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Publication numberUS3396483 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 13, 1968
Filing dateApr 23, 1965
Priority dateApr 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3396483 A, US 3396483A, US-A-3396483, US3396483 A, US3396483A
InventorsRedlin Eugene L, Stein Clinton L
Original AssigneeStein
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sign frame
US 3396483 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 13, 1968 c. 1.. STEIN ET AL SIGN FRAME 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 25, 1965 C. L. STEIN ET AL Aug. 13, 1968 SIGN FRAME 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 25, 1965 INVENTORS STE/N,

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United States Patent Watertown, S. Dak. S. Dak.; said ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A sign frame constructed from a first structural member bent about spaced fold lines provided along its length. A second structural member is connected by removable fasteners or a hinged construction to the first structural member for completing the frame construction. The longitudinal edges of each structural member are provided with spaced retaining lips for clamping a placard therebetween; the outer lip being bent towards the inner to effect the clamping action. At the fold lines, the retaining lips are cut with V-shaped notches to facilitate bending. The outer retaining lip is smaller in height than the inner lip to effect moisture drainage to the exterior of the sign frame. Provision is also made for support-illumination means within the frame interior.

This invention relates to a sign frame used in a sign construction.

The invention has as an object the provision of a novel sign frame which will greatly reduce the cost of sign construction, as the main portion of the frame is constructed from a one-piece structural member adapted to be bent to a desired sign shape.

Another object of this invention is to provide a sign frame which can be constructed without costly shop tools, and which requires a minimum amount of materials to fabricate.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a sign frame of the character described, whose one-piece construction enables the sign to have a lighter weight, thereby facilitating erection at job sites.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a sign frame having all the aforementioned advantages and which is further constructed to enable moisture to drain from the interior to the exterior of the frame, thereby rendering the sign more durable and longer lasting.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims, and from the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a completed sign construction embodying one form of the novel sign frame of the present invention.

FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the plane indicated by the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is an exploded perspective view of the sign frame illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a structural member used in construction of the sign frame of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the plane indicated by the line 5-5 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 6 is an end view in elevation of a second form of structural member which can be used in constructing the sign frame of the present invention.

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view illustrating another form of sign frame constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, and in more particular, the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGURES 1-5, a sign constructed in accordance with the present 3,336,483 Patented Aug. 13, 1968 invention is illustrated in general by the reference numeral 10.

The sign construction 10 includes a sign frame 12 adapted to display a pair of indicia bearing placards, 14 and 16.

The main portion of the sign frame 12 is adapted to be constructed from a one-piece, channel-shaped structural member generally designated by the numeral 18. For purposes of illustration, the frame 12 is shown substantially rectangular in shape and comprises a bottom 38, a top 42, a first side 40, and a second side 60, although it will be subsequently understood that the sides 40 and 60 could be constructed so as to have an irregular, rather than a substantially planar shape.

The structural member '18 includes integral outer up right, retaining lips 24 and 26 along opposite peripheral edges. The structural member 18 also includes integral upright, inner retaining lips 20 and 22 coextensive with the retaining lips 24 and 26. The retaining lips 24 and 26 are bent at an angle with respect to the vertical towards the retaining lips 20 and 22, respectively. The lips 22 and 26 effectively clamp the indicia bearing placard 14 between them. The lips 20 and 24 effectively clamp the indicia bearing placard 16 between them. The angle of each retaining lip 24, 26 with the vertical can be varied and adjusted to accommodate different placard thicknesses.

The structural member 18 is bent along bend lines 28 spaced along the length of the member. A substantially V-shaped notch 32 is cut in the outer retaining lips 24 and 26 at spaced portions along the structural member 18. Similarly, substantially V-shaped notches 30 are cut in the inner retaining lips at spaced points along the structural member. The apices of the V-shaped notches 30 and 32 coincide with the bend lines 28 whereby bending of the structural member 18 (as shown, e.g., in FIG- URE 3) causes edges of the notches to be positioned adjacent to or by-pass each other. The inclusive angle of the V-shaped notches 32 in the outer retaining lips 24 and 26 is smaller than the inclusive angle of the V-shaped notches 30 in the inner retaining lips, so that when the structural member 18 is bent about the bend lines 28, the edges of the notches will abut or by-pass each other, since the outer retaining lips 24 and 26 are bent inwardly towards the inner retaining lips 20 and 22. If a rectangular sign is to be constructed, the inclusive angle of the V-shaped notches 30 should be approximately and the inclusive angle of the V-shaped notches 32 should be approximately 70.

When the structural member 18 is bent about a pair of bend lines 28 spaced along the length of the member, a three-sided sign frame portion will result, as illustrated in FIGURE 3. The sign frame portion will consist of a bottom 38, a first side 40, and a top 42. The edges of the notches will abut or by-pass each other, as well as the edges of the notches 30. In order to insure rigidity of the structure, the adjacent edges of the inner notches 30 can be welded together, or otherwise fastened. Of course, if more than two bend lines 28 are used to form the sign frame, the sign frame can have a shape other than rectangular and the first side 40 will not be planar.

