US 3481060 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 2, 1969 R. E. HARTZ VEHICLE SIGN ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 19, 1968 l N VEN TOR. 2436167 A: #41672- Dec. 2, R969 R. E. HARTZ VEHICLE SIGN ASSEMBLY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 19, 1968 INVENTOR. ledaaer s. Maerz BY y United States Patent 3,481,060 VEHICLE SIGN ASSEMBLY Robert E. Hartz, Muskegon, Mich., assignor to Quick Way, Inc., Muskegou, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Jan. 19, 1968, Ser. No. 699,072 Int. Cl. G09f 11/06, 7/18 U.S. Cl. 40-102 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to placards, and more particularly to selective, multiple notice placards in a unique assembly. Federal interstate commerce regulations require posted exterior notices on haulage vehicles indicating the nature of certain types of goods being conveyed. Basically, present regulations include notices of the following types: Dangerous, Radioactive, Compressed Gas, Flammable, Flammable Gas, Poison, Corrosives, Explosives A, Explosives B, Oxidizers, and In Case Of Cargo Fire Avoid Water. Since each vehicle normally will be used for a variety of materials during successive trips, the signs for each vehicle must constantly be changed. Normally, a large number of signs are kept available in the vehicle or at successive stops to enable this to be done. In reent years, structures have been devised that enable a couple of variations in the sign as by flipping a dual-face sign over to expose opposite faces. However, these have a tendency to be damaged or flipped in turbulent winds that whip around them during haulage. Further, because there are so many difierent regulation notices to be displayed, no really satisfactory structure has been available heretofore that would 1) enable combination of the many different ICC notices and selectability of each without an inventory of separate individual signs to be attached and removed with each change, (2) enable elimination of use of relatively non-permanent materials such as cardboard when attaching a group of them together, (3) cause secure locking of each selected sign of an interconnected group against damage or change due to wind forces, (4) be reasonable in cost, and (5) be simple to use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of this invention to provide a unique placard structure that is capable of achieving the above results. From a relatively simplified construction, it enables any of a wide selection of ICC notices to be easily and quickly chosen, displayed, and locked securely in position. The structure uses a plurality of selectively interleaved hinged plates that comprise placards, or placards and one or two cover plates, on parallel spaced hinge axes, lockable into selected inter-relation by special edge latching mechanism.
These and several other objects, advantages, and features of this invention will become apparent upon studying the following specification in conjunction with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the novel assembly,
shown with the outer two cover plates over the centrally hinged placards, and the locking means in position;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the right end portion of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, with the looking or latching means released;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on plane IIIIII of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the novel apparatus showing a pair of the placards in one possible relationship;
FIG. 5 is another perspective view similar to FIG. 4, but showing the structure in another possible relationship; and
FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of the novel apparatus.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now specifically to the drawings, the complete apparatus 10 includes in combination a large support plate 12 which underlies the entire structure and basically is rectangular in configuration, usually with its width dimension (i.e. across the page in FIG. 1), and its breadth dimension (i.e., vertically on the page in FIG. 1), being approximately equal or thereabout. The other major components of the apparatus are mounted directly or indirectly to thi support plate. It is a fiat plate, generally, preferably of a durable material such as metal or plastic, and having a thickness, normally, of about to of an inch, depending upon the material employed. Attached adjacent the upper edge of this plate 12, is a plurality (here two) loop members 14 which serve to hingedly mount a cover plate 16 to be described more fully hereinafter. In similar manner, attached to the lower edge of plate 12 is another pair or plurality 14' of loop members to form a hinge mount for cover plate 16'. Attached to the central portion of plate 12 is another plurality of (here two) loop members 18 for hingedly mounting a plurality of placards 20 to be described more fully hereinafter. It will be realized that these loops form a type of hinge structure with respect to the plates and/ or placards. Each basically can be considered as having a central hinge axis. These hinge axes are generally parallel to each other.
Cover plate 1.6 includes a pair of slots 16a adjacent one edge for receiving lOOps 14. Cover plate 16' also includes a pair of edge slots 16'a for receiving loops 14'. Each of placards 20 includes a pair of edge slots 20a for receiving loops 18.
The breadth (or height) of each of the cover plates 16 and 16 (i.e. the vertical dimension of each as viewed in FIG. 1) is slightly less than the spacing between the hingle axes of loops 14' and 18, and likewise, the breadth of cover plate 16 is slightly less than the distance between the hinge axes of loops 14 and 18. Hence, each of these cover plates 16 and 16 can be moved to a position covering almost half of the space of support plate 12. The width of each of plates 16 and 16' is slightly less than the width of plate 12, or at least less than the spacing between the elongated latching strips 22 and 22' on the opposite side edges (i.e. in the width dimension) of plate 12.
