Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3406475 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 22, 1968
Filing dateJul 11, 1966
Priority dateJul 11, 1966
Publication numberUS 3406475 A, US 3406475A, US-A-3406475, US3406475 A, US3406475A
InventorsJohn R O'donnell
Original AssigneeJohn R. O'donnell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Illuminated sign
US 3406475 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

U ited States Patent 3,406,475 ILLUMINATED SIGN John R. ODdnnell, 415 Kirsch Drive, Mattydale, NY. 13211 Filed July 11, 1966,.Ser. No. 564,207 1 Claim. (Cl. 40 130) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A rectangular illuminated sign comprising a slab of This invention relates to signs which may be electrically illuminated at night for twenty-four hour effectiveness.

More particularly the present invention is directed to a sign utilizing a section or slab of transparent light conducting plastic material such as Lucite or Plexiglas (methyl methacrylate) wherein the indicia or legendary matter is applied directly to the surface of the slab either against an inside surface, or in etched or cut grooves on the outer face, and wherein the light source for night illumination is self contained within or embedded in the slab, so that the slab constitutes the entire sign. The indicia or legendary matter will be applied in the form of phosphorescent paint applied directly to the surface or by etched recesses, whereby extremely low wattage illumination confined within the section will be effective to provide a high degree of illumination of the indicia. The sign may also employ a pair of slabs to form a block, and wherein a self contained lamp serves to illuminate both slabs.

The above and other novel features of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is expressly understood that the drawings are employed for purposes of illustration only and are not designed as a definition of the limits of the invention, reference being had for this purpose to the appended claim.

In the drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of one side of the sign, the opposite sides being identical with the lettering in reverse order;

FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view on the line 33 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a plan view of a modified form;

FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 66 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 6; and

FIGURE 8 is an exploded view of the sign showing the inside surfaces of the outer parts thereof.

In FIGURE 1, there is shown a block 20 or slab of Plexiglas about three-fourths of an inch thick, which may be four to five inches wide and as long as necessary to carry the legendary material 22 desired. The letters shown are carved, engraved or cut into the surface of the slab 20 to a depth of approximately an eighth inch, and the grooves may have a width of a quarter of an inch, as is ice . 2 indicated in FIGURE 1. The recessed surfaces 24 and 26 of the indicia grooves may be left clear. The ute'rsurfaces 28 and 30, the upper and lower edge surfaces 32 and 34, and end surfaces 31 and 33 will 'preferablyh'ave applied thereto a coating of opaque rflective'paint 35, which may be black'if desired.

At one end of the slab, a cylindrical recess 40'is provided, the diameter of which is somewhat'less than the thickness of the slab. A thin glass tube 42 is slid into the aperture thus formed,"and withinthe tube is a small low watt electric lamp 44: The heat ,generated'by "the lamp' will be spread bythe surrounding f tube eas to.,b dissipated overa wide area of contact'with the plastic sign slab, wherein injury of the slab from heat generated by the light source is avoided, and hot spots that might soften the plastic are eliminated. The lamp 44 may be connected in an electric circuit controlled by a light sensitive cell, for breaking the circuit in daylight to provide night illumination, as will be understood in the art.

Several lamps may be employed imbedded in the manner described at strategic locations where larger signs are employed.

The presence of the black reflective paint on opposite sides of the slab prevents the sign engraved letters on one side from interfering to any degree with the viewing of the letters on the other side, and provides for maximum effectiveness of the light derived from lamp 44.

In a modified version, wherein the surfaces of the slab may be left clear, the indicia may comprise phosphorescent letters painted upon one surface of a clear Lucite or Plexiglas slab. Where a sign may compirse two slabs 50 and 52 of transparent Lucite or the like, separated by an opaque center slab 54 of similar plastic if desired. In practice the center slab may be an eighth to a quarter of an inch thick, while the transparent slabs 50 and 52 may be a half inch thick. Each of the transparent slabs will have applied to the inside surfaces 60 and 62 respectively thereof, suitable lettering 64, or other indicia by applying phosphorescent paint of such color as desired. The phosphorescent paint will be applied directly to the inside surfaces, and in adhering relation to the surface.

The assembled sign to form in effect a single block, as shown in FIGURES 5, 6, and 7, will be provided with a light receptacle bore or recess 70, partly in the center layer 54 as at 72 and partly in the outer slabs 50 and 52 as at 74 and 76, having a tubular clear glass liner 71 inserted in such recess, with a small watt incandescent electric lamp 73 placed within the glass liner.