The inner and outer retaining lips 20 and 24 form a retaining pocket 34 along one peripheral edge of the three-sided sign frame shown in FIGURE 3, while the inner and outer retaining lips 22 and 26 form a second retaining pocket 36 along the opposite peripheral edge. The placard 14 can be positioned within the retaining pocket 36 by sliding the placard into the peripheral pocket through the open sides of the frame 12. Similarly, the placard 16 can be slide into the retaining pocket 34 through the open side of the frame.

If desired, the sign frame 12 can be provided with interior illumination means for illuminating the placards 14 and 16. A pair of fluorescent lamp holders 44 and 46 can be provided between the bottom 38 and top 42 of the frame 12. The lamp holder 44 is adapted to be secured to the first side 40 of the frame 12 whereas the lamp holder 46 is adapted to be secured to a pair of spacers 66 and 67 provided between the inner retaining lips 20 and 22 on the bottom 38, and top 42, respectively. The lamp holders 44 and 46 are provided with socket elements 49 for receiving fluorescent lamps 47 therebetween. The holders 44 and 46 are hollow, whereby electrical conduits can be connected to the sockets 49.

A lamp access plate 48 of channel-shaped configuration in cross section, having a cut-out 50, is seated in abutment with contacting edges of the spacers 66 and 67 and the inner retaining lips 20, 22 and welded or fastened by any other suitable means. Access to the fluorescent lamps 47 may be gained through the cut-out 50, whereby the lamps can be removed for repair and maintenance.

In order to complete the sign frame 12, a second side 60 is provided. The second side 60 is also formed from a one-piece, channel-shaped structural member and includes inwardly extending lateral flanges 62 and 63 which are adapted to seat up against the spacers 66 and 67, respectively. Flange 62 is formed with apertures 64 adapted to register with apertures 70 in the top 42 of the side frame 12. Similarly, the flange 63 is provided with apertures 64 adapted to register with apertures 68 formed in the bottom 38 of the side frame 12. Removable fasteners, such as screws 72, extend through the registered apertures in the flange 62, top 42 and flange 13, bottom 38 of the sign 12 to removable mount the side 60. It is only necessary to remove fasteners 72 to remove the side 60 to gain access to the interior of the sign frame 12.

In the alternative embodiment of the sign frame illustrated in FIGURE 7, elements corresponding to those shown in FIGS. 1-5, are designated by the letter b. In the sign frame 1217, the side 60b is hinged as shown at 74 and 76 to the bottom 3812. In this manner, the second side is always connected to the frame 12b, thereby precluding its loss or possible damage.

The side 60b is provided with a flange 62b having apertures 64b adapted to register with apertures 70b in the top 42b of the sign frame 12b. Removable fasteners can be passed through the registered apertures 64b and 70b to effect the requisite connection of the second side 6% to the sign frame 12b.

The second side 60, 68b, in each embodiment of the invention also includes inner and outer retaining lips along its opposite peripheral edges (see, e.g., FIG. 7). When the the second side is in its operative position, the inner and outer retaining lips along its peripheries will be contiguous to and form a continuation of the inner and outer retaining lips on the top and bottom of the sign frame, thereby effectively locking the placards 14 and 16 in the sign construction. To remove the placards, the side 60, need only be removed or the side 6% need only be pivoted to an open position, whereby the placards 14 and 16 can be slid to a location exterior of the sign construction.

The second sides 60, 60b can also have shapes other than planar, since they can be bent and notched in a manner similar to the structural member 18.

Referring once again to the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGURES 1-5, a pair of braces 52 and 54 are adapted to be placed in spaced relation along the bottom 38 of the side frame 12 between the inner retaining lips 20 and 22. An aperture 56 is formed through the bottom 38 for receiving a center post 58 which can be connected to the braces 52 and 54 for supporting the sign above ground level.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG- URE 7, a pair of mounting arms 78 and 80 extend through the side 40b of the sign frame 12b into abutment with the brace 54b and are connected to the bottom 4 38b. The brackets 78 and can be used to swivelly suspend the sign from a wall structure or the like.

With specific reference to FIGURE 6, it will be apparent that the sign construction 10 can be constructed from a structural member 18a including only one outer retaining lip 26a and one inner retaining lip 22a to form a single pocket 36a for holding a single placard. A suitable plate member can be fastened to the upright spaced lips 20a in order to complete the sign frame 12a.

In order to insure that moisture drains from the interior to the exterior of the sign, the outer retaining lips in all embodiments of the invention are of lesser height than the inner retaining lips. Therefore, accumulated moisture within the pocket formed by an adjacent inner and outer retaining lip will flow to the exterior of the sign rather than the interior.

