being supported at one vertical edge to opposite vertical edges of said center panel and parallel to it, whereby when said wing panels are closed upon said center panels a trafiic control message imprinted upon the back surface of said wing panels and upon said fixed panels is displayed.

3. A trafiic control sign according to claim 1 wherein said means of controllably starting and stopping said motor includes:

a switch having electrical connection with said motor;

and

a cam affixed to said motor shaft actuating said switch in response to the angular position of said shaft.

4. A traffic control sign according to claim 1 wherein said means coupling the rotation of said motor shaft 0 to transport said chain includes:

5 6 a connecting arm having one end pivotally affixed t arm and compressibly engaging, at the other end said crank shaft and the other aflixed to said rocker thereof said connecting block member. arm. 5. A trafiic control sign according to cltim 4 including References Cited connecting block member aflixed to said rocker arm in- 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS termediate the ends thereof, said connecting block member having an opening therein slidably receiving said connecting arm; and t a first and second spring received by said connecting EUGENE CAPOZIO Primary Exammer' arm each having one end affixed to said connecting 10 W- GRIEB, Assistant xamin 2,624,307 1/1953 Caflrey 40-72 XR

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2624307 *Oct 26, 1949Jan 6, 1953Caffrey Howard ERetractable traffic sign
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3726032 *Mar 5, 1971Apr 10, 1973Connecticut Bank And Trust CoDisplay device
US3755936 *Oct 14, 1971Sep 4, 1973A TerreAdvertising or lighting fixture
US3848562 *May 23, 1973Nov 19, 1974Downing DTraffic control sign
US3928928 *Apr 1, 1974Dec 30, 1975Kalust Pierre MAudio visual memorial
US4145617 *Jul 25, 1977Mar 20, 1979Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing CompanyControl circuit for providing time selected application of A.C. power
US4168587 *Jun 8, 1977Sep 25, 1979Migronard A. B.Apparatus for programmed display of advertising matter such as placards, posters or the like
US6412201 *Jul 6, 2000Jul 2, 2002Dan TraenSwimmer's lap counter device
US20160096469 *Oct 2, 2014Apr 7, 2016Mark Kevin O'BrienVisible school stop sign apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification116/63.00R, 40/475, D10/109.1
International ClassificationG08G1/09
Cooperative ClassificationG08G1/096758, G08G1/096783, G08G1/096716
European ClassificationG08G1/0967B3, G08G1/0967A1, G08G1/0967C2