The edge surfaces 80, 82., 88, 92 of slab 52, and the corresponding edge surfaces 84, 86, and 94 of slab 50 will preferably be coated with reflective opaque paint. Any suitable means for holding the three slabs 50, 52 and 54 together in a unitary fashion so as to in effect form a single may be provided, and it will be appreciated that when so secured, the sign has the same unitary effect as that in FIGURE 1. While the phosphorescent substance is proposed for the inside surfaces, of the slabs 50 and 52, engraved clear lettering could as well be used on the outside surfaces, with the outside surfaces being covered with black reflective paint, where unetched.

In practice a fluorescent light source may be contained within a suitable recess within the sign block, and such fluorescent light source may include a glass tube within a conforming recess in the block, as in the case of the incandescent lamp.

Although fluorescent paint applied in adhesive contact with the surface of the light transmitting plastic slabs, has been referred to for the lettering or other indicia, light reflective metal, or metal flecks stuck to the surface may be illuminated by the light introduced within the slabs.

While two forms of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that the invention as nofi liniit 'ed thereto; As various changes in the constructionandl ar-rangement. .may v be ,madeswit-hout. departing from the spirit of the invention, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art, reference will be had to the appended claim for. a definition of the limits oi the .invention W liat, is claimed is: L l

- J 1. Anelect rically illuminated sign block comprising a sla-bof transparent light transmitting plastic having spaced substantially parallel planarqfaces, indicia applied to at least one surface of said slab; and illuminatiommeans imbedded in said fslah, said illumination means consisting of an incandescent elect-ricQJamp and an, elongate trans Qarent'glassvtnbfilar heat sprcadingshield disposed around and spaced from said lamp and in ,contactswith and fully embedded inrsaidhslah, said shield being stahle.,against softening from heat and contacting said plastic over a ,the heat of the lamps s snflicienfare'a to avoid heat softening 5f the elastic from References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,937,957 12/1933 Hotchneg 2,848,830 8/,195 8 Dmitriev'e t .aI. 3,267,598 8/1966 Olesen et a1. 3,344,545: 1 0/ 19 .57 Strianese. A

'Fb'REi'GN PATENTS 902,656 8/ 1962." "Great Britain.

EUGENE R: Exgi riirir

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1937957 *Mar 28, 1931Dec 5, 1933Hotchner FredLuminous sign
US2848830 *May 8, 1951Aug 26, 1958Boeing CoIndirectly illuminated instrument panels
US3267598 *Jun 5, 1963Aug 23, 1966North American Aviation IncInternally illuminated matrix
US3344545 *Mar 25, 1965Oct 3, 1967Ackerman Engravers IncPanel lighting system
GB902656A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4026635 *Oct 7, 1975May 31, 1977Ab TeleplanIndicator for displaying text or symbols on small surfaces
US4776120 *Mar 8, 1985Oct 11, 1988Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaDisplay device for telephone or a similar electric appliance
US4792884 *Oct 19, 1987Dec 20, 1988Prince CorporationIlluminated vanity mirror visor
US4912609 *Oct 31, 1988Mar 27, 1990Gillette Kenneth RPersonalized night-light
US5030893 *Jun 23, 1989Jul 9, 1991Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.Wall box dimming system and face plate and switch assembly therefor
US5165783 *Dec 27, 1991Nov 24, 1992Barron Sr Lee HPicture frame mounted illuminating device
US5217286 *Aug 26, 1991Jun 8, 1993Tradebest International CorporationAutonomous visual-attraction enhancement utilizing edge-illuminated panel
US5276591 *Jul 23, 1992Jan 4, 1994William HegartySign with indirect illumination from light emitting diodes
US5615501 *Sep 29, 1995Apr 1, 1997Rice; Samuel A.Illuminated vehicle display device
US5965221 *May 2, 1997Oct 12, 1999Messenger; Ronald L.Transparent plaque with enhanced light reflection
US6094849 *Sep 25, 1998Aug 1, 2000James A. PhillipsEdge-lit signs
US20070234608 *Mar 13, 2006Oct 11, 2007Morrison David JLighted display for graphic artwork
US20090133302 *Nov 27, 2007May 28, 2009Lite Style Electronics, LlcLed-illuminated sign
US20110247158 *Oct 4, 2010Oct 13, 2011Braun GmbhDisplay Panel And Manufacturing A Translucent Carrier Element Of The Display Panel
CN102549639A *Oct 6, 2010Jul 4, 2012博朗有限公司Display panel and manufacturing a translucent carrier element of the display element
CN102549639B *Oct 6, 2010Apr 20, 2016博朗有限公司显示面板及制造显示元件的半透明载体元件
WO1997016755A1 *Oct 29, 1996May 9, 1997Changgu LiA light conducting plate, method for making the same and using thereof
U.S. Classification40/546, 362/812, 40/714, 40/734, 362/23.15
International ClassificationF21V8/00, G02B6/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10S362/812, G02B6/006, G02B6/0021
European ClassificationG02B6/00L6I4S4