The ends of the outer retaining lips in all embodiments of the invention are cut at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. The ends of the upright flanges on the sides 60, 6% are also cut at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. Therefore, when the second sides 60-, 6017 are placed in position of the sign frame 12, the corners of the second sides and the outer retaining lips will abut to form a neat joint. Alternatively, the corners of the second sides or the ends of the retaining lips can be cut at an angle of degrees or less for overlapping engagement with each other.

The one-piece, integral construction of the structural members 18, 18a, and 18b enables the sign frame to be constructed without any special bending or shaping tools. The structural member being of one piece, reduces the cost of construction which would arise if separate pieces had to be attached to the main structural member in order to form the retaining lips. Because of the one-piece integral construction, the sign frame is of a lighter weight, thereby enabling more expedient handling and erection at job sites.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in the foregoing description, it will be understood that various modifications within the spirit of the invention may occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is intended that no limitations be placed on the invention except as defined by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A sign frame element comprising a one-piece substantially planar structural member bent about perpendicular lines spaced along the longitudinal axis of said member to form one portion of a sign frame having spaced ends, integral placard retaining means along opposite peripheral edges of said structural member, said retaining means including an inner upright lip substantially perpendicular to the plane of said structural member adjacent one peripheral edge thereof and substantially coextensive in length with the longitudinal axis thereof, an outer upright lip adjacent said peripheral edge and inner lip and coextensive therewith, said outer lip being bent at an angle to the plane of said structural member to- Wards said inner upright lip to clamp a placard to be held by said sign frame element therebetween, and a second pair of integral inner and outer lips similar to said first-named pair formed along the opposite longitudinal edge of said first structural member to slidably receive a second placard, substantially V-shaped notches in said inner and outer lips at spaced portions along said structural member, the apices of said V-shaped notches coinciding With said bend lines, and the inclusive angle of the V-shaped notches in said outer lips being smaller than the inclusive angle of the V-shaped notches in said inner lips, whereby bending of said structural member causes edges of said notches to be positioned adjacent each other.

2. A sign frame comprising an element according to claim 1 in combination with a second one-piece structural member, and means for connecting the ends of said second structural member to the spaced ends of said first structural member to close said open side of said frame.

3. A sign frame in accordance with claim 2, wherein said outer lips are of lesser height than said inner lips in order to efiect drainage of moisture from the interior to the exterior of said sign frame.

4. A sign frame in accordance with claim 2 wherein said last-named means includes lateral flanges extending inwardly from the top and bottom edges of said second structural member, means defining apertures in said lateral flanges, means defining apertures in the spaced ends of said bent structural member for alignment and registration with the apertures in said flanges, and removable fastener means extending through said registered apertures.

5. A sign flame in accordance with claim 2 wherein said last-named means includes hinge means for pivotally mounting one spaced end edge of said second structural member on the bottom of said first structural member, a lateral flange extending inwardly from the top edge of said second structural member, means defining apertures in said lateral flange, means defining apertures in the other spaced end of said first structural member for alignment and registration with the apertures in said flange, and removable fastener means extending through said registered apertures.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,126,544 8/1938 Everhard 52- 658 2,219,594 10/ 1940 Lang 52-658 3,205,600 9/1965 Snyder 40-1522 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,361,919 4/ 1964- France.

LAWRENCE CHARLES, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2126544 *Mar 6, 1936Aug 9, 1938Everhard Harry HScreen construction
US2219594 *Jan 17, 1939Oct 29, 1940Albert LangMetallic window and door frame
US3205600 *Aug 5, 1963Sep 14, 1965Joseph H SnyderDay and night transparency, translucency and/or print and display frame therefor
FR1361919A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3760552 *Jun 5, 1972Sep 25, 1973Skoetsch PSign letter construction
US3848349 *Feb 9, 1973Nov 19, 1974Superior Outdoor Display IncIlluminated outdoor sign
US3893251 *Aug 16, 1973Jul 8, 1975Coleman Kelly RSpaced frame construction
US4097632 *Sep 12, 1975Jun 27, 1978Let-R-Edge Of Canada, Ltd.Product for constructing three-dimensional sign character
US4299042 *Dec 19, 1979Nov 10, 1981Colorlux A-SFrame construction for a projecting illuminated sign box
US4674213 *Apr 1, 1985Jun 23, 1987Cliff KeithleyExtruded aluminum sign frame section
US4873776 *Oct 31, 1988Oct 17, 1989American Display Inc.Hinged illuminated sign
US4879965 *May 31, 1984Nov 14, 1989Valley Irvin LAirport twenty-four hour pilot information markers
US4980998 *Jan 6, 1989Jan 1, 1991Amstore CorporationWall system
US6379209 *Jan 4, 2000Apr 30, 2002Daktronics, Inc.Alpha-numeric character display panel
US6508024 *Aug 30, 2000Jan 21, 2003Kevin L. HaleRoadway sign
Classifications
U.S. Classification40/549, 40/611.4, 40/607.3
International ClassificationG09F15/00, G09F13/04
Cooperative ClassificationG09F15/0012, G09F13/0413
European ClassificationG09F15/00B2, G09F13/04D