Each strip is basically angle shaped in cross section, with one leg of strip 22 being hingedly mounted to loops 24 that are secured to plate 12, and one leg of strip 22 being hingedly mounted to a pair of loops 24 (FIG. 2) that are likewise mounted to plate 12. Each strip also includes a pair of slots for slidably receiving these loops. The hinge axes of these strips are generally parallel to each other, but perpendicular or normal to the hinge axes of the plate element. These strips are shiftable between an edge-overlapping position where the free leg of the strips overlies the edge portions of placards or plates 16, 16' and 20, and a second position outside the Width dimensions of the plates to allow uninhibited pivoting f the plates as desired and in a manner to be described hereinafter. Each of strips 22 and 22' can be retained into edge-overlapping relationship with respect to the plates by respective latch means 30 and 30'. Each latch means can be shifted from a release condition illustrated in FIG. 2 to a locking position illustrated in FIG. 1. The latch means and strip form plate-locking means.
Each latch means, e.g. latch means 30' (FIG. 3), includes a keeper 32 which, in plan view has a T-shaped configuration, with the ends of the cross member of the T being pivotally retained under a pair of concave ears 34 of a spring member. This spring member has its base portion 34a mounted to plate 12 (FIG. 3). It is shiftable against its inherent bias by pivoting elevating motion of member 32, due to the greater thickness of the cross member of the T in one dimension as shown in FIG. 3. Thus, member 32 is biased toward the completely locking position illustrated in FIG. 1, or the completely released position illustrated in FIG. 2, through an intermediate unstable over-center condition shown in FIG. 3.
When these latching or looking assemblies are in the condition illustrated in FIG. 1, i.e. with strips 22 and 22' overlapping the lateral edges of the plates (at the ends of their width dimensions), and with latching means 30 and 30 engaging them, all of the plates beneath the strips are securely retained in an immovable condition. They are stable even to turbulent air movements around the semi-trailer of a haulage vehicle.
The structure has tremendous versatility, so that any of a variety of notices can be posted in accordance, for example, with ICC regulations. Further, this can be done with extreme ease, and very rapidly. More specifically, either or both of the partial areas on opposite sides of the central hinge axis can be utilized for displaying notice indicia as shown for example, in FIGS. 4 and 5. This is done by releasing the latches, flipping the centrally hinged placard plates and/or the outer hinged cover plates to selectively interleaved relationship, and relocking the latches. Normally, only the placard plates 20 which are hingedly mounted to the central hinge axis have indicia or wording thereon, while the outer plates 16 and 16 do not contain indicia, but will be used to cover wording on unselected placard plates. However, it is possible for these to also have appropriate wording on one or both faces thereof so that these could be termed placards.
When these outer plates do not have wording thereon, and cover the faces of all of central placards 20, the structure appears as shown in FIG. 1. If it is desired to have the Flammable Gas notice displayed, latch means 30 and 30 are unlocked by pivoting them toward the center of the structure, strips 22 and 22 are pivoted outwardly away from each other, and plates 16 and 16' are pivoted away from each other on their outer hinge axes to expose the central placards. The central placards are then pivoted about their central pivot axis until the two placards having the words Flammable and Gas are exposed as shown in FIG. 4. The outer plates 16 and 16' are interlocked beneath these special placards by temporarily holding the placards to a vertical position While pivoting the plates beneath them to the covered condition illustrated in FIG. 4. Then the edge locking means is placed into the locking condition as shown in FIG. 4.
If it is desired to illustrate the wording on only one of the placards, e.g. Poison, as in FIG. 5, plates 16 and 16' are again pivoted outwardly, eg in the manner of plate 16' in FIG. in phantom, and the placard plates are hingedly pivoted until the proper one is exposed as in FIG. 5. The upper cover plate 16 is then pivoted to an interleaved position beneath this particular placard, and the lower cover plate 16 is pivoted to cover all Of the placards on the lower part of the apparatus. The latching mechanism is then put into locking condition as illustrated in FIG. 5, and the new selection is complete. It will be obvious that with a relatively few placards, a wide variety of regulation notices can be selectively illustrated in a matter of seconds. Moreover, this requires only a relatively few placards, so that a maximum of notices can be exhibited with a minimum of plates.
It is conceivable that in some instances only one of the cover plates 16 or 16' may be necessary, depending upon the number of placard plates employed and the number of notices required for any particular haulage vehicle. In this instance, the structure would not have the degree of versatility of the device as illustrated, but would operate in a similar manner.
Obviously, the device may be attached to a vehicle in any suitable manner such as by bolting support plate 12 to the vehicle, since it need not be removed once it is mounted. The plates can be formed of any suitable durable material as noted previously, such as aluminum, steel, or other metal, plastic, or the like. It is sturdy, versatile, simple to use, relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and possesses many other advantages noted previously or obvious to those having ordinary skill in this art. It is also conceivable that those familiar with this art may readily visualize various minor constructional variations to suit a particular type of construction or purpose. Hence, the invention is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims and the reasonably equivalent structures to those defined therein.
1. A placard structure comprising: a support plate having a width and a breadth; first placard mounting means forming a first transverse hinge axis across said width of said support plate; second placard mounting means forming a second transverse hinge axis across said width of said support plate generally parallel to said first axis; at least one placard having one edge hingedly mounted to said first placard mounting means, and at least one other placard having one edge hingedly mounted to said second placard mounting means to enable either face of each placard to be exposed, whereby a selected combination of notices can be portrayed; and placard locking means on said support plate, shiftable between a placard locking condition and a placard releasing condition.
2. The placard structure in claim 1 wherein said placard locking means includes at least one retention element movable to a position overlapping the side edges of said placards, and at least one latch means shiftable into a latching position with respect to said element.
3. The placard structure in claim 1 wherein said placard locking means includes at least one strip mounted to said support plate and movable to a position overlapping the edges of said placards, and at least one latch means mounted to said support plate and shiftable into a latching condition against said overlapping strip.
4. The placard structure in claim 3 wherein said placard locking means includes edge cover strips at both side edges of said placards, and latch means for each strip.
5. The placard structure in claim 3 wherein said strip is hingedly mounted to said support plate on an axis generally normal to said placard hinge axes, and said latch means is shiftable into its latching condition over said strip.
6. The placard structure in claim 1 including third placard mounting means forming a third transverse hinge axis across said width of said support plate generally parallel to said first and second axes; at least one placard having an edge hingedly mounted to said third placard mounting means; said first and second, and said second and third placard mounting means being spaced apart an amount just greater than the breadth of said placards between their mounted edge and their opposite edge, to enable said placards to be selectively interleaved between said axes.
7. The placard structure in claim 6 wherein said placard locking means includes at least one element movable to a position overlapping the side edges of said placards, and at least one latch means shiftable into a latching position with respect to said element.
8. The placard structure in claim 6 wherein said placard locking means includes at least one edge cover strip mounted to said support plate and movable to a position overlapping the side edges of said placards, and at least one latch mounted to said support plate and shiftable into a latching condition against said overlapping strip.
9. The placard structure in claim 8 wherein said placard locking means includes edge cover strips at both side edges of said placards, and latch means for each strip.
10. The placard structure in claim 8 wherein said strip is hingedly mounted to said support plate on an axis generally normal to said placard hinge axes, and said latch is shiftable into its latching condition over said strip.
11. A placard structure comprising: a support plate having a width between a first pair of opposite edges and a breadth between a second pair of opposite edges; placard mounting means forming a hinge axis across said plate width and,positioned generally centrally of said breadth; a plurality of placards, each having opposite faces, and each having one edge hingedly mounted to said placard mounting means to enable each to be pivoted for exposure of one placard face or the other; cover plate mounting means adjacent at least one of the two respective opposite edges of said second pair of edges, and generally parallel to said placard hinge axis; a cover plate hingedly mounted to said last mentioned mounting means, having a breadth less than the spacing of the respective cover plate mounting means and said placard mounting means, to enable said cover plate to be selectively interleaved with said placards; and locking means on said support plate engageable with said cover plate and said placards to latch them in any selected interleaved relation.
12. The placard structure in claim 11 including two cover plate mounting means adjacent the respective two opposite edges of said second pair of edges, generally parallel to said placard hinge axis, and a cover plate hingedly mounted to each.
13. The placard structure in claim 11 wherein said locking means includes at least one element movable to a position overlapping and latchable over the side edges of said cover plate and placards to said support plate.
14. The placard structure in claim 13 wherein said element is hingedly mounted to said support plate on an axis transverse to said placard hinge axis, and including a biased latch means shiftable into locking position with said element.
15. The placard structure in claim 13 including said elements on both opposite side edges of said cover plate and placards, and including a biased latch means for each, shiftable into locking position with respect to each element.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,082,155 12/1913 Herbst et a1. 40-102 1,589,005 6/1926 Bassett 40-102 1,727,336 9/1929 Cooper 40-102 2,501,044 3/ 1950 Gianelloni 40-102 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner WENCESLAO J. CONTRERAS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 40-129